WHAT IS BOTHERING YOU?
When you start to list the things that bother you and begin to wonder how best to resolve these issues, it can be very debilitating. Procrastination sets in, and the problem continues.
How do you break this circle?
First, you need to identify the problem. The first rule of dealing with any big issue is to admit it exists. Alcoholics are first asked to admit that they are an alcoholic because they can’t move on unless they do.
The same applies here.
A good friend of mine was always moaning about cask flow in his business, and I asked him to explain why he thought it was the case. He eventually admitted that he does a lot of work before being paid for it and relied on the good nature of his customers to always pay.
Once we analysed his outstanding invoices, he saw the patterns and the folly of awaiting payment. It was uncomfortable to decide to tell all his customers, money up front please, but once he bit that bullet, he solved the issue. Yes, he lost customers, but in his post-event analysis, he admitted, ‘ I lost the right ones to lose’.
Secondly, you are best to realise that you can’t solve all your own problems. You will need others to help you or even do it for you.
‘Who’ gets things done for you, is a better tactic to employ than ‘How’.
Most of the time there are quicker, more accurate and even enthusiastic people out there that will eat your problem and solve it, fast, better and to a conclusion. This is delegation and wisdom combined.
Stop holding on to the negative issues and get those that love this work to do it for you. You’ll be freer to do what you do best and less stressed too. You’ll have more energy and be more excited about the future knowing that when you hit a wall again, you’ll know what to do about it.
Surround yourself with those that love to do what you hate. Surround yourself with people smarter than you at the things that slow you down.
So, this all begins with asking yourself and being very honest about it
- What is bothering me,
- What is slowing me down
- What is taking my energy away?
Do you want a new computer?
I had got so used to my old one that it took someone else working on mine to make me realise that I had got stuck in a rut of habit and had no idea how inefficient I was managing my computer, and anything linked to it.
Therefore, you need a coach. You can not see how you are performing. It takes others with a trained eye to help you relook at the stuff you have habituated and got comfortable with.
Unless you have more than your own perspective, you can’t possibly compare enough or load up the
a new way of working.
Our skills as social animals help us in so many ways. When you are running your own business, it is easy to think you have everything working well enough to keep growing and be competitive.
If you let a skilful observer give you feedback, you can enhance what you are good at, and this helps you grow in ways you hadn’t thought of already or were blind to. Practice being sociable about how you manage you.
Take stock, analyse and request feedback.
Let those that you trust, give you constructive criticism. Be open to suggestions, new ideas and even allow others to do things for you for a while. You’ll be amazed at how much you can quicken your processing.
My new computer is so much faster. Slicker, smarter, and I now love it. The change suggested to me was difficult to allow because I had got used to how it all worked. I managed the time it took to do certain tasks and was pleased to consider myself as efficient. Looking back at it now, I was stuck in a poor cycle of doing things the way I knew how rather than the way I should do them.
Thankfully, I allowed my PA to bully me into changing. It now takes me much less time, be more accurate and suffer much less stress.
Let a coach into your life, your business, your gym, your relationships, your study methods, your home, your….. anything, and you get that shiny new computer feeling I had today.
It takes courage, it takes to change, and you must be open and trusting. Is it worth it? Oh yes!!!!!!
Begin with the end in mind
‘The servers down’!!!!!
It seems like it’s the perfect excuse for not working or to take stock of the jobs that can be done when its down, that you may otherwise have decided was best not started.
Begin with the end in mind may not seem an obvious Stephen Covey quote to refer to when the server goes down, yet a recent event in my office led to the discussion about, what should we do when the satellites decide to play up.
One hour or five without the internet seem rarer these days. Our conclusion on the last event though helped us realise that we were distracted enough by our computers to have many of the ‘other jobs’ start to get behind.
One major benefit of this thinking is that it allows you to think of all that is needed for a job or project to be finished. Some of us are not good at following a job all the way through to the end, but some are.
Some of us use computers well and enjoy them. Some of us don’t.
It is helpful to think of a division of jobs that need tenacious computer types and jobs that need a tenacious other type.
A recent storage issue in one of my businesses helped me define a newer approach. Heavily paper based for over 20 years, made a big scanning project a necessity. To be frank the scanning should have been done years ago, but not being as tech based as the modern world requires, I kept putting it off.
