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Category: Goal Setting

[Goal Setting Checklist] A Simple System to Make Your Dreams Come True

[Goal Setting Checklist] A Simple System to Make Your Dreams Come True

For a good chunk of my life, I struggled with goal setting.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I was taught that hard work was not only valued, but the key to success. So, when I started my business as an adult, I WANTED to be so busy I was working nights and weekends.

After all, if I was working long hours, that meant that I was “successful.” Right?

(It took years and multiple burnouts to finally force me to shift that thinking.)

But sacrificing my mental and physical health was just the tip of the damage that mindset caused me. My workaholic tendency combined with my “Type A” personality also kept me constantly feeling like I wasn’t doing “enough,” no matter how many goals I checked off my list.

And, of course in the meantime, I did have big dreams and goals I wasn’t making any progress toward at all (specifically, my fiction writing goals), so I also believed I clearly had a problem with goal setting. (Actually, my secret shame was my belief that what was really hindering me was procrastination and lack of focus.)

So, I did what any workaholic, Type A personality would do when feeling stuck:

I became obsessed with goal setting.

I researched and tried many goal setting and time management systems. Nothing really worked.

I also tried relying on sheer willpower—pushing myself to get more done (which was also not successful).

So what was it that finally shifted goal setting for me?

Digging more deeply into my love-based philosophy, and realizing my goal setting was built on a foundation of fear.

What does that mean, exactly? And if your goal setting method is also built on a foundation of fear, how can you switch it to a foundation of love, instead?

That’s exactly what I’m going to walk you through in this Goal Setting Checklist.

Sound good? Let’s get started.

Goal Setting Step 1: Get Clear. What Are Love-Based Goals Anyway?

To me, love-based goals are whispers from your soul.

Your soul wants you to step into the highest version of yourself. But, your soul also know that’s not easy. It requires you to face your demons and love your shadows.

So, as you do that work, your soul whispers your love-based goals to you. And as you become that highest version of yourself, your “reward” is that those goals can finally come true.

In other words, your love-based goals can only come true if you start to shift into the highest, best version of yourself.

Your soul wants to keep you on track toward achieving your love-based goals, so you can live your best, happiest life.

Now, on the flip side, in many cases, one of the main reasons why your love-based goals haven’t come true is because they don’t match your current identity. For instance, let’s say you’ve always wanted to write a novel, but the years have gone by and you’ve never even written a paragraph. Why is that? Because your current identity sees yourself as a wanna-be author, NOT an actual author.

That’s why taking the time to change your identity so it matches your love-based goals is key to having your love-based goals come true.

So, how do you change your identity? Keep reading — the next 3 goal setting steps are a good place to start.

Goal Setting Step 2: Identify Your Love-Based Goals

How do you know if you have love-based goals, or “regular” goals?

One big indication of a love-based goal is if you have a big dream you’ve been talking about your entire life, yet somehow, you’ve never gotten any traction toward realizing it.

Now, it’s possible that big dream is not a love-based goal, but what I call a “should” goal. A “should” goal is a goal you feel like you “should” be working on, but it doesn’t actually reflect your deepest desires.

How can you tell the difference? I recommend doing some journaling around your perfect day. (No, I’m not talking about a vacation day here, but a perfect work day.) What are you actually DOING during your perfect work day? How is your day structured? Where are you living? Who is around you?

While you’re doing this exercise, take note of how you’re feeling. Are you getting excited? Are you tapping into your passion? Or does it feel like you’re still doing something you “have to,” or maybe even dread?

This exercise is a great way to differentiate between love-based and “should” goals.

Goal Setting Step 3: Be Prepared for What Can Stop You.

If you’ve designed your life around “should” goals, it’s probably not difficult to understand why you haven’t gotten any traction on them. But, what about your love-based goals? Why haven’t they come true?

Typically, there’s something going on either internally or externally.

If it’s an external problem, it’s usually around not having found the right goal setting system for you.

In my “Love-Based Goals” book, I dig into a variety of goal-setting methods, to give you options so you can find one that feels right for you. It’s also pretty easy to do your own research, with a little help from your favorite search engine.

If it’s an internal problem (which I suspect is the real culprit, more often than not), well, that’s a little trickier.

