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What I learned from my 30-day ‘Get It Done’ Challenge

30 Jun

As you may know, in June I ran a free Get It Done Challenge where the participants (including me) committed to working for 30 minutes every day on a particular project.  I was working on a book I am writing and other members of the challenge were committed to doing all sorts of other projects – working on websites, social media planning, learning languages, gardening, decluttering.   We were an eclectic group!

Easy enough, eh?  Surely it’s pretty manageable to find 30 minutes every day for one month?

Well, today we reach the end of the Challenge and I want to share what I have learned from the experience.  What are the secrets to Getting It Done?

1) Accountability rules!

During the challenge we were all accountable to each other.  Every day, I posted an Accountability Thread in our special Facebook Group where the challengers could comment to show they had completed their 30 minutes for the day.

This was really powerful, as even if you missed a day (or a couple of days!) there was a reminder to get back on track.

What was more powerful for me was the fact I was leading the group.  I knew that even on days when I really didn’t feel like doing my 30 minutes, I had to step up and do it.  I was the one posting the Accountability Thread and keeping everyone else motivated.  This was key for me and meant that I completed 29 days of the 30-day challenge (the one day I missed was due to sickness, so I kindly gave myself permission to rest).

What can you take from this?  Be a leader when it comes to accountability!

If you have a challenge or project you want to complete, step up and offer to lead a group (even if it’s just a group of two!)  Be the one who arranges the trip to the gym, the running club or starts a group on Facebook committed to getting it done.

Believe me, when you are the one who is holding everyone accountable, you will keep going.

2) Accept that sometimes (ahem, maybe often), you really won’t feel like doing ‘it’.

There were about two or three days during the month when I felt super-motivated and keen to get on with my 30 minutes.  I felt inspired to write.  The muse was with me.

The other days?  Well, not so much!  To tell you the truth, most days I was thinking ‘Oh, do I really have to fit my writing in?’  I would drag myself to the laptop and start writing, feeling pretty sulky.

The thing is, once I got started, I kept going.  The words started to flow (on most days) and the 30 minutes went by pretty quickly.

If it had been a normal, non-Get-It-Done month when I was waiting for inspiration to hit me, I probably would have written very little.  Quite likely I would have got distracted and moved on to another project.

As I had made a commitment to myself and others, I just got on with it.  I didn’t wait until I felt creative, or motivated, or energised.  In fact, by getting on with it, I found that I started to feel more creative, more motivated, more energised.  I always ended my 30 minutes feeling better than when I started.

What can you take from this?  Don’t wait until you feel like it!

If you have a project you want to get done, just start.  Commit to spending a certain amount of time every day and do it.  Accept that you will feel grumpy and demotivated sometimes and get on with it!

3) Perfection is the enemy of done.

I don’t know who said this originally (and if you do, let me know), but Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) said something similar with, ‘Done is better than perfect’ and I completely agree.

When I sat down to write, I gave myself permission to just let the words flow and not to judge them.  I didn’t worry about quality, I just wrote whatever came to me.  I knew that at the end of the month, I could come back to what I had written and start to edit it, but for these 30 days I just wanted to get words down.

If I had sat there trying to write the perfect draft straight away, I would have been paralysed.  I can tell you I wouldn’t have been able to write half as much as I did.

Many of us have perfectionist tendencies that can stop us in our tracks.   Maybe you have something you want to do right now, but you are waiting for the perfect time or until you have everything in place?

Want to know a secret?  The perfect time never comes.  You will never have everything in place.  Give yourself permission to be gloriously imperfect and get started.

What can you take from this?  Just notice your inner perfectionist and then take action anyway.  It’s so freeing to allow yourself to be imperfect!

So, these are some of my learnings from the Get It Done Challenge.  Which one resonates with you most?  Comment below and let me know what action you will be taking after reading this.

Make a commitment now to be a Get It Done person!

Are you secretly scared of stepping up?

17 Jun

The Fear Factor

 

What are the goals that you want to achieve?  What do you dream of moving towards?   Where do you want to be in your life?

These are all exciting and thought-provoking questions.  I’m sure you have some wonderful ideas running through your mind right now about your goals, dreams and desires.

Maybe you want to be more successful in your business or career?

Perhaps you want to reach a particular weight?

It could be that you want to move to the next income level?

As you focus on your particular goal, I wonder if any fears or doubts come up for you?

When I’m working with clients, I always check out whether there are any hidden benefits to staying where they are right now.  They usually answer pretty quickly and say, ‘Of course not!  I really want to lose weight/earn more/get that promotion’.

