Why Consistency is Key to Your Success

 

Graphic source: weheartit.com

Graphic source: weheartit.com

“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” [Tony Robbins]

Consistency is crucial. It’s the difference between failure and success. There’s no point in starting something  and being lackadaisical. It’s self sabotage and it destroys motivation

Here’s a hard truth – you may have the best ideas, the best resources, the best strategies, the best plans but without consistency they mean nothing.

Zilch.

Here’s another hard truth – if you’re continually flitting from idea to idea, guru to guru, shiny object to shiny object, you aren’t going to get anywhere.

Trust me. I know.

I am by nature a ‘starter’, not a ‘finisher’. I used to be great at enthusiastically starting new projects or routines and letting them drift away into nothing because I didn’t maintain the effort needed. Then I’d wonder why things stayed more or less the same.  Eventually, with help, I realised what was happening and started to change my approach. And I’ve wondered how many opportunities I lost or wasted. But it’s never too late to make a fresh start!

The people who make it to the top  are the ones with solid, dependable habits,  who get up every day and do what has to be done, properly and carefully – and here’s another key – whether they feel like it or not!

Ashton Kutcher hit the nail on the head when he said that ‘Opportunity looks a lot like hard work.’  And so does success. It’s about making a conscious decision to work for your dreams, creating opportunities for success,  day in & day out.

Consistency builds your reputation

Truth.

How many people do you know, socially or professionally, that you think are flaky or unreliable because you don’t know whether they will come through? How often does this kind of behaviour really vex you? How often do you do it?

Consistency positions you professionally

If you repeatedly show up, always doing your best, always with a positive, can-do attitude, people start to notice and respect you because you’re reliable and trustworthy.

Consistency allows you to take stock

When you implement a new routine or plan and you stick with it you can reliably evaluate and measure your progress  and see how it’s shaping up. You can make informed decisions about what to do next because you have accurate data.

Tips on being consistent

Think long term – consistency is not about speed and how fast you can accomplish something – it’s about longevity.

Build your life so that it will be sustainable and successful years ahead,  how you want it to be five, ten, twenty or more years from now. Every day you’re  adding another brick to your vision.

1) See consistency as a journey rather than a quick fix solution. Rome wasn’t built in a day 🙂

2) Know what you’re aiming to achieve and plan ahead.

3) Work your goals. They are the blueprint. Drop anything which doesn’t serve them..Keep reminding yourself of the benefits of achieving your goals –  this is very motivating and encouraging.

4) You don’t have to do everything every day – some tasks/actions can be done daily, others two or three times a week or twice a month and so on.

5) Fix times to certain actions – we are creatures of habit and routine.  By performing certain tasks at certain times, you will quickly discover that you’re doing them automatically.

6) If you let something slip – forgive yourself and get back into routine.

7) Find an accountability partner.  You need someone who is both supportive and willing to call you out if needed. If you don’t have someone, think about hiring a life coach for a couple of hours each month.

8)  Remind yourself how pleased you will be in the future when you reap the rewards of being consistent.

9) Celebrate along the way! Give yourself little treats.

Finally, I have grown to appreciate and love consistency as key to my overall success in both my personal and business life.

I hope you do too! 🙂

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

 

Simplify for Success [lifehack]

Are you always busy?

Dashing from here to there and back again, with your never-ending to-do list clutched in one hand, your phone clutched in the other as you frantically send out another FB update or  tweet or  text?

Does  housework feel like the labours of Hercules?

Are the important people in your life are getting less of your full-on attention than they deserve?

Do you fall into bed, exhausted at the end of the day, knowing that tomorrow the whole wretched merry-go-round starts again?

Do you always/often feel less than 100% physically?

Do you feel overwhelmed or that you’re failing?

Do you want it to stop?

If you’ve said ‘yes’ then here are some suggestions to help you simplify your life.  You might find it challenging at first – that’s OK – do what you can.

You’ll feel better, have more time, feel fresher and more productive. Success and simplicity go hand-in-hand.  And remember it’s an ongoing process – you may wish to revisit some of the items on the list again in the future

hih

Do as much as possible this week and chances are you’ll feel so energised you’ll keep finding more and more ways to simplify for success!!

How can you declutter your home? 

