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Are You Over-Valuing your New Year's Resolutions?

Now that the majority of us have likely designed a few goals or resolutions for 2015, it may be wise to sit down with them again and assess whether we are over-valuing them. Are we hoping or assuming they will make a difference for us? How do we know for sure? We don’t want to wait a few months to assess them, because statistics tell us that by then we will most likely already have failed!

Ask yourself this question. 

If your boss at work offers you two opportunities to make a bonus by completing a new, critical task, which are you likely to both accept and achieve?

(A) This one that deals with going out and making tons of new contacts (oh, and you happen to LOVE building new relationships), OR

(B) this one that deals with sorting through tons of data to identify sales trends (BTW…you HATE data and sitting still!).

This is a no brainer, right? If this were a true scenario, you would immediately assign a higher value to the first option, because it is something you’ll enjoy, will energize you as you do it, and you’ll have a higher likelihood of achieving it. This could be a meaningful work-related goal for you, because you would be leveraging your strengths.

Let’s now look at a more personal example.

Like weight loss, which most people happen to create resolutions around this time of year. Take Sally, who happens to be quite content with her weight and the way she looks. She had a baby this past year and kept on some that post-baby weight, but she doesn’t mind it. You see, she was quite skinny prior to her pregnancy, and she always wanted to be a bit more voluptuous!

BUT, she started feeling the pressure from her new Mommy Fit Club that getting rid of the post-pregnancy weight was a must. She also was assuming that her husband wanted her to go back to her old, super skinny self. She caved in, and along with her other mommy friends, set a resolution to lose 15 lbs!

What do you think? Is Sally’s goal of high value to her? What do you feel the likelihood will be that she’ll either achieve her goal, or be happy after she’s lost the weight? I’m betting it won’t be high for either!

I’ve learned the hard way, just like many of you! I’m a high achiever who loves a good challenge, but because I, too, have failed at achieving some of my resolutions over the years,

I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share with you:


Setting goals and/or resolutions is a GREAT thing to do! If you don’t know where you want to go, any road will take you there. Also, research proves that achieving a good challenge increases our levels of happiness!


Rushing your goal-setting can lead to a list of meaningless goals. Perhaps they will look good on paper or in the boardroom, but they won’t feel good inside! In fact, they may lead to feelings of in-authenticity and lack of motivation or purpose.


Goals that are tied to things that you are STRONG at (or strengthen your talents), and which contribute to your strongly-held values or vision for yourself, keep you jazzed and headed toward the finish line.


I love using the end of a year to evaluate how things went. I also love taking my time to ensure that I identify one over-arching intention for my entire year, based on how I want to FEEL; kind of like a theme (I.e., happy, stress-free, fit, intelligent, social, etc.). Finally, I sit down with my Wheel of Life (if you’d like a copy, just email me!) and really evaluate those areas where I want to create some meaningful change. In doing so, my goals will hold a high value, and my chances of achieving them (or coming real close!) is very high.

So, here are some questions you can ask yourself about each goal or resolution now to help you determine if you need to edit them a bit, get rid of them, or take the time to create new, high-value ones.

These questions will help you achieve more clarity around your goals.

1.  On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 = not at all, and 10 = absolutely yes!!) how important is it to ME that I achieve this goal?
2.  Do I want to achieve this goal for me or for someone else?
3.  WHY is this important to me? (It’s really important to answer this!)
4.  Which of my life/career values is this assigned to? (A bigger question is: Do you know what your deeply-held values are?)
5.  If I don’t achieve it, how will I feel?
6.  If I do achieve it, how will I have grown/changed for the better?

Here’s the bottom line, folks, we either grow or die! If our goals/resolutions don’t help us grow into those individuals we hope to become, then we shouldn’t have them! And, if the ones we have are lukewarm or hold no true value for us, they are worthless.

Now, most of us have MANY goals which are assigned to us by our supervisors. How do we make them of high-value to us if they are not? Make sure to join me next week as we tackle this challenge.

It’s your life. Lead it well.
Monique

 

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We look to the New Year as “the time” to decide who we will be and what we will achieve in the next year. And although that is a natural time to create ourselves anew, if we so wish, there also are other times during the year when, energetically, it is optimal for us to take these steps.

According to astrologers this month of April is one of those unique times, due to the activation and transit of these very powerful planets: Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto and Mars. We are informed that it may be a wild ride, and that we will be tested. But, in the same, it is an excellent time to clean our slate and claim our power and purpose.

