Eliminate Confusion -Set Goals

Hopefully, you have a list or at least one goal that you are trying to attain.

That goal should be specific, measurable and have a deadline.

Do you know why?

Having a written goal with all the details above eliminates confusion and makes your life easier when decisions have to be made.

Don’t you want an easier life?

How Not to Set Goals

Goal: Lose 10lbs.

Situation: Sally starved herself and lived on shakes until she lost 10lbs. The day after she confirmed that she lost 10lbs she ate an entire pizza to celebrate. In a matter of weeks, Sally gained all the weight back.

Reality: Sally achieved her goal! She wanted to lose 10lbs, and she did. Once that was accomplished she was free to go back to whatever weight she was or even more.

How To Set Strong Goals

Goal: Lose 10lb of unnecessary fat by doing fun and different exercises, eating healthy foods that I love, and enjoying the entire process. I will lose 10lbs or better by May 10th and keep the weight off for no less than 10 years. Losing the weight will mean I will have 50% more energy, sleep better than I am, have better sex, and be able to spend quality time with my children while showing them that living a healthy life is fun and easy to do.

Why the Goal: Not losing the weight means that I will be slow and sluggish, my children will copy my eating habits and will be unhealthy, unhappy, and struggle with self-esteem and their weight. It will mean I won’t be intimate with my husband because I will be self-conscious about my body, I will be depressed and unhappy every time I dress or undress, and I will die young and not spend my golden years with my family.

Goals can be written in any way you’d like. Put details into it. Put emotions into it. Make sure the benefits of long-term and short-term pain and pleasure are written out. You want a strong WHY for what you are doing. When days are hard, your goal written in this way is meant to push you past the pain and the fear into a better-envisioned future.

This is how a strongly written goal works to make life simpler.

Based on the above goal, Sally goes to a party. Her favorite food is there and everyone is eating it and moaning in pleasure.

Sally recalls her goals. Will eating this food take her to her goal that she wants or will it lead her to the negative consequences. Given the negative consequences are strong (they affect her children and their future as well as her own), she can resist the food by associating the negative consequences with the consumption of the food! Eating it would no longer provider her pleasure, eating it would recall all the potential pain in her future!

Review your current goals. Are they compelling? If you had a hard choice to make, would your current goals lead you in the direction you want?

If your current goals are not compelling with pleasure and pain, I suggest rewriting them now!

Mindset ready! Go!

What Exactly Is Holding You Back?

What exactly is holding you back from pursuing your goals?

Or from doing the daily actions that will get you where you want to go?

It isn’t what you think.

How do I know? Because we, people in general, lie to ourselves all the time. We are really very good at it. We don’t even know we are doing it.

Before we go much further, I need you to accept this truth: Your mind wants you to be right. If you say you are unlucky, your mind is going to show you all the many ways you are unlucky. Whatever you believe, you are guaranteed to find evidence to support it. Anything that doesn’t, you’ll either ignore it or dismiss it with some excuse.

Got it?

psychopath_knife_female_500_wht_18210

We have a set standard for excuses:

No money/not enough money/too costly/can’t afford it

No time/too busy

Timing is wrong/later would be better/just not right now

I can do it on my own/I don’t need help/I’ve got this

Sound familiar? Yeah, we’ve all used those.

How do you separate the things that aren’t truly right for you to do and those opportunities that are exactly what you need, but fear is keeping you from moving forward?

Here is a set of question to help you navigate through –

Would you do it if money wasn’t an issue? If your response is anything but yes or no – meaning just the thought of having the money to do it sends you into a tailspin of making excuses – then you know it isn’t about the money.

How much time would it take to do this? Specifically. How much time a month, week, day? What are you doing that isn’t productive (think TV) that you would be able to stop in order to get this done.

When would be the right time? If the only answer you have is later – it is an excuse. If you have a specific time – after the kids are grown, after the holidays, etc., get out your calendar and write it down that on this day specifically, after the event is past, you’ll start.

Sub-question: If you missed this opportunity because you decided to delay, would you future be richer or poorer? If you think, it won’t matter – ask yourself why it wouldn’t matter?

If you are bootstrapping – doing it all on your own, refusing help, insistent that you can do it on your own, are you making measurable progress? Are you where you thought you’d be by now? If you could accelerate your results 2x, would that make an impact in your life?

