12 Things You Need to Really Get Rid of in the Next 12 Month A Guest Post by Lolly Daskal

Hand writing Time to Reinvent Yourself with white chalk on blackboard.
Hand writing Time to Reinvent Yourself with white chalk on blackboard.


In 12 months you can be a more successful, more productive, more effective leader. You just have to get rid of these 12 bad habits

Changing a habit, especially a bad one, is among the most powerful forces you can employ to make your life and business better.

Here are 12 habits many of us repeatedly struggle with. If you recognize yourself in any of these, you really need to get rid of them–and this time next year, you could be free of the consequences they cause.

1. Stop giving up.

Success in life and in business comes when you simply refuse to give up–because failure doesn’t come from falling down, failure comes from giving up.

2.  Stop letting everyone else make decisions for you.

If you want to be successful, never allow anyone to tell you what’s good for you. You’re the one who knows what you need and what works for you. So stick to what you know and do what you know is right.

3.  Stop thinking you’re on your own.

Success is not an individual undertaking. Be smart and brave enough to ask for help when you need it and allow others to help you along the way.

4. Stop chasing after those who don’t want to be caught.

Don’t waste time on people and projects that aren’t going to happen. The right people, the right project, the right venture, the right idea will show up with hard work and patience and when it does you want to be prepared.

5. Stop discrediting yourself for everything you aren’t.

Sometimes we focus on what we aren’t–that we don’t see who we really are. Respect yourself enough to know that you deserve the very best. The strongest factor of success is self esteem, believing you can do it, believing you deserve it, believing you will get it.

6. Stop focusing on the negative.

Success comes when we stop focusing on what’s against us and we start focusing on  what’s good for us.  Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day. Our positive thinking gives a positive attitude. That doesn’t mean always expecting everything great to happen, but accepting whatever happens to us, to make the best of it.

7. Stop being hard on yourself.

Everyone makes mistakes, but that doesn’t mean we have to pay for them for the rest of our lives. Sometimes smart and successful people make bad choices. It doesn’t mean they are not smart, and they can’t be successful; it just means they are human.

8. Stop mulling over the past.

It’s hard to see the future when you’re always looking back. Use the past only as a road map to help guide you toward your future. Practice this every day of every month this year.

9.  Stop running from problems.

Everyone has problems. What’s important is to stop running from them. Own them and deal with them, however overwhelming they may be–because if you don’t face them, they will own you.

10.  Stop expecting life to be easy.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and the most rewarding aspects of life are the things we fight the hardest for.

11.  Stop holding on to things you need to let go.

Many people think that letting go means giving up–but in fact it means accepting that there are things in life that are not working out. When you let go of them, you help clear the road toward success.

12. Stop giving up on who you are meant to be.

If you want to be successful, you have to stop settling. Spend every single minute of every single day working toward who you are meant to be; it will not happen on its own. Start working toward your purpose.


8 Keys to Building Resiliency in Life and Business A Guest Post by Chantal Bechervaise

Resilience sign with a road background
Resilience sign with a road background


Why do some people bounce back from adversity and misfortune while others fall apart? How can some companies and businesses keep up with changes or setbacks, while others have difficulty managing? Resilience is not only a person’s or organization’s ability to bounce back, but it is also about growing and thriving during adversity, challenge and change. These eight keys provide answers on how resilient individuals bounce back in life and business.

Emotional Resilience

The first step to building resilience is understanding how to manage your emotions and release yourself from that feeling of being stuck. Resilient individuals go through three steps to build emotional resilience.

First, they’re very aware of their senses. You want to become sensory intelligent by noticing the images you’re bringing up (visual cues) and the things you say to yourself (auditory cues). Notice what happens inside your head and body when I ask you to think of the last time you had an argument. What images, thoughts, sounds or even smells come up?

Second, our negative emotions have a positive intent. For example, if you’ve been asked to present at the next board meeting, you may start feeling anxious and even scared. Resilient individuals feel that too, but instead of focusing on how they’re feeling, they tend to acknowledge the reason behind those emotions and accept them.

Third, they manage their emotions by parking them to one side and stepping out of that state so they can focus on what they want rather than what they don’t want.


Resilient individuals move forward by re-programming their though patterns so they can find solutions rather than dwell in worry. Most people stay stuck in the worrisome state and think the problem will just go away. A tool that resilient individuals use most often and what I call, Mentor Magic. Pretend you are your mentor and step into your mentor’s shoes and ask yourself, “What would I do to overcome this problem?” Make sure you are seeing life through his/her eyes and listening through his/her ears. You’ll notice that you’ll have solutions right away.


