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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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!

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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You have to start someplace, so why not start today?

For me, the “getting started” part of a new project or working toward my new goal is the hardest part.

I want to wait to put my best foot forward, so people will be impressed with my “smarts” and say WOW!

I want to be sure I have the best equipment. That can be the shoes and “active wear apparel” at the gym. Or, have the state-of-the-art camera equipment for the videos I am making, with lights and sound to make the video (and me!) look awesome. Or, when my friends come to visit me, I want my home to reflect my great taste and personal style.

So we wait, and lose out on valuable time in achieving our goals!

shutterstock_55922362Give yourself the green light to start where you are. With old sweats and worn sneaks… with a laptop camcorder… with laminate counter tops in the kitchen and family room paneling!

Start!  Get going!  Work out in your old sweats and sneaks!  Make the first videos on the laptop camcorder. Don’t wait to have great times with your friends until your house is perfect.

Start! Move a little bit today and then a little more tomorrow. The workout outfit will not Aerobicsmake the muscles tone any faster. The camera does not convey the key messages you want to communicate. And, your real friends love you, in spite of the laminate!

Remember Newton’s first law of motion, and Cathi’s second corollary: a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest will never achieve its goals!

Don’t wait to build a more meaningful, healthier and happier life for yourself.

Get Started Today

Start today with the you and resources you have to live A Can Do life.

I bet you will be glad that you did!

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3rd String :-)

???????????????????????????????What a Can Do week for my Ohio State Buckeyes. They are in the FIRST EVER college football championship game next Monday night, playing the Oregon Ducks.

What impressed me most about the post game celebration was the tweet that their quarterback sent out after the game.

Only 11 characters long:

CJones 3rd

Yes, that is right.  For those who don’t know, Cardale Jones is Ohio State’s 3rd string quarterback who started his first game in the Big Ten Championship game last month after the 2nd string quarterback, JT Barrett was injured in the Michigan game.  And, JT had played in that position all year because the first string quarterback, Braxton Miller injured his shoulder before the season began and everyone thought Ohio State’s season was OVER before it started!

So, when I think of all the reasons I give to myself and everyone else for not getting something done with excellence, I stop and think about my buddy, Cardale, aka 3rd String.

OSU had all the reasons in the world NOT to advance to the biggest game in college football.  But they did. Led by their third string quarterback, they crushed Wisconsin to get to the Sugar Bowl.

Then, everyone (well, many people) said that they would never beat a Southeastern Conference Team, especially the powerhouse, Number 1 ranked Alabama.

Led by their third string QB, they did just that.

Bring on Monday night, I say! It’s the Bucks versus the Ducks – let’s see what they Can Do!  (On a side note, I will be in Dallas on business but not going to the game. Not that I did not try, but the nosebleed tickets start at $550! Alas, Cardale, I will cheer you on from my cousin’s home, about 10 miles away! So close, yet so far… Go Bucks!)

So, what have been your excuses?  What has held you back from achieving – even working on – your dreams and goals?  What is stopping you now?

Are you one of the dozens of people from across the globe who have signed up for the Seven Secrets Workbook CoverFREE Seven Secrets of a Can Do Workplace virtual workshop series?  Yes, that’s right! There are workshop participants in Europe, Asia and South America – how cool is that?

What is even cooler? It’s FREE!

If you have signed up, check your email tomorrow for your reminder about Wednesday’s tele-workshop at 1PM Eastern.

If not, there is still time to sign up!  Click here and enter your name and email at the bottom of the page to receive the links to the videos and podcasts, the access code for the tele-workshop on Wednesday and the Seven Secrets Workbook. Registration is open until January 16th.

Cardale Jones and I are having a Can Do 2015 – We hope you are too!

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Change & Growth, Meet Reality!

The words Hello My Name is Change on a green namtag sticker, symI am all about change. I believe in it, embrace it and plan for it. I spend my days talking, researching and writing about it.  It is at the core of Can Do Model of Change & Growth™.

