Your Words can Change your Life

blog-banners03192019

Words can be a simple but powerful tool to immediately change the quality of your life; both for the better or for the worse.

It might seem a far-out concept, but language can actually shape our behavior, and consequently, our lives; even those we say to ourselves and those inside our mind).

Each word we use is imbued with our own meaning and emotional charge. The right words spoken in the right way can bring us love, money, and respect; while the wrong words can get create a world of fear, anger, and suffering.

 

It’s important to carefully evaluate the words we tend to use in a constant way because they tend to shape our experiences regarding the situation we’re describing.

Words can transform our emotions, and shape the course of our destiny.  Beliefs are created by words, and they can also be changed by them.

They provide the vehicle for expressing and sharing our experiences with others, but the words we choose also affect how we communicate with ourselves, and what we end up experiencing every given moment.

 

We also tend to respond to other people’s words; they have an emotional impact on us.

For example, if someone tells us “I think you’re mistaken”, or perhaps “I think you’re wrong”. Our biochemical response is going to be different; and even more if we hear “you’re lying!”

The same thing happens with the words we use within ourselves, but we tend to not realize its impact consciously.

How many times have we said something like “he stabbed me in the back!”; although it’s hardly the case.

Coming upon an unexpected inconvenience, we sometimes overreact with internal or external expressions like “I’m pissed off!”…

In both cases, this word choice leads us to an enraged state, it actually worsens our condition and ability to deal with the situation.

 

What if, instead of adding fuel to the fire with words like “I’m devastated”, we purposely de-escalate this situation with a wiser choice of words; ones that convey the same meaning, but that has a comical connotation to us, like “it’s beginning to peeve me”…

I bet it put a slight smile on your face just by reading it…

 

We can also use this trick to enhance an already good situation; for instance, next time you feel good about something, instead of saying “I’m pleased”, why not try “I’m ecstatic!”?

 

Whatever words you hold in your mind and use on a consistent basis will directly shape your thoughts, which in turn will shape your actions, which in turn will shape your entire destiny.

 

Give it a try.
Stay strong!

Advertisements

Hack into your Procrastination

blog-banners-03-13-2019

Everyone can fall into the procrastinating trap, delaying important tasks when you feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

Pushing yourself to take action might seem like a good idea at first, but in the end, it’s no better than telling a depressed person to just “cheer up”.

Instead of just fighting against it, what you need is a specific process that works with each individual psychology.

Hacking into your procrastination tendency can help you to bypass any internal resistance and get yourself to take action almost naturally.

This process only takes about 10 to 30 seconds to implement, and –if used correctly- is guaranteed to succeed.

 

So, how does this work?
Easy; but first, let’s get into common ground.

We use the term “chunk” to define a small step into the direction of getting your big goal done. It is something so small that, even if you’re really busted, you can easily say “yes” to doing it.

With that in mind, just ask “Can I just … (insert your “chunk” here)?

For instance, let’s say you’ve been pushing off cleaning your house for some time now. You can ask yourself “Can I just take two minutes and clean up my desk?”

Clean up your desk is your chunk in this example.

Apparently, it doesn’t sound like much; I mean, it’s just the desk… but once you start, you will notice an internal shift stepping into action, and you will get more motivated to keep going.

This happens because momentum generates real motivation, which in turn gets you to ask “Can I do a little more now?”.

As we looked into procrastination, we identified 4 powerful drivers: fear, overwhelm, uncertainty, and perfectionism.

Let’s look at them individually now, and find out how to overcome them.

 

 

Overcoming Fear

The best way to overcome your fears is to face them head on, exposing yourself to them, but starting in a safe environment.

For example, if you are afraid of public speaking, you may start by asking a group of close friends to your home and give a speech in front of them.

It’s all about going one step at the time. Don’t break out of your comfort zone; stretch it gradually until you get out.

 

Overcoming Overwhelm

It’s very important to dream big and find inspiration. But when we focus only on the whole picture, we get intimidated and overwhelmed.

This is why it’s so important to break big goals into smaller action steps (or chunks) and prioritize them.

By focusing on just one or two priorities at a time, you’re more likely to get effective on those and get used to them before moving on to the others.

 

Overcoming Uncertainty

One thing that usually leads to procrastination is not knowing what to do next; not having a clear picture of our road ahead. But we can start taking steps and then use feedback to adjust our advancement until we get to our final destination.

Remember, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take one step at the time.

 

Overcoming Perfectionism

Nothing can be made perfect, so you need to focus on making it right instead. We all make mistakes, so we have to be ready for them, get them right the next time, and move on.

