We are ushering a new decade, which means it is a great time to reflect on the past while preparing for the future! It is easy to move on to the next goal, intention or resolution; however, I encourage all of you to take the time to remember, honor and celebrate what you have already achieved – in the last 10 years. Yes, you read that correctly – the last 10 years!
What 100 Things Have You Accomplished in the Last 10 Years?
Why 10 years? This decade stretching coaching exercise is designed to tap into your memory banks while providing a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. Investing time and effort into this process will also strengthen your motivation and confidence. This can be especially important for high-achieving individuals who feel like they are getting older and are interested in or working towards a life transition or transformation. Achievers tend to move quickly and overlook what they have accomplished. This exercise was intentionally designed as a slow, yet insightful, process that helps us see how much we have grown and changed over the course of a decade.
The first few may or may not come easily to you. Expect the process to get a little more challenging as you add more accomplishments. Ten years goes by quickly, and we tend to forget all we have experienced and achieved. If you get stuck, refer to your planner, calendar and pictures for ideas. Use your social media accounts, colleagues and friends to trigger your memories. Think back to fun times and feelings of joy. And, think broadly! This is not an exercise focused only on work or career. Think about the whole of your life as you go through this exercise. Below are a few thinking prompts:
How did you invest in yourself?
Where were you, and what were you doing, 10 years ago?
Where are you, and what are you doing, now?
What experiences did you enjoy?
Did you have a child(ren) or grandchild(ren)?
Did you try a new hair color?
What type of physical exercise did you try or grow?
Did you write your first blog post or record a podcast?
What romantic encounters did you experience?
What vacations did you experience?
What classes did you take?
What hobbies did you develop?
How did you volunteer or freely contribute your talents?
What did you do for exercise or self-care?
Stretch your thinking and have some fun with this exercise. You may just surprise yourself! Download the 100 Things I Have Accomplished in the Last 10 Years Coaching Tool below by clicking on either the text or the 100 graphic. Make the time to complete the list, and then let us know all about the 100 accomplishments you have achieved in the comment section below. We look forward to hearing from you!
The end of the year – and in this case the beginning of a new decade – is a great time to take stock of where you have been and where you want to go!
Milestones in time create the ideal moments to clear the challenges of the past, celebrate our wonderful memories and launch our dreams. Listen to your internal compass. Maybe you have been feeling stuck or have an internal knowing that it is time to do something different. If so, it is time to give yourself permission to consciously create and pursue the future you truly desire.
One of the first lessons we cover in F * School is giving ourselves permission to do whatever we truly want to experience, try or pursue on the path to our preferred future – the future we truly desire.
I have noticed the need to “give permission” in both individuals and in organizations, so I created a lesson to address this need. Many people tend to keep themselves mentally stuck or wait for someone else to give them permission to move forward with an idea, project or vacation (Yes-sometimes leaders really struggle with taking time off to recharge and renew).
I have been guilty of choosing to stay stuck at times. My amazing executive coach, Elise Auxier, pointed this out to me as I transitioned from my job to my business. Instead of waiting for some external person or force to give me permission to leave a long-time career that was no longer serving me, I had to take ownership of my life and do it myself. It took a series of bold, baby steps. And, it took a lot of support. Ultimately, I had to be the one to take action. I gave myself permission every step of the way. Was it always easy? No. Has it been totally worth it? Yes!
The process of giving yourself permission to move forward with your dreams and desires can be especially important if you are going through a time of change or transformation. I used the Permission Slip several times to help with my midlife metamorphosis. It took me a year to leave the place I had been at for twenty-five years. As a mentioned earlier, it was a process of bold, baby steps. It has taken some time; however, I am finally emerging as the person I have always wanted to truly become.
Give yourself permission to take steps forward, no matter how big or small, to experience your dreams and desires. Don’t choose to pursue what I call the Purposeless Future.
The Purposeless Future
Too many people keep their desires inside of them. They pursue what I call the Purposeless Future. This is the future that “just happens” because people opt to stay on the hamster wheel of life rather than taking the time to develop and pursue a purposeful future that they truly desire.
