Here is a quick reminder. Keep your focus on where your are going, not what you have to overcome to get there. By focusing on the end goal, your journey feels like…well…a journey. When you focus on each obstacle, life can feel like an endless series of obstacles. It can destroy motivation. Keeping your focus on the the prize can give you that little boost of passion and excitement that comes in handy when things seem darkest.
I suggest using as many senses and reminders of your end goal as you can. Have a picture somewhere you see regularly. Create an affirmation that fires you up emotionally. Have it printed out in several locations. Read it when you are feeling your motivation start to slip. Write out what your typical day will be like after your goal is reached. Read that several times a week to keep the image sharp in your mind. These tools will keep you focused on where you are going and the obstacles will just become part of the journey.
What methods do you use to stay focused on your goals? Share with us so we can all expand our ability to succeed.
Here we are again, talking about daily habits. Why is this such a hot topic lately? It is because, as John Maxwell puts it, “The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” We have been discussing habits, routines and daily actions a lot here lately. We have seen how a seemingly insignificant action (20 squats) done over the course of enough time (200 days) can have a huge impact. Think of turning on your facet to just barely drip. Then place a glass underneath it. By the time you wake up, you will have a nice glass of water ready to drink.
We have been using this method to accomplish things such as keeping up with a healthy fitness habit. It can be used for things far greater. Let us look at your relationships. This could be coworkers, friends, family or your intimate partner. One of the ideas we gave for sticking with your habit was to set an alarm on your phone to remind you. What if you set an alarm for 5 minutes after you left work to remind you to give your spouse a sincere compliment? What if you set it for 5 minutes before work to remind yourself to show your coworkers signs of appreciation? It may not make a difference in the short-term, but hearing a sincere compliment or appreciation will strengthen and grow that relationship. Trust me, I use this myself. I no longer need to set an alarm, as it has just become part of a daily practice. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have a reminder.
Even if your compliments fall flat. Even if your signs of appreciation may seem…well…unappreciated, the effort will not. Your daily sincere compliments or signs of appreciation, or squats for that matter, are showing that you are trying to bring a better version of you to the table. That will always make you more attractive. Not to mention those squats will do wonders for your backside! Daily habits are the key to success in any endeavor. Think of what daily habits you can use to set yourself up for success!
A few posts back, we spoke about making changes in your life. How easy it is to do a small change for a consistent period of time. In doing so, you create a major change. One of the examples we used was doing 20 squats a day. In one day, you probably would not notice a difference. In a week, you sill might not notice much, other than a soreness from using muscles that you haven’t used in a while.However, done over 200 days, which was the example we used, there would be a major difference.
Recently, someone mentioned they had forgot to stick with their squats already. This is understandable. Life is crazy for us these days. It seems we have 25 hours worth of stuff to do in 24 hours. Somewhere we also have to fit in sleeping. It is also easily correctable. There are a few things you can do that will make sticking to a routine easier than ever. The first one you might be holding in your hand right now. In fact, you could be using it to read this very post. Your cell phone. We seem to have them with us at all times. They may get in the way of healthy in person relationships, or compromise some people’s driving, but we can put them to work for us. Using the example of the squats, let us see how this is done. First, pick a time you can count on fairly regularly. Then set an alarm for that time. Most cell phones will make it a daily alarm. When the alarm goes off, you are reminded to do your squats.
Here is another great idea. Put your friends to work for you. Don’t worry, you won’t have to pay them anything. In fact, it works even better to put your critics to work for you as well. I am talking about putting yourself out there. Let everyone know what you plan to do. Tell friends and coworkers. One great way is to put it out on social media. This is kind of like throwing yourself under the bus. You are letting everyone know what you plan to do and they will be watching. Your friends to see how you are doing. Your critics to prove that you won’t stick with it. Both are good motivation.