As human beings, we are motivated to take action because we’re in pain or because there’s a reward to be had, but resilient individuals are consistentlytaking action and completing the task or project. Their action blueprint consists of three critical questions:

a. Why do I want to do this? (Purpose has to be greater than themselves)

b. How am I going to feel after I’m done? (end result has to be a good feeling)

c. What are my consequences of taking or not taking this action? 

Passion and Purpose

Resilient people know they need both passion and purpose to fulfill their goals and you can’t have one without the other.

Passion is about what you like to do? What do enjoy doing so much that you are not watching the clock? I’m not talking about hobbies and playing video games. I’m talking about where you feel fulfilled, where you find you’re making a difference. My husband’s passion is massage therapy, and he’d massage his friends in the past without charging a fee to relieve their pain.

Purpose is why you want to do it? What do you get out of pursuing your passion? My husband’s purpose is to heal and better the health of his clients, and if he can do so, then he has made a difference.


Psychologists define attitude as a learned tendency to evaluate things in a certain way. When resilient individuals approach a difficult situation, they have an attitude of being curious, patient, and optimistic, thereby diminishing fear of change. When I researched resiliency in individuals, I found that positive attitude encompasses the following traits that are guided by values and beliefs:

  • Creative and solution-thinking
  • Hope and gratitude
  • Expectation of some success
  • Lessons from setbacks
  • Belief in their capability
  • Flexibility and fulfillment
  • Networking
  • Sounds similar to a scientist, doesn’t it?

Relationship Skills

Resilient individuals create a supportive network and are apt at handling and reducing conflict because they’ve learned the intricate language and skills of building and maintaining relationships. Think of a leader or manager whom you admire and notice how she interacts with you or with others at all levels in the company. You will notice the following, and the easiest way to remember this is LIMP:

  • Listen: She’s listening for words that indicate the person’s communication style and then communicates back using that style.
  • Intention: She’s listening for the person’s underlying reason.
  • Match and mirror: She subconsciously picks up the opposite person’s body language, tone of voice, and mirrors that.
  • Perspective: She behaves respectfully and shows genuine interest in what’s important to the other person.

When you follow the theory of LIMP and practice the skills, you will create great rapport, be a master at reducing conflict, positively influence others, and have a supportive network around you.


When resilient individuals are faced with challenges, they have two streams of thought running through their minds: one is about finding solutions and the other is about all the things they appreciate in life. It’s as though there’s a subconscious REFRAME button they push whenever their thoughts and emotions turn to worry and fear, because after a short time, they’ve perked up and are more positive and appreciative about what they already have. They were not born with this ability, but they were taught by other influencers; they’ve trained themselves to look at what they already have rather than stewing in worry.


Vlad Dolezal says it best: “A belief is your best explanation of the world, based on your current evidence.” Resilient Individuals are faced with limiting beliefs and they feel fear and doubt as well, but they have a 3-step approach in dealing with a limiting belief so they can squash it:

    1. The find counter evidence that doesn’t support the limiting belief.
    2. They imagine what their mentor or coach would tell them about that limiting belief?
    3. They imagine what sort of behaviours they’d continue to have if they accepted that limiting belief and how it would affect others around them.

6 Money Strategies for the Sandwich Generation A Guest Post by Kimberly Palmer



When her father was diagnosed with a respiratory disease about seven years ago, Joy Frank-Collins juggled work and parenting demands to maximize the time she spent by his side. Frank-Collins, a 41-year-old who heads her own communications firm in Marietta, Ohio, also coordinated with her siblings to pay for expenses that weren’t covered by insurance. “If you know your parents will need your help, you have to think, ‘What can I set aside to provide the necessary support for my parents?'” she says. After a long fight with his illness, her father died at age 75 in January.

As a member of the sandwich generation – adults who simultaneous care for children and aging parents – Frank-Collins had to navigate what is becoming an increasingly familiar challenge. “Individuals who find themselves in the sandwich generation are forced with contemplating taking care of things today in a way that may negatively impact their future,” says Rebekah Barsch, vice president of financial planning for Northwestern Mutual. Family members might cut back on their work hours or sacrifice savings in order to care for aging parents, she adds. “The pressure, both financial and emotional, weighs on people,” she says.

Those pressures are one reason that 37 percent of Gen X, who are between ages 35 and 49, do not feel financially secure, according to the 2015 Northwestern Mutual Planning & Progress Study of 5,474 adults. About 1 in 4 said they are “not at all confident” they will achieve their financial goals, and 2 in 10 said they believe they will never retire, largely because they won’t have enough retirement savings.

