Month: January 2015

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Are you Taking the Right Steps Towards Your Goals?

A lot of people are wearing “activity trackers” to help them gain health and fitness and I am now one of them. They provide a visual measurement on how physically active we have been for the day and an additional spur to become more active to burn our caloric intake. They are a great tool to help you achieve your goals.

They are also happen to be a great conversation starter. I have found others wearing these trackers have opened up conversations with me over the last four weeks in may places. Many of these stories have been uplifting, while others highlight the inadequacies that we have as human beings. I had a number of women tell me how their husbands have found a way to register “steps” by just moving or waving their arms. (why is it always the husbands?)

They found a way to cheat.

But they may be showing they are active BUT they are not accomplishing anything!

Which leads me to this line of thought.

“Activity alone is not accomplishment”

So why do people cheat? Why do they have to find a way to defeat the program?

To me it’s because of three simple facts.

  1. We are in a competition with someone.
  2. We don’t want to look bad.
  3. We don’t own the goal.

From my experience, I understand that goals will only work when we do. When we own the goal we will do better than if we simply “accept” the goal. When we accept the goal, we often create a lot of “activity” but little accomplishment. We want to be “seen” doing the right thing, not necessarily doing the right thing. You need to be taking the RIGHT STEPS towards your goal, not just any step.

So here are my five ways to ensure you are taking the RIGHT STEPS towards your goals.

1. Know what you want.

Sounds simple, right. Yet, we often don’t know what we want. We can say what we don’t want. But we need to know what we want and then we focus on it. The magic happens when we focus on what we want. Our attention is real, our actions become determined and we start making it happen.

2. Make a plan

The first part of action must be to write the goal down and the put your plan together. What is your first step? What is the next step? What are the daily steps that need to change to ensure you reach your goal? What is your goal?Get it all on paper and get your goal-plan, your map together.

3. Know your path

Understand what it will take to get to where you wish to go. We all know we can drive from Brisbane to Perth, but we cannot do it in a day, no matter how good we are. Attempting to do so will end in failure.

With everything worth achieving you need to understand the path you have to take. Add this to your map. Know the path well.

4. Celebrate the Small Steps

Along the way take time to acknowledge your progress. At the end of each day review your steps and ask yourself. “Did today help me or hurt me?” If you took the right steps, pat yourself on the back and celebrate a little. If it hurt you, correct it for tomorrow.

5. Map your way around the roadblocks.

Along the path, you will surely come across roadblocks and obstacles. Maybe the same ones that have stopped you in the past. But today is different. Map your way around that roadblock. Look for another point on your map that you can work towards to work your way around the block. Like that road-trip to Perth, if one road is blocked, you would look for another way. There are always other ways to get to a set place. Just because your preferred path is blocked, doesn’t mean your goal is.

Take the right steps.

Activity is not accomplishment. I am sure you know people who are always busy but rarely accomplishing or successful in what they do. And while we will often be focused and determined to achieve, we can also be our own worst enemies as we listen to our own excuses and stop. You would be hard pressed to find one person in history who was singly driven and solely responsible for their own success. You need to look for those that will motivate, inspire, challenge and support you. If you don’t have them, look for them. Because:

“Environment is stronger than will”

Ask yourself.

  1. Who is around you that supports yet challenges you to succeed?
  2. Analyse why you didn’t achieve in the past and ask yourself “What’s Changed?
  3. Am I taking the RIGHT STEPS or am I just being active for the sake of being active?

Tony Curl is a coach that helps his clients take the right steps and actions towards their desired outcomes and goals. He is the founder of Leadership, Life and Style and his programs build better leaders and drives better results for business owners and executives alike. He can be contacted from his webpage or by phoning +61 417 197 149.

Distractions Hurt

Distractions Hurt. They hurt your focus; they hurt your productivity; they derail you from achieving your goals.

Every time I think of distractions I immediately visualize Homer Simpson chasing a dog down the street, because it has a fluffy tail. Arms outstretched oblivious to everything going on around him. It’s a strong image that has stuck with me and one that allows me when I get distracted, to have a laugh, realize how stupid the distraction is and get back to focused work.

So how relevant, that this article on distraction features a dog… son’s chocolate Labrador, Milton.

I have a number of goals that I will achieve this year. One of them is a personal goal of re-gaining some fitness and drop some of the excess baggage I have accumulated over the last couple of years. With that in mind, my goal is to run the 10km version of the Gold Coast Marathon this year in July.
Now I am not a runner. I enjoy walking, enjoy the gym and played team sports in my youth, but have always found running tough mentally and physical, especially on my calves and knees.

With that in mind, I have mapped out a six month program of slowly building endurance so by the time July rolled out, my 10km goal would be there for the taking. The Power of Small Steps in action: starting small and building the distance as my fitness grows.

This is where my story of Milton comes in. I am currently doing a “time trial” every morning on a one kilometre circuit. Yesterday I chose to take Milton with me. When we make decisions, we should take into account a number of factors….Like the fact that Milton is a handful when we walk him, that he is a strong young dog, and that he loves sniffing poles, flowers and growling whenever her hears another dog.

Did I? No….I just thought it would be a good thing to do.

What followed was a comedy of errors over 5 and a bit minutes, in which Milton did what Milton does. He bolted from side to side, almost dragging my arm out of the socket; almost causing me on a number of occasions to trip over him. He growled, he stopped, he sniffed, he got under my feet; all done at a 5 minute a kilometre pace. I was jerked all over the place without warning and I needed all my energy to keep Milton close and straight.

One thing!. Milton enjoyed himself. I am not sure that I did. The continual distractions from Milton created an environment that was not conducive to producing my best. Distractions like this will often cause a derailment..

This morning, on waking, I felt a small twinge in my knee, when I took off for my morning walk with my wife. I immediately knew it was due to the extra jerks and demands created from my choice of running with Milton. By the time we had returned, I was warmer and I completed my 1km time trial with no ill-effects.

The pain was exactly what I was trying to eliminate by starting small and building, allowing my body to grow resilient as the distance grew. The distraction of Milton almost derailed me. It was lesson of focus for me.

Now over the next six months, I have another goal. To train Milton to walk and run better and calmly. But when I want to focus on my endurance, and hitting my monthly targets for my 10km goal, I will be running alone and focused on achieving.

So what lessons can we take from this.

Think of your goals and your focus on attaining them.

  1. Are you distracted by the “shiny new objects”? (or fluffy tails in the cae of Homer)
  2. Do you do the “easy” parts of the goal map, and keep telling yourself that you will get to the more challenging aspects?
  3. When you make a choice, is it an informed choice?
  4. Is it better for you to work focused for a shorter time, than a day full of distractions?

What are you doing today to set you up for the best shot to your goals for 2015.
Tony Curl is a coach that empowers executives and business owners to align their actions to their goals and to achieve their desired outcomes. He is internationally certified and runs the acclaimed Four Pillars of Success program, the workshop developed from the concept of Dr Steve Maraboli and guaranteed for your goal achievement. To contact Tony please visit his website at Leadership, Life and Style.

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