April 29, 2008

Why New Year's resolutions don't work...but goals do

I don't believe in New Year's Resolutions but I absolutely DO believe in goal-setting.

So what's the difference, and why is one better than the other?

New Year's Resolutions are usually broken within the first two weeks of January and at the very latest by the end of January in 90% of cases.

Why do you think all the gyms are chock-a-block at the beginning of the year? Everybody's said they want to lose weight and get in shape this year.

People decide on spur-of-the-moment New Year's Resolutions and expect to be able to make major life and behavioural changes for the entire year. It's just not logical. Enthusiasm will keep you keen for a couple of weeks but then what?!

Book 30 minutes in your diaries (so you can think clearly) THIS week and write down some goals. Download your 2008 goals form here.

Remember goals are just those things you want to get done. Don't get scared off by the word "goals".

1. Make them very specific
Instead of saying, "I want more clients" or "I need to get fit", say "I want 10 more clients by 31 December 2008" and "I want a fitness rating of good on the Body IQ rating system by 30 June 2008".

2. Have an action plan
When you set goals, it's very important to have a flexible action plan.


So that you know how you're going to get from where you are to where you want to be. And so that you can adjust it according to life. Rather say that you'll blog 4 posts a week because that means you can post them all on one day if the rest of your week is busy. That's easier than saying you must blog every day. See?

3. Review regularly
I suggest glancing at your goals daily but reviewing them on a weekly basis so that you can make appropriate adjustments. A real easy way to do this is to stick the page up in your wardrobe or above your desk.

4. Focus on one MAJOR goal at a time
This is so you don't dabble with a lot of little things.

If one of your major goals is to get your life and business organised, then just do maintenance in the other areas while you're working on that.

By maintenance, I mean letting the other areas of life tick along with your habits, but not really attempting life-changing things. Like if you have "get organised" and "increase your fitness", focus on getting organised while you carry on with your twice-a-week workouts. If you try to also work out for an hour a day, something's going to give and nothing will get done!

Are you up for the goals challenge?

Love and succes
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P.S. If you really want to achieve your goals this year, get my best-selling how to set and achieve your goals 37-page workbook with forms, templates, worksheets, everything! You will love it!

April 26, 2008


Excellence is in the details.
Give attention to the details and excellence will come.
- Perry Paxton

How can you add more excellence to your life?

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April 23, 2008

Healthy stress-busters

We all get stressed at times and that's very normal.

It's very easy to deal with stress in bad ways - shopping, over-eating, drinking and smoking come to mind.

So how do you deal with that stress in a healthy way?

1. exercise
Exercise is hands-down the best stress-buster there is.

A few weeks ago, I had a horrible drive home. So many traffic lights weren't working and all the taxi drivers were being their usual pushy, obnoxious selves (Jhb guys you know exactly what I'm talking about). Anyway, the result was that I was SOOOO stressed with my neck and shoulders all in knots.

I got home and couldn't face getting back in the car to get to the gym so I put on my gym clothes and went for a walk to clear my head and get some happy hormones going again.

And it worked. It works every time. Something as simple as taking a walk does wonders for stress.

2. sleep
All the health websites recommend that we get enough sleep, which is 7 - 8 hours every day.

I'm great at sleeping if I do say so myself :) but are you getting enough sleep?

3. communication
There is nothing better than picking up the phone and chatting/ venting to a friend when you're stressed.

Don't you feel better after just talking about it?

What are some of the ways you use to combat stress?

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April 21, 2008

Getting ready for a holiday

Do you remember what it’s like getting back from holiday?

You’re all relaxed, birds are chirping, the sun is shining, there’s no tension in your shoulders and everything’s wonderful.

Then you get to work.

After you look at your desk, and then see the 2000-odd emails that have piled up, you’re about ready to take your bag, car keys and go right back home!

I have a few ideas to help you prepare and get organised for your holiday:

1. Advise your clients and friends that you’ll be away.
I suggest that you write separate emails because…well…the tone and content will be different for each of them.

For clients, you’ll be explaining how long you’ll be away, what to do for queries and who your stand-in is. For friends, I like to tell them to please not send me any personal emails. After all, you don’t want to return to an Inbox full of PowerPoint presentations and the friends who really want to talk to you have your cell phone number if they want to chat. Right?

If you’re on Facebook, update your status too.

2. Delegate as much as possible
You need to be motivated to delegate! Now just think how lovely it will be when you get back from your holiday and after scanning through your emails, you only have to attend to about 10% of the emails.

