Demons Demons Everywhere 

We all have them, in our complaining episodes, during gossipy moments, when frustration or cattiness takes over.  The worst demon I have is my ability to yell and run my mouth off, in particular with my daughter.  She has the ability to push every button and laugh while doing it.  Surely it’s amusing to a little girl to see an adult woman turn into a lunatic in front of her innocent eyes 👀, but not so amusing for me.

And sometimes later when the fight has calmed and I see myself I think, what happened to you? Where did your calm go dealing with a child?   This is when the inner judge-y demon rears its ugly head.  The one that makes you feel lower than low.  The one who allows every other bad thought about anything to invade your present moment and make it ten times worse.  The demon that makes you feel isolated and uniquely horrible.  And all you come up with at that moment is another judgment… how could I possibly have lost my cool like that?

What’s amazes me is that I don’t flip out with people I don’t know like that.  People who are flat out rude and disrespectful… and all of sudden, I’ve lost my voice.  And then where does that feeling go? The one of embarrassment, hurt, loss of pride… it feeds that damn Demon again!  So who gets the brunt of it…my most precious little loves ❤ <3.  They can stir up every emotion, and when their actions are not what I was hoping for or needed at the moment of weakness, watch out! The Demon is released!    So how exactly can such little beings evoke so much feeling out a grown adult?

My (at the moment) calm and rational self, thinks it has to be due to all this pent up negativity.  Not caused so much by others, but by my own outlook.   What if I were to change my lens?  Would I be able to squash those mean demons and prevent them from gaining any more power? Would I be able to remove them forever… or at the very least diminish their power of my own well-being?

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Lucky for me, I have attended multiple training and speaking engagements lately.  All of them touched upon or even centered on goals.  So, that’s led me to set a goal to be more patient with my children.  So, I have to smarten this goal up!  Let’s start with the Specifics:

S – Staying calm with my kids (even after a long day at work, even after a dispute, even after traffic, even with little sleep… and so on… phew)

Onto Measure! Well, this one is on me – keeping myself honest.   I think to start with counting the times a day I raise my voice and lowering it will be my easiest way to measure.  Perhaps using a visual measure on my phone or in my home will aid me in my quest to reach this intangible goal.  (more on what I used later!)

M – number of times I yell reduced from (yikes) 10 / day and reduce to  0 / day

Ok… action is next.  Well, this is where is can get crazy, so let’s keep it real.  I think I will take two to start:

A – Wake up grateful for the day and pursue a calm approach by: 1- not touching my phone first thing and 2- taking 5 minutes to meditate/ stretch and concentrate on 3 happy thoughts.

Realistic? If I can’t find 5 minutes in the morning, I’m kidding myself. Relevant?

R – So yes… suck it up and don’t hit snooze again! Ummm … if you don’t change your ways you’ll get more upset and unhappy… so yes again, your well-being will thank you.

Lastly… timebound. Here goes.. do you think I can stop yelling in a month?

T- Start 5/6/17, Finish – adopt new behavior by 6/6/17

This post (along with my mentor who pushed me to post it!) will keep me accountable.  Thanks for reading 🙂

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The intangible

So, some weeks are more inspiring than others… and last week I was fortunate enough to sit in on a goal setting presentation.  Truth be told, I was not expecting to get much out of it, there has been a lot of gibber gabber about goals (including on this blog) and conflicting opinions and theories on the value of goals. If you set goals too high, you are bound to fail and feel like crap.  If you set them too low, the euphoric feeling of accomplishment is short lived.  *Sigh* how to win at this goal setting business?

And to add to the confusion, how to determine progress towards an intangible goal?  I am analytical by nature and profession, so while at times I feel metrics are a bit of smoke and mirrors in the business world to make things appear better (or worse) than they are… I conversely feel they are quite valuable in personal goal setting.  The easiest example that comes to mind is losing weight, if you set a goal to lose a few pounds, particularly with a date in mind pertaining to some reward or reason, monitoring that goal and the likelihood of achieving it is greater.  There are facts abound to support this theory.  The tangible results of fitting into clothes that were previously too tight is an amazing boost.  You can FEEL it, physically. It’s real, no doubt about it.

