One Word is All You Need

I just read a great article in Success Magazine last month which was based on the principle that increasingly our most scarce resource is not our time but our attention.

These days phones, apps, tablets, computers, texts, and emails not only compete for our time, but almost more importantly, they compete for our attention.  It is great to set an appointment reminder on your phone, but when you start getting reminders, texts, and calls while you are working to achieve your goal, these things become distractions.

Clearly, there is no going backward. So, in our technologically advanced world, what is the one word to implement to increase your chance of succeeding?

Immersion. 

Immersion to me, means putting 100% of your focus into your goal.  Immersion means to put all of your Attention, Time, Learning, Action, or Reflection towards the successful completion of a single item that will move you towards your goal.

What are the areas you can Immerse yourself in to achieve your goals?   Here are four general areas for Immersion.

  • Your Mind: Immerse your mind in your goal constantly. Turn off the radio and start to listen audiobooks about information regarding your goal. Change your passwords to reflect your goal, my old one was Run100inApril. I read books and autobiographies of ultramarathon runners, browsed websites, and in every free moment immersed myself in learning and staying motivated about my goal.
  • People: As Tony Robbins says, “you will rise or fall to the level of your peer group.” If you need an upgrade on your friends, find some new ones with whom you share common interests and goals. Find a mentor who has achieved what you want and befriend him or her. The idea is to always play chess with someone better than you!
  • Places: If you are working to become sober, the last place you should hang out on weekends is at the bar! Seems obvious when talking about alcohol, but it’s just as valid with other goals.  Your environment has beliefs and norms associated with it and you will unconsciously conform and become a part of the environment you put yourself in consistently. Change your environment to change yourself. You might also kill two birds with one stone by also finding new people there!
  • Material Items: One of the tenets of Feng Shui, is that every item has an emotional association. That is why that little Teddy Bear you received on Valentine’s might have seemed great, yet once you break up it gets the stuffing ripped out and thrown in the trash! And don’t worry, nature does not like a vacuum, so anything you toss out while “clearing your clutter” will eventually be replaced by something better. Get rid of the junk in your life that no longer serves you; old clothes, pictures, books, anything that does not support your goals!

Giving your goals Consistent Time and Attention by Immersing your mind in learning as well as making sure the people, places and things in your life reflect your goals will greatly increase your chances of succeeding.  It’s hard to fail when you eat, sleep, think, live and breathe your goal!

 

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Fail-Proof Your New Year’s Resolution

What is missing from every New Year’s resolution that fails?

I’ll give you a hint…

It is not immersion. Many people are more than willing to immerse themselves in an endeavor and really embrace it. You have seen the person with the New year’s Resolution that starts going to the gym everyday and working out for hours on end. Immersion is important to success because where your focus goes, your energy flows.

It is not learning. Many people will go out and get every book, audio cd, and podcast they can on a subject in order to learn everything they can about their new goal. Continuing to learn is also a critical component for success in achieving any goal.

It is not a positive and supportive peer group. Finding a mastermind group, set of peers, or meetup group that will support you in the high of highs and the low of lows is important, but it is not the key for total success.

So, what is it? 

It is long term commitment! When it comes to building success, wealth, and a better life for yourself and those you love there IS NO QUICK FIX!  So many people think the road to success is paved with if I just jump out of the gate and give it all NOW, I can have it all NOW! Then, when it doesn’t happen, they get frustrated and give up!

If you ask anyone who is successful in any sport, most say that they just stayed longer on the field practicing everyday than others did, day after day after day. It was a pattern they reproduced week after week, month after month, and year after year.

The reason that most people fail in their New Year’s Resolutions is simply a lack of long term commitment.  So, what are you willing to commit to every single day in 2012?  Most people overestimate what they can do in the short term and underestimate what they can do in the long term.

Lead for the Long Term, Act for the Long Term and Stay Committed to your goal for the Long Term, and you will be in a better place by the end of 2012!

What do YOU think is the essential ingredient to achieve your New Year’s Resolution?  Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

5 Ways to Not Achieve Your Goals This Year

Since the new year is right around the corner, here are a few thoughts to make sure that no matter what your goals, dreams and aspirations are, you can fail to achieve them all.