You can delegate to a virtual assistant or my favourite, an auto-responder. I have an auto-responder set up to manage my mailing list so that it delivers my book automatically to any subscribers and removes people who want to unsubscribe. Just putting this one thing into practice saves me over an hour a week.

3. Update your website
Go through your Sent Items to see what type of questions you get a lot. If they're not questions you have to think about and answer fresh every time, they probably belong on your site as a Frequently Asked Questions site or on your website somewhere else.

4. Turn on your out of office assistant
Remember to give the dates you’ll be unavailable, if your clients need to route their query to someone else and a number to contact you if it’s urgent.

5. Declutter
Do a good clear-out of any paper, both on your desk and in your files. While you're feeling the lovely rush of endorphins, do a good clear out of email and document folders too.

6. Plan for when you're back
Write down the top 3 – 5 things on your to-do list for the day you’re back at work. Jot down a maximum of 5 items because you know you’ll be catching up on email!

This will ensure that you hit the ground running and that you beat the feeling of overwhelm.

Enjoy your holidays!

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April 19, 2008

Take action!

Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favourable do nothing. - William Feather

How do you feel about this quote? Are you committed to taking action? How?

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April 17, 2008

How to stand out from the crowd - a talk on excellence

That's me giving a talk called How to stand out from the crowd last month on 20 March. I was given the title Excellence but I decided to jazz it up ;)
Anyway, this was one of the biggest talks I've done recently. There were 100 people in this home - around 30 people in each of the 3 rooms and some standing right outside those open windows!
If you want me to do a talk for your group, please contact me - I really LOVE talking to groups and I'm happy to help out.
I do a number of free talks every month so let's chat and see if your group qualifies :)post signature

April 15, 2008

Fitness update

Oh my word - Suzanne is putting me to shame!

Or kicking my butt into gear...

It's really the same thing :) because one way or the other I'm feeling more motivated to exercise.

I read on Suzanne's blog that she's lost 12 pounds!!! I would be ECSTATIC if that could happen to me.

Let's recap my fitness progress, shall we?

  • I have been using a pedometer to track my steps every day since the Easter weekend (this is week 4) and yesterday, for the first time EVER, I reached 10 000 steps! Woohooo!!!

  • I am now making coaching appointments at the gym just to get me there ;)

  • When I'm not going to gym, I am walking 10 - 15 minutes a day.

  • I am drinking green tea like crazy - hey, it helps me with the weight loss.

  • And of course, trying to stay away from the chocolate

I had my cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose tested yesterday and thankfully, everything is perfect, as it usually is.

Do you know your numbers?

However, I did another clothes declutter on the weekend and this time I actually fit on each item of clothing.

And you know what? It is SCARY to see how much weight I've put on.

I'm going to stop making excuses about the op last year - yes, my stomach is not as flat as it was before but that is no excuse.

Besides which, I can't afford to replace my 4 nice pant suits that no longer fit me! I went looking at Edgars and Woolies for suits on the weekend and at R1000 each, um, no thanks.

So I bought handbags instead.

Because they fit no matter what the size of my butt :)

It's called priorities :)

How are you doing, health and fitness-wise?

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April 10, 2008

How do you keep your goals in mind?

A goal is not a goal until it's written down.

So once it's written down, then what?

How do you keep it in mind so you don't forget about your goals?

You stick it up somewhere.

I suggest places where you'll look at them DAILY so they remain top of mind, like:

  • the inside of your wardrobe
  • your fridge
  • inside your daily planner
  • next to your bathroom mirror
  • above your desk

  • My own goals are inside my wardrobe, in my daily planner and above my desk (just for business goals).

    Every day when I go in front of my computer, they are right in front of me to keep me focussed and motivated.

    I have the goals on the one side, my schedule of how I'm going to get there next to it, a monthly calendar (our friend brought it for us from London) and then my monthly goals at the bottom.

    So how do YOU keep your goals in mind?

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    April 09, 2008

    You are invited to a free Spring Simplicity Call

    Beth Dargis, my accountability partner, is hosting a FREE Spring Simplicity call.

    Beth is an expert at helping to make your crazy life saner and simpler!

    Date: Thursday 10 April
    Time: 8PM EST
    Where to go: http://www.MySimplerLife.com/springcall.htm

    If you can’t make the call, you can still register and you'll get the recording.

    But do try to be on the call live so you can get some spot coaching with Beth.

    I can't wait to hear Beth's voice because even though we've been friends for about 18 months, we have never spoken!!!

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    April 08, 2008

    The four-hour work week – Timothy Ferriss

    I first heard about this book on the blogs (Corrie did a multi-post review on her blog) and in a couple of online forums.

