Receive your FREE Gift!
Subscribe to my newsletter and as a bonus you will receive a FREE eJournal.

Clearing the slate for 2018

Clearing the Slate for 2018

We are almost at the end of another year. This can actually be a stressful and confronting time for many of us. Around this time of year is when we realize we did not accomplish all the things we had hoped to. This realization causes many of us to throw in the towel and just coast until New Year’s resolution time.

But, there can be great power in clearing the slate before the New Year.

I’m not saying to go crazy attempting to turn around all of this year’s let downs. Let’s be realistic…you likely won’t be able to achieve everything if you’re only starting now.

And, to truly clear the slate…you will probably have to let some things go…possibly eliminating some goals completely.

This is the time to write up your ultimate “to-do” list…write out your goals, your desires, your responsibilities…put it all on one long page. (Include the mundane things you would like to have behind you such as donating old clothes, updating your calendar, getting the oil changed for your car.)

Write everything down. This could take some time. I recommend taking this list with you everywhere for a few days. Often things pop into our heads when we are in the car or in the bathroom…jot things down as they come to you and do not discriminate. Big or small, put them all on paper. (or create a list on your iphone and tell Siri to add things as they pop into your head)

When you think your list is finally complete, set aside a few uninterrupted hours to actually look at your list.

Circle the doable items that will give you a great sense of relief knowing they are finally DONE. By actually completing these things, you will be entering the New Year “mentally” clutter free as well as opening up the time to start new things.

Then, cross off or politely bow out of the things you agreed to do that simply won’t get done or will hold you back from the more important tasks on your list.

Then, look at the “big goals”…that you did not accomplish.

Why didn’t you accomplish them? Is it possible that they no longer serve you? Sometimes letting something go is more empowering than hanging onto it for dear life. Goals and dreams actually do have expiration dates. Put on your truth lenses and ask yourself if this is still worthy of your time and effort. Ask yourself why you set this goal in the first place and more importantly, do you still feel the same way about it now? This step of letting go may feel a little painful or sad, but there is great power in being honest with yourself. Honoring where you are NOW will ultimately help you to make better decisions as to where you want to go in the future.

How do you know if it’s time to let it go?

Is it taking too long? Is the pain outweighing the joy? Are you getting nowhere? Are you hanging onto it because you are afraid of what other people will say if you decide to “give up” on it? Is there something else nagging away at you? Could you actually try something different or new and still fulfill the desire that the original goal was meant to achieve?

Sit with this awhile. These are not easy questions to ask…even harder to answer with honesty and self compassion. But they are worth asking and answering.

You may decide to let it go. You may shed a tear or two. But then, you can allow yourself to open up to other possibilities you were too preoccupied to see.

Or, you may decide absolutely, NO! I’m not letting it go. And in that realization you will discover more clarity as to WHY you must keep this on your list of goals and desires.

The point is to be honest with yourself. And compassionate.

After you’ve decided what you will finish this year and what’s worthy of being brought into the New Year, set an aggressive massive action plan to get all that you can…DONE. Open up your day planner or calendar and schedule every task on that list.

The idea is to start 2018 with a CLEAN SLATE. Not a slate with stale leftovers from last year. Ideally the only goals being invited into the New Year are your passion projects that you have revisited and have even more clarity on. All the other stuff should be completed or at the very least, completed as much a possible before the New Year begins.

Take agressive action NOW. Not only will you feel a ton of relief to have these things done, but you will also set up your momentum for the New Year when you set you goals for 2018. If you kick it into full throttle and get things done (even if some days it’s simply dropping off donations and gathering earthquake supplies), you will begin creating the habit of GETTING THINGS DONE. Then, when you get clear about your desires and set your goals for 2018, you will be more specific and make clearer distinctions as to what you REALLY want to see happen next year.

So…write it ALL out. Decide what shall be done, what shall be let go of for good, and what shall be reinforced and invited into the New Year.

Then, go getter’ done!

I’d love to see your lists! Send them my way and keep me posted on how you’re doing. And if you want some extra “kick butt mojo”, get in touch and we’ll tackle it together.