Now I’m looking at selling this business, I am forced to face the challenge, that could have been easier had I been brave enough and thought end game more.
I ran the project by my team, and after a few ‘Luddite’ comments, I agreed I should not be the one running this. So, with the end in mind, I set the goal, I gave it to my tenacious computer-based people, and they are now charging through the job faster than I’d thought they would. With more enthusiasm than I could have mustered and with a better insight into how to get the job done than I could have. The end I have in mind seems so much closer.
I love the concept of sharing goals, getting the right people doing the right jobs, getting a deadline agreed and overall, delegating things that are just not my forte.
Waiting until the server is down, to discover what you can do without these amazing things called computers is not the best strategy. The jobs that are needed to be completed to get a project finished are best split between those that can be best at doing them.
Remember the differing versions of style of skills and mindsets you have at your disposal and if “begin with the end in mind” becomes an ingrained habit, you will get there so much quicker.
I look forward to next satellite wobble and its effects.
Should I put a hammer through my TV? – The life-changing power of rituals
Ok, I admit this is a rhetorical question as my significant other would go mad if I actually did it. However, spending what I consider to be too much time watching TV has been a bad habit I have unsuccessfully tried to crack for a long time. The failure to date does, however, teach me something about building good habits and using the power of rituals to help embed them.
Therefore this post is a live example of how I intend to crack this particular nut.
I have just returned from 18 days on my honeymoon in the Greek Islands which both Heather and I love visiting. Heather and I finally got married after living together for 22 years. – Don’t ask.
As I had just got married, I thought would be a good time for a life review. I started by reviewing my life goals in all the different areas using the wheel of life system. I then wrote down habits that would help me achieve the desired outcomes.
During the time on flights and ferries between islands, I decided to set up some rituals to embed all of those excellent habits into my life. Ok, so I get many coaches would tell you to concentrate on one habit at a time which is good advice. However, I thought I would try a different approach and try and instil a whole range of habits at the same time by using the “don’t break the chain” method. This is simply recording on an app or spreadsheet whether you took action on an intended habit or not on any given day. You then review at the end of every week and month which ones were not getting done and then exploring what was stopping you.
So, for instance, I want to be fit, healthy and highly energetic and be able to ski and kitesurf well until I am at least 90. So that’s the broad goal. This type of goal is different to a SMART goal as it has no specific timeline but is ongoing for as long as I live. The question I asked myself is – What habits must I embed to achieve that goal and how do I ensure that I follow through 95% of the time. This is where the power of rituals come in.
Rituals are a set of habits which fit together and are implemented together in the same order on a daily basis. The idea is that the habits you may already have in place help you jump start into a new one you are trying to build. The power arises from the fact that as you do one habit directly followed by another in the same order and for the same length of time. The series of habits become a habit in itself.
There is a comfort in rituals, and rituals provide a framework for stability when you are trying to find answers. -Deborah Norville
Before setting any goals, the first question is to have clarity in my mind of a strong enough reason why I want to achieve the goal. If you have enough motivation, it should be easier to take the required action.
So WHY stop watching most TV habitually?
Ok, I do watch some interesting documentaries from which I learn some useful information. However, the majority of TV is not at all beneficial except as possible relaxation.
The vast majority of the time I spend doing it is not aligned with my life purpose which should be reason enough. However, it has other knock-on effects. The problem is once I settle in I don’t stop until bedtime and sometimes past my set bedtime which stops me from getting enough sleep. Worse still this longer stretch of TV time is also a trigger to eat unhealthy snacks.
So as I have decided (and it’s a proper MUST DO decision) to only watch prerecorded programs for say 1 hour a night at most – How do I implement?
So I bought a “don’t break the chain” app for my phone called Habit Bull. It’s simple and effective. I then set up all these rituals on it.
