Get motivated to take enthusiastic action that will help you turn that dream into reality. One step at a time and you will surely achieve anything.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Habit Happiness, Acceptance, Positive, Motivated

Do you want to be a better person? I guess we would all answer "YES" but what do I have to do? And will I want to do that? And that is the problem for most of us. We set ourselves targets but don't reach them because we give up or don't even start. Look at New Year Resolutions. Lots of us make these at the beginning of the year - go on a diet, do more exercise, take the dog our for longer walks, learn a language, save some money, give up or cut down on alcohol or sugar. We start in earnest but by the end of week one we are already slipping. Week two starts and you are tired after work: can you not go to the gym just today! Ok. It'll be fine. The following week the same happens and in week four you are down to going twice a week. After that you just give up. There are too many other priorities. You have to plan your habit and follow through. The saying is plan your work and work your plan.
The beginning of the year is probably the worse time to start anything. The Spring is the best. Holidays are only a few months or even weeks away, the weather is better for outdoor activities, we want to throw off the winter blues. So Spring is good. And guess what! Its Spring now. So lets put a spring in our step - and in our minds and start.

Max Depree once said that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. If your goal is to become a better person by being a better leader, businessperson,  entrepreneur parent, mentor, friend or teacher, then the first step is to learn to do better. And doing better is something we all can aspire to, wherever we are, whatever we're already doing.
That aspiration--to constantly improve, to always be changing and growing, to keep doing better--is what keeps us moving forward. However successful we already may be, it's how we prepare the way for tomorrow's success. The alternative is a sad one: to look back one day and wish you had done better.
The time to start is today. So I'm suggesting that you start some new habits over the coming weeks. Someone suggested starting a new habit every day for a week but I gave that a go and was finding it difficult by day two!!  A journey starts with a single step. The long haul isn't a sprint then being exhausted and dragging yourself for the rest of the way, or giving up. So I'd suggest starting a new habit weekly.

That might still be a struggle but it does mean 7 new habits in 49 days. And they say do something regularly every day for a month and it will become a habit so after just 4 new habits, the first one will become natural to you. I'm calling this the 49 Steps, a challenge I hope you'll take up with me. Write a comment below and join me on the Facebook page, click here  where you can also comment or write posts. My first video goes up today and here is the text.

Today’s habit is to select your thoughts and changing the way to speak to be optimistic, positive, accepting and happy.

The first thing to do is to start the day listening to something happy. For most people the first thing they see or hear is the TV or radio. And the news pops up with negative bad stuff. National disasters, deaths, loss of jobs, misery. Even when you are listening to a music show the news creeps in. If your first contacts with the outside world are negative then your whole day with start that way.

So I’d suggest selecting your own choice of music and listen to this, either through your home equipment or your mp3 which is probably your smartphone today.

Good music in the mornings has a good beat because this will raise your soul and heart-beat. It will also get you moving faster and feeling positive. Feeling positive will make you be happier in your skin and accept more who and what you are. Feeling positive will make you optimistic. And when you talk to others you will speak to them in a positive optimist way.

If you are a perfectionist you need to think about living for the moment. Think. Is it better to do something that is your best effort but possibly flawed, than strive for perfection, because with some things you will never reach perfection.  And learn from each experience so the next is better and improved. Think! I don’t make mistakes, I have learning experiences that will enhance my appreciation of life, make my next shot better and leave me feeling I have done my best at that moment.

If you just do your best in that moment you can come away feeling that you accept yourself and all your strengths and weaknesses. And you will feel good about yourself.

As you meet others show this new positive side by smiling, greeting them where appropriate and talking in positive way. If the weather is bad say “looks like its going to clear soon” rather than isn’t it awful today.

And listen to yourself. You can think about what you are going to say before your open your mouth. Check and be careful. A recent survey actually showed that we have a better feeling towards others if they talk positively.

And when you speak positively you’ll stand up straighter than  when you are talking negatively.  And first impressions count so give a good first impression.

And make this your new habit that you will use every day from now. Good luck. Please leave a comment.


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Working from Home. Some home truths

Hi Everyone

Working from home is just great. There are some really good benefits but you have to be so focussed and selfish you’d not believe. If you slip you’ll find you can be crushed by the outside forces and the inner torment that can just destroy you.

I’ve worked from home for over 25 years apart from some short spells and I’ve gone through the best of times and worse of times. So here are some of the hurdles you’ll find on the path to home working success.

Work/Life balance
Working for a company gives you the structure that separates your life into segments. You get up, dress and groom yourself, travel to work for a set time, finish at a set time or work agreed overtime and then leave and go to your home life. Sometimes you might take work
home but usually you can stop working when you leave the office and not start again until you arrive next morning.

Working from home means you probably never stop working. You might have a home office but its usual to work on the dining or kitchen table in the evenings and even as soon as you get out of bed. It’s like an addiction. Whether you love it or hate it, you just can’t get away. You are tied to your business, probably your laptop which is constantly always switched on.

Mealtimes go out the Window and you famine or feast
Remember when someone yelled out “Anyone for a bacon buttie?” and there was a rush to pay the guy who was going to the sandwich bar to pick them up. Lunchtime comes and you go out, eat in the staff restroom or even work at your desk, but at least you ate at regular times.

Now you are working on that priority project or just get carried away and forget the time. Suddenly it’s 4 in the afternoon and you haven’t eaten. So you make a sandwich or grab a ready to eat snack. Then just a hour later you have a family meal but aren’t very hungry. Or you are drinking coffee with 2 sugars and snacking continuously during the day. Then wonder why your clothes don’t fit!!

