by Suzie Doscher PSC
So how are you doing with those New Year’s Resolutions? We are already past the half way mark for this year, so this a good time to reflect on what resolutions you made, what was difficult, what changed easily, what results did you achieve and how you are doing overall.
I am not a big fan of New Year's Resolutions but agree it is a good time to consider a new beginning. I just happen to believe we can have a new beginning at any time of the year as long as we are ready to do the work. Neuroscience has proven that with practice and repetition the brain will rewire itself. In other words if you really want to change something YOU CAN.
Starting on the path of personal growth and development rather than thinking in terms of New Year’s Resolutions offers you a new beginning on many levels.
Life changes all the time, sometimes daily. During your lifetime you never stop growing, developing and learning, which of course means changing. If you resist this, you run the risk of staying stuck!
On the path of personal growth each step you take results in change. Imagine climbing up a ladder. With each step your view changes and brings, a new perspective. If one of your habits is to say ‘yes’ even when you do not really want to, how about learning to get comfortable saying ‘no?’ It is not selfish to take better care of yourself! Taking better care of yourself allows you to take better care of others, BUT not at your expense.
Personal growth and development involves making choices that are right for you.
Here is how you do it
Increase your awareness as to what needs to change by asking yourself these questions:
What would make the biggest difference in my day-to-day life? What would make my life easier, more in line with my goals, my beliefs, my values, my purpose? Is it something at work, at home or in my relationship?
What exactly would make me happier, energized, excited, motivated, and stimulated?
If you are finding it difficult to work this out, think of one thing that would make a difference in your daily life and is easy to do such as:
Make good choices to ensure you get off to a good start:
88% of New Year’s Resolutions Fail
According to the researcher Richard Wiseman, 88% of all resolutions set by Americans fail. This equals 156 million disappointed people.
Get started today by making a list of ‘What has to change',
Get in touch to talk about how you can make this happen.
By Susan Begeman Steiner
Imagine meeting your Life. What would your Life look like? What would your Life say to you?
In Time of My Life, by Cecelia Ahern (2011), Lucy Silchester from Dublin meets with her Life. She is commanded to meet, sent invitation after invitation, delicately pressured by her family and finally, she meets him. Yes, him. Her life is a “him.” He begins to accompany Lucy to work and family gatherings and helps her untie herself from the lies she’s told others and, most importantly, told herself.
She also looks with Life at what she really wants in life. At one point, Life asks Lucy what her hopes and ambitions are.
“Oh,” I said, bored. I thought about it. Then, “I don’t get the question.”
He sighed and spoke to me as if I was a child. “What things would you really, really like to do if you could? Something you’d like to accomplish, like a dream job for example.”
I thought about it. “An X Factor judge so I can throw stuff at the contestants if they’re crap. Or pull a trapdoor and they go flying down into a bath of beans or something, that’d be cool. And I’d win the fashion contest every week, Cheryl and Dannii would be like, ‘Oh, Lucy, where did you get your dress?’ And I’d be like, ‘Oh this? It’s just a little something I found on my curtain pole.’ And Simon would be like, ‘Hey, you two girls should take some tips from Lucy, she’s’ --“
“Okay, okay, okay,” Life said, putting his fingers to his temples and lightly massaging his head. “Any other better dreams?”
I thought about it some more, feeling under pressure. “I’d really, really like to win the lottery so that I never have to work again and can buy all the stuff I want.”
“That’s not a real dream,” he said.
“Why not? It happens to people. That woman in Limerick? She won thirty million and now lives on a desert island, or something.”
“So your dream is to live on a desert island.”
“No,” I waved my hand dismissively. “That’d be boring and I hate coconut. I’d take the money though.”
“That’s a lazy idea, Lucy. If you have a dream, you want to at least be able to try to achieve it in some way. Something that is seemingly beyond your grasp but that you know that with a bit of hard work you could possibly achieve. Walking to your local newsagent to buy a lottery ticket is not inspiring. Dreams should make you think, if I had the guts to do it and I didn’t care what anybody thought, this is what I’d really do.” He looked at me hopefully, expectantly.
“I’m a normal person, what do you want me to say? I really want to see the Sistine Chapel? I don’t give a crap about a painting that I have to dislocate my neck to see…What could that possibly do for me? Those dreams are a waste of time and that was the most ridiculous question you’ve ever asked me. I used to do stuff all the time, so how dare you make me feel like I’m nothing without a dream. Is it not enough that my life is insufficient enough that my dreams have to be, too?”
I took a deep breath after my rant.
“Okay.” He stood up and grabbed his coat. “It was a stupid question.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Then why did you ask it?”
“Lucy, if you’re not interested in this conversation then we won’t have it.”
“I’m not interested, but I want to know why you asked it,” I said defensively.
“You’re right, you’ve clearly lived your life to the fullest and there’s nothing left to do and now it’s time for you to stop. You might as well die.”
“I’m not saying you’re going to die, Lucy,” he said, frustrated with me. “Not now, anyway. You will eventually.”
I gasped again.
“We all are.”
He opened the door and looked back at me. “The reason I asked you, is because regardless of what you say, or how much you lie, you are not happy with where you are right now, and when I ask you about what you want, anything in the whole entire world, no holds barred, you say winning money and buying stuff.” He spoke sharply and I was embarrassed.
The Time of My Life is fun, witty and a must read for anyone who is looking at their life and for coaches who serve, for a short time, as Life for each of their clients.
By Ilya Pozin
Saying “no” is tough, especially when you feel like it makes you less valuable.
If you can’t perform the task requested, you’re no longer needed. If you pass up opportunities, you might miss out.