“The number of people who find themselves sandwiched between generations continues to grow as the baby boom generation gets older and is expected to live longer than ever before – longer than they’re capable of caring for themselves,” says Phillip Rumrill, ​a professor of rehabilitation counseling at Kent State University and co-author of “The Sandwich Generation’s Guide to Eldercare: Concrete Advice to Simultaneously Care for Your Kids and Your Parents.”

At the same time, he adds, children are living at home for longer, which means people in middle age are often caring for, and financially supporting, both generations at once. “We estimate that 1 in 8 Americans between the ages of 40 and 60 are caring for both children and parents or grandparents at once,” he says. That caregiving often coincides with intense years of career demands as well as the need to save for retirement.

If you’re a member of the sandwich generation, here are six financial strategies to help your family get through the challenge:

Pick your priorities. “Maybe we start saving for college tuition later, or we save less now with the idea of ramping it up later, when our incomes are back at full stride,” Barsch says. She recommends making it a priority to continue saving for retirement, but to scale back in other areas, such as spending on luxuries such as vacation and cars.

Stick to a revised budget. Taking on responsibility for parents can make it especially important to hone your budget​, says ​Stacy Newton​, North and South Carolina division executive for SunTrust Bank. “Because they have so much on their plates, making a plan is critical. We encourage people to set limits on spending, shopping sales and to stay within their means,” she says. When it comes to vacation or holidays, for example, Newton suggests focusing on shared family experiences rather than dollars spent. She also urges people to use their banks’ spending alerts to stay within budget.

Give yourself an annual checkup. “It’s like going to the doctor,” Newton says. “Take a few minutes off work and sit down with a financial advisor to review current financial priorities, and make sure everything is aligned.” A recent SunTrust survey of 519 adults with incomes $75,000 and up found that among those in middle age (ages 45 to 54), just 37 percent say they are saving enough to live comfortably in retirement, compared to ​57 percent in other age groups. An annual check up can help determine where you stand and what adjustments need to be made.​

Plan for eldercare. While parents often anticipate the costs that come with children, they are less likely to budget for the expense of caring for their parents, Rumrill says. Those costs can include paid caregivers, a nursing facility or medical expenses, he adds. Budgeting in advance, as well as checking for any available benefits through the federal government, particularly Social Security or veterans’ benefits, can help ease some of that pressure, he says.

Make use of new technology. Kyle Hill ​co-founded, a website that helps families find and hire in-home care for seniors in California and has plans to expand to other states in 2016. Users can browse caregivers and also use the site to make payments. For Hill, the need is personal: He watched his father struggle to care for his 98-year-old mother from a different state. “There was no easy way to manage her care from far away,” he says, particularly to oversee caregiver shifts and activities. Automating the process through a website makes it easier and more affordable for family members to find high-quality, paid caregivers, he says.

Coordinate with siblings. Lan Jewel​, 45, a communications professional in New York, worked out a plan with her four siblings about 15 years ago, before any of them had the additional financial pressure of children. Her parents had limited savings, so the siblings all chipped in to purchase long-term care insurance, and some also send money to them once a month. ​”It has definitely put a strain on our relationships since the financial burden has increased,” she says, and the stress from the Great Recession didn’t help. “But this is an obligation that I feel I have to juggle, even as the expenses of rearing two​ children in New York City increase as my kids get older. My parents sacrificed so much for ​us kids,” she says.

Frank-Collins also suggests working through any tensions with siblings and other family members before a health crisis hits, because coordination becomes essential. “We would almost tag each other out at the hospital,” she recalls, referring to the frequent bedside visits when her father was sick. “You have to sit down and have these conversations that you never thought you would have. Because you’re the person in the middle, you have to prepare.”

Originally posted in US News and World Report December 2015. 

9 Tips for Dealing with Passive Aggressive Behavior A Guest Post by Carthage Buckley



Passive aggressive behavior is a common problem in communication. We are accustomed to dealing with aggressive people. They are not very difficult to deal with, once you have some experience, because they are expressing their feelings and so, you know what the issue is, which allows you to deal with. Passive people tend to keep their problems to themselves but with a little skill and some gentle coaxing, you can get them to open up and tell you what the problem is. Again, once you know what the problem is, you can set about dealing with it. That is the crux of the issue with conflict and communication; if you want to solve a problem, you must first know what the problem is.

Passive aggressive behavior is a com​pletely different animal. The person who is displaying passive aggressive behavior is telling you that they do not have a problem. However, their body language and tone of voice are communicating something entirely different. There is definitely something wrong and you know it but you cannot even get the passive aggressive person to acknowledge that there is a problem, let alone tell you what the problem is. This makes passive aggressive people incredibly difficult to deal with.

