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Your Company
January 12, 2011


* Steve’s Field Note
* Idea – Resolution, Schmezholution!
* Resource – The No-Brainer, Super Low Cost Work At What You Love Retreat
* Resource – Tapa Palapa Podcast Menu
* Advisory Board – Spread the word!

Steve’s Field Note


We have a Quaker parrot. His name is Birdward and he’s very loud. But over time I’ve gotten used to moving his cage to the front porch before I get on a phone call, or going into my office and closing the door. I also keep my phone muted as much as possible on group calls if he’s raising a ruckus.

Members of my coaches’ support group were surprised I had a parrot and wanted to know if he can talk. Can he ever! I took a short video of Birdward to show off his vocabulizations (I just made that word up). He went a little camera shy and didn’t display all his talents, but I uploaded the video anyway to give them a taste. Click his picture if you would like to see him showing off.

I’m so used to planning around Birdward for my calls that I was surprised people who’ve been on calls with me for years didn’t know he was here. We get used to things pretty easily. Thoughts get settled in our minds and take root, accurate or not, before we realize it. That’s been a theme in my journey lately.

This applies to my thinking about the process of change. I get excited when people are changing and growing. I’m especially captivated by people going through transformation, or deep change. But I heard early on in my coach training that people really don’t like to change so it complicates the marketing to talk about it. I was told to focus on the changes people want to see around them, or how their lives can improve, but not to talk about how they will have to change.

I let that idea take root and grow so thick it has interfered with how I present and market my business. I teach people to talk about their gifts and talents in their marketing – what they’re passionate about and what lights them up in their work – to show their approach and unique value. But I’ve been muffling my own voice and restricting the core of my passion when I market my business.

Time for that to change.

Are you ready to change? Forget resolutions and read my suggestions for designing a plan for real change. Then check out the menu for the Tapa Palapa podcast. This month Francie and I are discussing Worklife Liberation. Check out the featured resource, which will help you create your own liberation plan.

Enjoy the scenery on the Twisting Road!

Resolution, Schmezholution!

Did you catch that media whirlwind? At the end of the year there was a predictable blizzard of news stories and articles about New Year’s resolutions: who was making them, which ones were trendy, which ones were most popular. Then at the first of the year there were more piles of stories about how difficult it is to keep New Year’s resolutions, plus snappy ideas to help you be successful keeping yours.

We’re eleven days into the new year and all those stories have fizzled out. So has most people’s New Year’s resolve. How about you? Have you given up on your New Year’s resolution?


I say Resolution Schmezholution. Forget resolutions. They’re worse than pointless. They’re counterproductive.

Resolutions are all about targeting something big we need to change and summoning the willpower to take them on. Change rarely – as in almost never – happens because someone builds up the willpower to take on something big. Change happens for most of us most of the time in a much different way. When we take on something big by willpower alone we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Throw out your resolutions and try a different approach.

Set an intention

Focus on what you want to bring into your life. Some people think about personal qualities they want to develop, like being adventurous, being more compassionate, or expressing gratitude. Some people think about a simple change in their routine, like getting outside more often or having more conversations with friends. Some people think about trying something new, which could be as simple as sampling different cuisines or investing time in a play project.

I’m not talking about the Law of Attraction here, at least not the way it’s been popularly presented lately. I’m not suggesting you sit around thinking about what you want and the power of your desire will magically create it in your life. The power of intention is the power of focusing your attention.

When you tune your mind – on all levels – to be aware of something, you start seeing the pathways around you. You see opportunities to exhibit compassion when you set an intention to be compassionate. When you start looking for ways to get outside more often you’ll notice the park near work that you’re used to ignoring. When you decide you want to try out an interest and see where it takes you, you’ll head to a different section in the bookstore.

You can keep your mind focused on your intention by putting reminders around you. You could create a vision board that has pictures and words to represent what you want in your life. You could put quotes in places you’ll see them on a regular basis. You could choose symbols that work as reminders (I have a yin-yang sticker on my weekly planner to remind me to consider balance when I schedule things).

Set targets

Why not goals? That word carries baggage for some people. If you want to accomplish something and you don’t get it finished by a certain date, you might feel like you failed. When you aim for a target and you miss, you understand you’re learning to aim better. If you hit the target fifty percent of the time you can focus on what you learned and how to improve. Change is full of trial and error. Set your targets, take aim, learn from your hits and your misses, and keep getting better.

Want to have more time talking with friends? Set your target: one twenty-minute conversation per month, or per week if you think you’ll do that. Want to be more adventurous? Set a target and see how many times in a month you can say “yes” to things you normally resist.

