Goal setting can be tricky. There are times in our lives when we think about setting goals and it can be so overwhelming. How can we even think about setting more goals when we have a hard time checking off our daily to do lists?

It's so easy to put all the other tasks first - whether work related, kid related, house related, volunteer related, since these are the issues we face day in and day out. We almost get addicted for doing others and begin to define ourselves by what we are supposed to do rather than what we want to do. The key is to find the balance and that is when having an "attitude of gratitude" plays a key role.

We all do it. At times, we all feel like hamsters on the wheel with our responsibilities - whether it's daily, weekly, monthly, having our to lists become part of our lives. However, with those lists comes baggage. We begin to get up in the morning lacking enthusiasm about the day ahead because much of what we have scheduled are the mundane tasks (most of which are not optional - like going to work, obligations with kids, etc) so we start our day right off the bat in a negative mindset.

The key is, how do we counter that negative mindset? How do we get in the attitude of wanting to move forward and enjoying life again? You are not going to want to move forward if what you are doing day in and day out is stressful, upsetting or does not resonate to what you want to do or who you want to be for the rest of your life.

First, it all starts with gratitude. Oprah wasn't kidding when she recommended that her viewers get a gratitude journal. At the end of each day, she advised them to write down a few things to which they were grateful.

In the book The Secret, one of the philosophers talks about a "gratitude rock" that he carried in his pocket each day. In the morning, he put it in his pocket, and he was then reminded of all that he was thankful for and hoping to achieve in the upcoming day. At the end of the day, he put the rock back on his nightstand and reflected on daily events. So, two times a day he was making a conscious effort to think about all of his positive experiences. Thus, it wasn't the actual rock that made him think more clearly, it was what the rock symbolized, which was all that he was thankful for in his life.

By putting yourself in the mindset of being thankful, you are automatically shifting your way of thinking. Instead of concentrating on what is not working in your life or what you dread doing that day, you are embracing happiness with the attitude of gratitude.

As for me, when I feel my day spiraling out of control, I actually sit and try to "shift" using this technique. I physically sit for a moment and close my eyes to imagine what has gone right that day despite the dismal circumstances, be thankful, and try to embrace a positive attitude again. Just like anything else in which you want to excel, be it sports, music, writing, etc., you have to consciously practice shifting your way of thinking. Eventually, just like an NBA superstar, you will slam dunk those negative thoughts before you know it, but it will take practice.

So, the next time you find yourself chasing your tail, take a moment and reflect on what is going right in your world. Write it down so each day you can look over the previous days' entry. Eventually, that attitude of gratitude will start to take the place of those negative self doubt demons in your mind; and when you do, you will be thankful you did.

Homework for the Day: Make a list of all that you are thankful for in your life. To take it a step further, tell the people in your life that you are grateful for their friendship. (Just wait and see the "positivity" that this movement can start - it's like a pay it forward movement of thanks!)

Author's Bio: 

Become a Facebook Fan! Read about daily success tips, events and workshops - http://bit.ly/9VyfhG

Join our online Goal Setting 101 Class! Information - http://bit.ly/9Eod13

1. Who is Patti?

I am a forty something single mom of two awesome kids. In the past six years, I have: separated and divorced, finished a graduate degree with honor’s, started a part-time career as a writing instructor at a local college, opened up my own business as a transition coach, and as of November 2008, became newly engaged! In addition, I have finished my basic training to become part of a collaborative law team.
As you can see, it has been quite an eventful few years! However, I have never felt more fulfilled in my life.

2. How did I do it?

I can honestly tell you that I have utilized many of the same principles I learned in graduate school (I have a Master’s of Arts in Teaching) and applied them to my life. I thought, “What are my goals? Where do I want to be in one year – two years – five years? How am I going to get there?” (Think of this as being your own tutor!)
Like a teacher does with her class, I wrote out my lesson plans on how to achieve those goals. Hour-by-hour, day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, slowly but surely, I kept my eye on those goals and made sure that I kept forging ahead, even on the days I barely could get out of bed. (On those days, I gave myself a gold star for even making myself a pot of coffee or going to the dry cleaners!)

