I had a bit of an aha moment this week and I wanted to take some time to share as I am sure I am not the only one that either has been or is in this situation. I guess this is one of the things I love about personal development, always being on a constant journey of discovery and better yet I get to share and help others.
We all have ideas as to how things should be, some people want to get married, have 2 kids and buy a house with the white picket fence. Some believe that life should just be a certain way and there is no budging. It is great to have a picture of what you want and where you want to go, but where we can fall down is being too attached as to how we are going to achieve that. We feel that some choices are like taking a step back and we attach negative connotations to it. When in fact sometimes we need to take a step back in order to propel us forward in life, a bit like a bow and arrow.
Let me paint a little picture for you so you know where I am going. When my husband and I first got together nearly 11 years ago it was always spoken about that I would stay home with the kids and he would “provide”. I always wanted to be a mum if nothing else and I saw this, at the time, as my ideal situation. A lot of things have occurred over the last couple of years that hasn’t made this choice very easy. A recent opportunity came up which would completely flip the roles that my husband and I play. At first there was resistance, a lot of resistance, but taking time this week to think and reflect has been quite eye opening. Perception plays a big role in the choices we make and it is something you have the power to control.
“Sometimes In Life You Need To Let Go Of What Is In Order To Make Room For What Could Be”
Sometimes in life we need to learn to let go of what is or our current ideas in order to make room for what could be. This can be a little uncomfortable for a lot of us, but all good things happen just on the other side of that discomfort. Taking the time to reflect has now allowed me to see the benefits of taking up this opportunity and now open to it either way.
When have you let go of something and received something even better?
Did you know that on average there is a plane taking off at Heathrow airport every 45 seconds? Why am I talking about planes, well it is the perfect example of building momentum. You aren’t going to turn on an airplane and expect it to instantly fly, you have to build up speed and then once you are up it gets much easier. That is kind of how business works, it is always tough at the start and you have to put much more work in, but then as you start building momentum it will get easier.
How do we build momentum? With consistency, this is the biggest key to building up that momentum. In the beginning it can seem a little overwhelming so I always start with small steps. Start with a couple of small things that you commit to each and every single day until it becomes a habit. They say it takes about 21 days to create a new habit, so once you have accomplished the first couple, then pick 2 or 3 more and commit to doing them each and every single day until they become habit.
What can derail your momentum? There are a number of things that can derail the consistency and therefore derail the momentum. Planning or lack of is one thing that can cause you to become unstuck. They say “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Get into the habit of having a schedule and be disciplined to stick with it. Allocate certain amounts of time for each task and you will find yourself doing less paper shuffling. Learn to value your time; If you don’t value your time than others won’t either and you will probably find your time being taken up doing things for everyone else all the time. Don’t get disheartened; it can be easy to feel like a failure and like you are getting nowhere. You can change this by learning to count your wins everyday no matter how big or small. This will help you keep focused on the positive and not dragged under by the negative.
In summary, in order to help you create success you need to build momentum and this isn’t just for business, but can be applied to other areas of your life.
What is it going to take to get your plane off the runway?
How many times have you said you are going to change something or do something, but not follow through. You might do it for a little while, but then resort back to your old habits. If you fall into this category then I can totally relate. It is frustrating, tiring and does nothing for your confidence levels. You kind of feel like why bother and I have been there plenty of times myself. I am here to help you overcome this issue and finally achieve your goals. Let me run through the 7 steps that I use which is helping me achieve my goals.
MINDSET – I can not stress how important this is. If you don’t have this than it is not worth even starting because it will sabotage you quicker than you can say your name. How do we change it? Well personal development is a great tool and one that I use on a daily basis. Your first step before you start anything else is Mindset Mindset Mindset.
