Happy New Year. May 2011 be your best year yet.
To help kick off the new year to a flying start I've put together a simple seven part strategy below.
Follow it and you will enjoy a transformation in your results.
1. Are you clear about what you really, really want?
If you genuinely want to make real progress on some important
goal - its essential that you are able to describe what it will
look/sound/feel like in sensory based terms. Why? So your brain
has something to focus on that it can fixate on and not some
abstract term like "success".
By doing this you also enable:
- Your brain to map criteria for when you are getting closer to
what you want
- Increased motivation… by going through this
imagination/thinking process you will be stroking the cinders of
your motivation and setting the seeds for a big enduring motive
to pursue this goal
- Yourself to have a real world external check you can use to verify
your progress against.
"Success" is subjective, but to get a increase of $4000.00 this
year is not. Understanding how this goal fits into and colours
EVERY area of your life will make the goal state very
2. Does your focus need more focus?
Is your attention split across many different goals/areas?
If so - bring your focus into focus and zero in on just ONE goal
that when achieved will help manifest all the rest.
It's counter intuitive but this practice can work really well. By
focusing in on your most important goal and maximizing your
effort towards that you will make progress quicker. If you
wake up each morning with just one critical goal in mind you can
ensure you are consistently taking action towards it.
Tighten rather than expand your focus and you will enjoy greater
results in that direction.
3. Have you examined your performance from 2010?
In NLP we presume that all behaviour leads from some neurological
process. And you don't need to have a PhD in people to notice
that much of what we do is the result of other than conscious
habits… Therefore if you aren't getting the results you want -
and you haven't been for some time - then it is likely that the
behaviours you are doing are not sufficient to cause the results
you want. In fact several behaviours are most likely counter-productive and
hurting your goal attainment… Do you know what these are?
You can't hope to benefit from identifying and changing these
behaviours if you don't self-reflect and look to identify the
underlying patterns which have likely been dictating key areas of
your life for years, or perhaps decades.
For example if you own a business or are in a job and you had
some big goal for 2010 like win a new big corporate client or get
a big promotion but it didn't happen. Make the time to STOP and
re-examine what assumptions your expectation was operating on and
identify what assumptions were missing/flawed or overlooked. Use
that awareness to improve your future performance. This strategy
has been used by top athletes, performers and successful people
for generations. But it is not common practice.
If you self-reflect on your performance every day and assess what
went well, didn't go well, what you will improve tomorrow - you will
make dramatic progress within a few short months. Put this habit
into practice and you will be richly rewarded.
Fail to learn from your erroneous thinking and behaving and your
results will be handicapped.
4. Have you challenged your beliefs?
Being successful in any worthy and challenging endeavor starts
with the belief that it is or at least could be, possible. If you
don't believe something is possible you are likely to not try.
The beliefs or "thoughts we repeat" with a sense of certainty to
ourselves and eventually stop questioning become the chains that
bind us. Every top performer in any field will have an "attitude"
or set of beliefs and valuing that enable certain behaviours that
produce desired results. It is not so much as having "right" or
"wrong" beliefs/thoughts, as much as it is about ensuring your
mind-body is regularly trained to think and act in a way that is
in line with what is required to create "success".
Have you stopped to think what beliefs are inhibiting your goal
attainment and what beliefs you need to entrain in yourself that
result in achieving your desired results?
5. Have you set up a learning plan?
Have you got a learning plan?
To get from where you are now to where you want to be you will
need additional resources. Those resource will likely include
specific skills and knowledge (among others). If you want to make
2011 a great year, make some time to establish what your learning
priorities will be and chunk them in to 30 and 90 days slots.
Having a learning plan ensure you focus your finite resources on
the most important learning oriented behaviours relative to your
It also ensure your learning is far more effective, because you
will be looking to use right away the things you learn to improve
6. Quit trying harder!
More of the same tends to create more of the same. And if that
"same" isn't what you want then you MUST do something different
to expect a different result - everything else being equal.
There are only 24 hours in the day, there is only so much you can
do. Burning both "ends of the candle" is rarely the cure.
If you are:
* Clear about what you want
* Are focused and taking progressive consistent action
* If you regularly examine your performance and learn
from experience when it isn't working to produce the result you want
* You have entrained the core beliefs requisite for success in
your desired goal area (as best that you can identify them)
* And have a realistic and achievable learning plan in place
… but you are still not getting the results you want, then it's time
What strategy are you following?
Quit trying to work harder (doing more of the same) and presume
that there is a error or issue in your strategy.
Become curious and map out what strategy you are pursing on a
sheet of paper or with some sticky notes and identify where the
"gap" is that is resulting the under-performance. Perhaps it is
with an assumption you have that doesn't hold up to fresh
scrutiny or perhaps a resource isn't outputting as much you
thought it would, or maybe it is with some aspect of your own
mindset and behaviour. Ferret it out, establish a hypothesis of
what you think it is, then change your behaviour and test to see
if you get a better result.
Bottom line - results manifest from actions. As Winston Churchill
once said "The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it
and ignorance may deride it, but in the end there it is." If the
requisite causes/actions that are necessary to produce a "result"
aren't present then the effect can't be present either. Quit
trying harder - use your brain to work smarter.
7. Have you considered & adjusted to your environment?
The final tip is concerned with your environment. This topic is
a much bigger area for discussion, but in terms of manifesting
results, only personal development books would have you believe
that the only factor that counts is "you". In life you don't get
a "A" for effort, but for results.
As an individual you are part of a series of much larger systems,
each which operate by certain rules that guide their behaviour
and output. Hence if you have done all six items above (and
repeated the process iteratively) and still aren't getting to the
result you want - then look to your environment. Are there
certain constraints that up until now were invisible to you that
have been impacting your performance negatively?
This may be certain people, contexts, market forces etc which are
impacting on the system in which you are looking to produce a
result. Failure to factor these things in and set a counter
strategy in play will result in lots of frustration.
The world and your environment, is constantly in a state of
change. So is the field of NLP.
As Darwin once said "It is not the strongest of the species that
survives, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to
One of the big issues I hear from people often is that they have
"tried, tried, tried" yet still not succeeded at something and
begin to feel a sense of hopelessness or that there must be
"something wrong with me".
This is mostly nonsense. While there is no doubt that in most
cases a certain change in behaviour will improve performance -
the cause for the under performance is sometimes due to factors that are
external to you. This doesn't mean you put your hands up and say
the situation is hopeless. Hopelessness doesn't exist 'out there'
in the world, it like every other emotion, is embodied in
The attitude of NLP is one of resourcefulness, go-for it,
James Allen once wrote "Circumstances do not determine a man,
they reveal him." It's one of my favourite quotes.
When you face an obstacle on the road to your goal, become like
water - move around it, flow over it, go under or over it.
Make sure as you plan and set in motion your path for 2011 that
you use the environment to set yourself up for greater success.
Wishing you an awesome 2011.
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