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Personal Performance

6 Steps For Making Business Wishes Come True

Bad Christmas GiftDo your family members write a Christmas Wish List for each other? Mine do. Ever since we were children we made a wish list for Christmas. And now that my family members live across the country from each other the annual Wish List is a welcome tool for helping us shop for each other. And I have discovered something amazing about this exercise…..when I share a wish list with my husband, sister and parents I tend to get what I want for Christmas! No more tacky Christmas sweaters and no more black socks….when I ask for what I want it tends to show up!

Do you do the same for your business? Do you have a wish list and a plan for what you want in your business in the coming year? Too many business owners put off this thinking until well after January 1 (if they ever do it all). Don’t wait! While you’re making your Christmas Wish List for Santa, take some time to make your Business Wish List too!

6 Tips For Writing a Business Wish List:

1) Acknowledge your wins.

What did you accomplish this past year? What results did you create? What are you most proud of?

Too many of us only focus on what’s wrong and what needs doing next. This mindset keeps us in constant state of angst, always looking for the next problem. Take a moment to reflect on your successes! Acknowledging your wins helps you see what’s working so you can set goals to build on this in the coming year.

2) Focus on your top goals.

Write down your most important objectives and outline the steps to make them happen. This makes your goals attainable and easier to focus on. You will start to see how to achieve them by just taking one small step at a time.

3) Prioritize your goals.

Give a higher priority to the goals that mean the most to you, and the goals that will make the biggest positive impact on your life. Even when they are long-term goals, ensure that you work towards them a little each day.

4) Have a clear plan of action to make your goals real.

Key Step! Consider how much time and effort each step of each goal will take to complete! Then, transfer each action into your calendar throughout the coming year. It’s not enough to think about WHAT you need to do, you have to plan WHEN you will take each step to achieve each goal.

5) Measure the progress of your efforts.

Keep a list of your accomplishments as you achieve them. Then, share them with the world. Be proud of every moment and movement knowing that success builds on success!

6) Take your planned action step when you’re most alert and productive.

We all have a time of day when we tend to do our best work. Plan your actions for this time of day (mornings often work well). You’ll feel great taking an important action and getting it out of the way before your day gets busy. And this successful step will lead to another and another.

 

You can make your business wishes come true! Take time now or over the holidays to create some goals and a plan for how to achieve them. If you’d like some help to structure your thinking and create your plan, give me a call at 403 669 8684 and I’ll be happy to help you!

 


Mastering Time Management

distraction at work, time management

It’s powerful having email, chat and browsing at our finger tips. It’s also incredibly distracting. Technology is helping create an attention-deficit society where almost everyone complains about not having enough time and being too busy. Strengthening your time management skills is also a matter or strengthening your attention management skills. If you often hear yourself saying “I’m too busy”, it’s time to evaluate your situation and commit to some new time and attention management skills.

Evaluate Your Current Situation

Start by identifying your current time and attention management effectiveness. When you struggle to get things done, what do you think causes is? Are you experiencing constant interruptions? Are you lacking a prioritized to-do list? When you do successfully manage your time, what do you do differently? If you know what to work on, that’s half the battle.

  • For instance, you might have good time management in your home life, but lack the ability to get your tasks done at work. So what’s different at the office? Are phone calls, emails and other people taking your attention away from your tasks? Have you neglected to block time into your calendar to focus on your to-do’s? Are you working on your most important tasks when you’re most alert and productive or do these get left until last when you’re most tired?

Step back and examine, objectively, how you’re managing your time and attention and I’m sure you’ll discover what you can do differently. 

Use these techniques to strengthen your time management skills
  1. Confront procrastination. “Procrastination is the thief of time” Edward Young (1683–1765). Procrastination is a symptom of an underlying issue. Ask yourself why you’re putting things off. What’s the root cause of your procrastination? Resolve the root problem and the symptom will go away.
  • Perhaps you’re expecting too much out of yourself and feeling overwhelmed. It’s okay, and even more productive, to take breaks. Then, when it’s time to work, you’ll feel refreshed and motivated to get the job done.
  • The root cause is often a fear. Regarding the project you are putting off, what are you afraid of? Identify and face the fear and the procrastination will go away.
  1. Get organized. It’s easy to waste time if you can’t find things, or if you aren’t sure what task you’re supposed to be working on. Organize your workspace and eliminate clutter. Set goals, create action steps and schedule when you will work on each action step. You must know WHAT you’re working on, HOW you will complete it and WHEN you will work on it.
  2. Work when you are most productive. When in your day do you perform at your best? Schedule your most intensive thinking activities for when you feel fresh and best able to think. Turn off your phone and email and give yourself a set period of time to work. Once you complete the task, you’ll enjoy a sense of satisfaction and then you won’t be as bothered if the rest of the day falls apart because you have completed one of your important tasks.
  3. Learn to delegate. When it’s appropriate, delegate tasks in order to save yourself time for things only you can do. One of my clients used to say “I hold my people able”. Your team might not complete the task exactly the way you would, but with clear delegation on your part, you should only need to review the completed work while saving yourself the time of doing it yourself.
  4. Celebrate your wins. It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong, what’s outstanding and what the next problem is. Take a moment each day to acknowledge your wins. Look at what you have accomplished (no matter how small). Celebrating your wins will keep you in a positive frame of mind and will increase your productivity day after day.

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Your productivity is a direct function of how well you manage your time, tasks and attention. Commit yourself to being focused and attentive. Take action in alignment with your commitment and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish!

