1. Focus on the moment. This has always been vital in my role as a personal trainer. This year I’ve really learnt the value of focus in every aspect of my life. From ditching multi-tasking to become more efficient. To giving the person I’m interacting with my complete attention. It’s rare to have someone’s 100% attention in our impatient & techie addicted society & yet such a simple, respectful approach to take.
2. Appreciation. Whether its in the form of consciously writing gratitude’s nightly or just being aware in the moment of every little thing you’re grateful for. Easy to say – as I sit in stunning Noosa, on a 2 week holiday. However on a normal Sydney day I genuinely feel appreciation for the scrumbo omelette I start my day with – my committed at ‘stupid o’clock’ personal training clients – my colleagues and their unfailing ability to make me laugh & blush consecutively – my first hit of ‘liquid gold’ coffee…I could go on, this is all before 8am!
“What are 3 things you could feel grateful for right now?”
3. Look for the positive in every situation. You will see that in the areas of your life in which you excel, this comes more naturally. In those other areas it’s simply a matter of reframing to a more positive view:
“What can I learn from this?”
Yes, this may seem rather contrived to start, however it is a vastly more enjoyable approach to look for (and find!) the positive in every situation rather than the opposite.
4. The ideal set up for your perfect day starts the night before. You will find the schedule that works best for you… This is mine.
=> Plan my day to come, in terms of #1 task and subsequent tasks with time allotted for each. (Yes I actually set a timer, usually for 30mins – to provide a helpful sense of urgency).
=> Prepare my breakfast omelette ingredients.
=> Know what exercise I’ll being doing tomorrow… and when.
=> Get to bed 7 hours before I need to get up.
5. Know your priorities – big rocks – whatever you call them.
These are the activities that give you the highest return on time, energy and cash-o-la invested. It may be that an interruption free afternoon with your family is super important to your quality of life each week? Or perhaps you prioritize weights before everything else? Or most obviously those top 20% of actions you take in your job.
6. Stay true to core.
For me this means being absolutely clear on my primary focus in each area of life & not getting distracted by shiny objects. It’s why I say no to people who want me to put together a once off outdoor training program for their fitness goal. It’s not my specialty & it doesn’t get me closer to my goal.
It’s why the person that commits to one program will always get superior weight loss results to the person who jumps on board with each ‘latest greatest’ weight loss trend.
7. Be OK with not getting everything done!
You will never tick all the boxes – catch up – or get finished. There is always more and once you acknowledge that and develop the ability to get the most important stuff done first… well, then it becomes ok that there’s always stuff to do. The goal is to move your list from overwhelming or exhausting to instead become energizing, exciting and ever evolving.
8. Tackle your fear head on.
I seem to relearn this one. However I’m going to say I’ve got it nailed now. In my experience, fear is generally of the unknown. Once you find out what you’re up for – only then can you come up with a plan of attack… and take your first step. Doing nothing and burying your head in the sand will feed the fear. I’ve certainly been there – now I choose not to let fear freeze me, or control me.
A good question to ask yourself: “If I do nothing will it go away?” (generally that’s No!)
Also a work in progress… If your focus is locked and loaded on your goals it can be oh too easy to relegate fun to later… and later… And Later Again. The 2 solutions I’ll be focusing on this year are to actively MAKE the time for fun stuff. Also, just as importantly to be aware of those numerous little fun moments that are there for the taking every. single. day.
10. Be generous.
This does not need to be financial. It can also be with your time. I often catch myself racing away from a conversation with someone I like and respect because ‘I need to get some work done’ …discipline rocks, however it can be taken to a detrimental extreme.
11. Have an open heart.
So I’m noticing that my guidelines are becoming more confronting as I progress – saving the best for last hey?! I have so much respect for my friends and clients who are natural with this one… This year I’m going to model what they do, well at least the aspects that will fit resourcefully into my lifestyle. My point in including a huge ‘to work on’ for me is to share the value in modeling. Whatever it is for you that you don’t yet do naturally, there will be someone you can learn from, to bit by bit model at your own pace so that in time you will get to enjoy the same results.
12. Be vulnerable.
As above this is a ‘to work on’ for me. Massively. The reason why I’m not yet awesome at it (OK, not yet even fairly ok at it!) is because I’ve attached negative connotations with being vulnerable. Hence reason a) for my inclusion in this list for you. If you have negative connotations associated with, say exercise or eating ‘healthy’ then you’re fighting a loosing battle to do either. It will always be a struggle to consciously take an action which at a much more powerful unconscious level you have a conflict with or aversion to.
I used to see vulnerable as weak. I hate weak. Now I see vulnerable as strong. I love strong.
I could also see the ability to embrace venerability as a demonstration of self certainty. I LOVE self certainty.
How could you choose to view something you what to get better at that up until now you’ve attached negative connotations too? reason b) ??? I feel just a little bit vulnerable sharing the last few of this guidelines with you… so that tells me it’s absolutely the right thing to do. 🙂
Alright, over to you – what did you learn in 2012 that you’re using to even better effect this year?