Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Have you gone from goal to goal and wondered why you are still not happy? Often this is because you are so focused on where you are going in life that you have not stopped to smell the roses along the way.

It is important to be grateful for what you do have in your life today, the people who are important to you, and the unconditional love you receive from your family. Yes, that means the everyday small things that bring you joy in your life, including the small actions you are taking towards your vision.

In the past, my life always felt as though it was dangling like a carrot on a string out in front of me to chase; I was always going for the next goal and still not happy. Yes, I had heard people talk about ‘being grateful for what I had in my life now’ and ‘reflecting on what I had already achieved’. I always let these suggestions slide off me with an “it’s not enough yet” attitude.

What I was really saying was ‘I wasn’t enough yet’. This also meant that everything I had achieved in my life was not enough.  I took so much for granted. When I realised that, I decided to make a list of everything I had achieved in my life as far back as I could remember.

Whatever you appreciate in your life
will always appreciate in value.

The list started really slowly as I reflected on my life. The more I started to write, the more I remembered, from little things like getting up early one morning to watch the sun come up, to the bigger things like being a national sporting representative.

As I looked back at the list I had a powerful feeling of accomplishment within myself. This helped diminish the limiting beliefs I had of ‘it’s not enough yet’ and ‘I wasn’t enough’; when in actual fact I was ‘more than enough’ and had ‘more than enough’ in my life.

When you are in a state of ‘it’s not enough yet’, you will continually feel that way – and life will also show up that way. Did you know that when you live your life with the ‘it’s not enough’ theme constantly being played, you are actually affirming to yourself that ‘you are not enough’? I learnt this lesson myself when I first hired my coach. I remember telling my coach that I had to learn more about certain topics before I could move forward in my business.
Sure, education is important, but I actually had a lot of knowledge, which I was not using. My coach gave me two challenges.

  • The first challenge was to write the affirmation ‘I am enough’ and place it in my office so that I could see it every day. I resisted this at first because I truly believed I had to look for more answers outside of myself.
  • The second challenge was to trust and take the next step I knew I wanted to take, based on the knowledge I already had. You see I was always one of those people who loved to learn by reading books and attending seminars, but did I action what I had learnt? Not to its fullest capacity, if at all.

When I started trusting, I realised that I undervalued the amount of knowledge I did have and kept looking outside myself for more knowledge. It became a habit because I loved learning things, but what good was my knowledge if I did not put it into practice? Notice in what areas you may be looking outside yourself for knowledge you already have. You are already enough in many areas of your life. You only need to bring it to your awareness and then acknowledge yourself.

One of the practices I now have is to write five things I am grateful for today. So if you feel as though your wheels are spinning and life is moving fast, stop to smell the roses by taking on this daily practice. This can be done even in your thoughts just before you turn the light out at night.

When you are grateful for everything in your life as it is today, you will feel an immediate expansion of your energy and start to attract more of the good things in life that you truly desire. Why not start a gratitude journal on a daily basis and notice how quickly your life will change?

Active Meditation: Mindfulness in Action

Who has time to meditate with the fast pace of life and business nowadays?

No, you do not have to be sitting in the lotus position with your eyes closed to get best results as I first thought.

The reason I decided to write this article is because many of my clients are making themselves wrong for not making the time to meditate. They are telling me that they feel they need to create time for it to be most effective. In other words they are thinking they need to be meditating in a certain way for best results.

Can you relate to this?

I certainly can. Especially during my first attempts to meditate, with my head telling me that this is a waste of time, I have better things to do, where is this going to get me?

The monkey mind – chitter chatter – just wouldn’t slow down at all.

Yes, I had a very busy mind that would always be racing ahead.

How do I do this meditation stuff so that I can stop driving myself crazy jumping from goal to goal or project to project? Exhausting myself!!!

Trying to get it right. Only to find there is no right way. Let’s find your way.

There are many forms of meditation –
it is important to find what works best for you.

Ultimately, you want to feel like you are in a state of consciousness throughout your day for focused productivity, engaging communication and creative innovation. If not, you may find yourself reacting to situations and circumstances leaving you feeling exhausted at the end of the day.