Keep all the items that have sentimental value but generally I think that most of us have way too much stuff – from furniture to ornaments and gadgets – that we hardly ever use. Grab some bin bags and go round your house and decide what you genuinely need and give the rest to a charity shop or a friend and let someone else appreciate it.

What about all those things that are going to be mended some day? It’s time to either mend them or dispose of them in some way – do you have a friend who might love the chance to fix it?

Lots of toys that the kids no longer play with? Send them to a charity if they’re still in good condition.

How many clothes do you have lurking in the back of wardrobes that aren’t going to be worn again? [Be honest 🙂 ] Pack them off to a charity shop or give them to friends.

What about paperwork – shred or bin all those old, useless documents and receipts for something that’s been broken for years etc

How can you declutter your time?

Is there any social activity that you can drop and not really miss doing?

What can you delegate? Are there tasks at work that can be handed over to someone else – at least some of the time? What about chores at home? Can you delegate any of those? Are you able to pay for a cleaner to come in once or twice a week and take some of the load off you?

Maybe you could have a gardener come now and again to do some of the heavy work in the garden?

What about food shopping online? Once you’ve set it up it’s fairly easy to redo it each week and still take advantage of any special offers.  And don’t forget you can book tickets on line as well.

Cook simple meals in the evening and, if you can, make enough so that you can freeze some for another day.

Start saying ‘no’

It’s easy to fill up our time with things that we don’t really want to do or don’t really have the time for. Say ‘ no’ to events and invitations unless you’re excited about going or it’s really important to the other person.  But if  you don’t really fancy that  BBQ on Saturday, then simply say apologise and politely turn down the invitation.

Spend less time on the internet

Isn’t it amazing how 5 minutes checking emails or face book mysteriously turns into an hour or more? 🙂 Limit your sessions on social media and see who/what you can delete from your lists.

Stop trying to multi-task

Multitasking is counterproductive as it burdens the brain and slows us down. Read more here.

Instead of multitasking, group similar activities together and tackle them one after another. For example, set aside time to send all your tweets and emails. Or lump all your errands together and do them in one fell swoop,  so that you don’t need to keep driving to various places.

Once you start simplifying your life, you’ll discover new ways and ideas. Make a start and see how much more productive, happy and successful you are!

Thank you for reading this blog post.

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

 

 

 

 

Why you CAN’T Multi-Task [life hack]

Ok. Hands up if you do any of these…..

  • read & reply to emails while talking to a colleague
  • text while you’re walking from one place to another
  • discreetly write out a shopping list during a meeting
  • study while you’re watching the match or your fave series
  • send business related tweets while you’re writing a report or number crunching
  • check Face Book during the sermon

…..and you can probably add a few more.  We live in a world where being over busy has   gained a status that it doesn’t deserve. Forget the designer clothes, posh house – being ‘too busy’ is the sign of success.

Busyness

Our lives are packed these days – literally thousands of new items of information  land on our desks or devices every day.

Plus the usual work-related tasks, housework, shopping, caring for children and/or parents,  walking the dog, fitting in exercise or seeing friends, finding time to read the Bible, pray…….

It’s not surprising that we turn to multitasking to be more productive and to  save a few precious minutes here and there – after all, cognitively we seem able to follow several threads of thought at a time. Right?

Not exactly.

It’s possible to perform ‘background tasks’ – eating and watching TV, running several loads of washing while reading a report – because the background task requires little cognitive effort.

Multitasking refers to when we try to perform two, or more, actions simultaneously that each require attention and full brain power.

And the truth is,   you can’t multitask effectively. Multitasking is a myth.

And a dangerous one.

Failures of Multitasking

We all know that texting and driving can have disastrous consequences.

But did you know that, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.” [Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, 2005 – emphasis mine]

The same research indicated that multi-tasking is akin to performing tasks when you haven’t slept for 36 hours!

It’s clear from this that trying to do two or more things at once is totally counter-productive and not likely to lead to successful job completion.

Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work

Without getting too technical what happens is that your brain can’t do two things at once. So, it switches back and forth between the tasks, using up energy and reducing your attention. This negative effect is apparently worse the older we get, and has been researched by Adam Gazzaley.

To put it another way, you’re not able to fully focus or concentrate on any of the tasks you’re attempting. Hence  a loss in efficiency and effectiveness as you’re likely to make more mistakes, especially as the day goes on and you start to be tired.

