Setting Goals for 2020? Stop! Do this first for great results

Hey! Can it really only be a few days away from 2020? Time to set goals…..again? So soon!

Seriously, I love setting goals for the New Year. It’s fun and optimistic and motivating to me. Gets my juices flowing.

I confess though, inevitably when I look back at my goals from the past year, I wonder why I bothered. I keep records of all my goals and if I glance over a decade, I can clearly see that I probably hit only about 20% of them.

So last year I tried something different. Sure, I still set my very specific financial and personal goals, but I also added a new ingredient that was bang on target and made everything else work.

Let me share.

Here is my process. I call this my Pre-Goal Game Plan—3 steps you need to take before you set your goals for better results.

So…looking back over the past year or more…

1) Think of an area in your life where you would prefer to have been more effective.

You didn’t hit that goal or make those needed improvements. Examples: Learning a new skill, getting your health in hand, getting along with family, making presentations, being more productive, and creating smarter work habits, etc.

2) Now, think of an area of your life where you are really successful; something you already do well and with total confidence.

Examples: An aspect of your job, cooking, a sport, languages, computer skills, etc.

Now, here’s the key that unlocks the goodies.

3) What is the difference between the two?

What do you do in the unsuccessful areas that differ from the activities you excel in? How do you behave? What are you saying to yourself and what do you believe about doing those activities?

What happens when things go wrong? How do you recover? When you know you are off-track or not achieving what you want, how do you respond—what are you thinking and feeling? What do you tell yourself?

So, in other words, what is the difference between the successful recoveries and the not so successful ones?

3) Now, imagine you are ‘mapping over’, i.e. transferring those components of success to areas where you aren’t achieving.

Just visualize yourself doing the desired activity and imagine you are applying all the thoughts, beliefs, and actions from things you do well. How would you be feeling? Behaving? Handling setbacks?

You know you can do it. You already have, just not with this specific thing.

For me, this process gave some astonishing insights.

For a long time I had been good at both preparing and delivering talks and trainings, which came from my 10 years’ experience as a business trainer.

But marketing? Sheesh. I was terrible at it. It required skill sets that I knew I didn’t have.

So I dug into the differences. When preparing for a talk I knew I had to put in a certain amount of work, I knew exactly what that work entailed, and I believed and was certain that it would pay off. I just had to slog away until the preparation was done.

If I found I didn’t like the direction it was taking, or I messed up with something, I would simply start again and persist until it was working for me. I knew I could do it.

For the marketing, on the other hand, if it didn’t work straight away and give me the results I wanted, I would throw up my hands and quit. Do something else. Why bother with this?

Successful marketers persist until they get it right. They adapt and adjust their tactics if they don’t work first time. They know what they need to do and are certain they will get results. Just like I do with my workshops and speech prep.

Conclusion? I need to believe that if I persist with my marketing, hang in there and just do the work, results will come. I also need to study up on it a bit more, and either farm out or learn to do the technical stuff myself, and have confidence that what I’m doing is the right strategy. Then get busy, just do it, as someone said, (Gandhi? Dali Lama? L’Oreal? Wait, Nike!) and not give up at the first obstacle.

You are your own best role model

In Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) we call this self-modeling. You know how you can be successful better than anyone else because you’ve done it before. You just need to dig deep into what you do well and compare it to areas you would like to improve.

Think of the implications. If we can model ourselves and de-construct our own successes and failures, we will have a powerful set of tools to achieve whatever we want in life.

For me, this has worked better than goal setting on its own. For my marketing I imagine I’m an experienced marketer who knows and believes in what she is doing. It really helps me to not start second guessing everything I’m doing. I now just get on with it.

But I still like to set goals, just adding in this new information about how to get there. Being more mindful about it.

I urge you to try it out. Just 3 steps. It’s actually fun. I’d love to know what you come up with. Contact me here.

I’ll talk some more next time about a great way to set your goals once you know where you need to change.

Have a great holiday and happy goal prepping!

