Category: Agreements

Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done!

By , July 31, 2013 10:42 pm

Git 'er Done!“Self-discipline is the magic power that makes you virtually unstoppable.”

~ Dan Kennedy, Business Success Guru and Author

The truth is that most of us are easily distracted.

Many of us are almost willing to be de-railed from our busy schedules by the lure of the excitement of a bright shiny object; especially if what you are working on feels like hard work or it’s something you don’t want to do.

This then leads to procrastination and avoidance.

Most of us know what we should be focusing on but lack the self-discipline and determination to make it happen. Instead we use excuses to justify our avoidance such as I’m too busy or I didn’t have time rather than getting clear and refocused on what needs to be done.

…And just getting it done!

There’s a form of inner laziness that prevents us from getting things done. I regularly see examples of this in the business world.

Here are a few examples:

  • People who can’t seem to make it to meetings on time.
  • Arriving late/unprepared for a planned coaching session.
  • A business owner who avoids marketing because there’s always something else that needs to be done first.

People who arrive late for meetings are usually unprepared. Their lack of focus and attention wastes time, because he/she has to take time to catch up before they can give any value.

A common theme for many people with time management challenges is the lack of self-discipline.

I admit that some days I feel secretly lazy and it’s tempting just to blow the day off and do nothing instead. Especially when you are your own boss!

Instead of allowing this to take control, I’ve learned how to refocus and become self-disciplined…

Self-discipline is a powerful antidote to procrastination and avoidance.

Self-discipline neutralizes the laziness and gives you the ability to get things done and to get it right the first time. Excuses and old habits fall away as you begin to move forward, take control and get things done.

Here’s how to encourage self-discipline:

1. Make a weekly plan in advance. What do you want to achieve? This will help you stay focused and feel in control of what needs to be done. Stick to the plan – hold firm! Remind yourself what’s important.

2. Show up at the scheduled time and be prepared and ready to work. Yes… It’s that simple… Common sense right?! But it’s NOT always common practice. This includes showing up for ALL appointments that you make with yourself.

3. Meet your deadlines and commitments. This alone will make you more successful. More opportunities will start to present themselves and others will be attracted to you because you are making things happen. Success breeds success.

4. Do it even when you don’t feel like it. Self-discipline requires a 100% commitment. It’s not just when you feel like it. It takes self-discipline to productivity – invest energy and time to your intentions. This investment pays off every time. Be aware of those lazy voices in your head and challenge them EVERY time!

5. Take deliberate action. Take action and make things happen. Every day consciously do one thing towards your Intention – small steps. Get deliberate in your thoughts and behaviors. This will inspire you to make different choices and create new habits. Take action

All successful people are self-disciplined. It’s a necessity that requires continual work every single day.

Self-discipline is all about choice. You can choose to chart your own path and create value by getting things done.

There’s a huge difference between someone who talks about it and someone who actually gets things done!

Which one are you?

As my American friends in the South say, whatever you’re putting off just now:  Go “Git ‘er done!”

 

5 Reasons WHY You Can’t Get Things Done…(…And how to deal with them!)

By , March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

iStock_000012995878SmallThe No. 1 common challenge for many of my coaching clients is the problem of getting things done!

Most of us have been on numerous time management workshops and read books on the subject. We know what we should do, but we still can’t seem to apply the strategy consistently.

Having the tools, processes or strategy is one thing…Setting your thinking and programming your inner dialogue for success is another!

Here are the top five reasons for not getting things done that I’ve experienced when coaching and training my clients (Oh! And I’ve observed a few of them in myself too!):

Overcomplicating things – It’s easy to become overwhelmed and create a complex strategy for something that is relatively simple. If you have too much to remember: doing this, not doing that and worrying about the other, then you become anxious and worn out and nothing gets done. You’ll look for other distractions.

You keep a complex plan in your head – You add to the problem by trying to keep a complex plan in your head. Relying on your brain as a storage device to remember EVERYTHING doesn’t work! Have you ever thought you’d remember stuff, then when you’ve gone back to it later, you can’t remember the detail and have to start all over again?

“I’m just not very organized…” This label is an excuse to give you permission to stay stuck. The reality is that you are VERY organized at being UNORGANIZED: You are following entrenched old habits and patterns. They just take you to a negative outcome. You’re just organizing the wrong things! See the pattern here? You may feel out of control, perhaps your emotions have taken over.

