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The Ultimate 90 day planning guide – Day 3

 

The Ultimate Planning Guide: Living 3 Months at a time intentionally

 

This is a piece of a 5 day planning guide. If you are just joining me on this blog post, it is a part of a larger ultimate guide. Please start at Day 1 and Day 2 before going on. The next steps won’t make sense without the previous 2 days.

Goals

As you were picking out your Big 3 I’m sure you were thinking about what you wanted in those departments. If it was in career, maybe a new job. If in Health/Fitness, maybe to loose 10 pounds. You already have a small idea for those 3 goals. Write those goals down. If you have any feelings attached to the goals write those down too. What I mean by that is if I want to lose those 10 pounds. I would write something like: “If I lost 10 pounds I would feel like I could wear my favorite clothes again. ” Or if I felt negative about it: “If I work on losing 10 pounds I might not get to eat my favorite foods.” Your goals and feeling about those goals are valid and any observation on reaching those goals should be acknowledged. That is how you can stick to our “WHY” statement and move through fear or inertia.  Acknowledge those feelings, know what they are and when they come up, then take action anyway.  You are driving this life, not your fear or inertia.

“You have to feel your own personal truth with a little ‘t’ – your sadness, rage, frustration for example — in order to get to the Truth with a big ‘T’.” ― Derek Rydall, Emergence: The End of Self Improvement

 

How do you get from your very idealized goal to actualizing it or making that goal happen? There are a few tools that will get you from that ideal goal to taking action and making it happen.

bold actionAt this point you have been learning, dreaming, figuring out what is important to you with one small action to get you moving. Now its time to plan. Your going to do this with the following techniques and tools:

  • MT goals
  • Mind Map
  • Calendar

I’ll explain and go through each one of these techniques and tools today we will focus on MT goals then the next two on subsequent days.

MT Goals

If you are at all familiar with goals you have probably heard of SMART goals. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timely. This technique for setting goals is great, however you don’t need to set goals with so many components to be effective. All you need for your goals are to be Measurable and Timely, MT (not empty). An example of an MT goal would be:

By January 5th 2017, I will have saved up $3000 for a trip to Hawaii.

In this example there is a time/date set and measurable goal. You could even break this down further by stating how much you will save a month.

By January 5th 2018, I will have saved up $3000 for a trip to Hawaii by saving $50 a month.

The beauty of the MT goal is that you can break it down into action steps and you can track your progress.  MT goals take that elusive feeling of what you want and gives you the ability to see it actualized.  You now have a way to control your dreams and outcomes.   Which is what we will do for this 90 day plan. As you are crafting your MT goal, do not forget the work that you did on your “Why”. One of the most sacred contracts that you keep is with yourself to be  congruent.  Congruency. Sacred Contract.

 

Write down your 3 MT goals.

Now it is time to create 3 MT goals, one for each of your Big 3 departments. Write those goals down. You’ll need them for tomorrow, Day 4: the Mind Map.

You can also join me on my Facebook page. 

For your free step by step/ fill in the blank planner: download it here.
Click Here for Your Free 90 Planning Workbook

Planning. 90 Days. Intentional living

The Ultimate 90 day planning guide – Day 2

 

The Ultimate Planning Guide: Living 3 Months at a time intentionally

 

This is a piece of a 5 day planning guide. If you are just joining me on this blog post, it is a part of a larger ultimate guide.  Please start at Day 1 here before going on. The next steps won’t make sense without Day 1.

Yesterday I covered Self Care and your “Why”.  Today is a shorter post as you are probably still thinking about your “Why” or are writing your statement.  The next two topics might help you gain clarity in your “Why”.

They are: Your life departments and The Big 3.

Let’s look at what makes up your life.

“On the one hand, we all want to be happy. On the other hand, we all know the things that make us happy. But we don’t do those things. Why? Simple. We are too busy. Too busy doing what? Too busy trying to be happy. —MATTHEW KELLY”
Your Life Categories or: Departments in Your Department Store of Life

If your life was a department store it would have many different departments. Retail businesses have departments or categories where they make their money. men’s, women’s, children’s, home goods, and baby departments. Each contribute to the bottom line in retail. Each department has a different manager, different associates for that department, and a different line item on the profit and loss statement. Your life is comprised into different departments as well. To manage them it helps to look at them separately and as a whole of who you are and where you want to go.

The 6 departments are:

  • Health/Fitness
  • Relationships/Family/Friends
  • Self/Personal/Spiritual
  • Home
  • Career/ Business/Creativity
  • Money/ Finances/ Abundancedepartments of life categories

These departments make up your life on a daily basis. However, you cannot focus on all of them at once consistently. So you will choose 3 to work with.

The Big 3

Retail is seasonal. Departments in retail are seasonal. Your life is also seasonal. Meaning that you don’t always have large goals in all of your life’s categories/departments. Being spread thin through out all of your departments is not going to get you any traction in 90 days. You have to focus. This is where the Big 3 comes in. When you look at the 6 departments of your life. Which ones are the most important to you? Pick out 3. These are what you are going to focus on for your 90 day plan. Why 3? Check out more about it on my post about it at The Big 3 blog post.  Jot down what your Big 3 are.  Put them where you will see them or refer back to them.  You could put them on display like you did your “Why” statement using Picmonkey or Canva.

