Thursday, December 31, 2009

4 Things to Experience in 2010

Here are four things I would like you to experience in 2010.

1.  Find a Great Goal. Even if you have a Laissez-faire attitude, there is a special joy in discovering some spectacular thing you want to have, do or be.  Fill yourself with that positive yearning.

2.  Set at least one Great Goal. Make it a SMART Goal and better to set three.  Short-term, mid-term and long-term goals can keep your momentum -- and if interrelated can help you achieve each of them faster.

3.  Get a Great Goal. Meaning, achieve it.  Making your goals a reality is seldom easy and that's good.  Great goals give our life a sense of personal purposefulness.  Don’t you want to live your life on purpose?  Stick with it.

4.  Celebrate. Let's get rid of the long bovine expressions that have plagued us for too long.  The good and bad things in your life are tied more to your attitude than anything else.  Want more good things?  Celebrate every positive thing that happens. If you’re the reserved type, this will feel odd.  Why celebrate things that are supposed to happen?  Because they worked!  We mourn loss we must celebrate achievement.

Have a happy, safe and enriching new year filled with meaningful goals.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Write it Out and Let it Go

Are you carrying an anger, sadness or fear that is immobilizing you or holding you back?  The New Year is a great time to let it go, regain control and invest in you.  How would you like to do that in just seven days?

You know that writing is a powerful tool.  Did you also know it’s therapeutic?  Studies show goals have a greater likelihood of being achieved if they are written down.  Problems are also more likely to be revealed and resolved if taken from the head and placed on the page.  Below are three of the seven thought provoking questions you can find in the Disposable Journal.

Before you get started, there are a few things to keep in mind.  The answers are just for you.  You’re under no obligation to share it or any of the insights you discover with anyone.  It’s your private exploration.  Also, your answers needn’t be perfect.  You’re working on improving your attitude – not your grammatical prowess.

Day One - Think and then get it out.
What’s troubling you right now?  Is it a fear?  Are you angry or perhaps sad?  Think of your journal as a trusted friend whom you’ve not seen in a while.  What do you want to tell it?

Day Two - What’s going on with you?
Describe your current state.  What are your thoughts and feelings?  Who’s to blame; and why do you feel that way?  Put it out there and write for a solid twenty minutes.

Day Three - What do you call it?
List several words and phrases that describe how you feel.  Circle a few of them; connect any similar words or phrases with arrows.  Put a star next to one or two that really speak to you.  If the words escape you, draw a picture.

Your commitment is all it takes for the full seven-day Disposable Journal program to work.  Simply find about twenty minutes each day and expressively write your answers to the questions.  Imagine what it will feel like in a week when you’ve written it all out and let it go.

For more information, or to get your own Disposable Journal please visit

[caption id="attachment_95" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Disposable Journals"]Disposable Journals[/caption]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There's Still Time

Was this your best year ever?  Most people would probably say no.  Maybe you lost your job, money is tight, or you unexpectedly lost a loved one.  Maybe the year has been sprinkled with health scares and economic uncertainty.  All of these things are significant events and life is full of them.  However, events are inherently neutral.  Some may feel terrific, some horrible and some may just suck.  That's life.  It doesn't matter because the only important factor is our response to those events.

We cannot control events no matter how hard we may try; there are too many outside variables.  The only thing within our control is our response to them.  Do we respond or react?  Reaction takes its cue from forces beyond our control while responding takes deliberative thought.  Both paths influence the outcome of the event.  Wouldn’t you like to have a say?  It's the difference between shriveling up and choosing to blame the government, big business, family and even God, or straightening up, grabbing a broom, and cleaning up the messes in life.  It's about taking personal responsibility.

You could wait until next year.  Next year is full of potential.  It's also full of procrastination.  “Next” is a comforting place to be because you don't have any of the responsibility of being “it” yet you get to enjoy the feeling of anticipation.

