Can Do When The Plans Change

As John “Hannibal” Smith used to say on the A Team, “I just love it when a plan comes together”!  Don’t we all?

But, what about when the plan doesn’t stay together? When you get part way through and have to change assumptions? Or directions? Or priorities?

The trick for me is to remember that there is not just one master plan – there are a series of interconnected plans. And sometimes navigating those plans requires change. No, make that read: most of the time navigating those plans requires change!

I think dealing with that change without feeling stressed and crazy is a real Can Do Skill!  None of us want to look or feel like her!  shutterstock_62662183

Or her.

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For me, the change I am dealing with today is The Can Do Workplace book deadline. Yesterday was the deadline I set for submission to the publisher. I am making progress, but I am not there yet! It isn’t that I don’t have anything written. I have over 19,000 words on 50 manuscript pages, so I am way more than halfway there. Two of the organizations I am profiling are reviewing my narrative for their comment. The other two sections are almost ready for review.

Covey quadrantsWhen I look at the Covey Four Quadrants graph, I am reminded that writing this book is a Quadrant Two activity – it is about quality and not speed. (I trust that my friends at Motivational Press believe this too!)

During the last three weeks, when I had planned my calendar to dedicate the time to write, I have been surprised that I have much more client work than I had anticipated. This is a good thing because it pays the bills so that I can afford to do the writing. Several of the client work projects are in Quadrant One: Urgent and Important. And, as a consultant, my clients’ deadlines supersede the book writing deadlines.

The irony is that I am really enjoying writing the book. When I have the time to focus Keep Going Indicates Don't Quit And Advertisementon it, I love the creative process of the writing, and I keep finding new research resources on gratitude and employee engagement to include. Dozens of other people are contributing to to the book. I am delivering a workshop on The Can Do Workplace at a national conference tomorrow. When I started the book, I thought it would be a short and somewhat simple book to write. It has grown to be so much more and taken on a life of its own. And, within that metaphor, it is currently taking a short nap. The next phase of the plan will come into play. I will keep going.

Plan A Or Plan B, Concept Of ChoiceSo, what’s the Plan B? (I think are actually like on Plan G at this point!)  I am not sure yet!  I am far too steeped in my new client’s crisis triage process to make a plan. I will have a bit more time next week and will use it create a new timeline and plan – and start writing again.

 

And, I will once again “just love it when a plan comes together!”  Subject to change!

 

It’s Friday the 13th – Make Today Your Lucky Day!

The Live YOUR Can Do Life Online Workshop starts TODAY!

Make It Happen Torn Paper

 

Just in time for spring. Let go of winter.  It’s time to makeshutterstock_106336880into today to meet your goals and live YOUR Can Do Life.

Say YES

Yes, Ok, Agree Word On Black Block

 

not yes, BUT!

Let go of excuses: We all have too much to do!  We all want more money. We all have just one more thing to do before we can focus on ourselves!

shutterstock_61214968If we want the better, more meaningful life, we need to make and take the time to open up and discover what our lives really hold for us!  How to reach out goals and live our dreams. To discover the treasure within!

 

I invite you to invest two weeks to:

  1. explore your goals and dreams and ways you can achieve them
  2. find at least 28 things to be grateful for
  3. learn how to make possibility decisions
  4. learn the “small steps” approach to change
  5. simmer and savor your secret sauce!

The workshop includes:

  1. two video presentations
  2. one live tele-workshop on March 18th at 8PM Eastern
  3. the Live YOUR Can Do Life Workbook

The workshop is self-paced, confidential and designed so you can continue to build on it after the two weeks is over.

The cost is $60.  That is less than $5 a day!  Less than dinner out or a new outfit. And a great way to invest in yourself.

You are worth it!

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My name is Cathi Coridan. I “discovered” my Can Do life during a very difficult time in my life, filled with health, work and financial challenges. I discovered that if I made a commitment, everyday to a positive attitude, grounded in gratitude and based in reality, that, while my husband’s job was still gone and my cancer was still there, I was able to let go of being defensive and live my life with hope. My Can Do approach to life took the BUT out of my Yes, But approach to life.

cover.finalI say YES everyday. And it makes a HUGE difference in my life. I wrote my first book, The Can Do Chronicles to share the story of my transformation.  I created is blog and the workshop series to help other people discover what YOU CAN DO!

