HIGHLIGHTS: How to Master the Number 1 Skill That All Successful People Share In 6 Simple Steps Part Two

 

Last week we discussed the value of knowing your goals and having a crystal clear picture of where you are headed, this week we look at steps two and three which help us foster greater levels of self discipline.

 

Step Two: Don’t Pay Any Attention to Enablers

 

The first stumbling block I came upon when trying to instil more self-discipline in my life was with my enablers. You probably know them, the friends who will do anything to encourage you to come out for ‘one drink’ or ‘go to the cinema’ at a moments notice.

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HIGHLIGHTS: How to Master the Number 1 Skill That All Successful People Share In 6 Simple Steps Part One

 

We’ve all done it. We’ve all chosen instant gratification over long-term gain at some point or another. The problem for my twenty-five year old self was that it became my default way of being. For many of us, we continue this approach to life well into our thirties, despite the clear advantages of having higher levels of self-discipline such as increasing our productivity, achieving our goals and ultimately being happier.

 

But self-discipline has a bad reputation, it’s the dirty little word that most people associate with book worms or scientists. In reality though, all successful people possess self-discipline, even interesting creative types, like well known actresses and famous musicians. It is the one quality which enables us to master all others and without it, our goals become infinitely harder, if possible at all, to achieve.

 

How do we foster more self-discipline? Is it possible? Although I am not as disciplined I would like to be, I am incredibly self-disciplined compared to my twenty-five year old self, for example this past Christmas I wrote over 15,000 words for my following years blog articles.

 

So yes, you can absolutely foster more self-discipline and become a pro at achieving your goals, whether in life, love or work. True self-discipline remains a skill that relatively few possess and, by developing your own self-discipline, you will ensure you stand out from the crowd.

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5 Things To Give Up For A Healthier 2018

This past year was a rough one for me, and I know it wasn’t easy for many others. But here we are on the other side. Now, it’s time to turn things around for 2018.

 

This year, I’ve vowed to take control of the things in my life that can be controlled. And as I sat down to write a list, I realized there aren’t many things I can truly control. There’s really only one thing on that list: My outlook.

 

I’m motivated to make 2018 a great year filled with health and happiness, and I know it all starts with a positive outlook.

 

So with my sights set on a half-full glass, I decided to let go of anything that brought me down in 2017. If you have these things in your life, it may be time for you to give them up too.

5 Things to Give up for a Healthier 2018

1. Alcohol

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous addictive substances available, and that’s partly because it’s so available. You can’t get heroin at the grocery store, but you can almost certainly buy a 6-pack (depending on your state’s laws).

 

Here are a few facts about alcohol that may change your mind about having even one more glass in 2018:

Alcohol alters your brain chemistry

 

When you think about the dangers of alcohol, your mind may conjure images of car accidents and liver damage. And it’s true that alcohol can do some serious physical harm, but it would be naïve to think that alcohol only harms the body.

 

As a depressant, alcohol can disrupt a delicate balance of chemicals and processes that affect our thoughts, feelings and actions even after we sober up.

Alcohol can increase stress and anxiety

 

When you drink, you aren’t as aware of your surroundings as you are when you’re sober. This can lead you to misinterpret situations. Such misunderstandings can easily increase your stress and anxiety levels. Could this be why there are so many bar-room brawls? Even if you aren’t prone to fighting, it’s healthier to be in control at all times.

Alcohol can worsen depression

 

Alcohol works on the dopamine receptors in your brain to trick you into thinking you’re having the time of your life. Unfortunately, alcohol will also deplete your serotonin levels over time. Serotonin helps regulate your mood and keeps you feeling good.

2.      Overthinking

 

Overthinking seems to be at the root of many problems. At least, that’s the case for me. But overthinking can also be seductive. You tell yourself that you’re just trying to see things from all angles. And then you find yourself re-examining every conversation you’ve ever had. Or so it seems.

 

Overthinking also goes hand-in-hand with worry and anxiety. These are two things I’d like to avoid in 2018.

 

Here’s one practice I’ve recently learned that can help keep overthinking at bay:

 

When the thoughts enter your mind, ask yourself whether this is a problem you can solve. If you can do something about it now, solve it straight away. If it must be solved later, set a reminder to work on it at a future time. If you cannot solve this problem, try not to think about it all.

3.      Excessive caffeine

 

In our coffee-obsessed society, it’s easy to forget that caffeine is a drug. As such, it stimulates your central nervous system.

 

I’ve been in the habit of having at least three strong coffees each day. This may not put me in the danger zone for major health issues, but it does up my anxiety levels.

 

If you’re struggling with caffeine intake too, join me in replacing some of those cups with an herbal tea.

4.      Skipping breakfast

 

Yes, it’s cliché, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Eating breakfast can help boost your metabolism, set the tone for a healthy day and give you a quick fix of essential nutrients that will boost energy. With more natural energy, we should crave less coffee, so that’s another bonus.

 

Try adding something simple like avocado toast or overnight oats.

5.      Procrastinating

 

If you’re anything like me, you’ll procrastinate until the very last minute, and then rush to get everything done. But all that rushing causes so much unnecessary stress.

 

Create a calendar of all your daily tasks and try to check them off as early in the day as possible.

 

Although this list is very personal for me, I suspect many people struggle with the same harmful habits. If we can all make an effort to avoid these things in 2018, we may find it easier to handle whatever challenges await us in 2018.

 

What are you planning to give up to make 2018 a healthier year?

