#MondayMotivation ‘3 Steps to Choose your Word of the Year 2021’ #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth #Goals #TimeManagement

Over the past months, I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty, and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children’s and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which we can take nothing for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

I love the number three; I think it’s magical. When I plan my goals, I always do it in threes, so instead of one word for my 2021, I’ve identified three!

I plan and revise my goals regularly, at least every three months, sometimes every month, but I’ve never chosen a word, or three words for the year. This year I’m linking my goals to my three words of the year.

You’re probably wondering why now? Well, two things happened.

I first read about his in Claire Diaz Ortiz’s book, I’ll be telling you about it shortly, called Design Your Day. In the first chapter, she proposes we start by choosing our word for the year based on what you want to achieve. This word will give us a sense of direction for all our goals for the year ahead.

Secondly, I was intrigued by the idea, so I did some investigating online and found plenty of videos and webpages, including Everyday Gyaan, where you can find a link-up so you can read other words of the year and share your own.

The idea sounded powerful and practical. Focussing on a word, or three, to bring together and permeate all my goals convinced me and I thought, if it works for so many other people, surely I can benefit too, so here’s what I did.

Step One, following Michael Hyatt’s advice in his book Your Best Year Ever, which I featured in my blog last week, was to identify which aspects/areas/domains of my life are most important to me. Hyatt identifies ten, but I’ve narrowed it down to five aspects where I have specific goals I want to achieve: Mind, Body, Soul, Career and Hobbies.

Step Two was to identify specific goals for each aspect of my life.

I’ve identified 3 goals, for each aspect.

It helps me to add the reason, why it’s important to me, so that I remember the motivation behind the goal, to keep the momentum going.

I also add a basic strategy, what steps am I going to take to achieve the goal. This can be specific, general, or just the first step. This will help me focus and work toward my goal, because we all know that a goal without a plan is just a wish!

Here’s an example of my goal-planning for my ‘Mind’ goals.

 

MIND
Goal 1 Study neuroscience and neurolinguistics
Why I’m interested in learning more about how the mind works and how languages are learnt.
Strategy Register for a free three part online course at Harvard. https://online-learning.harvard.edu/course/fundamentals-neuroscience-part-1-electrical-properties-neuron?delta=0 There are plenty of these free and reasonably priced courses online on hundreds of topics.
Goal 2 Learn German
Why My daughter, her partner and son live in Germany
Strategy Read short stories, study vocab, practice with app, watch easy german videos on youtube.

I’ve bought the books, downloaded the app and identified the youtube channel ‘Easy German’ which has regular learning videos.

Goal 3 Read 2 books a week
Why To keep my mind active and improve my writing skills.
Strategy I make a TBR lists with various headings such as personal growth, romance, thrillers, psychology and learning, etc.

I’m on audible, Scribd and Amazon. I usually take notes as I read and share my opinions on the books I read my blog.

I’m doing the same process with every aspect and goal. It’s vital y to write it all down in an orderly manner. That doesn’t mean it’s written in stone, in fact it should be regularly reread, revised and updated.

I have set all my goals and I have my ‘whys’, but I haven’t finished completing the strategies part yet for all of them. It’s exhausting and time-consuming, but worthwhile.

If you’d like to see the rest of my goals, let me know in the comments. I wouldn’t want to bore you with a breakdown of all my goals and projects.

Step Three: Introspection.

There’s just one question which will help me find the answers I need:

  • What do I need more of to move on in my life?

First, I’d like to look at the things I already have.

I have Time.  I am retired, so I have so much time that I must organise it.

I also have plenty of intrinsic and extrinsic Motivation for each goal. They are all things I’m passionate about doing because they are meaningful in my life and bring me joy.

So, what do I need to achieve my goals, that I currently lack, or don’t have enough of?

1- I need to organise my time effectively with daily morning and evening Routines, because I know from experience that if I don’t create habits and schedules, I’ll never have enough time to do it all.

2- I also need to Believe that I can do it, because sometimes it all gets too daunting. Life gets in the way and I don’t think I can do it all, because I’m not clever enough, or talented enough, or simply good enough, so I need to believe in myself.

3- Finally I want to add a third word, which is Gratitude, especially after this tough year we’ve all experienced. Gratitude for the love, support, health and happiness, creativity, I have received and given because I want it in my life this year and every other year, too.

Now that I have my three words, what to I do with them?

Firstly, I need to take these words as seriously as my goals. 

That means 1- organising and adhering to a routine that works for me, 2- Investigating strategies, such as affirmations, to build self-confidence and belief in myself, 3- remembering to be thankful by keeping and rereading my gratitude journal.

