Step 1. Know Your Outcome
Perhaps the most important part of the puzzle is knowing what you want to achieve in the first place. You don't need all the specific steps before setting out on your journey to accomplishing a goal but know what your end result is. Mine is to be able to travel and have a lot of flexibility in my schedule for family and things I like to do. I’m not a 9-5er. Be open to the idea that there are many ways that goals can be achieved without being specific about what you want. However, you must have a clear vision of the end result and feel certainty in your heart that you can achieve it.
To figure out your outcome, determine your end result, or what it is you want to accomplish. What does the end of the rainbow look like to you?
Depending on your individual goals, ask yourself questions like:
A non-specific, vague answer to one of these questions would be, "My goal is to start my own business." However, to be more specific, decide how much you want to work, whether you want nights and weekends off, part time or full time, work with others or alone, and include other factors that are important to you that go along with what you
envision as your perfect work scenario. Do you want to travel? Do you want to work form home or in an office at the beach?
Step 2. Find Your Inspiration - Know Your “Why”
Knowing the reason for your goal is also vitally important. In the holistic world I find everyone has a story that brought them to where they are today.
Consider your motivations. Do you want to feel better about yourself and increase your self-esteem or work-life balance? Are you doing this in order to obtain a better lifestyle and to feel rewarded at the end of each day? Are you doing this for your kids or to have a better life with your family?
For your greatest success, your reason for going after your goal needs to be something inspiring, something that will motivate you when times get tough.
My test for inspiration is to ask yourself “Would I do this even if I won the lottery?” In other words, money should not be the overarching goal here. If you love what you do, you will make the riches you need because you will naturally work hard towards achieving your dream life. If you struggle to get out of bed, you lack the desire to make it worth your while.
Step 3. Pick an Effective Strategy
A good strategy is also necessary to help you achieve your goals. There are many different strategies for any goal, depending on what you want to accomplish.
For instance, there are more than several weight loss plans you can find if your goal is to lose weight. There's the no-carb diet, the low-calorie diet, the diet plan that requires special shakes and drinks, and those that require you cut out certain food groups.
In essence, a strategy is essentially like a recipe. If you follow the recipe that someone has for success, then you also have more of a chance of success if you follow that same recipe. As in the words of Tony Robbins, “success leaves clues” follow the good ones.
To find a strategy, a good place to start would be to check out your competition. Talk to others or research others who have chartered the same path or achieved similar goals as yours. Asking questions or interviewing a mentor or another like-minded individual with experience will give you the insight you need to choose a strategy that works.
Never give up!
Once you've chosen an effective strategy, have clearly figured out your “why,” and have specified what your outcome is, you'll have an enormous amount of success with achieving your goals. When you hit an obstacle or setback, simply adjust your approach as necessary and continue moving forward.
Remember, if you don’t give up, success is virtually assured!
At NLBP we acknowledge and celebrate everyone’s journey to finding a business that resonates with their authentic self. What’s your story? Tell me in the comments below.
Founder, The Natural Life Business Partnership
Tracking your time for clients is a good practice for service providers. But don’t stop by just tracking it for clients. You should also be tracking time for your own personal use, too. When you do this, you’ll discover important insights about your business that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask after you’ve been tracking your time for a week or two…
Where Is My Time Really Going?
You’ve been working on launching your e-course for two months and you’re still nowhere near ready. But when you open up your time tracking app, you can quickly see that you spent 14 hours on Facebook or 9 hours tweaking the design of your website.
It’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t have any form of accountability. But a time tracker forces you to look at how you’ve been spending your time. This isn’t about shaming yourself.
Instead, focus on being positive. You might say, “I spent ten hours on Facebook last week. What projects would I like to invest those ten hours into this week?”
Are These Tasks Giving Me a BIG Return?
You had a business coach tell you to make 10 Instagram posts each day and you’ve been following that advice faithfully. But when you stop and look at how you’ve spent this time, ask yourself, “Is this task giving me a BIG return?”
If you aren’t getting a good return on the time you’re investing, consider moving your attention to a project that will grow your business, like launching a course or hosting a webinar.
Do These Tasks Have to Be Done by Me?
Some digital business owners get bogged down in doing non-essential tasks that keep them from their important work. For example, if you’re a best-selling author then your most important work is writing that next book. But instead, you’re spending hours every week managing your Facebook group.
But what if you could outsource your community management? You could still pop in daily to stay connected to the group but you could focus all of your energy on that one thing you do well—writing your books.
Is This Task Draining Me?