 

 

 

Are you truly ready for your dreams to come true?

‘If there is something you really want, you are going to have to work really hard, take advantage of opportunity, make some mistakes, be patient, and above all never give up.’ – Jane Goodall

And I would add to that, are you prepared for the life you say you want?

If your dreams actually came true…would you be ready for what your life would look like?

Who doesn’t want to win power ball? Think of what those millions could get you. But, what do you know about managing millions of dollars?

A lot of people wish they were famous. But, I suspect when the reality of fame came along, they wouldn’t be prepared for the life fame brings.

Success comes to those who are prepared. Which often means a lot of hard work with little pay off…for quite some time.

I’m not talking about the “struggle” mentality meaning, where ‘everything is a struggle’. No, nobody wants that!

But ask any successful entrepreneur or artist if was easy getting to where they are today? I guarantee they will tell you it took a LOT of work. I mean a LOT of work. But they will also say it was worth it, now that they are living their dream.

Let me share a personal story about working hard and succeeding in the end.

I’m originally from Canada and when I was in my 20’s I wanted further my acting career by moving to the US. But I had no working papers so even if I booked a job, I couldn’t do it.

So, on one of my trips to LA I met with an attorney who told me exactly what I would need to do to get a green card. I did what she told me and eventually, yes, I got my green card! Unbeknownst to me though, I was actually following Jane Goodall’s advice from the above quote.

Hard work? I asked every PR person from every show I’d done, for a copy of all the press they had on their shows. That included international press from Europe, etc. (this was before the internet so that meant snail mail) It took about six months of constant work to collect all the press I needed.

Whenever my friend (the Producer from a show I was on at the time in Canada) met with anyone in LA, I asked him if I could also meet with them and convince them I was worthy of a letter of recommendation. I almost always walked away with a “yes”. So, I was looking for opportunities to beef up my case for my attorney.

Mistakes? Sure, I made mistakes. I ran out of money for a while (had to work as a janitor in a children’s acting school) because I didn’t calculate the exchange rate from Canadian to American money. I also didn’t ask about other fees I would need to pay for down the road as the approval precess began. But, this mistake helped too because then when I DID move to LA, I could more easily calculate my real costs of living in the states. I was preparing for the life I was intending to live.

Patience? Well, I was dealing with the government…which moves at the pace of molasses so yes, I had to wait a long time for my hearing.

And…I didn’t give up.

In hindsight I’m amazed at how determined and absolutely ballsy I was! And I can cite many more times I’ve approached my goals with this same mindset…starting my own business, co-producing a movie, getting my Pilates certification, setting up my own etsy shop…etc, etc.

Anything worthwhile that I have accomplished has been through this same formula.

So in terms of achieving our desires, we have to ask ourselves if we are willing to put in the work it will require? Are we willing to risk making mistakes while creating opportunities? Are we in it for the long haul?

If you need help refining your plans, get in touch and together we’ll figure it out. And remember to share, retweet, repost…and don’t give up!

 

 

Reflecting to help find Clarity: a different way to define what makes us truly happy.

This is a quick and fun way to see if your life is actually in alignment with your true passions and desires. Don’t be surprised by it’s simplicity. It’s a powerful spotlight into your soul’s desires.

Take out a piece of paper or open a fresh page in your journal.

Step one.

Don’t think…just write: your favorite memories from the last year or so. This can include trips, jobs, relationships, tv shows, parties, classes, etc. All the highlights. Without overthinking it, just write down the times you were full of life and happiness.

Step two.

Pattern recognition. Do you see a theme or two running through your list? Usually there is a lot of repeated experiences on your fave list. Can you clump them into a group with a heading or title? For example, when I did this exercise, I had 3 distinct patterns which I titled: crafting, meaningful travel, and spiritual practice. So these 3 areas are most important to me to feel truly happy and fulfilled.

Now go back to what you wrote and see what patterns have emerged. Then give each pattern it’s own title.

Step three.