It also means repeating them every day and applying them to each of my goals.

I write them in big, bold letters, on the first page of my journal and make sure I’m invoking them every time I revise my Goals Journal, where I carefully write all this down and add notes to keep me on track.

I’m also doing something else which is new this year, I’m creating a Goal Book. I got the basic idea, which I’ve adapted to my own style, which works for me, from Marissa Peer,  who tells us all about making a Vision Book or folder, instead of a Vision Board. But more about my Goal Book in another post.

I hope to have it all sorted out by the end of January (although I’ve already started with some of my goals, such as learning German). Next year I’ll have to start in December!

What’s your word or words of the year for 2021?

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth

#MondayMotivation #The5amClub by Robin Sharma #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivatioal and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m feauring a book called The 5am Club: Own Your Morning, Elevate Your Life, another useful book about taking control of your mornings from the moment we wake up and making the rest of that as good as it can be.

The first thing I have to say is that I read the book some months ago with no intention of getting up at 5am, beacuse I’m fortunate enough to be retired and my own boss, so I own my whole day.

I do help with my grandchildren regularly, but I don’t have the responsibility of looking look after a family. Also, I’m retired from my previous salaried employment, as a teacher and professor, and although I’m a writer, which means I write for several hours every day, I don’t have a strict timetable, and I love reading late at night, so 5am doesn’t work for me, at the moment.

You may wonder why I read this book and if I found it helpful. Well, I read it because I wanted to reaffirm and improve my morning routine, which we all have, even if we don’ call it that or verbalise it specifically. This book has helped me do just that; Understand the value of having a morning routine and making sure the three key aspects Robin Sharma talks about, activating mind, body and soul, are consciously inbedded, in some way, throughout my morning.

By the way, I’ll be telling you all about my morning routine, next week!

The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. by [Robin Sharma]

Leadership and elite performance expert Robin Sharma introduced The 5am Club concept over twenty years ago, based on a revolutionary morning routine that has helped his clients maximize their productivity, activate their best health, and bulletproof their serenity in this age of overwhelming complexity.

Robin Sharma explains, by means of ample examples and through a dialogue between  a tycoon and his menor, how the habit of early-rising has helped so many successful people accomplish epic results while upgrading their happiness, helpfulness and feelings of aliveness.

He proposes a formula to wake up early feeling inspired, full of energy and focused. One of the key concepts  is that getting up while everyone is sleeping gives us precious time to think, express our creativity and begin the day peacefully instead of running around in a mad rush to keep up with life’s demands and transform our lives.

 

The most practical and well-known part of the book, is his 20/20/20 rule. He suggests we reserve the first 60 minutes of our day for personal preparation.

The first 20 minutes should be spent doing intense exercise, because sweating releases BDNF, a brain chemical that grows neural connections. Working out also releases dopamine (the neurotransmitter of motivation) and serotonin, which makes you feel happy.

The second 20 minutes should be spent reflecting on our long term annual plans and goals. This can be done by journaling, meditation, etc. Because this will deepen our focus throughout the day.

The final 20 minutes of our mornings should be spent learning something, reading, or listening to a podcast, basically feeding our minds.

Robin Sharma has plenty of material on his blog where you can learn more about his proposals.

He also has a great YouTube channel where you can listen to him tell you all about how to make the most of your morning, improve your well-being and be successful in whatever you do.

I like the idea of tending to you body, soul and mind, every day, at the start of the day, before you begin your ‘real’ daily demands of life and work, and I think it’s great for busy people. I can see how this routine could help a certain type of young, very active and ambitious person.

However, I’m in a different stage of my life, and although I make sure I’m actively and consciously tending to my mind, body and soul every single day, I don’t think I have to do it at 5am, or in that order, or even all at once.

Do you think waking up at 5am would work for you?

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth

#MondayMotivation #TheMiracleMorning by Hal Elrod #MondayBlogs #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m feauring a powerful little book called The Miracle Morning, or the not so obvious secret guaranteed to transmorm your life before 8am, because every morning is a miracle, and grasping that miracle from the moment we wake up is a life-changing experience.

The Miracle Morning has been translated into 27 languages, and it has almost 5,000 five-star Amazon reviews. It was published in 2012 and is still on the bestseller lists.

For the first sixty years of my life I never consciously thought about my mornings as the key to improving my life, I just got on with them as best as I could. Of course I had a regular routine; I got up, showered, washed my hair, blow dried it, had breakfast, got dressed, put on my make up, and rushed to work, in about forty minutes, every single day.

