SECRETS OF A SOCIAL WORKER

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Tag: goals

Honoring Your Uniqueness

If there is one thing we are all guilty of, it’s living our lives for other people. We forget to step into our power and own who we are. We forget to focus on our own aspirations and instead worry about pleasing those around us. And when we do this, we lose the ability to understand who we are. We lose track of our own feelings, and we set aside our wants and needs without even realizing it.
I immediately notice when I give up power over my own life. I know this because when I am asked a question, my response is to immediately think about others; their feelings, their reactions, their perspectives, and I completely forget to focus on what’s most important…Myself.
People don’t ask us questions or want our expertise, help, opinions, support, etc.. so we can provide them perspectives of others. They are asking for us. However, we get so easily pulled into this habit that we forget about honoring our own unique selves. 

This is one of the biggest mistakes we make in our short and well-intentioned lives. It is so easy for us to be pulled into someone else’s reality; it takes focus and assertiveness to keep our own dreams in the forefront of our minds. But if we don’t focus on and work towards our own dreams, someone else will get us to work for theirs. And this happens to us every.single.day.

Decide what you want. Once you become precise in your wants and conscious of your own dreams, goals, aspirations, you become better at deciphering decisions and what path will lead you to where it is you want to be most. Once you decide what you want, it will be easier for you to determine the decisions that will pull you into your own power versus the decisions that lead you into living your life for other people.

A question I ask myself to help stay on top of my own power is, “what is my ideal situation?” or, “what is my ideal outcome?”. I take everything else out of the equation; risks, fear, opinions, other people’s reactions or feelings, potential set backs, etc…And I force myself to answer the question.
What is your ideal situation? What is your ideal outcome? Once you can firm up your answer and find your power, the more you can understand the path you need to take to reach your goals. When we believe in our own power and believe in our uniqueness, our confidence skyrockets. And trust me when I say you will waste so much less time. The greatest gift is a feeling of knowing, and a feeling of complete confidence over where we are at in our lives. 

You are powerful. Step into your own power and step out of the shadows you place yourself in. You have something to offer this world that is unique; no one else can provide to this world what you can. And how awesome is that?

In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different~

-keep shining
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Eat The Popsicle That Turns Your Mouth Blue…

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Why is it that when we turn into full-time working, tax paying, house cleaning adults we forget to have fun? We take life too seriously and don’t laugh as much as we should. We lose our ability to be spontaneous and we forget the importance and excitement of being immature.
We were all kids once, and for some of us those are the best memories of our lives. We didn’t have an agenda, no ongoing stressors, and life consisted of having fun by using our imagination and acting impulsively. Being a kid consisted of enjoying the little things which made us happy. We were at our most simple and innocent selves.
The good news is we can still incorporate that mindset into our lifestyle as adults. We should never let go of our ‘kid-at-heart’ mentality. We all have a child inside of us that still wants to be carefree, laugh, and act immaturely. There is no reason we need to repress that kid inside, but instead should embrace what that brings out in us.
So how can we remember to play more and work less, you ask? Here are my thoughts…

First and foremost, don’t forget to do the things that brought you joy so many years ago. Whether you walk by a tree and have an impulse to climb it, or you want to eat the popsicle that will turn your mouth blue, paint a picture, or have an urge to dance in public…Do it! Those were the things that made us happy as kids, and we did them without thinking twice about it. As adults, we care too much about what others think of us, and focus too much on what needs to be done versus what we want to do.
Other areas we neglect as we get older is our creativity and imagination…. Creativity is why our world is so advanced, so never lose site of your imagination. Imagination is what helped you morph into the savvy, sophisticated human you are today. Our imagination is what motivated us to be creative, to make things up, to play things out, and to be curious. By using our imagination we learned about what we loved, what we were passionate about, and what we fantasized for our futures. We created so many incredible things by using our imagination; forts, drawings, silly jokes, games, lifestyles, costumes….The list goes on and on!
And in case you don’t recall…we forgot and forgave as kids. I do not ever remember holding a grudge against my sister when she forced me into blue jeans, frilly socks, and bows when all I wanted to wear were cowgirl boots and sweat pants (I screamed bloody murder every.single.time)…We moved on, and remembered the importance of still loving those in our lives who were important to us, even when they made us mad. As kids we did not judge people or talk badly about one another. We loved unconditionally, it was that simple.
And weren’t all of us annoyingly curious as kids? Always asking questions, and always exploring. Think about how much we learned by being curious and asking the “why’s” to everything adults said and did. But now that we are adults, we feel that asking a question makes us irrelevant or is something to be embarrassed about. We feel vulnerable when we ask questions and when we do not know the answers to everything. Asking questions and being curious is how we learned and grew as kiddos, and we cannot let our egos distract us from the importance of that. Nor can we judge one another for not having the answers. There truly is no such things as a stupid question, how would we know otherwise? There is so much truth to the simple saying, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Of course over time we have gained more responsibilities and stressors, but do not forget to be who you truly are. Who you are resides within the kid that lives in your heart; it’s where you came from, your passions, your curiosity, your endless love, your simplicity, your creativity and imagination. Our time is precious, and no day should go without doing something we love and being who we are. Make time to laugh each and every day, be impulsive, and eat that blue popsicle.