1.  Stop Learning & Being Curious

Success comes from being curious and resourceful. There are three types of learning a person can experience. There is educational learning which gives theoretical understanding of concepts, ideas and ideologies. Take some formal classes at your local university or learning facility. Second, is experiential learning. This happens in seminars, events, and trainings that require practice scenarios, role-playing and simulations. Third, is the actual application of the concepts, theories and ideas in real-life situations. You can read a book on sales, role play scenarios and then eventually you just have to pick up the phone and start to cold call. Experience is the greatest teacher. Understanding theory and role playing helps to build the confidence to immerse yourself in the real world experience. Learn, be curious and take action to apply what you learn.

 2.  Keep distracting yourself with TV & Internet

In 2009, Neilson ratings came out with a statistic that the average American watches 153 hours a month watching television. That is almost an entire week a month with nothing to show for it! The study also revealed that Americans spend an average of 29 hours per month on the internet. If you are what you eat, then isn’t your mindset influenced by what you put into it?

 3.  Keep up the “I’ll start tomorrow” thinking

Keep thinking that all of the little changes you could make today are not worth anything and you will start tomorrow. Many people start towards their goals and as soon as they experience an obstacle, get off track, and lose momentum or motivation, think that it is no use continuing. They sabotage their success with perfectionism. Success lies not in whether or not you fall off track, because you will, but how soon you can change, re-commit to your goal and get back on track. Nothing is too small to celebrate when creating change.

4.  Keep the Negative Messages Coming into your Brain

Are you surrounded by friends, colleagues, social media or environments that are negative and unsupportive? Upgrade your external influences by changing to more supportive people, places and things in your life. As they say in Feng Shui, clear the clutter in all the areas of your life that don’t support you and your goal. Clear the clutter in your mind by practicing to “say it the way you want it to be” in your life. Stop watching the new and feed your mind some uplifting, motivational, and supportive material.

5.  Stay Comfortable, Do the Same Thing You Are Doing Now

Most people don’t achieve something because they never stop and ask themselves, “What do I need to give up in order to make a space for this new goal in my life?” For example, if you want a relationship, are you stepping out and going different places, trying new experiences, and meeting new people? In an extreme, if you want a new car, are you selling the one you have now, have you test driven cars at the dealership and talked to your bank about a new loan? Are you willing to “burn your ship?” If the answer is no, how bad do you really want to experience your dreams, aspirations and goals? You have to make space for what you want to have.

 

So there you have it, five dynamic ways to ensure that you will be a total failure with your goals in the new year. You have, of course, my sincerest wish is for you to be a contrarian!!!  I wish you continued success in all of your endeavors.

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Needed… A Few Good Goals

Set Great Goals and Reach Your Goals How do you determine if your goal is worthy of your focus and hard work?

Once you set a goal and start to share it with others, you will be tested by four different groups of people. If you are still excited after sharing it with all four, then chances are it is a great goal for you to work towards.

Find out in this week’s podcast  who the four groups of people are and generate the motivation you need to achieve your goals!  

Reach Your Goals Faster! 2 Essential Steps

Would you like to reach your goals faster?  Here are 2 steps that are critical to achieving them much quicker!  I’ll give you a hint: the key to success lies in your emotions.

Napoleon Hill wrote one of the most classic books ever written on success and achievement, “Think & Grow Rich.” One of the reasons this is such a classic book is that he used the principle of modeling. Modeling is the process of studying how an outcome is repeatedly achieved.

Hill found that the successful achievement of any goal was based on the following four steps.

1. Connect with your Purpose or Burning Desire

2. Believe and Trust in yourself and the value of your actions

3. Organize a plan of action and even more importantly take action

4. Never Give Up! Perseverance does pay off!

To make this process effective, it’s crucial to do all of the steps in order and be absolutely consistent.

When most people see someone achieve something they themselves want to achieve, many times the temptation is to ask, “How did you do that?” But steps number one and two are 100% emotional.

Until you figure out why you want to achieve that specific goal; what it means to you; what it will add to your life and what it will cost you to not achieve it, knowing how to do it will not significantly increase your chance of reaching it. Connecting emotionally with your drive is essential.