Generally speaking, if something is going on internally, it’s directly related to blocks in your mindset or subconscious. Maybe you find yourself procrastinating every time you sit down to work on your goals. Or maybe you lack focus. Or maybe you can never find the time.

Or maybe you find yourself constantly feeling worry or resentment or anger or sadness or jealously or guilt every time you sit down to work on your goals.

And, because you feel so crappy, it can’t possibly be a good goal, right? It must be a sign you shouldn’t be working toward that dream.

Alas, our fear-based emotions stop us more often than not. We feel crappy, which not only makes it difficult to do the work, but since we want to stop feeling that way, we’re compelled to take actions that help us numb or stuff down our uncomfortable feelings. (For instance, maybe we want to take a drink or make poor eating choices or numb out on television or start a fight—these are all actions we take to distract ourselves from feeling our fear-based emotions.)

If you relate, my recommendation is that the next time you’re working on your big dream and you find yourself feeling bad, let yourself feel the emotion AND don’t let it stop you from continuing to take action. (I talk about how I did this myself when I had my big 2017 marketing success story here.)

Goal Setting Step 4: Set Yourself up for Success.

While feeling your fear-based emotions and still taking action is never going to be easy, there are things you can do to increase your odds of being successful.

• Start and maintain a morning practice (so rather than check email, start your day with self-care practices such as meditation or journaling).

• Use rituals, such as a New Year’s Day ritual to help you create a supportive container around making your goals come true.

• Create new, empowering habits that support your love-based goals and the person you’re becoming. (And, on the flip side, let go of old, toxic habits that are keeping you trapped in the “old” you.)

• Give yourself a break! None of this is easy. Give yourself the time and space you need to let your emotions move through you. Drink plenty of water, exercise, rest. And, above all, don’t beat yourself up if it’s not happening “fast enough.” Chances are, it’s happening plenty fast enough and surrounding to the process and allowing it to unfold the way it wants to is the best gift you can give yourself.

If you’d like to dig more into making your love-based goals come true, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Goals” book. Grab your copy here.

 

3 Simple Steps to Set Business Goals That FINALLY Come True

3 Simple Steps to Set Business Goals That FINALLY Come True

It’s practically an epidemic; every year, people toss their unaccomplished business goals from the previous year in the garbage, and gear up to set new ones on January 1.

And every year, no matter how fresh and shiny the new business goals are, there’s always little to no progress made toward them.

Why?

Well, to start, if you don’t do things differently, how can you expect different results?

Today, I’m sharing three steps to goal setting, so 2018 really can be YOUR year. (And if you want to know 3 common pitfalls that likely contributed to last year’s goals ending up in the trash, this post has got you covered.)

But first, a quick explanation of what I consider a key differentiation when we’re talking about goals:

If you have goals that haunt you, yet no matter what you do, you’re not able to make progress on them, they may be what I call “love-based goals,” which are whispers from your soul (and yes, these are very different than other goals).

(Combine that with the fact that owning a business is one of the top personal development tools out there, in many cases, you may discover your business goals are also love-based goals.)

Your soul wants you to evolve into the person you’re meant to be, so to help you do that, it whispers to you, planting the seeds of goals you would love to turn into reality. (Think of it as the reward for evolving into the person you’re meant to be.)

But, as you need to actually become a different person for these goals to come true, you’ll likely discover your subconscious throwing up blocks and your ego resisting.

That’s why we so often fall short when it comes to turning our goals into reality, especially our business goals. We’re not prepared for the blocks and resistance that are triggered when we try and move forward toward those business goals.

But, if we know to expect that to happen, we can be better prepared to succeed when challenges and issues come up. And, to help you get prepared, here are three steps you can take to break through and start bringing your business goals to life.

Step 1. Identify your love-based goals.

Remember, these are the goals that are whispers from your soul and are designed to help you evolve into the person you’re meant to be. A good way to get started identifying your love-based goals is to imagine a perfect day in your life. (Not a perfect vacation day, but a perfect business day.) What precisely are you doing during this perfect day?  Write it down, and be as descriptive and detailed as possible. In that description are clues that will help you identify your love-based goals.

Step 2. Identify precisely what is blocking you.

The deeper I explore goal setting, the more I see that goal setting is really another self-development tool.

