We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.” ― Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
Growth requires that you push yourself beyond the boundaries you have become comfortable with. It’s a new year, perhaps you have some goals that you’d like to focus on. Do those goals push you beyond what you have done before?
If you haven’t developed a set of personal goals or professional goals now is the time to create some. What are some things you could do to enhance your life?
How do you want to grow as a person?
How do you want to grow as a professional?
Thing big, Think bigger.
Find the thing within you that inspires and motivates you and then do something with that inspiration. Make something new. Make something happen. Start today.
“You become what you think about all day long.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is your obsession? What keeps you awake, powerfully awake?
Think about some powerful leaders who are obsessed with their goal. Not just being passionate about their goal, obsessed with achieving their goal. Think Elon Musk, obsessed with making Tesla succeed. Steve Jobs was obsessed with making Apple the best at what it does. Jeff Bezos and Amazon, there is an obsession behind those doors.
Game changers are more than just passionate about their dreams, they are obsessed with them. Their drive makes those dreams come true.
So, what are you obsessed with? What drives you each day beyond excuses and fears? How often does fear enter your thoughts and drive back your dreams? Are you just getting by or is there something you really want to do that is a game changer?
“Leadership is a process where a leader has a purpose oriented destination and lets the followers find the best way to get there with a common vision and goal.”
― Debasish Mridha
In your organization are you given directions or a destination?
What is more powerful, the directions or the destination?
Too often people are given directions on how to do things rather than being given a destination to head towards. Give people the power to determine the direction. Give people a powerful destination and people with engage with enthusiasm to reach the goal.
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
― Mark Twain
It’s a new year. It’s time to start something new. It’s time to ban excuse making. It’s time to take responsibility. It’s time to turn to a new page. It’s time to write a new chapter. It’s time to begin.
Most people don’t start something new. They don’t start because they are afraid.
Don’t take a risk, your boss may not approve.
Don’t exercise, it’s too hard to get started.
Don’t learn something new, it might mean not watching TV.
Don’t fail, it might ruin your self-esteem.
If you’re like most people you have a reason not to start something new. Challenge that reason. Force that reason to tell the truth. The truth is what ________________. Write down what that is.
Find a reason to start something new. You’re at the starting line of a new year. Make something new come from you. Let something new impact your thinking. Start something new today.
“Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible”
― Cherie Carter-Scott
What kind of life are you living right now? Is it the kind of life you really want or are you looking for something that would make your life more than just ordinary, plain, a dull grey rather than a life that is wonder filled, exciting and full of color.
Which column of words below describes your life?
The easy way
the right way
What’s in it for me
We all win
What are you intentionally doing to make your life better?
What are you taking charge of? What will it take so that you can start living an extraordinary life?
Step outside of your comfort zone and explore living with feeling, with zest, with abundance, with a sense of being alive and with a sense of excitement. Think about where you are right now and where you could be, what is it that you really want? Set the intention and take action today.
“Perhaps the severest requirement of the good life is to have the constancy of mind to maintain our joy and gratitude even amid hardship, pain, and injustice.”
Brendon Burchard from the Motivation Manifesto
Have you ever asked the question what do people want? What do people really want? Is it more money? For some it is but for most it isn’t. Is it a better job, for some that may be the case but there are some who have their dream job. Is traveling what you want? Is it a better relationship? Is it personal growth? Is it the feeling of significance? What is it that people want?
The answer might be as simple as a choice. The choice to do what really matters most is what people want. Work is often a choice for many people if it is engaging and meaningful. Relationships that are fulfilling and allow for personal growth is a choice many would like to be able to make. What kind of choices could you make to increase vitality and joy in your life?
What dreams have you had that dried up and blew away that you wish you made the choice to follow? The choice was there at one time and you ignored its call to follow something that others would say is more important. What if you had that chance again would you follow your dream?
The mastery of life is about making the best choices for you. It is about living your life authentically and with vitality. The mastery of life is about creating wonderful goals that inspire and motivate you and then doing what you can with what you have to realize those goals. The mastery of life is about being aware of who you are and what you are doing. The mastery of life is about having the ability to make choices. What choices are you making that will make your life rich with significance?
A new year is around the corner. What changes do you want to make in your life?What do you want to do that matters most to you? What is stopping you from realizing your dreams?
Mastery is not something that strikes in an instant, like a thunderbolt, but a gathering power that moves steadily through time, like weather.”
― John Gardner
“He well knew his mind’s natural tendency to be endlessly on a thousand subjects at once, to flit from this to that and to the next thing to no particular purpose–indeed, he called it his “butterfly mind.”
― Eric Metaxas
What do you focus on? One of a thousand things running around in your mind all screaming for attention or something else?
More than ever before distractions are taking a toll on productivity, getting results that matter. People are trying to keep all the things they want to do in their mind and their mind is the worst place to keep a list of things. The mind wants to give attention to every item and in an effort not to forget it latches on to one thing for a brief period of time and then lets it go to grab on to something else. It is trying to remember what you want to remember and cycling through that list and on occasion you’ll grab one of those items and start working on it only to let it go to grab onto something else. It’s not a very good use of your time and it doesn’t allow you to finish what you started.