 

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc. Laura was a 2018 Woman of Inspiration Finalist and a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they can love their life and business! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


Triple Your Productivity: 7 Secrets of Being Productive

When looking at a long to-do list, it’s easy to think that there’s not enough time to get everything done. Actually, there is. The problem is, you’re wasting too much time and spending your time on the wrong things. There are CEO’S who run multiple companies simultaneously and still have time for dinner with the family each night. They have learned and practice the secrets of productivity.

The 7 Secrets of Being Productive:

1) Learn how you waste time. We can’t change what we’re unaware of. Determine how you waste time at work and home. Keep a time journal for 1 week. Document what you do all day. Notice when you’re letting meetings or phone calls run overtime. Notice when you’re sick of work, tired, bored, or stressed.

  • For your own education, keep a timer at your desk. Keep track of how much valuable work you do each day. This doesn’t include time spent checking your email, looking out the window, chatting with a coworker, or drinking coffee.

2) Eliminate distractions. While some people can concentrate with chaos all around them, most of us do our best work with as few distractions as possible. Control what you can in your environment. Turn off your phone! Open email at designated times you determine! The fewer distractions you have, the more you will accomplish.

3) Prioritize your priorities. If you have 10 priorities, you don’t have any priorities at all. Develop a list each evening of your three top priorities for the next day. Do everything you can to accomplish those three things. Avoid wasting time each morning trying to determine how you’ll spend your day. You should already know when you wake up.

  • Priorities are often mini projects with a number of action steps needed to accomplish them. Break your priorities down into those action steps. Then, book your action steps into your calendar like an appointment. It’s not enough to know WHAT you’re going to do, you also need to know WHEN you’re going to do it.

4) Spend time on the most effective actions. There’s a difference between being busy and being effective. Imagine you’re having a dinner party and your house is a mess. You could be busy cleaning out your bedroom closet, but that’s not accomplishing much in this instance.

  • All activities aren’t equal. Spend your time doing the most important things, even if they’re the least enjoyable. If your activity is not enjoyable, do it first thing in the morning when you’re most fresh.

5) Take regular breaks. You might be able to work hard from 8am to noon, but you’ll have nothing left in the afternoon. Studies have shown that taking a 10-minute break each hour greatly increases productivity over a full day.

  • Give yourself an even longer break every few hours. You’ll stay fresh and find your ability to focus is less-compromised later in the day (to learn more, check out the Pomodomo Technique)

6) Develop a morning routine. Productive people follow a morning routine. Get out of bed early and get your day started productively. Have a good breakfast, exercise, meditate, or do whatever else will get you primed for the day.

  • Apply the same concept to work. Have a work routine that addresses those tasks you do each day. Plan them, book them in your calendar and get them done. This way, you have control over your day instead of your day controlling you.

7) Choose the best time for each activity in your life. Do you go shopping at the most convenient time, or do you go when everyone else is at the store? You could save a lot of time by going after 7pm in the middle of the week or early on Sunday morning.

  • Consider how and when you do things. Could they be done in a better way or at a better time?

 

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How will you use yours?

I’ve helped many of my clients to get more done with the time they have. Together we evaluate how you’re using your time, both productively and unproductively. We find your weak spots and I provide tools and resources to help you get more done in less time, while also delegating more effectively. If you’re ready to take on your time management, contact me and I’ll be happy to help!

 


10 Critical Competencies of Great Leaders

 

Great leaders share many common traits exemplify certain skills.

By focusing on developing these same skills, you can take your leadership abilities to the next level.

 

Develop the important traits necessary to be a great leader:

1) Self-motivation. It’s important to motivate yourself to take action and move forward toward your goals – whether they’re personal or business goals. Leaders are driven to get things done and they lead their team to do the same. Self-motivation comes from knowing WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. To find your why, check out the book; Find Your Why, by David Mead and Peter Docker

2) You can’t do it all yourself. Effective leaders surround themselves with skilled people, they define their responsibilities, and then get out of the way. A single person is quite limited, but many hands can get a lot done. Learn how to share your workload by reading; If You Want It Done Right, You Don’t Have To Do It Yourself, by Donna Genette

3) Effective Communication. You might have a clear picture in your mind of what you’d like to see happen. Unfortunately, no one can read your mind. A leader is responsible for sharing his vision, providing feedback, helping others problem-solve and sharing with people about how their behavior effects results. Learn how to maximize your communication skills with; Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.), by Dr. Thomas Gordon

4) Developing others. Being a leader isn’t just about utilizing others to reach your goals. It’s about developing those around you. Great leaders integrate coaching into their leadership and the company grows as people grow. Learn how to coach your people with; Quiet Leadership, David Rock

5) You can’t expect greater commitment than your own. A leader sets the ceiling. Everyone else settles in somewhere below that point. Leaders are unreasonable…they don’t let excuses or reasons stop them or anyone on the team from pursuing the vision. Learn how to take your commitment to the next level with; The 3 Laws of Performance, by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan

6) Inspire others. A great leader has an inspiring vision that other’s want to contribute towards. And great leaders ask people how they want to contribute and discovers what they can bring to the table in the pursuit of the vision. Then the leader provides the resources each person needs to make their contribution. Develop your purpose and vision and help others do the same with; Find Your Why, by David Mead and Peter Docker

7) Having a clear focus. If you don’t know what you want, you won’t get it. Leaders are clear on their vision and readily share it with others. A clear vision inspires others and serves as a roadmap. Employees can easily ask themselves if their actions are contributing to the attainment of your vision. Know your focus and communicate it effectively. Develop your leadership platform with this FREE course; CLICK HERE

8) Being respectful. When the stress of life and business show up, we don’t always behave our best. The same can be said for your staff. Remember, few people show up to work intentionally wanting to sabotage the company or your efforts. If you’re not getting the results you want, don’t blame or criticize. Instead, be curious and look with your team for the breakdown and what’s missing that’s preventing the desired result. Learn how to be more respectful and understanding with; The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruez

9) It’s natural to be drawn to others with confidence. You are viewed as more capable and trustworthy when your confidence level is high. Define your vision and have a plan for executing. This is the source of confidence. Take your focus and confidence to the “next level” with; Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, by Verne Harnish

10) Leaders make the tough decisions and take responsibility for the outcome. It’s easier to make decisions when you’re clear on your values and those of the company. If you can’t make up your mind, your leadership skills will be called into question. Practice by making small decisions and following through on them. It gets easier with practice. Learn how to make difficult decisions, faster with; Making Difficult Decisions, by Peter Shaw.

