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Tips for Go Time

Author, wearing hydration vest, standing outside, with arms upwards in a "Victory" V
When it comes time to complete a big goal, do you choke or sabotage yourself? If you want to experience something different during, “Go Time” read this post for a few ideas. Photo credit: Jackie Donnelly (Spice And Ink).

During  my last manual adjustment and medical massage before I flew to the other side of the country to prepare for my Ironman race, I was excited.

As I headed out the door of my chiropractor’s office, he gave me a piece of welcomed advice, “You know, everyone who does an Ironman is going to encounter a point where you will simply hurt.” Full stop.

And then, he didn’t offer a solution for the pain. Why? Because there is no solution, there is no way around it. There is just pain. You just have to figure out what to do for yourself when you get there.

Well, ain’t that the truth!

The last few months, I’ve been pondering the subject of pain and physical suffering. It’s been a subject easy to think about since I’ve been in pain pretty much the entire Spring and Summer this year. It’s the kind of pain that brings tears to your eyes, that goes with you when you lay your head on the pillow for sleep, and wakes up with you like a heavy dream. There are have been moments of respite, and other moments where I have managed to transform the pain into a whisper of itself. But it still whispers in an annoying sort of way.

What I wanted for myself was to be given the choice to execute on an extraordinary endurance race. Despite a number of difficult challenges, I have arrived on the cusp of that day. It is now, “Go Time”, the point of no return. As Yoda is oft quoted, “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

In life, “Go Time” is that moment when  the only way to get the value of the resources invested (time, money, emotions/heart, help, etc.) is to follow through.

Would you be surprised to know that this is the most critical time when people often choke? When you are facing Go Time in your life — with a relationship, a job, finishing your education, or executing a plan on your biggest dreams — what can help you meet Go Time with everything you’ve got?

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Setting Stretch Goals for Personal Excellence

Large strawberry on left, sitting on sidewalk, with smaller tortoise named Kevin with mouth open in attempt to take a bite of the strawberry.
Why should you ever try to set stretch goals? Why even think of biting off more than you can chew? Because the process of trying — and even failing – grows us towards personal excellence. Photo credit: Haley Luna of

Recently, I’ve been thinking about failure. After taking on bigger goals, it’s part of my process to consider the possibility that I might not achieve them. This is because my goals aren’t particularly small. 

In the world of business, failure is a scary word. You’re likely to hear more advice about developing a mindset such as, “Live as though failure is not an option.” Even the idea of thinking about failure comes with the belief that you will then anticipate it, and thus the very thought about failing becomes a predictor of it. 

However, failure is all around us; failures abound like weeds in the grass. They fill up the digital pages of Social Media and spill into our homes. Failure invades our junk drawer space, and even our convenience foods that sit on our shelves.

Many people come to our counseling office in hopes of escaping the pain of failure, and there are plenty of ways of avoiding it. Apply for a job that does not require new, challenging skills. Avoid romantic relationships, and isolate oneself to the point of loneliness. Don’t travel far, stick to your usual paths, and by no means should you push yourself to do something different, because you might not be good at it, and you might experience the feeling of failing at yet one more thing.

Rather than avoiding failure, is there any way we can learn from situations where failure may well be a viable and even reasonable option? Is there a way of minimizing its damage while exploiting its lessons? Should we attempt to do things that leave us feeling like we’re biting off more than we can chew?

I propose that there is a way, and there is a reason. It’s called setting stretch goals. And instead of adopting the mindset where failure is not an option, you create a pathway of learning, where you gather everything you need to learn about yourself so that you grow that area of personal excellence, regardless of outcome. You may not even need to succeed at your goal in order to reap the benefits of having set it in the first place.

Want to know more about setting stretch goals? And why on earth should you ever intentionally try to bite off more than you can chew?


Five Tips For A New You in the New Year

It’s a new year. Most of us are open to trying something new, making a change, or jumping on a resolution you know you need. Here are five tips to help you create the new you you’ve been waiting for. Don’t wait another year. Get started, now!

1. Write it down. Clear and reasonable goals are the first step to knowing what it is you want in what amount of time, and how you will achieve that goal. When you write your goal down, you are forced to articulate that goal with specific detail.

I find it very helpful to make mini-goals within goals which are time-limited. This helps you track your progress as well as see how close you are to achieving your ultimate goal, especially if your goal includes a long process or a significant lifestyle change.

2. Share it, and share it often. Remind yourself, your loved ones -even your pets! – that you are going to do what you say you are. By sharing your goals with others, you are more likely to follow through with real actions.

3. Ask for help. You don’t have to do it alone. Whether your goal is to learn how to make a budget and stick to it, to lose some excess weight, or change jobs, you can ask others who have done the same to give you some tips on how to follow in their footsteps. Why reinvent the wheel when you someone else has done the work for you?

4. Do a little research. When you study up on what lies ahead in the journey to achieve your goal, you can better anticipate the rewards and pitfalls along the way, and better manage the the potential for setbacks, discouragement, and self-doubt. Google, WikiAnswers, and community-based crowd sourcing communities can help you look at your goals from various angles before you plan your strategy of attack.

5. Build in a reward. People are similar to the beloved pets in our lives. There are many things we’ll do “just because”, but there are some things we do better with a little motivation. Over the years, I’ve seen people do everything from rewarding themselves with extra time to read a book, go out of town for a weekend, put money in a jar for every time they worked on a project, or even take a “kiss break” with their sweetheart.

After you’ve incorporated all five parts of your action plan, the next step is simply to DO IT. Work backwards from your time limit, and make as much headway as you can. Enjoy the process of the journey, and be sure to talk about it with others. It’s the memories you build along the way that form a mental pathway — literally, creating a new groove in your brain as well as your lifestyle.

Some of you reading this may have already tried these things, while scratching your head that you did not achieve the results you wanted. Coaching can often help you get “unstuck” or learn the skills to help you move ahead. Seattle Direct Counseling and Coaching offers coaching services focusing on motivation and “unstuckness” that may be the perfect thing for you. Call for your free 15 minute coaching sample.