Tomorrow we will visit Day 3 of The Ultimate 90 day Planning Guide: Goal Setting/Actualization and MT Goals.

For a free 90 day planning workbook: Download it here.
Click Here for Your Free 90 Planning WorkbookPlanning. 90 Days. Intentional living

 

The Ultimate 90 day planning guide – Day 1

The Ultimate Planning Guide: Living 3 Months at a time intentionallyMost of us feel as though we never have enough time for those things that matter most. Family, Friends, big goals, time for self…etc.

This post is for you if, you feel as though:

  • Your trying to catch up.
  • Holidays and birthdays sneak up on you
  • You go into a store and are exasperated that it is already Back to School, Christmas, or other holiday.
  • Look back and exclaim, “What happened to summer, fall, spring, winter, etc…”. I wanted to do ____________. (fill in the blank with the fun thing you wanted to do).
  • Feel overwhelmed at the prospect of the next season.
Retail doesn’t just happen. The seasons come year after year. Marketers know the cadence of consumers and are prepared months in advance of any sales or promotions.

 

I’ve worked in retail for 12+ years (heavy on the +). Each year the seasons change and the merchandising, sales, and labor/staffing change with those seasons. Usually to the chagrin of the shopper. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve heard the following phrase from customers: ” I can’t believe that Christmas is out now.” How did you read that sentence? If you read it and agreed that ” Yep. The Holidays come way too early every year.” Or you read it and agreed that ” Yay! I love it when The Holidays show up in the store.” You would be one of the two types of customers that state the fact of Christmas in the store with either disgust or delight. Like it or not how early the Holiday sets and product start arriving in the store, merchandising plays an important role in retail. It is called planting the seed. Retailers, content producers (magazines, products, and the like) are all busy like Santa the year before or seasons before creating and planning to get these wonderful “toys” out on the shelf as early as September. Why? To get you the consumer to think ahead. To buy now for gifts later. If not now, then for when you are ready to go back and buy the item. You have been exposed to all those wonderful products and you must have them when the time comes. The seed of product suggestion was planted and time helped cultivate it.

Like it or not how early the Holiday sets and product start arriving in the store, merchandising plays an important role in retail. It is called planting the seed.

 

After working so long in retail it dawned on me that the companies I was working for were making bank by being just a few steps ahead of the seasons. So I started thinking like a business. I started planning ahead. I recognized that most companies on top of their yearly and monthly goals that they had two other types of goals in between half and quarterly goals. Why was I only planning out a month in advance at best? Heck, I could plan 3 months out. In fact, it gave me the advance plan in my life to take advantage of sales, vacation plans, set goals, and just know what things were heading my way. I’m pouring out some of my best practices for planning on a Quarterly basis below.

Start Here for you Free Quarterly Planning Workbook

The best way to predict your future is to create it. ~Abraham Lincoln

 

Let’s look at what Quarterly Planning means for you:

  • You make room for what is important to you.
  • You have a dedicated plan for your time because your time is your best asset.
  • You have a reliable, stable plan for 3 months.
  • You are planned out month after month.
  • You have a plan in place to realize goals.
  • You are able to take on your life with forward thinking in manageable chunks.
  • You make time for meaningful, purposeful, end goals.

How would it feel if you were to finally able to write that book, to travel, to take that class on sewing? Wouldn’t it be spectacular if you felt like you were ahead of what was coming at you on a day to day basis. A day, week, or even month planning will get you some of it but not all of it. Even if you are into high level goal setting. It is very difficult to take big dream goals like writing a book and put the action steps straight into your day. The day catches up to you. It gets away. Month planning helps, however usually the month is already spoken for before you even begin planning it. 90 day planning is manageable. It is ahead but not too far ahead. It is close but not too close.

90 day planning is manageable. It is ahead but not too far ahead. It is close but not too close. ~Tweet This

These 5 posts on Quarterly planning is for you if:

  • You feel time crunched.
  • You want to take the right action at the right time.
  • You are set on intentional living.
  • You want to be proactive/get ahead.

A few things that Quarterly Planning has got me is writing and sending Birthday cards ahead of time to help support my goal of reaching out to my loved ones. Quarterly Planning has let me create a plan to start a business while working full time and fixing up a house. I can’t say enough of planning 90 days in advance. So let’s get to how I Quarterly Plan and how you can too.

Get your free Quarterly Planning Workbook

The beauty of Quarterly Planning is that you can start it at any time. You don’t have to wait to the end of the month or the beginning of next month. Start today. Start this week. Start from where you are.start today. planning. 90 day

There are 6 components of planning for 90 days that will lead you to the results you want. These are the 6 days of this ultimate planning guide. They are:

  1. Self Care
  2. Life Departments
  3. The Big 3
  4. Goals
  5. Mind Map
  6. Calendar

I’ll give you the the why and the technique behind each one in the next 6 days. First we start with you.

Self Care

Quarterly Planning is about you. It is about your time. So that is where we start. You. Let’s talk a bit about self-care. If you do not have you, you have nothing. So be selfish with what is important to you. Give your self compassion, love, forgiveness, and understanding. I have written a blog post on it here. I encourage you to check it out. I make a case for the importance of you. So I don’t have to convince you any more. Let’s take some action.Self Care, Compassion, love

 

Step 1.

