A friend of mine recently asked me what my secret recipe was for making all the positive changes I have made in my life over the past few years. I gave it some thought and this is what I said, “I don’t have the secret recipe for everyone, but I had to stop playing playing the old tapes in my head that weren’t moving me in the direction I wanted to go. I started writing my goals down and looking at them every morning. I surround myself with only positive people who truly want to see me succeed. That means letting go of the people who brought me down or kept telling me things that weren’t in line with my new life. It’s not easy, very few people bother to work hard enough to make big changes. You can do it, but constant vigilance is key. Align yourself with other people looking to change. Read 10 pages of a self help book everyday!!”
Point #1 – Stop playing the old tapes – Most of the time we don’t even realize that what we tell ourselves is not true anymore. Here is a funny example; when I was very young my mother told me I had a round-shaped face. Since she went to hairdresser school she was qualified to make that assessment, I believed. She instructed me to wear my hair only certain ways and to wear only a few kinds of sunglass/eyeglass styles. I did this until I was 46. Recently I visited my hair salon and wanted a new look. I told Maria, my friend and stylist, that I wanted a new style but knew I was limited due to my round face. She looked at me with surprise and said, “You have an oval face and can wear any hairstyle you want.” This change in beliefs opened a whole new world for me. What do you believe that is just not true and more importantly, how is it holding you back? Do you believe that you aren’t good at math or not business savvy enough to get a loan? I once thought that I wasn’t self disciplined enough to work from home, and maybe at one point I wasn’t. But I know now that I am! Working with a coach took me leaps and bounds forward in this direction. I didn’t even know half of the stories I was telling myself weren’t true until she challenged me to look at them differently. I will be forever grateful!
Point #2 – Write down your goals and review them every morning – I say this so often I feel like a broken record. Once you put your goals on paper they become real. The reason you review them every morning is so that you can make your decisions based on how close they will bring you to your goals. For instance, after reading my goals I then go and put together my daily to do list. Because I have just read my goals, I can decide which tasks to make sure I get done to help me succeed. This gives priority to important tasks instead of just urgent tasks. Urgent tasks pop up and pretend they are important (sometimes they are, you need to decide this). They say things like, sign up for that free webinar because the deadline is today. But when you look at your goals you may decide that that webinar is not going to get you where you are trying to go.
Point #3 – Surround yourself with only positive and like-minded people – This one is hard and sometimes can take a lot of soul searching. Sometimes it is easy, because once you start changing you grow away from the people who are not. For instance, if you stop drinking the people you hung out with at the bar aren’t going to go looking for you. There are lots of ways to accomplish this, you can fill your time with people that are doing the things you want to do. If you have decided to become more active you can start looking for groups of people who get together to exercise or explore the outdoors. Maybe you want to be more spiritual, you may find people who get together to discuss topics of interest to you. Once you start to fill your time with people and experiences that are more in line with your new lifestyle, you will find that you have less time for the people who drain you. There are people in our lives that we choose not to leave behind, perhaps you have family members who don’t support your changes. Of course you aren’t going to stop spending time with them, but you can protect your new life by not sharing everything with them. I have people in my life that will never understand how I think, I just don’t try to make them understand anymore and we are all happy.
Point #4 – Read 10 pages of a good book everyday – If you have read the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson you will understand this. If you have not read the Slight Edge start there!
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