Journaling: How to Create Your Own Map for Success

Typically, when we meet with new clients, we provide journals and some thought provokers to help encourage the first step in the self-discovery process. In our EDGE3 blogs, I’ve talked about the journaling I do. I’ve found that not only does journaling help me get my thoughts out and to reflect on things, I also refer back to it for a variety of reasons: for inspiration, when goal setting, and to gain clarity or a shift in perspective. This makes my journal a helpful tool—a map of my thoughts, if you will.

So, how do you get started using a journal as a support tool for your success?

The first step is to pick a time during the day when you won’t feel rushed. It could be before bed or perhaps in the morning – whatever works for YOU.

Next, choose a comfortable location and surround yourself with some of your favourite things; a soft blanket, feel good music, maybe a great cup of coffee, tea or a glass of wine.

And now it’s time to dive in. If success is your focus, take a break from your “To Do” list, and take a look at your “What I’ve Done” list! Examine your what’s worked well in the past, and build on the momentum.

Here are some thought provokers to start your journey:

STEP 1: DEFINING SUCCESS
• What’s my version of success?
• Who are my heroes & role models?
• What are the traits that I admire in the people I respect the most?

STEP 2: LOGGING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
• What personal traits make me proud?
• What was my proudest moment?
• What have my big achievements been to date?

STEP 3: RECOGNIZING THE PATTERNS
• What skills have contributed to my success?
• Where have I been most successful?

STEP 4: DREAM BIG!
• If failing weren’t a possibility, what would I do?
• Where do I want to be in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?

STEP 5: LETTING GO
• What’s holding me back?
• What do I need to let go of to move forward?

STEP 6: START NOW
• What is one small step that I can take today?

Committing time to check in with yourself and to record your thoughts will help you to fine tune and focus toward the goals you set for yourself.

Need a hand with the process? We have a complimentary EDGE3 journal and a ½ hour coaching session for the first 10 people who contact us.

Happy Journaling!

dave

David Graham works with good leaders who want to become spectacular leaders. He also works with leaders to build high performing, super-focused teams.

 

Celebrate the Team

Celebration is a building block for great teams. But many of the groups that I coach consistently tell me that they wish they took the opportunity to celebrate more often. High performing teams seem to be on to the next challenge before they’ve even had a chance to come up for air.

As leaders, it’s our job to hit the pause button…and crack the champagne!

Before you pop the cork, take the time to consider the specifics. Feedback lands best when you are able to call out who did what, identify how they did it, and speak to how it contributed to the overall success of the program.

Want even more bang for your bubbly? Ask the team what they are most proud of. Give them a chance to reflect on their individual accomplishments and to shout out praise for others. Most importantly, make sure that every voice is heard.

And here’s where the money is…without judgement or pointing a finger, ask the question, “If we could do it all over again, what would we do differently?”. When a team self-identifies where they can improve, it packs a greater punch and you don’t have to be the bad guy.

Now that you’ve pinpointed areas for growth and explored potential solutions, it’s a great time to bring in a coach for an action planning session. Did that sound like a shameless plug? Well, yes it totally was. I love teams; big teams, small teams, high performing teams, teams that are struggling to figure it out…

I believe that all teams have the capacity to be great, but let’s face it, stuff gets in the way. Let’s figure it out together and light the path for an amazing 2018.

dave

David Graham works with good leaders who want to become spectacular leaders. He also works with leaders to build high performing, super-focused teams.

 

The Power of a Pause

I am often reminded of the power of taking a few moments to simply stop and breathe.

Recently, I completed a 21-day meditation challenge. Every day for 3 weeks, I woke up, fed the cats, put the coffee on and then sat in silence for 20 minutes. I was amazed at what it did for my patience, my creativity and the level of intention that I brought to my work. It also gave me a keen awareness of when I am not showing as my best self. I started noticing that the last few minutes before heading out to work, my mindfulness flew out the window in a flurry of activity of looking for my keys, packing my briefcase, all while balancing an extra-large coffee in hand.

And then I remembered a habit that one of my clients had adopted. Before he leaves in the morning, he sits on his couch quietly for just 5 minutes, drawing his attention to who he wants to be in the world. Not what he has to “do,” but who he wants to “be.”

Along that same line of thought, my partner, Justin, has developed an effective practice of meditating before he puts his car into drive. He starts the engine and as it warms up, he closes his eyes and takes 10 deep breaths, yep, about 60 seconds. As the car idles down and falls into a steady hum – so does he. I’ve noticed how this has affected his patience on the road and how much safer I feel in the passenger seat!