Once you are emotionally connected with the “WHY” of your goal, it’s time to put some focus on your faith and belief in yourself as well as your belief in your strategy. Trusting in your plan doesn’t mean not being open to evaluating its effectiveness periodically. Quite the opposite: you need to make adjustments as needed which is what step 3 is all about. But it does mean that you have to truly believe that your actions can and will lead to the results you want. Self-doubt is distracting at best and has the potential of being crippling.

It takes time to stop and reconnect to the emotions associated with your goals. It’s a step we often skip in our hurry to get to the end goal. But it’s precisely what will help you achieve your goals much quicker. That initial step will ward off self-sabotage. It will help you stay motivated when the initial burst of energy is long gone and you are left with the hard work of persevering.

The key is to reaching your goals faster is to address the emotional component of goal setting before you move to the logical and practical aspect of reaching them.

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“How Can I Get Motivated?”, You Ask? –7 Steps to Get You Pumped Up



7 Steps to Get Motivated to Take Action and Reach Your GoalsFeeling unmotivated? Uninspired? Emotionally or even physically tired at the very thought of rolling up your sleeves and taking action?

Here is a classic situation. You want something or you know you need to do something –whether it’s to get in shape or redouble your efforts to network in order to nurture more leads and grow your business. But no matter how much “you get it” intellectually, you’re in a slump. The drive’s not there. You can’t seem to get pumped up to tackle your goal with any energy let alone passion.

We’ve all been there at some point. But getting motivated is actually not as hard as it may seem.

Here are 7 simple steps to get motivated to kick ass and take names!

 

1- Change your physiology! Motion creates emotion, there is no two ways around that fact. You need to get some oxygen pumping in order to feel motivated. So straighten up in your chair, shoulders back, take some deep breath in and out. Or better yet, get up, move around the room. Turn on some music; go for a run; do anything to wake your body up and to “get in a peak state” as Tony Robbins would say. Now that you are awake and your blood is pumping…

 

2- Get associated with your goal! Put some emotion into it! Take 2 minutes and visualize yourself achieving your goal; dropping those 30lbs, winning that contract, landing that new job… close your eyes and feel what it will feel like. Really see it, hear it, feel it! Give your subconscious something to look forward to! The more senses you get involved in this process, the better.

 

3- Make a plan. Sometimes, the lack of motivation comes from feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work involved in accomplishing the task you set for yourself. If that’s the case, then it’s crucial you chunk down or break down what needs to be done into manageable “bites”. But even if overwhelm is not the main stumbling block, don’t skip this step. Make a plan with clear action steps and benchmarks so you can clearly assess your progress and celebrate all your “mini victories” on the way to your final destination. Success builds on itself, and by leaving the celebrating to the end, you rob yourself of the momentum the feeling of victory provides. So make a plan and celebrate as you go!

 

4- Commit and get leverage on yourself. Commit to yourself, commit to your loved ones, commit to your business partner… back yourself into a corner if you must; give yourself no other option but to do what you said you were going to do. Fo some, committing to yourself is enough, for others it means making your commitment public so you place additional pressure on yourself. And for others still, making a commitment can take the form of a competition, a bet with a friend or colleague, or even a stranger in cyberspace. If you are dealing with a fitness goal, get on Nike + and sign up for a challenge on their website in which you keep track of your mileage and compete against other runners. If you are looking at a business situation, make a bet with one of your peers. Apply enough pressure on yourself that you feel like you can’t back out. Speaking of peers, colleagues, and friends…

 

5- Get support! Some goals are such that they lend themselves to setting up a buddy system to create some accountability and maintain your motivation. But even if your specific goal doesn’t really lend itself to that type of support, find a different way to get it. Find inspiration from others who have succeeded at that specific task. Get pointers from experts in the field, or model others who have experienced massive success in that area. Surround yourself with a peer group that supports your endeavor. Hire a coach, enlist the support of a religious figure if that’s appropriate, seek out a mentor, or get support from your spouse. Get support somewhere!

 

6- Stay excited! In order to get motivated, you need to get associated with your goal. In order to STAY motivated, you need to stay associated with your goal. Reserve a few minutes each day to get your blood pumping, reconnect with your goal and see where you are in regards to your plan. Experiment with what works for you: I have clients who use affirmations each morning or each evening, others use their morning workouts to focus their mind on what it is that they want, why they want it, how they will feel when they get it, and review their plans. See what works for you, maybe it’s turning on some heart pumping music in your car or in your office and spending 10 minutes pumping yourself up.