As you’re reviewing your time tracking, think about how you feel after you’ve completed each task. Did you feel energized and motivated after filming that Facebook Live broadcast? Did you feel frustrated and drained after working on your sales copy?
Pay special attention to tasks that take your energy. Try to find a way to avoid doing them. For example, you could hire a copywriter to handle your sales page or if your budget is tight, consider bartering with another service provider. Then you’ll both get to work in areas where you shine!
If you want to create more of what you want in your business and your life, tracking your time is important. The more you track your time, the better you’ll be able to manage it.
Founder, The Natural Life Business Partnership
View our Coffee With Camille on Time Management for Productivity . A member exclusive program available to view for a limited time.
I wake up feeling thankful for all I have in life from the smallest pleasures like the sun rise to my greatest love of my family, friends, and future relationships.
I savor every small pleasure in life too. I notice when a neighbor takes a minute to greet me with a smile and chat about the weather. I think about how delicious my first cup of coffee tastes. I take a moment each day to sit in silence and just acknowledge my happiness and joy.
I started to keep a journal this summer too. I write down not only the pleasant things that happen to me each day but my dream episode as if I'm already living it. My perfect life. My perfect partner. My perfect business. My perfect friendships. I make a point to be grateful for each thing that brings me closer to my dream life too.
I show kindness to others. I try to be creative and memorable, so my friends and family know how much I appreciate them. When possible, I pick up the phone to hear their voice or just write a quick text "I'm thinking of you right now."
I think about how much others have helped me, and I try to contribute something back. I may return a favor directly or I may do something nice for a stranger. I'm a strong believer in giving to others, not to get back but I believe I can't become better without first lifting someone else up and it's so simple.
I give thanks for my relationships.
I let my best friends know how much I count on their love and support. I tell my children that I am proud of them for trying regardless of the results. I trust my partner with my private thoughts and encourage them to pursue their dreams. I say I love you, I miss you, I'm thinking of you....and I truly mean it.
I give thanks for my health. Having a strong mind and body makes it possible for me to do the things I love.
I give thanks for my faith. I pray for my spiritual teachers, guides, and friends who help me to clarify my beliefs and make sound decisions. I have peace in knowing that all is unfolding in according to divine planning.
Today, I cultivate a sense of gratitude from the moment that I woke up. I notice the good things in my life and acknowledge the many acts of kindness that I have received. This is a glorious time to be alive, and I am so grateful you read my blog today :)
Founder, The Natural Life Business Partnership
A fixed mindset is the idea that you were born with or without certain qualities and talents. You may think things like, “I’m not good at reading. I never have been.” Or you might say, “I want to paint landscapes but I’m not an artist.”
The problem with a fixed mindset is that it keeps you stuck. You limit your experiences and your feelings based on what you think you can achieve. But there is an alternative point of view that’s called a growth mindset.
How Does a Fixed Mindset Impact You?
A fixed mindset can affect every area of your life even if you don’t realize it. For example, it can affect your finances. You might say things like, “I’ve never had a head for numbers so I’m not going to use a monthly budget system.”
Another part of your life that a fixed mindset can be troublesome is with your health. You might think, “Diabetes already runs in my family so there’s no sense in making any healthy choices. I’ll get it anyway.”
Your fixed mindset can cause problems in your relationships as well. You may believe you can’t change and neither can the other person. For example, you may think, “Well, my partner has always been insensitive to my needs. She won’t change now”. Or you might say, “I’ve never gotten along with my mother. We just don’t see eye-to-eye on anything.”
A fixed mindset keeps you stuck. You limit your experiences and your feelings based on what you think you can achieve.
Are You Willing to Let Go of a Fixed Mindset?
Kay was the daughter of alcoholic parents and she spent most of her childhood trying to care for her younger siblings. She struggled to learn how to read and write, due to an undiagnosed learning disorder. Her third grade teacher frequently mocked and taunted her, often calling Kay dummy.
As a result, Kay didn’t do well in school and believed she was stupid. She’d always dreamed of helping people as a nurse but she never made it pass tenth grade. Instead, she worked at a local diner as a waitress.
But Annette, the owner of the restaurant, believed in Kay. She encouraged the younger woman to study for GED so she could go to college.
Annette said, “You have a fixed mindset and that’s holding you back from what you really want.”
Kay explained to Annette the troubles she had in school and Annette helped her get tested for learning disabilities. When Kay realized her brain processed information differently and that’s why she had struggled for years, she cried.
For the first time, Kay began to believe it was possible that she could become a nurse. She no longer saw her skills and abilities as fixed. Instead, she embraced the idea that with time and help, she could still continue her education and pursue her dreams.
