Day #283: A Healthy Routine Habit Will Set You Up To Succeed

Key number 3 to start living your dream… Habits and good ones at that – lead to results.

As quite the opposite to yesterday’s blog (Day #282: Improvise – Adapting Your Journey To Success), this point is just as important. What you need is to place discipline over motivation, but perhaps even greater than that – you need to form habits. Setting up a habit or routine that is successful and keeps you in order will help ensure you are being productive and prioritizing your time accordingly to your lifestyle. Having the routine or habit doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to improvise, it just means this is your base, and you should be able to improvise from this if things don’t go to plan.

Routines and habits are key for several reasons. First of all – it allows you to do something every day that you know that will help build towards your dream. For example, if you want to be a guitarist this might mean practicing two hours a day no matter what, if you want to be a runner then it means you go running five times a week. What I’m trying to say is I know from experience that if you do anything long enough and with enough dedication eventually you will become good at it!

“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” – Colin Powell

Furthermore – when other people see your habits they will be impressed with your work ethic and want to work with you. People are drawn to individuals who they see can regularly produce results – and if you prove that you can produce results (or better yet, multiple results!) every day then the more potential partners you will find. No one wants to work with someone who hasn’t proved themselves to be reliable – it is those individuals who have proved their dedication that end up getting the most offers and taking their work to brave new worlds.


Day #282: Improvise – Adapt Your Journey To Success

Key number 2 to start living your dream… You need to be ready to adjust, adapt and improvise.

It is a big wide world out there – and in the current state of an ever evolving reality (environment, culture, society, and technology) you need to be willing and ready to stretch and flow with how the things change. It is all about adapting your journey to success.

Building on that previous point is (yesterday’s blog: Day #281: You Don’t Need The Biggest Plan For Success) the notion that you have to know how to improvise. This goes far beyond being “up for whatever;” it means that you also have to know when to use caution when deciding a new course of action. Being able to improvise will help you find your way into exciting new situations that can advance your career or your journey to making your dreams a reality and give you great stories for the years to come.

Being able to improvise is an incredible tool to have, but it can be hard to learn. But when you learn to apply it and use it on a regular basis then you can rest easy with the confidence that no matter what you should be able to handle the struggles of day-to-day life in whatever dream you want to live. No one said this would be easy, and a key point is that you need to be flexible and ready to take life as it comes if you want to get anywhere.

I’ve always got a goal/dream or a bit of a plan in the sense of where I wish to aim for within a certain amount of years or where or what I want to do. However, getting to these points in life and getting to these goals and dreams will sometimes differ than the way I thought it would happen – due to unforeseen circumstances. However, if you are passionate and set on your dreams you will make it happen by being able to improvise.

Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win. – Max McKeown

Day #281: You Don’t Need The Biggest Plan For Success

Key number 1 to start living your dream… You don’t need to plan it all out!

When first starting out in the pursuit of happiness, in the journey of finding, creating and making your dreams a reality – it all comes down to just doing what you love and following your passion. Whatever it may be, you don’t need to plan it out – but simply do it. Whether it is a sport, video games, a handcrafted skill or simply you know how to sell unique items or maybe you’re a blogger – or at least want to be.

The key is to start.

Most blogger’s when they start, don’t have a grand vision. Maybe you like hard rock and heavy metal and are all about 80s pop. But you are not sure what you could ever do with that. All you should worry about now is that it is fun to write about it on weekends. As you grow you will begin to realize that one of the best strategies in life is to throw ideas against a wall and see what sticks. This is a lesson commonly used today, and so many people would regularly attend concerts or industry events with no real goal in mind beyond “meeting X individual” or just “hanging out with Y band and seeing what happens” and on a surprisingly regular basis, things turn out well.

The thing is – people like people who are, (in the words of that Bud Light commercial:) “Up for whatever happens”. If someone invites you to an opportunity  you have to go – not just because you’ll probably have a good time and get to do some new things, but because of the connections you’ll have a chance to make. If you’re willing to just go out and play it by ear mighty forces will come to your aid unexpectedly – and it will be glorious.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” – Steve Jobs

So go do what you love and see what happens!

