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Tag: Goal Setting

How to be More Productive in Life –The Secret No One Is Talking About

If you’re wondering how to be more productive in life, first believe that it’s okay to be “selfish” with your time, spending it wisely not giving it away. I’m going to share with you a productive secret that very few people will ever share with you. And it may even shock you. Are you ready? It’s okay to be selfish in the morning. No, actually it’s absolutely necessary.

Normally, I wouldn’t recommend selfishness, because it can really damage relationships. But, when you think about it, what is your most important relationship? (Hint: It’s the one you’re most likely neglecting.)

It’s your relationship with yourself, right? If you’re not treating yourself with love, patience, and respect, you won’t be able to show those qualities to others. And you won’t have enough energy to be productive in life.

So, I’m suggesting you do something just for yourself as soon as you get up. It might be making your bed, exercising, reading something inspirational, or meditation. Whatever fuels your creativity and energy. Become a master of your time and set intentions for how you want your day to be.

Now let’s increase your productivity in life by using this same “principle of selfishness” as you carve out the first hour of your work day to focus on your own project. (Of course, this works well if you run your own business. But the principle can also make you indispensible in whatever organization you work for, because it effectively prioritizes your day.)

Too often we jump into taking care of others’ requests or ‘urgent’ needs. Emails, voicemails and the like can wait…they’ll still be there later. Responding in this reactive manner makes you feel like you’re always trying to catch up. Like there’s not enough time. Like you’re not doing what fuels your soul. Like you’re missing out.

On the other hand, if you guard the first hour of your workday, you’ll feel like you’re living up to your potential and that you’re accomplishing something important. In turn, this energizes you to do more, and you build momentum, getting more accomplished with less effort.

Try the following steps to ease into this new morning routine:

  • Block out the first hour of every workday on your calendar. Make this a recurring event, and let everyone know this hour is taken. No compromising!
  • Avoid distractions and set boundaries you can live with, like not checking your email, social media or answering your phone.
  • If you have a mandatory meeting at this time, consider starting your day an hour earlier so you honor your commitment.

 What do you do with the first hour of your new schedule?

Choose a meaningful and/or important project to work on. Look for something that you’ve been intending to do, but haven’t gotten to yet because you’ve been too busy taking care of everyone else’s priorities. For entrepreneurs this can mean working on your business instead of in your business and coming up with plans for future growth.

Then, start making notes for what needs to happen to make your project a reality. Once you have these notes, organize them in a book, card file or small sheets of paper. Put one task per page, card, or piece of paper with instructions of how to do it. If you don’t know, then your task is to find someone who can teach you or can do it for you.

How do you organize all these notes into a productivity strategy you can reuse in all facets of life?

  • Break your project down into monthly benchmarks for success.
  • Break each month’s objective down into weekly tasks.
  • Break down your weekly tasks into 3 critical items.

Start your day working on your single most important item. Once it’s completed, move to the next. If you don’t accomplish all three tasks within the hour, move the unfinished task to the top of your pile to work on tomorrow. Oftentimes you’ll accomplish more in this first hour than you otherwise would all day.

This process helps you become more mindful as you regularly pause to breathe and assess what’s most important to you everyday. You develop a skill that helps you to be fully engaged and productive in life.

Need some help getting started? Whether it’s personal development, improving your health or marketing your business, I’m here to help you stay on track and reach your highest purpose. Please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype), and let’s get started.

Develop Systems for Life – A Game Changer if You’re Tired of Chasing After Goals

Rather than setting goals you never achieved, it’s time to revolutionize your approach and think in terms of using systems for life instead of chasing goals “Like a human being, a company has to have an internal communication mechanism, a ‘nervous system’, to coordinate its actions” ~ Bill Gates, co-founder Microsoft

Are systems really that different than goals? On the surface they sound similar, don’t they? Yet how many goals have you set but never achieved? How does that make you feel? Like you’ve failed and are always starting over, right? In contrast, systems for life are daily habits, routines, processes, or practices you implement to support your intentions. And day-by-day, you reach your desired result in a much softer way.

For example, perhaps you set the goal of losing weight by a certain date. You may achieve that goal, but soon the pounds creep back on. Why? Going on a diet implies that at some point the diet ends. A lifestyle change, on the other hand, is a system of healthy eating and exercise that is ongoing and has lasting results.

