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Do what you need to do

Did you know that many people who are the *best* at what they do also have a critic inside their heads?

Bill Russell, for example, one of the great names in basketball ... the only athlete to ever win an NCAA Championship, an Olympic Gold Medal, and a professional championship all in the same year—1956... had one small problem: He used to get so nervous that he threw up before every game.

So it turns out that he too, had a strong inner critic telling him what could go wrong and making him so nervous that he would throw up.

How did he become one of the great names in his sport?

He simply learnt to ignore the critic and do what he needed to do.

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The only thing left to do now

For the last couple of weeks, we have been talking about setting goals effectively so that you have the best chance of achieving these goals. (Here are the archives in case you missed one or more of the emails)

There is only thing left to do now.

Take action.

Start taking action towards your goals on a daily basis. You do NOT need to figure out all the steps necessary to achieve your goals before you start taking action.

You do NOT need to see the whole staircase in order to take the first step.

At this point, all you need to do is take the first step, the next action. That is all.

Quite simple really.

Magic starts happening when you get in motion.

The journey of a thousand miles, as they say, begins with the first step.

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The most important question

self development Jan 23, 2017

Why are your goals important to you?

Sounds like an obvious question, but you will be surprised to find that it is a question which is not always that easy to answer.

Yet it is very important that we know why our goals matter and remind ourselves about this on a regular basis.

Research shows that the clearer your "WHY" is – that is why your goal is important to you - the more it will motivate you to take action despite the challenges that may show up.

Do you want to become healthier? WHY is this important to you?
Want to write a book? WHAT will it do for you to get this done? Why is it important?
Want to give up chocolate at night? To what purpose? How will it make you feel to achieve this?
If your goal is to make more friends, why is this important to you?

Don't skip this one. It is a short but powerful exercise.

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What was your lowest score?

Unless you are living an amazingly well-balanced life, there will be one or two areas in your assessment which stand out as having a significantly lower score than the rest.

These areas of our lives are easy to ignore because it just seems very difficult to make a change in these domains.

But here's the thing: these are the very areas in your life that are calling out for attention.

The good news is that even a small positive change in these areas will improve your life satisfaction greatly and lead to success in other areas.

Let us take an example. For me, the area with the lowest score currently is my physical health. And because it is so low, I don't want to deal with it.

On the other hand, I also recognize that dealing with and making improvements here will have a MAJOR impact on all the other domains of my life.

Get the picture? So for yourself, identify the one or two areas with the lowest score in your life assessment. It may be relationships, finances or mental/emotional...

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Assess the domains of your life

A very effective way to look at and evaluate the big picture of your life is to think of the various areas of life as 'domains'.

Here is a list of 10 domains of life. Use the list below to rank how you feel about a particular domain by giving it a score from 1 – 10. 10 is absolute perfection while a score of 1 would be an absolute disaster.

The best way to do this is not to overthink it. Simply go through the list below and write a score for how you feel about this area of your life. This is completely subjective. No one needs to know this score except yourself. (you might want to copy and paste it in a word document OR write it out)

The domains of life:
1) Physical health – sleep, eating, exercise, disease etc

2) Mental wellbeing – stress, negative thoughts, mental illness

3) Interests, hobbies, creativity – have you been yearning to take up knitting but have not?

4) Romance, love life, marriage relationship – are you happy with the way things are at...

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Getting ready to set goals

family self development Jan 11, 2017

Most of us make resolutions or set goals in one or two areas of our lives. The majority of New Year Resolutions or goals tend to focus around the areas of health (weight loss) and career.

A better way to live our best selves is to see the big picture of our lives and begin to assess and make goals in many areas.

There are many ways to do this. We will look at one way today and another tomorrow.

The first way is to set goals according to our roles in life.

Think of the roles you have in life.

We have family roles (mother/father, son/daughter, spouse) work/career roles (employer/employee, manager, team member) community roles (community member, leader, pastor).

Now consider where you may set goals for improvement.

For example, in my role as a mother, I may need to work at being patient and to listen more.

In my role as a supervisor at work, an area for improvement might be to give effective and timely feedback.

What are some of the roles in your life currently? Can you identify...

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Process and outcome goals

There are some changes that we desire to make in our lives are habit related, for example, to exercise "more", eat "healthy", go "less" on social media. These are mostly the kind of resolutions that we make.

We will refer to them as 'process goals' because these are permanent changes that we wish to implement in our lives. Things that we want to give up or new habits that we wish to adopt fall under this category.

Regular exercise is a great example of a process goal. This is something that ideally we would like to become part of our lifestyle.

There are other goals which are outcome related, such as "lose 20 lbs", "read 10 books", "make 1,000 sales" etc. Goals like these are accomplished when the target is reached.

Of course process and outcome goals can work really well together in many areas of our lives. In health for example, a process goal would be to exercise 6 times per week and an outcome goal might be to achieve a blood pressure reading of 120/80 or better. The outcome...

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How are your New Year Resolutions going?

Did you make New Year Resolutions this year? How are they going?

If you are like most people, you made some resolutions (that you have made before) and are already beginning to fall behind. Statistics show that less than 10% of people who make New Year Resolutions end of keeping them for the duration of the year with most people failing to keep their resolutions within the first quarter of the year.

Does this mean that we should just give up and not work at becoming better or achieving progress in various areas of our lives?

Not at all.

We just need to rethink how we are going about it. In other words we need to set ourselves up for success so that we have the best chance of achieving what we are working towards.

As a first step we need to move from making resolutions to setting goals. What's the difference, you ask?

A goal has is a clearly defined target while a resolution is just a hopeful change that requires no plan. We can resolve in our minds to make improvements, but until...

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What are your roles in life?

When we are doing the end of year reflections and setting goals for the new year, it is easy to focus on one or two areas of life which we may be preoccupied with at the moment while ignoring others.

Living our best self requires us to pay attention to all aspects of our lives, even areas which may not immediately come to mind.

The first step in thinking this way is to define the 'domains' of our life. Another way look at it is to consider our various roles in life at present, at home, at work, in our communities and in the world at large.

For example, here are some 'domains' which may be applicable to you:

The health domain
The spiritual domain
The work domain
The business domain
The marriage domain
The parenting domain
The volunteering domain
The community service domain
The domain of family relationships/family of origin, extended family
The domain of friendships
The home organization domain
The domain of self growth and actualization

Do you get the picture?

So start making a list of the...

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What were the biggest lessons learnt this year?

Did you get a chance to 'clean up' unmet goals and commitments over the weekend?

As we continue with our end of year review, let us reflect on the life lessons that this year has taught us.

It is important to reflect on lessons learnt, because it has been said that those who don't learn from their past are doomed to repeat it.

So what are some of the lessons you have learnt this year?

While you are writing them down, it is a good idea to write them in short positively worded statements such as:

1) I learnt that if I keep taking small consistent steps towards a goal, they really add up
2) I learnt that it REALLY pays off to bite my tongue when I want to be right
3) I learnt that God always sends a sign when I need it the most. I need to be clear in asking for it, though!

Do you feel like sharing some of your life lessons from this year? I would love to hear them!

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