Tag Archives: goal-setting

My One Word: Heal

One word: Heal.

This is my word for 2016. (Read more about choosing a word HERE). My desire is to experience deep healing throughout this year. In order to live the extraordinary life, be all that God made me to be, and do all that God designed me to do I must experience real, authentic, and deep healing.

HealsHonestly, I did not like this word when I first thought of it. My typical words or goals involve something more (active, proactive, aggressive, get-it-done) dynamic. Healing sounds like dark, hard, emotional work. I feel like I have had enough tears and emotions for one lifetime, so going to a deeper level . . . ugh! I say “ugh” and yet I want the results, and so a piece of my heart (at least in this moment) says “yes!” I want to be better. I want to feel better. I want to heal.

EMOTIONAL

When I initially chose the word “heal” it was all about emotions. My heart was broken and dreams were crushed last year. The hurt my family experienced affected me personally. I felt deep sadness, anger – at times vengeful – and an ache of soul I never knew until this past year. My emotional self definitely needs more healing and that is a part of my word’s meaning.

PHYSICAL

Stress, grief, change, and the unknown all impact our bodies physically. Weight loss is difficult, if not impossible. Inflammation increases and is hard to manage, which can result in all kinds of physical problems. And, in the midst of stress, moving, and emotional struggle it feels ridiculously overwhelming to make any lifestyle changes because survival is the highest goal (along with not going insane)!

Now that we are settled into our new community, schools, work, and home I want to re-focus on my health. I want to make healthy meals, release some pounds, and renew healthy habits for me and my family. I know more transitions are in the future, but I can take physical steps of healing now.

RELATIONAL

There is one specific relationship I am working on this year. My heart and attitude need healing because I want a #10, open, honest, fun, growing relationship with this person. It requires work on my part. This relationship needs the healing touch of Jesus, and so does my heart. I want great relationships. I want to be a giver rather than a taker. I want to heal and improve in my relationships, beginning with this specific one.

What does your one word mean? Are there ways your word could be expanded or enhanced to have greater meaning and value? The opportunity before us is huge. We have the chance to grow, change, and Be Extraordinary in 2016. Don’t miss it!

Be Extraordinary!

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Word

one wordIt is common in recent years to choose a word for the year. It has probably been popular for ages, but I have seen it in books, blogs, and heard it spoken about more often recently. I have been doing something similar with my mastermind team for the past eight years. We make contract statements. For example, “I am a Joyful, Positive, Forgiving Woman.” We then sign our emails with these contracts: “Joyful, Positive, Forgiving Traci.” Sometimes the words change throughout the year because we change or different circumstances arise, but often we pick themes for an entire year.

One year I chose the word “positive.” Up to that point I considered myself a natural pessimist, but I wanted to change my perspective and my life. One year of focus, working through a powerful book (The 4:8 Principle), and accepting feedback and challenge from my mastermind team changed my outlook. I, the eternal pessimist/realist, became a positive, glass-half-full kind of girl.

Simply saying the word over and over will not make it true. Like Steve Carell’s morning ritual in Evan Almighty, “I am successful. I am powerful. I am handsome. I am happy.” Yes, there is power in our words – what we speak, listen to, and believe. However, I also believe we must take action in order to develop these qualities or experience these life-changing words in our life.

WORD:

If you already have a word, skip to the ACTION section, but if you don’t have a word, would you consider choosing one for this year? If you want to take the journey and Be Extraordinary in this life, then internal change (which will turn into external change) must occur. No one has arrived. Here are a few suggestions for choosing your word:

  1. Think about who you want to become this year. What is one specific area you want to see more of in your life?
  2. Make sure your word is positive. Rather than “not being fearful,” choose courageous, confident, or brave.
  3. Know what your word means to you. It doesn’t really matter if others fully understand your word, but YOU must understand your word.
  4. Pray. If you have a relationship with God, ask Him. He wants you to grow, change, and Be Extraordinary too!

