When was the last time you thought “I used to be fit but got too busy to exercise and eat healthy” or “I used to be quite career driven but lost motivation so things have plateaued”. We often get waves of this, I get them a couple times a day, everyday. It could be not getting off the couch when I should go to the gym or not writing a blog post when I feel inspired. Self-sabotage is all too common and it’s up to us to put an end to it. But how? Is that really the game changing question… or should we instead ask, “how badly do I want it?”
WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?
And why don’t you have it yet? It’s a confronting question because in order to have it, requires sacrifice and consistent commitment. One practical tip that has worked for me, is writing down exactly what I want and all the reasons that I can think of as to why I want it. To the point of even listing down the negative repercussions of what will happen to me, how it effects my family and loved ones and my future… emotionally, financially, creatively, physically. Put weight on it. Because when times get tough and you want to give up, you can always rely on these reasons to shift your perspective in the right direction again.
WHY AREN’T YOU CONSISTENT?
It’s been said that we are the sum of our habits (don’t quote me on that but you get what I mean!). These little things we do day in day out define us. So if these little things add up to big change then let’s at least stick to the minimum. Ask yourself, if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow. Dedicate at least 15 minutes a week to something that will improve your skill. Just 15 minutes! And what will usually happen is that when you get going, most of the time that 15 minutes may turn into an hour. The key is to set a minimum amount of time per week so at least you are making progress, albeit slow, you’re still moving forward!
7 x HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
An extract from this book (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) by Stephen R. Covey is listed below. I felt it was the perfect summary to focus on small change in order to reach the big ones.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Take initiative in life by realizing that your decisions (and how they align with life’s principles) are the primary determining factor for effectiveness in your life. Take responsibility for your choices and the consequences that follow.
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Self-discover and clarify your deeply important character values and life goals. Envision the ideal characteristics for each of your various roles and relationships in life.
Habit 3: Put First Things First
A manager must manage his own person. Personally. And managers should implement activities that aim to reach the second habit. Covey says that rule two is the mental creation; rule three is the physical creation.
Habit 4: Think Win-Win
Genuinely strive for mutually beneficial solutions or agreements in your relationships. Value and respect people by understanding a “win” for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had got his way.
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving.
Habit 6: Synergize
Combine the strengths of people through positive teamwork, so as to achieve goals no one person could have done alone.
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. It primarily emphasizes exercise for physical renewal, prayer (meditation, yoga, etc.) and good reading for mental renewal. It also mentions service to society for spiritual renewal.
3 POINTS TO REMEMBER:
What strategies do you have that help you keep going?