Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Celebrating success

How do you celebrate your success?  It is vitally important to stop and give yourself a pat on the back when you’ve succeeded, no matter how big or how small.  So much of the time, people will criticize others or themselves for any and every little mistake, but ignore their accomplishments.

Take a few minutes every day and write down all the little successes.  It could be as simple as staying on your diet, remaining calm with your kids when you would otherwise have blown up, or maybe even only eating half a piece of cake at the office birthday party, instead of the whole piece.
When you receive emails that contain words of praise, put them in a special folder or print them and add them to your success diary.  Then when you are having an off day you can always review it and regain a little perspective.

At one point I was looking for references and asked a couple people that I had worked with a few years earlier if they’d mind writing up a little something for me.  Well, I should have done this before, because the words they wrote touched me.  I knew I had done a good job, but hadn’t realized just how much they appreciated my hard work.  I keep those words in a few places and read them often and always get a boost.

Enjoy your successes and keep those in your memory and in your heart.  
Enjoy the day and congratulations on all your successes today!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The big plateau

Sometimes we find ourselves working towards a goal and feel stuck.  Things go along well for quite awhile and then all of sudden it feels like you aren’t making any progress.  We often see the same thing when people are dieting and exercising.  They start dropping pounds and progressing nicely towards their goal then all of a sudden they hit the plateau and can’t seem to break through.

In these situations, what you have to realize is that during the apparent plateau you may feel like you aren’t making progress, but there is usually something going on behind the scenes.  When you’re dieting and exercising, you may not be losing weight, but you are likely gaining muscle and improving your endurance and if you stick with it, you’ll find that soon enough you’ll start losing again.  

With other goals, the plateau can make you feel like nothing is working and that you’ll never achieve success.  Often these times are when you are developing your inner self.  You are becoming more aware of your situation, your reactions and your thinking.  You are letting go of old beliefs and finding room for new ones.  You may not be seeing the obvious exterior results such as increased income, more clients or completed tasks, but your subconscious is helping you prepare for that next step.  

The next time you hit a plateau, stop looking outside for the results and start looking within to see if there are areas that you can work on and improve that will prepare you for the next big success.

Good luck and enjoy the quiet plateaus.

Monday, May 16, 2011

How to reach a big goal on a short timeline

Have you got a goal that is going to be a stretch to achieve?  You’ve written it down and set a due date, but now you’re not sure how to get from here to there.  This can be particularly troubling if you’re on a tight timeline.  

First, look at the resources you have.  This may be your own skills or money to hire people to perform tasks you are not skilled at doing.  Don’t think just about the skills you use in your job or profession; think about your hobbies, past and present and add those to the list.  You may find that they will spur some ideas.   
Second look at your network.  Make a list of at least 100 people you know that may have knowledge or connections to someone who can help you.  Gather their contact information because even if you don’t use them right now, you may need them when you’re in a pinch at some point on this journey.  Get help wherever possible from people in your network.  Often they are only to happy to help and likely, you'll be able to return the favour.

Third, be open to ideas that are a little outside your comfort zone.  Taking the easy route might work, but it may take longer than you have, so try out different things.  Remember, if this is a short timeline, you only have to do something for a short while.  If you don’t like it, then once the goal is reached, you can look at other alternatives.  

Fourth, have a strong motivator to keep you going.  When you have a tight timeline, you may feel a bit overwhelmed and want to give up, thinking it is impossible.  If you have a strong enough motivator to achieve the goal then you are more likely to get it done.  For example you may need money by a certain date or the bank will foreclose on your house.  Or maybe you need to accomplish something for a certain event and if you don’t the event will have passed and the goal lost.  Spend 15 minutes writing down why you have to accomplish the goal and why not accomplishing it, is not an option.

Fifth, take action.  You’ve heard this before and will hear it again, but all the hoping, dreaming and planning in the world won’t get you what you want.  You have the resources laid out and the motivation, now just get out there and do it.  Start immediately.  As soon as you set a goal you must take immediate action, to put things in motion.  This is the only way you will get from your present status to that desired goal.

If you need help with a goal, contact me and I’d be happy to help you on your path.  No matter how big or small your goal, the first step is always the hardest.  Just take that step, now!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Trying too hard?

Sometimes we try too hard and it's not until we sit back and reflect that we see the forest for the trees.  When we try too hard we can drown out our subconscious mind and all it is telling us. 

When you have a problem that you need to solve, but can’t see any way forward, stop.  Yes, just stop.  Focus on something else, go for a walk or start another small project.  Once you take your mind off the problem, your subconscious will go to work and suddenly, out of the blue an idea will emerge.  When you are immersed in a problem you are often too frustrated and can’t relax.  It is in this state of relaxation that you will likely solve the problem.

This makes me think of when I was learning to drive standard.  I stalled the car and was in the middle of lots of traffic.  The more I tried to start the car, the more frustrated I became and the less likely I was going to be able to get it started.  A young man in the car behind me even got out of his car and came to offer help, thinking I was having engine problems.  I didn’t feel silly at all.  LOL!  Then I remembered my driving instructor’s wise words.  He said to ignore the traffic and take a deep breath and relax, then on the next try the car started.  

When you have a problem, find a way to relax and step back.  You already know the next step to solving the problem, you just have to relax and give your mind a chance to communicate it to you.

Have a great night and relax a little, ok!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Write it down

How many times have I thought of the perfect blog topic or turn of phrase for a speech, only to forget it hours later when I finally sit to write it down?   Whatever the inspirational idea, no matter how great and unforgettable, write it down immediately.  

Throughout the day, we have time when we can let our mind wander and this is often when we get some of our best ideas.  It may be while meditating, but it can also occur when you’re in the shower, driving to work, or exercising.  If you wait, you are much more likely to forget the idea and may lose an opportunity.  It is a good idea to keep a small notebook with you at all times. 

Alternatively, with many of today’s tech gadgets, you may be able to send yourself a digital note.   Many cell phones now have voice recorders to record a message to yourself or you can send a text.  Even just a few words will help you remember.

Depending on how actively you record your ideas you may want to find one place to amalgamate all your thoughts, daily or weekly.  Perhaps you could transfer those texts, scraps of paper and voice messages to a small journal so that you can review it in future.  You won’t use all the ideas right away, but you never know when you’ll be faced with a problem and simply flipping through the pages of your journal may remind you of an idea that will fit the situation perfectly.