Making THANKS-GIVING a year round practice can change everything.
Time for a new approach...
Over half of Americans will make some sort of New Year’s resolution this year.
- Most of them will be women.
- 8% will succeed.
- Of 92% that fail, most will have made the same resolution at least three other times in their lives.
What’s going on here? Are that many of us lazy, undisciplined slugs?
Not even close.
Many of my clients came to me because they had grown frustrated - working on the same goal over and over again only to meet with fleeting or partial success.
These are all hardworking, passionate, values driven women who never seem to stop. They juggle careers with the needs of kids, elderly parents, and relationships while managing households, worrying about money and trying to squeeze in a little self care.
In fact, every one of them has set and met many, many goals in her lifetime. And yet, this one thing – this one really, really, really wanted thing never quite materialized. Many of them had begun to believe it’s wasn't possible.
If it does, take a d e e p b r e a t h, the solution is far more simple than you think.
There are hundreds of models out there for reaching goals. While they vary a bit in approach, they each can be broken down into three key steps:
- Set the goal
- Map out a plan
- Take Action
And they all work. I’m willing to bet that you’ve used these three steps yourself many times and met with success.
These three steps - in whatever way you employ them - are a tactical solution. They work great when applied to tactical goals.
And that’s the problem.
The BIG goals, the ones that we’re likely to refer to as resolutions (or even as dreams), are not tactical. They are tied in with our emotions, our values, our fears – they are attached to our deepest sense of self.
Our BIG goals require an adaptive solution.
That's why I'm offering my REACH do-it-yourself mini workshop (a $20 value) as my holiday gift to you. Use it to get started on making this year's resolution truly stick!
Click here to download REACH. (Available through January 31, 2017.)
Thank You for a Wonderful 2016!
Wishing you a New Year filled with peace, love and joy,
Of course simple doesn't necessarily mean easy...
People, when faced with a problem, challenge or dilemma of any sort, tend to seek out solutions that are either easy (the quick fix, duct tape approach) or complex (complexity giving the solution a sense of credibility or proportional importance to the problem).
More often than not however, what we should be seeking is the exact opposite. Most of the time, solutions that work (on both the small and large scale) are simple, not complex. Unfortunately, we automatically associate ‘simple’ with ‘easy’ and so we get turned off because either:
- "So simple a solution could never effect my very difficult problem." The subtext here is: "...if it were simple, clearly I would have already fixed it."
- We joyfully attempt the ‘simple’ solution assuming that simple is, in fact easy, and the quick fix is right around the bend - and we give up frustrated when nothing changes.
My favorite example of this is Nike’s brilliant Just DO it. campaign. The answer to your personal fitness level is incredibly simple, you just have to do it. But you have to do it every day. And that, as we exercise impaired understand, is not easy.
And so, how do we embrace simple but not easy?
Here are 3 things to try:
1. THINK SMALL, THINK NOW
Rather than attempting to figure out everything at once, choose one small thing that you can do to get you started today. A favorable outcome (even a tiny one) will give you the energy and inspiration you need to take the next small step.
In fact, by keeping yourself from looking too far ahead you'll not only avoid overwhelm, but also keep your mind open to new ideas that emerge from the incremental successes along the way.
2. USE WHAT YOU'VE GOT
Boy, do we spend a lot of time and energy reinventing the wheel!
Make a list of all the things you're good at and another one of things you've accomplished that you've proud of. Search through those lists for hints of how you can attack your current dilemma from a point of strength.
3. LET IT FLOW
Avoid judging yourself or your progress each step of the way. Practice looking at this process as a continuous flow from which you will learn and shift as you move forward rather than a series of starts and stops.
All you need is 3 minutes and a rock.
It's true. Pick up a rock, stone, or any little object that can fit in the palm of your hand and designate about three minutes a day to begin a mindfulness practice.
Your brain - and as a result, your outcomes - will level up!
- More focus.
- More clarity.
- More energy.
- More control when the pressure's on!
...and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Mindfulness is not like other contemplative practices. So if you're someone who "can't meditate," no worries.
