So I guess we should just keep workin’ it.
Understand your values in life to then determine your goals.
How to Find Your Goals by Melinda Elliott
There’s a lot of information out there about how to achieve your goals. About how to stay motivated, how to focus on your dreams and not be distracted by failure and set backs. But that all assumes that you know what you want out of life, that you already have goals you’re eager to achieve. Recently, in response to a comment I made about pursuing one’s goals on The Change Blog, I got a poignant reply that asked “But what if you haven’t found anything worth doing, any goal worth pursuing?”
Great question – focus is wonderful, but if we aren’t looking at the right things how useful is it? Sure we can learn from failure, but what do we do with those lessons if we’re not really doing anything? How can we find out where we should be looking for our satisfaction in life?
Step 1 – Make a list of what’s important to you.
Do it quickly and without censoring – it’s ok if your list includes your cat or your new shoes. Your choices reflect a snapshot of your life right now and don’t need to be lofty or impressive. Here’s my quick list (in no particular order): my daughter, my friends, writing, coaching, my house, my central heating, my cat, my favorite TV shows (blush), learning, my blog.
Step 2 – Ask “Why is this important?” for each item on your list.
Here are my answers:
My daughter because she is my contribution to the world at the most basic level and because she’s fun, loving and makes me happy.
My friends because they support me, teach me, and make me laugh.
Writing and my blog because they ignite my passion and I feel like I’m able to help people with them. And they’re fun!
Coaching because I’m helping my clients live better and clearer lives.
My house because it provides me with a beautiful and safe place to be.
My central heating because it keeps me warm and comfortable.
My favorite TV shows because they take me to places where life is silly and adventurous and because they often provide me with a fascinating glimpse into human nature.
Learning because it makes me a better person and helps me grow.
Step 3 – Use your answers to identify your values.
Look for themes in your answers. When you read over your list, what pops out at you? What shows up more than once? Are there items that have something in common? I see the following themes in my list: contribution, fun & laughter, learning, helping people, comfort.
The themes we identify reflect our values and what’s most important to us in our lives. And this is where goal setting should begin.
Step 4 – Use your values to set your goals.
The goals that inspire you most will be based on your values, on what’s really important to you. You might already be working on some of them – I’ve set clear goals around my writing and am beginning to revamp my coaching practice. But when I look at my list I realize that I’m not putting much effort to making sure that I have enough fun and laughter in my life right now, so I might want to set a goal to find more ways to play.
When you set your goals:
Make your goals bite-sized – A goal of “Learn the skills I need for my next promotion” sounds achievable, while a goal of “Become CEO by the time I’m 30” is probably going to set you up for failure.
Make your goals positive – You should work toward what you want, not away from what you don’t want. “I want to find a loving partner” inspires while “I don’t want to be lonely anymore” already feels defeated.
Realize that as you work toward your goals they’ll probably change – As we learn and grow from the work we do to move toward our goals we often connect with new, more resonant goals. After I set up my coaching practice I started writing newsletters to attract more clients. But I found that I loved writing as much as I loved coaching, and my goal shifted from attracting clients to creating a blog.
The bottom line is that when our goals tap into the beauty and energy of our values they make our hearts sing. They feed our hungers, we can’t wait to get started working on them. So my answer to the reader who asked about finding a goal worth pursuing is that the answer is in your heart, it’s in your longings, it’s in the things you want more of.
Active and Passive voice is a term used in writing to describe the ways in which a writer uses verbs in their sentences. There can be a lot of confusion around the two, as well as a lot of debate regarding whether or not the writer should utilise passive voice.
Passive voice is one of those aspects of writing you are told to avoid, however, the majority of the time we don’t even know we are using it.
So, let’s break down what each voice entails with examples:
WHAT ARE THEY?
Active voice refers to a sentence where the subject performs the action stated by the verb. Passive voice refers to a sentence where the subject is acted upon by the verb.
Now, this sounds pretty confusing, right? Let’s break that down a little more.
Active voice is where the subject of the sentence (e.g. person) is doing the action.
Passive voice is where the subject of the sentence (e.g. person) is not doing the action, rather, they are being acted upon.
Let’s check out some examples to break it down even further.
Active voice: France beat Brazil in the finals.
Passive voice: Brazil was beaten in the finals.
Active voice: More than 300 million people speak Spanish.
Passive voice: Spanish is spoken by more than 300 million people worldwide.
Active voice: Jack will take the matter further.
Passive voice: The matter will be taken further by Jack.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH USING PASSIVE VOICE?
