5 must do’s to hit goals and eliminate excuses

Are you just trying to get through your day or are you trying to get something from the day?  That is the question.  I know many people who are intentional about their life, but intentional meaning they are intentionally getting through all of the tasks they must do each day, instead of pursuing the things they want out of life.

When it comes to goals they require a new discipline a new habit.  Which unless you are just amazing these are very hard to do.  Discipline and habits are formed over time.  They just don’t happen over night.  A lot of research says that a new habit takes 21 days to form. In Charles Duhiggs book “The Power of Habit”, he says this: How long does it take to change a habit pattern? From Maxwell Maltz and his book “Psycho-Cybernetics” (1960), habit change could take from 21 to 28 days of repeating behaviors that could change an attitude or deeply held belief. Lally’s more recent research, however, would suggest as low as 18 and as high as 254 days, with a median of 66 days are required to crystallize a new habit in our body, hearts and minds. Still others suggest that through hypnosis, application of willpower, or cultivation of a strong heart’s desire, the habit change can happen much more quickly.

So what do we do to form a habit to hit our goals?

Define your purpose or why:  Sure we all talk about this purpose thing and the why you want to hit your goal, but it is deeper than surface level stuff.  I don’t want to be overweight, or I don’t want to be broke are pretty surface level things.  You have to go deeper than that.  Why don’t you want to be overweight?  What would it mean if you were the right weight.  If I have more money what would I do with it.  Why is more money important and what will I do with it when I have it?  These are the questions you need to answer.

Discipline: Lets be honest with ourselves here, I will as well.  I live a pretty disciplined life in almost every area of my life.  However, there are times and situations where my discipline is lacking.  I am not sure what causes this, other than it just happens.  The last three weeks of my life I have lacked in a few disciplines that I have established over the last five years, but even though the discipline wasn’t there, it was still in my mind. The disciplines and positive habits that I had formed were hard for me to break.  When your positive habits become hard to break, you have disciplined yourself in to a good spot.

Accountability: We all need it, but most of us don’t want it.  Why don’t we want it?  Because we know that accountability is just holding ourselves to account to what we said we were going to do.  And when we don’t do what we said we were going to do, we are embarrassed and we don’t want to be reminded that we didn’t do what we said we were going to do.  We all need accountability from ourselves as well as from others.  It is the only way we can achieve the goals we want to achieve.

Consistency: When we do something over and over, and over, and over, it means we are forming the a habit and creating a discipline because we are being consistent in our pursuits.  How long does it take to be considered consistent?  That’s a good question.  I looked up the word and did some research to see if there is a particular amount of time we must devote to a pursuit to be considered consistent in that pursuit?  I couldn’t find anything.  However, I guess one way to determine that is whether or not you made your goal?  And the other answer would be:

Results: If you have applied the above four areas to your goals, the chances of you achieving your goals is greatly increased.  And at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the results.  Did you lose the weight.  Did you save the amount of money.  Did you pay off your debts. Did you find a career you are more passionate about.  Some people say it isn’t all about results.  Yes it is.  The results are what matter.

Are you applying the five areas to your goals?  If not, start with the first area and define the why.  My mentor said this:  When the Why gets stronger the How gets easier.   Once this is defined the four other areas are the how, and they will get easier.

To your success and your future.


Striving for Perfection

The last three weeks have been kind of crazy for me.  I have had life changing things occur which have caused some changes in my normal routine and even my health.  I guess that happens when life changing things occur.

The last week or so, I have been trying to write (type) out a blog that makes sense.  As of this morning I was looking at my drafts and I have seven drafts of different blogs I have attempted to write, but just can’t seem to finish for some reason.  Maybe it is my lack of focus or clarity on what I am attempting to write or maybe I am not passionate about what I am attempting to write, I don’t know.

So in my attempt to write out something that is perfect and makes sense I have yet to accomplish anything for anyone to see or read.  If you read one of those seven drafts I have written, you would probably laugh or in some cases cry, because of the harshness and lack of clarity they have.

