goal setting

DOING the work…not just Reading about it

Here we are! It’s the new year and most of us have set a goal or two that we are excited about tackling.

And, I’ve already had the pleasure of working with many people as a part of their support team.

But there is one common theme that I’m hearing and I want to squash this form of self sabotage right now… The phrase I’ve heard over and over again? “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to do that…”

Any exercises, suggestions, advice, including my own, is completely useless unless you actual DO it. You must DO THE WORK to see the results.

Think about it like this…let’s say you want to take up hiking. You buy the gear, research hikes in your area, get directions on how to get there…but don’t go. Well, you’re not a hiker then, are you?

If you want to be an actor, you have to act. If you want to be a painter, you have to paint. If you want to run a marathon, you have to run. Just reading about it, ain’t gonna get you nowhere.

And if you want to break free from limiting patterns and break bad habits, you have to actually DO THE EXERCISES you learn about rather than just read them and say you’ll get to it later. Putting them in your ‘flagged’ email folder doesn’t help either. Most of us are guilty of doing this. We make a note of doing something we read and then say “I’ll do this later.”

Nope. You won’t. None of us will. Unless you do it NOW or SCHEDULE when you will do it.

And, for the record, if I say an exercise is quick and easy, it really is! I’m not lying to you. Stop what you’re doing and do the exercise right now, instead of not doing it at all. And, if I say you need to take some time to sit and write about something, that’s true too. Sometimes it is best to wait and find the time you need to really go deep. But if that’s the case, you have to SCHEDULE that time. Because be it a big assignment or a little one, both are useless unless you actually do them.

So, how about we change that limiting behavior right now? What is one assignment you can do right now? (all of my newsletters are available at brigittadau.com) What step can you take right now that will bring you closer to achieving your goals? What task can you complete so you can mark it off the to-do list, right now?

Start doing this every day. Pick ONE thing that you can DO to further you along your path.

The good news is, when you practice following through on a daily basis, it becomes a habit and your resistance and excuses are replaced with action and achievements.

So… pick one thing and go DO it now.

And, if you don’t know what steps to take to achieve your goals, get in touch and together we’ll put together a concise plan of action so you can get started today. Maybe getting in touch with me is the step you’ve been ‘thinking’ about instead of actually ‘doing’?

Now is the perfect time to start.

As always, retweet, repost, and forward to your friends.

And Happy New Year to all of you!!!

 

Give yourself the Gift of Support in 2018

Okay, the New Year is almost here.

This is the perfect time to have a little face to face reality check with yourself, and…set up next year to be the best one yet.

What worked for you this year? When were you awesome? What did you manage to pull off despite the odds? Kudos to you…you rock!

And now, look back and ask yourself, what didn’t happen this year? Where did I stumble and fail to get back up?

Most likely, none of us accomplished all we had hoped to achieve. We all fell short of something this past year. I’m yet to meet a perfect person. (except for my cat)

But the fact is, you are more likely to overcome those set backs by asking for help from the right people.

No addict ever got sober alone. No book was ever published without being edited by at least one other person. No house was built single handedly. No community was created in a bubble.

We ALL need support.

So looking back at this past year, where could you have asked for help but didn’t? We’re all guilty of this! Don’t beat yourself up about it…just be honest.

Where could you have used some extra support?

Go get it. Now. Be generous with yourself and get the support you need.

Book the therapy appointment. Buy a series of workouts with a trainer. Book your first session of the year with your health coach, writing coach, life coach, spiritual coach. Sign up now for that meditation class or painting class or college class.

Not having the money is no excuse. Sign yourself up NOW. The minute you step up by signing up, the funds show up. I’ve seen this more times than I can tell you. When you take a stand for yourself, the universe supports you…always.

And, by committing right away, you will feel both relaxed and excited about next year. Why? Because you will hit the ground running with your support system already in place. Any resistance you have to getting help will already be muted. And, the likelihood of next year being the year you kick ass is far more likely now that you already have the support of others.

Give this gift of support to yourself…Now.

You deserve it!

And, that includes reserving time with me! Get in touch and let’s get a date on the books for 2018…let’s make 2018 the year we make it happen!

Here’s to a wonderful New Year.

As always, retweet, repost and share with everyone

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!