So, I thought that I would give it a try. I was surprised how often I’d say to myself, I don’t have time for that! I don’t have 60 seconds; I have to get to work! And then I would catch myself. What, I don’t have 60 secs? I don’t have 60 secs to centre myself to ensure that I bring my full awareness to driving?

The one thing that we share is the same 24 hours in a day. Time feels like it’s racing by, but we need to remind ourselves that time is passing at the same rate. It always has, and it always will. The only thing that changes is our perception of it. In every single moment, of every single day, we have a choice.

The greater awareness we bring to a moment, the more intentional we can be about how we are showing up in the world and how much presence we bring to our team, our friends and our loved ones.

What would a 60 second pause do for you?

If you were to take a pause, what time of day would be most valuable?

daveGrowing your business and juggling the countless demands on your time and energy? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham works with entrepreneurs to help them find that perfect balance.

 

Giving Yourself the Space to Grow

We love nature. I mean LOVE nature. Have you heard that already? Well, it’s because it’s true! Whether it’s a walking meeting around the block, a park bench coaching session, a hike while brainstorming, or an island retreat in Muskoka, we LOVE trying to activate an element of the outdoors.

That’s why we’re always so excited to hit Muskoka each year for a series of Fall retreats, to spend time transforming in such a beautiful space, during such a transformational time of year.

It feels like ‘the ultimate’ in inspired places for us to work with others, and it’s fair to say that our guests feel the same. It may sound cliché, but the reality is that people found themselves moved to action from the cues nature gave them. Here’s some examples:

  • Setting intentions around a large compass to articulate the direction of the day
  • Letting go of our obstacles at the evening fire
  • Cleansing plunges into the lake
  • Listening to the winds of change, and what they may be whispering
  • Grounding one’s self like the surrounding trees
  • Meditative walk barefoot over the various terrains on the island
  • Enjoying a sunset, and visualizing what the next day will bring

While we’d love EVERYONE to join us in nature for an event or retreat in future, there are always ways to achieve this in everyday life. We just have to be intentional about it. Elemental and sensory touchpoints lifts people and enhances experiences, so carving out time to get into nature is a sound (AND FUN!) investment.

Setting the stage for change is important. Whether it’s a small shift in thinking, or majorly impactful decision making, an office doesn’t always lend itself to the level of thinking, feeling, openness, etc., that one needs… or deserves!

So ask yourself,

“If I’m inspired to create space inside myself to grow, how can the space around me be more inspiring to support that growth?”

We’d love for everyone to experience first-hand what we’re talking about. (Or call us and we’ll set-up an EDGE3 date!) But in the meantime, look for opportunities to get into the spaces that inspire you to think, feel, share, develop – WHATEVER! – the way YOU ultimately need to.

Devon Domanski plans dynamic client workshops, team building and appreciation-themed events. She feeds her curiousities with writing, food dreaming, and adventures in all things beautiful.

 

JOURNAL FOR SUCCESS: YOUR “HOW TO” GUIDE

Through coaching, I’ve noticed that the most successful individuals are those who are highly intentional about the future they want to create for themselves. We can all do it; sometimes we just need a little help visualizing our path, charting our course, and navigating the journey.

Typically, when we meet with new clients, we provide journals and some thought provokers to help encourage the first step in the self-discovery process. In our EDGE3 blogs, I’ve talked about the journaling I do, and not only does it help me get my thoughts out and reflect on things, I also refer back to it for a variety of reasons – inspiration, goal setting, clarity, a shift in perspective – and that’s a helpful tool (a map of my thoughts, if you will).

Whether it’s moving up the corporate ladder, starting a new business, achieving a physical goal, or hitting a life milestone… there’s only one person that can define your success… YOU!

So, how do you get started using a journal as a support tool for your success? Take a break from your “To Do” list and focus on the “What I’ve Done” list! It’s time to examine your successes to date, and build on the momentum.

Here are some thought provokers to start your journey:

STEP 1: DEFINING SUCCESS
• What’s my version of success?
• Who are my heroes & role models?
• What are the traits that I admire in the people I respect the most?

STEP 2: LOGGING YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS
• What personal traits make me proud?
• What was my proudest moment?
• What have my big achievements been, to-date?