You become isolated
You worked with others and that had its ups and downs. But in the main you have an office social life where you interact with others. Might be small talk about what you did last night, the TV or football. Could be office meetings or discussing work. But you are talking to others usually in an informal way with people you are familiar with. For some, the office life is their life where they are maybe unhappy or lonely at home.

Now compare that with working at home. You are working alone, either in your home office, or on the kitchen table. Or perhaps making a video, but still alone. The radio may be on but there’s nobody to talk to. The phone rings and it’s a problem. You have to face up to everything on your own, nobody to sit down with and discuss what to do. OK! There are internet forums and support but these are remote and you can never be absolutely sure of
the people you meet online.
So you finish up becoming quite isolated. And that might have an effect on your personality and your relationships with your family. And it certainly can add stress and uncertainty. Do you begin to prefer your own company, do you start talking to yourself! Do you start talking to your pet goldfish.

Social Media becomes your Social Life
Being alone you stop for a while and hit Facebook. That’s when your troubles really begin because you either start surfing within Facebook as one connection leads to another.

Or . . . your life starts to revolve around Facebook and you sink into the fantasy world of what everybody else is doing. And begin to lead your life on theirs. And you may start texting or adding posts to these “friends” pages whom are really at best just acquaintances and often almost strangers. And this can lead to you not only wasting time but also getting trapped in situations you just don’t want.

So . . . basically your social life just vanishes into thin air, to be replaced with a fantasy world.  We all need to socialise but you’ve cut yourself off.

You can’t have a Sick Day
Working for yourself means you usually can’t afford to take a sick day, or snowed in day when you just can’t get to work. When you just need to roll out of bed and slouch down to your work area there’s just no excuse.

So not only do you miss those days which could be spend out snowballing or just having a bit of fun. You stay alone, working. Outside you see Mums and Dads having fun with their kids. You aren’t paid by the hour. You have to complete to compete.

Are you busy? Can you just . . . ?
And you know what’s coming next. Nobody thinks you work. Your time is almost your own. But on second thoughts it not. Your time is everybody else’s.

“Sorry to bother you but can you just drop Mary off at college. She’s late and it’ll only take you 10 minutes”  Yes!. Suddenly that 10 minutes is 10 minutes there and 10 minutes back. “And whilst you are out we need some milk and a loaf of bread. Can you just stop off and get it? Oh and don’t use the corner shop, they are too expensive.” So you go out of your way to the supermarket. The total time is now over an hour!!

Then there are the friends who drop in or call you and want to tell you about their latest escapade with the car parking in town. And that’s another hour gone. So you decide to clamp down on this and tell everyone that you are working and not on a sabbatical. That works for a couple of days then back to the old routine.

Working in an office and nobody calls you to do a pick up! Everybody respects that you are working.

Your Neighbours wonder what you do
What does Jim do all day? He doesn’t seem to work and when he goes out he looks so unkempt. Maybe he lost his job. Maybe he’s an alcoholic. He’s always in old clothes. Strange man isn’t he.

And suddenly you are being accosted when you go out and asked some strange searching questions  . . .  or you are ignored. So once again you are losing that social interaction and get strange looks. So you are talking and drop into the conversation that you write courses online. And you get those funny looks and you can almost hear the gears in their brains clinking into action “What does he mean? I don’t really like to ask because he’ll think I’m stupid”

Looking Good
Remember when you wore a suit every day? Those were the days. Looked good, felt good. Knew you were the smart guy. Always a sharp dresser.

Working from home it’s sloppy joe time. No need to dress up. Old jeans, trainers and a sweatshirt. Fine. You feel comfortable. Some-one had told you that when you dressed well and felt good then your work was better. But you just can’t be bothered. And your work does probably suffer.

You look at yourself in the mirror and suddenly realise that you need a shave if you’re a guy or haven’t used make-up for days as a woman and you look like you are recovering from a hangover.

Office Parties a thing of the past
 Remember those office parties? Xmas or some other celebration like a birthday or leaving. Any excuse. Leave work, head for a bar or go for a meal and have a laugh. Get to know everyone better and let your hair down. It’s time to relax.

But working alone you have nobody to celebrate with. You could go down the pub and sit in the corner. No. Just forget it. You can’t even reclaim the tax on a Christmas dinner. Ah well. Better get on with work.

Getting some exercise
I worked in an office some years ago selling conservatories by phone. This was about 1998. We used to do the whole sale by phone. No salesman visiting to close the deal. It was hard but rewarding. But my point here is that every lunchtime a couple of us would go out and just walk for about 30 minutes. It was an industrial estate so nothing particular to see. But we used to get back to work and be active in the afternoon whilst everyone else began to get tired. I also rememeber that I was pretty fit.

Working alone you’ll keep going all day and then wonder why you are tired in the afternoon. You’ll have forgotten what fresh air smells like and you will become lethargic. Life will be work, work, work.

But it’s not all Bad
I’ve listed out the bad things about working for yourself from home but there are some great advantages.

You don’t have to slop around the house or feel isolated. You can have a work/life balance and be respected by your friends and neighbours. You just need to bring that discipline you have in working for a company into your life. It does mean self discipline but you just need to get some new habits into place.

The main benefits, however, in working for yourself is that you can achieve what you want. Whether you want money, fame, satisfaction or anything else, it’s possible. If you work for yourself now, you’ll know this is true. There is nobody else you need to rely upon. Just yourself. 

Be positive. Take Action