9 Tips for dealing with passive aggressive behavior

With passive aggressive behavior, you need to create an environment where it cannot thrive. One of the best ways to do this is to be proactive and create an environment where people feel that they can open up and tell you anything. Doing this, you build trustful and respectful relationships where passive aggressive behavior ceases to be the first choice communication method for people who would normally choose that route.

1. Don’t make demands of others

It doesn’t matter if you sit higher up the hierarchical structure; those who sit below you do not like being told what to do. If your message comes across as a demand, the recipient is more likely to think of it as disrespectful and authoritarian.

Most people are happy to oblige when you ask them to so something. Always choose the polite and respectful route first​. The very act of asking makes them feel appreciated and respected. When people feel that you appreciate them and respect them; they are more motivated to help you and work with you.

Pulling the authority card unnecessarily only encourages resentment and bitterness. Two traits which encourage others to do the bare minimum or less.​

2. Be systematic with procrastinators

Passive aggressive behavior often manifests itself in the form of procrastination. The passive aggressive person resents being told what to do so, in order to get to you, they leave it until the last minute, or later, to complete their work. They know full well that this has a knock on effect on others.

It is their intention to have a knock on effect on others. They want to get back at you, or somebody else, but they do not have the courage to raise their issue in a constructive manner. They believe that by impacting your work, they can make you suffer without you noticing that their actions were deliberate.

When somebody is procrastinating, it is best to take a proactive approach. Check in with them before the job is due to be completed to see what progress is being made. If the job is a big job which will take some time then set regular milestones where you can check in with them to see progress. People are less likely to procrastinate when they have to provide regular updates.

Of course, if the individual is falling behind, it may be for genuine reasons. Consider whether they are being given too much work or require additional training. ​If they need extra support, give it to them. People are less likely to be passive aggressive with those whom they feel are supportive.

This approach doesn’t just have to be used with procrastinators. It allows you to identify any problems which are likely to occur and deal with them before they become a big issue.​

3. Stick to your values

Sometimes passive aggressive people deliberately make mistakes and perform poorly in the hope that they will not be asked to perform such work again. It is a very underhanded method and symptomatic of what passive aggressive behavior really is i.e. they are annoyed at something but refuse to just come out and say it.

There are 2 important things to remember in this type of situation. The first, as with any time that you assign work, is to ensure that you are assigning the job to the right person. A lot of conflict can be avoided by taking your time to identify the best person to do the job.

​The second thing to remember is that you must stick to your values. If you believe that you have done everything right and that this person was the right person to assign the task to, you need to follow the same processes that you would for any other person who is performing poorly. Making exceptions for the passive aggressive person would only encourage more of their behavior as they would feel that they achieved a victory.

4. Refuse to accept unacceptable behavior

Hostility is one of the most common traits of passive aggressive behavior. It can be subtle or it can be overt but either way it is not acceptable and it is not conducive to a good working or living environment.

Unacceptable behavior must be addressed. If you are experiencing hostility, you need to sit them down in a safe environment and address the issue.

  • ​What is the other person’s issue i.e. the cause of their hostility?
  • Why is this issue important to them?
  • How would they like to move forward?

Only when you are certain that you have identified the issue and understand the full importance of the issue to the passive aggressive person should you move on to finding a way forward. Try to find a way forward that is acceptable to both parties. Even if you cannot meet all of their needs, you will have built some trust and respect by demonstrating that you genuinely want to understand their needs and build an amicable relationship.

Many people are afraid to use this method when they encounter passive aggressive behavior but not only are you making it clear that you will not accept unacceptable behaviour; you are demonstrating an effective model for dealing with conflict.

5. Praise great work regularly and sincerely

People should not only hear from you when you have something negative to say. Many people who adopt passive aggressive behavior do so because they feel that they are not appreciated.

If somebody does great work or does something which helps you, make sure that you take the time to offer some positive feedback. Be sincere and tell them specifically what they did well and, how it helped. When you do this on a regular basis they will understand that you appreciate their efforts. They will also be more willing to listen to constructive feedback when you have to offer it.​

6. Reflect, reflect, reflect

Passive aggressive behavior is often subtle. Sometimes the person wants to have a little dig at you but pretend that it was unintentional. On others occasions, passive aggressive behaviour has become so ingrained in the individual that they genuinely may not have noticed what they said/did.