But when I ask them to think about it more deeply, often they realise that it feels safer and more comfortable to stay where they are at the moment.  Secret doubts and fears surface about what it might be like to achieve their goals.

‘I’m worried that I’ll attract more attention if I reach my ideal weight.’

‘My boss might find out that I’m not good enough if I get that promotion at work.’

‘People will think I’m greedy if I earn that much money.’

I wonder if any of these sound familiar to you?  Maybe you have your own concerns about how it would be to step up and grab your desired outcome.

These hidden (or not so hidden!) fears can prevent us from living the life we want.  They can keep us stuck and stop us from taking action.

That’s why I have created a special tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique) routine to release any fears you might have around success and being more visible.

You can see the video below and tap along to let go of any worries or doubts you might have.

 

When you have watched the video, I would love to hear what goal you are moving towards at the moment and how this tapping routine helped.  Comment below to let me know what action you will be taking as a result of watching this video.

Feel-good Tip One

11 Jun

Feel-good photoMy feel-good tips are designed to help you get a quick hit of positivity (because life is too short to feel bad).

Here’s number one (and it was inspired by redecorating my downstairs loo!)

Have you got something in your home that reminds you of a particularly good time?

Maybe it’s a souvenir from a wonderful holiday, a gift from a loved one, a photo of a happy day or a ticket from an amazing gig, festival or play?

You’ll know what it is for you, as it will make you smile whenever you look at it.  And that’s what I want you to do.

Often we can keep precious objects or mementos tucked away somewhere, in a cupboard, a drawer or high up on a shelf.   Nowadays photos are often kept on our smartphones or laptops.  We have to search them out if we want to see them.

Well, I want you to put that object, photo or memento somewhere you will see it often.

Put your feel-good talisman in pride of place.

I noticed the power of this when my husband and I were decorating our downstairs toilet (apologies if this is too much information!)  We decided to put one of our wedding invitations in a frame and display it on the wall in the loo.

I had kept the invitation as a memento of the day, but it had been put with all of my other sentimental objects in a basket.  I never got to see it unless I purposely went searching for it.

Now I get to see it every day and it makes me feel happy whenever I notice it.  I get an instant boost of feelgood-ness!

So what will make you feel good every time you look at it?

Search something out now and do the smile test.  If a smile immediately comes to your lips, then it’s a winner!

Put it in pride of place and enjoy your feel-good boost every time you see it from now on.

Comment below to let me know what your feel-good object is and where you are going to display it.  Let’s share the feelings of goodness!

 

 

 

 

This everyday challenge is stopping you again and again.

29 May

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image19385242Whenever I speak to women about what is stopping them from achieving their goals, the number one answer is lack of time.

These are the the kind of things I hear:

‘I want to change career, but I just don’t have the time to retrain’.

‘I would love to do more exercise, but I can’t fit it in’.

‘I want to write a book/create an ecourse/revamp my website, but I’m just too busy right now’.

This perceived lack of time can keep us stuck in a place we don’t want to be. It can keep us stuck feeling less healthy than we want to be. It can keep us paralysed in our business or career. It can prevent us from living the truly fulfilling life we want to live.

This one challenge comes up every single day, stopping us in small ways and big ways.

Have you ever found yourself saying to a friend on the phone or when you bump into her on the street, ‘Can’t stop, I haven’t got time!’

Or maybe you’ve turned down an event you want to go to as you feel you’re too busy?

I personally can think of an opportunity that I was offered recently where I would have to step up out of my comfort zone. My first thought wasn’t, ‘I don’t know if I can do this’, it was ‘I’m not sure if I have enough time’.

(By the way, sometimes, we can use lack of time as an excuse to mask an underlying lack of self-belief.)

The fact is when you feel time-pressured, it’s a major cause of stress. When you feel that you don’t have enough time in the day, you are heading for burnout.

The good news is that there are some simple ways to overcome the time challenge. Here’s what to do when you are feeling time-pressured.

1) Prioritise (aka cut the crap!)

Have a think about your day today. What are you spending your time doing?

Now I know a lot of the stuff you are doing is super-important and necessary (like reading this fabulous article!). But if you are honest, how much of your time is spent doing stuff that just doesn’t matter?

How much time do you spend checking Facebook or email? How much time do you spend watching crappy TV programmes? How much time do you spend procrastinating about what to do next?

