Monthly Archives: February 2015

Getting going. (Part 2)

This idea came up again in a conversation with a friend, about getting started. 

My friend was describing this great routine she wanted, she was excited about getting up, eating breakfast and immediately sitting at her computer to write.

She’d tried this a few times in the previous week, but when she looked back at what she had produced, was dissatisfied and then had found it difficult even to sit down at the computer again, always finding other things to do. This is of course, extremely common!

Heres something we came up with, which I first read about from personal trainers and sports motivational types…

The personal trainers example was someone wanting to start running. Their client seemed motivated, wanted to be healthy, actually enjoyed running once they started, but that act of putting on the shoes and getting out there just seemed like a prohibitive amount of effort! So, the trainer made that weeks discipline very simple.

Week 1

EVERY MORNING, wake up, put on your trainers, leave bedroom.

Do it straight away, don’t think, don’t try and wake up, just do it.

Then if you want, take them straight off and get back into bed.

What happened? Well with the exception of the first morning, this young athlete (ahem) ends up going out for a run. But the task is simply put on the shoes.

After that, once that had become a habit (or a ritual as Tony Robbins calls it) then stack the next habit on top, put the shoes on, and run once around the block. Thats it, not 5k, not twenty mins, once around the block. As Jim Rohn says, ‘Easy to do, easy not to do!’

You get the idea.

With my writer friend, first weeks task is, have breakfast, open computer, load word processor.

Thats it. (We actually went a little further, we put it in twice a day, at 9.30am whatever happens she’s turning on the Mac, and at 13.30pm she does the same.) Now, if you’re inclined in the moment to write or do something connected, thats fine, but no checking facebook or twitter first!

THEN we added something to ease her brain into the writing mood, she was to review 2-3 bits of existing but unfinished work, and either add to or edit one of those, or to begin something new.

You’ve got to build the discipline of getting down to work. Realise its not as arduous as you think!

Try it now, what one discipline or activity do you want in your life that you could practice just getting over the initial ‘urgh’ feeling?

 

SIGN UP to the newsletter for more!

Getting going. (Part 1)

A recent chat with a friend reminded me of the truism, its along the lines of ‘the hardest part of the process is getting started.’ Getting started could mean going for the first run, or getting started on each run, sitting down to write be it music or a novel or even copy for your website… Ahem.

So we need some ways to help us get started. This blog is the first in a series that will describe some ways to do that.

Why?

Getting started doing anything, any task whether fun or seemingly laborious is a discipline of its own. Discipline can be learned and strengthened, and must be, because without out we’re going to get to nowhere…

How?

Today, pick something that you ‘should’ or ‘could’ do every day EASILY. My favourite example here (thanks to Jim Rohn and my friend David Francis) is simply making your own bed. You probably already do that, OK, how about waking up making yourself smile as soon as you’re awake, or read one page of a positive book? Or drink a glass of cold water. Anything that will benefit you in some way, as long as its something pleasant or at least emotionally neutral for you…

Make the commitment to yourself to do this every day, for the next 7 days.

Take a piece of paper, turn it horizontal, write down the task on the left hand side, and then next to it draw 7 boxes. Large enough to put a big tick in and write the date in.

Every morning when you wake up, the first thing you do is make your bed, and put a tick in the box and write the date. You are recording the promises you are keeping for yourself and your ability to be disciplined.

As time goes on, you can add disciplines, say one per week to your list of disciplines. Choose disciplines that are in line with your aspirations for the future, your vision. What would the person who has / does / is what you want have on their list? Do it one at a time. Not every discipline will be daily.

But start with one easy one!

See also:

Tony Robbins video – ‘rituals’

SIGN UP to the newsletter.

The (sometimes accidental) power of self talk.

We are continuously communicating back and forward with ourselves during the day, that ‘voice in your head’. Some people hear an actual voice using actual words, some people just get an intense feeling after they do or say something, some people literally ‘see’ the consequences of the thought or actions they’ve just taken…

If your self-talk isn’t helping you, isn’t encouraging you, its time to re train it.

Why?

We all have a subconscious; it should be on your team.

How?

Jack Black of Mindstore, Anthony Robbins and the NLP technologies of Richard Bandler and co all have a lot of really excellent things to say about this, here are a few quick ideas.

