If you speak to any grouping of people concerning change, usually 9 out of 10 of them will tell you that they do not enjoy having to reconstruct things in their lives. Change is not easy for most of us an humans because we are by nature, creatures of habit.
You want to continue living in a certain routine once you have conditioned your body and mind to function in that way. This makes you feel comfortable with your surroundings and decisions.
Even if you don’t like change, there are ways to make healthy lifestyle changes easier. There are also tools you can use to welcome change into your life, even when you’re entering new uncharted territory.
Here are 3 ways to make lifestyle changes easier for you:
1. Determine Pros and Cons. If you know you need to make changes in your life and you aren’t looking forward to doing so, you can do a simple exercise that will make the change easier to handle.
Take a sheet of paper, and on one side write “Pros,” and on the other write, “Cons.” On the corresponding side you will write the pros and the cons of the change so you can see what the benefits and drawbacks might be.
* You may realize as you complete this exercise that the very thing holding you back is the fear of change itself.
Seeing the pros and cons will help you realize how it will benefit you to make the change. This allows you to warm up to the thought that change actually might actually be a good idea!
2. Incorporate the Change Gradually. Another way to make lifestyle changes easier is to work up to them.
For instance, if the healthy lifestyle changes that you need to make center around ceasing your habit of smoking and drinking you may not want to quit cold turkey; instead you can work up to it. Stop drinking every night with dinner, and then stop drinking for a few days at a time. You can do the same thing with smoking so that you aren’t fighting the lifestyle change.
* Preparing yourself both physically and mentally helps you to ease the change into your daily routine.
3. Use Affirmations. Another way to help make lifestyle changes easier is to use positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are statements that encapsulate the way you would ideally think or behave.
You can either create your own affirmations or look for statements that others have created. The key is that you find an affirmation that speaks to you.
* Words are powerful and, when you repeat the same words over time, they continue to resonate through your mind. When the words are positive you’ll find that you can tap into the positive thought anytime or anywhere.
If you’re worried about making a healthy lifestyle change, you don’t have to be. Instead, you can remind yourself why you want to change by saying something like, “Change is healthy. I do not get stuck in the same routines.” When you repeat this often enough, it becomes your response to the anxiety you feel. This makes changes easier for you to handle.
Some lifestyle changes are harder than others to become accustomed to even when we desire to make the changes. Many times just one of these tips will help you to implement the change, while other times you may need to use a variety of methods to feel at ease about the change.
Use the “pro and con” method to see the benefits. Then bring the change in gradually while you accept it through your affirmations. These techniques will help you feel confident so you can enjoy the benefits of your new lifestyle.
Whether you drive to work, take the subway, or hop on a bus, there are many different things you can do to get things moving in your day.
Commutes often take up quite a bit of time, especially during rush hour. You may as well take full advantage of the time you have in order to ensure that your day is optimized for success.
There are many ways to jump-start your day while commuting to work. Here are some activities you can do while you travel to get a great start to your day:
1. Listen to self-improvement audios. If you’re traveling to work in your car, invest in some good self-improvement CDs, audio books, or MP3 downloads.
* As you travel, listen to these CDs and learn how to unlock your potential, organize your day, prioritize, increase your self-esteem, or other key personal growth strategies.
* iPods or MP3 players are perfect for those who carpool or ride a bus or subway to work.
* Indulge yourself by listening to your favorite podcasts with your iPod, either entertainment, self-improvement or business-oriented.
2. Plan your day. If you commute by way of a bus or subway, or even in a car pool, you can take advantage of the time by planning your day or detailing project plans.
* Write down notes about your various projects, prioritize your daily tasks by creating a to-do list, or schedule meetings by using your laptop or phone.
* Be wary of talking on your cell phone while commuting. Loud conversations can annoy other travelers and your reception might be spotty at times.
3. Take care of emails. Email is a common time trap during the day. If you have access to the internet during your commute, it may be an ideal time to check your email for any important information or to reply to those emails that have long been awaiting your response.
* Taking care of administrative or simple email tasks on the way to work can help ease the load when you get to the office.
* Organizing your inbox with filters and folders can make checking email a quick task. Set limits about checking email once you reach the office to assure you’re working most efficiently.
4. Relax with hobbies or learn new things. Use your commuting time to do something fun for yourself, such as studying a new language or learning about a topic that draws your interest. You can keep your mind sharp and discover new things by taking the time you have during your commute to experience something different.