There was some planning involved the night before. I prepared my briefcase and my clothes for the following day, and as I’m a great fan of lists, I wrote out the following day’s to do list.

So obviously I had a routine which worked for me, but this plan had  no intention of fulfilling my dreams or improving my life. It was something I did to get through the morning as smoothly and efficiently as possible, because I needed to get to work with a clear mind, in the shortest possible time, with as little stress as possible.

Since I retired, my life is my own, and one of the aspects I’m now proud to own, are my mornings. So, I’ve listened to the experts, who all have diverse, but complementary views of what a morning rutine should be, and how these routines can help us to live better, fuller lives and accomplish our dreams. The best book on morning routines is definitely The Miracle Morning.

But before I tell you more about his proposals, I’d like to tell you more about the author, Hal Elrod.

Hal Elrod claims he is on a mission to elevate the consciousness of humanity, one morning at a time. He is a bestselling author of ten books, including one of the highest rated, best-selling books in the world, The Miracle Morning—which has been translated into 27 languages, has almost 5,000 five-star Amazon reviews and his method is practiced daily by thousands of people in over 70 countries.

It was published in 2012 and is still on the bestseller lists.

Hal died at age 20, when he was hit by a drunk driver at 70 miles per hour. His heart stopped for 6 minutes, but he eventually woke from a coma to be told by doctors that he would never walk again. Not only did Hal walk, he went on to run a (52 mile) ultra-marathon and become a hall of fame business achiever—before the age of 30.

However his physical challenges didn’t end there, in November of 2016, Hal nearly died again. He was diagnosed with a very rare, very aggressive form of cancer (acute lymphoblastic leukemia), which he also overcame and Hal is now cancer-free.

He is the Executive Producer of The Miracle Morning Movie—a documentary that both shows you the morning rituals of some of the world’s most successful people, as well as takes you around the world to show you the life-changing impact that Miracle Mornings are having, globally.

Hal is also host of the highly acclaimed Achieve Your Goals podcast, creator of the Best Year Ever Blueprint Live Experience, and bestselling author of ten [10] books in The Miracle Morning book series.

He is also an engaging and talented speaker as you will find out if you watch his talks and interviews. Such as this interview with Tom Bilyeu, co-founder and host of Impact Theory, a series of interviews aimed to expand people’s vision of wellness, which encompasses body and mind, in order to help people develop the skills they will need to improve themselves and the world.

I found Hal’s recipe for happiness and success in the face of adversity a real eye-opener.

ACCEPTANCE. What cannot be changed must be accepted. The key here is to determine when you’re being complacent and when you’re being realistic. That’s a tough decision, and it’s up to each one of us.

ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY. Once the situation is accepted as inevitable, you have to assume responsibility. You are not a passive observer, there is always something you can do in your new situation or circumstances. Be aware of the power in your hands.

TAKING ACTION. You have accpeted the event and are aware of your responsibility, so now you have to take positive action.

The Miracle Morning: Practical Suggestions

Hal identifies six life savers in the book, namely:

Silence, which can include meditation, prayer, reflection, deep breathing and/or gratitude.

Affirmations. These positive statements harness the power of positive thinking by repetition of previously prepared statements.

Visualisation, which he also calls creative visualization or mental rehearsal, that is using your imagination to create mental pictures of expected outcomes occurring in your life.

Exercise, which will boost your energy levels and your health, improve self-confidence and emotional well-being, enabling you to feel better and concentrate for longer.

Reading. You should read something which will increase your self-awareness and lead to personal growth for at least ten minutes every morning.

Scribbling or journaling, which means writing a diary or your thoughts or ideas.

The book also has plenty of practical tips to actually get up and follow this routine do these ‘Savers’, such as ‘The 5-Step Snooze-Proof Wake Up Strategy’ for people who have a hard time getting up early, or ‘The 6-Minute Miracle (For The Busy People)’ where the whole routine is drastically reduced, from about an hour to 6 minutes.

The Morning Miracle really is a clear, simple and comprehensive book about how to empower yourself by taking a conscious and active control of your mind and body first thing in the morning, and believe me, it works.

Another important thing Hans tells us, is that his book isn’t written in stone, and we should customise his proposals. We all have different lifestyles and needs, and these ‘Savers’ are pointers we should follow and adapt as we go along, in order to achieve our most significant goals, faster than ever before.

Bearing this is mind, over the past months I’ve created my own, adapted version and created my miracle morning, which I’ll be sharing with you next week.

