How to Keep Your Goals and Resolutions Alive

goals and New Year resolutions scale tape measure and apple

We are a few weeks into the New Year which for many is when the excitement about goals starts to wear off and motivation falters.

How can you keep your goals and resolutions alive?

Stay connected to your emotional “why”:
Write about why your goal is important to you.

  • What blessings will it bring to your life?
  • What will it feel like when that happens?
  • Who will you have become in the process?
  • Why is it worth what it will take to get there?

Create a clear picture of why your goal is meaningful and keep what you have written at hand for those moments when you need to be reminded of how powerful your goal really is.

Keep your motivation high by taking a couple minutes each morning to visualize yourself in that moment when your goal becomes reality. See yourself smiling, laughing, and glowing with success.  Fell the feelings of wonder, pride, and gratitude coming up inside of you. Staying connected to this visual and emotional vision will dramatically increase your possibility of success.

Prepare ahead for moments when you feel tempted to go rogue or get too stuck to move forward:

  • Make a list of your goals, intentions, or resolutions
  • For each one, list the things that could throw you off track
  • Come up with one or two solutions for each of the challenges that might come up.

Now you have a plan ready to be implemented when needed.

Motivation can falter, but you can keep your goals alive with a strong commitment and tools like these. If you would like more tools, support, or accountability through coaching, please feel free to contact me. I can help.

Don’t forget to leave a comment. I would love to hear what you have to say.

You might also enjoy this related article by Leo Babauta at Zen Habits: Instead of Goals or Resolutions, Try Creating Rules

Infobesity: 5 Ways to Prevent Information Overload

infobesity information overload computer phone and newspaper

The internet, email, and cell phones have enhanced our lives in many ways, but they have also filled our brains with more information than ever before, creating an epidemic of infobesity.

For many of us, the new tools of the information age have an addictive quality that can stress our brains and limit our success in other areas of our lives. We may not even realize that our lives are centered more on technology than participating in real life.

Whether you feel addicted or are just trying your best to keep up with the world, this mass of information coming into your brain can impact your life with: Continue reading

A Quick Solution to Being Stuck in Dilemma

woman stuck in dilemma questioning

 

Back in the old days, when I worked as an employee, I had a boss that would often get stuck when facing a decision. The voices fighting for each option in his head would keep his mind spinning and paralyze him at the same time.

Sound familiar? It happens to me too.

My former employer would keep talking to me about whatever the issue was, but just could not move forward.  He was knee deep in dilemma.

Until I found the magic question. Continue reading

3 Ways to Feel More Empowered When Facing a Challenge

woman overcoming challenge obstacle

When something or someone challenges us it is easy to get stuck in the idea that things should be different. Really stuck.

You can tell when this happens because you will find yourself marinating in a yucky, heavy feeling. You might hear yourself complaining, comparing, blaming, or asking, Why? Why? Why?

This is your victim mentality showing up and it is the opposite of being empowered.

When you recognize that you have fallen into the victim trap, you can make a choice to face the situation in a more positive and effective way. Here is how: Continue reading

How to Bring More Joy and Well-Being into Your Life

woman feeling joy and well-being

When I was studying spiritual psychology, one of our assignments was to create and follow a weekly action plan for bringing more joy and well-being into our lives. To be honest, I wasn’t really excited about the idea. It was just one more thing I had to do.

Being the little rule follower that I am, I actually followed through on the assignment and started creating moments designed to invite in joy and well-being. After a few months, it became a habit and I noticed that I felt more positive and, dare I say, even happy.  Really? Me? Continue reading

How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

fear and intuition woman with 2 colored eyes

In those crazy moments when we don’t know what to do or even how to begin to make a decision, intuition is the answer.

Fear doesn’t understand positive risk and thinks we are still two years old.  It wants to keep us safe but is deeply misguided.  We can’t trust our minds because they spin between different answers, telling us yes in one moment and no in the next.

Learning to discern which voice is your intuitive inner knowing is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and you can start right here: Continue reading

How to Use Pen and Paper to Heal and Expand Your Life

pen paper writing letter writing

Call me old fashioned, but I think there are some things best done with pen and paper.  Don’t get me wrong, I have hundreds of documents in my computer, but I’ve seen real magic happen through the act of writing the way it’s been done for years.  Continue reading

Try These Bedtime Practices for a Peaceful Night’s Sleep

bed time sleep better woman

 

Over the years, I have learned the value of having a bedtime ritual.  There is something very comforting and calming about doing similar things every night to close out the day.