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

The Truth about Change

Growth does not come from a checklist…The truth about change.

Real change can only happen when we love ourselves enough to stand up and do what we know is best for us.
Take a look at your To-do list. How do you feel when you read through it? Could you easily call it your “ to create more joy in my life” list? Does your list make you feel passionate and inspired? Does it help you feel happy?

Or, is this a list of “should’s” to someday feel like a better person? In other words, if you check all the boxes does that mean you’ll feel more validated, more worthy, more acceptable?

For some of us, our to-do lists have become a hustle for our self-esteem. We believe that the more healthy, organic, spiritual, and meditative we are, the ‘better’ we will be as people. On top of that, we have to take actions towards our goals, make more money, and somehow find time to stay current on the latest TV shows. Not to mention keeping up our Instagram feed…

The problem isn’t our goals or our desires or all the actions we intend to take each day. The problem is when we turn these goals and actions into a gauge of our self worth. Because if achieving all these things is our only way to feel okay with ourselves, our days will leave us exhausted and empty. After all, even if we do accomplish it everything, tomorrow we have to start all over again…new day, new list.

For many of us, we have ‘self improvement’ reasons behind our plans. “If I include a green drink every day, my liver and kidneys will be happy. If I practice guided meditation I won’t get sick. If I stop procrastinating I’ll actually have enough time to practice yoga. If I get off my ass and exercise, I’ll be worthy of that gift massage I’ve been putting off.”

This sounds more like a “I’ll be a good person if I do these things” list to me.

Notice your plans…are they more about how to fix yourself than to create more of what you’re passionate about? Ask yourself this question…”Do I think that if I accomplish everything on my list, I will like myself more? That I’ll be a better, more acceptable, lovable person?”

Seriously, why are you doing what you’re doing?

More importantly, does getting all that done feel freeing to you?

Unfortunately, often we are so desperate to feel good about ourselves we can’t accept ourselves as we are in this moment. Believe me, if constantly viewing ourselves as a self improvement project actually helped motivate us to take action towards our dreams, then I’d be all for it!

But that is not how growth works. I repeat:

Real change happens when we love ourselves enough to stand up and do what we know is best for us. We naturally ‘improve’ when we are passionately living our lives…not when we are checking things off a list.

So, when I work with people on their goals, the first thing I get clear about is why they want those things in the first place.

And then? We toss that old to-do list. Instead of a long list of not so exciting things (I mean really, how exciting can green juice be?) we come up with 3 actions a day.

Personally, every day I write the 3 things I will do that day to help me feel like I’m moving closer to my desires…not my self esteem. The difference might seem subtle but it’s effects are huge. Working for what I’m passionate about creates energy and is exciting. Whereas, making up for my supposed shortcomings is depressing and only fuels my self-shame.

What if you rewrote your health plans in ways that excited you? For example, instead of listing ‘yoga 3 times a week’ how about saying, ‘this week I will move in ways that feel great 3 times’. Maybe yoga totally fills you with mojo. Great. But by taking away the restriction, maybe you’ll bust out the African drumming album and dance your ass off instead. (also excellent exercise and super fun!)

How could you revamp your spiritual practice? Maybe instead of insisting on doing a seated meditation every day, you could instead say “I will connect to my source every day”. This opens you up to more ways to fuel that desire. Yes, you could sit and meditate. But you could also include the option of compassion meditation (something that does not require you to sit still for any period of time…contact me if you want to learn more about it at brigittadau@yahoo.com). Simply stopping to enjoy nature for a moment could be a beautiful way to connect to your source. Also practicing mindfulness, or noting what you are grateful for could be a way to keep your spiritual commitment.

Putting extra pressure on ourselves to get things done will never lead us to joy and liberation. Loving ourselves, will. And by making your desires easy and fun to act upon, you’ll immediately start to move in the direction you want to move in. Your days will begin to change and be less about proving your worth through accomplishments. They will be more about bringing your true self to all of your encounters. And when you show up authentically in your life, your need for approval automatically dissipates.

So, go back and take a good hard look at your goals and your to-do lists…are they bringing you joy? Do they light you up? Do they fill you with enthusiasm? Or do you feel like you are hustling for your self worth? Don’t get trapped by your “should list”. Instead, lighten up on the restrictions and write your new “path to Joy” list.

