Why not?

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It is, Why not Wednesday.
Why not start a new habit or goal today?
What will you start working toward today?

Maybe….
A goal you’ve put off long enough?
A book you’ve started, but not finished?
Finish an application you started?
Cook a new recipe you keep saying you’ll try?
Research steps needed for that side business?
Begin a new nightly and/or morning routine?
Organize that cluttered desk, drawer or closet?
Create a daily activity routine?
Take care of yourself…ways to reduce stress?

Share below 🙂

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Questions to ask the interviewer

One of the most important interviewing tips has to be examples of questions to ask the interviewer. Typically, at the end of an interview you are asked, “do you have any questions for me/us?” And this seems to stump a lot of people, it has me in the past.

I always suggest researching the company you are interviewing with, this will help you come up with questions to ask. Read over the mission statement and discover as much as you can about the company. When researching find answers to the following:

  • Are they opening a new division or beginning a new project?
  • Have they been highlighted in a recent article or received an award?
  • Did they recently celebrate a milestone such as so many years in business, etc.?
  • Is there a board, committee, executive team, etc. if so familiarize yourself with the names.
  • Do employees participate in a volunteer day or does the company support a local non-profit?
  • Is there an accomplishment or focus that the company has that you connect with or feel passionate about?

Once you answer the questions above or similar ones you are prepared to ask a variety of questions to the interviewer(s). Example questions to ask the interviewer include:

  • I recently read that the company expanded out of state, can you tell me more about that expansion?
  • I read in a recent article that the company was awarded the best place to work recognition, can you tell me more about that process?
  • I know two of the main responsibilities of this position are to coordinate travel and set up quarterly board meetings. Can you explain a bit more about who requires travel, is it every member of the board, etc.? And please describe a typical agenda for the meetings. 
  • Please provide a brief summary of a typical day in that position.
  • What professional development opportunities are offered?
  • What is your (or each committee member’s) favorite app or program that is used most often?

What questions have you asked during an interview?

Have any interviewing or career or writing questions? Contact me below or at successencourager@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!

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Personal Mission Statement

A personal mission statement not only helps you create and accomplish goals, but also focus on the future you want in a brief summary. Your personal mission statement describes what success means to you. It summarizes where you want to be in the future and should reflect your goals, values and life’s purpose. Everyone’s should be unique to them.

You can create such a statement through a few questions and a journey through personal self-discovery. This process helps you focus on the most important goals and encourages you to create a list of steps to accomplish them! Once you have a personal mission statement you can expand that into a more detailed mission and goal list.

You can create a personal mission statement by asking yourself:

  • What is important to me?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • What does my future look like?
  • What skills and experience do I have?
  • What skills do I need to learn?
  • What makes me unique?
  • Do my goals include others?
  • How will my goals benefit others?
  • What values are most important to me?

Once you have answers to the questions above, you can start to piece together a statement by combining the words that mean the most to you and create your own personal mission statement.

After a lot of drafts, I came up with my own personal mission statement:

To encourage others to set goals & succeed, share my professional and personal knowledge and create through my passion for writing.

Other samples include:

  • “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” – Oprah Winfrey’s personal statement
  • “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.” – Sir Richard Branson’s personal statement
  • “Making the best possible ice cream, in the nicest possible way.” Ben & Jerry’s mission statement

What is your personal mission statement? What goal do you want to focus on and accomplish?

Thank you for reading!!

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Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash

Journal Club – You’re invited!

I’m excited to announce the launch of the Success Encourager’s Journal Club!! I want to invite you to join me. Whether you are an experienced and active journaler / letter writer or simply looking for tips and want to get started I invite you to join the club! It’s easy, simply connect with me on Instagram (successencourager), follow this WordPress blog or read updates and posts on my website (www.danabuchanan.com). Feel free to email me with questions! successencourager@gmail.com

Why a club? I have shared my love and enthusiasm for journaling and letter writing in past posts and typically find a creative way to bring it up in most conversations…some would say I get overly giddy or even obsessive about them. OK, I may see their point, but isn’t holding your favorite journal or stationary and handwriting a recap of your day or jotting down your dreams for the future you foresee yourself living or writing warm wishes to a dear friend and mailing them off almost magical? I know I am not the only one that feels this way!

I journal professionally and personally. I have shared my journaling methods and my love for letter writing with others. I greatly appreciate every opportunity to share this ‘obsession’ with! More details about this are on my website.

So what does this club do or offer? I’m so glad you asked! The club is a creative outlet, not stressful, no deadlines or membership fees, it’s simply a fun way for me and other members to connect with others that share our love of journaling and letter writing or connect with those wanting to learn more! I will post prompts and ideas, I welcome shared journal and letter photos on Instagram (#sejournalclub) and encourage comments to blogposts.