When you miss, adjust your target and keep aiming. If you never miss? Obviously your target’s too easy! Pick a more difficult target that keeps you challenged. The point is you will only improve by being challenged, and improvement comes through struggle and adjustment, with waves of frustration and realization. Instant mastery is proof you’re not growing at all, because you’re not being challenged.

Choose SMART steps

If you’ve heard this acronym you’ve probably heard of SMART goals. The distinction won’t matter for some people, but it’s important to others. The goal is the big thing you want to achieve. The specific things you accomplish on the way to achieving a goal are called objectives. The individual actions you take to meet your objectives are steps.

Graduating college with a specific degree and grade point is a goal. Getting a certain grade in a certain class is an objective that moves you to that goal. Going to class is a daily step to meet your objective. Studying for two hours is a daily step. Completing a section of a project for the class is a daily step.

One of the magical mojo voodoo keys to coaching is that coaches learn to help clients break their goals into objectives, then into steps, and take those steps. Clients, being people, tend to complicate things and overwhelm themselves by putting goals or objectives on their to-do list instead of putting SMART steps. The acronym “SMART” stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-defined.

Break your actions into steps you can take in a single block of time. “Read 1 marketing book a month” is a goal. It’s even SMART – you understand it, it’s doable, and you know when you want it to be accomplished. But it doesn’t belong on your to-do list. “Read ten pages” is a step that fits on a to-do list because you can do it in a single block of time.

Set up accountability and take your steps

When I say accountability am I promoting coaching? Absolutely! At the risk of giving away all the secrets at once, another one of the magical mojo voodoo secrets of coaching is that the process holds clients accountable – to themselves – for choosing steps and taking them. It’s not your only option, but it’s one of the most, if not the most, powerful and effective ways to put accountability on your side.

Other ways include joining a support group or a mastermind group, or teaming up with an accountability partner. When you tell a person or a group of people that you’re going to take certain steps over the next week or two, you tend to get them done!

There’s a really delicious icing on the accountability cake. When you take your steps and tell your group or your coach, they’re really happy for you. They celebrate your accomplishment. It feels great, and it gets you energized and eager to take more steps.

And before you know it…

You set an intention and keep your focus on it. You define targets (or goals, if you must!) and aim for them. You define the clear, achievable steps that move you towards your targets. You take those steps, one at a time, overcoming resistance so you can tell your accountability partners and celebrate with them.

You know what happens when you keep taking one step after the other, right?

The No-Brainer, Super Low Cost Work At What You Love Retreat

Take advantage of this Ridiculously Low-Cost Way to learn how to work at what you love…

Profiting From Your Passions and career change expert Valerie Young is hosting a VIRTUAL “Work at What You Love” Weekend Workshop (and if you can’t make the dates, you can still get the recordings!).

CLICK HERE NOW to get the details or to sign up.

You can participate from your home and receive personal feedback and guidance, or…

You can “audit” the program by listening in to all the training material. You won’t get personal attention to your plan the way the full retreat participants do, but you’ll still hear a lot of ideas you can apply to your own situation. And, WOW! You can’t beat the price.

If you’re not familiar with Valerie, she abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at Changing Course offering resources to help you discover your life mission and live it. Her career change tips have been cited in Kiplinger’s, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today Weekend, Woman’s Day, and elsewhere and on-line at MSN and CareerBuilder.

Valerie has helped thousands of people figure out how they can find their calling and turn their interests into income. Now it’s your turn. Let 2011 be THE year that you take the necessary steps towards living your dream.

George Eliot wrote, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Isn’t it time you finally made the commitment to discover the work you were meant to do?

If you’re ready to learn how you can profit from your passion and achieve your goal of a richer, more rewarding life CLICK HERE NOW to learn more about this amazing opportunity.

Tapa Palapa Podcast

For January our menu theme is “Worklife Liberation.”
Join Francie and me as we discuss…

Work is a 4-letter word (Jan. 4)
Life first, then worklife (Jan. 11)
Find your calling (Jan. 18)
Work at what you love (Jan. 25)

Click here to listen to the latest episode.

Advisory Board

That’s you. If you like what you read, please tell your family and friends. If you don’t like something, please tell me!

Thanks for Joining Me on the Journey,

Steve Coxsey

The Twisting Road Traveler is a publication of Twisting Road Media and Stephen Coxsey

Copyright (C) 2011 Stephen Coxsey and Twisting Road
* All rights reserved *

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