As always, if you liked this, repost, retweet, and forward to someone you care about. And if you want help with this, get in touch.

 

The Truth about Excuses

The Truth About Excuses…that four letter word that stops us every time:

We all do it. We use that four letter word “can’t” to avoid doing things for numerous reasons.

“I can’t get to the gym today because it’s too late.” “I can’t go to that networking event because I’m too tired.” I can’t sit down and write the next chapter because I have to call my mom”. “I can’t meditate every day because I don’t have enough time.” “I can’t go to that workshop because I don’t have enough money.”

(By the way, not having enough time or money are our most common reasons for why we can’t stick to our goals.)

But, the problem with buying into these BS stories is that they keep us in victim mode. When you say you “can’t” do something it suggests that you have no control over the situation at all.

Which by the way, is NOT true. Now yes, it’s true you can’t control other people, the economy, or all of your life’s circumstances. But you CAN control your reaction to what’s happening in your life. You have control over your attitude and responses. AND, by making one little shift, you can take back the reins of control once again.

How? Replace I “can’t”, with I “won’t”.

Ouch.

But, saying I “won’t” is more truthful, isn’t it?

It’s not that you don’t have enough time to meditate every day. The truth is, you just don’t “want” to carve out that time from your busy day. Finding the time will take work and require you to sacrifice doing something else.

It’s not that you can’t get to the gym, it’s that you “don’t want” to go to the gym. You don’t want to have to deal with all the effort that it will take, not to mention the potential muscle aches you’ll feel tomorrow.

Because if it’s really important to you, you’ll make the time and find the money to get it done. So, it’s not a matter of “I can’t”. It’s a matter of “I won’t”.

Which is super empowering! Because you are no longer a victim to your circumstances. You are taking responsibility for your actions and you’re either willing to accept your excuses or not. This honesty policy puts you in the driver’s seat.

Here’s a great assignment to bust those lies.

Write down at least 10 of your excuses. This shouldn’t take that long because we all know our excuses by heart. But, stop right now, and actually write them down.

This is not a “See, I AM a loser destined to be a failure” expedition. This is not something to beat yourself up about. This is part of being human and we ALL have tons of excuses that seem like really good reasons for not getting things done. Yes, me too!

So, write out your top 10 excuses.

Next to them, write out why those excuses are total BS.

As I said, time and money are our favorite excuses but rarely are they true. “Where there is a will, there is a way”. Why are those excuses big fat lies? Write it out.

Then, write out what you will DO instead.

For example, let’s say “I can’t get to the gym because I don’t have time” is your fave excuse. You’ve identified that’s a big lie because you do manage to have time to watch Netflix every day! So to revamp the “I don’t have time” excuses, you may:

– set your alarm for earlier in the morning
– gather your gym clothes and have them ready the night before
(I know people who’ve slept in their gym clothes so in the morning they just got up and went to the gym!)
– set a time to meet someone else at the gym (workout buddies work!)
– bring your gym clothes with you in the morning and then go straight from work
– look into classes being offered and schedule them into your week
– check out YouTube for FREE tutorials and classes which eliminates the time needed to even go to the gym
Do you see how there are actually many ways to “create” time by having a plan of attack? Just by having your clothes ready to go ahead of time, saves a lot of time if you are trying to squeeze in a workout before work…

What about the money excuse? “I can’t take that workshop because I don’t have enough money”. Really? Let’s bust that wide open.

you could contact the organization and work out a payment plan
ask the organization if they need volunteers which could help you lower your attendance fee or even eliminate it
you can make your own coffee and/or pack a lunch to save on overpriced meals out
could you pick up a side job?..maybe drive for Uber or create an account on Task Rabbit.
find a neighbor who needs help with babysitting or housekeeping
All of us have too much junk…do you have something you could sell on Ebay or Craig’s list?

Those are just a few ways you can create extra money for something, if you REALLY WANT IT.

Don’t let that four letter word “can’t” get in your way. Swap it out for the truth. “I won’t” and get honest about why you’re stuck. Then take back the reins of control by calling out your excuses and replacing them with concrete actions.

And sometimes this is too much to do on our own. “I can’t ask for help” is another popular excuse. If you need help, ask. Get in touch at brigittadau@yahoo.com and we’ll get to work on this together.