"Old ways do not open new doors"
Setting goals is imperative to realising our dreams, because without setting goals our dreams are just wishes.
A wish is a hope or desire for something to happen, which is a nice thought, but in reality, is not going to manifest your dream life. The only way to build your dream life is to set goals and actions to bring your dreams to fruition.
Before we set goals and change our lives, it is important that we first review and examine what our life is like now in order to determine what is and isn’t working for us. This may sound obvious, but often we do not know what exactly is not working other than the fact that we feel unsatisfied. When we do not know exactly what is not working, we do not know how to make changes and consequently we end up feeling stuck, in a rut, and spinning our wheels.
As we work to understand our life desires and think about building goals for the future it’s a useful exercise to review the previous 12 months to reflect on key achievements, learning’s and challenges.
Often people wait until the end of the year to build new goals, but my thoughts are why wait? The start of a new year is not going to make us anymore successful in achieving our goals than if we start working on our goals now….
So, let’s begin with a review of your previous 12 months… download and complete the attached exercise and then check back in next week to learn how to set and achieve goals.
How we communicate has a fundamental impact on our relationships – be it personal or professional, and in order to ensure that we are communicating effectively, we need to reflect on our communication style, and think about how our words, reactions and actions impact our conversations.
To learn how you communicate and how your communication style can be improved, grab a pen and paper and complete the below exercise:
Think about a difficult conversation or situation you have found yourself in and answer the below questions:
Now review the 7 C’s of communication:
Now that you have reviewed the 7’C’s of Communication, complete the below:
We all view the world in different ways, which creates conflict, yet the state of divisiveness feels heightened these days with the news and social media perpetuating the issue with 'us' vs 'them' narratives, which results in people feeling defensive.
I deem that when we act defensively, whether it be in our professional or personal lives, we are actually acting out our pain, looking for validation and respect.
The antidote for this conflict is to be kind and listen and listen like we are wrong.
This doesn't mean we condone or change our own opinions if we don't personally agree - but by being kind and truly listening means that the other person will feel validated, heard and respect, which in turn builds stronger relationships and a bridge to end divisiveness.
What do you think?
Many years ago, I used to be a professional worrier – I used to worry about all sorts of things which I had no control over. And, the vast majority of the things I used to worry about never happened.
Many people believe that if they control their environment and the people in their lives, that nothing bad will happen. Individuals who attempt to control things try to guarantee certainty in their lives, and the thought of not having certainty can cause them to have high levels of anxiety. People who desperately try to maintain control become very astute at “fortune telling”, meaning they focus on imagining and predicting future bad events and possible solutions and outcomes to said bad events.
Perfectionists typically suffer from fear of losing control, and it is the quest for assurance and certainty that stops these individuals from making meaningful and impactful changes in their lives.
In order to let go of the fear of losing control it is important to realise the following:
The only things you can control are:
In order to learn how to let go of the need to control things, ask yourself these important key questions:
Speaking from experience as a former control freak, I can assure you that learning how to relinquish control will not happen overnight, however with continuous practice and awareness you can do it.
Back in the early 90’s when I was in my early 20’s, I backpacked across Thailand. During my travels, I took an overnight train from Bangkok to Northern Thailand, to a small town called Chiang Mai, home to a symphony of ancient temples.
When I purchased my train ticket, I hadn’t appreciated that at that time, buying a ticket meant ‘guaranteed passage’ on the train, and that it did not guarantee obtaining a seat. I didn’t discover this until I, alongside several hundred people attempted to board the train.
By the time I had been pushed, elbowed and indeed participated in the pushing, and elbowing onto the train, there were no seats left.
This was a problem. The train journey was 13 hours. It was 9pm at night and I was already tired.
The only option available to myself as well as 20 or so other passengers in the carriage, was to sit in the aisle – the walkway between the rows of seats. Just as I was getting myself relatively comfortable, thinking that maybe the journey wouldn’t be so bad after all, a Thai lady attempted to walk through the aisle to sell small bags of freshly chopped pineapple. Since she couldn’t get past all the people sitting in the aisle, we all had to stand up to enable her to ask the seated passengers if they wanted to buy pineapple.
No one did.
After she left our train carriage, we all sat back down again, only for her to show up again 10 minutes later!! To which we all had to stand back up again and let her pass.
And this scenario proceeded to take place throughout the night.
By 3am I was madder than a wet cat.
Why the heck is she forcing her pineapples on everyone?? No one is buying them!! Can’t she see that we are all trying to get some sleep??? Can’t she see that this is such a pain in the ass forcing us to get up every time she passes through the carriage???
And just as I was thinking these unkind thoughts, I looked at her. And I saw her for the first time.
She looked tired and worn out, her face sagged with exhaustion. She was barefoot and her feet were puffy from the heat. She gave me a weary smile. I smiled back. And as we exchanged smiles, I realised that she didn’t want to be futilely selling pineapples at 3am anymore than I wanted to be sitting in the middle of the aisle in that dusty, hot, dirty train.
It’s funny how some memories you lose and others you keep. That one I have kept and carried with me throughout my life. I think I kept it because that is one of the first and clearest times, I remember noticing my ego – the voice in my head that observes, judges, criticises and provides a running commentary throughout the day.
To be clear, no, I don’t hear voices.
We all have an ego. It’s that little saboteur in our mind that is our inner critic. Or to quote the Buddha – our mind is full of drunken monkey’s, flinging themselves from tree branches to tree branches, jumping around and chatting nonstop.
On that train, nearly 25 years ago, my monkey mind was in full force. Until I caught my drunken monkey in midmotion and told it to be quiet.
I am telling you this story because we need to be mindful of our drunken monkey’s, our saboteur, our ego or whatever you want to call it. We need to be mindful of what the ego is telling us, because quite often our ego will tell us to play small and will tell us that we are not good enough, deserving enough, smart enough, small enough, big enough, fill in the blank enough. We need to listen to this saboteur and ask ourselves if what it is saying to us is true. We need to listen to this voice to see what it is stopping us from doing and achieving.
We need to be mindful of the drunken monkey.
How do you do this? Watch to learn more…. youtu.be/MnDUbQe8ETw