Choose one action that will lead to your goals.

Hello and welcome back!

We’re on Day 4 of the 7-Day Transform Your Body, Transform Your Mind Challenge. How exciting to be past halfway!

Hopefully you’re gaining some good insights so far, and that you’re starting this year more focused than ever!

For a recap, we have gone over the one question that has become our filter for processing the stuff that life throws our way: “What is my Outcome?” So, whether you’re trying to plan your day or your week or a new project, ask yourself that question. Then, follow it up with “Why?” Why is this important? Does this align with my core values? Is this the best way to spend my time?

Then, we went over creating a MAP (Massive Action Plan) rather than multiple to-do lists in order to feel in control. And yesterday, we talked about clarifying your priorities in order to create meaningful goals that are aligned with your highest values.

Today, we’re going to zoom out a little bit and talk about the importance of daily habits and choosing a new action that will lead you to your goals.

7-day-challenge-day-4

The Importance of Routines

I waited until Day 4 to talk about routines because most people are too overwhelmed to receive the importance of daily habits and routines from the start. They either dismiss it as being unimportant or they want to do it but doubt they can commit.

By starting with the end in mind though, and asking ourselves “What is the Outcome I want?” we are in a more receptive mindset to accept what we want in life and what we need to do to get there.

This is also the main reason we focus on our Why. Our Why determines our How. It also gives us the fuel to accomplish the tasks to get our Outcome.

The goal of creating routines is to set yourself up with consistent behaviors that will ultimately become a habit. Habit is basically a pattern of actions or behaviors that is so ingrained that it’s automatic. For the most part, you don’t have to think about brushing your teeth, or eating a meal.

It’s this autopilot mode that we’re going for.

How to Choose a New Action

In order to create a routine that will be meaningful to us, we must first review our current routine.

Examine how you start and end your typical day. Take just one day from the past week as an example, or a mash up of days.

How many activities actually link back to the priorities that you listed from yesterday? How much time is wasted on diversions or distractions? How often were you blindsided, and needed to put out urgent fires?

Just like yesterday, this isn’t about guilt. This is about taking a true measure of where we are at now to see what we need to do to get to our ideal day.

Speaking of your ideal dayscript out your ideal day or schedule. Some thought starters could be:

When do you wake up? What tasks or projects get done and when? When do you spend time with your family, friends, or significant others? When do you practice self-care? When do you fall asleep?

Now compare the two days.

If you’re feeling good about how they line up, then kudos! However, if they don’t align, see where the gaps are, and ask yourself what you need to do to bridge that gap. From there, you should be able to glean one new action that you can focus on.

For example, if you want to read 3 books a week, and know that you can read about 100 pages in 1 hour, you would need around 1-2 hours a day to reach that goal. From there, you can schedule in times to read. You could read during your morning coffee time. Or, grab audiobooks to listen to on your commute or while you’re doing house chores.

The key is being aware that a gap exists, and being able to see what actions are needed in order to make it happen. If you decide that this task fits your Why, schedule it into your day.

Creating a New Habit

Whatever you decide, choose one new action that will get you the most impact on your ideal day. Change doesn’t have to be all or nothing. In fact it’s best to build up incorporating newness into your life.

Think about it: all things are difficult at first before they become easy. You don’t become an expert immediately. So don’t set yourself up for defeat by taking on too much, making you feel like a failure.

Choose one new action to get you started, and then build more from there.

Create cues around your new action to make it easier to follow. Ideally, it should be around habits you already do naturally.

For example, if you automatically grab coffee in the morning, think about doing your new workout routine right after it. Or, maybe you could sleep in your workout clothes. If you write, you could make it a point to sit at your computer right after you grab your coffee.

Whatever your new action is, tie it together to a habit that’s already unconscious for you.

Celebrate the action itself. If your goal is to write a novel and you want to write 4 pages every morning, make sure you celebrate showing up even if you didn’t get your 4 pages. The action that you want to cultivate is showing up.

Whether you actually wrote anything, or exercised, or made any sort of progress is irrelevant at this point. You’re trying to create new actions for your brain to get used to. Action is more important than emotions at this stage. The more you show up, you are already creating that ideal life you dream of having.

Important Note About New Actions

For any new habit, I highly recommend you do it first thing in the morning. Ideally, within the first hour of your day.

Remember how we were talking about habits being automatic actions? New actions are something we need to consciously follow, and thus requires a little extra effort from us to follow. However, when we are tired and not feeling it, new or conscious actions are one of the first things we drop.

Our willpower is just like any muscle: it’ll tire with too many stressors or choices throughout the day. So, unless you have a strong cue that will lead into your new action (like always stopping by the gym after work), try to set up your new habit in the mornings.