Whether or not you believe in astrology — or anything else for that matter — symbolism and/or rituals are things we can look to, to provide us with motivation to accomplish amazing things and tap into the many miracles in our lives (as well as experience new ones!).

Seeking out these energetic moments is one of my personal strategies for success. Our lives get full quick, and in no time we’re in Quarter 2! In the New Year I always go through the process of intending what I hope to experience, but just as we revisit our business plans, we also should do the same with our New Year goals.

What did you set out to feel, start or accomplish? Are you on track? What’s changed? Where have you succeeded thus far? What’s next?

Energetically, April is the right time to investigate and continue the process of intention and tapping into our personal power.

Want to join me for this “Alchemic April” exercise? Let’s go!

To make this super easy and achievable, I’ve taken the dates of the major planetary transitions for this month as detailed by Astrologist Maya White, and based on the potential “Power Outcome” of their transit, I’ve suggested a question for you to ponder upon, or a small action for you to take. Print this out and follow along daily during the month April. Most importantly … have fun with this!

  • (Today) April 3What do you want? Write it down now.
  • April 4What one small thing in your life needs to change? Take one small step today toward that change.
  • April 5 – Show compassion today. How will you show it and why is this action important to you?
  • April 8 – Is there an obstacle in your way? How can you begin to overcome it now?
  • April 11 – Connect with someone you love. What does your heart and soul want you to do? Do it.
  • April 14– What’s holding you back? How can you express your truth to get you closer to your destiny?
  • April 15 – Work on the relationship with yourself. What do you need to do for you? Do it.
  • April 16 – Caring what others think of what you need to say or do? Do it anyway – now!
  • April 17– Practice abundance! Make a list of the five major things you are grateful for. Pay it forward today.
  • April 20 – Get in the game. Where do you need to claim your stake? Take that action now.
  • April 21 – What’s the right thing to do? Do it.
  • April 22 – Connect with your authenticity. Share your truth in some way today & know that others will resonate with it!
  • April 28 – Write down your new, updated vision for yourself. See it and feel it. Through this action know that the energy of the world supports your vision! Believe in it and walk toward it.

I hope that you take advantage of these energies to help manifest your core self and core vision for your life. Placing energy into our goals and desires helps us to focus on them and push them forward. And in the end, let’s remember that leading others is only as effective as leading ourselves.

Please share your experiences with me below by commenting.

Enjoy your weekend!

It’s your life. Lead it well.

Monique

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I love New Year’s! I love the excitement of the unknown, and the power of being able to start anew. We all need fresh starts, and doing so in the New Year is a very natural process.

But how do we create these fresh starts with all the stress they bring, like unreasonable goals and deadlines? Just what are we hoping to accomplish and why? Let me give you a tip. The power is in the WHY! We’ll come back to this in a bit.

The week before the holidays our office went out for lunch and one of my colleagues had a revelation, she asked, “What if we could turn our To-Do’s into Ta-Da’s?” I thought that was brilliant! You see, the wonderful thing about the New Year and the resolutions we create, are the inspiration or meaning behind them. Hopefully, we’re not resolving to do something that holds very little energy or vision for us. Or even worst, resolving to do something because “we should,” or because “they are doing it too!”

  • Why do you want to create a new resolution?
  • Why is this resolution important?
  • How will you feel when you have accomplished it?
  • How will that feeling be different than what you feel today?
  • When you imagine your outcome are you catching yourself smiling?
  • Do you see a vivid picture in your head that has you tingling?

I sure hope so! If not, I’m guessing there’s not much power or purpose behind your resolution. Your WHY is not holding any charge to it. If you don’t see and feel it, don’t resolve to do it, because it signifies that you’ve just created a To-Do instead of a Ta-Da! Even the words To-Do and Ta-Da carry different energies. When you say these simple words can you feel the difference in your voice and in your spirit? I certainly can.

I want you now to look back just a few months and recall your daily, monthly, or quarterly To-Do’s and ask yourself the questions I posed above (replace resolution with To-Do). Be honest with yourself. Are you creating To-Do’s with purpose and passion, or just to keep you busy? We often feel overwhelmed because we are loading up all of our moments with so many To-Do’s and even fewer Ta-Da’s. I’m hoping for you and for me that we can become skillful in reversing this equation.