ACTION:

I look at these actions as ways to enhance your growth in your word. To really become – or take big strides in becoming – your word, there must be more than a morning ritual of repetition. Some action ideas:

  1. Write your word and put it in places you will see regularly. (bathroom mirror, refrigerator, car)
  2. Tell others your word. Make sure you tell people who love you and encourage you as you grow into your new word.
  3. Find a book. One of the most powerful things for me in becoming more positive was reading a book related to that topic (The 4:8 Principle). I actually read the book twice that year.
  4. Memorize a Bible verse. There are so many verses that relate to life and personal growth. Choose one of these verses and commit it to memory.
  5. Embrace your word. Choose to be your word. You may not have fully arrived, but you can still choose to take actions that make your word true. For example, if my word is healthy, then I can embrace a healthy lifestyle and do things that a healthy person would do even if I am not yet healthy.

I would love to know what your word is for this year. My word is HEAL and you can read more about it HERE. Would you please share your word in the comments below or in the comments on Facebook? Let’s become more of who we were made to be, one word at a time!

Be Extraordinary!

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Someday is Not a Day of the Week!

Dream at restDo you have dreams? Are there things you have been wanting to do, or things you know without doubt you are called to do, but you haven’t gotten around to them yet? Dreams and desires without action are just wishes, hopes, and fantasies. Without action now, your dreams will still be sitting on the shelf unfulfilled when you leave this earth. Do you desire a different legacy than a shelf full of unfulfilled dreams?

What are you waiting for?

“One of our greatest illusions is that someday we will have more time [or energy, or support, or courage] to take action on our dreams and aspirations. But one thing leads to another, and someday never comes. While we are busy postponing things, life speeds by.” *

Stepping out of the rut of inaction, or even the rut of busyness, is challenging. Getting focused and taking meaningful, intentional action steps toward our dreams can be a daunting feat. Remember Newton’s law of physics?

“An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

A dream at rest stays at rest. If your dream is stagnant – it has no life and no movement – it requires some serious force to get moving. It is necessary to take action steps, even little tiny ones, consistently and persistently, to get the dream unstuck. Coaches are great for this process because it takes help, encouragement, and accountability to change an ingrained habit. I’m not strong enough to accomplish my dreams on my own and neither are you. We weren’t created to do life alone!

Busyness in the direction opposite of our dreams must be acted upon by another force. Overcommitment to things that will not move us closer to our dreams is another reason time flies by and our dreams remain stuck. We must learn how to say “no.” Have you ever said “yes” to something that you knew you really didn’t have time for, it wasn’t even close to your gift set, or took valuable time away from what you knew you were supposed to be doing? I have improved in this area greatly, but at times I still find myself saying “yes” with my lips while my heart is crying “NO!”

If overcommitting or busyness is getting in the way of your dreams, it may be a good time to nail down why you want your dreams. Discover the prices you are paying for not accomplishing your dreams. When the dream (or calling) is clear, we will know with more certainty when we ought to say “yes” and when we ought to say “no.”

Your dreams are worth pursuing and they are part of living out your extraordinary story.

Be Extraordinary!

*From the book 7: how many days of the week can be extraordinary

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Do You Inspire Others?

Extraordinary kidsOne night the kids and I were hanging out in the living room. I was on the couch with Celina snuggled on my lap. She is 8 years old, but I think she will always find a way to snuggle on my lap! BJ was in the chair working on a drawing and AJ was standing near us. I don’t remember exactly what he was doing, but probably tossing a ball in the air as he is often found with a ball in his hands.

The topic of conversation moved to BJ and her desire to be a fashion designer. She loves fashion, style, and music. AJ asked her a question or two and BJ’s response indicated that her belief about the fashion designing dreams were mere fantasies – she didn’t really believe they could become reality. AJ jumped on this disbelief quickly and reminded her of her passion, talent, and skills. He said in a number of words and number of ways, “You can do it!”

