Set Your Intentions

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Unbelievably time has flown by and it is now June – half way through the year. So I took some time last week to complete a mid-year review. There was a lot going on in my business for the first 6 months – it was a “good” busy. In my end-of-year review of 2015, I was very specific and intentional about who I wanted to work with and that made a big difference. I witnessed the power of naming what you want, writing it down and watching it become reality.

Though I am pleased with the focus on my business, I fell short on the other areas of my life. To be quite transparent – I didn’t meet the goals I had planned for at all. In fact, I had serious trouble completing even the first few action steps I defined for myself. And they were seemingly super simple, easy to-dos, such as buying a pair of exercise shoes – which took me 8 weeks to buy. Yes, I said 8 weeks…to click a button on Amazon.

At first, I felt embarrassed and was resistant in sharing that little bit of information. Then I realized that is exactly why I should share it. Because we all struggle – holding yourself accountable is really hard. Just the act of defining your goals, remaining focused on them throughout the year is ridiculously hard. But that is also not a reason to give up.

There is great value in going through the process of setting your intentions; with time and practice, good habits can be formed. I think back to four years ago when I started the process of reviewing my past year. I spent a few fleeting moments deciding on very vague goals. I, along with my process, have grown so much and as I continue to create snapshots of my past, pull out some learning moments and actively participate in planning my future I know I am progressing even more.

I am aware that I will set high expectations and possibly fall short on a lot of them. But I continue to be intentional about my goals and somewhere in my subconscious I remember them and instinctively make choices to get closer to meeting them.

Because of this, I encourage you to continue where you left off and start setting your goals. There is never a “perfect” time to set goals. You don’t have to worry about deciding what to do first, just do something and you will experience some growth. And if you need some extra accountability or maybe a lot of guidance, let me know. Send me a message at emilycmarko@gmail.com and I can share some services that have worked for me and are working for my clients.

Do you have any tips on setting your goals? I would love to hear them!

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Money = Broccoli

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A few months ago, I read an article from Entrepreneur that is still sticking with me. There was a specific tip that really changed my perspective on my finances.

Know that making money is like making broccoli.

 

Money = Broccoli?! Yup!

So basically, instead of getting hung up on money — treat it like you would the food in your fridge. Use what you have, you can always get more.

Money in general can be very scary. For me, parting with my money is a struggle sometimes. I like the security of seeing all those dollars saved up for when “just in case” happens. While that is a great mentality to have, I sometimes miss out on a lot as well. (Still kicking myself for not splurging on the Katy Perry concert tickets.)

I love the idea of knocking down the power of money and turning it into a vegetable! Long ago, vegetables were more valuable than a piece of metal or paper anyways – check out Deepak’s similar thoughts on money and wealth.

I believe the way for me to get past the fear is to build realistic goals for the future that are aligned with my core values. I can do that by asking myself if what I want to do with my money provides growth for me, my family, my business, etc. Those goals can be reflected in my financial budgeting plan so I can easily identify if I am making a beneficial investment, while still being mindful of my money.

We have been talking financials and work all week in the Review Reflect Relaunch 2016 Program and learning bunches. As we paused to capture what happened over the past year, this is what has come up:

  • It seems easier to ignore finances than deal with them
  • Facing how we interact with our finances is actually empowering – not scary!
  • Our relationships between work and money are closely tied together
  • It is important to remember that the value of our work is defined by much more than money
  • Mindful investments – whether monetary or other types – contribute most to our growth

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How do you interact with your money?

Not sure what your money story is? Check out this link or this money personality link.

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Value of Looking Back

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Recently, I was asked to participate in an interview about year-end reviews. One of the questions asked was why is a year end-review so important. Although, I am a huge proponent of conducting yearly reviews, I often skip over the explanation of why a review is important and assume others already know. I do recall my skepticism of reviews long ago though, so I am sharing my thoughts on why you should take the time to complete a review of your past year and how you can get started.

The close of a year seems to be a natural reset for many of us. Our year ends with a celebration of the past and a mindset to welcome in a fresh start. We tend to move so quickly through daily life sometimes we don’t slow down to realize what is actually happening in the present moment. A review allows us to capture what we may have forgotten, whether intentional or not.

I believe much of our growth is formed from a combination of our actual experiences and the acceptance of those experiences. When we pause to acknowledge what occurred in the past (good or bad) we are really letting go and making room for new experiences, connections and opportunities in the future.

Year-end reviews are as much about planning for the future as they are reflecting on the past. When we know what we want to do, we feel in control of our life and ultimately we can make better choices because of it. There is less of a chance you will feel indecisive or stuck if you already know the direction you want to go in.

Although, I find Visual Reviews to be most effective – because of the accountability, guidance and of course the visual maps – the important thing is that you give yourself the space to review and learn so you can plan for future growth.

Here are some tips if you want to conduct your own year-end review:

  1. Collect reference materials. If you haven’t given your year much thought yet, you probably have forgotten what you actually did. Start by reviewing your calendars (electronic or paper) which hopefully has meetings, appointments, and events captured. If you use social media, many create a mini review of the year for you around this time – reference these to help trigger your memory.
  1. Document Chronologically. Once you have the reference materials handy, start documenting what happened. The easiest way is to move through the calendar from January to December. Write down appointments, events and milestones for each month.
  1. Find a lesson. Documenting your year is only the first step in the process. Once you know what happened, think about the successes and challenges faced during each month. Note how you feel and what you learned from each.
  1. Create a Plan. The lessons your learned hopefully helped to identify some things you want to do again and others you want to steer clear of. Start creating a plan for your new year with actions you can take to keep doing what worked and to stop what didn’t work for you.

Wishing you a Happy New Year full of Clarity, Control and Direction!

Interested in participating in a visual review of your past year? I offer individual sessions, business review workshops and a new interactive online program to review 2015.

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