Archive for Coaching

2017… Goal setting that gives you wings…

goalswings

 

I’m not sure I’m supposed to utter these words as a coach…. but traditional ‘goal setting’ leaves me cold. Really. Even the words sound corporate and sterile and make me shudder.  I can barely believe I’ve used them in the title of a blog. What was I thinking?

Well let me tell you what I was thinking. If I want to inspire you with some ideas and guidance which will serve to light your path into 2017, which will ignite your passion and excitement for the year ahead, which will fuel your creativity to design the year of your dreams, which will indeed give you wings….. I must make some distinctions.

Goal setting is often a hollow, box ticking exercise in the same camp as the dreaded ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. At the very least goal setting can often be pointless (yes I’ve read all the coaching books, and I still stand by this!) and at worst it can be toxic and actually feed our patterns of self sabotage. The first problem with what we tend to call goals, is that we are taught to set them around things, stuff, quantities, titles, status and money. We need to be putting much more emphasis on how we want to feel, rather that  what external ‘benchmarks’ we think will deliver us a dose of feeling good.

The second problem with setting goals is the intense irony in using a ‘process’ which in the wrong hands just formalises how we routinely disempower ourselves. The beliefs that we are ‘not good enough’, ‘not enough as we are’ or ‘not worthy’ are rife and endemic in our culture. Every single client I work with as an executive coach, life coach and therapist – whether they are outwardly seen to be ‘successful’ or ‘stuck’ – we are inevitably working on some shade or fragrance of these core beliefs, embedded in childhood. So without the holistic approach of coaching and it’s emphasis on many deeper aspects, other than just the ‘goals’ for the future, the whole premise of goal setting tends to just reinforce the idea that we are not OK yet, not there yet, not good enough yet. BUT when / if we meet that condition, reach that level, do that thing, accumulate that stuff, earn that salary, meet that guy, buy that house etc…etc… THEN we will be OK. Only then will we be good enough. Only AFTER we have ticked the box can we start living, feeling satisfied and deserving. It’s the most ridiculously routine way we hand over our power to some future version of ourselves that doesn’t exist yet, whilst the current version is still stuck here is the present moment feeling a bit overwhelmed by having to get so much done in order to start the ‘feeling good’ chapter – the ultimate irony is that with this mentality that chapter never really starts, because no matter how many goals we think we are on track to score, the part of our subconscious which houses the ‘not good enough’ belief simply keeps moving the goalposts, and to mix up the metaphors….has us jumping through hoops.

Which leads nicely onto the third problem with setting goals, especially in the ‘dream big’ school of personal development… We set them so high that what we feel is the LACK of where we are now in comparison to where we want to be. Instead of feeling the warm glow of joyful inspiration. We feel the cold heavy weight of being miles away from our destination. Nothing kills our enthusiasm faster than a toxic goal. A goal which just reminds all us the more what we are NOT yet, and what we DO NOT have yet.

If you are still with me, and wondering when I’m going start talking about the wings, thank you for hanging on in here. But I’m sure you will agree it’s worth moving away from the old paradigm because like me, you have probably already realised it doesn’t really deliver what it promises.

What I’m going to present to you here is designed to help you fly this year. When I think of flying, as well as wings,  I think of… Ease.. Passion… Fun… Gracefulness… Intuitive skill… Pleasure… Thrill… What the heck has all that got to do with creating and attracting a year of holistic success? A lot…

Our greatest progress towards our goals will always come from pleasure, from feeling good. In turn, making progress towards our purpose also brings us pleasure. Even before we start making progress, pleasure is our most important foundation when it comes to creating and attracting what we want in our lives. This is because we must set our intentions, make our promises and commitments to what is a priority and focus our ideas and planning from a state of feeling good, from a holistic high vibration inner environment. This is the vital ingredient missing in old paradigm ‘goal setting’… If you want to  plan for pleasure you have to plan with pleasure.

So with this in mind, here is my step by step guide to bringing passion, and awareness to your planning process…. Prepare to fly…

#Reflect & Review 2016

Before starting anything new, it’s always a good idea to review what came before, just the same way you would start your new year business strategy with a review of the previous year’s performance, you can adopt this approach for yourself too.

1/ Begin by Celebrating Your Successes – Put emphasis and time into this part of the process. Give yourself permission to be your own best friend. Pat yourself on the back for what went well, where you performed well, where you achieved what you set out to, where you acted resourcefully in the face of challenges or where you gained important insights about yourself or others.

