Dream Derailer #6b: 5 Signs of Commitment

Now, the question you must answer honestly is, “Am I interested or committed to my own success, relationships, education, or whatever it is you are striving for.  To understand more clearly what I mean by being interested or committed, ponder this little tale of a pig and a chicken’s contribution to a bacon and egg breakfast, the chicken is interested, the pig is committed! When we commit to our dreams we make a vow, a promise, or a pledge, to be reliable, steadfast, and to give it our all.  We see our goal or dream as an obligation and then we do what we must to see it through.  Five signs of commitment are:

  1. You give your word, keep your word, and make that promise a priority.
  2. Your goal is foremost in your consciousness, conversations, and thoughts.
  3. You have a plan and you work on it faithfully, diligently and with regularity.
  4. You give it your all, and…
  5. You don’t give up!

You must go after your dreams with the same commitment you would have if you were fighting a gorilla.  You don’t give up when you get tired; you give up when the gorilla gets tired.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

Dream Derailer #4: Inability to Stay Focused

Okay, so one day you’re working on an important goal and the next thing you know you’re sidetracked and off to something else.   Nothing can derail your dreams faster than distractions.  Staying on track requires a conscious effort. Just because you have a dream and believe in it doesn’t mean that the things of the world will not distract you.  It doesn’t even matter how much you love or desire an outcome.  You’ve got to focus to hit your target.  And, if that target isn’t clear or keeps changing, how do you expect to hit it?  Choose, decide, commit, and stay focused. You’ve got to be willing to let some things go.  You may be able to do anything, but you still can’t do everything.  In ‘ Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha’, he states, “So long as the thoughts of an individual are  scattered he will achieve no results, but if his thinking be concentrated on a single point wonderful will be the fruits thereof.”

Identify Your Distractions and Do Something About Them.

Everyone isn’t distracted by the same things, but everyone is distracted by something.  You’ve got to decide who distracts, what distracts you, when you are distracted, and why you are distracted.  After that, figure out a plan to do something about it. If I know who distracts me, I can limit my time with that person when I need to accomplish something.  If it’s a specific time that I’m distracted, it might be wise to work on my important projects at a different time.   It also wouldn’t hurt to think about why you get so easily distracted either.  Perhaps your goal isn’t fulfilling enough or maybe it isn’t your goal.   Paul Graham calls the television and the internet, “visual crack,” since it is such an addictive distraction and suggests we turn it off or severely limit it.  Arjun Kulchani suggests choosing exciting work and using meditation as a tool for better concentration.   Cave Cheong offers a strategy he calls ‘time boxing‘ among other tips. Leo Babauta thinks we should schedule some ‘distraction time’.  Think about the strategies I’ve offered here and also check these wonderful sources below to pick out some ideas that work for you.

  1. 10 Ways to Eliminate Distractions by Leo Babauta
  2. 18 Ways to Stay Focused at Work by Dave Cheong
  3. 11 Ways of Staying Focused by Dave Cheong
  4. Disconnecting Distraction by Paul Graham
  5. How to Stay Focused by Arjun Kulkani

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

Ten Tips for Tackling Procrastination Tendencies

It’s human nature to do the easiest, the most enjoyable, or the work we feel the most confident doing, but that doesn’t make it the most important.  Denis Waitley describes procrastination as, “The fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the “someday I’ll” philosophy.” Ten tips for tackling procrastination tendencies are below:

  1. Have a compelling WHY?–  Are the reasons for working on this particular goal more compelling than what you are already doing?  Because if what you are doing is more important, there really is no good reason to abandon what you are doing to do something else.  If you don’t have a compelling enough reason to start, persevere, and to finish, you won’t!
  2. Create a plan to keep that reason visible and front and foremost in your consciousness.  If you have a compelling WHY and still find yourself procrastinating or forgetting, get a plan.   Constantly remind yourself of why you chose this goal.  Write the reasons on index cards, place them in strategic locations where you know you will see them, affirm your goals, and spend time thinking and acting on them.
  3. Tease yourself. Sometimes the hard part is to just get started.  In this case, give yourself a simple doable time limit, say fifteen minutes.  Usually you will get a momentum going and continue past the time initially proposed.
  4. Be clear about the benefits of achieving this goal and the consequences of not doing anything. Sometimes it is that clear vision of the benefits that provides the motivation to keep moving in the direction of your goals. While positive motivation is my preference, some people are motivated more by fear.  The fear of failure or the fear of the negative consequences is enough to get them motivated and continually motivated.
  5. Have a plan  of what you need to do. Just having  a vague idea of what you want and how you are to do it is not enough. – It’s easy to get distracted or sidetracked, a plan of action is critical to making sure that you stay on task.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

Dream Derailer #3: Procrastination

Scott Peck wrote, “Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”

Napoleon Hill described procrastination as,  “The bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.”

Do you have a problem with procrastination?

If you do, you are not alone for about 1 in every five people procrastinate.  Procrastination is not doing what you know you should be doing.  It is ignoring something important and instead doing something less important.  Are you surfing the net when you should be working?  Are you watching television or playing a game when you should be cleaning, studying,  or spending quality time with your family?  One of my personal favorite quotes paraphrased from the Baha’i Writings is, “When the most important work is before you, you must learn to let go of the important.”

An important question to ask is, “Is this the most important thing I can be doing right now?

Is this action moving me closer to my most important goals?   Everyone procrastinates from time to time, but if are a chronic procrastinator, then you need to figure out why. Some of you have probably started on a goal and ran into a roadblock and haven’t been able to get back on track again.  Others have not even gotten started.  Whether you have started and stalled or never started at all, the challenge is the same.  You’ll never succeed if you don’t start and finish.   Sometimes we are so overwhelmed with so much to do that we are paralyzed with indecision.  If too much is on your plate, take off the least important stuff.  When you finish you can put it back on again if it is still important to you.

If you are a chronic procrastinator, click to read about ten tips for tackling your procrastination tendencies.

What are you waiting for?  Get started on that dream.  You’ll never see the finish line if you don’t get started.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

Manage Your Energy and Manage Your Time

Let’s face it, we’d all like or could benefit from having a little more time in our lives.  Unfortunately, no one gets “extra” time. We are all confined to the same 24 hours, no more, no less, but there is a solution.  We will feel like we’ve got more time when we  rescue some of our wasted hours and redistribute or redirect those hours to fulfilling goals and dreams that matter more to us.

Our accomplishments are dependent upon our energy. No matter how much you desire something, you cannot do it if you have no energy.

Click on the link to read about twelve tools toCreate More Energy from my book, TalleyUP, The Excitement of Value-based Living.