And here’s the real blow – multitasking actually slows you down!

It’s far faster to fully focus on one action then move onto the next.

How Multitasking Affects Health

Dr Andrew Rosen of South Florida’s Centre for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders states that multitasking:

  • “overloads the neurons
  • depletes the brain chemicals we need
  • overloads the central nervous system”

Multitasking can result in:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • reduced memory
  • burn-out

Ways to Cut Back

  • reduce the amount of people/groups you follow  on social media – stick with the ones that really matter. If you hardly ever read those newsletters. unsubscribe.
  • organise your day so that you have strict time-slots for dealing with social media, meetings with colleagues. phone calls etc
  • delegate what you can
  • to avoid interruptions try to find  a quiet corner away from people
  • politely but firmly rebuff people who try to interrupt you unless it’s urgent.  If you can, put up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign and make it obvious that you mean it
  • focus on one job at at a time – it may take a little practice but you’ll find that you’ll be able to concentrate harder and for longer
  • if you do find yourself slipping back into multitasking, stop, take a short break and then decide which task you’re going to tackle first

If you want to read more about multi-tasking, have a look at  ‘The Myth of Multitasking” by Dave Crenshaw

Multi-tasking is counter productive. It  exhausts you and contributes to impaired performance.  I hope these tips will help you  – let me know! If you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments or at ninafcoach@gmail.com & also connect with me on twitter.

 

7 Reasons why you should love your goals!

 “People with goals succeed because they know where they are going – it’s as simple as that.”  Earl Nightingale

earRight, I’m going to start with a big confession.

I love, love, love goals and goal setting! I can – and do! – talk about goals for hours to anyone who’s interested. [Yes, my family and friends are very long-suffering :)]

Why? Why am I so keen on something that most people don’t do?

And in fact I didn’t use to, until I discovered that proper planning makes a HUGE difference to my life and its outcomes.

Why goals rock – ie why you should love them

Goals are plans and strategies to move you and your life forward, not wishes or daydreams. In other words, goals give direction to your life. How do you know where you’re going, how to get there, or if you’ve got there without goals?  

Writing goals down in a journal and reviewing them regularly, sticking post-it notes in prominent places and/or discussing them with a supportive friend, activates your reticular activating system (RAS). This brings clarity and focus – helping you to quickly spot things that help you reach your goals.  Basically, the RAS is your best buddy in reaching your goals.

Knowing the why behind the goal [all the benefits] gives you purpose and fulfilment.

You simplify your life because you have a clear focus and can eliminate what isn’t going to propel you forward.

Goals make decision making easier.

Celebrating every small success releases dopamine which makes you feel good and encourages you to tackle the next task.

People who set goals and work on them are more successful, fulfilled and happier.

Honestly, what’s not to love about goals? If you have any comments, doubts about how lovable goals are or queries, pop them into the comments box or email ninafcoach@gmail.com

You may also find this post useful – Why and Other Questions You Must Answer Before You Set Your Goals – yes, it’s a mouthful but it’s a good read 🙂

“Setting goals is the single most important step you will take in improving your life.” Oli Hille

dream   Nina Franklyn Bsc[Hons], CCLC, RSA is a qualified life coach, with a special interest in goals, success and influence. She runs popular workshops as well as offering 1:1 life coaching, often via phone or email, for people who are serious about creating a better life or following their purpose.

Defeat Resistance; Be A Winner!

depressed

“Many of us have two lives. The one we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”  [Steven Pressfield]

Ouch!!

When I read Steven Pressfield’s book, The War of Art,  those 2 sentences hit home.

Hard!

And  it’s not just me.

I’ve listened to people in an agony of despair and self-criticism as days drift by without any decisive action.

Maybe you’ve been there too……..

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

You can defeat resistance and be a winner!

Resistance affects many areas

  • Creative projects
  • Business building
  • New exercise and healthy eating plans
  • Our walk with God
  • Relationships
  • Studying/writing essays
  • Making a stand for what we know is right
  • Getting involved in community/charitable projects
  • Projects around the house
  • Anything that you might be able to add to this list

Know the enemy

Truth is,  Resistance is far from futile – it’s a strong, overwhelming force that can knock us off our path, overcome our hopes and dreams and leave us reeling in despair and  futility with our self-esteem in tatters.  Over time, it can become a vicious cycle – we procrastinate or give into our fears or self-doubts and we feel a failure which makes taking the right action at the right time harder so we feel more of a failure…… and on it goes.

