• 10 Tips for Success with your New Year Resolutions

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    broken-resolutionsNew YearIf you are one of 40-45% of people who have made a New Year’s Resolution this year how are you doing so far?

    Did you know by the second week of January 25% of you will have already given up on your resolution and that less than 10% of you will actually achieve your resolution.

    How can you become one of the 10% of people who do succeed in achieving their New Year resolutions?
    We make New Year resolutions because we want to change something. Of course it is possible to change the results in your life but to do so you need to have a different strategy.

    Albert Einstein “Insanity is doing same things over and over again expecting a different result.”

    So if you want to do something different and succeed with your New Year resolutions in 2016, here are 10 tips to help you to avoid the common mistakes when setting resolutions:

    1) Know your why
    The most important thing in making any change is being clear about your reasons for wanting to do this. Making any change involves a real cost to us (e.g. losing weight: cost not able to eat chocolate biscuits/junk food; getting fit: not being able to slouch on the sofa after work: getting more clients: cost: investment in marketing, training etc.).
    If you don’t have a clear, strong reason why you want to make the change you are likely to fail along the way, especially in the middle when the going gets tough.

    2) Change your mind set
    Undoubtedly it is the thoughts in your head that have stopped you in the past from achieving the success you wanted. To achieve your New Year resolutions, or any goal you set, you need to change your mind set.
    Identify the limiting thoughts that are holding you back e.g. I am never going to: be thin/fit/smart: earn enough money etc. and replace them with new positive thoughts that support your desired result.

    3) Set SMART goals
    The issue for most people is their New Year resolutions are too vague e.g. I want to: lose weight/get fit/earn more money etc. To have a much better chance of success in achieving your resolutions turn them into SMART goals:
    S – Specific e.g. I want to lose 5kg, run 10km in under an hour, and earn £100k this year
    M – Measurable – find a way to measure your goal so that you have a target to aim for
    A – Attainable – they should be a stretch to motivate you but not delusional
    R – Relevant – they should be relevant for your life
    T – Time bound – set a deadline to create urgency. Without this we will put things off.

    4) Make your goals compelling
    People give up on resolutions because they aren’t compelling enough. To maintain the discipline and commitment to achieve your goals make sure they are also Inspiring and Empowering for you, (SMARTIE goals) e.g. physically or mentally challenging, intellectually stimulating, emotionally energizing etc.

    5) Write Your Goals Down.
    Too often our resolutions stay as dreams stay in our head. Did you know that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals simply by writing them down? This works because writing down your goals is the first step to translating your intentions into actions.

    6) Track your progress
    You can’t improve what you don’t measure so you must track on a weekly basis how you are doing. Have the courage to face how you are doing. Celebrate the successes and acknowledge the disappointments and move on from them.

    7) Identify the next step
    Sometimes big goals can seem overwhelming and we don’t know where to start. Break down goals into bite sized pieces and focus on the next step.

    8) Take Action
    The biggest obstacle we face is procrastination. If you want to achieve big things, you’ve got to start.

    Zig Ziglar “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” 

    Excessive planning can be detrimental and whilst you might seem busy you aren’t actually taking the actions you need to get results you want. High achievers are action takers.

    9) Keep Your Goals visible
    You know that old saying “Out of sight, out of mind”. One of the biggest mistakes is not keeping your goals visible. Print them out and look at them every morning before you start the day. This will help them to stay conscious in your mind and support your to take the actions you need to achieve them.

    10) Get support
    All successful people have a coach or someone to help them reach their potential. If you really want this year to be different and achieve the goals you strongly desire, then find yourself a friend, coach or someone to support you and hold you accountable.

    Make this year your Best Year Yet!

     

  • Who’s stealing your Time???

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    Who doesn’t wish that there were an extra two or three hours in the day to just get everything done?  One of the most pressing issues that we face daily is how to manage all the demands placed on us by work, family, friends and others, whilst also maintaining our health, well-being and emotional sanity.

    It is all too easy to become victims of working too hard, playing too little, perhaps drinking too much and sleeping too poorly.  No wonder we end up drawn out and stressed, feeling like we are barely surviving rather than living with passion.  Whilst I am a big supporter of endeavouring to be more, do more, have more, give more, this cannot be to the detriment of our inner alignment and ensuring a fully balanced life.

    How can we stop this vicious cycle of feeling constantly that there is not enough time?

    The first place to start is to ask: “Where is my time going?”

    To Do or Not To Do?