In either case, it is best not to ignore the behavior. It could lead the individual to believe that they got one over on you which may encourage a repeat performance of the behaviour at a later stage. Whether it is intentional or unintentional, passive aggressive behavior is unacceptable and as already stated, unacceptable behavior should never be accepted. Reflection is a wonderful tool for letting others know how that their conduct has been noticed and how it has been interpreted. By bringing the behavior into the open, they are forced to acknowledge it and deal with it.​

7. Reaffirm the agreement

So you’ve spoken with the person who was behaving in a passive aggressive manner and they have agreed to eliminate the behavior and act more appropriately; does this mean that the situation is now dealt with? Of course not.

Like any form of change, their is likely to be some resistance. They are going to fall back into all habits. In fact, in many situations where a conflict is ‘resolved’​ the passive aggressive person will attempt to get the last punch in. It’s usually a subtle little dig but this does not mean that you should accept it. When these situations arise, it is time to reaffirm the agreement. You are reminding them that you will not accept passive aggressive behavior and; you are reminding them of exactly what they agreed to.

Don’t get angry or aggressive, just reaffirm what has been agreed.

8. Refuse to be manipulated

The silent treatment is the classic symptom of passive aggressive behavior. You are greeted with stone wall silence and expected to be a mind reader and understand what has gone wrong. In reality, the silent person does not really want to you to figure the problem out. They want you to feel guilty about having upset them without you actually knowing what upset them. After all, if you knew what it was that upset them, you might actually fix it.

With the silent treatment, it important that you don’t bite. Be realistic with yourself. If you know that you did something wrong, by all means apologize and fix it. However, if you do not know what you supposedly did wrong, you should remember that you cannot fix a problem that you don’t know exists. Refuse to feel guilty and be manipulated.

Of course you should make it clear that you are open to dialogue and address any issues if you have done something wrong. Once you have done so, leave the situation be. To keep trying to get them to talk is only going to reward the behavior and encourage more of it.

9. Model the desired behavior

The most important thing that you can do to tackle passive aggressive behavior in your environment is to ensure that you are always open to communication and honest discussion. Be willing to both give and receive feedback. Demonstrate that you are trustworthy and respectful of others.

Most people who adopt passive aggressive behaviour do not really want to behave in that way. They want to be able to communicate freely and honestly. Maybe they have been hurt in the past when they tried to communicate openly and that has caused them to adopt a different approach. By demonstrating that they can talk openly with you, they will be more inclined to choose that approach in your future discussions. As Gandhi said ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world.’ Show them how you would like them to behave by behaving that way yourself.​

If you, or someone who interact with, is struggling with Passive Aggressive Behavior, check out tackling passive aggressive behavior

Final thoughts

Passive aggressive behavior is a topic that I receive a lot of emails about. Unfortunately, many of the emails tend to demonize a partner, loved one, colleague or boss. Do not demonize the person. Passive aggressive behavior is a learned behavior which was rewarded and so the person chose (often subconsciously) to behave that way more often. While it is important that you communicate your refusal to accept the behavior, it is just as important that you provide them with an alternative method to communicate their issues. These 9 tips for dealing with passive aggressive behavior will help you to do that.

To Be a Success You Have To Stop Making THESE 8 Mistakes A Guest Post by Lea Bullen

Hand writing Time to Reinvent Yourself with white chalk on blackboard.
Hand writing Time to Reinvent Yourself with white chalk on blackboard.


I know it sounds crazy. How could you be blocking your own success, you want it more than anything.

You’re always thinking about how you want things to be, how you feel they should be by now, but somehow they’re not. And it doesn’t seem like you’re getting any closer.

It’s like running on a treadmill. You’ve been doing it for hours, you’re sweating profusely, and the machine even says you’ve covered a number of miles but you’re still in the same place.

You have no idea when your dreams are going to become real. All you know is you wanted it yesterday, but you’re still waiting.

But you can’t just keep sitting there waiting and wondering, daydreaming about how you want it to be. All that’s going to do is frustrate you further and put more space between you and it.

There are simple ways to close the gap.

Going Nowhere Fast

You’re stuck in this torturous la-la land of dreaming of what you want instead of actually living it because you’re nowhere near it.

You’re not making any progress.

Instead of taking things to the next level and enjoying where you currently are, you’re sulking every time you’re reminded of how difficult things are. And painfully reminded about how easy it could be if you had what you wanted.

You’re not in the worst possible place but you’re not living your idea of success either.

What’s the deal? Right?!

You’re trying to take steps to make things happen but you’re not getting much of a return. At least not like how you thought, or how other people are.

You’re trying to do all these new things, you can barely keep up. And still you’ve only moved an inch.

The fact of the matter is you’re making mistakes that are limiting your progress, limiting your success. If you keep doing this it won’t matter how much more you do, what else you try, you’ll still be holding yourself back in every way.

You still won’t get as far as you could otherwise.

