It’s Up To You! [the R words]

Jim Rohn

“Nina, you share so much about changing and growth and flourishing. What would you say is top of the list?”

Such a great question! The answer is both simple (taking responsibility for your life and its outcomes) and complex (understanding how self awareness and self management combine with responsibility.) But it’s worth the time and energy if you’re serious about moving forward with your life – and it’s always beneficial to learn more about how we tick.

RSASR

Self Awareness

Self awareness is essentially understanding the positives and negatives of:

  • your drives
  • your values
  • your strengths and weaknesses
  • your attitudes
  • your habits
  • your needs and desires
  • your emotional responses – to your own actions and others’ actions

By being totally honest with with yourself, recognising what works and what needs to be improved, you can act from a position of strength. This builds personal power, boosts self esteem and elevates your effectiveness personally and professionally. You can make good decisions, respond positively to circumstances and set meaningful and achievable goals.

Self regulation

Being able to deal with your emotions, no matter how difficult the situation, by:

  • not acting impulsively
  • not immediately looking for someone else to blame
  • acknowledging your feelings (and those of others) but not allowing feelings to get the upper hand
  • thinking before you respond
  • communicating clearly and calmly
  • staying focused on what’s important
  • looking for the best next step

Self regulation is basically self control to bring about the best result. With this self control we are well-fortified. Without it self-control we are vulnerable. tweet this

“A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” [Proverbs 25:28 ESV]

Hiding from the truth

Andy Stanley says that, “Irresponsibility is very difficult to see in the mirror.” He’s right!

Psychologists talk about the self-serving bias which is a tactic or process used to protect or enhance self-esteem, in every area of life. Basically, it means that we take credit for good outcomes and blame others for bad outcomes – regardless of how we ourselves contributed to the outcome.

“For example, a student who attributes earning a good grade on an exam to their own intelligence and preparation but attributes earning a poor grade to the teacher’s poor teaching ability or unfair test questions is exhibiting the self-serving bias.” [Wikipedia]

And it’s not helpful in the long term because it deludes us into being less than we can be, when we refuse or fail to take responsibility for our actions. It can also make us unpopular with friends, family and colleagues.

And yes – it is tough to face up to – I’ve had many moments of crying into my pillow when I accepted that I’d played a part in many of the things that had gone wrong in my life. But it’s also incredibly liberating and empowering.

Help yourself help yourself 🙂

It was totally worth the effort I made to overcome the bit of me that wanted to play the victim or the martyr. Like forgiveness, taking responsibility is a huge gift that you give yourself –  the benefits are incredible!

Thank God that it doesn’t matter what we’ve done in the past – every day offers you  a fresh start and an opportunity to plonk yourself firmly in the driving seat of your life and where it’s headed.

When you fully accept that you are in charge of the outcomes of your life and how you react to circumstances, then you can truly move forward. tweet this

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

Areas of responsibility:

  • Your words
  • Your decisions
  • Your actions
  • Your health
  • Your finances
  • Your career
  • Your talents, skills and gifts
  • Your life
  • Your spiritual life

“If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.” [Robert Schiller]

Once we get a grip on self regulation and responsibility, we open the door to amazing changes.

You will feel more motivated and more excited about the present and the future. You will feel more able to deal with life. You can plan and set goals. You can stop blaming others (even if it is their fault, deal with the situation) and you’ll know that if problems come against you, you’ll find a way through.

I love the following verse – its sums up everything in this post.

“Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.” (Galatians 6: 5 MSG)

Any questions or comments?  Share them both or email me at ninafcoach@gmail.com. You can also follow me on twitter 🙂

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

 

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.

 

 

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.

Why & Other Vital Questions You Must Answer Before You Set Your Goals

“It’s the why behind the vision that inspires the action.”  NinaFCoach   click to tweet    

The most important question you can ask yourself before you  even write down your goals and start working  them, both professionally and personally is “Why?”
  • Why am I doing this?    [Keep asking this until you have a list of reasons.]
  • What are the benefits of doing this for myself and for those I love?
  • What will happen if I don’t set this goal and achieve it?

Spend time thinking about the answers, discuss them, do any necessary research. Be absolutely crystal clear on the why and the benefits. This will guide and motivate you in the weeks that lie ahead while you work on your goals. Write everything down – so that you can refer to it later. Also, writing stimulates clarity, memory and positivity.

The next questions are about the practicalities of achieving your goals

  • Can I do this at this time and with my set of circumstances? It’s good to have goals that challenge us but if the challenge is close to impossible, it’s better to find another starting place and take the necessary steps.
  • What do I need before I can begin? [knowledge, resources, money etc]
  • What are the opportunities for success and what are the threats?
  • Who can help me?
  • How will I know when I have succeeded? Be clear on this.
  • When will I have finished? Every goal needs an end date – you can adjust it if needs be.
  • Who are my mentors? [either in real life or books, blogs, CDs etc]
  • Who is my accountability partner? I fully recommend that you have one – to keep you on track, to celebrate you successes and to cheer you along. Pick someone you know will be both firm and supportive.