    It sparked a bit of controversy so I was eager to check it out – I like a bit of drama ;)

    When I went onto the website, I downloaded a 40-minute audio that Tim Ferriss did and… I LOVED IT.

    So I subscribed to the blog and started reading.

    Then I saw the book at Exclusive Books. Despite my one having an uglier cover (I really wanted the one with the palm trees – that’s another thing I love. Palm trees, not ugly covers), I bought it and started reading.

    And I was hooked!

    It’s definitely a mindshift and one which I am all too happy to embrace.

    When Dion and I were in Malaysia, there was an old man on one of the tours who was in poor health, such that he could not even get out the bus and walk to whichever tourist attraction we were visiting. He had to view Kuala Lumpur through the window of a bus. Isn’t that sad?

    So I totally believe in taking LOTS of mini-holidays throughout your life and not just waiting for retirement. We are in good health NOW, so take the holidays NOW.

    Some of the questions he asks you to answer as you read the book are:

    1. If you had a heart attack and could only work 2 hours a day, how would you make that work?
    2. If you had a gun to your head and you had to remove all the time-consuming activities, what would you remove?

    This is all to get you to think about doing only your most important tasks.

    There are also some EXCELLENT ways to delegate – exactly how you train a virtual assistant, mistakes to avoid, etc.

    In addition, there are tons of great ideas to be more productive and there are GREAT links to websites scattered throughout the book, some of which I have already used to do some research for my UK trip.

    He gives you a step-by-step plan on how to make yourself indispensable at work so that you can start working remotely – brilliant idea, especially with the rising cost of fuel, concern for the carbon footprint, congestion, long commutes, etc.

    I can go on and on and on but let me rather just say – get the book and read it.

    It will change the way you think about work…and life!

    Have any of you read The Four-Hour Work Week? What did you think?

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    April 06, 2008

    Weekend cooking - mexican pasta casserole

    Ingredients (this is exactly as I made it this afternoon)
    140g onion
    100g spinach
    100g mushrooms
    750ml bottle of tomato sauce (for pasta)
    250g cooked red kidney beans
    500g spaghetti (uncooked)
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp garlic
    1. Cook spaghetti according to instructions.
    2. Chop all vegetables
    3. Fry onion in olive oil. Add spinach, mushrooms and garlic.
    4. Add tomato sauce.
    5. Season to taste. I like Italian herbs, pepper, salt.
    6. Add kidney beans and finally spaghetti.
    7. All the spaghetti didn't fit in my casserole dish so add as much as will fit :)
    8. Mix it all up and pour into a greased casserole dish (so it's easy to wash afterwards).
    9. Top with cheese and bake for about 15 minutes at about 180 degrees until the cheese melts and that gorgeous smell wafts through your whole house!

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    April 04, 2008

    Ladies - I'm having a sale

    I'm having a sale on all the self-development products in my store!

    Dream Life Kit
    8 secrets to success in life
    Who am I? - a guide to discovering yourself

    Audio products (plus handbook)
    Awesome relationships
    Increase your self-confidence in 10 easy steps

    And if you buy any 3 (including all the products to help you organise your life), I'll throw in one of the following e-courses for FREE

    1. 10 steps to financial freedom
    2. Organise your home
    3. Simplify your life

    Happy shopping!

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    April 02, 2008

    Are you a people pleaser?

    Um, no - I can honestly say no, I'm not a people pleaser.

    In fact, my mother says that from the time I learnt to say no, I haven't stopped!

    Seriously though, we can all get into the trap of wanting to please people and never considering the effect on our own families.

    Some of us also try to be what other people expect and we don't listen to our own hearts and feelings.

    A good few years ago I worked at a certain company which shall remain nameless and I got a reputation as someone dependable.

    This is a good trait. Right?

    But because I was always the one people could depend on, I ended up doing a LOT more than I needed to or that was even required of me.

    And I almost got burnt out.

    Because my own work was secondary to everyone else's, I'd say "yes" to other people and do their things during normal work hours, and then end up staying late to finish my own work.

    Until I wised up and realised that I'd slipped into the role of a people pleaser.

    So how did I stop?

    Well, for starters, I learnt to say no. And that no muscle was hard to flex sometimes but it got easier the more I used it.

    Also, no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to please everyone.

    A coaching client told me recently that she feels empowered and proud of herself the more she stops trying to please people and stands up for herself.

    I LOVE IT!

    Where in your life are you being a people pleaser? More importantly, why?

    What can you do differently from now onwards?

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