 

Leaders are made, not born. Great leaders share common characteristics that you can develop in yourself. Even if you don’t feel you currently possess these qualities, use the resources listed in this article and you will grow into an effective and powerful leader!


Procrastination: 8 Unique Cures

procrastination

Most everyone procrastinates. However, some of us are better at dealing with procrastination than others. You’re not alone if you procrastinate. The people who get things done are more effective at minimizing procrastination. You don’t have to remain a master of procrastination. You can choose to be a master of productivity!

 

Facts about procrastination (according to Psychology Today)
  1. 20% of people identify themselves as procrastinators
  2. procrastination is a form of self-sabotage
  3. procrastination can become a profound problem with self-regulation
  4. procrastination is not a time management problem, it’s a self-image problem
  5. procrastinators are made, not born. Procrastination is often learned from our family of origin, it’s often a response to an authoritarian parent and it can be a form of rebellion.
There are 3 types of procrastinators
  1. Arousal Types: thrill-seekers who leave things to the last minute and get a rush from cramming
  2. Avoiders: those who avoid fear of failure (or success), they worry about what others think of them and prefer to be seen as someone who lacks effort vs someone who lacks ability
  3. Decisional: those who can’t make a decision. By not making a decision, we absolve ourselves of responsibility for the outcome
Costs of Procrastination
  1. Health: procrastination compromises our immune system and generates gastrointestinal problems
  2. Insomnia: as we lay awake and worry about what we’re not doing
  3. Stress: as we worry and beat ourselves up for procrastinating
  4. Relationships: procrastination shifts the burden of responsibility onto others (ie. co-workers), which creates resentment, destroys teamwork and ruins morale
8 Unique Cures For Procrastination
  1. Put your procrastination to good use. Consider what you do when you procrastinate. You perform one activity in lieu of performing another activity that you should be doing. Create a list that includes a couple of reasonable, but awful, tasks that you can add to your to-do list. You’ll then procrastinate on those tasks and perform the tasks you need to accomplish.
  2. Get to a new location. Head to the library, park, or coffee shop. You could even move to a different area of the house or find a vacant office at your workplace. A change of scenery can often minimize the tendency to procrastinate. Part of your brain associates procrastination with your usual hangouts, like your desk.
  3. Use a timer and a very short time frame. Getting started is often the most challenging part. It’s surprising how easy it is to complete a task versus taking the first step. Set a timer for two minutes and see how much you can get done. Two minutes is too much? Try one minute.  Have a list of steps and begin on the first one. When you have a list, you won’t waste any mental energy trying to figure out what to do first.
  4. Try working at an unusual time. Get out of bed at 5 AM and see how much you can get done before your normal wake-up time. Try staying up late and see what happens. Shake up your routine and you’ll be less likely to engage in your old habits.
  5. Focus on enhancing your mood. You procrastinate when you feel bad, and the thought of performing the task makes you feel even worse. You’ll do just about anything that you think will make you feel better. Work on enhancing your mood and you’ll be less likely to procrastinate.
  6. Give your friend money. You may have enlisted the assistance of a friend in the past, but did you do it in the most effective way? Instead of telling your friend that you’ll give her $50 if you don’t complete your to-do list by Friday, give her the money upfront. You only get your money back if you’re successful. It changes the dynamic significantly.
  7. Give yourself a big reward. Make completing the task as positive as possible. Instead of viewing a task as painful, you’ll begin to view it as desirable. Promise yourself a day off, a meal at your favorite restaurant, or a massage.
  8. Take on the bigger task of shifting your self-image. If telling yourself, “I’m a procrastinator” sounds familiar, it means this is how you identify yourself. If this is the case, the cures above will help you temporarily but will not likely create long-lasting, permanent change. Instead, you need to shift your self-image by adopting a new image of yourself and acting in alignment with this new image.
  • Ask yourself: “who do I have to BE to live the life I want?” and “who I have to BE to produce the results I want?”
  • Create a new way of being for yourself. Instead of telling yourself “I’m a procrastinator”, re-invent yourself as, “I’m productive (or committed, or dedicated, or disciplined).

Don’t let procrastination continue to be the thief of time! Take on new behaviors in the short term and for the long term, work to shift your identity. Shifting your identity will address the core issue at hand, it will make you a master of productivity and will give you long-lasting change that will impact every area of your life and business!

 

If you’re ready to stop procrastinating, call Laura Watson at: 877-669-8684 for a free coaching consult. You can also email her: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


Feeling Tired? 6 Strategies For Combating Mental Fatigue

fatigue at workMany of my clients talk to me about feeling tired and they share the toll it’s taking on their well-being. Mental fatigue and exhaustion is often a result of your work, family life, conflict, or lack of quality sleep.

Mental fatigue can be worse then physical fatigue because if affects your ability to think clearly and express yourself or problem-solve. It impedes your ability to make important decisions, it slows your productivity, it can lead to severe depression and it has been linked to disease, including cancer.

The impact of fatigue is serious and yet many tend to disregard it. Business owners and executives don’t get present to the fact that their lives and businesses are at stake! With so much at risk, I invite you to practice these simple, yet effective, strategies for managing your fatigue so you can stay sharp, productive and healthy.

