Thursday, May 27, 2010

What’s wrong with goals and getting stuff?

For most of us, we’ve been told to write our goals, review them regularly and achieve them happily.
But we don’t do it.
I spoke last week with a lady that taught goal setting but didn’t use any of the strategies she taught!

Why is this? For some of us, it is overwhelm, but underneath, I think many of us find the whole process lacks any real meaning. Failed resolutions make us wary of a process that requires lots of effort and delivers so little.

There’s also an underlying distrust of a system that puts us on a treadmill.... achieve this goal, then you will be happy. Then what? Achieve another goal, suddenly it sounds like a trap, never ending, drudgery. And the happiness, mere illusion.

Inherently, we all understand stuff doesn’t buy happiness. But we are all pretty sold on the concept aren’t we? Who would knock back a nice new car, a big house, a status handbag, diamond ring, racing yacht/fishing charter, or on-snow chalet?

So why would anyone set goals if achieving the goal isn’t the outcome it’s cracked up to be? Exactly. So we don’t.... Yet the self help gurus continue to insist, set those goals. And we continue to resist. Get stuffed, go away, I just want to live my life doing what I love. Exactly. So why set goals?

For the journey.... ah ha. For what you learn along the way. NOT what you get, get it? For the emotions, the feelings, the experiences, the life lived fully. That’s why. And the best goal of all is a Life Purpose that guides you in all your seeking, questing, believing, in your noblest endeavours and the giving of your gifts...

And that’s why its recommend you start at the pointy end with your Life Purpose. Because when you align your goals to your driving, inspiring, motivating, passionate, fulfilling Life Purpose, all the empty drudgery of goal setting, goes away.

It changes from what you get, to what you give. It changes from stuff, to experiences. It changes from a trap to deeply satisfying. It becomes meaningful, because you are on a journey to realize your potential. You know exactly WHERE you are going.

And every challenge and unexpected event is just a bleep on the radar that guides you, effortlessly, consistently, faithfully, to realizing the greatness within you...

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
The above quote is widely misattributed on the Web and elsewhere to Nelson Mandela's 1994 inaugural address. The author is Marianne Williamson, from her 1992 book, "Return to Love" (p. 165).

4me2realize can help you set goals that are aligned with your life purpose and journal daily against them, so goal setting becomes meaningful, motivating and achievable. Try it now for free, no credit card required, just go to our web site.

Thank you

Monday, May 17, 2010

Your DIY Funeral eulogy goes like....

I’d like to tell you about 4me2realize....
But first imagine you’re on your death bed. Now just stay with me here, imagine you’re sadly near death  and planning your own memorial service.
There’s a crowd and everyone is crying. What are they saying about you? Then someone steps confidently forward to summarise your own life... what do they say?
Where you kind, generous, loving, a fantastic family person, a successful business leader, a prodigious artist, a lawmaker, a peace maker, a soup kitchen volunteer? Did you touch hearts or mend fences? Did you change the world or lives?
Could you do it? Are you happy with your life so far? Or are you like most of us, a car without a steering wheel, a traveller without a map, a person without a clear, defining, driving, passionate purpose?  Do you know where you are going?
Success psychologists say that 95% - 97% of the people in the world do NOT have written goals and fail, while 3-5% have written goals and succeed. [1]
Mark McCormick in his book What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School tells of a Harvard study conducted between 1979 and 1989.
In 1979, graduates of the MBA program were asked to set clear written goals for their future and their plans to accomplish them. It turned out only 3 percent of the graduates had written goals, 13 percent had goals but they were not in writing and 84 percent had no specific goals at all–aside from getting out of school and enjoying the summer.
Ten years later, in 1989, the researchers again interviewed the members of that same graduating class. They found that the 13 percent who had goals that were not in writing were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent of students who had no goals at all. Most surprisingly, they found that the 3 percent of graduates who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, 10 times more than 97 percent of their graduating class. The only difference between the groups was the clarity of goals they had set (and spelled out) for themselves when they graduated.
Defining your purpose and aligning your goals to WHO you want to be makes goals getting much easier to achieve. 4me2realise is unique because first it asks, “what is your life purpose?” then it gets you to set congruent goals. And it is easy to use everyday so that you can really design the life of your dreams....whatever that may be, an art studio, a successful business, a big red sports car, a happy healthy family, changing the world.
Getting congruence or alignment stops the resistance, the tug of war between what you want and what stops you progressing.  Who has kept their New Year’s Resolutions?  Who doesn’t even bother anymore?  Resolutions without the reasons WHY are doomed. You need a strong emotional WHY to motivate you to achieve and you need congruence.
Knowing how to do this is CRITICAL to success. 4me2realize incorporates the best of modern psychology and technology to make it easy for you to integrate what you do everyday with your Life Purpose and Goals. It is more than just writing an “I want” or “to do” list.
It combines three powerful tools, Life Purpose, Goal setting and Journaling. As you journal against your goals, you slow your thinking down and start to recognise the behaviours that serve you and those that do not. In this way, change is easier. It asks you to analyse what you do, your brakes and your motivators...and in this way, accelerate your progress.
In summary 4me2realize is 3 in 1 software tool, that is integrated, interactive and online. A Virtual Life coach that you can use every day to design the life you want.
The good news is that you’re not dead. The bad news is you are dying. You don’t know when you’re time will be up. Life is not a test run. What is your eulogy? Don’t wait till your dead. Live the life of your dreams now. It is never too late or too soon to start.
With Kind regards....