Chances are, at the same time you’re thinking about your love-based goals, you’re also thinking about all the reasons you can’t possibly take action toward them. I suggest writing all those down, too, along with any fears that come up. If you find yourself writing a lack of time and/or money, dig deeper. That’s your ego talking. What’s underneath that block?

If it’s a money block, ask yourself this: “If money wasn’t an object, would I be working toward these goals right now?” And, if the answer is “Yes,” is there a way you can get started with the budget you’re on right now?

If it’s a time block, are you able to carve out 15 minutes a day to work on your goal? And before you think “Oh, I can’t possibly do anything in only 15 minutes a day”—that actually isn’t true. I wrote three nonfiction books AND my novel in two years, using the only 15-minute a day approach. I highly encourage you to at least try it, and see how much you get done in 15 minutes.

And if it WAS possible, what could you give up to free up that time? Would you be willing to wake up 15 minutes earlier? Spend 15 minutes during your lunch?

If you’re still resisting, pay attention to your excuses. The real fear is likely buried somewhere in there.

Step 3. Be prepared for your blocks to come up and have a plan in place for dealing with them.

This is a big one.

As I mentioned, you WILL have blocks and resistance show up as you work on your love-based goals. So, know this and be prepared.

There are a lot of tools that can help you overcome the blocks and resistance—meditation, journaling, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping) are some of the top. Depending on how deep the block, you may want to look into some coaching to help you work through it.

In addition, be prepared for a lot of different uncomfortable emotions to surface as you work toward your goals. You may feel anger or resentment that you’ve wasted so much time. You may feel fear that you’ll fail and lose everything. You may even feel grief, which likely doesn’t even make sense to you.

Here’s the key: If you simply feel those feelings, rather than bury them or run away from them or decide you shouldn’t be working them, those feelings will move through you. Eventually, if they do, they won’t trigger you anymore.

I’m not going to say it’s easy, because if it was, your goals would have already come true. But, it IS doable.

And, if you want to learn more about love-based goals, check out my new book “Love-Based Goals: A Guide to Living Your Purpose and Passion” available at Amazon and other major online bookstores.

[Video] The Story Behind the Story: “Love-Based Goals” book

[Video] The Story Behind the Story: “Love-Based Goals” book

I’ll start with the elephant in the room–why is a copywriting and marketing expert writing a book about goals (much less love-based goals)?

There’s no question I’ve built a business helping entrepreneurs and business owners just like you market their businesses using love-based copy. In fact, I’ve helped sell nearly $50M worth of products and services over the past 8 years using love-based copy and marketing.

When I first got the download for the love-based copy philosophy, I had no idea where it would lead. But the more I dug into it, the more I began to realize how EVERY PART of our lives can be built either on a foundation of love or a foundation of fear.

From our business to our relationships to our families, our health, our government — every aspect of our life can either be rooted in love or fear.

And it’s up to us to make the choice.

We can choose to use either love or fear to market and sell our products and services, to build our businesses and live our lives.

And, yes, this even extends to our goals.

Goals have a very special place in my heart. When I was 3, I taught myself to read because I wanted to write books so badly. Novels specifically.

So, when I started my copy and marketing business, my intention was to build a business that would also allow me to write my books.

The years went by and somehow, despite my best intentions, my books weren’t being written. Neither fiction nor nonfiction.

What was going on?

I was convinced I had an organizational problem, so I threw myself into a bunch of different planners and organizational systems.

Didn’t work.

Then, I thought maybe I needed to solve it through personal development work. So, I journaled and meditated and worked on my blocks.

I still wasn’t writing my books.

It wasn’t until after my mother died, that the dam burst and it finally became clear what was going on.

You see, I believe there are certain goals, I call them love-based goals, that are actually whispers from your soul.

For you to have these goals come true — YOU need to be evolve into the person your soul is nudging you to become.

Once you do, all the money and business and personal success will start to fall into place.

But, before that happens, YOU need to become a different person.

And, that’s where my book ” Love-Based Goals: Your Guide to Living Your Purpose and Passion” can help.

I share a few more details about the book in the video below:

It’s available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes and all other major online retailers. And once you grab your copy, you’ll be on your way to finally bringing your goals to live and living your dreams.

