Too many people seem to have lost sight of the need to be organised.
At least to what I would consider a reasonable degree.
If you don’t have a budget, you have no real control over your spending.
If you don’t have agreements with others in your household, then anything and everything is up for debate – ALL the time!
Much of your life will be experienced as one argument after the other, and it will be ‘somebody else’ who is to blame.
Sooner, rather than later, you struggle to pay the bills, stress out over relatively minor issues and spiral downwards.
That’s not the path to personal growth
Neither is it the pathway to success, only failure.
A couple of hours spent with a coach should see you equipped to begin your journey toward harmony at home.
Only when the clutter of disorganisation is addressed can you begin your journey of self growth.
Money is usually top of the agenda when it comes to disharmony.
Perhaps I should say lack of money.But is it lack, or is it poor management?
Remember, that which cannot be measured cannot be managed.
You cannot manage your money unless you have a budget [ a plan], and the same goes for pretty much everything in life.
Go easy on yourself and those close to you and take a little time to make some plans.
Don’t know where to start?
Contact me here
Bad Habits and How to Break Them
First off you have to decide whether a habit [or behaviour] that you engage in is actually bad.
Secondly I suppose you’d need to decide if you want to get rid of it.
Let’s assume for this discussion that smoking and over indulging in alcohol and food are bad habits.
Often we indulge in them because somehow we feel supported by them in certain contexts.
Frequently in social occasions, a puff of a cigarette seems to help us keep calm. It is in fact a prop that helps fill in the gaps say in conversation or gives us something to do so we don’t feel like a ‘jerk’ just standing around.
A drink will offer much the same, and a few more will ‘relax’ you and somehow you seem to be much better in conversation.
Food, or too much food, will really sneak up on you. It is so easy to just grab a snack in between activities. I have heard it called eating for nurture not nature.
We have taught ourselves to ignore our body’s signals. Obesity is becoming a global epidemic with associated health issues.
Whatever the habit or behaviour, you can change or eliminate them.
Investigative journalist Charles Duhigg writes in his book ‘The Power of Habit’, that all habits have three components; a cue [or trigger for a particular behavior], a routine [the behavior itself] and a reward [how your brain decides whether to remember a habit].
Scientists believe that the key to breaking bad habits is to break the cue-routine- reward cycle.
Duhigg offers a four step process which looks very similar to how I work as a coach.
1. Identify the routine
2. Experiment with rewards – let’s say switch an unhealthy snack with a piece of fruit.
3. Isolate the cue – there are five of them; location, time of day, emotional state, people around you and what happened before the behavior.
4. Have a plan.
In reality, none of the above is easy if you are ‘hooked’ on something.
In my mind you have to decide whether you want to keep the habit or not.
Then you need to look for the circumstances that ‘cause the habit’. Keep a log or journal on this [reference 3 above] and notice the patterns. What reward will you use to help?
Lastly your plan: As in all goal setting, getting from where you are to where you want to be can be a great big yawning gulf. However, a series of small easily achievable action steps do add up to closing that gap over time.
Each success with these small steps builds belief that, yes, you can change.
This is the essence of personal and self development.
I recall my giving up smoking. I had made many attempts to ‘cut down’ in order to eventually give up. This never worked. One day at a conference, we noticed a colleague from out of town was not smoking – he had been a heavy smoker as we all were back then.” Hey Kerry have you cut down?” We asked. “No” he replied, “I don’t smoke.”
Therein lay the clue to Kerry’s success. He had decided to stop smoking. He threw the cigarettes out of his car window and told himself – and others – “I don’t smoke.” Not I have quit or any acknowledgement of his having even been a smoker.
I tried this a few years later – when I was motivated enough to drop the habit. And it worked!
Now I don’t suggest that a cold turkey strategy such as this is easy or in fact will work for you, but it does demonstrate that it is possible to break the chains of addictive behaviours.
As the saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
For what it’s worth, I took up smoking at age 8 and quit when I was 35. So I had been ‘at it’ for quite a while.
Need any help with breaking your habits? Send me an email.
Our local paper has a front page article on a photographer who, after 40 years is about to follow his passion.
As a youngster he read fictional stories about African wildlife.
Straight after leaving school he worked in the darkroom for the same paper that features him today.
Now his passion for photographing wildlife has resulted in a [first ever], black and white photo featuring on the cover of the 21st edition of Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
This has been sufficient incentive for him to give up his job and fulfill a dream to build a photographic business.
This is a great story. It epitomises the power of patience, of persistence, of following your passion and being ready to make that leap into the unknown.
It is about getting clear about what you want and taking action consistently until you get the result you want.
In a couple of words personal development.
You can read the full article here.
Along with his coach he set a plan in motion that was in alignment with his desire. He took extra steps such as travelling to Britain to train with an ex heavy weight boxer in order to increase his chances of success.
The result is a clear demonstration of some of the principles of how to succeed at anything.