Notice what you did not mention on your list. Noticing what’s missing can also shed light on what we ‘think’ we want rather than what truly brings us joy. For me, as much as I love my clients and my work…it didn’t really come up for me. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to quit my job and water color all day long! It just shows me that although work is great, it’s important to create time to cultivate those other aspects that make my soul sing.

So think for a moment and notice what you thought would be highlights but actually didn’t make the cut? And again, this is so you can view your life in a more accurate way. There are things you enjoy doing, and then there are things that you LOVE to do.

Now reflect on your life…is it a nice balance between the two? Or is your life kind of lopsided and too focussed on what you ‘think’ you love? Can you include more of the activities from your “true joy” list? For example, meaningful travel won’t be something I can do every month. But, it will help me decide where to go and who I’ll travel with. Therefore, my travel will have more of an impact on me if I remember to make it meaningful rather than allowing it to just be a getaway.

I’d love to hear your discoveries with this exercise! The key is to not overthink step one, take the time to reflect on step two, and plan a way to do more of what you love in step three.

And, if you need help figuring out how to incorporate more joy into your life, get in touch and we’ll work on a plan together.

 

 

 

What the world needs is people who have come alive!

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive…and then do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” – Howard Thurman

This is a common problem for many people…”what am I going to do with my life?”. That’s a big question! Holy big responsibilities, Bat Man!

Many of us are pressured by our parents to go to school and study (fill in the blank) so we can have a career. Artists and entrepreneurs are almost always encouraged to get a ‘back up’ career…just in case their dreams don’t come true. And some of us look at our friends who seem to be moving along easily in their work life, and we feel like we’ve somehow missed the boat.

Here’s the thing, our world is not the same world as it was for our parents. There are very few ‘back up careers’ left anymore. And most of us won’t stick with the same career for our entire lifetime anyway. Most of us will have several careers over the span of our lives.

So let’s drop the notion of figuring out ‘what to do with our lives’.

Instead, ask yourself what lights you up? When do you feel like you are in the zone? What are you doing when you feel like you are running on all cylinders? What are your favorite things to do?

From there you can start to investigate what work might interest you.

For example, let’s say you love horses. Well, you could teach riding lessons, invest in a barn and lease space to horse owners, work at the racetrack. You could sculpt horses or draw paintings of horses and sell your work in a gallery or on etsy…

I, and many of the people I work with, don’t have just one job. Yes, I teach Pilates and Life Coach but I also teach crafting workshops and have a store on etsy. I’m utilizing as many of my passions as I can to make money and feel fulfilled. So even when I was offered a job to manage a Pilates studio at a gym (a ‘real’, full time job) I turned it down. Managing people sounds like a big drag to me (…even though I’d probably be good at it.) But I know I need to be independent and work for myself. That means risking that I might have less work from time to time. But, it’s worth it…to me.

There are plenty of opportunities to work at doing what we love but we first have to know what that is!

So, pay attention to when you are most alive, most enthusiastic, most passionate. What truly turns you on?

Hint: when you are in the ‘zone’ and time flies by without you noticing, that’s usually a signal that you are doing something you love.

There are no guarantees in life so don’t ‘settle’ for a career because you think you are supposed to have a 9 to 5 job. Pursue your passions instead. The world needs that special aliveness that is unique to you!

I work with many people dealing with this issue. If you are having trouble with this, get in touch and together we’ll figure it out.

Remember to retweet, repost, and forward this to a friend.

What is your social media feed saying about you?

What are you putting out in the world?

I’ve said previously that although you may have no control over a situation, you do have 100% control over your response. How you react to whatever is happening is totally in your control.

And, is your responsibility.

Everything we do is either contributing to joy or adding to suffering. Everything. And how you show up to your work, your relationships, your art, and even your yoga classes, has an effect on the energy of others. You always have the option to add to the joy in this world…it’s a choice.

And never has that been more important than now.

Social media can be absolutely inspiring and thought provoking. I’ve read posts that were so heartfelt I’ve cried real tears for a person I didn’t even know.

And some of the most hideous and hateful things I’ve ever read have been on social media too.