    Do you start your day with a clear achievable plan of what you want in terms of results for your day?  Or are you just blindly following your “To Do” list?  I know that for much of my adult life I have let my To Do list be the dictator in my life.  My To Do list is never satisfied; it is a hard task master and never acknowledges me.

    No matter how hard you work during the day do you end the day feeling a sense of overwhelm with just how many things that there are still on your list?

    So here is some bad news…there will always be too many things on your list to ever get finished.  The good news though is that you can change how you view your To Do list so that you become master of it and use it to serve you in your life to get what you want.

    The first place to start is to use Steven Covey’s time management matrix (from the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) to assess what is important to you and how you are spending your time.

    So create a table like the one below with 4 boxes labelled as shown in the diagram. Re write all your To Dos in each of these 4 boxes depending on each task’s level of urgency and importance.

    Isabel

    Like most people you will probably find that most of your To Dos are in quadrant 1 whilst those tasks in quadrant 2 (those what will make a positive difference in your life) perhaps keep getting moved from one To Do list to another e.g. update CV, write chapter of my book, create business plan, organise “date night”, go to new yoga class etc.

    One of the key ways to feel a sense of accomplishment every day is to look at your To Dos daily and pick at least one thing from quadrant 2 and make sure that you take one step towards completing the task each day.  This way you know that you are moving forward and step by step making a difference in your life.

    Where Does Time Go?

    How can we ensure that there is enough time to get done some of the things in quadrant 2?

    One important exercise is to start monitoring how you are actually spending your time.  This will help you to raise your awareness to see if you are getting results or simply “being busy”. It is very easy to be the latter so start by splitting your day into 15 minute slots and use the same quadrants you have created previously to note down how you spend your time.

    If you are like me when I did this exercise I was amazed by just how much time was spent in quadrants 3 and 4.  These are areas where time can be regained as To Dos in quadrant 3 and 4 can often be ditched as they are either other people’s agenda, or it is simply wasting time (e.g. filing, cleaning, meetings without purpose etc).  If you want time to do things in quadrant 2 note how you spend your time and start to limit or entirely stop doing these To Dos in quadrants 3&4.

    You can only improve that which you measure.

    Small steps pursued consistently lead to massive change.  Learning how to manage your time is a key skill to master, to help you feel more fulfilled each day and enjoy a sense of well-being and achievement.

    Try these two small steps for the coming week (review your daily To Do’s using the Covery time matrix model and monitor how you spend your time), and see what a difference it makes to you.

    As always awareness brings its own rewards and note what happens this week when you do these exercises.

    My own experience is that by monitoring my time and making sure that every day I do something from quadrant 2, I have found myself becoming more efficient and less distracted by activities in quadrant 3&4. Over time I have learnt to spend less time in fire-fighting mode and more time focused on really moving my life forward and spending it doing what I love.

    Certainly by making and spending time doing things that are important to you, life feels less “busy” and you start generating positive results in your life helping you to feel more fulfilled and stay aligned to your highest purpose.

    For more information on how to create aligned, high performance teams click here to get your free e-book:

    Engage, Enthuse and Empower your Teams

  • How To Create Extraordinary Results In Your Life In Under 500 Words!

    How To Create Extraordinary Results In Your Life In Under 500 Words!

    Since we are all so busy in life trying to cram in as much as we possibly can, we don’t stop to take the take the time necessary to think and make the behavioral changes required to create different results in our lives.

    I thought that in this blog I would condense down the key elements of making transformational change into 500 words or less – thus by keeping it short leaving you time to actually take the actions necessary to achieve the results you desire!

    Here goes….

    Listed below are the key steps for creating change in your life to help you to achieve the success you want. Follow the practical steps listed below and you will be on the way to creating extraordinary results in your life.

    1) Create a Vision that Compels you and Fulfills your Personal Core Values – this is a blue print for how you want the future to look like

    Practically how to do this:
    a) Take at least one hour to reflect and answer the following questions:
    i) What does success look like to you?
    ii) What does your ideal day(s) would look like?
    iii) If money was no object what would you be doing right now with your life?
    iv) How do you want to be remembered when you are gone?

    b) Write out your inspiring vision for your life touching all areas of your life.

    2) Create Internal Alignment – align yourself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually

    Practically how to do this:
    a) Review yourself on how well you take care of yourself in terms of your:

    i) Physical well-being, (how well you sleep, eat, exercise, take care of yourself),
    ii) Mental well-being (how well do you focus, get things done, have fun),
    iii) Emotional well-being, (how well you connect with others, take time to experience joy, love, gratitude, appreciation, etc)
    iv) Spiritual well-being (how well you live your values, live life with passion and purpose, enjoy boundless energy, give to others)

    b) Create daily habits and rituals in each of these areas to improve your current score in each area.

    c) Measure each month how you are doing in each of these areas to move towards greater alignment.

    d) Examine your limiting beliefs that don’t serve you any longer and change them for new empowering beliefs.

