How to Keep Your Promises…

Steps Towards a More Motivated Life

Every new coaching client I accept into my programs, one of the first questions I ask is, “How good are you at keeping promises to yourself?”

In order to create a true transformation, a key ingredient is to be able to make a commitment; to make a promise to yourself to really go after your dreams, your goals, or whatever it is you are looking to accomplish in your life.

I hear people all the time say they can keep commitments to other people but not to themselves. I always challenge that. When performing a deep dive into that statement, I usually will find an excuse or two on why they couldn’t keep that commitment or this commitment to someone. As the old saying goes…
“How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything”

Therefore if you are not committing to yourself, more than likely you are not doing that great of job committing to other people or projects.

To be of true service to the world, you should want to look within and make those all important reflective changes to have the ability to open up your world to new possibilities. That is why it is of utmost importance to keep promises to yourself.

When entering into any coaching program or any course be it educational or physical such as exercise, that promise to yourself that you will do what it takes to make it happen is the number one first ingredient.

But the question lies, how do you keep your promises to yourself? How do you keep that commitment? What are your blocks and how do you push past them?

Discovering What Blocks You

Many people search high and low for techniques to find what blocks them. There is a belief that only a trained professional can uncover those deep unconscious blocks that you cannot uncover for yourself. Well, let me tell you a secret I discovered. Simply ask a person why they haven’t completed a task and they will spew off 101 excuses. Too busy. Don’t have the equipment. Don’t know how to write. Ideas just don’t come easy these days. No money. Working two jobs. Etc… You get the point. All those excuses are the blocks. They are what stop you from moving forward. It really is as simple as that.

As a coach, my job is to listen into those excuses and then ask two simple questions, “What would it be like if you didn’t have that excuse? Once the excuse is removed, how would you motivate yourself then?”

If I hear another excuse, I would ask the same two questions again and again until we drill down to what is really stopping them. What I usually undercover is that they are not ready and they are too afraid to admit it because they think admittance would be a failure. This causes them to feel that they themselves are the failure. That feeling is the true limiting belief that is stopping them from achieving their goal or keeping their promise. They already see themselves as a failure and therefore, manifest the failure within them by subconsciously creating action steps that keeps them stuck.

BELIEVE

YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! In Fact, you are very successful just as you are! 🙂

There is something else that is more of a priority and our job together is finding that one item you keep denying yourself. Whether that means taking writing classes to become a confident writer or learning how to manage time so you can fit in an exercise practice. When we find it and complete that goal, then the other goal will more than likely fall into place.

Finding that other priority goal is not always that easy. Sometimes it takes 3 to 4 sessions just to locate why you are making excuses. For instance, there was a client of mine that for some reason had the toughest time finishing this scrap book project she had been working on for years. She originally came to me because she wanted to start her own business but over time all her tasks kept going uncompleted. We talked about it for over two months and she couldn’t keep her promises to finish many of the tasks she herself set in our sessions. Finally one day I asked, “What is your longest running project?” She talked about this scrap book and how she always wanted to finish it but never had time. This scrap book was over 15 years old. I stopped her right then and there and gave her one task… Finish the scrap book. Within two weeks she went back to that old project and actually finished it!!! WOW! What an accomplishment.

Over the next two weeks of finishing that one project, she started to complete all others. She had hidden that priority so deep inside her, that she forgot about it; yet it was the one block that was stopping her from moving forward because her thought was that she was a failure and that she didn’t have the ability to keep promises to herself.  She didn’t recognize just how important that scrap book was to her.

You see, you may also have a hidden priority that could be stopping you. Ask yourself, when is the last time you kept a promise to yourself? Get into it. Feel what accomplishing that promise felt like. Relive the moment. You might be surprised what you uncover.

Other times, when I hear deep silence from a client, I can tell they are hesitating. Usually, that hesitation means they know exactly what the priority project is and either they have fear to admit it or they haven’t broken it down into smaller pieces and therefore the goal is overwhelming to them. A trained and experienced time management coach will be able to work through that with you so you can break it down and begin to chip away at it.

Moving into Keeping your Promises

Now that you discovered your block; Your true block, not your “made up excuses” blocks. You can begin to open up to an awareness that will move you past the block and into motivation. In this stage, we focus on that motivation and the advantage of completing the desired goal. What will completing that goal do for you? What will it look like? How can you make it fun? What are the ways to make it ridiculously easy?