Over the years, I’ve focused a lot on setting and achieving goals, developing small measurable steps and developing a buddy system. All of this is important, but it’s not effective if my strategies to achieve these goals aren’t successful ones.

What does it mean to develop systems for life?

Let me give you another example: Imagine that you want to go to the gym at 6am three times a week and you commit to doing that. You prepare your gym clothes and shoes the night before so getting dressed in the morning is a breeze. Your gym bag is ready and your water bottle is full and available.

It looks like you’ve set yourself up for success, right? But what if you decide to stay up late because you want to read 10 more pages of your book, or your friend calls and wants to talk about her ex one more time? Will you be successful at getting up when the alarm goes off the next morning?

And what if deep down you hate the gym? How long will you be able to sustain your commitment? When you associate displeasure with exercise, you unintentionally train yourself to stop doing it. If you force yourself to do it you end up using your limited supply of willpower. So what happens as a result? When you’re tempted to eat junk food you give in, negating the good that you accomplished at the gym.

How much better to create a system for being active every day at a level that feels good, while experimenting with different methods of exercise until you find the one you love. Maybe it’s something as simple as using a pedometer to count your steps. Before long your body is trained to crave that psychological boost. It builds a natural inclination for challenges that gently nudges you toward becoming more active. 10,000 steps today…12,000 steps tomorrow. That’s a sustainable system!

Don’t get me wrong. Goals are fine for getting a project finished. But they have their limitations…

  • Goals remind you that you’re not good enough. You’re starting from that negative state and basing your happiness, not on the present, but on a future, which you may or may not achieve.
  • Goals make you feel guilty when you don’t achieve them.
  • Goals foster a yo-yo of short-term results, instead of a steady flow toward long-term progress, because as soon as the goal is achieved you revert back to previous practices.
  • Goals make you feel powerless when you have setbacks. When you have systems for life you know you can pick it up again tomorrow when you feel better.
  • Goals make you focus on one thing while de-emphasizing others things you’re committed to. Consequently, you’re more likely to miss out on opportunities that could be far better than your goal.

The interesting thing is that if you never set another goal, but have a variety of systems for living an excellent life, you’ll still achieve what really matters to you. When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can mindfully enjoy the moment, while making improvements at the same time.

If you’re having trouble sorting out which system you need to implement first, feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation, in-person, by phone or via Skype.

It’s Your Time! Make This Year Your Best Year Ever!

Don’t give up, because you CAN make this year your best year ever by applying these three simple rules that will dramatically change the way you think about life“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The beginning of a new year is always a great time to assess where you are in your life and where you want to be. So, did you accomplish most of what you set out to do? More importantly, how can you make this year your best year ever?

Achieving desired results is a product of 1) having the right mindset, 2) taking actions that are consistent with that mindset, 3) having a process of follow-up and/or accountability, and 4) having lots of human support. To do that, there are three important rules to follow:  

Rule #1 – you must know exactly what it is you want (your compelling vision).

Rule #2 – you must track exactly how you are doing – at all times.

Rule #3 – you must make each step toward your vision manageable.

To make this year your best year ever, mindfully and introspectively ask yourself the following questions…

What did I accomplish over the past 12 months? No win is too small. Celebrate your victories! Focusing on your successes will reinforce the belief that you can be anyone you want to be. If you’ve kept a journal, you can easily review these wins. If not, I encourage you to begin journaling now. Otherwise, the memory of these successes fade away, which only lessens your feelings of self-confidence and satisfaction.

What were my biggest disappointments and what did I learn from them? Failure is really a great teacher if you don’t let perfectionism get in the way. Your emotions and moods shape the way you learn. If you’re negative, and self-defeating, your learning and productivity will suffer, regardless of how skilled you are. On the other hand, if you’re open and curious you’ll be receptive to learning.

 How did I limit myself, and how can I stop?  Our perception of failure is one of the biggest thought patterns we must heal. It’s simply an indicator that you’re entering an area that brings you discomfort and it’s time to open yourself up for further growth in life. When you develop a healthy balance between action and fear, you’ll become unstoppable. 