Margaret

margaretnashcoach.com

If you would like some personal help with goal setting, or with mapping over your success qualities to your disappointments, just shoot me an email at margaretnashcoach@gmail.com. This is one of my favorite activities so I’d love to get stuck in with you.

Book a session with me now for the New Year and keep my current prices! They are going up in January 2020. The new prices for coaching are already on my website so contact me here margaretnashcoach@gmail.com for current charges that you can keep forever.

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Your Moods Dictate Your Quality of Life. Here’s how to take control.

Your Moods Dictate Your Quality of Life. Here’s how to take control.

See if you relate to this.

The other day I woke up in a melancholy mood. “The bittersweet melancholy of another new dawn”, as my poet friend Scott Hastie expresses it so nicely.

I rarely get depressed, and then not for long, and I’m usually an upbeat, positive sort, so a melancholy mood felt strange. I didn’t know what to do with it, quite literally. I felt out of sorts, kind of off balance. Why, I wondered? Nothing bad was going on in my life, and all was well.

Have you had this happen?

As I examined it more closely I realized it was due to several things, all unrelated. I had watched a disturbing film the night before, several people had unsubscribed to my list (turns out they were on the wrong list), the sales on one of my books was down, and a client had cancelled her appointment due to illness.

Big deal! None of it important or earth shattering. Each on its own something I wouldn’t even blink at. Yet I had managed to pull them all together into a rather unpleasant tale and was unconsciously sending this charming message to myself—Nobody likes me, Everybody hates me, I think I’ll go and eat worms!

As soon as I woke up to this, it all went away and I was fine. No worms were harmed in the writing of this.

It got me thinking. While I was indulging my melancholy outlook, I got nothing done. The day was blue, I was blue, and nothing was going to get accomplished in that state.

What is a mood?

A mood is a generalized emotional state, which forms your attitude, and colors how you look at the world. Your frame of mind so to speak. So we have cranky, sour, melancholy moods, as well as peaceful, optimistic, blissful moods, and oh, don’t forget that seriously general mood, the blahs.

Every mood is a narrative,

…a story we have concocted around what is happening in our lives. Frequently it’s not even current stuff, but something triggered from the past. So we can get grumpy about something that happened 20 years ago without even knowing why.

We are not conscious we are creating the tale. We only feel the mood.

Our moods are more important than most of us realize. Successful people have control of their moods. They don’t let them take over and ruin their day. They push back against the dictator and create empowering moods.

Unhappy people don’t have control over their moods, which are usually of failure, or defeat, or inadequacy.

Moods rule our lives and dictate the kind of results we get in life. Mood matters.

The good news is you can control your mood and can always choose a useful one.

I use a technique (from Michael Neill) for mood control THAT WORKS EVERY TIME! It’s only 3 steps, so I encourage you to memorize it. You never know when it will come in handy.

This is how you dig out a bad mood and drag it blinking and snarling into the light of day. Leave the good ones alone. They are working for you.

Here we go. When you have a strange mood, and you don’t know the cause, complete these 3 sentences.

1) I’m feeling…….
(List all the words you can think of to describe your mood. Get as specific as possible. Remember, moods are general so home in on it.)

2) Because…..
(List all the possible triggers that come to mind. It’s usually more than one.)

3) Which means…..
(Aha, here is the story, the narrative. What nonsense are you telling yourself about these events?)

When you look at the narrative you have uncovered, usually a blatant and silly generalization of unlinked occurrences, you can simply spin it. Find a new story, unlink the causes, and reframe all of it.

Remember:

Every mood is a narrative.

Every narrative can be rewritten, so if you don’t like the mood, change the story.

Honestly, this is deceptively powerful and effective. Please try it.

Happy start to the holiday season!
Margaret
margaretnashcoach.com
 

If you would like help identifying and exposing some killer moods then contact me for a session either online or in person here in San Miguel de Allende. I’d love to help you make this work. Remember, if you don’t control your moods, then your moods control you! Contact me here.

