3 Little Words to Fix Your Business

Intentional Entrepreneurs Masterminds

If you’re frustrated with your business, I feel your pain.  I’ve been there.  As fulfilling as it is to be paid for what you love to do, there is often deep frustration.  There are many reasons we struggle as entrepreneurs.

Research tells us the #1 reason businesses fail is a lack of planning and focus.  So, take the time to adequately plan how you will run your business – and you will dramatically increase your odds of success!  

The three little words?

Write. Your. Plan.

I love it when I’m impulsive in my work and it pays off.  However, in my world, this is the exception rather than the rule.

I’m not sure why the words “business” + “planning” freak out so many people.  Is it the image of a 50 page document gathering dust on a shelf?  Because that is so NOT what I’m talking about. I’m talking about getting crystal clear on where you want to go, and how you want to get there.  

It isn’t hard – and many of the business owners I work with know they have to do this – yet I get a lot of rolling eyes when I bring it up.

Now, I love to plan.  Really, it lights me up!  Creating strategies to move businesses forward – bring it ON! Every business is different – and I love the challenge of helping my clients discover how to create and implement a successful plan that fits their unique vision and personality.  What lights THEM up is seeing how putting time and energy into planning turns their business around.

If you are struggling in business, create a plan for success.  If you already have a plan and you are still struggling?  It’s time to revise the plan.  

Don’t try to knock it out in a day or two.  That isn’t the way it works.  Instead, start at the beginning and (re)visit the basics. Spend some precious time reflecting on:

Your VISION: What you want to accomplish over the next year or two. Why is this important to you?  Describe where you want to be in    5 years.  How do you want your business to evolve?

Your TARGET:  Who needs what you have? More importantly – why do they need it?  What pain are they experiencing?

Your PRODUCT/SERVICE:  How does your product or service solve the problem? How do you do it differently from the competition?

Discovering meaningful answers to these seemingly simple questions is critical.  To get to the heart of why people should spend their hard-earned money with you instead of someone else, you have to go deep.  You have to really understand these three things: what motivates you, how to connect with your customers, and how you can solve their problems.

Once you have this foundation, you can begin creating the financial, marketing and sales components of your plan.  THIS is where I see things fall apart for many entrepreneurs.  They don’t have a plan in place to drive their business forward.  They don’t know HOW to leap out of the starting gate and create a vibrant, thriving business that will sustain them emotionally and financially.

To have a legit business – and not just a hobby – you must have a plan.  

Your plan will describe:

  • Exactly what niche your product or service is filling and how to position it as an authentic solution.
  • How to find and engage your best customers
  • What to charge for your products and services so you can grow your business.
  • How many leads you need and how to convert qualified leads into a paying customers.  
  • What systems you need to put in place so your business doesn’t overwhelm your life.

Until you have a plan to accomplish these things – it is nearly impossible to create a profitable business that you love. You can create a business without a plan, but chances are it is stressful, overwhelming, and sucking you dry emotionally and financially.

There is plenty of information on the internet on growing a business; the challenge is recognizing the right strategy for YOU, staying focused on your goals, and following through with the most effective action to conserve your finances, and your time and energy.

This is why you need a plan.

When you take the time to Write. Your. Plan., you have a tremendous advantage – a sounding board to help you make the best decisions for YOU.  A compass to keep you focused on your path.  A strategy to reach your end game. You get the picture.

Your plan will always be a work in progress.  If you don’t have one yet, start by identifying your Vision, Target, and Products and Services. Write them down.  Make them real.  When you are solid on these, slowly add in the other pieces.  Don’t stop until  you have finished.  It might take months to flesh out your plan.  That’s fine! The return on your investment is huge!  And the risk of not creating a plan?  Failing in business.  Please, don’t let that happen.  The world needs you.  We need your gifts and talents.

So, create your plan.  Use a napkin if you like (!) just write it down.  It doesn’t count if it only exists in your mind. Sorry. To be real, and to be effective, a business plan needs to get out of your head and on paper.  If you have it on a computer – print it out.  Hold it, feel it. Read it.  Does your plan make sense?  Ask people around you.