3 Common Pitfalls that Will Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

3 Common Pitfalls that Will Keep You From Reaching Your Goals

A famous study of Harvard graduates revealed that students who write down and review their goals are far more likely to actually attain them.

So, if it’s really that simple, why AREN’T we writing down our goals? Aren’t our goals worth doing everything in our power to make them come true?

Why is it then that we tend to celebrate the end of every year by tossing last year’s goals in the trash, and promising ourselves next year WILL be different?

Well, all due respect to the Harvard study, but I don’t think it went far enough. You see, I think there’s a deeper reason your goals haven’t come true (three of them, actually).

After all, if it was REALLY that simple—if all we had to do was write down our goals and review them every day to attain them—wouldn’t more people be doing it?

There is something deeper going on that’s keeping us from taking that simple action. And, when you understand what’s really stopping you from reaching your goals, you can then make the necessary changes that will help you do so in the future.

Let’s dig in:

1. Your identity doesn’t match your goals.

In “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living the Good Life,” Mark Manson explains how, if you want to become a writer, but you never actually sit down to write, your identity may be someone who wants to write but never actually gets anything done.

When you really think about it, this makes sense. One of the functions of the ego is to protect your core identity, because if that goes, then who are you anyway? It’s scary to lose your identity.

So, your ego is going to fight tooth and nail to keep your identity intact, even if it’s an identity you don’t particularly care for (i.e. a “wanna-be” author or entrepreneur).

And I think there’s a deeper level to this, too.

I think there are certain goals—I call them “Love-Based Goals,” that, if you want them to come true, require you to be different. They’re whispers from your soul, and they help you transform into the person your soul knows you can be.

When you become the person your soul is nudging you to be, those goals will fall into place.

But if your identity doesn’t match your goals, you’re stuck. If, for example, you’ve been saying something like, “Someday, I’m going to open my business/write that book/quit my soul-sucking job,” your identity may be stuck on some sort of future version of yourself that never comes true.

Because if it came true, you would lose your current identity, as you know it. (Paradoxical, I know. But, there are many things in our life that don’t make any sense and yet somehow, they control us, so keep an open mind.) Your ego doesn’t want to lose its current identity, so it creates a resistance to the transformation of it. Which leads me to the second pitfall that may be keeping your goals from coming true …

 2. You have a fear, a mindset block, “resistance,” or something else that’s stopping you.

(Remember, this can also be directly tied to #1—you’re blocked around your goal, and over time, your identity gradually changes to a “wanna be.”) This can show up in your life in many ways, but some common indications that this is what’s going on with you never seem to have enough time to work on your goals, or you can’t focus on them, or you experience constant procrastination when it comes to sitting down to actually work on them.

If you’re really struggling when it comes to taking action toward your dreams, you may also have some sort of fear lurking underneath the procrastination (and that fear can be totally subconscious). For instance, you may have a fear of success or a fear of failure (which clearly would impact the success of any endeavor your take on). You may have a fear of visibility or being seen, which translates to you not marketing your business enough, which results in the failure of your business. You may have a fear that your spouse or partner will leave you if you become too successful. Maybe you can’t bear the idea of making more money than your parents.

All of these are examples of what can happen when your subconscious (which is 95% of your brain) is not on board with what your conscious mind (or the other 5%) wants to do.

(Note: this one is so important, I’m going to talk more about it in future posts.)

3. The goals aren’t yours.

In some ways, this is the easiest of the three pitfalls to handle, but it may also be more deflating than the others, because you may have to come to grips with the fact that you’ve wasted a chunk of your life on goals that aren’t even yours.

If you’re facing this one, one of two things is likely going on: the goals are someone else’s, or you’re not willing to do the work.

Someone else’s goals: Maybe you grew up with a father who thought you’d make an awesome doctor, or a mother who assumed you would take over the family business. Maybe they never even asked you what you wanted to do—it was always just “understood.”

Or maybe you grew up believing part of being an adult meant you needed to get a responsible, boring job. Or maybe you felt a lot of shame around your body because it wasn’t “thin” enough, and you’re forever trying to lose weight that just refuses to come off.

All of these are examples of internalizing someone else’s goals, whether that someone else is a specific person (such as a parent), or society/media, etc.