Pic Source:

[1] A Study in Goal Setting By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Too Busy to be better bullshit

This is 417 words, will take you less than 2 minutes to read and is about being too busy to improve your life.

Too Busy to be better bullshit

What stops you improving your life, increasing your happiness, creating more loving relationships, advancing your career or education, maintaining optimum health and fitness, carefully crafting abundance and wealth?

Most people tell me they’re too busy! To be blunt, that’s bullshit.

Busyness is a choice. A very popular choice too! It’s almost a national epidemic.

A long time ago I became aware that when I was asked “How are you?” I said without thinking, apologetically and always “I’m Busy!”

I decided to change that. I’m busy by choice, so no more apologising. I like being busy, to me it equates with a full life lived richly! But I didn’t like being stressed so I decided to focus on the things that were important to me. I’m still busy but a lot more fulfilled and a lot less stressed... This took me a few years to work out and a lot of courage to carry out. But really anyone can do it and it doesn’t need a few years to work it out.

Busyness is often a symptom. It’s a story you tell yourself to avoid having a real conversation about what is really meaningful in your life. It’s an excuse to delay some overdue soul-searching. Busyness often is a euphemism for chaos, clutter in our life that overwhelms us. You probably are busy, but busy with WHAT?

Here’s a checklist to try if you have the busyness bug.

  1. Is all this busyness getting me to where I want to go? Do I Know where I am going? Do you have a life purpose?
  2. Do I like and know what I’m doing, or am I on auto pilot? 
  3. Do I have a system that helps me get clarity about what I do and don’t do! 
  4. Have I got my goals written down?  
  5. Do I review them regularly, to keep me on track? 
  6. Do I have a good reminder system, to keep me on track?
  7. What do I need to change? What is wasting my time?
The first and last questions are really important and I could write many words on just this! Another day perhaps! After all.... I don’t want to waste your time, you’re so busy! Let me just say, you can use 4me2realize to beat the busyness bug by getting focused on what’s really important in your life.

So now when people ask me “How are you?” I say “Great thanks, busy doing the things I love, how are you?” And then they say..... “Busy!”

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Do you have a mental crap cupboard?

After a lovely breakfast in bed prepared by my teenage son I cleaned up the linen cupboard on Mother’s Day last. Not very glamorous, but revealing.

There’s a huge pile for the church jumble sale. What struck me was the excess; 2 feather quilts, 4 wool blankets, 5 sleeping bags, 10 pillows and cushions, 30 sheets, 16 pillowcases, 15 towels, 3 mattress protectors and a box of toys and clothes. It was a miracle the cupboard didn’t explode! How did this happen? How did I accumulate all this stuff I didn’t need?

I learnt a lot from cleaning the linen cupboard, because I think we all have crappy cupboards.... do you recognise these symptoms?
  • It’s been building up for years.
  • But you push it to the background, out of sight out of mind
  • It annoys you
  • But you never can manage the motivation to do something about it
  • It seems bigger than it is
  • It affects you every day (every time I went to that cupboard it was a nightmare)
  • It makes your life a misery
  • You tell yourself you’ll fix it tomorrow
  • It’s making your life messy
  • You don’t need it
  • But you hold onto it out of a false sense of security
  • You know how to fix it
This cupboard is an analogy for a lot of behaviour we do. Behaviour that doesn’t serve us but we seem incapable of changing.

If you are struggling with a crappy cupboard of your own.... weight loss, bad moods, anger, shyness, poor relationships, financial problems, etc... then it helps if you can understand, the problem isn’t the problem, it’s your behaviour that’s the problem.