I’m even working on a monthly letter giveaway…more details soon, but here is a hint – it’ll include a personalized hand-written encouraging letter from me and a blank card or stationary to be ‘paid forward’ to someone you want to encourage and may even include a journal and/or book giveaway (if you have published a book with a journaling or letter writing theme or journal and want to donate a copy for a future giveaway, email me!!!!). 

I’m so excited (giddy even) about this and looking forward to seeing how it will evolve!! Comment below if you’re interested in joining or email me and look for future updates and announcements coming soon!!!

A couple of tips and ideas to get us started

  • Create a list journal; travel, goals, ideas, books, recipes, events, concerts, etc. that you want to participate in, attend, read, cook, etc. Focus on one list and create a few steps toward making it a reality. For example if you want to cook more or experiment with new recipes, choose three or four to start, make an ingredient list, set aside time to create this culinary masterpiece and record what you liked about it, who you enjoyed it with, what you would change, etc. Recording your accomplishments encourages confidence and future goals…anything is possible with the right steps, action and accomplishment tracking!
  • Create a journal for the next generation. Whether it’s your child, grandchild, friend’s children, nephew, niece, sister or brother…start a journal that records details of family gatherings, milestones, quotes from family and friends, and those days that would otherwise seem routine yet are so special. Include a pocket for ticket stubs, notes, photos, etc. and give it all to the child on a special birthday.

What are you journaling right now? Who was the last recipient of a letter or card you sent via ‘snail mail’?

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Categorize your goal

Goals are easier to focus on when you can categorize them and have a ‘why’. The ‘why’ is what you envision your future being once the goal is accomplished. I have listed some categories below.

For example learning to decorate cakes could fit into the Spirit category as a hobby or creative outlet. The ‘why’ could be to personalize a celebration cake for a birthday, shower, special anniversary or as a positive outlet since you already enjoy baking and want to expand that skill. This goal could even turn into a new full-time or part-time career.

Once you have a category and a ‘why’ it is easier to prioritize and focus on the steps. Using the example above, decorating cakes, the first step might be to research cake decorating classes, estimating cost, timeframe and what supplies might be needed. Another step could be saving for the training, purchasing supplies and organizing your home so you can hone your skills after the training. A future step might be researching the requirements for starting a small business or working for a baker.

Prioritizing and accomplishing a goal can encourage you to explore more and offer endless possibilities.

Well-beingMental and physical health; stretching, walking, meditation, conscious eating, plenty of water. Ask yourself – What are my health goals, what are my limits?

SpiritSelf-care, gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, create, hobbies. Ask yourself – What brings joy and peace? What nourishes me?

Circle – Mutual relationships that allow you to give and receive support; family, friends, work friendships, recovery groups, clubs or hobby groups. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support?

ProductivityDaily routine; work, volunteering, care giver, budgeting, learning. Ask yourself – What is my current daily schedule (define it). What do I want my future schedule or routine to look like and consist of?

The May giveaway announcementI’m offering a FREE goal categorizing session to the first five people to contact me that are interested in creating a beginner’s goal priority. We will work through a few questions via email focusing on a goal you’d like to make a priority with suggested first steps. Email me if interested! successencourager@gmail.com 

Thank you so much for reading! What goal category is your focus right now?

 

The Goal Pitch

A goal pitch summarizes a goal you want to achieve. Typically, pitches are used for novels, movies or ideas and are just one to two sentences. A goal pitch allows you to narrow down your focus to help you commit to it and develop an action plan to make your goal a reality. Once you have a focus and commitment you can create daily or weekly or even monthly steps in your action plan.

The goal pitch puts words to the future you envision. For example, if your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, narrow it down by asking WHY ? Maybe it’s to travel more, be active with family & friends, feel better and have more energy. Once you have those whys you have more motivation and can justify your action plan and remind yourself why your goal is so important.

Keep your action plan simple, to the point and realistic. Don’t start out saying you want to run the marathon that is next weekend. It’s not impossible, but if someone told me I had to run a marathon in a few days, I’d want more time to mentally and physically prepare! It’s a great goal, but would most likely require a few more steps to be completed first. A good first goal would be to eat healthier, maybe swap out a veggie lunch for a fast food one, or be more active by incorporating more steps into your day, morning yoga and meditation, or a beginner’s exercise routine at home or at a gym.

Incorporate your first step into your routine and keep your why motivators in mind. Once your first step feels more routine, add an additional one or two and celebrate accomplishments along the way. Set weekly or monthly status reports with yourself to acknowledge how much progress you have made and realize the healthier lifestyle you want is possible. Remind yourself that setbacks aren’t dead ends, simply breaks that can be overcome.

Whether your focus is health, career, relationships, starting a business, or anything in between, a focus and action plan can help you achieve it. Categorizing your daily routines with the nourishment categories I posted previously can help you focus even more.

In April, I’m offering a FREE goal pitch session to the first five people to contact me that are interested in creating a goal pitch and a beginner’s action plan. We will work through several questions via email and once a short goal pitch is created we will work on a basic starter action plan. Email me if interested! successencourager@gmail.com

Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from at least five of you that are ready to focus on at least one of your goals!

