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Map your course, not theirs.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires…courage.”   –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year holiday. It’s time to jump right into the new year!  We’ve been talking about building our 2017 vision board, using the special core words and underlying principles we plan to live by this year.  Remember, the overall reason for spending so much time and brain power on building a vision board, is to create something we can focus on every day, that will help make us better people tomorrow than we are today.  The more people who share this frame of mind, the more strength and power we will be as a whole to make our world a better, safer, and more beautiful place to live in now, and create a sustainable, brighter place for our children and grandchildren to live in later.

As promised, today, to kick off the new year, I’m revealing my 2017 vision board. To recap, here are my core words.

  • Essentials: Do essential things only, let the rest go – focus on tasks that move the needle, don’t let the busy things detract me.
  • Presence: Be present with everyone in everything, in good and in uncomfortable situations – I will learn more about them and they will feel heard and understood.
  • Energy: Bring energy – it brings everything up and makes life more exciting for everyone.

As I think of these words coupled together with the principles I’ve identified that I need to focus on (that I wrote down) in the six areas of my life (Relationships, Spiritual Growth, Healthy & Fit, Career, Financial Stability, Intellectual Stimulation), I selected a wide variety of images. I love each one of them. So, here it is, my 2017 Vision Board!

I sincerely hope the very best for all of you in 2017!

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Christmas is only five days away. Kids are on break from school, stores are bustling, parties are in full swing, and traffic is crazy. Christmas is a huge deal, not only in the US, but worldwide. Why? Is it for the stuff we get, the stuff we give, time off work to be with friends and family, or to go on a vacation somewhere?  What is the reason for the season? We know for sure Christmas is the highest revenue producing season of the year for most retailers.

For people who believe in Jesus Christ, Christmas is a celebration of his birth and the hope he brings through his story of sacrifice and redemption for all of humanity. There is spiritual connection for people who believe in Him. Even if you are not Christian, there is power in being spiritually connected to God. Have you ever asked yourself, why am I here and what is my purpose? Everyone does. I believe these questions are the beginning of searching for a personal, spiritual connectedness. No one wants to think they don’t matter, or their life is in vain.

Your Ultimate Life Vision is all about creating a unique vision for your life. At the center of your vision plan is this winning formula, which combines three main concepts, steeped in spiritual connectedness.

My Vision (pictures) + My Goals (written) + My Actions (now) = Success

To truly know what our skills, abilities, strengths, and passions are and to recognize the place where they all intersect – in order to formulate a vision, identify goals, and carry out the actions required – we need help. Lots of help.  It takes intentional brain power to figure it all out; even though the answers are all around us. For me, spending time reading the Bible and seeking God’s wisdom is key.  That’s when I experience spiritual connectedness. Romans 8:38 – 39 says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  

You may or may not believe in God, and that is your choice.  But if you could tap into something that would help you be healthier, more content, and successful, why would you turn it away?  I believe God can do amazing things, and keeping him at the hub of relationships, career, finances, and health can provide a supernatural support system.  Perhaps this year you may consider a little extra help when putting together you vision plan?

Merry Christmas to everyone and may you feel an unwavering warmth and love that only real spiritual connectedness can bring, not only at Christmas time, but all the time.christmastoyboat3a

I’ve been away from my blogs for a while to focus on building my CPCoastal business.  You can check it out at CPCoastal.com.  I have missed blogging about setting life visions and making dreams a reality, so I’m making a commitment to blog at least once a week. My hope is that I will provide insights and inspiration to everyone who reads them. With that, since we are in November, lets dive in.

When I first was introduced to making vision boards by my friend Lori, she told me every November she goes into her lab.  She explained her ‘lab’ was code for the time she intentionally sets aside, getting away from the normal daily routines and basically shutting the world out. It’s focused time she uses to concentrate on where and who she is and where and who she wants to be.  To be clear, she’s not looking to change her personality or passions; rather, she wants to make who she is even better. She starts her lab time by thinking about words that describe the elements of what she wants to be in the coming year.  For example: Challenge (challenge everyone who asks for my time to make sure I’m not wasting time with the wrong people doing unproductive things). Breakout (breakout of thinking I must do everything perfectly, sometimes good enough is good enough).

