The Puzzle Box
As you look back upon your life, you are sure to see that you have gone through some changes and developments that you never would have predicted. Too often I hear people saying that they have no idea how they got to the place that they are now. This saddens me, in that I believe that we should all be the designer of our own lives. Now keep in mind that this is not to say that we do not run into unplanned circumstances that change us forever, but for the most part, I believe that it is better to decide on who and where you want to be, and then take the steps needed to achieve your own personal dreams.
Over the past week I have had correspondence with some people from back in high school, and this got me thinking about how I progressed through my life. I recall back then, being the socially clueless, out of shape, awkward guy that often felt like I was on the outside looking in. Now, I not only coach people on social skills, physical fitness, and relationship development, but I have those areas rather well managed in my own life. Was this change an accident? No! It was the decision to build myself into the person that I wanted to be. If I did not have a clear image of who I wanted to be, then I would have been leaving my life to chance, and simply hoping that it would somehow turn out well.
So, how can you start, or continue, your personal journey towards becoming a more ideal you? The first step is to think about a jigsaw puzzle. Yes, you read right... a jigsaw puzzle. Think about it for a moment, is it easier to put together a puzzle with the box top in front of you, or without ever seeing it? Obviously, it is easier to put the pieces together when you know what the picture is going to look like in the end.
In my case, the box top shows a man who has the ability to take charge in his personal, work and social life. This man is physically fit, and is dressed in a way that speaks of his security with his body. He chooses, and controls his own career path. He is comfortable interacting, and attracting the opposite sex. He has the courage to enforce his own standards, even if it means having to leave behind those that wish him to compromise those standards. He is a leader when he has the skills to lead, and a student when he does not.
By knowing who I wanted to be, I had taken the first step in changing myself. From there it was, and still is, a question of finding the resources to help me put together the puzzle pieces that I already had, and create new pieces when my existing resources lack. This process did not take place overnight, but it did not take half as long as I would have thought. I learned to love myself with all of my imperfections, while constantly striving to move closer and closer to becoming the man on that box cover.
I challenge you to take some time, and design your box cover. Examine that picture to determine what pieces you already have, and how they fit; also decide what resources you need to build and create. Then take the steps needed, while enjoying the journey.
If you decide that you would benefit from some assistance, feel free to give my office a call at 505-884-0164, and I will be more than happy to arrange for a free consultation to help start you on your way.
Time For What Really Matters
In today’s world many of us feel like there is just no time to accomplish everything that we want to do. The phrase that I hear over and over again in my practice is “I am overwhelmed!”. I bet that many of you reading this blog have felt exactly that way many, many times.
As a result of feeling overwhelmed, many people begin to cut corners and fail to accomplish all that they have set their sights upon. For some, this means omitting the healthy diet, exercise and physical fitness that they promised themselves; for others, it might mean not spending the time with a partner that they know that they should, and still other people may start to set aside projects that they know could lead them to greater financial freedom. Needless to say, none of these actions, or lack of actions, are in anybody’s best interest in the long run. So, how can you start managing your time to assure that you reach your goals?
The first step is to discover what is really important in your life. Take a little time and think through such questions as:
Once that you have answered these questions about yourself, you should have a better grasp of yourself and your personal values. Do not rush your answers! These are some big questions, and you should give them the time that they deserve. Once that you have this greater insight into yourself, you will need to look at your goals.
To examine your personal goals explore such questions as:
The simple act of writing out a schedule of what you plan to accomplish, and when you plan to have it done, can in and of itself be a great first step. Try this out for a week, and you will be shocked by how you can start to bring into your life the things that are of greatest value to you.
In my life coaching practice, I always guide new clients through a version of the above exercises. While having a trained professional help you along can be of immense benefit, it is possible to do some of these beginning steps entirely on your own. I wish you the best in your path to self discovery, and you can always contact my office should you want, or need any further assistance.
Why Set Goals?
Ever wonder why someone can not even achieve an half of what they dream of? Blame it on dreaming, and lack of having goals.
Setting goals is a very important part of success, and accomplishment. It is like climbing a 30ft building, and deciding early on how many feet you would like to reach in a specific time.
People who set goals create a map toward their achievements in life, marking where they should begin, where to pause, where to push a bit, and where to stop. Once this map is made, it allows the map maker to check where he is in the scheme of things, and whether or not he is making progress that will take him closer to his goals.
By setting goals, people will know how they are doing, and what they should be focusing on to achieve their dreams in life. They will know if they can relax, or if they have to increase their efforts.
Goal setting means a person is proactive in dealing with life. Being proactive means one is able to outline possible challenges, as well as the solutions to these difficulties. By doing so, a person is not instantly defeated when challenges occur. He knows they may happen, and has prepared a strategy for when that time comes.
Setting goals enables people to monitor their progress in whatever they have set out to do. It will help people become more confident, and more motivated about their plans.
That said, goal setting isn’t enough, as it needs to be accompanied by a positive mind set and self-discipline. A person may have a map of where he wants to go, but if he does not have the necessary discipline, then nothing will come out of it.
To be successful, the goals that one sets should be realistic, and based on ones abilities, as well as relevant external factors. Being too ambitious in setting goals can make the goals unrealistic, and hard to achieve. However, do not set goals that are too low, as this might undermine one’s vision, instead of achieving it.
It is also necessary that the person setting the plan also include a time frame within which the goal will be achieved. This way, he is able to determine if he has to expedite his strategies, or slow down a bit. Goal setting will also help a person monitor if he is acting within his plans, and doing things towards the achievement of his long term goals.
Once you have some success, even a little bit, give yourself a pat in the back to keep you motivated. But do not be too satisfied with just a little achievement, as this may cause you to backslide.
Setting goals can be used in every aspect of life - from one’s personal life, to career or finances. Goal setting can be as simple as setting a target weight when you wish to shed some pounds, or it can be something big, like earning your first million!
When setting goals, it is always important to set guidelines that suit your present situation, your capabilities, and other factors that may influence the achievement of your goal.
If you desire help in making your dreams and goals a reality, Life Coaching can be of tremendous value. Contact our office and we will be more than happy to help you in your personal journey.
Stan Alexander, M.Ed., C.Ht.