MEDITATION/VISUALISATION – Now I know this may seem a little hippy to some, but I have found that this is one thing that really has been the change lately and noticed the effect it has. You don’t have to meditate for hours, in fact I have a guided meditation that I do in the morning that goes for 11 minutes. During this time visualise what it is you are wanting to achieve and how it feels. When I have finished it makes me feel calm, balanced and ready to take on the world
COMMUNITY – You are always going to be more successful when you surround yourself with the right people. You want positive people who are moving in a similar direction that you want to head. If you are overweight and unhealthy then you need to go and hang out with healthy people. This may mean that you may have to limit the time or cut it out altogether with the people you currently hang around with. I know it can be hard to do this and we allow guilt to dictate our decisions. There is a saying “sometimes you have to let go of the old so you can make room for the new”. That is life and if you truly want to achieve your goal then you need to overcome your fear and guilt.
POSTURE – Act as if you are already living the life that you want and have a bit of fun with it. LIFE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BORING!! So often we do things the wrong way around and you might catch yourself saying I will be confident when I am thin. This is the attitude of Have Do Be. What you need to do is change it around to a Be Do Have posture. So be confident, take the action towards your goal and then you will be thin. If you think it sounds simple it’s because it is, doesn’t mean it won’t require work. We as humans like to complicate things.
COUNT YOUR WINS – We spend so much time focusing on the negative, what we didn’t do, what we did do, what we haven’t achieved. That is not motivating for anyone, in fact it is making me feel unmotivated just writing it. Count your wins, focus on the positive, each night write down 10 things that you achieved, even if it is “I didn’t hit the snooze button on my alarm this morning”. That is a win and you should celebrate it. Also be sure to set yourself little milestones and reward yourself for reaching them.
GRATITUDE – This one is probably just as important as the first and one that probably isn’t practiced enough. Be grateful for things, anything, everything. By being grateful not only are you putting positive energy out into the universe, but it allows you to place a focus on what you have rather than what you don’t have.
SOLUTIONS NOT EXCUSES – Have you found yourself coming up with every excuse under the sun for not doing something and then bitching later because you didn’t do it, surely I can’t be the only one. When you hear yourself coming up with an excuse, turn it around and ask yourself, “what is the solution”. STOP BUYING YOUR EXCUSES!!!!
I really hope these steps help you when setting your next goal. I do apologise about the length, it was only supposed to be about 4 steps, but I guess I got a little carried away.
I would love to hear your thoughts and what your goals are.
Did you know that only about 8% of people follow through with their new years resolution and there are many reasons why. I have never been one to set a new years resolution, but I did take some time to sit down and work out what I wanted for the new year and picked just a couple of things to focus on. Now if you are great at achieving your goals then that is awesome. However, if you set new years resolutions each year and never follow through, then what I am about to share might help you change that. This doesn’t just apply to new years resolutions, but goals in general, because if you don’t follow through in the new year then fair chance is that you set a lot of goals that you never achieve. I want to help you change this pattern and to achieve more in your life.
So I like I mentioned I decided to just pick a couple of things to focus on and here are the reasons why.
If you pick 1 or 2 things to focus on then you are going to have more chance at achieving them. We can have a tendency to spread ourselves too thin and lose focus on what we were trying to achieve.
Picking a couple of things doesn’t mean that is all I want to achieve, but the 2 things I did pick I know by mastering them they will cause a flow on effect to other parts of my life. This will make it easier to achieve my other goals and some of them will even happen effortlessly.
One other thing we need to look at before setting these goals is our mindset and this probably makes up about 90% of the process along with WHY we are wanting to achieve them. So let me share with you my 2 goals and the process I went through.
My first goal that I chose was to partake in a 10 week paleo challenge. Now like many of you I have done all sorts of fitness regimes, said I am going to eat healthier and well, none of them ever lasted very long. I have slowly started introducing some small changes along the way, but not anything that has produced significant results. I know that by improving my overall health I am going to to have more energy and with 2 kids and a business I could use all the help I can get. However, this time is different….it feels different and I feel different about it. It is really important that you do things that resonate with you and for me this option does, it makes sense to me and something I can do long term. I feel that is a really important point to take onboard, if it resonates with you there is more of a willingness to follow through. The other thing that has changed and this is where the mindset comes, instead of focusing on what I am cutting out of my diet (essentailly what I am missing out on) I am focusing on the excitement and creative challenges I get to encounter. It is interesting how when you start looking into things that they turn out not to be so hard or scary after all. It is about finding the fun and excitement and focusing on that instead of what you think you are missing out on.