(and if you answer it is the money, go back to the first question!)

Hope this helps you decide whether you are delaying for ‘real’ reasons or for other reasons.

 

You Have to Be Different

You are going to have to change.

Transform.

Convert.

Turn.

There is no way of getting around it. It will happen.

It has to happen.

If you want your goal. If your dream and your desire are strong, there is no way you can walk through the fire of everything that you need to do and not BE someone else.

And that is scary as hell. I totally get it.

I’m right there with you.

Terrified. Trying not to cling to the familiar, the safe alternative, the life you know, the routine that has been established.

The goal that you are pursuing, the dream that infects your every waking hour means you have to confront your fears.

Embrace the unknown.

Embrace the discomfort.

Embrace the fear – all the fear!

And trust that on the other side is the life you want now.

But you only get it when you shed the skin of your old life and being.

It is the only way.

As scary as it is.

But it is yours once you welcome the upcoming change.

 

 

Do You Think About The Other Side of It?

When you are going through the worse days, when everything seems to be collapsing around you, when each moment is a struggle to survive, where is your attention?

Obviously, you are focused on survival.

Cleaning up the mess.

Picking up and putting the pieces together.

Keeping yourself together.

Keeping the family, business, friends, together and sane.

But in the midst of all this, you need to put some attention on one more thing.

The future.

The idea that at some point this entire mess will be over, done, history, and that one day you will be sitting under that shade tree or in the sun, sighing in satisfaction and happiness, is essential.

Because it is the hope for the future, the knowledge that you WILL get through this that will help you endure and push through the mess you are going through. 

And if you can’t keep in your mind the calm after the storm, you fall into despair.

People who have achieved great things in this world focused on the brighter future. 

Those that rise from poverty and abuse, those that overcome disabilities and tragedies, they know that the future will be brighter and that this hell is only temporary. They will do what needs to be and endure because it is temporary.

I want that for you.

So when it seems too dark, know that the dawn is coming. Night does not last forever. It cannot. And hard times will be pushed back by good times.

You and will endure. You must.

 

Do You Know You’re Awesome?

Yes, being humble has its place.  But let me also remind you; don’t hide your light under a bushel.

I don’t know about men, but I know most women have been taught to be modest, humble, to deflect praise, or to minimize or even outright deny compliments.

“Oh, it wasn’t a big deal. Yes, I raised three children, worked 40 hour work weeks and raise $1.1 million for a charity all the while training for a triathlon, but it isn’t a big deal.”

Sound familiar? 

I’m going to ask you to stop it. At least for a little while. Because the things that you do and do well, are important.

And it is not “nothing”.

I teach a beginner’s firearm course for women called Girlfriend Gun Party. I’m always looking for attendees for these classes, and I have to convince women why they need this class and how important it is.

One of the things I say is, “You get a lot of great information about firearms and firearm safety, plus I’m funny as hell.”

I say it with a straight face and earnest. And every time I say it, the woman laughs.

I’m being truthful. I have lots of great stories, and I work on the jokes and the delivery. I get laughs (which I love).  It makes the women comfortable, and it is easier to learn.

Two years ago, I would never have complimented myself. I would never have told people that I was funny. Or a good shooter, or a great speaker, or an excellent trainer.

It felt wrong to do that. 

Who was I to have confidence in myself? Pride goes before a fall and all that.

But what is wrong with knowing what you are good at, especially if you work hard to be good at it?

Who wins when you downplay your excellence?figure_5_of_5_stars_800_wht_18779 

I know some of you balked at the word excellence. Exchange if for talent, skill, importance, beauty, etc.

For the next hour I give you permission, no, I demand, you list out all the things that you do well. Whether it is making pancakes, soothing a baby, dancing, meditating, or making people happy, write it down.

Next to each item, write down, on a scale from 1-10, how happy you are when you are doing these things.

Those things that are 8+, those things you need to do more of.

I don’t care if it doesn’t earn you money. I don’t care if you don’t think it is important, or that your family doesn’t really like it.

Do more of it.

You are awesome, and it is time that you proudly own up to that!

What are Your Rules?

We all have rules. I’m not talking about rules for games, for driving, for ordering food, for things that are already structured. Those are rules GIVEN to us by a government, job, or establishment.