HIGHLIGHTS: Achieving Change – How to live the life you long for; Part Four

Picture courtesy of Openphoto

Picture courtesy of Openphoto

 

It is no exaggeration that Tony Robbins has mastered the science of change and self-empowerment. Keen to gain insight through Tony’s teachings I went to his Unleash The Power Within programme. Held over four days, Unleash The Power Within would help me to understand what motivated me, allow me to face my fears (often an obstacle to change) and change my life for the better. I completed my fire walk on the first day and the sense of achievement in having overcome the fear I felt was profound. What I didn’t expect was that in going to Unleash The Power Within I dealt with my biggest gear which had held me back – my fear of intimacy. Tony helped me to gain a crystal clear image of what this fear had cost me and as a result I was able to change my past behaviour by facing my fear (just as I had done in the fire walk) by telling a good friend that I liked him, something I otherwise would not have had the courage to do. If you want to face your fears and affect fundamental changes you want in your life I would recommend going to Unleash The Power Within, it truly is a once in a lifetime experience. Alternatively, Tony’s book Giant Steps reveals small changes we can all make that will lead to giant leaps forward in our quality of life.

 

Naturally when we make changes there will be set backs along the way but it is worth remembering that this is normal and does not equate to failing. When we realise we have gotten off track we simply need to revisit both the cost of not changing and the benefits of changing to boost our motivation, cement our resolve and review if we need to adapt our approach. After all, the more we practise something, the more likely it will become a habit and stick. It is also worth building in rewards for when you stick to your new changes, like going to the cinema or setting aside an evening off just for you. You could do this to celebrate your first, second or even six month anniversary since sticking to the changes you set yourself.

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HIGHLIGHTS: Achieving Change – How to live the life you long for; Part Three

Picture courtesy of Openphoto

Picture courtesy of Openphoto

 

Now we know our values it is time to make our resolutions and goals. Usually resolutions and goals are confused for one another however it is useful to remember that resolutions are based on habits which we would like to adopt in our day to day lives whereas goals are our desired achievements with deadlines and are likely to be bigger in scale. Please read Augusts series ‘How to turn your dreams into reality’ for an in-depth look into discovering and creating meaningful goals.

 

Ok, so our values, resolutions and goals are all aligned. What next? More

HIGHLIGHTS: Achieving Change – How to live the life you long for; Part Two

Achieving Change

Picture courtesy of Openphoto

 

 

Just as critical to achieving lasting change is to focus on the benefits of changing our behaviour. Imagine the best case scenario in your mind’s eye and how much better your life would be if you kept to this resolution or goal. Imagine every detail of what your life would look like with your new changes in place. Take this time to list the benefits of achieving the change you desire and place this list somewhere you will see it every day, like your mirror or fridge. In visualising the value a change can make to our lives we reinforce the reason we desire to change. If you ever find yourself lacking drive re-read this list, visualising your new life as you go through it. This should serve to boost your motivation and resolve to continue to implement the change.

 

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HIGHLIGHTS: Achieving Change – How to live the life you long for; Part One

 

Picture courtesy of Openphoto

 

 

Tony Robbins, international bestselling author, world renowned life coach and motivational speaker once famously said “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” For many of us the start of the New Year represents a chance for a new beginning – a chance to make valuable changes that will improve our quality of life. Sadly our New Year resolutions are often discarded by the time February arrives as we remember just how difficult it can be to break old habits and form new ones.

 

It is a widely accepted fact that it takes twenty one days to form a new habit however this is usually contradictory to what we experience when trying to keep to our resolutions or new goals. Interestingly, a recent study by University College London has found that on average it actually takes sixty six days to fully embed a new habit into our daily regimes – that is nine and a half weeks! But is there any way to help speed up this process? Can we ever change quickly? According to Tony Robbins we can affect change in our lives faster if we focus on what our old habits are costing us and examine the benefits our new changes will bring.

 

Let me share my own experience of rapid change with you.

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HIGHLIGHTS: Romance Questionnaire

One of the easiest ways to do a life audit is to just ask yourself ten questions for each area of your life and then give yourself a score to find out how to rate yourself.

 

Below I’ve outlined ten questions for the romance life area so you can easily assess where you’re currently at – simply give yourself a score out of ten for each question with one being awful and ten being excellent, with no room for improvement. And just in case you were wondering, this is designed for singletons too!

 

  1. Are you happy as an individual, by yourself?
  2. Is your self-esteem tied to the opposite sex? (Scoring: Completely = 1, Not at all = 10)
  3. Are you happy with the amount of romance in your life?
  4. Do you go on dates either if you’re single or within your relationship?
  5. Do you seek out new and exciting things to do in order to meet the opposite sex or to do with your partner?

 

If you are single score yourself between 1 and 20 for each of the first five questions above.  If you are in a relationship answer all ten questions and score yourself between 1 and 10 for each.

 

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HIGHLIGHTS: Friends and Family Questionnaire

One of the easiest ways to do a life audit is to just ask yourself ten questions for each area of your life and then give yourself a score to find out how to rate yourself.

 

Below I’ve outlined ten questions for the friends and family life area so you can easily assess where you’re currently at – simply give yourself a score out of ten for each question with one being awful and ten being excellent, with no room for improvement.

 

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HIGHLIGHTS: Relaxation Questionnaire

One of the easiest ways to do a life audit is to just ask yourself ten questions for each area of your life and then give yourself a score to find out how to rate yourself.

 

Below I’ve outlined ten questions for the relaxation life area so you can easily assess where you’re currently at – simply give yourself a score out of ten for each question with one being awful and ten being excellent, with no room for improvement.

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