As I was looking at those drafts in my attempts to be perfect, I instead accomplished nothing. Which lead me to this blog post which is probably lacking clarity and focus as well, but it has a message.  Do something, ship something, publish something, say something.  If you wait for things to be perfect you will never accomplish anything.  The time is never right and nothing is ever perfect at least not on the first draft.

Seth Godin, talks about life being one big draft.  If you look at life this way, it means you will always be editing it, because that is what a draft is.  It is just a mock-up.  But as you continue to edit the draft, make changes, become wiser, the draft gets better.

Don’t try to be perfect today, instead just do something.

To your success and your future.

Managing your desires

One of the most prolific studies ever conducted on managing desires was done in Germany. The study included over 200 men and women wearing beepers. These Germans wore beepers that went off at random intervals seven times a day, prompting them to report whether they were currently experiencing some sort of desire or had recently felt such a desire. The painstaking study, led by Wilhelm Hofmann, collected more than ten thousand momentary reports from morning until midnight.

Desire turned out to be the norm, not the exception. About half the time , people were feeling some desire at the moment their beepers went off, and another quarter said a desire had just been felt in the past few minutes. Many of these desires were ones they were trying to resist. The researchers concluded that people spend at least a fifth of their waking hours resisting desires, between three and four hours per day.

The most commonly resisted desire in the beeper study was the urge to eat, followed by the urge to sleep, and then by the urge of leisure, like taking a break from work to do a puzzle or game instead of writing a memo. Sexual urges were next on the list of most resisted desires. The people studied were relatively good at avoiding naps, sex, and the urge to spend money, but only mediocre at passing up food and soft drinks. When they tried resisting the lure of television, the Web, and other media sirens, they failed nearly half the time.

All day long you will be tempted by your desires.  Will you have the self-control to manage them or will you succumb to them?  This is what challenges us all each and every day. The most important and hardest person to lead is yourself. Be sure you have controls and systems in place to help yourself.

To your success and your future.

*Italics are words from the book Willpower, Rediscovering the greatest human strength; authors: Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney.

Don’t continue to be a fool

It is time to count.  Yep.  It is black and white.  It is not gray, it is not up for debate, it is not  up to interpretation.

You have either made progress towards your goals or you haven’t.  Do you remember back in December, btw: it was only 12 weeks or so ago.  You made a decision to make changes in your life.  It could have been in a variety of different areas you wanted to make changes. The ones that are most common can be found in a previous blog post here: http://wp.me/p4eY1f-cX

How are you tracking towards your 2015 goals and dreams?  How much progress have you made?  The good thing is that quarter 1 of 2015 is in the books and you are still here and you have three more quarters to win the game in 2015.  So you can start today!

A fool is described as a person who acts unwisely or silly.  So a person who is wise would be a person that is aware of what they are doing and is alert.  If you haven’t made any progress towards your goals you set, be wise and decide today what changes you should have made but just haven’t for whatever reason.

When the Why gets stronger the How gets easier.  Is your why strong enough?  If you haven’t made any progress towards your goals your why must not be strong enough.

My advice for you is to go back to your goals?  Oh, if you didn’t write them down, then shame on you.  You have to write them down.  If you have them written down already or you are now taking my advice and writing them down.  Next to each one of them write down why this goal is important.  Ex:  I want to lose 10 pounds.  Losing 10 pounds because your clothes don’t fit, is probably not a strong enough WHY.  You can just buy new clothes. And guess what, most people will.  They would rather do that than put in the hard work and discipline required to lose 10 pounds.  Your Why should be centered around what it will mean for you personally when you lose 10 pounds.  Maybe it is your blood pressure will be lower, which means you are healthier and you can play with your children. Or by losing 10 pounds, you will be more confident in your appearance that it will give you the confidence to change jobs and pursue that big opportunity you have been thinking about.

The first day of April is April fools day.  My hope is you will look at today as the opportunity to be wise instead of being foolish.  Being foolish means doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, or maybe that is insanity.  Either way you have a choice to make today.  You have three more quarters in 2015 to accomplish your goals and your dreams.  Take inventory today and create a game place to ensure you accomplish those goals.

To your success and your future.