3 Point Check List for Focus

Life is full of distractions that can take us away from working on our goals. That is why as David du Chemin, photographer, author, adventurer reminds us: Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it but intentional about it.

This blog post will give you 3 ideas to implement to help with focus.

Ask why? Goals give us the opportunity to define what we want. The most important question to ask when setting your goal is why do I want to do this? We need a big enough why to continue to do the work required to reach the goal, after the excitement of setting the goal leaves us. Not every task associated with accomplishing your goal will be fun or easy. Coming back to your why helps you get those mundane jobs done.

Keep your goal visible. Post your goal on a sticky note at your desk or workstation, as wallpaper on your computer monitor or written on the white board in your office. Keep your goal in front of you as a reminder of where you want to be or what you want to become.

Avoid multi-tasking. 98% of us can only concentrate on one cognitive task at a time. Close out all the programs on your computer except the one you are using to work on your goal. Silence your phone. E-mail and social media will wait until you’ve finished your work. You can return calls or texts. Research done by Gloria Mark at the University of California; Irvine found that for every interruption it takes us a little more than 20 minutes to regain our focus.

What would add to the list? Post it here.

3 Best Ways to Live With Intention

A new year is often time for reflection. We take a look back and think about what we want to be different in the year ahead. We create new plans, new goals and begin with hope for a new future. We know things don’t always go as planned, our goals aren’t always achieved and sometimes our hopes are dashed. Yet we celebrate a new year with anticipation that this year can be different, can be better. One of the ways to make this happen is to live with intention. As Kristin Armstrong, three-time Olympic gold medalist reminds us: We either live with intention or exist by default. Make 2021 your year to live on purpose.

Here are three ways you can build intention into every day: practice gratitude, mindfulness, and focus. I will cover each of these in the next three posts, this post I’m going to focus on gratitude.


Even when things are at there worst look for things to be thankful for. One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. Begin your day by acknowledging what’s going right in your life and the people you appreciate. Recite out loud affirmations such as:

I am so thankful that the universe is working for my greater good.

I am grateful for another chance to live my life.

I’m grateful for the air I breathe and the blood flowing through my body.

I appreciate the help and support of the people who have helped me along with way.

Take a few minutes right now to create and write down a few gratitude affirmations that appeal to you. Next put them in a place you where you will see them shortly after you wake up in the morning so you can repeat them as you begin your day.

I’d love to know one or two of the affirmations that you create, post them here and begin 2021 by being intentionally grateful.

What change will you make in the new year?

As we mark the end of another year, one filled with challenges and anxiety, we anticipate 2021 will be better. It will be better if we follow the advice left on an Anglican Bishop’s tombstone in the basement of Westminster Abbey. It reads as follows:

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change. So I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country, but it too seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. And now I realize as I lie on my deathbed, if I had only changed myself first, then by example I might have changed my family, from their inspiration and encouragement I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I might have even changed the world.”

As you think about the next 12 months what is one change you can make to create a positive difference in your life? My one change is to incorporate a meditation practice at the end of my workday. I’d love to know what your one change will be, post it here.

The Surprising Secret to Confidence – borrow the slogan from Nike and Just Do It!

Fear of failure is what stops many of us from pursuing our dreams. The thoughts like what if it doesn’t work, what if I look stupid, what if I get laughed at, what if I go broke, have stopped many a dream in its tracks. The best cure is to take action despite that voice shouting in the back of your head. The advice Mel Robbins gives in her TED Talk fits here. She describes a method she created to motivate herself to get out of a funk and take action. Count backward from 5, when you get to 1 you get up and do what you’ve been avoiding. “Your feelings don’t matter. The only thing that matters is what you DO.”, says Robbins.

Try the 5 second technique and let me know what happens. Post your comment here.

What are you doing to navigate these stormy waters?

In recent months we’ve been bombarded with the phrase “we are all in this together.” Not only does it relate to the world at large it can also relate to the organization where we work. In speaking with a colleague earlier this week she made an interesting statement: even though we are all in this together we are in different boats. Some people are in an inflatable raft, some in a cabin cruiser or some a yacht. When we work for an organization its true as well. Think of the place you work for as the body of water and your role in the organization is the boat you are guiding to get you to the destination.

We all face stormy weather and how we navigate the storm is independent of the type of vessel you are guiding the difference is how you guide the craft. The way you pilot your boat is what will make the difference in the outcome of your day, your month, your career, not the type of boat you are steering. Without the skill, knowledge, and ability (SKA’s) to sail stormy seas, you will run aground even if you are in the most expensive yacht. Are you willing make the time to improve your SKA’s? Your investment in your SKA’s is what will give you the ability to successfully guide your boat to its destination.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Listen to podcasts or the read the blog posts of leaders in your industry.
  • Let me recommend Michelle L. Steffes podcast: Your Journey to Greatness Through Routine.  Here is a link:https://ipvconsulting.com/podcastpage/
  • Take time each day to disconnect from news and social media.
  • Create a plan to strengthen areas in which you already excel.
  • And of course find time for self-care using things like meditation and exercise.

What strategies do you use to continue to be your best and guide your career to its maximum potential? Post those ideas here.

Are you willing to chase your dream?

Once there was an eagle’s nest with four beautiful eggs perched on the side of a mountain. An earthquake occurred causing one of the eggs to roll out of the nest down the mountain side and landed in the middle of a chicken farm below. The chickens gathered around the egg and decided they would take care of it. One old hen volunteered to sit on the egg and soon it hatched. Out came a beautiful baby eagle. The chickens raised the eagle like all of the other baby chicks.

One day when the eagle was out playing in the yard with the other chicks he looked up into the sky and saw a group of eagles soaring above. He said out loud, “I wish I could soar like that.” The chickens laughed. “You can’t soar “they said “you’re a chicken and chickens can’t fly.” Day after day the eagle would be in the yard and noticed the family of eagles soaring above, his real family. Each time he said how much he wanted to fly like that, the chickens would laugh and tell him it wasn’t possible. As the years passed the eagle gave up on his dream and eventually died with the chickens, never knowing he was an eagle and could soar up in the air.

What’s the morale of the story? We all have dreams inside of us; we were all born to fulfill our greatest purpose. If we let those around us talk us out of our dreams, we will die never realizing what we could become. Use this post as encouragement to follow your dream, stop listening to the people around you who say it can’t be done. As Audrey Hepburn said, “Nothing is impossible, even the word itself says I’m possible.”


What is one action you can take right now to move you closer to your dream? Take it and post your action here.