5 Questions To Ask Yourself This Week

We're coming to the end of the first month of the year which means it's time for a check-in. It's good to do a quick evaluation of your progress to see where you are and what adjustments (if any) need to be made. Ready? Grab a sheet of paper or the notes app on your phone and let's dive in.

1. How are you doing on your goals?
2. Where did you think you would be?
3. Where are you on your progress?
4. Where do you want to be?
5. What are you going to change to get there?

Remember, self-evaluation and accountability are keys to successful completion of goals. Challenge yourself to do this quick exercise each month and watch your achievements soar!


Pink & White

The warm weather we've been getting has me thinking we may have skipped right into spring, glossing over winter completely...not that I mind all that much! Lately I've been drawn to feminine florals, lace, soft and silky blouses, and crisp white pieces. I've been waiting to wear this skirt since the fall, and this weekend seemed like the perfect time to bring it out to play. This lace detail is so pretty and the right weight for warm temperatures. I paired it with a pink silk bow blouse but it would also be lovely with a white button down or a tied up floral top. When it comes time for casual weekends, shorts and tees are usually my go-to, but lately I've been trying to pull out some skirts and dresses instead. Here's to an early arrival of warm weather, florals, and all things spring!


Priorities seem to be a buzzword around this time of year. We think about arranging and rearranging schedules, we look at how we can increase our productivity, and we invest time finding new ways to accomplish everything on our to-do lists. Sometimes it feels like there's just not enough hours in the day to achieve everything we've placed on our schedule to do and I've often heard people (myself included) say, "I just don't have time for that/to do that." Can I submit a thought to you? 

We have time for what we value, and we make time for what is important to us. 

This isn't rocket science or even a new concept, but the validity of it really impacted me recently. You see, we all have the same amount of hours in the day, and if we're really honest, we have time that could be utilized or invested differently to accomplish things we "don't have time for". You're probably thinking, I already knew that...
Why then, if we know this, do we not change our schedule to become more productive or to cross those things off our list? The reality is, the reason we don't do those things is because we don't see a high value in them so they aren't priorities of ours. This even includes relationships. We make time for what and who we think is important. Sure, we might say that certain tasks, commitments, or even individuals are a priority, but our actions speak the truth. We define what is important to us by what we commit our time to. Do your habits reflect your priorities as you want them to? If we want to change our life, we must begin by changing our priorities. Choose to invest your time with the people that will inspire, encourage, and motivate you. Make time for the activities that will challenge, grow, and develop you. We're all finding time for something...make sure it's what you want. 

It's A Habit

We often hear about changes that need to be made around this time of year. People want to try new things, do something different, and achieve greater results. Behind all of the goals, changes, and well-meaning resolutions is the idea of making changes to our habits. The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. If we're honest, the real day in and day out challenge is to adjust the things that we've become accustomed to doing. The comfort zone of the familiar is what we must be willing to sacrifice to make the necessary adjustments in our habit patterns. Successful people know that it's not simply the practice of setting goals, or just knowing what we want to achieve that gets us to the accomplishment. Instead, the careful examination and intentional changes made to daily habits will be the critical key to great success and achieving dreams. 

I recently discussed this concept with a couple of friends, and as we talked, we discovered that this was something all of us had encountered in one area of life or another. Sometimes the smallest or most simple of habits are the most challenging to change, but if we're willing to take that first step of action, the following momentum is often enough to propel us forward into the new pattern. It's often said that success is hidden within your daily routine, so I encourage you to take a look at your daily habits and see what to keep and what to change. Remember, when you get rid of a habit, you're making room for the creation of better ones that will lead you to success. Without a replacement, the old habits quickly resume their place, sometimes with unwelcome additions. Take a moment today to think of one small change you can make to your routine that will produce better, more successful results when compounded over time. 


How to Achieve Your Goals in the New Year

Happy 2017! We are a few days into the new year already, and as we begin, many of us choose to set aside time to pause, reflect, and set some goals to help us achieve new heights over the next months. Goal setting is absolutely essential to success, and I often encourage the practice of goal setting over resolution writing. Resolutions never seem to truly stick and tend to fizzle out come March {if not sooner}. Goals are measurable, energizing, and catalysts for actionable change. Want this year to be your best one yet? Your key to success is creating goals that can be broken down into success-building daily habits. 

You see, we often think about goals as these lofty aspirations or big accomplishments, and while some may be, the way to get there is through small actions done consistently. It's often said that it takes about 21 days to start a habit. If we're making changes, we need to examine our habits and see if there's some edits to be made in relation to our new goals.  What does your daily routine look like? Are there some tweaks you need to make to your mindset, input (music, movies, books, shows, etc.), or even waking/sleeping hours? Is this going to be comfortable? No, probably not, but is it going to lead to your success? Absolutely. The success stories we see are never brought about overnight...they are all preceded by consistent, non-glamorous, behind-the-scenes preparation work.  

Is it worth it? Well, that question is something only you can answer. For my own goals, the answer is a resounding yes!! I encourage you to find the things that challenge you to become better, push you far beyond whatever you dreamed possible, and cause you to grow into more of the person you've been created to be! This year is what you make it; let's commit to making it the best one yet!

Ready for a few action steps? 
1. Set aside time to write out 8-10 things you are going to accomplish in the next 6-12 months; all goals should be written in the present, positive tense as if you have already achieved them. 
(Example: I am thrilled to be traveling to Hawaii for a fun-filled vacation.) Don't forget to get specific! A simple 'I want to go on a vacation this year' just isn't compelling or action-oriented. Try to keep the "SMART" acronym in mind when writing your goals: Specific Measurable Actionable Realistic Time-bound
2. Commit to reading and visualizing your goals everyday. 
The best way to make this happen is by placing them in a spot you'll see each morning and evening. I place mine by my mirror so I can review them while I get ready or wind down for the day. 
3. Jot down a list of small habits or actions you can take to start working toward the accomplishment of your goals. 
For the Hawaii trip example, setting aside a certain amount of money each month into a 'vacation fund', doing a little research on places you'd like to eat/stay/explore on the trip, putting up a photo of where you want to go, and subscribing to flight notifications from certain airlines when they have good rates to where you want to go are all small, actionable steps to help you start working toward making it a reality. The more you place the goal in front of your mind, the more you'll begin to subconsciously work on it's creation. It may sound crazy, but I can honestly vouch for this technique's success. 

Here's to your most successful year ahead!
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