What does a growth mindset look like for you? Let us know in the comments below.
Founder, The Natural Life Business Partnership
Achieving Goals That Really Matter
Goal setting is one of the best ways to get ahead in life - but only if you're setting your goals effectively!
Are you trying for unattainable goals that you aren't really passionate about? Do you quickly give up on your goals? It can be easy to get discouraged, but you don't have to end up there!
With the right strategies, you can set goals that really matter to you and meet them more easily than you ever imagined.
Most importantly, your goals should be yours and not someone else's. The goals that your parents, friends, and family members have for you may not be the same for yourself.
What's Important to YOU?
Too many people set goals to be rich, write a best-selling novel, or marry someone who's famous, wealthy, or otherwise important or influential. If those are truly your dreams, there's nothing wrong with them. However, if they're just society's dreams - and not yours - let them go, and think about what really matters to you. What do you want out of your life?
When you're setting goals, stop and ask yourself, "What will bring me joy, beauty and happiness?"
Your goals might include things like:
No matter what you choose or how many goals you have, you can reach them if you are dedicated and committed to making them happen.
Making Your Dreams Come True
Once you've decided what really matters to you and you set your goals, you can begin to make them a reality in your life. Although your goals will take some work, watching them come into fruition is exciting and satisfying!
Follow these 5 tips to help you achieve your goals:
1) Keep your focus. Keep a picture of the life you desire at the forefront of your mind. When frivolous things try to distract you, as they will, remember to make choices according to what's really important to you.
2) Be open to change. Your goals aren't set in stone. If you choose to change what you're focused on and set a new goal, that doesn't mean you've given up on your goals. It only means you've seen that your goals need to change, just as you change. That's a sign of growth and wisdom.
3) Set realistic timelines. Some goals can be met in a day or a week, but larger goals often take months or years. When you set goals, it's important to be realistic about how long you expect them to take.
4) Divide your goal into small steps. Another great way to reach your goals is to divide big goals into smaller ones. Each small goal is one step, or one task, on the way to achieving your ultimate goal.
5) Avoid giving up. Many people give up on their goals just before they reach them, not even realizing how close they were. Never give up! You may be closer than you think.
These strategies will enable you to not only reach your goal, but also enjoy the journey along the way - all without getting overwhelmed!
Founder, The Natural Life Business Partnership
It seems that we are all in search of our life’s passion, but what is a passion anyway? In short, it’s the perfect fulfilling combination of career, love, family, dreams and reality.
You may feel that spending a few moments thinking about your passions and dreams is a waste of precious time – what with all the other obligations tugging at your sleeve: career, kids, bills, errands, etc.
However, these few moments might just be the defining moments of your life! You could discover the one thing that enables you to find true happiness! In fact, most of us could benefit by spending more time considering our life’s passion.
Here are 8 tips to help you discover your life’s passion so you can live a fulfilling life:
1. Evaluate. What do you feel is lacking in your life? What do you have that fulfills you? Make a list, and consider options that bring you what you lack. As Abraham Hicks reminds us often, knowing what you don’t want helps us learn what we do want.
Pursuing your life’s passion can start you on a journey that brings you more joy than you have ever imagined. Following these tips and techniques will help you to develop a successful strategy for turning your hopes, dreams and desires into your reality. Let me know your dreams below. Enjoy!
Founder, The Natural Life Business Partnership
Learn More About Camille
I hate writing. Seriously, I hate writing. I have gone through great lengths to not write. Ever since I was about 24 years old I hated writing. I had a boss that always told me I couldn't write. It was actually quite a surprise to me because before that I always did write. She would send me to writing classes and harp on the idea that I couldn't write. When I went for my MBA I took extra classes to avoid writing a thesis. Now over 25 years later I'm crippled by the thought of writing a 25,000 word dissertation and so I have not completed my doctorate work.
So why did I join this challenge? Because I need to write! Writing is an important part of thinking. I've learned through the beginning steps of writing my dissertation that writing allows one to think differently. Writing allows one's mind to explore other possibilities that just thinking alone will not do. I've also learned that I'm not a bad writer. I write like a I speak so my style might be different but it doesn't make me bad. My boss many years back did me a huge disservice by not recognizing I can write, it just wasn't her style of writing.
If you look at the first post in this blog it was 12/8/2016 when I vowed to start a blog because I knew how important it was both for my business and for establishing myself as an expert in my field. Now I'm really doing it! It's time. So, I'm taking on the challenge Paul Taubman has put in front of me and I will write a blog post each day this month to get in the habit of writing. I hope you will follow me and comment when you can. I'm a big believer that if you change your mindset, you change your reality. So, going forward.... I AM A WRITER!