At this moment Celina piped in with a statement that added fuel to the energy building in the room. She said,

“AJ, you always say stuff that makes us feel like our dreams can come true.”

AJ quoteIn the hour that followed papers were pulled out, drafts of ideas were made, and brainstorm lists were created. BJ created outfit designs. Celina had a list of her dreams consisting of a big red barn, farmhouse, and all the animals that we would find there. AJ has plenty of dreams of his own. He plans to be a wise and godly business man – first with USANA and then owning his own store by the time he is 30.

The greatest thing about all of this was the belief that I saw well up in each child. There was great excitement, energy, and bonding between the kids. They were helping each other and even discussing how each one would help the other in the achievement of their dreams.

Without even realizing it, AJ showed leadership that night. He inspired greatness in his younger sisters. He uncovered and stoked their belief.

When you are in the room, what do you inspire in others? What conversations are created because of your questions? Is there energy, positivity, and belief in your presense? I think we all can learn a valuable lesson about the extraordinary life from AJ’s example – I know that I can!

Be Extraordinary!

#13.1 Life Lessons

we did it halfSunday, October 5, Joe and I completed the Sleeping Bear Dunes Half Marathon. Because of my foot injury I had only run one time in the previous three weeks without pain. That run was five days before the race and a distance of 3.5 miles. Also, the longest distance I had run before the race was 8.02 miles and 8.5 miles for Joe.

Race day was filled with many firsts, personal records, and (of course!) life lessons.

1. I can do hard things.
When I make a decision and commit to that decision – regardless of how difficult the task is – I am capable. Often I don’t commit to things because I question my capacity. I discovered in the training and the race that I am capable of much more than I believe.

2. The journey is easier (and made possible) with a buddy (Joe).
I honestly could not, or would not, have completed this journey without Joe by my side. Joe’s questions, encouragement, persistence, and sometimes being a pain in the butt were all for my good. I needed every bit of prodding Joe offered.

3. Having people who are further in the journey (Clay, Lisa, Evey) is crucial to my success.
I received good, sound, positive, encouraging advice and help from runners who had already run 13.1 miles. The words they gave were a big part of being prepared race day.

4. Without training there is no chance for victory.
If I had never trained I could not have finished. The training was not only physical, but there were many mental barriers conquered during the months of training before the race.

5. The best way to finish is to keep moving.
When we came to the “12 mile” sign everything below my waist was in agony. We slowed to a walk, but I knew if I stopped the motion, or sat for a minute, starting again would have been nearly impossible. It was so important to keep moving.

6. Quitting is not an option.
Joe and I had two goals for the half: start and finish. “Quit” was not a word in our vocabulary. As we ran mile after mile we talked of finishing – we never talked about stopping. I had seen the piles of cut oranges before we started and in the latter miles I had my eyes and tastebuds on that prize too!

7. The goal for the race is personal.
Every runner out on the course had a different objective. Some set out to win. Some set out for friendship and fun. Joe and I ran as a metaphor for the life we are living in 2014. We are “running the race” of life and all we faced in the training and running of a half marathon has lessons for our personal journey too.

8. Remember how far you have come.
When I began training I could barely run one mile. It was fun and rewarding as we ran 13.1 miles to recount along the way just how far we had come.
“Remember the first time we ran a 5k?”
“I remember finishing my first 4 mile run. I was exhausted, but it felt so good.”
And then at 9 miles we had run the most consecutive miles we had ever run. We had so many memories to relish as we kind of applauded ourselves for how far we had come.

9. Injuries and obstacles are bound to happen.
Early in my training I suffered a lower back injury that halted my training for nearly four weeks. And in the final three weeks of training I injured my foot. This prevented me from getting in the 10 mile run I had hoped for before race day and limited my training to one 3.5 mile run in those final three weeks. I discovered that my attitude was key during those times. It would have been easy to quit at that point, but I was able to wait patiently and still complete the half marathon goal.