  • This is where meditation and mindfulness can support you.

Yes, meditation can consist of sitting quietly and being with your thoughts and your breath. I don’t know about you, but as a high achiever and go-getter personality style, I found that style of meditation very challenging to do in the beginning. So I chose to start with creative visualization and deep breathing for only 5 minutes, and increased the time, as I gave myself permission to sit for longer.

Today, this has expanded into what I like to call ‘mindfulness in action’.

This means that I focus on my breath being conscious to my senses, as I take action throughout the day. This supports me to become a lot calmer, present and conscious inside of each activity, without reacting to outside circumstances. From this stance, I can make better decisions because of being grounded and connected with mind and body.

  • For example, if I am about to step into a meeting, I take a few deep breaths sending this into my body taking me out of my strategic mind racing ahead. With my first priority being to connect with my inner body being still in mind and body. My objective is to stay fully present to the environment, the people in the room, the language they are using, sensing what they are saying and what they are not saying.

Listening with a beginner’s mind, connecting with
all your senses will support you to become an
influential observer with inspiring presence.

Being the observer creates space to listen without judgment or pre-conceived ideas. Being the observer will support your active listening skills, which is much more powerful as you can take everything in using all your senses. If you jump in too quickly, you will not hear all. What is being said and what is not being said. You will then know exactly what to say or do that will make a difference inspiring everyone in the room.

I then take this home with me and remind myself to live being conscious using all my senses. Being fully present to my relationships at home, in my community, at work etc. creates a state of presence. This means taking powerful ownership of all your emotions.

If you have a busy mind, as I do, one of the best practices I choose is to focus on my breath as often as I can throughout the day. This creates space between your strategic mind and your creative mind.

For innovation and natural creativity to flow, it is important to create plenty of space for your mind to relax so that you can hear your inspiring vision and next steps from your innovative wisdom.

There are plenty of times I catch myself trying to work it all out from my strategic mind, to which I then push the pause button and take a deep breath; shifting my presence back into my body – not trying to work it all out in my head.

Notice whether you are getting in your own way by working harder or driving yourself to find the solution coming from force.

The best solutions will always come to you when
you are most relaxed.

I just noticed myself taking another deep breath with a slow exhalation, as I am writing this article. I caught myself realising that this is becoming more and more a natural practice inside my day.

  • Let’s push the pause button for a moment and ‘take a deep breath in’ – and ‘let it go’. I know, a little corny, but it works if done consistently.

It does take a conscious reminder in the beginning and with repetition; it will slowly become a natural part of your being.

This reminds me of when I was a personal trainer of the many times I would be coaching my clients to relax their mind and body for best results through the power of the conscious breath. It’s interesting how I find myself using this simple practice personally and with my professional coaching clients today.

  • Never underestimate the simple repetitive steps as they can create extraordinary results.

No matter what results you want in your personal and professional life, it is paramount to know who is showing up.

  • Are you being calm and relaxed from inside out?
  • Are you being present in a state of presence?
  • Are you fully listening with all your senses?
  • Are you communicating with language that inspires others?

Practice mindfulness in action throughout your day with greater self-awareness for best results in your personal and professional life.

If you are wanting to close the gap from where you are now to achieve next level success, contact me to book in for a 15-minute introduction to coaching conversation to discuss your requirements http://annettestanton.com/contact/

The Power of Vision for Life & Business Success

Visioning has been a natural part of my life as far back as I can remember. We all use visioning throughout our day whether we are conscious or not. I know which I prefer, after spending many years of reacting to life, and that is to be fully present to my inspirational vision.

As a previous world master’s champion sportswoman, using the power of vision through creative visualization for peak performance was an important part of our training regime. I quickly realized that I could use the same visioning process to improve my life and business in fulfilling my potential.

Over the past 35 years, using the power of vision has become a natural way of life, which has been the most powerful tool I have ever used to transform every area of my life.

The life vision process has supported me in becoming an author and a writer, an international speaker, being happily married, living in my dream home, created an international coaching business, developing my natural creativity, loving family and friends, living with inner peace, fulfillment, presence, purpose and inspiration every day; to name only a few.

