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Completing Any Goal: From Tripped-Up to Triumphant

It’s February.  Only a month and a half ago many of us set goals and made New Year’s Resolutions.  How’s that working out for you? Are you making strides or are you…stuck?

It’s OK. Many of us get tripped up on the path to triumph. You’re at a critical point at this moment though– you can choose to throw in the towel or push through. When you have trouble imagining how you’ll ever achieve your goal (whether it’s writing a book, completing a dissertation, moving up a level, enrolling more people, or making headway on a project, etc) it’s time to stop and go through a visioning process.

When I work with clients one-on-one or in groups, I take them through several visioning exercises.  One that I often begin with has 5 steps:

(1)  See it: Close your eyes.  Look at your goal square in the face.  What does it look like when it’s finished?  When you look around, who do you see?  Where do you picture yourself?  Get specific.  I often encourage my clients to put together a vision board that keeps these pictures in the forefront of their minds.  What images remind you of your goal?  What lies beyond once that Read more

Limits, Labels & Luggage: Leaving Behind What Holds Us Back

Based on Dr. Robyn Silverman’s Keynote: Limits, Labels & Luggage: Shedding the Past so We Can Claim Our Future

Many of us have what I like to call, “Goal Envy.” We see others setting and achieving goals that we want to be our own.  And yet, we come up with all kinds of reasons why we can’t succeed.

It’s not the right time.

I’m not that kind of person.

I would never have the _______, _________, or _________ to be able to do it.

Even before we try—no—even before we allow ourselves to think about setting such a goal–we have already come up with why we could never achieve it.  So, we sit by watching, longing, and wishing that our “luck” would change.

When we think of those who do indeed succeed we know that luck (being in the right place at the right time or knowing the right people) may be just one small piece of their success.  Intuitively we know that hard work, brains, skill, and a go-gettem’ attitude may have also played a part. But more than all of those things, these people know that the true secret of success is the: (1) Removal of limits; (2) Shedding of Labels; and (3) Unpacking of one’s Luggage.

Limits: These loom in front of us like a stop sign at the foot of a mountain.  We Read more

Got Vision? Dr. Robyn Silverman Introduces the Powerful Word of the Month

The Powerful Word of the Month is VISION.  Isn’t vision a GREAT way to start off the New Year?  It urges us to take the time to imagine what it would feel like, look like and sound like when we finally achieve our goals. It gets us excited and motivated.  It keeps us inspired when things get tough. Vision keeps us moving forward in the direction of dream realization. Lack of vision can leave people spinning their tires, going in circles, or just going the wrong way. For those reasons, vision is a vital part of goal-setting.

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Vision Quotes:

“A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” — Rosabeth Moss Kanter

“Are you closer right now to where you want to be than you were a half-hour ago?” –Robert Cooper

“Vision is a minomer. Great vision does not just engage the eyes– but rather, all the senses that continually assure us that our goals are right within reach.” –Dr. Robyn Silveman

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” –Gail Devers

“People only see what they are prepared to see.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We are limited, not by our abilities, but by our vision.” — Unknown

Make it a Powerful Month!



Watch out! Goal Sabotage: The 7 Words that Block Your Dreams

Watch out! Goal Sabotage: The 7 Words that Block Your Dreams

Dr. Robyn Silverman

It’s easy to blame others for getting in the way of our success. But in 2011, how about we take responsibility of our goals and our outcomes? As we are creating our vision boards and writing down our goals (have you done this yet?), check your language and your self talk. Are you the one saying “no” to your dreams and to yourself? Are you coming up with excuses of why you can’t succeed this year?

Looking in the mirror can be painful but when it comes to goal-setting and goal-getting it’s the only way to keep things real. Why aren’t you as successful as you believe you should be? Why does full success elude you? Perhaps you begin but don’t commit. Perhaps you try but get sidetracked. Perhaps you go through the motions but lack belief. Of course, it’s not enough to create the vision, we must initiate consistent action as well.