I’m talking about your own personal set of rules. The ones you don’t even remember creating, but the ones you live your entire life by.

And rules are great. I’m not knocking them! But like most things I blog about, you need to KNOW you HAVE rules before you can truly understand your actions.

Here is how rules play out:

You meet someone you might be interested in dating. How do you know you might be interested? You start to catalog all the rules you have in your head about what makes someone worth dating or starting a relationship with.

  • Are they outwardly attractive? Check.
  • Are they taller than me? Check.
  • Does their appearance suggest they bath regularly, brush their teeth, and are healthy? Check.
  • Are they employed? Do they seem educated? Are they nice to people in the service industry? Do they like animals? Do they swear? Are they of the same or compatible religion?

And on and on it goes.

That person you know that keeps getting into those AWFUL relationships, who should freaking know better by now, that person has a weak set of rules. Their checklist is either way too small or filled with insignificant or superficial things.

Want to stop dating losers? Develop a checklist with more and better questions.

Tired of being alone? Maybe your checklist is too stringent.

This is great, but if you aren’t in the dating and mating game, why care?

woman_checks_it_off_her_list_500_clr_12483Because you have a checklist for your life.

  • Rules to tell if you are in fact healthy.
  • Rules to see if you are making ‘enough money’.
  • Rules for arguing.
  • Rules for living your life.
  • Rules for telling if someone is a good person.
  • Rules for whether you are a good parent.
  • Rules for whether your kids are good kids.

If you are unhappy, if you are not where you want to be or simply want more/different, then check out your rules.

They may need an upgrade.

Or a downgrade.

 

 

You’re in the Wrong Headspace

You can have the BEST goals.

You can have ALL the tools.

The most amazing support system available.

But if your head, if your mindset is not where it needs to be, it won’t matter.

You’ll find yourself taking two steps forward and one step back.

Over and over again, until you are so frustrated, you just give up your dreams.

But you know this already. Because you’ve done it before.

Or maybe you were on the sidelines and saw someone who had all the ingredients for massive success, and they failed, big time.

They had the talent. They had people cheering them on, willing to sacrifice so that person could succeed. The time was right for them to shine. Maybe they showed up, but they weren’t really there.

The came in late or unprepared.

They were rude to the people they needed to impress.

They ‘forgot’ appointments.

They were making progress and then they ate an entire cheesecake and decide to justify it as a ‘cheat day’ or that it wasn’t a big deal.

They decided to take up a drug or drinking habit.

And you were left scratching your head and wondering why they (or maybe you), were doing this.

Mindset.

Whether you believed you could or couldn’t achieve that goal, whether you should or should not achieve that goal, or what you thought was on the other side of that goal all impact the progress you are making.

Until you get that part right, not much is going to happen. You’ll have some success, but you’ll sabotage it as soon as you can. You’ll downplay how awesome it is. You’ll change your goals just as you are making progress. You’ll blame others.

Are you ready to stop it?

 

What Are You Getting Out of It?

Just to be clear, I suffer from this too. I’m working every day to improve my motivation and my drive and here are some of my discoveries. 

Facebook scrolling for hours.

YouTube watching for hours.

Mindlessly watching the t.v. for hours.

Sleeping way longer than you really need to.

Playing games on your phone or on a console.

And I’m going to include recreational drug use on this list too.

What are you getting out of these activities? Don’t be fooled, you are getting something out of it, otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing it. But what you are getting out of it more than what you think.

It is not the entertainment that you get from these things. Certainly, for the social media/tv you start out at entertainment, but 3 or 7 hours later, it has gone beyond that. Sleeping and drugs give a clue to what you are doing – you are escaping your reality.

To make everything just that much more complex, you are getting a ‘reward’ every time you play a game and get a point, every *ping* on your phone that signals another message, every conclusion to a program, gives you a sense of pleasure.

At our heart, we are a bunch of pleasure-seeking impulsive creatures.  We move towards pleasure and away from pain.

But sometimes we get it twisted. The pain of doing something for the first time, or being uncertain feels greater than the pleasure we get from doing nothing for hours on end.

There are number of avoidance techniques, from telling ourselves stories (we’ll get to it later), we minimize the importance (it isn’t that big of a deal if I don’t do it), to outright lying to ourselves (I know that I’ll just screw it up so why bother?), we employ to get out of doing what we need to be doing.