Either way, the goals are not yours. They’re goals you likely feel you “should” be doing, but they aren’t yours.

Not willing to do the work: The other version of this pitfall comes to light when you have goals that you think are super awesome, but not quite awesome enough to actually do the work to reach them. For instance, who wouldn’t love an extra million or two in their bank account? But are you willing to do the work it requires to get that money there?

Lots of little girls dream of being a professional ballerina (including me). But, the first time I laced up actual pointe shoes and stood on my toes … let’s just say my interest waned after that.

If you’re not willing to do the work, the goals aren’t yours. (And, to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with that. We have only so much time on this planet—there’s no shame in not spending hours and hours on goals that aren’t yours.)

So, now you are aware of the common pitfalls that could be keeping you from accomplishing your goals.

And, if you want to take it a step further and bring your love-based goals to life, check out this simple, three-step system to help you get started.

And, if you want more on this topic, check out my new “Love-Based Goals: Your Guide to Your Purpose and Passion” book, available at most online retailers here.

[Free Blueprint] Stop Procrastinating and Start Focusing

[Free Blueprint] Stop Procrastinating and Start Focusing

I taught myself to read when I was 3 years old because I wanted to write stories so badly.

When I was a freshman in high school, I opened up the school newspaper one day and there was a short story I had submitted on a lark on the front page.

When I was a senior in high school, I wrote my first novel (which wasn’t very good, trust me) and I also won a national award for one of my short stories.

So, you would think with that sort of early success, launching a career as a fiction writer would be a slam dunk.

Alas, that wasn’t the case.

Instead, over the years, I found myself focusing more on my copywriting company and putting off my fiction writing.

(In other words, I was procrastinating.)

It took me years–years–to break this habit. I tried so many different things to help me stop procrastinating and nothing really stuck.

• I thought maybe I needed to get better at organizing my time.

• I thought maybe I needed to get better at goal setting and planning.

• I thought maybe I needed to bust through all my mindset blocks.

And, while all of those things were likely helpful in my journey to stop procrastinating, they weren’t enough.

I share more of my story how I bust through my own procrastination blocks here, but a below are a couple of key observations I learned along the way:

• Everyone is different (duh!) which is both good and bad. What’s bad about it is just because everyone you know swears by one technique, there’s no guarantee that technique is going to work for you. But, what’s good about it is there are a lot of different tactics out there to try. So, don’t despair–if you still have a problem with procrastination, keep trying different things until something clicks for you.

• What I’ve noticed is procrastination is typically a sign of a bigger problem whereas a condition like Writer’s Block is actually designed to help. I bring this up because a good place to start is to make sure you’re diagnosed the problem correctly before diving in with solutions.

If you’d like more tips on how to stop procrastinating, I put together a blueprint you can get for free when you preorder my new book “Love-Based Goals.” Just send your receipt to Info@MichelePW.com

(And if you missed the free blueprint offer, no worries–I’ve included a bonus chapter on how to procrastination in my “Love-Based Goals” book.)

 

Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Have Already Failed You (and What You Can Do to Turn It Around)

Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Have Already Failed You (and What You Can Do to Turn It Around)

We’re barely halfway through January, and if you’re like a lot of folks, not even one New Year’s Resolution is still standing.

That exercise program? Made it to the gym once. Taking steps toward those “important but not urgent” projects, like writing your book, or working “on” your business versus “in” your business? Yeah, right! Who has the time?

But, before you throw your hands up in despair and declare the year a failure (okay I’m exaggerating a bit), there’s still plenty of time to get back on track.

The first step: take a good, long look at your goals and each New Year’s Resolution you have for this year.

Answer these questions (I suggest getting out a pen and paper, and doing some journaling around them):

  1. How did you actually come up with the goals and each New Year’s Resolution? Was it a purely mental exercise? (In other words, did you just sit down and brainstorm or think of a list of goals and write them down?) Or did something else inspire them?
  1. Do your goals and resolutions come across as a bunch of “shoulds” or “have to’s?”

For instance:

* I should lose weight.

* I should exercise more.

* I should do a product launch.

* I should finish that new business program I’ve been working on the past two years and I really just need to get it off my plate.

