Posts Tagged ‘life choices’

Stuck in a rut? Lifestyle changes #3: Where are you going?

July 31, 2014

Goal setting

So far in this mini series I’ve invited you to consider ‘Where are you now?’ and ‘Why are you here?’

This final part asks the apparently simple question ‘where are you going’. I say ‘apparently’ simple, because often the question, if given careful thought, is anything but.

Here are three things to think about…REALLY think about, regarding your life’s direction.

 

Are you REALLY going where you think you’re going?

My UK readers will remember the character of Del Trotter from the sitcom ‘Only Fools and Horses’. One of his catchphrases was ‘this time next year….we’ll be millionaires!’ usually preceding some hair brained, barely legal money making scheme which would always end in disaster.

It’s easy enough to talk yourself up and tell yourself that you’re destined for great things. Whilst maintaining a positive attitude IS important, there’s no point deluding yourself: talk is cheap – it’s your ACTIONS that will define where you go.

More than that – it’s your actions, based on decisions you’ve made, that have got you to where you are now.

So here’s the question. What trajectory are you on at the moment? Is it the one you want to be on? …and what are you actually DOING to get yourself there?

On the premise that you’re reading this because you’ve not yet arrived where you want to be in life, it’s important to consider the fact that continuing to do the same things as you’ve always done will bring about the same results that you’ve always got.

That’s fine if you’re happy with it. If not – something will have to change.

It could be you.

 

So, where do you WANT to go?

I’ve coached people who have forged on in their careers, have made a lot of money and have ‘arrived’ in the eyes of the world…but who realise in themselves that this was not the destination that they had wanted to get to. Please don’t find yourself in that boat. Invest the time in really considering where you want to go.

Some people are clear from pretty early on in their lives where they want to go and what they want to do – if this is you – that’s great.

If it’s NOT you, and you’re still a bit clueless about your life goals, my e-book Goal Setting For Success (free to download from bookboon.com) will help. Here’s the link: http://bookboon.com/en/goal-setting-for-success-ebook

It’s obvious really: no-one goes to the station with twenty pounds and asks the man in the ticket office for a ticket for twenty pounds. They specify a destination.

And so must you.

 

And the next step is….

It’s only when you’ve figured out where you want to go that you can start to devise some sort of life plan to get there. I don’t mean some sort of regimented, mirthless plan that is devoid of spontaneity or flexibility, but the sort of plan that breaks big life goals into day to day tasks, and working consistently through these tasks will move you forward towards your goals.

But don’t leap to the ‘how’ too quickly. Establish your direction. Fix your destination first before setting off. Make sure you are actually heading to where you want to go.

 

For more on  goal setting, my e-book Goal Setting for Success is free to download here:

http://bookboon.com/en/goal-setting-for-success-ebook

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Stuck in a rut? Lifestyle changes #2: Why are you here?

July 16, 2014

choose your path

A few weeks ago I began this ‘In a rut’ mini series with a few questions around where you are now: that is, where are you actually, as opposed where do you like to tell people you are (or even pretend to yourself that you are).

In this second part of my blog mini series, I’m looking at three factors which play a part in WHY you are here.

 

1) You’ve made (or not made) decisions that have got you here

A while ago I read a book by Larry Winget called ‘Shut up, Stop Whining and Get a Life’ – if that’s not a challenging title, I don’t know what is. One of the key themes that Winget writes about is the fact that we are where we are because of things that we’ve done and decisions that we’ve made.

This might make uncomfortable reading. I read Winget’s book at a difficult point in my life and believe me, I didn’t want to take any accountability for where I was at that point: I wanted to blame anyone and everyone for putting me there.

Before I go on, let me say that I’m NOT saying (and nor is Winget) that anyone is responsible for being the victim of crime or abuse. Clearly that is NOT the case.

What I WOULD say, though, is that we have a choice as to how we respond to our circumstances in order to create better circumstances (or not, as the case may be).

Maya Angelou, the poet, philosopher, activist and generally remarkable human being who died earlier this year overcame the abuse and racism of her difficult childhood to become one of the most influential and respected women of our time.

Model Katie Piper, whose ex-boyfriend disfigured her for life in an acid attack, overcame the physical pain and emotional trauma of what had happened to her and is now a TV personality and a spokesperson for burns victims.

I could go on. The point is that both of them could have given in to misfortune, accepted that their lot in life was not a happy one, and settled into a rut of blaming others for their situation.

Others may have been responsible for these women’s situations…but they took accountability for their lives and chose to move on.

So. What decisions have you made – or shied away from – that have led to you being where you are?

What would you do differently if you could turn the clock back…and what can you do NOW?

 

2) You get something from being where you are

Dr Phil McGraw writes extensively on strategies for life. I was reading one of his books recently and was challenged by the idea that, if you’re not changing a situation that you’re unhappy with, there must be something about that situation that you ARE happy with, and that does something for you in some way.

Like the statement in my first point, this can be hugely challenging, and, if you’re in that situation it can be difficult to figure out what ‘the thing’ is.

By way of example, I used to work with someone who was always complaining that a pet project of his never got the support of the organisation we were working for, never received funding and therefore had never got off the ground.

He was taken aback when one of my team managed to get him the funding he needed, to the extent that he almost tried to talk himself out of the project: it was too late, there still wasn’t enough funding, and so on.

The point was, he seemed to ENJOY being able to moan about not having the funding. It’d be a fantastic project…but THEY wouldn’t let it happen. He could have achieved something…but THEY wouldn’t let him.

With the funding in place, he had lost the ‘they’ he liked to blame.

On a another note, I had a friend who often found herself being asked at work to deliver high profile projects to very tight deadlines. She was great at her job and always delivered.

However, what started to happen more and more often was that other people who hadn’t managed their time properly would turn to her for help at the last minute.

She was becoming stressed and exhausted to the point of making herself ill. And yet…..part of her really liked to be the caped crusader who could fly in at the last minute and save the day.

Think carefully: if you’re not happy about a situation but haven’t don’t anything about it, what is that situation doing for you? 

Are you prepared to lose that ‘thing’ in order to create a better situation?

 

3) You don’t realise you have a choice

This is always a tough one – so many people don’t realise that they have a choice.

OK, so sometimes in life that choice is between a rock and a hard place, but there almost always is a choice, even if that choice is just about deciding on your attitude in response to a situation that’s not of your making.

‘I’ve got no choice’. It’s the voice of defeat. Of dejection. Of giving up.

We’ve all been there and heard that voice from ourselves at some point…but it’s a voice that lies. We have choices. If we’re brave enough to make them.

Where in the past (or even now) are you telling yourself that ‘you have no choice?’

Look again. They are there somewhere. Ask yourself: if you did have choices … what choices would those be?

 

Next time I’ll be looking at ‘what’s your destination’…. join me then!!