Survey Shows that Visualising Success Works!

The visioning process is becoming widely known and utilised in the world of business, finances, relationships, sales, life transitioning, sporting, peak performance, success etc. throughout the world.

Last week I came across an article by Eilene Zimmerman published by Forbes (Entrepreneurs) Magazine with the headline reading – Survey Shows that Visualising Success Works.

A new study by TD Bank showed that business owners use visualisation (pictures and idea boards) to meet their entrepreneurial goals. This survey found that people who imagine their financial and business goals are more confident, they would achieve them than people who don’t.

When your inspirational vision is big enough the strategy to reach it will appear

By visualising your personal and professional goals, we can focus on them more, they feel more real and they feel more possible. We also become better at actually moving toward them. When creating a vision board in direct alignment with your vision, goals and values, which usually has images, photos, objects and words, we are immersing ourselves in our goals, in a multi-sensory, experiential way – through words, ideas, vision and feeling.

This whole approach (holistic experience) allows us to connect emotionally with our goals and our process in reaching them. When we invest the time to visualise, in detail, we become more emotionally connected to our goals. 

Masterful Lessons when Focussing on the Big Picture

One of the greatest challenges I have had when it comes to focussing on the big picture is the importance of living in the present moment – yes, enjoying the journey – whilst gently keeping your eyes on your vision.

Today, my personal and professional vision boards include my inner vision and outer vision. This means my core values, the essence of who I am, what is important to my everyday way of life and business now and my evolving inspirational vision.

Over the 35 years of utilising the power of vision, creative visualisation, daily visioning and vision planning, I have learnt many life lessons. Yes, I have lived much of my vision and some parts, not so much. This has taught me to let go of expectations and not to be attached to the exact way my life is meant to look.

I have learnt that my vision will continue to evolve and if I hold on too tightly, then I may miss an opportunity right in front of me that is trying to guide me towards a higher vision that ultimately will give me greater meaning, purpose and fulfilment. Another learning lesson has been to stop trying to control everything and everybody, to practice the art of surrendering, allowing and presence.

That’s why it is important to have the whole essence of who you are on your vision board – not just what you think and say you want in life. There is a power within you that goes way beyond your thinking mind based on your needs, wants and desires.

Many people I work with have declared that they have achieved a lot in life and wondering why they are still not fulfilled. They are looking for meaning and purpose in their life. Many people are chasing the outside goals; they may achieve this and then set another goal, and another, still not feeling happy or successful.

I can certainly relate to this myself, which is why my visioning and vision boards look and feel very different today with both inner vision and outer vision.

Transform your Life and Business to New Heights

Are you interested, or even curious, about how The Coach Approach can transform your business and personal life? Become the game changer today!

Ask about my One on One Coaching Programs,  Group Coaching Programs and Workshops for individuals, teams and organisations.

With over 35 years of coaching and mentoring experience working with executives, business owners, coaches and entrepreneurs, I will coach you to gain clarity of direction and partner you in taking action towards living your inspirational vision with confidence, presence and freedom.

Contact Annette today for an introductory coaching session email: http://annettestanton.com/contact/

 

Transform your Life in 2018

Every year my husband and I have a celebration ritual next to our pool with a glass of champagne to reflect on the past year. In previous years, we found that we could not remember everything that we had accomplished, what we were grateful for, the people we met, the events that we engaged in, the projects we completed etc.

So I decided, in January 2017, to set up a large vase and placed it in the corner kitchen bench so we could see it every day as a reminder to reflect on our day. We would write on a post-it note with the date and whatever it was we were grateful for within that day. If we went to an event, we would place the tickets in the vase. Very quickly the vase was bursting with the energy of life’s gratitude.

Here is a picture of our life’s celebration vase.

Celebration vase

When it came time to go through our reflections, sipping on our chilled champagne next to the pool, we were both pleasantly surprised as to how much we had achieved, received, connected and engaged with in life.

As we reflected on our year, we both mentioned that we had so much more to be grateful for that we had not placed in the vase. Mark, my husband, also mentioned how surprised he was about how full a life we actually live without realising.