“The vision must be followed by venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps– we must step up the stairs.” –Vance Havner

Sometimes we don’t see the success of action as a two-sided coin—on the one hand we must initiate action, and on the other, we must remove barricades. Some are placed by others while others are placed by our own volition, even if not consciously intended.

Here  are the 7 words I revisit at the beginning of each year to ensure that I am fully invested in my own goals and am not quietly sabotaging them:

(1) No: Such a small word but like an ant, powerful for its size. It’s arguably one of the most powerful words in the English dictionary. Definitive by nature, it requires no other explanation for what it means. When planning and taking action on our goals, it’s the enemy of progress and the dasher of dreams. While we must say no to some things to say yes to others, saying no to our own dreams not only shuts out possibilities, it kills something within us.

(2) Can’t: This word is a mind-trick. “Can’t” is the little voice inside our heads that tells us what we are not able to do. It’s our Read more

Dr. Robyn introduces the Powerful Word: Empathy!

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The Powerful Word of the Month is Empathy! What a great way to start the New Year– thinking of others, not just ourselves. As we figure out our goals, our plans, and our ways to stay accountable to our New Year’s Resolutions, let’s think of how our actions and behaviors affect others. Can you imagine if everyone did this?

We would love to hear about your goals here or on my fan page on FaceBook!

Empathy Quotes:

“We should talk more about our empathy deficit — the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes; to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us…when you choose to broaden your ambit of concern and empathize with the plight of others, whether they are close friends or distant strangers — it becomes harder not to act; harder not to help.”President Barack Obama

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” –Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

“Love is saying ‘I feel differently,’ instead of ‘You’re wrong.’ –Anonymous

“We can take a walk anywhere on Earth and learn important things but no lesson is as eye-opening as the one we learn from taking a walk in someone else’s shoes.” –Dr. Robyn Silverman

“It’s the hardest thing in the world to go on being aware of someone else’s pain.” –Author of Regeneration, Pat Barker

“Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. ln those transparent moments we know other people’s joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own.”Fritz Williams, leader of the Baltimore Ethical Society

Want to Achieve Your Goals This Year? Watch This!

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Many of us are thinking about new goals and new years resolutions as we get ready to delve full throttle into 2010. Yes, it’s the New Year and the New Year brings all kinds of promises in the form of New Years Resolutions 2010. How many of us keep them?

We know that writing down our goals is one step towards achieving them. We also should declare them publicly– tell people close to you– or your success coach– so that you can be kept accountable. My coaching clients are visiting their declared goals from last year as they set their goals this year to see how their goals must be tweaked in order to REALLY be achieved.

Remember that your goals must be positive, planned, present and possible– and you must believe in what you declare! Combat those negative thoughts with a set task list which benchmarks and times to celebrate.

Declare it now! Here or on FaceBook– we would love to hear how you and your family plan to make 2010 your best year yet.

Wishing you a very powerful 2010-

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Why Does My Child Keep Quitting?

Angry boyIs your child quitting everything they start? Need a Commitment Overhaul?

Here is a letter from a parent to Dr. Robyn Silverman asking about why her child keeps quitting his activities. What’s interfering with her child’s commitment level?

Dear Dr. Robyn,

I hate to admit it, but my child is a quitter.  Knowing the Powerful Word of the Month at our school this month is commitment, it seemed that now was the perfect time to ask what’s going on here.  I don’t want to raise a quitter.  Have any ideas on why a child quits everything they start?

–Jan K, Baltimore, MD

The question of commitment and quitting comes up every time our Powerful Words schools present Powerful Words like commitment, determination, attitude, or goal-setting.  As Powerful Parents, we want our children to show commitment and determination.  So what’s making them quit?