Day #280: The Keys To Start Living Your Dreams

Will you dare to have dreams? Will you dare to see the world changed? Don’t make the excuses of not being strong enough, patient enough or PASSIONATE enough. Because we all have the ability to change the world. I strive for a better version of me every day and I do this on the journey to see my dreams come true. Here are 7 keys to start living your dreams. Read them, think about them and I will be elaborating on them over a number of blogs. The next step is for you!
  1. You Don’t Need A Plan From The Start

  2. Be Ready To Improvise

  3. Habits Lead To Results

  4. Prove You Want It Most

  5. Remember To Be Nice To EVERYONE

  6. Enjoy The Ride

  7. When You Get To The Top Of The Mountain – Keep Climbing

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman

No matter what you do – as long as you maintain your honor and integrity it’s pretty hard to screw up badly enough that you get sent back to square one. Always keep pushing and know that with these keys you might just be able to do something great!

Day #279: 5 Ways To Stress Less – You’ve Got This

Stress comes and goes, but usually, it will linger around longer if we don’t deal with it. Choosing to redefine our thoughts over stress will enable us to avoid being consumed by it, but rather challenged by it. When stress becomes a motivator, it becomes a healthy way to work harder for something. But if stress is controlling us and limiting our actions, we need to redefine our mindsets to overcome it.

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. – William James

Here are 5 ways you can turn stress into productivity:

Get Caught Up to Stress Less

It won’t be easy to concentrate on what needs to get done today if you’re stressed about things that didn’t get done yesterday. Instead of letting the unfinished tasks daunt your mind, be more productive with your time and focus on completing them rather than worrying about them. If you’re behind on your list of things to do, getting caught up will offer some relief and you’ll find yourself not stressing out so much. Stress isn’t going to get things done for you, no matter how much energy you put into it.

Give Yourself More Time and Take Breaks

Unless it’s absolutely crucial for you to get something done by a certain time, don’t give yourself strict deadlines that’s not easily manageable; Doing so will cause you to stress out about getting the project done on time and you’ll be in constant worry as you repeatedly glance at the clock to see how much time you have left. While this may cause you to work faster to get things done, it’s not likely you’re actually putting in the quality work that’s needed if you’re simply speeding through the task because you’re fueled by a deadline you’re stressing over.

Don’t Do It All Yourself

If you are under a strict deadline or you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by completing the task, you should ask for help if you need it. Everyone needs help at some point and having an extra set of hands to help won’t feel as overwhelming as if you were doing it by yourself. With help, you’ll be twice as productive and you’ll worry less about meeting that deadline now that you have someone helping you. 

Get Some Perspective on Your Task

Becoming more productive in your day-to-day life can be accomplished by realizing what’s important and what’s not important because you’re likely spending a lot of your time stressing over things that are not that important in the big picture. A lot of the things that people stress over are actually not as significant as they would like to think they are… Keeping a positive attitude as you start the day, dive into your tasks, and tackle everything that needs to be done can deter you from getting sidetracked and wasting time on stressing over insignificant things.

Focus on Your Stress and Confront It

Sometimes focusing on your stress can be a good thing, if you’re trying to figure out how to better handle it that is. If trying to avoid stress isn’t as much of a successful method as you would like it to be, you could be productive through your stress and write down what it is that’s making you feel that way so you can confront it. In addition to writing down what stresses you out, also write down what’s the worst that can possibly happen. This will allow you to be able to look at back at what you wrote at a later time and see for yourself whether or not what you were stressing over was actually something significant. Usually, things end up not being as bad as they seem once you remove yourself from the situation and get a clearer head when looking at things.

Stress can ruin your life, but it only will if you let it. By learning to maintain your stress, you can become more productive, be happier, and learn how to look at the bigger picture of things. While it’s natural to feel some extent of stress when it comes to some things in life; Stress shouldn’t dominate your day

Day #278: Settle. You’ve Got This

Just settle, you’ve got this!
In order to grow – one must be willing to step up and out of their comfort zone. As noted yesterday fear is what limits us from stepping out and making this change happen. Once you have conquered that – you can begin to conquer the new zone into becoming your new comfort zone. 
So once again I say to you – Settle down you’ve got this. Whatever it is today that faces you as a challenge, right now before you go into the day; settle yourself down, take a deep breath, count to 5 and tell yourself you’ve got this. 