  1. Are your goals and resolutions clear? Or pretty vague, making it feel even harder to actually turn them into reality?

Like:

* Spend more time with my family. (But how? I’m already drowning in to-do’s. Where do I find the time?)

* Make more money. (But how? I’m already doing everything I know how to do.)

  1. Are your goals and resolutions realistic? Or super big and intimidating?

Examples:

* I finally write my book.

* I finally start my business.

Once you’ve looked closely at your goals and each New Year’s Resolution for 2017, consider this:

The problem with all the goals listed above is that they’re setting you up for failure.

If you set goals for yourself that you don’t really want to be doing (no matter how much you feel like you should do them), or if they’re vague, or too big, or lack clear action steps that lead to their accomplishment, you’ll never achieve them.

So, how do you know if your goals fall into any of these categories? Take a moment to read what you wrote in your answers to the above questions, and pay attention to what feelings come up in your body.

If you feel tired, drained, overwhelmed, uninspired, confused, then you’ve probably set the wrong goals for you.

Now, if this is the case, the first thing to do is not beat yourself up or feel bad about it. The way we’re traditionally taught to set goals more often than not leads to our setting goals that aren’t right for us.

And there’s good news: January is considered the dreaming month, so you still have plenty of time to dream into what you want your new year to look like!

What I like to do is take some time and really feel into that – into what I want my year to look like. Don’t try and use your head or mental energies to decide what your life and business “should” look like — how do you want to feel? What lights you up? Where is your passion?

You may want to do some journaling around this topic too … how you want to feel this year. Also, you may want to ask your intuition/inner wisdom and/or God/Source/Universe/Spirit for guidance on what they think your goals should be.

Most importantly, don’t rush this process.

Once you do, chances are your goals will literally write themselves (and they’ll feel much more grounded those you had before).

And, once you’ve discovered and set goals that excite you rather than drain you, you may want to come up with a system to help you reach those goals. If that sounds good to you, check this out.

You may also like my “Love-Based Goals” book as well. Grab your copy here.

If you’d like a starting point to get more clear about where you want to go with your business, you might like my “How to Start a Business You Love AND That Loves You Back” book — you can grab your copy here.

Position Yourself for the WIN: A New Way to Set Goals

Position Yourself for the WIN: A New Way to Set Goals

How important is goal setting to making your dreams come true?

You may have seen the numbers — the most successful people in the world, the top 1% — are the ones who not only regularly set goals, but who also write them down and review them regularly.

However, most people spend zero time figuring out their goals (much less writing them down and reviewing them) beyond the immediate: what’s for dinner and what will be their next Netflix show to binge watch.

So, if setting goals really is the secret to success, and the vast majority of folks say they want to be successful, why isn’t everyone doing it? I mean, it seems like a relatively painless habit to develop, right? So what’s stopping us?

I think it’s because …

For years, I would set goals using what I would consider a very traditional process. I’d sit down and brainstorm a bunch of things I wanted to accomplish the following year, and then write them down. It was pretty simple, straight-forward, and very much a mental exercise.

Now, there’s nothing really wrong with this approach, and if this is something you do and if it’s working for you, great. It also sort of worked for me — I did see success from at least making the effort.

However, this is only one of many ways to set goals.

For instance, in his book, “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big,” Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, talks about how “Setting goals is for losers,” and what you really ought to be doing is creating systems.

His argument is that when you set goals, you constantly feel like a failure because you haven’t reached the goal. And, because you’re constantly feeling bad about your goal, you stop working toward it.

But, if you have a system, all you need to do is follow it, and you’ll feel good about yourself regardless of results.

For example, let’s say you have a goal to lose 10 pounds. Every day you haven’t lost 10 pounds is another day you feel like a failure. But, if you set up a system that revolves around exercise and eating better, and you follow that system, you’ll not only eventually lose the 10 pounds, but you’ll also feel like a winner as you follow your system and start seeing results.

While I find a lot of this intriguing — especially how it actually feels (I know the old way I set goals made me feel constantly impatient as I waited — and tried — to reach them) — it also seems like you need an initial goal to start the process of following your system. Otherwise how will you know your system is designed to actually help you reach your ultimate goal? (I know, that seems obvious, but stick with me.)