Click here to register and get started today!  Registration is open until March 29, but why wait?  

Hope you join me!

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The 7th – and Last – Secret of a Can Do Life!

Find and keep a sense of humor.

Why? Because life it hard enough – being a grouch or always serious just makes it harder.

Song in my HeartBack when I had just started chemo, I was talking with a friend when, I out of the blue I remembered a movie I loved as a kid, With a Song in My Heart.  It is the story of Jane Froman, a singer who toured Europe to entertain the troops during World War II, who was seriously injured in an airplane accident. Painfully and slowly, she rebuilt her life, always keeping a song in her heart. Jane Wyman played her in the movie and I can hear the song in my head as I type.

That was how With a Song in My Heart became my mantra during chemo, reminding me not to take myself or my situation SO seriously. I learned to laugh about the indignities of chemo – from rashes to the runs – and to laugh at myself in the process! That lighter and more playful attitude helped me grow and learn so much more about what is important in life during my chemo and recovery experience.

A sense of humor balances us. And, laughter bathes the brain in endorphins which shutterstock_45929179soothe and heal the stressed out places. I believe that laughter allows the gratitude in your life to take root in your heart.

One of the most important places to be able to laugh is at work, with the caveat of being respectful, and being careful not to be inappropriate. I have worked in several very high risk, high intensity programs where how a crisis was handled could mean life or death, or at least risk of serious injury. But, even in those environments, maybe especially in those environments, I have appreciated the ability of my colleagues and employees to balance the stress with some lighter moments. I have discovered that sharing a laugh with colleagues helps create bonds that create a carry-over of positive vibes that can be quite helpful during stressful meetings.

Once, long before my Can Do days, during a very intensive program proposal writing process, a colleague who was a partner in the project called and said he had something important to tell me. I took my eyes off the narrative to pick up the phone, thinking “this better add another $10K to the project’s bottom line, or I will scream!” After I said hello, he said, “if at first you don’t succeed,” then paused.  I, somewhat tersely, responded, “yes, what?” to which he answered, “don’t try sky diving!”  It was just what I needed. And more than 10 years later, I still remember it!

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Finding and keeping a sense of humor – so full of wisdom that adds years to our lives and life to our years. And in today’s era of technology, being able to laugh is as easy as finding the puppy, kitty or baby videos on YouTube.

Speaking of YouTube (how is that for a finessed transition!?), I have posted two short preview videos for the new Live YOUR Can Do Life online workshop that launches on Friday!  Click here for the Intro to YOUR Can Do Life and click here for Making Possibility Decisions… One of the promises I can make about the workshop series is that it will be engaging and, yes, even fun! While registration is open until March 27th, I encourage you to sign up today to get the most from the workshop videos, tele-workshop on March 18th and the Live YOUR Can Do Life Workbook. Click here to learn more!

Thanks for joining me on the Can Do Blog during these last seven weeks to learn about the Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life!  Writing these posts has been great fun and allowed me to understand and live the secrets a little deeper myself.

The fun does not stop here!  Be sure to sign up to be on the email list for the Can Do Blog. (From the menu, it is on the right side of the Can Do Blogs page.) I have made a commitment to post a blog or podcast every Wednesday. It’s kind of my anti-hump-day statement.

monkey-headerNext Wednesday, I will be posting the Can Do Dialogue podcast that my colleague and friend Troy Thompson and I are recording about his fascinating, meaningful – and funny, I might add – No Evil Project. We won’t just be monkeying around, either!!  Come back and check it out!

In the meantime, stay well and remember that you can change the world by making the commitment every day to have a positive attitude, grounded in gratitude and based in reality.

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It’s Time for the 6th Secret of a Can Do Life

Remember, life comes in cycles.  It’s quite simple and quite timely, this 6th secret: Remember, life comes in cycles. Just when we are SO READY for winter to be over and SPRING to get here.

spring-clip-art-spring-flower-clipartSpring is COMING! There are little signs around us.  It’s March. Spring training games started in Florida and Arizona this week. Daylight savings time starts this Sunday. While it is sure to snow a couple more times in many places across the US, it is a bit easier to take because Spring is COMING!

One of life’s great blessings is that our life comes in cycles. Daily. Monthly. Seasonal. Repeated, yet always changing.

