Writing the First Page of 2017

“The last page of the leather-bound volume marked 2016 has been written, and placed upon the shelf of years-past. Now we bring down the fresh book and get our magic quills ready to start Page 1 of the next volume!”

The above quote was the last notation made by a friend of mine as 2015 rolled over into 2016.

A year later, I can’t help but recall his statement as I ponder what 2017 will hold for me.

You are the writer of your own year. You have started a new book and each day offers you a chance to further your story . . . and your personal development.

Perhaps you are like me and are looking at a blank page. Suffering from writer’s block as you try to work out the plot line for your next 365 days. Or you may have it outline, charted and ready to go long before the ball dropped this past weekend.

Either way, there is a year of discovery, characters, twists and dialogue ahead for you. A year in which you have the power to chart your own path through unknown territory, encounter new friends and develop your skills for your life long journey.

Your book starts now. I wish you the best in your upcoming story.

With that, I would also like to take a moment to remind you that Morningstars Toastmasters weekly 7am Wednesday morning meetings at Harmony Hall in Lower Gibsons resume on January 4th. See you there!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Toastmasters Morningstars Gibsons BC

Advertisements

Clearing the Clutter for Completing CC & CLs

“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them.There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There’s no telling what will happen to you when you act upon them.” — Jim Rohn, personal development & business philosopher

In his inspiration speech at the first Morningstars Toastmasters of 2016, Frank C. revealed his love for making lists. He jots down his to-dos, to-fixes and to-buys on a white piece of paper that he calls “my whiteberry.”

According to Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the . . .” creator and inspirational speaker) in his book, The Success Principles, “failing to complete robs you of valuable attention units.” We can only pay attention to so many things at one time, and each to-do, to-fix or to-complete on your mental lists leaves fewer attention units to dedicate to present tasks.

It’s easy to see the clutter in our closets, in the corners of the living room or scattered across our home office. But there are times that the clutter is in our minds. The mental record that repeats all the things we “should do” or “need to do.” Instead of using valuable “attention units” rehashing what it is you should do, make a list and focus on the steps you can take to complete the task.

Frank’s speech was a good reminder for us to take stock of what we would like to accomplish this year, personally and as a Toastmaster. We are officially half way through the season. Where are you on your CC or CL completion goals? What do you need to scratch an item off your list and bring you one step closer to finishing?

Riding on that theme, Sheila C. offered a refresher on the various roles and responsibilities that depends upon YOU as a member. In Toastmasters, you learn by participating. There are many roles to fill and all meeting participants play an important part in making the club experience educational and enjoyable.

Sheila outlined the roles which are highlighted in the Competent Leadership (CL) manual. As an extension to her speech, the roles have been added to the club’s website under resources at http://morningstarstoastmasters.com/meeting-roles/

However, many of us have CC goals that we are looking to complete. Johanna R. encouraged us to tap into our storytelling side by entering the Festival of the Performing Arts’ “Speech and Dramatic Arts” category. The festival is from April 11 – May 1, 2016 with the mentioned category on April 20th starting at 9am.  The deadline for entry is February 7th.  For more information, visit www.coastfestival.com/syllabus/

_________________. The deadline is January 30, 2016.

Welcome back!

PS – Don’t forget to sign up for roles for next week’s meeting. The theme is “Contrary to Popular Belief.”

Start Your New Year on a Positive Note: Win Jars

Happy New Year's 2016The year is winding to an end and many of us have started planning for 2016. We are evaluating our lives, dreams and agendas. We  are writing down goals, making resolutions and researching ways to take our dreams to the next level.

Goals are necessary. They help us to make decisions that enable our forward progress. Goals give us the finish line on a marathon to work towards.

While we are looking forward, focused on the big goal, it’s easy to overlook  the progress we have made when we have so far to go. It’s easy to look at the roadmap and only see the distance left and not the milestones we have passed. Continue reading “Start Your New Year on a Positive Note: Win Jars”

What’s Your Personal Development Plan?