These questions will help you set up your goals for success. If you have any comments or queries, please ask them below or email ninafcoach@gmail.com

Thank you for reading! Every success!

 

 

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.

Journal Your Way to Success!

I am a massive fan of journalling. When I mentioned this recently, one of my students smiled wryly, saying “Come on, Nina, isn’t that a bit teenage angst?”

Everyone laughed.  But I knew what she  meant.

I have fond memories of my [ locked :)]  teenaged journals.  I never scribbled down anything earth shattering but it was a safe place to write out my thoughts and feelings. Then it  fizzled out. And in the throes of  de-cluttering I binned them,  an act I now bitterly regret. I’d love to read them today.

Fast forward a couple of decades [give or take :)]  I became a life coach and realised that writing in a journal regularly is invaluable. It facilitates so many aspects of our life, including our walk with God.

The Link Between Success & Keeping a Journal

The latest research suggests that success is a product of happiness – that the more upbeat and positive you are, then the more effective, efficient and successful you’ll be. The brilliant Shawn Achor calls this The Happiness Advantage.’

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Basically, the old school theory that success makes you happy has been turned on its head.

Leading a meaningful life [getting involved, helping others, praying, meditating on the Word] is an essential component of happiness – rather acquiring possessions, money, status. [I love it when the world catches on to what we’ve read in the Bible]

According to Shawn Achor, using your journal to record daily at least 3 things that you are grateful for positively affects the way you see the world and enables you to relive the experience, which boosts your morale and motivation.

Additionally, reading through these upbeat entries now and again will encourage and inspire you.

Benefits to Emotional Health

Journalling gives you a chance to express your feelings fully and to reflect on how situations are affecting you. The act of writing, whether it’s fully coherent or ‘stream of consciousness’,  generates ideas. When you review what you’ve written you start to see issues/events more clearly.

1) Writing  clarifies your thoughts –  your ideas and thoughts are consequently more real and tangible than when they are ‘floating around’ your head.

This enables you to properly assess and analyse what you are thinking. Written down your thoughts and feelings become more comprehensible, so you can review ‘complete’ thoughts rather than vague, fuzzy unfinished ideas. Consequently, you can spot dumb or unrealistic thinking. As a result. you’ll make better choices and decisions.

2) Regularly writing down what is happening in your life lets you  identify recurring habits and behaviours.

Consequently, you have the chance to re-think/re-evaluate how you approach certain situations and, if need be, find a way to handle them differently. This results in improved outcomes for you and for others.

3) You can  track  what is happening in your life, what is working well and what needs re-planning or re-strategizing. You can make necessary adjustments and identify successes that need celebrating.

[Keep a section of your journal specifically to record successes – it will motivate you and cheer you up on ‘bad’ days.]

4) When things go wrong – use your journal to vent –  just let it all out. You can tear the pages out later if you don’t want to keep them.

This prevents you saying stuff that you later regret. Or stops you saying things that you later realise were based on your mistaken perceptions. After the vent, you can work out whether you need to take action and how to do so.

5) Use your diary to daydream. Just let your imagination wander freely and take notes. Words or pictures are fine but a combination of both satisfies the left and right sides of the brain.

You can analyse this later and see if any of it is genuine vision and needs to be added to your goals.

6) Use a section of your journal to record your goals. Make sure that you write in an affirmative style with an end date.

Read through them on a daily basis – ideally, read them out loud as it changes the way your brain processes them.

This keeps your goals fresh in your mind – remember that we move towards what we pay attention to. You can record your progress as well – which is highly motivating 🙂

7) At least once a week (every day is best) write down what you are grateful for – no matter how large or small it may be.

Having an attitude of gratitude has numerous benefits e.g. you are more productive, you enjoy closer relationships with people you love, you feel more satisfied with your life and thus happier, you discover new reasons to praise God

Benefits to Physical Health

Many of us tend to carry stress and negative emotions in our bodies. You know those feelings of tension in the shoulders or stomach when you’re upset or you’ve had a tough day at work. Or you get a bad throat when you’ve failed to communicate what you wanted to say to someone.

Writing down how you are feeling shifts the situation and your feelings surrounding it out of you and onto the page. This ‘space’ between you and the issue allows you to reflect, analyse and understand what is going on and work out a course of action.

How To Start Journalling

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All you need is a hard-backed note book and a pen. Have your Bible to hand as well as you may want to read it at some stage.

Make yourself a cup of tea, choose a warm, comfortable place  where be undisturbed, and just start writing.

It might feel a bit weird to start with, but it gets easier – promise:) – and remember, this journal is for you – no-one is going to check your spelling or grammar 🙂

You might sometimes find it easier to draw your ideas/plans or stick in pictures and why not use mind maps as well?

Thank you for reading this blog 🙂 I’d really like to know how you get on with journalling.

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.