Commitment-phobic?

Commitment

At the end of each coaching session, clients are asked to come up with action steps that will help them accomplish the goals they set during the session. After the action steps have been stated, the client is asked to rate on a scale of 1 to 10, how committed they are to carrying through with the actions. If the coaching session has been a good one, the client is generally pretty keen and committed. The actual carry-through is a different matter.

I know.

I’ve been through these sessions, and I feel that level of commitment. I have a clear plan, the steps aren’t big, they’re doable. I also know my own laziness. I can be perfectly committed, and then I hang up the call, and then I go to my kitchen to get a drink and I get distracted, and often times, that commitment dissipates. It’s like it never existed.

The problem is that solid commitment is necessary to achieve our goals.

To a certain extent, that wavering of commitment is on me. In part, it is the responsibility of the coach to make sure the client truly wants the end result and is willing to do what it takes to get there. If that commitment isn’t there, then the coach didn’t ask the right questions to elicit the goal and actions that resonate strongest with the client, to make sure it is something the client really wants.

When the goals and actions coincide with what the client truly wants, they will do anything to get there, and great things are accomplished.

Last week I asked you what your writing goals are. I asked you to dream big and I asked you to make them specific.

Now I’m going to ask you how badly you want to achieve them.

Are they someday I hope to get their dreams? Or are they something you want so bad you can taste it, to not get there will devastate you?

I’m a huge sports fan. One of the things that amazes me about athletes, is their commitment. When we get to see them, it is at a competition of some kind, where they’re showing off their skills and abilities. And the best ones are exhilarating to watch..

What we don’t see, are the hours and hours of time they put in at the gym lifting weights and doing cardio, and the hours of training, perhaps practicing one particular move over and over and over again. Honestly, I don’t know how they do it. I can barely stand half an hour on a treadmill. But they do it. Day after day, hours each day, because they know it is only the hard work they put in, that will get them to their goal.

So here’s my athlete-envy analogy: writers are athletes too. Our glory event, competition, is when our writing gets published, when we get to do a reading. That’s the exciting part, where people get to see our talent and skill.

The time we spend at the keyboard or putting pen to paper, writing those words down, are the same as the hours athletes spend in the gym. The hours we spend editing, perfecting our words, are the same as the hours athletes take perfecting each maneuver.

I think we can all agree, that most of the time, sitting down and writing isn’t fun. We love writing, we love telling stories, but it would be so much easier doing something else: going out with friends, going to a movie, especially having a nap. OK, maybe that last one is just me. I wonder about athletes. How much do they enjoy running on a track or pumping iron and all the other training they have to do? I am sure there are days they want to just stay home or go out with friends. But they don’t. They go to work. Because to not go in to the gym means they are farther from their goal.

So how much do you want it? Are you willing to push through the unpleasantness of the drudgery of writing? Are you willing to push through to find the enjoyment in the work?

I am. I am committed to editing this novel, making it the best it can be. I am committed to getting this novel done and out the door. And I am committed to working on it every day, in every spare moment.

Are you with me?

Guest Blogging and Workshops and Books, oh my!

This morning I am blogging over at Savvy Authors 

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on Identity and the writer. In the article I talk about why we so often question ourselves being “real” writers, what we can do about it, and the positive results we experience when we embrace our identity.

If you like what you read in that blog, or here, consider taking my course “Silencing Your Inner Saboteur” which I will be teaching online through Savvy Authors, running June 9 – 29. See what others have said about the workshop on my workshops page here.

Still not sure? Why not download the first four chapters of my book “Silencing Your Inner Saboteur” for FREE, just sign up for my mailing list on my home page here, which will, in the near future, news about upcoming releases, special offers, and more.

And finally, if you are interested in exploring the idea of having a coach to help you reach your writing goals, to push through the writer’s block, to be more productive, I offer a no-obligation complimentary session. It’s a great opportunity to see if coaching is right for you, and if we’d make a good partnership in your journey. Just fill out the form below and I will contact you within 24 hours. I’d love to have a chat with you!

 

Upcoming Workshops

I’m ecstatic to let you all know that I will be offering the following workshops in 2014 through Savvy Authors. I will update the links to the registration pages as they become availabe, so stay tuned to the little box on the right-hand side of this page. In the meantime, below is some information about what you can expect in each workshop.

Plan for Success
January 20, 2014 – February 16, 2014
at Savvy Authors
Online

It is easy to create lists of projects we want to complete and goals we want to achieve. How often do those projects and goals get abandoned part-way to completion or even before they are started? No matter how good our intentions are or how hard we work to complete the projects, something seems to get in the way. This workshop is an intensive look at the four stages of project completion and how to overcome the fears that stop us.

