Start the Year with the End in Mind

It's now 2013.  For just a moment, pretend it's New Year's Eve 2013 and you are looking back over your year.  What great successes have you had?  What new relationships?  What have you accomplished that was truly meaningful for you?

Start your year with the end in mind.  How do you want your life to be?

• physically- healthy, fit and strong?

• emotionally- joy and happiness in life and your relationships? positive outlook?

• spiritually- peace and well-being, connection to something greater?

• financially- abundant, prosperous, generous, free?

• mentally- stimulated, challenged, creative, open?

Add in the words that are right for you and make a plan to create that in your life.
People who have written goals are far more successful than those who don't. Give some serious consideration to what is important to you and make plans to achieve that.  You can do it- you have infinite skills, talents and resources. 

 

©2013 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved. No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

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Celebrating Small Successes for Stress Relief & Happiness

At the end of each day, record 10 small successes you’ve had that day. Anything you intended to do and did is a success. Catch yourself in the act of doing things right and see how much
happier and more fulfilled you are.

My birthday is in July and it was a joy to celebrate twice, once with women friends at lunch and then at a party my husband threw for me.  Celebrating life's little moments of success and joy is so important to our stress levels, happiness and overall performance at work.  It's rare that the huge successes happen; what matters is to acknowledge all the small achievements you have every day.

Cheering women
I love this quote from Norman Lear:

“Success is how you collect your minutes.
You spend millions of minutes to reach one triumph,
one moment,
then you spend maybe a thousand minutes
enjoying it.
If you are unhappy through those millions of minutes,
what good are the thousands of minutes of triumph?
It doesn’t equate.
Life is made up of small pleasures,
Happiness is made up of those tiny successes.
The big ones come too infrequently.
If you don’t have  all those
zillions of tiny successes,
the big ones don’t mean anything.”
Norman Lear
Here's a tip: at the end of each day, record 10 small successes you've had that day. Anything you intended to do and did is a success.  Catch yourself in the act of doing things right and see how much
happier and more fulfilled you are.

Conscious Acts of Kindness

Holding the hand of anotherA great many studies including one on 2000 people found that being kind to others decreases stress and enhances mental health.  Pick one day this week and choose to deliberately commit 5 separate acts of kindness.  These should be chosen and intentional acts, but they do not need to be big things.  Something as simple as paying the tokens for the people behind you in the toll booth or paying for the next person's coffee, or taking a muffin to 5 different people in your office- all of those would be great conscious acts of kindness which impact others and most importantly, make you feel happier.
Other examples:
• make a pie for a neighbor who has been shut-in
• pick up extra groceries for a lonely person
• bring doughnuts or bagels to work
• send flowers for no reason
• feed a homeless animal
• clean out your closets and donate to the homeless
Any step you take to share from the heart will make you happier.

Improve Your Professional Success By Increasing Your Optimism & Happiness

The latest research on happiness is that the most successful business people, entrepreneurs, doctors and workers are happy first.  In fact, happiness, optimism and joy can dramatically improve your professional achievement, if that's important to you.

• Doctors put in a positive state before diagnosing show 3x more intelligence and creativity & make diagnoses 19% faster than doctors in a neutral state.

Optimistic salespeople sell 56% more than pessimists. Smiling senior playing tennis

• Happy students far outperform their peers on tests.1

Being happy, joyful and optimistic can radically improve the quality of your life. Happiness and optimism can be learned by anyone and applied immediately.

Optimists live seven years longer than pessimists, according to a study done at Yale University analyzing 600 people.  Those who viewed aging from a positive perspective live on average 7.5 years longer than those who did not.  So you can add nearly a full decade to your life by having a sunnier perspective!

Optimism has substantial health benefits.  How’s your breathing?  Do you have asthma or frequent bronchitis?   A study at Harvard found that optimists have significantly better lung function.  Changing the way you feel about things may help you to breathe easier, literally.

Given the economic pressures many areas of the world have encountered recently, how does optimism play out at work?  No matter what the economy is doing, there are always certain people who thrive.

Dr. Martin Sullivan of the University of Pennsylvania spent 20 years interviewing 350,000 executives and learned something fascinating: the top 10% performers think differently from others: they are all optimists! That’s a pretty amazing statistic.  So if you want greater success, achievement, and effectiveness at work, become a more positive thinker.

(Data from the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor)

Stay Fired Up By doing What Inspires You!

Jumping for JoyWhat gets you excited about life? What inspires you, motivates you, touches your heart? Is it an incredible live performance of your child’s band or your niece’s dance recital? Is it reading an uplifting story of how someone overcame their horrible circumstances or watching a movie of how an underdog triumphed over all the obstacles? Is it training for a marathon and successfully completing it? Or starting a business you KNOW will help people and add value to their lives.

Think back to times when you have been truly Fired Up! about your life! You were so passionate and excited about what you were doing that you overlooked the challenges, ignored the stress, bounded over the hurdles and went for your dreams. Remember how fantastic that felt. Relive the experience of truly GOING FOR IT- whatever it was. That fire inside you fueled all your actions, made your decisions easy. There was no wavering or hesitation; you had a goal that was vitally important, life-affirming, perhaps even life-changing. Recall how truly powerful you felt and how enthusiastic you were about your goal. Nothing could stop you. And no matter what the outcome, you felt great about yourself because you went for it. You put in the time and discipline, took massive action and did what you needed to, all because you were fired up!

That is what this new blog is all about. It’s about how to get and stay Fired Up!, and how to reignite the fire when you get burnt-out. As the author and co-author of five books including Fired Up! (my new book on stress is due out by June 2010,) I am passionate about helping others do what they love and make a positive difference in the world.

That means looking at business and what helps others grow their businesses and what can slow them down. It means tuning into your dreams, passions and stuck spots and answering your questions. It also means going to the next level, because when we stretch ourselves and go beyond our box of self-limitation, miracles can happen.

So what about you? What fires you up? What brings you joy and what excites you about life? It’s time to find out!