Remember, social media never goes away. So my suggestion is to not just manage what you post…curate it as if it was a display of who you are. Because in many ways, what your Facebook page says about you, matters. Your Instagram feed is constantly putting out energy from the pictures you post. And others can see what you pin on Pintrest so even if you think you’re just screwing around on the internet, people are watching you. Remember, employers actually look at the Facebook pages of potential employees before hiring them. (thank God there was no internet when I was a kid!!!)

I’m not for a second suggesting that everything be cherry blossoms and fairy dust. But sincere comments add more depth to communications than attack tweets. We can be disturbed by the injustices of the world without shutting down the other side with a shaming post. Social media has the power to create positive change if we bring our humanity to it rather then our knee jerk reactions. And although bringing our truth to the world might be scary, our bravery and honesty will have a greater impact on more people.

So how can you avoid lashing out when you see something disturbing and unacceptable? Stop. Take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself if you can at all relate or at least be compassionate about what this person has said or done. Then choose your language wisely. Avoid adding more fuel to the fire…and that might very well mean saying nothing at this time. If you’re really fired up, sleep on it. We always see things more clearly once we put a little space between us and the problem.

This is what taking responsibility for ourselves really means: Choosing the energy we are putting out into the world. You have the capacity to add to the sum total of joy in every moment of the day. You also have the power to increase the level of anger and hate in the world. How you REACT is YOUR responsibility. So, think before you tweet. Take a deep breath and reread what you are about to post. Are you being true to who you are or shaming someone for their opinion? What exactly are you contributing if you press “post”?

You always have a choice…especially on social media.

 

 

feel like you don’t have enough time, part two

Why some people seem to have more time than others…

part two

In my last newsletter I went over setting healthy boundaries, playing to your strengths, and finding other people to do the rest.

If you missed it, let me know and I’ll send it to you. Or, go to brigittadau.com where all my newsletters are published.

Today, I’m talking about prioritizing the most effective actions to take, how to build momentum, and how to avoid our personal “time sucks”.

Successful people don’t just willy nilly start taking actions. They discern which task, when completed, with give them the most benefit. Remember when McDonald’s was ‘super sizing’ things? That was because they knew which items sold the most. Fries? Who doesn’t want to super size that?
And as much as they tried to introduce salads, what still sold the most? Burgers. Now, they are being more “artesian” with their burgers but you will see they are not going that route with the healthier choices. Their big money comes from burgers and fries. They focus on THOSE products because that is where they make the most profits.

The Gap also tried to expand into other fashions but lost money on all those fads. They came back to the products that earned them the most…jeans and t-shirts.

 

So, when you take a look at your list of actions, there are likely a few tasks that will reap you the most rewards…those are the actions to take first. And it should only take a minute or two to figure those actions out because your past experiences will point you in the right direction…just like it did in the above examples.

The other thing successful and motivated people do is take advantage of their momentum and avoid their pitfalls. They don’t wait to take action…they just do it. (I wrote a newsletter about that too…go check it out.) And, more importantly, they are honest about their weaknesses when it comes to getting distracted or thrown off course. If social media is a threat, they don’t go on Facebook on their break. Instead, they may grab a cup of coffee or go for a walk. If they are trying to avoid sugar, they likely don’t have candy in the house or at the office. If they know Netflix is addicting, they won’t go near the TV until they are finished everything for the day. (Notice how many people write at Starbucks…likely they have too many distractions at home. They know they’ll get more done if they are away from those temptations.)

This philosophy is now being utilized when patients are recovering from surgeries as well. They plan ahead for that moment they will want to bail on physical therapy, etc. That way when their resistance comes up, they are prepared and can more easily stick to their recovery plan. And, studies have shown that people who plan ahead to avoid their excuses, are more likely to have a faster and easier recovery.

The key then is to “know thyself” and honor your strengths and weaknesses. Then, prioritize your daily tasks based on the biggest rewards for the least amount of effort.

So, look at your list of things to do today and ask, ‘which of these actions will reap the biggest rewards?’ And remember my previous newsletter?… Do those actions play to you strengths? (Hint: your strengths are usually the things you feel confident doing.) If not, who can help you get them done? What can you do RIGHT NOW to get the ball rolling and build some momentum? And where are you likely to slip up? (social media is the #1 time suck in my opinion…! Turn off those notifications!…unless you are actually utilizing social media to improve your business.) How can you take your distractions away?

