It’s your time!

I heard an inspirational song this weekend when I was cooking dinner for my family. It’s catchy and the lyrics are motivating. The premise of the song is to really go for what you want. It makes references to God being behind you and on your side. Now whether you believe in God or not, there is something to be said about belief and faith to power you forward. Whenever I have achieved notable things in my life, I’ve had to struggle and fight with fear and laziness, and kick them in the ass. Faith is the way to do it.
Faith is what pushes you forward when there is no evidence around you that things will work out. When watching high level performers, the unifying factor they all have is belief in their abilities.
Do you have faith that you are going to achieve the goals you have set for yourself?
Belief might be the most important factor.
Before I signed up for total warrior this summer, I was undecided about whether I was going to take part. As soon as I made the commitment and signed up, my actions became easier. I trained consistently, got into good aerobic shape and performed really well on the day.
I had faith in my ability to succeed and did not entertain the thought of not competing and giving it my all. Here are my top tips for keeping and strengthening the faith.

Unleash the beast!

Unleash the beast!

1. Take action!!!!!!!!!!! Activate your beast mode.

Before Total warrior, my fitness was not up to par, so I set myself a challenge. Every Monday, I would set myself the challenge of running to the bottom of West Vale, and then turning back and running back uphill all the way to the peak. To put this in context, This hill is constantly uphill for about forty five minutes. At points it’s so steep that I never imagined that I could get to the top. Every Monday I would lace up my trainers and go for it again with the simple mantra of one more step than last week. After two months, I conquered the hill. Not only that, but I started to thrive on the hills and enjoy the feeling of dominating what I once thought was impossible.
I have never felt so powerful from running and this pumped so much belief and faith into me that I couldn’t wait to get to the race day and push myself. Beast mode is a state of feeling but you can’t just tap into it straight away. You have to develop it through persistent consistent effort no matter what the memes say.
2. Have a partner in crime.
Having someone training with you or helping you develop a skill or capacity is extremely powerful. You have that person then who knows what you are going through and can encourage you, as well as keep you accountable to what you agreed to.

3. Visualise yourself succeeding.
I had never really practiced visualisation before until I came across the practice in Tom Venuto’s book ‘Burn the fat feed the muscle.’ It then seemed like every book I read on personal development and health talked about it’s power. I have not yet made this a consistent practice yet and it is something I am incorporating far more these days. However the early benefits warrant the reviews. It gives me clarity and purpose and is a daily reminder of what I want to achieve with my life.

4. Study those who have done what you want to do and learn from them (mentorship)
Nothing is more powerful than a role model. They give you the faith that what you want to achieve is possible because they have done it themselves. If you can speak with some of these people, then you are on the fast track to success because they can share their strategies and ideas with you that might make the difference between struggling alone and really blossoming into your true potential. My mentor has really helped to develop my mind-set and as I grow and develop, I will look to other mentors to learn even more from.

There are four strategies that would go a long way to helping you develop your belief and faith in yourself and the things you want to make happen. Now go get it!
Are there any other strategies that you would include in this list? Do you already use any of these techniques successfully. If so it would be great to hear from you.
I wish you the best
Shaun

Post 017: As important as goal setting?

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“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” -Sally Berger

As I have mentioned in an earlier post, new years resolutions have frustrated me in the past and been ineffective for me. This year, I thought long and hard in the run up to the new year about how I could set goals differently. I have already spoken about the character goals that I have in an earlier post, but when it came to setting more career and life based goals, focussing on behaviours and actions helped make the process much easier.

I have set myself some ambitious targets this year that really excite me. Now, if I attain the targets bang on time, then I can pat myself on the back and celebrate and I do intend to give it my best shot. However, I am also aware that my life situation has changed dramatically with the arrival of my second child and this will have an impact on my life as well. This has forced me to come away from a overly intense approach when it comes to taking action, and trying to focus more on putting in rituals that will allow me to be consistent.

I have looked at my major goals and asked myself the question: What action can I consistently take that will get me to that target?

Case in point: One of my goals as I already mentioned, is to finish my story in 2014. In order to achieve this, I haven’t cut myself off from my family and friends and abandoned all other endeavours. I have instead decided to focus on writing a minimum of 100 words 3 days a week every week. Now that sounds too easy doesn’t it? This is precisely why it is an excellent system of behaviour for that particular goal. It will train me to become consistent and over time build upon that solid foundation of discipline. The day will come when I will be able to write 500 words 3 days a week with as much ease as I can write 100 now. I will allow momentum to build naturally with these behaviours when I feel capable of taking more on.

Our goals and targets should push us, but not overwhelm us. Overwhelm leads to no action and stressing about goals will lead to poor performance. Better to have some rituals that you can become consistent with and let them lead you to your goals, than overly lofty targets that leads to nothing. In the past I have been guilty of lying to myself about what I can manage in terms of setting goals and striving for them. The key this year is that I have recognised the need for action to happen. Even if the action is slight, that nudge us still progress.