Tomorrow we’ll get into more details about morning and evening routines, but for now, it’s your turn! Get cracking on identifying where your gaps are and choosing one new action to add to your day.

I hope you get a lot of insight from where you spend your time and how you structure your day, and that you’re one step closer to living your ideal day, every day.

Please share your insights in the comments below, or feel free to use the image to post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with the hashtag #TransformIn2017.

Until tomorrow,

Xoxo

Liza

PS

I will be moving to a self-hosted site soon, and I don’t know if I will be able to move my blog subscribers with me. So, I’m collecting email addresses just in case. I’d love it if you would enter in your name and email address just to let me know that you’d like to move over with me. If not, that’s cool! 🙂

Thank you to the readers who have already responded–I appreciate you! ::hugs::

PPS

For those of you who wanted daily workout inspiration, here is the workout + smoothie for tomorrow’s 15-Minute Fix.

THURSDAY’S 15-MINUTE FIX

(Click HERE to get details and links to instructions/form tutorials!)

todays-workout-thursday

 

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How to clarify your priorities and achieve goals that matter.

Hello and welcome back!

We’re on Day 3 of the 7-Day Transform Your Body, Transform Your Mind Challenge.

Just a quick recap: On Day 1, we talked about starting with the end in mind and asking ourselves, “What is the Outcome we want?” From there, we created our MAP—brain vomiting all the tasks that we need to do and grouping them into manageable buckets using “What is the Outcome?” as our filter. The buckets you’re left with should resonate with you as a priority in your life.

Today, we’ll be going a little bit deeper, and name and align our priorities into distinct categories.

7-day-challenge-day-3

PERSONAL IMPROVEMENT CATEGORIES

These categories are areas of continuous development, where each goal isn’t necessarily an endpoint, rather, when they are achieved becomes a gateway to the Next Level Up. These categories are important to clarify because whatever you choose to focus on will be what gets accomplished.

So, let’s make sure the tasks you’re scheduling as your priorities, really are priority in your life.

Sidenote: I like to call these areas my “Areas of Pride.” I take pride in being a good steward of what’s been given to me, and am empowered when I make changes that directly impact the Outcomes I wish to achieve.  

Here are Three Steps to Clarifying Your Current Priority:

First, list the categories of personal improvement that are important to you. For example, the broad categories could be: Family, Friends, Physical, Emotional, Spiritual, Professional, Financial.

Next, use language that would resonate with you. If you like things cut and dry, the general list used above could work. I’ll share my list with you to see the language that resonates with me:

Forever Partner in Love and Life. Loyal and Loving Family. Child of God. Lifelong Friendships. Constant Learner/Student. Physical Freedom. Financial Freedom. Generous Giver. Comfortable Home.

This step is worth meditating and spending time on. Language changes our perceptions of things. I choose to use language that is empowering.

For example, knowing that I want Physical Freedom makes exercise and clean eating almost a default response for me; there’s not the sense of deprivation or drudgery. Coupled with being a Constant Learner, I actually make a game out of finding new exercise techniques and healthy recipes.

Then, rank where you are in your categories on a scale of 0-10. If you’re feeling really good about your relationships, they may be an 8 or higher. Maybe you’re feeling so-so about your business, so you’d rank it a 5 or 6. If you don’t remember the last time you had a vegetable, then your physical or health category may be a 2 or 3.

Try to be as objective as possible. This is not about guilt. The point is to honestly assess yourself in the areas that are important to you and see where there are gaps.

Remember: you will make progress on whatever you focus on. These are the areas that produce the most important Outcomes in your life. The areas that have the lowest rank can now be your new current priority.

Now it’s your turn: Write down your personal improvement categories in words that resonates with you the most!

Please share your insights in the comments below, or feel free to use the image to post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with the hashtag #TransformIn2017.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Liza

PS

I will be moving to a self-hosted site soon, and I don’t know if I will be able to move my blog subscribers with me. So, I’m collecting email addresses just in case. I’d love it if you would enter in your name and email address just to let me know that you’d like to move over with me. If not, that’s cool! 🙂

Thank you to the readers who have already responded–I appreciate you! ::hugs::

PPS

Wednesday is a rest day, so, do the Warm-up routine, and the Cool-down routine, then drink your smoothie!

Stop endless to do lists. Create a MAP to your goals.

Hello, and welcome back!

Today is Day 2 of the 7-Day “Transform Your Body, Transform Your Mind” Challenge, and I’m so happy you’re here with me!

Yesterday, I talked about the first step of creating goals you will actually accomplish, and that was: Outcome. Specifically, we said to ask yourself “What is the Outcome I want?”