This is a true testimony on how you can use a crisis to create a new path for your future. That is what I did. I took all the pain and suffering I had during my divorce, turned it around into a positive learning experience.

3. What is the magic formula that makes my business thrive?

I knew that knowledge was power and the better educated I was as to what I could expect from the transition going on in my life – my transition process – the better. I wanted to be one step ahead of the game when meeting with the professionals and my goal was to be the ideal client.I wanted to use this change as a way of exploring my character and my drive.

So, I challenged myself – I wanted to get the most for my money when meeting with my lawyers and other professionals for many reasons – I wanted to save money, not waste my time talking about emotional issues during our meetings and I wanted to get it over with as smoothly (and quickly) and possible. And, most of all, I wanted to learn the tools on how to learn and grow from this time of change in my life. I didn’t want this possibly uncertain time to define who I was. I wanted to own it and move on.
In the meantime, I read and studied books on goal-setting and laws of attraction as well as countless books on people who not only survived, but thrived during times of transition (refer to recommended book list). I realized there was very little information out there on how people overcame obstacles in their lives and the techniques they had when accomplishing goals during tough times.

While I was studying and researching the various aspects of life transitioning and how to do it right, so to speak, I would reward myself with reading books on how to achieve your dreams! As a result, Patricia Phelan Clapp M.A., the Transition Coach, was created!

All you need to do is commit to wanting to move forward in a positive direction.

Let’s get started! www.positivelifetransitions.com - (50% of my coaching is done via telephone and/or online correspondence)

4. What material will we cover at your coaching sessions?

* We will find the necessary resources for you during this transition process.

* We will focus on creating a positive client-based relationship that will give you the ability to compartmentalize this transition process separate from your emotions.

* I will help you achieve your goals and find a balance between the transition you are facing and moving on with your life.

* A step-by-step plan will be devised on how to come up with an action plan towards obtaining your goals.

* By creating a road map for you to follow during this time of uncertainty in your life, we can concentrate on empowering you with the peace, self-respect and hope that may have been lost along the way.

5. Background Information and Training

A. Adjunct Writing Instructor - Brookdale Community College

* specialty: collaborative teaching and process writing approach, basic skills teacher.

* focus: instruction via academic coaching – my goal is to have the students feel academically enthusiastic and confident upon completion of the class while mastering the fundamentals of essay writing.

* areas of interest/themes of the lessons: modern day heroes, laws of attraction, life lessons with Morrie from Tuesdays with Morrie, the Pay it Forward movement, how to stay motivated in an academic world.

B. Patricia Phelan Clapp M.A. LLC – Founder

* specialty - motivational speaker, consultant, coach – business and professional.

* focus - executive coaching, social media networking, finding professional resources for clients going through transition, working as part of a legal team on assisting clients to stay-solution focused and goal-oriented, utilize proactive methods on how to navigate the waters of change – both professionally and personally, how to encourage moving forward during times of transition.

* areas of interest - Collaborative Law. Social Media and Marketing, Strategic Planning, Success Principles for Entrepreneurs.

Mediation Training- as approved by AOC for CLE hours.
Basic Collaborative Law Training – completed 6/13/09

Graduate Student - Rowan University

* candidate for M.A. In Writing - 4.0 GPA (previously obtained an M.A. in Teaching - 3.97 GPA)

Favorite Quotes:

“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the darkness.”
Anonymous

“Anxiety is the hand maiden of creativity.” T.S. Eliot

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” Judy Garland

“Talk about a dream, try to make it real.” Bruce Springsteen

Business Address:

Patricia Phelan Clapp M.A. LLC

Piff – Tomaro Professional Building

1704 Maxwell Drive

Suite 302

Wall, New Jersey 07719

(732) 865-5377

patti@positivelifetransitions.com