Aaah, a new year! I wish you the very best of health, happiness and fulfillment in 2018. And how can you achieve this state of bliss? Throw out your New Year’s resolutions! Yes, you read correctly. The New Year is the perfect opportunity to take time to evaluate our goals and priorities. But to make real progress achieving those goals, you need to approach your goal setting at the beginning of the year in a different way. Otherwise, you might end up like most people who make New Year’s resolutions but never come close to accomplishing them...
This may be a great time to pause and reflect . . . This is the time of year when many people’s well-intentioned resolutions or goals for the year begin to falter. To prevent this fate, it might be helpful to reflect deeply on the past year, so that you are well positioned for 2018. I’d encourage you to ask these key questions about 2017. What went right? What did not go as you expected? Why? What could you have done differently in hindsight? What’s the learning from this situation...
Myth 7: Life is a series of sprints It's been many months since I last wrote. I was getting writer's fatigue. So I decided to stop writing until it once again became fun and easy to do! I've started [...]
The anatomy of change Having observed thousands of people over the last decade, I’ve come to realize that we often go through life with one foot on accelerator, and one on the brake. The accelerator refers to the behaviors that propel us to new outcomes and results. The brake refers to the limiting beliefs that we may hold. Here’s how most people – including millions around the world who set New Year’s resolutions ever year – go about trying to achieve change...
Can dietary changes boost your health?
In late January 2016, I found myself in a health dilemma. I had been on an antibiotic for nine weeks, with no results. The specialist wanted me to continue for another six weeks on the off-chance the antibiotic would work.
But being on the antibiotic had messed up my digestive system, and I was uncomfortable and in constant stomach pain despite severely curtailing what I ate and taking constant doses of probiotics.
Myth 6: I can’t function without my To-Do list
Yes, you can! Scary as it seems, the world won’t fall apart. I should know.
Since I was 6 years old, I’ve been a prodigious list maker. I was an early adopter of every to-do software, and as my lists got longer, with more projects involving others too, I started creating sophisticated Excel spreadsheets.
Myth 5: I don't have time for breaks, let alone vacations!
The reality is that you do.
Our best ideas rarely come to us at our desks or in meetings. Instead, they come to us when on a walk, in the shower, before, during or after meditation – and on vacations. Simply put, all the times when disconnected from work!
Most people have a hard time saying NO to the many requests for help that come their way. They don't want to appear rude. Dr. Vanessa Bohns, assistant professor of management sciences at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, says. “One of our most fundamental needs is for social connection and a feeling that we belong. Saying NO feels threatening to our relationships.”
Myth 3: I need to plan my work first, then the rest of my life
Once upon a time, planning life before work would have been heresy to me, as it might be to many of you who are work and career focused. But I would STRONGLY advocate taking a fresh calendar, and planning and blocking out the really important things.
We often get caught up in “putting out fires” at work. In fact, when consulting to and observing senior and middle level executives and managers, I often remark that we all missed our calling: we make superb fire-fighters! But how often do we step back and examine why we have so many fires, deadlines that creep up, emergencies, and mistakes we are fixing? Not often!
Myth 2: I can do everything myself, because I am smart, gifted, and talented
The reality is that you can't. At least not well! We can only juggle so many balls before one one them comes crashing down. Ensure that it isn't the glass balls that once shattered, rarely bounce back well: health; relationships; and friendships are all glass balls in my opinion.
I’ve been posting to my blog since September 2013, but this year, mid-way through the summer, I felt I was running out of creative steam. So I decided to take a temporary break, and recoup my creative energy. It’s incredible what happens when we decide to step away from something. Even if it's what we love to do. New ideas come up, there is time for them to gel, and time to try new things.
In a recent post, I outlined how fear seeps into us over time, from when we are born to different stages of our lives. I also examined how people have fear of failure and success, and that this can often paralyze us from moving ahead in our lives.
So how do we come to grips with our fears, and learn to embrace our fears, because only in doing so can we get to our most challenging goals?
To make progress in all aspects of our lives, if there is one HUGE impediment that we all need to address, it is FEAR (aka False Expectations Appearing Real). Let’s take a look at how life progresses for most people. When we are born, we have no fear. Observe young children. They will want to climb over any obstacle in their path, touch everything, and, in short, do anything, because they have no fear.
What do I mean by a blind spot? Quite simply, something that’s right there, in front of or around us, that we can’t see. But others can, usually quite easily. Some examples from the business world. Ford and the Pinto; Enron and falsifying financial results; subprime mortgage lenders who were selling the equivalent of Florida swamp land. All were mired in ethical disasters because of blind spots.
In my last post, I offered to share the story of how one person went from intention to results – and how you can too, in a few empowering steps. Here is the story. In April 2014 my spouse, Narmin, decided to start a scholarship foundation to help bright young women in the developing world break the cycle of poverty and become tomorrow’s leaders, by providing them access to their dream of a university education.
All of us have goals we intend to achieve. These could be career goals, business goals, health goals, relationship goals, or even de-clutter goals. Some people seem to achieve these with relative ease, others struggle mightily. Some people can sustain these changes, others fall off the wagon relatively quickly. I have always been fascinated by what differentiates success from lack of success.
Life brings us many joys, and some inevitable disappointments. When things are going well, we are keen to take responsibility for successful outcomes. But when things are not going well, what do we do? Do we also take responsibility – or blame other factors? Think about every key area of your life. Your career/work/business; your finances; your health and wellness..
I’ve often seen people struggle with finding work, progressing in their careers or launching their business. Let’s assign these folks to Group 1. And at the same time, I’ve seen people succeed at all three. Let’s assign them to Group 2. What’s the differentiating factor? Group 1 is focused outwardly. They have clear goals, they are taking action, they are working hard. But results are less than ideal.
Many people try to resolve challenges they might be facing on their own. But is that really the best way, especially if the challenges are significant? For years I did the same. I would hunker down, dig deep within myself, and attempt to solve any challenge personally. Sometimes it worked, but at great cost or it took very long. At other times, my approach failed. But still, I would not ask for or accept help...
When we start something new, we often encounter resistance, and it is easy to give up before getting to our goal or destination. Think of it this way. Imagine you have a car whose battery is weak and has stopped just before a hill. You put it in neutral, and try and push it to the top of the hill. It can be difficult to do, especially if you have a big car. So you enlist the help of family, friends or bystanders.
Have you ever waited for “the right time” to start something? It could be a new project, getting fit, losing weight, a new job, a new relationship, or anything else. Why do people wait? The reasons they usually give are that they are too busy; or that there is a holiday/celebration/event coming up; or that they can’t afford it; or even that the stars are not aligned!
Should we focus on achieving goals – or developing habits? With my constant focus on the importance of goal setting, this question may sound sacrilegious. It isn’t. The simple answer is that BOTH are important, because habits help you achieve goals. A habit is something you do consistently, such that you don’t even think about it – for example brushing when we wake up, or flossing regularly, or getting dressed for work, or wishing loved ones, etc...