The future is not a straight path forward. Rather, there are many alternative futures. In the world of strategic foresight (futuring), we us a tool called the Cone of Possibilities to help people understand this concept. In the cone, there are multiple futures that can be described as:
Preferred: The desired future we choose to pursue
Possible: The wide range of events and possibilities over the course of time
Plausible: Futures that are possible but unlikely
Probable: Events and future scenarios that are likely to happen
Purposeless: The future that occurs without conscious intention
There are also two key assumptions about the future:
There are multiple futures. It is important to clarify your preferred future through a visioning process; however, you must also be willing to change course when necessary. Remember, life is not simply about achieving in the future — it is also about enjoying the present.
You influence the future through your true intent. Once you establish your preferred future, you must develop the beliefs, behaviors, mindset and actions to make it happen. If you do not truly believe in your preferred future, you will not consciously or subconsciously pursue it with true intent.
The Power of Honest Intentions
Our honest intentions are naturally supported by our beliefs and actions; therefore, all true intent is realized. Intentions become the outcome — they become your future. Your intentions serve as motivation and the source of actions and behaviors. Setting and pursuing false intentions can lead to a lack of interest and motivation, which typically ends 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. Be genuine about your desired future and your intent to pursue it. If you honestly and consciously establish your true intentions, your beliefs, behaviors and mindset will align to create the outcome.
Dealing with Wild Cards
Sometimes, we experience Wild Cards — those unpredictable, unexpected and unforeseen happenings that can impact our present and future. We might lose a job or have an unexpected health emergency. We might inherit a large sum of money or land a big client.
Wild Cards are a part of life, and we have to learn to deal with what comes our way.
Life is Not a Straight Line
There is no straight line to any future. As leaders of our own lives, it is important to take risks, learn from the challenges and celebrate the successes. Our preferred futures may ultimately look and feel a little different than we imagined; however, they may be even better than what our minds are capable of creating!
The Pace of Change
Wild Cards are unpredictable, unexpected and unforeseen happenings that we must deal with throughout the course of our lives; however, we are also living in a time of unprecedented change. Not only is technology evolving faster than ever – life is too. We are living longer and experiencing careers and families differently than ever before. We also feel like we need to always be “on” as we are constantly bombarded with the demands of life. This is especially true for people who are creating new ways of living and working.
All of this change can feel overwhelming and cause stress that undermines your potential. Don’t give into the hype! Change will continue to happen. The intention here is to create the positive change, and preferred future, that works best for you and your life. So, get give yourself permission to pursue your desired future!
WIN with Action!
Giving yourself permission to pursue your dream future is not about striving, working hard or struggling to make it happen. It is about the freedom to make decisions that work best for you. This exercise is about exploring how you personally WIN, and by WIN I mean let the process feel —
W = Wild = Free, Fulfilling and Fun!
You have the freedom to choose how to spend your life. Put your ego, external validation and the thoughts of others aside so you can be totally free and honest with yourself. Let your transformation be guided by self-honesty, personal fulfillment joy and fun!
I = Inspired = Explore with Energy and Excitement!
Anytime is a great time to explore new possibilities, so pursue your desired future in a way that gives you energy and feels exciting! If you are feeling a bit stuck, start asking yourself some questions designed to increase your self-awareness:
Where does your energy naturally flow?
What saps your energy?
What do you want to let go of doing, feeling or thinking?
What have you always wanted to do but have not yet tried?
This should be a process of experimenting and exploring. Remember, your true intentions will naturally lead to inspired actions.
N = Natural= Totally You.
Have you ever tried on a piece of clothing, looked in the mirror and thought, “Wow! This looks amazing!” It fit perfectly and the color made your face light up naturally. That is what the “N” in WIN should feel and be like. Write, do and explore what feels totally and completely like you. What comes to you without thinking about it? What have you been covering up or avoiding that is begging to be set free? What comes to you naturally — without effort or striving? What makes you feel alive and excited — taps into your intuition (that inner wisdom we all possess) and aligns with your soul?
It’s Time to WIN!
Download and complete the Permission Slip below. Take the time to give yourself permission to consciously create your future and experience your life by taking big leaps or bold, baby steps. Do whatever you need to do to give yourself permission to WIN and pursue your desired future!