One very useful and interesting fact about our brains and emotions, is that when we remember events from the past, and really associate and connect into the feelings, we actually produce the biochemistry of those positive emotions all over again – the brain does not know the difference! – All the neurological pathways of chemical and electrical messages get sent around our whole bodies once more. Feel how good it feels to relive your finest moments, to appreciate yourself for your skills and talents, be grateful for the way you handled yourself through dilemmas.

2/ Acknowledge What Was Challenging – without getting stuck into lamenting mistakes and mishaps! Do this succinctly to allow you to move on to point 3

3/ Now Reflect on what Lessons you have Learnt from the above. Note how you will take these forward in a way that will support you.

4/ Let the rest GO! Yes just set a clear intention to let it go, the least useful thing you can do is to hang on to old emotional clutter. When you carry frustration and resentment forward with you, it shows. And more importantly you unwittingly send it out as an unspoken message. Every emotional state has a vibrational quality to it, and you will be broadcasting out your message, whether you intend to or not! Neurologically, physiologically and energetically it can assist us to release old outdated information or ideas if we choose a combination of writing, speaking out loud, visualising, or even actually throwing out objects, clutter or anything which is a symbolic association of the ‘old’. You can choose the best approach for yourself, but don’t skimp on this stage, let your consciousness indulge itself a little in this process of release.

#Dreams & Desires

After letting do, dreaming and desiring are next in line. Getting creative is important. Feeling good is important in getting creative.

When I work with my clients on specific projects or problem solving, I walk them through the ‘Disney Strategy’ (I won’t cover this in full here). Walt Disney was a man who knew the power of dreaming, and conjuring up ideas…so much so he built it in to his business strategy. In fact he put so much emphasis on creativity he spent whole days or even weeks intentionally immersed in a creative, fluid mindset which he ensured was unhindered by being too practical, logistical or problem focussed.

So I would encourage you to do the same, here are the rules to adding ‘Dreaming Time’ in to your planning for pleasure process:

1/ Only dreams and ideas are allowed – schedule in your ‘Dreaming Time’, and when you have set the time aside, this time is only for IDEAS. Do not start criticising them, or checking them for practicalities at this stage. Just let the ideas flow, and make a note of them. You don’t have to plan and focus on every idea you come up with, but it’s important to nurture ideas from which you can choose.

2/ Ask yourself this – ‘If I could guarantee it would work out, what would I do?’ – this question can help you start the flow and be more imaginative.

3/ Relax & Expand– We are at our most creative in relaxed and expansive brainwave states – our brains are constantly sending out electric waves of information to other parts of our brain, to our bodies, and to the space around (including other people). Brain wave frequencies affect our thoughts. The busy brainwave state that we are in most of the time is called Beta, it is fast, analytical and logical – the opposite of what we need for creative thinking! To help us be at our most fluid and inspirational, we need to slow our brainwaves down into the Alph and the Theta waves. Whatever you need to do to relax and to feel good, do it. Whether it is yoga, meditation, reading, listening to music, lighting candles, laying crystals around you, bathing in bubbles… Give yourself permission to do this, it’s an important part of the planning for pleasure process. Overlook pleasure at your peril.

#Be Elaborate – Ask yourself what you want to BE, to DO and to HAVE. The more elaborate you are the better, this will help with all of the following steps. So you will be wanting, dates, colours, locations, people and all manner of details. It’s important. Make it real, make it personal to you. Connect with what you want. This leads nicely on to….

#Embody the Experience

For the most powerful results, for the strongest wings, we must learn to bring our bodies into this process of connecting with what we want to create in our future. This means cultivating the feelings, the emotions and the bodily sensations by setting the intention to do so and by using our minds, our imagination as the force to fuel our flight. Step in to the future, to already having, being or doing what you want. Now notice how you feel inside from having done it already. Notice your external environment, people, settings, notice how you look, and really get in touch with your inner experience as you observe all this from your mind’s eye, feeling how good it feels to see it. Your brain will be forming neural connections for you, which will already be creating an inner antennae to align you with this future by helping you to form a sort of ‘perceptual filter’ through which to take in messages. Most important of all is this inner experience of emotion, feeling and sensation. This will be some sort of positive feeling; maybe satisfaction, contentment, freedom, love, happiness, joy, abundance. Whatever it is, really make a note of it because this is what you are going to be motivated TOWARDS. Using this embodied experience will help you to express what you WANT in POSITIVE language. Most of the time, left to our own devices, we talk about our goals and futures by telling ourselves and others about what we DON’T want or about some PROBLEM we are trying to solve…..eg, get out of debt, stop feeling anxious, get away from an ex, move on from a bullying boss etc.