This question is then followed by asking “Why?” Why do you want this goal? Why now?

So, now that you know what you want and why you want it, let’s talk about the next step: How? Easy! We create a MAP!

7-day-challenge-map

Now, this is where you might be tempted to break out your planners and bullet journals and go to town scheduling tasks and activities that could potentially overwhelm us. We won’t do that yet, but when we do, we will feel a lot more in control over our day.

Creating our MAP: Massive Action Plan

Instead of figuring out where you can fit tasks into your overloaded days, do a brain dump of all the stuff that’s cluttering your head. Write out all the tasks that you think you’ll need to get done or the activities that you know you need to do on a piece of paper.

(One piece of paper per project is best!)

Don’t censor your thoughts. If it’s a phone call to the doctor or writing a marketing campaign or going to the office supply store, whatever to-do’s that need to get done today, this week, this month, etc, write them out.

It may seem like I just created more stress for you because you just vomited out 30 activities that need to happen before the end of the day, but this step is important because your Why changes your How.

First, look at all the stuff you just vomited up, and look at it through the lens, “What is the outcome I want?” or “What outcome is more important to me?” (In case there’s a situation where two projects may be vying for your time and attention.)

Then, go through the brain vomit and group together activities and tasks. Maybe they can be grouped together by location, time, deadlines, or they could even be delegated out. And some could be crossed off your list altogether because you realize that you don’t need to do that activity after all.

So now, instead of 30 tasks staring back at you, you actually only have 3 or 4 activities because they have been grouped together.

After you do that, you calendarize the activities, complete with assigning a time budget to the activity as you would a monetary budget.

How is this easier?

Perception around the degree of difficulty of a project or goal circles around how many steps it takes to complete a task. When we complain about a new goal, like working out or cooking whole foods, we go through an elaborate story about all the intricate steps that need to happen in order to complete our routine.

For example, if working out is too difficult we may say something like: Driving to the gym is tough during rush hour; the parking is a mess; then I have to fumble for my scan card; the lockers are a hassle; the changing room is gross; the exercise equipment needs to be cleaned; I have to wait for my favorite treadmill; then I have to wait for the showers…

You get the drill. It becomes lengthy and intricate. Yet, we think nothing of going to an event or activity that we like to do, like the movies or going out to eat. When describing those activities, we’d probably wrap it up in 2-3 steps max. “I get in the car, and drive to the theatre, and boom, I’m there having a good time.”

MAP-ing as a Skill

Creating a MAP like this make take a lot longer than scheduling appointments and tasks into your favorite planner, but what you get out of it is a system that tells you if you even need those appointments or tasks in the first place.

Maybe you realize that the way you were told to do a project is actually not efficient, and you could probably cut a lot of steps in the middle and still come to the same outcome. Or, maybe you realize that the project that seemed to be the Hot Project, should actually be delayed and traded up with another project that could give you better leads or return on your investment.

When you are guided by your Why, the How to get to your outcome will feel freer and dynamic. You’ll feel more in control over your time and decisions, instead of feeling like the day is running you.

When you know your Outcome and Why you’re doing it, you can easily filter all the white noise of your life into manageable groups of activities. Your processes will become more efficient, and you will eventually make quicker progress toward your goals.

Your Turn: Please share your insights in the comments below, or feel free to use the image to post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with the hashtag #TransformIn2017.

Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Liza
 

PS

I will be moving to a self-hosted site soon, and I don’t know if I will be able to move my blog subscribers with me. So, I’m collecting email addresses just in case. I’d love it if you would enter in your name and email address just to let me know that you’d like to move over with me. If not, that’s cool! 🙂

 

PPS

For those of you who wanted daily workout inspiration, here is the workout + smoothie for tomorrow’s 15-Minute Fix.

TUESDAY’S 15-MINUTE FIX

(Click HERE to get details and links to instructions/form tutorials!)

todays-workout-2

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, or you could also fill out this form!

Thank you and I’ll see you again tomorrow!

How to stick to your goals

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first day of the 7-Day “Transform Your Body, Transform Your Mind” Challenge! I’m happy you’re here with me!

New Year’s Day is the perfect day to tackle something new and life-changing. The air is filled with such hope and optimism, it’s like free energy and motivation. So, let’s ride the euphoria with a little dreaming and goal-setting!

Today, we’ll focus on the very first step of really productive, life-changing, stick-to-it goals: Outcome.

7-day-challenge

It may sound strange to start with the last step, but without knowing your target, you will waste time, energy, and precious motivation on tasks that get you nowhere.