Let’s say your system is set up to support you in eating better and exercising. That’s great, and it can certainly end up making you healthier … but because there are so many ways to eat better and exercise, the system you set up may not actually help you lose weight. And if that’s the case, you won’t reach your ultimate goal, and I suspect your system will end up leaving you feeling frustrated with that constant sense of failure.

For me, what works best for me when it comes to goal setting is to use a mixture of techniques.

First off, it can’t just be a mental exercise like how I used to do it — I want to give myself the space to feel into where I want to go. I also want to make sure my inner wisdom, intuition, and God (or Spirit or Source) has a chance to weigh in.

And, once I know where I want to go, then it’s time to structure my day, including my daily habits, so I’m fully supported along the way to get there. (I suspect this is what Adams would likely call my system, and I work the system rather than fixate on the end result and feel unhappy waiting for it to come to fruition.)

Ready to give it a try? Go for it! Create a system, and reach your ultimate goals.

If you’d like to dig into goal setting in a deeper way, you may like my “Love-Based Goals” book, you can grab your copy here.

And if one of your goals for the New Year is to make more money, you may like my book “Love-Based Money and Mindset,” as it includes a blueprint to help you actually create a system to make more money. You can learn more and grab your copy here.

A Powerful Ritual to End 2016 and Start 2017

A Powerful Ritual to End 2016 and Start 2017

I’m a big believer in rituals. In many ways in our Western culture, I feel like we’ve lost the magic and power of what a ritual can  bring to our day-to-day lives. Other than a few really big milestones, like weddings and deaths, we don’t celebrate many rituals in our lives.

One of the reasons why rituals are so powerful is because they mark a beginning and an end. Plus, they provide a “container,” which helps us move forward. So, there’s really no better way to end an old year and begin a new one than with a ritual.

Now, I know many of you use this time during the start of a new year to set goals or resolutions (I did myself for many years). While getting clear on the specifics for how you want your new year to look is definitely a good thing, it may not be the best place to start. (After all, look at how many New Year’s resolutions “bite the bullet” just a few weeks into the New Year.)

I think taking the time to end the last year with a ritual before getting into the nitty gritty of what you want your new year to look like is a far more effective way to actually turn your goals into reality.

My friend Christine Arylo is the one who introduced me to the concept of using a ritual to end the year, and I like to use a variation of the one she taught me.

So, the first step in a ritual is to prepare the space. I like to light a candle and select music. (I actually spend some time choosing the candle and music, to make sure they’re just right for the situation.) Some people use chimes or Tibetan singing bowls, some people use essential oils or incense, some burn sage or place crystals around the space — basically, do whatever works for you.

Along with preparing the physical space, also take some time to prepare the emotional and time space — clear your calendar, turn off email and Facebook, close your door, let your family know you’re not to be disturbed, etc. You could even leave your house and go to a coffee shop or a restaurant, if you prefer.

Next, get out some pens and paper.

My end-of-the-year ritual has a lot of journaling involved. What I like to do is really think back and review my year, first taking time to celebrate my successes. (Think about it – how often do we pause to celebrate our successes? We are so quick to rush on to the next thing, cultivating a feeling of being perpetually behind on our mile-long to-do list, rather than feeling good about what we accomplished. When we don’t pause to celebrate, it’s almost like those successes never happened.)

Next, I forgive myself for my failures, so I can move past them. (If you acknowledge your failures, you can take the learnings and wisdom with you into the New Year, and leave the failure in the old one — skip this step and you may find yourself doomed to repeating your failures over and over.)

In addition, I weave into the ritual any other things I want to up-level for the new year. This year, I wove in a money ritual to celebrate the publication of my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.

I end the ritual by burning and releasing what I want to leave in 2016, and by being grateful for the lessons and growth I received.

Then I do something fun to celebrate! Maybe I’ll sit in a hot tub, or eat some chocolate, or even go out with dear friends (which is what I did this year).

Now that I’ve properly closed the circle with 2016, I can now dream into 2017 and what I would love to manifest. (And yes, that includes some goal setting and marketing plans in order to actually bring my dreams into physical form.)

If you’d love to dig into goal setting and rituals around making your dreams come true, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Goals” book.

If you want to learn more about daily practices and systems around attracting more money into your life, you may want to check out my “Love-Based Money and Mindset” book.