Quality of your inner dialogue – If I say to you: ‘Don’t think of the colour blue…’ What do you do first? You think of blue before you decide not to think about it! So if you’re saying to yourself: ‘I mustn’t forget to…’ you are programming yourself to forget! This is known as a bad command in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) terms. If you repeat this to yourself, you are likely to forget! You are focusing on forgetting rather than remembering!

You are too busy to think about it – You are stuck in the ‘do-do’ of doing and don’t take time to think something through to decide how you might do it differently. You wallow in procrastination. Thinking seems too easy to do so you resist or you perceive that it’s not a valuable use of time.

Here are some potential solutions:

1. Clear out the mental clutter – You can over-plan and over-strategize. So step back and get rid of the clutter. You might have far too many steps in the process, or you’re going into too much detail.

  • Lighten the load by simplifying your process.
  • Place high value on simplicity!
  • Look for an easier route. You have to choose the right strategy for the situation.

2. Get out of your own way – Are you fighting with yourself, getting caught up in drama and creating feelings that are sabotaging your progress? Notice what is going on inside – write it down. You don’t have to put so much pressure on yourself.

  • Become organized at being organized!
  • What needs to change?
  • What would being organized look like for you?
  • Lose the label and dump the excuse of being unorganized.

You can do this!

3. Change your language – Listen to your inner dialogue. Are you giving yourself bad commands? Remember if you’re saying to yourself: ‘Don’t forget to call Jenny.’ You are actually saying: ‘Forget to call Jenny.’ You are more likely to forget! Change the quality of your inner dialogue by turning it around to something like: ‘I will remember to phone Jenny today.’ Give yourself commands in a positive way.

4. Make time to think it through – Allow thinking time! Use visualization as a tool to set your mind for success. See yourself making the call to Jenny:

  • What are you saying?
  • When are you calling her?
  • Walk this through in your mind several times.
  • Then take action straight away to make it happen.
  • Make a post-it note and keep it in sight so this call is your mental radar today.

You are re-training your brain to get things done. Simple strategies work well. Think simple!

5. Attitude changes everything – To change your thinking you need to change your perspective towards the situation. The situation IS the situation, it doesn’t change – you are wherever you are right now. If you know that this is something you should do, then change your attitude towards it. This is what is holding you back.

  • What would it be like to be in control or on top of this situation?
  • What are you doing?
  • What are you saying?
  • How are you acting?
  • How will you feel when you’ve completed it?
  • What difference will it make?

Having a coach can help take responsibility for getting things done.

Clear out the rubbish in your current strategies for getting things done, stop fighting yourself, listening to your negative inner dialogue, and getting lost in the mountain of steps in your process.

Simplicity is everything! Look for a more effortless path and don’t be so hard on yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

Self-Discipline is an antidote for Poor Productivity…

By , June 19, 2012 4:18 pm

“Self-discipline is the magic power that makes you virtually unstoppable.”

~ Dan Kennedy, Business Success Guru and Author

Okay… I have to admit that most of us are easily distracted. We are almost willing to be de-railed from our work plans by any bright shiny object that happens to come onto our radar!

This is especially true for me if it’s something that I don’t really want to do or it feels like hard work! (This can lead to procrastination and avoidance if not addressed.)

Many of us know what we should do but we have little self-discipline to make it happen. Instead we use labels such as I’m too busy or I didn’t have time rather than leaning in and committing to our intention. It’s a form of inner laziness that prevents us from getting things done.

I regularly see examples of this in the business world. Here are a few examples:

  • Individuals who can’t seem to make it to meetings on time.
  • Arriving late and unprepared for pre-booked coaching sessions (I make individuals re-book!).
  • An entrepreneur who never quite gets around to marketing because something else always needs to be done first.

People who arrive late are often also unprepared for work. This lack of focus and attention wastes time, because they have to catch up before giving any value.

I’ve noticed that a common theme for many people with time management challenges is the lack of self-discipline.

Okay… I’ll admit it – some days I feel secretly lazy (especially when it is sunny!). It’s a challenge because I wake up having an inner fight to force myself to get up and get things done. It’s hard work challenging my lazy self to get on with what needs to be done. Sometimes I’d just rather sit back and have an easy day at home. After all, I’m the boss and I can do whatever I want! I have these secret lazy feelings also around keeping fit, whether it’s hiking or going to the gym (I LOVE it once I’m doing it!).

Instead of allowing this to take control, I’ve had to become extremely self-disciplined… Self-discipline is a powerful antidote to procrastination.