As an example – The following are my current morning rituals – “Fit body and Mind” rituals
Fit body ritual – 2 hour
- The alarm goes off at 6 am every day so get up immediately
- Plug in my phone to charge it to the max for the day
- Go to the bathroom, take out my overnight contact lenses and clean them stringently
- Put on my training clothes and have a glass of filtered water
- 5 minutes – Go outside and skip as a warm-up
- 15 mins – Go to my Home Gym and do my mobility/ flexibility routine
- 30 minutes train hard 4 days/3 days stretch instead – See My training routine
- 5 minutes stretch after training days
- 20 minutes of meditation for breath recovery
- 10 minutes Win Hof Breathing
- Make the wife a cup of tea
- Drink a glass of water with a half teaspoon of Pink Himalaya salt to wash down my supplements – on my strict real food diet I get little other salt
- A warm shower followed by 4 minutes of a fully cold shower
- Shave, brush my teeth, tidy my bedroom and get dressed for work or weekend
- 8 am ready to rock and roll my day.
Fit Mind ritual (already started with Meditation, Win Hof and Cold shower) – 1 hour +
- 10 mins Gratefullenss diary
- 15 minutes Journal
- 30 minutes blog or book writing
- 5 minutes check this month personal and professional goals
- 15 mins – plan the day on Trello
- My team start work at 9.30 – so 15 mins leeway built in.
So what all the above to do with giving up TV?
So besides just being a waste of my life, I mentioned staying up too late and or eating unhealthy snacks. They both have a negative impact as I don’t have the energy for my morning Fit Body and Mind rituals. If I don’t get up at 6 am, there is simply not enough time to get all my scheduled activities in, and it throws out my day.
I do have some afternoon rituals like writing which I try and keep to, but they get disrupted for various reasons. In my opinion, it is more effective that important habits and rituals are set to be implemented before the working day and after the working day. Like many people, my working day has to be highly flexible. I have to fit in seminars, training for myself and my team and seeing clients in and out of the office. This all serves to make my schedules for each week different making it difficult to stick to regular habits.
So my challenge is to set up and stick to an evening ritual for the evenings when I am not out on a social event. This is currently more difficult as after dinner at 7 pm I feel I have less energy than at the start of the day. However, this may also just be a limiting belief I need to work on
The following is a proposed 2-hour “Skills” ritual for the evening to substitute for watching TV. This will still leave around an hour to catch up on anything worthwhile
- 15 minutes Win Hof breathing – to generate more energy
- 30 minutes of ukulele practice
- 30 minutes of book or blog research
- 30 minutes of language learning practice
- 15 minutes meditation
Hopefully all of the above gives you an idea on how to set up and use the power of rituals as a strategy for integrating excellent habits into your life.
Enjoy the Journey
Muhammad Ali – Inspirational thoughts
Muhammad Ali – I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.
I must admit to being very surprised when I first came across this quote. “Hated every minute of training?” and yet he still went on to become what many would regard as the greatest boxer who ever lived? He was certainly an icon who transcended his sport.
Muhammad Ali must have spent thousands of hours training to become the best at what he did. This training is a testament to his basic beliefs. If you want outstanding results in your field of endeavour you have to train long and hard.
Many business owners wonder why their business is not progressing. They believe it should be performing better. And yet they have spent very little time training as opposed to “fighting in their ring.” They seem to believe their business is completely different to all other businesses. They ignore the benefits of a great training and coaching program.
This is a misplaced point of view. Every business may indeed be different. Indeed, every athlete is different. If those athletes want to become great, the same principles of coaching apply to all athletes. In business, the same applies. Coaching will help you to develop as a person and a business owner.
How much time do you spend in the training zone?
How much time do you spend in the performance zone?
The training zone gives you help and feedback to improve your skills. In the performance zone, you have to achieve excellent results.
Nobody wants to have an operation done by a surgeon who is in training.
You want him to have trained to an excellent standard beforehand and then produce outstanding performance in your operation.
Allow yourself time to train to be the best you can be. This investment in yourself is the best investment you can make.
The results of such a change will have a huge positive impact on your life and business profitability.
If every great athlete like Muhammad Ali in the world has a coach why don’t you?
Celebrate being a procrastinator
We all do it. We don’t like to admit it. We consider it a failing and would hate to have a reputation of being a prolific procrastinator. I heard someone say, ‘ I used to procrastinate, but I keep putting it off now ‘. That’s a much better view.
However, it is ok to stand up and admit that you are. We all are to some extent. So, what is it that this seemingly poor habit creates in us and how is it best to deal with it?