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” – Richard Branson

Today is just the start and whether it goes smoothly or with a few bumps along the way, here are some ways you can maintain a consistent comfort when entering into a new zone.
When stepping it up the first thing you need to do is accept the fact that things are about to change, this will enable your mindset to be ready and willing to adapt to new environments and any changes that occur. If you’re not willing to accept the changes to come or the possible chance of you being challenged harder than before (most likely), then you will struggle to adapt and to fit in with your new zone.
With the above in mind, your attitude will have a large part to play. You will need to be confident, while at the same time be humble as you will need to learn, adapt and be willing to take some help and guidance to get to where you need to be. If you have a lousy attitude – don’t expect to move forward or have any support. Plus a lousy attitude is going to mess up your day regardless. So be positive, be focused and be excited as you’ve got this.
Now that you have accepted the changes to come and you have your attitude in check, now you need persistence. As you grow, day by day into your new zone… it is going to take an unknown amount of time to get comfortable and to know your way around the ropes. So be persistent, be willing and keep that attitude in check and you never know – the comfort may come quicker than you expect. Remember, you’ve got this.
Planning is key to a lot of things and you don’t need to do this after having  accepted the change, applied a positive attitude or persisted. You can plan now before you even start your new zone. You can plan on being willing, you can plan to have your attitude ready, you can plan to be persistent, you can also plan for other factors, or pre-plan and organise (depending on whatever it is you’re going into) your first day or the when the first change is going to come. This way you may not know everything that is going to happen – but you will be ready for anything and ready to adapt. Anything that gets you ahead of knowing nothing, or starting at zero (bottom of the baseline) will be an advantage of helping you maintain confidence and ease you in quicker to this zone. Then it will be sooner than later that this zone becomes your new comfort zone.
So don’t be shy, don’t be of fear – but be planned, be willing, be of positive attitude and be persistent as you go into today and as you go into any challenges that come your way. Embrace the challenge, embrace the new zone and just remember – you’ve got this. 

Day #277: Conquer Your Fear – Conquer Your Comfort Zone

Fear is an illusion until conquered. But the problem with fear is it prevents us from even attempting to overcome the illusion. To break it you need just go and do it. The more you think and analyse, the more you have to convince yourself. Just like getting into a cold pool or the beach. Jump in and you’ve done it. Walk in and you feel the pain and you still think about backing out. The fear overwhelms you. 

“If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” – Richard Branson

Fear of failure prevails when there is an illusive notion that successful people are on a higher plain, elevated and showered with angel dust by the success fairy who passed over the rest of us. The realization that this is a delusion becomes clear when you see professionals who lack professionalism, managers who cannot manage and executives who fail to execute. When you have a negative experience with someone at the top, it serves as a reminder that there’s room for more, including yourself in the club of success.

Once you step out of your comfort zone, this is where you will grow and this is where you will be challenged. It will be scary, it may be hard and won’t always be fun… but what I can say is, the growth will always be worth it in the end. The question is… where will you step out of your comfort zone? New Routines? New Goals? New Styles? New Challenge? What?

“We cannot expect to grow if we are too afraid or unwilling to change and face challenges. When we exit our everyday, mundane lifestyles to do something different we can experience growth, undiscovered strength, and new abilities within ourselves.” – Ashley Ormon

Day #276: Worry Less & Give It A Shot

Worry less and you will have more time to give it a go. It is all about attitude and perception for when it comes to taking action. You can jump in to test the waters, or you can jump in and make waves! Be the one to jump in making the biggest impact – giving it 110% of what you got. Even if you don’t get the final result you wanted… you still made an impact, a wave and I am sure you would have had some fun along the way!

Worry not of the day ahead, worry not of tomorrow. Not everything can be changed or controlled, but if you have made your decision to lose before even starting, how could expect to at least attempt in changing or controlling the things before you?

When you fill your mind with worry, there is no room for your greatness, your ideas and your talents to reflect. When worry takes over, take a pen and some paper and jot down a plan to track back on target, to understand what needs to be done to release this worry and be back at productive capacity!

Worry less but plan more. Take an attitude check, reevaluate and prepare yourself to be the best! Give it a shot today!

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

Day #275: It Is Earned, Not Given. 90 Day Success, Make It Happen

Success isn’t given, it is earned. This is it. You have 90 Days left of the year and it is the final stretch and a chance to apply some real change in your life.

90 Day’s may still seem a long time for you – but it is not. Looking at 90 days and thinking what can I do, will enable you to think more precise as you know the time is limited – which in theory should give you that extra motivation, as it will give you the fear of missing out.

You have a real shot of changing your life and the decision is to be made today. Maybe you want to lose some weight, run further, read more, be more, start this, or achieve that. Maybe you want to grow your art skills or writing skills – so do something about it for the next 90 days. 

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” –  Wayne Gretzky

Earlier this year (Day #88: Habit + Willpower = ?) I told you that if you want results, you need to apply some action and keep momentum. While at the same time if you apply daily discipline and create a new habit through willpower to prove to yourself that you even can do it – then you will be motivated more and more by the result. 