January 1st is an arbitrary date.  You can begin a goal at any hour of any day.  Why wait?  There are things you wanted to accomplish this year.  Get started, there's still time.

Take the 10 question, 2009 Goal Survey and tell me about your success or failure in finding, setting and getting the goals that are important to you.

If you need help finding, setting or getting your next great goal, give me a shout.  Strengths based Personal Development is what Karl Bimshas Consulting does.

Friday, December 11, 2009

2009 Goal Survey

There's very little more invigorating than pursuing a worthy goal.  We carry out goals all day long, based on the decisions we make.  Think about the last thing you accomplished.  You did it through clear vision, a desire if not a burning passion, and you took some action to complete it.  It could have been as simple as discovering a new place for lunch or finding a perfect gift for a friend.  The good news is the formula works the same for those “great goals” in life that require you to put in some effort, planning and collaboration with others.  Like starting a business, going back to school or learning another language.

These things don’t happen in an instant, but your decision to pursue them does.  It's that one magical moment when you know for sure that this is what you want to pursue.  I love that moment.  I'm addicted to that moment.  They don't even have to be my own goals; I get jazzed learning about other people's goals.

At the risk of being an enabler, I'd like to learn about your goals.  Take my 10 question, 2009 Goal Survey and tell me about your success or failure in finding, setting and getting the goals that are important to you.

Click here to take survey

Remember, if you need help finding, setting or getting your next great goal, give me a shout.  Strengths based Personal Development is what I do.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

After Action Review of Writing Project

I’ve seen many “winners” post war stories from their recent NaNoWriMo experience.  I thought I would let the din of it all settle down a little before sharing my reflection on why it was a good experience for me. was explained in an earlier posting.  I participated this year for a few major reasons.

  1. I felt the need to expand my creative writing.  I’ve been working in the Non-fiction and business realm for a while and needed a diversion.  I’ve not attempted a piece of fiction other than my screenplays so I wanted to test myself as a writer.

  2. With the exception of my poetry experiments, I edit my writing constantly, so the thought of writing 50,000 words before touching any of them was intriguing and would stretch me.

  3. Frankly, to accomplish something, that many people talk about, but few do.  Write a novel.

  4. Finally, I have built my life around helping others achieve their goals.  If I couldn’t publicly declare a goal of mine and successfully achieve it, what right would I have in helping others?

Writing about one’s writing experience has a megalomaniacal feel to it, so I’ve decided to frame it within an After Action Review.  The format is a good one to follow when it’s time to reflect on your recent projects.

What was the objective?

I’ll explain it by way of a SMART Goal

  • Specific.  Write a first draft novel of 50,000 words or better in 30 days or less

  • Measurable.  A binary result, are 50, 0000 words written, yes or no?

  • Attainable.  According to the projects’ organizers it should be.  I have a comfortable writing pace of essentially 1,000 words per hour.

  • Realistic.  By sparing about two hours each night and securing good family support, it appeared realistic.

  • Timely.  The timeframe was predetermined; November 1 – November 31.

What happened?  (Facts only)

  • I achieved 51,266 words in 25 days.

What do you need to do more of and why?

Making the time to think about and carefully setting SMART goals works.  What I underestimated to begin with was the value in creating and maintaining a support structure.  I had several communities of which to share the experience with.

  • The community provided success measurements and pep talks,

  • My family, a supportive group of writers in their own right provided shared excitement and understanding of “sequestered” writing time,

  • My offline writer friends, some of who wanted to write but couldn’t,

  • My online writing friends, assorted groups of writers I’ve met via social media particularly via Twitter and Facebook.

  • Offline friends who didn’t participate but were encouraging.

Each community provided support in their own way and I called on them, as I needed them, for ideas, pep talks, validation or inspiration.

What do you need to change about your approach or goals going forward and why?

Accountability is so often uncomfortable.  It needn’t be.  It’s the thing that keeps us on track.  With all future goals, writing or otherwise, it’s important to have an accountability partner or system that keeps me focused and moving forward.