Heck, send me your plan and I’ll give you my feedback.  Helping others create insightful and innovative strategies to succeed in business is what I love!

Do you have a plan?  I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below.

Overcoming Obstacles

business mastermind

Starting on a huge new project recently, I found myself in an old pattern:

  1. Excitement (Yay! New opportunity to serve and grow! Grateful!)
  2. Doubt (Ummm, wait a minute – this is huge.  Maybe I bit off too much.)
  3. Fear (Yeah.  This is too much – you can’t do this.)
  4. Self-talk (Of course you can, this is your strength, your passion and purpose!)
  5. Repeat!

As frustrating as it is to be caught up in the cycle again, it is also a relief because I know what to do next (it is, after all, my pattern).

I’ll give you a bit of the back-story here, which begins in the future…

In my vision of success, I am on stage sharing a powerful and beautiful message that NEEDS to be heard.    It is a simple yet profoundly moving message that inspires and enlightens – it resonates with audiences worldwide – changing behaviors, and ultimately lives!  

And here’s the challenge – I don’t know exactly what the message is, YET.  It’s a tease that flits around the edge of my awareness.  

It is there – and I will find it when the time is right.  Until then, I am doing my part; saying “yes” to the right opportunities to grow and develop, and committing to writing and speaking regularly.

This new project was an amazing opportunity.  A blessing for which I was very grateful.  And one which required me to conquer new territory and stretch in ways I had never thought possible.

Good stuff!  Right?!

The challenge was that my mind was playing an old story that said “You can’t do this. – You aren’t enough”.

Ironically, that was also the beauty of it!  This wasn’t new!  This was my pattern – my old story.

Has this happen to you? Have you experience doubt and fear when you are faced with a new project or undertaking?  

If so, consider asking why…  

  • Why is this happening?  
  • Why are these feelings coming up now?  
  • What can I learn from this?

Chances are you have an old story playing in the back of your mind.  Once you learn to recognize your story – you can rewrite it.

I rewrote my story by reminding myself that there is a tantalizing message I’m meant to share.  I have asked for insight and guidance on finding this message – “my voice” – and have been given a priceless gift.  An opportunity to grow.

The more I explore new ground, the more I continue to learn about other people’s struggles and creative solutions and the more my message slowly reveals itself.

So the next time fear and doubt make you question your ability, first realign your mind.  Remind yourself that you are capable and worthy.  More than that – you deserve it and you are perfect just the way you are to accomplish the task or project at hand.

We are meant to constantly grow.  We aren’t finished creatures yet.  And the best way to grow is to continue overcoming the obstacles we place in our own path.  Every time we do, it becomes easier, and we can remind ourselves of our true value, worth and purpose.

What do you think?  Do you find the obstacles you must overcome in business are more frequently mental in nature or are they physical, educational, technical or?  I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below.

A Priceless Gift for 2015

Intentional Entrepreneurs Masterminds

As the year winds down and comes to a close, we celebrate our holidays with various traditions embracing faith, and the love and laughter of family and friends.

As I begin to look forward to the new year, I start seeking a word to guide me.  This word usually reflects a characteristic I want to practice, to improve.  For 365 days, this word illuminates my path and infuses my world.

This tradition has become one of my favorite gifts.

I am starting to try on a few new words for 2015.  One in particular is gently waving at me and we are getting to know each other…. more about that at the end of this post.

Sometimes it takes a few days to find my word.  Sometimes the word chooses me.  This year one word came to mind.   No reflection necessary.  I had been seeking meaning and answers for months –  and when I asked for a word – CLARITY arrived and became my touchstone in an instant.  With a capital C.  In my life, in my relationships, in my work.

What a powerful, evocative and amazing year it has been.  Clarity has brought me sanity and has provided new direction. Now, when my brain wanders I quickly re-center with clarity.

Clarity reminds me to ask myself,  “Does this help or hinder?”

