Speaking in Charlottesville, VA

A New Look at Goal Setting

The end of December and beginning of January are traditional times to reflect on the year past and set goals for the year ahead. People think about New Years Resolutions — getting rid of bad habits and accomplishing a long list of things that they have never been able to do before. Some goals fall into the category of ‘would be nice’. Some are the voice of conscience as in ‘I ought to do this’. Some are really other people’s goals for you. Whether your list is long or short, laudable and impressive, unless you approach these goals differently than you have in the past, it is unlikely that these things will come to fruition.

New Year’s Resolutions tend to wither on the vine before February rolls around. Setting goals, making ‘to do’ lists, and having the best of intentions are simply not good enough. You have to have a big enough reason, a reason to get off the couch, a reason to do lots of things you don’t like or are outside of your comfort zone especially when you are tired, stressed, or already are overwhelmed with other things to do.

Pushing through inertia, internal resistance or challenges by sheer force of will in order to accomplish a goal is only something you can do for only a very limited time. It is draining, and it is hard work. But if you can fire up your imagination, identify a motivating reason for doing what is necessary, if you see the connection of your goal to your core values or overall life path, then the work flows easily and it is even fun. I call this ‘Finding Your Why’. And while having SMART goals is important, other elements are also needed to succeed.

Central Virginia Business Owners Meeting, February 4 at Noon

Roxanne Louise will be addressing the topic of goal setting including:

  • Why Resolutions and Goals Fail
  • SMART Goals & Beyond
  • Finding Your Why
  • Examples

MEETING LOCATION: Northside Library is located at 705 West Rio Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901 just one block west of Rt. 29. The meeting is free and open to all. And since it is lunchtime, you can also bring food in with you.

Finding Your Why!

The end of December and beginning of January are traditional times to reflect on the year past and set goals for the year ahead. People think about getting rid of bad habits and accomplishing a long list of things that they have never been able to do before. Yet unless they do something different, it is likely that these goals will not get done this year either.

New Year’s Resolutions tend to wither on the vine before February rolls around. Setting goals, making ‘to do’ lists, and having the best of intentions are simply not good enough. You have to have a big enough reason, a reason to get off the couch, a reason to do a bunch of things you don’t like or are outside of your comfort zone especially when you are tired, stressed, or there is a good movie on Netflix. This is what I call finding your ‘why’. 

Why New Year’s Resolutions and Goals Fail

In an earlier blog article “When Goals Lack Luster”I addressed part of why people do not achieve what they would like. Here they are:

  1. The goals are not really your goals. They sound good but really belong to someone else, hence, they don’t inspire you to take action. 
  2. Internal conflicts – there is a part of you that wants it, but also a part that doesn’t. Until you resolve it, you are literally fighting yourself.
  3. You either do not have a big enough reason or cannot see the connection to your core values or soul path to do the work necessary and overcome whatever challenges are involved.
  4. Negative beliefs, assumptions, and judgments
  5. Not knowing how to achieve these goals, who to turn to for help, the first steps to take, and not having faith that you can figure these things out as you go along.

But here, I would like to address #3 — finding the underlying reason why you want what you want especially focusing on your core values and primary life direction. This reason, which I call your ‘Why’ also relates to ‘Relevant’ in SMART goals listed below.

What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym for each element that needs to be in place for goal achievement:  

  • Specific (clear, concise goals writen down and described in detail),
  • Measurable (allowing you to track your progress with end date in mind ),
  • Achievable (challenging yet doable),
  • Relevant (fit in with your core values, overall life plan or purpose), and
  • Time-based (with dates for each part of the process).

To Achievable listed above, I would add that you need to BELIEVE that this goal is achievable even if no one has done it before, and you don’t have a clue yet how to do it yourself.

Setting SMART goals is commonly talked about in business circles because it takes goal setting out of the realm of fuzzy thinking into a clear action plan enhancing the likelihood of results.

A recent example of finding your WHY:

Right after Thanksgiving I took a train from Charlottesville, Virginia to New Jersey, picked up my son’s van and most essential belongings and drove about 3200 miles or 8 hours/day most days for 8 days to get them out to California in time for my son to start work at a job that he had only just gotten only a couple of weeks before. I had to hustle to schedule, organize, instruct caretakers for my farm, get animal houses cleaned, feed purchased, and everything ready, including getting my other businesses taken care of to make this happen.

Now, I should tell you that I hate driving and dislike leaving home especially when I don’t know where I am going and have to set up my own travel arrangements and accommodations along the way. I procrastinate endlessly when I have to go somewhere, usually waiting until the last moment. I worry incessantly about other people taking good care that my pets and farm animals are kept safe, well fed and sheltered appropriately, greenhouse and other plants watered, doors locked, etc. There are enough problems and emergencies that come up when I am here all day for me to tell you that these fears are based in reality.

And yet I offered to do this. Why? I had a big enough reason. I saw it as the only realistic solution that would allow my only child to start his wonderful new job on time, a job that would enhance the well-being of his entire family and fulfill their cherished dreams. And because of that reason, I put everything aside and got it done.

