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With our busy lives, it seems to be a constant struggle against the clock and against your willpower to change your habits and form new ones. I found this to be the case for myself because I found that I was so caught up in my day-to-day activity, that I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.
This bought me to book called “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olsen which changed my perspective on how habits are formed and more importantly, how they affect us.
On a day by day basis, we don’t see the immediate effect of what our eating habits or work habits are doing to us. Just like a smoker doesn’t smoke 1 cigarette and realise the damage to their lungs. This happen as a result of compounding the small changes over time. A person with poor eating habits doesn’t realise the impact until the 1000th burger and fries. Similarly, the person who goes into the gym for the first time doesn’t get a 6-pack figure after that one workout.
There are some habits that you can start forming today that won’t take you too far from your comfort zone and will create a big impact over time
So you want to have a healthy diet but switching from a carnivore to a vegan seems to big a jump? (It should, and you shouldn’t make that change overnight, trust me it’s not good) The ideal action is to list down everything you eat over a week. Then change one item per week. So if you realise that after lunch, you feel a slump in energy so you see yourself reaching for a chocolate bar, then switch out the chocolate for a banana or carrot sticks. You do this for one week. Then you look at your list again and change another item or remove it completely. As time goes on, you will slowly see yourself challenging yourself to come up with new things to try or change out for even healthier items.
This habit is for those of us who with to excel in our careers and get the edge over others in the workplace – not to say that we’re better than them, but to be truly excellent in your field, you must be willing to give something up in order to gain something else; such as a promotion.
So your new habit should be to work through your breaks while everyone else is sitting around sipping coffee or talking by the photocopier. Get in a few extra calls, arrange a few meetings or respond to your customers in order to get ahead of schedule. You’ll soon find that you can easily eat a sandwich between phone calls and get an extra hour of productivity out of your day. People will start wondering where you’re getting all this extra time from.
Another one relating to work but not limited to a job. Even in your business, make it a habit to work all the time you should be working. Fully 50% of work time (in an office) is spent in chit-chat with colleagues, making teas and coffees, answering useless emails and being distracted by the internet and by others. If you’re working for yourself, switch off your phone if you’re working on your laptop. Turn off all distractions.
Any time you find yourself slipping out of this habit, say to yourself “Back to work. Back to work” And if you have colleagues interrupting you at work, don’t greet them with “Hi, How are you?” Start with “Hi, how can I help you?” If the discussion is not a work one, they’ll reply “Oh, I just wanted to say hi/chat”. To which you will reply, “Great, can we catch up at lunch/after work, I’ve really got to get this in.” Then they will usually walk away, and ruin someone else’s career lol.
You’ve probably come across affirmations before. Positive statements that you repeat, with feeling and actions, to align your subconscious mind to those statements and make them reality. An easy step – Take 5 or 6 affirmations and create a background for your mobile phone so that each time you look at your phone, you see them and read them. For bonus points, have 5 Affirmations and then your #1 goal on there too. Did anyone say FOCUS? This small tip will give you tons! But do remember to follow through and actually use the affirmations.
This is a constantly evolving habit because it relates to the goal you are working on at the time. For example, if you’re working on your sporting achievements and you want to be great at Tennis, you might want to learn what Andy Murray does in his game to improve yours. It won’t help you to emulate the same person for your business goals, however.
Find an appropriate person who you admire in that area. Find out what makes them tick. Make it your mission to start copying some of their best behaviours, attitudes, and habits. Another thing that you can do in this area is to ensure you have a coach. Someone who can push you and hold you accountable. A good coach can also help you discover which attitudes and behaviours to adopt to bring you close to your goals quickly!
If you’d like to find out more about our coaching packages, do contact me via the Contact Us form and sign up for offers.
Setting long term goals is a passion of mine. In this series we’re going to explore a couple of highly effective ways of doing this.
Most people do not set long term goals. The most they do is set one year goals – you know what I’m talking about – their new years’ resolution. And most people have the same resolution every year. Occasionally they might change it because they’re bored of failing at the same goal.
When I work with private clients, we set goals for much longer. 15-25 years is not uncommon for me to work with.