Bedtime practices also support being able to fall asleep and have a peaceful night’s rest.  When I release the stress of the day my subconscious is free to work on my challenges and questions for me while I sleep, often bringing new answers with the morning.

Here are some bedtime ritual ideas you may want to try:  Continue reading

How I am Surviving a Crisis

my cat Joey

My little 3 year old cat Joey is very sick.  He almost died.  And, still could.

Being totally human, I went off the deep end with worry.  I created stories about terrible outcomes and took his fear and upset personally, especially when he seemed to not trust me anymore.  It broke my heart.  Continue reading

Fear and Anxiety – How to Make Friends with Your Lizard Brain

fear and anxiety t-rex lizard brain
For some reason I have been hearing the term “lizard brain” a lot this week.  This is a nickname for the part of your brain that deals with survival and creates your fight or flight response.  You may think of it as your own personal freak out zone.  Continue reading

3 Ways to Rewire Your Brain and Feel More Positive

feel more positive rewire brain happy woman

It is easy to fall into the quicksand of negative thinking.  You only need to have two negative thoughts in a row to settle into old remembered patterns that trap and pull you under. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

It’s all about brain grooves.  The grooves are like default settings created by past negative thoughts.  For some of us those grooves are pretty deep.

According to brain scientists and experts in the field of positive psychology, we can reverse this process and rewire our brains by repeatedly feeding them positive input.  It is not easy and will take time, but the rewards are definitely worth it.  Besides, you will be thinking anyway. Why not choose thoughts that will make you feel better?

The following Positivity Practices have supported my clients and I in rewiring our brains.  I bet they can help you, too.

Observe and Record Positive Moments – there are wonderful things happening around us every day that we just don’t pay attention to.  Open your eyes and heart to become more aware and then ground in these moments by recording them in some way.  Once you open to them, you will start finding them everywhere.  Here are some ideas my clients enjoy:

  • Writing daily about what opened your heart or magical moments you experienced
  • Creating a gratitude journal
  • Photographing things you find beautiful or that warm your heart
  • Looking for heart shapes around you as you go through your day

Embrace Positive Input – take a break from news, books, movies, and people that bring you down or feed a negative mindset.  Choose things that lift you up instead:

  • Books or movies that inspire you or make you laugh
  • Happy people
  • Beautiful or fun music – you might enjoy the Grateful song
  • Meditation or prayer
  • Positive visualizations
  • Sign up for daily inspirational emails or fun videos – I enjoy ones from Martha Beck
  • Try affirmations – if you sign up at Mind Movies they will send you 6 affirmation videos that are about 3 minutes long.  They are nicely done and free.

Reverse Your Psychology – when you have a negative mind loop around a specific subject, you can shift it by building evidence that it is not true.  Write at least 3 things daily that are going well in that area.  Don’t just list them.  Anchor them more deeply by writing at least a couple sentences.

  • If you are concerned about money – write three ways money came to you or that you felt abundant
  • If you are worried about health – write about three ways you are healthy or your health is improving
  • If you don’t like your body – write about three ways it serves you or three parts of it you can appreciate

You get the idea …

Shifting out of negative thinking is one of the most empowering gifts you can give yourself and playing with these ideas will help your brain start to create new happier grooves.  Soon you will find yourself walking around the quicksand of negative thinking without getting stuck in it.

Your turn:  What positive thinking practices do you want to bring into your life?  You can respond by commenting below …

 

Where to Begin When You Feel Challenged in Multiple Areas of Your Life

 

woma pulled in different directions, challenged

When my latest new client first called she was overwhelmed and feeling challenged throughout her life and felt paralyzed.  She had no idea where to begin.  Her marriage was troubled, her job was stressful, she was very busy taking care of other people, and her physical health was declining.

When I asked her how this made her feel, she described feeling exhausted, ashamed, and depressed.  Can you relate?

I think she was surprised when I suggested she start by pulling in and taking care of herself. (She was hoping the first step would be making her husband change.)

I shared with her that when we face multiple challenges, it is important to start at the core.  This is where we have the greatest influence and can start a pattern of success.  For most of us, this core is about self-care and self-nurturing.

When your life feels like a mess, practice the art of pulling in.  Start with yourself.  You are the center of your life and all that happens in it.

Your body is one of your most precious assets and an excellent place to begin your journey. Nurturing your body into health will help you feel stronger, more confident, and energized.

It is from this place that you will be able to connect with the empowered wisdom that will support you in the rest of your life.

This is the path that my client is taking.  Her commitment to making her health a priority is already supporting her both physically and mentally.  She has more energy and feels more positive.  I am supporting her as she works through her life challenges and love witnessing her new confidence in being able to create the life she wants.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed, remember that it all begins with you.  Pull in and take care of yourself.  When you create a foundation of health and well-being, the rest will start to fall into place.