Without self-discipline your thinking and self-management principles are inconsistent and you’ll easily get distracted.

Self-discipline neutralizes the laziness and gives you the ability to get things done and to get it right the first time. Excuses and old habits fall away as you begin to move forward, take control and get things done.

Here’s how to encourage self-discipline:

1. Make a weekly plan and work out in advance what you want to achieve. This helps you to stay focused and feel in control of what needs to be done. Over time you can feel the momentum of making things happen. Stick to the plan – hold firm! Remind yourself what’s important.

2. Show up! At the scheduled time and be prepared and ready to work. Yes… It’s that simple…It’s common sense, but NOT always common practice. This includes showing up for ALL appointments that you make with yourself!

3. Meet your deadlines and commitments. This alone will make you more successful. More opportunities will start to present themselves and others will be attracted to you because you’re making things happen. Success breeds success.

4. Do it even when you don’t feel like it. Self-discipline requires a 100% commitment. It’s not just a fair-weather thing! It takes huge self-discipline to productivity invest energy and time to your intentions. This investment pays off every time. Be aware of those lazy voices in your head and challenge them EVERY time!

5. Take deliberate action. Take action and make things happen. Every day consciously do something towards your Intention – Small steps. Get deliberate in your thoughts and behaviours. This will inspire you to make different choices and create new habits. Get going!

All successful people have self-discipline. It’s a necessity that requires continual work every single day.

Self-discipline is a choice that enables you to chart your own path and create value by getting things done! There’s a huge difference between someone who talks about it and someone who actually gets things done!

Which one are you?

5 Ways to Make 2012 A Brilliant Year…

By , December 31, 2011 11:52 am

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it’s an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”

~ Bob Moawad

I always get chills when I read this quotation… It reminds me about taking RESPONSIBILITY and how easy it is to ‘blow it off’ and blame someone else for me not achieving my goals or creating opportunities in my life.This got me thinking about goals and making things happen.

Okay… As it’s that time of year again let’s talk about New Year’s Resolutions for a few minutes.

A few months ago I read a study by Gallop and USA Today. It stated that New Year’s Resolutions don’t actually work:

25% are broken within the first week.

53% are broken within three months.

92% are broken by the mid-end of the year.

While these statistics are common knowledge and available to everyone – How many of us still pitch up on New Years Eve and set the same old Resolutions adding the declaimer: “…Ah! But THIS year it’ll be different!”

According to the research here are the reasons WHY people break them:

  1. We set unrealistic expectations
  2. We weren’t really committed
  3. We were looking for a quick fix

Which of these have you used in the past?

(I’m guilty of all three!)

Here’s the thing…

Most goals involve discipline and persistence to make them happen. Without taking conscious sustainable action your goals are just wishes. …And we’re all very good at creating ‘wish lists!’

So here are five ways to make 2012 the MOST Brilliant Year Yet:

  1. Set your intention on multi-levels – The reason most resolutions don’t work is that they address only one level of your life. 
It doesn’t address the core of the issue. 

Often they are set from the OUTSIDE-IN not from the INSIDE-OUT. That’s why most diets don’t work and why gyms are always busy in January! You set off with a good intention but you’re focused only on the doing not the thinking or feelings behind the intention. So as soon as it gets difficult, out come the excuses and we stall. Understand your WHY as well as what needs to be done. Sustainable change happens when you engage thinking, feeling and action – You get the desired results.
  2. Be Committed and take FULL responsibility – Are you committed or interested? Well? Which one are you in relation to your intention? There is a huge difference between the two. You have to be committed for things to happen. Even when you don’t feel like it. Growing and changing requires two very important ingredients: DISCIPLINE and PERSISTENCE. (A great coach will help you to stay accountable!) Take 100% RESPONSIBILITY for your life. Decide to BE excuse free in 2012.
  3. Quick Fixes Don’t Work! – We live in a world of quick fixes and short-term goals. We want results NOW! Some goals take time to achieve so we become impatient and frustrated. Short-term fixes don’t create sustainable change. Sometimes we set an overwhelming goal before we begin. E.g. lose 20lbs in weight. It’s unrealistic. Write down your goal. Break it down into smaller milestones and do-able steps. Set timeframes and deadlines. This gives you something realistic to aim for in the shorter term. You create forward motion.
  4. Believe and Achieve – Have faith.  Wishing keeps your goal out there somewhere. When it’s external to us it’s much easier to come up with excuses and reasons not to achieve it. You have to believe to achieve. Set your mind for success. If you don’t believe it will happen – I guarantee that you’ll never achieve it.
  5. Choose a word to help you navigate your year – This is a powerful journal-writing tool that will get you clear and focused as this New Year begins. I have used it for the last three years. It will help you set the most authentic and powerful intention for yourself and your success in 2012! I use my word as a touchstone to re-align myself to my goals throughout the year. Click here to download this awesome tool.