Learn to find the FUN in life
My second goal is to be more consistent and organised and although it is 2 things they go hand in hand. Now as I mentioned I have 2 kids and a business and it can be a challenge juggling the 2 things as well as all the other Mum duties eg. cleaning 😦 . I find the best way to do this is to put a couple of things in place:
Have a schedule and to-do list, and I know with kids it is not always going to work to plan, but it makes it a lot easier to remember everything you have to do instead of climbing into bed at the end of the day and thinking CRAP!! I forgot…..
Start small and implement 1 or 2 things that you do consistently everyday. For me I have just started doing meditating, but I only do it for 10 minutes. It is really super important to make sure you take time-out for yourself. ESPECIALLY if you have kids, and I know we all say “when am I supposed to find the time”. I promise you that if you find just that 10 minutes every single day it will make a difference in every area of your life.
Stop buying your own excuses. We really can be our own worst enemy and we allow our excuses to essentially enable our bad behaviour and then complain about it later. Whenever you hear yourself making some kind of excuse, stop yourself and think for 10 seconds. Ask yourself, is this a valid reason, is there a way I can actually do this, is this just a really bad excuse.
Language is so so important and something that we probably don’t pay enough attention to. Eliminate the phrases “have to” and “need to” and replace them with “choose to” or “want to”. This may seem like an insignificant thing, but take a moment to think……when you have used “have to” or “need to”, how often di you actually done those things. As people we don’t like to be told we “have to” do things and it could quite possible stem back from childhood when I parents told us we “have to” do something. If you change your wording even slightly you will notice a difference, maybe not straight away but you will.
I am sure this has given you plenty to think about and I truly hope this helps you achieve more of your goals in life.
What is one thing that you would like to achieve this year?
In business, personal connections are everything. People prefer to do business with those who are recommended by people they know. In a recent Nielsen report a staggering 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends and family and 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing.
As trust in advertising declines, word of mouth marketing via social networks has become the most effective means of building a loyal base of brand ambassadors. That means…more engagement and more revenue for your brand.
The ability to network, and network well, is one of the biggest factors in business and personal success. Peta Di Palma, who founded Tribe Side Networking offers her top 5 tips on making sure networking events give you a good return on the time invested:
PLAN AHEAD: Before you attend a networking event, think about the true reason you’re there. The overall point of a business-networking event is to establish and develop business connections. Target your connections and set a goal to identify who you need to know and who needs to know you. Who are the decision makers and key influencers? Where can I meet them? How do I get into their circles? What is it I want from this networking event?
MINDSET: It only takes a moment’s conscious decision to become a networker. All it requires is a slight shift in attitude, and adopting one simple trifurcated rule:
Great each new acquaintance with an openness to learn more about that person.
Have a willingness to help, and
Offer to stay in touch
Your ultimate goal of networking should be to help other people. Networking is a two way street and your side of the street is all about helping others, not asking them to help you! When you approach others with a willingness to learn more about the person and add some value to them, the favour is returned in spades.
PREPARE QUESTIONS: Have a few targeted, engaging questions prepared ahead of time and stay informed with current events. Before the event have some “back pocket” or “handbag” conversation topics handy. Pick 3-5 items to use as emergency re-starter in case the conversation starts to drag. You need to move past the “where are you from?” and “So, what brings you here today?” quickly. Some of the questions you can ask to keep conversations going are:
Just out of curiosity, Why do you attend networking events? When you start a conversation with “Just out of curiosity” most people will move towards you.
What do you like best about what you do? This is two questions in one – this also asks the question, “So what do you do?” This question, unlike the same old, What do you do, gets people in conversation mode rather than just giving you a short answer.
When did you get started in that direction? This gives your new contact a chance to tell a story and people love telling stories about themselves.