It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day busy schedule, with life skipping by so fast, we forget to really connect with the life we are living each day.

Transform your Life in 2018

One of the things that became clear to both of us by doing this was the pattern of what was most important in our life. The repetitive actions we took, what we were doing with our time, how we were exerting our energy, where we were spending our money etc.

This created a clear opening as to our evolving vision, goals and next steps for this coming year knowing these were all in alignment with our true values.

Our next step is to create a vision map matching our vision, goals and values.

Are you living your inspirational vision in alignment with your true values?

Make sure 2018 is your best year yet. If you have been thinking about hiring a coach to partner you in transforming your life, then please contact me http://annettestanton.com/contact/

A little more about vision mapping (exert from The Power of Vision book) http://annettestanton.com/author/

Vision Mapping

The brain works with sensory images and associations radiating from those images. Every day, you take in images, which affect your life. Using selected images (goals) and associations (values) will support you in maintaining focus on what you do want to attract.

A vision map is a collage of pictures, photos, inspirational words etc. of your goals, values and vision. You can’t buy a vision map; it is important that you spend the time to collect pictures based on your own goals, values and vision. When you bring colour into your images (goals), this adds extra vibrancy and energy, suggesting the possibility of creative thinking in achieving your goals.

When I first started creating vision maps for myself and facilitating vision mapping in workshops, I would place all my goals and vision onto one map. This worked really well, though today I do it a little differently. I have fun every year collecting pictures and photos to make up my three separate vision maps in the areas of business, personal life and travel. All of my vision maps are hanging in my office and my home so that I can view them daily.

Vision Success Tip

Creating your Vision Map

Choose whether you would like to begin with one vision map, or separate your life into three or four areas. Get yourself a large sheet of cardboard and place a photo of you and your family in the centre. Starting in the centre allows you to express yourself freely and spread out in any direction. Now collect pictures and inspirational words from magazines or the internet and paste them on your vision map. The end result will be a colourful vision map of what you truly desire. Look at it every day and take in the colour and life of the pictures as though you have already achieved your vision.  

Transform your Life and Business to New Heights

Are you interested, or even curious, about how The Coach Approach can transform your business and personal life? Become the game changer today!

Ask about my One on One Coaching Programs, or you may prefer my Group Coaching Program for individuals, teams and organisations.

With over 35 years of coaching and mentoring experience working with executives, business owners, coaches and entrepreneurs, I will coach you to gain clarity of direction and partner you in taking action towards living your inspirational vision with confidence, presence and freedom.

Contact Annette today for an introductory coaching session email: http://annettestanton.com/contact/

Live your Vision: Set yourself up for Success in 2018

With 2018 just around the corner, I have been taking time out to reflect on my accomplishments, challenges and insightful lessons throughout the year. This is always a fabulous time for reflection.

I am wondering how did your year shape up? Did you achieve what you set out to or did you notice yourself still facing the same challenges feeling frustrated about what will change in 2018?

If you want to hit the ground running in 2018 with greater clarity, making sure you live your inspirational vision, achieving your goals, below are 5 tips that can give you a strong foundation.

1. Reflection

Take time out before the year is over to reflect on your accomplishments in 2017 – no matter how big or how small – write down all your achievements. This will create momentum to build on your foundation for 2018. Then look at what systems worked for you in your personal and business life covering all areas important to you i.e. family, business, staff management, relationships, finances, leadership, health and wellness etc.

Notice when you reflect on what did work, what was it that did not work for you also and what were the areas that you let yourself down in i.e. not making time to exercise, business systems not managed, saying ‘Yes’ when you really want to say ‘No’ etc. By recognizing your habits that do not support your vision and goals, will give you the perfect opportunity to make the necessary conscious changes in 2018. No, not like a wish – a solid foundational system that will give you the time, energy and financial opportunities you truly want.

A celebration is most important in this step. When you celebrate and acknowledge your accomplishments, this creates a momentum for you to ‘ride the wave of success’ taking it into 2018. If you continually keep looking at what you did not achieve when you will take that way of thinking also into 2009 and nothing will change. Give yourself a break and start acknowledging yourself no matter what!

