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.

Straighten out your self image.

“You cannot perform in a manner inconsistent with the way you see yourself.” ~ Zig Ziglar

imirror

I bet you know someone just like my friend Laura – beautiful, kind, capable, intelligent and yet totally plagued with self-doubt. Laura has little self-confidence and low esteem and nothing that we say to her seems to change her opinion of herself. Laura’s self doubts cost her dearly – for example she was too reluctant to try for a job she would do brilliantly.

And Laura is not alone in her feelings of self doubt and insecurity, despite huge evidence to the contrary – most of us rate ourselves less favourably than our friends and family do. According to Professor Leary of Wake Forest University “You filter the cues that you get from others through your self-concept.”

To put this another way, you filter or assess what others say about you and match it to what you already believe about yourself. So if someone praises you, it’s possible that you might just think they’re being kind rather than 100% truthful.
However, if you have done the best you can (an Attitude of Excellence) you are making a big mistake to totally dismiss their comments.

The Vicious Cycle

Equally, some of us tend to blame ourselves when anything goes wrong, whether we are responsible or not. This reaction can reinforce our toxic thinking about ourselves, setting up a belief system in which we expect to fail or get something wrong, making it more likely that we will fail. It become a vicious cycle.

The better way is to analyse what happened and learn from it. Truth is that we are always going to make mistakes sometimes, that’s life.

How do you see yourself?

How do you think this year is going to go for you? Are you going to be successful, fulfilled, happy?

The answers to these questions matter. How you see yourself and what you expect to happen influence both your decisions and your behaviour.

If you see yourself as inadequate or a failure, it will show in your body language and people will ‘read it.’ It will show in how you approach tasks. It will show in how you talk to yourself. There is a lot of research that suggests that we believe what we say about ouselves more than what others say. I am going to post on this soon.

And of course the opposite is true. If you believe you are going to succeed, you will convey that to others and to yourself. This positive feeling of expectation will motivate you to keep going and it will help you to notice opportunities.

Who are you listening to?

It took me a long time to accept that my self worth is dependant on how God sees me and not how I see myself or how others see me. I know that I am far from perfect (! as anyone who knows me will tell you) and yet I also know that God loves me. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has good plans for our lives and Jesus told us that He came to give us an abundant life (John 10:10) However, He also tells us that the thief will come to steal, kill and destroy.

Don’t listen to the thief, dont let him steal your self worth or your future.

Some tips and suggestions

“Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies.(the bully might be you) There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life —body and soul— in his hands. What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.” Matthew 10:28ff italics mine.

Ask God to show you areas where He would like you to change. Confess and repent and then let go. “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Make a list of all the negative thoughts/expectations you have then, for each one, write a faith-filled statement or affirmation from the Bible and say them out loud every day. Keep telling yourself that you can do it.

Hang out with people who support you, encourage you and will give you great advice. Read/listen to people who have succeeded in areas that you want to make progress in.

See yourself as someone who is loved, and capable. Always do the best you can at that moment and take a Godly pride in your successes.

As always I welcome your comments and ideas- thank you for reading this post.

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.’

shawn achor

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

jou

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.

 

Why Are Values Valuable?

ValuesHave you ever spent time examining your values and how they influence your life? Most of us don’t. Yet it’s  enjoyable and illuminating and is a real help in decision-making as it helps you identify key areas such as the right job or the right partner or school to send your kids.

Values are the principles or standards that steer you through life

 Do you ever think about your values and how they impact your life?

Can you list your core values?

Don’t worry if the answer to these questions is no – most people would he hard-pressed to answer them.  I can send you an assessment sheet if you want to explore your values.

Values are valuable and vital because they:

  1. define your character
  2. underpin your habits
  3. influence your decisions and choices – job/partner/schools for kids etc
  4. affect your behaviour
  5. become your normal
  6. help you prioritise
  7. guide the goals you set & help you achieve them
  8. help you recognise how successful your life is
  9. create happiness and well-being

Values are influenced by:

  • life experiences
  • parents
  • school
  • peers
  • spiritual beliefs

You may be able to identify a range of values that matter but you have a handful (6-10) core values, which define who you are and are the foundation of who you are and how you want to live your life.

By the time we reach adulthood, our core values are established. although these may be modified as circumstances alter. e.g. a mum is unlikely to have exactly the same values as she had when she was a fun-loving student 🙂

In a sense, values are like the rudder of a ship as they direct  your path through life. Knowing your values can make decision-making easier as some options can be eliminated immediately because they do not fit in with your values. Goal setting is also facilitated through an awareness of personal core values and is hugely motivational in achieving goals.
However, difficulties can arise if we are not clear about our personal values or are working or living in an environment where these values are not commonly held.

As children we may have found school difficult initially as we discovered that not everybody conformed to the values that our family held as important.

In a work situation, this incompatibility  results in feelings of unease and unfulfilment either with the job requirements or the attitude and approach of other colleagues.

Trying to fit in continues to erode core values.  Although people may not consciously realise this is happening, it will add to their feeling of discomfort and in some cases  lead to deep unhappiness or stress-related problems.

This can subsequently impact other areas of life, causing new problems or rifts in relationships, adding to stress levels and unhappiness.

Ways to cope:

  1. Look for another job
  2. Let your family know what’s happening – don’t bottle it up
  3. Talk it through with a close friend and work out tactics to help you cope
  4. Journalling – write out all your frustrations, ways of coping etc
  5. Make a list every day of things you are grateful for and why
  6. Develop a hobby you love
  7. Spend time with people who support, encourage and uplift you
  8. Go for walks in the country
  9. See a counsellor or cognitive behavioural therapist
  10. Consult your doctor if you feel very stressed

Knowing your core values and allowing them to guide you is important. So is using core values to help you identify what you want from life and how to set goals to achieve it. These are definitely areas where coaching can help and I can happily send you a free Values Assessment sheet – contact me at mountain_movers@ymail.com

Nina Franklyn BSc[Hons], CCLC,  is a popular and qualified life coach, with a special interest in personal & professional goals, success and influence. She runs hugely popular workshops as well as  successful 1:1 life coaching.  To enquire whether Nina has space available to take you on as a client, email: move_mountains@ymail.com