If you'd like to join the ULTIMATE BLOG CHALLENGE click on the link and start your journey as well. https://UltimateBlogChallenge.com.
Founder/ Executive Director
The Natural Life Business Partnership
Before you publish your book, figure out what you want being a published author to mean to you. Then build your author platform with your post-published future in mind.There’s a monthly writer’s club in my area called the Liar’s Club, probably because it was started by fiction writers. It is quite a large group featuring writers from all genres, many of whom are published, just like me. Some are self-published, others are traditionally published, and some have done both — because there are a lot of good reasons to self-publish.
Two important reasons self-publishing is valuable are 1) being an author of a book can help open doors; and 2) it allows you to create a platform for yourself, a springboard to launch your career, whether it be for writing assignments, being seen and sought as an expert on a topic, or a variety of other things.
Who do you want to be?Being able to say you’re a published author is a big deal, but before you publish your book, you need to explore what you want being a “published author” to mean. What I mean is, if you are looking to launch a career — whether it’s writing or something else — by self-publishing a book, you have an opportunity to “create yourself” through your book’s content, your platform, and your bio.
If you are self-publishing, you’ll probably be doing all the marketing, which means you get to create your own image. This can start in the pre-launch phase of publishing your book. So the question is, “Who do you want to be?”
Your author bio gives you a platform and you get to decide what your extended author’s platform will be. By extended I mean that, aside from your book, what are you promoting about yourself? It could be beliefs about management or life, personal philosophies, business knowledge, or even the direction you want your career to go.
The book I wrote is a memoir about the practice of spiritual journaling and how it helped me during an uncertain transition from corporate America into a solo massage practice. As I was writing the book, I was also meditating with a sangha (Buddhist community) and being asked to lead the group in the founder’s absence. That gave me the confidence to search for and become an instructor of meditation with another organization. At the same time, I began teaching spiritual journaling.
As a result, I decided my platform would be that I am a teacher of holistic practices and meditation, including spiritual journaling and channeling creativity that comes from gratitude. “Teacher” is a broad enough term to include writing as well as speaking, so that’s also part of my platform.
Not sure what your platform would be? Ask yourself, “What is my area of expertise?” For example, if you write historical fiction and have expertise in wars of the twentieth century, maybe you want to make that proclamation. If you are an author of a cookbook and a registered dietitian with a knack for making quick, healthy meals and can help working moms who want to change their family’s eating habits, make that your platform.
Before my book launched, I was already teaching holistic practices that have helped me to lead a simpler life. Now I’m doing even more of it. It’s because I set it up that way. Currently, I teach classes to students who are in front of me, and soon I will offer an online course as independent study. This happened because I knew that to create these types of opportunities, I had to put myself “out there.”
In the world of self-publishing, this means I need to take advantage of promotions that get my book into reader’s hands. For me, this meant some post-launch spending that got me read and rated (repeatedly at five out of five stars), and even one request to be interviewed for a magazine. Because I knew what I wanted my platform to be, I was comfortable asking the interviewer how she got into freelance writing, which led to a recommendation to her senior editor. As a result, I now write articles, squarely in my wheelhouse, for an international magazine, specifically in the columns of “Body, Mind and Soul,” “A Writer’s Life,” and “Poetry.”
In terms of post-launch spending, I paid for a short subscription to NetGalley through Smith Publicity. I also purchased three reviews through Reader’s Write, so I could have language and a reviewer’s name to include on book cards, a marketing tool used by traditional publishing houses, which I co-designed through a local FastSigns agency.
All of this has augmented my author platform because I have professionally-created materials and reviews that showcase my work. This has led to my speaking at writer’s clubs, women’s groups, and even a book panel at the Pyramid Club in Philadelphia, sometimes receiving stipends and always getting to showcase my book.
My latest expenditure, supported by the monthly royalties I have received from my book sales, is paying for an advertisement in a magazine geared towards creatives. I’m so excited because I know I’ll reach the right people and that my book will be read (one of the greatest gifts to an author) and will help people.
What’s so terrific about this is that it’s putting me in contact with the people who enjoy spiritual self-help books. This is my genre. This is where I need to be! Helping people find their inner spirit wisdom where simplicity and creativity lives. But this is me — where you need to be is with your own people, on your own platform!
If not, you’ll be trying to push your book to followers on your personal social media accounts. That’s not where your readers are, unless you pick your friends by the books they read. You’ll still be sympathetic when you hear the published author on the panel at your local writer’s club say, “My dad doesn’t like my books.” But you’ll also rally with her as she explains she has a very targeted audience and a platform because she did leg the work. She focused on herself and what she was offering and her audience found her!