Slowly over time, not taking the right actions at the right time becomes a habit.

You know how Resistance operates – every time you go to start, something stops you, You don’t feel like it, the weather’s wrong, you should hoover and do another load of washing first, the car needs something doing to it, blah blah blah.

It might look a little different each time, but basically it’s all Resistance.  The result is the same – stuff doesn’t get done – whether it’s running, eating well, writing another chapter, making business contacts.

Resistance is the enemy!  It is the enemy of your life, your success, your purpose and your destiny!

You know when it’s got you in thrall.

Your plans aren’t happening, your work isn’t happening, your progress isn’t happening.

I am reminded of St Paul’s heartfelt lament in Romans 7:15

“For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” [HCSB]

Don’t be fooled – You can defeat Resistance

beat r

Resistance might shout loudly and fill our heads with ‘you can’t’, ‘not now, do it later,’  ‘this isn’t gonna work, it’s not worth doing’ and other variations on the same theme, but the truth is, Resistance is all talk.  It has little substance.  A toothless lion, if you will.

It’s important for you to grasp this, because it is incredibly important, so important that Resistance doesn’t want you to know it and will fight to stop you implementing it.

It can be defeated!

How?

[drum roll]

Action!

“Action Always Defeats Resistance!”  [N.M.Franklyn]

What to do to defeat Resistance

  • Decide that this is a battle you are going to win.
  • Accept that it will take a while – there’s no magic bullet.
  • Commit to creating new habits.
  • Start small – decide that you will work on a task for a short period of time (even if it’s only 5 minutes)  and do it. Then give yourself a small reward 🙂  Then go back and do another 5 minutes or 15 minutes – whatever you’ve decided.  Then have another reward/break. Keep this pattern going.
  • Alternatively – decide that you are going to devote 90 minutes first thing every morning to work and do it. Set a timer so that you can see the time counting down 🙂 Then when you’ve finished, give yourself a little treat.
  • Work on your tasks/projects every day – build new habits
  • Know the benefits of what you are working to achieve – this will inspire and motivate you
  • Forget perfectionism – do the very best you can right now.
  • Find an accountability partner. Choose someone you can trust, who will support and encourage you to stay on track.
  • Seek out someone who is attempting to do the same as you – either in real life or through the internet – and join forces to share the journey together.

Get into the Word

“Be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.” Romans 12: 2b The Voice

“Then you called out to God in your desperate condition;
    he got you out in the nick of time.
He led you out of your dark, dark cell,
    broke open the jail and led you out.
So thank God for his marvelous love,
    for his miracle mercy to the children he loves;
He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors,
    he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks!”

Psalm 107:12 TM

I will leave you with a great talk by Nancy Missler

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

Say Goodbye to Procrastination Forever!

“Someday is not a day of the week.”    Janet Dailey

“Someday is not a day of the week.” Janet Dailey

The truth is, we all procrastinate sometimes and it doesn’t matter much (playing Bubble Shooter is one of my distractors) but in some cases procrastination becomes a major problem with serious consequences.

But it is possible to say goodbye to procrastination forever and it’s not that difficult.

When procrastination damages lives

  • Thomas lost his business because he kept putting off sending invoices to clients.
  • Caroline could have got a first at university but only scraped a pass because she never handed her work in on time and didn’t revise for her finals.
  • Edward‘s friends and co-workers are fed-up because he’s always late, and he never keeps his commitments because he’s ‘always too busy.’

If you are going to beat procrastination, it’s helpful to understand something about it.

Two types of procrastination:

20% of adults are trait procrastinators who habitually postpone or stall, like Thomas and Caroline. In other words, they routinely procrastinate, putting off even essential tasks ‘until tomorrow’.

Edward falls into the Type B Procrastination classification – mentioning a long list of irrelevant tasks he ‘had to do’ rather than the tasks he was meant to be doing.

