At a women’s retreat, I asked, “Who has experienced stress in the past week?”
All hands went up. I then asked how they knew they were stressed. Their comments ranged from “constantly feeling overwhelmed” to “exhausted.”
They were unable to get everything done that was expected of them and there was little time left for pleasure or relaxation. They felt there was never enough time, there was too much to do, and they were constantly required to learn something new.
As I jotted their responses on the white board, I was reminded again of just how many demands are placed on us every day and the heavy toll it can have on our lives.
As I listened to commentators reveal background stories about athletes competing in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC, I was reminded of how many major setbacks and obstacles these men and women overcame in order to compete for an Olympic gold medal.
After spending most of their lives developing and perfecting their skill, major injuries or other overwhelming tragedies could require them to start all over again. And then, after all their hard work, their dream for gold might be replaced by a bronze or silver, or even more heartbreaking, to not even make it into the finals, oftentimes measured by a thousandth of a second or a fraction of a point.
When we meet someone new, we say, Hi, my name is_____________, and start a conversation.
As that conversation continues, we gradually get to know one another. So, for those who are new followers of my blog and podcast, I would like to formally introduce myself.
Hi, I am Marlene Anderson and I write and speak on how you can take advantage of any challenge, turning it into something positive and meaningful. (You can learn more about me on my website About page and Speaking & Workshops page.)
As a former licensed counselor and college teacher, I share my training and life experiences, offering strategies to help you tackle life’s challenges. These become a toolbox of approaches that can be used to combat fear and anxiety, recognize and solve problems, and take charge of your life.
Focus on what you can do; don’t dwell on what you can’t do. As we age, there will be things we no longer can do and things we struggle to do. For example, arthritis can make it difficult to pick up objects or hold onto them, and we begin to worry about our abilities declining.
Worry can become a habit that eliminates possibilities. Do what you can and do it with confidence.
2. Acknowledge and accept.
It is hard to accept that we are aging. But each day is an opportunity to begin again.
What interests, passions, or things have you wanted to do but never had time for?
Developing a vision is more than just thinking about what you might want to do or to have. It’s also developing a new focus. Your focus determines who you are and who you can become. It makes you unique.
On the front page of my website I have defined my platform with the following:
Once you have used goal setting you will never live without it. It simply becomes a way of life. By writing down the steps in a formalized fashion in the beginning, it soon becomes second nature.
Here are some things to remember:
Does your goal adequately reflect what you want to accomplish?
For example, you might want to become financially secure and choose an occupation that has the best potential for making lots of money. However, if your goal doesn’t reflect who you are, your personality, your talents, passions, etc., your goal will soon create high stress and great dissatisfaction. If you like working with people but choose to be an accountant who works with books, the conflict will soon deplete you.
Sometimes we have to let go of an old reality to create a new one.
In my previous post, I introduced you to the 9 basic components of a goal. In this post, I’ll give you a case study of a goal I made and the process I went through.
My goal statement
My goal statement reflected the need to sell my home and find a new residence. I reviewed obstacles and outlined a plan of action. As I put my plan into motion, my on-going evaluation revealed a need to modify my original goal statement, which was:
I will put my home up for sale and find a new residence within my current community to live in.
The obstacles involved finding another home I could afford, upgrading one that was for sale, etc. Listing any obvious obstacles required getting enough information to formulate a workable plan of action.
Why should I bother putting together a formal goal plan? I know in my mind what I want and how to get there. Isn’t writing it down a waste of time?
Remember when you hadn’t established daily and weekly routines and life just sort of happened?
You struggled to get up in the morning because you stayed up too late the night before; you put off doing the things you didn’t like to do and succumbed to however you felt at the moment. And most of the time, life was chaotic, unpredictable and unsatisfying.
Without a formal goal plan, our goals remain vague.
Without specific, defined goals, our lives often resemble a piece of wood floating down a river; at the mercy of the current, wind, rocks and sandy beaches.
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Eight Ways to Change Your Focus and Change Your Life
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