When we express ourselves in this language we are setting off all those neural pathways in our brains and bodies associated with the problem, and we are also triggering our emotional response to that problem too eg, fear, frustration, anger, sadness. OK it may be a diluted response, but still we are sending it to every cell of our bodies, and because emotions have a molecular structure, they also have a vibration. If we vibrate negative emotion we attract it back in, just like a human tuning fork, we resonate with other negative vibrations. Now this might all sound a little ‘woo woo’, but actually it’s science, Albert Einstein, who put it like this:

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.”

Connect with the feelings and sensations in your body, those very bodily experiences that the future you dream about and desire will bring you. And immerse yourself in those feelings, embody them and ignite them into life through your entire human system, through every cell of your body through the power of your imagination. This is why feeling good, taking time for yourself, looking after yourself, ensuring lots of nurturing self care, is SO essential in the grand scheme of us creating and attracting the future we dream of and desire. Feeling good now, even before our life circumstances have changed, is the only reliable route to feeling good then.

Put another way, if you are feeling sad, lonely, fearful, lacking or overwhelmed – this is what you will be broadcasting outwards energetically, like the human tuning fork you will be resonating (i.e. making bigger, fuelling and attracting) even more of this experience and it is highly unlikely you will align yourself with the positive future you desire.

You have to match the frequency of what you want FIRST, in order to create and attract more of it.

You have to begin giving yourself permission to feel good, OK and positive BEFORE you reach your future, and each step of the way as you take your aligned actions to create that future.

If you are simply relying on reaching your ‘goal’ as your only way to feel OK, you will be handing your power over to the future.

#Say it out Loud – Use the power of announcement to express the elaborateness of what you want, and how you WANT TO FEEL – and say it out loud. When we use language and speak (out loud, or in your head) we light up specific neural pathways in our brains, the more positive neural pathways we light up in connection to what we want, the more solid the foundations we are laying, the stronger and clearer the signal from the inner antennae is broadcast. This way our brains can become more familiar with what we want, and send signals through more branches of other positive pathways, so neural information spreads out and can integrate more fully across and through our brains.

The good news is that our brains are plastic, the term ‘neural plasticity’ explains how new neural connections are made as our brains learn. With the right information and intentions, we can feed our brains, we can mold and shape them in new directions, away from old stuck patterns and into new territory.

#Write it Down – same principle, different pathways – writing down information lights up different areas of the brain, this is why journaling has become so popular, there is a science to it.

#Build a Dream Board – get visual – same principle, different pathways – visualising lights up different areas of the brain, and is one of the most powerful ways to fire together new neurons in the brain, so that they wire together. Putting lots of images and key words together in a board can help you to keep reminding yourself of the visual information and connecting up with your future in a way which will change your brain. But remember, there is nothing more powerful than the feeling, so spend time feeling how it feels as you look at your vision board, so you are not just relying on the visual, but using it to help you connect with the fully embodied experience. As with all these steps, allow yourself time and don’t skimp on the experience itself.

#Planning & Chunking it Down – to reduce a potential sense of overwhelm that can come from having lots to do, chunk down your steps, your practical planning into bite size and achievable chunks which are set against REALISTIC timescales. The last thing you want to do is be beating yourself up for not having enough time! Diarise what you are doing, it can help to use a colourful, wall planner which again appeals to the very powerful visual senses which are equally useful when planning as they are when imagining.

#Find an Accountability Partner – tell someone else your plans, and ask them to hold you accountable, to check in on you. Give them key dates when you will be doing certain things and give them permission to chase you on where you are up to. Accountability makes us much more likely to meet our deadlines. We only have to compare our productivity and focus at work with our bosses and line managers with the way we are at home to know this is true!

#Be Flexible – I’m all for having a strategy, for formalising steps and actions and being specific about what we want to create. However, I would encourage a sense of relaxed fluidity and flexibility in every approach.

For many people (myself included) setting rigid action plans can tend to pile on the pressure and have you stressed out, tired and stumbling around in clouds of brain fog. Fact: Stress fogs your brain and switches off your clever, creative and resourceful functioning! This is the opposite of what we want.

