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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#RelaunchMy2016

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We are five days into the new year. How are your plans going for 2016?!

I feel very ready to relaunch into my year, yet my mind seems to be in slow motion. Possibly from my lingering head cold or not getting enough sleep? Or it could be that I still have not completed my year-end review – Oops! I have been so busy conducting reviews for everyone else and preparing for my  year-in-review workshops…. I am not practicing what I preach.

I have been taking little steps to gear up for the new year – researching new doctors, finding strength exercises, creating a business budget, scheduling calls with social media consultant, etc. But the one thing I know is hanging me up – I haven’t looked back to 2015 to really accept what happened. It is all still replaying in my brain – over and over and over again.

So I am putting it out there. I will conduct my year-end review by the end of this week. Someone please hold me accountable to this!

In the meantime, I would love to hear how all of you plan to relaunch your life this year. Leave a comment below or post in the #RelaunchMy2016 contest happening over on Instagram – share what you need to relaunch and you could win a FREE registration to the Review Reflect Relaunch Online Program which starts next Tuesday.

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

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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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Flip It

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Our brains are so tricky some times. They play games and place limitations on so many things. Recently, I have experienced some brain games myself.

Last month I had an idea pop up that I could maybe offer workshops to guide others through a year-end review. The idea had promise even though it was totally out of my comfort zone, so of course my brain stepped in and immediately listed the reasons why I couldn’t do it. And I listened to those I CAN’Ts!

The thought of trying something new can be super scary. It seems much easier to list all the reasons why we should just do what is safe, but stepping outside of our comfort zone helps us to thrive and learn from the experiences.

Luckily, I knew the brain game well so as the idea kept coming back to me I decided to Flip It. Instead of focusing on all those I CAN’Ts, I found a reason to counter it and said I CAN!

For example:

I CAN’T because…I never did anything like this before –> I CAN because I know the content and just need to tweak the delivery

I CAN’T because…No one will sign up –> I CAN because I will promote the benefits to the right audience so they understand the value

I CAN’T because….It might suck –> I CAN because it just might succeed and I will put all my efforts into it so it can’t possibly suck

Sure I still feel some fear, but I keep going because with every new participant that signs up I feel more excitement and confidence that I CAN do this!

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What CAN’Ts are blocking you from moving forward?

How can you flip it to I CAN?

Try out this free template to help you. 

Check out my new workshops too!

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2015: Ready. Set. Action!

Happy New Year!
Yes – I know it is February already. Technically, it is a new year the whole year, right!? Although I may be slow to start on-line, I have been super busy off-line.

Essential to beginning my new year was the matter of choosing a theme. So 2015 is designated as “The Year of Action.” Specifically, Action that is purposeful – meaning my actions align with my values and support my goals – personal and professional.

Action

I created some serious to-do lists in January. A good bit of my energy was expended on reviewing the last year so I could “define my work”, which is the behind-the-scenes goodness that seems so easy until you dig into it, such as:

  • What am I most passionate about? (so many things)
  • How can I best help “others”? (With some new services I just posted!)
  • Who exactly are these “others”? (I call them Passionate Do-Gooders!)
  • Why do I do this work? (To make the world better)

Those are some BIG questions and I placed a check mark next to each one! <Insert pat on the back here>

Now that I have a good foundation set, I am working to translate that into….yes you guessed it – Action!
I know where I can be derailed sometimes so I am taking extra steps to address some of my more challenging attributes in all areas of my life.

  • This post is a way to add accountability for my to-do lists and this year’s theme.
  • I also just pre-ordered Gretchen Rubin’s new book Better Than Before and completed the free assessment to determine how I meet expectations and how I can improve some of my habits.
  • I even added a 35 day Jazzercise challenge and Creativity Retreat to my calendar.

How is your 2015 going so far?

Have you designated a theme for this year?

What kind of tactics do you use to keep yourself accountable?

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Interested in participating in a new session – now scheduling for individual Year-End Visual Reviews and Define Your Work Sessions.