Make a commitment to yourself, set up some specific amount of time, and work on your task. Great work, lousy work; it doesn’t matter for now.
Ironically, once you remove the pressure to be perfect, your work flows freely, giving space for creative expression. Then you can go back and review it with an improvement mindset.

 

 

This process is a great way to hack into your procrastination tendencies. When you start applying it, you may notice that momentum building and an inner transformation.

The key is to get started today.

Commit to something you’re guaranteed to easily say YES to, pick your first “chunk”, and start moving forward one step at the time towards your biggest breakthroughs.

Stay strong!

Learn to Say YES to the Great!

blog-banners-02-20-2019

How do we learn to say NO to some good things so we can say YES to the great things in life?

This is one of the biggest skills we all need to learn.

When you say NO to those things that aren’t really adding value to your life, taking you closer to your goals or in alignment with your values; you’re actually saying YES to something else that is. It could be time with your family, workout, meditation, reading or studying something you love, or even a little shut-eye time.

That NO can be hard sometimes, but it’s nothing if you compare it to some other time when you reluctantly said yes and regretted it later on. Think about all the sorrow that one decision caused… You might have kicked yourself for a while, but then, you’d surely resented the person or circumstances related to that task.

Saying no in the first place to a task you don’t want or you don’t have the time to do, ends up being a lot easier than having to struggle with it out of time and resources; so, the sooner you learn to do it, the better.

In the end, this underrated time management strategy will help you devote your time to the things that you really care about.

 

See you next week to close this series of strategies.

Stay strong!

Time to Minimize Distractions!

blog-banners02132019

Welcome back! Last week we laid the path for you to discover your core purpose; now we’ll find out what is taking you off course by distracting you.

Is it email? People in your workspace? Texting? Social media? All of the above combined?

 

Whatever it is, it’s time to eliminate distractions and the stress that comes with it.

Block the websites, mute or turn off your phone, install concertina wire around your office if that’s what it takes!

Take control of your space so you can be productive in whatever you decide to devote your time to. Don’t make excuses, this is your time.

One of the most efficient time management tools is to minimize distractions; those things that don’t get you close to your goals.

Try doing this for a week: Next time you allow yourself to get distracted and interrupted, stop and write down what you were doing, what interrupted you, how you were feeling right before you switch tasks.

Why?
Sometimes we allow ourselves to go adrift when we’re experiencing uncomfortable emotions like frustration, boredom, or lack of interest. These reactions are a crutch and a compulsion; learned addictive responses that we can learn to overcome and change, starting simply by becoming aware of them and why we’re actually using them.

Let’s face whatever task we’re working on as a challenge, and take it head on, keeping our eyes on the end goal.

 

 

Next week we’ll talk about how we can learn to say NO to daily pleasurable distractions in order to say YES to the greatness of life.

Stay strong!

 

 

Clarity Really IS Power

blog-banners

If you want to leverage the real power of clarity, you need to be specific about what you want and build your outcome around a significant way of measurement.

Let’s assume you want to make more money this year, and you ended up earning 10 extra dollars… technically, you’ve achieved your goal, I mean, you earned “more” money this year; but I doubt that was your idea when you set that goal, right? The difference was probably more in the area of the tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands.

You always want to set a clear goal for yourself, always.

If you are specific with your outcome and have a clear picture of what it is and why do you want it, your actions will be like a big, sharp telephoto lens that will achieve them.

Now, following the precepts we established in the previous articles, you know you need to be working toward your core values, and follow your personal rules in the process… so, how can you be sure?

Make a core values audit:

Keep a close track of your activities for two weeks, take note of which values your actions are connecting with, and evaluate yourself as you move closer to your goals.

Once you have several weeks of progress written down, take a thorough look at how you’ve spent your time; highlight any activity that you know is unconnected to your values and goals –like checking social media every other hour- and take it out from your schedule. Replace them with something else that can contribute to your ultimate plan.

After a while putting this procedure into practice, you’ll notice you don’t miss all those time-consuming tasks anymore.

Next week we’ll be talking about how to minimize distractions by, among other things, learning to say NO.

Until then, stay strong!

Maximize Results with Effective Time Management

blog-banners

Suppose you want to strengthen your relationship with your kids, so you decide to use one or two hours out of your day to give them the time and attention they deserve; but as you’re playing with them, your phone rings in your pocket…

Naturally, you automatically take it out to see who called or texted you. You’d probably even call or text back and before you know it, you’d have a conversation going.

By shifting your attention to your phone (or to the TV, or some similar source of daily distractions) you’re directing your attention and energy away from your kids, and you are no longer working toward the outcome you’ve set initially; one that really matters to you, which is a healthier, more loving relationship with your kids.