So remember, it’s all about ‘Progress not Perfection’. Again, the importance of finding time to relax, unwind and feel good will ultimately fuel our wings for flight.

Finally, through staying fluid and flexible, we might actually find we start to get drawn towards another, even more brilliant and suitable route than the one we had planned. Being too tunnel visioned on an outcome can actually close us off energetically to receiving other wonderful possibilities which might serve our highest evolution all the better! When we stay relaxed and open, we can begin to attract and subtly engineer all kinds of amazing opportunities, potentially quite different to what we originally had in our planning.

Think of this process as etching what you desire deeply into your consciousness, having it resonate through your field of awareness like a loud clear broadcast to the universe. It is for the purpose of channeling your energy, focussing your attention and galvanising your efforts towards the future your desire with momentum and flow. It is of course no guarantee of what will happen, but when we can bring order to what might otherwise have been chaos, we are certainly ensuring we set off in flight, stay in the air, and have a clear idea of where we are heading.

I have developed the perfect Guided Hypnotic Meditation MP3 to accompany this blog called Powerful Promises. It has been dowloaded by 14k people already from all over the globe, and it’s rated at 95%. It’s FREE and you can download yours via this link TODAY:

POWERFUL PROMISES FREE MEDITATION MP3

Lisa Bardell BSc (Hons) Psychology, is an Executive Coach, Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Accredited Meditation Coach and Creator of The SHINE Meditation & Coaching Online Program. To read more about The SHINE Program or to access the January only OFFER for just £87 (RRP £107) click here: The SHINE Program

 

More information about Lisa Bardell can be found on her website: LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk

Are you too Cruel to be Kind? A guide to being both Authentic AND Kind in a Modern World…

Have you abandoned Kindness in your quest for Authenticity?

Authenticity. To be authentic is apparently nowadays a highly desirable way to operate in the world. To be authentic is an elusive yet very impactful way to lead, accordingly to HR directors and executive recruiters across the globe. To be able to be authentic is seen as key to enjoying fulfilling relationships and vital to feeling a sustainable sense of emotional balance. But what is it to be authentic? How do we do it? How do we juggle it with keeping people happy, with maintaining friendships, and with actually staying employed? And what is it not?

image

Recently I’ve witnessed people fall off their authenticicty pedestals and also abandon kindness or compassion in the mix, and as a result I’ve asked myself this question more and more. How can we communicate authentically and purposefully, so we feel true and aligned with our beliefs and feelings, without acting cruelly and causing pain for someone else.

Here’s a guide based on what I’ve observed from many years in a corporate career, from what I’ve officially learnt through training and working full time as a coach and therapist, and from the insights which have fallen softly in to my awareness over the last few years of my own daily meditation practice.

The irony is, that it seems ( if feedback was ever to be believed ) I was pretty consistently credited with the authenticity badge right from the early years of my career. Yet in reality, I know that whilst I was probably rarely knowingly inauthentic, only the last few years have I made a more honest acquaintance with my own self….never mind dared or cared to share it with others.

So let’s start with a brief definition. Here when I’m talking about authenticity I mean expressing yourself honestly, expressing yourself in a way which really reflects how you feel about something.

Let’s just linger on the ‘how you feel’ part of that sentence a little longer. That’s the important part. We’ll be coming back to that later.

So should we be navigating some sort of territory, some grey, ill defined border between speaking our own authentic truth on the one hand and blatantly abusing the honesty card on the other – as an ill considered license to just say whatever the heck we want, with little or no regard for the welfare of others?

Well in the spirit of authenticity at this point I’m going to answer yes to that. That’s my current opinion. It is only my opinion. And it would have been an uncomfortable opinion for me to hear about 10 years ago, when my own personal brand of communication was what was politely called ‘cutting’, but in reality it often took the form of character assassination – in the name of ‘authenticity’.

If, like the old me, you are tempted to be brutally honest and your ‘authenticity’ is giving you the green light to go ahead without any regard for the welfare of others, you may be fooling yourself.

Can we express our opinions authentically in ways which benefit, instead of harm others?

Firstly, let’s remember that what true authenticity really is. Back to the ‘how you feel’ comment above.

Authenticity is a sharing of YOU, a sharing of your feelings and your vulnerabilities.

Many people, just like the old me, are completely bypassing their own feelings – either on purpose because the they don’t feel comfortable to share them – or by accident because they are so stressed, so routinely distracted from their feelings by their mental analysis or by what their ego wants them to portray – that they do not know or express their true feelings at all!