Getting There

These mistakes are putting the nail in your coffin. These are the mistakes that are putting you in the slow lane to success.

It seems simple enough to just stop doing them right? Well it is, if you know what they are.

The only way to get over this mountain sized speed bump on the road to success is to figure out what these disturbing mistakes are and put them behind you.

Once you’re in a place where these mistakes are no longer have a place in your everyday life you’ll start to notice that you’re not running in place anymore.

You’ll actually start seeing some real progress. You’ll be excited and motivated to do more and get even further.

The heights you’ll reach will be unimaginable.

To get off the treadmill and hit the ground running you have to stop making these mistakes:

  1. You’re busy doing nothing

You’re days are filled to the brim. You barely have a minute to yourself. You couldn’t imagine doing one more thing. You just don’t have time for it.

But what are you really doing?

Being busy all the time doesn’t exactly mean that you’re productive. Honestly, your day could be filled with nothing, just a bunch of time wasting activities lined up, one after another.

Chances are you’re spending all of your time doing the light, ease work that isn’t getting you anywhere. You know there’s more to do but you just don’t have time for it. Or at least that’s your excuse.

Busyness doesn’t equal progress. Do things that are actually going to get you farther.

  1. You avoid discomfort

If every time you wanted to try something new but didn’t, because it made you nervous and uncomfortable, you’ll always be missing out.

New things are always going to make you feel weird because they are foreign to you. But that doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t go for it.

When you want to be successful and reach new heights you have to be willing to feel a little uneasy.

Doing new things means breaking boundaries. Continuing to do the same things you’ve always done, the things that you’re comfortable with are not going to get you anywhere.

  1. You have bad habits

Habits are the things that you do naturally without even thinking. They tend to be the thing you always want to do, sometimes not because you actually want to but because it’s so easy.

Habits can be both bad and good, but obviously the bad ones are going to undermine your efforts at success.

Like having a lot of responsibilities and things to get done during the day yet not getting up until 11am to start doing them. A bad habit like this would make it impossible to get everything done before the day is over.

If you need more time during the day you need to make it. You can’t keep getting up late and expecting to get more done with the same amount of limited time.

Make sure that your habits, whatever they are, are bringing your closer to achieving your dreams.

  1. You don’t have goals

Just about everyone has a general idea of what they want. But not having a clear picture is like having nothing at all.

You might think you know what you want but if it isn’t detailed you’ve got nothing.

Without being more specific how will you know how to achieve, how could you be certain you want it. Things can sound good in a general sense but when you get down to it they can turn out to be not so great.

Successful people know exactly what they want, that’s why it seems so easy for them to get it. And they review their goals often.

Get a clear picture of what you really want and set it as a goal.

  1. You don’t have a plan

If you don’t have a goal, you don’t have a plan. And if you do have a goal you probably still don’t have a plan.

Chances are your everyday life is just a series of things you do in reaction to something else, not anything that you are doing purposefully.

Living reactively won’t get you anywhere. If you want your life to be awesome you can’t be passive, you have to take control of it.

Once you have your goals in place, create a plan to make them happen.

  1. You’re inconsistent

You know what you need to do but you only do it sometimes. Not all of the time, certain times when you feel like it.

That’s cool and all but don’t expect much to happen. In fact, if anything happens it’ll happen just like that, sometimes.

I know planning sounds boring and unspontaneous but so is living passively. You don’t have to plan every minute but you do need to be consistent if you want to see progress.

Once you’ve created a plan for your goal, work on it consistently.

  1. You’re not learning

If whenever you experience a failure you only focus on the setback then you’re making a huge mistake.

A failure or mistake isn’t there to keep you from what you’re trying to obtain, it’s to teach you something. Don’t just look at it as a disaster but an opportunity to learn something.

When you only focus on the failure you’re doomed to repeat the same mistakes and never make progress. But if you take something useful from it you can start again with that advantage.

Learn what you can from the experience, make the changes necessary and try again.

  1. You’re worried about the wrong things

Are you still hung up on something that happened a few days ago or even years ago, why? You don’t have a time machine so you can’t go back and change it. So, really, what’s the point?

Just let it go.

Focus on what you can change now and work towards your future instead of focusing on your past.

Making it easier

The road to success can seem long and torturous when you’re doing little things that you don’t even realize are hurting your chances.

You don’t go through the trouble of making an effort just to stay in the same place.

Ditch these disturbing mistakes so you can get off the treadmill of dormancy and start to see some real progress.