    3) Relentless Execution – take actions until you have achieved the results that you desire

    Practically how to do this:
    a) Break your vision down into small chunks e.g. different roles and timeframes 3,6,12 months, 3,5 years from now etc

    b) Make a plan.

    c) Set SMART goals for all areas of your plan.

    d) Establish ways of measuring each goal.

    e) Track how you are doing with your plan every month. (You can’t improve what you don’t measure!)

    f) Get support in your life e.g. a network of inspiring friends, a personal coach to create accountability.

    4) Celebrate your Successes

    Practically how to do this:
    a) Spend time at least once a month reviewing your plan and highlighting all the things that have gone really well in your life. Note down what worked so that you can repeat this and do more of the things that work for you.

    b)Take 5 minutes every day to be grateful for the things that you have in your life and then acknowledge yourself for all that you are.

    c) Find someone to share your success with. Failing that, make sure you pat yourself on the back and do something fun to celebrate how amazing you are!

    For more information on how to create aligned, high performance teams click here to get your free e-book:

    Engage, Enthuse and Empower your Teams

     

  • 4

    10 Tips To Help You Live A Life Of Passion

    I believe that passion has become rather one dimensional in our lives, with the focus only on sexual desire.  What a shame.  Passion is actually gloriously multi-dimensional, expressing powerful and compelling feelings or emotions and bringing life into vivid Technicolor.

    Living our lives with passion though is not how most of us choose to live.    Most of us go through life wishing we were somewhere else, doing something else or living somehow differently.     When was the last time in your life that you truly felt the blood pumping in your veins, your heart uplifted and experienced being totally in the moment?

    But “passion can be dangerous” you say.  Goodness, who knows where living passionately will lead us! How much easier to play safe and stay in our comfort zone, dulling the emotions and flattening our life experience.

    For the brave who choose to take the path to a passionate life, the journey takes time and is undoubtedly challenging.   If you are up for the adventure the rewards are profound.  Whilst the destination will vary the features are the same: a life lived with passion is one filled with joy, enthusiasm, simplicity, a sense of purpose, energy and feeling of being connected to yourself.

    Choosing to live your life with passion starts with shifting your mind-set.  It requires deciding that living a life with passion is a goal worth pursuing.  Apathy and lassitude are prevailing forces in our culture, so learning to live a passionate life requires discipline and commitment to overcome these tendencies.

    To pledge to a passionate life requires overcoming a lack of belief that is it possible to do so.  It requires giving up closed or negative thinking that can keep us stuck.  It requires focus, responsibility and the requirement to simplify life.  No one can be passionate if they are feeling cluttered, overscheduled and overwhelmed in life.  Being passionate by definition means to experience powerful emotions.  It is not possible to live a passionate life if you are emotionally unhealthy e.g. depressed, anxious, stressed etc.

    Passion in life starts with having a vision, goal or desire that inspires you, helping you to move towards what you want to be, do or have.  As with changing any old ways of thinking and behaving living life with passion takes time and is testing.  Being willing to keep going no matter what is one of the keys to living a life you love.

    How can you live a life with passion?

    1)      Take time – you can’t make changes in life unless you make time to reflect.

    2)      Change how you see yourself – consider who would you have to be to live the life you want?

    3)      Believe in yourself – you are the creator of your life. You are 100% responsible. You can make it happen.

    4)      Speak from the heart – dare to be honest with yourself and then with others.

    5)      BWTEIM (begin with the end in mind) – create a clear vision of what you really want your life to look like and stick your flag in the sand in front of you.  Now you have a destination.

    6)      Face your fear – look it square in the eyes and take the first step anyway.

    7)      Shut out the self-chatter – be an observer and don’t get enrolled in your mental noise.  Keep focused on vision.

    8)      Write it down – get it out of your head and onto paper in words or pictures.  This helps clarify our thinking and makes it real.

    9)      Look for fun – we miss so many amazing things in life by being so busy, keep an eye out for what brings you joy and happiness.

    10)   Keep going – learning and growth happens in your breakdowns. Have courage, be committed be curious.

    One really good coaching question I like to ask clients who may be stuck looking for their purpose and passion is to ask them:

    “What would you be doing if you only had a short time to live and/or money was no object?”

    I ask this to you now.  I would love to hear in the comments below what are you passionate about?