What is your technique for getting out of it?

 

 

 

Words Have Power – Be Thoughtful

We know that words have power.

Can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater, can we?

Certainly, you should refrain from calling people names.

We all know this, and yet we are still so very careless with our language.

We use words like “never” “always” “Everything” “can’t” “shouldn’t” without thinking.

“I never get what I want” is a lie. You have received what you needed before; you are alive, correct? So the needs of water, food, air, even basic shelter were received. You probably receive every day, and yet you don’t acknowledge or notice it because you’ve already convinced yourself you just don’t get.

I’m always amused when people say, “I never got any help.”  Yes, yes you did! Someone took care of you after you were born. You received at least minimal care. Someone taught you to speak, walk, read, write. Took care of you when you were sick. Someone processed paperwork on your behalf. Someone referred people to you or gave you a reference. You got plenty of help. You did nothing alone!

Words have power. They are powerful.

Mind what you say every day. You may need to change your words.

figures_jumbled_v_concise_thinking_800_wht_19439

“Everything is so difficult” is disempowering. It does not help you on your journey.

“Every day, things get easier.”

Read those two statements out loud. How do you feel when you read them? Did anything shift inside you?

What if every day you chose to believe that things were good and geting better? That you had control over your world and how you felt?

Would that be empowering?

You Are Out of Time

Today leads tomorrow, that leads to the next day, that flows into a week, into a month, into a year, into a decade, into a lifetime. We know this right?

Depending on where on the age spectrum you are, you may go from nodding your head to rolling your eyes and exclaiming how quickly time goes.

I’m in the latter category.

Wasn’t it just 2005?

How could it be Spring already?

Why is time speeding by?

I saw this quote the other day and I stopped. I was terrified.

three equal  persons  hiding his face with a cloud, conceptual image

How would you act if you knew you only had another 10 years?

What would you give up? What would you do differently?

Sit down and be uncomfortable with this thought for a while.  What are you putting up with that would intolerable if you knew, 100% certain that it your life would be over soon?

What are you missing out on?

What are you wishing you did, said, went?

Now, what is your action plan?

You Need Some Support

Who is on your team?

I know it seems that your goals are your own and you can do it alone, and maybe you can, but why?

People love you and want to help you succeed.

Let them.

I’ve written about this before, but because it is so important (and let’s face it, you probably didn’t listen to me), I’m writing about it again.

stick_figures_team_puzzle_800_clr_7003

You need to assemble a Super-Team. They are your support system for achieving everything.  Now everyone will have slightly different requirements, but I think everyone needs the following:

The Comforter – this is the person you call when things have gone from sugar to sh*!. They will tell you everything is okay, that you will be alright, and that it isn’t as bad as it seems. Mostly, they give you the hug and cookie on a bad day.

The Tough Lover – this person is going to tell you the hard, unvarnished truth. It might hurt your feelings, but they do this out of love. They are unflinchingly truthful. Go to this person when you need your butt kicked, when you know you’ve been lazy, and need someone to call you on your antics.

The Business/Goal Adviser – this person is the one with the business information you need or is the one who has accomplished your goal. Perhaps this person is your idol or ideal. They can help you navigate when things get tricky in the pursuit of your goal.

The Break Friend – this is a great person to have in your group. They are the ones who will tell you are taking everything too seriously and will get you to take an hour off for lunch, a movie, or even a weekend get away. Be cautious! Too much time with this person can mean less focus on your goals and too much time playing. Time away is important, but moderation is the key.

The Coach – This is usually the paid person in your group. People shy away from the expense, but let’s be real, when you spend money you are generally serious. You’ll listen to their advice because you paid for it! The Coach will make you think and help you see things from a different direction.

Accountabl-a-buddy – This can be done by The Coach or not. This is the person who you tell that you will do something and then actually do it. I have a yoga buddy. Every day, she and I send a Facebook message stating we did yoga and how much.

Accountability doesn’t always seem sexy or necessary, but for most, knowing that someone is going to say/write, “Did you x today?” is powerful.

One word of caution when selecting an Accountability partner, make sure they are as committed to their goals as you are to yours. If you don’t hear from them daily (or whatever your schedule is), if they don’t ask you if you’ve done your activity, they won’t be effective in keeping you on track.

