Goal Setting

Four Ways Adults Can Create A Meaningful Social Circle

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There is something about adulthood that makes it incredibly difficult to make new friends.

In elementary, middle and high school, you’re forced to see a particular cohort of folks a few times a week, forced to do activities and projects with them. Inevitably, some of those people you’re forced to interact with become friends.

I wasn’t always the best at making new friends. In fact, I was always the lonely-looking girl standing awkwardly by the punch bowl at every conference or event. I didn’t know what to say so usually, I said nothing.

Even when someone would come up to me (you know, after you accidentally make eye contact for 5 seconds or more) and start small talk. They’d ask me about my day and on the inside I’d start to panic.

I wanted to be the person that always said the right thing… the cool thing… the witty thing. I wanted so desperately to make a connection that I often said nothing.

Through sheer stubbornness and persistence, I kept putting myself in these awkward situations (re: punch bowl, eye contact) until they started to feel normal and I mustered up the courage to start makin’ some friends.

The followings tips come from lessons I learned on my journey and some of the best practices I’ve ever received to build deeper, more intimate relationships with other women as an adult.

Send Handwritten Notes... for any reason.

I met a young lady at a networking event and she asked to follow up with me on a call later that week. We talked about her business and what she could do to grow. At the end of the call she asked for my address. I gave it to her and completely forgot about the ask, since no one ever really sends anything in the mail.

A week later, I got a postcard thanking me for my help. I couldn't believe it! I honestly felt warm on the inside.

She immediately set herself apart from anyone else I've ever met in my entire life. To this day, we've done two partnerships and we've become great friends. 

I started to send handwritten notes to friends and family at least once a year. I notice they’re always just as surprised as I was to receive that first note.

Handwritten notes are cool because you can be authentic, personal and long-winded (if that’s your thing). It’s also a keepsake that they could hold onto for years.

Call, Don't Text

I know, no one uses the phone anymore… and that’s exactly why you should be! Instead of sending a text to check up on friends, call them up. Listen to their problems and be fully present in the activity of catching up.

When Facebook sends that daily email letting you know it's someone's birthday, call them instead of writing on their FB wall. They'll remember that phone call for the same reason that people remember a letter. Most people aren't doing it.

You can call for any reason:

  • Birthday

  • Promotion

  • Life event (wedding, family death, kid’s baseball game, etc.)

  • Invite them out for drinks/coffee/lunch/dinner/hangout session of some sort

  • Just to say hi! (gasp!)

Calls are highly underused these days. That’s why you should be using them to deepen your relationships.

Join Social Groups (where people meet in person) 

If you have a hobby, try to find groups of people that enjoy that same hobby.

When I was transitioning into analytics, I joined every meetup group on meetup.com that talked about the topic. I eventually found 2 groups that I liked and started going to the meetings every month. After about 3 weeks of seeing the same faces, I started to make friends. 

It doesn’t matter what your hobby is, there are usually people nearby that enjoy doing the same thing. When you meet up based on a common hobby, you already have things to talk about and a basis to connect on.

Meet the people you talk to online in person 

I spend a ton of time on the internet (mostly Facebook) talking to the people I meet in groups. If you're in a large group, it could be helpful to announce "Hey guys! I'm in DC, would anyone want to meet up in person for coffee?" You'd be surprised how many people say yes! 

The one common theme I think in all of these is to make an effort to get away from the digital world and talk to folks in more personal ways. The more people you talk to, the more chances you have to find and build a great circle of friends. 

Keep “putting yourself out there”

The phrase “putting yourself out there” typically means taking risks - and that’s what you’ll need to do if you want to make some real friends.

Even if you’re uncomfortable, you’ll have to start talking to people. That’s the only way they’ll get to know you and your personality.

You’ll have to ask them to meet up in a social setting. If you want intimate relationships, you must create a space for intimacy.

Finally, you’ll have to keep trying. Sometimes you’ll find someone you think is cool, but they decline every invitation no matter how many times you invite them out. Don’t take this personally. They could have a million reasons (that have nothing to do with you) for why they can’t hang out.

In that case, let them tell you when they’re free (which might never happen) and find someone who does have the time, interest and capacity to spend time with you… because you’re worth it.

I hope the future leads to some amazing friendships for you! (And if you're in the DC or NY area, we should totally grab a drink!) 

Ready To Accomplish Your Greatest Goals? 

  1. Start planning out your largest goals with the FREE Goal Planning Worksheet.

  2. Take a FREE personal development class on CreativeLive

  3. Do you struggle with finishing the goals you start? Get clarity on your goals and the strategies to reach them with the ebook Goal Doing: Practical Advice For Goal Setting, Action Planning and Achieving Your Dreams.

 

Ready To Make Your Dream Goal A Reality?

Map out your dream goals and create your action plan with this FREE one-page dream goal planning worksheet.

