Friday, January 24, 2014

The Power of Expectations

I’ve been working on the concept of Teamwork in our home.  More specifically, I expect my kids to want to cheerfully do their chores because we’re all on the “Home Team” and to “win,” we need to work as a Unit.  But...not really.  As my husband and I were talking, I admitted, “I really don’t expect them to cooperate.”  This explained a lot as to why my methods had been so wildly ineffective.  I truly didn’t believe they would do what I asked.  My tone of voice and micro-managing checking behaviors are evidence of that.  Our expectations for our children can have a profound effect on them, so this is a subject worth exploring.  I have found that when I center myself and get intentional before I ask them to do something, I parent with a more positive tone and allow them the opportunity to complete their work. 

I’ve also been noticing this power of expectations more with clients.  It’s amazing how cunning our self-sabotaging behaviors can be.  “I really don’t expect this relationship to work out,” a client said to me.  “I’ve been with them almost as long as any relationship ever…this is usually the time it falls apart.”  How does that belief show up in our behaviors?  It can be ever so subtle.  You don’t respond to their text, you are aloof when they go to kiss you, you rationalize engaging with people you know are attracted to you. 

Our expectations matter.  As our perception changes, our behaviors change and therefore our realities change.  If you’re looking to make some shifts in your life, ask yourself first, “What do I really expect or believe that could be getting me the current results I’m getting?"  If you’re brutally honest with yourself, you may just discover that you have been getting the results you were truly expecting. 

Wishing you the willingness to choose more empowering expectations on your Journey toward living your best life!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Put Some Zing in Your 2014

Can you believe we’re nearly three weeks into 2014?  The Chapter of your life entitled 2013 is closed and a fresh page was turned to on January 1, 2014.  What have you written onto those blank pages so far?  Have you been intentional with your time?  Have you used your precious moments to further your own vision for your life or have you frittered them away with mindless activities?

Let’s take a few minutes to focus our thoughts on what we’d like our 2014 to be about.  Each month, each week, each day, each hour are segments that quickly seam together to become our year. 

Our Year in Review In Reverse

Imagine it is December 31, 2014.  It was your best year ever.  You focused on what you could control and accepted the rest (and had the wisdom to know the difference…Serenity Prayer, Anyone?).  So, what was it about for you—your 2014?  I know I can get pretty overwhelmed and beat myself up when I feel like I’m not accomplishing the goals I set for myself.  I’ve found that focusing on a few areas instead of too many is helpful.  So, let’s use the zoom lens to get clear about your priorities for 2014.  What are the one or two areas that you will regret not addressing if you don’t finally take action and move forward on? 

As you are pondering your Vision for 2014, ask yourself END goal questions.   A means goal takes us to an end goal, but as the saying goes, “it’s a means to an end.”   An end goal is a fundamental value and priority in your life.  For example, if vibrant health and energy is an end goal for you, then losing and maintaining a 10 pound weight loss could be your means goal.  Or, if financial freedom is an end goal for you, then getting a job at XYZ Company could be a means goal for you. 

MindValley Founder and CEO, Vishen Lakhiani, shares a goal setting exercise that focuses on three key End Goal areas:  What we want to Experience, How we want to Grow, and What/How we want to Contribute.  He suggests we set a timer for 90 seconds and turn off our logical thinking brain to creatively and freely fill in our answers to the three areas.   I took three separate sheets of paper and listed my focus at the top: 

                What do I want to experience in 2014?
                How do I want to grow in 2014?
                What or How do I want to contribute in 2014?

What a powerful exercise. 

I wish you the clarity, courage and willingness to take the next right actions to put some zing in your 2014.