* What have you always wanted to do but never find the time for? Sit down with your favorite crossword puzzle or magazine, or watch a favorite television show on your laptop or phone. Enjoy your time before work begins!
5. Eat breakfast. If you’re running out of the house to catch a train or bus, take a minute to grab a healthy breakfast to eat on your way to work. Many commuter stations have breakfast carts available so grab something to eat alongside your morning tea or coffee.
* Not only will breakfast jumpstart your metabolism but you’ll also have increased energy by the time you reach the office.
These are just a few different ways to jump-start your day during your morning commute. While you may only have a limited amount of time in the morning, you can really make the best of it!
Procrastination: it’s something a good number of us tend to do, no matter what the task. We know that putting something off doesn’t help us and it only makes things worse by adding stress to our lives, but knowing this only makes us procrastinate more.
How can you stop this vicious cycle, use your time more effectively, and get your tasks done sooner?
Here are 5 simple ways to get up and go and stop putting off things that must be done for the sake of bittersweet procrastination:
1. Determine why you delay working on your task. Is it a specific task that you’re putting off, or do you procrastinate everything on your plate? What is it about this task that stops you from doing it?
* Are you scared of failing?
* Do you fear that you’ll fall short of what’s expected of you?
* Are you just lazy?
* Are you resentful of whoever put this obligation upon you?
By evaluating the task, you can better understand what’s holding you back so you can complete the task more efficiently.
2. Make a plan. When you make a step-by-step plan, you are setting a specific schedule and timeline to complete the task.
Write this plan down on paper. Writing this list will help you better organize your thoughts and determine the small steps you need to take to accomplish your goals. Give yourself attainable tasks on a daily, weekly or hourly timetable, as it applies to your situation.
* You are less likely to be overwhelmed when you’re faced with small, manageable steps.
3. Be Realistic. Be realistic about what you can achieve in your plan. Doing so makes each step clearly attainable and you’ll be less likely to put it off. Knowing your limits will make your goals seem easier and less of a mountain to climb.
4. Just Begin. It sounds simple enough, but few heed this simple tip. Most procrastinators find themselves prone to delaying the start of the task because it seems too overwhelming. Instead, they stress and worry during the final moments before it’s due.
* No matter how large or insurmountable the task may seem, beginning with even a small action will build momentum. Simply beginning also tends to put the task into perspective and makes it seem more possible than ever.
5. Take Breaks. Taking scheduled breaks while working on your task refreshes your body and mind. If you go for a 10-minute walk or work on a Sudoku puzzle, you’ll feel re-energize and you’ll be in a better frame of mind to forge on.
* Breaks, while refreshing, should be taken in moderation; you certainly don’t want to use breaks as an excuse to lapse back into procrastination.
Procrastinating is an ugly habit that many of us fall into. Luckily, this bad habit can be overcome and if you are prone to procrastination you can become more proactive and productive.
Follow these 5 tips, practice them frequently, and with some time and patience you’ll find yourself getting more done, more often.
It is not uncommon to have a dream in today’s world. As a matter of fact, everyone has a dream; and often times it is more than one – it can be many dreams actually, but the sad reality is that few people believe that they can actually achieve those dreams.
Nevertheless, some people achieve their dreams while others live lives of regret; Some are inspired and follow through, while others delay or give up entirely on their dreams in exchange for whatever excuses they comfort themselves with.
So, what are the key factors that make that difference between the person who achieves his dream, and the one who live a life of regret because he/she never even attempted reaching their dream?
Here are three simple keys that separate those who reach success and walk into their dreams from those who do not taste the same sweet nectar of victory in their lives.
Everyone has their own motivations for their dreams. Consider what motivates you towards your goal. It could be financial freedom, more free time, or a second home in the Caribbean. Whatever it is, remind yourself of it on a daily basis.
For example, having pictures of your dream Caribbean home hung on the fridge or in your work space will remind you of your dream and refresh your mind with motivation.
When you suffer inevitable setbacks or frustration, a visible reminder of
your dream will help motivate you to do what is necessary to get back on
track toward your goal. It is also important to give yourself rewards along the way. Rewarding yourself after making a breakthrough, such as acquiring a new client, learning a new computer program, or sharing a smile with your teenager, is absolutely necessary to effectively following through
on your path to success.
Treat yourself to a nice dinner, take the day off for a game of golf, or reward yourself with something else you like. Your reward will give you a refreshing break from the trials and tribulations on your path to success and bring you new energy to continue working toward your goal.
