The Symbiosis of Change and Progress

As with all things in life, achieving goals and ultimately, making your dreams come true is a harmony between change and progress.

Symbiosis – any interdependent or mutually beneficial relationship between two persons, groups, etc.

Change – make or become different.

Progress – forward or onward movement toward a destination.

Not all change = progress

however,

all progress = change.

 

Consider the goals and the plans you’ve recorded so far. How much of what you want requires a change? 10%? 20%? 80%? Depending on how far of a stretch your goals are from where you are now, you might realize that there are a lot of changes to make over the course of the next year. Keep in mind though, without change, without fear, without risk, you’ll never make any progress.

First:

Determine what you want

Next:

Get on it

Then

Get organized

Finally, and most importantly:

Track your progress

Change, however small it may be, can be extremely challenging. Throughout your journey, you will encounter many similar patterns. These include overcoming fear, setting objectives for yourself and diving in to your plan. Don’t let the hurdles in front of you stop you. Incremental change may be your best bet forward.

Considering to do a round the world trip for a year? Start small. Start by obtaining your passport. Do smaller trips to more exotic locations. Rough it for a few weeks. Implement the extreme new lifestyle step-by-step into your current life. Everything in life can be trained for. Consider an athlete’s routine. They aren’t successful simply because they wanted to be. They trained for their success. Their daily routines were built to make them stronger, faster, better.

You too can implement small changes into your life and after awhile, you might start to see a big progress!

“Progress is impossible without change. Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

Ciara

 

via Daily Prompt: Symbiosis

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Tracking the Plan

If you’ve been following along so far, you’ll know that the next step to achieve your goal and make your dream come true is to set up your plan. This means defining requirements and knowing how to track them.

It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

Start answering questions.

What do you need to do to accomplish your goals?

What can you do every day to get one step closer?

Every day should be an opportunity to make progress towards your goal.

Daily weekly monthly and yearly achievements are vital to success. You can break the big goals down into daily executions to make things more “bite size”.

Daily

Daily goals are all about small progress and commitment.

A famous method of daily advancement tracking is the Seinfeld method. This is essentially buying a calendar and marking everyday that your daily goal has been completed. You’re establishing habits.

Lucky for you, there are many daily goal-setting apps for your phone. Here’s a list below:

1. Strides

Strides is a great and easy to use app. Set up a reminder and you’ll never forget what you’re working towards! Pick a goal or select one from the app, set a target or a date and specify what you need to do to turn it into a habit. You can track it all by day, week, month, year or on average! All the data is synced so the latest stats are available from your phone, computer or wherever!

 

2. Way of Life

Way of Life has great visual features such as charts and graphs of your progress. Select a goal, tell the app if it’s good or bad for you, and you’ll get a daily reminder to input what you’ve done. After awhile you’ll have chains, bar charts, pie charts and other visual interpretation of your trends and habits!

 

3GoalsOnTrack

GoalsOnTrack uses a SMART goal setting trend (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) to help you stay on track. The app gets you to break up big goals into smaller pieces so they’re easier to achieve. Offline tracking is also available so you can include how long you spend on tasks. There’s also a great feature for journaling which is an opportunity to give specific details about your goals and progress.

 

4Coach.me

Coach.me offers personalized coaching as a part of its services in addition to its free app. The user interface is user friendly and very appealing. Select a goal, track progress, earn rewards and take advantage of the great community by betting involved and asking questions! If you love it, you can upgrade to hiring a real coach starting at $15.

 

5. Rewire

Rewire is an Android-only app that gives you streaks to motivate you to stick to your goals. There are great graphs available to view your progress. Goals can be separated into different categories such as work, health, personal life, etc. It also offers reminders to ensure you don’t forget to keep up the good work!

 

6. Balanced

Balanced is a different type of goal setting app that helps you focus more on the little things that you wish you’d do more often. This app is great for increasing your level of happiness and satisfaction in a daily life setting.

 

7. ATracker

ATracker is great for tracking the daily routine of how you spend your time. Repetitive routines like commute, answering emails, studying, watching TV, cooking, browsing the web, etc, can be tracked and over time can show you in graphs what your life looks like. Maybe you’ll realize that you spend more time watching reality TV than you thought!

Weekly 

Weekly goals are more about accountability. This could mean reporting to family or friends or completing a small project. On Sundays I sit down for a few hours and write what I’ve achieved during the week for myself. Not for my full-time job. Something I’ve done for me. I’ve even published an example of my daily / weekly goal tracking template! Check out:  Goal-tracking-template

Monthly

Monthly review is based off of what’s been achieved. Templates are available to go back and consider what’s been achieved and if the path has changed or not.

Yearly

Your yearly goal should represent a huge step in your life! If you can look back after a year of working towards and tracking your goal, you’ll have achieved a huge step! You may even be where you’ve always dreamed!

