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!
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!
One of the topics she covers has been impacting my own life lately. I recently learned that my psoas muscles needed some TLC. I didn’t even know what the psoas muscle was until a few weeks ago! I sit a lot and had to make some lifestyle changes. I changed my workouts and now have a standing desk. You can learn more about the psoas muscles on Dr. Northrup’s blog: Why your psoas muscle is the most vital muscle in your body.
One of the themes I noticed through the book was the importance of having fun. Yes, I am not the only person discussing the importance of fun for everyone! I am convinced that fun is the fountain of youth. Think of the healthiest and happiest people you know. Now, think about how they act and behave. Are they having fun?
I also realize that “fun” is a little different for everyone. I want to understand this in greater detail and need a little help. What are your thoughts about the importance of fun? What do you enjoy doing? What does “fun” mean to you?
Go Wild, Act Like an Ageless Goddess and Have Fun!
The tools and technologies that help people create their own businesses and design their lives in ways that best suit them, are also fueling Megatrend #2: Living with Purpose and Meaning. Purposeful living is shaping everything from healthcare to education.
Our society is quickly evolving into an era characterized by shared purpose and meaning. Personal fulfillment is a growing trend in business and entrepreneurship. People are looking to decrease their levels of stress and strengthen their healthy habits while finding greater fulfillment.
Ben & Jerry’s is an example of a company that integrates purpose and meaning into its core existence by creating “linked prosperity” for everyone involved with the business. The company supports “linked prosperity” by establishing and aligning social, product and economic missions (benjerry.com/values).
The Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend will continue to grow as the global population increases and places more demands on the planet’s limited natural resources. What does this mean for female entrepreneurs? They may be able to grow by connecting to people through purpose and meaning. Technology may be one way future-focused entrepreneurs can holistically add more purpose and meaning to the lives of both clients and employees.
For example, a forecast by Carbone and Nauth in The Futurist (2012) describes the evolution of the “cloud” from a repository or information to an intelligent resource that can help make decisions and provide assistance. They discuss the cloud evolving from a place to store data to an intelligent resource that will actively help people improve their lives:
Virtual agents will migrate from being an automated form of phone-based customer service to a personalized form of support and assistance that provides information and—more importantly—performs useful tasks. For example, such agents might design a weekly menu based on a family’s health profile, fitness goals, and eating preferences, and automatically order ingredients.
This forecast provides an example of how entrepreneurs can use technology to help their organizations innovate with a focus on the future. A transition from cloud-based computing to cloud-based living and learning is an opportunity for female entrepreneurs to create new profit centers and customer experiences while strengthening employee engagement in a more holistic manner.
Three trends supporting the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend include: 1) minimalism, 2) life increasingly flowing together instead of being compartmentalized into work, family, recreation, etc., and 3) the quest for greater well-being, health and vitality.
Minimalism is one of the trends shaping the Living with Purpose and Meaning megatrend because people are seeking less stuff and more life. Trend-setting places like the Silicon Valley have embraced minimalism, and this approach to living is influencing everything from living spaces, to workplaces and web design.
People are increasingly learning and living on the go in both the virtual and physical senses, which blurs the lines between family, self-care, work and play. Research has demonstrated that happiness is a precursor to success. These findings question the view that hard work will lead to success, which eventually leads to happiness. Raising levels of positivity in the present creates a “happiness advantage” in the brain, leading to better outcomes in the areas of education, business and well-being. To learn more, check out Shawn Achor’s 2011 TED Talk: The Happy Secret to Better Work.
How do these trends influence entrepreneurship? As more people want to connect with their purpose, find meaning in their lives, and increase their vitality, businesses and communities should take a more people-centered approach focused on meaning, well-being and the mind-body connection, supported by the right social networks, experiences and technologies. A few ideas might include:
Integrating holistic, healthy living and self-care principles into business practices in an effort to create better employee and customer experiences and to create more value in products and services.
Providing coaching for employees to help them uncover their purpose and to create strategies and structures to support meaningful actions designed to improve their careers and lives.
Adding physical activity and fun into the workday in an effort to stimulate creativity, decrease stress, build camaraderie and strengthen overall wellness.
It’s time to focus on the whole person and what life means to each individual. Helping people find their fulfillment, purpose and definition of success may provide future-focused leaders and entrepreneurs with tools to innovate their organizations and communities. Businesses should find new ways to add increased value to the lives of customers, employees and families. People can choose where they want to work, shop and live. They also choose how to invest their time and money. Businesses that add the most value, including those in rural areas, will have the competitive advantage.
Coaching Tips for Female Entrepreneurs:
Develop a clear purpose.Clarity of purpose creates a meaningful path to success. A great coaching tool to use: Create a vision board with your “why” in mind.
Define core values. A business should develop core values that truly represent its brand. Empowered consumers connect with brands and businesses that have core values similar to their own. Outline the core values of your business and what each value means. A great strategic plan can evolve from clear core values. Create visual images for each value and make your values public. Share them with world. They help tell your story.
Make self-care a priority.Physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being are all important. Successful entrepreneurs and their teams need time for creativity and a lot of energy to grow their ventures!
Get positive.A positive mindset has been scientifically proven to support everything from creativity and innovation to increased sales and employee engagement. If you need more help learning how to be more positive, begin coloring your way to happiness with Blue the Bee Learns to Be Happy! (Reimers-Hild and Wetizenkamp, 2015).
Practice gratitude. Keep a physical or digital journal and write in it daily. Writing down 3-5 things you are grateful for everyday will help your brain focus on the positive while helping your notice new opportunities!
Share the stories that enhance the brand with your team and your customers. Use social media platforms to create and present meaningful content worth reading and sharing. People connect with experiences and stories behind the products and services they use!
HAVE FUN! Fun is absolutely invaluable. It decreases stress and improves relationship. Fun is also a foundation to creativity and innovation. This is an area I expand upon in my first book, Go Wild with Confidence! (Reimers-Hild, 2013).
Check out the video below focusing on Megatrend 2: Living with Purpose and Meaning. And, let us know what you are doing to improve your life.
Go Wild with Your Future! And, as always-Be YOU and Do Something Cool!
We have all heard about the importance of body language, but have you ever used a Power Pose to boost your self-concept? I recently used this amazing TED Talk, by Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy, with a group of hospital leaders. Dr. Cuddy talks about the power of body language as it relates to interacting with others but also as it influences your internal beliefs and behaviors:
“Our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves.”
Amy explains the science of nonverbals (body language) but also offers practical solutions you can use immediately to boost your self-concept and leadership presence. Get ready to flex your Inner Leader. Strike a pose like Wonder Woman and enjoy the instant change to your body and mind.
Go Wild with Power Posing!
PS: Let me know how Power Posing works for you!. Talk about your experiences below!!
Paint a Barn, Have Fun & Go Wild with Your Creative Side!
Sunday October 5th • Canvas Painting Class at Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast with Jeanna & Katie
Where: 2018 6th Avenue • Nebraska City Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm Details – Enjoy the beautiful scenery and relax for awhile! We will be painting a 16″x20″ canvas. The cost is $30 per person. Supplies, canvas, and light snacks included. Aprons will also be provided to wear to protect your clothing. You may bring your own wine if you wish.
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