How to Relax your Mind and Boost your Energy

Relaxation is absolutely necessary to relieve mental stress and rejuvenate your body and mind. You’re probably thinking, “how am I going to do that?” Surprisingly, mental health breaks can be incorporated into your day and life with ease. Here are some tips to help you reduce mental exhaustion and keep your mind sharp:

  1. Take time out for yourself. Spend time in a quiet room where you can reflect and think. For many of us, time to think has become a luxury. Give yourself a few minutes to reflect and think, each day. You can meditate, write in a journal, do some planning or simply allow your thoughts to gently release into the stillness and quietness of the room.
  2. Get plenty of sleep. Mental fatigue can exist no matter how much sleep you get, but sleep does help refresh your body and mind. Adequate sleep will eliminate a lot of your day-to-day stress. Your body will have a chance to repair itself and recharge and you’ll feel sharp in the morning.
  3. Free your mind from the problems that swirl around you. Many problems or worries are about things we can’t control. Take your mind off the things that cause you stress by focusing on your task at hand or on the things you can control. Worry and frustration can also be caused by resisting “what is”. Try reconnecting to the issue or event that got you stressed. Look at it as data and remind yourself “it is what it is”. This puts you in a state of acceptance that allows you to take on the question, “what do I want to do about it?”. Once you have a plan and take action, you feel in control again and your stress eases.
  4. Exercise regularly. Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, which make you feel happy. It’s like the body’s natural “high.” Even if all you can do is take a 15-minute walk, take it. That can be great alone time for you that will help you feel energized.
  5. Try breathing exercises. When things get rough, take deep breaths in through your nose, hold it for 5 seconds, then release. This simple, do-anywhere practice helps you focus and relieves tension, immediately!
  6. Take a day to do things by and for yourself. You’re always doing for others and every once in-awhile, you need to do something for yourself. Take yourself out to a movie, go to a museum or art gallery, or do something you’ve always wanted to do but never made time for. Enjoy the peace and quiet of being alone and the satisfaction of being selfish (your phone and email aren’t going anywhere).

Implement Your Own Strategies

These are just some of the strategies to combat mental fatigue. You may have some other methods that help you relax and find peace in your life. What you do is not important. Actually doing it is what’s important!

Don’t take mental health for granted. Mental fatigue has a way of sneaking up on you and, left for too long, can completely sabotage your life and business! Begin integrating these simple exercises into your day. You will feel the weight lifted off your shoulders, your productivity and focus will return and you’ll be a much more enjoyable person to be around!

 

If you’re tired of feeling tired, call Laura Watson at: 877-669-8684 for a free coaching consult. You can also email her: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides Business Coaching , and Life and Leadership coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they create success without sacrifice! Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


How To Change Habits

the psychology of habitsWe are all creatures of habits. Kyle Colley writes, “think for a moment of your daily routine. If you are like 98% of human beings, your morning habits remain relatively unchanged, without any true variations from year to year. The other 2% are the very forward-minded people who change their habits constantly to maximize their success in life.”

Colley explains, “there are many reasons why we stick to our bad habits for so long; comfort, fear of failure, and the strength of a habit over time. In fact, research shows that the longer the habit has been in effect, the harder it is to change.”

Many of my clients express frustration about not being able to change their “bad” habits. Taking mastery over your habits requires awareness of your thought patterns and active effort to change old thoughts for new ones. This is where coaching is so valuable! A coach uncovers the thought patterns you have become blind to. With blind-spots revealed, awareness develops and new, conscious thoughts and habits can be formed.

To better understand how your habits have formed and how to master changing them,  Read more…

 


Conceive And Acheive

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, often spoke about how to achieve success. His books are a must read for any business owner or corporate leader! Don’t let the date of the material turn you off (it was originally written in 1937). The book was revised and updated many times because the message is still relevant.

The main message: “What we can conceive, we can achieve!”

This is a great video of Napoleon Hill talking about the success secrets he learned from Dale Carnegie.

Success is all based on what you think. Enjoy!

To learn more, call Laura Watson toll free at: 877-669-8684 or email her at: Laura@VentureCoaching.ca

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides leadership and business coaching programs to entrepreneurs. Venture Coaching provides the tools, process and support for new awareness, new choices and new results.


Is Your Technology Distracting You? Here’s What to Do

technology is distracting usClients often tell me they can’t get anything done because their email, phone calls and texting is pulling them away from their work. They feel constantly distracted, unproductive and at the mercy of their technology. What they forget is that they are in charge of technology, not the other way around!

Failing to notice this and failing to take corrective action against these tendencies and behaviors, is interfering with your ability to perform.

Recognizing you have a problem with overusing or chronically getting distracted by technology is the first step to solving the problem. It’s a dilemma most entrepreneurs face to some degree.

If you think technology is taking charge of you instead of you being in charge of it, there are ways to successfully manage this. Click through to our linked article for 4 strategies for taking back control!

Read more…

 


3 Steps For Managing Self-Criticism

nytimes.comBusiness owners are often very tough on themselves. They are driven to make their business succeed. They are also acutely aware of the risks at stake if they don’t. As they walk the line between feeling successful and fearing failure, they are often very critical of themselves.

“We’re all our own worst critics” says Dr. Richard Davidson, and yet “self-criticism can take a toll on our minds and bodies”.

Evolutionary psychologists have studied our natural “negativity bias,” which is the instinct in us all that makes negative experiences seem more significant than they really are. “It can lead to ruminative thoughts that interfere with our productivity, and it can impact our bodies by stimulating inflammatory mechanisms that lead to chronic illness and accelerate aging,” Davidson said.

