Tag Archives: Resolution

What’s your destination?

What is your destination?  Do you know?  Are you letting the the route dominate your mind and forgetting what’s really important. And I’m talking metaphorically.

I’m a planner normally.  Well by comparison to my wife, I fly by the seat of my pants but by most standards I’m a bit obsessive with plans.  When my wife and I vacation, we know where we are going to stay and have the hotels booked in advanced.  We know the things we want to see and I’ll have their websites, locations and hours tucked away in my files.  We have a pretty good idea of where we will eat by meal.  Once we start the vacation, many of our plans go out the window as we adapt to the flow of the vacation.  Winston Churchill once said that, “Plans are of little importance but planning is essential.” Whenever you need a good quote either Churchill or Mark Twain typically come through.

Why am I telling you about our vacation planning? Sometimes having a plan can be detrimental to achieving you goal. Sometimes you keeping working the plan even though the situation has changed. In our vacation planning, our goal isn’t to get to the top of the Washington Monument. It is to enjoy ourselves, to bond with the kids and to taking a break from our normal stressors. Making it to the top of the Washington Monument is an exciting thing but with the kids would rather just play in the pool, that may be a better path to our destination.

I’m reading, “Take off your shoes” by Ben Feder. He is telling a story of taking a sabbatical from a high power executive career. The main purpose is to reestablish family relationships and connections. On their way to their destination, Bali, they took a two week safari in Africa. Ben talks about getting anxious that the safari is delaying his family from their destination. He was getting fixated on his path, not his true goal. Bounding with his family could be done in Africa as easily as Bali.

The lesson is to not let you plans and planning to get in the way of your goals. Focus on what is important to you. Situations change and so must your plans.

Pleasure with Pain

If you break motivation down into it’s simplest form, we are motivated to either seek pleasure or avoid pain.  Now I know many of you are rejecting that, saying that you are much more complex than that but stick with me for a minute.  Pleasure can include everything from a taste of a delicious juicy hamburger with tempura fried bacon on it (yes, tempura fried bacon exists, I’ve had it and I’m obsessed) to love.  Pleasure includes security and peace.  Pleasure can also include spirituality.  Pain on the other hand isn’t just limited to physical pain.  It can include fear, embarrassment, social rejection, insecurity, hungry, loneliness, etc.  The list can go on quite a while.

Unfortunately, the world isn’t so simple as that.  How do you stack up pleasure that will happen six months from now vs. pain happening today, for example dieting and exercising for six months so that you can look good for the upcoming high school reunion?  How do trade off one pain vs. another, for example my back hurts right now and I know 30 minutes of stretching will help…..but I don’t really like the stretching either?  How do you exchange one pleasure for one pain, for example spending on a big celebration when money is tight?

It is ok to allow our subconsciousness to handle these decisions of which pleasure to seek and which pain to avoid as long as we are ok with the outcomes.  Really, your subconscious is making hundreds of decisions a day and you don’t want to get stuck in trying to analyze each and everyone.  When you are not happy with your situation, whether it be financial, relationship, health, etc., stop and consider which decisions are leading you in the wrong direction and why you are making that decision.  It might be helpful to try to frame those decisions in a trade off between pleasures and pain.  You might have to ask yourself “why” a few times because most people are slow to admit what is really going on in their decision making.  Once you understand the tradeoffs, then work to enhance different pleasures, minimize different pains and (frequently) work to pull future pleasure into the moment.

Examples help.  I was telling the truth, my back is killing me right now.  It is a chronic issue that comes back a few times a year.  This one is as bad as it has gotten in probably the last five years.  Nothing to do but stretches.  My wife has a yoga video that does wonders for my back…….but I really don’t enjoy it.  So I have a literal pain, my back.  Seems like I should be able to jump up and fire up that video.  Why aren’t I?  Well, I know from experience the yoga tape won’t make my back feel better right away.  So the pain avoidance isn’t really an immediate pay off.  I find yoga to be pretty boring.  I know my yoga loving friends tell me I’m not doing it right if I’m not loving it but I don’t love it.  There is a certain level of mental pain that comes along with doing yoga for me.