Giving yourself a reward here and there along the way will reinvigorate
your motivation with its positive result.
Although developing a systematic plan may seem obvious if you want to
achieve your goals, many people overlook or downplay this process and then wonder why they aren’t moving forward toward their goal. Be sure to take the time to plan your path for greater success!
Once you have a broad plan to reaching your goal, you must fine-tune all
the details. Put it down on paper, even if it’s an emotional or psychological life goal, and determine the steps necessary to make that goal a reality.
Put a time frame on it. Put all excuses aside with a finite deadline for each step. Be realistic of your own competencies. Creating a realistic step-by-step plan with a deadline will bring your dream to life. Setting
definable little goals to achieve on the way to your desired large goal will enable you to follow your plan through to success.
Lastly, no dream or goal can be achieved without action. If you’ve developed your plan as recommended, you will see that there are a number of little steps you must take on a daily or intermittent basis that will further you on your path to your ultimate goal.
Your little steps give you the map to your treasure. Take action to follow your map. Each step you complete brings you closer to your goal.
Evaluate your actions and revise your map as necessary. If a plan falls
through, then be adaptable to change it until you find yourself back on the path to success.
Motivation, Planning and Action will enable you to create and live the life you’ve always wanted. It may take some time, but following these steps will guide you to success.
There are many benefits of achieving our goals. It is not just the final goal that is important. Some wise men say that the journey is more important than the destination. Could this be true in terms of our goals and objectives in life? Absolutely!
Part of our goal setting plan can be to identify the benefits of our goals. Why are we trying so hard to achieve this goal? More times than not, it’s because we want something about us to change as a result of achieving the goal.
One benefit to finishing your goal is patience. Very few goals can be completely accomplished in twenty-four hours or less. We have to face the fact that it will take a while to reach our goal. If we embrace this thought, the entire process from start to finish won’t seem as daunting. In the end, we have learned just how true it is when people tell us “good things come to those who wait.”
Networking is another advantage to attaining our goals. As we strive to achieve goals we encounter like minded people along the way. These people have been in our shoes before and have precious information to share. This type of relationship doesn’t end when the goal is achieved. Valuable contacts continue to find us and even work with us to achieve bigger goals for both parties.
Some of our goals involve positive health benefits as well. Health related goals, although it may not seem so at the time, are some of the more immediate ones. Losing weight, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and quitting destructive, addictive habits come with benefits that translate into longer more fulfilling lives. It’s hard to achieve goals from the grave. Once our health goals are achieved, we can look forward to setting other goals.
For long term goals, it can take courage, sacrifice and a serious look into our character. Who we truly are is revealed through the obstacles, responses to negative attitudes, and high points of the goal achieving process. Each milestone is a test of what we believe in. At the end, we realize that it is not just the goal that was achieved but a new sense of self that couldn’t have come about any other way.
In this life, we need each other. This comes into play in the setting of goals. A goal doesn’t seem as impossible with others helping us to achieve it. Instead of being alone with our thoughts we share them with someone who will understand, has been where we are, or is willing to encourage and see us through.
Closer relationships are a byproduct of goal achievement. Those people who have been with us throughout the process have earned our respect and a reciprocal relationship when it comes time for them to embark on their own goals.
The benefits of achieving goals are not limited to the simply the goal itself. In the process, other lessons are learned like living healthier, becoming mentally tough, and how to weather setbacks. Even if the goal is not met, we still have a lot to be proud of ourselves for because the journey has taught and brought us so much.
We set goals all the time. Sometimes those goals result in less than satisfactory outcomes. Have you ever wondered why that is? One explanation is because the goals have been left open-ended. Not giving our objective a target to completion leads to unfulfilled aspirations and ambitions.
One thing that is inevitable when it comes to goals is obstacles. We all experience them at one time or another. Overcoming obstacles is the key if we want to see our goals through to the finish.
What are some of the typical obstacles when it comes to goal setting? First there’s fear. We suddenly get a chill when we think about starting our own business or training to run a marathon.
Next, there’s procrastination. Everybody knows what that is.
Remember Wimpey’s favorite saying in the Popeye cartoon? “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” You put off what you could do today because there is always tomorrow. Unfortunately, you know that tomorrow never comes if you are a procrastinator.
Don’t forget to add the dying ember syndrome to the list of obstacles in the way of reaching your goals. You just lose interest in the goal. It could be because you have changed your mind about its worth or because too may nay-sayers have finally taken their toll.