What if instead of checking your phone, you stayed committed to your intended outcome and gave your kids the attention they deserve? By staying focused on your target, and letting the phone wait for one or two hours –nobody is going to die, and the world is not going to end because of it- you will be more successful attaining your goal, and that speaks the most to your core values.

Aligning your actions with your core values is about having clarity on what these values are. What is it that you truly want? How can you accomplish this by using your favorite time management skills?

Whatever your goal is, you have to be clear with the outcome you are after and establish the time required to achieve it; it could be a deadline or a certain amount of time you’re taking daily what gets the job done… but either way, be realistic –not extremely shy or too eagerly optimistic- set the timing in a proportional way depending on the goal you’re setting.

 

All this takes us to our following article, which talks about clarity in your goals.

See you next week. Stay strong.

Success through Time Management

banner-0124

There are many things in life that you can’t control, but the way you spend your time is not one of them.

As Gandalf said in The Lord of the Rings: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’”

The way you invest your time determines what you will achieve in life. If you work hard towards your most important goals and values, you will lead a successful and fulfilling life.

In order to make the most of your time and live the life of your dreams, you need to develop a good set of time management skills, and also change the way you think about it. You have to give up that old belief that states that time is a resource that’s out of your control. It’s true there are only 24 hours in a day, but you get to choose what to do with them, and fix your focus on what really matters.

 

What follows is the first of a series of weekly tips on how to effectively manage your time.

 

First and foremost: Align your actions with your core values

As silly as it might sound, we often need a friendly reminder that, in order to get to our destination, first we need to define where we are, and where we want to be.

If we decide to use our time to take a certain set of actions, it would really really help if such actions were in alignment with what truly matters to us –our core values- so in addition to accomplishing our goals, we get a sense of achievement and fulfillment by focusing on what would add the most value to our life.

When we focus on such an outcome, we get to develop the motivation and organization needed to meet those goals, and in the process, we become the kind of person who is worthy of that goal.

 

 

Next week we’ll talk about maximizing our results by using our time effectively.

Until then, stay strong!

Deadlines: our way to Deliverance

descarga

It’s been said that procrastination is the silent killer –or was it hypertension? Never mind that; let’s stick to the first for now.

We all procrastinate, and in a wide variety of reasons; the most common is fear, and also simple laziness. In a way, our biology takes off the hook with laziness, simply because it urges us not to spend energy on a task that isn’t important to our survival; so we postpone, delay, avoid, excuse ourselves, etc.

 

But then, the deadline comes, and pulls us out of laziness giving us a sense of urgency… Deep inside we know that missing this deadline is bad for our survival; it can cost us our job, money, assets, our free time, friendships, relationships, etc.

This knowledge becomes fear, and this fear pushes us to do whatever it takes to finish our project, and we go crazy to make this happen.

Some time back, I heard about Parkinson ’s Law. It states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.

That’s a very interesting point; because it sends you into a mild survival mode where you actually get the job done, without lazing about too much.

 

Getting used to set deadlines.

When we are faced with distant deadlines, we get a false sense of security… let’s say we have a task due in three weeks, so we’re ok to “burn daylight” watching a movie or taking a nap.

Time limitations force us to restructure work so it can fit into the schedule.
They also help us work less, or at least, spend less of our time in “work mode”.

 

What we lose ignoring deadlines

Giving ourselves something to lose is the best way to make ourselves respect a time limit. What are we missing out by lingering at the office after hours?

Think about it… if we get home early –or in time, we could enjoy a movie with our family or spouse, relax at home and cook a special meal, or give some time and attention to that side project…

But no… we’re wasting all those opportunities by doing last minute work we could have done earlier in the day.

 

Creating reasonable deadlines

Parkinson’s Law has high practical value.

It helps us cut down lost ours in which we could be doing something else, and it keeps us away from the guilt and stress that always follow wasted time.

However, when first starting to apply this rule, it’s likely to feel overzealous and set impossible deadlines in an effort to work faster. This doesn’t work. It only gives us more stress as we try to meet the time limit, thus reducing the quality of our work.

 

The point of the deadline is to cut down on stress and wasted time, not to wrestle with the clock.

If a task requires 10 hours of work, let’s have it done in 10 hours. If we can do it in 9, great; but it’s also ok if we have it in 11. That extra hour isn’t wasted time; it’s a buffer for unexpected events like an urgent request, a phone call, loss of concentration and even a moment to relax.

Deadlines can help us reduce some of the wasted time and the stress we tend to accumulate in our working days, and it can also help us do more than we thought possible.

