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Get ready for your new year: Decode 2013

Time for the second part of our 4 part debriefing and planning process to ensure your 2014 meets your hopes and ambitions. Were you able to take that little bit of “me time” to reflect fondly on how 2013 has been for you? If that slot hasn’t come up yet – schedule it now, along with time to do the second worksheet. You can download worksheet 1 – “Goodbye 2013” below in the bullet list.

To recap the full series, the 4 worksheets are:

Your cheesy grin inducing and tear jerking review of 2013 in worksheet 1 provides you with the raw data to now decode in this week’s worksheet. In this one, you’ll find a set of exercises to unpick, demystify and analyse 2013, as well as start to contrast it with your 2014 aspirations.

Download your worksheet here: Get_ready_for_your_new_year_Decode_2013

By the end of this wondersheet (yes I made that up and I like it!), you’ll have the building blocks and 2014 vision for our third instalment next week…..I can hardly wait….

When you get to the end of the worksheet, why not post your final exercise’s outcome? I’d love to see how your 2014 is shaping up! Either drop a note in the comments here or hop over to Facebook and share a photo.

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Get ready for your new year: Goodbye 2013

This the first of a four worksheet bundle to enable you to start 2014 with some proper added “tra la la la laaaaaaaa”!

Each one is a weekly stage of a larger debriefing and planning journey – my hope is that between your Christmas shopping, wrapping, pantomime horsing about and relaxing,  you’ll be able to hide out for a bit of “me time” and invest in your stretch for 2014.

To give you the big picture, the four worksheets are:

  • Goodbye 2013
  • Decode 2013 (out 12th December)
  • Prioritise 2014 (out 19th December)
  • Activate 2014 (out 26th December)

This week’s worksheet is intended to be enjoyed with a good brew (or yummy mulled wine depending on the time of day!). It’s a nostalgic reminisce, which delivers part cheesy grin and part awkward cringe as you fondly reflect on your 2013.

Download your worksheet here: Get ready for your new year – Goodbye 2013

Please share this with friends, family and colleagues to give them some added oomph to their 2014……have I just solved your present for the person who has everything!? Simply click on the share button on the image at the top of the page or alternatively, if you’ve got a Hootlet, Pinterest or Twitter extension in your internet browser, pop it out through there! (If not google can provide a download :-))

I’d love to hear from you on what comes out of your ponderings this week in the comments. Put the kettle on, grab a printout of the worksheet and a handful of coloured pens and start your year end stretch!

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ditch distraction and get focused! Part 2

Missed part 1 of this duo? Read it here and ditch your distractions with new habits.

How are those new habits helping? Still finding those distractions slipping back in? You need part 2 of our strategy: to clarify your “why?” As in Why I am doing this? Or you might know it as the “what’s in it for me?” question.

You may know the reasons why this change is important to you –  I want see a bit more rigour in them to ensure they deliver focus and results for you.

Dan Pink’s Drive book pulls together tonnes of research on motivation to conclude the “carrot and stick” method no longer works, but true motivation comes from mastery, autonomy and purpose.

I want to work on the last one, Purpose in this strategy (although you’ll find the other 2 at the bottom as a bonus 🙂 ) Pink considers purpose to be the context in which we are. I think it’s a combo of the reason you do something and your sense of resolve or determination to achieve it.

I want you to pin down your change’s purpose, so you can use it to vanquish any pop-up distractions and make progress. This might be at the highest level or something more detailed; for example adopt a health conscious lifestyle to ensure you live to a ripe old age vs. eat your 5 a day.

Take a blank sheet of paper. List (or draw) the positive impacts and benefits of your change in all aspects of your life: career or business, play, friends, family, partner, finances, health, personal growth, physical environment and so on.

Got them all? Ask yourself “what else?” and see what comes. Ask it again and again until you’re totally out.

Now sit back and review what you’ve produced. anything really do nothing for you? Cross them out. (Hey they may be benefits, but if they don’t give you that special feeling, consider them a freebie).

Looking at what’s left, what leaps off the page for you? Makes you grin? Ignites the fire to get moving? Mark these with a little star or underline/circle them in another colour. You just found the elements of your purpose.

Complete the following statement first for your big high level goal and then the mini chunked up goals between here and there:

I am/I do …..…….… (describe your goal here) ………………..,

so that ………… (add in the attention grabbers here ………..

Make sure to get specific in your words – are the five senses in there? Look, feel, hear, smell and taste. OK the last 2 can be tricky for some goals, just try it. You’ll remember a while back, I did a 56 mile charity bike ride and was finding fitting in all the training hard; I don’t like riding at dawn – I need coffee then and after a long day with clients, it was easy to be seduced by social plans. So my statement read like this:

“I am cycling this crazy distance for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, so that I raise record donations to kick blood cancer in the teeth, increase my long distance stamina and can eat more yummy mango-tango energy bars and bonus: I can suck it out my teeth when it gets tough.”

It worked: 30-60 minutes every other day on the turbo trainer, longer weekend rides out of town and a kick-ass 4 hour 31 minute ride gave me loads more long distance capability, a few empty wrappers and just short of £500 raised!

Once your statement is crafted, display it or a visualisation of where you do you change activity. If distractions creep up on you, deploy your new habits (b-mail part 1 ) and repeat your purpose statement to get focused.

Keep up those new habits and layer on your purpose statement – Post how this 2 part strategy tackles your distractions and delivers you focus in the comments and would love it if you could share your statements too.

And for those of you who like to get the full picture and I’m at risk of leaving you hanging on Pink’s theory. Bonus b-mail content to ensure you get that change wagon really rolling!

