Tag Archives: Motivation

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

I am not sure as to how many of you have made New Year resolutions in the past, I certainly have. Did you stick to them? Did they work out for you? Invariably they don’t as time goes by they somehow seem to lose their importance to you.

To have a true resolution you have to think about it, and get it sorted in your head before you even start to commit to it. It is like setting an outcome or a milestone in your life – are these outcomes really what you want? How will you maintain your determination to achieve them? What will you do when you have achieved it?

I have heard people say that they wanted to lose some weight, as they want to look good on their beach holiday. They then set themselves a target to aim to lose 14lbs or 6.35kg. They then start to eat better, cut out certain foods, take more exercise. After a week or so they jump on the weighing scales and deflate themselves as they are nowhere near losing those 14lbs. They are setting themselves up for not reaching their goal – as self doubt creeps in and de-motivates them.

If you look at it in another way, 14lbs or 6.35kg is the target, when do they want to achieve that weight loss? Let’s say they start it on 1st of Jan 2017 and I want to be 14lbs/6.35kg lighter by the 30th of June – which is 6 months. So by doing the math 14lb over 6 months is 2.3lb or 1.06kg’s every month. Here in the UK a standard bag of white sugar is 2.2lb or 1kg, to some they will see an image of the bag of sugar and then start to think this task is not achievable.

A change of Mind Set is key at this point:-

Target by Month (6) = 14lbs is 2.2lbs or 1.06kg to lose per month

Target by Weeks (26) = 0.54lbs or 0.24kg to lose per week

Target by Days (181) = 0.08lbs per day or 0.04kg to lose per day

When looked at in this way, it is very achievable.

So by changing your Mind Set around your Outcome – makes your Outcome a very real possibility. 

Have a Great Day

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STRESS AND HOW TO RECOGNISE AND DEAL WITH IT.

LR10aa
Stress is nothing new in human evolution. Our ancestors have experienced stress and its effects. However we all seem to think it is a modern day phenomenon.
Stress has all sorts of definitions. The one I like describes stress as the experience of unpleasant over or under stimulation. Yes – Over Stimulation OR Under Stimulation. We as humans cannot function without some sort of stimulation or challenge. This stimulation provides excitement, drive and indeed motivates us – as long as you feel in control.
Stress is the mismatch between these challenges that face you and your belief in your own ability to cope with those challenges.

Stress can affect you in four different ways:-
1. Physically – you might get headaches or tummy upsets.
2. Emotionally – you might become grumpy and irritable.
3. Mentally – your ability to think might become impaired.
4. Behaviourally – they way you are acting, is not the ‘normal’ you.

There is a lot written about stress and how to cope with and deal with it. Here lies the fundamental problem. A person, who is stressed, does not necessarily know they are stressed! All the medical people say that a certain amount of stress is good for you – as it stimulates the mind and body into action – which is very true. However if we become stressed we will start to become overwhelmed with anxiety, tension, frustration even anger. These emotions will show in the way we interact with people.

The danger here is burn out simply put burn out is a loss of idealism, energy and purpose. Physical and emotional exhaustion is the order of the day as your ‘fuel tanks’ are empty. There are 4 stages to this process:-

Stage 1 – Lots of energy and enthusiasm for the role you play.
Danger signs – Too busy to take holidays or time off. Taking work home. Too little time with family and friends. Unwilling to refuse extra work load.

Stage 2 – Small bouts of irritation, combined with feelings of stagnation. This may lead to you blaming others.
Danger signs – Not happy with quality of other people’s work. Starting to crumble under workload, hence you might to start working extra hours to catch up. Time management goes out of the window.

Stage 3 – Increasing level of anger inside you. Will lead to low self esteem even be quite apathetic.
Danger signs – Life becomes a chore and whatever you do tires you out. Your commitment to work and home life wanes.

Stage 4 – Complete withdrawal, combined with feelings of failure. You may become or feel ill at this point.
Danger signs – Avoiding people, maybe calling in sick at work. Becoming increasingly isolated. Could lead to increased level of alcohol consumption or use of chemical substances.

If you are at any of the 4 stages. STOP and look at the contributing factors, or see a Personal Coach. They will be able to guide you off this self destructive path. It is vital for your well being to take action now!

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MIND OVER MATTER

Last year I went to a Networking Event at a local Hospice here in Harrogate. Wonderful work done by wonderful people.