STEP 3: RECOGNIZING THE PATTERNS
• What skills have contributed to my success?
• Where have I been most successful?

STEP 4: DREAM BIG!
• If failing weren’t a possibility, what would I do?
• Where do I want to be in 6 months? 1 year? 5 years?

STEP 5: LETTING GO
• What’s holding me back?
• What do I need to let go of to move forward?

STEP 6: START NOW
• What is one small step that I can take today?

Committing time daily to check in with yourself, and record your thoughts will help finely tune your focus toward the goals you set for yourself.

Need a hand with the process? We have a complimentary EDGE3 journal and a ½ hour coaching session for the first 10 people who contact us.

Happy Journaling!

daveDavid Graham works with leaders to build high-performing super-focused teams. A book club hosted by Dave enables teams to learn new business strategies, develop powerful action plans and to understand each other on a deeper level. 

 

LEADERS, EMBRACE YOUR VULNERABILTY

In walked my newest client, a self-assured executive with an air of confidence that suggested that the was not easily rattled. Clearly this is a no BS, get it done kind of guy.

After exchanging a few pleasantries, we got right to the point. “What are some of the challenges that you’re facing right now?” He gave me a stock answer, but I noticed a subtle emotional shift behind the veil of confidence, so I dug a bit deeper. “What’s emotional about that for you?”

His eyes welled up and he had to turn away to avoid the flood gates from completely opening up. I realised in that moment that in his position perhaps he didn’t have someone in his life that he could share his deepest challenges with; certainly not his boss, his team, and maybe even his wife. He had worked hard to create this confident, “never let them see you sweat” exterior – the hallmark of a senior leader and provider.

To him, the emotion probably felt like weakness, but what I saw in that moment was not weakness, but real strength. A man whose character was defined by being there for those that mattered most to him. A man who desperately wanted to do the right thing.

With each question, we were able to draw out his thoughts, uncover his concerns and face his fears head on. By having a short break away from his desk, he was able to fully process his struggles and life challenges so that he could more effectively navigate the path ahead.

As a coach, I’ve learned that the most valuable thing that I can do is to be there in the moment, to meet my client exactly where they are and to hold space for them without judgment or advice.

So, do I require tears from my clients for a good coaching session?

No, but I consider it an honour when someone is comfortable enough to go to a place of truth and discovery; a place that most leaders can’t go in the boardroom. Ultimately, my hope is that the coaching process leads my clients to more confident decisions, greater authenticity and stronger, richer relationships.

What are the burning questions that you need to explore?
What would the value be in bringing more vulnerability to your work?
What fears are holding you back from having a bigger impact?

daveDavid Graham works with good leaders who want to become spectacular leaders. He also works with leaders to build high performing, super-focused teams. 

 

The Entrepreneur’s Inventory – Isolate The Issue!

Sometimes we get out of our groove. I found myself disengaged and demotivated. But why? I love my work! I am very connected to my purpose! So what gives here?

I went to my archive of tools I’ve developed for entrepreneurs that I have coached and thought, this may be helpful when you feel out of sorts.

SELF COACHING EXERCISE

Grab your journal, find the stillness, and ask yourself these questions…

1. What is weighing me down?
2. What opportunities are available to me?
3. What decisions am I regretting that I need to let go of?
4. What gives me the greatest sense of purpose?
5. Who do I want to be?

After you run through this inventory, I encourage you to put the pen down, close your eyes, breathe deeply and reflect on these thoughts. How much am I loved? What am I most grateful for? How can I be of service?

You and your business are a work in progress. Take the time to isolate your thoughts, and refocus on the things that matter most. Now get back in your groove, your network needs that special something that you have to offer.

daveGrowing your business and juggling the countless demands on your time and energy? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham works with entrepreneurs to help them find that perfect balance.

 

Am I the Teacher or the Student?

It’s overwhelming trying to boil down my coaching adventure to Uganda to a couple of blog posts. Words don’t seem sufficient in trying to describe the people, places, and emotions I experienced during this entire journey.

The overall experience of coaching the young people of Nikibasika was both enriching and enlightening. I was excited to meet the young people who I’ve been raising money for several years now… but nervous whether my coaching skills would jive with this group. I committed to staying curious to what I could learn from them. I had a feeling that perhaps I was meant to be the student on this journey, not the teacher – I was not expecting how much I would learn from them.