Who can you add to your team?

 

Big, Medium, Small & Tiny Goals

I want another word for goals.

When we talk goals, inevitably we talk about significant things, life-changing things, big things.  If what we want isn’t “big enough” we don’t call it a goal.

And if we don’t call it a goal, then all the resources, attention, and desire seems to get washed away.

What if you want to downsize and get rid of unwanted and unused items? Is that a goal or does it get regulated down to the “Things to Do” list?

If it is a goal, you have strategies in place. You know to visualize, to put time on your schedule, to ask yourself why this is important and what you will get out of it (thus motivating yourself), you think about possible obstacles and how you can overcome them, and line up your resources.

That stuff doesn’t happen if it is just a ‘to-do’ item.

character_with_custom_clipboard_17708So let’s have some fun and re-define or at least get clear on types of goals out there.

You probably have (or should have) a variety of goals –

Major Goals: These are goals so big they change the entire landscape of your life. Getting married or divorce, moving to another state or country, having a child, starting a new career or get your degree.

Big Things: Those that take 1+ years to accomplish and are, well, big. Things like earn a million dollars or lose 50lbs+ or go back to school.

Milestone: A significant step towards achieving your Big or Major goal.  Losing the first 10 lbs or completing the first class towards your degree. Even the first week or month without a cigarette.

Action Items: These are goals that you can accomplish in one-step or one action. They are important, so don’t discount that they are done quickly as something that isn’t worth your time or your resources. Action goals can be buying something that you need but have been putting off, especially if it has to do with a Big Goal or Major Goal, or cleaning out your closet, or even self-care items like getting your hair done or getting a massage.

Mini-Items: These are almost insignificant things that need to be done but you have been putting off. These are not honey-dos or to-dos, they are associated in some way with your other goals.  Cleaning your house would not be considered a mini-goal unless this is the first step towards getting your house ready so you can sell it.

 

 

Do you REALLY want it?

Commitment (insert some old school joke here).

How committed to success are you?

It is easy to say you want something. You may tell people, conversationally, how you want to be:

  • Thinner
  • Healthier
  • Wealthier
  • More community minded
  • More devout

But do you really?

Here is a test to see if you are really committed to your goal. Did you work on it today? How about yesterday?

Did you write it down in your fancy planner or a slip of paper? Did you tell a friend, co-worker or family member that you couldn’t do something because you were going to work on your goal?

Did you actually do more than that?

I’m not judging! Truly! I’m sitting here looking at my notebook and transferring two activities that will get me closer to my goal. Yep, transferring them from my notes yesterday because I didn’t work on them.

I looked at it. Thought about it. Didn’t do it.

You’ve done that, right? 

changing_the_clock_400_clr_11186

You felt the frustration and anger at yourself for not just doing it! It might not even be that big of an activity.  It may seem minor, might not even take time, but still, it sits there.

Mocking you. Reminding you that you didn’t do it. That it still needs to be done. That nothing will change until you do it.

Here is your challenge. And just to be clear, I’m going to do this too. Think of it as an experiment. I want to hear on tomorrow’s blog if you did it and if it worked for you.

Set up a timer and I want you to visualize yourself starting this task. Put a lot of energy and emotion into. Positive stuff only! Let yourself feel how happy you are at doing this. How relieved you feel by taking action. How proud of yourself doing it. How much easier it is than you thought it would be.

Then think about being in the middle of the activity. Things are going great! Everything is way better than you thought.

Now, I want you to feel all the happiness and sense of accomplishment at finishing it. Yes, it might be a small piece of a much larger goal, but I want you to celebrate it! Let yourself feel all the positive emotion.

Open your eyes, breath in and out deeply, and start to work on your goal.

I’ll update you tomorrow!

Step 1

I’m patting myself on my back. Day 2 and I’ve actually sat down and started to write.

What is a journey to discovery without some progress? Standing still in the exact place you were before.

Which I have been doing.

Which I don’t want to do anymore.

Which is the whole point of this blog.

I know you’ve been there before. Chances are you are reading this because this is where you are now and like me, you are looking for answers.

We want there to be a magic button. A 100% fool-proof method that would turn your hopes and dreams into actual achievements.

