I once heard a motivational speaker say, “You are going to fail your way to success.” Kind of intimidating if you think about it, right? Hearing that might discourage some from even trying to chase their dreams. However, if your mind isn’t conditioned to deal with disappointment to some degree, then it probably is not ready for the amount of trial and error needed to become successful. The reality is failure is not enjoyable, under any circumstances. Failure can be a great teacher, but experiencing it just plain sucks! We need to be able to minimize our fear of failure when chasing our goals and dreams.
The process of achieving success is filled with numerous challenges. It is easy to have a dream. Making it happen is a different story. Simply wanting is not enough. EVERYONE WANTS! What are you willing to do to get what you want? What are you willing to devote or give up in order to chase your goals or dreams? We must focus more on our process/plan toward our dreams as opposed to the dream itself. We must use the progress we make in our process as motivation. Progress indicates positive, consistent actions toward an expectation or goal. We have a much greater likelihood of sticking with our goals if we are focused more on the consistent actions to reach a goal. Consistency in our actions leads to growing confidence, which strengthens our resolve in progressing toward our goals. To be successful, we must consistently make progress. Success doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time. There will be trial and error along with disappointments. The road may have detours and delays, but you can reach your destination. Achieving success is a process and not an event!
Talk is cheap! It really is. Think about it. It costs you nothing. It takes extremely minimal effort to do. Talk is important for communication, but the communication must be followed by action. How many things can be accomplished by simply saying that you are going to accomplish them? None come to mind off right off the bat. What good is it to state you are committing to a healthier lifestyle if you do not exercise or eat healthier? What good does it do to state you need to quit _________ (smoking, drinking, spending money, etc.) if you choose not to change? We live in a world that respects action. Talk with no action undermines credibility. What follows is 3 strategies to make sure your “talk” is not cheap!
- Make yourself accountable: Utilize formal and informal support systems if you struggle with being accountable. When we know we have someone to answer to, it helps us to fight through those times where our motivations may be a little low. Your support systems can include family, friends, groups, and social media networks. Documenting your actions or progress toward a certain goal on your social media account is an excellent way of staying encouraged and accountable. Those who comment will likely be very supportive of you. Plus you may unknowingly inspire someone. Allow it to be a positive tool.
- Change your people, places, or things: Granted, in many cases, it is hard to make wholesale changes due to certain circumstances in our lives. However, we typically are able to change an aspect of our lives to some degree. For example, a person who is dieting may drink water or tea instead of soda. A person who is quitting smoking or drinking may avoid bars. The downside to this is that when we make changes to our people, places, and/or things, in many cases, those closest to us are the least supportive or understanding.
- Have a plan: You want to have a plan in place for change. Your plan is your foundation. It will likely need to be adjusted; that is ok. Plans provide a vision.
Doing these 3 things will ensure that you are more than just talk!
I was watching a video of motivational speaker Les Brown and he instructed the audience to say “Good things are supposed to happen to me.” He recommended that the audience say this to themselves daily. Brown then went on to say we tend to expect bad things to happen to us, so we need to affirm the positive. Affirmations are designed to change our subconscious thoughts by constantly referring to them in our conscious minds. Our subconscious impacts us in ways we are unaware of. We tend to have thought patterns and experiences in our past which, if we are not aware, can undermine our conscious efforts to do better in the present.
So what happens when we start to internalize the message that “good things are supposed to happen to me?” Does that mean everything we pursue will happen? Of course not! Does it mean that you won’t be disappointed? Absolutely not! This message is rooted in your faith in a higher power (God) and yourself. People who believe good things will happen for them will start to become more perceptive of opportunities. They will tend to attract those good people who genuinely can help them.
There is a flip side to this type of thinking. If you truly believe good things are supposed to happen for you, then you will believe that if something doesn’t happen, it just wasn’t a good thing. I’ll keep it real with you, sometimes this is a hard pill to swallow if you are in a desperate situation or have tried repeatedly at something. It’s ok to feel disappointment, but we can’t let it keep us down. In this day and age, we have many opportunities to overcome our circumstances and do well. It can happen when we exude a faithful, positive mindset, with efforts to match.
