25 Jul

Reasons why you don’t always reach your goals

Stopping smoking, losing weight or improving your time management. These are common examples of goals we set ourselves from time to time, with many coincidentally being set with great pomp, ceremony and champagne around about the beginning of the year. New Year’s resolutions we call them. We convince ourselves that change needs to take place as a new year rolls around. A new year, a new me! For some this may be what’s required to get moving and achieve the desired results, but for most these “new goals” fizzle out within the first two weeks of the year and everything goes back to normal with the idea of improving ones time management being a dark and distant memory.

So what went wrong? Firstly, goal setting shouldn’t be controlled by the time of the year. If you want to achieve something start doing it as soon as possible. Stop waiting for the new year, a new moon or the next leap year to make things happen. Waiting causes you to lose momentum and motivation and procrastination starts kicking in. Secondly, setting a goal and just doing it, is not always as straight forward as we think. The secret to achieving a goal is understanding that your habits and behaviours need to change first. As an example, to achieve the goal of improving your time management, stop thinking about being a time management king/queen. Instead, start thinking about the following;

  1. What habits/behaviours are  currently preventing you from achieving this goal?
  • Going to bed too late and waking up late.
  • Saying yes to every request that comes your way
  • Not keeping a consistent diary

2. What habit, from the above list can you change right now?

  • Setting an earlier bed time or setting the alarm to wake up earlier.
  • Before saying yes, check what tasks and priorities are currently needing your attention. Then say yes, if you can manage it or get into the habit of saying no.
  • Start using a diary.

These are simple habit or behaviour changes. It’s about focusing on changing just that one habit and making it a part of your everyday life, making it a norm. Once the habit has been altered for the better you, can move onto the next habit-changing task. Very soon, you will  realise that you are actually achieving your main goal. Successful goal achievement is not about big wins, it is about understanding what habits or behaviours are holding you back, and figuring out the best way to change them.

08 Jun

Decisions, decisions, decisions

We live in a constantly changing world. Everyday without fail we are faced with having to make decisions. Apparently, as adults we make up to 35,000 decisions everyday, which range from what to eat for breakfast, to more life altering decisions such as what you want to be for the rest of your life. According to researchers at Cornell University (Wansink and Sobal, 2007) 226 of those choices are focused on food alone. No pressure.

With the need to make thousands of decisions being a constant in our lives  one would think it would be an easy process. We get 35,000 chances to practise everyday, we should be naturals! Gather the necessary facts in order to make an informed decision, weigh up the pros and cons of the various options and make the decision. Easy? Not quite.

So to complicate our lives and to add a dose of self-sabotage into the mix we can get into the habit of not making a decision.  This could be leaving “things” up in the air or  sticking your head in the sand and praying that “things” will just blow over. News flash, “things” don’t blow over.

The funny thing is, whether we like it or not, change will always happen. Whether we make a decision or choose to not make a decision, there will always be an outcome. There will always be consequences. Don’t be fooled into thinking that by not deciding everything will remain the same. By not making a decision, all that has happened is that you have given your power away and the change is controlling you, as opposed to you controlling the decision, choice and consequences of your action or inaction.

Yes, certain decisions can be extremely difficult and avoidance seems so much easier. However ask yourself these two question the next time you are thinking about ignoring to make a decision.

  1. “What would happen in your life or business if you didn’t take control and make a decision?”
  2. “Can you live with the consequences of not making that crucial decision?”

Know this, if you don’t take control and make decisions, some one else will and you may not be their first priority or concern. Take charge, take ownership, be proactive and make the decisions.

Need clarity and a professional coaches assistance? Contact Nicole @ nicole@tikumu.co.nz

 

 

 

 

12 Jan

Have you eaten your frog today?

The beginning of a new year is often filled with great optimism, big plans, bravado and the obligatory new year’s resolutions. Where we are surrounded with positive energy and “can do” attitudes, it does naturally make it easier to start setting goals and looking forward to great successes during the new year. This is also a really good time to get into the habit of eating your frog on a regular basis.

Frogs, not the green slimy webbed-foot amphibious kind, are items on your to-do list that have been there for far too long. Items that keep getting demoted to the bottom of the list and eventually take on the identity of a large, ugly, wart-infested toad that no-one wants to handle.

The problem with these frog goals is that they cannot be removed from the list, since they are tasks that do actually need to be completed. Completed tasks that could benefit your business or life. Having them on the to-do does in some small weird way makes us feel better. By just having these frogs on the list means something is being done. Right? Don’t fool yourself. Having “paint your house” on the to do list, does not make a beautifully painted living room. Learn to eat your frog! Start getting into the habit of eating your frog.

How do you do this?

