Many years ago I heard someone speak about their guiding word for the year. They decided that they would make all decisions based on their word. I believe their word was courage or something to that effect.
This person used this word whenever they came upon decisions. They asked themselves what the courageous move would be in any circumstance they came up to.
Being the person I am, I can't seem to let things stand as they are presented to me. I need to go one step further - and of course, one word just wasn't enough for me. So I've modified the process a bit.
I do believe this is a great exercise and encourage you to put your words up on your vision board or mantra board to help you keep them in the forefront of you mind.
My three words this year are Intuition, Voice and Experience.
I want to connect much deeper with my intuition and will spend this year exploring ways to do so. I will also spend a lot more time, I'm even going to schedule it, in giving time to hear my intuition through a deeper meditation practice.
The word voice was chosen because I need to remind myself that my voice needs to be shared and I have important information and ideas. Like everyone, sometimes I wonder if what I have to say matters and I need to stop worrying about that and follow what I wish to say. I also want to always be conscientious of the voices of those around me and give space and encouragement to others to use their voices.
Experience is something I often don't need reminding on because I love new experiences. I want to spend my time, money and energy on absorbing as many of these as I can in the new year. I often stay in new locations for a short period of time, the first year is often given to acclimating, the second and beyond are for exploring what is near me in ways of cultural and local experiences. I will make this a focus for me in 2018.
What are your three words? What will you be using for your touchstones in the coming new year and what do they mean to you?
We're here at the end of the series. At this point we've celebrated our accomplishments from 2017 and tried out some new habits to potentially bring into the new year. We've decided on a few words that will help us when we are faced with decisions or direction questions. Now is the time to decide on what you will be celebrating next year.
I want to focus on three goals for 2018 and if one or more of them become accomplished or changed throughout the year there are plenty more ideas and dreams to take their place. I focus on only three because I feel it is easiest to focus and accomplish more if the direction is not scattered in a million places.
For 2018 I will celebrate a successful US seminar series having completed a minimum of four events in different US locations serving a minimum of 100 people. This goal hits on my guiding words of Voice and Experiences. It also may very well incorporate my intuition as well.
I will also be celebrating the completion of my second book. I'm not sure if it will be published by this time as I want the process to take as long as it needs and believe it will be available when the time is right. I do want to have completed the manuscript no later than the end of 2018 and be into the process of moving the book through the stages. I will be scheduling in writing days and making a consistent writing practice a habit to move this forward. I have not been focused on making this happen but hoping it will get done...I know this is not how it's done so I am making it a priority for 2018. This is one way I intend to share my voice.
Finally, under the experiences guiding word, I am beginning to set out my travel schedule for 2018. I will be doing quite a bit this year for my business and I want to make sure I get some leisure and family travel in as well. I plan to do a bit more exploring of the country I am living in now and the areas around it that I have not yet discovered. I will be reaching out to friends for their schedules so I may visit them in their locations and to those who will be visiting me to discover more of the area around me. I am determined to set a schedule that will also allow me to be present in all my experiences so that I may enjoy fully all the experiences I have.
What are your goals for 2018 and how do they fit with your three words?
I'm excited to see what you have planned for this coming year.
Hear Yee Hear Yee!
There is something very powerful about a declaration. A declaration is a meaningful and explicit statement.
So today, although I will not be shouting this from the rooftops or on the main streets of Panama, I will declare to myself (and the few reading my journal) my self-evident truths, the principles on which I base my actions and beliefs.
I, Elizabeth Miner, declare that I will pursue a life of service to others with the knowledge I have acquired through my career and life experiences. I will strive to provide extraordinary value in the products and services I create and deliver to accelerate the success of those whom I serve.
I declare that I will use my life as an example of living in accordance with the principles I teach and my values of integrity, inclusion and service.
I declare I will continually pursue my dreams until the end of my days so that I may live my life to its absolute fullest. Although I may waiver I will not quit, I may tire and I will continue my pursuit as hard as some days may be.
I declare to love unconditionally, I will seek tolerance and open-mindedness versus judgement at every opportunity. I will look for opportunities to continue to support those who are striving to live their dreams and encourage them with examples, actions, process, options and inspiration.