Such a caring and loving group. There were tears, embarrassed giggles, wide eyes, and confusion at times – but such innocence. On the other side of the innocence though, these young people carried an unparalleled wisdom and hope that only comes from enduring extreme hardship, and being part of difficult moments that most of us could never imagine. As I helped each of them craft their career plans, each and every one of them included helping others less fortunate. This is a level of resilience that is difficult to truly understand, but so humbly impactful, and inspiring.

“I will forever look at the world differently because of them.”

One of the group members, Rogers, a kind hearted, beautiful young man, knit me a scarf and spoke poetically about the light of the moon when he gave it to me. He said that the moonlight shines down on him and reminds him of Nikibasika because like the moon, it has lit his path and showed him the way, adding, “The light will always shine on those people who are grateful and loving, and to people who help each other.” Such wisdom!

While I travelled halfway around the world to learn from these young people, I wonder how many of us in leadership positions are willing to reverse the roles and learn from their ‘students’? As humans, we all have so much that we can learn from each other when we give ourselves permission to be open and stay curious.

daveLooking at becoming a more compassionate leader? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham develops good leaders who want to become spectacular leaders!

 

More Alike Than We Are Different

Since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed of visiting Africa. Couple that with my 7-year involvement with the TriAdventure and Nikibasika Learning Development Project, Uganda became a must visit stop on my bucket list. I could hardly wait!

One of the first experiences that we had arriving in Uganda was a Team Coaching Session with the KIBO Foundation, a company focused on developing leadership skills and unleashing the capacity of their youth. As an organization that supports many of the kids from Nikibasika, we are big fans of the work that KIBO does and were happy to support them in their growth as a team.

I partnered with Cate Creede of the Potential Group and Bonnie Ho, this year’s chair of the Triadventure, to facilitate a workshop on Fearless Leadership.

Feeling a little anxious about the experience, I mentioned to EDGE3’s Devon Domanski that I was curious to understand their challenges and how they may be different than the teams we work with in Canada. She said, “When you’re there, I encourage you to notice not how different the challenges are, but how similar they may be. What connects you?” A very wise colleague indeed… she certainly provided with a scope that shifted my perspective.

KIBO was an impressive team, indeed. Like many small business, each player must wear many different hats and to remain extremely agile in their approach. I was inspired by their respect and care for one another, their ability to approach challenges creatively and by their unwavering commitment to serve and commit to a common goal.

So, what did the team walk away with from our session? An impressive strategic plan cranked out in record time by Cate Creede…nicely done, Cate! And in the spirit of coaching, they seemed to have a renewed confidence in themselves and an awareness that the answers have been within them all along.

Go KIBO! Continue to inspire young leaders in Uganda; we are rooting for you.

daveLooking at becoming a more compassionate leader? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham develops good leaders who want to become spectacular leaders!

 

So many ideas… start with the first!

Recently I went to a marketing conference, “The Art of Marketing” and I left with a plethora of ideas. Growing the business, reaching out, connecting with our network, marketing our services. It ALL seems so overwhelming (exciting?!) at times. My journal’s bursting with a whack of ideas.

“Where do I start?” I tweeted of the keynote speakers (our collective favourite of the day!) and he replied, “…with the first one.” Clever response I thought.

How do I make a greater impact? How do I create a legacy? How do I grow a business I love? All great questions and things that I explore with our EDGE3 Team every day.

I find I ask MYSELF one simple question that gives me the most forward momentum… “What’s one small step that you can take right now?” That is the approach that I have started taking with all of my own goals. “What is that one thing that needs to be done today to make the day worthwhile?”

Sometimes it’s building a killer proposal or finishing a presentation. Other times it’s getting to a yoga class, renewing my passport, or sharing time with my mom.

Innately we know what that one thing is…

We just need to leave some silence to hear it loud and clear. Tackle “THAT ONE THING” first!

The rest of the to do list will still be there and you’ll still get that adrenaline rush of crossing things off the list. But by overwhelming our brain first thing in the morning we can create chaos right out of the gate. Shut ourselves down rather than opening ourselves up to a day that is full of possibility.

In this way, we trick our brain into thinking that it is possible rather than shutting it down all together.

So do I still have a whack of ideas? Absolutely! But I agree, and think I’ll take your advice, Ron Tite.

I think I’ll start… with the first one.

daveLooking at becoming a more compassionate leader? The EDGE3 Team can help. David Graham develops good leaders who want to become spectacular leaders!