It is said that to keep promises you have to have discipline. But the more I read about discipline, the more I think it is an illusion. Google defines discipline this way:

dis·ci·pline /noun

the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

UGH! Who would want discipline?!? I say forget the negative side of discipline and welcome in the positive side of motivation.

mo·ti·va·tion /noun

the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Define your reasons on why exercising or writing that book or developing that speech or quitting that dead end job are important to you. Write them down. Repeat them out loud everyday. Get support and don’t give up. Your desire is important. That goal you really want to have is important. Those blocks that keep you from your goal are not important.

Finally, The 12 Steps to Keeping Your Promises to YOU

Here is the part you all have been waiting for. What are the steps to keep promises to yourself?

  1. Bring to light and admit what goal or promise you are not keeping.
  2. Define the reasons why that goal is important to you and read those reasons everyday, either before bed or first thing when you wake up in the morning or both. This is the feeling part. Make it personal for you. What are the values; the deep desires to complete this goal?
  3. Determine the blocks by telling yourself the excuses.
  4. Work towards removing the blocks (this is easier to complete with a partner, such as a coach, therapist or supportive friend or sponsor)
  5. If there is a hidden goal that needs to be completed first, find it and prioritize it so you move on to that burning desire that is within you now.
  6. Develop a support system to keep you accountable.
  7. Break down the steps if you are in overwhelm.
  8. Find the advantages to keeping the promise. How will this help others? How will this help your timeline or schedule or your future? If you complete this, then what will happen?
  9. Discover how to make it fun.
  10. Have PATIENCE! So many people forget this step. You will want to remember that life is a journey not a destination.
  11. Live in Acceptance. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want, but we receive what we need.
  12. Trust you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

I’ll leave you with this last quote from a song by The Rolling Stones…

You Can’t Always Get What You Want… But if you try sometimes, you get what you need!

Four Step Affirmation Formula

Creating Personal Affirmations

Affirmations have been used for centuries to affirm something that is true. They are short and powerful statements that when you say, hear or even think them can create a great transformation in your thinking process. Research has shown that we have on average 70,000 thoughts per day. (1) That’s approximately 3000 thoughts an hour. Affirmations are used to break negative thinking and promote positive outcomes in your life. The goal is to change your thought on a subject, thereby changing the actions you may take on a decision be it small or large. You may even ask yourself how something you are about to do invites this affirmation in more or less into your life.

Until recently, I looked up other people’s affirmations and used their affirmations to repeat with my mala beads. When you are first working with affirmations this is a great place to start. But as you become more familiar with the technique you may want to create your own. Having personal affirmations is a powerful step in changing the way you think about anything. To continue my self development, I created a four step formula for personalizing affirmations for the needs of the moment.

For instance, we all live busy lives. Maintaining balance in our lives is an important goal for keeping our sanity. Therefore, my four step formula would look like this if you are looking to create more balance in your life.

  • I am balanced.
  • I live a balanced life.
  • I create balance.
  • I am balance.

The four step formula has four distinct sections. The first line or section is about the feeling. I am balanced. It is all about the emotional state or the reaction of the belief that you are balanced. The second line or section is about your expression of that feeling or idea. I live a balanced life. Your mind determines what is defined by the term balance. What does balance look like? How does a balanced person react to life and situations? The third line or section is about the action of the feeling or idea. I create balance. This is a very powerful statement. Here you are actively seeking out ways to live a life of balance. The last line or section is you knowing without a doubt that you are balanced. I am balance. It is always stated in present tense. Here you know that you know. You are clear that all actions you take will promote a balanced life.

This formula works for any affirmation you’re looking for in the moment. Lets go through another example.

Say you are looking to create more abundance in your life. The word abundance is a good start but lets dig a little deeper. What kind of abundance are you looking for? Wealth, Happiness, Spiritual Abundance, Time Abundance, etc… Make sure to always be very clear and descriptive to the best of your ability in what you are looking to create in your life. For this example, we are going to decide that you want more abundance of laughter in your life. You want to laugh more. Well, what does laughing do for you? It makes you smile, it creates joy and happiness. It is a byproduct of seeing the world as fun and exciting. If you want to create more laughter then you will want to create more experiences that promote laughter or that amuse you. To laugh your thought must include the idea that the current moment is joyous, funny and exciting. After this thorough drill down, I believe we should use the word joy. Joy is a value that has the potential to create more laughter or an abundance of laughter in your life. The more joy you bring into your life, the more you can view life as entertaining.

