Saturday, July 22, 2006

stop trying start doing

One of the first things I do with coaching clients is notice when they are trying rather than doing. Trying is so half arsed. Sorry to be rude but there you go. Trying just will not do. What are we saying to ourselves and others when we say we will TRY to do something? What's all this trying about? How about you just start doing?

I know from myself that if I try to do something, I'll probably do it about 60% of the time. Now I don't know about you, but I don't want to reach my goals or complete tasks 60% of the time. It's not good enough! I deserve better!

So next time you find yourself trying, rather than fully commiting to doing ask yourself

1. is this something I really want? If not, admit it, say no to yourself or whoever and move on
2. If it is something you wish to accomplish, just do it. Stop trying to hard and you'll find doing is easier, lighter and more fun.

I would say 'Go on, try it...' but hey! Just DO IT!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Have fun in the sun

Well, it's official, we're having a heatwave. I am almost too hot and tired to blog! So I'll keep this short and just share some of my favourite things to do when it's hot.

Take ice lollies to work and dispense them to hot and grateful colleagues (and if you work alone just treat yourself to at least one a day!)

Have your dinner outdoors - venture further than your own backyard! Prepare everything in the morning and when you get home you can just collect it and head of for a shady spot. Take a game with you, mancala is my favourite and just have your evening in the local park, beach etc.

Find a tree to read a book under. and maybe have a little sleep...

Spend a day at the beach. Take a blanket, buckets and spade, suncream and picnic - oh and a beachball! And play. All day.

Get all the windows open and throw back your bed covers to get your bedroom as cool as possible. Invest in some crisp cotton bedding to help you keep cool at night. Visualise glaciers as you drift off.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Just Do It!

No, I am not advertising Nike!

The post I wrote last week about the little things got me thinking about why it is I and others do put off the little things, which then grind us down or wind us up. I realised with me, I generally say in my head 'oh I'll do that later', or I'll even ask someone around me 'remind me to do that later'. But then I forget. Or I say exactly the same thing later on. And so it continues. So, over the weekend I've been experimenting with saying to myself 'Just DO IT!' when I start to tell myself I'll do something later. And it works pretty well! As soon as I realise that I'm just delaying something for the sake of it (or sheer laziness - well, it is hot at the moment!), I do it there and then. It works best for the genuinely small stuff, like carrying a pile of laundry upstairs, swapping the hand towel in the bathroom, taking the post across to the admin office at work, returning a quick phone call. It might be disruptive if when you realised it's the third time that week you'd thought about clearing out the understairs cupboard, that you started to do so, chanting 'Just DO IT!' to yourself, 5 minutes before you had to leave for work or to make an appointment!

So just DO IT! next time you try to put off a task that will take less than 5 minutes...well, you know what to do..

Friday, July 14, 2006

...and it's the little things that can cheer you the most!

I heard someone say recently that in all relationships, the little things ARE the big things. This really struck a chord with me. In like, we tend to focus on big things, big issues. We worry about careers, finances, relationships. But what about all of the little things in life? What would it be like if we stopped to consider these more?

For example, in relationships, what are the small things that make all of the difference? It's those little kindnesses, it's remembering to praise someone for a job well done. It's letting someone else choose the movie. It's taking someone else's turn to do the dishes just because. It's remembering to say 'I love you' often enough.

I am am very lucky in my relationship with my husband, we rarely fight and are a great source of love, support, strength, perspective and humour to each other. I think a huge contributor to this state of happiness are all the little daily kindnesses that we carry out for each other and the attention we pay to each others achievements, issues and worries. Forget grand gestures, just spend time daily paying real attention and conciously contributing to the happiness and fulfillment of your other half and you won't go far wrong.

What little kindnesses can you bestow on your loved ones today? here are some ideas;

complete a task they've been putting off for them - cleaning walking boots, fixing a bike puncture, sorting some paperwork etc.

Affirm them with something about them that you admire

Run them a bath and bring them their favourite drink

When they present an issue or problem, really listen. Focus on them. Don't judge or problem solve.

Write them a note of appreciation and slip it in their work bag or lunch box.

Feed your relationships and watch them grow!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's always the little things that wear you down...

my favourite sparkly shoes need cleaning
the upstairs windows need cleaning
my eye brows need plucking
I need to text an address of one friend to another
the fridge is a bit smelly
I forgot to return that call to my mother and it's the third one she's left
the cutlery drawer drives me mad everytime I open it
there is a crisp packet caught in a bush in the front garden
there's a pile of clean clothes that have sat on a chair in the dining room for a week
I need to send two cards, acceptance to one wedding, regrets to another

This is a snapshot of a list of things that I currently have on a mental to do list. What do they have in common? they are all teeny tiny things which would take me on average 10 minutes at the most to sort. But I haven't. So they pop up, like annoying little reminder boxes on computers, but in my head. Whilst I work, drive, watch TV, before I fall asleep.

We all have big goals, big projects which can sometimes be hard, time consuming and challenging. But to my mind, there's nothing so annoying as the little things we put off doing. It causes low level stress. We find ourselves distracted and then more annoyed with ourselves as that's the 5th time this week we haven't taken the opportunity to strike that little task off our list. It drains our energy, gives us an excuse to beat ourselves up or reinforce negative self belief 'I am lazy/ disorganised/ undisciplined/ forgetful/ selfish etc etc - and let's face it, few of us need much of an excuse!