Is it profoundly deep insight to illuminate my direction and follow my path? Or is it a distraction?  Does this revelation help me drill down my vision?  Or is it a bright shiny object in disguise?

Sometimes it is hard to tell, but when I remember to stop and ask the questions, I always discover the answers.  It has been such a life-changing experience, I feel compelled to share a few thoughts about my journey with clarity guiding my way.

Often, when a new idea or thought first reveals itself, there is no denying its incredibly magical and powerful potential!   If you are like me, you are always thinking of the next way to “revolutionize” your business, your industry, (or the world!), or dreaming of ways to help a totally new and different clientele.  That is just how our brains work!

To determine if our new revelation is as brilliant as it seems at first glance, I believe we all need CLARITY.

And I believe in the power of Clarity so profoundly it became one of the three pillars I built my business upon.  (The others are Action and Impact – I liken the combination to unifying the heart, mind, and soul).

Clarity isn’t always easy to discover, but here are three things that can help you find clarity in your business – a blend of the pragmatic, conscious and spiritual.

1.  Keep it Sweet and Simple. (KISS)

When thoughts collide and confusion appears, ask yourself “Is this a good fit for where I am right now?”  Does it mesh with your current plan of action?  Or will it take you in another direction?  Will it complicate your life? What are the implications one month or one year from now?

Hint:  Unless you are at the point in your business where you’re actively seeking new direction, an overly complicated idea probably is not a good fit.  The best ideas are usually simple to implement.  They don’t distract you from your course of action; they fit like your favorite jeans.

2. Keep a Clear Mind. 

When inspiration strikes, plan a solid 60 minute block of time to analyze it.  Then draft an outline.  Write a proposal.  Or get out your markers and draw a colorful diagram or picture.  Turn it inside out.  Look at all angles.  List pros and cons. Then put it away.  Literally and consciously.  Give yourself a set period of time to let go of the idea.  When it comes back for more attention before your deadline, and it will, remind yourself you are taking a leave of absence from this decision! Redirect your thoughts to something else and consciously, intentionally, release this particular thought from your mind.

3.  Keep an Open Heart. 

Intuitively, you know the answer.  You already know everything you need to know to make the decision.  To get to that core truth, open your heart.   When your aforementioned deadline arrives, listen to your instinct.  Feel the energy in your heart.  What is it telling you?  Is this “brainstorm” the real deal?  Is it the best way to go right now?  Tune in. You may feel fear even if it is the right decision.  This often indicates a universal thumbs up!  You are probably on your growing edge; a truly wonderful place to live if you want to achieve your fullest potential. Trust your wisdom to make the right decision.

Every time you complete this process, you drill down a little further on what does or does not serve you well.   You are gaining clarity and you are learning to rely on your intuition.

Remember, well-meaning friends, family and business associates can give you great advice and perspective, and can be added into the equation – but ultimately you are the best judge of what is best for you and for those you choose to serve in your life.  Only you can complete your journey.

So Clarity was my word, my friend, my gift, for 2014. It may sound corny, but there is some sweet sorrow in letting go and moving on.  At the same time, I am excited to see who my new companion will be over the next 12 months.  I’m trying on a new word that feels pretty good….next year I’ll let you know what happens!

What Does Being Intentional Mean?

Intentional Entrepreneurs Masterminds
To me, being intentional is like setting sail confidently in the direction of your dreams with the wind at your back.
 
Very simply, it means you go where you look. So, focus on what you want, and you will be successful in life, love and in business.
 
What you choose to focus on affects your emotions, your thoughts, your behaviors, and ultimately your destination.
 
And the best part is that it is always your choice!
 
When I wonder if I’m good enough or if I have what it takes, I choose to release the fear and focus on where I want to go.  I remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day, that I don’t have to have everything figured out right now, and that I am absolutely where I am supposed to be.
 
I act in the direction of faith, instead of fear.  Moment to moment. One day at a time. 
 
