How ‘Commit 100% or You’re Not Serious!’ can cause you to fail

How ‘Commit 100% or You’re Not Serious!’ can cause you to fail

I’m lazy. I like things to be easy. If you tell me that in order to get healthy I need to go on an anti-inflammatory diet where I have to give up, well, let’s just say, food, I won’t do it. It’s too hard to stop tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, flour, dairy, sugar, pasta, bread, and everything else that makes life worth living all at once.

I will not do it. Not one bit of it—much less the whole shebang.

I balk like a stubborn mule. Do you have a mule?

Mules don’t like overwhelm.

How my Physical Therapist unwittingly used a Japanese strategy to deal with my mule

I recently engaged a Physical Therapist for a repetitive strain injury. Typically I left it until I couldn’t move my thumb at all and was in agony. He helped a lot with the recalcitrant thumb, but it was something else he showed me that you may find interesting.

We discussed a health problem I had had for several years that caused breathlessness and left me exhausted after even the smallest amount of exercise. I was terribly unfit as a result. And mule-like I didn’t like going 3 times a week to the exercise classes my doctor insisted on.

My PT taught me just one thing—how to breathe. I mean really breathe. Big gulping deep breaths for minutes at a time. All day. Whenever I thought about it. He persuaded me to buy a fitness watch that would beep to remind me to breathe.

Breathe. I can do that. It’s pretty cheap and very easy. The Mule in me didn’t notice.

Well, gentle reader; I’m here to tell you it got me off the couch. After a few weeks I had more energy and was using the treadmill for more than 2 minutes before collapsing. I even got in a swimming pool for the first time in 5 years.

All because of breathing? Yes.

One thoughtful change had worked better than all the expert advice from umpteen doctor/chiropractor/acupuncture/massage therapist appointments pooled together. Oh, and kick in a portable oxygen tank that I never used.

What my PT had done for me, albeit unconsciously, was mimic a Japanese system called Kaizen.

A little background here is interesting

Hang in there with me.

In the years following WW2 the Japanese were exhausted and defeated—their economy destroyed by the devastating effects of war. Japan was in dire straits, yet within 30 years bounced back with one of the strongest economies in the world.

American businessmen traveled to Japan to learn their secret and discovered that the Japanese employed a method called Kaizen to get back on their feet. It involved making itty-bitty changes—not big ones. They tackled their huge problems one tiny step at a time, one week at a time. It worked. Spectacularly well.

Kaizen literally means ‘incremental change, continuous improvement’.

Start with the smallest and practice the easiest.

How does this apply to me, I hear you cry?

Simply this. If you make small, seemingly insignificant, but thoughtful adjustments in your life, slowly but surely everything will start to improve.

What about, if instead of those huge monstrous dietary deprivations, you gave up just one thing for that flipping anti-inflammatory diet?  Let’s say sugar. Or pop drinks. Or cereal. Just one thing. Won’t kill you.

You can do that. Even I could.

Overly ambitious goals will trigger overwhelm and defeat. They don’t motivate.

Tiny changes will slip under the radar of the mule-mind.

So, let’s look at your goal or challenge

What is the smallest step you can take this week in relation to it? Can you do it for a week?

  • Treadmill for just 5 minutes a day?
  • Learn one Spanish verb this week and use it?
  • Give up sugar in your tea? See if you can stand stevia. Just for a week.
  • Don’t watch YouTube while you eat breakfast. (Not sure I can do that one. May be too challenging.)

Think tiny. Don’t go big. Think easy. Think small.

Ignore advice to ‘Go big or go home!’ ‘Go all in’, or ‘Make a 100% commitment if you’re serious! 98% is not good enough’. Bad advice.

Instead, go for 50% max. More or less willing to give it a go. What have I got to lose. Why not.

Next time you feel overwhelmed with an issue and all your myriad options, try Kaizen. You’ll be amazed. It’s unimpressive, dull, unspectacular, not at all sexy, but will get you results.

Let me know how you get on. I’m genuinely interested.

My approach to coaching is based on this philosophy. So if you want help getting that mule moving, or more info about Kaizen, contact me by replying to this email.

Easy and effortless beats difficult and challenging every time.

Fool that mule.

Cheers!
Margaret
Kaizen Coach and Mule Kicker Extraordinaire
margaretnashcoach.com

 

 

 

Like what you just read? Sign up for free email updates. You’ll get a free copy of my ebook Sacred Cow Alert - 5 New Age Myths that May be Killing All Your Relationships!

You may unsubscribe from my list at any time in complete privacy, no questions asked. But I hope you don’t. There will be no spam and my occasional newsletter will be chock full of actually helpful information.
My ‘Let’s Get Real’ Goal Resuscitation Scheme

My ‘Let’s Get Real’ Goal Resuscitation Scheme

Well here we are, a third of the way into 2019. And already some of those terribly exciting goals I set in the New Year have fallen by the wayside. Seems like just yesterday I was frantically recording them in notebooks. I love doing that. It’s one of my favorite activities and I faithfully set my goals in stone each year.

I do not want to admit how many come to fruition, how many are totally forgotten, nor how many seem to end up on the stone tablet year in, year out without the slightest discernible progress. I don’t think I’m alone here—apparently losing 10lbs, getting more exercise, and learning a foreign language rank high on this perpetual list of non-achievement for many.

Sigh. Put learning Spanish on that one for me. I live in Mexico so this can safely be said to be important, politically correct, and embarrassing not to have accomplished.

For over a decade it has reared its troublesome and challenging head on my lists of Very Important Goals for any given year. And I think I can honestly admit I understand a conversation in Spanish about as well as I did 10 years ago.

