When I work with leaders the issue of stress is front and center of many coaching conversations. Adults have a lot on their plates, and COVID-19 has made it much worse. Well-being is emerging as the #1 issue for workplaces because leaders are finally starting to realize that people-first strategies are what they need to be successful in the ever-changing marketplace. It is almost impossible to be creative or productive if you do not have your physical, mental, or emotional health.
This leadership coaching video explains some of the reasons why it is important to have fun and enjoy life – even if you have to make the time and an effort to do it!
You May Have Doubts
With all the stress that many of us have been under lately, you might be doubting the importance of fun, but let remind about a few “fun” facts:
Fun is the ultimate stress-reliever
Fun bonds people together
Fun makes you more interesting
Fun is the the ultimate Fountain of Youth
Try your own tests at home. I give my clients assignments to have fun all of the time. Why? Because it puts them in a stronger place to solve problems, work through challenges and develop creative solutions. Fun can also repair relationships.
6 of the Most Powerful Happiness Tools: Gratitude, Movement, Play, Purpose, Self-Love, and Kindness.
Blue the Bee Learns to be Happy (free download)
A few colleagues and I published Blue the Bee Learns to Be Happy, an activity guide for happiness in 2018. It takes the science of happiness and turns it into games and tools designed to help increase levels of positivity. You can use it as an individual with your family or even with teams at work.
If you need more than the video or the book, please contact us for additional resources or personalized coaching. We are committed to helping 100,000 leaders create greater purpose and prosperity for people and our planet, and fun is one of the ways in which we are achieving this big, hairy, audacious goal!
Preliminary results are in – and it is a tie! As many of you know, Wild Innovation launched a study focused on the Future of Aging last week. To date, fifty percent of respondents indicate that Health Changes & Challenges concern them MOST about getting older; The other 50% of respondents indicated that Career and/or Financial Challenges are their biggest concern.
Please help us break the tie and share your opinions about the future of aging by answering our super-short survey! Simply click on this link or fill in the survey box below:
Wild Innovation is embarking on a Future of Aging study, and we need your help!
Aging is impacting everything from the workforce to healthcare; however, there are many voices that are not being included in the conversation – people in midlife happen to be one of them!
Most tend to think of aging as something that concerns only “older people” but that is not the case. Those of us in the middle of life are looking around and are not satisfied with what we see. We want to change the traditional social norms of aging. The good news? Many of us are already doing this!
Wild Innovation wants to help you break the traditional rules of aging and create new ones! No one needs to tell us what “not to wear” at a certain age. I for one am not planning on getting the traditionally expected short “older lady” haircut anytime soon.
Please let us know what concerns you most about the future of aging! It should only take a few seconds. The quick questions are in the box below.
We look forward to gathering insights from you so we can make a more positive difference in the area of aging now and into the future!
Well, here we are – still getting creative on how to enjoy holidays in strange and challenging times. Our family is trying to get a little more creative this year when it comes to Valentine’s Day fun. Clients continue to tell me how their teams and employees are struggling with mental health. Maintaining a positive mental attitude is so important but can also very difficult right now. One of the best prescriptions for improved mental health is FUN!
My husband and I have been married for almost 22 years, and we officially have one teen and one pre-teen. This makes for an interesting blend of ages and interests during the holidays! It also creates different definitions of fun. We have to create experiences that we all enjoy, which can be tricky. Our family agreed to try the following:
1. Throw a Chocolate Party
Many moons ago, my husband and I had dinner at a local winery for Valentine’s Day-it was marvelous!! We are making an attempt to replicate this in a much easier way this year. I am not much of a chef; however, we are going to attempt to include chocolate in every dish! This is the perfect weekend to break out my fondue pot and dip lots of different items into some melted chocolate. And, we are going to make chocolate spaghetti Yes, it is a thing – and, it is delicious – I hope!
2. Create and Serve a Signature Beverage
I love to create new cocktails using whatever we have around this house. Good news- I still have some frozen cranberry slush from Christmas! We were supposed to go to my Dad’s so I made over a gallon of the stuff; then, we ended up staying home due to a COVID exposure. It’s time to turn lemons (or cranberries in this case) into lemonade! There is both an an adult and kid-friendly version so everyone can enjoy!
3. Binge Watch Family Videos and Photos
We have 1,000s of videos and pictures that are stuck in the cloud, on disks and in phones. It is well below freezing outside, so instead of watching Netflix – we are going to watch our family history and memories instead!
4. Blend Pictionary with Charades
My parents always believed that a family who plays together, stays together. We like to take board games next level in our house, so we get out a giant white board with Pictionary cards and draw while also using a dose of charades for clues when the drawings just aren’t cutting it.