When you analyse what procrastination is you start to uncover that your decision to avoid doing something, is pointing out the following three things;
- That you need more information
- That you may need to learn a new skill
- That you may need help from others to be able to move forward.
Your cautious self is struggling to decide for fear of making a bad decision. That’s natural!
You don’t know what you don’t know and the importance of the decision or action could be very far-reaching. So, first, let’s look at the need for more information.
If you can’t decide which of the two candidates for a job to make the offer to, it maybe that you need to dig a bit deeper into their character or their abilities to help you sway your decision. If you put off finding out more, you procrastinate more and the postponement of choice, could mean you lose both candidates because they get snapped up by someone else.
If you made some more enquiries or another phone call and sought more information, you can help break through the procrastination. Find out all you can.
You may need to learn some new skill or read more about the subject.
Procrastinating about going to the gym, maybe because you do not have a routine that benefits your needs and goals. Going to the gym is too easy to postpone. If you had a plan that had been taught you by a great trainer, you would be more motivated to act. Knowing that the benefits would be far greater than just muddling along with what you already know, you start to avoid procrastination because you have learnt a new skill that helps your performance.
In other words, learn about what can be improved to enhance how efficient you can become. Learn a new skill or technique that will help you avoid the procrastination.
You may need other people’s help, opinion or ideas.
Their point of view will be different to yours. They may be able to offer help, to take you forward or give you an idea you previously had not considered. Some people are so inspiring that your natural hesitation gets diminished and you become spurred on.
Others may even know other people that would be useful for guidance, counsel or just a kick up the backside. Read a book, talk to those that have faced your hesitation before too.
Procrastination is a positive thing, if you use it to develop a new skill, seek help, destroy a fear, gain a new insight or even decide not to go any further. It is a sign that you can progress if you just recognise why you are doing it.
Ask yourself why you are procrastinating. It is a great question that changes your habits and your ability to eliminate too much procrastination.
Using a very strong system of accountability built into our Giant Leap program will help you avoid procrastination and eventually build a habit that will reduce it significantly in your life helping you to achieve your goals and dreams.
After a tiring day what do you do?
You know that sometimes the first thing to do after a tiring day is to get a meal, possibly a glass of wine, slump in a sofa and perhaps sit in the quiet or watch some favourite TV.
You know that the day has been a challenge and that you have earned some downtime and with a fair chance you can nod off and get an early night. Perhaps tomorrow will be better.
As we get older, that becomes an easier decision too. The next instalment of your latest chosen box set is on Netflix and is begging to be watched. The meal will be easy to devour because you put in such an effort today, there is no guilt about it and relaxation follows a meal quickly too. Bring it on!
Are we suggesting anything different? Is all the above what makes you happy? So why not? Well surprisingly most of us will either do this if we can or hope to and focus very hard on making it happen, so, not so much a change.
However, can we suggest a review?
If you find that a day has been challenging, the best you can get from that day is to review it. If you spend ten minutes asking the following questions of yourself, it can be a fabulous day.
Three questions then:
- What did I learn from today that can serve me going forward?
- What progress did I make that allows me to feel better about the challenges I had?
- How can I use this to make tomorrow a better day, with fewer challenges?
Ok, we know, it is enough that the day was challenging anyway. However, everything that tests us makes us stronger. Especially when we use it to improve going forward.
To make the same mistakes every day and then just keep repeating them, is improving our resilience, but not the outcomes. Our ability to reflect and review is incredibly powerful. Each progress step made is a motivator, and the plan to make life better makes us amazing.
Looking back to enable us to look forward and plan sets us apart from the reactionary world. Ask the three questions above and then a short to do list for tomorrow. You will enjoy the food, the TV, the wine and the company you share so much more then. The advantage it gives us is release from the day and a buzz about the seed of growth potential.
We get the start on the next day faster because we have already given ourselves a track to start on. No more wasting thinking time to decide what to do today as it is already done.
The immediate to-do list after the event of the day is the best time to be able to focus on it fast and be accurate. Trying to remember what to do the day after, is much less efficient.
Learn to be good to yourself and pat yourself on the back. Tough day, learned quite a bit and tomorrow I will do………….
The question then is not what do you do; it is what you will decide to do?
Your life, your choices, your time and of course your outcomes.