How is Life Comes in Cycles a Secret of a Can Do Life? At the core of my Can Do life is a commitment I make every day (sometimes more than once a day!) to live my life with a positive attitude, grounded in gratitude and based in reality. The great thing about life coming in cycles is that no matter how yesterday went for me, I get to start each day new with this commitment.

shutterstock_77844214Life cycles give us two opportunities – one is to start over!  Not in the Scarlett O’Hara procrastinating way of “I’ll think about that tomorrow!” But in the ability to recommit with new energy to how we live our life and work toward our goals. The sunrise brings new light and new energy.

As does spring. For spring, we have rituals, like spring cleaning to brighten and light up our environment. For some of us, it is a re-commitment to exercise after the winter hibernation filled with comfort food and loose fitting sweat pants! Some people go away for Spring Break to play in the sun. In the Christian and Jewish faith traditions, we celebrate Easter and Passover, both of which are filled with symbols of new life, freedom, promise and hope.

valentine-clipartcom-free-valentine-clip-artLife coming in cycles also gives us the opportunity to remember moments, such as anniversaries and birthdays. To remember and to learn important lessons from the past for our future. Then, to recommit. For me, February 14th is much more than Valentine’s Day. It marks my anniversary of remission from Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.  It reminds me of how precious my health is and how privileged I am to have it restored!  I try to keep that in mind every day, but I celebrate my health and my new life in a special way on Valentine’s Day!  And I use that day to commit again to working on my goal of keeping myself healthy.

As spring awakens the earth after the long, cold, grey winter months, I invite you to join me in recommitting on a new level to a whole and healthy life – YOUR Can Do Life.

Imagine hoTodayw much happier, more productive and stronger our families, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities would be if everyone made a commitment starting today to live his or her life with a positive attitude, grounded in gratitude and based in reality.

I hope that this spring, you Imagine, then Discover What You Can Do!

P.S. One way you can do this is to participate in the new Live YOUR Can Do Life online workshop.  Registration starts on March 6th and the workshop launches on Friday the 13th. The multi-media program is open online for two weeks. Learn more by clicking here.

 

 

 

5th secret of a Can Do Life revealed…

We are all connected and part of something bigger…

Whether it is our family, our neighborhood, our school, our friends, our workplace, our faith community, our political party, our regiment or platoon in the military, our local service club, our sports teams… as humans, we all have a need for connection and want to belong to something greater than ourselves. The term “tribes” has come back into use to talk about groups people with whom we identify. Trekkies, Harry Potter lovers, Red Sox fans (not Yankee Fans), Ohio State fans (not Michigan fans), Nascar enthusiasts, the list goes on and on. I think it even includes people who want to live a more Can Do life.

In this age of technology and shutterstock_77317735“social media,” we have this ever expanding collection of “communication” technologies and tools that we use to connect: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, texting and the rest. The reason that they are so popular is that they are designed to tap into our need to be connected. Stay in touch. Be in relationship. It Group of Business People with Social Media Conceptcan be argued, and it is, that these devices and the communication they deliver are not enough and cannot satisfy us. When they are used to enhance relationships, they work well. They, however, cannot take the place of relationships. I want Siri to help me get to the restaurant for my dinner engagement, but I do not want her to go out to dinner with me as my companion!!

I believe that Can Do needs to be shared in order to grow. As I observe in The Can Do Chronicles, CAN DO is always lived in relationship – with self, with God and with others.” Can Do is strengths-based – grounded in saying YES! to life, and to each other. If my life is about “yes” and possibilities, it is also about the quality of how I connect with other people.  And, for me personally, it also relies on and reflects the quality of how I connect with my God. When I don’t stay connected, I tend to get too far into my own head and get in my own way, making it much easier for me to lose my Can Do focus on life in general.

My most dearly held belief is that the most important connection we have is to our kids – all shutterstock_60308743of our kids – and the legacy we leave behind for them. When we say we are so concerned about bullying as an issue impacting our children, I think we should start by looking in the mirror and being more aware of how we, the adults, are treating each other.  In the media and politics with headlines that accuse and sound bites that bite! And ask ourselves, “what is that teaching our kids?” Some people talk about the debt and environment that we are leaving our children. I am concerned about those, things too. But, when I see a world increasingly filled with negatives, blaming, “gotchya games,” finger pointing that is polarizing and rude, I am also concerned about the toxic messages we give, and what we are showing our kids about how people treat each other and how to make decisions.

