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Can’t Keep Up? 3 Simple Ways to Tame Your Big Scary Goals

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In my coaching programs I tell my clients all the time that it’s better to do 15 (or even 5!) minutes of action related to their priorities every day than to plan on getting in a big 2-hour chunk once a week. I call it the power of “imperfect action.”
Sure, it would be great if you could do a big 2-hour chunk once a week. But if you are choosing between doing a lot of some activity every now and then OR doing a little bit every day (or most days), choose little and often.
I’m assuming, given the fact that you are reading my article and not something written by Tony Robbins, that you are more interested in greater inner peace and overall well-being than world domination.
I’m also assuming that you are drawn to my work mostly because you want to cultivate your capacity for attention, awareness, compassion, courage, perseverance, commitment, flexibility, and self-kindness.
For that kind of life, little and often is of more benefit than big chunks every now and then or even every day.
So if your inner taskmaster has been giving you a hard time about doing a little (“Just 5 minutes of meditation? Really? That’s all you are going to do?” or “You only wrote 3 pages? That won’t amount to anything.”), here are some responses you might want to try:
  • A little every day is doing me more good than a lot once a week; and (most importantly)
  • It’s what I decided would be enough, and it is enough. I am satisfied (even if the relentless taskmaster in my head isn’t).
So, let’s think of some long-held dream or goal of yours. I know there must be something you want to accomplish-something you haven’t yet taken action on because it seems too big. You may have convinced yourself that any small effort you might make can’t be worth it.
But think for a moment. Give this question your full attention: Is there a condition to taking action that is out of your control? Does taking action require resources you don’t yet have? Is it an action that needs for something else to happen at some point in the future?
Let’s say, for example, that you want to start your own business. To do that, you know that you’d have to clear any number of hurdles. There’d be money to scrape together, business plans to draw up. You might have to change significant parts of your lifestyle. And from where you stand now, it all probably seems so far down the road that there’s no point in even turning on the engine.
But that’s not true. If you think hard enough, if you really consider, you will come up with something you can do right now. You could start by asking for advice from someone you know who runs a successful business. Or you could start by simply writing down why you want to start such a business. In ten seconds you can start your car; in five minutes you can start the journey to your dreams.
So-do you have a goal in mind? Great.
Now here are 3 simple steps that will help you determine an action that focuses just on what you can do, now, with the resources currently available to you.
What is a single action you can take that is:
  1. within your control (it doesn’t rely on the cooperation of someone else)
  2. within your current resources, and
  3. immediate (doesn’t require you to wait).
Now that you’ve answered these questions, you are ready to take “imperfect action,” and it really is more than enough. Now, go and do it!
And if you had already decided on and taken a first step, but then you got stuck, use those three criteria to find another step you can take.
Bonus points if you choose an action that makes your inner critic start to sit up and pay attention, something that makes the snoozing guard of your comfort zone sit up in her chair and say: “Hey, you, where do you think you are going?”, which often comes out sounding like “Who do you think you are?”
Recognize the fear, look at it with kindness and say “Thank you for your concern, but I trust myself on this one. I’ve got it. You can trust me too. I PROMISE.”
And then go ahead and take that step.
Remember: Little and often. It’s my mantra, and you know what? It helps.
What helps you take the small steps that lead to your big dreams? Please share in the comments!
Stacey is a purpose and success coach who helps you give birth to your BIG dreams. To find your purpose and passion, check out her FREE eBook, The Purpose and Passion Guidebook. Link: http://www.staceycurnow.com/purposeandpassion

Can’t Keep Up? 3 Simple Ways to Tame Your Big Scary Goals

Motivating, Keep Up, Goals, Self Improvement

via allbestofforyou http://allbestof4u.blogspot.com/2013/08/cant-keep-up-3-simple-ways-to-tame-your.html

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Motivating Your Brain

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Owning an old brain is rather like owning an old car. It is profoundly misleading to look at the average old person as it is to look at the average twenty-year old car. Careful driving and maintenance are everything. Old cars become rattletraps, eyesores, and junkers not because of aging but from accidents and misuse. So, too, with humans. ~ George E. Vaillant, Aging Well, 2002
I’ve decided to live to 110. If Jeanne Louise Calment of France lived to 122 smoking French cigarettes, why shouldn’t I? After all, I don’t smoke or drink, and at 65, I’m in great shape.
The paint’s chipping, I’ve had a little body work, but the engine’s purring. As for my brain, everything I read says that I need daily exercise for it to stay healthy.
Twenty minutes of heart pumping cardiovascular activity per day will slow your brain from losing neurons and aging prematurely.
Which leaves the BIG question… how do you get motivated and into action? I decided to try out a few tips. I don’t want to say too much, for fear of jinxing it, but so far, my brain exercise fitness program is working…
A Year of Excuses…
I don’t have to tell you how hard it is to adapt a new habit. Anyone who’s struggled with weight or exercise or smoking or any New Year’s Resolution knows.
I’ve “tried” to get on the bike for the past year. No, scratch that: I’ve “wanted” to, but I’ve let other more compelling things interfere, like email…
I want to walk my talk. I’ve written how important it is to get your heart rate up in order for your brain to stay healthy.
Knowing Isn’t Doing
Knowledge is important, but it doesn’t work for motivating people into action. If it did, then all smokers would quit once they looked at a few medical articles and x-rays. So then, what does work so that a person is compelled to take action and fix a problem?
It’s well known that a life-threatening illness will motivate people to change. So will an emotionally upsetting event. But if you’re in good health and nobody’s mad at you, how do you muster up enough motivation to quit making excuses and “JUST DO IT?”
Use Your Friends
I remember how I quit smoking 30 years ago in Paris. I announced my intention to a group of friends and made a bet: I promised to take them to dinner at Chez Maxim’s if I smoked in the coming year.
So last week I announced to my girlfriends that if I didn’t get on the bike 20 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week, I’d take them to Super Burrito’s.
Cognitive Dissonance
This method works because the brain finds it hard to lie. It’s uncomfortable for most people to say one thing and do another (unless they’re heavily into denial or have sociopathic tendencies).
It also works because we are social animals. Our ancestors survived because as a species we’re able to organize and help each other out.
21 Days to a New Habit
It takes time to grow new neurons and neural connections to form a daily habit. During the first three weeks, you must be strict about doing the desired new behavior on a regular basis.
Here are a few tips for breaking an old habit and replacing it with a new one:
1. Decide wisely what the new behavior will be
a. Be specific (ride bike daily)
b. Be minimal (20 minutes)
2. Enroll friends
a. Announce it and ask for support
b. Make it a game or a bet
3. Pick a start date
4. Chart it, write it down
5. Celebrate each small victory, each day
6. Persist. If you fail or forget, just start over
Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D. is a retired journalist and psychologist. Her award-winning blog can be found at http://WritingontheWeb.com. With her husband Rob Krakoff, she also writes at http://www.Mind-FX.com, a provider of healthy supplements for the brain.

Motivating Your Brain

Motivating, Self Improvement, Brain

via allbestofforyou http://allbestof4u.blogspot.com/2013/08/motivating-your-brain.html