Yes, we will always have things to do—this is the world we live in, but I challenge you to become more conscious of what you are doing with YOUR time and consciously choose to understand the WHY behind each of them and create more of those Ta-Da’s, which truly create those feelings and outcomes that will light up your days and your entire year. Go Light It Up!

Imagine this now: You’re on stage, lights brightly shining on you, you’re excited, smiling from ear to ear, your arms are outstretched reaching up toward the sky, you’ve just visualized the accomplishment of your resolution, and you’re screaming loudly, TA-DA!!!

Go get that feeling!
Happy New Year!

Namaste,

Monique

PS. Thanks to my colleague and friend, Cristina R. for the inspiration behind this blog!

The Music IS Me

January 3, 2012

Yay! A new year! I’m feeling quite invigorated. How about you?

Just a few weeks ago I offered an easy way to connect with your Child Within for a powerful new year. Did you give it a try? If you did, I’d love to hear how it worked for you. If not, I hope that you took  some steps, large or small, to set some intentions for a great year.  So whether it was creating a vision board, setting goals, symbolically letting go of what didn’t work, or saying a prayer, I congratulate you for making time for yourself and getting your inspiration on!

Haven’t had the chance to prepare? You still have time! 

In the past I’ve discussed how important music is for me. It is definitely one of my power tools. I love the simplicity of music as a tool, just like the simplicity of choosing a single powerful word (another great tool to use before a new year) to set you on a clear path in 2012. Although I have many great songs in my arsenal for different things, this one, for me,  is a great “do it all” song. It lifts me up, allows me to let things go, and reminds me of some of my power thoughts that guide me. They include:

  1. You only have two choices  in everything, love or fear. Choose love!
  2. Freedom is always yours if you want it.
  3. You have 100% responsibility over your life and how you feel.
  4. Don’t feel like a victim, ever. Find the positive in everything.
  5. Be proactive, not reactive.
  6. Being grateful every moment makes a difference.
  7. I am perfect in every moment. Everything is exactly as it should be right now.
  8. Always be professional and open-minded.
  9. Everyone is a student and a teacher.
  10. Your life is NOW. Live in the NOW. Enjoy the pleasures of life NOW.

YES…I got all of this out of this one song! My power song is Just Fine by Mary J. Blige. See why it’s one of  my favorites? Not only does it remind me of how I want to live and feel, but I can’t stop dancing when I hear it. BINGO, I’ve got my song! You can see the video here and read the lyrics here.

Do you have a power song to take you into 2012? Here’s a tip to finding one:

  • ID those songs that you love and make you feel good
  • Ask yourself, “Why do I love this song? What does it make me want to do or stop doing?”
  • Read the lyrics to the songs and determine why they mean something for you. Are your values instilled in them?

By doing these three things you are well on your way to finding the Music that IS You.

If you have a power song, I’d love to know what it is. Please share it with us all.

Enjoy the dance of 2012. Dance full-out!

Happy New Year,

Monique

Through Her Eyes

December 20, 2011

I love observing my daughter. In fact, I laugh quite a bit when I do, because I realize how much I was like her when I was her age. Do you remember when you were 7…how you saw the world from those little, brilliant eyes? Was it very different from your perspective today?

Nia, happy, in character

Watching her, I remember things that make my spirit flicker. I remember dancing and singing without inhibition in front of ceiling-to-floor mirrors. In my eyes and in my heart I felt and looked amazing–all the time (that rocks!)– and I could be whoever I wanted to be… Sandy in Grease, Pippi in Pippi Long Stockings, Annie, etc., you get the picture. Yet, the most exciting part of her world is her exploration of everything, indoors or outdoors, and her almost complete avoidance of TV.

She doesn’t care much about that world in the screen, but the one in her mind and in her heart.

Now, I’m not recommending living in La La Land, but, what if we could keep that flame flickering? In fact, what if we made sure we didn’t allow it to burn out? How would daily, mundane tasks in life feel different? Think about it. Really, really think about it. I am.

When I visualize myself now, seeing life through my daughter’s eyes, I notice myself smiling, A LOT. I feel lighter, happier, healthier, and in awe of everything. In fact, through her perspective I think of a situation that normally would drive me into a tizzy, and it just seems so petty now– simply meaningless. In fact, petty, ego-driven and non-creative meanderings would most likely not even capture an iota of her attention. They would simply fly past her like a feather in the wind.

Yes, through my child’s eyes I get to determine what has meaning and what doesn’t. That’s powerful!