Children quit for all different reasons.  Some children feel bored while others feel overwhelmed.  Some children have unrealistic expectations that they are going to be performing the kind of martial arts, gymnastics, swimming, or other sport that they see “in the movies” or in the Olympics on the first day that they attend.  Other children see “today’s activity”  simply as another activity that they do—easily interchanged with football, basketball or dance lessons– so why stick with one thing?  Still other children feel invisible to the instructor, picked on, misunderstood or scared when they take class.

The first major reason for quitting is the instance of a curriculum-based clash. Simply put, when children feel overwhelmed or under-challenged, they will want to quit.  After all, when something is too difficult or too easy, it isn’t fun anymore! The over-challenged child may feel as though he cannot keep up, catch up, or otherwise progress at the pace that the other children in class are progressing.  The under-challenged child may feel uninterested, disinterested, or just plain bored.  You can determine this if your child would rather play with friends than go to class or fights you on practicing when they used to find it exciting to do so. Whatever it is, there is clearly a clash between the child’s learning level and the curriculum they’re learning at this time.  These children will surely start looking for other ways, whether it is in football, hockey, dance or marching band, to fill their time and hold their interest– sometimes, they just keep moving from activity to activity looking for something to hold their interest.  It’s important that we delve into this issue with our child because it’s easy enough to move our children to a different class, get them extra help, or have them take some extra classes to address this issue.

The second major reason for quitting is the case of the value-based clash. If you, as a parent, don’t value what the child is learning at their current activity,  the child will often sense it and want to quit.  For example, if you regard their current activity, like martial arts or gymnastics,  as “just another stop on the way between football and piano,” the child will too.  After all, a child will want to quit something if it has little or no perceived value to the parent.  Children tend to take their cues from their parents—so when Mom and Dad don’t care, neither will they.  As parents, we need to make sure to check our own attitude when determining why our children might be quitting.  If we can adjust our own behavior and attitude, our children will too.

The third major reason for quitting is the often elusive personal-based clash. When children or parents feel uncomfortable at an activity, uncomfortable around a coach or teacher, uncomfortable around another child or another parent who is there at the same time, or undervalued by staff, they will likely want to quit.  Perhaps there has been a misunderstanding or a miscommunication.  Boundaries may have been breached or buttons may have been pushed in some way.  Perhaps the most common personal clash is when the child perceives that the teacher or coach doesn’t “like him” or “care about him”.  It’s vital to find out if something happened between your child and another person in the class so that the issue can be addressed and any misunderstandings can be cleared up.

The fourth major reason for quitting is the instance of the situational-based clash. While the above reasons have a negative undertone causing a “falling away” or a “falling out,” situational clashes are due to an actual lack of money, resources, or ability to continue.  When families do not have the money to pay for lessons, the car to get their children to your class, or the person to bring the child to your school, they will likely need to quit.  There may have been a divorce or a death, a new job opportunity, and illness or a lay-off that caused this situation to arise. Schools and sports facilities are often very sorry to see these students leave, given that they would stay if they could.

Finally, the fifth major reason children might quit is…because they can! We want to make sure that children aren’t creating a pattern of quitting that is being supported by their parents.  Sometimes, we are just too overprotective or too easily swayed by our children’s attempts to get out of fulfilling their promises. While it is easier to have children quit something that making them stick it out til the end, children learn their patterns early.  If they see that they can quit without consequence, they will learn this as a fact and quit whatever feels uncomfortable, challenging, frustrating or boring to them as they develop and become teens and adults.  It may not seem like a big deal when they are 8 years old but it certainly becomes so when they become 18 or 28 years old! Set positive patterns now so that they learn commitment and the benefits of seeing goals and promises through to the end.

Make sure to ask questions rather than lecture.  Why do they want to quit?  Did anything happen in class? Are they bored? Overwhelmed? How do they feel about their friends in class? Their teachers? Is the curriculum too hard? Too easy?  And also, remember, to watch what you say and you do.  If you are quitting your activities, or someone else of influence in your home or family is doing so, children will learn volumes about the loop holes in commitment.  Take your cues from your child’s Powerful Words instructors this month and expand on what they are talking about in class with your children. Discuss it at the dinner table and in the car.  Tell stories about your own triumphs and how you stuck with something even when it was difficult. Talk about the importance of seeing the end and setting goals. And of course, set the precedent that your family always finishes what they start– everyone should have that “no quit, go-for-it attitude!” that helps each member to lead with commitment– and your children will surely learn to follow suit.