The last idea for making it easier to stick with your goals, I do every single day. That is prepare the night before. If we wait until the action must be completed, many things can keep us from taking the actions we need. We could be pressed for time. We could not have our workout clothes clean and ready. A million valid excuses can come up. The way to beat them, and set ourselves up for success, is to prepare ahead of time. My goal was to eat oatmeal for lunch during the week. I like it with a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Occasionally, I toss some dried fruit in as well. I also get up for work at 4am. If I waited until then to pack my lunch and get my coffee together, my counter might look like the picture above. I also would probably forget the oatmeal and just stop for some unhealthy food by my work. So, I get the coffee machine all ready the night before. I get my oatmeal with the cinnamon and nutmeg ready. Even a little bag of dried fruit. Then, in the morning I just grab and go!
Sticking with goals, even small ones, can be difficult. I hope taking these steps will help you with your commitment. I know they work for me, I hope they will work for you. If you have any tricks that help you stick with your goals, please share them with us so we can all benefit.
Be prepared! This post will have some uncomfortable truths in it. We have reached the end of January. Those of us who have set goals for the new year are hopefully still committed to them. If we are not, why is that? One of the top excuses I hear about why people don’t commit to improving their lives is that they “Don’t have time.” Let me fill you in on a little bit about yours truly. With my daily commute, I work 55 hours a week at my day job. I DJ with my beautiful lady on Sunday night. We have had a daily blog for 210 days straight now. I am also working on my fourth book. While doing this, I make it to the gym at least 3 days a week. How can I get all of this done? Easy, it is important to me.
When people tell me they do not have time for things, or that they simply ‘can’t do it’. I answer, “No, you just haven’t made it a priority.” When people say that they can’t be a morning person, I ask them, “If I would give you $1000 every day you woke up at 6am, where would you be at 5:59?” Why could you get up early then? It was a priority. You knew you were going to gain something. Nobody is offering you $1000, but do you know what you could accomplish with an hour of focused activity first thing in the morning? It would be priceless. There is a great book called Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Great book. I highly recommend it. In this book, Hal outlines a great morning routine to transform your life.
I can tell you a few things that will change your life if you decide to make your life a priority. How about 15 minutes of reading something informative or inspirational? Multiple that by 260 days if you don’t do it on weekends, and that is a lot of learning. How about 15 minutes of some sort of stretching or exercise? Again, multiply that times 260 and you will definitely see a difference in your body. How about 15 minutes of repeating an empowering affirmation or looking at your vision board? Multiply that times 260 and it will be sure to affect your emotional well-being and state. How about sitting calmly and meditating for 15 minutes? Again, done for 260 days and you will have a great deal of inner peace, less stress, and be better able to handle life’s challenges. You could do all of those things in an hour, 5 days a week and your life would be dramatically improved. We know this to be true. Still, we don’t do it. We may say we are too busy or that we can’t get up early. If we are honest with ourselves, we are not making our life, and ourselves the priority it should be.
This post may hit a little close to home for many of us. Understand it is not coming from a place of judgement, but one of caring. We must make our lives, and ourselves a priority. We must do so now. Why? If we wait until we have a life emergency, it will be too late. Develop a routine to strengthen your life. When life’s challenges show up at your door, as they do for us all, you will be ready and better equipped to face them. It is my sincere desire that everyone develop a sense of urgency for making their life the best it can be.
There is an old cliché that asks, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. ” Meaning, if you have a large project, tackle it by doing one small aspect at a time. This is what I want us to ponder this weekend.
In my life coaching career, we look at where a person is currently and where they wish to go. Can you imagine what we do next? We set up smaller goals between those 2 points that would get them there.
I can’t think of many worthwhile goals where you go to bed one day, wake up the next and they are complete. At least not many worthwhile goals. This weekend write where you are on a piece of paper. On the bottom, write where you would like to be, or so you would like to become. Then, begin to ponder small steps you could take between those.
Make sure to celebrate 🍾 your small victories while staying focused on the big goal. This will allow you to use the power of momentum!
Important note – no elephants were harmed or eaten during the writing of this blog.
Here is a notice I got from WordPress the other day. I have posted blogs for 200 days in a row. One of my resolutions is to have a blog everyday this year, so that number should be a lot higher come the end of the year.
It got me thinking of resolutions we make and why they fail. As a regular gym goer, it is amusing to see how busy the gyms are on January 1st, and how dead they are on January 31st! This is because most people miss a key ingredient to success. I’m writing this so you are not one of those people.