But that’s not all there is to the story. There are ways around our negativity bias, and it is possible to turn self-criticism into opportunities for learning and personal growth.

Read more…

 


How to change your habits

 

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”
Warren Buffet

My clients often ask me, “how do I change bad habits?”. I think they secretly wish I have a magic wand that will take the old habit away and instill a new one. Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic wand.

Instead of reciting some mysterious incantation, I start asking questions about their mindset and beliefs. At first my clients think the questions are irrelevant and sometimes I meet resistance to my questions. But the questions are key. They are key because the answers reveal their thinking habits.

“Anything you think over and over again becomes a habit”, says Kyle Colley and in order to form new habits, you MUST “take control of your mind”.

https://www.goalcast.com/2017/07/28/psychology-of-habits-how-to-become-master-of-change/?ct=t(The_Psychology_of_Habits_How_to_Become_a7_31_2017)&mc_cid=b4783859cb&mc_eid=9d6a774fc5Humans are creatures of habit. Think of your daily routine. If you are like 98% of human beings, your morning habits remain relatively unchanged, without any true variations from year to year.

Habits can excel our performance and sabotage our success. If you have some “bad habits” you wish to change, click the link below to learn how.

Learn how to change your habits here…..

 

I hope you gain some value from this article. I welcome your comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here).  You’ll get 12 Leadership Lessons (1 per week), guaranteed to take your life and leadership to the “next level”. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


How To Give Effective Feedback

 

“Feedback is the breakfast of champions”, Ken Blanchard

Feedback helps people learn the impact of their behavior. Feedback is shared in order to reinforce so-called “right” behaviors and to let people know what behaviors are ineffective and need changing.

Feedback is an important skill for you to master. Given effectively, your personal and business relationships will thrive. Given poorly or not at all and you’ll likely end up frustrated with unhappy staff and high turn-over rates.

Here are some interesting stats about feedback:

  • Managers who received feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability
  • 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized
  • 92% of respondents agreed with the assertion, “Negative (redirecting) feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance.”
  • 80% of Gen Y said they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews
  • 77% of HR execs believe performance reviews aren’t an accurate representation of employee performance

Feedback is a powerful performance-improvement mechanism. But it needs to be delivered in a manner that does not evoke defensiveness and (ideally) motivates people to change their behavior.

As a trained communication expert, I often coach my clients on how to give effective feedback. In today’s video I share some strategies for taking your feedback skills to the “next level”. Enjoy!

 

Lead To Succeed: Giving Effective Feedback from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Now it’s time to go out and practice giving great feedback! I would love to hear about your discoveries and challenges, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


Time Management: learn to block your rocks!

 

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important”, Steven Covey

Today’s leadership lesson is not your typical “time management” conversation.

When I first start working with my clients they are often feeling overwhelmed with their schedule. They feel like a million small urgencies are flying at them all at once and they often complain that they never have time to address important, non-urgent matters in their life and business (ie. planning, exercise, family, even sleep).

If you’re feeling similar to my clients, today I want to help you change that. I’m going to give you an easy and very useful tool for helping you think about and schedule yourself based on your priorities. This tool has a made a world of difference for me and my clients so I’m confident it will make a difference for you too, if you apply it. I call the idea, “blocking your rocks”

Lead To Succeed: Block Your Rocks from Venture Coaching on Vimeo.

Check out Steven’s video here:

Now it’s time to “block your rocks”! I would love to hear about your discoveries, so please comment on this post to share your experience.

If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for my FREE Lead to Succeed Email Course (click here) and these posts will come straight to your inbox. Just click on the banner to the left, sign up and stay connected!


7 Easy Success Habits You Can Start Today!

Robin Sharma is one thought leader who helps me and my clients be more successful.  Today I received the following success rituals he recommends. I consistently work at following these habits and I coach my clients to do the same. When we practice these habits we find that success and productivity follow suit. I share these rituals with you today so you can integrate these habits into your life and business and achieve the success you’re seeking. Enjoy!

Robin writes:

Achieving massive productivity, serious success and spectacular impact really isn’t that hard…

…it’s all a pretty simple process.

…actually it’s a very simple process.

I’ve been blessed to be the private advisor to many of the world’s celebrity billionaires and grateful that my success tools have been used by top performers ranging from Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi to NBA and NHL superstars.

Please just remember that success is really all about a masterful consistency around the basic fundamentals.

Watch Kobe or Eminem, Michelangelo or Mozart, Philippe Starck or Jony Ive…they are all about stripping away complexity and hammering away at simplicity…knowing that’s the essence of outright genius.

The thing is that the vast majority of well-intentioned, decent and good people just don’t know what the epic performers know.

Schools teach math and geography. Televisions teach news and distraction. Society teaches materialism and hedonism.

But what about what to do to become great?

How about the daily habits of the performance masters?

And the key moves to make to get the big results you want?

Part of my passionately-held and emotionally-charged personal mission is to share the mindsets, practices and behaviors that those playing at BIW (Best in World) run so you can do your finest work…

…and carve out a life that truly matters.

Fair notice: these habits are a little strange…but they’ve helped hundreds realize elite personal performance, grow personal fortunes, positively influence communities and make the world a far better place…

…so please just stay open to trying them…and applying them for the next 66 days until they wire in as your new normal…

Habit #1: Use a Timer to Do World-Class Work

On the two days a week I schedule as “Creative Days”, I set blocks of time to achieve specific outcomes and results–generally working in the 90 minute bursts of intensity that have been scientifically proven to yield best performance (insight: each of your days only has 16 of these 90 minute segments so use them well).

