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Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Momentum is always a good thing so here’s another idea to get you moving when you’re feeling stuck.

When you are really stuck momentum is far more important than direction. Imagine trying to push a car. Would you try to push it round a corner from a standing stop? Or would you always get it moving first and then push it in the direction you want it to go.

Its the same with us, its much easier to move in the right direction once you’re actually moving. So when you are really stuck you need to find something that will raise your energy enough that you can regain some momentum. So here’s a suggestion:

When you’re feeling full of energy and optimism make yourself a big long list of at least 101 things you want to do, be, have or give in your lifetime. You can make it longer if you like and keep adding to this list all the time as you get new ideas. In fact I believe you should never stop adding to this list because the moment you do your life will start running out of energy! George Bernard Shaw said

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

And having goals is a huge part of playing!

Your list will contain some goals, some big and some small, and it will contain long term plans and every day to-do tasks, big things, small things, easy things, things you have no earthly idea how to do now and things you can do in the next 30 seconds, fun things and challenging things. The more you can put on this list the more useful to you it will be.

Now next time you are feeling stuck and you don’t know what to do next have a look at this list and pick one thing that jumps out at you and do it. It might have nothing to do with your goals or what you are supposed to be doing – you might decide to go and get a manicure when you “should” be finishing your book! But the simple act of taking action will create more momentum that sitting looking at the screen feeling guilty will ever do!

Give it a try next time you’re stuck and let me know how it goes.

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Creating momentum towards a goal is one of the most powerful things we can do to make sure we achieve the goal but sometimes its really challenging to maintain that momentum, especially if its a huge goal that is going to take a lot of time to achieve.

I found this great post by Mike Michalowicz, author of The Pumpkin Plan which has some really good ideas about how to motivate yourself when the momentum seems to be running out. Lets face it, even the most motivated of us runs short of energy once in a while. But if we have strategies in place that can get us up and running again quickly we don’t need to take up residence in that stuck place!

Let me know what you think and please share the strategies you use when you get stuck.

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We’ve all had those days where we get out of bed on the wrong side and things go progressively more pear-shaped as the day goes on! The thing is, how often do we take the time to consider that the world is not happening to us? We are participating in everything that we get in life! And if we don’t like what we’re getting, then we can change it!

Whining about your mood is a bit like watching a really dreadful movie on TV and not bothering to change the channel! No matter what is happening in the outside world, you alone are responsible for what’s happening inside your head!

So if life is seeming a bit tough right now go and find some uplifting music and dance around to it. Do some yoga or meditation. Read a great book or watch some animals doing stupid things on YouTube! Phone a friend who will make you laugh. Play with the dog, or borrow someone else’s! Watch Ice Age on DVD. Whatever it takes. It’s up to you, and only you, to do what it takes to feel wonderful!

Make that your first priority every morning!

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It doesn’t matter how much of a positive person you are, the reality is that the world out there can be pretty negative at times! That’s why its really important that the first thing you do every day is raise your personal energy and your mindset so that you have the resilience to deal with whatever the world throws at you!

Its so easy to get up and dive straight into your day without ever actually taking the time to ready yourself for the challenges that lie ahead. But the truth is, if you start the day half empty you’re not going to get beyond lunchtime before your resources are depleted and you just don’t have anything left to give. At best you only achieve half of what you intended. At worst, you have to resort to some energy vampire techniques just to get you through the rest of the day!

So how do you start the day up?

There are three areas you want to focus on energising. Mind, Body, Focus. Success expert Jack Canfield says we should devote just ten minutes a day to energising each of these areas and that can make a phenomenal difference to how we experience our lives and our results.

Research has shown time and time again that meditation benefits us in all areas of our lives. It can help us deal with stress, it can make us more focused, and it can even help us deal with physical illness. It can make us calmer, more creative, it can improve our relationships and it can help us learn. In fact its difficult to find any reason why we should not make meditation a regular part of our day. How you choose to meditate is entirely up to you, there are so many different ways so play around until you find one that works for you and that you WILL do every day. Here’s a great one to start you off! Get into the habit of doing just 10 minutes every morning as soon as you wake up and watch your energy levels soar!

Starting your day off with some physical exercise is a great way to remind your body that its alive! Movement is life! And yet we spend so much of our modern lives stuck in front of a computer, in a car, or on a comfy sofa in front of the TV. The fact is we are made to move, and movement is one of the ways our body integrates learning so any movement you do is actually making you more intelligent! Again, what you choose to do is up to you. What’s more important is THAT you do it! Yoga is a great way of starting off your day and it doesn’t need to take long. Here’s a really great sequence to lift your mood.

If you don’t fancy yoga, then even a quick walk round the block will get your blood flowing, and if you have a dog to walk, even better because they will not let you have a day off!