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About Chantl

Chantl founded Thrive Lounge to give women the kick in the pants they need (lovingly, of course) to uncomplicate their goals, stop making excuses, get productive and start living the life they always wanted. Her book, Goal Doing: Practical Advice For Goal Setting, Action Planning and Achieving Your Dreams, gives women a step-by-step guide to create, plan and achieve their grandest goals.

4 Simple Ways To Stay On Track During An Unproductive Summer

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The more I focus on my goals, talk about goals, write book about goals I realize that a lot of us are going through the exact same emotional roller coaster with our ambitions. 

In January, we feel rejuvenated after spending time with family over the holidays and are overly inspired by the idea of a new year and an opportunity to create a brand new you.

In Feb - May, we pursue our goals. Somedays with passion and others with reluctance. But... we try.

Come June-July we realize the sun is out and in full effect and we can finally emerge from our winter slumber... mostly to look really good in a bathing suit on a beach somewhere. Or go to brunch. Or finally start dating again. (Just me?) 

Even though I literally wrote the book on goal setting I'll be the first to admit that ever summer I struggle to stick to my routines with the constant allure of brunch + happy hour + looking-really-good-in-a-sundress.

Instead of writing, I'm scheduling drinks with friends. 

Instead of creating a companion course for my book, I literally went on an impromptu 10-day couch surfing trek through my hometown spending time with every friend I haven't seen in a while - provided they had an empty couch.

Instead of planning out my next speaking gigs, I've been going out on dates like I'm a contestant on the bachelorette.

Yes, #TheStruggleIsReal.

 

How Can We Continue To Crush Our Goals Through The Summer? 

The answer to this question is obvious, but not intuitive. 

Choose the one goal that you want to accomplish... then slack off EVERYWHERE ELSE. 

Seriously, you're not required to be an all-around life badass all the time. It's the summer, the sun is shining bright - and there are far too many rooftop bars in New York to sit in the house worried about every possible goal.

 

How I'm Applying This Philosophy

It's obvious I've lost track of my routines and have been trending away from Superwomen towards super-slacker, but my primary goal for 2018 was to get out of student loan debt.

After paying off 10K in 2017, I started off 2018 with $32K remaining in student loan debt and one goal - to pay it all off. In the first seven months of the year, I paid of $10,647 in student loans! 

student loan payoff

 

Through the summer, I've continued to make the same large payments on my student loan debt to continue working towards my big goals.

So even though I haven't been productive, I haven't started my next book or course, I've been eating like crap and not exercising,  I've been drinking entirely too much wine (Yes, that's possible)....

I have continued to pay off my debt. 

That's all that matters. 

Related: How This 28-year-old Increased Her Net Worth By $20,984 in 13 months

 

How Can You Win The Summer? 

If you're looking at your summer and wondering what happened to your ambition, you're not alone. Here's a couple of ideas for what you can do to get your goal-getting life back on track: 

 

Lean Back

Make a firm decision that this is not a goal-getting year for you.

Sometimes we just need a break from life all together. If you firmly decide to take some time for inner reflection, you can stop feeling guilty for not pursuing a goal and enjoy your moment of intentional slowing down.

 

Course Correct

There is always time to get back on track.

If you have a clear goal for where you want to go, figure out where you are in progress towards it. Next, make a list of all the steps you need to take to get you there. Finally, take out a calendar and plan out when you're going to do each of these steps

Once you do that, get started!


Start From Scratch

It's mid way through the year and you really haven't done anything towards your goals.

That's perfectly fine! The best time to get started is always today. If you don't have a goal yet, but you're really feeling like a couch potato start with figuring out what change you want to make in your life and why you want to make that change.

Related: How To Set The ONE Goal That Will Change Your Entire Life

Once you have your goal, you can start taking steps to reach it.  


Stick To The Plan 

This is for the folks that are well on their way, but might be getting a little bored with their goal. (Trust my I'm super tired of my budget! Sometimes I want to go out and order a glass of wine without thinking about my student loans, but these days that just doesn't happen!)

Focus on the reason you're pursuing this goal. Remind yourself what your life will look like at the end of the journey. That vision will keep you going. If you created a vision board, take a look at your dream goals - and if you didn't create one maybe you should. :)

 

The beautiful weather, endless events and opportunities to see friends and family do make it very difficult to put all of your goals first. Don't feel guilty about taking this time to yourself. Instead, find a way to enjoy this moment by intentionally choosing what you're going to focus on ... and what you will ignore. 

 

Get Crystal Clear On Your Grandest Goals

Download the FREE Goal Setting Clarity checklist and set goals that will create MIRACULOUS change in your life.

Powered by Seva

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About Chantl

Chantl founded Thrive Lounge to give women the kick in the pants they need (lovingly, of course) to uncomplicate their goals, stop making excuses, get productive and start living the life they always wanted. Her book, Goal Doing: Practical Advice For Goal Setting, Action Planning and Achieving Your Dreams, gives women a step-by-step guide to create, plan and achieve their grandest goals.