 

7- Once you get there Celebrate! You’ve celebrated (hopefully) each intermediate steps on the way, now is time to celebrate in a big way! Anchor your victory and reinforce your internal belief that YOU CAN get motivated, YOU CAN succeed and in fact, YOU DID!!! It’ll make your next challenge easier to tackle as you start associating goals as opportunities to succeed rather than insurmountable or exhausting/intimidating endeavors.

 

Ready to jump off that couch yet? Excited to make things happen? Getting motivated is simply a matter of tapping into the emotions you will experience when you achieve your goal.

For more tips and strategies about increasing your motivation and personal effectiveness, boosting your self confidence and developing a clearer focus go to www.evolutionforsuccess.com. James Murphy is a personal development expert and executive coach. He can be reached directly at 919-745-7569.

Trouble Staying Focused on Your End Goal?

It’s easy to loose focus on your end goal when all you see is obstacles in front of you.

When we lived in Arizona, one of my neighbors was a firefighter for the City of Tempe. One day, we started reminiscing about our respective training experiences; my Marshal Service days, his firefighter training. One of the training exercises they conducted was to place a dark gray cover on the inside of their air mask to simulate being blinded by smoke and then practice moving in buddy teams to clear a home, conduct a rescue, or practice putting out a fire. They had to rely on something outside of what they could immediately see, in order to succeed.

I guess that is true in many professions, take airline pilots for example. Have you ever really noticed how small the windows are in the front of the plane? When it is raining, dark, or they are in the clouds, how functional are the windows in helping them stay on course? Many times they have to fly blind.

Invariably, these same challenges happen in the pursuit of dreams and goals. Our vision can become blocked or clouded by obstacles and we can not see where we are going. What is there to rely upon in these times of need?

Staying focused on several things will allow forward movement towards our dreams.

* First, stay focused on the end goal, NOT what is blocking the line of sight. Expect and anticipate the moment when you will lose sight of where you are but don’t lose sight of the end goal. Anticipate the challenges.

* Second, focus on core training principles, habits and behaviors that have allowed you to succeed in the past.. This helps to control the fear, anxiety, nervousness, or other emotional states that may be experienced when obstacle blocks your view. To keep your focus, remember your support team, your co-pilot or buddy you are entering the burning house with.

* Third, rely on the fundamental instruments of your profession. Revert back to using the basic tools of your trade to stay on track and measure success. The firefighter relies on his boots, jacket, helmet, and breathing apparatus. The pilot relies on the compass, altimeter, fuel gauges, wind gauges and communication equipment. What are the instruments of faith you can rely upon in times of need?

When you are lost suddenly and can not see where you are going in pursuit of your goals. STOP, take a moment and reflect on what you can rely on. Who can you turn to in your buddy team for mental, emotional and spiritual support? No one ever achieves a goal without the help from someone who believes in them. What are the tools of your trade that you can always rely on without hesitation? Is it your brilliant mind, your technical aptitude, your emotional intelligence? What are your unique abilities that you take for granted everyday?

And, lastly, as you move through the inferno of obstacles or are blinded by the rain, clouds, and storm, keep faith and focus on your end destination. No fire can rage on forever and every storm eventually brings sunny days.

Remember, there are so many more resources available in the world to achieve your goals than are in your direct line of sight. It would even be exciting to put the screen in your visor and move into your obstacles once in a while. There is newfound confidence and freedom when the exercise is over and it has been a job well done.

 

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Life Coaching Tip: Stay Ignorant!!!

Sometimes, Ignorance is Bliss…

I heard a really interesting story the other day that you may find some value in when it comes to your personal development, attaining goals, and living life.

There was a man once who really wanted something in life. Driving down a country lane to get there, he accidentally took his eye off of the road and drove straight into the ditch. Fortunately, a local farmer was passed by thirty minutes later with a horse.

 

“Could your horse pull my car out of the ditch?” asked the driver.  

“Buddy’s a Clydesdale,” said the farmer, “let’s see what he can do for you.”  

The farmer hitched Buddy to the car and said: “Pull, Blackie, Pull!” Buddy didn’t move an inch. 

Then the farmer said, “Pull, Sampson, Pull!” Buddy still didn’t move an inch.