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Ask Dr. Robyn: How do I teach respect in my home?

Ask Dr. Robyn Silverman: Creating a Respectful Environment in My Home (Video)

Every parent has trouble with disrespect in the home from time to time.  Children are going to test boundaries, push your buttons, and learn about risk and consequences. It’s part of growing up! Of course, parents need to teach children respect, expect respect, and model respect if they’re going to get it! Dr. Robyn Silverman answers a reader’s question about how to create a respectful atmosphere in the home and provides 10 tips on the ABCs of respect.

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Everyone has New Years Resolutions. The one thing I want to concentrate on this year is making sure my home is a place of respect. With 3 growing boys, it can get kind of rowdy in here. I don’t mind the noise but I do mind disrespect in the house. Even my husband and I have gotten caught up in it. It’s got to change. How can I set the tone for respect in my home for 2009?         –Lisa B, Tulsa, OK

Related articles:

Mommy, I hate you!

You’re Bothering Other People!

Dr. Robyn Introduces the Powerful Word: Respect

10 Tips on Teaching Respect

Send Dr. Robyn a question!

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Stuck, Stagnant and Stymied: Defining your Who, What, Where, When, and Why for 2009

calendar for goal setting

Stuck, Stagnant and Stymied:

Redefining your Who, What, Where, When, and Why for 2009

Dr. Robyn J.A. Silverman

Where did the time go? Didn’t we have definite plans for 2008? Goals? We were going to get to it. But alas, we didn’t. And now it’s January…2009.

My gosh, we waste a lot of time. Procrastination comes in all forms. Email. We searches. Blackberries. Yes, and we know who you are.

Alright; I’ll confess. I’ve just entered the world of FaceBook. Go ahead, “friend” me! It’s a really cool tool that’s reconnected me with friends and colleagues of the past and present. This is both positive and negative. More connections can lead to heightened opportunity, greater feelings of unity, and growth. More connections can also lead to more senseless yapping on the internet, addictive checking of messages, re-exposed high school wounds we would have liked to have left untouched, and yes, lots and lots of wasted time. I sometimes find myself searching around for blasts from the past without any good reason for doing so. And no, curiosity isn’t really that good of an excuse.

We’re quick to blame other people and our “situations” for our lack of concentration and progress. But at the beginning of the New Year, perhaps it’s time to reclaim our control and ask ourselves what’s really happening and how WE can take action to fix it. Let’s make 2009 the year we get “it” done! After all, aren’t we all sick of mediocrity?

(1) Who? It’s time to get honest. Who can you be around and still get the work done that needs to get done? Spouse? Friends? Pets? Who hurts your progress? Who distracts you? Who makes you feel incapable, incompetent, or anxious?

(2) What? Break it down: What do I really have to do? What are the bite-sized pieces that I can put on my to-do list? What’s the plan for today, this week, this month—and what’s my overarching timeline? What can keep me on track?

(3) Where? We often forget to think about our location and how it serves (or doesn’t serve) us and our specific purpose. Where do I flourish, feel productive and make progress? When I look at where I work, what should the space look like for maximum productivity? Where do I lose my focus? Where am I more apt to succumb to distractions? Get honest with yourself. Perhaps a location-change or a space-overhaul is just what you need.

(4) When? Many of you, just like my coaching clients, are not just parents, teachers or business owners. We wear a lot of hats. Still, we do need to take control as best as we can. Ask yourself; When it my best time of day for innovation, business maintenance, or strategic planning? When is my worst time? When do I get tired? When we determine our optimal “when,” our plans become real and certain.