In thinking about the formula, we want to feel joy, live joy, create joy and be joy. So the affirmation formula is as follows:

  • I am joyous.
  • I live a joyous life.
  • I create joy.
  • I am joy.

It is as simple as that. The first step is always the feeling. What does it feel like to be joyous? You can even do a short visualization technique here to really get into that feeling. To visualize, just close your eyes and take three big long breaths. And then remember a time when you felt joy or saw it in a movie. Really get into that moment. Be that moment. Where are you at? What are you doing? How do you feel? What is the expression on your face? Who’s with you? What time is it? Remember to really think about all the small details.

The next step is defining what it looks like. How a joyous person expresses that feeling? It is the outside expression. You may smile, laugh or sit with your eyes closed looking up to the sky feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin causing a slight laugh to come out as you think about the beauty of the earth and how blessed you are in this very moment. How does a joyous person move, walk or talk? What kind of thoughts does a joyous person experience daily, moment to moment?

The third step is actively seeking out activities that would promote that feeling in your life. It is continuously creating moments of joy. If you gain joy every time you play with your children, then set aside time each day for playtime. Or if you create joy by playing an instrument, then set aside time daily to play a song or two or three. Seek out those moments that allow you to always express and feel joy.

The fourth step is knowing that all life is joy. That no matter what you are doing or who you are with you are simply a joyous person. Joy is all around you and all you have to do is open your mind’s eye to see the expression of joy. All moments have joy if you just change your perspective to open your awareness to joy.

This is my four step affirmation formula. You feel it. You live it. You create it. You know it.

 

(1) http://www.loni.ucla.edu/About_Loni/education/brain_trivia.shtml

The Power of Thoughts and Simple 1 Step Solution

Have you ever felt this way?

Picture this…

You are at work. Someone comes to you and hands you a task that you don’t want to accomplish. It is not a fun task. It is time consuming and not in a good challenging way. You know you have to do it but man is it hard to focus when you are not thrilled about it.

Your thoughts may include:

  • This Sucks!
  • Why Me?
  • I am so unhappy at this task.

If you answered yes to that picture above, let me offer you a simple 1 step solution.

Instead of thinking that the task at hand makes you unhappy, ask yourself this simple question.

What would it be like to let go of that thought or idea or picture in your head that the task makes you unhappy?

Please Take a Moment

I want you to really think about the answer above. You have a thought that states, “I am unhappy with this task“. Okay.

Now just picture letting that thought go.

Spend a few minutes here.
Take a out a piece of paper and pen and write it down.

  • What would it be like?
  • How would you feel to remove that thought?
  • How would the task change?

Now, replace that thought. Say outloud and affirm it with 100% confidence…

I am releasing any negative thoughts on this task. I am happy to perform this task and thrilled to be of service to this project. I am happy.

It is as simple as that. Some people who are limited in their thinking may argue against the idea that it is as simple as adopting another thought but it is that simple. We humans make things so complex when in reality it is really just that simple to forgive, to let go, to move on, to change your thoughts. It may take practice to get good at this skill. But the more you practice, the easier it becomes just like all things in life.

Here is another affirmation:

I believe with all my heart that changing my thoughts are easy.

Adopt the idea that changing your thoughts is easy and suddenly your world opens up to new ways of thinking and looking at a situation. All thoughts are perceptions that occur from our past experiences and perceived ideas of the current situation. If you can become aware of this fact and remove those perceptions than any task that does not go against your main values can be exactly what you want that task to be.

In the case of this article, we are simply introducing the concept that rethinking a thought that helps you be more productive either at work or in life can create a more balanced approach to events that happen around you. This concept of asking yourself to remove the thought that is not serving you is a simple practice for when the bigger experiences in life come your way. If you begin small and can change your thoughts on something so simple as a task that is not so much fun, can you imagine where you will go on a huge experience that may have a negative label such as sad or lonely?