Did I uphold my personal values? Throughout our lives we adjust to fit in, to belong and to survive. We reshape and adapt, often covering over our “authentic” selves in order to cope. Different parts of our bodies—often our backs, necks, and stomachs—may hold unresolved emotions. This may be experienced as tightness, pain or, surprisingly enough, a disconnection or detachment with our bodies and our spirit. The good news is that as you become more aware of your body and make positive changes, you’ll change the way you experience others, the world and yourself.

What is my major focus for the next 12 months? When you tackle the issues that trouble you most, and you do more of what matters and less of what doesn’t, you’ll be happier. Take time to reconnect with your body and purpose by taking the 7-Point Wellness Assessment.

What are my specific goals for the next year? Spread out your goals into sets of 2 or 3 to be accomplished during each quarter of the coming year. Define measurable steps for each one of your goals. Place them where you can review them daily, so your determination remains strong.

Who can I buddy with to help me achieve my goals? Only share your plans with the yea-sayers. Avoid the downers and nay-sayers. Look for people that are already mastering the skill or have similar motivation to succeed.

Don’t doubt it for another moment. It’s your time to shine! You can make this year your best year ever. On January 12th, my colleague Nando Raynolds and I are presenting a free talk: “Make 2017 your Best Year Yet!” We’ll share with you our proven strategies, including NLP skills, for accomplishing what you desire most. You can learn more by clicking here or feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Are Your Life Goals Aimed High Enough?

Creating and setting the right life goals means you aim high enough to challenge yourself, instead of settling for what’s comfortably within your reach.“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” ~ Michelangelo

This time of year there’s a lot of talk about setting life goals and achieving life goals. But the most important conversation centers around this question – are you setting the right goals? Rather than settling for what’s comfortable and easily within your range, are you aiming high enough?

Archery is one of my favorite activities and I often think about how it’s a great metaphor for achieving your fullest potential in life. There are a number of life lessons you can learn from archery. Here are a few:

 

Lesson #1: Without a target, there’s no purpose.

What would you do if I handed my bow and arrow to you? Your first question no doubt would be, “What do I shoot at?” When you have a target to aim at, you gain a sense of purpose. It changes how you feel. You become excited about the challenge before you. The first time you hit the target is thrilling! Adding a target changes the way you view archery. It gives context and meaning to it.

The same applies with life goals. They change how you feel about life. They alter how you approach each day. Without them you’ll merely exist and meander through life without direction and without much accomplishment.

 

Lesson #2: Anchor yourself for success.

One of the first things you’ll learn about archery is how to position yourself and hold the bow and arrow. When you take your stance, you need to create an anchor point – the fixed position of the bowstring hand on your jaw or cheek while aiming the arrow. It gives you the strength and balance to shoot safely and effectively.

For life goals to be effective, it’s important to incorporate the practice of centering yourself, which helps you feel still and aware as you connect with your inner being. When you know who you are, then you know how to create life goals that get you to where you’re going.

 

Lesson #3: Aim high for the long-term

The first time you shoot an arrow you’ll pick a target that’s close to you. As your skill improves, you’ll want to move the target farther away to see what you can really do. Yet, as the distance increases, your arrow may fall far short of the mark. Why is that? You have to adjust your aim a little higher than the bulls-eye to compensate for the pull of gravity.

You want life goals that push your self-limiting boundaries. And to do that you’ll want to aim higher than you can ever imagine it possible to achieve. And when external forces make you miss your mark, you’ll need the flexibility to adjust and try again.

 

Lesson #4: Measure your progress

Of course, you don’t expect to hit the bulls-eye the first time you shoot the arrow. You’re happy just to nick the target. Then you’re thrilled to hit the outer ring. Each ring gives you something to measure your progress by.

Worthwhile life goals need to be specific and measurable. When you see where you were and how far you’ve come, it promotes self-confidence and builds momentum for further progress.

 

Lesson #5 Partner up for accountability

Being a member of an archery club makes you show up on time. It’s a lot more fun and motivational when you see how others are hitting the mark!

When you have an accountability partner for your life goals it holds you to a deadline. And you’ll be much more likely to push through the days when you don’t feel like it.

 

What are your life goals for 2017? My colleague, Nando Raynolds, and I love helping people become outstanding by teaching both the “what” and the “how” of extraordinary success. Come and check us out at our next free talk on January 12th on “Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet!”  Click here to get the details


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