You might be able to hold onto a few things in your mind, perhaps seven items before things start careening out of control. Be on time to the meeting, make a phone call, write the report, make sure you prepared for the meeting, fix the problem that suddenly came up and …, everything wants your attention.
To get the best results requires focus and limiting (setting boundaries) that work for you. So, let’s look at 5 ways to increase focus and get better results.
1. Prepare and Plan
3. Stick to the schedule
Prepare and Plan – At the beginning of the day sort out what really needs to be done. Write them down. If the list is really long then figure out what can be done today. What are the top six things that need to be addressed? Figure out how long each item will take to complete. Be realistic, most people tend to be very optimistic on what they can accomplish.
Prioritize – Figure out what is most important to do. Do the hardest thing when you have the most energy. For some people the morning is their best time and for others it might be the afternoon. Figure out when you will have the most energy and do the hardest work then. Do the easy things when your willpower and drive is lower.
Stick to the schedule – you created the plan and now distractions are coming in from others and they want your attention and time. In order to be highly productive focus on the results you need for today. What can you say “No” to? What can you defer? How can you manage distractions so they don’t reduce your effectiveness? Create the discipline to focus on what you need to do and set fixed boundaries around your time. At the end of the day getting the right results matter.
Energize – take time to restore your energy. 90 minutes of full-out effort is about the maximum one can focus and concentrate on one thing for most people. In that time the brain will consume a lot of energy and you’ll need to recharge. To recharge get up and move – take in some deep breaths and do something to get the blood flowing. Take a walk for 10 minutes, run up a flight of stairs, do something that will get your blood moving. Then refuel with water and the right kinds of foods (nuts, fruits, vegetables).
Reflect – At the end of the day take a few minutes to evaluate what you accomplished. Write down the things you did complete and check to see if those things were estimated well and if the task was easy or hard to complete. Note the number of distractions and where they came from (customers, managers, co-workers, others). What was draining your time? What things were taking you away from being productive? How many of those things kept you from getting the right results? Use these lessons to plan better for the next day.
High achievers build into their lives the habits that generate the best results. With practice you can become a high achiever.
“The world’s greatest achievers have been those who have always stayed focused on their goals and have been consistent in their efforts.”
What can you do in 10 minutes?
– Plan the day
– Put the dishes away
– Clean the bathroom
– Fold clothes
– Encourage someone
– Walk the dog
– Drink a glass of water
– Write down your thoughts
– Make a commitment
– Learn something new
– Help someone else
– Call a friend
– Thank someone
– Take a moment to appreciate something
– Reflect on a lesson
There is a lot that can be done in 10 minutes to improve your life, your day or your week. In the busyness of everyday life it is easy to neglect the idea that 10 minutes can make a huge difference in personal or professional productivity.
Planning is perhaps the most important activity to complete as it helps you determine what is important and what isn’t important to work on. The plans would allow you to create blocks of time in the day to complete important work, focused work, or a single activity where you put your best attention.
What things can you do in 10 minutes? If you have things you haven’t started on use the 10 minute test and just do 10 minutes of an activity and see how far you get.
Do what you can in a 10 minute sprint – you’ll be surprised.
“The majority of people don’t want to plan. They want to be free of the responsibility of planning. What they ask for is merely some assurance that they will be decently provided for. The rest is a day-to-day enjoyment of life.”
One thing that I find that is pretty consistent is that people with plans experience better results and enjoy greater happiness.
A simple plan written down will create space to achieve results. Set your day up for success. Write down the goals you want to achieve and then schedule those goals. Block out time for those specific important activities.
When the time comes to start the task, turn off the phone, turn off the email, turn off the distractions and focus on achieving the goal. What happens if you don’t turn off the distractions, those distractions will interrupt your ability to get the results you want. Focus on the goal.
Having a plan and following the plan will help you realize uncommon success. Confidence increases when goals are achieved. Plan your day so you can get better results.
“I have a subconscious list of rules for how reality should work. I did not develop these rules on purpose, and most of them don’t make sense – which is disturbing when you consider that they are an attempt to govern the behavior of reality – but they exist, and they play a large role in determining how I react to the things that happen to me. Large enough that a majority of the feelings I feel are simply a reaction to reality not complying with my arbitrary set of rules. ”
― Allie Brosh
Think about the rules you have in your life. You have rules for everything. Your life is about rules, like stopping at a train crossing or stopping at a stop sign.
If you are thinking I don’t live by rules then just look at your habits. You do have habits, things you do, things you say, the way you approach a problem or the way you tackle each day. You do have habits and some work for you and some don’t.
Habits are rules that we use to reduce the amount of thinking we have to do. Habits are programs that run in the background of your consciousness and some work well and some don’t. If you find yourself doing things that don’t produce great results for you then you might want to change some of the rules you operate by.
Sometimes the issue is trying to find the rules that you want to change so that you can change them. Some habits/rules are so embedded in our daily life that we aren’t even aware of them. Becoming aware of those “hidden” rules is the first step to creating positive change. What rules are running your life the way you don’t want them to? What would you like to change?