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Banish This Toxic Word From Your Thinking

Banish This Toxic Word From Your Thinking

I was at the beach the other day watching a glorious sunset. Breathtaking.

The waves were gently breaking against the rocks on the beach, the water was aquamarine, there were fluffy clouds in the sky catching the pink light, and flocks of birds were flying somewhere, who knows, to sleep?

A few pelicans were still fishing and would swoop and crash dramatically into the water whenever they saw prey.

Sounds sublime, huh? And yet there I sat, melancholy, and not knowing why.

Then if occurred to me. I was feeling that I ought to be feeling all kinds of spiritual and uplifting emotions. That I was connected, enlightened, with some sort of witchy incantation to the setting sun on my lips. Or standing in some sort of yogic posture with a shamanic fire burning luminously, bidding farewell to the fading day.

No, instead, I was feeling irritated and a bit restless, and annoyed with myself for wasting this beautiful moment. That I ought to be feeling or doing something different.

Ought to. Ought. Roll it around in your head. Is that word ever welcome?

The other day a client was bemoaning the fact that she felt overwhelmed by everything she had to do and it spoilt her joy and wellbeing. She worked on her business from home and had a million ideas and responsibilities that needed to be acted on.

Ever been there?

I remarked that yes, we can be overpowered with too many things to do all at once. And too many things all at once frequently means whatever we are doing, we feel we ‘ought’ to be doing one of the other many things we need to do. We never feel we are doing what we should be doing and the result is frustration about not being good enough, or organized enough, somehow.

On the same beach holiday mentioned above, I was enjoying an afternoon alone on the balcony of our hotel room, reading my kindle, enjoying creative thoughts and making notes. Then suddenly my internal voice pitched up yapping ‘you ought to be down on the beach enjoying it while you’re here! You shouldn’t be doing this stuff when you’re in this lovely setting!’ Dang. There it was again.

Ought, ought, ought. That word trying to wriggle in and spoil my peace of mind. Telling me I’m never doing the right thing—there’s always a million other things that are better, more productive, good for me. Anything but this, Sunshine!

But I caught it this time. Drop kicked it over the balcony and into the sand.

Start noticing if the word ‘ought’ comes into your thinking. It does with me, often. I’m now noticing when I feel I ought to be cleaning the kitchen when I’m sitting on the veranda. Or I ought to be thinking about lunch when I’m working on this blog. Or I ought to be taking the dogs out for a walk instead of whatever I’m doing (now that’s probably true!).

Don’t talk to me about the treadmill. I always ought to be on that.

I’m dropping that word. Or at least taking note when it rears its ugly head. Banishing it. I invite you to join me in this experiment.

Just say no to any oughts that creep in.

Instead, give yourself permission to focus on whatever you’re doing and rebelliously give it your complete attention. Sit and bask in the sunset just for the beauty of it and lounge on the veranda with a book for as long as you like and feel good about it. Have a glass of iced tea and thumb your nose at even the slightest notion that there’s anything better to do.

The irony is you’ll become more productive, more focused, feel more peaceful and able to enjoy whatever you’re doing.

Because that’s what you ought to be doing!

 

 

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You can’t take it with you. Oh no, please, not that!

You can’t take it with you. Oh no, please, not that!

All my life I’ve heard the axiom, you can’t take it with you. And who can argue? You can’t take your money, your fabulous good looks, your home or your career—all those things you are clinging to so valiantly—with you when you die. So buck up Toots and keep your perspective.

It’s good advice. Don’t get too caught up in the things of this world which are ephemeral and will mean nothing when the end comes. Instead, focus on what matters in life—doing good deeds, love, friendship, and service. All that good stuff.

I always thought I had a handle on that. I certainly am not attached to jewelry or clothes (I buy clothes once a year from Dillard’s in one fell swoop), I’ve been busy de-cluttering my home for several years now, and I have a realistic approach to my career. I’m pretty darn detached from most stuff. I’ve got this, so I thought.

Until.

Until my computer died on me while on holiday in India. I woke up one morning and it was gone, not responding to anything, stubborn black screen staring back at me.