This is a lot to tackle! After all, it’s an entirely new mindset for a lot of us. If this feels overwhelming and you want help with it, get in touch and together we’ll figure out your best game plan.

And pass this on to your friends, retweet, repost…share the momentum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel like you don’t have enough time?

“You have exactly the same amount of hours in the day as Mother Theresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Albert Einstein.” – H Jackson Brown Jr.

Why some people seem to have more time than others…

part one

24 hours in the day. That’s what we all get. Time does not discriminate. But why is it that some people manage to get more done than others?

Likely, they have mastered not only time management but also learned to prioritize their actions, set healthy boundaries, and delegate the things they aren’t good at. They know what builds momentum and what sabotages their energies. And, they spend the most time doing the most effective things to achieve their goals.

That’s a lot! So today I’m only focussing on setting healthy boundaries, playing to your strengths, and getting help with the rest.

Here is the truth…You will never be great at something you have to work hard just to be good at. Focussing too much energy on things other than your strengths will not only waste a lot of time but leave you feeling frustrated as well. But, if you put that time and energy into your natural talents, you will more quickly succeed. You should always cultivate your strengths.

I’m not giving you the “get out of jail free” card and saying self improvement is a waste of time! Nor am I suggesting to blow off paying your bills because you are better at lifting weights than balancing your checkbook! Some of our weaknesses do indeed need to be addressed before we can more effectively move forward in our lives. But usually, to successfully navigate those challenges we require help…this is why therapists, coaches, trainers etc exist! I’m not saying to go into denial. If you have issues that need to be resolved, for example procrastination issues, anxiety issues, health issues, you may want to hire a life coach or a therapist or a Doctor. Just like if you are an actor and learning your lines is tough for you, you may need to enlist a friend or an acting coach to run material with you.

However, not all of our obstacles are “issues”. Some of our self sabotage falls under the heading of plain old bad time management. And you’re not alone. Most of us were never taught how to effectively manage our time.
Having said that, approaching things from a place of strength is always more effective.

Delegating tasks and setting boundaries can help you get more done as well. One of my most successful friends designs amazing sets that have earned her 8 Emmy nominations. She’s clearly pretty good at designing! But that’s primarily all she focusses on…she doesn’t paint, build or decorate the sets. She has excellent shoppers who are great at getting good deals. She has people working for her who are talented painters and carpenters thus freeing up her time to stay focussed on what she does best.

She also is very clear about her boundaries. The prop master does not get to borrow from her art department, and visa versa. Having clear boundaries actually aids in keeping confusion to a minimum. Everybody know where they stand which is why nobody’s feelings get hurt when she says ‘no’. And despite working crazy hours, she also is managing to renovate a friends condo and redo some else’s office! Talk about getting lots done!

So notice those people around you who get so much done. Are they sticking to a specific and concise plan? I bet they are. Likely they have delegated a few things to other people so they can focus on what they do best. Thus, being wildly efficient and getting tons done! Also, they likely aren’t agreeing to do a bunch of things that will steer them away from their goals, either. They can say ‘no’ and set clear boundaries.

Where are you in terms of your time management? Are you wasting time doing something that is not contributing to your strengths? Are you agreeing to do too many things that kill your bliss? Is it a challenge for you to ask for help? Do you feel like you “don’t have enough time” yet seem to have time for Facebook and Netflix?

This is a tall order for a lot of people. After all, it’s an entirely new way of looking at your days. If this feels overwhelming and you want help with it, get in touch and together we’ll figure out your best game plan.

And pass this on to your friends, retweet, repost…share the knowledge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cause > Effect Living on the Cause side of the the Equation

 

Life will throw curve balls at you. You will have obstacles to overcome and things will not always go as planned.

Car accidents, illnesses, lay offs, earthquakes… a lot of what happens to us is out of our control.

This is true for all of us including when we are going for our goals. Things will crop up that will threaten to sabotage our outcomes. Those are the effects of life.