Ready To Make Your Dream Goal A Reality?

Map out your dream goals and create your action plan with this FREE one-page dream goal planning worksheet.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by Seva

4 Quick Tips To Get More Done (In Less Time) With Deep Work

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info.

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How many times do you check email throughout your work day? How about checking social media?

As a social girl with a lot of friends, I often end up on social media just answering questions that people have or liking a hundred cute baby pictures when I need a short break from work. It only takes a minute or two and it seems harmless, right? 

In Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport discusses how my constant email-checking could be crushing my productivity. 

What is Deep Work? 

Deep work is the ability to spend hours at a time focusing on a difficult task. 

For example, if you're a writer, then your deep work would be writing. If you are an analyst, your deep work will be analyzing stuff.

It seems quite obvious what we need to do to make a difference in our careers (or side hustles) but we often interrupt our own workday with non-deep-work activities. Instead of blogging, us bloggers are scanning social media, click-bait websites and sending text messages to friends and family.

While it seems totally harmless, those activities can distract us from spending that focused time our brain needs to make progress on a difficult task.
 

Why Do We Need Deep Work? 

Cal Newport's book dives into the idea that if people focused on strengthening their ability to do deep work and focus less on these shallow activities, we'd all be able to get more done in less time and do our most important work better.

That sounds like a win-win for everyone, right?

 

How Can Deep Work Enhance Our Life?

If you set aside more focused time during your work day, you would able to get more done. As a writer, you would be able to write more books one presumes would directly lead to making more sales. If you work for someone else then you would be able to turn around your deliverables faster and also tackle more difficult tasks faster and with greater accuracy. 

How often do you take work home? When you focus on deep work, you increase your ability to get your work done during your work day.

Through out the book, Cal Newport discusses how he is able to publish more peer reviewed academic papers than other professors, and he really works after 5 p.M. The ability to do deep work can put you in a similar position where you no longer work those after hours shifts at night to catch up on work that you were not able to finish throughout the workday.

With those extra hours, you might actually be able to shut down your lap top when you get home (gasp!). You could spend that time having dinner with family, engaging in conversations with your close friends, or have extra time for self-care. 

 

How To Get More Deep Work In Your Day? 

Most of us have become incredibly attached to social media and our email boxes and our ability to do deep work and focus for long stretches of time has dwindled to next to nothing. With so many distractions are vying for your time it is difficult to sit down for 3 to 4 hours to focus on a demanding task so how do you get more of that deep work into your day? 

 

Disconnect your internet while you are doing deep work

Sometimes you can't get around this and you absolutely must log on to the internet to get information or follow up with someone. Try to shut down the internet as much as possible. If you know you have to do reasearch. Do your research first and then print out any articles that you need. That way you can start spending longer stretches of time without clicking social media or clicking your email. 

The ability to do deep work grows over time so the more you can train your brain to focus, the more successful you will become.

 

Time for attention restoration

While deep work sounds great, it's impossible to do deep work all the time. You have to take a mental break to restore your ability to do hard tasks. Rather than letting a distraction dictate when you take a break, schedule your break into your day. 

That way you get to decide the optimal time to take a break from your work.


Create a shutdown ritual for the end of the day

At the end of the day, write down all of the activities you need to do later on in the week. Then take your list and compare them with your calendar to see when you'll have time for each activity. Finally, plan out the activities that you want to do the next day. 

This practice will help you mentally close out "work mode" so you can enjoy the hours in the evening care-free knowing that you have all of your work-related responsibilities taken care of. 
 

Change the way you communicate

Have you ever gone back and forth for 6-10 emails trying to find a good time to meet with a friend or colleague? I definitely have.

When you send email, make sure you guide the recipient in what they should do next. That way, you don't get a ton of email flooding your email box with unnecessary emails. 

For example, instead of saying "let me know a time that works for you."

You could say, "I am available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 2PM. Let me know which of these days works for you or send over alternative dates and times." If you're super tech savvy, you can even set up an online calendar where people can choose their own dates and no further communication is needed on your part at all.

Sending more focused email with better directions can help you decrease the amount of back and forth you need - and results in less clutter in your email box.

 

We lose a lot of time in our work day simply by switching from one task to the next. The constant social media and email checking can seem pretty harmless, but when you add that time together - and then compare it to the time you could've been doing more important work you have to ask yourself: "Is it worth it?" 

I'd definitely rather spend my time in deep work.

 

Ready To Make Your Dream Goal A Reality?

Map out your dream goals and create your action plan with this FREE one-page dream goal planning worksheet.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

takephoto.jpg

About Chantl

Chantl founded Thrive Lounge to give women the kick in the pants they need (lovingly, of course) to uncomplicate their goals, stop making excuses, get productive and start living the life they always wanted. Her book, Goal Doing: Practical Advice For Goal Setting, Action Planning and Achieving Your Dreams, gives women a step-by-step guide to create, plan and achieve their grandest goals.