For the last few months, I have been intensely focused on and working hard to make big changes in my consulting business. My goal is to shift from being a contractor back to being the CEO that runs a successful small business. The contracting approach served me quite well when I was sick. The entrepreneurial model makes much more sense now, for me and for my clients, present and future!

thumbnailAt the onset of this professional change process, I made a commitment to create a business plan, and to be very thoughtful and strategic about the consulting services to include because I want Coridan Consulting to be the model for The Can Do Workplace. I developed a very strong business plan with three well defined areas: Training, Writing and Interim Executive Services. I excel at and really enjoy all three areas. They fit me, and they fit together, so perfectly!

With the support of a great web designer (http://www.daedalcreations.com), I have developed a website (http://coridanconsulting.com) that captures the look and feel of me and my work. It still needs tweaking and some additional detail, but then again, don’t we all?!

cover.finalThe pieces for both of my books are coming together, slowly but surely. The corrections to the proof for the paperback edition of The Can Do Chronicles were submitted to the publisher yesterday. I am between 60% and 50% of the way through a solid first draft of the second book in the series, The Can Do Workplace. And yes, I did mean to put the percentages in that order.

At this moment, the most critical next step for me to be successful in my new business model is to GET OUT OF MY CAVE and do some guerrilla networking with people in the local nonprofit and small business communities. To my surprise, this vital next step has not been so easy for me.

Networking comes very naturally to me. I love meeting people and hearing their stories Group of business people assembling jigsaw puzzle and representand linking two or more people together to move projects and missions forward to help save the world. I have over 800 friends on Facebook, and know over 95% of them to recognize on the street and call by name!  I get the most enjoyment in the grant writing process when I make introductions and connect the people and organizations to pull a proposed project plan together. I am not just good at it, I am quite gifted at it!

A BIG SURPRISE: What I have come to realize very recently is that staying in my cave now comes very naturally to me. Who would have thought?  Not me!

Part of the reason for this change, I am sure, is my new commitment to my health, adopting a saner pace for my work and life.  As a grant writer for the last four years, this has meant staying put in my home office and focusing on the research, writing and deadlines. And, as I have been writing and recovering my health and stamina, my natural Introvert tendencies have re-emerged and grown stronger than ever, making the networking which I love, feel and seem a bit odd and awkward to me.

Also in play is my very real (and very normal!) apprehension about making another career change. When I started the grant writing four years ago, I did not have time or the luxury to let “what if’s” get in my way!  Both my husband and I were unemployed – my unemployment was planned; his was by crisis as his job got eliminated, which made mine into a crisis too. This time is different. In doing a great job of planning for this transition, I am experiencing what I call the “space between Can & Do”… the time between the plan and the outcome that so easily fills up with anxieties, second guesses and the distractions we call “life”. It is normal and I know it is normal, but it does not make the unsettled feelings any less unsettled.

shutterstock_92144632It is at this juncture, which can last a while, that Change & Growth Meet Reality. The reality is that change is hard, even for those of us who are its fans. And sometimes, the barriers we encounter are not in the places we expect.

My recommendations to myself for getting through this time successfully are to: 1) establish my priorities based on my goals; 2) focus on what I CAN DO to get to those goals and let the rest go; and 3) keep my priorities front and center, no matter what distractions and challenges come my way.

For me, this means that networking IS PRIORITY #1. In the last few days I have signed up to attend three networking events over the next two weeks. It’s a good start, and I need to remember that networking needs to REMAIN my PRIORITY and that these three networking events need to be replicated a dozen times during the next three months.

Change is a Good ThingChange is a good thing, but it is hard and often quite messy. In my quest to promote the Can Do Model of Change & Growth™ , and from my own recent experience, I want to conclude this blog by sharing some questions that I hope can help make change a good thing for you, too:

  1. What is the goal of the changes are you making in your life?
  2. How have you planned well and set the right priorities?  How and where “not so much?”
  3. How can you keep them as a PRIORITY when “life happens”?
  4. What are the barriers you have found that you were not expecting?
  5. What old fears are getting in your way?
  6. What CAN you DO to move beyond the barriers and fears? When will you do them? (Hint: sooner is better!)

Good luck.  Change & Growth may be hard and messy, but the results are worth it – and so are you!