In fact, Edward is always scurrying from one place, one task to another. However, he fails to deliver, personally and professionally. “I’m so sorry,” he says, “I’ve been so busy lately…..” and he reels off a list of activities that ‘prevented’ him doing what had been expected of him. None of which impress or placate his friends or work mates.

The reasons for procrastination include:

fear of failure or fear of success

anxiety/low self-esteem – procrastination has a strong link to self-esteem. In fact, they feed off each other – if you have low self-esteem then you often procrastinate. This increases low self-esteem and it becomes a vicious circle.

perfectionism

inability to plan or start

inability to delay gratification e.g. it’s more fun to play computer games or chat to colleagues than start the report your boss asked for

The penalties of procrastination:

Disappointment – you don’t get a table at for an anniversary dinner because you didn’t book in time or you can’t wear your best suit for an important interview because you didn’t take it to the dry cleaners in time.

Self-sabotage – you don’t get the job because you didn’t apply in time. Researchers believe that trait procrastinators tend to have lower levels of wealth, health and happiness.

Increased stress – because things don’t get done which causes problems and also because putting things off causes people to feel guilty, irritable and defensive.

Lower self-esteem – which makes it more likely you will procrastinate in the future. It also encourages people to drink too much alcohol, overeat or smoke.

Increased stress in other people because we haven’t met our obligations to them professionally, personally or at church. This in turn causes us to feel stressed or guilty.

How to beat procrastination:

By changing your mind-set you can significantly change your habits and behaviours.

1) The vital first step is to make a conscious decision that you no longer want to procrastinate. You are going to be known as the ‘always does’ person and not the ‘never does’ person.

2) When the ‘I’ll do it later’ or ‘I can’t face it now’ thoughts start to take over, tell yourself “I ALWAYS perform tasks in a timely fashion. I am competent and capable. I can do it!” Say it over and over again until you genuinely start to believe it.

3) Find an ‘accountability buddy.’ Sharing your plans and goals with someone you trust who will keep you accountable is motivating and energising.

4) Writing things down is essential as it focuses attention. Write out a list of everything you have to do – either at work or at home. Then review it and assign each task a value:

Vital – for tasks that are urgent and important. If you have more than one Vital Task then the most pressing is 1, followed by 2 and so on. Write down why you need to get the task done and what will happen if you don’t

Important – for tasks that need to be done soon but are not urgent. Again, number them in order of importance.

Later – for tasks that can safely be left for a while.

Delegate – for tasks that you can hand over to someone else.

Start with the top 3 Vital Tasks – write them down and remind yourself of the benefits of getting them done. Work through all your Vital and Important tasks 3 or 4 at time.

5) Turn off all possible distractions e.g. close down facebook, emails etc. Remind yourself of the benefits of finishing the work in a timely manner.

6) Check you have everything you need before you start. Nothing is more discouraging than realising half way through a job that you haven’t got an item or a resource and that you are going to have to down tools and find it.

If you’re worried that you can’t do a task, ask for help or research how to do it before you start it.

7) Make sure that your work area – either at work or home – is well-organised and free from clutter. Clutter drains you emotionally. Keep tidying as you go.

8) Forget perfectionism! Instead focus on excellence – do the absolute best you can at that moment.

9) Learn as you go – so that next time you face the same task you know that you can do it successfully and to an excellent standard. This is highly motivating.

10) Reward yourself each time you accomplish a task! You deserve it and it will motivate you. Check your facebook, go for a walk, read the newspaper. It doesn’t have to be anything big – just something that will make you feel good. Plus you will be able to bask in the praise from others who have noticed the change in you 🙂

So, give these ideas a go and say goodbye to procrastination forever! Remember, that it takes 3 – 4 weeks to establish a new habit – so don’t give up if you slip back into old patterns – just start again. Let me know how you get on!

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Goal! – 7 really quick tips to stay motivated!

Keeping motivated can be a struggle but these tried and tested tips will help!

1) Know exactly what your goals are.

You need to be precise: “I want to lose some weight” or “I’m going to go to the gym more” aren’t goals. “I want to lose 7lbs in a month” and “I’m going to go the gym three times a week straight after work” are goals.

If appropriate, your goal should have an end date.

2) Know the benefits of achieving your goal.

Why do you want to reach your goal? How will it make your life better? How will your life improve?

The benefits may be:

better health

better earning power

a sense of accomplishment

a step towards a larger goal

Think about the benefits and write them down so that you can read through them regularly.