But it’s a choice as to whether we allow those effects to rule us.

Thus the equation Cause > Effect.

The amount of cause in our lives should be greater than the effects. But unfortunately, most people live the opposite way around. They allow the effects to rule their lives resulting in added stress, anxiety, and depression.

The truth is, you always have a choice. Although your circumstances may be out of your control, you can choose how you approach the situation. You can’t control the weather but you can control how you’ll navigate the storm. You can’t control traffic (is that not true, my fellow Los Angelenos???) but you can control what you listen to while in traffic. (Recently someone shared that by simply switching to audio books instead of the radio, she has reduced her stress noticeably.) You can’t control the marketing campaigns that tempt you to pull into the drive-through. But you can plan ahead and pack a lunch.

How do you know if you are living on the effect side of the equation? Check out your “buts”. People living at cause don’t make excuses. And excuses almost always start with “but…”.

“But what if it doesn’t work out?”
“But what if I’m not good enough?”
“But what if I fail?”
“But I’ve never done it before?”
“But what if I’m too old/too young/ too whatever…fill in the blank?”

People living on the cause side of life don’t allow their “buts” to get in their way. Likely they have replaced those excuses with questions such as…

“Who do I know who can help me with this?”
“What do I need to learn about this?”
“What can I do right now to improve this situation?”

I’m a huge fan of the statement, “I’ll figure it out”. That ends the bullshit excuses of why I can’t get something done. “I’ll figure it out” leads to more resourceful thinking and triggers the trouble shooting part of my brain.

It’s time to see how much of our lives we are actually taking responsibility for, and what we are making excuses for. You can journal about this…you know your top 20 ‘reasons’ for not taking action by heart already. Write them out and question those buts…are they really just excuses? You can also take a few minutes a day and just observe your inner critic… and notice how often the ‘but’ word is used.

And at the risk of being preachy…our planet needs ‘all hands on deck’ at this point. Every one of us must be living with “cause” because our global community is drowning in the effects of our actions. We simply don’t have time for excuses anymore.

If you want support with this, get in touch. And please, retweet, repost, and forward this to your friends.

Why waiting to feel inspired leads to procrastination.

Nike’s famous slogan, “Just Do It”, is more than just a cool catch phrase. Taking action is actually the first step to feeling inspired. Inspiration only comes from experiencing something…not contemplating it.

Many of us have this equation wrong. We think motivation = action. And as a result, we have wasted precious time waiting to feel ‘in the mood’ or ‘motivated’ to take action. This is a common root cause for many of our procrastination issues. But, we will never actually feel motivated until we DO something. We must first take the action, then the inspiration to remain on task will kick in. (in about 10 seconds, actually) Action = Inspiration.

Plenty of parents have tapped into this truth without knowing it. “Go do something!” is usually their response to a bored child. Then, before long, their child is busy playing at something and is no longer bored at all.

Personally, I can use my newsletters as an example of how taking action leads to motivation. Sure, sometimes I’ll read a quote and get excited and my writing comes easily. But usually, it’s the other way around. More often then not, I sit down with a loose idea without really knowing where to begin. So, I just start writing. I don’t wait to have it all worked out before I start. And, after a few ‘clunky’ sentences it usually starts to make sense and I can express myself more easily. I call that first draft my vomit draft so I’m not hung up on getting it right. I just get it out. But then, the next day, I’m more interested in rewriting it because I took the initial action to do it in the first place. My action (sitting down to write) leads to my motivation (to rewrite and publish the piece).

Most musicians aren’t particularly excited to practice. But, once they ARE practicing, they are having fun and enjoying the experience. (And usually practice for longer than they had planned.)

No, you won’t find inspiration when ironing. But the heaps of clothes will likely keep growing if you wait to feel motivated. However, once you start, isn’t it amazing how quickly you get through all of it?

Most people know they should exercise more but don’t because they are searching for ways to feel motivated to work out. This is the classic excuse people give themselves when trying to start a new fitness regime. But that’s rarely how it works. Ask any regular exerciser and he will tell you…the toughest part is getting started…once they’re moving, it’s no big deal.