I adopted the tradition of going into the lab every November and picking meaningful words, and writing down how that word will impact my life in a positive way. At first it takes time learning to shut off everything around me to be quiet and listen to my inner self.  Words are powerful and give our mind something to work towards.  Pick words that move and inspire you to be something better tomorrow than  you were today.

After we pull our words together, we’ll focus on creating our 2017 vision board to support those very important words. I’m going into my lab this month and will share my words with you. Let’s do this together!  raw-6-29-13

It’s so hard to not be busy doing things.  Days are consumed by getting ready for work, getting to and from work, responsibilities on the job, taking care of a home, taking care of a family, planning, budgeting, trying to keep the wheels from falling off, and the list goes on.  How do you separate from all the stuff and come up for air?  For me, I love a good bubble bath. It’s a simple respite that provides rest for my body and mind.  I noticed over the past year I’ve been looking at my iPad and phone while relaxing in the bath.  Relaxing, really, while searching, ready, and texting?  I realized I was always in motion, even taking a bath.  What happened to resting and relaxing the mind, body, and spirit?  Technology, that’s what happened.  As great as it is, there is a place and time for it, and a place and time NOT for it.  So, I made a deal with myself to just ‘be’ and just breathe for 10 minutes straight and focus on an image of the most peaceful place I can think of (the beach).  Remembering how it felt to snorkel; all I heard was my own breath – inhaling and exhaling.  The rest of the world is silent. Listening to my own breathing brings everything back to simplicity, a sense of center, peace, and calm. Just breathe.JustBreathe

It’s the beginning of a new year, are you on fire to jump into action and make your life more successful? And not just with the money/income part of your life, but all areas of your life?

At this time of year most people are making New Year’s resolutions, especially plans to lose weight and eat more healthy, but most new resolutions will be old news by March. If you want to have a more healthy and fit body, have more quality relationships, be more financially secure, have a more rewarding career, and be more spiritually connected, then you must be ‘enfuego’… on fire!

Arnold H. Glasow says it well, “Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion.  You must set yourself on fire.”

Lets light it up people!

Your Ultimate Life Vision – available on Amazon

Today is January 1, 2014. Ready or not, the new year is here.

Yesterday, on New Year’s Eve, while paying for my groceries, I wished the store cashier a Happy New Year. He looked down, shook his head and said, “I hope 2014 is better than 2013.” Some years are better than others, no doubt, just ask a wine maker. But we can drive our own success to a large extent. It takes a vision, planning, focus, and perseverance of actions. I hope 2014 is a better year for that man.

I’m excited for the new year, and looking forward to doing my part to make it the best year yet. If you are looking at how to make your 2014 better than 2013, my book, Your Ultimate Life Vision, can help you get your game onYou can download it here on Amazon, for only $2.99.

Go after your dreams with gusto in 2014. YOU CAN DO IT!

Christine

 

 

Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “We succeed only as we identify in life, or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend to that one objective.”

If you ever wonder why you are not more successful in any area of your life (health & fitness, relationships, career, finances, intellectually, or spiritual) ask yourself, “What are my objective in each of these areas?”  Have you identified personal objectives?  Have you written them down?  Do you have a defined action plan of how to reach those objectives? And MOST importantly, is your behavior evidence that you are working towards the objectives?

President “Ike” Eisenhower knew what he was talking about.  We all have certain goals in our minds of what we would like our lives to be like, however we fail on the execution to get there.  Everything we do must be done with the end goal in mind.  That’s not to say we can’t have fun along the way.  But just having fun though, without an objective, is fleeting and will not yield a life of fulfillment and joy.