Fear is funny, it can come at us directly, or masquerade as apathy, judgment, separation, doubt or any number of other unpleasant emotions.  And the treatment is always the same. Recognize it, release it, remind yourself you are perfect just the way you are, and continue your journey.
 
This is being intentional.
 
It starts with choosing your thoughts.  Then decide what you are going to do, and do it. Focus on the outcome, and stay the course.
 
Be intentional in life, love and business.  Focus on what you want, consciously choose your direction and take meaningful action.  This is how successful businesses are built.
 
It is a simple process.  Challenging at times, and as you learn to set sail in the direction of your dreams intentionality is the wind at your back that guides your ship toward the open skies of endless possibility.
 
How intentional do you think you are in your life right now?  How can you be more intentional TODAY?

Give It All You’ve Got!

Intentional Entrepreneurs Masterminds

To the best of my knowledge, we only get one shot at life.

This is it.  

And in spite of, (or maybe even because of?), the tragedies and ugliness we encounter with increasing frequency, we have an obligation to be kind to each other.  To be more accepting of our differences, and to live up to our own fullest and best potential.

As Mary Oliver so eloquently inquires:

“What are you going to do with your one wild and precious life?”

It matters.

I don’t know about you, but for years I simply went with the current, taking life as it came.  Most of the time it was pretty darn good.  There were ups and downs, to be sure, but overall I was (and am) very grateful and always count my blessings.

Then it started to dawn on me.  There wasn’t any flash of lightning or sudden revelation, just a slow realization that there was more for me to do.  That I have a purpose.

I am in awe of people who seem to understand and accept this effortlessly and early in their lives– it took me almost 5 decades to wake up to this truth.

Like a glorious sunrise, the quiet understanding that I absolutely do have a unique and amazing purpose in this wild and precious world lit up my life.

The longer part of the journey, for me, was discovering what my purpose is.

It took almost a year of discerning my strengths and life experiences, reflecting on my values and beliefs, journaling thoughts and ideas, and, mostly, listening to my intuition and inner voice – but I found it.  I found my purpose.

What a powerful thing it is to know what you need to do in this world.  It keeps you focused, it keeps you motivated and grounded, and it keeps you going when things get tough.

Even though I KNOW I am living and working in alignment with my purpose – there are days I want to hide under the covers and never get up.  Funny.  I thought it would be so much easier.  I mean, when we are being intentional and are focused on what we are meant to do – it should be easy – right?!

Not exactly.  The truth is that we are never done. As long as we are on this earth, we haven’t finished our journey. 

For me, the more I grow and learn, the more I realize I have a LONG way to go!  And some days I feel like giving up.  This is hard stuff.  But then I remind myself that anything worth having is worth working for.

On those days, (like today!), I am grateful to receive encouragement from the universe.  It comes in many forms – like the song “Can U Believe” by Akon which reminds us to “ Give it all you’ve got!”

I played it twice on my loop around the neighborhood this morning – and now I’m ready to tackle this moment, this day, this life.

We only get one shot at it – so what are you going to do with your wild and precious life?

With Clarity Comes Sanity and Direction

Intentional Entrepreneurs Masterminds

Each year I choose a word to help me focus.  The word usually reflects a characteristic I want to improve, to practice and God-willing, to perfect.  For 365 days, this word becomes a mantra.

Sometimes it takes a few days to find my word.  Sometimes the word chooses me.  This year one word came to mind.   No reflection necessary.  I had been seeking meaning and answers for months –  and when I asked for a word – CLARITY arrived and became my touchstone in an instant.  With a capital C.  In my life, in my relationships, in my work.

What a powerful, evocative and amazing year it has been.  Clarity has brought me sanity and has provided new direction. Now, when my brain wanders I quickly re-center with clarity.

Clarity reminds me to ask myself,  “Does this help or hinder?”

Is it profoundly deep insight to illuminate my direction and and follow my path? Or is it a distraction?  Does this revelation help me drill down my vision?  Or is it a bright shiny object in disguise?

Sometimes it is hard to tell, but when I remember to stop and ask the questions, I always discover the answers.  It has been such a life-changing experience, I feel compelled to share a few thoughts about my journey with clarity guiding my way.