It is now winter here in New Zealand. It is a proper winter too, so far we have had cold frosts, early dumps of snow and storms.
For many, cold weather means play time. Skiing in the mountains in particular. For most of us it is a time to hibernate, get miserable and wait for spring to arrive with its attendant warmer temperatures.
In effect we shut down.
Do you experience this routine? Get up in the dark, go to work, get home just before darkness returns if you are lucky. The curtains get drawn and the heaters turned on. You will prepare and eat hot food, healthier options like raw live food such as salads are not even a consideration.
Have you noticed most people’s body language in winter?
Heads are down, arms folded close to the body, shoulders hunched, a picture of withdrawal from engagement.
It is easy to be and feel miserable. It is even easier to put off setting new goals, reevaluating your circumstances and putting plans in place for a better future.
And yet you have so much more time indoors in winter, you are not out and about much [ if at all]. You have time to plan, to dream and scheme, but you don’t.
It is a if all thoughts of personal development are put on hold until the warmer weather arrives.
Have you considered the implications of this?
It means that half of your life is put on hold: ‘When I feel better I’ll make plans, but I’m too gloomy right now to even think about my own self improvement“.
So you spend half of our life waiting, there is no momentum. When spring does come around you plan to start, however it takes time to build momentum, to make real progress which in effect means that more than half of you life is spent waiting.
Might as well buy a lottery ticket and hope.
Hoping of course will guarantee you stay stuck. ” I’m hoping I’ll get better – someday.”
So, I encourage you to ‘get out there’ in the fresh air – go for a fast walk – even for 10 minutes – get your blood pumping and energise yourself.
Imagine how good you will feel just by doing that one small thing. Remember, you are doing it for your self, for you own self improvement and well being.
If you think this is too hard or you need some encouragement, talk to a coach or a mentor; just get going; you’ll be glad you did.
Here’s an extract from Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’ from the chapter on faith:
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will -
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before,
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN.
Hill’s poem epitomises his belief that we can become what we think about.
I add a wee bit that – we become what we think about the most.
Of course your mind does not differentiate between negative or positive.
So if your self talk [ thoughts], are more about defeat, and difficulty and scarcity then that’s what you will tend to see in your life.
Hill espouses the constant use of what he calls ‘auto – suggestion’ to programme your mind to success.
It is the same thing as the more modern term ‘affirmations.’ Louise Hay is a modern day living example of how successful one can be by using this technique.
Using affirmations regularly every day – in spite of what your inner voice has to say – will, over time help your self growth enormously
And to add further support to this Bruce Lipton in The Biology of Belief has this to say:
On a personal level, I knew at the moment of insight that I had gotten myself stuck because I falsely believed that I was fated to have a spectacularly unsuccessful personal life.”
He goes on: ‘When our uniquely human minds get involved we can choose to to perceive the environment in different ways….’
And: ‘I was exhilerated by my new realisation that I could change the character of my life by changing my beliefs.”
As a personal development tool, using affirmations is one of the simplest ways I know of to change your beliefs for the better.
If, as Hill suggests, you turn your burning desire into a goal [definite chief aim], and you take action and persist until you get results, then is it not worth the effort?
Marva Collins famously said: ‘Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.’
As we get closer to the ‘festive season’ it is timely to quickly review how well 2011 has been for you.
For many of course, for a variety of reasons [many self caused I might add], Christmas will not be festive at all.
Whether this is the case for you or not, please consider undertaking a review.
What went well, and what did not go so well this year? What could you have done better and what lessons have you learned along the way. And will you be prepared to take the necessary action steps to ensure you do not experience a repeat of the negative stuff.
A great place to start, as with any project, is to get clear as to what it is you would like to have, be or do for the future.
Ben Stein advises thus: ‘The indispensible first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.’
Of course the more clearly you can visualise your dream, the more likely you are to begin the process of becoming more successful.
And in Sam Horn’s book ‘POP – Stand out in any crowd’; Yogi Berra cautions; ‘ If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else.’
Which in a way is the advice given in Alice in Wonderland: ‘If you don’t know which path you are following, then any path will do.’
Napoleon Hill talks about having a ‘burning desire’. A burning desire will lead you on to greater and better things. However this often requires that you get clear, you set goals and you keep going until you succeed.
You will go down a blind alley or two. You may invest in a particular programme or book or course only to discover that it was not the ‘right one’ for you. What you will have gained from this though is more clarity; you keep going with a little more certainty and determination.
It is my goal to be as helpful as I can to get you over the start line toward a better life – whatever that may mean for you.
It is why I am a life coach.
So remember: perseverance always wins!
Take some time out, have a good old think about things and write some ideas down. Let those ideas circulate for a while or share them with someone who knows you well; maybe they’ll have something valuable to add.
Then begin to create a plan.
Make a decision that no matter what, 2012 will be better than 2011, and 2013 will be better again!