If you would like support in moving through challenges, navigating transitions, or creating a more fulfilling life, I would love to help.

Simply go to the “contact me” page and request a free consultation.

Image by Cristian Newman – Unsplash

Rocks: A Story of Finding Beauty on the Other Side of Resistance

rocks balanced on each other

 

When I first moved into my house I felt sure one of the first things I would do would be remove the landscaping rocks that filled the planting areas. I envisioned soft, rich earth I could dig my hands into and a yard filled with home grown vegetables and beautiful plants and flowers.

When spring came that first year, I was fired up and ready to get rid of the rocks.  I started digging, but soon discovered they were everywhere and had infiltrated deep into the soil.  I gave up after digging down a couple feet and finding no end to them.   The next year, with a renewed sense of motivation, I tried again.  This time, I dug as deep as 3 feet in one area only to find the soil was still full of rocks.

I started to hate those rocks and may have even said a few four letter words, which is very unusual for me.  

The third year, I decided to stop resisting and simply accept them.  I even bought more rocks to replenish areas where they had grown thin on top.  Potted plants and succulents became my new garden style.

And then, something strange happened.  

While out on my morning walks, I started to be drawn to rocks along the path.  I was intrigued by their shapes and felt compelled to take some of them home.  I didn’t understand what was going on, but trusted my instincts.

One day, I sat down with the pile of rocks I had gathered and started balancing them on each other.  I became mesmerized by their shapes and how they fit together in magical ways.  The results were both interesting and beautiful. I had come full circle.  Instead of resisting rocks, I now loved them.

Because of this experience, when I find myself resisting something, I remember the potential for beauty and transformation that can come when I let the resistance go. 

And, because it can happen for me, I know it can happen for you, too.  Are you willing to let go of resistance and find out what magic is waiting on the other side?

This was first posted on my old blog in 2014 as part of a blog challenge about teachable moments.

Photo: rock sculptures in my yard All images:© 2017 Linda Luke

OOPS! Being Not So Impeccable with My Word

little girl with hand over mouth

One of my intentions for this year is to be impeccable with my word.  I borrowed the phrase from Don Miguel Ruiz because he uses it in a comprehensive way.  To me, it means:

  • Telling the truth to myself and others
  • Avoiding negative thought patterns
  • Keeping my word to others
  • Keeping my word to myself (even harder)
  • Using my words honorably, which means avoiding gossip, complaining, etc.

Well, I kind of slipped.  There was a situation in my life that was upsetting me.  When I spoke with the person I chose to confide in, even though I was only sharing the truth, it felt like complaining.  Maybe, even whining.

The tone of my voice grated on my nerves, and probably on the nerves of my friend, too.  The real problem is that the story kept running circles in my head creating an endless loop of negativity.  My mood and attitude spiraled downward.

Fortunately, I was able to catch myself and shift my thinking.  And now, I have renewed my commitment to this intention of impeccability with the words I think and speak.

It feels so good.

For those of you who are curious, this intention was inspired by the book, “The Four Agreements”, by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Gratitude, Hearts, Rocks & Inspiration from a Friend

heart shaped rocks

Heart rocks found on my walks.

My friend, Mariette, is a connoisseur of gratitude.  She also has an affinity for hearts and rocks, and she combines these three loves in a way that I find very inspiring.

She started looking for heart shapes and finding them everywhere.  Under the sea, in the sky, hidden in tree branches, and of course, in rocks.   And, every one became a sign that inspired her gratitude.

After hearing her talk about this for a while, I started noticing heart shapes on my morning walks.  It was contagious!  I began to look for them every day and each one lifted my mood and warmed my heart.  They felt like signs of support from the universe.

Over time I could tell my daily practice of honoring these heart-shaped messages was creating a shift within me.  I felt more peaceful, happy, and full of gratitude.  Now, when I am having a rough day, I know that just seeing a heart shape can make me smile.

So, thank you, Mariette, for this gift.

And, for the rest of you,  I encourage you to give this a try.  It’s like free therapy!

You can learn more about Mariette’s work with gratitude here:

Website with free e-book

Gratitude Rocks Facebook group

 

From Clutter to Clarity – A Client Story

woman with flowers

My client Carol came to me for support with some big decisions to be made with her upcoming retirement.  She felt unclear and overwhelmed as to what to do.

