4 Reasons to Work on YOU!

4 reasonsPersonal development is an absolute necessity to live an extraordinary life. My first real experience with this type of learning (besides life events) was in 2007 when I attended a weekend, experiential, personal growth and development seminar. Since then I have attended many more seminars and trainings. I have also read and listened to books to enhance my personal growth and learning.

The method of gaining knowledge is not as important as the consistency of learning and the application of the knowledge. I attend seminars, submit myself to one-on-one coaching, and read/listen to books that force me to see where I currently am and challenge me to live out more of my potential.

There are many benefits of taking the time and spending the money to learn more in this area of personal development. Remember that the benefits will only be experienced by taking action, making changes, and being held accountable to help the changes stick long-term.

Encouragement
Discouragement comes in life. Shocking, right? I am amazed at how many times my area of frustration in business or parenting is addressed in the books I am reading. It is encouraging to find a solution and to discover that I’m not the only one who has experienced the same struggle. Personal development is a great way to combat discouragement.

Challenge
The books I read, coaching I receive, seminars I attend are not just fluffy, feel-good, rah-rah times of encouragement. I am challenged – challenged to look honestly at MY behavior and choices. (Remember this is personal development.) If you are not being challenged then you may want to change what you are reading or listening to.

Growth
This is where the learning meets real life. Am I going to take the challenge I received and do something about it? It is in the process of living out our awareness (challenges) that I experience real growth. I change! Change is difficult and this is where accountability comes in. Not many people have the sheer will-power to make big changes stick. I am thankful for my husband, coach, and others who hold my feet to the fire so I can grow, change, and live a truly extraordinary life.

Impact
This, to me, is the exciting and rewarding part of personal development. During and after difficult periods of growth and change, I have the opportunity to take what I have learned and impact others. Many talk about wanting to change the world but don’t know how. I think the best way to change to the world is to first change ourselves – one lesson, one habit, one challenge at a time.

The cost of living an extraordinary life is often high, but always worth it!

Be Extraordinary!

AJ’s No Candy No Soda Challenge part 2

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AJ received a candy care package from his friend Isaac the day after he completed the challenge.

Picking up where we left off in the last blog, I wanted to take the time to interview AJ and get his direct perspective on his No Candy No Pop Challenge. For starters he informed me that he would rather I call it “soda” than “pop” and therefore the name change on this blog. ­čÖé

Traci: What was the challenge from your perspective?

AJ: To go a full year without candy or soda.

Traci: Define candy.

AJ: Anything you would get on Halloween.

Traci: What was your first thought when you were presented with the challenge?

AJ: I thought it was impossible.

Traci: It took you two days to make the decision . . what made you change your mind about it being impossible?

AJ: Another person did it meaning it must be possible, so I decided to give it a try.

Traci: Why did you take this challenge on?

AJ: 1) The reward. ($365, all or nothing)
2) To show myself that I could do it. It’s not impossible.

Traci: How were you able to accomplish this challenge?

AJ: 1) I kept repeating the Bible verse, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
2) Support from family and friends.
3) Saying “I am choosing” instead of “I have to”. It was my choice. I could end it whenever I wanted.

Traci: What challenges did you face along the way?

AJ: 1) We moved to Michigan, on a camp, where they have pop and candy. It was tempting especially during my week of camp.
2) Right before it ended – I really wanted to be done.
3) Friends and family would forget and offer candy and soda. It felt like they were doing it on purpose to taunt me.

Traci: How did you handle these challenges?

AJ: I knew I wasn’t going to back out anytime during the challenge so I just kind of stepped through them.

Traci: Would you do this challenge again? Why?

AJ: (A moment of pause). Yes. Without doing challenging things (like this challenge), I wouldn’t be ready or able to do other challenging things God has for me later.

AJ is a pretty wise 12-year-old.
What challenge or challenges have you been putting off? What new challenge are you willing to step into that will move you in the direction of your dreams and goals?
1) Choose your challenge.
2) Clearly define the parameters.
3) Enroll family and friends as your support team.
4) Give yourself a reason or set a reward that will motivate you along the way.

Will it be worth it? According to AJ it is worth it.

Be Extraordinary!

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Winning or Learning

6439f51a95518baeadc584fcaf7c5f85I have really enjoyed reflecting on life through this blog. I am so grateful for feedback from many of you, and for the opportunity to encourage many more of you to live your own extraordinary journey. I love writing about great experiences, influencial moments and opportunities fully embraced.

Today, however, is not one of those times. I set a few goals 89 days ago. The deadline is here – tomorrow – and I did not complete the goals.

My awesome, convicting and sometimes annoying (I usually feel that way when I am being a victim) coach, Tony, often reminds me that ┬á“sometimes you win and sometimes you learn”. The only way that a failure is truly a failure is if I don’t learn. So today, on the precepice of my 90 Day Challenge, I choose to learn and to share a couple of those lessons with you.

lessons-learned

Lesson #1: Enlist Accountability

When I make a goal (commitment) I must set up firm accountability. I must enroll people on my “team” that will hold my feet to the fire. And in order for this to happen I must share my commitments with them openly. I recognize that I did not enlist firm accountability for the long, 90 day, haul. It looked pretty good for the first 30 days, but then I let things slide. It is difficult to enlist firm accountability without being firm in my commitments. Honestly I was not very firm in the commitments or action plan that would take me to my goal.

