But what if it is not my best effort? (DW #937)

When you keep taking action, even if it is baby steps, the reality is this: some days you will be good and some days, you "will suck."

And when you suck, you will be tempted to skip.


Remember this: "It’s OK to suck. It’s not OK to skip."

This is my new mantra and it has really helped me to keep going. And this is how I am currently encouraging my students and clients to develop new habits and make changes.

  • "It’s OK to suck. It’s not OK to skip."
  • "It’s OK to suck. It’s not OK to skip."
  • "It’s OK to suck. It’s not OK to skip."
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Stop stopping (DW #936)

Once we have gotten ourselves to start taking action. There is an important point to remember.

Keep moving and stop stopping.

According to some athletes, Dean Karnazes is one of the fittest men alive today. He has some pretty amazing accomplishments under his belt: running 350 miles at once, running a marathon to the South Pole in minus 40 degrees, running 50 marathons in all 50 US states in 50 days!!!

He gave this advice to budding athletes in an interview quoting the ancient Chinese proverb: “Be not afraid of going slowly. Be afraid only of stopping.”

Wise words, these, and they can apply to absolutely any area of our lives, whether it’s writing a book, running a marathon, doing a long term project or anything else: KEEP GOING!!!

One of my favourite authors on the creative process, Steve Chandler puts it this way: He says we need to “Stop stopping.”

So, what challenge are you up to right now? What’s your next baby step?

Remember this: Keep moving!! No...

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WIN-ing (DW #935)

David Reynolds explains that the most profound sense of confidence in ourselves comes from being the type of person who can get themselves to do what needs to get done whether they feel like it or not.

(And by the way, we have all experienced this in some areas of our lives . . .we go to work, take the children to school, cook for the family, pay our bills – all whether we feel like it or not)

Reynolds gives us a very practical question to use in those moments when we’re not quite feeling our best but need to act like we are.

It’s super simple.. and very powerful . . . .

“Now what needs to be done?”

(Another way to ask this is: What’s Important Now W.I.N)

That’s it. Doesn’t matter how we feel. We just need to ask that question.

“Now what needs to be done?”

And then, of course, we need to do it.

So please try this in a moment of wavering commitment. When you simply don’t feel like doing what you are committed to.

Ask: Now what...

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Talking about feelings (DW #934)

Yesterday we discussed that not feeling like doing something is not a good reason to not do it.

Here is another thing we need to understand about feelings and action.

David Reynolds in Constructive Living writes that feelings FOLLOW behavior. And that most of us do not understand this basic fact.

Most people ask themselves “How do I feel?” before they do anything and then they let that dictate what they do.

This is not very effective. Why?

Because science confirms that feelings FOLLOW behavior at least as much as the other way around.

Just simply getting yourself to take action CREATES the feelings you thought needed to be there to get you started.

You may have experienced this already.

For me, the first 20 minutes of moving are torture. I rarely want to get off the chair and get in action. Once I start moving, I want to stop immediately.

Once I manage to get through the first 20 minutes though, suddenly I want to keep going. I get into the groove.

And then it is just as hard to...

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Feelings and action (DW #933)

What stops you from taking action towards your goal?

For me, very often it is this: I simply do not feel like it. I am not motivated some days to take even the tiniest of steps.

Then what?

Then I remind myself that the difference between successful people and the not so successful people is this: those who succeed in achieving their goals also do not necessarily FEEL like doing what they have committed to do.

They simply do not let their feelings stop them from taking action.

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Cross the bridge (DW #932)

We have been talking about how it is somehow easier to achieve a daily goal than to set and achieve a goal for something to be done occasionally.

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth John Maxwell tells us: "You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. That means developing great habits. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day. Over time that daily crossing becomes a habit. And ultimately, people do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future."

Really like that:  "Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day."

Have you Crosse the bridge between your goal and its accomplishment today?

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The Buddha’s wisdom on baby steps (DW #931)

I love this piece of wisdom from the Buddha: "Little by little one becomes evil, as a water pot is filled with water. Little by little one becomes good, as a water pot is filled with water."

Isn’t that true? It is the daily tiny decisions that we take every day, the actions that we do repeatedly that become our future. This quote is saying two important things:

  • The pot gets filled drop by drop – through micro actions and
  • Focus on filling our pot (ONE POT – not many POTS!) one drop at a time.

Drop by drop by drop.

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Let’s get specific (DW #930)

Three things to keep in mind when formalizing your micro goal or habit.
  • Make it specific: What exactly will you be doing, where and at what time?
    E.g. I will do 5 jumping jacks before I step into the shower in the morning
  • Make it an everyday thing rather than on certain days. Habit experts tell us it is MUCH easier to succeed if you plan to do something every day without fail rather than something you do occasionally.
  • Make it REALLY easy. So easy that Like crazy easy. Stephen Guise tells us we want to create "mini habits" that are "too small to fail." He offers the brilliant advice that we shouldn’t say we’re going to work out for 30 minutes a day, we should say we’re going to do ONE push up per day. We shouldn’t say we’re going to meditate for 60 minutes per day. We should commit to ONE minute per day. Don’t say you will write for an hour per day. Write for a minute per day.
In other words, go small. Go micro. Make it REALLY REALLY easy to win....
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What is your keystone habit? (DW #929)

While picking what to focus on and take baby steps on by making it into micro-goals, it might be wise to start with a keystone habit.

What is a keystone habit?
A keystone, by the way, is an important structural piece in in a building. It locks an arch in place and is essential for its strength and integrity.
And similarly, our keystone habits are important "structures" in our lives and super important in making other parts of our lives work. The benefit of working on a keystone habit is that the benefits accrued from installing this habit cascade into the rest of our lives.
For me, a keystone habit is intentional movement. (Many would call this exercise – I prefer the word movement – the reason why to be discussed at another time)
When I am focusing on moving my body, I eat better, I sleep better, I focus better. I feel (very) virtuous!

You get the picture? Daily intentional movement is my keystone habit. When I work on installing moments...
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Focus on one goal at a time (DW #928)

If you are anything like me and a ton of others who get easily inspired, your mind is busy thinking of the many goals you could use the domino effect on.

Please stop right now. Trying to change too much at once is a recipe for overwhelm and burnout.

(I remember a coach telling me once: Yes, Marzia, you can have and do anything you want, just not ALL AT THE SAME TIME!! - wise woman!!)
So how about making a commitment and going all out on ONE thing. Not one HUNDRED things. ONE thing.

Pick whatever you want. Research says that you would benefit from making sure that you do something you actually want to do. Not a "should do".

And, you may want to consider doing something that would have a really positive benefit in many areas of your life. (We will discuss this more tomorrow inshallah)
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