So why not make a new habit to clear ourselves of these little jobs as an when they come up? Don't put them off, just do them! Make it a habit to spend 15 minutes a day getting through as much little stuff as possible. If you are forgetful, keep a list for things you can't do right now, and make it your goal to delet them as soon as possible. Have a rule which says a task can only spend 48 hours on the list.

When we relieve ourselves of these minor irritations, life is simpler, clearer, more focused. We get more done. We feel like we accomplish more and have more control over our time. So what are we waiting for?!

Monday, July 10, 2006

You don't need to prove it to anyone but yourself - so prove it!

I can't remember the amount of times I have heard this said; you don't have to prove anything to me; or; the only person you have to prove that to is yourself.

The fact is though, being totally honest with ourselves, we all spend a lot of time trying to prove things to other people. proving we're OK, that we're good enough, clever, popular, well off, have a great career, are a nice person. Think about your own life. How much of it is spent in the pursuit of proving to others things that you desperately want to believe about yourself, but can't?

Isn't it tiring? Aren't you sick of it? Can't you see the pointlessness of proving all this stuff to others? If you knew all of this to be true and had proved it to yourself, do you think that you'd WANT to spend that time and energy in proving it to others?

When we focus on the perceptions of others we give our power over to them. When we focus on our perceptions of ourselves, we take that power back for OURSELVES.

What is it about yourself that you want to believe? What do you try hardest to prove about yourself?

When you have the answer consider this; HOW CAN I START TO PROVE THIS TO MYSELF?

Here are some ideas;

conciously retreat from using energy to prove this to others

check whether you already have this trait or reality in your life. If you do, its a matter of being aware that you have it and noting, mentally or even physically by blogging or journaling, every time you demonstrate this to yourself.

if you find that you don't really demonstrate the trait and have just been busy talking about how considerate, well read, healthy etc you are, then it's time to get busy! What 5 steps can you take TODAY to start expressing thisn part of you. It's in there. It wants to come out. You just need to create opportunity and structure for it. When it comes out, look after it and pay it some attention!

I am still very impressed with the 30 day trial idea I mentioned in a previous post so consider using this here. For 30 days continue to prove things to yourself and conciously release the grip on proving to others.

After 30 days, see what an impact that has had on your life - I'm willing to bet it will be a hugely positive one!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

how risky are you?

I went to the first meeting of a new club I've joined last night. It's called the Entrepreneur's Club and is run by our IFA, Mark Townsen who is really a money coach in disguise!

The topic of the first meeting was risk. a subject I am fairly uncomfortable with, so it was great to start getting to grips with it. The issue being, if I want to be an entrepreneur, which I do, I need to get comfy with the idea of risk - because it comes with the deal - no risk, no entrepreneur! It's an essential part of the spirit.

What Mark got us thinking about, amongst many other things, was what was behind the fear of taking the risk and it's usually the big F word, FAILURE. For him, behind all the 'I won't be able to pay my mortgage, I'll have my house repossessed, I'll lose my job as an IFA' was the fear of going bankrupt and everything that meant. He then looked positively at going bankrupt, what that would mean, what opportunities it presented him with and thought of loads of other things he would do if he went bankrupt, he'd set up a church, he'd go and work with street children in Brazil, he'd go and live with his mum in her big house and keep her company. He made going bankrupt so exciting that everytime he took a risk, he was no longer bothered about the worse case scenario, (which was unlikely anyway)he actually saw the worse case scenario in a positive, exciting way!

So when you think of risk, what's behind that fear? What would be good about that worse case scenario?

For me, I worry too much about what others think. I think if I fail, I won't live up to other people's expectations and that people will judge me as someone who makes poor decisions. So I don't take risks and risk failure that often becuase of this underlying fear. But actually, it's tiring worrying about what other's think and trying to present an acceptable version of me to the world - so what would be good is that I could decide to no longer care - the hand would be forced, people would see me differently and I could stop trying to be acceptable, I could just be...ME! Phew! think that's what's called a lightbulb moment!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Rest and be rewarded!

As we move towards our summer breaks, many people feel as if they are running on empty, trying to cope until the holiday comes. I find myself fantasising about my own soon to come holiday in the sun, the plans I have for idleness, lying in the shade reading, strolling gently along beaches, sipping chilled wine and watching the world go by....see how I just drifted off there?! How many of us do that, muttering.."I'll be OK once I've had a holiday", or have heard someone saying about a stressed out colleague "someone needs a holiday!"

Something happened to me on Sunday. I fell asleep in yoga. This to me suggests two things;

1. that yoga really works! How chilled out must I have been! Masterful!
2. that I must have needed the rest.

Let's not wait for our holidays, let's all just slow down...right now. What would it take for you to step off the spinning world and just BE. You could;

have a lie in - don't set the alarm, wake when your body wants to!

Go to bed early. Instead of struggling on, yawning on the sofa, just switch of the TV, put down the book/ paperwork and GET TO BED.

Have a holi-day! Either by booking a day off work, or allocating a weekend day, spend the day exactly as you would if you were on holiday. Eat breakfast out. Go to the beach. Sit under a shady tree and read a book. Go for a walk. Have a siesta. Visit little boutiquey shops and buy YOURSELF a souvenir. Do something sporty. Go out for dinner and go dancing.NO CHORES ALLOWED! :-)

Do nothing, for 15 minutes once a day for a week. For those who find meditation impossible, just be somewhere quiet, get comfy and ... drift. If your mind wanders to work, to do lists etc, visualise your favourite place. Picture it in detail. Conjure up the sounds and smells. Immerse yourself.

Have you arrived yet? Send me a postcard!