Personal Development Plan Toastmasters“I sometimes find myself accidentally calling this time of year ‘the new year,’ because it has the sense of starting fresh and beginning again,” says motivational speaker Gabrielle Bernstein, best-selling author of May Cause Miracles: A Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Changes and Unlimited Happiness.

When it comes to setting goals and planning, September is the new January, according to an article on Fast Company.com and a recent speech by Sheila Cameron.

Perhaps it is the turning of the leaves that coax us into turning over a new leaf in our lives. May it is the years of programming that has given us a “back-to-school” mindset. Or it may just be that with less daylight hours, we have more time to dedicate to personal pursuits.

In any case, it’s about this time that each of us are in need of a Personal Development Plan. A PDP, “is the process of creating an action plan based on awareness, values, reflection, goal-setting and planning for personal development within the context of a career, education, relationship or for self-improvement.” (Wikipedia)

The coursework required for a degree from a university is a development plan of knowledge that builds upon what you learn over the course of the four years. A CV is very much like your development plan for a career, where you list your skills but also what it is you would like to do or head with your career.

After college, how do we advance our personal goals? How do we continue our education?

Toastmasters. Of course, Toastmasters.

Toastmasters is kind of like “You University” were you can take the reins on your education — how fast, how far and how much. Mapping out your coursework to further your goals, with Toastmasters, takes a bit of self-reflection:

  • What are my goals?
  • What do I want to achieve?
  • How can I reach them?
  • What are my resources? My support?
  • What does success look like to me? Is it raining medals or just being able to speech without my notes?

Use this “back-to-school” time to plot your coursework for the upcoming Toastmasters season. Look through your  CC, CL or advanced manuals and strategically plot your upcoming speeches, roles. Now is the time to decide how your June will look.

Sign up for speeches in Turbobase. Volunteer to help with the upcoming contests or meetings. Write a blog post or two!

The best part is that you aren’t doing this alone. We have an entire group of creative, talented individuals to help, assist, and mentor. They are your greatest assets for reaching your goals this year.

Good luck!

What's Your Personal Development Plan?

Personal Development Plan Toastmasters“I sometimes find myself accidentally calling this time of year ‘the new year,’ because it has the sense of starting fresh and beginning again,” says motivational speaker Gabrielle Bernstein, best-selling author of May Cause Miracles: A Guidebook of Subtle Shifts for Radical Changes and Unlimited Happiness.

When it comes to setting goals and planning, September is the new January, according to an article on Fast Company.com and a recent speech by Sheila Cameron.

Perhaps it is the turning of the leaves that coax us into turning over a new leaf in our lives. May it is the years of programming that has given us a “back-to-school” mindset. Or it may just be that with less daylight hours, we have more time to dedicate to personal pursuits.

In any case, it’s about this time that each of us are in need of a Personal Development Plan. A PDP, “is the process of creating an action plan based on awareness, values, reflection, goal-setting and planning for personal development within the context of a career, education, relationship or for self-improvement.” (Wikipedia)

The coursework required for a degree from a university is a development plan of knowledge that builds upon what you learn over the course of the four years. A CV is very much like your development plan for a career, where you list your skills but also what it is you would like to do or head with your career.

After college, how do we advance our personal goals? How do we continue our education?

Toastmasters. Of course, Toastmasters.

Toastmasters is kind of like “You University” were you can take the reins on your education — how fast, how far and how much. Mapping out your coursework to further your goals, with Toastmasters, takes a bit of self-reflection:

  • What are my goals?
  • What do I want to achieve?
  • How can I reach them?
  • What are my resources? My support?
  • What does success look like to me? Is it raining medals or just being able to speech without my notes?

Use this “back-to-school” time to plot your coursework for the upcoming Toastmasters season. Look through your  CC, CL or advanced manuals and strategically plot your upcoming speeches, roles. Now is the time to decide how your June will look.

Sign up for speeches in Turbobase. Volunteer to help with the upcoming contests or meetings. Write a blog post or two!

The best part is that you aren’t doing this alone. We have an entire group of creative, talented individuals to help, assist, and mentor. They are your greatest assets for reaching your goals this year.

Good luck!