Often, when a new idea or thought first reveals itself, there is no denying its incredibly magical and powerful potential!   If you are like me, you are always thinking of the next way to “revolutionize” your business, your industry, (or the world!), or dreaming of ways to help a totally new and different clientele.  That is just how our brains work!

To determine if our new revelation is as brilliant as it seems at first glance, I believe we all need CLARITY.

And I believe in the power of Clarity so profoundly it became one of the three pillars I built my business upon.  (The others are Action and Impact – I liken the combination to unifying the heart, mind, and soul).

Clarity isn’t always easy to discover, but here are three things that can help you find clarity in your business – a blend of the pragmatic, conscious and spiritual.

1.  Keep it Sweet and Simple. (KISS)

When thoughts collide and confusion appears, ask yourself “Is this a good fit for where I am right now?”  Does it mesh with your current plan of action?  Or will it take you in another direction?  Will it complicate your life? What are the implications one month or one year from now?

Hint:  Unless you are at the point in your business where you’re actively seeking new direction, an overly complicated idea probably is not a good fit.  The best ideas are usually simple to implement.  They don’t distract you from your course of action; they fit like your favorite jeans.

2. Keep a Clear Mind. 

When inspiration strikes, plan a solid 60 minute block of time to analyze it.  Then draft an outline.  Write a proposal.  Or get out your markers and draw a colorful diagram or picture.  Turn it inside out.  Look at all angles.  List pros and cons. Then put it away.  Literally and consciously.  Give yourself a set period of time to let go of the idea.  When it comes back for more attention before your deadline, and it will, remind yourself you are taking a leave of absence from this decision! Redirect your thoughts to something else and consciously, intentionally, release this particular thought from your mind.

3.  Keep an Open Heart. 

Intuitively, you know the answer.  You already know everything you need to know to make the decision.  To get to that core truth, open your heart.   When your aforementioned deadline arrives, listen to your instinct.  Feel the energy in your heart.  What is it telling you?  Is this “brainstorm” the real deal?  Is it the best way to go right now?  Tune in. You may feel fear even if it is the right decision.  This often indicates a universal thumbs up!  You are probably on your growing edge; a truly wonderful place to live if you want to achieve your fullest potential. Trust your wisdom to make the right decision.

Every time you complete this process, you drill down a little further on what does or does not serve you well.   You are gaining clarity and you are learning to rely on your intuition.

Remember, well-meaning friends, family and business associates can give you great advice and perspective, and can be added into the equation – but ultimately you are the best judge of what is best for you and for those you choose to serve in your life.  Only you can complete your journey.

Banishing Fear; You ARE (more than) enough!

Intentional Entrepreneurs Masterminds

In one of my mastermind groups, I asked others what they struggled with as entrepreneurs.

Speaking from their heart, each person laid it out on the table.  As they shared their challenges and frustrations, the issues resonated with us all.  We felt each other’s pain.  Everyone one of us has fought the same battles in our entrepreneurial journey.  There was comfort knowing we weren’t alone.  (A priceless and intrinsic benefit of masterminding with a group of trusted colleagues.)

Some of the difficulties were practical, “How do I get it all done when there is just me?!” “What tasks do I delegate to whom?” “How do I balance doing the work I love with managing a business?” (I see more blogs on the horizon!)

Others were of a mental mindset like the one I’ll paraphrase here:  “How do I feel like an authority figure when I don’t feel like an authority figure?”

This last issue reverberated powerfully with me because I, too, had been working on this particular troll.

Here are three things that help me keep things in perspective!

No more IDK

Not long ago a wise person observed that I frequently and somewhat carelessly used the phrase “I don’t know” to preface my dialog.

Wise Person:   Why do you do what you do?

Me:  I don’t know, because I feel this is my path, my calling. It is in perfect alignment with who I am at my core and with the skills I have developed along the way.

Wise Person:  So why do you say “I don’t know”?