How to determine what action to take or habits to build
We live our lives in the ever changing moment. There is nothing we can do about what has passed, and we have little control over the future. We all seek to improve either our life situation or our experience of life by our daily actions and the habits we build.
How should we keep ourselves on track to at least plan to take the right actions? It helps to determine firstly what you are currently doing and classify the experience.
There are essentially 4 classes of experience:
Class 1: You do something that feels good to you, is good for you, is good for others and is good for the greater good of the world. – doing charitable work or helping somebody.
Class 2: You do something that does not feel good to you, is good for you, is good for others and is good for the greater good of the world. – Exercise and eating healthy food
Class 3: You do something that feels good to you, is not good for you, is not good for others and is not good for the greater good of the world.- Drinking a lot or eating a lot of ice cream
Class 4: You do something that does not feel good to you, is not good for you, is not good for others and is not good for the greater good of the world. – Complaining or doing work you hate.
The first step is to make a record of the things and actions you have taken during the day and then place them as best you can into one of the 4 categories.
If the activity falls into Class 1 – Great, carry on doing it or even better do more of it.
If the activity falls into class 4 – Just stop. If you struggle to stop seek help to stop – for instance asking someone to ensure you pay a fine or donate to a cause you hate every time you do whatever it is.
If the activity is classified as Class 3 this is going to be more difficult to stop as you like doing it. Use the same habit breaking strategies as for Class 4 experiences but be more careful to get help as it will be easy to slip back into a habit.
The great movement forward in life is seeking to convert Class 2 activities into Class 1 by adjusting them slightly to make them enjoyable.
This will often require creative thinking on your part but is worthwhile if you want to build great habits into your life.
Building great habits is a core component of our “Giant leap” program. Using powerful strategies like experience classification will help you move forward rapidly in both your business and personal life.
Call us to book a place on our program today.
Are you generating mistrust?
Are you always running late for meetings? Business or social. If so you could be generating mistrust in the minds of people who are important to you.
In our society, everyone seems to be rushing from one point to the next. What is the impact on your relationships? How can you build simple habits to improve your trustworthiness?
Integrity is a word that seems to carry different meanings to different people. In this post, I will simply ask you to consider that if you have agreed to meet someone at a certain time and place and if you are not there exactly on time you have no integrity on that occasion. As such you are generating mistrust.
Is that a bit strong? Maybe, but it depends on how you define the words integrity and mistrust. If you take it to mean that you always keep your word on everything you say, including timekeeping, then it’s not strong at all.
A little story might help illustrate this.
Many years ago when my daughter was just leaving school, we agreed on a meeting at my office at 11 am to review her university application. She strolled in 15 minutes late, which bearing in mind, it is one minute’s walk to my office from our home, was not a great start. When I challenged her on the time she got agitated and said: “It’s only 15 minutes – why do you have to be so uptight about it?” I bit my tongue and said, “don’t worry we can discuss it later”.
A few days later I catch 30 minutes with her to discuss the issue of timekeeping and its importance.
I start off with – “You are going to your prom night next week, and you need your brand new dress turning up a few inches. The only person you trust to do it properly is your grandmother who lives 15 minutes’ drive away. However, she can only do the job on the day of the prom itself. You are working all day in your Saturday job that day and cannot get out early enough to pick it up yourself. Therefore, you need one of your friends to do it for you, but as you are working, you cannot remind them on the actual day.
Ok – So make a list of all your friends and then put them in order of who you are going to rely on to pick up the dress for you. Remember, if it’s not done – that’s your prom night ruined!
Why are they in that order?
What makes this person at the top of the list and why is that person at the bottom?
No surprise – It turns out that she judges (as we all do every day) who is reliable by how well they keep their word on many previous occasions. Even tiny little lies, failure to keep promises and continual lateness for agreed meetings have an impact.
I then ask her:
- Where are you on other people’s lists?
- Where do you want to be?
- What do you need to do to ensure you are considered trustworthy?
I would challenge you with the same exercise yourself, and you will probably come to the same conclusion. Keeping your promises count and being on time is a promise made but frequently not kept – especially socially.
People are always and continuously judging you on lots of different criteria. Is trust very high on the list of criteria they use to form an overall opinion of you?