10. My mind and my self talk is powerful.
It is easy to speak lies to myself. It is easy to tell myself that it is too hard or I can’t do it. 13.1 miles showed me how crucial, valuable, and powerful positive self-talk is. When I speak positive truth it has great impact – my thoughts are powerful!

half medal11. Utilize the aid stations.
Water, gatorade, goo, and grapes were necessary parts of the journey. I suppose one could think they are stronger for not needing any of those things along the way, but I would say they are foolish. We can not complete any journey without nourishment. In fact, I unashamedly downed 12 orange quarters at the end of the race!

12. Know the limits and push them.
If I had never pushed the limits in training, I probably wouldn’t have run further than three miles. Mileage beyond that was hard and a 5k was the furthest I had run all at once up until that point. Pushing the limits helped reveal unknown strength.

13. There is always a wall.
“There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.” – author unknown
In everything worth pursuing my experience has been that there are walls. The question is, “what will we do when we hit the wall?” Many turn around, stop, or hope it goes away. If knowing the limits and pushing them reveals our ability, then busting through a wall shows the depth of our character, will, and desire. Every big desire we have is on the other side of a wall.

.1 Just a little bit more.
This is not only about the distance, but going “just a little bit more” requires digging deep and finding the reservoirs of inner strength.
What area of your life needs “just a little bit more”?
You are spending time with your kids. What would it look like to spend just a little bit more?
You are working your business. What would it look like to work just a little bit more?
You are loving your spouse. What would it look like to love just a little bit more?

The extraordinary journey is often long, difficult, and tiring, but it is also so worth it!

Be Extraordinary!

Read Joe’s Half Marathon thoughts by clicking here.

Read my half marathon training post by clicking here.

1/2 Marathon: Training

runWhile training for my first half marathon, I wrote out some thoughts and lessons I was learning. The following was written about five months before the race.

I am in the midst of training for my first half marathon. Actually, truth be told, I am in the midst of training for the training for my first half marathon. Every marathon or half marathon training program I have seen begins with the ability to jog or run three easy miles. It does not begin at “Couch to 5k” pace.

Running a half marathon – like most big goals or dreams – is not something we decide to do one day and go out and complete the next. This is especially true for an occasional, recreational runner like me.

Prepping for half marathon training has come with victories, challenges, and some life lessons in living an extraordinary life.

Pay the Price

The first way I payed the price was by actually signing up for a half marathon. I payed the money and the race is on my calendar. I will run (jog) the Sleeping Bear Dunes Half Marathon on October 5, 2014.

The next way I payed the price and will continue to pay the price is through accountability. I committed to my life and business coach that I would exercise four or more days each week. There is a financial risk attached to this commitment.

Obstacles will Arise

I began my training in the gym, on a treadmill. This winter was especially long so many workouts were spent on the treadmill. Three or four weeks into my training I injured my lower back. This was a first for me and I was immobilized for several days. After a full week of no running it was a big challenge to work back up to my previous pace and distance. In fact, it took me longer to regain my distance than it did when I first started. During this time the issue in my back moved to my hip and led to weakness in my left leg. I met with a personal trainer and did the required exercises to get back to full strength. This little obstacle was a three to four week detour in my training.

Use the Buddy System

My husband, Joe, made the decision to join me on this half marathon adventure and that decision has made a huge difference in my training. Now that the weather is better and I am running outside, Joe and I are doing many of our runs together. I have noticed that my pace per mile is almost a full minute faster when I run with Joe. Having a buddy makes a difference!

I have many “buddies” on the half marathon journey. The journey originally began with my friend Rachel who wants to run her first full marathon. We both committed to Sleeping Bear Dunes and signed up the same week. Now Ashley is running the marathon with Rachel. Clay, Lisa, and Terase are all running the half along with Joe and I. These buddies are encouraging me in my running journey each time I see them.

Application

Have you payed the price for your goals by setting a date and being accountable?