The farmer said again, “Pull, Jackson, Pull!” And still, Buddy didn’t move an inch.

Then the farmer yelled, “PULL, BUDDY, PULL!!” And Buddy pulled the car effortlessly out of the ditch.

The grateful driver was confused.  “Let me ask you a question,” he said, “why did you keep calling Buddy by the wrong name?” 

“Well,” said the farmer, “you see, Buddy is blind. And if he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t even try.”

 

When I sit down with people in a life or executive coaching session and we define a compelling future for them, one of the first thing that shows up is their desire to know exactly what to do in order to reach the goal.

However, if someone really knew all of the problems, challenges, and emotional stress they were going to have to go through to achieve their goals…many would never even start!  If someone really knew, in advance, all of the challenges they would have to face to run their first marathon, get that next job, or find that dream spouse, they would be so overwhelmed they would probably never start.

So, sometimes not knowing all of the obstacles and challenges that are going to happen in the pursuit of a goal makes the term, “ignorance is bliss” true.

Successful goal achievement comes from taking on the challenges one day at a time, asking for help when you get off track, and engaging faith to access your untapped potential in the face of adversity. And no matter what, keep pulling even when you can’t see!

 

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Set Bigger Goals This Year!!!

Overcoming obstacles is in our make up!January is a time when memberships to local gyms skyrocket, New Year’s Resolutions are made, and peoples’ attention shifts to what they want to achieve in the next year.

Most people get excited about setting goals but few maintain that excitement through February and March.

I have a favorite saying: “When you set a goal, you automatically put all of your obstacles in place.” That part is not as exciting since the bigger the goals, the bigger the obstacles.

 

But, what if overcoming obstacles could be exciting?

 

What could a person achieve then?

What if people were made to overcome obstacles?

What if it was our natural instinct?

What if it was really all about overcoming obstacles to have a great life instead of achieving the goals?

The loggerhead turtle is only about two inches long at birth. It is stuck at the bottom of a hole two to three feet deep in the sand. It has to find a way out of the shell, past 40-60 other turtles, and dig upwards in the sand to open air. After it reaches the top of the hole, it has to orient itself to the water and travel up to 50 yards to get to the surf. Then, it is washed back up onto the beach an average of three times before it makes it out to sea. And that’s on a good night; If they don’t make it to the water before the sun comes up, they can become dehydrated and bake on the beach, get disoriented and go inland, or become breakfast for seagulls, vultures, and large fish. Less than 1% of all hatchlings will make it to adulthood. And yet, they can’t help but meet every challenge with excitement. As they make it to the ocean, they actually speed up!

It is that excitement that allows humans to feel alive, get strong, build confidence, and achieve greatness. It is how the 4-minute mile barrier was broken, the space shuttle was developed, the Berlin Wall came down, and the pyramids were made. It is how you learned to crawl, walk, and read this letter. People are preprogrammed to thrive on obstacles, overcome them, and have dynamic lives as a result.

It is not how long a turtle lives that makes a difference in life, but the difference he makes by living every second of life. Living a true life means living a life of overcoming obstacles to achieve and become more. It is a part of our natural instinct. Success in life is directly proportional to the obstacles that are overcome. So set some bigger goals this year! Set some fantastic obstacles for yourself!

Set your goals and reach them! What is Goal setting was exciting?

Loggerhead Turtles hatchlings.  Kiawah Island, SC.  Chances of seeing them hatch…one in a million!

What do you need?

What do you need?

For my long training run last Friday, I decided I was going to run, “As long as I felt like it.” I let go of everything; no time constraints, no preset running plan, no expectations, just my two water bottles, iPod, and $10 stuck in my hat. It turned out to be one of the greatest runs I have ever experienced.

Afterwards, during my cool-down period, I found myself saying, “Ah, I needed that.” That simple new truth stunned me. I had just given myself a true gift that I really needed and was good for every area of my life.

So, why did I need that great run? Was it because of the peace and solitude of the road as I ran? Was it for the enormous orange sunrise that I experienced? Was it for the feeling of the blood pumping through my body? Was it for the moments where I really pushed through some pain and kept on going with a renewed determination?

A simple fact of goal setting is, “When you set your goals in place, you automatically set your obstacles in place. They will show up in patterns of behavior that are mental, emotional, physical and spiritual in nature?”