How You Can Make Your Life Exceptional A Guest Post by Mike Rodriguez



Life can seem like an endless void of living an average, basic life at times, making it difficult to be enthusiastic about living. Mike Rodriguez wants to teach you how to change this. He wants you to be able to live an exceptional life, teaching that “you are where you and what you are because of what has gone into your mind.” Following this line of reasoning, it would be logical to conclude “you can change where you are and you can change what you are by changing what goes into your mind.” Rodriguez believes this is true and here is why.

You can change where you are and you can change what you are by changing what goes into your mind.

It took Rodriguez “up until about a year and a half ago to really understand what that means.” It is easy to read from a list of inspirational quotes and think you understand what is being said, but in order to actively apply inspiration in your life, it is vital to actually understand the reasoning and meaning behind said advice.

Rodriguez explains the meaning behind the idea of changing who you are by changing what goes into your mind by explaining, “Who you become every day is based on what you’re reading, what you’re watching and what you’re thinking about.” This is easy to grasp. Your life is made up of the activities you partake in, day in and day out. The summary of your days becomes your life. Understanding this is vital to understanding how you change your life because “who you think about” and what you think about “is who you start to become.” What actions you take become your life, and while many people have good intentions with their lives… “a thing happens to us… it’s called routine.”

A thing happens to us… it’s called routine.

“Each of us has a routine. You have two routines in your life.” Rodriguez explains the first routine as “those things you do every morning from the time when you wake up and open your eyes.” This is the personal routine, the routine you have inside of your head. What are you telling yourself when you look in the mirror while you brush your teeth? What are you telling yourself as you get dressed or check your iPhone for messages? Rodriguez challenges us to make those sentiments, to make those first ideas and words in the morning something positive. “I’m going to challenge you to wake up every day and say, ‘Thank God, I’m alive and thank God I’m employed.’” He wants us to be thankful. “And if you’re not employed, then it’s thank God I have the opportunity to go and get a job. That I am employable.” Rodriguez wants us to be happy, to be joyful, to be thankful. He wants us to make our life extraordinary by realizing the extraordinary blessing of just being alive.

Then he turns that blessing into something we can use to take action in our own lives. Rodriguez explains, “If you are alive and you’re breathing, then you have a purpose and then you also have a responsibility to figure out what that purpose is and to fill it.” He says that it is the act of living, the act of breathing and thinking and stepping through life that is validation provided by God. It is “validation… that you do have a purpose. That you’re here. That there’s a reason.” He wants us to search for this reason, to find our purpose and to pursue it. To break our routines if we are bored with our lives and reach out to find what we are meant to do. “When you’re following the same routine each day, this is where we all get mixed up” and think we don’t have time to seek out our passion. However, what is really happening is that we are becoming consumed by the day-to-day activities of life and not making time. We always have time, we just need to sort our priorities out to ensure we make time for what matters in life… and if your life is anything but exceptional, that mission is to make time to find your purpose and become exceptional.

“You’ve got to start breaking your routines. You’ve got to start doing something different every morning.” Rodriguez points out that breaking our routines can be as simple as waking up and telling ourselves that “I’m valuable and I’m worthy.” He says maybe it is a simple change from sitting down to have a large breakfast to going for a jog, or hitting an early fitness class. “You make it a priority to start fitting those things that are important into your life.” It starts, as Rodriguez explains, with these small changes. All of the small changes eventually all add up to become large changes in your life.

To change your life, you have to change what you put in your life. Rodriguez believes “it all starts with your belief.” Having “a strong belief in your spirituality, in your faith” means that you have a foundational strength, as this spirituality is a “core foundation of who you are.” Faith is the foundation of which to build your life upon. “In order to become who you want to be, you’ve got to start believing in who you are today already.” You have to believe that you are worthy and able to be successful, that you deserve to take a chance on yourself, your career, your life. You have to believe that you deserve to be amazing in order to succeed because this belief allows “your thoughts [to] start to change.” It is with the changing of thoughts that you turn from disbelief into faith, from not believing you could ever accomplish something to believing that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Why is this the case? Rodriguez says that when “you change your belief system, you change your thoughts” and so “now your attitude changes.” It is your attitude that changes your life. Your attitude will dictate whether or not you take a chance on yourself or stay where you are, whether or not you take a leap of faith or fall back into despair and regret. “You have to believe that you can do it, but then you’ve got to get those legs moving and change that routine to get it happening because if you’re not changing your routine, you’re going to do the same things that you’ve always done.”

“Your belief leads to your thoughts, your thoughts to your actions, your actions based on your attitude, your actions are what is going to get you to where you need to go.” In short, it is your attitude that matters the most. Your attitude will dictate your life – but to change your attitude, you must change the way that you think, and the way you think is rooted in your belief system. “Believe that you are ready, capable and worthy. And remember if you’re not sure of it, each morning when you wake up – that’s your validation. That’s your indicator. The sign that you’re breathing, because He’s the only one that can take that away.”