 

And always remember:

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”

 

Ciara

Minimal Inspiration

Today of all days is a Tuesday. Tuesdays aren’t typically special in any ways but this Tuesday has me questioning everything.

My new boss came to ask me a quick question in the afternoon which struck up a simple conversation. Someway – somehow, he told me the story of how he had traveled the world for 2 years at the age of 24. I won’t get into details because it’s not my story to tell however, it really got me inspired.

Combine with the recent travel I’ve done for work. Combine with the travel I’ve done over the weekend during business trips. Combine with having a best friend who backpacked around the world after graduating high school before we met. Combine with another friend currently backpacking the world. Combine with the recent articles I’ve read about solopreneur and digital nomad. Combine with my current restlessness.

This Tuesday might just be a day that skids my current path into a complete change.

This Tuesday might be the first of many Tuesdays of me planning a future that I look forward to.

“Imagine your life is perfect in every respect; what would it look like?”

Ciara

 

via Daily Prompt: Minimal

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/minimal/

Label Me Organized

The biggest compliment I’ve received lately was that my boss had the impression that I was extremely organized. Considering I’m the type of person who forgets if I unplugged the iron once I get to the office and my best friend forces me to clean out my handbag whenever we get together, I guess I’m doing something right! Let’s have a look into how I keep up impressions and how you can get labeled as organized!

Write things down

Keeping a notebook handy or getting into the habit of keeping notes on your smartphone is a great way to track everything. (Do you see a common theme in most posts yet?) Documenting all the things you need to do rather than relying on memory reduces the amount of time and energy spent on racking your brain when thinking of what to do next.

Do it now

Start immediately with the easy things. Just like cleaning while cooking, organizing as you go along will immensely reduce the amount of clean-up work later on. Utilizing the momentum you already have is the best way to ensure that you’ll complete the tasks at hand. Referring to your notebook or “to do” list is also a great way to keep the motivation high!

Create a place for everything

If everything has a home, you’ll never waste time searching for it or looking for the best place to put it. This organizational trick is very common amongst chefs, who cannot waste time while preparing complicated dishes.

The initial groundwork for finding the right spot for everything in your life might seem tough at first, but in the end can be totally worth it! Start with keeping all your socks in a specified sock drawer and work your way up to your entire closet. This is the same with folders on your computer, the more fixed a location is, the less time you’ll spend searching for it!

If you already have it or something similar, don’t buy it

Avoid duplicating things in your life. If you don’t need it: don’t buy it, don’t create it, don’t have it. The unnecessary clutter will leave you feeling suffocated and disorganized. The less to do, the easier the maintenance.

There’s an app for that

Find an app to help you out! There are apps now for almost anything you can think of. Want to keep all of your passwords in one place? Need a reminder for your to do list? Need to keep inventory on what you need? Want to share your to do list with a partner? Search around your app store, I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for!

Take time to do it regularly

Most importantly, stay on track of things. Try to keep a weekly reminder to reorganize a certain section of your life. Do what works for you. On Sundays, I clean the house. On Tuesdays I look at all of my projects from a high level. On Thursdays I check my finances. Find a day of the week (or month) to review and simply think about what needs to be done, and circle back to putting in your notes for your to do list!

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned” – Benjamin Franklin

Ciara

via Daily Prompt: Label

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/label/

Conquer Fear – Live a Bolder Life

Fear is one of those things that keeps us from success. It prevents us from growing and developing and it prevents us from doing what we want.

Find the steps and tips for conquering fear – the biggest roadblock in achieving what you want in life.

Acknowledgement

Address the fact that you have a fear. Knowing that it exists is the first step to knowing what you need to overcome.

Embracement

Accept that there is a fear. Know that others have the same fear. Know that others have overcome this fear and have lived a bolder life because of it.

Preparation – Meditatation

Success is where preparation meets opportunity. Remember that being prepared to face your fear is the only way to overcome it. If your fear is being alone at a restaurant, it could make sense to bring a book to keep yourself distracted. If you have social anxiety and need to take the train somewhere, bring a set of headphones. You can always put them away but if you don’t have them, you won’t have a way to distract yourself.

Visualization

Visualize what you are about to do. Sometimes things seem overwhelming when in reality, they aren’t nearly as bad as it seems. If your fear of spiders is keeping you out of the woods, visualize the worst case scenario. Feel free to research as well. Maybe it’s not worth being afraid of going on that camping trip because of your fear of spiders if the location doesn’t have bugs!

Motivation

What is the reward for stepping outside of your comfort zone and overcoming the fear? Ultimately this is your motivator. Don’t lose sight of what’s important and what brings value to your life.

Exposure 

Expose yourself to the fear. Start small if you have to. Little wins are better than always hiding behind your fears and never going outside of your comfort zone.