Forming habits can be hard or really, really simple. It is all about limits, quotas and challenges. With only 90 days remaining – you have a wonderful chance to still make some noise and a big enough impact to whatever it is you wish to do. All you need to do is set yourself a daily quota to do something and this will enable you to more likely stay dedicated.

So what will you do? Grow your mind? Read more books? Develop you writing passion?

In quota terms this is how you could do it: “Do 20 math exercises a day”, “Read a chapter a day”, “Write 500 words a day”.

Make this a priority for each day for the next 90 days (starting today).

Then you need to just evaluate what this can do for you. Remember make sure you pick something realistic.

I say keep it smaller to enable consistency.

Now you want to take whatever it is and calculate the development of this daily discipline.

  • If you do 20 math problems a day, for example, after 30 days you’re 600 problems smarter. So for 90 days that’s 1800 problems solved. 
  • If you read a chapter a day, after 2 weeks you have read the entire book (based on the average book size). So for 90 days that’s roughly 6 books.
  • If you write 500 words a day, after 2 months you end up with the equivalent of a full novel. 90 days would mean the equivalent to almost 2 novels.
  • There are plenty of 30 day running plans equating to 30 miles (48kms), so how about going for 90 days and hit just shy of 150kms.

Where the real magic is found is if you improve your effort by increments every day for the next 90 days instead of not or even less.  My favorite example on this is push ups. 

Start with a baseline of 1 push up. Then increment daily by 1. The next day, do 2 and so on. So by the end of 90 days you will do 90 push ups on your final day. But think of the compounding. If you do not increment each day by 1, by the end of the year you have done 90 push ups. BUT! If you increment by 1 each day for the next 90 days. By the end of the year you have done 4094 push ups. And that’s just push ups. Imagine what you could with all your other goals! But if you can already do 50 start from there, that’s 8505.

The point is, go back to your list of goals for the year and have a look of what you have and have not done. Don’t waste any more time and pick one goal that requires action and make it your priority today. The more time you invest, yields a higher return. Remember, success is earned, never given. 

Just like when I go for a run, the final 500m is where I push the hardest, I fight for a burst of energy and a bolt of speed to wipe off some of those slacked seconds. It is my chance to finish strong, to finish on top and to come out with a smile. This is what you are doing. If you have been taking it easy this year, it is time to make the final sprint and really make it count. No you may not reach the final tip of your goal, but you will make noise and make enough effort to make you realize you have what it takes. 

With this said – this will only work if you take action and invest the little time left. Success is never given, it is only earned. 

“The biggest difference between success and failure is total time invested.” – Oliver Emberton

Day #274: Conquer The Everyday Mountain

Conquer yourself and you can conquer it all. Lessons are always valuable as long as we take from them and apply the value they provide.  Here are some all rounded life lessons – or more so suggestions that you should adopt on your journey ahead. Described in the lens of mountain climbing, this applies to your daily battles when taking on the everyday mountains. Take the path ahead and see what you are capable of…

Always Be Prepared  Just be ready for change

Remember To Breathe – Slowly exhale. Repeat this process. You’ll be okay.

A Little Discomfort Can Be Healthy – In life, it’s important to push ourselves outside our comfort zone. We grow by attempting what we think we can’t accomplish.

Appreciate The Beauty – Sometimes, we get so caught up in the destination, we forget how beautiful the journey is.

Go Your Own Pace – There’s no need to go faster than you’re comfortable going. There’s no need to belittle your accomplishments and measure them up against others.

Don’t Let Fear Stop You – Regardless of whether or not you succeed, there is beauty in the attempt. To be paralyzed by fear is to stop appreciating the beauty that surrounds us.

Just Keep Moving Forward – Take a small break. Step back, look around and appreciate how far you’ve come. If you’ve made it this far, a few more steps won’t hurt.

A Little Is Better Than Nothing – So get out there. Go for a walk. Read a book. Grab a coffee. Put on some music and shake it off.

You Gain Perspective At The Top – Once you have climbed your mountain… The hike is rigorous and harder than you expected. You’re ready to turn back, but you keep pushing forward. You’ve gained clarity and a new perspective on what is important in your life. On-wards to the next mountain!

Revel In Your Success; You’ve Earned It – Congratulations! Instead of rushing to the bottom or moving on to the next task, take a second. Realize how far you’ve come and how much you’ve accomplished. Revel in that success. You are amazing. Throw a little party for yourself. Reflect on how far you’ve come.

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. – Edmund Hillary