Tag Archives: motivation

Reach Your Goals With a Self-Management Checklist

Everybody faces challenges in managing certain aspects of their lives. Someone who loves to go trail riding on a bicycle will have no problems motivating themselves to exercise. However, putting aside time to sit and read might be problematic. On the other hand, the reader might have problems putting down the book and getting active.

This self-management checklist can be applied to any area of your life where you need to gain some control.

  1. Set specific goals. You can’t measure achievement if you don’t know where you’re going. Set specific goals such as: I’ll walk for 30 minutes per day; or I’ll write a 1,000 words each day; or I’ll lose 20 pounds.
  2. Set specific times. You need to determine when you are going to accomplish your goals. Work with specific times; whether it’s a deadline for a one-off project or regular times for on-going behaviour.
  3. Track your progress. Write it down. You can use a journal, a calendar, a graph or any other form that works for you. Make sure you track both your successes and failures so you can refine your systems.
  4. Set rewards or penalties. You’ll need some motivation to help you move forward. Set small rewards to mark the completion of small steps. Set larger rewards to mark major accomplishments. You might even set penalties for not reaching goals. You could, for example, make a donation to a food bank every time your weight went up instead of down.
  5. Take small steps. If you’ve been sitting in front of the TV for ten years, don’t try and run a marathon tomorrow. Changing a habit takes time and you need to start slowly.
  6. Break it down into pieces. Regardless of your readiness, if the task seems overwhelming, you may never get started. Break down large tasks in to small, logical and manageable pieces.
  7. Monitor time increments. Use a timer to help you stay on track. Set it to the best interval to help you measure your progress.
  8. Share your goals. Telling someone what you hope to accomplish can add another level of motivation. It’s easier to fool ourselves than to fool others. Tell someone what your goals and your deadlines are; get them to check on you to see if you met the goal.
  9. Have a work buddy. It’s not just enough to share your goals with someone, you need to have a buddy that can meet with regularly. Keep your goals on someone else’s agenda. This should give you an added sense of responsibility and motivation to reach your goals.
  10. Review with your buddy. Have your buddy do more than review accomplishment. Review the written track of your regular progress. They might spot patterns you don’t see and give you some help for getting back or keeping on track.
  11. Eliminate distractions. Reading through e-mail may seem productive, but it’s not going to help you read three chapters of a book. If need be, turn off the phone, shut down the computer and throw the television in the garbage.
  12. Review and rework your system. Your self-management plan may not work the first time you try it. There will be times when your self-management process falls apart. These steps are not static, but need to change and grow with you. Make time to review your process and see what changes can be made.

Some people look at self-management techniques as cumbersome, getting in the way of productivity. The truth is, if you look at successful and productive people, you’ll find some type of system guiding them. Give it a try.

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8 mental steps to self-motivation

To be a success you need to know how to motivate yourself. You have to keep your spirits high no matter how discouraging a situation is. It’s the best way to overcome difficulties. If you are discouraged in difficult times, you will lose the battle before it starts.

How do you motivate yourself? Here are several tips I’ve found to be effective to build self motivation:

  1. Use visual motivators: An inspirational quote or poster can keep you focused on a change you’re trying to make in your life. A cartoon or joke can help keep you from taking things too seriously.

  2. Keep positive friends: There are those that will support and build you up and those that will always try and tear you down. Spend more time with the former.

  3. Read and listen well: Charlie “Tremendous” Jones teaches, the only thing that will make you become the person you dream of being is the books and tapes you listen to and the people you associate with.Pick out books, newspapers, websites, encyclopedias, anything with information that teaches you something you didn’t already know. Play Trivial Pursuit or watch Jeopardy. Learn something new every day. There are no such things as useless facts. If it’s part of our world, it’s worth knowing. I will get on my soapbox here again: embrace lifelong learning.

  4. Positive self-talk: One of the most powerful influences on your attitude and personality is what you say to yourself. It is not what happens to you, but how you respond internally to what happens to you. By controlling your inner dialogue, or your “self talk,” you can assert control over every part of your life.
  5. Get healthy: What’s good for the body is also good for the brain. Another reason not to put off taking care of yourself. Sleep enough. Our society is chronically sleep-deprived, which negatively affects our thought processes. So along with “beauty sleep,” go for the “smart sleep.”

  6. Keep a positive attitude: There’s is nothing more powerful for self-motivation than the right attitude. You can’t choose or control your circumstance, but can choose your attitude towards your circumstances.

  7. Take a break: You don’t have an endless supply of energy and drive. Now and again you need to take some time to re-charge your emotional and spiritual batteries.