I have developed very specific packages to work with you on developing this important skill. For more information on my exclusive packages, click here to learn how to work with me or make an appointment for your free session.

 

Steps to Solving Reasonless Depression

I have come to a place in my life where on a normal day to day living, I successfully stay in a positive mindset and see the world through a happy lens. Yes, I am excitable but very little seems to stick with me longer then a hour or two or maybe (but rarely) a day or two, depending on the level of the labeled experience.

Yet, there are times where a reasonless depression takes over. This weekend was one of those times. I was depressed. For really no reason. I had food. I had clothes. I had a roof over my head. Gas in my car. There was no reason.

A client of mine just a week before was feeling a lot of anxiety. I had suggested something I had heard from several spiritual leaders that to fully remove an unwanted or undesirable feeling, you first must fully feel it.

“Okay. Let’s practice what we preach”, I thought.

I woke up on Monday morning and sat up with this heavy feeling on my shoulders. I first observed my body language. The sides of my lips curled down. My head hung low. My eyes, heavy and gazing at the ground. My muscles ached. A slight headache was at the edge of my forehead. I felt lethargic, lonely and unmotivated.

I grabbed my journal and wrote thoughts down that came from this overall feeling of nothingness. The thoughts were about me not being good enough. Failing like usual. Why am I even trying. More kept coming and I just kept writing them down as I heard them. Then I went over possible reasons for why my emotional body needed to feel this way. I wrote down about 6 and that is really when things started to move forward for me. They ranged from money to weight to a lost friendship to high expectations. I realized, I could have probably kept going but then I stopped. Depression was knocking on the door. It just wants to be heard and felt and loved. It wants a hug and understanding; compassion and a friend.

At this time, I decided to perform a visualization technique. I visualized opening the door, welcoming depression with open arms and giving him a big spiritual loving hug. We sat down at the wooden table and had tea. I listened, nodded and was really present in the moment for depression. I gave him compassion, love and understanding. I let the thoughts in my head escape onto the paper and then checked in. Asked if it needed to tell me more.

And there was more…

There was a gift. Depression said that he was worried about me. I work so hard with no breaks and really he was hear to check up on me. We both smiled and it was then that I realized the gift in full. Depression visits me when I need a break. When I need to slow down and sleep. Take time for reading and relaxing with my furchildren. To simply enjoy the sun and the outside. I looked at depression deep into his eyes and said, “Thank you. Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for slowing me down to rest. Thank you for your precious gift. For you arrived exactly on time. Exactly when I needed you.” And deep down inside, depression knew that. Then we enjoyed another big spiritual loving hug and I looked him square in the face one more time and said, “I LOVE YOU!”

At that moment, a smile came to my lips. My body no longer ached. My heart skipped a beat. Joy spread over me like a flowing river. My energy increased and I knew I was ready for the day no matter what may come. Depression looked right back at me and said, “Be Brave. Be Fearless. When you need me, I will be there again.”

All emotions have wonderful gifts to teach. May we be brave enough to listen, be open and accepting and ready for their precious gifts.

This taught me that for all feelings, we should observe them fully in our bodies, both emotional and physical. My Mo•Clar Moment was that my depression was simply a gift to slow me down and send me the much needed message of rest.

In Summary the Steps to Solve a Reasonless Depression are as follows:
  1. Fully feel it.
  2. Observe it physically.
  3. Record all these observations in a journal.
  4. Write the thoughts as they arrive to your conscious mind.
  5. Visualize an unattached conversation with the feeling. Be very detailed and imaginative.
  6. Listen closely for the gifts.
  7. Send lots of love, understanding and compassion.
  8. Be your own friend.
  9. Be thankful for that moment.
  10. Write down the overall meaning and then bless it.

Visualization Technique to Nice, France

As promised, I completed my visualization technique yesterday to Nice, France. I spent about 45 minutes really visualizing it and looking up pictures and feeling what it was like to sit in the cafes, stay at the hotels, and walk on the cobblestone streets. I began my visualization with going to the San Diego Airport and standing in line at security feeling those exciting feeling for going to France for a day. I knew that in my pack, I had an extra pair of clothes, a tooth brush and toothpaste, my hair brush, a book to read and my journal to write in. I checked my pockets to make sure I had my camera so I could take lots of pictures. Next I saw in my mind’s eye me sitting waiting to board. Then walking over to Starbucks for some hot water to put in my coffee cup for my favorite Yogi Green Tea that I always bring with me everywhere I go.