I then use the countdown timer on my smartphone to heighten my awareness about the passage of each chunk of time. Not really sure why this ritual works so well (I’m deep into brain science these days so once I know, I’ll share of course). But it just does. So do it. Please.

Habit #2: One Hour Walks

Steve Jobs loved doing walking meetings. Thoreau loved walking in the woods. Mandela would walk for entire days. There’s just something beautifully special about installing the daily habit of walking…

…it’ll give you time to think and ideate. You’ll kickstart your creativity and multiply your innovation (bring paper or your phone with you to download the ideas that will pour into your imagination)…

…productivity will soar and your moods will elevate as your endorphins get released. And you’ll boost your fitness to your next level of wow.

After studying many of the creative masters, I’ve been doing a daily walk for years. It’s definitely been a game-changer for me, especially at the end of a productive day.

Habit #3: The Second Wind Workout

The daily walk ritual leads nicely into the “2WW” Ritual that has also served me so well: The Second Wind Workout.

Here’s the basic idea: given that exercise is one of the finest productivity tools ever created, why not use it more often within a day to get more valuable things done?

Yes–definitely do your morning workout to get you mentally and physically amped for a brilliant day. But then, at the end of your work day, go for that walk or take the swim or nail a run.

Creating a second workout habit later in your day will give you so much more energy each evening, relax you with your loved ones, minimize the dangerous effects of stress, deliver a deeper sleep and even reduce your cravings later in the night.

Habit #4: Talk to Yourself

The reality is that most of our daily choices and behaviors are not conscious. We think we know why we do what we do but the truth is 90% of our moves are driven by our subconscious programming (all the beliefs and rules that our parents/teachers/media/peers have taught us).

This is why we’ll read a book or go to a conference and say we’ll make fantastic changes–but rarely do.

For a new idea to create true breakthrough, you need to go to the source. And use autosuggestion to install a new story about your place in the world.

Our conscious mind really does want to make the improvement within our business and personal life. But all the negative patterns within our subconscious hold us back. And sabotage our progress.

Autosuggestion is simply using words and verbal commands to rewire and rescript the unconscious realm of our brain. The subconscious is dramatically influenced by words.

The average person uses words that create limitation, scarcity, drama and failure in their lives–without even knowing it.

Best performers know that words drive performance. And so they use them brilliantly.

To be specific, I suggest that you clean out the victim-speak from your vocabulary. Speaking “I hate this” or “this will never work” or “I’m not good at this” or “I can’t achieve that” or “I’m in trouble” forge subconscious beliefs that make your words self-fulfilling realities.

Instead, use the language of world-class. Talk words with power, grace and positivity. Speak like the person you’ve always wished you could become. With time and consistent practice, you’ll step into that person’s shoes.

Habit #5: The WTOH Question

Please remember that a problem is only a problem when viewed as a problem.

Many of the great business innovations came from a so-called “failure”.

Many of the greatest growth periods of our lives were derived from a period of pain.

Within every setback lies the gift of progress, advancement and outright mastery.

Too many of us encounter an obstacle and drop into victim-mode, giving away our power to it and throwing in the towel.

Instead, use “The WTOH Question” and ask what’s the opportunity here?

This ritual has saved my life. It has allowed me to leverage the unexpected into pure possibility. And turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

It’s helped my team produce epic results in the face of Plan A not going to plan.

And it’s moved my clients to achieve legendary businesses as well as lives they adore.

Habit #6: Thank the Value Chain

Key principle: Gratitude is the antidote to Apathy.

To get giant things done, you need to feel inspired and alive and highly confident and unbeatable…

…positive psychologists are teaching us that “deliberate gratitude” (the actual habit of practicing gratitude versus leaving it to chance) is one of the smartest ways to build that state.

Another one of the rituals that has served me so very well is what I call “thanking the value chain”.

When I eat an excellent meal in a restaurant, I silently thank the chef, the servers, the delivery people, the owners, the farmers and every other human being along the value chain whose hard work has allowed me to savor the meal.

On an airplane, I silently thank the attendants, the pilots, the ground crew, the aircraft makers and even the back office workers for the gift of the flight. And the opportunity for me to attend another event to inspire and share with people who want to win.

I do my best to run this habit as much as possible as I live out each day.

It completely changes the way I view each experience, encounter and person. And it fills me with energy, passion and hope.

I sincerely wish the same for you.

Habit #7: The Sunday Morning Planning Process

Every Sunday morning, I set aside an hour to review the past 7 days. I then write my “Weekly Story”, a fast review of how I performed and behaved over the past week (based on the notes on my written daily schedule). This alone breeds huge amounts of awareness of what’s working and what needs to be improved.

Next, I review my annual one-page plan, reconnect with my Top 5 Values and consider my commitments for the next 7 days.

All this moves me to then write out my “Blueprint for a Beautiful Week” on a written 7 day template that has time blocks from 5 am to 11 pm.

Everything goes in here from my early morning workouts and journaling sessions to my family meals with those I love.

This ritual is one of the best habits I’ve developed. And has helped so many of our clients achieve more in a few weeks than most people get done in a year.

The world needs you to be at your best. My promise to do all I can to help you get there.

If you found the insights and tools in this blog valuable and are ready to discover what you can do to get better results, I’d love to help you love your life and business.

Sincerely,

Laura


Productivity Tips From 30 Entrepreneurs

Business and executive leadership is stressful! And when we’re stressed, our ability to perform declines rapidly. During our day-after-day barrage of deadlines, emails and phone calls it’s easy to forget that stress is self-imposed.

My clients are often asking for “productivity tips”. The best “tips” out there are not rocket science! Basically, the busier you are, the more self care you need (I realize that might seem counter-intuitive and impossible….but it’s true).

If you want to be more productive, read this article and PUT THE IDEAS INTO PRACTICE!