Determine your “WHY”.

Why are you planning anyway? Do you want to write that book? Spend more time with your family. Make an impact in a big way? Score the best price on your dream vacation? Think about the feelings you have around these big dreams and goals. This is “Why” you are doing it. Then create your “Why” statement.

Fill in the blank: I am planning my life intentionally in order to feel:

Step 2.

Take one small action today that will make you feel that way.

That is scary stuff! I actually have to take action to make my self feel good in some way? Start small. Take a bath. Have your daughter paint your nails. Light a candle while you do the bills. What ever you can do to accomplish the feeling that you want to achieve by planning out your life.

Let me give you an example: My “Why” statement is: I am planning my life intentionally in order to feel like I am sharing my life story and contributing in a big way to women in the world. This seems pretty daunting, right? Well at least it does to me. However, the small step that I can take today is to answer questions in a Facebook group of women that I belong to. To reach out and call my friend to see how she is doing. To write down an idea that I had for a blog post. Any small action that will get that feeling going. Start surrounding your self with the people, places, and things that make you feel extraordinary. Because you are!
Get your free quarterly planning workbook
Quarterly Planning. 90 Days

 

Step 3.

Put that “Why” statement on display.

Write it down. Create a piece of artwork around it. Create a photo in Picmonkey or Canva and put the text over it. Scrapbook or collage it. Take a photo and put it on desktop as wallpaper or on your phone’s lock screen. Put it on the fridge. Put it where you can see it. This helps keep you focused on what is important to you. Here is an example of my “Why” statement.WHY statement. planning

 

Please share your why statement with the Life On Her Own Facebook page you can do so here.

Tomorrow we will visit Day 2 of the Ultimate 90 day planning guide, Life Departments; the 6 categories that make up your life.

For More tips and an in-depth look at Quarterly Planning:  Download it here.
Click Here for Your Free 90 Planning WorkbookPlanning. 90 Days. Intentional living

 

 

5 Steps to Achieving Organizing Bliss

5 Steps to Organizing Bliss

Aww… The thought of organizing bliss.  We all have visions of the perfectly put together kitchen,  the clean closet, the organized junk drawer, all of the laundry folded neatly and put away.  We spend money on all sorts of pretty organizing items based off of the picture on the box.  I cannot lie. I love going to TJ Maxx and looking at all the boxes and files.  But as a professional organizer I know that these packages and products can only add to the clutter if not thought out correctly.  Buying them will not magically organize me.  I actually have to do the work.

Where Do I Start?

The most asked question that I got as a professional organizer was:

Where do I start?  

I have a longer blog post here on the subject.  The short answer is with yourself.  You need to take care of what you want first. I know it seems selfish, but with all the giving you do during the day.  (I know that you give till you can’t give anymore.  Most of us women do.)  It is time to give to yourself.  Especially since you are longing for organizing bliss.  So how do you start with yourself?  This is a two part answer:

  • Your physical space.  Where do you do most of your personal creating?  Where do you spend most of your time? Your room, a work space.  Odds are this is the most messiest area and the place you really are complaining about.  It is unlikely you are worried about the mess in the scary basement that you never go into.  Your frustration is in the area you are thinking about when you “Want to get organized”.  Start there.
  • Your self.  This is where the real work begins.  This is also where the 5 tips to organizing bliss happens.

Click Here for Your Free Personal Organizing Strategy

The 5 Tips to Organizing Bliss

#1 Find Your Why or “Why ask Why”

Becky told me that her main reason for organizing was to spend time with her kids.  I respect and honor that.  We all want to spend time with our loved ones.  As we started to work together, I noticed that she was frazzled and was always looking for the next thing to organize and clean even after we had a game plan.  I thought that she had lost sight of her “Why” she hired me.  So  I asked her again to gently remind her of her end goal.  She said again to spend time with her kids.  So I decided to change direction with her.  Giving her a homework assignment to take 30 minutes that she was spending on folding her unending loads of laundry, and spend it in the playroom with the kids.  Shutting the door to keep the distraction out.  She dug in.  She didn’t want to.  She made excuses of how much needed to get done.   We all do this. We all get caught in the moment of the emergency.  This is Why we ask “WHY”, to keep our focus on what is important.

“Two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”
― Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

 

Organizing is hard.  Organizing is emotional.  Organizing takes time and patience.  You are going to need a reason Why you are doing this hard thing.  You can only manipulate yourself in doing these tasks for so long.  In order for you to keep up the organizing fight you have to have a Why.  So how do you do this?

  • Ask important questions.  I have a list of those question in my free download.  


Here are few questions to get you started.
  1. What is really important to you?
  2. How would you spend your time if you were organized?
  3. What fulfills me above all other things?
  • Create a feeling.  This is about organizing bliss, right?  So start feeling the feelings that you want to have.  What does it feel like to be organized?  What would you have or not have in the space?  Feel it in your body.  How would you experience the feeling of being organized?  Would you open the junk drawer 10-15 times after it was done just to see how beautiful it is?  Feel that sensation.  This is what Derek Rydell calls the LIFT practice or Living In the Feeling Tone.  It gets your mind ready to receive the gifts of being organized.  Instead of the dread.

