From sub-conscious reasons behind fear of failure (or success), to piles of excuses for lack of follow-through, there is no doubt that we often sell ourselves short when it comes to realizing our goals. In fact, in recent studies researchers found that 88% of people fail to keep any of their New Year’s resolutions. So what is the secret behind making this “your” year?
As founder of the RADICAL Success Institute and Get RADICAL Women’s Conference, Doreen Rainey has made it her life to help others overcome their personal and professional obstacles. Her career as a “RADICAL Success Coach” has been built on helping others pull themselves together.
A graduate of Spelman, Rainey received a Masters of Science in Conflict Negotiation and Conflict Management from the University of Baltimore, then went on to obtain certification from the world renowned Coaches Training Institute. Through her work, Doreen has been able to bring formidably successful women to Washington, DC each year to inspire women from around the country at the Get RADICAL Women’s Conference.
At the conference, over 500 attendees are encouraged to face their fears and expectations (or lack thereof) in order to move forward with new ideas and ideals. There is always an impressive line-up of talent to draw inspiration from, and for March 2012 presentations include health and wellness expert Jillian Michaels, financial guru Suze Orman, motivational speaker Lisa Nichols, entrepreneur Ali Brown, and author/editor Monique Greenwood, to name a few.
To get our goals On Point, UrbLife.com asked Doreen Rainey for some advice on how we can make the most of our 2012 resolutions, and found out some good reasons why participating in a motivational conference like Get RADICAL may help us with goals far beyond this year. Read on!
What are some key pointers to keep your New Year’s resolutions moving positively forward for the rest of the year?
Doreen Rainey: 1. Take responsibility. “Fresh start” means that you need to be ready to take responsibility. That means responsibility for the outcome, responsibility for the actions, and responsibility for making the plan. Just have within yourself that your success and your ability to achieve what you want is your responsibility. Not to depend on, blame, or look for others to do for you for what is, in fact, your responsibility.
2. Set an intention. So many people talk about their goals or milestones, but before you can do any of that you have to set an intention. What I mean by that is the “why” of your goals. Maybe your intention for the new year is to actually be joyful. Maybe your intention is to find happiness, or to have some peace or clean up messy relationships once and for all. Maybe your intention is to be more of a giver and a sharer.
Before you set any goal, I always tell people to set an intention.
3. Attack some goals with those intentions. Obviously you have more than one intention and more than one goal. Think about where you want your life to be at the end of 2012. It’s very easy to make a long list or to think about career, finance, relationships, and all of those different areas, but I would only choose like two or three major goals for the next year. That way, you won’t get overwhelmed.
Also, when people have a long list, they tend to jump around. When things get hard with one goal, they say, “Let me go over to this.” When it gets hard with that one, they go over to this. They’re giving themselves an ‘out’. Keep it to one or two, and then you’re focused.
4. Write down your plan. Once you have those two goals, you actually need to write down the plan. Many people will have a plan in their head, or they’ll think about, “Every week I’m going to do this” or “Every month I’m going to do this.” The reality is that you have to take out a piece of paper or take out your laptop and actually document those action steps. Then put those where you can actually see them on a daily basis.
5. Take action. The best way I feel to take action is to find an accountability partner. Someone who you can trust to support you through implementing your plans. Going back to number one, be willing to take responsibility when that relationship goes south. You have to be responsible enough to get it back on track, or find another responsibility partner.
6. Manage setbacks, disappointments, and obstacles. The best way is to pre-manage. Most of us already know what our obstacles will be before they show up. For example, if one of your goals is going back to school and if you are a single parent, you have a child and all of these things to do, and then you not only need a plan, but a contingency plan. So when things don’t work out, you know how to handle it.
If your goal is around weight, and you know that all of your friends like to go out and drink and happy hour and things like that, then you need to already know what you’re going to say. If you’re in debt, there is no extra money, so when people want to go out to dinner, you know you can’t go because you don’t have any extra money. I don’t care how much you have available on your credit card or whether you just got paid today. If it’s one of your goals to get out of debt, then you don’t have any money.
You shouldn’t be caught off guard when someone wants you to go out to dinner, or you see it’s a great sale going on at the store. You should already know what you’re going to do in those situations. There will be some things that you can’t predict, but if you can manage the ones that you can predict, when the ones come up that will blindside you, you have more clarity on how to handle it.
7. Celebrate small successes. Sometimes you get so caught up on the big goals that we forget to enjoy the journey. The first time that you actually run a 5K without stopping, that’s a celebration. The first time you do tell someone, “No, going out to eat is not fiscally responsible and I can’t go,” you should celebrate that. You should be excited about that!
If you’re trying to finish your degree and you complete the first class, don’t think about that you have two more years to go. Think about, “Oh my God, I just completed my first class, how exciting!” Every small step is a reason to celebrate. It keeps you excited and motivated about the next step and it gives you something to look back on and remember when times get hard or when you want to give up.
What inspired you to create a conference around your work?
DR: That interesting thing is most people at the top of the pyramid have some sort of “lack” and that’s why they come to coaching. A lack of confidence, a lack of success in their career, a lack of clarity in their relationship – and I come in to help them fill that gap, build them up, and plug those leaks that create that lack in whatever area that is.
When I do that with coaching, my reach is one-to-one. When I do it in group coaching, my reach is one-to-twelve. To have an entire conference where the main objective is to help you overcome that lack, then my reach goes to one-to-hundreds and hundreds and hundreds. All of the people that I bring in have a contribution to helping the attendees really be able to say, “This part of my life, I need help.” This environment not only gives the information, you also get actual belief that, “I can leave this room and actually make it happen.”