Stress & Positivity 

Stay positive and do what it takes to reduce stress. Small doses of stress are great. Research performed by University of California, Berkley, shows that some stress pushes you to optimal brain activity and alertness. Researcher, Daniela Kaufer, associate professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley, says, ”

“I think intermittent stressful events are probably what keeps the brain more alert, and you perform better when you are alert.”

If you can build and grow from small daily pushes then it’s worth going outside of your comfort zone, if only for a few minutes a day.

So don’t worry about what others think and remember that at the end of the day, most people are just thinking about themselves.

“Life begins where fear ends”

Ciara

 

via Daily Prompt: Conquer

 

Source: http://news.berkeley.edu/2013/04/16/researchers-find-out-why-some-stress-is-good-for-you/

Conquer

Start Chasing

In the last post, we discussed one of the most difficult things to do – deciding on what you want. Narrowing down the all the ideas in life isn’t exactly an easy task, but what can be even more difficult is actually starting.

The first step towards achieving a goal is typically the hardest. Have you ever wanted to get in shape and decided to sign up for the gym? Did you even get that far?

Of course, an initial investment is a way to start, although hesitation could take over. Remember, eliminating fear is the only way to achieve your goals and dreams. If your hesitation stems from someone else’s doubts, remember who you are doing this for!

In order to start this process, you should already have a goal in mind. We’re going to start this entire process the “Initiation” phase. What do we do in the initiation phase?

Research.

Start doing your research. Start to answer the following questions:

What are alternates or similar goals?

What opportunities are out there?

How have others achieved similar goals?

Which steps should I take to achieve my goal?

Ultimately, you should by the end of your research be able to define achievable milestones to create a path of success.

For example, if your goal or dream is to have your own TV show, start researching how others have done it. Begin looking for the steps to get there. Is getting on a reality TV show close to what you have in mind? Commercials? YouTube channel? You’ll start to get the drift.

You already know the dream, so start defining the path forward. Reach out to friends and family members if you find that helpful. Maybe it means reaching out to cousin Earl about his ex-girlfriend’s time on American Idol. Do the research and put in the time.

This will start to become a reality check on the amount of work typically required to achieve your dream!

Don’t get discouraged, others before you have achieved more than you can imagine. Let their success catapult you onto yours.

“ACTION IS THE FOUNDATIONAL KEY TO ALL SUCCESS.”

 

Ciara

 

5 Steps to Determining What You Want

After every major event or year cycle, we are pressured and inspired somehow to look at our lives and consider what we really want. A new car? The latest iPhone?

But what about our goals? What we really truly want in life?

Imagine it’s the end of your life tomorrow and the person you are will meet the person you could have become.

A bit grim isn’t it? To imagine the things you could have done differently. Who would you want that person looking back at you to be?

Deciding who you want to be and what you sincerely want out of life sets the foundation for what you can do to take action to be your best self.

5 steps to determining what your goals are:

Step 1: Start by considering what your dreams are or even were as a child. Perhaps it was to become a star athlete or a famous chef. Maybe your goals were to be CEO of a company or a famous actress.Start really dreaming! Have you always had a passion for photography? Or paintings? Maybe you always wanted to be a veterinarian! No matter how outrageous it may seem, there is a reason behind these inspirations and we’ll get to that later.

Write it all down.

Step 2: Visualize yourself in this role. What about it brings satisfaction? Did you want to become a doctor because you love helping people? Or was it because someone you knew was sick and you felt helpless?

Can you visualize it? Can you feel why you want what you’ve written in step 1? Write it down.

Step 3: What has held you back from realizing your wildest dream? Did a parent tell you that business was a more stable career option? Was the thought of studying for 6 years too extreme? Maybe you were criticized for your singing growing up or called a nerd when your passion for painting was blossoming.

Fear is an incredibly powerful thing and most of the time, the fears which have been holding us back are not as large as we had imagined.

“The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” – Sven Eriksson

Write down all of your fears to take the first step towards achieving your dream. Maybe that fear is that your spouse won’t support you or you won’t have enough time to commit. What’s holding you back?  Write it down.

Step 4: Go through your list of fears. Consider how you can overcome these obstacles or why the fears do not make sense. Search the Internet for success stories. Sit down and watch the Pursuit of Happiness. You’ll start to realize that the fears which have been holding you back are just fears, not dangers.

“You’ve got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t go doing somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’ go get it. Period.” – Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happiness)

Step 5: Define the 1st step.

Maybe you want to become a doctor but you don’t have a degree. Why did you want to become a doctor?  Was it because you wanted to help people? Can you start there? Volunteering at a nursing home or spending time fund-raising for a local homeless shelter might be a great first step.

Regardless of your dream you need to start planning how to get there. In the upcoming posts we will continue to help go through the steps of not only determining your dreams but helping you make them happen.

 

“Don’t call it a dream, call it a plan.”

 

Ciara