Now that you know your why.  It is time for step 2.

 #2 Power Statement

After determining your ” Why” you probably feel ready to conquer the clutter.  First we have to a touchstone.  A goal to work towards.  A focus tool.  This is the power statement.

“There can only be one most important thing. Many things may be important, but only one can be the most important.”
—Ross Garber”
― Gary Keller, The ONE Thing

What is the power statement?  It is a tool to keep you motivated.  A specific goal.  A path to eliminate mental roadblocks.  It has the power to change your limiting beliefs about your organizing life. (This Power Statement promises a lot).

An example of a Power Statement is:

Today is August 12, 2018 and I have an immaculate organized closet that has only clothes in them that make me look and feel fantastic.

There are a few elements to this statement here are a few:

  • Specific to your organizing goal
  • Reveals who you want to be
  • Positive
  • Has a specific date of accomplishment

You can find out how to craft this powerful Power Statement in my free download.
Click Here for Your Free Personal Organizing Strategy

The magic happens when we apply this Power Statement.  We apply first to our mental roadblocks.  The roadblocks, that like Becky had, that keep us stuck.  Secondly, to some concrete goals so we can finally take some action.  (All of this self work makes my brain hurt.)

#3 Eliminate the Roadblocks

What roadblocks?  (I just want to get started using those pretty products to get organized.)  We all have emotional and mental roadblocks to getting organized in the area that is bugging the heck out of you.  How do I know this?  If you didn’t you would be organized in that area.  It isn’t about time. It isn’t about containers. (Even though certain retailers spend money getting you to believe that.)  It really isn’t about systems.  Organizing is about you and what you believe about your conditions.

It isn’t about time. It isn’t about containers. Organizing is about you and what you believe about your conditions. –Tweet This

Let’s change your beliefs shall we?

We are about to embark on an environmental shift.  A shift in perception and feeling.  Remember that feeling you had when you imagined how it felt to be finally organized? We are going to fast forward to the date of your power statement and address any roadblocks that are stopping you to enjoy that feeling.

We do this by engaging the subconscious mind.

I want you to play a subconscious mind game here.  You’ll have to trust me that it works.  It seems silly and redundant but it is a powerful technique.

First, you are going to write your power statement in to three different points of view.

  •  First person  (I am)
  • Second person (You are)
  • Third person (Charlene is–Or Your Name is)

Let’s use the example from above.

  1. Today is August 12, 2018 and I have an immaculate organized closet that has only clothes in them that make me look and feel fantastic.
  2. Today is August 12, 2018 and you have an immaculate organized closet that has only clothes in them that make you look and feel fantastic.
  3. Today is August 12, 2018 and (Your Name)  has an immaculate organized closet that has only clothes in them that makes (Your Name) look and feel fantastic.

Now get 3 pieces of paper draw a line lengthwise (long ways) down the center.  So that there is a left and right side to the paper.  Start by writing the first person point of view on the left side of the paper.  Then on the right hand side of the paper write any thoughts, feelings, emotions, gut relations you have to the statement down. Then write the statement again on the left side of the paper. Do as you did before and write those thoughts you have on the right hand side of the paper.  Keep going on down the piece of paper (Statement – Feeling – Statement – Feeling) till you get to what you know to be your true base feeling about any limiting beliefs or road blocks that you have.  Whew…  your done with that exercise.  No.  You guessed it you do the same exercise for all 3 points of view statements.

Why are we doing this?  I’m ready for some pretty containers.

I know this is hard but this will get you to stick to your personal organizing plan.  Get through this exercise–you will be able to execute your plan effectively and be organized! With that let’s get to  planning your personal organizing strategy.

“Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”― Albert Einstein

#4 Plan your Action or Commit your Action to Your Calendar

This step is much easier.  Here are the actions you are going to take.

  • Get a calendar.  If you are ready for some design or fun things now you can get some printable on Etsy or visit my friends Etsy shop here.
  • Put your power statement  on the date you committed to on the calendar.
  • Working backwards from that date decide what actions you will need to take in reverse order.  If you want and example get your free personal organizing strategy.
  • Tell someone about your commitment.  Ask for help if needed.

That wasn’t so hard.  Now you see the actions that need to be taken.  Now on to where we actually do something physical.

 

#5 Take Action

Just work the plan right?  Well yes.  However, there are some things to consider that will make your organizing adventure easier.

Start small.  Give your self a small win.  Junk drawer today…whole kitchen tomorrow.  Well almost tomorrow. Because of your planning you know the date that you will get that kitchen done by. 😉

Start with what is annoying you the most.  Are you just annoyed that you always clutter up the one counter top? Start there.

Don’t worry or be frustrated if your tasks or plans don’t happen on the dates that you planned.  Be ok with the fact that you are making progress no matter how or when.  Don’t let one or two or 20 hiccups get you down.  Life happens-keep going.

To help you on your journey here are a few book recommendations covered here:

  • Start with Why — Simon Sinek
  • The One Thing — Gary Keller
  • Emergence — Derek Rydall
  • Unstuff Your Life — Andrew J. Mellen
  • Organizing from the Inside Out — Julie Morgenstern

 

Please let me know if you have any questions on how to implement any of the tips here.  I am available on Facebook and Twitter.