Don’t become one of these statistics in 2012… How are you going to make a different difference in the next twelve months?

TODAY could be the day that your life REALLY begins – Don’t waste it!

How to Make Space for the New… Stop being a MUST-urbator!

By , April 9, 2011 5:15 pm

“If there’s anything new that you want in your life, you’ve got to make room for it. I mean that pschologically as well as physically.”

Jack Canfield, Author, cocreator of Chicken Soup for the Soul®

I’ve come to realise that learning and growing is not about doing more.

Growing is often about completing things, letting go and creating space for new shoots to emerge.

I was coaching someone this week who began the session describing her cluttered desk. As she spoke she soon realised that she also had a cluttered mind!

She identified several areas of her life where she’d left things uncompleted, half finished and even a personal relationship where she’d failed to get some closure, and important things had been left unsaid.These incompletes were holding her back from moving forward because when you don’t complete the past, you hold on to them. They drain your energy and feel like a heavy chain dragging behind you.

Her conversation was peppered with “I ought to do this… I know I should do that… I must…”

It’s difficult to be fully present and focused when you have unfinished or incomplete projects, tasks and promises that demand your attention.

I gently explained to my client that she was a MUST-urbator!

Dr Albert Ellis,  an American psychologist, used this term to describe people when their lives become full of must’s, ought’s and should’s. Many of us replay a head full of these lists, especially under times of pressure and stress. We put extra demands upon ourselves and bale ourselves out with excuses instead of taking action.

Why don’t we complete things?

  1. You are unclear
  2. You’ve stalled because you’re faced with an internal or external roadblock.

Here are a few examples:

  • You wanted to say ‘no’ but didn’t want to let the other person down.  
  • It’s difficult or uncomfortable to make a decision – Instead you procrastinate and struggle with the discomfort.
  • You feel guilty for not completing it so you avoid thinking about it and the incompletes continue to pile up.
  • Your wardrobe, closet and even your garage is groaning under the weight of all the clutter that you’ve been collecting – just in case it might come in handy!

Most of us are undisciplined in our approach and it’s easy to become distracted and unfocused. When we’re under pressure we move out of our left brain – logical thinking, into the right brain - emotive thinking. It’s difficult to be rational from this place.

We allow clutter and incompletes into our lives and drown in stacks of papers, old clothes, broken items, things we don’t like or not saying the things we need to say to avoid resentment and misunderstanding.

How to STOP MUST-urbation:

  1. Write down a full list of all your must’s, ought’s and should’s. E.g. “I must get the car serviced.” “I ought to visit my parents in the holidays.” “I should clear out the basement.”
  2. Once you have your list, re-write it rephrasing each sentence with I want to…
  3. While re-writing each statement focus on WHY you WANT to do this and re-decide. You may realise that you don’t want to do this item anymore, and you can let it go.
  4. Choose 3 things on the list and start to complete them.
  5. Write down what will it take to complete each of these three tasks. What is the next step?
  6. Consciously keep these items on your radar by checking in weekly with your list of your incompletes and scheduling dates and times in your planner to GET THEM DONE little and often.
  7. Learn to feel completeness by taking small action steps and making it a habit.

Successful people continually work on their incompletes. Why? Because if you want to show up more fully in the present  you firstly need to complete the past.

Recommit to Your Goal

By , February 5, 2011 7:31 pm

“Commitment gets you started and propels you through the early stages of any game, but it’s recommitment that ignites your reserves when you feel like giving up.”

Gay Hendrick, Author, The Big Leap

I love this quote especially because it is so true!

I was coaching a client recently who came up against the challenge of low energy and distraction.

He was100% committed to his goal of Self Investment and growth. He ‘got’ how important this was for his personal success. However, in the busy-ness of his working life he would get lost in the do-do of doing and forget about the value he’d placed on his own personal development.

He allowed other bright shiny objects and distractions to pull his attention away and steer him off course. The scheduled time for his high valued personal investment was sacrificed in those moments of low energy and reactivity.

He became frustrated for allowing this to happen. Over time he started to believe that he wasn’t cut out to be successful as his ego took over to look for external evidence to support his belief.