2. Clear Blockages

 This is the hidden bit that means so much towards your success. Have you heard the saying that says…’you will continually keep getting what you continually keep doing’. The way you will know your blockages is by looking at the results that you are not getting. For example, if you are struggling with a particular area in your business, then you will have a negative belief that is driving you to create the results you do not want or if you continually find your communication skills are not understood, then you may also have a negative belief driving it – no matter how hard you try.

To clear your blockages is to become aware of them and then to transform them into powerful positive statements based on the result you do want. Remember that you will always keep getting what you focus on and if you are not getting your desired results, there is a part of you inside that does not believe you can achieve it – no matter how determined and persistent you are. Your inside beliefs must match your outside desired results first. 

3. Clearing Clutter

I love this one because I get to throw out the old and make space for the new opportunities coming in for 2018. When you clear your home and office space, it will give you more energy (not to mention space) for you to build from. Clearing clutter is a physical, environmental and most of all, emotional experience, giving you space to deal with challenges. It can be difficult to understand this because it is an experiential reward, which will only occur once you have taken the action.

Are you someone who is used to living in clutter? Your office may always be a mess with papers disorganised, behind in taxation and budgets – or you may have clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn for years because you keep telling yourself that you will lose the extra kilos to fit into them again. When you live in an environment that supports you now, you will find that there will be more flow and freedom in your life and around your time scheduling. You will be surprised at what you can fit into your day when you live and work in a clutter-free zone.

Allow yourself to let go of the old and create a vacuum for the new. Be ruthless and either sell anything you are not using anymore, give it away to someone you know will use it, or give it to charity. Notice the loss of energy and focus and how much time is wasted in that very moment. Imagine what happens when you have a trail of things left undone and how much this stops you moving forward in life.

When you are clutter-free, you also clear your mind and create a free-flow of energy to do the things that are most important. Yes, it can be a little overwhelming if you have allowed things to accumulate over time, but persist, because it is worth it.

Live your Vision: Set yourself up for Success in 2018

4. Clear Vision and Goals

Imagine it is this time next year – yes, December 2018, and you are reflecting on your achieved vision and goals. What would you like to be saying you have accomplished? Write this in a script format being as descriptive as possible, using detail, feelings and expression.

For example: “I am so excited that I have now set all my systems up inside my business which are running very smoothly with a 75% financial growth. I love working with my ideal clients who are so easy to work with. My wife and I are so happy because we made time to go on holidays with our children to Queensland. Most of all I love the fact that I was able to keep my phone turned off and not worry about the running of my business.”

Bring in all the areas of your life that are important to you into you descriptive vision. You need to make it believable for you because your deep belief will be your natural motivator all year through, especially when you match your values.

Once you have your clear vision, then you need to break it down into goals. This is what I call ‘Zoning’. Zoning is a great way to maintain daily focus in the direction of your vision. How it works is you take a look at your vision and pick out all the desired end results i.e. Where do you want to go on Holidays with your family and what systems do you want to set up in the business and how much increase in your business do you want financially etc.

Once you have created your zoning goals, then you get a blank sheet of paper for each and bring the goals into reality today by answering these questions.

  1. Why do you want to achieve this goal?
  2. When would you like to achieve this goal by?
  3. What resources (people I know) do I currently have to help me achieve this goal?
  4. What are the Inspired Actions I want to take towards this goal?
  5. How will I celebrate when I have achieved my goal?

5. Success Mindset and Clarity

Without Mindset and Clarity, you will sabotage your success every time. Have you ever set a new year resolution really determined to make it happen only to find that by March that year the enthusiasm slipped through your fingers? You see, your conscious mind is the one setting your new year resolutions up and the subconscious mind is the one really running the show. So how do you set yourself up to succeed definitely this year?

In my national sporting days back in the 1980’s I heard about a non-evasive technique used at the Sporting Institute in America for performance testing. What they did was monitored the performance of each Olympian by linking them to a computer and got them to relax their body (yes they were in a still position) at the same time they would imagine in their mind that they were running their event at the Olympics. The results were astonishing because they found that the monitor showed that all the necessary muscles according to their individual event activated inside their body, even when they were still, as though they were running the event with the same amount of strength required. This all occurred from their Mind imaging their event as though they were actually participating in their event on the day.

