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 015: Forget new years resolutions! Do this instead.

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Seven rituals I’m going to maintain for 2014.

I used to make New years resolutions on the 1st of January and inevitably I wouldn’t keep them. I was puzzled as to why they didn’t work. I think now that the behaviour changes that I had proposed were not in alignment with how I viewed myself. Therefore the changes didn’t feel natural. Yet again, the new-year feeling is going to be hitting everyone. This is the only time of the year when most people take stock of how they have been doing and make an attempt to make things better for themselves. I will set some goals, but I am more focussed on developing powerful rituals that will lead to success, balance and happiness in all areas of my life.

1: Become focussed on constant improvement.

When I’m making progress with something, I feel better. I’ve noticed that focussing on becoming better in all areas is what leads to satisfaction. My goal is to think of small improvements that I could make in my health, relationships, family life and career and to start implementing them.

2: Give attention to all aspects of myself.

When I take care of all aspects of myself, I am a better person to be around. Developing my spirit makes me more appreciative of everything I have and my place in the world. Developing my mind gives me more information that helps with my decision making. Developing my heart allows me to see the true path that I should be following. This in turn affects the choices I make and the standards I set for myself. Developing my body gives me vital energy and strength. If I can be faithful to myself during the course of 2014, I will make tremendous progress with my goals.

3: Create the image of the person I want to be and be it now.

Counter intuitive as it sounds, acting as the person I want to be who already has all the things that I want will have a profound effect upon the choices I make and the way that I approach all situations. It sounds strange, but I need to see the world in the way I want it to be for me, which will then allow me to become that person. If I can’t see it first, then it will never become a reality. Seeing myself as a writer led to me starting this blog. Seeing myself as a loving husband and father allows me to focus on balance in my personal life. Seeing myself as financially free has made me start small steps towards that goal already.

4: Become in tune with my feelings.

Antony Robbins believes that all feelings that we have give us messages and clues that we need to take some action of some kind. When I ignored my feelings in the past, they didn’t go away but became gradually stronger. They started as a whisper, then a shout and then a scream that forced everything else out of my head and took all of my attention. I don’t want that happening again, so I now choose to acknowledge my feelings and heed the message that my intuition is giving me.

5: Use my voice.

In the past I have been someone who hasn’t always expressed themselves. I sometimes did this through fear of my ideas being rejected or because I didn’t want to come across as confrontational. When I think of the person I want to become that will lead to having the things I want to have, using my voice is an essential aspect of that person. I have come to accept that not everyone will think the same as me and that’s ok. There will be times when people are going to doubt my view and doubt me. I now realise that other people’s opinions of me is of no concern of mine. When you can let go of caring about what everyone thinks of you, you feel so much lighter and free. In the past I have been so shackled by the opinions of others that it has stopped me taking action. This can happen no more.

6: Being awake and aware.

Everything we need is all around us if we just look. I have sometimes said to some of the children in my class that they are asleep with their eyes open. What I mean by that is that they are not fully engaged with the activity that is happening around them and as a result have limited returns from their learning. I have been guilty of this sometimes in my own life. I have been somewhere physically, but have not engaged fully with the environment or people around me. This tends to be when I am lost in my head over thinking things. I am going to really focus on developing my awareness of what is happening around me and the messages I am being sent. Feedback is only as valuable as what you do with it. The most successful students I have had take on board my ideas for how they can get better and develop rapidly. I want to model that student teacher relationship with experiences in my life. I want to become aware of the possibilities that are available to me, and being more conscious and in control of my state.

7:  Counting my blessings

I live an awesome life. As I write this, I have a beautiful wife, an amazing young son, a baby on the way (any minute now) and I have a career. I know what direction I want to take my life in the future, and I am willing to make the necessary changes to myself in order to get closer to my goals. I must never forget to appreciate my life. My mindset is one of appreciation and gratitude. Money will come and go. There will be good and bad times. Right now, things are awesome but I know the seasons of life always change. Some events will be so bad, that I will want to give up. I know this and accept it and will do everything in my power even within those hard times, to count the blessings that I have at that point and to persist.

I hope that these rituals will help me to manifest everything that I want for myself and my family in 2014 and beyond. When I approach my goals with these rituals in place, then my chances of success are far greater because of the person I will become.

Best wishes for the end of 2013 and the start of 2014. Are there any goals or aspirations that you are aiming for this up and coming year?

Go for them with enthusiasm and intensity.

Here’s to your success.

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

Post 004: What’s the point?

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My boy. The most important person in my life.

I’ve been spending some time reflecting recently on what motivates me. This idea is so important. My life is improving quickly now because I am developing my purpose. It has allowed me to find the internal reasons that I want to have success in life. Nathan is a huge part of that and there are other things to that are massively important to me.

I won’t share all of my purpose statement, but I will give you a little flavour of what I wrote down.

This isn’t the finished article, and it seems like the refinement and improvement of my purpose statement will be a task for life.

I do it for my wife because she is my partner for the rest of our lives. I want us to have the best that we can.

I do it for Nathan and Alicia to put the high achieving mind-set into them with Annemarie’s help. I want them to be resourceful, happy people who can navigate life with confidence and have mental, spiritual and emotional maturity.

I do it for my mum to repay her for giving me life and working so hard all her life and sacrificing so much to give me the childhood she did.

I do it for my brother to show him the blueprint so that he can follow.

I do it for my dad because he gave me life and I know he loved me.

Have you spent time to think about your purpose?

Why do you want to have success?

What does success mean to you?

All the best.

Shaun

I need this so that my children can be around and be inspired by a mum and dad who believe in and live a life of success and purpose.