Rodriguez ends with a challenge. He says he wants to “challenge [us] today… to ask [ourselves] every morning ‘What do I believe in?’ ‘What are my routines?’ and ‘Am I willing to change them, to become who it is that I truly want to be, and that I am worthy of being?’” His final note being to “go forth and make your life exceptional.” So? What are you waiting for? You’re breathing, aren’t you? Good. It’s your validation. You are worthy. Now go change your life and make it exceptional.


How to Catch a Professional Bully Nurse A Guest Post by Dr. Renee Thompson

Stethoscope and broken heart concept for heart disease or illness
Stethoscope and broken heart concept for heart disease or illness


Peg is a legend. Not because of how great she is. Peg is a legend because of how HORRIFIC she is! Peg is a bully and everyone knows it. Her stories are legendary and are told by her victims around the campfires of the 21st century – Starbucks and wine bars.

Peg befriends new nurses until she gains their trust and then she stands back and watches them drown.

Peg deliberating withholds important details (like the patient needs to lie flat for 4 hours) when giving report to the nurses she secretly hates so that they make mistakes.

When in charge, Peg assigns the most acute and complex patients to the newest nurse on the unit while her “friends” get the easiest assignments.

Everyone knows Peg’s reputation, even administration. Yet Peg is still employed and terrorizing new and existing employees.


Because nobody can ever really catch Peg in the act.

Peg is a professional bully.

Peg and bullies like Peg are some of the biggest challenges nurse leaders face. These are the employees who they KNOW are bullying others but they can’t seem to catch them. They can’t find a clean way to fire them.  However, these folks pose the greatest risk to the organization.

Workplace bullying has been linked to intent to leave, poor patient outcomes and poor productivity.

How to Catch a Professional Bully


Just like tracking down a criminal, numerous departments get involved – FBI, Secret Service, local police, CIA, etc. They meet to discuss the criminal and then use their specialized skills to capture him!

Schedule a meeting with human resources, the bully’s front line manager, clinical director, CNO and CMO.

  • Discuss the bully and ask these questions: What has been done so far? Is there anything documented in their file? Any disciplinary actions? Any written documentation, etc?
  • Develop a strategic plan for how you will collect information and confront bullying acts.
  • Determine what you need to terminate the bully. Your human resource representative can help with this piece.


When I ask leaders if anyone has actually had a conversation with the bully about behavior, the answer is either no or they don’t know.  Using silence as a strategy is one primary reason why professional bullies remain employed. It’s because when called into the HR office, they often can’t be held responsible if nobody sets the expectations.

  • Meet with the bully. Tell her that you KNOW she is behaving in ways that are compromising patient safety and a healthy workplace.
  • Look her in the eye and say, “This is what I expect from you starting today.” And then spell it out very clearly how you want her to behave and what will happen if she violates your expectations.
  • Get a commitment from her by saying this, “Can I count on you to meet these expectations?”


Why do we put people who we KNOW are destructive into power positions?

  • If she is a preceptor, stop letting her precept new nurses.
  • If she is in charge, take her out of that role.
  • If she is leading any committees, remove her.

Strip her from anything that gives her power.


I know you think you can’t catch her. That she is so stealth – always hovering under the radar. However, SOMEBODY knows and witnesses what she’s doing – ALWAYS. You need to figure out who are the witnesses (they are usually the victims and support staff) and empower them to act.

  • Meet with folks individually who work with her. Ask for their help by documenting any incident involving a patient safety risk. I would even go so far as to admit that there have been reports of this person putting patients at risk by behaving in unethical ways and that you need their help so that you can protect patients (again, this will all be decided in your strategic meeting).
  • Gather any and all documentation about behaviors. It doesn’t matter if this documentation is anonymous, has a signature, is something verbalized to you, etc. Gather ALL EVIDENCE. Because what you’re doing is building a case. Just like a jury, they make decisions based on the preponderance of evidence.


Stop letting one person have control over you and your organization. Focus all of your efforts on the steps above until you have enough evidence and then FIRE THE BULLY! Don’t wait until you have everything – remember, you’ve just built a case. Now do something with it!

A culture of silence must be replaced by a culture of safety. Disruptive behaviors happen because they can. It takes willing individuals and leaders to stop it.


About the author: Dr. Renee Thompson is a keynote speaker, author and professional development/anti-bullying thought leader. Renee spends the majority of her time helping healthcare and academic organizations address and eliminate bullying behavior.

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