Are you so committed that no obstacle will keep you from achieving your goals?

Are you running the extraordinary life race alone or do you have race buddies who are in the thick of it with you, encouraging you along the way?

The extraordinary life is not always easy, but it is always worth it.

Be Extraordinary!

Read Joe’s post-half marathon thoughts by clicking here.

Read my post-half marathon thoughts by clicking here.

Farewell Moomers, Paper Piles, and Candy Crush (Part II)

After many years playing yo-yo, I am finally saying “ENOUGH!” I want the goals – the life of my dreams – more than I want to stay in my yo-yo comfort zone. (Read about my “yo-yo” here.)

The first step in crushing the yo-yo is to determine what is holding you back.
As I shared in part I, the top three things currently holding me back the most are sugar, paper piles, and iPad games. My commitment to these three is keeping my goals and dreams at arm’s length month after month and year after year. Acknowledging what holds me back makes me responsible. From this point on, I choose. I either choose to address this beast or ignore it, but either way I choose. I am choosing to engage these top three in battle — and I will win.

Yes, I say with confidence, “I will win!” How do I know I will win? Because I am burning the boats like Hernan Cortes in 1519. During the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the commander scuttled his ships so that his men would have to conquer or die. There was literally no going back. In the same way, I am not giving myself an out or a return pass to my former life. I am creating my future by making a decision, creating boundaries, and setting up strong accountability. Come back to my next blog post where I will discuss the hard-core accountability necessary to ensure success.

The Three Boats I Am Burning:

ice cream mmm#1 Sugar
I am breaking up with sugar for good. It does not serve me – mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. I have toyed with this breakup many times, but enough is finally enough.

“What does this mean?” you ask.
No sweets, desserts, soda, candy or sugary treats.

“When will you eat these delicious treats again?” you ask.
I won’t. Yes, I have considered the plethora of sugary opportunities that will come my way. No, this was not a light or easy decision.

#2 Paper Piles
I am done making excuses about the mounds of paper on my desk, the kitchen counter, bookshelf, and any other flat surface in the house. I am done watching my stress increase with the increasing mounds.

“How will you eliminate all of this paper?” you ask.
I will set a timer for fifteen minutes and work on these piles every day I am home.

“How will you keep these paper piles from returning?” you ask.
Fifteen minutes a day. This is my new habit for life. Yes, for life.

candy crush#3 iPad Games
I went 100 days without iPad games last fall and was amazed at how much I did not miss them. I will enjoy using this newly acquired time blogging, reading, crocheting, playing a game, connecting with my family, and working on my business to build our future and our fortune.

What is holding you back from living the life of your dreams? What are you willing to say “farewell” to for good?

Seriously pursuing the life of your dreams is not easy, but it is worth it!

Be Extraordinary!

Never, Ever Consider Quitting

stay focused“Always stay focused, keep moving forward, and never, ever consider quitting.” I cut this quote out of USANA‘s quarterly magazine several years ago and taped it to the edge of my computer monitor. I don’t even remember how long ago or who said these inspiring words. The small piece of paper has endured new computers and a cross-country move. The words are a timeless reminder for those moments and seasons when my dreams are out of focus, I am stuck, and I feel like quitting.

Always stay focused. Focus is not always the problem, but the object of my focus can either move me closer or lead me further from my goals and dream. I must keep my goal in focus. I write down goals down – 30, 60, and 90 day goals which each point toward my larger six month and one year goals. Every goal is in alignment so that I stay focused on the path that leads to my dreams.

Keep moving forward. The only way to create momentum is to move, and the most difficult place to move from is a stationary position. It is like a large train sitting still on the tracks. It takes a large amount of force and energy to get the train in motion; however, once it starts moving and picking up speed it moves with very little force. I am noticing the same thing with my business. I am my own boss and it is up to me to get in motion. I get the ball rolling by picking up the phone, initiating a conversation, or responding to a need. These are also the things I choose to keep doing so that I can maintain momentum and encourage others.

