Monday, May 11, 2009
Lesson Five - Be consistent
Be consistent not only in what you do but in who you are. Whether you agree with his politics or not, you have to agree that Ronald Reagan was consistent. He had a set of values which he brought with him into office and he adhered to those values throughout his terms in office. There was never any question as to how Reagan would respond to a given set of circumstances. Exactly as he had before.
Consistency builds power. When an airliner moves out onto the runway, it lines up wit the centerline and comes to a complete stop. The pilot then applies the brakes and full power. When the pilot releases the brakes, the airplane begins to roll. The pilot never applies more power. The same power that started the airplane rolling from a dead stop at less than 1 mile per hour causes the aircraft to accelerate up to fifty, seventy-five, one hundred and even one hundred twenty-five miles per hour when it can leave the binds of Earth and fly. The pilot then uses the same power to climb to cruising altitude. It is through the continuous and constant application that the airplane changes from a stationary object on the ground to a flying machine.
Consistency has another name which we have dealt with previously. "Habit" When people hear the word "habit", they immediately think of smoking and drinking and over eating and other less than desirable actions. There are good habits as well as bad ones. How many times have you automatically said "God Bless You" when someone sneezes? This is a habit, actually a Pavolovian response but a habit just the same. Most people get up in the morning and for the first ten minutes are on autopilot. They have done the same thing upon arising for so many years, that they do it without thinking.
Choose an activity which will help you reach your goals. Consciously and consistently practice that activity on a regular basis and it will become a habit and move you toward your goal. Experts tell us it takes twenty-one days to get a habit ingrained in our subconscious. Once you have mastered that activity and made it a habit, attack the next one. A word of warning, do not try to change too much at once. If you are going to try to establish more than one habit at a time, make them occur at different times of the day. Maybe a morning habit and an afternoon habit. This will keep you from confusing your subconscious.
Above all, Be consistent
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Lesson four of ten for the steps to success. Keep your goals in sight
As I have written before, people who have specific written goals and who follow a prescribed course to reach them. goals are excessively more successful than those without goals and considerably more successful than those with goals but no idea or plan as to how to go about reaching them.
The first step is to define a long term goal. Then break it up into a series of short term sequential goals. Then start with short range goal number one and work on it until you have attained that goal and move on to the next. Always keep your next goal, the one following it and your ultimate goal in sight. this means write it down and keep a copy where you will see it several times a day. Suggestions include on the mirror in your bathroom, in the lap drawer of your desk., near your keyboard or mouse pad or other similar location. Study your goals and see yourself as having achieved them. You must see your goals in two dimensions. the first dimension is real world observation of your written goal. Dimension two is your vivid visualization of yourself having achieved that goal. Seeing your goals in these two dimensions will make the road to achieving you goals easier to follow.
Keep your goals in sight
Saturday, May 09, 2009
It has been said that we form our habits and then our habits form us. What does it take to make a habit? Most pseudo-experts agree on twenty-one days. Take an action and perform it for twenty-one days and it will become a habit and you will perform it automatically.
This is true of good habits and of bad. The difficulty of breaking habits is also blind to whether the habit is good or bad.
Focus on beneficial activities. Maybe it is to repeat a positive mantra while driving between two distinct points each morning. Consciously practice repeating the mantra daily and pretty soon, when you drive past point A, the mantra will pop into your mind. These are mind keys or cues which will lead to a better life.
Focus on your everyday habits. Some of them are good and should be reinforced. Some are not so good and should be discouraged. If you have a less than good habit, consciously make an effort to change that habit. Substitute a good behavior for the less than desirable one and practice it. Maybe your habit is to munch on trail mix while you watch television. Find a substitute for the trail mix. A half cup of trail mix has a bunch of calories. In the time it takes to eat one bag of 100 calorie microwave popcorn, you could eat several cups of trail mix. Instead of reaching for the trail mix, get up, make the microwave popcorn, return to the television and leisurely munch on the popcorn. As an additional benefit, the popcorn can be flavored with different seasonings for variety.
You can establish your habits through a concerted effort and then those habits will define who you are.
Focus on Everyday Habits
Friday, May 08, 2009
Top Ten Strategies for Success - Step Two - Write it down!
Whether you are setting goals or charting progress, writing things down gives them a concreteness and a realness. People naturally give more credence to what is written down than to what is merely said or thought. Taking the time to write something down tends to give it power.
A study of a mid twentieth century graduating class at Yale university taken some thirty years later showed that those who had clearly defined written goals were markedly more successful than those who mere took things as they came.
Take a few minutes and assess where you are and where you would like to be. Write down where you want to be. Next, write down the steps to get there. remember from yesterday, take baby steps. Once you have defined your goals and the path you are going to follow, it is easy to chart your progress. It gives a great feeling of accomplishment to be able to check off or cross out one of the steps on your list and it moves you toward your goal.
Remember, when you write things down, use only positive statements. Do not say "I will stop smoking". Say instead, "I am a non-smoker" or "Smoking is not a part of my life" Or better yet "I live smoke free". Recall that your subconscious cannot fathom negatives and creates confusion when negatives are included.
Once you have defined your goals and the path to achieving them, keep the written record where you can review it regularly. As you continue to review your goals and the pathway to success, you are implanting positive messages into your sub-conscious and assuring your success.
To achieve success, you have to start, that than one step that starts the thousand mile journey and Write it down!
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Today I start with another series of steps toward a better life which is the result of my research. That means someone else came up with the idea and I am expanding on it. The following ten days will be dedicated to the Top 10 Strategies for Success. If you want to read ahead, this is based on a post on the Motivation page of the Spark People Healthy Lifestyle page.
Step One, Start Small or as I like to say, "Start with Baby Steps"
Confucius is credited with saying that a journey of one thousand miles starts with a single step. This is true of any endeavor. At Weight Watchers, they are fond of quoting "by the yard it's hard but by the inch, it's a cinch"
When I was a teenager and really into drag racing, a rule of thumb was that to start out efficiently, you had to have a ration of 12:1 from the motor to the wheels to get started efficiently. That means that the motor has to turn twelve revolutions for each revolution of the drive wheels. When the car is in high gear, depending on the rear axle ration, this ratio is reduced to about 2:1. To get the car started moving, it is necessary for it to take baby steps and then successively larger steps until it reached high gear.
Watch a bicyclist on a twelve speed bike. When the cyclist starts out or is h=going up a hill, the pedals are turning very rapidly but the bike is moving slowly. When speed is reached or the bike is going down hill, the pedals move much more slowly. When an airplane takes off, it accelerates slowly from a standing start but as speed increases, acceleration increases too. The airplane is using the same amount of power throughout its takeoff roll but it begins to utilize its momentum to increase its speed.
Watch a sprinter in a 100 yard race. When the racer comes out of the blocks he is taking short quick steps which increase in length with each step until the sprinter reaches his stride about fifteen yards out and then is taking maximum yardage with each pace.
Any worthwhile goal can be obtained but not immediately. Take your long range goal and break it up into a series of short range attainable goals and attack them one at a time until you have reached your ultimate goal.
Success is yours, Start with Baby Steps
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