  1. First things first, you have to become aware of how you’re talking to yourself. So the first day you read this, just listen carefully to some of the things your internal voice says to you, dont worry if they’re correct or not, are they positive, encouraging, helpful? Maybe note down anything that occurs to you on a piece of paper.
  2. Now, make a decision, was your internal voice making you feel better, or worse about whatever you were trying to do, was it supportive or critical? (There are times to self-evaluate, and when you do this, be honest, but don’t ‘see it worse than it is’.)
  3. Pick something unhelpful you noticed you saying to yourself frequently, what would be a more encouraging phrase you’d rather hear? What would a helpful and encouraging friend say? Someone who knew how to really motivate you?
  4. Heres the fun part. Whenever you catch yourself saying that negative phrase, make a silly noise to yourself (called a ‘pattern interrupt’ in NLP) and then say with passion and authority (and a little fun) the positive equivalent.
  5. REPEAT!!!!!

Pretty soon, the little silly noise will make you laugh when you say the negative thing (feeling good already) and the new sentence will gradually naturally replace the old as your reaction.

PRETTY COOL!

See also:

Richard Bandler

Jack Black ‘Mindstore’

Tony Robbins

If you found this interesting, please SIGN UP to the newsletter for more!

The art of feeling ‘OK’… (Part 1)

This blog should be called ‘how to feel great now!’, but recently I’ve noticed many people question whether they can feel great and if they’re even allowed / supposed to. I think its a good idea to develop some healthy ways to feel great, (positive and productive, happy and confident) at any time you want. Most people would at the very least agree that its OK to feel OK. So we’ll start there.

Why?

We all know why, the feeling itself is enough of a justification, but we also all handle situations and people better when we feel happy and secure.

How?

There are a lot of different ways to do this, most involve some kind of meditation. Today (in part 1) we’ll look at one possibility.

We’re going to start with a fairly generic breathing exercise, then we’re simply going to direct our attention for a short time to images and memories, and or plans for the future that make us feel happy.

  1. Find somewhere you can sit comfortably without being disturbed, turn your phone off!!! (This is important, commit to 5 mins without anyone being allowed to interrupt your peace of mind.)
  2. Begin to take notice of your breathing, in your head say ‘breathing in’ as you inhale, ‘hold’ where appropriate, and ‘breathing out’ as you exhale.
  3. Do this at least three times.
  4. Now, you’re going to allow yourself to think only about things that make you happy, they can be memories, things you would like to happen in the future, or completely made up. If your mind drifts to something negative or unpleasant, dont try and stop the thought, but as soon as you notice whats happened, remind yourself that you can worry about it later, but this is your time now to relax.
  5. Try and construct a ‘picture’ in your mind of a scenario where you feel comfortable. I use a beach which is actually combination of two beaches I’ve actually visited… (You can use an actual picture, or a movie, or hear the voices / sounds associated or simply remember the feelings you like).
  6. See if you can turn up and exaggerate the intensity of the colours / sounds / feelings in your mind, make them as ‘unrealistic’ as you like. What is important here is feeling good (or at least ok…) not the accuracy of the memory or how likely the ‘dream’. When I use these ideas with school children, we imagine turning up or down a big dial… (If you really must, you can be ‘realistic’ the rest of the day…)
  7. Notice how you feel when you do this.
  8. If any feelings pop up you dont want right now, try playing with them too, see if you can turn them down, at least a little bit, or off completely!
  9. Enjoy the time!
  10. When you’re finished, say thank you to yourself for the time, and slowly count down from 5 in your head, open you eyes and see how you feel!

Some other ideas:

Make feeling good part of your daily routine, some people are already making feeling bad part of their routine, we’re going to do the opposite.

  1. As soon as you wake up, take 5-10 mins max to do the exercise above. For 5 mins, allow yourself to feel good, whatever else you have to do that day, whatever you’ve done wrong, whatever you could worry about, you’re definitely allowed 5-10 mins to feel ok. (or even better)
  2. If you notice feeling anxious / restless / uncertain during the day, go somewhere and take 5-10mins to do the exercise. (Jack Black of MINDSTORE suggests even using a toilet cubicle, he calls it his ‘alpha closet’ in reference to the alpha waves of the brain becoming more prominent when deeply relaxed.)
  3. If you want to make plans for the day, need to make some important decisions / make a phone call or if you’re pursuing a particular task, do this exercise first.

 See also:

Jack Black ‘Mindstore’ | Mindstore Blog

Tony Robbins ‘Unlimited Power

… and finally…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, to make feeling good (or at least ok) a habit, you’ve got to practice it, like any other skill. Condition those neural pathways in this way, rather than choosing less positive options!

Don’t look at your email / Facebook / Twitter when you wake up, DO THIS FIRST!

Let me know what you think, feel free to ask any questions via john@key-idea.co.uk

or on twitter at @keyideatweeter

Remember to SIGN UP to the newsletter!

Have a great week!

John