So, although we always want to tackle a great BIG goal each new year, what I’m suggesting is that we do something quite simple: see this new year through the eyes of a child, and more specifically, our child within. My sense is that in doing this one simple thing we’ll achieve more goals and more happiness, with greater ease.

Here’s my Five Step Prescription:

1. GO BACK. Find a photo of yourself as a child, that you absolutely love; one that without question speaks to who you are at your core.

2. TAKE NOTE. Grab a sheet of paper and without thinking, write down the first five words (adjectives or verbs) that capture the essence of your child spirit. Then, think of five specific memories (one for each word) that bring to life each word.

3. COME INTO THE NOW. Find a photo of yourself, today, that you love! If you don’t have one, take one!

4. BRING YOUR WORDS TO LIFE. Take your five words and now clearly define how you can lead with them and live them out daily– in the now.

5. SEE IT. LIVE IT. Take a large enough poster board, or create a screen saver of your two photos, your five words, and your new actions. Look at it daily. This is a new twist to the standard vision board– much less time consuming, and more powerful.

Are you laughing at my photo? I hope so. That’s what I’m doing, and that’s exactly the feeling I’m after. I love everything about this photo because it points to things I loved experiencing as a child: my secret hiding place (yes, behind this flower bush was my hollow hide out!); my first bike which tattooed me with a scar the first time I fell off it, and which allowed me to explore the world around me; my Mickey T, which represented one of my favorite fantasy lands– Disney; and my cowboy boots, which I loved to dance in and that reminds me of the little pony I once rode and connected with. And, best of all, my David Lee Roth jump that says it all.
It says, “I’m Kick A_ _!”

It’s funny. Looking at this photo brings me to present day, where my daughter creates the strangest ensembles which make me cry out, “You can’t leave the house looking like that!” But from her vantage point, each piece of the ensemble means something to her; it’s a piece of her very personal puzzle and she can care less what anyone thinks about it. To her, it’s the best ensemble ever that screams, “This is me, people! Love it or leave it!” That’s exactly how I felt in this picture. It’s a precious reminder.

If you’re looking for a way to bring 2011 to a close and begin to bring in some authentic energy for 2012, give my prescription a try, and enjoy re-connecting with your inner child…your true self.

Cheers to a passion-filled new year.

Namaste,

Monique

Chasing Light in 2011

December 31, 2010

As I enter into the New Year I can’t help but to reflect upon the one we are leaving behind. The risks. The excitement. The really scary moments. And those that made it all worth it. And, as most of us do each year as well, I look into the vastness of 2011 and wonder “What’s to come?” This BIG question reminds me of Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back, when he is in the swamp with Yoda training to become a Jedi. As he enters into the darkness of the swamp to practice his new skills on his own he asks the wise Yoda, “What’s in there?” And Yoda so “Zenly” responds, “Only what you take with you.”

Yes…the unknown that is 2011 can only bring what we take into it.

At this moment in his solo journey this message from Yoda becomes all the more clear to Luke as he has a vision of himself battling Darth Vader (our darkness, of course) and seeing himself as Vader.

So how can we apply this to our own experience of 2011?

Will you battle with your dark side and other dark forces, or will you step into the vastness of the New Year with light and lightness?

What will you bring with you?

Luke’s Light Saber never left his side and neither should ours. What is our Light Saber, you may ask?

Well, it can be many things. Consider these options:

  • Intentions
  • Positive Thoughts
  • Gratitude
  • Forgiveness
  • Humor
  • Laughter
  • Human Touch
  • Passion
  • Excitement
  • Focus and Hard Work
  • Affirmations

Another way our Light Saber can serve us is by helping us to stay on our path even when others want to deter us. In Star Wars, this is done humorously by Lea, Luke, and others, when they shut down C3PO, whose typical “negative chatter” drives them crazy. Do you have a few C3POs in your life who may have good intentions but drive too much fear and negativity your way? Yes, we can shut them off. It’s a choice. It’s that easy. We can thank them for their opinions and simply move forward with our Light Sabers as we’ve designed them.

How does your Light Saber work for you and how can you power it up in 2011?

In closing, we cannot experience what we don’t have or don’t see in ourselves. Take the time now to decide what you want to bring with you into the New Year. It’s a powerful ritual. Think about what you want to see and experience in 2011 and begin to bring it to life, leaving all the rest behind. With this Inner Force…our Light Sabers…this scary, unknown path will be illuminated.

May your light shine brightly for you in 2011, dear Jedi.

May the force be with you…

Monique