I hold these declarations to be the core of all that I undertake in 2018.
My perfect day is an integrated work and personal life. It would go a little something like this:
Wake up at 5:45am in a tropical location
Fresh Air Workout outside
Coffee and time with my partner on our outdoor lanai before my day starts
Work for my business from my home office
Lunch with friends or client
Work for my business from my home office
Dinner with partner & friends
Time with partner
This is not a difficult assignment for me. I have begun publicly sharing my wildest dream for about two years now. This was not easy for me but I have learned so much by the process it is one I recommend to everyone I work with.
First I had to understand my dream was not crazy and was possible, then I had all those who wanted to protect me from disappointment because my dream was "too big" in their mind. So to say I've had doubts about sharing my dream out loud is an understatement and not everyone needs to share their dreams out loud, I share because it gives others comfort and inspiration to dream BIG.
I do believe my first step in moving towards my big dream was writing it down for myself and working through why it was possible and why I really wanted this particular massive dream.
The best thing about this exercise is the ability to watch people's responses over the course of time. When I originally told people I wanted to buy an island it was often met with laughter.
The laughter wasn't intended to be mean it was mostly just that they were surprised by my lofty goal I'm sure. I know many people just brushed off the comment and didn't think much about it.
These days I have continued to grow my business, I have done countless things that many people find out of reach in their minds. As people hear me talk about my island dream I now get a different response most times. Those who know me begin to ask me where the island will be and if I have any prospects.
There are a few things that have happened for me. My conviction continues to become stronger each time I set and reach a goal making my big dreams that much more feasible. I learn a bit more about myself each time I reach for a goal even when I don't accomplish the goal. That is the best part of setting goals.
I am no longer scared of my big dream and I continue to develop the dream and both visualize and work towards the elements that will make it a reality. I have no doubt I will accomplish my big dream and having it helps me stay motivated and inspired for the efforts I put forth to meet it.
During this holiday season I'm especially aware of those who are less fortunate than I am today so I like to make charitable donations in lieu of gifts. My favorite charities always center around those who do not have stable housing and those who don't have consistent access to food.
Those acts are a lot less random and I have different times of the year that I focus on contributions to those causes. It is the daily opportunity to take someone by surprise to be kind and maybe give them reason to believe the world is just a bit lighter than they might be thinking at the moment.
So as I walk down the street - as I do so often here in Panama since I don't own a car, I make it a point to smile and say hello to all the locals I pass along the way. Being an immigrant in another's country has both benefits and burdens and I choose to take the opportunity to be an ambassador for my home country and show my appreciation to my hosts.
Today when my groundskeeper came by earlier than usual I brought him a coffee which is just a small little detail but anything I feel I can do to reduce the distance between worker and boss only serves to bring us onto equal footing. I don't like the superiority and don't feel it's necessary to still garner the same amount of respect, if not more.
So I encourage you to look for these small gestures which are just simply making another's day just a bit brighter. After all, acts of kindness remind us of our humanity and that we are all each other's brothers and sisters. With all that is trying to separate us, our humanity is what will keep us connected and provide a beautiful place for all of us to live in abundance. Let's make happiness and love viral!
As we come to the end of an extraordinary year, I want to thank you for all the hard work you have put in this year both personally and professionally.
You have had a multitude of hurdles to deal with from moving to a new country where you knew no one to maintaining and continuing to build your business. I know there were times you questioned yourself and your sanity, but you reached out to others for support as needed which is a new skill for you and I'm proud of you for that.
All the work you have put into your business over the past six years is paying off and the growth and opportunities you have created are exciting. I can't wait to see where you take this all next.
I additionally want to acknowledge you for the time, money and effort you have put into continually delving into your own personal development. This year you put a tremendous amount of all those things into continuing to develop into you best self. This is not only a gift for you but for those around you as well.
Keep up the great work and the focus! I am happy for all that you have achieved and excited about what is ahead for you.
Thank you for all that you do for me because without your efforts I would not have been as successful as I am today.
