Friday, May 30, 2008

I Act Even When I Don't Feel Like It

Well all the self-help guru's talk about making affirmations and stating them out loud. Anything from the simple,

I like myself.


I can handle it.

to the more specific traits and goals you want to embody:

I am a runner.

I am paying off my debts this year. All of my debts.

I run or walk 15 miles each week, every week.

The one affirmation that I've heard in all of the books, that most works and rings true to me, is:

I act even when I don't feel like it.

It came from.... can you guess?? The Millionaire Mindset by T. Harv Eker. What is funny is that I actually think of this affirmation at least as often in terms of exercising as I do in terms of earning money.

So what affirmations, or self-talk, do you use the most?? Or do you make these sort of statements to yourself at all?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

I had a lot of time to myself this weekend. Solitary time is generally a rare treat for me. But somehow today and even yesterday I found myself a bit melancholy. Sure I never get as much done as I hoped, but there was more to my sadness. Loneliness? No, that wasn't it (or all of it) either.

Ah, I was worried that how I had spent my time wasn't worthwhile. After all, wasn't I supposed to be off at a family reunion or at the beach or... something of more of a traditional Memorial Day activity. I had finished writing a children's story, that I feel starts strong, but fizzles a bit.

And I sorted my MANY papers and bills to be paid and all my to-do's in my office and yet.... a couple of items that were missing never did turn up as I thought they would. And I have to accept that with all I do, I sometimes misplace items, even somewhat important items.

So I was thinking of this and I was remembering a line from a Zig Ziglar tape where he says we all have a dialog going on in our heads all day long, second-guessing ourselves and it's our choice whether we are going to cheer our own efforts, greet our best efforts with silence or worse groan every time we try and have less than complete success.

I for one am going places and so I'm hear to say that I'm proud of having
- finished a story and gotten it ready to submit to an editor
- faced cleaning my office which had gotten to be an overwhelming chore. It is at least for the moment under control again.
- run a total of 12 miles and walked another 1+
- made inroads in my backlog of to-be-read, discarding some, reading some and letting some go for another day

Now I still have a few more tasks that I'm going to tackle before the weekend ends. Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend whether you spent it with friends and family or, like I did, in more solitary pursuits.

Take care,

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Interim Goals

Interim goals -- daily or weekly along the way can be a huge value. I've noticed that Barack Obama's well-run campaign (whether you support him or not, his campaign has been incredibly well-run) uses interim goals. When they had over 800,000 contributors, they set a goal of getting over 1 million by a particular date. A few weeks later, they set a goal of getting 1.5 million by another date. In the couple weeks that led up to North Carolina and Indiana which was a critical night for Obama, they set a goal of 1 million phone calls made before the end of polls for those primaries.

The one interim goal that I've had the most success with is -- 15 miles per week -- walked or run. The weight is coming off, though very slowly, and my fitness level is increasing much faster. Now, I often jog upstairs. I certainly have more spring in my step whether I'm running or walking.

But I'd like to find one more boost on the weight loss side. Occasionally I'll set a daily goal for flights of stairs. I work on the first floor of a 3-story building and I'll set a modest goal of climbing 6 flights of stairs during the work-day. But some days I work at home and other days I'm off, so I'm still thinking of a more substantial regular goal that will add to my progress. Stairs are great because they raise my heartrate very quickly. Hmm.....

I'm going to ponder this. Readers, I'd love to hear what daily or weekly goals you are using to reach a much longer-term goal.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

People Didn't Understand My Last Post

I ran the ideas of my last post by a few of my friends and they didn't get it. The one friend said, "Well the only goal that I could even pretend my life depends upon is that I want to start exercising more and lose some weight."

But my idea wasn't to try and convince yourself how your life might depend on your goals. My idea was to act as if your life depended on achieving your goals and to ask yourself, so what would I do to make this (your goal or a step towards it) happen? Yes, you know that your life doesn't depend on that goal, but take the time to pretend for one moment that it does.

My one friend wants to open a sewing/knitting/craft store. Sort of like Michaels only a lot more personal. She has lots of ideas for promotions and lessons and clubs and she works at a small sewing store. She and one of the other employees have tossed around the idea of trying to buy that business from the elderly owner or to open their own. But it requires start up capital. They had agreed that having a three-way ownership might be the best situation. Decisions would be voted on. Majority would always rule. But they don't have a third person. The other potential owner was supposed to ask a friend, then a sister and.... nothing happens. My friend commented with a sigh that, "it just doesn't seem to be coming together."

I tried to make her see that if she HAD to open a store. IF her life depended on it (of course it doesn't, but just pretend) what would she do? Would she revisit the idea of needing a third owner? Would she advertise for the business opportunity? Would she go to a conference or trade show and network? I can bet that she wouldn't just wait to see if things 'come together.' So why not do those things now?

Your life may not depend upon it in the sense of life-and-death, but certainly the quality of your life does depend on acting with great urgency, "as if your life depended on it."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Your Life Depends Upon It

I bought a copy of Mind Control Marketing. One of the themes of the book is looking at marketing and affecting people's decisions in manners similar to war. One story involves a situation where men were dying because Vietnamese tactics were different from what they had dealt with before and the weapons they had on hand weren't effective. The leader responded by modifying the weapons to make them work shorter range.

The thought that struck me was that the leader had inadequate equipment for the situation but he came up with a creative solution because people's lives depended on it.

How Much Differently Do We Act When Our Lives Depend on Something?

One of my favorite scenes from the movie, Apollo 13 is the one where they realize carbon dioxide is building up in the capsule and that if they don't do anything about it, that the astronauts will all die. They march a bunch of NASA dudes into a room with a complete list and copy of the items onboard the space capsule -- everything from plastic-enclosed instructions, food, waste disposal containers, everything they have on the ship. And from that they HAVE to invent an air filter to remove the carbon dioxide from the air. They have to. Lives depend on it. And, while at first they worry that they can't do it, ultimately they did.

How many of our life excuses would we drop, if we thought lives depended on our coming up with a solution?

"I can't go back to school. I don't have the time." -- Think about it for a minute. If your life depended on you completing an education course, you would find a way to do it. You'd find someone to swap babysitting duties with or maybe you'd drop some other commitment that you have. I mean if you HAD to (or you would die), think of the things that you could do. And then recognize that you really do have the power to change your life.

Sure not every decision or problem is life and death, but what's worth thinking about is: What would you do differently if it was? And while you may not think your life depends upon it, it does. Because... having your life turn out the way you want, does in fact depend on you coming up with creative solutions.

So the next time you think, I can't because.... ask yourself, if a medical doctor told you you MUST do this or you will die. What would you do?