About Charter Member and NLBP Writer's Roundtable facilitator Marie Higgins:
Marie Higgins is an author and teacher of holistic practices, including meditation and spiritual journaling. She educates individuals on how holistic practices can lead to a simpler life: a way of life that says spirit first (listen to the heart); take care of self (listen to the body), and give back to the world. Her debut nonfiction piece, Sprouting Spiritual Growth: A Memoir and Guide to Spiritual Journaling, is an inspirational self-help book available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble that provides a guide to get to the truth and beauty of simple, everyday living through the tool of spiritual journaling.
One of the questions at the recent NLBP Writer's Roundtable is how do I get started writing. This question is very broad and could take many different follow-up questions to figure out what is the particular issue for the individual. For example, it might be that there is procrastination involved. If that's the case, it might be best with starting out with uncovering the reasons for the procrastination.
But that's not my focus today. My focus today is where do I start if I want to write a major project, like a book, a screenplay, or a blog. I believe that creativity comes after doing the work and the work can take a few different pathways.
1. Work with a life coach or spiritual director to find out where your blocks are happening.
2. Work alone, but within a program. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron is a good place to start. I used her ten-week workbook for an entire year completing it 4 times in succession (I had flow afterwards, writing my first book in one month).
3. Get the creative juices flowing by doing some daily writing assignments: A. Journal your thoughts. B. Write poetry or a short story. C. Write letters to the editor of any magazine or newspaper you're reading.
4. Attend workshops or events that relate to your project (poetry readings, writer's conferences, public relations classes, etc.)
5. Do any or all of steps 1 to 4 and then start on your project.
Doing these things has moved me in the direction of becoming a professional writer. I'm not a millionaire yet, but I'm young, give me time.
If you read my blog, you know that last week I attended a Poetry Reading by the current Poet Laureate, Yolanda Wisher. Attending gave me the idea to use one of her methods. She will come up with a topic and write all the descriptors down for that topic. With those words she writes a poem about something that is not the topic. For example, her discriptive words were all about cooking, but her poem was about love. This weekend I used this method and wrote a poem about my grandmother using diamonds as the topic. I'll debut it here and wish you lots of luck with your own writing.
HOPE FOR GRANDMA GEM
Round face and pear shaped,
Quiet yet attractively bright.
She interacts with fellow patients,
The marquis looking on.
Don’t leave yet, for Grandpa’s sake,
Keep your sparkling breath
To cut his ego where you must.
Your words say it just so.
Opposite of a hard-cutting stone
Your belly is untamed now,
Like the best grandmas
Who like their own cooking.
Priceless to me,
And a Premier Rose to Grandpa.
Precise artistry fashioned you,
Even the nervous breakdown was by design.
It made you stronger,
Proportioned and polished.
Now a magnificent return to light,
We cried with the marquis.
He thought you unbreakable,
Or at least less than he.
Never again would he say
“Give me some sugar.”
To magma you returned,
Scattered into all colors of the rainbow.
Your scintillation dead,
But memory never forgotten.
I think of you often.
With clarity and color, you wrote words.
You wrote a poem for my mom’s assignment.
I believe you were capable of writing more.
Now I adorn empty pages,
My hope for Grandma Gem.
Submitted by Marie Higgins, author of Sprouting Spirituality,
Charter Member NLBP, and Facilitator of the NLBP Writer's Roundtable.
The gut microbiome, composed of various fungi, viruses, and bacteria, is a vital part of the human host. Taking centre stage, with regard to understanding disease and what causes chronic medical conditions and symptoms, the gut microbiome can play a significant role in the intestinal immune system and inflammation.
Research is being carried out to better understand how changes to the gut microbiome can modulate disease. Epigenetic changes are thought to occur in response to a wide variety of factors, including weight, physical activity, nutrition, and environmental and emotional exposures. The microbiome can affect these factors, and vice-versa. Low-molecular-weight substances produced by the gut microbiota can interact with the cellular environment, affecting the signaling pathways and gene expression that regulate cell death, inflammation, and differentiation. It is nearly impossible to have a discussion on genetics and health and not include the gut microbiome. Understanding the gut microbiome and its interaction with the epigenome and diseases will help physicians to improve disease prevention and treatment.
CLICK HERE to read the full article on Oxford Medicine Online…
Learn more about Aly Cohen, MD, FACR at: http://thesmarthuman.com/our-team/
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