On that night they informed us about a sponsored bike ride they were organising in July 2014. I said that I was interested in doing it. Well, it is for a very worthy cause. 

Afterwards I discovered the length of the bike ride was 50 miles!! Through the very undulating countryside of North Yorkshire. 

I have a compressed 3rd disc in my back, which tends to throw my hip a bit. It means that sometimes I get pains in my legs. My mind went straight to this fact and was setting up a “Don’t do it !!” scenario. I was looking at the negative side of the whole thing. 

We do this in life, when something becomes challenging, we find ways of not doing it. We might actually put off repairing that dripping tap, because we say to ourselves “It’s a two minute job, I will do it later”. We put off mowing the lawn. Only to find that when we eventually do it, either the grass is too long and too wet to cut, or we burn out the motor on the mower dragging it across the lawn. 

Using my training and coaching skills, I reframed the whole thing. I looked at the benefits of doing this bike ride. I will get fitter, as I will have to train prior to the event. I will have to focus on the end result, giving me something to work to. I.e. raising money for my local hospice. I will eat the right foods for my cycling training and will have a schedule to work to, up to and including the 27th of July 2014 when the event starts. 

Thinking about it – do we do this in life? I would suggest not. 

Most of you reading this will have a job, attend work, get paid, go on holiday, pay bills – all for what? What is your eventual outcome or result – retire? Then enjoy life? 

When I do anything, I look at the end result first and work backwards towards the present. This way it gives to me a timetable in life. 

My outcome for the 27th of July 2014 is to raise money for my local hospice. I will have to prepare my bike, plan a training schedule, eat the right foods, find my waterproofs, as it might rain while I am training – this will be my timetable. As a by product of this I will become fitter – an added benefit. 

So, look at your life, see where you are going – is that destination really where you want to be? 

This is your chance to change it.

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Doing Your Best In Business and Commerce

Sometimes doing you best is not good enough. You plan your sales calls, you make sure that you plan your route and get the most number of visits in the day. Your briefcase is full of literature, pens, note paper, brochures and maybe even a price list. You go about your business and at the end of the day; the potential clients had good meetings with you and did not commit to buy or even talk further – how very frustrating!

There are other days you just get out there. Meet people at networking meetings, have a coffee with them. They warm to you and the products or services you are offering. They agree to talk to you in their office about prices and specifics – why is that!

I came across a study by Latham & Yuki (1975) where a hypothesis was tested.

Which was:- ‘People who are given the hardest goal should perform best.’

They had three sets of workers who were given the task of cutting and transporting wood, working in small groups. They were called ‘Do your best group’, ‘Assigned group’ and ‘Participative group’.

The ‘Do your best group’ was not given a specific goal to achieve.

The ‘Assigned group’ were assigned a hard goal to achieve.

The ‘Participative group’ were tasked to set their own specific hard goal.

The results were very surprising:-

The ‘Do your best group’ moved 46 cubic feet of wood an hour.

The ‘Assigned group’ moved 53 cubic feet of wood an hour.

The ‘Participative group’ moved 56 cubic feet of wood an hour.

The participative group worked as a team, were motivated as a team, were motivated by setting their own high goal, they were motivated to achieve it – as they had set it.

Working towards a goal – however high is a must for people in business and commerce. To stretch oneself and the team will forge a work ethic that will be beneficial to the business. It will keep people aware of what is needed, it will maintain output, and it will increase sales and therefore profits – ultimately leading to job security for the workforce.

So what are your goals – what are you working towards?

If you are in business, what is your long term goal?

Is your plan to sell after X years?

Is it to still remain part of the business and put a management team in place?

Are you looking to franchise what you do, or float it on the stock market?
To do your best – you need to look at that big picture. What are you doing all this for? What will you be hearing when you have achieved your goal, and how will that fell for you?

This is not ‘airy fairy’ stuff – you need to know where you are going – what you are about and what you will have achieved when you get there. Clearly a lot of hard work and planning has to be done. Key Performance Indicators have to looked at to ensure you are heading in the right direction.

Companies like mine can help business people focus their attention on what is important in setting that end goal.