Next time you are late for anything or in keeping a promise, consider you just lost points on the trustworthy scale that everyone keeps in their heads – even if they do not realise it.
How can you ensure you nearly always on time for meetings?
- Ensure all meeting times (including phone meetings both personal and business) are entered into your smartphone and simply set a reminder alarm.
- Ideally set 2 alarms within 10 minutes of each other
- At the start of every week, look at all your appointments and ensure timely alarms are set for each appointment or phone call. (Tip – set a weekly alarm for Monday morning to remind you to set all other alarms)
What is timely?
Just work out the journey time and add 30% to determine the time to leave.
You will normally arrive in plenty of time and better still the journey will be stress-free. Imagine letting other drivers through or strolling along enjoying the rain, rather than running. As you arrive early, you can always chat with other early birds (other stress-free and organised people) or make a quick phone call to someone.
A little side story
A very good friend invited us to a BBQ at his house, and I called him a couple of days beforehand and asked the time to arrive. He said about 2 p.m., so I said OK, see you between 2 and 2.15 pm. For various silly reasons we left a bit late and also go lost on the way and so arrived at about 2.50 instead. (Interestingly there was only one other guest there, and we considered ourselves late).
Later on in the day knowing I had raised the question of timekeeping before, my host teased me by raising the fact I was late. My point is that when you raise these things with other people, they then hold you to a higher standard which is a GOOD thing. Knowing this in the back of your mind means you are likely to put more effort into making sure you are always on time, thus building your trustworthiness.
As you start to use this system and so inevitably almost always arrive early, will notice how many people are always late or rushing around or driving like idiots. Far too much stress! – just because they did not have a personal reminder alarm system that works?
I urge you to build a reputation of trustworthiness and get the icing on the cake of significantly reduced stress in your life.
Set alarms to arrive early and build trust – it’s just a habit.
Enjoy the journey
P.S My daughter is very punctual as a habit these days.
Why I love the number 8
The number 8 is my favourite number. I guess that’s a bit strange – but it is!!
Why have a favourite number? It helps put a wide number of things in perspective and set some strategies too.
Here’s a few of my thoughts – what would you add?
- 8 minutes to relax
- 8 minutes to refocus and prioritise on best use of your time
- 8 Minutes of gratitude every morning for what you already have
- 8 minutes to review your life purpose and current goals
- 8 minutes to plan and prioritise your daily tasks in line with your goals
- 8 minutes tidying up any growing clutter
- 8 minutes to review the day mentally
- 8 minutes to journal what went right and you have learned today
- 8 hours work
- 8 hours rest/sleep
- 8 hours play
- 8 Minutes to review tasks completed from your task system in the last week
- 8 minutes to review the past week from your journal and calendar
- 8 minutes to plan your upcoming week
- 8 minutes to set alarms on your phone to ensure you are on time
- 8 existing clients to speak to
- 8 friends to speak to
- 8 connections to grow
- 8 hours to study something new to help achieve your goals
- 8 hours practice at skills improvement
- 8 acts of kindness
- 8 Minutes to review your expenditure (presuming you are recording it all)
- 8 minutes reviewing your capital investments
- 80% of income spent and 20% saved – at least (Ok I cheated a bit here)
- 8 hours contribution to others – at least
- 8 hours of intense exercise (approx 2 hours or 4×30 mins a week)
- 8 hours improving your home
- 8 hours to plan the year ahead
- 8 goals a year to set and accomplish in line with your life purpose
- 8 books a year to read – at least
- 8 weeks holiday – at least
8 on its side is the sign for infinity which means there are no limits on your potential
Enjoy the journey!
PS Strategy has 8 letters
- The 7 year itch
- Directions on the path
- I am curious
- Your ideas and story
- Anti – testimonial
- Key people in your company and life.
- When is losing really winning?
- Holidays vs Time out
- Eight biggest mistakes of business owners
- What is bothering you?
- Do you want a new computer?
- Are you setting yourself up for failure?
- A Coach for all.
- What businesses are going to be the best in the future?
- Begin with the end in mind
- Letting go of the past
- Promise Keepers Rule Ok!
- The high road or the low road?
- Should I put a hammer through my TV? – The power of rituals
- Muhammad Ali – Inspirational thoughts