So how do I motivate myself to go do those stretches, well in this case I brought in another pain, social embarrassment.  By writing and posting this, I sort of have to go do the yoga.  If I don’t, I’ll be a bit embarrassed that I let my laziness and procrastination let me sit here in pain.  Alright.  I’m going to go do some downward dogs.

Comment if you need some help affecting change.  Please share.  Imagine the pleasure you’ll get if this helps someone you know.

First Book – Thank you!

I published my first book, Greater Than, 3 weeks ago and I’ve averaged 100 downloads a week.  Thank you to everyone who helped get the word out.

Did you know that a third of people who made New Year’s Resolutions have already dropped them?  Greater Than has a lot of tools and tricks that can help.  Please share this link.  Someone you know may need the help.

 

I’ve started working on my second book, all about breaking bad habits.  What bad habits are you trying to break?  What strategies have you used to break bad habits before?  What has worked for you?  What are your obstacles?

Don’t be overwhelmed

Many of us have started New Year’s Resolutions again this year.  One of the most common reasons that we fail to achieve our resolution is that we try for too much at once.  The trick to build sustainable change in your life is to break down the habits you are either trying to change or add to your life into as small bits as you reasonably can.  Then work on the easiest one of those bits.  Once that becomes a habit, then add the next easiest.

For example, I know someone who is working to cut sugar dramatically out of her diet.  She doesn’t have a “sugar habit.”  She has a series of habits built around sugar.  For example, she takes one of those fiber bars with her when she picks up the kids and another fiber bar when she goes to bed.  She has a dessert nearly every night.  There are other pieces but this is enough for an example.  The fiber bar that she has right before bed is the easiest one for her to go without.  That is the one she is dropping first.

Excerpt from Greater Than

Today is New Year’s Day.  It is day made for change and recommitment.  Chapter 8 from Greater Than seemed appropriate for today.  The book is available on Amazon today for free.  I hope you enjoy it.

Have a wonderful, challenging and productive New Year!!!

Chapter 8 – Today is greater than tomorrow

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso

Too frequently we get stuck in analysis paralysis.  Not only does this phrase rhyme and roll off the tongue nicely, it succinctly sums up what many of us do at some point in our lives.  Analysis paralysis is when we are too afraid to move forward, we use “not having enough information” as an excuse to not take any action.  It sounds like, “I’ll start my diet once I read the book on the caveman diet.”  Of course, after they read the caveman diet, they will put it off another week because they need to go shopping for special caveman food.  I don’t know what caveman food is.  I haven’t read the book.  And then they…… I don’t know what it will be but it will be some excuse to not take action.  Of course, people say these things while eating their eighth slice of cake from their failure party.

How do you avoid analysis paralysis?  Break your goal down into small pieces.  Some pieces will require more information.  Some won’t.  Start working on those pieces where you know enough today to take some action.  Any action.  For those pieces that you need to know more, define exactly what you need to know just to take one more step forward.  Once you learn a little, take a step forward.  Learn more, then take another step.  The important thing is to take action today.

Happy New Year

Tomorrow we’ll party.  The day after we will recover from the partying.  That makes today a perfect day to prepare for the new year.  I recently published a book Greater Than that is perfect for helping people get started on New Year’s Resolutions.  The whole concept of the book is to read it in under an hour and get right to applying various tools your life right away.

Greater Than is free through January 1st, so download it now.

Above all else, I wish you a great new year.

Free book for New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve made my book Greater Than available for free on Amazon for a limited time.  While Greater Than is a made for anyone seeking to achieve more in their life, it is very relevant for someone trying to make and keep resolutions.

This free offer is only available for a few days, so please take advantage of it.  Do you know someone who needs a little help with getting started?  Share Greater Than with them, especially now that it is free.  We could all use some help some times.