3) Only tell one or two people who will fully support you

Pick carefully. Make sure that the people you confide in will back you all the way and that they will hold you (gently) accountable. Having someone monitoring your progress is very motivating. (This is why having a life coach makes all the difference 🙂 )

4) Know what you’re letting yourself in for 🙂

In other words do as much research as possible so that you minimise the chances of unpleasant surprises long the way. Knowldege is power. Speak to people who have done what you want to do or read about them. Knowing that others have succeeded is very motivating.

5) It’s an exciting challenge NOT a chore!

It’s all about attitude – if you think it’s going to be fun, then it will be! If you think it’s going to be dull or difficult, then chances are it will be just that.

Find something fun/interesting/exciting about what you are doing. Maybe see if you can do it with someone else and you can encorage each other!

And remember why it is that you want to achieve the goal(s)

6) Celebrate along the way!

Give yourself regular ‘mini-rewards’ eg if you have done 30 minutes excercise and give yourself bigger rewards when you achieve your goal or make substantial progress towards it. If you have genuinely achieved a step, treating yourself in some way is very motivating! And you deserve it!

7) Allow yourself some flexibility

It may be that you need to revise your goal(s) – this is fine! Just make sure that you know the “what and the whys”

If you slip up or have a bad day, forget it and start again! Trust me, you are not the first person to have a hiccup along the way 🙂 Just get back in the saddle and carry on.

If you have any more tips/comments, let me know in the comment box below:)

Thank you for reading this blog.

Mistakes People Make With Goals

Just read this article in The Guardian.

There are reasons why people don’t achieve their goals. Do you know what they are? Here are some of the main ones.

Richard Wiseman, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, who led the analysis, said he and his team had asked 700 people about their strategies for achieving new year resolutions. Their goals ranged from losing weight or giving up smoking to gaining a qualification or starting a better rela
tionship.

Of the 78% who failed, many had focused on the downside of not achieving the goals; they had suppressed their cravings, fantasised about being successful, and adopted a role model or relied on willpower alone.

“Many of these ideas are frequently recommended by self-help experts but our results suggest that they simply don’t work,” Wiseman said. “If you are trying to lose weight, it’s not enough to stick a picture of a model on your fridge or fantasise about being slimmer.”

The way to reach your goals is to know what you’re trying to achieve and why and then break it down into small, manageable steps. And then take action.

Dr Wiseman also says that last minute goals don’t work because you dont feel invested in them.

Start planning your goals now.

I am interested in your comments and ideas on this post. And of course you are welcome to join the group – just scroll down and click the like button.

Are you climbing the right ladder?

laderMany people get to mid life or later and have reached the top of the ladder. Only problem is that the ladder is up against the wrong wall.

Maybe they have achieved a great deal professionally and have a lovely home and lots of expensive toys.

However, they also have a reputation for being a bully or their relationships are all disfunctional because work was always a priority.

Or they have lots of trappings but are so in debt that they daren’t answer the phone or open a letter.

Or it may not be as extreme as these examples, it may just be a general feeling of dissatisfaction and the nagging question – is this really it?

What is it that makes someone go so far off course and end up in a place they didn’t want to be?.

This common problem has one cause. The answer is found in a universal principle, that runs through all of life.

The thing with principles is that they are always true – we may not think about them, in fact we may not even know that they exist but they are still true and they just keep on doing what they do. And they are absolutely impartial – they dont have favourites and they don’t have a hit list.

So what is this principle?

It has several names. I like the Biblical explanation – seed time and harvest – what you sow you reap. We know how it works – if you plant potato seeds you aren’t going to harvest strawberries. You are going to get potatoes. It’s not rocket science – if you plant seeds of bad financial management, you will eventually harvest debt. If you plant seeds of grumpiness you will not harvest a lot of love in life.

To put it another way – the truth is that none of us end up somewhere out of the blue – life is a series of small steps and decisions that build on each other and inexorably lead us down a path. I know I’m mixing metaphors but think of these steps as being seeds that we are sowing. These steps create patterns and habits and it is these that create our life. The harvest.

Often you don’t even notice or realise what is happening – its just life – you get up and deal with whatever life throws at you.

