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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Motivation for Lemony Days

I talk about defining ones own success. Let's start there. What do you consider success? This is a personal question and no one can answer it for you. Is it having enough money to take a family vacation, pay off the mortgage, buy a home, purchase an SUV, pay for a wedding, retire in Hawaii, children who graduate from high school, a happy spouse after 30 years of marriage, a certain position in a company, the ability to give back to the community, a museum named in your honor, a particular income threshold??

If you don't know, you'll need to start there. It's like goal setting on a grand scale. Where do you want to be in ten years? What is going to be your legacy? Do you define success by a feeling, a mark on the map, the size of your bank account? This is for you to decide.

Once you have defined success for yourself, I highly recommend making something visual for yourself. At our house, we call it a goal board (and we sort of use Pinterest for some of it). If you define success as having a happy family and being able to take them to Disney, your goal board may have a picture of your family in the center and the outside ring will be a picture of the plane you'll be taking to your destination, a picture of the Disney Princesses, etc...and if part of your definition of success includes some artwork for your home, and a larger home - the board will also show a photo of your dream home, a picture by your favorite artist, and maybe the crystal vase you've been longing for or a picture of the hot tub you'll have in the backyard some day.

Goal boards serve several purposes. They serve to give your dreams depth and bring them closer to reality. They give you something to talk about with others who may see them. They serve as motivation on those lemony days when you feel that your dreams are out of sight. If that dream is in front of you daily or at a minimum - weekly, you're less likely to spend your money on things that deter you from that goal. For example, if my definition of success includes growing my company and I have a picture of a large office with lovely wooden desks and happy smiling employees on my goal board, I'm less likely to spend that $4.76 on a white chocolate mocha at Starbucks on my way to the meeting. On the other hand, if my goals seem so far away and I can't envision them, I am going to seek immediate gratification more often and squander my $4.76 because it tastes yummy for a moment. It's really about seeing the big picture - seeing what you want so vividly that you can hear it, taste it, smell it, feel it, and nothing is going to de-rail you. It's about passion and longing and making it happen - because YOU are worth it!

Keep turning those lemons into lemonade - YOU deserve the sweet refreshing beverage!

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