For more tips and more comprehensive Personal Organizing Strategy.  Download it here.

Click Here for Your Free Personal Organizing Strategy

Happy organizing!

 

 

 

How To Spot “Those People” who blame

How to Spot “Those People” who blame: Tips to navigating lack of ownership in the workplace.

Blame How to Navigate in the Workplace

We have been going through the most busiest time of the year for my division at work. It is a time where everything is under scrutiny, deadline, and quality. In a word – Pressure. Throw in the mix that people can get seriously injured in this job if they don’t take their time to pay attention to what is going on around them in this fast paced environment. Mixed with the misconception that we all are immortal. “It won’t happen to me.” Is a favorite lie we all like to tell ourselves. So it is no wonder that my boss (who is the safety lead) took out some of his frustration in the form of a rant. He was on the phone talking to his peers about the injuries that we had in a 2 day period. The words he used were about how he wouldn’t go to the doctor for an injury like that. The frustration was palpable.   It got me thinking about how he was separating himself from the blame/situation. Even though I know he felt responsible, well even if he didn’t really feel it, he would be held ultimately responsible. At the very least, he would have to answer for how he/we could handle it better in the future. I knew this was him trying to process the answer he was going to tell his boss.

So, why do we do this separation or step back from responsibility? We are frustrated, we don’t have the answer, we want to blame someone or something else for lack of ownership. How do we tell if we aren’t stepping up to the larger vision/ taking ownership of the situation. What does it sound like when we have the “Those People Syndrome”? Why is it so important to recognize it and take steps to fix it?

The blame game and why we must not play it

We are no longer children placing blame on everyone else. The insecure finger pointer or the informer that is so busy worrying about covering her butt that as soon as someone does something wrong they are the first to point it out.

In an online article by ERIC SHANNON DECEMBER 28, 2011 entitled Stop Whining – take ownership at JustJobs.com Academy

  1. Blame subverts the process of our own improvement. As soon as we blame, we remove the need for ourselves to change; we place the requirement for work and improvement on the shoulders of someone else.
  2. Blame makes us victims of our environment, rather than masters of the universe.

Those of us who are in leadership positions or are continuing our growth need to recognize this bad habit or behavior and be able to address it with whomever is displaying this blame. Our first step is recognizing it is knowing what it sounds like when we blame or separate ourselves from a situation. The following words or phrases may be said:

  1. Yahoo’s
  2. Dumba##
  3. I never did
  4. Stupid people
  5. Those people

How do we combat this lack of ownership and blame?

Observe

Using your powers of observation is critical here. It is easy. I mean really easy to fall into the trap of whining along with your peers, boss, co-workers. Trust me I know that I’ve had plenty of bitch sessions over the phone. Sometimes those venting sessions are needed to be able to get the whining out in order to see the solution. It also helps your bitch mate to get out of the whining only if there are concrete solutions attached at the end of the conversation. No solution – no ownership. Stepping back and noticing the words you use and the thoughts you have are part of your self discovery tool box. You are on your path to self awareness “superhero status”. So exercise those powers girl! Now it is time to change your direction of blame. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What am I frustrated over?
  2. What do I feel like I cannot control?
  3. What can I control?
  4. What am I trying to get out of?

The harder part is trying to get someone else to see that they are blaming or frustrated. In the situation of my boss, for example. What am I supposed to do? How am I going to get him to recognize his blame game? Should I even attempt it? There is a real threat of losing a job if trying to manage up. Let’s come back to this situation in a moment when I line out how to help someone else see their lack of responsibility for a situation. These someones are friends, loved ones, co-workers, and kids. Managing up is a bit tricker. So for those people you don’t have quite the risk with, the following techniques would apply:

Ask questions.

Asking leading questions is the best way for someone to come to their own conclusion. Leading questions are very different then loaded questions. Loaded questions are ammunition and we are NOT going for that. Leading questions are open ended and ask the person to answer the question themselves. They typically have lead off with what, when, why, and how. They can also contain the phrase “Tell me about…” This is a great opener to finding out how or why the person is blaming the situation outside of her/him. “Tell me about why you feel this way.” Could open the conversation up to the opportunity to lead the person to seeing where they are feeling frustrated, out of control, or where they don’t want to take ownership in the situation. Your job here isn’t to take responsibility for the other person’s behavior, but to open the other person’s eyes to what this behavior is. Your responsibility isn’t to place blame back at the other person. That is useless and makes the situation worse.

Once the conversation is rolling the second question you could ask is: “What can you do next time to avoid this?” Or “What can you do to change this?” These questions give the other person ownership of their behavior. They will recognize that they are the only ones who can change themselves. Not only that they will take the steps that they feel comfortable taking. Which greatly increases the opportunity for real change in behavior. Imposed behavior modification by someone else is a real struggle for all people involved.

Feedback

Another technique that could be used is the one from Manager Tools. In Giving Effective Feedback- Part One by Manager Tools, The model they use is really effective in helping people that you lead notice and change their behavior. They start with asking the question: “Can I give you some feedback?’ Then they proceed with the formula of pointing out to the other person how it affects things/people around them. An example might be: “When you say ‘Those people don’t know what they are doing.’ It separates you from the ownership and responsibility that we all have in this team to come up with constructive ways to fix the problem. The end of the conversation is the question to give them the opportunity to change their own behavior. “ What can you do in the future to change this?”, would be an example of a question to ask to give them the chance to come up with a solution.