OUTCOME – EFFORT – REWARD

Have a great day

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By Doing The Same Thing – You Will Get The Same Result

We humans are very complex things. Our bodies maintains itself, it moves us around the planet. We use our intelligence to work things out and invent things. It even repairs itself. For our part we might exercise to keep it working and put in fuel to keep it running. Some of us take this level of performance for granted; some of us just do the silliest things.

Think about this point – have you ever tried to change the channel on your TV with the remote, and, it did not work! What did you do then? Most of us would do the same thing – and push the button down even harder! We would never think to change the batteries – that is too simple.

If you have tried to change the channel with this remote and it has not worked again (all very frustrating) have you taken the battery cover off and used your thumb to roll the batteries, while they are still in the remote – then put the battery cover back on – then tried to change the channel. All logic says that what you have done is a meaningless task. Yet, you still did it.

When I was in industry, I worked for a large expanded polystyrene manufacture of food packaging. I remember one shift made 5 tonnes of eps foam. Each roll of material weighed something like 200 kilos per reel. These reels went into stock, in readiness for it to be made into burger boxes. When the time can to use this foam the order for the customer was getting quite urgent. The reels of foam where then used – however, the resulting product was not forming correctly. The decision was to make another 5 tonnes of foam ASAP. This was planned in – made, then used on the machines. Once again the burger boxes did not form correctly.

The upshot of all this was that 10 tonnes of foam had been produced – that could not be used. In the example above no-one addressed the original issue with the first batch of foam. Remember if you do the same thing you always have done, you will end up with the same result.

So, if you are not getting what it is you want – then change something. Re-evaluate the big picture, hear some of those things that can be different, feel how the new outcome or end result feels to you once you have ‘imaginered’ it in your mind. Once you have tweaked this frame of mind – things will change, because you have altered something. Therefore the result will be different. It may not give to you your end result straight away – however it will put you on the right path. You might even engage an executive coach to facilitate this change in you.

Don’t believe me try it for yourself.

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Rock Bottom – The Next Chapter

Richards Rock
Now that you have read about how I hit rock bottom. The next chapter is what I did next. When I returned from Beaumaris after sitting on the beach in November, totally numb about my whole situation. I had an old VW Passat. I had a quarter tank of petrol and £10 in my wallet, and, I had to get back home. So I drove the whole way at 30 miles per hour – just to save fuel. If I had driven at normal speed on the motorway – I would not have made it.

A while went by when I decided to give my car a darn good cleaning – top to bottom inside and out. I allocated a whole weekend for this. So I got prepared and did it. When I got to the boot I cleaned the boot carpet and even polished the inside of the boot lid. In a VW Passat there are two little recesses at either side. I removed the bits that had fallen in there and vacuumed it. The vacuum when into overdrive – I wondered why. It was trying to suck up that rock! I had forgotten all about it, as it had rolled out of a bag and fell in the recess – it had been there for a long time.

When I held it up to the sunlight, I just smiled. That is when I realised that this rock was shaped by all sort of forces and had become the shape it was. Again, the thought struck me that I was shaped by other people, other situations – leading a life where it was not me.

When I was running one of my Accredited Diploma Courses in Coaching and Mentoring. I had the notion to tell my Rock Story – so I did. I took this one stage further by giving each person a little round rock of their own before they depart for home. This was my personal present to them – they now had control of this rock, not me. I informed them that they are in charge of that rock – as they are now in charge of themselves. The metaphor here is that they and no-one else, now shapes their future. They can facilitate this with the tools that I had given them on the course. Oh, they may decide to throw it away, put it in their sock draw or put it on their rockery in the garden – the important thing was, it was their choice to do that not mine.

I have still people who still have their rock. In fact I met a lady the other day who said to me “I’ve still got that rock you gave me”. This particular person used to be the MD of a multi million turnover business in the UK. In turn this company was bought by a global player in their field of expertise. She decided to leave and set up her own Global Technical Marketing Organisation. She is doing very well in her new venture, getting clients and imparting her marketing knowledge across the globe.

I am also in contact with another lady who used to have a global role in a German Pharmaceutical Company. She re-shaped herself also when she had her own rock; she gave her old self back to herself. Which is exactly what I did. She subsequently changed to another Global Pharmaceutical Company, and she now runs their Far East Division. She informed me in a recent email that her rock sits on her desk in her office and has pride of place.

For me, when I do something for someone, either Coaching or Mentoring I do not expect anything in return. However, it is lovely when I hear that my Rock Story itself has now gone Global!

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