The lessons will cover:

Introduction
Fear of Dreaming
Fear of Failure
Fear of Upsetting People
Fear of Conflict
Wrap-Up and Q & A

Silencing Your Inner Saboteur Workshop 

June 9, 2014 – July 6, 2014
at Savvy Authors
Online

In this workshop, participants will identify the voice of your saboteur, recognize the tricks it uses to keep you from achieving your goals, and how to win the battle against it.

The workshop covers such topics as:
The source of the Saboteur
Identifying the Dominant Voice of the Saboteur
What the Saboteur Says
The Physical Manifestation or The Symptoms of the Saboteur in your life
Naming the Saboteur
Goal Setting
“Go away and never come back!”: Other ways to silence the Saboteur
But I have a Day Job
November 3, 2014 – November 14, 2014
at Savvy Authors
Online

Though we all dream of the day we can quit our day job to spend our days doing what we love, pursuing our passion, the reality is that for most of us, this may never happen, or it will not happen for years. So how do you find the time to do what you love, even change careers, when there are bills to pay, jobs to go to, kids to take care of, homes to clean, and so many other demands on our time? In this workshop, participants will look at the priorities in their lives and how to strike that work/life balance.

The lessons will cover:

Introduction
Is a work/life balance possible?
Prioritization
Goal Setting
Time Management
Wrap-Up and Q & A

For all workshops, supporting exercises reinforce the lessons, and I provide individual feedback to participants.

It Makes a Difference

Why does it feel like such a chore to sit down and actually write?  It’s that sense of dread that often leads to procrastination.

What if you actually enjoyed the writing process? Yes, it is possible!

It starts with the love of the story you’re writing, and a love of the characters. A curiosity  and willingness to explore the world and the adventure. And a great sense of mischief, to put our charachers in all kinds of trouble.

But to actually love the process of writing takes something else too. It isn’t complicated. I think the fabulous author David Morrell, author of Rambo among many other New York Times’ Bestsellers said it best. I attended a workshop of his back in 2008. He reminded us that not everything we write is going to sell. So to keep that love of the book or story, and the process of writing we need to make a list of the following:

  • Why the project is important to us.
  • What is the theme? What are we trying to say with it?
  • What do you, personally, want to get out of writing it? Maybe you want to work on your description, or character arc, or prove to yourself that you can write a certain amount in a given time-frame.
  • What do you want to professionally, get out of writing it? Maybe this is the one that you will send to Asimov’s or Analog, or submit to agents.
  • I’m also going to add in here, add to this list the reasons you write. Why you chose to become a writer, what or who inspired you to become a writer, and what you enjoy about it.

Keep this list handy, because there are going to be times, many times, when writing just isn’t fun, especially when you’re waiting for a response from a publisher or agent, or those rejections start piling up.

 

What’s Stopping You. . . Part 2

We are now well into September, and our routines are, if not settled, then nearly so. Do you still find you’re unable to take those small steps towards achieving your goals? Maybe you just don’t feel like you have the energy to get started after a long day, and need to use your weekends to recuperate. What if you’ve already taken the time to look at and re-evaluate the problem and what you need to fix to keep moving forward and you still can’t see your way forward?

Take a closer look at the situation, the project, and the overall outcome you are hoping for. What is it about the projject that keeps needing to be fixed? Are you tired of it? Is this the project that is going to give you the outcome you desire? Is it worth your time to continue on it? What is it you are really protesting? Is it a wrong step, or would a different project be better for you and get you to your desired outcome?

I encountered this situation this past week. I’ve been working on a project for the last year. Several times I’ve thought I was well on my way to completion and then I’d get stuck. I’d look back at it, figure out where I went wrong, go back to that point and start fresh, only to get stuck again. This happened several times. It got to the point where I dreaded going back to it. and yet I felt the pressure to continue, to finish, because I don’t believe in abandonning projects just becasue it isn’t working out once or twice. But after a year of struggling, I started paying attention to what my mind and body were protesting. The real protest was that this was not the right project for me. I finally decided to set that project aside for now or indefinitely and to work on a new project. I don’t quite know what that will be, but I’m looking forward to it.

Once I made that decision, I felt relief and joy. I knew I’d listened to myself and know what is right for me. And now, for the first time in a few years, I am excited to be working on a new project. It is in the same field and with the goal of the same end result, it is just a different way of getting there.

What is really stopping you from moving forward?

What’s stopping you from moving forward?

It’s that time of year again: The beginning of the school year. Even if you don’t have kids in school or are not a University student yourself, or work in the academic field, September is always the mark of a new year. Fall is in the air and day trips to the beach are numbered.

