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How To Stop Making Success A Battle

A while back a client sent me a link to an interesting article on achievement. The author tells the tale of trying to get an audience with a certain big-shot, of being knocked back again and again, and then of finally starting to enjoy the challenge.

I have to admit, I found it a very interesting – and worryingly, new – way of looking for things. I don’t know about you, but I find that oftentimes striving for success is a bit of a battle. An uphill slough. And when I think about it, it wasn’t always that way. I remember a time when, school projects aside, I only used to put effort into things I genuinely wanted to do. Lately I seem to have a whole list of ‘shoulds’ hanging over me. As Tony Robbins would say, I’ve been shoulding all over myself. And even though I do sometimes accomplish those shoulds, it often feels like I’m wading through quicksand. And I’ll bet it’s not just me. I’m guessing you’ve got a bunch of shoulds weighing you down as well, dontcha? And it’s just not really a fun way to strive for success, is it? So really, why do we do it? Life should be fun. Setting goals and facing challenges to reach them should be fun. Tough, maybe. But inspiring. Exciting. Motivating. And most definitely in keeping with the things we’re truly passionate about.

Because the reality is that it’s always far far easier to succeed at something you’re naturally good at, isn’t it? Funny, that. How interest and passion drives action.

Of course we all have bills to pay, lives to run, and sometimes we just don’t get to choose our battles. Or do we?

I believe that everything in our lives is based on a choice we’ve made either consciously or subconsiously. And whether or not you agree with me, the reality is this. Reaching your goals is just so much harder when you’re not really enjoying the challenge.

What’s just as bad – and something I’ve been equally guilty of – is reaching a long sought-after goal and then immediately beating up on yourself for not having started on the next one. Why don’t we stop and enjoy our success anymore? Why don’t we run around like kids saying ‘look at me, look what I’ve done’ (okay, I did do a little ‘look at me’ in last week’s post on setting and achieving exciting goals)

But how about you? When was the last time you rewarded yourself for a big achievement? Or even for a whole bunch of little ones? Like hitting the gym regularly, week in and week out. Like turning down the starch or sugar and choosing food for fuel instead of temptation. Like putting your own needs aside and doing something for a friend or family member.

And when are you next going to reward yourself? Have you even thought about it? Maybe it’s time you did. It is okay, you know 🙂

Anyway, the take-home message here, which I got out of the afore-mentioned article, was that you can, in fact, do anything you want, as long as three conditions exist.

  1. You want to achieve it
  2. You believe you can achieve it
  3. You enjoy trying to achieve it

So here’s what I want you to do. Those goals you set last week? (Or the ones you’re going to set). Take a good long look at them. Maybe scan through all the shoulds and must on your to-do list as well. Which ones jump out at you? What are you excited about doing? What do you think you could deliberately turn into a fun and motivating challenge? How could you change your approach in order to make something more interesting or in keeping with your values? Let’s be honest – even the idea of setting goals in this way is kinda exciting, isn’t it? And possibly the beginning of a whole new way of thinking. I can’t wait to hear how you go. And you can bet you’ll be hearing more from me on my big 3!

Oh – one last thing that may be of interest to you. As of July I’m going to be offering teleconference health coaching. Over the past few years I’ve worked with many clients who are not able to see me regularly face to face. Ongoing phone call consults are really helpful, but I’m noticing I’m going over the same stuff with many people. So as a cost-effective approach to nutrition and lifestyle education I’m going to introduce small group coaching. I’ll be creating a survey soon to see what people want to focus on and will probably put together a month by month session plan, so if you haven’t been achieving everything you know you’re capable of in the health, nutrition and fitness arena and you recognise that accountability works for you then stay tuned.

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