You have everything within that when those holes are plugged up, that confidence is there, the right information is there, and the right accountability is there, then you go out and give to the world what you were created to give. The conference allows to me to do that to a much bigger audience than my coaching practice does.
What are some key things that you have done or the attendees have done to help it grow?
DR: I think that number one, there is an excitement that I try to convey when I talk about the conference, that people experience when they come to the conference. A lot of the feedback that I have gotten is that, “This is not what I expected!” Not knowing what they expected, but I know that you have to be fully engaged in every aspect of your life and you get all of that from the conference and that just resonates with people.
Yes, we have celebrity speakers, like Jillian Michaels and Suze Orman, but the environment itself generates excitement and generates growth. We have a large percentage of repeat attendees because of the learning that they get. I’ve had people say that they come every year and “Everything is better in my life – my finances, my relationship, my business, my health, everything is better because the content is so good and the information is so good.” I think the idea of excitement and there’s a lot going on, but also the content.
How do you, as a person that helps other people out, find the mental and emotional fortitude to stay on top of your game every day? Do you ever get sad or stressed?
DR: Oh my God every month I’m like, “I’m just going to get a job. I’m going to check out the wanted ads and send out resumes!” Absolutely. The beauty of what I do is that I can use it on myself as well because there are times when I feel like this isn’t working, I’m tired, all of those things that we all go through. Then I have to remember, if I was a client what would I tell myself? That’s one way.
Another way is finding help, so I’m a strong believer that everybody needs a coach periodically in their life. I don’t just talk my talk, I walk my walk as well. I have coaches that I have the opportunity to say, This is what’s working for me, this isn’t working for me, what’s going on with me, why am I feeling this way, what steps can I take to get back on track?” The same thing that every other person goes through, I go through as well. The same suggestions that I give it people, that’s the same thing I got through.
Also, you have to take time for some yourself. Sometimes that’s very hard if you have children, if you’re taking care of an older parent, you have a job that you work 50-60 hours a week. All of those things crunch into your time, but you have to find time for self-care. I mean literal time, not multi-tasking time. Some people say, “When I’m driving I listen to my favorite motivational CDs” – that’s multi-tasking not self-care.
Self-care means even if it has to be at 4:00am and whatever you do… for some people it’s working out, meditation, a massage, a spiritual experience, reading their Bible or something meaningful to them. Whatever it is, it has to be a priority. So many times we’ll let that be the first thing to go. We’ll skip a workout because, “Oh my gosh, I have to take a child to school early today” or we’ll cancel a massage because, “I’ve got to go and do something for a family member.”
The reality is that you’re only as good to other people as you’re good to yourself. That may come across as selfish to the other person, but then that’s their problem not yours.
What do you feel are some good justifications for someone to say, “I’m going to travel to Washington, DC and I’m going to spend what may be an exorbitant amount of money to some people on a conference?”
DR: I always say there are five reasons that women should come to this conference. The first is you’re in transition, you are stuck, you are literally wondering, “What is next for me?” It can be in your career or your relationship, you could just be feeling unsettled, your finances could be a mess, you could be thinking, “If I don’t do something about my health soon it can come back and bite me on the butt.”
A conference like this sparks the creation in your imagination. Not just from the people on the stage, but from other attendees. You’ll start think, “Ok, I know what direction I need to take next” or “I see what I want to do next” or “I see what that next move will be.” If you’re feeling stuck, then that’s the type of woman that should attend the conference.
Secondly, it’s those women that actually know what they want. They can roll their goals off in a heartbeat, but they don’t know how to do it. They tried to do it on their own and they haven’t figured it out, whether it’s get out of debt or try to start a business or take control of their health.
I mean weight loss, it’s simple, calories in calories out. Getting out of debt, the formula is simple, stop spending. So it can be the formula. Even though you have a goal and think you know what to do, there’s a piece missing. The speakers and experts that we have can fill in the missing pieces for you.
The third type of person, someone looking for your people. You’re looking for people that are doing something and are about something, who are on the move. You want to connect with people who can become resources for you, that can become your network, even can become ultimately your friend, because you are like the people that you hang around. The people who attend this conference are people who want to do more, be more, have more, and give more. If that’s you, then you want to be able to surround yourself with people who align with those same values and philosophies.
Number four is, you need to be educated. This is a content-rich conference. We’re going to have fun, we’re going to laugh, we’re going to have the whole production, it’s going to high for networking and getting to know people, but the reality is that you actually need to know what to do.
Your finances or relationships may be a mess, you may be scared to death, you may not trust your instincts or intuition. How do you trust yourself again, how do you make tough decisions? How do you get the guts to go back home and do the things that you know you need to do to make the life you say you want? You actually need step one of this, step two of this, and step three of this.
This year we have expanded it, we have “breakout sessions,” so there are two different tracks. If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur who wants to start a business or grow their business, you have specific sessions for that. If you’re someone that needs to focus on their relationships, life balance, and self-worth, then we have specific sessions for that. I tell people that you need education, you need to know what to do.
The last reason I tell people that they should come is plain and simple: we have fun. You’re going to have a good time! Sometimes we just need to have a good time. We need to leave that man, significant other, those kids… “I’m out!” You don’t care about who’s speaking, about learning anything, about networking, I’m going to go and enjoy myself. I’m going to order room service, enjoy the speakers, make some friends, and just have a good time.
For most people, it’s a little bit of all of those. There is not a conference like this, especially not on the east coast. There are business conferences, entrepreneur conferences, and industry events, but this is for the woman and creating the life and lifestyle that you want. We give you all of those tools to do that.