decision making

Experts Share Tips on Getting the Life You Want Right Now

I was quoted on how to problem solve and set goals. By Rheyanne Weaver |

Remember those 10 pounds you were supposed to lose last year? Or what about that fantasy novel you were supposed to start writing during that recent vacation?

Many people have goals and a basic outline of what their ideal life would be, but they don’t necessarily do what it takes to get the life they want. Luckily there are experts who can help you find that inner power to start living your true life right now.

Stever Robbins, the host of the “Get-it-Done Guy” business podcast, an executive coach and adjunct lecturer at Babson College, has four tips for people who know what they want to do in life, they just haven’t managed to get there yet.

1) “Stay connected to them on a regular basis. Draw out a life map that connects your daily projects to your highest goals and review it daily, so you can see how the little items are connected to your big motivators.”

2) “Plan for change. Any big change of goals will change who you hang out with, what you talk about, and how you go about your daily life. Think that through ahead of time, anticipate the changes, and set up structures to make them happen.”

3) “Get a friend. It's easier when you have someone else and can hold each other mutually accountable.”

4) “Start with action and controlled experiments. Don't quit your day job to write your novel. Find ways to write small pieces at no risk, and then increase your writing only if it's really giving you the joy/happiness/progress you want.”

Mark Wiggins, a motivational speaker, trainer, co-creator of the Journey to Success program, and author of the book “Permission to Succeed: The Only Person Who Needs To Give It Is You,” gave six straightforward steps of his suggested process toward achieving goals:

1. “Determine your destination.”

2. “Identify your purpose.”

3. “Set your goals.”

4. “Develop your strategy.”

5. “Take action.”

6. “Evaluate your progress.”

Michelle King, a personal and motivational life and relationship coach, has five motivational tips for people who need a jumpstart toward their goals:

1) “Get clear on exactly what it is you want to achieve and accomplish in life. Brainstorm the idea and strain out the maybe's and the no's pertaining to the goal. When you have reached a complete and utter ‘Yes, this is exactly what I want,’ then the ability to move forward becomes so much more smoother.”

2) “Set a time frame as to when this goal needs to be accomplished. A time frame creates an urgency and establishes the motivation that is needed to accomplish your affirmation.”

3) “Realistically, list exactly what it is that is slowing you down and standing in your way of achieving what you set out to do. Once you acknowledge the obstacles, consider how these obstacles are impacting your ability to move forward. One by one, work through the obstacles that are holding you back. You will discover that many of these obstacles are much more minimal than you thought, and can be overcome just by addressing that specific issue or eliminating it from your life. For example, if you are on a mission to lose 30 pounds but have a pantry filled with junk food, how else are you going to resist the temptation of eating the food if you don't get rid of it? Be bold and be brave about eliminating these obstacles -- it's only for your benefit.”

4) “Make sure you tell someone what you are trying to achieve so that you can receive the support you will need at obtaining your ultimate goal. Seek out a friend or professional that will ensure you are holding yourself accountable for what you desire to accomplish.”

5) “Once you've accomplished one major goal through this process, the ability to achieve the next goal or goals will be obtained with ease and confidence. Take it one step at a time.”

Nerina Garcia-Arcement, a licensed clinical psychologist and clinical assistant professor at NYU School of Medicine, said in an email that it’s important to not just have major goals, but to have small goals along the way that are realistic. This helps build confidence and self-esteem enough to achieve even larger goals in the future.

She also suggested listing benefits of a certain goal, as well as the obstacles, and putting that list in a place that stands out the most at home or work. This list will be a reminder for achieving that major goal, and also help work on removing the obstacles.

Lauren Whitt, a motivational counselor and corporate wellness practitioner, has three additional unique tips to help you on your path to success:

1) "Track your goals daily by using a ‘mirror tracker.’ Using a dry erase marker, list out your goals on a mirror you look at daily. Make a note or tally of progress each day. This will help as both a reminder and a motivator as you see what you've accomplished."

2) "As you achieve both smaller and larger goals, reward yourself. For example, if your ultimate goal is to get fit and one of your initial goals is to go to the gym X amount of times per week and you meet that goal, reward yourself with a new workout accessory, like a shirt."

3) "Creating an inspiration wall is another way to remind yourself of the goals and dreams you are working towards. You can do this on the inside of a closet door, bulletin board or social media page. If your goal is to lose weight, hang pictures of your dream vacation spot or beach view. Then go there when you've achieved that goal."

Christine Cashen, a certified speaking professional, has three tips for accomplishing goals and getting the life you yearn for:

1) "Do three things every day to move you towards your goal. This way you don't get overwhelmed and keep moving forward.”

2) “Become an investigative reporter. Find people who have your dream job and speak with them about their path and what suggestions they may have. You may find a great mentor.”

3) “Take a risk. When you think you can't do something, use this risk chant (you must say it in chant voice): ‘Oh what the heck ... go for it anywayyyyy!’”

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Why it's OK to wait to have kids

I am quoted in this article regarding reasons why waiting to have children is beneficial for some.
The average age a woman has a child is 27. But many women aren't anywhere near ready to have children in their 20s. And these days, more are waiting -- some until their mid-to-late 30s or even their 40s. So is now the right time for you or should you wait? Read on for the reasons experts give for why it's OK to ignore that biological clock.

couple relaxing on beach

Anna, mother of one from Illinois, says she's a happier parent for waiting until she was older, "My husband and I didn't have our first child until our early 40s. It was a wonderful decision for many reasons. Our daughter is now 13 months, and we are both 43 years old. We couldn't be happier parents!"

Ignore the ticking clock

But what if, unlike Anna, you're struggling with the thought of waiting, feeling self-imposed or outside pressure to procreate? Nerina Garcia-Arcement, Ph.D. urges women not to rush into having a child simply because others are doing it or because their clock is ticking. "Having a child changes everything, literally."

"There are many pros to waiting, including being more emotionally and psychologically ready for the vast changes to lifestyle and time commitment that children require."

More financial stability

Garcia-Arcement also reminds potential parents that financial stability can come with waiting. "Having a more stable and developed profession so that you are in a more stable financial situation... " Barbara Neitlich, psychotherapist, adds, "If you wait, you can generally put more money aside for your baby fund."

More confidence and maturity

Beverly D. Flaxington, author and mother of three, who had babies at 35, 38 and 42 says, "I felt more confident after going through a number of life situations and developing different perspectives on life." Garcia-Arcement makes the point, "You might have more energy as a younger mom, but older moms have the benefit of more life experience and maturity." Neitlich adds, "As you age you learn more about yourself, your partner and what type of parent you want to be."

More time for you

Neitlich also says a key reason to wait is to "travel, travel, travel!" and spend more quality time with your partner first. Garcia-Arcement agrees, "Accomplishing personal goals first (e.g. education, travel, attending cultural events) allows the mom to never question should I have waited until... ?"

Ask yourself the important questions

Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, a marriage and family therapist, reminds couples to ask themselves important questions before making their final decision.

  • Are you and your spouse in agreement? Will you both be committed to all that is entailed?
  • Do you and your spouse believe you would enjoy parenting?
  • Will you consider medical intervention if you cannot get pregnant?
  • Are there any financial concerns? Will a child make a difference in whether both spouses will be able to pursue their careers, work full time, finish up any education, etc.?
  • Are there any emotional or psychological reasons underlying a push for a child — the kind of reasons that have more to do with improving the marriage, etc.? The kind that are not healthy reasons and usually backfire?

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