  8. Share with others: Once you are motivated yourself, start motivating others. If people catch your passion, you’ll find it will drive you to new heights of accomplishment. Support and encourage others, be the cheerleader; it’s about them. Share your experience, by being a mentor, not through arrogance.
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Improve Your Listening Skills by W.A.I.T.ing

It is axiomatic that you can’t listen while you are talking. Unfortunately, most of us spend more time talking that we do listening. Why do we talk so much?

  1. To communicate with purpose
  2. Because everyone else is talking
  3. We have an urge to talk
  4. We want attention
  5. Sometimes, we just don’t know.

Are one of those who needs to dominate a conversation? Do you jump in and interrupt or block other’s attempts to talk? If these are habits you need to break, you have to W.A.I.T.

Ask yourself, “Why AI Talking?”

If there’s no good answer. Stop!

To be a better listener, eliminate these bad habits:

  1. Interrupting the speaker.
  2. Not looking at the speaker.
  3. Rushing the speaker and making him feel that he’s wasting the listener’s time.
  4. Showing interest in something other than the conversation.
  5. Getting ahead of the speaker and finishing her thoughts.
  6. Not responding to the speaker’s requests.
  7. Saying, “Yes, but . . .,” as if the listener has made up his mind.
  8. Topping the speaker’s story with “That reminds me. . .” or “That’s nothing, let me tell you about. . .”
  9. Forgetting what was talked about previously.
  10. Asking too many questions about details.

Be Attentive: Eliminate distractions and focus on the speaker. This includes distractions of ego, your agenda and judgements.

Listen beyond the words. Tone of voice, pace and pitch, body language are all clues to the speaker’s state. Pay attention to the none verbal cues.

Put your ego aside. Let go of your need to control a conversation. Ask discovery questions to fully understand the speaker; let them take you where they wants to go. Be engaged, but not in control. Let the speaker finish then wait before responding.

Be open to new ideas. During the course of a conversation where new ideas are being discussed, it is easy to listen to argue. Don’t be threatened. Listen to learn.

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Success Takes Practice

When it comes to undertaking projects I’m a great starter, but have problems with the follow-through or completion. I want things to be perfect first time around and hate going back: editing, improving, learning, etc. This article reminds us that accomplishing success—in any field or endeavour—requires work.

by Della Menechella

As a speaker and trainer, people often approach me after one of my programs to tell me how excited they are about the strategies they have learned and how they plan to put these ideas into action. When I connect with these people later on and ask how the techniques are working for them, I usually get answers such as “I really planned to use them but then things got so crazy that I never had the chance.” or “I tried them once and wasn’t successful so I gave up.”

Success, like anything else, takes application and practice. Anyone who plays a sport or has achieved expertise in any skill knows that it doesn’t happen the first time. They learn what to do and then apply it over and over again until it becomes easy and natural for them. They would never think of expecting to improve if they didn’t apply what they had learned. However, they think different rules apply to success strategies.

If you want to make a change in your life or career, you must work with positive ideas until you can apply them effortlessly. They need to become part of your operating system. The following tips can help you do this more easily.

  • Work On One Thing At A Time – Often people want to change many things and they try to do it all at the same time. This can be overwhelming. Choose one idea and work with it until you gain mastery. Then you can work with another idea until you are successful with it and so on. In this way you can make changes without a lot of stress.
  • Determine What The Benefit Will Be To You – It’s great to want to change, but if you aren’t aware of how you are going to benefit as a result of the change, it is easy to get discouraged. How will achieving this change make your life better? What value will it bring to you? It is much easier to stay motivated when you have the answers to these questions.
  • Recognize That You Might Initially Feel Uncomfortable – Sometimes people give up working with a new idea because it feels uncomfortable. They don’t want to deal with these negative feelings. Any time you try something new it feels awkward. This is a temporary situation. As you work with the new idea it will begin to feel more natural for you. It is all part of the learning process.
  • Commit To Using The Ideas For 30 Days – It is very easy to give up if you don’t achieve instantaneous success. Make a commitment to apply the idea consistently for 30 days. If something happens to interrupt the process, then start again with your 30-day commitment. If you make the commitment at the beginning of the process, you are more likely to achieve your goal.
  • Appreciate Your Successes – As you work with the new idea, recognize your successes. Maybe you are trying to deal more effectively with stress. Congratulate yourself when you remember to breathe deeply when you feel your stress starting to increase. When we recognize our small successes it helps us achieve bigger successes.
  • Be Patient With Yourself – Don’t be self critical if you find yourself occasionally falling back into old patterns. You have been operating in that manner for years. It is going to take time before you fully integrate the new idea into your life. As you work with it on a consistent basis, you will find that you revert to old patterns less and less frequently.