As a hypnotherapist, I work with a lot of smokers. Most important to their success is in having them identify their ‘why’. What do they want more than a cigarette? No one stops smoking because it is a good or healthy thing to do, or it costs too much, or other people are nagging them. No one stops even if doctors tell them that they have to stop. Lots of people continue to smoke after heart attacks, getting emphysema or cancer.  They only stop when they want something MORE.  

When your reason is clear and big enough, anything is possible. You will amaze yourself and others with what you can do. 

So as you look at your year ahead and what you would like to see happen this year, ask yourself

What is my ‘Why’?

 

Once you know that, then ask

And if it could work, how would it work?

 

Copyright 1/2019 by Roxanne Louise. However, this article may be shared in other free online sources only if this copyright notice and links to http://www.roxannelouise.com and http://unlimitedpotentialhealingcenter.com are included with the content.

 

 

On Being Acknowledged

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Educator of the Year Award

At the June, 2018 American Society of Dowsers Convention held in New Paltz, New York, I was honored with the Educator of the Year Award.

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This is not the first time I have been given a National Award. I have five from hypnosis organizations (the list is here). And while I regularly teach at national and regional dowsing conferences, run Central Virginia Dowsers, monthly Dowsing Support Teleconference Calls, and have written 9 books and over 118 articles on hypnosis, dowsing, self help, mind-body healing, etc, NONETHELESS it means a great deal to be recognized, not just for me, but for anyone.

The importance of recognition

Being seen, heard, appreciated, publicly acknowledged for whatever contribution we make in life is one of the best gifts we can receive and give to another. Many people go through life feeling invisible, and that their work, loyalty, dependability, kindness and consideration, their going the ‘extra mile’ are taken for granted. That is devastating to the human spirit, causing resentment, bitterness, anger or great sadness. Worse, it causes people to sometimes give up instead of continuing to do their work. The world suffers then as a result.

It doesn’t matter if that work is Mom reliably making your meals, washing your clothes, getting you to school on time. Or it is someone that opens the store every day on time, comes and feeds your animals so you can go away, takes you to the airport, does favors large or small, or fills in the countless gaps where we need and count upon others to help us. Everyone needs to be acknowledged for what they do.

How wonderful if we each could notice and thank others – not just with a superfluous ‘thank you’, but by gripping of the person’s hands, looking them in the eyes, and really conveying genuine appreciation. Let them feel your heart. Being seen and heard and appreciated are vital to the human spirit. Indeed, it is vital for health and life itself. Feeling valued, feeling that we are important, and an integral part of the group is the glue that holds all meaningful relationships together — families, friendships, neighborhoods, communities, businesses, organizations and more. 

Recognition does not mean giving a trophy to every participant, or an award where there was no meaningful effort. Such plaques are empty, even insulting. But it does mean  acknowledging in appropriate ways for the degree of service that is provided or effort made. The best award is one in which others agree that ‘you deserved it’ and can celebrate with you for a job well done. Yet, even small acts of kindness, good manners or common civility should be acknowledged. Someone who has just opened the door for you deserves to be looked in the face when saying ‘thank you‘. Shake the hand of the person who has carried your groceries or loaded your car. Because…

Gratitude blesses the giver as well as the receiver. 

And as to the person who receives the acknowledgment, it is a testament to their rising to the occasion whether there was rain or snow, whether they were tired or having a bad day themselves, whether it was difficult or not. They showed up that day and the next, and the next, to do their part. They noticed a need and fulfilled it. They stepped up to the plate. Yet…

Each of us stands on the shoulders of those that have gone before.

Awards not only honor those that receive them, but to the countless others who taught , mentored or coached them in developing character, discipline, responsibility, skills and expertise, and most important, humanity.

Behind every successful person are dozens of others that helped them along the way.

There is a saying that ‘behind every successful man is a woman’. But in truth, each of us is the person we are today because of others teaching, guiding, inspiring, supporting, and believing in us. No one achieves anything on their own. And in thanking that person, you are also thanking their parents and elders, their teachers, their pastor, their supporters and heroes.

This awareness helps to balance the ego. Yes, the one recognized can be rightfully proud of their achievements and what it took to get there. They can and should honor their own personal dedication and decision to be of service in any way they could, large or small. And at the same time, they should turn around to thank those who made it possible.

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So, in addition to countless others who have helped me including my spiritual team, I want to thank my father, William Erwin Wackenhuth, for what I have achieved and the person I am still in process of becoming. He was a man who dropped out of high school at 16 to go to work as a draftsman. Yet he finished Newark’s Arts High School, then college at Newark College of Engineering and all but the final part of his Master’s Degree, all by going nights and walking miles each day just to save the trolley car fare.

He was a highly intelligent man, lifelong mechanical engineer, inventor, teacher at General Motors, ham radio operator, Sunday school teacher, devoted son, brother, husband and father. He was a Christian who lived by an examined (not blind) faith, and a man of enormous integrity, and dedication to his family. As many have said of him, ‘they broke the mold’ after he died. Yet, I see his legacy being passed on through my son. And I witness others who also were molded by men and women of strong character that are making an impact in their world. It is my hope that these traits become dominant in the American people once more.