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? ~

-keep shining

2016, I’m Ready For You!

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Okay, it’s that time of year again… The time where we focus on all the changes we want to make, and how refreshed we will magically feel now that year 2016 has arrived. ‘New year new me’.

So how can we actually accomplish the goals we create for year 2016? And how can we be inspired to believe that the new year will be filled with great changes and a feeling of being refreshed?

Here are some helpful tips to assist in ensuring your new year is a healthy, more positive start. After all, the new year is a fabulous time to make changes and feel rejuvenated, so why not truly give it a shot?!

Focus on changing the behavior, not the outcome.
This is key to setting awesome goals for yourself. We cannot only focus on what we want, but focus on how we are going to get there. For example, let’s say you want to lose 10 pounds. If you only focus on that goal and the outcome you want, how on earth can you accomplish the weight loss and continue on this healthier path? We need to focus on what needs to change, not just the outcome. What areas of my lifestyle can be improved so I can reach that goal?
If we do not recognize and change our behaviors (eating poorly, too much sugar, not working out, etc.) our weight loss goal cannot be met and maintained long term. How can this be a lifestyle change and something we feel can be easily accomplished if we do not know and recognize the behaviors that lead to the weight loss?

Focus on recognizing and changing your behavior, and the rest will follow.

Create SMART goals.
Once you establish the goals/changes you want for year 2016, make sure that your goals can fit into all the categories below. And remember that a little trial and error is expected. Trial and error help us grow and learn.

SMART goals:

S-specific- Provide some serious details, people! This is key to meeting your New Year’s goals: who, what, where, when, why? You cannot go into the new year with a goal of ‘I want to lose weight’. Instead, get more specific by saying ‘I want to lose an average of 4 pounds per month for the next 12 months by joining a health club, drinking 100 ounces of water a day, and eating vegetables at each meal’. Know why and how to accomplish this goal, and write it all down;  focus on your behaviors in order get to that desired outcome.

M-measurable- How is your goal going to be measured? By simply saying ‘I need to lose weight’ is not nearly enough. How can you measure that? Instead start saying, ‘I am going to lose 4 pounds a month for the next 12 months, and lose ____ inches around my waist’, you can assess your progress and depict whether or not you’re reaching your goal. When focusing on your behaviors, decide the amount of water to drink each day, the amount of vegetables at each meal, and the amount of time you will spend at a health club each week. Ask yourself, ‘how much/how many, and how will I know if my goal has been met’? By keeping yourself accountable using measurement, you stay on track. Plus, it feels so much better to measure your goals and have a sense of accomplishment when you can visually see progress and results!

A-attainable- How can you be successful in this goal? By being aware of how to reach your goal, you begin to see opportunities that bring you one step closer to goal achievement. Choices and changes you make help you to grow towards your goals and understand them better along the way. It’s all about awareness here!

R-realistic- How feasible is this goal? Don’t schedule yourself at the gym 7 days a week for 2 hours if you don’t have the time to do it. You can start small to create those habits. Know your goals and the changes in behavior that need to take place. Then be honest with yourself- can I do this? Avoid setting yourself up for failure.

T-timely- Give yourself a time limit. If there is no time limit, goals seem to fizzle out because we have no end point. Timelines give us something to aim for and help to motivate us along the way.

Don’t forget to ‘fill your bucket’
What good are goals if we forget to praise ourselves along the way? ‘Filling your bucket’ is a metaphor for providing yourself enough positivity to feel good about yourself each and every day.  Fill your personal bucket with uplifting thoughts, motivation, and pats on the back each time you make choices to help in accomplishing your goals. Be aware of your progress as well as the adjustments you’re making to change your behavior, and give yourself credit for it. You are your best cheerleader!

Make mistakes, make a lot of them.
Say whaaaaat??? I promise I am not crazy! Mistakes help us to create new things, learn new things, attempt new things…By making mistakes you are living. Making mistakes helps us to push ourselves and make changes; you do things you’ve never done before. Make new mistakes. Make wonderful mistakes. Make mistakes that you never thought you would. Do not worry about not being good enough, or that you will be judged. Do not worry about being perfect. What ever you are fearful of doing….DO IT. Make mistakes in 2016 and forever.

Happy New Year, everyone!

-keep shining