Let’s say you do 20 squats today. If you look in the mirror, what difference would you see? My guess is not much. Let us say you do 20 squats a day for a week. Now look in the mirror, other than the look of mild discomfort on your face, I’m not sure there would be much difference. Now…let us say you did 20 squats a day, which should take no more than 5 minutes of your day, for 200 days. If you look in the mirror would there be a difference? You know the answer would be yes. In fact, the way your clothes fit would tell you the answer before you looked in the mirror.
Here is the funny thing. We know if we did this minor change, that takes all of 5 minutes, for 200 days there would be a significant change. Yet, after a week, maybe two, we have given up on most of our resolutions. Why? We forgot the key of consistency! Even a small change, done long enough, will bring big results. What small change can you start, and stick with for 200 days, that will make a big difference?
Here’s another bonus. If you stick with it for 200 days, like my blogs, you won’t want to stop. Once you see the big improvement, your motivation and dedication will be through the roof!
I have written several times about the story of the lion and the gazelle. How every morning if Africa a lion and a gazelle both wake up. If the gazelle doesn’t run fast, the lion will eat it. If the lion doesn’t run fast enough to catch the gazelle, it will starve. Either way, they both have to run. On the surface, you would say they are both motivated by the will to live. There is one difference I noted. The gazelle’s motivation comes from an external source – the lion. If there was no lion present, the gazelle would just relax and watch Netflix, or whatever gazelles do in their free time. It is like the coworker who only seems to be busy when the boss is watching. Otherwise they might be in the breakroom…watching Netflix. Their motivation is based on an outside source.
The lion, on the other hand, has inner motivation – his hunger. If there is no gazelle present he will look for one or hunt something else. He has to eat. Here is an employee who has the work ethic to do a good job even when the boss is on vacation. They often come to work early or stay late. Their motivation is driven by a desire to do a good job, whether anyone will ever know.
How about you? Are you a lion or are you a gazelle? Do you need outside motivation to chase your dreams and goals? Are you running from and responding to every situation in life or are you laser-focused and running after your dreams? Does your realization that you are not quite the person you wish to be drive you to push to get better? If not, how could you develop this lion mentality? Can you only go “Beast Mode” in the gym, when you have got enough sleep, the sun is shinning and everyone in your household is getting along, or do you workout because it is Tuesday and that is what you do? Are you working out to impress everyone else, or because you want to be the strongest healthiest version of yourself?
One of the best ways to develop that inner motivation is to get clear on your ‘why’. What are the reasons you are chasing a goal? What makes is so important to you? What would you gain if you achieved it? What would you lose if you did not? Get clear on that and you will become a lion and pursue your goals and dreams with the ferocity of a lion on the hunt.
Coming up on the first full weekend of the new year. How are those resolutions going? Hopefully you made it a full 2 weeks. One of the reasons resolutions, or goals, fail is that we rely too much on motivation. Once motivation starts to fade, we are often unable to stay committed to our end result.
A great way to make sure that we stay on the path to our goals is to set up habits that serve us. Think of your goal for the new year. Is there a small habit you could set up to keep you moving in the right direction? Simple examples are swapping your coffee for green tea if you want to cut down on caffeine. Parking future away at stores if your goal is to increase your steps. Pick a time to tell your spouse one thing you are grateful for if your goal is to increase the appreciation in your relationship.
What is your goal? Is there a simple habit you can start before the motivation begins to fade? Let’s make the new year a success!
A while back we talked about this blog being viewed in all but roughly 6 or 8 countries of the world. Some have political barriers that will not allow us to be viewed there. Others, like Greenland, are not so populated and may take some time to reach. I have been writing these posts for over 10 years now. (Has it really been that long?!) Sharing my journey and everything I have learned with all of you. Last year, I started my own podcast. You can connect to it by clicking the link at the end of this post. As of the writing of this post, it is followed in 6 countries. Quite the opposite of this blog. Still, I have only recording episodes for 5 or 6 months verses the 10 years of writing blogs.