Mastery: We thrive when we’re at our best, hence becoming the go-to girl or guy or delivering to über high quality give us a kick. Now relate this to your change activity.

  • Collate a list of your “how tos” to get your change activity/activities completed from as many sources, people, books, etc. as you can.
  • Score each either
    • 1 – I suck at this
    • 2 – I can do this ok
    • 3 – I’m great at this
  • Ditch any 1s or if key, delegate or seek intensive guidance
  • Work hard to lift 2s with some guidance to make them 3s
  • Run with those 3s and show us what you got!

Autonomy: Like being told not only what to do, but also how, when and with who to do it? Get your goat? Ruffle you feathers? Yep. Me too. You got to make it your own – no one wants a carbon copy same goal or outcome; you’re unique – own it.

  • Go back to the 3s, how does your way look like or how could your way differ?
  • Prioritise your options and choose the “hot to” way that most inspire and excites you.

Bring it all together – Mastery, Autonomy and Purpose. Now get those activities in your diary, visualise your success regularly and chart your progress. Enjoy!

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ditch distractions and get focused! part 1

You know I love sharing skills, techniques and the like with others to enrich their lives. I ensure participants leave with new knowledge AND ways to use their learning immediately.

But, sometimes they get distracted, even when they reeeeaalllllyyy want the change and all its goodness.

Our brains are buzzing away with all sorts of stuff – important info, funny anecdotes, facts and figures, calendar appointments and deadlines, and the list goes on. Then add in the complexity of our modern world lives – work, family, friends, fun and the list gets longer. Then add in the connectivity we enjoy – email, smartphones, Twitter, Facebook and all the rest……..

You still reading? Did your email just ping? Text messages ping?

Hey, back here please. Thank you 🙂

To keep distraction at bay, I believe you need to create a habit around your change activity and to get super clear on your “why”. These are tooo juicy to cover both in one b-mail, so more on clarifying your why in next week. Here’s an example of how a habit can help.

When I’m teaching a Pilates class, regardless of my students’ abilities or experience, my habit is to start with 3 standing roll downs and to end with one.

Why? 2 reasons. It helps them and it helps me stop the distractions and focus in on what we’re doing.

The first 3 roll downs get everyone’s heads out of whatever happened for them before the class. You know what it’s like getting to leave work on time, squeezing in that final task and then the joys of public transport at rush hour! Yuk! It also acts as a check of our status quo – tense neck muscles, stiff lower lumbers, engaging their cores and allowing our breathing to flow to our lower ribs.

The final roll down is to close the session and our learning, to release us into our next activity. It also serves as a “review” of their progress over the hour. Are they moving more smoooooothly? Can they breathe a bit deeper? For me, I also add in “are they wearing a big fat grin to see them through their week?”.

And in that hour, they’ve focused on their bodies, breathing and movements and added some stretch into their lives. Distractions? What distractions?

I want to get personal – what habits can you build about your change activities? Let’s look at a few different types of change to give you some inspiration.

Fit in a run 3 times a week: habits could include putting your trainers and shorts out just before bedtime, timing yourself each time to check your improvement and a hot, invigorating shower afterwards.

Growing your online network: planning time for tweets and posts of your insights, learning or news items and additional time to read and enjoy others’ content. Be sure to comment and contribute to blogs and groups. Why not, set yourself a weekly target number of actions?

Study a course module: using the same, specific notebook and pen each session, starting with a “parking lot” (a list of all those things buzzing in your head – get them out and parked on the page) and setting a measurable outcome (like what chapter to get through, what you’ll be able to recall, or the application of your learning at the end of the session).

Now your turn, what habits can you build into your change activities to stop the distractions? Use the comments to let us know what they are AND how they help focus you on achieving your change activities.

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Stay or go – making decisions

One of the reoccurring themes my clients, friends and colleagues bring to me are tough, sticky decisions that they are struggling to make. What causes their indecision can be a mixture of things: fear, impact on others or aspects of their lives, cash, time, ease of doing nothing and often, simply not knowing what they really want.

The good news is we all make 1000s of decisions every day, every minute, every second. And for the vast majority of time, things turn out right. Yes, sometimes things go bad for a while, but ultimately things will go right…really right.

Our brains rely on what they’ve seen, heard and done before. That childhood memory of falling off your bike. An article in a newspaper. The slogan of a famous brand. A friend’s comment on your new shirt. Plus all the rest and it stores them all up just in case each titbit can help you make some future decision.

I want to share a framework I use myself and with my coachees and  delegates: Head, Heart and Hands.

Head – the centre of logic and objectivity.

Ask your head what is its reaction? Can you write out the pros and cons of the decision? Can you state facts or evidence to support or squash the decision in front of you? Is there an expert to consult?

Heart – the centre of emotion and subjectivity.

Is your heart bumping with excitement or fear? How would you feel if you decide one way or the other – happy, peaceful and calm or regret, guilt and sadness? Would you want to shout it from the roof tops or hide it away in shame? Can you measure the decision positively against your core values and beliefs?

Hands – the centre of action and doing.

Can you see yourself in the midst of your decision fully motivated and energised? Does the decision enable you to be your best you, using all your talents and passions? Are you itching to get started or running to hide behind the curtains?

You need harmony and agreement between them all or to be able to acknowledge the disagreement and mitigate it. For example, is that shiny new role going to involve a task or attribute that you’re not super keen on – will it kill your “joie de vie” or would it be bearable for a while to achieve your bigger goal?

What are you making decisions about this week? Any you’re really  wrangling with? Maybe I can help. Give me a shout, drop me a line or maybe you have a cool technique or strategy for tough decisions, share it in the comments.

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