Who can I help you meet? Now that you have made a connection, this is the time to show you care. People don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Listen for the types of people they want to meet that you can introduce them to later or at the same event.
ALLOW TIME: Unless it’s a speed-networking event, don’t hop from one conversation to another in a matter of minutes. The first five minutes of a conversation at a networking event usually involve introductions and polite chitchat. When you take the time to truly connect with someone, you begin to form the foundation of a professional relationship. The strength and longevity of your business relationships will depend more on the quality of your connections than the quantity. When you find the right connections, stay and chat for a while. You might find your effortsmore effective if you choose to speak to a handful of individuals than 20 If they are not the right connections, observe the five-minute rule and move on politely!
LISTEN: Not only is effective listening one of the most important things you can learn to do, it is also one of the most important elements of networking. Be present and take it in.
I want to give a big thanks to Peta for providing some great tips. I will certainly be using them at my next event, how about you?
There is warm light radiating through the window, I can feel the softness of my mat under my feet, the soft sound of the instructor guiding us through our practice and I am feeling calm and centred. It is at this time when I have a realisation, there is so much that you learn in yoga that can be applied to being an entrepreneur. Today I want to share with you 5 lessons that I came to realise that day that I apply to being an Entrepreneur.
Focus – There are a number of balance moves in yoga that at times can be a little challenging, but with moves such as the bird pose the trick is to place your focus forward. Being an Entrepreneur forward is where your focus needs to be if you are going to create success. Although you need to be present in the now, it is placing your focus forward towards the bigger picture that will keep your drive and motivation strong.
The Good and Bad – I have noticed when I go to yoga I have some days where I really rock the moves and I feel strong and then I have days where I feel a little off balance, fall out of a pose or I can’t stretch as far as the week before. It is perfectly normal to have your good and not so good days and this is going to happen being an Entrepreneur. The important thing is that you keep trying the next day, next week, next month until….
Calm and Centred – When you are going through your yoga practise and you learn to be calm and centred you will always get more out of your poses, you will achieve more. Yes, it also applies to being an Entrepreneur. If you can learn to find your calm and feel centred you will find that you will be much more efficient in your business.
You Don’t Know Until You Know – You might look at a move in yoga and label it hard or easy, but until you have tried it you don’t truly know. I had this when the instructor showed us the side angle crow pose. I automatically thought it was too hard, but once I actually tried I discovered I found it quite easy. This is the same as being an Entrepreneur, there are things that may look or seem hard, but until you actually try you don’t really know.
Take Time For Yourself – Yoga is about taking time-out to work on yourself. As an Entrepreneur you need to apply the same principle. The most successful Entrepreneurs spend more time on themselves than they do their business. This concept may seem strange or foreign to some, but if you want things to change than you need to start with you.
I hope that these 5 lessons have proved to be helpful, I would love to hear your thoughts or even lessons that you have learned that can be applied.
Acceptance is the first step in moving forward and yet so often we judge ourselves instead. Have you been guilty of judging yourself in the last day, the last week, the last month or the last year? I am sure there isn’t too many who would answer no to this question.
So why is acceptance so important? Acceptance is a proactive state which is going to help you in moving forward and creating the life you want. Acceptance does not mean you have to be happy and ok with where you are, but it will lower your anxiety and help you to relax. Judgement on the other hand takes up a lot of our energy. Judgement causes low self-esteem, stress and anxiety so I am sure you can see how this is NOT a proactive state. Make the choice here and now to unconditionally accept where you are right here and now.
“WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMY”
Learn to pay more attention to your breathing as it is a mirror of what is happening on the inside. If you accept your breathing you will straight away feel more relaxed. I have an exercise that was given to me and now I want to share it with you. Take 5 minutes that is all you need and focus on your breathing with a little more focus and force on the exhale. Once you are focusing on your exhale, every time you exhale say your name to yourself. It may feel a little weird at first, but take note as to how you feel after 5 minutes.
“THE UNIVERSE REWARDS ACTION”
Give this a go and comment below how you found the exercise. Did you find it easy? Did you feel more relaxed? Will you use it more in your everyday life?