Now I can hold my hands up to all of the above! The truth is you have plenty of time to do all the things you want to do (truly). You simply need to focus on your priorities.

Ask yourself the question – ‘What is most important to me?’

Make a list, with your highest priority at the top.

Now you have something to work with. You can clearly see what means most to you and where you want to spend your time.

Each day, focus on the top three priorities on your list. This is now your guide. Whenever you find yourself feeling time-pressured, ask yourself, ‘Am I spending my time wisely right now? Am I focusing on my priorities?’

If the answer is no, let go of what you are doing.

This might take practice, but in time you will find yourself experiencing more space and fulfilment in your life.

Take action now: Make your priority list! Tune in to what’s truly important to you and then think about where you are spending your time right now. You might be surprised to realise that most of your time is being spent on crap (to be frank!) that’s just not meaningful for you.

2) Change your time story

We all perceive time in a particular way. I’m sure you’ve noticed that some people are laid-back and easy-going, never in a rush. Whereas others are always dashing from one place to the next, feeling pressured and stressed.

Which are you?

Your time story (or mindset) will certainly have been influenced by how your family were growing up. I know for me, we always had to be on time, if not early. In fact, if I get to a meeting just on time now, I feel like I’m late!

Like any aspect of your mindset though, this isn’t set in stone. You can create a shift in the way you experience time. You can change your time story.

The first thing to do is to mind your language. Notice any times when you find yourself saying things like, ‘I haven’t got time’, ‘I’m too busy’, or ‘Where does the time go?’ (Big hands up to this one for me!)

When we make statements like this, we are reinforcing the story that there is not enough time.

Start telling yourself a different story.

The next time you begin to say, ‘I haven’t got time’, catch yourself, take a deep breath and say, ‘I have all the time I need’. As you do that, notice how you feel different.

Like any time we start to change our mindset, it might feel strange at first. There will be occasions when you don’t catch yourself and start talking your ‘too busy/can’t stop/must dash’ chat. That’s okay. This is a process.

The first step is to recognise when you are telling yourself an unhelpful time story and the next step is to start shifting it.

Take action now: For the next 24 hours, commit to telling yourself a different time story. Look out for those times when you’re thinking or speaking negatively about time. When you catch yourself, change your story. Say something different.

3) Chunk it baby!

Have you ever noticed how time can seem to slip away? You might have a whole day or week ahead of you. You think about all the things you’re going to get done. Then somehow, you don’t end up achieving half as much as you wanted to.

Alternatively, you might have a busy day or week coming up. You have something you really want to get done, but you just can’t see how you’re going to squeeze it in as it’s going to take a substantial amount of time.

Chunking can help with both of these scenarios. What I mean by chunking is carving out specific ‘chunks’ of time to focus on a particular task.

Here are some examples.

If I have a whole free day ahead of me, I can easily drift aimlessly from one thing to another, never getting anything done. However, if I say I am going to spend 45 minutes writing an article or 30 minutes working on my website, I will be super-focused during that chunk of time.

I might faff around for the rest of the day, but I will do what I need to get done in my designated chunks.

In the same way, when I have a busy week ahead of me, for example when I’m travelling to work with clients on retreat, I can still carve out small chunks of time to write or create.

By using these manageable chunks of time, I feel productive and much less overwhelmed.

So, over to you. Where can you chunk your time to achieve what you want to? The key is to keep them manageable – certainly no more than one hour.

Take action now: Think about something you want to get done over the next week. Schedule some chunks of time in your diary now when you will work on this particular task. Notice how good it feels to be taking control and planning for action.

These are my top time transformation tips! I’d love you to comment below and let me know which one resonates with you most. Which one will you be taking action on first?

If you would like some extra help managing your time, I am running a free Get It Done Challenge in June.  Click here for all the details and to join us.

Can you tap your way to your ideal weight?

20 May

A tool  I use more and more in my practice is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping.  So I was delighted to see an article in The Daily Mail last week singing the praises of tapping, particularly for helping with weight loss.

The article quotes a recent clinical study on 89 women which found that those who tapped for 15 minutes a day lost an average of 16 lb in eight weeks, without following a strict diet or exercise plan.

One area that tapping is particularly helpful with is emotional eating – those times when we reach for food and we’re not physically hungry.

To show you how to use this powerful tool for yourself, I have created a special video which takes you through a tapping routine to help combat emotional eating.

 

 

I’d love to hear how you found this tapping routine.  Comment below and let me know what you experienced and any particular emotional triggers you have for eating.

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