A common resolution at this time of year is to lose weight. It may be for that summer vacation, that summer wedding, or for health reasons. While we know that our outward appearance is not what makes a person, it has a huge impact on our self-esteem. It is difficult to be at your best for yourself and others if you are unhappy about how you look. When you feel look good, you are more likely to feel good.
There are many strategies to help people lose weight; exercise plans, supplements, special diets, personal trainers, etc. Those strategies can all be very effective. However, they can also be costly too. Guess what? It doesn’t have to be. No matter the strategy, the formula for losing weight is actually pretty simple. You simply need to create a consistent calorie deficit. In other words, you need to burn more calories than you are taking in. That’s it. For example, let’s say you are taking in about 3000 calories per day before you decided to commit to an exercise program. You may decide to eliminate 500 calories from you diet by eliminating a couple of sodas each day. Then you would also burn 250-500 calories by doing moderate exercise 3-5 days a week. With just that simple formula, one would be on the way to losing approximately 2 lbs a week, maybe more. A combination of moderate exercise and a reduction in calories will melt pounds away. While there is nothing wrong with special diets, personal trainers, etc., you can do it without them. You likely have everything you need to have the body and health you so desire! You can win by losing!
Happy New Year’s everyone! The New Year brings with it an opportunity to start anew. In our culture, it is quite common to make New Year’s resolutions. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a resolution as “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.” A resolution is basically a goal. I think it is great that people use the New Year to make resolutions. Having goals for oneself is always encouraged. People relate well to cycles; a new year is essentially the natural beginning of a cycle, thus a relatively convenient time to set goals. Obviously, we should not confine resolutions or goals to New Year’s Day. We should all be in a state of continually developing and progressing ourselves.
We are all aware of the ease of making a goal or resolution compared to the challenge of actually sticking with them. I feel our resolutions should focus more on our process or progress toward a goal as opposed to the goal itself. Notice that I say progress. Progress indicates positive, consistent actions toward an expectation or goal. We have a much greater likelihood of keeping our resolutions, no matter when they are made, if we are focused more on the consistent actions to reach a goal. Consistency in our actions leads to growing confidence, which strengthens our resolve in progressing toward our goals. We must have resolve in our resolutions. Achieving success is a process and not an event!
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The beginning of September signals the start of one of our country’s favorite past times ….football season! Over the years, I have seen how sports provides such great analogies for life in general. Just like the start of a sports season, our lives can be broken down into seasons. There are many lessons that can be learned in equating the start of the football season to the various seasons and cycles in our lives.
- Importance of preparation. Every team has prepared by learning and training during the offseason. Each team has spent many hours doing conditioning and learning plays. A lack of preparation will definitely insure that the team will be unsuccessful. Same with us on an individual level. We cannot take advantage of an opportunity if we are unprepared mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. We must commit ourselves to learning and improvement.
- Losing (disappointment). Most teams will lose at least once. It is rare that a team makes it through a season undefeated. A few years ago, the New York Giants won the Super Bowl having lost half of their regular season games. In life, we will suffer disappointments, but the good news is that, like the New York Giants, we do not need to be close to perfect to succeed at our goals. More importantly, we must develop the mental stamina to deal with those disappointments which may arise.
- Injuries (unexpected challenges). Teams will have key players that get injured. Those teams that have good systems in place always seem to suffer less of an impact when this happens. This definitely relates to preparation and foresight. Disclaimer: There are things that happen to us, just like an injury to a key player on a team, which can derail a whole season. We want to focus on things within our circle of control. This is where preparation helps.
- One Game at a Time (the process). A team must focus on winning the game at hand, not the game that is 3 weeks from now or the championship. Winning the game at hand puts the team closer to its goal of making the playoffs or winning a title. Same with us on an individual level. We must focus on the steps to accomplishing our goal as opposed to the actual goal itself. Mastering the steps will naturally result in accomplishing the goal.
Good luck this season!
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