I thought that might get your attention…this is a remarkable process and the end result will empower you to carry on taking daily actions towards your goals.
My wife and I have 25 year goals for many areas of our life.
Before we dive into setting long term goals and how to go about doing this, today I want to talk about why this is important.
Setting long term goals has many benefits.These include the following:
There are many more, but you get the picture 🙂
In the next post we will talk about #5 in a lot more detail. Until then, do remember to sign up for updates so you don’t miss the rest of this series and much more!
I truly feel that in order to get the best out of ourselves, we need to be in an optimum state.
What do I mean by that?
If you know you have a job to do, or something to accomplish, it really helps you if you are mentally prepared to give your best, or be in the best possible state for that particular action to take place. For example, if I am going to be delivering a talk, presentation or seminar, I need to be in a state of high energy and high listening mode. Why? My audience will feed off that energy if my energy is low. If I’m not in listening mode, then I will not be open to take on feedback that I am getting from my audience, especially non-verbal cues. I’ll discuss this in another blog post in more detail.
Another example might be, for me to give my best when I am writing this blog, I need to be in a creative state. For me, I get the best results when I’m feeling really creative. Wouldn’t you agree?
One of the ways that can help you get into the right state is to watch your language patterns and use positive language. Instead of saying “oh, I don’t feel creative at all!” Change your inner and outer dialogue to say “I feel superbly creative. I’ve got great energy and that means the creative juices are really flowing.” Saying this a few times will actually get you into the right state, allowing you to be much better results.
One thing that can stand in your way even if you use the right language, is allowing your mind to focus on the negatives in the given situation. If you want to have high energy because you have a speech to deliver, but you focus on all the things that could go wrong, you will sadly lose your state. You will not achieve that state no matter how much you tell yourself that you are in that state if you focus on the opposite, or on things that make you uncomfortable. Take a mental check that you are focused on the right things, and the right results.
Believe it or not, how you use your physiology, your body language has a huge impact on how you come across both to yourself and to others. Try telling yourself you’re really happy with a big frown on your face and looking down. It simply doesn’t work. Alternatively try to have a big grin on your face, look up at the sky, and try telling yourself you’re depressed. That one might actually make you laugh as it did when I tried it. So it is important to have your physiology, how you use your body to be in tune with the emotion or state that you are trying to achieve.
In order to achieve what I call Peak State, a state where you are positive, you feel unstoppable and you get great results, is to combine all of the above with some great affirmations. One of my personal favourites is “Every day, in every way I’m getting stronger and stronger!” For this to work, as well as saying the right words, you should focus on this and truly believe that this statement is true. You must also use your physical body to gesture and put real energy behind the affirmation. Say it a few times, say it like you mean it, and put real emphasis on the words. You will feel incredible and will be empowered to take action on any goal or task you need to do.
And remember, to live in Prosperity!
To your Success,
Most people recognise that they cannot do to many things at once. Any time we try to achieve many goals all at once, we find that we spread ourselves too thinly.
For example, if I take any one of my major goals, to lose weight and get fit, I find that I have many tasks that I need to do to achieve that goal. Some of those are high priority tasks which need to be done right to help achieve my goal. I have many other separate goals (as well as some goals which link into one another, you know what I mean) and each of these has major tasks which I must complete. Can you imagine how trying to achieve all these goals by doing all these tasks at once might result in overwhelm?
In fact it’s been proven that you can’t really do any two meaningful tasks at the same time. For example, if you’re trying to read a book or listen to the radio, you’re not actually fully attentive to the book, neither to the radio. Your mind is actually flicking between the two at a very fast rate. This is why sometimes you hear something interesting on the radio, and you then find you have to go back and read that paragraph on your book over again.
Instead, I would recommend that you focus on one goal and one activity at a time. If you’re going to read, some soft music which is not going to be a distraction would be ideal.
If you do focus on the most effective task which will yield the biggest results, you may find that you don’t try to do too many things at once. You may even find that by focusing on just the most effective tasks, you can make time for one or 2 extra actions per day which help you towards the other goals. But by not doing only these highly effective tasks, you will feel that emotion of overwhelm and will find out you burn-out quickly and often.
To your Success,