And like me, you’ve probably made some half-hearted attempts. Watched the motivational videos of Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, and read the blogs of Kat Loterzo (my personal favorite kick-butt woman and one of the reasons I’m doing this) or Barbara Cochran (real estate and Shark Tank panelist) and it feels like it is just in reach.

But either you don’t reach or your arms aren’t long enough.

They seem so far ahead of you. They seem to know something you don’t know. Have some magical power that you are lacking.

So you stop. Or you start and falter. But this time is going to be different. For both of us.

How? I’m figuring that out right now. I’ll push you and you’ll push me. Eventually, we’ll get somewhere or figure out why we aren’t.

Let’s do this. Step 2 is going to have some homework so check back in. Business woman celebrates successful deal at office. Business People

Here is some semi-inspiring stock photo (I paid for it thank you very much) of how fabulous and happy you’ll be for checking back in for the next blog.

Write a Loving Letter To Yourself

Dear Self,

I want to take a moment before my day begins to write you a note. I know sometimes you struggle, never feeling quite enough, making progress but always thinking there is more to do, and that sometimes the contrast of who you are and who you want to be is soul-crushing.

Here are some hard truths for you and some love.

You are exactly where you should be and want to be. If you want more, take more. Acknowledge the gifts that the universe gives to you and accept the help offered by people and circumstances. Stop looking behind you. Stop focusing on the wrong and focus on the right. The more attention paid to the things that are in alignment with your authentic desire, the frequency they appear increases.

There is still room to grow and there will always be room to grow and be more.  It doesn’t mean that you are enough. Growth is a beautiful thing and pushes us to explore the world with curiosity and joy.

I love you. For all your faults and mistakes, for all your glory and beauty, I love you. Know this as you begin your day.  This is going to be a good one!

With love and compassion,

Yourself

 

 

Catastrophizing – Making Mountains out of Mole Hills

Television sitcoms teach people to take a seemingly minor experience and explode it out of proportion. This trope is generally done through miscommunication, omission, and misunderstanding.  While it is funny to watch (even while we roll our eyes at the ridiculousness of it), it is not so fun to live.

Catastrophizing is taking a small problem or obstacle and making it bigger than it actually is, thus giving the person an excuse to be paralyzed by fear, doubt, and encourage procrastination and failure.

Recently, I reached out to an insurance broker looking for liability insurance for a new business.  A week later, I was told that several underwriters refused and that there is some difficulty because of the type of business it is. My immediate thought,  “I’ve spent all the money on equipment, software, marketing, and now I’m never going to be able to get liability insurance. I’m going to go broke!”

That is catastrophizing. I jumped from some difficulty getting insurance to practically living on the streets! This type of thinking is pushed by our inner voice and fear. Taking a step back and deep breaths help.

Thinking the worse and driving that bus to some crazy life-ending conclusion means that possible solutions and alternatives don’t get to emerge. Even worse, this type of thinking means wallowing and eventually stopping.

The next time you feel the need to take a small issue and turn it into an end-of-my-life scenario ask yourself the following:

Is it really that bad?

Are there other solutions or alternatives?

Am I using this as an excuse to stop?

Am I being dramatic to call attention to myself?

Don’t be upset if you’ve answered the last two ‘yes.’ Understand that catastrophizing is a learned behavior, be aware of its’ influence, and wean yourself off.

Mindset ready? Go!

REGRET NOTHING!

“The point of regret is not to try to change the past, but to shed light on the present.” – Carina Chocano.

In a recent blog, I wrote about consider past failures. The idea of looking back at actions that didn’t produce the desired results to find clues on how to move forward. This blog is in the same vein.

I make it a practice not to regret things. It is too easy to look back at a life lived and point out all the mistakes, wrong turns, and missed opportunities. The idea of this type of reflection is nothing but masturbation. It serves no purpose other than to wallow and make us feel bad for not knowing or doing better. It is self-flagellation and the enjoyment of the pain of failure.

To not regret something is learn from the past. At the time, you made the best decision you could with the information available, the outcome desired, and the prepared tools.  Even if you made a decision, KNOWING you’d regret it later, that was the best decision made.

Why? The authentic desire was to perform some action to GET regret. The regret was the desired result and was probably achieved. If regret wasn’t what was desired, why perform the action?

Next time, when faced with a decision with an uncertain outcome, ask yourself, “Do I want the outcome regardless of any other consequences? Can I live with the worse consequence possible?” Then do or don’t do. But never regret.