Lastly, there is negative self-talk. You may not even realize that you are doing it. Every time you look at the goal sheet or visual boards, your mind conjures up thoughts of failure, doom and gloom, and crowds of people saying, “I told you so.”
Now that we’ve identified a few of the obstacles, let’s go back and look at how to overcome each of them.
1. First is the fear factor. Not the reality show, but our own reality. Fear can initially get you going because you don’t want to fail, but it won’t keep us going.
Courage has been defined by many as pushing forward in spite of fear. Post huge signs with COURAGE written on them all over the house and at work. Soon, the fear will disappear and courage will be met by a growing determination to reach your goal.
2. Procrastination requires effort to overcome. Enlist the aid of family members and trusted friends who will keep you honest but not rag on you if you slip up along the way. Support lets a goal setter know that good people are behind them through it all.
3. What do you do when the thrill is gone? Diagnose the problem. Is it that you have truly lost interest or is someone pushing you towards that end?
Sometimes we do lose interest, but don’t give up on the entire goal. Maybe a new direction on the same goal is in order. If you had decided to pursue a law degree to combat crime, consider teaching instead of going into the courtroom.
4. Negative self-talk deserves to be squashed. It requires effort on our part to notice when we are thinking in this way and to say out loud, if necessary, a positive thought to counter it. Write positive responses down on a piece of paper if you have to.
Overcoming obstacles to your goals is not easy, but well worth it when you reach the goal. As you work to combat failure, you also learn a thing or two about yourself and your resiliency.
Do you realize that you are an investor?
Now I know your first though might be “hey, I don’t own an stocks or share”, but I beg to differ, because you do. You may not have stock and share in a publicly traded company, but you do have an invested interested in private firms called 1. Your Life, 2. Your Family, & 3. Your Dreams & Goals.
If you sit and chat with in major investor, I can guarantee that parts of the conversation will entail one specific word…sacrifices. We all have dreams and goals in our lives. That’s what keeps us going. Many of our goals entail sacrifices in order to achieve them. It is important that you learn to identify whether those sacrifices or investments are warranted in the achievement of your goals.
The first question we ask ourselves when setting goals is: What do I really want? The answer produces a list of things. Some are tame and some are farfetched. Yet and still, many millionaires and athletes today were once told their dreams were too lofty to attain.
But, what people don’t see is the behind the scenes struggles that people who have achieved a lot have faced. Let’s focus on the athlete for a moment. Gold medal gymnasts, in their rise to the top, have made sacrifices. Their families have invested in their future and the ability of these athletes to achieve their goals.
This sacrifice may involve relocating the family to be closer to world famous gym coaches. In the event a family can’t move, just the gymnast moves to be with the coach and train. This involves great expenses but also heartache on the part of the family as they watch their young child leave the nest well before they normally would have.
What sacrifices are you prepared to make to achieve your goals? The way to answer that question involves mapping out a plan for the goals you have written down. Yes, it’s important to write them down or they will be just like the morning fog on the lake – disappearing into nothing. The goal or dream may never be fulfilled.
Mapping your goals means writing down the steps it will take from inception to completion. If the goal requires money, one step will be finding capital. Depending on your current options, this may not be an easy step. If a step of the goal is laying out a large amount of cash, that could mean going without certain extras until the goal is achieved. This is an investment.
Then, there is your mindset. What one person views as an investment, another will view as a sacrifice. The deciding factor is you and the importance of that goal in your life. If the goal is worth pursuing, that sacrifice is an investment in the future and well worth the time, money, and effort.
After looking at the plan you have mapped out for your goal, you may decide it is too much to handle. If that’s the case, it’s alright. It is better to know before you get started than after you are knee deep into the project.
The process of identifying sacrifices and investments is extremely important. These two things are the cornerstone of goals, resolutions and many other areas of life. Without them the outcome of your goals may never reach their full capacity. With them, you’re armed and ready for whatever may come your way and have a more probable chance of reaching those objectives.
Almost all of us have goals in life we’d like to reach, but many of us fail to see them through because we lack the knowledge to get started in making them reality. In this article we will discuss how to take action towards getting those goals out of your head and into the world of reality.
Read on to find step-by-step instructions to help you create goals and the actions needed to complete them. By following this plan, you’ll be more apt to succeed at meeting your goals in life, no matter what they may be.