I then practised this same technique as a part of my training for nationals and realized that if this works for my sporting events, then how about the rest of my life. I have been using this technique ever since and this is how I create my own life and business success.

Every day I visualize my Vision as though I have already achieved it, exactly the way the Olympians ran their event before they were at the Olympics. This is the most important key to having your vision and goals become a reality. You need to believe it first before you will see it in the physical form. Most of all you need to FEEL it as though it has already been achieved and take that feeling into your everyday life. You only need 2-5 minutes of your time each day to do this. The most challenging part for most people is to allow themselves to be still and slow down the busy mind that says “I don’t have time…” For you to maintain clarity and a mindset each day that matches, then this IS the key to Success for 2018 and beyond.

6. Daily Inspired Actions

Without action – nothing will be achieved. The actions I am referring to here are called Inspired Actions. These are not based on overwhelming should’s, ought to’s or have to’s. Inspired Action generally comes to you in the quietness of your mind, possibly when you are gardening, jogging, playing sport, meditating, holding your baby or even playing with your children etc.

These are actions that naturally come to you, which you feel, is your next step. This has a feeling of ‘I can’t wait to do it’. It also feels easy and in the flow. When you listen and take action on your inspired thought or idea, you will have no concerns about the outcome because you love whatever you are doing just by following your own intuition and acting on it.

When you follow your Inspired Actions your results will be amazing. We tend to look for ‘how to’ achieve your goals ‘actions’ coming from the left brain logic which is only one way of looking at things. This may be limiting your success. Everyone has Inspired Actions come into your mind every day, but we are so busy with our habits and routines that we either do not hear it or we say ‘I will get to that later’. Later never comes…until the new year resolutions!

Set yourself up this coming year to succeed by giving yourself plenty of time to de-stress, listen and act upon your Daily Inspired Actions.

Wishing you Great Success and Purpose in 2018 and beyond.

 

Transform your Life and Business to New Heights

Are you interested, or even curious, about how The Coach Approach can transform your business and personal life? Become the game changer today!

Ask about my One on One Coaching Programs, or you may prefer my Group Coaching Program for individuals, teams and organisations.

With over 35 years of coaching and mentoring experience working with executives, business owners, coaches and entrepreneurs, I will coach you to gain clarity of direction and partner you in taking action towards living your inspirational vision with confidence, presence and freedom.

Contact Annette today for an introductory coaching session email: http://annettestanton.com/contact/

 

Focus on your Priorities: Ink your Vision

One of the regular questions I ask clients is “Do you have a vision?” I get really excited when they can tell me clearly what their vision is. Then I ask, “Have you written it down?” 99.9% of the time the answer is NO – as their finger moves towards their head, and they tap their temple, saying, “It’s all in here,” with a huge proud smile on their face.  

There is a great motto that goes like this: “Ink what you think!” When you do write down your vision, goals, and action steps, they become clearer. As you write, you are affirming to your conscious and subconscious mind what you truly desire. I find that this is when the answers on how to achieve your vision also become clearer. When you keep everything in your head, it creates a feeling of overwhelming clutter, with the emotional reaction of “How am I going to fit it all in with so little time?” Sound familiar? 

You would be surprised at how many people I coach write down their vision, goals and inspired action steps at the start of their coaching journey and when the time comes for their coaching review, just how astounded they are as to how much they have achieved, even if they have not looked at the list since writing it. Just imagine what happens when you write down your vision, goals and inspired action steps, and look at them regularly to keep yourself on the path of achieving every one of them. 

Focus on your Priorities: Ink your Vision

For instance, I remember coaching Mary who expressed feelings of being overwhelmed because she had just moved interstate, had been promoted to a newly created position, was moving in with her new boyfriend and going through divorce proceedings. Wow! These are huge changes in anyone’s life, wouldn’t you agree? As Mary telephoned in for her next coaching session, which was an opportunity to review her achievements over the past three months, there was a note of disappointment in her voice as she said, “I haven’t had time to look at my goals”.  