Get your productivity tips here…..

 


12 Things Successful People Do On Sunday Nights

Do you get the Sunday-night blues? You’re not alone! Up to 76% of people admit to feeling a decline in their mood and motivation on Sunday nights as they start to think about work on Monday. It’s common for stress and anxiety to increase throughout your Sunday as your mind wanders to the looming deadlines.

Laura Vanderkam has written a book called What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off.

Experts report there are certain things successful people do at the end of the weekend to combat those Sunday-night blues and prepare for the week ahead.

Click here to get the Top 12 strategies.

Check out the book:


Proven Link Between Sleep and Leadership Performance

We live in a hyper-active, instant-everything world. And we’re losing sleep because of it. Sleep deficiencies can undermine important forms of leadership performance and eventually hurt financial performance. This Harvard Business Review article explores the link between sleep and leadership and goes on to discuss solutions that can improve both individual well-being and organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

Check it out at: http://bit.ly/1XvbWX1


NOW Is The Time To Do

Richard Branson was posting recently about the importance of making lists and resolutions and there was an overwhelming response from people keen to reach their goals in 2016. It’s great to see such enthusiasm – and practical planning – for making positive changes from people all over the world.

Planning is extremely important, for any adventure in or out of business. But even more crucial is the will to simply get out there and do something new.

Dr Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, said: “All human beings are born as entrepreneurs. But unfortunately, many of us never had the opportunity to unwrap that part of our life, so it remains hidden.”

He touches upon the potential within us all to bring new ideas to life. For those of us fortunate enough to have the chance to see their dreams come to life, it is foolish to waste our opportunities.

Another perceptive point comes from Seth Godin. On his blog, he wrote about the challenges of initiating any project. “Not enough people believe they are capable of productive initiative. I don’t think the shortage of artists has much to do with the innate ability to create or initiate. I think it has to do with believing that it’s possible and acceptable for you to do it.”

As Mr Godin suggests, it is absolutely possible for you to create, to take chances and to allow your ideas to flourish. While he is referring to artists, the same applies for the art of business.

“Now is the time to do” doesn’t just apply to starting businesses. It applies to relationships, to fitness and all aspects of your life.

Nobody else is going to start and grow your business for you. 2016 is the time to put your ideas into action. Now is the time to do.

If you’re feeling stuck in your current initiative or if it’s not unfolding the way you want it to, working with a business coach can help! A business coach will bring fresh perspective and enthusiasm to the table, while helping you plan your next steps and holding you accountable for following through. If you’d like to experience, first hand, the benefit of coaching, click on the Contact Us link for a sample, FREE session!


Taking Care Of Business: maximize performance in business and life

Entrepreneurs are famous for ignoring their health! When I start working with clients, many are exhausted, frustrated, anxious and even depressed. They’re not sleeping well, they’re living off coffee and take out food, they’re drinking to get to sleep at night and forget going to the gym…who has time for that?!

One of the things I work to help my clients realize is this, there is no business without you! If you don’t take care of your health, your performance suffers and your business suffers!

Jack Groppel is an expert is maximizing performance in business and life. He’s also the author of The Corporate Athlete. Watch this video to learn more about the importance of self care and then check out the book.

Corporate Athletes don’t try to decrease stress, they increase their capacity for stress. This is how we grow personally and professionally. If you’re ready to take on being a corporate athlete physically, mentally and emotionally, start with this great book!


Buyer Beware! How To Choose a Business Coach

“Hiring a business coach is about trust and fit” Laura Watson

15 000 new coaches enter the profession every year. Do you realize that coaching is an unregulated profession and anyone can call themselves a coach, whether or not they have training or adhere to any professional guidelines or ethics?

Investing in your coaching is an important decision. Watch the video to learn what to expect and for tips on finding the right coach for you.

If you’re considering hiring a coach, I’d be happy to speak with you. I’d like to understand a bit about your situation and goals so we can discover whether or not there’s a fit.

The call is FREE, so there’s no risk for reaching out. Just click on the banner to the right, fill in the contact form and let’s have a conversation!

 


Winning Gold In Business: plan performance like an Olympian!

Carla Macleod is a defense woman for the Canadian women’s gold-medal winning hockey team. I met her at a luncheon where she was speaking about what it takes to be successful. Here are the strategies she shared for winning gold in business.

#1: Hope is not a strategy

Hope-fingers-crossedCarla first fell in love with hockey as a teenager. She played hockey endlessly, hoping of one day getting onto the World Cup team. Carla had passion for her sport, drive, determination and a willingness to play hard. She thought she had all the necessary ingredients for one day making the team. Carla caught the attention of the World Cup coaches and was considered for the team twice. And twice she was passed over. Carla learned that hard work and hope is not enough to achieve success. She realized she needed to set an intention and support it with a plan.

Many business owners start their business because they are passionate about something. They work hard and they hope for success. Unfortunately, this strategy often leads to exhaustion, burnout, estranged relationships, financial ruin and shattered dreams.

#2: Set an intention, within your control, and set a measure of success

Business SuccessA few years later Carla was chosen for the World Cup Hockey Team, and then she was training for the Canadian Women’s Olympic Team. When Carla shared her story about preparing for the Olympics, she said the team set an intention not to win gold, but to be the best prepared team amongst their competition. They set this intention because they knew they could control the outcome of preparedness. Carla reminded us that in the end, hockey is a game and that winning can go either way based on the referees, the skill of the other players, and feeling “on” or “off” any particular day. Many of those factors were beyond their control. What they could control was their training and how well prepared they were, physically, mentally and emotionally for the game.

Setting an intention means setting a goal, with a plan for execution. What’s your intention for your business in the next 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? What’s the most important business project you need to focus on? How will you measure success of this intention? What action steps will you take to achieve the goal?