While there is no rule that you can’t use passive voice, it does have negative effects on your writing and is frowned upon by other writers. Passive voice has the problem of being slightly confusing as it appears to be vague regarding who is doing the ‘action.’ Other problems with passive voice are that it can come across too wordy, weak, and sometimes even awkward.
Active voice, on the other hand, is encouraged in your writing. It is more direct and specific and can make your writing a lot stronger. However, use it based on your judgement. If you try to change a passive sentence to an active one and it doesn’t sound right, then there are instances where you can break the rule.
IDENTIFYING PASSIVE VOICE & CORRECTING IT:
Now that you know what passive voice looks like, it won’t be hard to identify it in your work. That being said, there are a few things you can look out for to help you as you prepare for the editing process:
Look for some form of the verb “to be” (such as is, are, was, were, has been), usually in front of another verb.
You may also see the preposition “by” when you are in passive voice.
Once you have identified the passive sentence, it’s time to change it to active voice. To do this, all you have to do is place the subject doing the action (e.g. person) before the verb instead of after it.
Active Voice: The company (subject) fired (verb) Mr. Jones in retaliation for his wife filing a discrimination claim.
Passive Voice: Mr. Jones was fired (fired) by the company (subject) in retaliation for his wife filing a discrimination claim.
Congrats, fellow writers. I hope you now understand the difference between active and passive voice!
Day 2 is a wonderful read by Tama Kieves, Best selling Author, Speaker, Coach, and Mojo Maker. Tama began her career as an unhappy lawyer who found her calling. I hope you enjoy and benefit from her inspirational story:
How to Find Your Calling: 7 Beliefs to Change Right Now
Time is precious. Most of us don’t have enough of it and wish we had more. There are lots of English expressions using time. Here are 20 of them and what they mean. Check them out, there’s no time to lose:
to be on time means not to be late. You arrive at the right time.
‘The trains always run on time in my country. They are never late.’
This common idiom means that time passes quickly.
‘Time flies when you are having fun.’
in the nick of time
This expression means that you arrive or finish something just before it is too late. At the last possible moment.
‘My team scored in the nick of time. The game was in the last few seconds.’
turn back the hands of time
To turn back the hands of time means to go back to the past.
‘If I could turn back the hands of time, I wouldn’t have done what I did.’
We save time when we do something the quick way.
‘We will save time if we drive instead of taking the bus.’
In natural English, spare time has the same meaning as free time. The things we do when we are not busy with work or study, for example.
‘In my spare time I like to learn English.’
as time goes by
As time goes by means as time passes or moves. The passing of time.
‘As time has gone by I have become less interested in going to nightclubs on the weekends.’
out of time
Out of time means that there is no more time left to do something. The time limit or deadline has been reached.
‘Please stop writing. You are out of time. The exam has finished.’
To make time means to find the time to do something. We have to clear some time in our schedules to do something.
‘I know that you are busy, but you will have to make time to attend the meeting.’
time for a change
Time for a change means to stop what you are doing and start doing something else with your life.
‘After working in the same job for 5 years, I now feel like it is time for a change.’
time is money
The famous expression time is money means that your time is a valuable commodity.
‘I can’t wait here all day. Time is money, you know?’
time heals all wounds
Time heals all wounds means that our feelings of hurt will leave us time passes by. This expression usually refers to emotional hurts and not physical ones.
‘I was sad for a long time after I broke up with my boyfriend, but time heals all wounds. I’m fine now.’
only time will tell
Only time will tell means that we can not find out the truth or the answer yet. We will have to wait and then we will find out in the future.
‘Will we ever have peace in the world? Only time will tell.’
To kill time means to do something that is not very interesting or important to pass time. We usually use to kill time when we are waiting for something that will take place later.
‘We’ve got 4 hours until our flight leaves. What are we going to do until then? How are we going to kill time?’
time after time
When something happens or is done time after time it means that it happens again and again. The action repeats.
‘Time after time Tom was late for school. His teacher told him if he was late again he would be in big trouble.’
Time off means to take a holiday from work.
‘You are working too much. You need to take some time off.’
a waste of time
A waste of time refers to anything that is not a useful way to spend your time. Doing something pointless or useless.
It’s a waste of time calling that company. They never answer the telephones.’
a hard time
To have a hard time means to do something that is difficult or to suffer hardship.
‘She’s had a hard time recently; she lost her job and then her mother died.’
‘I had a hard time trying to find this place. The directions you gave me were terrible!’
too much time on my hands
To have too much time on your hands means that you have too much free time and not enough things to do.
‘He watches so much TV because he has too much time on his hands.’ He needs to get a job.’
a whale of a time
To have a whale of a time means to have a great time. To do something really fun.
‘I had a whale of a time at your party. Please invite me to your next one.