Sure enough, his ego provided evidence!

My client spiralled into self-doubt and wavered off course because he was too busy being distracted and reacting to other people’s demands on him. He’d forget about the commitment he had made to himself and it slipped down his priority list.

Here’s how I’ve learnt to recommit…

We all need to be reminded of the things that are important to us because there’s so much going on it’s easy to forget what we have committed to. We all hit wobbly moments where our attention wanders and our energy is focused off course.

1. Breathe – Take a step back from the situation and your ego. Create some space to get clear again. Remember WHY the thing you have committed to is important and of high value. Re-ignite your commitment.

2. Adopt a No Excuses Policy – This requires a full decision on your part to be 100% present. This includes 100% engagement of your energy. It’s a done deal when it comes to your daily discipline to making it happen. There are no exceptions, it’s just what you do (Like brushing your teeth every day!).

3. Write it down – To remind you. Create a success mantra on small cards or sticky posts and put them in places where you’ll see them throughout the day. I use sticky notes in my car, on my computer, by my bed and posted on my office wall. All of these are prompts to remind me daily of my key commitments in my life. A written reminder helps me to stay on track.

4. Notice when you feel off centre – Learn to pay attention to your body. You’ll notice when things feel out of alignment or something doesn’t feel right. Don’t just ignore it and carry on. Take action to step back in and re-align yourself to your goal.

5. Watch Your Language – Look out for shoulds, musts and oughts creeping into your language. These indicate a sense of duty rather than a sense of freedom. Look out for getting stuck in a rut and using these as excuses to pull you away from your goal.

Recommitting to your goal is a continuous process if you want to be successful.

Keeping Promises With Yourself

By , December 11, 2010 8:49 pm

“Your life works to the degree you keep your agreements.”

Werner Erhard.

How often have you made a promise to yourself and then broken it?

I’ve done this LOADS of times.

My broken promises always related to my self-care, well-being or personal growth. Each promise had a high value to me such as improving my health, keeping fit or creating more personal time in my insane work schedule. I made them with an intent to see them through.

…Then my reactive, chaotic life would get in the way. I’d constantly let myself down.

I would make excuses not to go to the gym because I was too busy. I’d get home tired have a glass of wine and eat unhealthily instead. I ‘deserved it’ after a such a hard day. My dream of being healthier slipped further away. I’d get frustrated and blame work (or anyone else) for my lack of commitment to my personal goals.

One day I was writing in my journal about this frustration when I became aware of the impact of making and breaking these casual promises was actually having on my life.  Every time I broke a promise with myself my self-esteem took a hit because I was literally letting myself down.

Instead of following through I created a mental list of musts, oughts and shoulds, which added to my existing worry and anxiety. I then carried the burden of this heavy list around with me every day.

Here’s the thing…

When you make an agreement with yourself and you don’t see it through you actually learn to distrust yourself. As a by-product of this you lose self-esteem, self-confidence and self-respect. In other words you really are letting yourself down.

You lose your ability to achieve a result. Not showing up for what you say you’re committing too unconsciously creates confusion and self-doubt.

Your personal power is reduced and you weaken your sense of integrity with yourself.

Here’s how I learned to keep important promises to myself:

1. Agree on actions you only intend to keep – Check in with your intention – WHY do you want to agree to do this? How do you feel about it? WHY is this important to you? Are you committed or just interested?

2. Write down your agreements – The act of writing is very powerful. Write a contract to yourself to commit time, effort and energy. The main reason that we don’t keep agreements is because in the busy-ness of life we get distracted and simply forget. Written agreements remind us of our commitments.

3. High Value Time – How high do you value your own well-being, learning and growth?  Don’t pay lip service to YOU. Value this time as high priority because this is what will make your more successful.

4. Schedule it to make it happen – Adding an action to your to-do list and saying you’ll do it this week, is a plan for failure! You have to schedule a date and time to really make things to happen. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it.

5. Show Up – Agree to show up, even if you don’t feel like it. I honour my agreement to go to the gym, even if I don’t feel like it after a busy day at work. I know how it makes me feel afterwards so I show up. It becomes just part of what I do each week…And YES you have to commit time and energy for it to happen. Make the effort – YOU are worth it!

6. Learn to say no – Ring-fence and protect High Value Time for YOU. Say no to other activities stealing that time back. Place a high value on it and set some boundaries. Stop giving up this time for a reactive activity.

What agreements have you made with yourself?

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