Lesson #2: Embrace Commitment

One goal I made was in relation to my health and releasing inches around my waist. Eating sweets does not serve me in reaching this goal. I really love sweets, but I committed to go without. That’s a great commitment but the problem is that I did not commit to going without sweets for the entire 90 days. I decided I would go until I no longer craved them. Go ahead and shake your head. I’m shaking mine too. What was I thinking? I made it 30 days with no sweets and I no longer craved them, but by day 37 I could no longer leave the sweets alone. My commitment was weak. My action plan was non-existent and I payed the price.

Lesson #3: Execute an Action Plan

Executing an action plan would require creating an action plan. Again, a 30 day action plan is not sufficient for a 90 day goal. Creating daily, weekly and monthly plans are critical in order to create real success. Sad to say, but I took more of a “fly by the seat of my pants” approach rather than developing a clear, concise action plan.

These lessons are great, but this learning is only as valuable to me as my willingness to implement change in the future. What goals are on your horizon? What are doing to ensure success on your extraordinary journey?

Be Extraordinary!

Except When You Don’t

I have found a lot of wisdom in the pages of Dr. Suess, including this quote from Oh The Places You’ll Go. This book was given to me when I got on the plane for my first year of college over 20 years ago. I have referenced this book many times over the years and this section seems very fitting today.

“Except when you don’t.

Because sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so

but, sadly, it’s true

that Bang-ups and Hang-ups

can happen to you.

You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch.

And your gang will fly on.

You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch

with an unpleasant bump.

And the chances are, then,dr-seussplaces

that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,

you’re not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself

is not easily done.”

I have not yet found it within myself to embrace slumps. I want to be energized, excited, and extraordinary every moment of every day. . . but then life has a lot of ordinary moments too. Today’s thoughts are not necessarily about avoiding slumps altogether, but about how to get out of them more quickly. If you don’t want to face any slumps or obstacles in your life then I suggest you don’t go for the extraordinary – stay in your safe, comfort zone – and you will live a much simpler (and I think, far less rewarding) life.

How to shorten the “except when you don’t” times:

1) Kick the Victim Mindset to the Curb. The victim mindset is about blaming your life and your problems on anything and everything.

2) Embrace the Empowered Mindset. The empowered mindset is about owning the fact that you have chosen what you have in your life, and owning your response to the things you can’t control.

  • Your financial situation – own your part (the things you chose to buy, money you chose to spend, house you chose to purchase).
  • Your kids who are causing you grief – own your part (you chose to have those kids, or at least made choices that caused you to have those kids).
  • Your problems with your boss or co-workers – own it (you choose to work there – yes! you choose to work there).

WOW! Those are convicting. I will address these in a future blog because victim/empowered has been a huge lesson for me!

3) Accountability. Who do you have in your life that will lovingly tell you the truth? Who do you have in your life that cares more about the big picture of your life than the comfort you may experience for a moment?

Be Extraordinary!

30 Day Strong Ab Challenge

1234767_10201086160730462_232045701_nI love goal-setting and challenges. It can be difficult to stay the course over the long haul, therefore, I find it more motivating to set up small, short-term challenges that are in alignment with my bigger goals. Other important factors in accomplishing goals are accountability, camaraderie and fun.

Setting goals and being challenged is part of living an extraordinary life. Without goals, I would just do the things that I FEEL like doing and I would end up having what I already, comfortably, have (not my dreams!).

In line with all of these things, and with the final 30 days of my 90 day challenge approaching, I’ve enlisted the help of my friend and business teammate Lisa to set up a 30 Day Strong Ab Challenge. My hope is that you will want to join us – accountability, camaraderie, fun and prizes – in the quest for bigger goals and dreams in the area of health and fitness.

Here are the details for the upcoming challenge.
Date: October 1 – 30
The Strong Ab Challenge was created for the purpose of accountability, camaraderie, and fun while releasing inches around the waist, building Strong Abs and earning prizes!

Requirements to qualify for prizes:

1) Order 3 bags of USANA Nutrimeal and 2 boxes of Protein Snack Bars.
** Replace one meal with a Nutrimeal Shake each day
** Replace one snack with a Protein Snack Bar each day
** Purchases must be made through Lisa, www.lconnaghan.usana.com or Traci,www.traci.usana.com
(current USANA associates contact Traci for participation requirements)

2) Complete daily Ab Challenge
** Even if you are unable to complete the entire Challenge for the day, push yourself to do as much as possible. You are worth it!
** Print a copy of the Ab Challenge from photos

3) Post 5 or more times each week on the Strong Ab Challenge Facebook page.

4) Post your favorite plank pose photo on the Strong Ab Challenge Facebook page.
** This can be done any time during the Challenge.

5) Have fun!

PRIZES:
– Bag of Nutrimeal Shake Mix
– Box of Protein Snack Bars
** Number of prizes awarded will depend on number of participants. Winners must meet the above mentioned requirements in order to qualify for prizes.

Even if you are not looking to have the strongest abs, I hope you will join in the Strong Ab Challenge. This type of challenge brings out opportunities for growth in many areas of life┬á(perseverance, character, healthy habits, positive example to others, belief in yourself) if you are on a quest to live extraordinary. My goal in this is not simply to have extraordinary abs (although that would be nice), but to develop extraordinary character and to encourage myself and others to live an extraordinary life. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it! Will you join me?

Be Extraordinary!