This goal needs life support, resuscitation. I had pretty much given up on it.

Until recently. I happened upon a comment about project management that seemed to apply to this area. It was about being realistic with what you’re not willing to do in any given circumstance where you’re trying to accomplish something. I played around with it, added some steps, got it to work for me and dubbed it the “Let’s Get Real Goal Resuscitation Scheme”.

It’s especially for those annoying goals that stubbornly won’t manifest for some reason. The ones that seem to fizzle somewhere around January 5.

And it’s working! Two months into it, I have actually been complimented on how much my Spanish has improved lately. Please trust me, this has never happened before.

Here it is.

Take a recurring goal that needs life support. Choose your favorite. Fill in the blanks.

  • State the goal.
  • I am NOT willing to…..
  • I AM willing to….
  • There is a remote possibility I might just, maybe, POSSIBLY be willing to….

So….let’s say it’s learning Spanish. Ahem.

Goal: I want to get better at Spanish, be able to understand conversations, speak and be understood.

I’m NOT willing to:….go to any more classes, employ a tutor (shoot me first), spend two hours a day on it, watch Spanish speaking soaps or cartoons. (I’ve done all of that)

I AM willing to:….do some online course of some sort. Maybe 10 mins a day.

I might just, maybe, POSSIBLY be willing to:…work with a friend, go to a class with a friend (combine it with social occasion), start speaking it every chance I get for practice.

Well, lo and behold, getting real about it, and recognizing what I absolutely am not willing to do any more, kind of broke the impasse I had created.

When we kid ourselves about what we are actually willing to do, we remain stuck. And sometimes we set unrealistic or overly vague goals (to learn Spanish) and become overwhelmed. I had this big picture of attending classes, which cost a fortune and were held 3X a week. And did nothing for my Spanish. I’ve done it before.

After getting real with myself, I discovered an online course that doesn’t make me with froth at the mouth or bleed from the ears after 10 minutes (SynergySpanish.com), and while I don’t listen every day, I am managing it several times a week. It’s working. There is this smidgen of progress. A teeny tiny light at the end of the Spanish-speaking tunnel.

Try this process on your most stubborn goals. Try it on the 10 lbs one (come on, it’s on everybody’s list unless you’re skinny). See what comes up.

Let me know.

(If you want to know more about how to get goal setting to actually work, instead of just depressing you, shoot me an email and we can work together. I have some great processes for kick starting stubborn stuff back into gear.)

Like what you just read? Sign up for free email updates. You’ll get a free copy of my ebook Sacred Cow Alert - 5 New Age Myths that May be Killing All Your Relationships!

You may unsubscribe from my list at any time in complete privacy, no questions asked. But I hope you don’t. There will be no spam and my occasional newsletter will be chock full of actually helpful information.
Goal setting—3 questions to get you started

Goal setting—3 questions to get you started

I confess.stewardshipadvocates.org

I love setting goals. Come New Year’s Eve and I’m sitting with a notebook and cup of tea writing like a crazy person, planning my next year. I think making them is great fun, but I overcomplicate the process and frequently end up with a dog’s dinner of various outrageous and overly ambitious nonsense.

And then they don’t happen.  And if I hadn’t written them down so carefully, I wouldn’t remember what they were.

I bet if I asked you what your new year’s resolutions were, you would groan and tell me you don’t like setting goals, because you either forget about them right after making them, or worse, they don’t ever happen even if you do everything right.

You’ve probably already forgotten them.

Goal setting for many conjures up ideas of struggling to figure out what you want in life and making complicated plans you will never stick to for more than a week.

Ugh…fear and loathing.

And reading over your last year’s grand and glorious intentions just doesn’t feel good. Feels kind of like failure.

Thing is, setting goals and figuring out what direction you want to take can work extremely well and can bring things into your life you never thought possible. At least this is what we keep hearing.

After years of complicated processes from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, to SMART goals, to Neuro-linguistic Programming techniques, with random results, I now follow a more intuitive method. Last year I hit nearly every target I set for myself. So I’m not giving up goal setting; it’s my little addiction. Now I’ve learned how to make my addiction work for me.

The secret is to keep it really simple.

Here are 3 questions to get you focused. You don’t really need any more. Keep it simple.

  1. What is it I don’t have right now in my life that I would like to have?
  2. What do I need to do that I’m not doing right now?
  3. What would I be willing to sacrifice to make it happen?

Just answer the questions without overthinking them. Question #3 can be the real game changer. A no brainer for me: social media. What about you?

These questions apply to all areas of life—health, finances, relationships, house and home—any area at all. It can be about material, mundane things, or about lofty spiritual or personal development goals.

Make sure it’s something over which you have some control. You can’t change other people or run their lives.

Watch the magic start to happen.

 

 

If this subject is interesting and relevant to you, there is lots more to enjoy in my book, Rebellious Aging: A Self-help Guide for the Old Hippie at Heart, available online in Kindle and paperback; if you live in San Miguel, it’s for sale in the Biblioteca bookstore.

Also, if you live or visit San Miguel, please come for a life coaching session and get personal help in kickstarting 2018!

I’d love to hear how this works for you! Contact me at margaretnashcoach@gmail.com and look out for workshops and practice groups on this and similar life coaching subjects.

Like what you just read? Sign up for free email updates. You’ll get a free copy of my ebook Sacred Cow Alert - 5 New Age Myths that May be Killing All Your Relationships!

You may unsubscribe from my list at any time in complete privacy, no questions asked. But I hope you don’t. There will be no spam and my occasional newsletter will be chock full of actually helpful information.