Continually reevaluating, trying to find different techniques to ultimately conquer my striving goal of more patience, is where I struggle.  Before the presentation last week I tried meditation, visualization, empathy, and a bunch of other stuff.  And while I feel all of those techniques mentioned have their place and value in the world, they were not helping me get the results I desired.  What I realized is that a goal of more patience wasn’t clear enough, solid enough, or tangible.  So what to do?

The quest and frustration has continued, but I now see a hint of hope.  The presenter last week was inspiring and used a simple trick that I think may just help me on my journey to patience.  He stated that there can always be some sort of metric that will lend itself to improving what you are after.  He talked about different examples, such as, documenting smiles in a day to be kinder or counting the swear words you use and writing the amount down with the goal to reduce anger outbursts.  And he even addressed the allusive goal of more patience, citing examples he has tried and succeeded with to achieve that sought after patience with his own kids.

And through all the motivational speakers I have seen, through all the techniques I have tried, this one simple trick of adding a metric to an intangible goal really clicked for me.  Such a simple, free, easy to implement practice.  Notice I did not say solution, because I do not kid myself that I will ever have the patience of a saint.  But that does not mean I will not continuously improve.  That does not mean my journey will not be gratifying.

Perseverance, the will to try, to show up and mean it, to take a good look at yourself, your actions and stop blaming external factors on your well being… to accept… life. Your life, and make the best of it one goal at a time.

Life is not a hashtag, a “like” or instant text reply.  Instant gratification is not real, it’s a moment in time that passes just as quickly as it appeared.   Not everything will be peachy, Facebook perfect or Instagram worthy… if it was it wouldn’t be real.  If it was, you wouldn’t feel the good parts either.   Accept and persevere! 

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What does Success look like to you?

Let’s start this one off with a dictionary definition (source – dictionary.com):

Success [suh k-ses]

noun

1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors;the accomplishment of one’s goals.
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
3. a performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honors: The play was an instant success.
4. a person or thing that has had success, as measured by attainment of goals, wealth, etc.:

She was a great success on the talk show.

 

My favorite is the first one noted above, centering on goals.  We all have goals right?  Big ones and little ones; realizing the right mix helps us to feel accomplished.  Conversely, too many big or difficult goals that are hard to meet can make us feel deflated.  And too many goals in general… utter chaos and overwhelming!

My latest attempt at goal setting is doing my best to pay attention to what grabs my attention and makes me feel something.  Then if that passion continues, set some goals around it.  Counting my blessings daily as posted here: The Best Perspective has been one avenue for me to tackle the goal of becoming a more consistently positive thinker.   I even have a metric built in for this one! I love a good SMART goal.  Measure success

Some other successes I chase after… when thinking about my world, am I doing enough in my own circle to feel like a successful human being?  Being the best parent I can be, a supporting wife, friend, daughter, sister… the true goal to choose kindness and understanding, to convey compassion vs. frustration.  This one is tricky for me, I have a short fuse at times and lean towards taking things personally.  So I need a lot of reminders, like the one below, and also a bit of patience with MYSELF first.

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There are lots of other goals as well…losing weight, to finally cleaning up that email inbox, to obtaining a master’s degree, or maybe writing a book (yikes!).   Part of life is shifting the goal to be more manageable, flexible, or even in the world of technology and business…agile.

For example. one of my goals at the start of this blog was 3 posts/ week.  I am averaging 1 per week since I created this blog a few months ago.  I have a lot of reasons and excuses.  No time, too tired, busy busy busy!  Truth be told, I didn’t factor in the fear of writing.  Of being read… of reaching MY success. Self-sabotage has come into play because it’s SCARY to do well.  For instance, it’s great to have a blog that hit home with many… and then the next gets no views.  So what if you have that amazing post, and then a not so great one?   Will you lose the followers you gained?  And if so, do you forge ahead, virtually brush yourself off, and get your thoughts out to the world again?

My latest mantra…

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Keep going.  Keep trying.  Your definition of success gets closer with every step.  

Thank you for reading and I would love to hear about your personal picture of success!