Authenticity is about you. It will sound something like this: ‘I feel alone / judged / compared / under attack / singled out / threatened / scared / out of control / ashamed……’. You get the gist…. This is the sort of authentic commentary we hear…….never. Right?

Now I’m not suggesting that we all want to start pouring out our hearts to others just to be seen as authentic. But what I’m drawing your awareness to, is that you can be authentic with yourself first. Quietly. Get to know yourself first, and own your ‘stuff’. It makes a difference.

However, what we are used to instead,  is mirroring and modelling our ‘authenticity’ on something else. What we usually mistake as ‘authenticity’ is the defence, the deflection the distraction, and these versions of authenticity end up being judgements and opinions about how others are wrong / bad / stupid / irresponsible / not enough / hurtful / thoughtless / not up to the job / crazy / too much…etc.

Very often what we assume is authenticity is simply an act of passive aggression ( I was the expert in that ), a defence mechanism, or a thinly veiled justification for a blatant personal attack.

So if you would like to bring your awareness to authenticity, to observe it in yourself and others in a new light, maybe even from the curiosity of what you might learn or change, you can start to ask this.

What is my genuine intention for sharing this? If I share this opinion right now, who will benefit, me or them?

To admit that sharing our opinion is actually in our own best interest rather than someone else’s takes a great deal of awareness, and a little practice. As a coach it’s what I’m trained to do. In fact my earliest memory of my coaching training was back in an executive capacity, in my corporate career, and I’ve held on to this simple rule.

Is it truthful AND useful?

If it is both truthful AND useful go ahead. If it feels truthful, but will not be useful, that’s the red flag to stop. Go ahead by all means, but do be prepared for the ensuing conflict and hurt ( or the detrimental effect on morale and performance in a corporate setting ).

It is very tempting to share opinions which might be damaging to others in the guise of authenticity, and to convince ourselves it is actually for the benefit of the other person, when in fact it is simply an act of selfishness. Sometimes we act selfishly in what we communicate to others for our own release, a sense of freedom or relief, a need to express ourselves, or because we have got triggered back into our own personal wounding. There will be times when this is unavoidable, but there will be many times when we can make a conscious choice if we want to.

How do we know whether or how to share our opinion for the good of others?

So if we are conscious and intentional about authentic communication for the good of others, rather than just to make ourselves feel better, how do we do it?

1/ Gauge their receptivity – Did they ask? Do they want advice? Is now the right time? If you were them, in their shoes in their life right now, with all they have going on….how would YOU react?

2/ Be aware of your HOW – Delivery is everything! Are you being KIND? Are you being cruel? Is this coming from a place of love and respect? Are you being critical?

Authenticity from love and kindness will look, sound and be received differently than authenticity from your own fear, anger and judgements. Tune into yourself, and pay special attention to your tone, your language, and your body language. Consider removing the shoulds, musts and oughts from your language, and  when asking questions ask HOW rather than WHY – all of the above, although very much a part of everyday language, can be implicitly ‘finger-pointy’ and allude to a sense of blaming or shaming.

Remember, to be truly authentic is to express and own up to your own experience. As we begin to seek to understand and be understood through our communications, rather than to be simply be right and to assert our opinion, some of our old automated responses can be looked at, challenged, and may begin to fall away completely, when we repeatedly and intentionally hold them in our awareness and shine a light on them.

What I have have witnessed in myself, and through working one to one with clients, using techniques like Meditation and EFT which both build awareness and honour our wounding, is that we can become more present to, and authentic about all of our triggers. In myself I have found the more authentic a relationship I have developed with my own ‘stuff’, feelings, stories and patterns, in turn the less I need to rely on expressing my opinion to feel good, connected or validated. To some degree, many of my old opinions are simply redundant. What my clients report, also reflect my own experience, we are able to observe and tune in much more to ourselves and others in a neutral way, which means we are less likely to get pulled off track into opinion based content which ultimately serves no real useful purpose or may even cause damage.

Lisa Bardell is an Executive Coach, Integrative Therapist, Life Coach and Accredited Mind CALM Meditation Coach working from private practices in Cheshire and London Liverpool Street. Lisa runs regular Mind CALM Meditation Workshops across the UK, Corporate Programmes and Personal Development Workshops, as well as Meditation Retreats in Bordeaux and Ibiza.

LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk/Events

LisaBardellCoaching,co.uk/Retreats

LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk/Executive-Coaching

LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk/Corporate

 

 

 

So you want to be a better leader?

How many of you wish you could spark that magical something to ramp up your leadership style, your career potential or your profile credentials?

Have you been sent on, or enrolled in countless leadership style ‘How To’ type programmes or courses – only to realise you pretty much know the theory anyway?

We can all draw up a list of qualities we believe a good leader must show. In fact many of us could probably write the basic content of a ‘How To’ type workshop ourselves…..BUT something gets in the way doesn’t it? Some deep subconscious clutter, picked up over years of conditioning, comparing and criticism just seems to run the show every now and again and take us off the track of being the sort of leader we think we want to be, should be or need to be

leaders small

Over the past 2 years, since leaving my corporate career to re-design my own life to be more fulfilling, more flexible and more fun, I followed my early passion for Psychology to become a full time Performance Coach. I’ve been working one to one with CEO’s, entrepreneurs, business owners and senior directors to help them perform better in their roles, create more success, and enjoy their lives and relationships more fully.

What I already knew about leadership ( from leading in my own senior director roles ) and what I have learned since from working with other leaders in a coaching capacity, is that there really is just one zone, just one single element to learn and to implement – and from that all those other qualities and attributes just flow freely…..MENTAL CLARITY

Mental Clarity

The ability to access that inner state of Mental Clarity, at will, on demand and ongoing is the ultimate formula for ‘Serenity & Success’.

This is how it works – from a state of ongoing and entrained Mental Clarity, I promise that you simply cannot help but to demonstrate the following ‘deep drivers’ of Leadership:

  • Authenticity
  • Direction
  • Resilience
  • Intuition
  • Wisdom
  • Creativity
  • Presence
  • Connection

And low and behold, a natural by-product of these deep drivers can’t help but flow into these familiar ‘Leadership Attributes’ we are sent to learn ‘How To’ mimic on those courses and programmes:

  • Agility
  • Good Decisions
  • Strategy
  • Innovation
  • Problem Solving
  • Influence
  • Strong Relationships
  • Integrity
  • Passion
  • Purpose
  • Vision

The difference is, from an inner platform of Mental Clarity, we are doing it for real. We can stop thinking about ‘how’ we are supposed to do it, and just get in to our own authentic flow.

Subconscious Clutter

That old subconscious veil of clutter, confusion and doubt was secretly all driven by fear – albeit subtle in some cases – but fear all the same. Muddling through a medley of ‘resistance to what is’ and ‘attachment to what should be’ can be draining, and it certainly gets in the way of inspiring and authentic leadership and of a sense of inner ‘Serenity & Success’.

Serenity & Success Coaching

If you would like to work with me one to one on your performance, your leadership potential or anything else that is getting in the way or you living to your full potential, you can contact me directly.

If you’re interested in attending one of my ‘Serenity & Success Coaching Workshops’ there are Manchester and London dates coming up, all details and ticket links can be found below:

Lisa Bardell is a Performance Master Coach, NLP Master, Accredited Mind CALM Meditation Coach and a Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist working with private clients One to One from her clinics in Cheshire and Central London, and through Corporate Coaching Programmes with businesses in Manchester and London. Her regular schedule of EVENTS, WORKSHOPS & RETREATS can be found on: LISABARDELLCOACHINGLtd.eventbrite.co.uk

 

2017… Planning with pleasure. Goals for goddesses…

If you want to  plan for pleasure you have to plan with pleasure. Welcome to my guide to goals for goddesses… 

 

goals

It will soon be time to wish you all a Happy New Year. You might already be thinking about the year ahead. Maybe you will want to remedy the excesses of Christmas, maybe you want to get fit and stay in shape for the whole year, maybe you’re ready for a lifestyle overhaul, or maybe you want something completely new? – a big change in your life, your income or your career?

Whatever you would like to plan, to action and to enjoy for the New Year and beyond, here are some of my Top Tips for setting, sticking to and achieving your goals for the future, instead of falling half heartedly off track before Spring has even sprung.

You can apply and adapt this strategy to any area of your life, and you can also use it for regular reviews to fine tune your goals and plans on a monthly basis.

#Review 2016

Before starting anything new, it’s always a good idea to review what came before, just the same way you would start your new year business strategy with a review of the previous year’s performance, you can adopt this approach for yourself too.