What worked and why?

Prior to beginning the project, I was open to ideas of what to write about, but I was not in the mindset of having a story that NEEDED to be told.  I was open to whatever came me.  I decided to capture those nuggets on index card throughout the day.  Over a few days, I had a stack of cards.  I reviewed them and organized them into a loosely thread story.  That served as my outline prior to writing.

When I began, I was not looking to achieve the highest word count of my buddies and eventually learned to not be looking for much quality in my first draft.  I also was not looking to be the first in meeting the word count goal.  My two biggest fears were falling too far behind and not finishing.  Not finishing was not an option.  That spurred the desire to not fall behind, which certainly aided the friendly competitive spirit with other writers.

What didn’t work and why?

I had scheduled time to write, but it didn’t always work out.  For some reason the majority of my writing occurred between 10:00pm and midnight.  I would post my word count on the NaNoWriMo website and then, if still in the mood continue writing -on a few occasions until 3:00am.  This was never the plan, but inspiration and desire do not always work to plan.

Whom do you need to recognize?

My family and numerous members of the communities mentioned above provided a lot of support.  At the risk of leaving people out, I will provide an honorable mention to just three in particular.

Bill Siderski, a fellow writer from Emerson College days, kept the competitive spirit fueled.

Unbeknownst to them, twitter’s @bookoven provided just the right random encouragement that kept me going the one time I nearly sabotaged myself.

And a huge shout out to Lia Keyes and all the active writers at her site Scribbleratti, which provided so much humor, encouragement, competition and praise for every writer.

In conclusion, pick your goals wisely and set about accomplishing them.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's Goal Season

As the year begins to wind down Goal Season begins to heat up.  Goal Season is the period between Thanksgiving Day, when people swear that next year they won’t eat so much, and continues through January, when people beat themselves up for not keeping their young resolutions.

Today, you may be feeling business or personal pressures to finish the year strong.  If you already did your planning for 2010 in October, good for you.  For the 97% of the rest of us, this is the time to plan anew.

What are you going to do make sure you achieve your next goal?  First off, you need to want it, badly.  If it’s not motivating to you, just how fun do you think it’s going to be to achieve?  If you’re working on a goal that’s not fun, you should probably stop.  Life is too short.  So, what is it you want to do or have?  Avoid mediocrity by making it a great goal.  You should never be without a great goal.

It’s been said many times and in many ways; be sure your goal is S.M.A.R.T.

S - Make it specific.  Broad goals decay quickly.  Vague goals get vague results.

M - Make it measurable.  You won’t achieve your goal with one grand action.  It will take several little actions.  It’s those little actions that you’ll want to measure.  A little now, leads to a lot over time.

A - Make it attainable.  Americans are an optimistic lot and think that anything they want is attainable.  Because of this mindset, they nearly always get what they want.  Stretch yourself, like a rubber band – but don’t overextend or you’ll snap.

R - Make it realistic.  This has a direct correlation to your motivation.  If you’re not realistic about your current skills, the resources you have, and what additional things you’ll need to reach your goal, you’re destined for some disappointment, and that would break my heart.

T - Make it timely.  Getting squishy with time commitments will serve no one.  Time is the silent accountability partner.  It steadily ticks along, whether you’re ready or not.

Here’s a bonus tip.  Make your goal positive in nature and phrase it in a way that causes the creation of something.  Think about it; a goal to lose ten pounds sounds silly.  Who makes it a goal to lose something?  A goal is about scoring points.  Get enough successful goals and you have a winning streak.  It’d be better to be specific about the realistic and attainable weight you want to be on the date you think you can achieve that weight.  Soon you’ll be creating a brand new you!

Okay, here’s another bonus tip.  You could call it a “Bim-Bonus”:  Having a goal to stop doing something will be less successful than a goal of starting to do something that is more important to you.  Eventually the more important goal will replace the less important one.

If you need help finding, setting or getting your next great goal, give me a shout.  It’s what I do.