We are all connected and part of something bigger…

shutterstock_61817020I believe we can do better. I want to be a voice that reminds us that we are connected at our core and more alike than we are different… and, of the good we are capable of and the dreams that we need to reach and teach our kids to reach.

I believe we can do better, for our kids’ sakes, because they need you and me, not football players, movie and rock stars – to be their heroes and role models! They need and want to be connected with us – and be part of something bigger.

What connections are important in your life? Want some ideas of how you can you make those connections more Can Do? There are lots of Can Do resources available, such as:

  • Have you read The Can Do Chronicles?  It is a great resource and reminder about what is important in life, if I don’t say so myself!  And it is on sale on amazon! Check it out by clicking here!
  • The Can Do Dialogues, my series of podcasts with stories of amazing everyday heroes is available by clicking here.
  • Also, there is a new online workshop, Live YOUR Can Do Life that launches on March 13th.  Check that out by clicking here!

See you next week with the Sixth Secret!

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The 4th Secret of a Can Do Life is…

MAKE AND TAKE TIME FOR REFLECTION

For me, it is the hardest one of them all. I have places to go and people to see and things to do and deadlines to keep. When I was 11, I played Alice in the local library production of441926-Cartoon-Businesswoman-Running-With-Late-Files Alice in Wonderland. The only line I remember is, “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date. No time to say ‘Hello,’ goodbye. I’m late!  I’m late! I’m late!”  Even when I am on time, I always feel like I am behind – late, late, late!

Waiting is agony for me, especially if I don’t have my phone or a book or my computer to keep me company. When I am on a webinar or conference call, I check my email and Facebook during the “in between” times. In between when I am paying attention, that is.  Sometimes, I feel like I have lost my ability and patience to be still. To be at rest. Quietly reflecting.

What is that all about, anyway? When I write it down, it sound absurd! It would be like only driving my car at 70 MPH. That pace of life gives adrenaline way too much power. And, it leads to burning out. I know. I burned out once, and I promised myself I would never go back there. I can still get to the “sort of crispy” point, then have learned to pull myself back in. Hey, at least now I stop for yellow lights!!

Since my chemo days, I have tried harder to make and take time for reflection. Tried. Ash wednesdayHave not always succeed, even though it is one of the Secrets, and therefore pretty important to me!  So, I set a goal that actually gets kicked off today. Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. I signed up for a retreat program through my church, based on St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, and as part of the retreat have committed myself to 40 minutes of prayer and meditation every day between today and Easter. I am excited to find out what I will discover.

Reflection. For me that means prayer and meditation as ways of connecting and communicating with my God, my Creator, my friend, and the places inside myself where that connection is strongest. To listen, to be curious. To share my dreams. To deepen my commitment to achieving those dreams.

For others, this reflection time might involved art or music, dance or nature.

shutterstock_121922443My reflection time allows me to focus on my dreams. Talk to God. Talk to myself about the why and the how, leaving the when and where to a later time. Reflection time allows my body and brain to decompress and rest. Expands my thoughts and lets my creative juices take the place of all that deadline-driven adrenaline. Balances the different parts of me – the inside with the outside. Reflection unlocks my heart to let it be heard… and to it be fed.

Some people think that refection or meditation or prayer is boring. For as much of an IMG_20140705_220935633adrenaline junkie as I can be, I really love becoming lost in the flames of a fire or the sounds of the ocean. Watching the changing colors of a beautiful sunset – or sunrise. Letting my senses stretch and hear, see, smell, taste and feel a littleMBH picture for blog more of what is going on on the inside and the outside. Inviting my soul to connect with my brain and my feet and my calendar and the rest of my life. Listen, listen, listen and learn.

No matter what your faith tradition, today is a good day to commit to making and taking time for reflection. Start with a big enough, while still manageable, goal. Build the time gradually. If reading, audio or video materials help, between Google and the library, you can find just about anything you need for free: find blogs and YouTube videos, poetry books, art books and classical music.The last section of the Can Do Chronicles has an area with quotes and prompts for meditation.

shutterstock_129151931I recommend that you keep a journal with the insights and ideas that come to you as you meditate, so that these gems do not get lost in the busy-ness of the rest of your life.

My prayers go with you on your journey….