Up until then I had been gaily posting on Facebook about my journey, writing blogs, and generally keeping in touch with the world. Suddenly, nothing. (Before you ask, my phone was not set up for internet because I don’t like typing on it.)

So there I was, in an exciting area of India, Rishikesh, where the Beatles famously landed 51 years ago and kicked off an all things Indian/yoga/meditation craze that spread to the West, and wait, and I couldn’t share it with anyone?

The River Ganges was roaring a few feet away from my hotel balcony. Who can I tell?

Does it mean anything to me if I can’t share it? Sounds preposterous, and I’m a tad embarrassed about it, but these emotions of loss and abandonment flowed through me like the river beneath my window.

In a panicky frenzy I did manage to get my email on my husband’s computer, but little else of my entire life. Facebook and Gmail and Dropbox wouldn’t play ball. I forgot all my passwords and they were, guess where, on my computer. Doh!

Facebook was like, Northern India did you say? You want to change your password from there? Oh righty-o, we’re going to fall for that one. Go away. Ditto Gmail and Dropbox, Amazon, Kindle.

Yahoo, promiscuous as ever, let me in immediately—Sure, love, come on in, who needs a password? We believe you.

I went into withdrawal. Like coming off a drug. (So I’ve heard. Does coffee count?) The TV was not in English, my kindle needed replenishing and wouldn’t go online….and boy was this an eye opener about what I cling to!

A few heart wrenching days later, after surviving withdrawal, I began just sitting out on the balcony, doing nothing, watching the river flow. I liked it.

I became more relaxed about stuff that had been bothering me. I didn’t fret if plans had to be changed because of a monsoon spoiling that walk or making us late to some Wonder-of-the-World temple or monument.

I started to let go of a lot of ‘stuff’ that was clogging my life. Did I really need to have YouTube playing in the bathroom as I got ready to go out? No I did not.

I realized my computer had been keeping me from living in the moment.

And guess what? It belatedly dawned on me that I couldn’t take my computer with me when, well you know, that happens. Death, passing over, heading for the light.

I had a humorous moment of fantasizing about what it would be like to take it with me when I die, blogging and posting messages to everyone while it was happening.

“And … Guys, I’m in the tunnel now, yes that tunnel. Bigger than I thought it would be. Hey, you won’t believe who I saw first thing in front of the tunnel! Yes HIM. He’s very nice. It’s all a teensy bit scary but I see the light at the end and everyone has been very helpful and encouraging so far. I’m feeling OK, really, I’m fine, dealing with it. It’s happening! I’ll keep you posted. Later, folks.”

Ahem.

It was actually empowering to lose my computer and discover that my best friend and constant companion was a thing. A thing that breaks. And a false friend. A friend who would not be with me at the end.

I feel oddly liberated to know this.

What about you? Are you attached to something more than is recommendable? Anything you’re addicted to? Will you be OK letting go? And do you realize you can’t take it with you?

Later, folks. That’s all I’m confessing to for now.

Margaret

Now, if you are looking for a life-coach who is so highly evolved she doesn’t blink when her laptop crashes, then I’m probably not your gal.

However, on the one hand, I’ve been there, done that, and survived!

On the other, who wants to work with someone that evolved?

Contact me for all issues non-computer related and for help getting your life to work. Finding purpose, finding your niche, your voice, creating a new career, surviving transitions. I can help.
Sessions available online or in person in San Miguel. Great Mexican prices too. Check it out here.

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.
The 20 Second Rule to Live By

The 20 Second Rule to Live By

I confess. To the bewilderment of most of my friends I’m a huge sports fan. I like watching almost everything—from Wimbledon to American Ninja Warrior, I can watch for hours.

Maybe it’s because I’m so un-sporty that I admire and am in total awe of athletes.

I especially love watching the best in the world and can’t even imagine the discipline and practice it took them to get where they are. It inspires me. If I had just a smidgen of their zeal, what could I accomplish?

I heard a great sporting metaphor this morning on YouTube. It was related by a young man named Andrew Kirby and was based on the ancient philosophy of Stoicism.