Take care and stay safe.

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth

#MondayMotivation #Emotional Agility by Susan David #MondayBlogs #Resilience #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

 

This Monday I’m introducing you to Susan David, Harvard Medical School psychologist and author of #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Emotional Agility. I had seen her Ted Talk some time ago, but more recently I noticed her presence on YouTube and watched some of her interviews, especially one with Ed Mylett.

Her definition of Emotional Agility is a critical skillset that helps us make real changes in our lives. It is the key to thriving.

Emotional agility is heavily influenced by Victor Frankl, survivor of a Nazi death camp and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he states:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.”

As I understand her concept of emotional agility, it refers to embracing the bad as well as the good in life and not pretending everything is always fine.

The search of happiness need not be our only goal, because that makes us unhappy; it’s rather to build strength in our core values and embrace and overcome hardship. We should search for strength within ourselves to look inward and live intentionally by working with, as opposed to against, our own emotions. I love this quote:

Here’s Ed Mylett’s interview in which she expands on her theories.

She does not give us an easy recipe for success and the book ends with a series of recommendations I’ve summarised here.

Her advice is to take ownership of our own development, career, creative spirit, work and connections, and to accept the good with the bad with compassion, courage and curiosity.

We should embrace our evolving identity and accept that that being alive means sometimes getting hurt, failing, being stressed and making mistakes, so we should abandon ideas of perfection and enjoy the process of loving and living.

We should abandon the idea of being fearless, and instead walk directly into our fears, because courage is facing our fears instead of ignoring, or avoiding them.

She reminds us that life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility. Nothing is permanent because we will all age and eventually die and be separated from our loved ones.

Her two final pieces of advice are to, ‘Learn how to hear the heartbeat of your own Why and remember to ‘dance if you can’.

I found her suggestions valuable but theoretical. But I urge you to listen to her interviews and talks which are much more practical.

By the way, if you want to know your level of emotional agility, take her quiz here.

It’s fun and interesting. I found out among other things that I have a very good sense of what my values are and what is important to me, and that I am mostly able to bring these in a real way to my daily life.

I guess that means my introspection, reading and experience are serving me, so far, but it’s an ongoing process…

****

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth

#MondayMotivation #Maxout your Life by Ed Mylatt #MondayBlogs #Health #PersonalGrowth

Over the past months I’ve been reading a great number of motivational and inspiring books on the topic of personal growth. I’ve also been listening to podcasts and watching videos on YouTube. This interest has sprung from a combination of factors as I’ve recently reached a few significant milestones in my life; I retired and turned sixty and I have five grandchildren between the ages of three months and nine years. I am concerned with aging, health, and emotional wellbeing, as well as my children and grandchildren’s future challenges. I have more time to reflect and more things to reflect on, so I’ve found these books, podcasts and videos very helpful, especially in these uncertain and volatile times in which nothing can be taken for granted. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Mondays.

This Monday I’m introducing you to Ed Mylett, Life strategist, entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, motivational speaker and author of #Maxout Your Life.

I came across his YouTube channel, because he regularly interviews other motivational speakers ranging from neuroscientists to influencers and authors, on topics such as ageing, fitness and mental health, as well as giving his own short, motivational tips on how to reach your goals by focusing, creating positive thoughts and believing in yourself.

Here’s his recent interview with Susan David, psychologist at Harvard Medical School and author  of Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change and Thrive in Work and Life.

He insists that ‘Others don’t control you. Don’t let them be your dream killers,” and encourages us to empower ourselves and hold ourselves responsible for our achievenents, which are temporary gains, and losses, which are opportunities for improvement. ‘You are not an extra in your life, you’re the main character, you write the script.’ is another of his quotes. Building self-confidence is one of his main themes.

He’s also keen to convince us that physical fitness is as important as mental focus, so there’s a lot of advice on creating positive habits related to exercise and diet, and morning and evening routines.

#Maxout Your Life Audiobook By Ed Mylett cover art

I listened to his book, #Maxout Your Life on Audible, which has the added bonus of being narrated by the author himself. It is a tiny gem of a book which presents all his advice and philosophy in a concise nutshell. It did leave me wanting more, but on the other hand, I was grateful that every word was motivational worth listening to.

Here’s one of his recent Twitter posts.

He is rather forceful at times, compared to speakers like Marisa Peer or Deepak Chopra, who have previously been featured on my blog, but now and again it’s a good idea to listen to someone who ‘shakes some sense (or good ideas) into you’!

Here’s the link if you’d like to read my other posts on #PersonalGrowth