1. Write it down. Many dreams are forgotten because we neglect to put it on paper. One day we’ll say, “Oh, yeah, I wanted to do that when I was young.” No one says that you have to pursue all of the goals that are listed on the paper, but if you do choose to work towards it, you’ll remember what it was in the first place. One effective way to do this is to make your list of goals within a journal because you will be writing other lists that pertain to these goals as you work towards their completion.
2. Make a decision about the goals you’ve written down. Each goal has possibilities and difficulties. Begin a list of the pros and cons of each goal you wrote down in step one. This will help you narrow down your choices. Those with too many cons may need to be omitted from your list or at least moved to another list for now.
3. Are these goals for me? Now that we have narrowed the list to the possible goals, how do you feel about each one? Take the time to list your feelings about the goals left on the list. Be sure to list positive thoughts as well as any misgivings you may have. Being a lawyer can be a worthy goal, but if you have small children at home, this may not be the right time to pursue it. Or, there may be other ways you can help with law enforcement besides becoming an attorney.
4. Create a plan for the goals. This goes for every goal even if it won’t be pursued right now. Five years down the road, you may want to think about selling your home or moving to another state. When it comes time to look at this goal, you will already have a plan for achieving it. The plan can be for a long term or short term goal. If plans for different goals mesh together, more than one goal can be pursued at a time.
Tip: It might be wise, especially if this is the first time working with goal planning, to focus on one or two goals right now and revisit the others at a later time.
5. Divide the plan into manageable steps. It is easy to become overwhelmed when thinking about the completed goal. Starting a business is a commitment both of finances and time. Realize, everything doesn’t have to be done all at one time. Steps or milestones, allow for smaller goals to be achieved on the way to the bigger one.
6. Get going. The hardest part is over. You have taken the time to put a plan in place and pursue the dream that has lain dormant for years. Start with step one and work your way forward.
Taking action towards a goal does not have to seem overwhelming if you take time to decide which goals are worth going after, planning the steps necessary to get to the desired result, and simply get going with those steps. Before any goal can get off the ground, it needs a direction to go.
Once you have the direction it’s just a matter of checking things off your list until they are complete. Take things one step at a time and you’ll reach the finish line before you know it.
Most people never realize that setting goals can be effortless if it is done the right way. It’s not hard to think up or even write your goals down, but achieving them on the other hand, can present quite a challenge.
In order to reach your goals, it is important that you maintain your focus on the end result, especially when things don’t seem to work out the way you had planned.
Here are a few simple strategies that can help you stay focused on your goals so that you reach your desired end and see the results you want.
1. Create a visual reminder. A wish book contains pictures, personal reflections and other notes related to the finished goal. Let’s pretend for a moment that your goal is to start a restaurant.
Create a restaurant wish book full of pictures such as cutouts from magazines depicting restaurant grand openings, the type of furniture you would like in the restaurant, famous people coming to visit, or even a fake review that you have written about your impending opening night. Visual reminders are meant to encourage and keep your eye on the prize when you hit a rough spot in your plans.
2. Ask for help. This point can’t be stated enough. No man or woman is an island. Without help, everyone would fail at something. We’re not talking about help to start the business or any actual physical labor. This kind of help refers to support for you in general. Support such as weekly phone calls with a friend or mentor for encouragement, focusing sessions, or even just a sounding board for you when things get a bit off course.
3. Reassess the game plan. A goal is only as good as the plan behind it. Looking at that plan every three to six months, let’s you see what can be tweaked or omitted all together. As things change, so do the steps in that plan. If one step involved starting a website business by the end of the year, a major move to another state can put that on hold. Instead, maybe selling items on eBay or similar auction site would help keep you in the loop, without the pressure of reaching your original goal until the move is over.
4. Reward yourself. For every step along the way that brings you closer to your goal, celebrate. It can be a night on the town with friends, a new outfit, or a quiet weekend alone. If the goal involves saving money, then the quiet weekend alone would not dip into your coffers. For weight loss goals, a new outfit or trip to the movies won’t ruin all of the work you have done up to that point.
5. Learn how to deal with setbacks. One reason people lose focus on their goals is a temporary delay or two. They call them failures, when in all honesty, they are anything but. Setbacks can signal that the goal needs a new direction or you need to rededicate yourself to the task at hand. Put it into perspective, deal with the hindrance and move on.
Staying focused on a goal can be tricky and even hazy at times. To correct your vision and stay focused on the final result, use the five tips above as often as needed throughout the process of completing your goal.