Mindset Ready? Go!

 

Knowing What You Want

We set goals. Mostly we do it based on what we want. Sometimes we do it on what others, like family members, want and occasionally on what society tells us we are supposed to want.

Many time we don’t really know what we want. Take for example some of the most common type goals:

  • I want to lose 50lbs
  • I want a million dollars
  • I want to get married
  • I want to travel the world

There is nothing wrong with these goals (except of course they are written the S.M.A.R.T. goal format!), but they feel uninspiring and uncompelling.

Let’s examine them a little more closely.

Ask the question why? Why is it 50 lbs and not 49lbs or 51lbs or 23lbs? Ask what the purpose of the goal is?  To look better or feel better? How is either of those measured? If a person wakes up one morning feeling better, is the goal considered achieved if the number of pounds is not made? Is there another way to get to that conclusion?

And the most critical question, what happens after? If I make the million dollars or get married, what is it that I expect to happen later?

Look at all the recently made goals and answer each of the above questions. Does it change anything? Are you still on track? Does answering these questions make the goals more authentic and desirable?

 

Consider Past Failures

We all hate when we fail, especially when we fail big or in front of others, or when we thought we would finally achieve only to fail.

What do we typically do? Hang our heads, berate ourselves, and distance ourselves as quickly as possible from the failure.

And why not? We feel uncomfortable, exposed, upset, and sometimes unworthy of the sincere regrets from others.

We see the failure, not as part of the process of being in this world and something that happens, but as a direct line of communication that states, “You are just not good enough.”

High achievers don’t consider a failure as a reflection of who they are. Failures don’t define them as failures. Failures are actually roadmaps that help them figure out what works and things to avoid in the future.

How do we get this mindset?  We have to come to accept that failures happen. They happen to everyone, and the more a person tries, the more they happen. Failure is not a reflection of you as a person, but a reflection of a strategy or set of circumstances that didn’t work out.

How about this? Failure is a gift. It is a big neon sign that blinks, “this is not the path. Try again!” That isn’t so bad, is it? Children understand this instinctively. They wobble, they run into walls, the fall, and they get up again and try something new. They don’t cry and refuse to move on, they don’t think less of themselves. They accept failure as just a part of the learning process (and don’t consider it a failure – just something that didn’t work).

We need that mindset again. Look at what didn’t work in a judgment-free mindset and decide why and how it didn’t work. After that, is the choice to try again knowing better or to abandon the idea for something else.

Mindset Ready? Go!

Mix it up! Ditch that Routine

I love a routine. I work hard to create a consistent pattern of behaviors because I know that if I do that, I no longer need to think about what I need to do, I just do it.  Willpower no longer is an issue, because once I establish a routine, I just do.

I’m pro-routine! Rah-rah-sis-boom-bah!  So why am I writing about ditching a routine?

This is only for when a person feels stuck, uninspired or is not making the progress they want to make. If this doesn’t apply to you, you may want to consider ignoring the rest of this blog.

Occasionally, a routine can feel like a rut. Instead of making life simpler by removing procrastination and doubt, a routine can start to wear on creativity and inspiration.

That is when it is time to mix it up. The beautiful thing about mixing it up is that it doesn’t need to be extreme, expensive, or, as strange as it sounds, terribly disruptive.

It can be as easy as introducing a new element into the mix. Try listening to a podcast or an inspirational YouTube video. This is already a part of a routine, then select a new subject matter.

Go away! Can you switch office space? Go to the coffee shop or co-working location for a day or two? Move furniture around? Introduce a new element like a plant or light?

Small things can make just a significant impact as big things.

Not everything is work related. Perhaps it is about taking a walk in a new neighborhood or park. Volunteering to do something, having coffee with someone you don’t know well, sleeping on the other side of the bed! The idea here is to stimulate the brain and look at the world (and perhaps yourself) differently.

Remember, you can always go back to your routine!

Mindset Ready? Go!

 

Let it go.

We are present in the now, think about the future, but somehow, we live in the past.

The decisions we make that impact our future are based on the lessons we’ve learned in the past. The fear, indecision, and the distortion of the lessons learned can keep us from succeeding.