I have always loved being in nature. There is a certain simplicity in the stillness and a calming feeling to me of the sounds and smells of nature.
Whether I'm hiking in Arizona or on the beaches of Panama each location gives me a different kind of peace. I'm not sure how the presence of trees or the sound of waves calms me but I simply don't need to know how, just that it does.
Years ago when I had a house in Massachusetts I used to garden. I had vegetable gardens and flower gardens of all kinds. After dinner or on weekends as long as there was any light, you would find me there. My kids got to know that "Mom was in therapy" when I went out to garden, I'm not sure that is too far from the truth!
When I'm feeling stressed I often turn to nature to either ponder thoughts while watching the ocean waves move in and out or going for a run. There is something about being in motion in nature that helps me clear my mind.
I hope you plan to schedule time each week in nature as a gift to yourself. Don't wait until you feel stressed or are looking for inspiration simply add it to your routine each week and see what comes about for you.
I haven't always kept a consistent meditation practice, although that is tough for me to admit as a life coach, but hey, this is my journal where we get to be brutally honest!
That said, when I have meditated consistently, I have noticed such an amazing difference in my mood and rhythm. When I return to meditation after a break from my routine practice I am always wondering why I stopped.
I have the same excuses as everyone else, I got squeezed on time, or I was traveling and my whole routine got kiboshed and meditation was one of the casualties. One of the gifts I intend to give myself in the new year is better self-care. I include meditation to be one of those gifts I choose to give myself regularly in the coming year.
For those of you already in a regular practice, may I suggest you try a new method to see if something else brings a different bliss or light for you?
For anyone looking for a recommendation, I encourage you to try the Six Phase Meditation, this is a unique, all encompassing guided meditation I found which I have used in seminars I run. If you find this goes too fast for you, you may choose to focus on just one of the phases each day in a week.
I'd love to hear if you have other methods of meditation or guided meditations or apps you'd like to share with the group in the comments below. I wish you peace in the new year and I believe spending a bit of time each day in meditation will assist you to that end.
When I first heard this advice to keep social media at bay for the beginning of your day, I was asked to carve out a lot longer than 20 minutes.
I was told all about the benefits of putting my agenda before everyone else's and how more creative I could be by not seeing what everyone else was doing before planning my day. I decided I would try it for a short period of time, but truly my heart was not entirely sold on this.
At the time I was managing the European subsidiaries for a multinational corporation while living in California. I was eight hours behind the work day when I work up in the morning already and the idea of taking time in the morning to craft the day for me was completely scary.
I was sure I was putting myself even further behind the eight ball by not being aware first thing in the morning of the tragedies that awaited me at the office. I was certain that it truly wouldn't make much of a difference to my mood in the morning. I didn't suffer from anxiety or depression so I really didn't figure there would be much affect.
For a week I followed this regimen and I didn't look at work email, personal email or social media. I crafted my three objectives for the day, began a gratitude practice and sometimes even snuck in a short meditation. It was nice, but I didn't really see a huge difference.
Then the following week happened and I went back to my regular routine - because hey, the experiment was over. Well, that's when all the lessons showed up for me.
No longer did I wake up peacefully and softly enter into my morning, I was greeted by to-do's and trouble, things that awaited me at the office, some that I really didn't want to deal with. The thing with my routine is that it didn't help anything except gave me dread about the office and what awaited me.
You see I didn't have enough time to address anything I saw on my email before I left the house, so I stewed about it all the way to work. I was living in California in Silicon Valley, so the way to work was already torturous! I had no idea what I wanted to accomplish for myself for the day because I immediately back-burnered my needs for the immediate issue at hand.
I arrived at work already stressed and uptight versus the week before when there were no fewer issues, just a better me walking into the office. I dare say the week before I had been even more productive because I got right into my email once at work and could manage issues immediately upon learning of them.
This was my experience and I have seen similar benefits in other people's lives. I encourage you to try this out for a week. I'm only asking you to wait 20 minutes before checking those emails, however, if you can actually wait until you arrive at work to check work, and wait until a break in the day for social media, I think you will reap tremendous benefits.
Let me know how this works out for you. I'm always interested to hear about other's experiences.