Okay, I know the drill. In fact, I feel like I invented it. You go to a great seminar or get through a set of tapes to help you improve your life. Three months go by and those actions you were committed to haven't gotten done, but you have the best and most organized desk in the whole office.
The point is that people who are interested in improving their lives fall into the magic tool syndrome that this tape set or this seminar is the one that is going to give them the secrets. I am here to tell you that there are no life "secrets" -- only proven ways to approach your life that will help you get the most out of your time here on earth.
In fact, this article is nothing but wasted words if you don't look at these words. You can either decide "I am out of my tree," or you can do something about the changes you want to make. If you take the time to dust the picture frames in the living room, but never start on your novel, project, side business, or new idea, than you are no better than the person who watches the Jerry Springer marathon with such life-changing topics as rabid women who love men who want to be women, except that you now have crystal clear picture frames. To settle for less is to give up and cash in your chips. These are not the be-all, end-all steps to take, but they are a start.
Here is a list of seven strategies to incorporate into your life to gain control and to stop behaviors that are limiting you. The only way these will help you is if you use them.
- Decide what is most important in your life. Is it your family, your health, your dog? Then, block out time to spend on these aspects in your planner (come on, I know you have a planner). If you don't make them a priority, you become a marionette, responding to life by having your strings pulled.
- Brainstorm your top three goals in your life and create action steps including intermediate steps to achieve your goal.
Goals give you a track to run on. I have synthesized a proven process for taking your goals and making them a reality that I share with my private coaching clients. For example, if my goal was to publish a book, one step would be to secure a publisher. Another milestone would be to finish the first draft, etc. Don't get your long-term plan down on paper and then lose your mind because you don't know where to begin. Once they are down on paper, go to the next step.
- Take planning tips from four-legged gurus. Take a lesson from my dog--(no I am not crazy, read on). My fluffy white guru Sammie doesn't see the whole yard and thinks, "where do I begin digging it up" or "what if I can't remove the flowers and plants with my paws" or "when I was a puppy, I came from a dysfunctional litter so I can't do this." She just goes in there and picks a space to begin her "project." The advantage that you have over Sammie is that you can learn from other "dogs" who have been there before and, thus, speed up the learning curve.
- Don't live in your day planner. I am guilty of this at times. I know it feels good to write down your to-do list in minute detail in your planner and plan each action step of the day in a-b-c priority. The best thing to do is learn from my wife, who has never carried a planner with even half-inch rings. She takes a white piece of paper and writes down her goals and then (this is the kicker) DOES them. You want to get to a point where you don't spend more time with your planner than your dog, cat, significant other, or child. It is a tool designed to serve you much like the cell phone, email, and pager that exist everywhere today (I even see them in movie theatres). Get it down on paper and then create the reality from that.
- Establish a starting point or baseline. For example, if you are overweight and you want to lose weight. With such a general goal, you may have trouble keeping your progress, but if you know that you are 180 pounds and you want to be at 150 pounds, then you have "a track to run on." The first question I ask my coaching clients is, "Where are you today in pursuit of this goal?" That gives you the clearest picture of what you have to do to get to the end.
- What do you want? No, I am not going to nag you to create a mission statement, although those are useful in keeping your life centered. What I am going to do is tell you that if you don't know what you want your project, goal, day, life to look like, 1) how do you know if you already have it? or 2) how are you going to know if you already have it. I do not sit around all day visualizing, but Mark McGwire, Kurt Warner, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey all start(ed) their day by visualizing their end result. Personally, I used to imagine my sales numbers on the leader board at the end of the month with all the emotion I could summon, and many times it was very close to my vision. In fact, you will find yourself almost unshocked at your success since you already have "experienced" it in your mind. Criteria and emotion are the building blocks to success.
- Don't graduate from the school of hard knocks. Okay, you know that other people have succeeded in any area you are struggling in. So why do you not try to learn from the best parents you know and incorporate some of their ideas, strategies, ways of thinking or some of the best marketers you know or have access to? Many people who are considered "experts" in their field are still honored by a request for help if they are sure that you don't have an ulterior motive behind it. In my sales, marketing, and coaching adventures, there have been many guides along the way. Stroke someone's ego today.
Coach Andy Grosman is Chief Results Coordinator of Next Level Concepts, a coaching firm which is dedicated to bringing people to the next level of joy, success, power, and fun in their lives. NLC offers sales/ Internet marketing/time management/life planning/ memory enhancement coaching by using the proven Next Level Coaching process. Visit our ever-expanding website at www.nextlevelcoaching.com for snippets from the Next Level results toolbox. Coach Andy can be contacted for a free email or telephone coaching evaluation at firstname.lastname@example.org