Andrew had just completed a 28 day Stoic exercise on focusing on death (memento mori, remembering death in order to live better.)

Andrew insisted that meditating on death for 10 minutes every day had made him realize how important it is to live each moment fully, as if it were your last. It may be. You never know.

He likened it to a soccer player being allowed to play in the last 20 seconds of a game: the player runs on the field, and doesn’t give a thought to the fact that he wasn’t there for the whole game, nor to what will happen after the game.

He just grabs those 20 seconds he’s been given and makes the absolute most of it. He goes for the goal. Why not? He won’t have another chance. It’s his moment to make a difference and show what he’s made of.

I love this. What would it be like if we lived our lives as if we had been given 20 seconds to accomplish all we wanted to accomplish?

I wish I had heard this in time to put it in my new book on finding life purpose. The theme is so similar. The book is called Follow the Trail of Your Spirit and is all about how to live life in your best way.

You can grab it here.

Unfortunately it has no great sporting metaphors (!) but it does include lots of personal stories from me and my coaching clients. Hey, you may be in it! I hope you will find it fun and motivating.

It has gotten great feedback from early readers for which I am grateful. If you like it, I would be delighted if you gave it a nice review on Amazon. We indie writers are totally dependent on them!

Have a great week and seize your 20 seconds!

Margaret
www.margaretnashcoach.com

“Follow the Trail of Your Spirit is a fast-paced, easy-to-read, down-to-earth life-coaching guide to finding purpose, meaningful activity, and your perfect career. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find productive, satisfying, and fulfilling things to do, whether at work or simply hanging out at home, by just answering 10 questions?”

Click here

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A Life Lesson Learned in London

A Life Lesson Learned in London

Bliss, anxiety, and an interesting life lesson

I’m just back from London where I had the happy job of helping look after my brand new granddaughter for 2 months. Amazing how one tiny person can take up the entire attention and care of three doting, (and frequently frazzled) adults!

But despite the inevitable anxiety mixed with bliss and hard work, there was something strangely de-stressing about what I was doing. I had one job—rocking a baby for hours on end. So I couldn’t, and didn’t worry about all the other stuff I should be doing. No multi-tasking allowed. There was nothing more important I needed to do. Period.

It made me realize how seldom I am that focused in my everyday life.

One of the downsides of being self–employed and semi-retired is that I have to be a self-starter. The result is a long list of things to do and nobody to make me do them. Usually I fool around awhile with several at once getting nowhere and eventually get going on some great life-changing million dollar project.

The Saboteur strikes!

This is when I inevitably sabotage myself with thinking about all the other things I could be doing. The obvious solution is to go on Facebook. Just to see what’s happening since I last looked five minutes ago, otherwise I might miss something important. I may as well make some tea while I’m at it.

There’s no one to make me prioritize, focus, or concentrate. It’s just me and the computer, and it doesn’t care. No one to answer to except my demanding dogs. Am I the only one who finds this challenging? I don’t think so. Most of my life-coaching clients complain at some point about not getting enough done, wasting much of their time on distractions, and feeling frustrated with their absence of discipline.

All of this is down to lack of focus—the ability to concentrate on one thing at a time. 

Learning to relax, do one thing at a time and do it well—rock the baby so to speak— is the number one key to feeling happy, productive, and at peace.

Just aim to do one thing each day. Focus on it. Do it until it’s done and don’t allow yourself to get sidetracked. At least you will have accomplished something.

Stop multi-tasking. It’s a curse. Rock the baby.

 

Please contact me if you would like some life-coaching— whether in person here in San Miguel or online.

Details:

In person life coaching: 600 pesos per one hour session. Cash or Paypal. San Miguel location.

Online coaching: $50 for 40 minute session using Facebook Messenger Call or Zoom (no video so you can be in your PJs in bed). Paypal only.

I also do Hypnotherapy if it seems appropriate to your issue. Talk to me.

Contact me at margaretnashcoach@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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