This run was special because I had more energy after than before. It had rejuvenated me mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. As I recharged my batteries with new mental beliefs, stronger emotional states, physical growth in my body, and spiritual moments, my whole day and life changed as a result.

However, not too many of us are great at giving ourselves what we really need. Deep down people know what they need, they are just scared to verbalize and commit to it because of the obstacles they will have to overcome to get it. As a result, they give themselves a lot of experiences they do not need. For example, eating too much food or drinking too much alcohol, escapism into internet sites, drugs and medication addictions or unhealthy relationships. While these resolve the issue in a moment, they don’t resolve it long term. Why? Because they are not healthy experiences that allow a person to recharge on all 4 levels at once: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.

The next logical question is, “Where do I find that experience that will allow me to recharge all four of these areas at once?” Glad you asked. It is in your hopes and dreams. It is in the actions to achieve what you want to be, do and have in life. It is in the childhood experiences when you were free of the cares of the world, in the dreams and goals that you have forgotten, in your hopes for the future and in experiencing the obstacles you will have to overcome to get there.

Pull out a piece of paper and write down what you really need in your life today? What is the book you need to write? What is the relationship you need to move into or away from? What career change do you need to make? What degree do you need to earn? What martial are or sport have you always wanted to try? Where have you always wanted to travel? What do you need to give yourself in order to have a meaningful life?

If you drop the expectation, let go of how it has to be, how it should be, or the need to map out every step of the journey, get the basic things you need in place, put one foot in front of the other; you too could end up running 14.25 miles before the morning is over. Along the way new empowering beliefs will be developed, emotional barriers will be broken and new emotional highs experienced, physical growth will make you stronger and peaceful moments will fill your soul. And you may hear yourself say, “Ah, just what I needed!”

Are You Getting The Results You want?

Are You Feeling Stuck?

Are you not taking Action towards what you want to have or experience? Do you feel there is no Opportunity on the horizon for you? Have you ever found yourself Thinking too much?”

All of these traits: Action, Opportunity and Thinking have their place in either achieving your goals or being “Stuck In The Mud.” Looking at how they work together in a success cycle will help you achieve more and get “Unstuck.”

A simple equation to remember is: A = O = T = A 
Action = Opportunity = Thinking = Action

Taking Action leads to Opportunities in life but many times it leads to more than one possible opportunity to pursue. A client takes an action coming to a coaching session and may leave with 4-8 opportunities to pursue and achieve their goal. In order to ensure the best opportunity is taken to move towards the bigger picture goal, a person needs to Think and review the long term goal, evaluate all of the opportunities. The next step is to turn around and take focused Action again which will create more opportunities.

Sometimes a persons’ greatest strength can be their greatest weakness in this process. Attention to details and learning (Thinking) could lead to paralysis by analysis. Being creative and seeing all of the Opportunities can lead to confusion about where move forward and take Action. Taking massive Action without much strategic thinking can lead to getting off focus and procrastinating in doing something else that would in fact move you closer to the finish line.

 Are you stuck in Opportunities? Are there too many things you can do to achieve your dreams and goals? Do you dream big creative dreams, see opportunities at every turn? If that’s the case, STOP, remove yourself from the opportunities, review your long term goals and really THINK about what will take you closest to your long term goals, and then, take focused action.

Are you stuck in Thinking? Do you constantly feel you need to learn more, do more, be more, have more, or be in a different spot before you could possibly take action towards your goal? If that is the case, remember that you are perfect as you are in this moment, take the plunge into a focused action, appreciate what the experience will teach you, seize the new opportunities that arise and then come back to Thinking about what the next best step is. You will only gain the insight to make that decision by having the experience that comes from Action.

Are stuck taking Action? are your days filled with endless tasks and “To-Do” lists? Do you cross things off all day, and at the end of the day still feel like you got nothing accomplished? You need to slow down, STOP, and Think about the Actions you fear or are putting off for another day. It is the top one action out of every 10 on your list that will allow you to create the opportunities to move towards your goals. The remaining 9 are just distracting you from what’s truly important.

 What is your greatest strength; Action, Opportunity, or Thinking? Where are you stuck in this success cycle? Stretch outside of your limitations today and keep the cycle moving. As one of my favorite clients always says, “Let’s get fired up!”