You can do this. I promise.
The wonderful thing about practicing mindfulness is that you can start small. REALLY small, and still begin to see some of the benefits. You can literally begin with three 60 second intervals a day and grow your practice from there!
Click the link below for a free mp3 to get you started.
(It only takes about 5 minutes to listen to the whole thing, but those only want the technique without learning about the benefits can skip ahead to 2:44).
Go ahead...give it a try.
3 THINGS YOU CAN TO TODAY THAT CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING.
When I was a kid I loved Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau. I’d watch those movies with my Dad and we’d be doubled over laughing, tears in our eyes as the bumbling Clouseau succeeded to the disgust and consternation of Chief Inspector Dreyfus. As great followers of rules, logic, and ‘doing the right thing,’ Dad and I could actually feel Dreyfus’s pain as he developed a nervous tic from the endless frustration of working with an ‘idiot’ like Clouseau. It’s a classic - the competent straight man utterly flummoxed by the continued success and easy happiness of the buffoon with whom he is unfairly associated. Whether it's Clouseau and Dreyfus, Spongebob and Squidward, or Mr. Bean and everyone - at every age, we can all relate and this stuff never gets old.
It wasn’t until recently that I started seeing these tales more as a primer for living than mere comedy. Remember Mr. Magoo? Everything he saw through his coke-bottle glasses was a distorted version of the world. Or was it? He acted upon what he believed to be true and the world unfolded around him accordingly. Like Clouseau, Spongebob, and Mr. Bean, while we were laughing at them, they were carrying on unfettered by our perceptions and judgements - and they triumphed.
The truth of the matter is we all create our own reality. Yet just like our favorite straight-men, we spend much our lives believing we are at the mercy of the external events that surround us. We fight against the tide rather than riding it to new destinations. The fact is, it is what you think that has the greatest impact on your success, fulfillment, and happiness. Don't get me wrong, what you do is important - but since everything you do stems from what you think, it's best to start there.
So how to make the shift? Here are three simple things to start practicing today:
1. NOTICE YOUR OWN THINKING
Your brain has two primary modes of thinking - let’s call them Train Track and Jet Pack.
Train Track Thinking is your default. Whether you are speaking to yourself or others, when you’re on the Train Track your thoughts are simply running down a line (or multiple lines) without your choosing them intentionally.
Jet Pack Thinking (or meta-cognition) is when you’re thinking about what you’re thinking. By stepping outside yourself and noticing your own thinking you are affording yourself the opportunity to make choices that are not available when you’re on the train. Looking down from the Jet Pack view you are able to ask yourself questions like:
- Is this getting me closer to or further from what I want?
- What do I want to have happen here?
- How do I want to show up?
2. TRY ON SOMEONE’S ELSES COKE-BOTTLE GLASSES
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
I love this quote from Anais Nin - it really drives the ‘Magoo Principle’ home. Put 50 people in a room and show them the same thing and they will see 50 different things. We each see the world though our own unique pair of glasses and for each of us the view through those lenses is completely true.
When your in the Jet Pack however, you have the ability to imagine what some of those other perspectives might be. By this simple act, stepping outside of our own perspective and trying on new ones, we open a world of possibility and opportunity that we were unable to see before.
3. ASSUME POSITIVE INTENT
This is becoming increasingly difficult in a world where all the messages around us tell us to be suspicious and afraid.
Try it anyway. Believe me, most people aren’t out to get you. They are merely trying to protect themselves or to get what they need or what they want. In short, they’re thinking about themselves, not you.
Fear not. If someone does truly mean you harm - chances are you’re brain’s default protective mechanisms will kick in and you’ll ride your Train Track back to safety.
Going into a situation assuming that the other person’s intention is positive however, allows you to ‘show up’ without your armor - think Mr. Bean - and so the people you interact with are able to lay down their own defenses. You’ll be surprised how quickly this impacts the effectiveness of all you interactions.
Make these three simple things your habit and you’ll be surprised at how much of what previously seemed impossible begins to melt away.