Now I am on the plane, watching a romantic movie on the seat in front of me. I love when you can choose your movies or watch TV on those little screens right in front of you. Really makes the plane ride so much faster. Arial Nice FranceBefore I knew it was I departing from the plane and I had arrived in Nice, France. Secret…the best part about taking a trip in your mind’s eye is that you get a non-stop flight to your destination. 😉

Ah! The first blast of warm air as I step out of the airport. Now since this is my luxury trip, a limo is waiting to take me to my hotel. How exciting to ride in a comfortable limo with infused cucumber and lemon water waiting for me inside. We drive through the city streets slow so I can see this beautiful place they call Nice, France. Me…joyous and happy and smiling from ear to ear.

We arrive at Hotel La Perouse. I will be staying for only a day but it is so beautiful and refreshing. I have a deck so I can enjoy the sun and breeze as I read my favorite book or work on my musing for my blog. By lunch I am hungry and feeling that tug to go and explore the surroundings. I first visit the flower market on Cours Selaya and do a little shopping. Take pictures at the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and the Fountain Plaza Massena. I stop to hear jazz in the plaza and tip the gentleman for the nice music he played on his saxophone. What a beautiful day with the temperature an even 74 degrees, slightly cloudy, mostly sunny. Where I stop to eat, simply must have the best french cheese and sun dried tomatoes. After lunch, I walk along the Promenade des Anglais, visit the art galleries, and see more of the beautiful churches. I spend time at the hidden gem of Nice, Parc Phoenix, a haven of wildlife, gardens and fountains.

By this time it is time to rest and finish the day at a romantic cafe on the main street where action is all around and conversations are animated. As I finally make my way back to Hotel La Perouse, I am tired but filled with joy and happiness. I am now ready to move forward with my work knowing that my day in Nice, France was exactly what I needed to renew and refresh.

Feeling Stuck? Do what you want to do today!

Today’s Challenge

Often in a coaching session, my clients will experience a feeling of being stuck either in a job, a relationship, the daily chaos of life, limited by money, you name it, something is prohibiting them from doing what they really want. It is also prohibiting them from creating the action plan to get them where they want to go or be in life.

Whatever is holding you back today from doing what you really want to do. Try this exercise.

I developed this exercise on the spur of the moment for one of my clients. They were feeling frustrated and stuck in life. It was that magical mo•clar moment when I had this idea for this client that may help them get unstuck.

I encouraged her to complete this exercise.

I asked her, “What do you want to do today?”

Client, “Go to Paris.”

Me, “Great! Then go.”

Client, “What?!?”

Me, “Go to paris.”

Client, “How?”

Me, “In your mind’s eye.”

Take an hour today or maybe even two.
Get on the internet, find some pictures of Paris and put them all around you.
Close your eyes and imagine the plane ride.
Getting to the airport.
The smell as soon as you get out in the open air.
The taxi ride to your hotel.
Greeting the bell boy or girl and talking to the desk front manager. Asking them what is the first thing you should do in Paris for your first visit.
Then whatever it is you want them to say, go do it.
If it is walk, imagine preparing your pack for the walk.
Taking that first step onto the sidewalk.
Seeing the sites, the buildings, the people.
Of course, smiling the whole time because you are in Paris.
Imagine the first bite of food you eat there. What was the meal? I am sure it tasted great!
And just take your time with this seeing yourself there. Post some pictures of your day in Paris to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Tomorrow, you may decide you are going on a safari in Kenya. Do the same thing.

So many people are stuck because they can’t see anything else besides what is bothering them; what they don’t like. They see what they really want to do as impossible and sometimes even unimaginable.

This exercise is to open up your imagination.

As Albert Einstein said,

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

If you feel your are not limited by anything to do what you want, you will be able to clear your mind to see the opportunities that are all around you. Having a clear mind is exactly what we are looking for in this exercise.

Do this exercise every day for 21 days. See where it takes you. I bet you will be surprised.

And remember, if you don’t have one or two hours, just do it for 20 minutes. You can even exercise and do this technique. Pretend you are running in the hills of Switzerland, even if your actual feet are on the land of America.

Use your imagination. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