Never, ever consider quitting. Take quit out of the vocabulary. I can honestly say that the only people I have seen fail in my line of work are the people who quit and the people who continually consider quitting. Let me illustrate with a non-business illustration:

Shortly after our engagement in 1996.

Shortly after our engagement in 1996.

During our college dating years. Probably 1993.

During our college dating years. Probably 1993.

Many of you know that Joe and I dated for a long time before we were married (17 years ago!). During our first 2 years of college (after dating 2+ years in high school) we dated “off and on.” I couldn’t even tell you why we broke up so much except for the fact that I allowed uncertainty to stay in my mind. This may sound silly, but I remember during the fall of my sophomore year of college recognizing my flakiness and making a decision that if Joe and I ever got back together that it would be for good. We were dating again within a few months and stayed together until we were married three years later. And in our marriage relationship divorce is off the table because we will never, ever consider quitting!

The achievement of my dreams demands that I “always stay focused, keep moving forward, and never, ever consider quitting.” Where are you with your dreams? Which of these areas is keeping you from getting where you want to go?

The journey isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it.

Be Extraordinary!

2014 in Living Color

Resolve

How many times have you set the same resolution? Maybe you don’t call it a “resolution”, but you know what I’m talking about. We all have that goal, dream or resolution that always eludes us. We say, “this is the year, or month, or day that everything will change!” Maybe you reflect on the past year and realize, in one area or another, that you are in the same place you were last year at this time. Or, perhaps, you’ve had a wake-up as Alfred Nobel did (story featured in yesterday’s post).

If you relate to being stuck or feel like your life is going in circles and fear that you will continue to end up in the same place over and over, then it is time to write a different story. My friend in business, Melissa, often reminds people that “your past does not define your future”. The story of 2013 does not have to be the story of 2014. Just like Alfred Nobel, you too can choose something different.

Here are three steps that I am using to help write a different story in my life and hopefully they will help you write the story you dream of too!

1) Know your commitment and commit to the process. One of my resolves for 2014 is to be healthy and release weight. If healthy is the story I want to create then I better be committed and know clearly the process I am committed to. I will not arrive at healthy without making choices that reflect my commitment. Some of these choices are putting healthy food in my mouth; stocking the fridge with healthy, whole foods; filling my purse and car with shakes and bars for those times I am on the run; exercising regularly; and communicating with my accountability partners. I know what it takes to be healthy, but in order to really achieve healthy I must commit to the process.

Color changes everything2) Paint your story in living color. Tony, my business and life coach, is a master of painting life pictures. When he describes living in financial freedom, for example, it comes to life and I can visualize, feel, smell, and touch each piece as if I am actually living financially free. That kind of clarity is necessary if we are going to pursue dreams. We must be able to see our story in clear, living color. This can be done by writing your story as it looks on December 31, 2014. When you get to the end of this year what will you have accomplished? Write it in specific, detailed, living color.

3) Be accountable. I avoided accountability for many years because I convinced myself that it showed weakness to need help. I didn’t want to bother others with my journey, but I also realized that my journey didn’t go where I wanted it to without accountability. The dreams that elude me are ones that require changing my actions and my choices and that is where accountability comes in. For me, the idea of the end goal is exciting and inspiring, but a few days or weeks into the daily habits my excitement wanes and slowly my choices return to “normal”. Accountability is key in order to maintain the changes until they become my new normal. (Joe will share more on choices in the next post.)

What story do you want to write for 2014? Take time before Part Three on Thursday to write out your story from the perspective of December 31, 2014.

The road to our dreams is not easy, but it is always worth it!

Be Extraordinary!

This is part 2 of a 4-part blog about the New Year. My husband and I are tag-teaming to create these special blogs, so be sure to read part 1 here, if you missed it. Part 3 will be at www.overboardministries.wordpress.com on Thursday, and part 4 will be back here on Friday.

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