While building an audience for this blog, I was reminded of lessons I give my life-coaching clients – build slowly. It is easier to add small positive steps in the right direction than to do a dramatic change in your direction. The same holds true for changes we wish to make in our life. If we have spent months on the couch eating pizza and watching movies, than going to the gym 5 days a week would be a stretch we may find it difficult to maintain. However, going for a walk after dinner, parking a little further away at the store to get a few more steps or simply finding a physical activity we enjoy helps us get started on the right path. I love the picture above because it shows little ways to get started doing big things. You want to begin a practice of meditation? Start by taking a deep breath before a sip of coffee. Want to journal, but find it difficult to sit down and write? Talk to yourself in the car. Not only will it get you in the practice of verbalizing your thoughts and feelings, as a bonus it will freak out the other drivers around you.
It any endeavor we embark on, doing so beginning slowly will give us the best chance to maintain these healthy habits. Want to cut down on your drinking? Start by consuming more healthy beverages such as iced herbal tea, (there are some delicious and functional options), green tea or of course, water. Want to cut down on your internet viewing? Try scheduling a fun coffee appointment with friends once a week. Would you like to know a secret to accomplishing goals and changing to a healthier lifestyle easier and with less stress? I am sure all of us would. Here is something I have discovered. It is far easier to add positive things in your life than to solely focus on eliminating something negative. When you focus on eliminating something negative, your brain encompasses a feeling of less, sacrifice or being deprived. “You mean I can’t eat all of the pizza I want and still lose that belly I have been carrying around?” If you focus on adding something healthier your brain either has a feeling of getting healthier at best, or at least does not have the feeling of lack at worst. “Wow, this veggie chili not only tastes good, but is good for me?”
In closing, focus on building slowly and sustainably. Little wins and accomplishments will help you gain and keep momentum as you are moving in the direction of a more amazing life. Focusing on quality changes instead of quantity also increases success. Instead of trying to go for a run, followed by the gym, followed by a yoga class, focus on doing 2 sets of 10 squats every day with perfect form. You will gain the momentum of sticking with a healthy habit. Soon, you will notice a difference, and that will not only help you gain further momentum, but may motivate you to add other positive changes. Build slowly, but keep building my friends.
Here we go! The last day of the year. As we look forward to the new year, many of us will make resolutions and think about what goals we would like to accomplish in the next 365 days. That is good. I would like to encourage that. Looking to improve yourself is always something to strive for. This year, I would like you to contemplate something new. This was brought to me by doing something that I have told you about earlier this year. I heard it while listening to some daily motivational and inspirational videos.
The message came from Inky Johnson, the man pictured above. In case you haven’t read any of my previous posts about him, allow me to provide you a quick explanation. Inky Johnson was a stand out college football player. He was projected to be an early first-round pick and an instant millionaire. He came from a very poor family and was looking forward to being able to help them move to a better location. Only a few games before being drafted, Inky suffered a hit that ended up costing him the use of his right arm and the ability to ever play football again. In one play, all of the years of hard work and dreams of being able to help his family were taken away from him. That would be enough to break most people. Not Inky Johnson. When the doctors told him that he would never be able to use his arm again, he politely corrected them. “I am going to use this arm every day.” was his response. Inky has went on to be one of the most powerful speakers and motivators. He uses his story to inspire those that he speaks to.
When someone like that speaks, I tend to listen. What about all of those years of discipline and hard work that seemed to be for nothing? He has an answer for that too. He said something in this video that really stuck with me. He said if you want long-term success, you should eliminate the outcome. This sounds very counterintuitive, but considering who was speaking, I listened. He explained if you tie your efforts to an outcome, you will never be successful. The outcome, he said, can be taken away from you. I think he knows a thing or two about that. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as his situation. You could have been a great employee for years at your company and then they have to downsize or go out of business. You could work on being a great spouse, and your lover could leave you.
What is the point here? Don’t have any goals? Don’t chase any dreams? Not at all. What Inky said next in the video really made sense. He asked, “What is more important? What you get or who you become?” You see my friends, what you get can always be taken away from you, but who you become is yours forever. If your goal is to get in shape for that class reunion, that is good, but what if it gets canceled? How about getting in shape because you want to give your children someone they can be proud of? How about becoming someone who can be proud of themselves?
When we are setting our goals for the coming year, let us focus on who we want to become and not just what we hope to obtain. Ask yourself, who do you want to be in the coming year?