Certainly, we avoid reliving mistakes made by reviewing the past. We know not to date that type of abusive person, that those types of jobs crush our soul, that when we do this or that we get hurt.

But… we talk ourselves out of the potential good stuff too. Just because we have had a failed relationship does not mean we can’t ever have a successful relationship. Just because we failed at one business does not mean we’ll fail at another business.

At some point, we have to confront our limiting beliefs and decide are they valid. Are we using the past as an excuse to keep us living the life we want? 

While reviewing limiting beliefs, beware of the the words ‘always’ and ‘never’. They are rarely true. “I’m not meant to…” or “Its okay for everyone else, but not me” are warning flags that limiting beliefs are at play.

Limiting beliefs are like the monsters of our imagination. They hid from the light and once exposed, lose their power.

Mindset ready? Go!

Who Do You Believe?

“Whatever you think can’t be done, somebody will come along and do it” Thelonious Monk

Self-limiting beliefs are strong. One of the most prevalent and strongest is “It can’t be done.”

We say it to ourselves and we say it to others that are thinking about it. Heck, we even say it to those who are busy doing it!

I always think of the Wright Brothers (the first in flight fame), who achieved their dream about flying in Kitty Hawk, NC.  Their two-winged craft took off from a 60-foot wooden launching rail. On the first test, Orville flew 120 feet in 12 seconds. The last and longest flight, by Wilbur, covered 852 feet in 59 seconds.

AFTER they flew, an editor of a Dayton newspaper supposedly retorted, ”Man will never fly, and if he does, he won’t be from Dayton.”

You have a choice, believe something can’t be done and never attempt to do it, or think there is a way, research, work, and persist until it is achieved.

The choice is yours. Choose wisely.

Mindset Ready? Go!

Slide that Scale

How to Measure Success

I’ve been guilty of not understanding that success is measured on a sliding scale and not an off/on switch.

Yes, we set goals with measurable results and we measure our success against what we are actively achieving. But is success a yes or no, black or white thing? Can it also be an ‘almost’, ‘maybe’ thing?

If I’ve lost you, let me explain. If the goal is to make $100,000 in extra income by the end of the year, and what was achieve is $99,000 is that a success or not? What if it was $75,000? $50,000? $10,000? or $100? What counts as success?

Someone can argue that if it isn’t $100,000 the goal isn’t achieved. So if $99,999.10 is earned that too is a failure to achieve the goal. But is it really?

But what if ANY measure of improvement occurred meant it was a success? 

Certainly $100 earned is far from the $100,000 desired, but earning that $100 meant something worked and that can be examined, a new strategy can be created, and possibly the goal itself can be adjusted. Wouldn’t that knowledge and process itself be its’ own success?

The next time that nasty little voice pipes up and reminds you that you haven’t succeeded in your quest, remember that success is a sliding scale and give yourself a break!

Mindset Ready? Go!

The Power of Belief

“A man believes what he wants to believe and disregards the rest.”  Simon & Garfunkel

We are our beliefs. We nod in agreement but still a small part of ourselves doesn’t truly believe this. If we did, we would nip “bad” thoughts in the bud, we’d never tell limiting beliefs to a child, and we would never ever tell a spouse they couldn’t do something.

Yet we do. Every day.

Ever have someone ask where something is at (especially in the refrigerator) and after providing details instructions (on the second shelf, on the right, next to the mustard!), they repeatedly say, “I can’t find it! It is not there!”

Tired, knowing in your mind’s eye exactly where that thing is, you open the refrigerator door, go that shelf and pull the apparently invisible object.

“It was right in front of you! How could you not see it!”

Was there a temporal shift causing a black hole in that exact location? Ha! But the moment the object was not clearly noticed, the person began to build the belief, “it is not there”. In fact (because we’ve all done this), they chant, “I don’t see it, it isn’t there, where is it?”

Then we take the belief to the next level by announcing to everyone that, “It isn’t there! I don’t see it!” The more we do this, affirm to ourselves and to the outside world that an object doesn’t exist, the strong the inability to see it becomes.

Yes, of course, we sometimes say all that and say, “oh, there it is. Right in front of me!” Our desire for the object, the persistence to keep searching, is seemingly stronger than the belief we are building.

That is the lesson. Will the desire for your goal create a persistent need to push past the negative beliefs?

Mindset Ready? Go!