5. Add to the Futures Capsule
I can feel us all getting a little tired of the COVID and the cold, so we are going to get into gratitude and show thanks for the wonders of life while also adding to our Futures Capsule. Instead of adding items and memories that represent the past, we create writings and ideas of what we want in the future. These include drawings, lists, goals, pictures, etc. The Futures Capsule allows us to dream while also creating family conversations focused on what we would like to do, explore, be and achieve. It’s an effective way of communicating with young adults who usually answer their parents with “stuff” or “things” when asked about their day.
Let us know about the fun ideas you have for Valentine’s Day!
As a student of strategic foresight, you learn that there are multiple futures. Typically, you learn about the preferable, probable, plausible and possible futures; however, I noticed that something was missing – the Purposeful Future.
A Purposeful Future is the path we choose to pursue with conscious intent because it is both significant and meaningful.
This is a major miss! How do I know this? The findings of my own research research on entrepreneurial learners and leaders repeatedly reveal one major finding – people are motivated by personal fulfillment and purpose. People are guided by a sense of purpose in the workplace and when buying products and services.
Purpose shapes everything in leadership and life – from our buying decisions to the ways in which we interact with colleagues and take care of ourselves. Research continues to demonstrate that people live longer, happier and healthier lives when they have a purpose.
Last week, I delivered a two-hour, online workshop for a government agency that is preparing its leaders for life after COVID, including the conflicts they might face in the workplace if people return to physical offices. We explored how conflict can be both counterproductive and productive. We also explored what they need to prepare for in 2021 – because change will continue to keep happening throughout the year.
The purpose of conflict was explored throughout the session. We also shared tools leaders and supervisors can use to help navigate the unchartered waters of 2021. More on that in a future post!
While coaching and teaching, I have noticed that thinking too far into the future is really challenging for leaders right now. Instead – my clients are focusing on 2021.
One of my coaching questions for clients lately has been this: Where do you want to be at the end of 2021?
It is not totally necessary for leaders to have only a long-term vision right now. Rather, many of them want to focus on the present as they create their future with intention and purpose, which is a fantastic step forward.
“Where” is the first step in the WILD Method of Strategic Foresight and Leadership. Download and use the Future Story 2021 strategic foresight coaching tool to help guide yourself and your teams through this important first step in creating a Purposeful Future.
In such a difficult and challenging time, we can sometimes question what our next step might be.
One thing I keep hearing from clients is that they are feeling “COVID burnout” and are searching for the energy and motivation to move forward. They also want to do something meaningful with their lives but wonder if they are too late to pursue a dream that has been sitting on the back burner for quite sometime.
One of the messages in this episode of The Creative Penn podcast is that midlife is a time of transition-not crisis. If you are hearing constant whispers telling you it is time for a change, it may be time to listen.
Enjoy hearing some strong voices from people who are creating their purposeful futures in the present moment and in the “middle” of their lives!
We create our future in the present moment, so it is extremely important for us to be honest with both our current situation and what we are willing to do to achieve our dreams.
Intentions influence our actions and behaviors. If intentions are established with awareness, truth, and meaning, they help us experience a life filled with passion and personal fulfillment. Lack of understanding around our true intentions often causes frustration and confusion, which is one reason people oftentimes do not achieve their goals. Many goals are written; however, they are not established with honest intent. It’s time to get brutally honest about your true intentions so you can achieve authentic goals.
Intentions have the power to strengthen your Inner Leader and help you move forward in a meaningful way as long as they represent what you truly want to accomplish and experience. Honest intentions, based on personal fulfillment and purpose, can also keep you motivated and focused while measuring progress and celebrating success.
What we truly intend will happen, so I encourage my coaching clients to create SMARTER Intention Statements that support their personal vision.
So, what exactly are SMARTER Intentions? They are statements designed to help you achieve your vision while holding your accountable and having some fun along the way because they are Super Cool, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound, Evolved, and Rewarded. Let’s explore SMARTER Intentions in greater detail:
What we intend will happen. Actions support honest intentions; therefore, all true intent is realized. Intentions become the outcome.
Super Cool: Write SMARTER intention statements that clearly outline what you truly need and want to do to make your vision a reality. Make sure you think they are super cool! Personalize your intentions so they tap into your sense of personal fulfillment and passion. What does this mean? You should get totally jazzed about your SMARTER intentions when you read and revisit them. Being true to your passion and purpose will help you stay motivated and focused!
Measurable: Take charge of your progress by building in accountability. Use metrics, numbers and other fun ways to monitor your progress (I like to use stars and smiley faces . Monitoring progress helps you determine what works and what needs change. Great metrics also provide a feedback mechanism that super-charges motivation. Realize your progress so you can celebrate success!
Achievable: Create SMARTER Intention Statements that seem doable to you. Each statement is a step forward. Small consistent steps are the key to accomplishing big dreams!
Relevant: Intention statements should move you forward in a way that holds meaning to you. Make sure your Intentions are specific enough to keep you focused yet cool enough to inspire action. Great intention statements support your vision and build on one another. Relevance is focus combined with synergy.
