Chart Your Progress

Write it down! It seems to be the catch phrase of goal setting these days. Want to lose weight?  Keep a record of everything that passes your lips. Want to save money? Keep a record of every dime you spend. Record keeping is a useful tool and milestones Are Crucial to reaching a goal. Milestones tell you if your efforts are working. They’re also the benchmarks that you can use to know if you are moving in the right direction toward your goal.  However, extreme record keeping can become overwhelming, causing you to stumble and fall short of your goals.

What I am doing is what I call recordkeeping light. I started, for example, by writing down everything I ate for a week. This created a baseline for my caloric intake. I then set my goal for what I wanted my caloric intake to be and began my journey. Three to four weeks in, I again kept a journal of my foods for a week and plotted these numbers into a graph.  I use ChartGizmo a fun free program to create and track my progress.

After several months I was not overwhelmed with the record keeping and I also was able to keep a close eye on my progress and on whether or not I am reaching my milestones.

This method may not be for everyone. Why? Because of the cheat factor; the days of record keeping MUST be as normal as the every other day.  However, it can be a great solution to the often overwhelming task of record keeping and can assist you in moving forward.

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Where’s Your Rock

I am sure you have heard this story before which is most often attributed to Stephen Covey in his book, First Things First (affiliate link).

I attended a seminar once where the instructor was lecturing on time. At one point, he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” He reached under the table and pulled out a wide-mouthed gallon jar. He set it on the table next to a platter with some fist-sized rocks on it. “How many of these rocks do you think we can get in the jar?” he asked.

After we made our guess, he said, “Okay. Let’s find out.” H e set one rock in the jar . . . then another . . . then another. I don’t remember how many he got in, but he got the jar full. Then he asked, “Is this jar full?” Everyone looked at the rocks and said, “Yes.”

Then he said, “Ahhh” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar and the gravel went in all the little spaces left by the big rocks. Then he grinned and said once more, “Is the jar full?”

By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not,” we said. “Good!” he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all of the little spaces left by the rocks and the gravel. Once more he looked and said, “Is this jar full?” “No!” we roared.

He said, “Good!” and he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in. He got something like a quart of water in that jar. Then he said, ” Well, what’s the point?” Somebody said, “Well, there are gaps, and if you work really hard you can always fit some more things into your life.”

“No,” he said, “that’s not the point. The point is this: If you hadn’t put these big rocks in first, would you ever have gotten any of them in?”

What I wish to make to you realize is that you are your biggest rock. If you are not taking care of yourself and making sure your rock is in first (or near first) you will be left with no time or energy to pursue your dreams and goals. If you need to set your clock 15 minutes earlier – DO IT!

Make yourself a priority and you will be surprised how it helps you to be happier dealing with your other big rocks and even the small sand.

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Are you hearing voices?

We have all heard the saying that goals are dreams with feet but the reality is that even when your dreams have grown feet you still need motivation to get the feet in motion.

For most of us we have a voice that plays in our heads. It may be your own voice; the voice of a teacher or past coach or maybe the voice is your mother or father. For me, that voice is my mother.

My mother was a negative motivator. She believed in motivating by telling you just how you had not measured up to her expectations. Good enough did not exist for her (still doesn’t). This form of motivation works for some people. For others it is a reason to quit.

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is shut off the voice in our head! Your dreams have feet; let us help you keep the motivation to stay moving forward toward your goal. Call us today to hear a positive voice.

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