One final thing about taking action…don’t overwhelm yourself into doing a lot of things. Start with ONE thing. You are more likely to get more done if you start with one specific thing to do. If you overwhelm yourself with too many tasks, you’ll freeze and get nothing done. (As I’ve said in earlier newsletters, I give myself only 3 things to do a day…3 things that if completed, will bring me closer to my goals.)

So what are you avoiding getting done? How can you “just do something” to get the ball rolling? Try this approach of “just doing one action to move me forward”… and see not only how much more you accomplish, but how much more fun you have with the process.

And if you need help with this, get in touch and together we’ll create a doable plan for you.

Don’t forget to forward this, retweet, or repost if you liked it!

Enjoying the Struggle…Loving the lifestyle

We’ve all been told that “life is about the journey more than the actual end result”. But the reason I think many of us fail to find joy along that journey is because we don’t actually sit down and decide if that journey is right for us. We get excited about achieving the goal without questioning what it will take to achieve it…and if we enjoy that kind of hard work.

The people who rise to the top of the corporate ladder, love the long hours and the pressure it takes to get there. The people who have a loving relationship with their spouse and children are people who value spending time with family over making extra money. The people who write novel after novel are people who love spending hours alone in front of the computer.

So, if we find ourself hating the circumstances of our lives, the question we need to ask ourselves is, “are we up for the struggle?” Or, I prefer to ask, will I enjoy the lifestyle?

Back when I was getting certified for Pilates, my teacher asked all of us a very important question: “Do you want to be a Pilates instructor or a Pilates enthusiast?”. Well, we were there to get certified so obviously we all wanted to be Pilates Instructors! He questioned us further…”what will your life look like? How often do you think you’ll actually get to do Pilates?”

I can tell you the answer to that. For the past 15 years I have probably spent as much time in the car driving to studios, gyms, people’s homes, etc as I have spent actually teaching. AND…aside from the classes I teach at the gym, I only manage to fit in a few Pilates exercises a day. In fact, there are plenty of videos on-line that are designed specifically for instructors because they only have 15 minutes to work out between clients! (whereas the enthusiasts, come take class with me at least 3 times a week!) And, I’ve also had to work with people in acute pain, debilitating injuries… and many with challenging personalities.

So, if I didn’t like driving, I’d be miserable and probably fairly angry. If I wanted every day to be 9 – 5, structured, and secure, I’d be a nervous wreck. If I only wanted to work with super fit and easy going people, I couldn’t make ends meet without another job.

The question then has to be, am I up for the challenges this lifestyle will give me?

If you want to be an actor, you will likely have to work as a waiter or caterer in order to keep your days free for auditions. You will also have to make enough money to be in class, hire a coach when needed, and do a lot of acting for free. (auditions) And then when you do book a job, you will then have to memorize lines, wake up for early call times, and deal with a multitude of inflated egos. If you become famous then you will be stared at in public, be photographed without your knowing, and answer the same questions over and over at all the press junkets to promote your current project.

That will be your lifestyle.

If you want to run a nightclub, you will have to like late nights, drunk people, loud music and flaky employees.

If you want to be in a band, you will have to practice for hours on your own, practice even more hours with the band, work nights and weekends, and lug your gear from gig to gig.

If you want to lose 100 pounds, you will have to change your lifestyle entirely starting with the food you eat. (And changing our diets is by far the most challenging part of losing weight.)

The fact is, you WILL face challenges. Obstacles WILL arise. So don’t turn yourself into yet another obstacle by complaining about the path along the way. If you can’t embrace the lifestyle (i.e. the challenges you will face) take a good look at that goal. Because yes, achieving it will likely feel awesome. BUT, with that achievement comes the work to get there. And if you can’t enjoy the work, you won’t put in the energy needed to actually succeed.

But, if you choose wisely, the obstacles, the struggles, the ‘work’…won’t feel like work at all. It will be just part of the journey.

If you want help with this, get in touch and we’ll go to work!

And if you liked this, repost, retweet, and forward it to friends.

1 2 3 5