Every decision and action that you take is taking you towards a harvest or destination – you can only go where you are headed. If you make the right decisions and take the right actions you will be content with the outcomes of your life, and you will be able to look back on the past without regret and look to the future with confidence. Yes there will be problems along the way – there always will be because life is like that – but you will know that you are in a good, strong position to deal with them.


It is never too late to start over

No matter how old you are, you can map out a new course and move towards a new destination. You can make a conscious decision to change where you are now and where you are headed. There are steps that you can take at any stage in life that will lead you towards more positive outcomes, towards success and happiness. The harvest that you truly want to have.

It starts when you change the way you think about yourself and your future. Believe that there is hope of a wonderful future – because there is, no matter how murky things seem right now.


Know who you are and Whose you are.

Read through your Bible and discover which verses ‘speak to you’ about how God sees you and what He wishes your life to look like.

Take hold of the fact that you are a new creation in Christ, that the old things have passed away and new things are starting.

God has a wonderful plan for your life.

God cares for you and asks you to cast your cares on Him, so that He can help you.

God will give you an infinite supply of wisdom, if you ask for it.

You can do everything because Jesus gives you strength.

Dealing with negative self-talk

Saying negative things about ourselves or giving in to toxic thinking is so destructive – and so easy! 😦

From my own experience I know how easy it is – for example being fairly new to social media I am often perplexed. I have to stop myself saying that I am never going to sort it out so that people enjoy what I do.

Research suggests that you believe the statements you say about yourself more than  the statements from others. So, it is obviously important to say positive and realistic things about you!

We cannot always control  the negative things others say to us or how they treat us – although I would suggest that you make every effort to surround yourself with people who support you, encourage you and give you positive, constructive feedback.

You can also train yourself to evaluate what people say to you:

  • Was there some truth in it? Is so, what can you learn from it to help you in the future?
  • Was it just someone having an off day? Then try just to let it go – we all have bad days so you can at the very least empathise with that.
  • Did it come from someone who is generally negative? There is nothing you can do about people like that except learn to let what they say go and pray for them.
  • Was the comment sparked by envy about something you have or have achieved? In a way it’s a backhanded compliment 🙂 Again, all you can do is try to let it go and pray for them.

Then there is the problem of negative self-talk.

For some of us this stems from our childhood or from others who have been excessively critical, judgemental or unkind. Often, even if we don’t see the people anymore, the power of their words remains with us for years, until we decide to deal with it.  The tape keeps playing in our head, at either the conscious or unconscious level.

Negative self-talk can be overcome with determination and discipline. You have to practise listening to what you are saying or are about to say, and then cut it off.  It will take some practice but eventually, you will be able to stop the thoughts before they are fully-formed and they will stop coming at all.

At the same time, start saying positive things about yourself. Start keeping a journal – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Sit down with a cup of tea and write out a list of all the things you can do and all your skills and talents.. Write  out each statement in the first person :

  • I am……..
  • I can……..
  • I have……

Then, read the list out loud, preferably while looking in a mirror. Do this ‘mirror talking’ at least once a day for a couple of weeks and you will notice a difference! After the two weeks, keep repeating the statements several times a week – and add to them if something new occurs to you.

It may seem strange or ridiculous at first, or like bragging.  Just persevere. If you find yourself laughing, that’s only a good thing.

Also, at the  end of each day, note down what you have accomplished that day in your journal – no matter how large or small. Get into the habit of celebrating your successes and achievements – they don’t have to be huge, just little things that you are pleased about. You could treat yourself to a long soak in the bath with lots of bubbles, or buy a bottle of wine or a pair of shoes or go the cinema. Whatever most appeals to you.

Find passages in the Bible that resonate with you, personalise them and speak them out loud. Think about them during the day.

Additionally, start a Gratitude section in your journal and on a daily basis note down all the things you are grateful for. Having an Attitude of Gratitude is beneficial in many ways, which I will cover in a later blog.

You can also control what you say about yourself and others.  How many times a day do you mutter “I’m so stupid” or “That’s just typical of me” or something similar? Stop it right now! 🙂

Saying negative things about others has a negative impact on you as well. Avoid gossip or bitching about others.

If you have any queries about this, please email me at mountain_movers@ymail.com. You are also welcome to join the new facebook page Successful Living with Mountain Movers 🙂