The situation became even more interesting when during our first call she described her life as “itchy”.  I hadn’t heard that one before, so I asked her to tell me more.  She shared that her home felt like a burden instead of a sanctuary, volunteer work and other obligations were filling up her time, and she didn’t feel like there was space for her in her own life.

No wonder she was having trouble making decisions.

Carol was surprised when I shared that external clutter (things, people, or activities) could be contributing to her feeling of being overwhelmed and blocking the clarity she needed to find her answers.  I could tell that she was doubtful at first, but something inside of her knew it felt right.

So, we created a plan to simplify her life. 

We began with a journey through the things she owned.  While her house was neat and well organized, she had a lot of stuff.  Each week she cleared out an area and sent me before and after pictures.  Her goal was to only keep what was meaningful, beautiful, or used on a regular basis.

After experiencing how great it felt to clear out the first areas, Carol became motivated and moved quickly through her home.  Some areas were easy and others a little more challenging.  Going through her photographs brought back joyous memories and also facilitated healing around the death of her husband.

Before moving on to other areas of her life, we clarified her core values and personal intentions.

This gave her guideposts she could use as she reviewed her calendar and the people in her life.  She was surprised to see how many people were draining her energy and how many things she did out of a sense of obligation.  She started making changes.

Carol says that simplifying her external life gave her that space she craved for herself.

Clearing the clutter brought a sense of peace and clarity into her life.  The answers to her decisions became clearer and clearer as she made space for them to come through.

She decided to sell her larger home and continue her journey of living simply in a smaller space.  Her time is focused on her grandchildren and re-connecting with her love of painting.  She feels like this process of right sizing her life has allowed her to be happy and live whole-heartedly for the first time.

Most people don’t realize that feelings of being overwhelmed, stuck, or indecisive can be related to their physical space.  Clutter is a symptom that can show up in both your environment and your mind.  Clearing one often helps the other.   So, if you are feeling stuck with a decision or project, check your space.  Taking a few moments to de-clutter may be just what you need.

You don’t have to wait until you are challenged.  You can de-clutter your life now as a preventive measure and start experiencing that same peace, calm, and clarity that Carol found.

Cleaning out your junk drawer has just become your new therapy.

If you would like support in resolving a challenge or creating a better life, please feel free to contact me for a consultation.  I would love to talk to you. 

Thank you Carol for allowing me to share your story.

A Not So Graceful Moment in Kitten Rescue

 

Joey and Chloe 2 500

I had been holding back on adopting another animal since my Smoky went to kitty heaven.  Not sure why, but it just hadn’t felt right yet.  In the meantime, my house had been too quiet (and clean), so I started to consider fostering homeless cats for Pet Smart charities.  I did this years ago and came away from it with lots of pictures and stories as well as a sense of satisfaction that I had made a difference in the lives of some very special animals.

So, I went to the Pet Smart store just to check it out and somehow came home with three little grey kittens to foster – Joey, Chloe, and Phoebe.

I thought it would be a breeze.  Silly me.  We were all traumatized within the first half hour.

My idea of starting them in the downstairs bathroom went haywire when one of them ran into the laundry room and behind the dryer.  I grabbed a flash light to check on her and realized it was possible that her head was stuck under the gas line.  The dryer couldn’t’ be pulled out much, so I climbed on top and reached and reached, but I have very short arms and didn’t get anywhere near her .  There was only one thing to do.

I dove head first behind the dryer with my feet straight up in the air.  I was able to get hold of the nape of the kitten’s neck, discovering that she was fine and not stuck at all.  That’s when I realized my predicament.  I couldn’t get back up.

I was stuck!

I was upside down, behind the dryer, hanging on to a kitten, and wondering if the neighbors would hear me if I called for help.   Probably not.  My only choice was to try and squirm and shimmy my way out, which I eventually did.  I am so grateful there was no one with a video camera in the house, even if they would have rescued me.

As I type this a couple days later, there are three adorable kittens looking out my screen door, enjoying the sun and breeze.  I wonder how many more adventures and stories we will create together before they get their forever homes.

Note: Please consider adopting or fostering a homeless animal.  Our animal companions enrich our lives and fill them with love.  There are wonderful pets out there living in cages or being euthanized every day.  One of them may be the next great love of your life.

Note 2: One of my clients asked me to re-post this.  I think she just likes picturing me being stuck behind the dryer when I give her homework.  It was first posted in my old blog in October 2012.  I kept little Chloe (Warrior Princess) and her brother Joey (Scaredy Cat). They are almost 3 years old and have truly blessed my life.  They are in the picture above with Chloe in the back.

What about you?  Have you ever adopted a homeless animal?  Please feel free to share your stories in the comments section.  I would love to see them.