What goals have you set yourself for 2014?

Have you reflected on whether your goals are attainable in the time frame that you have allowed for them?

Answering these questions will help you set up a winning formula for your goals and dreams for this year

I wish you the best.

Shaun.

Post 16: Welcome to the world

Post 016: Welcome to the world.

As I look back on 2013, I have much to be thankful for. On the 27th December 2013, my daughter Ava entered the world and since then has enriched my life immensely in her short time with us. She is so beautiful that I find my-self staring at her for hours on end and cuddling her constantly.

My family unit is my main source of motivation in life. I get out bed and go to work for them. I write my goals and aspirations down and am trying to reach them to show my children and wife that we literally can have whatever we want in life. The example that I set for my family with my focus on self development and improvement, I see as one of the greatest gifts that I can pass on to my children. The reading, writing and gathering of wisdom of great characters and thinkers will serve them well and help them to reach their goals in life when their time comes.

Just yesterday, my wife was talking about how it would be nice to go away on holiday to a hot sunny place this year. We have set a goal of paying off all our bad debt over the next 2 years, so realistically this probably won’t happen. This hurt me because I want us to be in a position where we can decide to do something like go away for a holiday without having to worry over money so much. But we’re doing the right thing. Delayed gratification will mean that when we finally do take that luxury holiday, we will be doing it on our terms without limitations and with the feeling of being free from consumer debt. That motivation is far greater than the need for a lavish holiday right now and the realisation that we are on that track already really cheered us both up. Plus, if I raise my income level then that debt might be written off earlier and we could be packing our suitcases sooner than we think.

2014 is a big year for us where I plan to make a career change that is more in alignment with my goals and dreams. Yes it will be challenging, but the reason why I must persist is stronger than any fears for my future out of the comfort zone of my current working position.

Welcome to the world Ava, we’re going to have a great time together.

Post 012: Be faithful over a few

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23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

I have been really trying to develop my consistency. I have realised that consistently high standards will inevitably lead to the improvements and progress I want to see in my life. I think this principle taps into other things that may not be obvious at first glance.

In the past, I was a sucker for the promises of rapid results. You know what I mean. Claims like: ‘Lose 20 pounds in 30 days’ ‘Get ripped in 3 weeks’ ‘The secrets to riches. Become a millionaire in 3 weeks.’ This stuff is clearly non-sense and the people who make these claims are using the dreams of others to make profits. I don’t trust any quick fix scheme because I know the person behind it is hooking people in with the promise of an easy life in areas where the only thing that actually works and produces results is hard work.

Yes hard work! The one thing that the successful understand and the unsuccessful are in denial about. Since forgetting about looking for the next big thing in fat loss, I’ve started seeing results. As an example, here’s how I decided what to do for my physical training program. I looked at my current life situation (One young toddler, another baby on the way) and used that to decide on the fitness regime that I could be the most consistent with. I then made a commitment of 12 months worth of no questions asked hard work. I then got started .For me it was as simple as that. Just get going.

I’m not constantly looking over my shoulder and thinking that I could be getting faster or better results if I was using different equipment, or training in the gym, or working out at a particular time. I stopped buying fitness magazines and consuming their articles, and obsessing over never ending variables. I discovered that when I was stuck for results and asking questions like this I wasn’t getting to the root of the problem. Consistency, being faithful to an approach will bring results because the dogged persistence must bring some sort of change.

This principle of faith, consistency and persistence can be applied to anything in life and will produce results. The results can be positive or negative. The principle cannot be avoided as it works on us all. If you are unfaithful over your responsibilities, then eventually you will pay the price. If you neglect your health, it declines. If you neglect your family, your spirit, anything you can think of, we can clearly see that growth and progress cannot take place.

Now when I initially made this distinction in my head, I was overwhelmed. It seemed like there were too many things that needed my attention and that I couldn’t cope. How do we juggle all these things and make the steps needed to progress? My results have been improving when I took deliberate steps to maintain and enhance my emotional state. I have had to learn how to get a grip of myself. This has been a very challenging but rewarding experience. I will write a separate blog post to explain what I mean by this further.

I became faithful over a few small disciplines and they are starting to pay off. I exercise most mornings by walking or jogging whilst listening to audiobooks. Before my day gets busy and hectic, I take the time to mediate and connect with my spirit.  I write my goals and dreams daily and try to create a task list in alignment with these few important areas of my life. I take the time to give thanks for the gift of a new day and another chance to get a little bit closer to my goals and aspirations. Will power is now not relevant, because these practices are now a part of who I am. I see the value in them and so make the time needed for them by getting out of bed early in the morning.

If we can try to stay focussed on the things that will bring the most benefit to us in our lives, then we can see how making progress is a process that has to start small and then grow and develop through a series of steps and breakthroughs. This is a law of nature that permeates all things. My mistake was that I was trying to get massive results before I had developed consistency. Now, I am focussed on the consistency, and I have faith that this will eventually translate into the results that I have always wanted.

Choose success!

Shaun