 

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Curious About the Third Secret? WOW…That’s Inspired!

The third secret of a Can Do Life is to be inspired and have a sense of curiosity!

The day-to-day, minute-to-minute, meeting-to-meeting-ness of life leave us surrounded by stress and mired in minutiae. Traffic. Technology. Kids’ sports schedules. Work deadlines. They seem to conspire to suck our brains, hearts and souls dry!

Enter the third secret!  Be inspired & have a sense of curiosity. Don’t stay stuck! Take time to look away from, under or behind all of the “stuff” and “ness” of life to get back to the meat of life’s meaning.

Inspired ([in-spahyuh rd]) adjective: meaning aroused, animated, or imbued with the spirit to do something, by or as if by supernatural or divine influence

Be inspired.  Do you have a favorite song, poem, piece of art, photo, prayer, essay or book that lights up your heart?  How often do you “visit” the things that provide inspiration? I have two songs: the four Jean Valjean’s singing Bring Him Home at the Les Miz 25th Anniversary concert and Peter peter-paul-and-mary-holiday-concertPaul and Mary singing “Light One Candle” at their Christmas Concert from years ago. These songs fill my heart with hope and love. Both songs’ You Tube videos are bookmarked so I can jump right to them when I need a little inspiration – Light One Candle is just a little under 4 minutes long and a great investment in keeping my light from going out!  How and where can you put and keep a little piece of personal inspiration close at hand?

People also inspire me. In the Can Do Chronicles, I wrote about several people in my life who are everyday heroes that inspire me. I talk about Lorna, Steve and Julie, and how their lives and our relationships help keep me focused on what is important. I add to that list on a regular basis. Recently, I find that the people I am interviewing for the case stories about Can Do Workplaces for my new book really inspire me: Michelle, Karen, Frankie and Sandy; Michael and Evelind; and Errol, Jenna and Michael. Their commitment to and respect for the people they serve draws me into their stories and inspires me to share them with the world!  Who in your life inspires you?

curious (kyo͝orēəs) adjective:  meaning eager to know or learn something.

Have a sense of curiosity!  Ever been around a 3 year old who is filled with questions shutterstock_1296518and the energy to explore his or her world with unbridled curiosity?  You can almost feel those brain cells lighting up, expanding and connecting, driving that child to search even harder, explore even more!

shutterstock_116496178 (2)Where does all that curiosity go?  Somehow, as adults, it seems to get replaced with a different kind of drive – an urgency to get someplace and do something and a frustration if it takes more time that we think it should!  Life is so much bigger than our little worlds, and there is so much to explore!  When was the last time you took the “scenic route” just to find out what was there? Or asked someone why they like their work, home, car or hobby to learn more about their interests?

95f33/huch/1413/hl0152Michael Gelb is the author of several books on creativity and innovation, my favorite of which is How To Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day. In what he calls “the self-help book that Leonardo never wrote,” Michael presents seven principles, the first of which is

Curiosita: an insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning. 

Michael believes that “curiosita – the quest for continuous learning – comes first because the desire to know, to learn, and to grow is the powerhouse of knowledge, wisdom and discovery.” In the How To Think Like Leonardo Workbook, Michael challenges us to make a list of 100 important questions. Most of us get stuck at around 8 or 9 questions. I challenge you to make a list of 10 to 20 questions, and then to go out and explore, satisfy a little bit of your curiosity looking for the answers!

Thinking Woman Making Decision And Have An Idea. She Looking UpThe cool thing about curiosity is that the more things you do to try to satisfy it, the more it grows!  Questions beget questions.

If one of the things you are curious about is how to get and keep more “Can Do” in your life, then I suggest subscribing to the blog via email on the main Can Do Blog page. That wayyou don’t have to go looking for new posts!  They will come to you every Wednesday!

Have a great week until next Wednesday when I reveal the 4th Secret of a Can Do Life!

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The Second Secret of a Can Do Life Is…

…to be and stay goal driven.

Can you name your life’s goals as easily as you can name your favorite foods or your favorite vacation destinations?  Do you set goals, yet never seem to make enough progress toward accomplishing them?  Are your dreams real for you, or just something you use to think about as an escape from your current situation?