1/ Begin by Celebrating Your Successes – yes take a moment ( or an hour ) to pat yourself on the back for what went well, where you performed well, where you achieved what you set out to, or where you acted resourcefully in the face of challenges.

One very useful and interesting fact about our brains and emotions, is that when we remember events from the past, and really associate and connect into the feelings, we actually produce the biochemistry of those positive emotions all over again – the brain does not know the difference! – all the neurological pathways of chemical and electrical messages get sent around our whole bodies once more. Connecting in to positive emotional states is always useful!

2/ Next step is to Acknowledge What Didn’t Work – without getting stuck into lamenting mistakes and mishaps! – do this succinctly to allow you to move on to point 3

3/ Now Reflect on what Lessons you have Learnt from the above. Note what you will take forward and use for the future.

4/ Let the rest GO! Yes just set a clear intention to let it go, the least useful thing you can do is to hang on to old emotional clutter. When you carry frustration and resentment forward with you, it shows. And more importantly you unwittingly send it out as an unspoken message. Every emotional state has a vibrational quality to it, and you will be broadcasting out your message, whether you intend to or not! ( if you don’t want to take my word for it, refer to Albert Einstein – more on that later! )

#Start with a Dream

Getting creative is important. When I work with my clients on specific goals, projects or problem solving, I walk them through the ‘Disney Strategy’ ( I won’t cover this in full here ). Walt Disney was a man who knew the power of dreaming, and conjuring up ideas…so much so he built it in to his business strategy. In fact he put so much emphasis on creativity he spent whole days or even weeks intentionally immersed in a creative, fluid mindset which he ensured was unhindered by being too practical, logistical or problem focussed.

So I would encourage you to do the same, here are the rules to adding ‘Dreaming Time’ in to your goal setting success strategy:

1/ Only dreams and ideas are allowed – schedule in your ‘Dreaming Time’, and when you have set the time aside, this time is only for IDEAS. Do not start criticising them, or checking them for practicalities at this stage. Just let the ideas flow, and make a note of them.

2/ Ask yourself this – ‘If I could guarantee it would work out, what would I do?’ – this question can help you start the flow and be more imaginative.

3/ Relax – we are at our most creative in relaxed and slow brainwave states – our brains are constantly sending out electric waves of information to other parts of our brain,  to our bodies, and to the space around ( including other people ). Brain wave frequencies affect out thoughts. The busy brainwave state that we are in most of the time is called Beta, it is fast, analytical and logical – the opposite of what we need for creative thinking! To help us be at our most fluid and inspirational, we need to slow down. You can easily do this by setting an intention to relax, slowing down your breathing, and engaging your peripheral vision.

#Reality Check– get practical, draw on all your previous experiences of ‘making things happen’ and seeing projects through to the end, and decide what your goals or intentions for the year will be.

#Be Specific – the more specific you are the better, this will help with all of the following steps. So you will be wanting, dates, colours, locations, people and all manner of details ready for your goal. It’s important. Make it real and make it personal to you.

#Understand the Power of the Inner Experience

Step in to the future, to already having achieved your goal. Now notice how you feel inside from having done it already. Notice your external environment, people, settings, notice how you look, and really get in touch with your inner experience of this, feeling how good it feels. Your brain will be forming neural connections for you, which will already be aligning you with this future by helping you to form a sort of ‘perceptual filter’ through which to take in messages. Most important of all is this inner experience of emotion.
This will be some sort of positive feeling; maybe pride, satisfaction, contentment, happiness, joy, confidence. Whatever it is, really make a note of it because this is what you are going to be motivated TOWARDS. Using this emotion will help you to express what you WANT in POSITIVE language. Most of the time, left to our own devices, we talk about our goals and futures by telling ourselves and others about what we DON’T want or about some PROBLEM we are trying to solve…..eg, get out of debt, stop feeling anxious, get away from an ex, move on from a bullying boss etc.

When we express ourselves in this language we are setting off all those neural pathways in our brains and bodies associated with the problem, and we are also triggering our emotional response to that problem too eg, fear, frustration, anger, sadness. OK it may be a diluted response, but still we are sending it to every cell of our bodies, and because emotions have a molecular structure, they also have a vibration. If we vibrate negative emotion we attract it back in, just like a human tuning fork, we resonate with other negative vibrations. Now this might all sound a little ‘woo woo’, but actually it’s science, back to my previous mention of Albert Einstein, who put it like this:

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy, this is physics.”