How to handle a blaming boss

So in the case of my boss or managing up, is there a solution? I’ve lead you to believe that there is a thing called managing up. However, there really isn’t. According to the Harvard Business Review and Manager Tools. Managing up is really about managing the relationship with your boss. Figuring out how she works and tailoring yourself and team to it.

Successfully managing your relationship with your boss requires that you have a good understanding of your supervisor and of yourself, particularly strengths, weaknesses, work styles, and needs. Once you are aware of what impedes or facilitates communication with your boss, you can take actions to improve your relationship. You can usually establish a way of working together that fits both of you, that is characterized by unambiguous mutual expectations, and that makes both of you more productive and effective. Harvard Business Review – Managing Your Boss

With Manager Tools the advice is to prep your team to know how your manager works. To have one on one conversations with each team member to let them know what to expect from your manager. This was part of the podcast Bad Boss #1 Angry and Demeaning Bosses when you have direct reports. Even though the boss in question here isn’t Angry or Demeaning, however your boss may place blame on others instead of herself. Your direct reports and yourself need to know this and be able to handle it. The advice in the Manager Tools podcast is sound. One of those steps is to perform. To do the work given to you. I would almost say to take it one step further and document if you think you may need a paper trail down the road.

So what is my coarse of action in this case of a manager who thinks and acts as if “Those People” are idiots? First off, I will not engage with my boss when this behavior is present. Meaning, my opinion is mine and she doesn’t need to know it. Talking bad about other people will always come back to bite. Second, I will do what I am told to do, as long as it is ethical and safe. If either of these are compromised, I will stand up to my boss. Third, I will disengage with my boss in this behavior as soon as I can. Fourth, I will get to know my boss’s work habits, communication style, standing meetings, and anything else that will help me work better with her. Fifth, I will have one on one meetings with my team if the behavior from my boss gets worse in the blame game and let them know how to work with her. As I don’t want them to be surprised by any behavior that could have a negative impact on my team.

The keys to the blame game is to observe, use discernment on who you are addressing in order to take the right action with that person. By all means make sure to stop and observe yourself and your behavior when you are tempted to say “Those people don’t know what they are doing.”

 

 

 

Creating your Spring Cleaning Schedule

Spring Cleaning Ahead
mage credit: feverpitched / 123RF Stock Photo

So you think you don’t have any time to do any deep Spring Cleaning this year?

I’ve got the solution to making that whole house cleaning easier. Scheduling. You won’t even have to take time off of work to get it done! The key is to make your calendar work for you.  Using my Spring Cleaning Checklists you will be able to break this monster task down over the course of one month with little disruption to your regular life.

The first step to scheduling your successful Spring Cleaning is to pick a place to start. Start either at the front of the house and work back or start at the back of the house and work forward. If you are lacking motivation to get started pick the easiest room. This is the one room when you look at it seems like you can tackle it with no hassle.  You’ll want to do this because it will give you a win and a sense of accomplishment to start that momentum for the harder tasks. Why not check a room off early on! For me this is the living room. It just so happens it is at the front of my house, too. So I’ll start at the front of the house and work back.

  • Starting from the first room you choose (this is how my house is set up). Use your calendar or scheduling system of choice to plan the room order:
  1. Living Room
  2. Dining Room
  3. Bedroom
  4. Bathroom
  5. Bedroom
  6. Kitchen
  7. Laundry Room
  8. Outside 
  • Forecast/Approximate how long each of these tasks will take in days. Here is a general idea of the time it will take me. Depending on how big your house is or the priorities that you’ve assigned this may vary.  Remember this is just to get an idea of how many days you will be cleaning. It may seem crazy to forecast out 2 days for the bathroom but I’m planning on doing this in small blocks of time. I can realistically clean the bathroom in one hour but I want a bit of wiggle room for the whole house. So if I decide to take a Saturday and just clean the bathroom in that hour… I’ll have more time for other rooms. Like the kitchen. Which is a bigger process. 
  1. Living Room – 3 days
  2. Dining Room – 3 days
  3. Bedroom – 2 days
  4. Bathroom – 1 to 2 days
  5. Bedroom – 2 days
  6. Kitchen – 7 days
  7. Laundry Room – 3 to 4 days
  8. Outside – 2 to 3 days 

Total of  26 Days

  • Next start with room number one. I will be starting with the Living Room. I will schedule in the first 3 days on my calendar for April that I will be cleaning the Living Room.  

Here is where you can be strategic. If a certain day is super hectic, don’t schedule any cleaning on that day. Thursday’s are crazy because of work or other engagements? Skip Thursday’s. Saturday’s are great for getting a lot done? Plan to do more on that day.   