And once you’ve woken up your mind and your body its time to focus on what you want to achieve today. So often we float through a day responding and reacting to other people’s demands of us and the reason for this is we have never taken to time to focus on what WE want from the day. Take just 10 minutes to think about it and make a list of what you intend to do with your day, even if its just relax and have fun. That way you get to live your day on your terms and according to your goals not someone else’s! Staying focused on what you want to achieve means you will use your time wisely and on purpose. Just taking that 10 minutes to plan your day can make all the difference between having an unproductive frustrating day and a wonderful, purposeful and productive one. And even if your day goes completely pear shaped (yes we all have days like that!) having an action plan means that least you will end the day with more energy and focus than you would have done otherwise! But more importantly you will know exactly how far off track you are so you can get back on course easily and quickly.

So tonight go to bed early and set your alarm clock 30 minutes early and start your day UP!

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One of the most over used phrases in coaching today is “get out of your comfort zone”. The thing is, I believe almost no one knows exactly what a comfort zone is and that the idea of getting out of it is actually very dangerous for most people. It’s what kills countless wonderful goals dead in their tracks.

The concept of the comfort zone was first described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1980s in his work on Flow. Flow is the state when your ability to do a task exactly matches the challenge of the task. His definition of the comfort zone is the area around flow where you are either expanding your abilities by stretching just beyond flow, or consolidating your learning by repeating what you have just learned until it becomes natural to you.

Outside the comfort zone are two danger areas – one, where you have gone too far beyond what you know and you are in danger of burning out or of stressing yourself to the point of breaking, either physically or mentally or both. This is called the Burn Out Zone. You can go here, but you can’t stay very long before the stress becomes too much and all learning stops. This is where people have heart attacks or strokes or nervous breakdowns! Why would anyone suggest you want to set your goals out here?

The other zone, which is arguably even more dangerous, is the Rust Out Zone. This is where you don’t take any risks, you don’t stretch beyond what you are absolutely certain of and all you do is repeat the same “safe” behaviour until you die of boredom! This is the zone of drop outs, alcoholics and drug addicts and depression and its often the place where people go after they’ve been hurt in the burn out zone!

So I think what people are really saying when they say get out of your comfort zone is “get out of the rust out zone”! The trouble is that’s not what people hear. So they set themselves tasks that are way out in the burn out zone and then beat themselves up when they don’t achieve them. Do this too often and they fall into the rust out zone where they feel safe but depressed. They feel like failures.

So your ideal state is actually right in the comfort zone! Its where your ability to learn is not compromised by stress or boredom. Surfing the wave between learning and consolidation you are at your most brilliant and most extraordinary!

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Oops, I seem to have upset a few people with my post on winners and losers! I would imagine the people I upset most were the ones who identified themselves with the losers but honestly that was not my intention.

The thing is, in every situation there are going to be winners and losers. That’s just what life is like a lot of the time. It doesn’t really matter if you like it or not, its still true. The problem starts when politically correct types try to tell people that everyone can be a winner and that losing doesn’t matter.

But they can’t and it does.

And the biggest losers in this belief system are the losers. Because everyone has strengths and weaknesses and having enough self awareness to know what yours are is one of the things that will help you spend time and energy where its going to be most effective.

I know I’m never going to be a great athlete, but imagine if I didn’t know this. Imagine I was deluded enough to think that with enough positive thinking and self esteem and maybe a bit of meditation I could win an Olympic medal and people wanted to make me feel better by encouraging this belief, despite the fact that its obviously something I have no natural talent for. They’d be wasting my time and theirs, and worse than that they’d be helping me to waste my life and feel bad about myself! Far better to be honest and admit that my talents lie elsewhere and focus on developing what I am good at.

There are winners and losers in every field, and a person who is a loser in one area can be a champion in another. That’s what’s great about this life – there’s room for everyone to succeed as long as they focus on and nurture their personal genius within.

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OK I know that’s probably not what you wanted to hear!

We all want to believe that winners get there because they are lucky or naturally talented or they knew the right people or because they knew some magic “secret” that no one else knew. But the truth is that whenever you look closely at anyone who is really succeeding in life you find out that the harder they work the luckier they get.

Real winners know that in order to achieve lasting success sacrifices will have to be made. Real winners know that they will have to work really hard, often when they would rather be doing other things and often when they are really tired, frustrated, sick and broke. Real winners know that stress is part of the deal and that if they want to stay successful they are going to have to find a way to deal with stress rather than collapse with a nervous breakdown and let everyone else take the strain! Real winners know that lasting success takes time and they are prepared to stick with it until the job is done.

The thing is that not everyone has it in them to be a real winner. The sad truth about life is there are winners and losers and the winners generally win because they have put in more time, more energy, more effort, more thought, more passion. And sometimes they put all of that in and still don’t always win because, like it or not, life isn’t always fair.

But winning is not just a one time thing and if you consistently put in the time, the energy, the effort, the thought and the passion, over time you will find yourself so far ahead of what you believed possible you will know that it is always worth it.

You never know when you are going to make that breakthrough. But even when you make it, only your best effort will pull you through to true lasting success. So isn’t it worth making your best effort a habit?

 

 

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