Monday, November 23, 2015

How to Set Your S.M.A.R.T. Goal in 5 Minutes

We all set goals. Well, to be honest, many of us do. I’m sure you and I can both name a handful of friends and colleagues that absolutely never set goals. When asked why, they probably offer this excuse: “What’s the use because I never achieve them anyway,” which is a sound argument. Isn’t it?

In fact, I’m sure these people have a laundry list of reasons as to why they can’t reach the goal line and the biggest accomplishment they have to their name is convincing themselves that they can’t succeed.

But enough about the folks that don’t set goals, let’s put them on the back burner for a moment. How about the people that do set goals but have difficulty achieving desired results. What stops them from getting the job done?

And where do you fit on the spectrum; are you someone that completes any and all tasks easily and effortlessly or are you someone that tastes infrequent success? Sometimes you knock it out of the park while other times you’re left running around the field hoping for a sign of what to do next. If this sounds like you then perhaps it’s a matter of setting a clear and definite goal to move towards.

Remember; if you don’t know where you’re going then how will you ever get there?

A big reason many people have infrequent or little success with their goals is because the end point itself is too vague. These people set goals such as:
-       I want to lose weight
-       I want more clients
-       I want more money
-       I want a better job

But what does that mean?

How much weight and by when? How many more clients and what type of person do you want to work with? How much more money? What kind of job; an advancement or career change?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Now before we can take any steps towards victory, we need to determine our destination by setting a clear, definite, and well-thought goal – a S.M.A.R.T. Goal. To better serve you, and to keep you on track, S.M.A.R.T. Goals have certain criteria that have to be met. These key points will help you stay focused on what you expect to accomplish.

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Criteria

S – Simple, Specific
            Your goal must be specifically stated and written in simple terms. You’re not writing a mission statement. 1-2 sentences will do the trick.

M – Measurable, Meaningful to you
            You must be able to measure your progress. A great way to measure is with numbers of course.
            Also, it must be meaningful to you. This is your goal, not someone else’s.

A – Achievable
            Is this goal something that you (yourself) have the ability to achieve?

R – Realistic
            Can you complete this goal within the time frame that you set? In other words, don’t create a ridiculous goal and set yourself up for failure.

T – Time-based, Towards what you want
            What date do you want to accomplish this goal by? There has to be an ending point or deadline.
            Also, make sure that the goal is towards a much bigger goal – the big picture. Don’t create random goals that serve little purpose or that move you away from the bigger and most important goals in your life.

Watch this quick video to see how easy it is to use the above criteria when setting your goal. This is something that can be done within 5 minutes!

If you’d like a FREE worksheet to set your S.M.A.R.T. Goals then email me at and write “My SMART Goal” in the subject line.

Until next time, thanks and be excellent!

P.S. – In a few weeks when you set your New Year’s Resolution… USE THIS FORMULA!


Have you set your goal but still need help to move forward and achieve it?

Get Your FREE DOWNLOAD - "7 Tips to Unlock Your POWER" 10-page resource guide here: 
This guide is full of easy-to-do rituals to incorporate into your daily life plus "how-to" tasks to maximize your results. Be sure to watch the exclusive video where I break down tip #6 - Recognize Opportunities and Take Initiative.  

Sunday, November 15, 2015

When Anxiety Hits Like a Tidal Wave: 6 Steps to Bring Boiling Thoughts Down to a Simmer

Guest blog by: Cristina Spradlin

Regardless of whether I like admitting to it or not, I am no stranger to that of an anxious mind. Thoughts race, juxtapose, conflict, build up and scatter all at a seemingly unceasing rate and I am left feeling like an empty vessel fueled by that which comes from the mind. For some time, this is how my world was run, mind being the cruel, relentless ringleader. I felt as if there was no true sense of self, or no true sense of anything for that matter, for mind felt like the Ultimate. 

It was not until years of teaching yoga and a plethora of books centered around mindfulness later did it finally begin to sink in that mind was (is) not the Ultimate and if anything, mind being that cruel, relentless ringleader is actually a choice that I make; that we all make. Countless hours spent reflecting, self-studying and reading made it apparent to me that human beings are beings of condition, even when it comes to thinking. 

We condition ourselves to think, act and perceive the world in certain ways, which creates specific pathways in our mind. Pathways that seemingly become us and we seemingly become them. They feel like home, they feel safe, and over time become second nature. However we are not the mind or anything that creates. The truth is quite the opposite. We create the contents of the mind. Paving over the conditioned pathways to generate new ones is certainly not an easy task; it requires effort and time, however it is not impossible. 

Here are some tips on how to bring the boiling thoughts down to a simmer, straight from the professional:

1    As soon as you notice a thought begin to circulate, ask yourself if what your mind is creating is something that you are fond of or if it is the opposite. If you find your answer to be, that it is the opposite, know that what comes from the mind is only of the mind. It is not an ultimate truth, it merely seems like it is. At the end of the day, the mind robs us of the present moment, or what is truly happening around and within you.

2    Check in with your breath. You may begin to notice that an anxious mind is a dear friend of short, shallow breaths. Breath and mind-state are weaved together and directly affect one another. We contain the ability to intrinsically control the breath, therefore, contain the ability to intrinsically control the mind. Spend a few minutes practicing pranayama (breathing exercises), encouraging deep, long, drawn inhalations and slow, complete exhalations, allowing each exhalation to be twice as long as each inhalation.  Put all of your awareness and attention onto your breath, noticing all of the associated qualities, characteristics and tendencies. 

3    Find or create something that will ground you, i.e. take you out of your head and root you into the present moment. Whether it is moving the body physically, singing, reading; anything that can bring you from a mind space down to a centered heart space.

4    Know that these fits of racing mind will pass even though it feels like a life- time until they eventually do.

5    Once you find and take root in a centered space, replace the spinning thoughts with positive ones. Mind and subconscious mind cannot process negative. For example, if a spinning thought you are having is a dire want to lose weight, thinking to yourself, “I cannot eat this bag of chips because it is not healthy and I cannot lose weight if I eat something unhealthy” will keep a negative connotation to the entire situation. Rather, think something along the lines of, “I want to eat this apple because apples contain nutrients that will serve my body and keep me healthy.” This will keep a positive connotation to the situation, thus keeping you wanting to do something as opposed to feeling like you have to. Try it out. It makes a world of a difference.

6    Lastly, it is very easy to feel like no one else is experiencing the same situation that you are experiencing, however that is not true either. In fact millions of people experience anxiety on a daily basis. The only truth is that you are never truly alone. Talk to someone and share you story. Will it be scary and leave you feeling vulnerable? Sure, however, we can only grow by doing that which makes us feel that way.

About Cristina:

Cristina Spradlin has always had a sensitive eye for that which seems extraordinary. This keen sense of wonder and bewilderment is what ultimately led her through 300 hours of Yoga Teacher Training and is what drives her to write creatively, among other hobbies such as exploring nature and practicing martial arts. She is also a lover of animals, herbs, mindful reads and all things spiritual.

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