Possibility Thinking

Have you tried it?

Think about something you would love that just seems too challenging and too far out of reach….. Something you’d love but can’t see how you can make it happen.

Then get a piece of paper and pen and play with it. Think about ways you ‘could’ do it, what resources you have, what or who you could call on, or call in…

If you’re a writing person write it out and let the ideas flow, if you think in pictures then draw. It doesn’t matter how, just keep playing.

I like to crunch numbers (really!), so if it’s something where money is involved I crunch numbers, what do I need? how does that break down? how could I do it?

So I do this and I write, as I like to write too, and I find it brings out ideas once you get in the flow.

And it really does boost your attitude and move you from “I want it but I really can’t see any way…” to “I really can do this”

Dreams become do-able in short, and once you have that belief, well then you just need to go out and take action! 🙂

Let me know how you get on, and what you start creating.

Beyond the Resolutions

Beyond the New Year Resolutions Authentic EdgeHere we are, one week into a New Year and, if you are anything like me, for the last few weeks your inbox has been full of mails about setting new year resolutions, intentions and goals, letting go of 2014 and creating success in 2015.

Although we can make changes at any time we choose, this time of year is when we tend to give it more energy. The changeover of the calendar year is when we sit back and look at what has happened and the changes we need or want to make as a result.

It’s interesting to note that where I come from the majority of companies have their financial year end in March in line with the tax year. So financial targets for the business, or budgets, if they do them, will be set then. It may be worth thinking about whether you want to align the two!

Have you set goals?

Do you set resolutions or intentions, or new goals at New Year? Have you done it for 2015 yet?

And did you take some time to look back over 2014 to see what happened, review what you created and learned, notice what worked and what didn’t?

Lets face it, its always a good time to let go of what didn’t work and to build on what did, so knowing what that was is great for moving your business forward.Click to Tweet Now

Life gets in the way

I know it’s not always as easy as it sounds. As a woman you often have distractions, you are at an age where life is impacting you in a big way. Maybe you lost parent or you are caring for a parent, your kids are growing up and becoming independent, or maybe you lost a partner, or a relationship broke down.

These are all things we have to deal with in life and all of them can distract us from business, however dedicated we are.

And rightly so you may say, we have to prioritise and (sometimes) its right to put family first. If something major happens clearly that is the case.

Create a business that supports you

With this in mind though isn’t it perhaps a good idea to include things in your new goals and planning that will help you cope in the event of unexpected and unplanned circumstances.

Even if you are not dealing with any major life or family events now, prepare yourself for it if it happens. Build in systems and back up to support so things can continue without you if you can’t be around for a while.

This is good business practice anyway, and ultimately adds value to your business, though perhaps often we do not really think about how it can help us as an individual not just the business.

Moving forward

If you have already set your intentions or goals, consider whether you have included anything that adds support to you as an individual, as well as just making your business better, and if not what could you add?

And as always if I can help in any way please do get in touch, I always have the odd slot available for a quick chat.

Focus Forward

Focus Forward by Julia McdaidSo here we are, the beginning of the New Year, resolution time. Did you make resolutions, or set intentions?

I set intentions for the year. I read recently a great way of distinguishing between the two, unfortunately I can’t remember who wrote it, but the gist is that a resolution is created to fix a problem and an intention is a focus on what you want to create. Which I think is a great distinction.

At the end of the day if you’re focusing on what you don’t want you still tend to get more of it. It makes much more sense to me to focus on what you do want, for example an intention might be to feel fit and healthy rather than a resolution to lose 20lb. Sometimes its just worth asking what the resolution is aiming to achieve, and then maybe you will be closer to what it is you actually want.

If you haven’t already done it I’d recommend giving yourself a little time to sit quietly and consider what you would like to create this year. How would you like your life to be? What difference would you like to make in the world? How do you want to feel? Who do you want to spend time with? What do you want your business to look like?
Take some time to meditate or journal on these or other similar questions and see what comes up, what you would really love. Then you can create intentions based on these findings.

If you know what you want to be celebrating this time next year it gives you plenty of focus to move you through the year.

And you know what’s really great, doing it this way you get what you would really love, not what you think you ought to do, or what other people think you should want.

Which do you do, if either, and how does it work for you?

Five quick tips for making the absolute best use of your time

As a busy business owner time will always be at a premium. So how do you manage things to be as productive as you possibly can?

Planning your prioritiesHere are five things you can do to be more effective.

1. One of the easiest things to do to manage time well is to decide what is most important, and then do it. In other words always put first things first. Sounds obvious but its easily missed.

2. Write up a prioritised “To Do” list every day, it’s a good idea to do those at the end of the day ready for the next morning.

3. To help with prioritising, look at each item on your to do list and ask yourself whether it will move you closer towards achieving your goals. If the answer is ‘no’, then only do that job after you have done the jobs that will.