That simple yet profound exchange illustrated quite vividly that of course, I DID know the answer. Since then I have learned to refrain from saying IDK. When I feel the phrase ready to roll off my tongue, I stop and focus on what I DO KNOW. This simple act has helped me give myself a lot more credit! And that stops the troll from calling.

Remember the Big Picture

We each have years (even decades!) of distinct experience.  Our upbringing, life events, learning and encounters (case in point – #1 above) make us who we are.  We are each uniquely qualified to share what we know.  When we feel unworthy, it serves us well to remember the big picture.  Our exclusive life experience gives us each a rich and meaningful perspective and there are always people coming alongside us that need what we have to offer.

Let go of Fear

When you work from your heart, you can move forward in confidence.  Coming from a place of service and putting the needs of others first, you can’t fail.  You are perfect just the way you are.  Learn to recognize when doubt and fear begin to creep in.  You can feel your energy change.  There is a certain tightness, a contraction of fear.  Learn to acknowledge the fear – and simply let it go.  Fear is a lie that can keep you from achieving your fullest potential.  Don’t let it. Welcome it as an indicator that you are growing in the right direction.  Then breathe, relax your heart, and let it go.

Depending on how strongly fear has ingrained itself, you may deal with it often.  With patience and practice it goes away.   Learn to let that which is holding you down become a force to lift you up.  Keeping a sense of levity in the process is helpful.  When you catch yourself laughing at the troll and exclaiming “You again?!” you know you are on the right path!

Recharge with a Personal WHY Statement

Intentional Entrepreneurs Masterminds

We’re all familiar with corporate mission statements, but have you ever considered writing a personal mission statement for your life? It’s powerful stuff.

A personal statement captures your essence.  It expresses your uniqueness as an individual.  The act of discovering (and choosing) your life’s mission, is an amazing journey of self-discovery.  You will clear away the cobwebs and get to the core of who you are as a person.  Crafting a personal statement to reflect that mission gives you clear direction and focus.

It’s a reliable compass in times of stress, doubt and fear.  Remembering your mission will help you make better decisions and stay the course during life’s difficult moments.   It can also be a powerful reset button in business, reconnecting you with your purpose and reminding you why  you are an entrepreneur.

You may have enjoyed:

  • Interacting with people on a personal level.
  • Sharing your unique gifts and talents.
  • Creatively solving problems and providing solutions.
  • Encouraging others to achieve their fullest potential.
  • Creating amazing art that inspires.

Remembering your entrepreneurial roots provides renewed clarity and direction.

If you don’t have a personal statement, or you haven’t looked at your’s in a while, taking the time to craft a few sentences defining who you are and what you intend to do may be the best thing you can do for yourself today!

Whether it takes you 30 minutes or 30 days, this journey of self-discovery is priceless.

 Step 1:  List your Values and Passions

Can you name your top 5 values off the top of your head?  The things you stand for and that hold the most truth and meaning for you?  Our values can change over time, if you aren’t sure where you stand now, you may want to check out this (amazing!) free and comprehensive Values Assessment.

Now, what are you passionate about?  What makes you excited?!  Put it in writing!  If you can’t, please, take the time to reflect and remember who you are and what gives you meaning.  You owe it to yourself to find out.  Go outside, take a walk and think about the last time you were really excited about something – what was it?!

Step 2:  List Your Gifts and Strengths

Another big question: What are you are meant to do with your life?  What do you believe at your core? If you aren’t sure, ask to be shown. Pray about it.  Create room in your heart and see what comes in.  Ask those closest to you. Take this Personality Assessment to gain more insight:

Now your strengths – what are you good at?  Don’t be shy!  If you need a few reminders, here is a StrengthsFinder assessment to help you discover your best assets:

Step 3:  Write Your Mission Statement

Now, consider your reflections and revelations.  What have you discovered about yourself?

Once you have a clear picture of your unique characteristics, craft a personal statement that describes who you truly are and expresses your special purpose.  It can be as long or short as you want it to be.  Post it somewhere you will see it daily.  Revise it as you grow.   Share it as you choose.