Use extra Permission Slips if you need them. After you finish giving yourself permission to take consciously create your future by intentionally taking action, share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below! What steps did you decide to take? How did it feel? Whatever you want to share is absolutely welcome!
I look forward to hearing what you gave yourself permission to do, feel and experience to make your desired future a reality!
I have to admit that I was super excited to do an interview with Nicole Jansen as part of her Leaders of Transformation Podcast. We talk about the future, the importance of a vision and how work and leadership are evolving; however, my biggest moment was actually diving into my own transition! I have not said or written a lot about why and how I left a twenty-five year career to pursue my own desired future. Honestly, it has been a hard to talk about for a number of reasons. We discuss it a bit in this interview, and it felt awesome just to voice my truth as well as my new adventure in midlife!
Enjoy the show, and let me know what you think! I would love to know what topics you want to know more about in the future. Make sure to download the free
Start creating your desired future today by enjoy the Dream Life 2025 exercise that is mentioned in podcast! After you complete the Dream Life 2025 exercise, let me know what your desired future looks like in the comments section below!
I had the wonderful opportunity to stretch myself yesterday on Pure Nebraska with Jon and Taryn Vanderford. I was all set to discuss the future of leadership with a focus on women. My goal was to point out the important contributions women have been making for a long time in the area of leadership. I also wanted to note that their contributions have often gone unrecognized, and that it is time to change the mindset and conversation around women and leadership. It is critical for us to redefine leadership while realizing that people want to connect with their purpose and issues that matter to them. I also wanted to talk about their participation in the growing #GigEconomy. Research by the National Women’s Business Council noted that 91% of female entrepreneurs are in businesses for themselves. I related this to their participation in growing #GigEconomy. Women are participating in the #GigEconomy in an effort to make economic gains while building lives they enjoy, which often involves balancing income generation with family time.
Let’s just say that the three minute segment went faster than I thought, and I did not make my key points very well. It was so different from recording videos that are edited. However, it was an amazing experience! I left thinking about all the ways I should have/could have, etc. Then, I realized how much of a stretch experience this was for me. Recording a live, three-minute segment was a first. I had fun, learned a lot and would love to do it again.
My experience yesterday reminded me of the importance of taking risks and enjoying the ride. I tend to be very critical of myself but also realize it is hard to do well when taking on new experiences. The point is to have the new experience! Being entrepreneurial requires us to take risks, learn, tweak and repeat. Was it perfect? No. Was it cool? Yes!
I am not sure I have been living entrepreneurially lately. The Pure Nebraska interview was a great reminder that I need to intentionally incorporate more risk into my everyday life! And, I have to live my mantra: Be You & Do Something Cool! Life should be lived as an amazing adventure.
Thanks Jon, Taryn and the Pure Nebraska crew for the opportunity! And, a BIG thanks to the Rural Futures team for your support and help getting the interview out to the world. You are all amazing!
Science can help people stick to their goals. I posted a SMARTER Intentions coaching guide on Ask Dr. Connie on December 31, 2015 to help people set their true intentions for 2016. If you are already struggling a bit, brain science offers a little help!
Kira Newman, from the University of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, suggests changing your environment. Newman suggests some simple tips, and I added a few more of my own. The real goal here is to create new habits and behaviors that will ultimately influence your subconscious mind.
A few key takeaways from the article:
Map your goals and support your transformational journey by using the following techniques:
Add goals and reminders to your calendar and keep them posted where you can see them. Newman notes that 10% of people forget their resolutions, so consistently keep them in front of you!
Steer clear of temptation. Notice obstacles and roadblocks that get in your way and move them!
Surround yourself with inspiration (and I would add others who have the same mindset). Create living and working spaces (I also have to add social networks to this list) that fuel your soul and your goals. Use cues that you see and hear throughout the day. Newman suggests finding a piece of jewelry that holds meaning to you. I have used this idea for years! I wear a ring with a large, light blue stone that reminds me to play big and follow my dreams each and every day.
