Friday, February 19, 2010

Redefining success

Remember when I wrote the post on balancing work, life and the babies?

I mentioned then that I've been thinking a lot about what success means to me, both in a life context and also with the babies.

The last time I did this exercise properly was probably about 6 - 7 years ago.

If anyone wants to play along, you simply ask yourself, "what does success mean to ME?" and start writing. Or typing. Whichever suits you.

I do it a little bit more in detail with clients to really flesh things out but you get the gist of it.

I've just looked at the little paragraph I wrote then (6 - 7 years ago) and I've pretty much lived it.

This was my last sentence:

To coach and help people reach their goals and put action plans in place to organise and simplify their lives.

Wow. That's exactly my business and I haven't even really thought about it much since.

Now with the addition of the babies, some things have changed. My thoughts are not so self-centred which is also why it's so hard to feel together all the time.

So I also have a coach (most coaches do) and was chatting about this stuff with her. I then had an action plan for that week to write out what success meant for my life and business.

i'm not all introspective normally but once I get going and can tap into my thinking side, then it's like it all gushes out. Can you relate?

And gush it did.

I FILLED 1 ½ A5 pages in my notebook on the general success stuff and another page just on business.

Some big differences are:
  • I'm more focussed on D, babies and our family (obviously). I didn't realise I had such opinions or thoughts till they came out though.
  • my home is very important to me and, as such, I need to have things organised and in order. part of my definition for an ordered home is providing healthy, nutritious meals for my family.
  • even though I have the business on the side, I still want to have rewarding work where I use my gifts and talents

I won't bore you with the business stuff except to say this:

There is not much in life I enjoy more than speaking in front of large groups of people. I absolutely love it. I prefer live talks but have come to love the convenience of teleseminars.

I did my last talk when I was 11 weeks pregnant and stopped taking bookings afterward because I was so out of breath and felt it wasn't portraying me at my best.

That was a whole year ago.

So that's DEFINITELY on my business list - I want to really develop the speaking side of my business again.

Well, what do you know? An old coaching client visited me yesterday and wants me to come do talks to her women's group at church on self-confidence and boundary issues, etc. Of course I jumped at the chance. Dipping my toes back into the water.

Now that I've done the whole exercise, I'm busy working on my vision board. This will probably take months to complete but just the mere fact that it's on the radar means that I'm focussed on it.

So what does all of this mean?

  1. I need to learn that good enough is okay. Yes, I'd like to always have a warm, freshly-cooked meal on the table but my freezer meals are good enough.
  2. I am not lazy nor a bad mother if I get Nanny V in on a Saturday morning and go out to breakfast with my husband to talk like we used to. I also don't have to make excuses to do so. Because a great marriage is very high on my definition of success list and caring what people think is about number 257 :)
  3. It means that when I feel overwhelmed, I can choose to freak out or I can choose a different path and some constructive action. Like making a list.
  4. When I'm faced with choices I need to evaluate them against MY definition of success.
  5. I need to put relax-type activities on my to-do list as they really don't come easy to me. One afternoon this last weekend I read and then napped for 20 minutes instead of running around working in the house. It felt heavenly.
  6. I told Nanny Viola that she's allowed to not iron the babies laundry because I don't want to see piles of clothes to be ironed as they stress me out. An unironed romper, however, doesn't phase me in the least bit.

My friend, Natalie, and I talk a lot about living intentionally. I totally think she rocks at this. She even has her bucket list all done.

When I'm tempted to drift along and just let the things of this world sweep me along, I think about her and tell myself to live intentionally according to my definition of success.

And that's why a corner of my bedroom floor was in a mess for a few days because I'd chosen to spend that time on the floor kissing and playing with the babies.

What does success mean to you?

(if you'd like to write about it on your own blog, please do and link back here so we can all read it :)


  1. Oh this post. This is something I am going to ponder over the weekend and maybe even post about next week.

    This is my first visit to your blog. Love it...and your babies are beautiful!!!

  2. I agree with Erin - lots to think about! One thing I have let go is cooking/cleaning. I need time for me and I work a lot at night and there is no point in being stressed about housework. So I step over laundry piles in my room every night. And somehow still manage to sleep well. :)

  3. Good post!

    But my answer is simple. Success = baby, maybe that sounds silly to some but if I never become a mommy I dont think I will ever think of my life as a success. Wow, what a scary thought...

  4. Woman, you rock! I've pondered this post all weekend and into today. I'm in the same place that I really want to begin working on writing out my goals and what I want my life to be like and what things I would like to change. There are so many things I want to get better at and stop drifting along. I'm trying not to be hard on myself as I do have two babies and a 9 year old to keep up with. But now after spending 10 years working on the family goal, I'd like to focus on the other goals with the same determination I had for the other one.


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