As I had already reviewed her goals prior to her coaching session, I quickly reminded her of what she had actually achieved. As she pulled out her list of goals, she was pleasantly surprised to see that the goals she had written down matched up with the major changes happening in her life. 

The message I would like to leave you with is that we sometimes get so overwhelmed in life that we do not even acknowledge ourselves for what we are achieving on a daily basis. The feeling of being overwhelmed or stressed clouds the truth and we don’t get to see our own accomplishments. You can use those feelings as a signal to take a reality check and see what’s really going on.  

When you take the time out of your busy day to look at what you actually have accomplished, you will always be pleasantly surprised at just how much you have been in action with during your day. The problem is your main focus may be on what you still have not accomplished and this will always keep the clouds of disillusion over your eyes with the continual feeling of not getting anywhere in life. This is an illusion and a self-sabotage mechanism that is not the truth. Always remain focused on what you are taking action on each day, no matter what you are doing and acknowledge yourself for what you are accomplishing inside your day. 

Achieve your Goals: Inspired Action Planning gains Clarity

How often have you felt a gap between where you are now in life and what you truly want to be, do and have? I do not know how many times I would set a goal and get so excited about achieving it – that feeling of, “Yes, it’s definitely going to be real this time around, I’ve made up my mind!” Then slowly I noticed the excitement fading into uncertainty and frustration. Can you relate to this?

One of the crucial keys to achieving your goals is to have an action plan detailing how you are going to close the gap and make your goal a reality.

I have always been goal orientated, right from my sporting career days, with the goal being to compete in the next championships or achieve the best player for the season. At the start of each pre-season, I would make up a plan of how I was going to achieve this, what type of training was required from pre-season, through to maintaining my seasonal fitness and post-season.

Years later, I realised that I had only ever put a plan together to achieve my sporting goals. What about my personal, business career, relationships and every other area of my life? Maybe that is why those areas were the most challenging parts of my life. They were also the most rewarding learning lessons that I love coaching people in today.

I soon realised that if I could use this process in my sporting career, I could apply the same practice to my whole life. I was so excited about this new insight I had gained for myself. As soon as I made a step-by-step plan of how I was going to achieve goals in all areas, I felt I had more control of my life, and could move forward with greater balance.

I remember years ago I wrote out my goals on a sheet of paper and stuck it in the filing cabinet, never looking at it until the next time I cleaned the cabinet out. To my surprise, I found that most goals were still achieved. It was then that I realised that if I had a step-by-step plan of action towards achieving these goals, I would consciously and purposefully achieve them.

A common question I hear from clients is ”Where do I begin to achieve my goals?” Are you the sort of person who has goals, who may even read your goals regularly, but wonder why you are not achieving them? Well, do you have a plan? Without a plan, a goal will feel like a distant hopeful wish. You will stay on track much more easily with a step-by-step plan, however, small the steps. I believe in taking little steps and building momentum from there.

Achieve your Goals: Inspired Action Planning gains Clarity

 

There are 6 Steps to Inspired Action Planning

  • What is your Goal?
  • Why do you want to achieve this Goal?
  • When do you want to achieve this Goal by?
  • Who are your Resources – the people who can support you in achieving your Goal?
  • How? These are the action steps you currently know you want to take to achieve your Goal.
  • How will you celebrate when you have achieved your Goal?

Enjoy planning your inspirational stepping-stones to achieving your goals.

If you know it is time to step up and play a bigger and stronger game that truly inspires you, your team, your family etc., contact me today for an introductory coaching conversation. www.annettestanton.com/contact/

Once you have read the article, leave a comment and let me know…

What’s the single most important action you can take right now towards achieving your goals?

If you know of a leader who is being challenged and they know it is time to step up and play a bigger and stronger game, please share this article.

Best Practice – Supportive Habits

Do you ever feel you don’t have any self-control, that your impulses are driving your behaviour? In other words, are you taking actions in a lot of areas in life, but not in the areas that you say are important to you? Remember that we are all made up of our habits. If you want to change your habits, it takes commitment and a conscious practice until the new behaviour becomes a new habit, which supports you. Did you know that it takes 30 consecutive days to change a habit?