Playing off the old sports phrase, “I want to be like Mike”… perhaps we’re better off thinking, “I want to be like Ike”.

Is the path of least resistance good for you or not?

This question came to my mind recenlty  when talking with a 17-year-old.   He is in the home stretch of his Senior year of High School and mentioned he only had a couple of morning classes and would be done with school for the day by noon, until graduation in June. Four months.  He was recently accepted to a university out-of-state and is looking into options to pay for school, housing, incidentals, etc.   I said to him, “Wow, you’ll have a lot of time on your hands until you graduate.  Have you thought about picking up extra hours at work to earn more money for college?”  His reply was, “Why do I need to make more money, I don’t need it.”  Apparently he is still under the impression money grows alongside the lemons on the trees in the back yard.

Instead of looking at this limited period of free time as a golden opportunity to make some extra money, and get geared up for his future, he’s choosing the path of least resistance.  Taking it easy until you absolutely have to do something.

Proverbs 6:10-11 says, ” A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.”

Proverbs 10:4-5 says, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.  He who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.”

I thought about my own career and work ethic.  Do I have the right attitude?   Has life beaten me down to the point that I want to take the path of least resistance?

I worked through college (including summers),  and even though I was sometimes envious of my friends who didn’t work, I’m glad I did because I ended up with very little student debt.  Now, some days my job is tougher and more frustrating than others – selling products and solving client issues. But before getting too caught up in the “oh poor me” attitude, I try to remember the alternative – no job, or a job that pays much less.  Going through the struggles, putting in the hours, and forging ahead,whether we feel like it or not, refines us and makes us better at what we do.  When we do what we do better, we have a higher likelihood of getting paid more so we can stay out of debt and give to others.

Regardless of pay, or whether we’re asked to do something or not, taking the initiative to do something worthwhile and noble, and throwing everything we have into doing it well, says a lot about our character.

I say, avoid the path of least resistance and charge down the path that offers the most experience.  It will be harder, even a little scary, and there will be failures along the way, but the wisdom gained will be golden!

Who is your idol?

Have you ever stopped to think about your idol(s)?  I am a Christian and need to refocus on this question each day.  It comes easy for me to look around at people and get down on myself because I don’t make the kind of money they make, I don’t drive the nicer car like they drive, I don’t have the disposable money to get manicures and massages on a regular basis, like they seem to have, I can’t afford to go out to restaurants to eat each week like they do, and on and on.  After thinking about these things for too long, I start to feel like I need to hurry up and do something so that I can do more of those things. Surely if I could do those things in the same measure as other people, I would ‘measure’ up. Right?

This thinking only leads to stress and makes me feel defeated.  A better way is to turn to God and see what he says about all this.

  • 1 Samuel 16:7  – “…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”   I don’t have to ‘look’ like others. God sees my heart, not the car I drive or the house I live in.
  • Matthew 16:26 – “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”  I don’t have to chase a job or money at the cost of sacrificing personal relationships and moral character.  I see people  lie and cheat just to make more money.  If I use the skills, abilities, and personality God gave me, I can achieve and earn exactly what I am supposed to.

After a good dose of God’s word, I get grounded again and remember. I have goals.  I don’t have a nicer car because I’m saving to pay cash for my next car so that I can stay out of debt.  I don’t go out to restaurants more frequently, because I enjoy cooking at home, and  in doing so I save more money to put into my retirement savings.  Same goes for all the other luxury items such as manicures and massages, etc.  After looking even deeper into some of those other people’s lives, more often than not, they are living paycheck to paycheck, and up to their eyeballs in debt. That is not the stressful life I want to lead.

Take time today and ask yourself, who is your idol.

Art

Art by Christine (Parrish) Barker. © Christine Barker. All rights reserved.

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© Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision 2017. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this Blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christine (Parrish) Barker and Your Ultimate Life Vision with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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