So there you have it. Connect with the POSITIVE EMOTION that reaching your goal will bring you. And immerse yourself in that emotion as often as you can.

Put another way, if you are feeling sad, lonely, fearful and desperate to reach your goal – all you will send out energetically is that negative emotion, and it is highly unlikely you will align yourself with your positive future.

As Albert puts it, you have to match the frequency of what you want FIRST, in order to achieve more of it. THIS IS THE DIFFERENCE WHICH MAKES THE DIFFERENCE TO YOUR SUCCESS STRATEGY, and it’s the key to all Coaching & Therapy.

You have to begin feeling good, OK and positive BEFORE you reach your goal, and each step of the way as you take your actions to reach your goal.

If you are relying on reaching your goal as your only way to feel OK, you will find the path to success much slower and bumpier ( this is where professional help can come in very handy, as some people do need to work through their negative emotion before they can really begin to make progress )

#Say it out Loud – summarise the specifics of your goal, and how you WANT TO FEEL – and say it out loud. When we use language and speak ( out loud, or in your head ) we light up specific neural pathways in our brains, the more positive neural pathways we light up in connection to what we want, the more solid the foundations we are laying, and the more familiar our brains become with what we want, and the more branches of other positive pathways are likely to spread out across our brains.

The good news is that our brains are plastic, the term ‘neural plasticity’ explains how new neural connections are made as our brains learn. With the right information and intentions, we can feed our brains, we can mold and shape them in new directions, away from old stuck patterns and into new territory.

#Write it Down – same principle, different pathways – writing down information lights up different areas of the brain.

#Build a Dream Board – get visual – same principle, different pathways – visualising lights up different areas of the brain, and is one of the most powerful ways to fire together new neurons in the brain, so that they wire together. Putting lots of images and key words together in a board can help you to keep reminding yourself of the visual information and connecting up with your goal in a way which will change your brain.

#Chunk it Down – to reduce a potential sense of overwhelm that can come from having lots to do, chunk down your steps into bite size and achievable chunks which are set against REALISTIC timescales. The last thing you want to do is be beating yourself up for not having enough time! Diarise what you are doing, it can help to use a colourful, wall planner which again appeals to the very powerful visual senses which are equally useful when planning as they are when imagining.

#Find an Accountability Partner – tell someone else your plans, and ask them to hold you accountable, to check in on you. Give them key dates when you will be doing certain things and give them permission to chase you on where you are up to. Accountability makes us much more likely to meet our deadlines. We only have to compare our productivity and focus at work with our bosses and line managers with the way we are at home to know that!

#Be Flexible – I’m all for having a strategy, for formalising steps and actions and being specific about goals and outcomes. However, in the spirit of connecting up with positive emotion, of matching the frequency of what we want ( back to Albert ) and of communicating useful energy to our selves, our cells, to others, and to the universe at large – I would encourage a sense of fluidity and flexibility in every approach.

Firstly, if you are not working with a professional coach or therapist – setting rigid goals and action plans can tend to pile on the pressure and have you stressed out, tired and stumbling around in clouds of brain fog. Fact: Stress fogs your brain and switches off your clever, creative and resourceful functioning!

So remember, it’s all about ‘Progress NOT Perfection’. Always find time and ways to de-stress to cultivate your most powerful inner platform to succeed.

Secondly, through staying fluid and flexible, we might actually find we start to get drawn towards another, even more brilliant and suitable route than the one we had planned. When we stay relaxed open and positive we can begin to attract and engineer all kinds of amazing opportunities, possibly quite different to what we had in mind at the start of they year.

I hope you enjoy the process, and your year ahead, and make a note to be to be kind to yourself along the way. You now understand both the power of positive emotion, the huge part it plays in successful living AND you appreciate the mechanics of how those toxic negative emotions really will slow your success down!

To view a FREE VIDEO INTRODUCTION to a ‘Daily Meditation, Relaxation & Self Coaching Programme’ called SHINE, to help you succeed and thrive in your year ahead – click here: SHINE FREE VIDEO

Lisa Bardell is an Executive Coach, Life Coach, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Accredited Meditation Coach and Creator of SHINE Meditation. She runs private Coaching Practices in Central London and Cheshire, Corporate Coaching Programmes for businesses in Manchester and London, regular Meditation Workshops in the UK and Transformational Retreats in Ibiza and Bordeaux. More information can be found on her website: LisaBardellCoaching.co.uk