The good news is you can change your behaviour. Psychologists have defined the steps of change that occur and you can use these to clean out your own emotional crap cupboards. First you have to believe three things;
  1. This must change NOW; link pain to NOT changing and pleasure to changing to help motivate action.
  2. I must change it now; take ownership /responsibility for the problem within yourself.
  3. I can change it; the past does not = the future, believe you can.
Then you must take action. Again there are 3 steps;
1. Leverage. Get leverage on yourself. Associate massive, immediate and unbearable levels of pain if you don’t change now.
Change is never a matter of ability, it is a matter of motivation.
If you CAN’T then you MUST
“Oh, I can’t do that” – watch out for the power of our words/thoughts.
“Oh, I could try that” - better words, but not fully committed.
“Oh, I could do that” – best effect, empowering and enabling.

2. Interpret the pattern
Be aware of what you are doing. To change a behaviour pattern, first you must recognise it. If you have been doing it for years, it may take doing something radical or ridiculous to jolt your awareness of the pattern. Set up something that you will do every time you start playing the old pattern. I know one person who would simply lie down on the ground! Very hard to take your old excuses seriously when you are horizontal unexpectedly in a public! This might not be for you, but you get the idea.... Before you start something new, recognise the old.

3. Create an empowering alternative, swap the bad habit for a good habit
Replace the old pattern with an empowering, more fulfilling, rewarding alternative. Reinforce, practice, and train yourself to do the new pattern, so you become addicted to it. That way you are not depriving yourself. For example I broke the coffee habit by replacing it with beautiful herbal teas. I didn’t deprive myself, I just replaced one bad habit with a good one. Now I love my green tea pot ritual. Replace don’t deny. It’s too hard to break an old pattern, just replace it with a new more rewarding pattern.

If it doesn’t work – don’t give up. Try again BUT do something different!

Stupidity is doing the same thing that didn’t work, over again.

Change, do again, doesn’t work, change, try something different. The massively successful are those who have had the most failures. Be persistent. Fail faster. Welcome your failures as lessons to be learned, dance with your fear of failure. Experience comes from bad experiences.

There are 5 elements of change, the chemistry of transformation. Remember addiction is a big scary word for a bad habit. Good news, you can get addicted to good habits
  1. Satiation – You really have had enough. If you haven’t, try overdosing on your bad thing.
  2. Get dissatisfied with the crap you are doing. It doesn’t give you the rewards anymore.
  3. Get to the threshold where change becomes an absolute MUST, don’t look backwards, look forwards.
  4. Get an insight, awareness of your bad habit/problem/issue and realize you can’t blame others , that you can do something yourself and that it will transform your life.
  5. Jump through the opening. Take action. Face your fears, dance with them. Do something, ring someone, pledge someone, break the cycle, replace the habit. Take massive action. People are rewarded in public from what they practice massively in private. Your crap cupboard is very private. You can talk the talk and never walk the walk.

I found an understanding of mastery helped me when I was making changes. There are 3 steps, and often we get stuck on step one!

1.Cognative Mastery. Intellectual understanding. Knowing is not enough. Everyone knows stuff they don’t do, or should do
2. Emotional Mastery. There are emotional consequences to what you know, and what you do.
• Do you remember where you were when 9/11 happened?
• When someone very dear or a loved one died?
The memory is clear because of the emotional intensity attached to the event. The more emotional intensity you can attach - the more you learn.
3. Physical Mastery. It gets into your body and once it gets into your body you can do it easily. Repetition also helps.

If you want to change the crap in your cupboard / behaviours that don’t serve you – write out all the reasons WHY it is a must. The Why comes FIRST. The How comes 2nd. Reasons come first – answers come 2nd. Once you know why you must do it, you work out how you can do it. Add emotions, the more intense the better.

Imagine what life would be like if you don’t change, double, triple and quadruple that feeling…. Imagine life when you do change, double, triple and quadruple that feeling….
Now you have emotional intensity to help motivate you. Emotions give you intensity. Intensity gives you leverage.

Involve other people. Find people who want you to improve and stick with them. You don’t need friends who only feel secure when you are doing bad stuff. Let them deal with their own crap cupboard.

Now I must run, I’m off to the church jumble sale. My linen excess will keep people warm this winter. That’s a great feeling. And I’m loving my new tidy cupboard. Life is so much more fulfilling, easy, rewarding, satisfying and happy, with clean cupboards!

All of these principles are made easy in 4me2realize. If you want to seriously change your life, get a system that makes it easier.

Kind regards