Time bound: Each Intention should be completed in an established time frame. When will you accomplish your Intention? Set a date and establish a time line. Use time as an effective tool to build in accountability and to monitor progress.
Evolved: Your SMARTER Intentions must be designed to fulfill your life vision. Revisit them often (daily, weekly and monthly) to make sure they are still working for you. How do you feel when you reach a goal? If it feels right, you are on target. If something feels off, it may be time to make adjustments. These are your intentions, so be true to yourself and make them work for you! Performance based on passion equals success!
Rewarded: This is the best part of a SMARTER Intention! Celebrations help us realize our progress while building momentum and motivation. How will you celebrate achieving your Intention? Be creative and have fun with this one. Recognize your accomplishments and share your wins with others. Go wild with confidence and celebrate each success!
It’s Time for a Little Practice!
Find a quiet spot where you can still your mind and center your thoughts. If this is new to you, a quick and effective way to center yourself is: 1) close your eyes in a quite place, 2) take 3-4 full, deep breaths (a great way to take full deep breaths is by taking air in through the nose and releasing it out through the mouth making a constant “S” sound) and 3) slowly opening your eyes. Invest some focused time in honestly creating SMARTER Intention Statements that serve as a map on your journey to achieving your personal vision. Your SMARTER Intentions should be Super Cool, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound, Evolved, and Rewarded.
The table below is a coaching tool designed to get you started. Remember, what we truly intend will happen. Have some fun with this exercise. Also, make sure you are true to yourself and find fulfillment and meaning in each statement. Write as many SMARTER Intentions as you need. The table below is only a guide with an example of one of my SMARTER Intention Statements for 2021.
SMARTER Intention Statement
I will create 52 posts based on the most common and profound client questions and challenges in 2021
December 31, 2021
Social media themed party with my family!
SMARTER Intentions Coaching Guide and Example
Final Coaching Tips on Setting SMARTER Intentions
Remember, this life is your journey. If you need to make changes to your SMARTER Intention Statements, do it. If something doesn’t feel right, fix it. Intentions should be set for you as an individual and based on personal fulfillment, not simply on what you think you should do based on the thoughts and influences of others or society. Your intentions serve as motivation and the source of actions and behaviors. Be brutally honest with yourself when setting SMARTER Intentions. Truly meaningful intentions are powerful and have the potential to grow your Inner Leader and your life.
What you truly intend will happen; therefore, your SMARTER Intentions must be based on your personal truth. Intentions become goals; therefore, honest intentions inspire authentic goals. The more genuine you are about experiencing your SMARTER Intentions, the more likely you are to stick to them. Setting and pursuing false intentions can lead to a lack of interest and motivation, which typically ends in goal abandonment and ultimately in feelings of failure and self-doubt. Feelings of failure and self-doubt can seriously erode confidence and our sense of self-empowerment and success.
My Final Coaching Tips: Set holistic SMARTER Intentions that recognize the importance of the mind-body-spirit connection for different areas of your life, including the areas of self-care, family and relationships, spiritual growth, finances and personal development. Different areas of life ebb and flow together like an ecosystem. Each area of life needs attention. Life should be cultivated and cared for like a plant or flower if it is truly to be enjoyed.
Keep your SMARTER Intentions in front of you; refer to them many times per day until they become part of your subconscious mind. Take inspired actions daily, change course when needed and enjoy the journey!
A client asked me how to set goals for 2021 – this was a great question, and we enjoyed exploring it during our coaching session. I suggest to clients that they begin by letting their creative juices flow through the process of drawing their vision.
Start by Drawing Your Vision
Grab yourself a big piece of paper — I like to use poster board or flip charts — and some markers, crayons, oil pastels, paints or whatever medium you prefer and begin to let your imagination wander. This should be an enjoyable process, so I highly recommend savoring a hot cup of tea or favorite beverage of any kind while creating your vision of the future. When you have everything you need, including quiet, focused time, begin drawing your vision for the future.
Most of my clients are challenged by seeing beyond 2021, so start there! What is your vision for this year?
Draw a picture of your vision – who do you want to be this year? Where do you want to be at the beginning of 2022? And, what do you want to have experienced and accomplished along the way?
Let go and have some fun with this process! Refine it until it feels good to you and truly represents your vision for 2021. Keep your visual vision in front of you and use it to guide 2021. I also suggest looking at it daily – put it somewhere you are going to see it several times per day without having to manually get it out of a book or drawer. These repetitive visuals will help guide your subconscious mind.
I also suggest creating a unique hashtag or bumper sticker phrase to anchor your mind to the vision every time you set a goal or need to make a decision. A great vision guides intentional and authentic goal setting and decision making by anchoring your mind, serving as a guide, simplifying the processes and becoming your compass for 2021! Try it out and let me know how it goes!!