Being needed, especially in business, can provide a sense of purpose you crave in your career. We all like to be the VIP, the one whom colleagues miss when out of the office, the one our team couldn’t have accomplished such an incredible feat without.
But, you aren’t bionic with supernatural abilities. You can’t handle everything at once. Sometimes saying “no” to opportunities is in your best interest so you don’t become overwhelmed and break down.
When It’s Time To Say “No”
If you feel inexplicably anxious about accepting a task, it’s a sign something is wrong. Trust your instincts. Maybe you have too much on your plate and haven’t had any time to recharge recently.
Check your schedule to avoid double-booking yourself or cramming too much into one day. If you notice certain days are filled to the brim, first distribute some of the tasks on your heavy days to your lighter days to balance your week. Then, if you notice a clear opening, pencil it in.
Take inventory of your priorities. How do the tasks you’re saying “yes” to align with your own personal goals and well-being? If you notice that a few of them on your list don’t, set a reminder to politely reject them in the future.
“Yes” Is Great, But You Really Need “No” To Get Anywhere
“Yes” is a powerful word and creates opportunity. When you don’t say “yes,” you may worry you’re closing yourself off to that opportunity. But, keep in mind, there are only so many opportunities you can handle simultaneously. That’s why you need to use “no” occasionally.
“No” creates focus. It allows you to do an excellent job on a couple of projects, instead of being spread so thin you barely complete the several projects you took on. It helps you define what’s important to you so you can achieve key goals without so many disruptions.
“The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything,” Warren Buffett once said.
Wean yourself off of the “yes” habit with these five tips:
1. Define your responsibilities.
When you’re used to being the “yes person,” the lines blur regarding what you’re actually responsible for. Take some time to write down the tasks you are responsible for in your role, and notice which tasks you take on that might fall into someone else’s territory.
Break down your “silo” mentality, and ask others who share responsibilities with you to partner with you. Divide responsibilities fairly, and communicate them clearly.
2. Don’t wait until you’re overloaded.
Often, “yes people” don’t realize they’ve taken on too much until it’s too late. Minimize that risk by recording tasks into a planner or calendar app you’ll have with you at all times. Don’t accept any tasks without checking your schedule first.
3. Be realistic about time.
Don’t fall into the trap of saying, “I’ll just squeeze this in.” Block off time for personal maintenance like eating, sleeping, and exercising -- and don’t subtract from any of those to try to fit more in your day.
4. Realize when others can’t accept “no,” it’s their problem.
If the person you say “no” to can’t accept it, they might have a problem with drawing their own personal boundaries. Politely explain the responsibilities you already have, your priorities, and though you’d love to help, your other commitments make it impossible at this time.
5. Think about what could happen if you don’t say “no.”
Remember all of the times you completely crashed from trying to take on too much? Don’t beat yourself up about it. Use it as a learning experience to help you remember why saying “yes” too much can create a mess.
Remember, your first commitment is to yourself before anyone else. Successful people know this. “Yes” may give you more opportunities, but saying “no” is the key to nurturing the opportunities that matter.
When do you find it the hardest to say “no?” Share with us below!
About Ilya Pozin:
Serial entrepreneur, writer and investor. Founder of Pluto TV, Open Me, and Coplex. Writer for Forbes and Inc.
We all have those people in our lives that seem to be exceptional at reaching their goals, whether in business or in their personal lives. They zoom past the rest of us, ticking things off their to-do list, grabbing goals is if achieving what you’ve always wanted achieve was easy. It may not ever be easy, but it can be easier, with the right coaching and the right training. One of the main tenants of coaching is helping you identify, plan for, and reach your goals. Here are some simple steps to get started identifying goals that you can actually reach:
1. Learn to be specific in your goal setting. In order for you to be able to reach a goal, you have to know what that goal is. “Earning more money,” for example, is not specific enough to actually be obtainable. “Earning $2000 more a month,” on the other hand, is a specific goal—something that can be monitored and easily measured. It is also extremely important to give yourself a time frame.
2. Keep it simple. Another mistake that many people make as they set goals, is that their goals are too multifaceted. There are too many moving parts. Take the example above, again. Earning $2000 more a month is a very simple, straightforward goal. A goal like, “Earning $2000 more a month and moving to Hawaii and retiring at age 45, etc.” is far too complicated.
3. Make it significant. Don’t make goals that will not really have any impact on your life. It has to really motivate you and be something that you want to achieve, for the betterment of your situation. If you don’t yet know what a goal like that could be, coaching may be able to help you clarify the concept.
4. Write it down. There are varying theories as to whether telling your friends and family about your goal can actually help you achieve it. There is no doubt as to whether or not writing it down can help. Write down your goal, but also start writing down the smaller steps and goals that lead to your larger goal. For example, if your goal is lose five pounds in a month, write down the steps that will allow you to do that, including a specific exercise and diet plan. Also, write down the benefits of achieving that goal, so when you feel your motivation starting to slip, you can look back and see why you wanted to do this in the first place.
5. Consult with a coach. Coaching is a great resource, especially for those who struggle with motivating themselves and finding solutions to their own problems (or even identifying those problems). If you have a goal that you want to reach, but find it is too complicated, unmeasurable, etc., a coach can help lead the way.
CEO and Founder- Noble Manhattan Coaching – www.noble-Manhattan.com
CEO and Founder -International Coaching News – www.international-coaching-news.net
CEO and Founder -Westminster Indemnity – www.Westminster-indemnity.com
CEO and Founder – The Alpha Group – www.the-alpha-group.biz
President – International Institute of Coaching and Mentoring – www.iicandm.org
Self-Help Book / Personal Development