  • Continue on scheduling each room on your calendar. Keep in mind this is just an idea of how long it will take.
  • Assemble your Spring Cleaning Kit. For the blog post on the Spring Cleaning Kit click here.
  • Prioritize: Using the Spring Cleaning Checklists, prioritize the 3 most important things you want done in the first room you are working on. Do those first. Utilize a timer for 15 to 30 minutes if you don’t have a lot of time. A little bit of time spent on Spring Cleaning adds up.
  • Work your plan. Make sure you pick one room at a time. Work in that room only. You will utilize your Spring Cleaning Kit here to ensure you are not roaming around to other rooms.
  •  When you are done with one room you will go grab the Spring Cleaning Checklist for the next room (for me it will be the dining room). Determine your top 3 priorities. Then work the plan. Continue on till you have the whole house clean!
  • Celebrate!  Enjoy a cup of coffee a pedicure or just the clean fresh air of your house! Nice Job!

Self-Care

IMG_2517CARING FOR YOURSELF

Recently I was able to pick up Tara Mohr’s book PLAYING BIG. I have heard Tara in a number of interviews on podcasts and I was really blown away by her insights, her concepts, and her passion for women.  Tara is the founder of the acclaimed global PLAYING BIG leadership program. One little nugget even after listening to multiple podcasts, I found in the introduction of her book got me thinking on a deeper level. As she explains the PLAYING BIG program, she mentions that it “is to move away from self-discipline and toward self care.”   The words “self care” resonated with me.  And to pair it with self-disciple it created a juxtaposition that shook me.  In an effort to better myself I am always trying to push myself to achieve goals. It’s almost a struggle at times to get things done for myself. Tara mentions the inner critic as an inner voice that is in part “harsh, rude, mean.”  This could be in part the inner voice that is kicking me in the rear end.   A lot of the time, however, it is it’s genuinely me trying to motivate myself to do things: to eat right, to exercise, and to have a better plan.   All of these things are not something that I always have to dig deep with.   My skills in habit forming for myself are adept. I also know that digging deep is for very temporary circumstances.  However, I rely on “kick yourself in the butt” motivation more than I should. I hope that now that I am learning about self-care I won’t have to rely on that “DO IT NOW OR ELSE” motivation. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”  Jim Rohn   With habit forming it is a built in just do list, with out the list.  But what if you are trying to form a habit or there is something that knocks you off of your habit?  Motivation the idea of pushing through is not enough.   I started thinking about what if I changed my paradigm from I’m being disciplined to I’m taking care of myself? Over the last two days I’ve really had a difference in my attitude and my mindset when it comes to self-care.  It has been less of a Mom voice of “you should do this” which is in part of that inner critic. But the other part is the “really want to do it but I need to be self-disciplined”  voice.  As women we care about others.  We care and take care of our house, kids, significant other, family, friends, projects, home, committee, community, etc.  Self-care is about caring for others because it allows you to take of yourself to take care of others. Showing yourself you care. This is HUGE for women all over because as women we typically put others in front of ourselves. It’s really easy to say “Yes”. It is harder to prioritize and say “No Thank you”. So as far as self-care is concerned why don’t we turn around and take care of ourselves? In the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, there is a line where the character Cyndee Pokorny is explaining how she was abducted.  “I had waited on Reverend Richard a bunch of times at a York steak house I worked at. One night he invited me out to his car to see some baby rabbits.  I didn’t want to be rude so… here we are.”  Matt Lauer as himself responds with, “ I’m always amazed at what women will do because they are afraid of being rude.”  How ridiculously funny, true, and sad.

While I was an organizer my philosophy was start with you. Where ever your space is. So if your mind and soul resides in your room—that is your space. Incidentally, that is my space.  If my room is a hot mess so am I.   Also, when I have company or I am making room for someone in my house all-extra clutter (i.e. unfolded laundry) goes into my room.  Talk about putting others before yourself made in physical space.  Your room, dear heart, may be somewhere else, any room where you feel like you reside. It might be a desk, kitchen, dining room etc.   Self –care is not about pushing.  It’s about accepting.  With out being too blunt here. We cannot just screw our goals in to submission.  Maybe all that pounding gets to be a bit much.  It’s time for us to romance our goals/our tasks.  Talk nice to them.  Woo them.  Have a bit of foreplay and cuddle time with them.

No matter how you react to the buzz phrase “work-life balance” it is likely to hold some sort of ideal for you.  More than likely an ideal that -if we take forceful action, then we can achieve this ideal world of “work-life balance”.   There are two new concepts that I would like to discuss that takes the idea of forceful/ masculine action and work-life balance.

1. Feminine Action:

What if we took “feminine action”?  Action that is based on caring action? Productivity and task management that is based on self-care?   Action that is not about pushing yourself.  How would it feel, dear reader, to go about your goals and tasks embracing the work to be done?  Approaching necessary work with compassion, tenderness, and sacredness? Too many times we go through trying to get stuff done because it’s the right thing to do for pretenses but it’s not congruent with your higher priority. As an example one of my organizing clients told me that her main priority was her kids.  I’m sure that is her most priority as it would be for most of us.  However, her actions were not exhibiting it as such.  She spent her time wanting to de-clutter and move her stuff around.  Her thinking/mindset? If she could only get organized than she could finally spend time with her kids. All the while the time that she had with her kids was slipping away.  She was focused on the someday.  This is called the arrival fallacy. That perfect someday when all the laundry is done and everything is perfect.  I asked her if she could spend 30 minutes to an hour scheduled uninterrupted time with her kids.  This proved to be an impossible task in the mindset she was in.   She kept trying to push for this perfect organized world without stepping back and recognizing that she was most important.  I say that she was most important because her kids are what is most important to her. She missed out on self-care. Care for her and her children.