How does this time of the year make you feel? Is it tough to get back into a routine? Do you find yourself disorganized and maybe a little harried? Are you putting your goals and dreams aside because you don’t have the time to focus?

The beginning of September is a lot busier than the summer, and often requires a lot of our energy that needs to be focused in areas where we haven’t focused it on in a while. Does this mean you need to put your goals and dreams on hold? The longer we spend away from our goals and dreams, the more difficult it becomes to get back to them.

What’s stopping you from moving forward on your goals and dreams? Is it the feeling that you don’t have energy? Do you feel like you don’t have the time? Did you take the summer off from it thinking you would get back to it in September and now you think that because you’ve taken so much time away from it, there is no point in going back to it?

All of these thoughts are from what I like to call our Inner Saboteur., that voice of self-doubt that doees whatever it can to keep you from moving forward on your dreams and goals.

What if you were to take a few minutes a day for yourself and your dreams? What if you work on something related to your goals, maybe a side project that will help you achieve the end product?

What do I mean by a side project? As a writer, I might not have the energy or time to spend a few hours a day on writing, but I can do some research on the subject matter, or agents and editors. As a woodworker, maybe I don’t have the time it takes right now to make my masterpiece, but I can research material I might want to use and discover new techniques to the trade. If the goal is to take an exotic trip somewhere, maybe I could start with looking up locations, deciding what activities most interest me and which locations best suit those. Maybe I could set the budget for such a trip and start figuring out how I’m going to pay for it.

There are always small steps that can be taken even when your energy is at an all time low. If you take these small steps, you will feel your energy for that project grow and be ready to go in full when you do settle into your routine.

So what’s stopping you from moving forward on your goals? What step will you take to move forward?

The Joy of Adventure

I don’t know about you, but I love adventure. I love trying new things, and taking advantage of opportunities that come along once in a lifetime.

I’m an introvert. I’d rather stay home curled up on my couch with a good book, which on the surface totally contradicts that first paragraph. I used to have to force myself to go out with friends or even by myself. I still do, sometimes. Iwas asked recently if I ever regretted going out when I’d rather stay home.

My answer was this: Sometimes. And I can’t even say that if I hadn’t gone I’d have regretted not going. But most of the time, I surprise myself by having such a good time, with friends and experiencing something new, that I am glad I went.

I have now become the person who looks for opportunities and for new experiences. Not only do they make me happy, they enrich my life, my life experience, and expand my world-view. And in the end, it is that enrichment that makes me look forward to new adventures.

What is stopping you from having seeking out new adventures?

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Available now: “Silencing Your Inner Saboteur”. Don’t Let your inner saboteur stop you from achieving your dreams and goals.

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Good News Monday!

Happy Long Weekend Monday! It is time again for Good News Monday where we celebrate all the good things in our lives, big or small.

My Good News: I just completed a major project which took up a lot of time. The end product was amazing and made a lot of people happy so I am incredibly pleased with it all. And now I’m looking forward to spending time on other projects that have been pushed to the side.

What is your Good News?

But I have a day job

It is all fine and well to talk about wanting change in our lives, and keeping our eyes on the prize when we hit the rough patches if we do decide to make a change. We all know that nothing is really that easy. Without a great support team behind us, it often doesn’t take long until we’ve given up. As important to our success as support, is commitment.

Maintaining our commitment to change, especially when it comes to changing job positions or careers, can be incredibly difficult. Bills still need to be paid, mouths need to be fed, bodies need to be clothed. Family and other engagements continue to take up much of our time. So just how are these changes supposed to be made?

Over the next few blog posts I’m going to talk about goal setting. To start, it doesn’t matter what goals you set yourself, you need to be committed to achieving them. Yes, there will be times when goals are not met and frustration sets in, but then you need to re-commit yourself to them.

In every coaching session, we ask our clients what action steps towards their goal they will commit to that week. Then we ask you how committed you are to those steps. How can you keep from getting overwhelmed with striving to make major changes when you have so many other responsibilities?

You make sure your goals are ecological.

Next week we’ll talk about what that means.

Good News Monday!

It’s Monday, and you know what that means! Time to celebrate the week that was and look forward to the week ahead. So many adventures and opportunities and surprises that may come your way!

I was going to say that my good news is that Spring seems to finally have arrived and with it the birds nesting in the trees outside my home. As much as I love listening to the birds, my real good news came from a coaching session I had. Yes, coaches get coached as well. I made a really important discovery and a huge breakthrough happened as a result.

What is your good news this Monday?