Goals are dreams with deadlines - motivational phrase on a vintaThere are so many things that I could say about goals, their connections to dreams and the power that they have to change your life, much more than this little blog post can hold. The message I want to communicate here is about the importance of having and working toward your goals, and making sure your goals are connected to your life’s dreams.

Why is being and staying goal driven the second secret?  Because our goals based on our dreams give our lives meaning… and they give us hope when life gets hard and messy. Our goals can provide us with the motivation to overcome life’s challenges that come between us and our dreams.

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Setting meaningful goals requires us to be able to define and describe our dreams. It is never too late!  Age does not matter. In fact, I would argue that as we get older, it is just as important to us, and to the world, that we work to know, aspire to and reach our dreams.

What are your dreams? I encourage you to take some time in the next few days to think about those dreams. Mine dream has been to be a writer… to use my words, images and stories to motivate and inspire people to reach their potential.  I am in this moment, quite literally, living my dream!  And, it is AWESOME!

Our goals provide the road map on our journey toward those dreams. Newton’s first law of motion is: a body in motion tends to stay in motion; a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Coridan’s Corollary is that a life in motion tends to stay in motion… We need to be and stay goal driven to keep our lives moving in the direction that meets our needs and keeps us healthy. Otherwise inertia creeps in, and we know that a life at rest does not achieve its dreams!

Not all goals are the same. For one thing, they come in sizes. There are big goals, like buying a house, getting a degree, raising a family, retiring to a warmer climate… and then there are the smaller goals that lead us to the big ones, like saving money, enrolling in a class, meeting someone special with whom you would consider raising a family, and again, saving money. Breaking things down into a smaller, more manageable size makes the goals easier to achieve.

America Football field with ballI like to think of the need to set smaller goals as the “rule of the first downs.”  I am a big Ohio State Buckeye Football fan. I know that this dream that we just realized of becoming the National Champions did not all happen with big plays and dumb luck. The team focused (in part) on working together on basics, on getting first downs and building the momentum and the rhythm to be ready when they have a chance – and THEN they made the big plays. When I watch football, I sometimes yell at the TV to remind the Buckeyes, or the NY Football Giants, that when they have the football, they don’t have to do any more than get that next first down unless the opportunity is really solid for the big play. First downs create scoring opportunities and build momentum. First downs win games.

Do you want to become more goal driven?

Set Goals Hand Red MarkerTo help get you started, I have several questions: What are your big goals?  The ones that you focus on for a year or two at a time?  How are they connected to your dreams?

Then, what are your smaller goals, the ones that form the steps on the way to your bigger goals?

Where are you starting?  If your big goal is to run a marathon next year and you have not worked out in five years, I hope you will create a different plan than if you have been running 5Ks and are ready to step it up!

Start by writing your goals down today!  Work with them, revise them, talk them over with your family and friends. Start small and build – daily, weekly and monthly goals function to help keep things manageable. Losing 5 pounds usually comes before losing 10; running a mile comes before winning a marathon! Writing your goals down lets you put big red check marks next to them when you are finished – and I find that checking off completed goals is a great way to build and maintain momentum.

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Be and stay goal driven… it’s not such a big secret, is it?  But, it holds the key to achieving your dreams!  Goal setting unleashes the power of Can Do to help you become the person you were meant to be!

The First Secret of a Can Do Life Is….

TodayIt starts today!  Each Wednesday for seven weeks, I will share one of the Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life on this blog. These are not earth shattering revelations by any means. They are what I like to call “hidden in plain sight.”  In naming them and focusing on them, these secrets emerge and connect to make life fuller, healthier and more rewarding. They are distilled from my years of training and work in behavioral health, trying to find better ways to support people to work through problems and live a healthier life. And they come from reflecting on my personal life-changing experiences that I narrate in the Can Do Chronicles.

So, without further delay, here is….

The First Secret of a Can Do Life:

GratitudeDevelop and keep a positive attitude, grounded in gratitude every day.

Sometimes so easy. Sometimes so difficult.  Always, so worth it!

So easy? Really?

Yes! Take 5 to 10 minutes every morning to intentionally focus on what the possibilities are for the day and what you have to be grateful for. Make it a habit. Do it while you brush your teeth or while you get dressed or something else you do every morning. Then write it down. See?  So easy you can hit the EASY button with this one!