  1. Start off small. Select a frog task off your list, which you know if you had to actually do it it would take you a day or a few hours to complete.
  2. Schedule that task for the following day. Earlier the better.
  3. Do it and don’t over think it.
  4. Celebrate. Acknowledge your success and use that feeling of success to motivate you to eat the next frog breakfast.

After you have finished the frog, select the next frog off the list and repeat the cycle. Eventually you will get into the habit of eating the frog everyday and you’ll probably start enjoying it. Challenge yourself. Eat the frog!

10 Jun

Begin with the end in mind

Begin with the end in mind – One of my favourite habits from Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

At the beginning of any goal-setting process it is suggested to start with what you envisage the end result to look like. Begin your process with the end result in mind. Put your dreamer’s hat on and think about the following… Where are you? What are you doing? How do you feel in that space?  What is your life like, your routines, your focuses and what is important to you? From creating this detailed picture you will be able to start identifying what you want and what you don’t want. Having boundaries in place from the beginning, you are able to start drafting your action plans.

This all seems quite simple and not too difficult to follow. Then life happens! We get side-tracked by irrelevant, unimportant issues which can hijack our attention and our time. We become overwhelmed with all this stuff that we feel obliged to do, and we lose sight of what we want. So how can we stay on track?

The following points may assist you with staying on course.

1) Make it part of your weekly routine to check your goals. By constantly reflecting on your goals it will allow for them to become part of your front-of-mind awareness and everyday focus.

Don’t fail yourself and your goals by only spending time in the beginning on creating them and their action plans. Don’t shelve your goals and plans to only review them in 6 months time. If you only do 6-monthly and yearly goal or strategic reviews on your business you will find yourself in reactive mode, as opposed to proactive mode.

2) When you are completing your weekly goal review, remind yourself why you wanted to achieve that goal in the first place. This reminder helps to re-motivate and remind you of your vision.

3) Do your monthly/weekly action plans need to be broken down into smaller more manageable actions? Are you just not getting to everything that is on your to-do list? Remember there is a fine line between procrastination and overworking yourself. Work out how many actions and activities you can productively manage over a week or month and make that your benchmark.

4) It’s okay to rework your plans. Remember that nothing is set in stone and by adapting and reworking your plans you keep your vision alive. Being stuck on how your goals must be achieved and refusing to change your action plans will only cause frustration.

Its the end goal that’s important, not the plans on how to get there. If in doubt, always go back to the end.

05 May

Are you preventing yourself from succeeding?

We have the capacity to dream big and create amazing worlds in our minds, where we are happy, successful and life is wonderful! So why do these amazing dreams remain just dreams for some of us?

One of the biggest reasons I find is that people become their own worst enemy and procrastinate. The skilful art of putting important stuff off and replacing  precious time with miscellaneous rubbish!

So why do people procrastinate?

People procrastinate for many reasons, the one reason that I see appearing over and over again is the fear of failure.

So, if you are fearing the worst and have decided to go with the safer option of sticking it out in your comfort zone and thinking better the devil you know, then just think about this.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? Try using the Disney Creativity Strategy to guide you through this exercise. Think and picture what your success would look like without being the critic. Yes, you don’t get to ruin your success before you have gotten out of the starting gates! Once you have created this amazing successful visual, change hats and become the realist.  A  realist only thinks about how the dream can be achieved. Remember to resist the urge to criticise  and think like a realist. There are only ways of succeeding, not failing. For some of us this is a hard pill to swallow as we are serial critics, but humour yourself and give it a try.

As Jim Carrey so wisely stated in his 2014 commencement address at Maharishi University “You can fail at something you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love.” 

Step out of  your comfort zone. Dream big and get comfortable  playing the realist role as opposed to the critic role, you might just like it.

Why be your own worst enemy? Why stop yourself from succeeding?

 

10 Mar

When is the right time to make changes? – Golden nuggets worth sharing #9

When is it the right time to start making changes in your life?

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, and a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last in dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” (Alfred D ́Souza)

It is a common thing to hear people say that they are waiting for the right time to start their change process: “I’ll just wait for the beginning of next year to start fresh” or “I’ll just wait until I have some free time”. Unfortunately they are so busy waiting for the “right” time to pursue their passion that they never get to live it and feel the success of finding meaning in their lives.

Gretchen Rubin writes in The Happiness Project, “I had a brief vision of myself living for a month on a picturesque windswept island, where each day I would gather seashells, read Aristotle, and write in an elegant parchment journal.” 

But few of us will ever find our picturesque island where we can begin change. Waiting for the right setting or the right time to make changes and improvements, is often an unrealistic expectation that we can never meet. And then we wonder why we are getting frustrated.

The environment, time or ideal circumstances will likely never be perfect. If we are honest with ourselves and remove any wishful preconditions,  it becomes easier to create the right  mindset. Then the path forward becomes clearer.

So to answer the initial question, the right time is now! Stop waiting and just get on with it!