As an example, here is my personal mission statement…

 I strive to live life to my deepest and fullest potential and to use my unique gifts to encourage and inspire others to do the same.  Combining my strengths and experience with my intuition and creativity, I seek to help intentional entrepreneurs find answers to the challenges they face. Through masterminding, speaking and teaching I will mentor others along the way. I believe by working together, we can make a huge impact on the world by sharing our unique gifts in creative ways.  

Taking the time to create a personal statement in alignment with who you are at your core will reap huge rewards.  It will provide inspiration and energy, and can be the push you need to continue your entrepreneurial journey when the going, inevitably, gets rough.

* The three assessments featured here are some of the best I have used, and I’ve used a lot of them with students and clients over the years!  They are thorough and comprehensive, but also very accurate if you take the time to answer the questions honestly, based on where you are now, not where you want to be.

Finding Life Balance

Intentional Entrepreneurs Masterminds

Tips to make the journey a little smoother.

When you’re living a balanced life, you usually feel calm, clear, and motivated. You are often at your peak – in love with life and loving the journey.

Conversely, if you are feeling stressed, tired, and unhappy, chances are your life is out of balance.  Life may feel hard, full of obstacles and potholes to you have to carefully navigate in order to make any progress at all.  If this sounds familiar, you may be surprised how a quick examination of your current location and a few meaningful actions can make the ride much smoother.

The general idea of balanced living is that you look at your life from many angles, trying not to focus on any of them to the exclusion of the others.  This does not mean you devote the same amount of time and energy to each area, but rather that you don’t neglect or obsess with any.

Obviously there are times in life when your balance is totally out of whack.  Like launching a new business, getting married (or divorced), or welcoming a baby into your world.  This is life.  The key is to keep things in perspective, and get back in balance as quickly as possible in order to stay the course and enjoy the journey.

Here are three action steps that you can use right away to help you find, and stay in balance:

Step 1:  Complete the Wheel of Life

(Download the document here)

This useful tool helps you discover where you are out of balance.  Follow the directions and you will see areas where a shift in energy and focus can result in a smoother ride.  This Wheel of Life contains the following eight sections, but as with any tool, you are free to make changes!

  1. Personal and Spiritual Grow
  2. Family and Friends
  3. Significant Other/Romance
  4. Work/Career
  5. Health
  6. Fun & Recreation
  7. Money
  8. Physical Environment

After you complete the activity, take time to reflect on what you have learned about yourself.

 Step 2: Set Intentions and/or Goals

Choose two or three areas from the Wheel and decide what changes you will make.  Consider what may be missing in your life, what challenges you are facing, and why you might be stuck.  Think about where you are and where you want to grow and go. Then craft an intention and an easy goal or two to alter your course.

Intentions are statements, based in the present, on our values and aspirations.  They consciously guide us from moment to moment.  An example is:  I Am Fit, Flexible and Healthy.

Goals have fixed, measurable actions that produce outcomes.  Examples include:

1. Stretch for :10 minutes  3 days per week

2. Drink 8 glasses of water every day

3. Eliminate sugar from your diet.

You don’t need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. And you shouldn’t try to make them all at once.  Making changes slowly increases the likelihood they will stick.  Start with one or two SMALL changes, and make them habits before you go to the next.   The examples above are do-able actions.  If you set a goal to lose 5 pounds in a week – that is different.  That requires a whole lotta steps that can quickly become frustrating and cause you to give up on you goal.

Think about what your missing in your life.  What lights you up?!  Make time for the things that ignite your joy!

Take it slow.  Be easy on yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day – and you won’t bounce back into balance immediately.  It takes some time – but the end results are worth the effort.

Step 3:  Review and Assess

Once you have re-discovered your mojo and are back in the flow – remember life balance is a process.  It isn’t a one-time fix.  When you feel your energy shifting into overwhelm, revisit and revise your wheel.  Life is a journey, and living in balance makes it a smoother ride for you, and allows you to share your gifts with the world.