BUT WAIT!! It’s NOT so easy when life gets so full of distractions and stress that the first thing we do when we wake up is look at email messages on our phones and start building our anxious mental list of TO DOs and off we go….into traffic and meetings… with people and deadlines… and stress and problems.  Into the “messiness and stressiness” that is life!

One of the most important things I realize and accept for a fact is that life is messy and filled with challenges and detours that are out of my control on the path to achieving my goals and dreams. That is why taking that time everyday to make that intentional commitment to possibilities and gratitude is so important to me, and why it is the FIRST and most important secret.

I know when I don’t take those special minutes in the morning, or even sometimes more than once a day, to make that commitment to stay focused on the positive and grounded in gratitude, that those are the times I become unglued and stressed out. Life starts to run me, I don’t run my life!  And, I lose sight of the many, many things and people that I have to be grateful for and the many, many possibilities that life holds for me each day.

In the old days, I really thought it was okay to blame other people for how I felt and what was going wrong… the contract with deliverables and deadlines that were impossible to meet… the staff that did not follow the directions… the data in the report was wrong, and on and on and on… I had a hit list of people and reasons that my life was not going according to plan!  I call it the chip on my shoulder, and the but in yes…BUT!

Then I grew to realize that it is not the circumstances in my life but how I react to them, my attitude,shutterstock_45177145 that makes all the difference. I am responsible for my attitude = how I react and how I feel. It is a real value to me that I keep control my attitude and take the BUT out of my YES to life. Blaming other people and things puts them in charge of my attitude, and to some extent, in charge of me! And, I don’t want to give control of my attitude to other people, whether things are going well or going poorly!

Taking that time every day to focus on the possibilities and grounding the day in gratitude keeps me more focused, and life’s “messiness and stressiness” are much less annoying. I am open to discovering new ways to approach challenges and solve problems, rather than hitting the mental “play button” with a rant about how life is not fair.

Making this commitment every day – and like I said, sometimes more than once a day! – has built a very healthy habit that helps me resist hitting that “play button,” protects me against stress, helps me think more clearly and makes it much easier to recover when things aren’t going well. And, I have realized that it makes me a much more attractive, enjoyable and engaging person to be around! That discovery is one of the biggest things in my life that I am grateful for.

There you have it. The first secret. I hope this little secret makes as big a difference in your life as it has in mine!

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HELPFUL HINT: Make and keep a gratitude list every day. You can have repeats, but add at least two new things you are grateful for to the list each day.

 

Announcing the Seven Weeks of The Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life

Seven Secrets Workbook CoverThe first Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life virtual workshop series wrapped up its two week run last Friday. It was fun and filled with many firsts and special moments for me, including taping the two videos using my laptop webcam and coordinating the new series of podcasts. Taping the videos was definitely outside my comfort zone, and fraught with crazy mishaps like the calendar falling off the wall with a LOUD crash, and the cell phone that I thought was turned off creating very loud feedback BUZZ in my computer speakers about 9 minutes into a REALLY GOOD take!  Through it all, I learned not to take it all – or myself – too seriously!

My biggest fear was “what if I gave a workshop and nobody came?” so I was thrilled that dozens of people from around the world signed up, and then showed up and invested the time to make a Can Do difference in and with their lives. The feedback so far has been quite good, and I am still waiting for a few more of the workshop-ees to complete their surveys on Survey Monkey (hint, hint, if you can hear me,  you know who you are!). Part of me wishes I could follow it right up with another series and build momentum and keep it going and growing, but I want to let my experiences and their feedback simmer together, and carefully unpack the lessons-learned before making final decisions about the next round of workshops that will start in the spring. And, I am working hard on my new book, The Can Do Workplace, which has grown to be an engrossing project, filled with great wisdom in the case-stories I am currently writing about some awesome people and five extraordinary organizations from around the world.

So, I asked myself, am I just going to stay quiet about these Can Do Secrets until the spring? NO WAY! So, what to do? I thought about it for a while and came up with a great idea!

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Starting next Wednesday and for the following seven Wednesdays, I am going to use this blog to reveal the Seven Secrets of a Can Do Life to the whole wide world, one secret at a time!

SecretsWant to hear a secret?  Looking for some motivation to keep your New Year’s Resolution alive?  Need some inspiration to offset what is on the news and to beat the winter blues?

Check back here next Wednesday and you will find just that!

 

Until then, I hope you remember to imagine and discover what you Can Do!

 

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