In addition to surrounding yourself with great people, or your social networks, I have to add another coaching tip: Celebrate Your Success! Many of us women over 40 are extremely busy and rarely take the time to recognize and celebrate our progress. Get creative and do something for you! Celebrating your success will keep you motivated and energized while helping you stay connected to your purpose.
Status Update: I will be on from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM today, and Clint will be taking callers!
In addition to the topics I listed in the original blog post below, we will be discussing the 3 Mega-Trends I recently wrote about and presented on: 1) The Rise of the #GigEconomy, 2) Living with Purpose and Meaning and the 3) Decentralized Global Marketplace.
Plan on calling in with your questions!
Looking forward to hearing from you all!
I am counting down the hours to my interview with Clint Bellows this afternoon on 1110 KFAB (www.kfab.com). I will be in the studio at 2:30 PM.
Our conversation will focus on creating your desired future in the current economy. We will touch on the power of your beliefs and talk about how your brain impacts finances, the future and of course fun!
Let me know if you have any questions you want me to answer on the air. Clint talked about taking live calls. I would love to hear from you if he opens the phone lines!
My radio connection, Clint Bellows, invited me to “appear” on 1110 KFAB this Wednesday afternoon! Tune in after 2:30 PM and join the conversation about leading your own life with purpose, passion and fun!
You can listen live by going to KFAB.com. Looking forward to having a great conversation on Wednesday!
Go Wild with KFAB!
Clint Bellows invited me to be part of his radio show on 1110 KFAB this Wednesday afternoon! Tune in after 2:30 PM! pic.twitter.com/BGO6AcmHwa
My family is winding down our fantastic Easter weekend. We found lots of eggs, and had fun spending time outside in the sun. The lovely rain made everything seem clean again, which is such a great reminder of the true purpose of Easter.
My daughter’s favorite part of Easter was the candy! Jim’s favorite moment was taking a nature walk, and my son’s favorite moment was finding an Easter Egg in his room. My favorite part was remembering that all is forgiven because of a special sacrifice that was made many years ago. Easter is a great time to reflect on the past but also let go to make room for a new and even brighter future.
Thank you Lord for all our blessings and for a fresh start!
Distance learning is in the age of the “Empowered Consumer-Learner” who has a buffet of educational choices. The empowered consumer-learner decides what educational experiences and knowledge they need, when they need it and how they want to experience it. The wide-array of non-credit and for credit choices makes for a very competitive marketplace but also a field of new opportunities.
Venture capitalists continue to invest in distance education because of the return on investment potential. Big Data is being used to develop marketing campaigns, study human behaviors and determine patterns. It is also being used to examine various areas of teaching and learning. Data can help create bite-sized, customized courses and programs that are both personalized and interactive (Koller, 2012). Technology enables the delivery of information and education anytime, anywhere and from anyone in a way that makes sense to the learner while adding value to their lives.
It’s no longer necessary for people to enroll in college, formal classes or workshops to learn. They are learning what they want to know from their networks and resources they find on the Web, through Apps or in iTunes. People will increasingly be able to create and print their ideas from wherever they choose with 3D printing. Technology, combined with the continued growth of self-expression and meaning, will continue to change education at a rapid pace.
Value is becoming less about college credit and more about meaningful outcomes and self-expression through enhanced skills and evolving abilities. The world is fast-becoming an “Add to Cart” society for anything and everything, including educational experiences. Individuals are creating local, national and global communities of meaning and change that are self-selected and self-formed. Many of these same individuals are transforming distance learning in new and innovative ways. Technology, combined with the need for meaning, self-expression and self-actualization, has created an increasingly decentralized marketplace.
People are choosing how to meet virtually, when, where and whether-or-not to meet face-to-face and connecting over common causes. Education, along with so many other areas of life, is becoming increasingly decentralized. Savvy consumers seek and create the value they crave to transform their lives. They are choosing whether or not they want a badge, certificate, credit hour or degree, and their demands are shaping the marketplace and future trends. The Empowered Consumer-Learner wants a unique experience that adds value to their life. Future-focused leaders who ask and answer not, “What is the lifetime value of a customer?” but rather, “What value can we add to a lifetime?” will be in a better position to compete in the increasingly decentralized marketplace.