 

So, if you’re interested in optimizing your performance, keep the following in mind:

  • Always define your work ahead, and set a deadline
  • Think about what you can lose if you miss on the deadline
  • Is your deadline realistic? If not, give it some extra thought and figure it out.

 

And remember, time limits are a tool to help you out, not something to fight against.

Stay strong!

Creating Your Action Plan for 2019

blog-banners

Goals without plans are just wishes”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Another New Year is here, and everybody is making their list of goals again.

What most of them are failing to do, is an action plan for them.
Action is the fuel that powers our Life engines. Without action, we can’t be able to realize our goals; kind of being stuck in neutral…
We tend to get constantly sidetracked, unable to focus our energy and efforts on consistent action.
This is mostly all because of our poor habits, but also our inability to set goals correctly; we only get an abstract notion of what we want, but we lack the specifics and a concrete plan.

From Anthony Robbins to Napoleon Hill and Jim Rohn; all the greatest coaches always stressed the need for taking action as a fundamental part of any success in goal achievement.
A good example of how to correctly approach goal settings is that of an airplane. Think about it for a moment…
When it takes off, say, from LAX heading for Hawaii, that’s its goal, and everyone on it relies on that.

Before taking off, the pilots set a plan, direction, general speed, and altitude; but the plan isn’t specific about them, because the plane, like us, might encounter some obstacles along the way (turbulence, traffic, etc.) forcing it to make adjustments, but keeping the overall goal of making it to Hawaii.
It only takes constant tracking and evaluation to realize it.
If you’re serious about your goals, then you must create an action plan, and then constantly monitoring and adjusting your approach where required until you succeed.

In order to do so, you have to consider these 6 basic steps:

1. Visualize specific, time-based goals

This is the most important step. You need to set perfectly clear what, how much, and by when.
2. Create monthly milestones

This will give you specific monthly targets that you want to hit in order to evaluate if you’re making good progress or not.

3. Create a weekly action plan

Now that you have your monthly milestone, you may want to chunk it down into 4 weeks to help you move closer and swifter… what can you do this week to reach your monthly target?
4. Make and prioritize a daily to-do list

Chunk your plan down again into day-to-day priorities… think about all your powerful reasons to attain the goal. The more efficient you get managing your time, the more likely you’re going to be to accomplish your goals.
5. Measure, track, and adjust

You need to constantly measure and track your progress so you’d know whether you’re getting closer or further away from your target. Also, action plans should be flexible as well as massive so you can make necessary adjustments that come out of your progress evaluation.
6. Face your failure and suck it up

Let’s face it, no matter what you’re pursuing; life is going to get in the way. The only thing that sets apart successful people from the rest is their refusal to accept defeat; they simply don’t give up.
Failure is a part of life; your goal is to overcome that failure… and by doing so, you not only are going to reach your goal, but you’re going to become a bigger and better person, and that is the ultimate value of goals.
Give it a try, don’t wait until next New Year to evaluate the goals you’re setting this 2019… get serious now, and do it.
Stay strong!

The Holiday Season, a Time for Retrospection

banner4-txt

The Holiday Season is upon us again, and so I invite you to reflect upon the concept of Christmas and New Year.

Christmas is not only a place of celebration and joy; it’s a time to consider the less fortunate, a time to think of how others struggle in life, and also to recognize where we have also struggled before, and feel grateful for our current position.

That sense of growth that comes from reviewing our own progress is crucial for developing the kind of habits that will allow us to move forward and strive.

 

Take a look at this year coming to an end, and ask yourself the following questions (you can actually use them as guidance in a text file and write actual answers in it, not just think them in your mind):

What goals did you set at the beginning of the year and actually accomplished?

Where did you fall short?

Was it something you gave up right after your first failure?

Was there any other way you could have approached your goal in order to succeed?

Was there anyone who could have helped reach that goal?

Did you take constant action on that goal?

If not, why?

 

We all have goals, but most of us chase after them with our big-talk ego, and little or no action and progress.

We like to be recognized for the plan we layout to chase after them, but usually fell short on tangible results because we don’t put actions where our mouths were… or using the words of Top Gun movie Commander: “our ego is writing checks our body can’t cash”; we don’t put the work in and stay determined. We tend to stop altogether at the first sign of failure and throw our dream aside because of that obstacle.
We need to remember that those “obstacles” are there to strengthen us, to forge us in the kind of people we need to become in order to achieve that goal.

 

It is essential to frequently assess where we are and take responsibility for the options we have in order to adjust our course and build momentum to get where we want to be.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Stay strong!