 

 

Turning resolutions into lifestyle

Even if you work full-time and average 8 hours of sleep each night you have about 6 hours each day to dedicate to your goals and passions. I’m going to share a schedule that I personally use to create a lifestyle I choose, I feel excited about and can help me achieve any goal! I have a lot to share so I will break it down over the next few article posts.

There are several popular articles with great tips on keeping resolutions and setting personal and professional goals. A simple google search will provide several!

First, I want to share my categories that help me stay focused when planning my day. I ‘assign’ a category to each part of my daily schedule to keep me focused. If I can’t find a category to fit it in, then most likely it isn’t necessary. For example, excuses and complaining do not have a category in my life (something I’m working on!). And all four categories are intertwined, so they can and should overlap, but separating them out helps me focus (which is what I personally need!)

My nourishment categories:

  • Well-being – Mental and physical health; stretching, walking, meditation, conscious eating, plenty of water. Ask yourself – What are my health goals, what are my limits?
  • Spirit – Self-care, gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, create, hobbies. Ask yourself – What brings joy and peace? What nourishes me?
  • Circle – Mutual relationships that allow you to give and receive support; family, friends, work friendships, recovery groups, clubs or hobby groups. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support?
  • Productivity – Daily routine; work, volunteering, care giver, budgeting, learning. Ask yourself – What is my current daily schedule (define it). What do I want my future schedule or routine to look like and consist of?

Once your categories are defined you can create a ‘schedule’ and fit it into a category. Seeing your schedule written out helps not only see how time is spent, but also provide accountability opportunities. You are the only one you need to be accountable to. This is your life, your future and remember your passion is worth your time!

Here is my schedule/routine and how my hours are spent. As you can see I have no excuses that should start with ‘but I don’t have time’. It’s right here in writing. Yes, I have time for me and my passions and goals. Excuses have no category!

Typical Monday through Friday:

  • 6:00 am – Wake up and shower
  • 6:30 am – Coffee in hand, reflection time begins, meditation (just 5 minutes), positive reading and quiet time with hubby
  • 7:00 am – Get ready for work (Makeup, hair, dressed, gather work meals to go)
  • 7:30 am – Start commute
  • 8:00 am – Clock in and begin morning work routine
  • 11:30 am – Lunch (eat, reflect, 1 minute breathing exercise via Headspace app)
  • 12:00 to 4:30 pm – Afternoon work routine
  • 4:30 pm – Start commute back home
  • 5:00 to 10:00 pm – Five evening hours. These hours include various activities such as appointments, errands and time with my mom, errands for my aunt, one on one with my husband, dinner/cooking, reading, writing, research, library events, creating lists, reviewing research and outlines, article writing and research, learning and anything unexpected that can pop up
    • between my hour or so in the morning before getting ready for work, my 30 minute lunch break and my five hours before bed, I have 6.5 hours a day I can plan just about any way I want
  • 10:00 pm (sometimes 10:30) – Bedtime

Typical Saturday (16 hour day, after 8 hours of sleep) :

  • 7:30 am – Coffee, reflection, couple time, positive reading
  • 8:30 to 10:30 am – Cook breakfast with hubby, conversations, reading
  • 10:30 am – Shower, dressed, prepare for day
  • 11:30 am – Review and/or create weekend lists, write out outlines for articles
  • 12:30 pm – Errands and drive time
  • 1:30 pm to 7:30 pm – Family time with my sister and nephew (and 45 minutes driving each way)
  • 7:30 to 11:30 pm – Couple dinner/cooking, conversation, reading, writing, research
  • 11:30 (ish) pm – Bedtime

Typical Sunday (about 15 hours after 8 hours of sleep):

  • 7:30 am – Coffee, reflection, couple time, positive reading
  • 8:30 am to 1:30 pm – Cook breakfast together, write outlines, writing research, read
  • 1:30 pm – Shower, dressed, etc.
  • 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm – Errands, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.
  • 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm – Cook dinner together, cleanup, conversations, lists for upcoming week
  • 8:00 to 10:30 pm – prepare work lunches/snacks, read, write, outlines, research, learn

I can easily fit each item into a category. For example reading and writing are spirit and productivity for me since my writing is a main focus and will continue to be (I like owning my future and goals..writing it  out helps me a lot!)

Obviously, some hours are not as flexible as others. If you work and have set hours to work or care for someone those hours are typically always the same, but several hours a day are flexible for me once I’m done at work and on the weekends. Seeing this written out helps me focus on accomplishments, not just goal setting!

I have a lot more to share, but this post is long enough! I appreciate your time reading it and I hope this encourages you to write out your current schedule/routine, so we can travel this journey together.

I encourage you to document how your spend your hours and think about how you want to spend them…If you have any questions please ask! Any additional tips? Please share!

Thanks again for reading!