4.Don’t procrastinate – especially with jobs that might seem difficult or unpleasant. You have no doubt heard the quote ‘If you have to eat a frog, don’t look at it too long!’ Difficult jobs have a way of losing their power when you just get them out of the way.

5.Work out the time of the day that you are most creative and productive and use that part of each day for your most important tasks.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there”

Steps towards your goalsWhat do you want to achieve?
Before you actually set up, did you decide what you wanted to achieve with your business?
If you are already in business, review where you are going – are you clear about this?

Why not take some time out to think about and write down your goals for your business?

Write it down
Research shows that only 3% of people write down their goals, and on average these people earn 10 times those who don’t have goals. Plus research shows that people with up to date written goals are as much as 3100% more successful than people who do not have up to date written goals.

And make sure your business goals don’t conflict with things you want to do personally. When you are thinking about your goals, think about and write down your personal goals too. And if you are a multi owner business you will obviously need to discuss your responses with your colleagues, and agree on a shared set of goals for the business.

SMART goals? or not…
Make sure that the goals you write are meaningful to you, clear and in the main, measurable.

Many business people like to use SMART. What does this mean? It stands for:

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Timed
Apply these five measures to each of your goals.

Personally, I have moved away from using this means of planning as it is often driven by what we think we should do, and ends up being out of integrity. I now prefer to look at things from a wider perspective, and just use the SMART technique for specific things.

What does it mean to you in reality?
Once you have written down your goal, think about what the effects would be if you didn’t achieve it. What is the “pain” that you and those you love will experience if you don’t achieve your goal, ie ill health, poverty, unhappiness etc. (Why do this? Because recognising this pain is an enormous motivating force that will help you to work even harder to make sure you don’t fail!)
Then decide what you will gain when you succeed – ie wealth, health, happiness, a prosperous retirement etc. What will you see, hear and feel? And what else will your success allow you to achieve/do?
And finally write down the key things you will need in order to achieve your goal. For example, it could be new resources, contacts, skills, actions etc.
Repeat this process using a new sheet for every single goal you would like to achieve.

Prioritise
Next try and prioritise the goals you have written. Lay out all of your goals in front of you and decide which are the most important to you, which are less important and which (if any) are, on reflection, not important after all.

For each goal that is still important work out how you will achieve it, break it down in to smaller steps to make it easier to manage.

Plan in timescales to do each step, write them into your diary or planner. That way you make reaching your goals part of your daily activities.

Look at your where your time goes
Its worth having a look at how you spend your time at the moment, and comparing this to the way you would like your life to happen. Then you can fit your goals into this as well.

To do this, look at the personal goals you set out and list out the broad areas of your life that are important to you eg family, friends, business, health, fitness, money etc

Make a note of the percentage of your waking time that you would like to spend in each of these areas in an ideal world (make sure that the column adds up to 100%)

Estimate approximately the percentage of your waking time you think you are actually spending in each area at the moment, – just a rough and ready approximation here, don’t waste time trying to get pinpoint accuracy… the aim is just to get a broad feel

Then calculate the gap between the two.
Looking at the gaps does it suggest that you need to make changes in order to achieve your goals? If it does, what changes are you going to make?

Next steps
Think carefully about everything you have just done and thought about. What are the implications for what you are doing in your business and your life – and what you would be best served doing?

Transfer the things you need to be doing to an action planner. Keep this somewhere where you won’t lose sight of it, so that you are reminded on a daily basis about what you want to achieve.

If you think it would help contact an advisor, mentor or coach to discuss what else you can do to achieve your goals. Sometimes it helps to go through the whole exercise with a third party, who can be more objective and help you to focus on the right things.

Review your action planner. Prioritise it. And start taking action!

And remember, however good your ideas and intentions are… they will come to absolutely nothing unless they are turned into action.

So focus on taking ACTION. And start taking it today.

If you want a really focused, in depth look at where you want your business to go, book a VIP Vision Day with Julia, and get things moving right away.

Getting to Your Goals – One Idea to Help

At this time of year there is a lot of talk of resolutions and goal setting. And we all know that the way to achieve your goals is to keep on taking small steps, so here is a way to recognise what you have done.

Writng your success journalStart you own success journal! Write down everything positive that happened to you today. Make it a habit: at the end of each day devote 10-20 minutes writing down what you have accomplished, and what steps have you taken towards your goals.

Don’t write what you didn’t do or what you still have to do, because only what you DID achieve matters.

Keep it positive!

For example, if your goal is to lose weight write down that you exercised for 20 minutes this morning. Or used stairs instead of elevator. Write down every small thing!

A Success Journal will help you to maintain positive attitude. It will help you to keep focused on your goals.

Start your Success Journal now! Yes, right now! It’s fun! And it will boost your motivation and bring you a few steps closer to success every day.