2. Mind-Body-Spirit balance

Can we banish the phrase “work-life balance”?  I don’t think so at this point in time it has been so popularized in business and in our culture.  So many of us love to work.  Cannot keep our selves busy enough.  ADHD? ADD?  I don’t know.  However, for you who love to have projects – HELLO PINTEREST!  I suggest that the work and the life part are never really separated.  I do know though that if I am reading or learning to long my brain hurts!  Mind you I can do this for hours!  But then I just have to get out of my head.  Any of us who remember college can remember sitting for hours. Way to long in lecture and studying.  How wonderful it was to even go outside to get some fresh air and walk to the next class.  Same with physical exercise or tasks; you have to take a break.  That’s what we have sleep for!  Spiritual rejuvenation is a must and is the most overlooked one of the three.  Take some time and spend it with your Divine.  You will get the most out of this rejuvenation. I’m working on balancing my 3 selves (Body- Mind- Spirit) and worrying less on trying to get away from work.  Striving for little get aways by switching up my tasks.  An example might be to go for a walk or do a household chore if I’ve been sitting at the computer or reading. Also if I feel as though I’ve been balancing those two worlds, but I still feel out of sorts I take some alone spiritual time.

 Self-Care is a Necessity

 

Self-care and balancing your Body-Mind-Spirit are not just a luxury it is a necessity.  Most women put others first.  It’s time to put you first even if it is just a mind shift.  Recognize that when you have the self-talk of “I have to go the gym”.  That the inner critic is trying to shame you and you won’t go.  Embrace and change that voice to something calming something that is receptive.  Take action that will last by being caring.  Your loved ones and others will appreciate it as you will get more done with out feeling lousy.  You can decide whether a task is uplifting to you and to others by gaging the resistance you get from yourself and others.

 

Feminine action is the idea of welcoming, of calming, of making space in your actions.  To me this is such a fabulous idea! I hope that you go through and you start thinking of how you set up your tasks, goals, days, and calendar and apply feminine action to them, to care for yourself in the tasks at hand. We will automatically take the feminine action in caring for somebody else and we won’t think twice about it.  It is easy to be compassionate and tender and wonderful to others. However, when it comes to motivating ourselves we beat on our fragile psyche.  When it comes to going to the gym, cleaning the kitchen, writing that blog post, mowing the lawn those are things that you need to recognize that you’re there to care for yourself those are the tasks that you need to do in order to care for yourself and instead of pushing/forcing. Open to the sacredness and tenderness in caring for your self in all your actions.

Leave your comment below to let me know if this is made a difference. If you’ve noticed being more mindful and productive in your actions/tasks, I’d love to hear it.

 

 

How to make time

Recently, at my day job a co-worker stated that “we make space and time”.  It sounds so cool! Especially since I am a geek.  Very SCI-FI!  Really though. That’s what my job is. To move things around to make space and do it in very little time.  So you would think that as my “Supervisor” job it would come very naturally to me to do this for my home and business, right?  It comes very natural to me at work but at home/business. It is hard!!  Why? Because I haven’t done this before. I’ve done the day job for over 5 years. That’s 5 years of practice.  That’s getting closer to the 10,000 hours of practice that Malcolm Gladwell speaks of.  So I am charting new territory for myself.  You’d think that I give myself a little leeway. NOPE.  I’ve got to be perfect out of the gate.  Oh wait…  I mean progress not perfection.  So hard to break that habit that’s been with me all my life.  (HIGH C).  Anyway,  I’m trying to do what I do best which is to connect concepts and experiences together to apply to something completely different.  So what are those concepts and experiences in this case?

  1. Prioritize!!  What are your big three?  Do you know them by heart?  Are they posted somewhere you can see them?
  2. Use a calendar.  If you do not have an active calendaring system. You need to make one.  Things do not happen by rote.  This has to be a calendar that you like to use. Other wise no buenos. No time made.
  3.  Leave room for the inevitable change of plans as well as down time.  We all know what that is.  It is the kids, the significant other, the dog puking, air conditioning going out, etc.  Figure out what your top 3 interrupter items are.  (hint: they are probably things that need attention in your Big 3). That’s ok.  One of my Big 3 is health.  Will I put working out on the back burner if I need to attend to my other Big 3 – family?  Oh Yeah. You bet!!!  (Anything to get out of working out!) No that really isn’t my attitude most of the time. 🙂
  4. Act.  I forget to do this.  What??!?  I am the type of person who is so in love with planning and organizing that I forget to execute.  Analysis Paralysis!  If you are stuck at this stage. There are many ways to get going.  A few of them: accountability partner, timed sessions or, your “why” (you want to do it).
  5.  Re-evaluate.  Figure out what worked and what didn’t in this process.  What did you learn? What did you do well?  What could you do better or more efficient?  Make those changes next time you are trying to carve out time to do the things that are important to you.

I know that time can’t be made out of thin air.  However, with a bit of focus and time spent planning for how you want to spend your time, you’l feel as though you stretched your time budget.  Speaking of budget, It’s time for me to work these same concepts on my money budget.  I’ll make sure that I plan that as part of my home and business time.

Where courageous women build an abundant life.