For example, you may have set up a goal of wanting to spend more time with your family, but you keep allowing work to get in the way. In this situation, the natural habit is spending extra time doing work.  The first step in changing this habit is to design a new behaviour (action) that will allow you to spend more time with the family. For example, you might allocate Sundays to doing something special with the family, plus you could agree to turn off the phone so that you can fully enjoy the experience. Make sure you communicate this plan to your family so that they can help keep you accountable to your commitment.

I work with many people who want to also have a life outside of work, yet the recurring pattern I see and hear is that they never seem to get on top of things and before they know it, time goes by and they miss out on a lot of what’s important to them. The most common things I hear people say they want to spend more time on are; exercise to improve their health, fitness and increase energy levels, spend quality time with their wife/husband, time to listen and play with their children, quality time with family and time out for themselves.

Notice how easy it is to spend time doing the unimportant things first. You may be concerned about the paperwork that has built up and think that ‘if I just get on top of this one, then I will make time for me and my family’. What do you notice happens? Do you continually feel like you are never on top of things? If so, take a look at the three simple steps on how you can change habits that do not support you in the next section.

The 3 Steps to Changing Habits

Step 1 – Awareness

The first step to change is becoming aware of your habits and what your triggers are. Most of the time we are so busy ‘doing’ life that we do not take time out to become aware of who is it we are, what is it we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it. You will never become aware if you keep on doing whatever you are doing, without becoming consciously aware of your actions. Awareness is the first major step towards change. Once you register your awareness, then you can go to step 2 to accept and release your habits.

Step 2 – Accept and Release

When you become aware of your habits and triggers, it is only then that you can accept and release the habits that do not support you in your life. You accept and release a habit purely by stating that this habit does not support you in your life and you choose to now let it go. It is easy to be attached to a habit because this is the only way you consciously know how to manage your life. The good news is that you taught yourself through habit in the first place and you can choose a new habit at any time. It is normal to feel as though you are stepping into the unknown because that is exactly what takes place in the releasing of habits. This takes us into step 3 of re-creating a new habit to replace the old habit.

Step 3 – Re-Create

This is the fun part, of re-creating your habit. It is important to remember that when changing a habit you must replace it with a new, consciously supportive habit. Consciously choose the new habit you would like to start practising in place of your old habit.

Let’s say your old habit is ‘not listening to people fully’ and you are always ready to speak over them, even before they have finished saying what they wanted to say.

You then may decide for your new habit, that every time someone speaks to you, you will stay totally present, listening to what they have to say – and that you will only answer them after they have stopped speaking. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Try it yourself and notice what happens. The next time you are speaking to someone, you will probably jump right into the conversation and repeat your old habit. You then might walk away, noticing that you did it again and didn’t fully listen. The second time you notice, you want to jump in and you catch yourself. Great, this is the power of becoming consciously present to your actions and reactions. The third time you will become fully conscious and choose your new habit at the beginning of the conversation.

To speed up the process of re-creating yourself, take on the practice of visualising yourself living the new habit in its perfect form now. See yourself being the person you want to be and see yourself having the results you want.

Best Practice – Supportive Habits

Coaching Tip

Become aware of your habits and choose new habits that support your energy and focus each day. The list below may give you some ideas on where to start looking.

  • Communication challenges
  • Career you do not like
  • Not clear on your direction
  • Health problems
  • Money challenges
  • Never enough time to do the things you want to do
  • Always feeling under pressure
  • Not always being honest
  • Lack of energy
  • Family problems
  • Lack of confidence
  • Lack of commitment
  • Being overweight
  • Being argumentative
  • Always worrying about something
  • Giving too much to other people
  • Sense that you have to get ahead
  • Plan to get fit but never do
  • Always wanting to be in control
  • Feelings of being lonely
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Feelings of not being worthy
  • Weak and submissive behaviour
  • Aggressive and dominating behaviour
  • Not allowing other people to support you
  • Not being organised
  • Not doing what you say I’m going to do
  • Others…