“My goal, with whatever I am working on, is to lose track of time.”

“My goal, with whatever I am working on, is to lose track of time.”

—Ben Marcus, American author and professor

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How often do you experience a sense of flow through your vocational and avocational efforts?

In his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi explores the topic of “optimal experiences” and what makes them extremely satisfying.

In this state, most people totally lose track of time and experience a powerful sense of deep enjoyment, creativity, and engagement.

Where do you lose track of time throughout your day? To what degree are these engaging times both productive and pleasurable?

Where do your efforts actually detract or limit you from being your best or cause problems due to the somewhat addictive qualities of certain behaviors?

EXERCISE:

What adjustments can and will you make to your flow-meter to make an even more positive and pleasurable difference in your life?

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.”

—Brian Tracy, Canadian-American motivational speaker/author

Image from Unsplash by Isaac Smith

Do yourself a big favor and set some worthy goals for the new year.

If you are like many of us, you are thinking, I do this every year, or maybe why bother?

Perhaps, like many people, you stick to your resolutions until sometime in February, when things fall apart due to bad weather, waning discipline, or competing priorities at home or work.

Whatever you do or don’t do, you can bet that changes are coming. The question to ask yourself is whether you are going to control their direction, or simply react to whatever comes your way.

EXERCISE:

Please consider improving your odds of success by adding a variety of social and structural supports. To learn more about how to do this, put the book Influencer – The Power to Change Anything on your holiday and new year reading list.

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

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As part of my customized Personal Excellence Training — which sets the stage for the majority of coaching engagements — I introduce a self-coaching tool called “The Pivot Point.”

This technique uses the concept of “creative tension” described by Robert Fritz in his book, The Path of Least Resistance.

Essentially, the pivot point involves asking yourself — or perhaps a group — these three questions:

  1. What is the current reality?
  2. What is the vision or goal?
  3. What actions can and will I/we take to move forward?

The leverage of our vision provides the impetus to move forward, and creates the opportunity to better our situation.

EXERCISE:

Select at least one personal or professional front-burner issue or project to try out the Pivot Point technique. Please consider replying to this post to let me know how things go.

“Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.”

“Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.”

—Ralph Marston, 20th Century professional football player

Image from Unsplash by Bruce Mars

How happy, healthy, and successful are you? If for some reason your answer falls a bit short of where you hoped you would be at this point in your life, today’s quote provides two nuggets of coaching.

To what degree are your personal and professional goals truly ambitious and inspiring? How passionate and motivated are you when you discuss them with others or even daydream? How much of this inner talk converts into committed action?

Personal doubts and other forms of limiting beliefs act like vampires that suck the life out of most of us from time to time. Consider your own awareness of these vision-draining thoughts. To what degree are they currently limiting your vitality and success?

EXERCISE:

What goal-expanding and doubt-limiting efforts can and will you take to move your current reality to far more extraordinary levels?

Consider partnering with a family member, friend, mentor, or a coach to assist you and guarantee your success.

“Step one is to start at step one.”

“Step one is to start at step one.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Pawel Janiak

Today’s quote, and the related statement, “Just Do It,” helped make Phil Knight (CEO of Nike) one of the wealthiest people in the world, with an estimated net worth of 34.7 billion.

I am sure you are thinking there were many, many steps on his and Nike’s journey to success, but it all started with that first step. From there, it was on to the second and third… and the wonders of momentum.

It is a fact that something in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an external force.

EXERCISE:

How often do you stop yourself before you even begin?

On what priority project are you procrastinating, or stopped in your tracks?

What one step will you take to begin the journey to realize what you desire?

Consider sharing this goal or objective with a friend, family member, mentor, or even reply to this post to let me know what you intend, and for added social support.

“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”

“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”

—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor

Image from Unsplash by Nik MacMillan

How coachable are you? How open and receptive are you to the guidance, direction and influences of others in your professional or personal life?

I begin working with all new clients with an all-day, one-on-one workshop in my office to clarify and fully align on the specific goals and objectives we intend to produce. With this up-front investment to align our objectives we can optimize the full benefit and value of our relationship.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you enhance the receptivity and coach-ability of yourself and those around you by doing the up-front work of assuring shared goals for your efforts?

“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals…”

“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals. That is, goals that do not inspire them.”

—Tony Robbins, American self-help Author and speaker

Image of a white coffee cup inscribed "begin"

Image from Unsplash by Danielle MacInnes

Who are the lazy people you know personally or professionally? Where and on what occasions do you, too, have a lazy streak in which you prefer to disengage?

To what degree do you, and they, perk up and find energy to become fully engaged by other interests and abilities?

What are your most exciting and inspiring vocational and avocational interests—the ones where you find yourself “all in” and where time flies?

EXERCISE:

What changes can and will you make to super-charge the potency of goals for yourself and others?

Feel free to reply to this post with the inspired actions you take and the results that occur.

The great secret about goals and visions

“The great secret about goals and visions is not the future they describe, but the change in the present they engender.”

—David Allen, American Productivity Consultant

Image of a circle of people looking down at the camera

Image from Unslpash by RawPixel

I hope you had a very happy holiday season, and that your new year is off to an outstanding start. Perhaps you are like most of us in that you set about to revisit your visions for the new year, and establish “stretch” goals for where you see yourself professionally and personally.

What progress, skills, habits, and achievements will put a big smile on your face? Perhaps most importantly, what daily changes will be required to realize what you deeply desire?

David Allen suggests, in today’s quote, that our visions and goals provide the leverage of our commitment to changing our present actions that will have us realize the futures we desire.

EXERCISE:

Consider displaying the following quote by Tuli Kupferberg in your personal or professional environment as a daily reminder to tap into one of the secrets to a better future:

“When patterns are broken, new worlds will emerge.”

Also consider writing it with the second part first:

“New worlds will emerge when patterns are broken.”

Never mistake a clear view for a short distance

“Never mistake a clear view for a short distance.”

—Mark Spain, top Real Estate Broker

illustration of the distance between earth and Mars

Image from SpaceNews

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and seen Mars without a telescope?

If you have, you were viewing the red planet – which won’t appear red – at a distance of about 34 million miles, when at its closest to Earth.

Although the math is complicated, and there is no way to travel to Mars in a straight line – which, if you could, would take 39 days – here is a list of a few missions and the time it took for the journey:

  • Mariner 9, the first spacecraft to orbit Mars (1971): 168 days
  • Viking 1, the first U.S. craft to land on Mars (1995): 304 days
  • Mars Science Laboratory (2011): 254 days

EXERCISE:

To what degree are you fully prepared to go the distance on one or more personal or professional goals, that you can clearly see ahead?

Anybody who is not pulling his weight

“Anybody who is not pulling his weight is probably pushing his luck.”

—Adi Da Samraj, 20th Century American spiritual teacher

Image of a man tugging a thick rope

Image from Unsplash by Stijn Swinnen

Consider the following three aspects of your life, and determine your level of effort, success, and satisfaction:

  • Career
  • Relationships
  • Health

Examine how often you put in the time, focus, and heavy lifting to achieve your goals in each area.

Consider those around you with sluggish careers, failing relationships, and poor or diminished health. What do you observe regarding their efforts?

EXERCISE:

Where would pulling more of your weight bring you greater luck and good fortune in these are other important aspects of your life?

What actions will you take today to put on some more muscle, to tone up your life?