Like anything of value that we achieve in life, success takes practice. Make a commitment to put in the practice time that is required so you can experience the wonderful rewards that success brings.

About The AuthorDella Menechella is a speaker, author, and trainer who inspires people to achieve greater success from the inside out. She is a contributing author to Thriving in the Midst of Change and the author of the videotape The Twelve Commandments of Goal Setting. She can be reached at della@dellamenechella.com. Subscribe to free Peak Performance Pointers e-zine – send blank e-mail tomailto:subscribe@dellamenechella.com.
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How to Set Goals

With all the preparing and qualifying leading up to London summer Olympics, you hear a lot about the goals athletes are expecting to meet during the games. They know the only way they are going to reach the medal podium is by having goals to work towards.

Do you know anyone who is successful? Have you spent time talking with them about their success? Chances are, they credit setting goals as a major step in their success, and continues to be important as they look for new ways to challenge themselves.

Setting goals is not just for champion athletes or wealthy people. Everyone needs goals to give them direction. It’s not complicated. However, it can be challenging. The process of goal setting can be of value to you in building drive and commitment, important factors in achieving success.

Guidelines for setting goals

  1. Goals should should stretch you, yet be realistic and attainable. Challenging but realistic goals produce better results.
  2. Write Goals down and post them where you can see them daily. Stick them on your computer or your bedroom mirror, anywhere you spend a lot of time.
  3. Write your goals as positive statements that focus on successful outcomes.
  4. Write an action plan for accomplishing your goals. This is where short-term goals come in. Each short-term goal achieved, keeps you motivated and moving forward.
  5. Set a time frame: specific but reasonable.
  6. Celebrate your accomplishments. Once you have reached a short-term goal celebrate it; give yourself a reward.
  7. Revise as necessary. Sometimes things happen that you cannot control, you must not let that deter you from accomplishing your goals, revise and rewrite.
  8. Prioritize you goals. List your goals in order of importance to you.

Now, get out there, set some goals and go for “gold”.

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A self-management checklist

Everybody faces challenges in managing certain aspects of their lives. Someone who loves to go trail riding on a bicycle will have no problems motivating themselves to exercise. However, putting aside time to sit and read might be problematic. On the other hand, the reader might have problems putting down the book and getting active.

This self-management checklist can be applied to any area of your life where you need to gain some control.

  1. Set specific goals. You can’t measure achievement if you don’t know where you’re going. Set specific goals such as: I’ll walk for 30 minutes per day; or I’ll write a 1,000 words each day; or I’ll lose 20 pounds.
  2. Set specific times. You need to determine when you are going to accomplish your goals. Work with specific times; whether it’s a deadline for a one-off project or regular times for on-going behaviour.
  3. Track your progress. Write it down. You can use a journal, a calendar, a graph or any other form that works for you. Make sure you track both your successes and failures so you can refine your systems.
  4. Set rewards or penalties. You’ll need some motivation to help you move forward. Set small rewards to mark the completion of small steps. Set larger rewards to mark major accomplishments. You might even set penalties for not reaching goals. You could, for example, make a donation to a food bank every time your weight went up instead of down.
  5. Take small steps. If you’ve been sitting in front of the TV for ten years, don’t try and run a marathon tomorrow. Changing a habit takes time and you need to start slowly.
  6. Break it down into pieces. Regardless of your readiness, if the task seems overwhelming, you may never get started. Break down large tasks in to small, logical and manageable pieces.
  7. Monitor time increments. Use a timer to help you stay on track. Set it to the best interval to help you measure your progress.
  8. Share your goals. Telling someone what you hope to accomplish can add another level of motivation. It’s easier to fool ourselves than to fool others. Tell someone what your goals and your deadlines are; get them to check on you to see if you met the goal.
  9. Have a work buddy. It’s not just enough to share your goals with someone, you need to have a buddy that can meet with regularly. Keep your goals on someone else’s agenda. This should give you an added sense of responsibility and motivation to reach your goals.
  10. Review with your buddy. Have your buddy do more than review accomplishment. Review the written track of your regular progress. They might spot patterns you don’t see and give you some help for getting back or keeping on track.
  11. Eliminate distractions. Reading through e-mail may seem productive, but it’s not going to help you read three chapters of a book. If need be, turn off the phone, shut down the computer and throw the television in the garbage.
  12. Review and rework your system. Your self-management plan may not work the first time you try it. There will be times when your self-management process falls apart. These steps are not static, but need to change and grow with you. Make time to review your process and see what changes can be made.

Some people look at self-management techniques as cumbersome, getting in the way of productivity. The truth is, if you look at successful and productive people, you’ll find some type of system guiding them. Give it a try.