#3: Develop new habits

time-for-changeTo prepare for the Olympics, Carla and her teammates adhered to a grueling training schedule. The team members were brought together in an isolated location for their coaches’ version of “Olympic Boot-camp”. The training program was designed to help every member of the team develop and strengthen excellent habits.

Many entrepreneurs exhibit destructive habits (often stress-coping mechanisms) that sabotage success. In regards to the intention you have set for yourself, what new habit do you need to develop in order to achieve your intention?

#4: Get support

get-supportA fundamental element of Carla’s success and the success of the entire Olympic team, was that the girls had support. I’ve talked with many Olympians and every one I’ve met has been extremely grateful for the support they received from family, friends and especially their many coaches.

Why do so many entrepreneurs think they have to go it alone? Elite athletes tell us time and again that success does not happen in isolation. It happens from enrolling others in supporting us, and our vision.

Who will you ask to support you in achieving your stated intention? Do you need a mentor? A consultant? A coach? What kind of support do you need? Do you need fresh perspective? Or accountability?

#5: Manage yourself effectively

personal-mastery-yodaCarla, high performance athletes and successful entrepreneurs know that the most challenging and powerful key element to success is learning to master your self. Learning to master our internal mental and emotional game makes all the difference in achieving success! Roadblocks are going to show up as we pursue our intentions. When we hit these walls, it’s easy to step down, play small and sabotage our best-laid intentions. Mastering how to lead our selves separates the elite performers from the wanna-be’s.

#6: Stay committed to your intention

CommitmentCarla had a one-time goal of playing in the Olympics. She committed to working hard and getting support for a set period of time, and she won gold. Entrepreneurs; your Olympics is your business, and you live it every day for years and decades! Your success will be determined by your commitment to the intentions you set, the habits you develop, the support you seek and the coaching you invest in to master your internal game and keep you stretching to new heights.

 

Plan your performance like an Olympian and may you win gold in business and life!


Stop Self Sabotage Instantly!

The #1 Way To Stop Self-Sabotage And Be Effective In Life And Business
One of last week’s coaching sessions focused on the important and common issue of self sabotage. I started a coaching session with a client by asking Bill (not his real name) how he was doing. He said, “fine” with a tone that told me otherwise. When I challenged Bill he responded, “you’re right, I’m frustrated, irritable and having bouts of uncontrollable rage”. Then, with a chuckle, he tried to make light of his coping strategies of “driving like a maniac (140 km.hr) to meetings” and his plan to drink 40 oz of whiskey on the weekend (instead of his usual 26 oz). It was clear. Bill was stuck in a downward spiral of self-sabotage that was putting him, his business and others at risk. He needed to switch out of his destructive pattern and back into his constructive patterns again. Bill even knew he was in a downward spiral, he felt out of control and he didn’t know how to switch back again.
How many times has this been you? How much time, energy and money have you wasted being stuck? How many relationships or partnerships have you damaged? How many times have you realized you’re in a downward spiral and you don’t know how to get out?
Getting unstuck is a skill we can learn like any other. First we need to recognize the pattern, know what to do when it happens and then apply the skill. And, just like learning yoga or golf, it’s easier and more effective the more we practice. In order to help Bill get “unstuck”, I introduced him to the “switching model”.
The Switching Model:

 

 

Original Source Of Model: Personal Best Seminars
Understanding The Switching Model:
The Downward Spiral:
Everything starts with an EVENT. The downward spiral is triggered when we resist the event. Our resistance leads to an automatic negative emotional reaction. This reaction is based on some limiting beliefs we hold (whether or not we are conscious of them). We react with some automatic behavior (ie. defensiveness, anger, confrontation, drinking) that leave us feeling worse. The downward spiral has begun. We feel stressed, irritable and out of control. This downward spiral is our self-sabotaging pattern in action.
This spiral typically keeps spinning and we can sabotage our selves for days, weeks and months. This spiral keeps looping around and down until the negative feelings eventually dissipate over time. Meanwhile, we feel miserable, we lose sleep, we over eat, we over-react to people (damaging relationships) and we often use vices as coping mechanisms. A lot of time, money and energy is wasted while reinforcing the limiting beliefs that started the cycle in the first place.
Constructive Pattern:
Getting unstuck requires us to return to the event. The key now is to see the event merely as words or actions with no meaning attached (ie. not our judgement or the meaning we assumed). When we do this, we can see the event as being neutral. We can accept the event for merely being an event, with no meaning attached and we can initiate our constructive behavior patterns again. It’s important to remember that we may not always be able to control the events around us, but we can always choose how we respond to them. Once we shift ourselves back into a positive place of choice, we feel in control, confident and calm. We resume being productive and constructive.
Once Bill reframed his interpretation of the events upsetting him, he reaped the benefits immediately. His rage and frustration dissipated, his creativity opened up and we created a plan together for how he would approach an important meeting that afternoon. In a follow up call, Bill felt excited for hosting a successful meeting, he had not received any speeding tickets and he enjoyed his weekend with his family.
We all have an amazing ability to choose how we view events around us and choose how we let them affect us, destructively or constructively. A key role of a professional coach is to help people develop mastery over the ability to apply choice. When we apply the power of choice, the average destructive to constructive cycle-time shifts from days to minutes or even moments. Less time, energy and money is wasted and the positive impact can be huge!

Laura Watson, ACC, MSW is President of Venture Coaching Inc., and was a finalist for the 2010 Canadian Coach of the Year Award. Venture Coaching provides leadership and business coaching programs to entrepreneurs so they can love their life and business! Venture Coaching provides the tools, processes and support to accelerate your business and personal growth.


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