(5) Why? The “why” of our business determines motivation, inspiration, and enthusiasm for every project. Ask yourself; Why am I doing this? Why do I care? Without a “why,” your life will feel empty, dull, and pointless. Whether you do what you do for the good of yourself, the good of your family, or the good of mankind, make sure the reason is compelling so that it consistently inspires you to move forward every day.

First, breathe.  Stand back and really think. You may need a great success coach to work through it all with you. These simple yet powerful overarching questions will inspire you to determine the answers that are vital to your success. Get honest with yourself, answer the questions, and allow your responses to shape the circumstances of your success.

COACHING CLASS! As a success coach, I’m setting up another parenting coaching group for motivated adults who want to make 2009 their year for goal success. Interested? SPACE IS EXTREMELY LIMITED. This group is starting very soon- please let us know that you plan on participating. Fill out the form on my website and I’ll send you more information! PowerDay retreats also available.

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Got Goals? The 7 Deadly Downers that Dash Your Dreams

New Years Resolution and Goal Setting

The 7 Deadly Downers that Sabotage Your New Year’s Resolutions:

Help Your Family Obtain Goal-Setting Success!

Dr. Robyn Silverman

Have a New Year’s resolution? Watch out.  These 7 deadly downers can sabotage your goals.

Many POWerful bits of information come in 7s. Seven numbers in a phone number, seven days in a week, and seven wonders of the world. Most people say that their favorite number between 1 and 10 is seven. Of course, seven can showcase the bad things of this world as well, such as the seven deadly sins to avoid.

And now…

The Seven POWerful Downers that Hold People Back from Goal-setting Success! After all, the January 2009 Powerful Word of the Month is Goal-Setting– so we want want our children and families to be on the look out for these negative words.

(1) No: Such a small word but like an ant, powerful for its size. It’s arguably one of the most powerful words in the
English dictionary. Definitive by nature, it requires no other explanation for what it means. It’s the enemy of progress
and the dasher of dreams.

(2) Can’t: This word is a mind-trick. “Can’t” is the little voice inside our heads that tells us what we are not able to do.
Even if we’ve never tried it or attempted to do this thing this particular way before, “can’t” has already decided the outcome.  Tacking on a simple apostrophe and that one little letter “t” to the end takes this word from emphatic and positive to pathetic and negative.

(3) Won’t: Won’t is our inner child throwing the proverbial tantrum. “Won’t” is bratty and uppity, immature and insistent in getting its way. With folded arms, nose up in the air, and a smug look, “won’t” will easily cut off its nose to spite its face.

(4) Never: A POWerful Downer indeed. “Never” is infinite permanence. “Never” robs us of our power of choice for the
future. What feels impossible today is assumed to be insurmountable in the future despite changes in circumstance,
wisdom, and guts.

(5) Maybe: This word is just plain wishy-washy. It means nothing. Neither gutsy enough to say yes or direct enough to say no, “maybe” provides little hope for progress when there has been no definitive commitment.

(6) If: This tiny word is full of it. Projection, that is. “If” blames others when things don’t go its way. “If” takes the onus off of itself and lays it like a monkey on someone else’s back. It has the power of negating everything said before it with just one small insertion. It whines and begs for someone else to do the work or just simply, make it happen.

(7) Someday: While this word seems genteel enough, the reality is, it wants to sell you a bill of goods. It’s a snake-oil salesman. “Someday” is procrastination in action-there is no commitment, no follow-through, and no progress. “Someday” might tease someone-it might play a trick or two on the brain, but someday has no power for good until someday becomes today.

Actions may speak louder than words, however, these words bark loudly in one’s head. In this next year, you can make a choice to fill your mind with “yes,” “I can,” “I will,” “always,” and “now” or the Powerful Downers detailed above. They are your goals, your dreams, your hopes, and your life. Take back the power.

Here’s to Powerful Goal Setting and Goal Getting Success in 2009!

Please kindly press the digg button! Thanks!

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