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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

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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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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In this world where positive thinking rules, its a bit depressing how all the positive thinking in the world does not always solve the very real problems we face. It might make us feel better, and that’s a great start, but it doesn’t make the bad stuff go away!

I know, it sounds a bit counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But time and again I come across people who are getting ever more frustrated because they are not getting the results they want, even though they are apparently doing all the right things.

So if its not working for you, does make any sense to do more of what’s not working? Or is it time to try a new strategy?

So here’s an idea: when you’re facing a big problem, or even a small one, first of all lets not dress it up and call it a “challenge” because that doesn’t really make it any easier! In fact often it just makes you feel more stupid because you haven’t been able to overcome it! Lets call it what it is and be honest about it. Now look at this problem square on and make a list of all the reasons you can think of why this problem is unsolvable, the more reasons you can find the better! You don’t want to think about all the reasons why you “should” be able to solve the problem at this stage. That’s just going to stress you out even more and we know that stress makes us stupid! Once you have a comprehensive list, take a good long look at it and see if you can find one reason that you think you might be able to find a solution to, even if its a crazy unlikely one. If you’ve written down enough reasons you can probably find at least one that is solvable. Now make an action plan to resolve that reason. Then go onto the next one. And the next and the next until the problem is solved. Only tackle the easiest reasons first, as you gain in confidence you can tackle the more difficult ones, or you might find that you don’t even need to!

There are very few problems that don’t have a solution but sometimes its easier for our brain to think of reasons why it can’t be done than reasons why it can. Try it and let me know how you get on.

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Yes, OK, I know it’s not sexy but slow and steady really is what it takes to get the job done.

In this era of “Secrets” and American Idols where overnight success with seemingly very little effort is promoted as the norm, and even success coaches are constantly telling you to get out of your comfort zone and subtly implying that if you don’t you’re a wimp, its easy to feel inadequate if you’re not making things happen in a big way and fast.

But the truth is, if you look behind the stories of these “quick change artists” you’ll find a very different story. Almost without exception they have all worked long and hard and been totally focused for years and years and years on achieving their dreams. They’ve tried and failed and got back up again and tried again, and again, and again. And they’ve kept getting back up until they’ve achieved their goal. They’ve decided that failure is not an option and that the only failure is not getting back up.

Success is hard work and it rarely happens in a straight line. But if you can learn to enjoy the journey and treat each failure as a lesson you needed to learn to get to where you want to be, you will not only achieve your dreams but you will have a whole load of great stories to tell along the way. Lets face it, overnight successes are pretty boring people!

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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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I was listening to a webinar this morning and something in it made me really mad – the so-called expert kept going on about how her techniques (and only her techniques) could fix your past and free you up to achieve all your wildest dreams.
The thing is people are going to pay her good money for her to do what is not only impossible, but is also not desirable!

Everything that has happened to you, every experience you have ever had, whether its good or bad, positive or negative, easy or difficult is what has created the amazing, wonderful, beautiful, learning human being that you are. Why do you need to “fix” anything? You are complete and perfect as you are.

If you want to take your life to the next level the only thing you have to do is have gratitude to the person you are and for all the lessons you have learned and decide that you are worth the time and effort it will take to put those lessons into action. You really are amazing and you deserve to shine!

If you look closely at the truly successful people around you, every one of them has encountered difficult times. What characterises them is that they have used those experiences to grow and rise above their challenges.

A diamond is only made under immense pressure. A lump of coal does not need fixing!

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