The Peer Pressure of New Year’s Resolutions

Most people have a love-hate relationship with goals, especially New Year’s resolutions. They love the idea of them, but hate making them because they know, deep down or otherwise, that nothing will really change.

There’s a feeling of newness and universality when it comes to goals this time of year, and it’s easy to be swept away by the outpouring of goal-setting.

“Yeah, I need to lose weight, too.”

“I definitely need to get more organized.”

“I’m gonna start eating healthy.”

“I want to lose weight” is a common enough goal, but what does that even mean? Will you lose fat? Will you lose a limb? Legs are heavy, right?

And what if you gain muscle? Muscle weighs more than fat, will you feel bad about gaining muscle weight?

“I want to be healthy” is also a common goal, but what does healthy mean? What does healthy look like?

I know that we’ve heard or said other goals that were similarly vague. It’s no wonder that New Year’s Resolutions have a 90% failure rate. There’s no way you’d be set up for success with goals like that.

The problem is, that most goals don’t stick because they were made randomly or superficially, usually on the heels of hearing another person’s goal or resolution. And, they were made knowing full well that they weren’t going to be kept.

What’s worse: we usually make the goals because honestly? We really, really, really want to make those positive changes in our lives.

Making Goals That Stick: The First Step

When we make goals just to make them, it’s like we’re throwing spaghetti on the wall, wondering if anything will stick.

Instead of trying to make goals that everyone else is doing, or goals that you think you ought to have, try using these best practices as a guide:

Begin with the end in mind. The best way to find goals that stick, would be to think about the outcome you want. The more specific and detailed you can be, the better. I mean, you should be able to see, feel, hear, smell what your outcome will be.

For example, if you want to lose weight, you need to know what you want to look and feel like. You’ll need to think about what it takes to achieve and maintain that weight. You’ll need to envision what your new everyday will look like.

Write this all out on a piece of paper. Draw it out if you have the inclination.

Find your Why. Then, after you know the outcome you seek, you’ll need to find your reason. Why did you choose this outcome. Dig deep. The more it resonates with your core values the better. Why do you want this goal? Why now?

Write it out as detailed as you can. The more real your language, the more it sounds like you, the better! Use those visceral, gritty, juicy, delicious words that will excite you and get you going.

If this feels a little too frou-frou for you, here’s a little illustration. If I were to have a weight loss goal, which goal would have more staying power? This one:

“I need to be healthy, so I need to lose weight.”

or,

“The body I want is strong and healthy and never gets sick. I do this by giving it what it needs: good, whole foods and movement. I lift weights safely and effectively to meet the needs of my everyday life–like when I shop at the grocery store or process shipment for work or shovel snow in the driveway. I keep my body strong and healthy in order to serve my family, community, and world at a higher level. When I transform myself, I can transform my world.”

I think it’s clear that the second one has a more relevant Why that speaks to me in my language.

The more your Why resonates with your values, the more you can focus on your goal. Your Why will also dictate How you will achieve your goals. With a deeper emotional connection, the idea of “What should I do?” will start to take care of itself.

With a big enough Why, your How will fall in place.

Tomorrow, we will dive deeper into creating better task lists. For now, I want you to ask yourself: “What is the outcome I want?” 

The more you ask yourself this question every day for any project or goal that comes your way, the more productive you will become in things that matter most to you.

Your Turn: Please share your insights in the comments below, or feel free to use the image to post on Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter with the hashtag #TransformIn2017.

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

Liza

PS

I will be moving to a self-hosted site soon, and I don’t know if I will be able to move my blog subscribers with me. So, I’m collecting email addresses just in case. I’d love it if you would enter in your name and email address just to let me know that you’d like to move over with me. If not, that’s cool! 🙂

PPS

If you wanted to follow along with my daily workouts, I’ve attached tomorrow’s workout below!

WORKOUT FOR MONDAY:

I chose to do body weight exercises for this week so that you will have no excuses to start right away! From warm up to smoothie, this should take about 15 minutes!

(Click HERE to get details and links to instructions/form tutorials!)

todays-workout

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below, or you could also fill out this form!

Thank you and I’ll see you again tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

Transform your body. Transform your mind.

I believe that dreams are worth pursuing.

Whether it’s becoming a best-selling author, owning your own business, or living your best body now, your dreams can become your reality.

The trick, if there is one, is acting on it.

Action Eliminates Anxiety

Two years ago, Operation Freedom was just a desperate scribble in a notebook. I never once thought I was crazy for wanting all the stuff I wrote down, I just knew I wanted it.

I wanted Change.

I wanted Freedom.

And if I worked hard enough, I knew I would earn both.

Instead of hemming and hawing like I usually would have, I just acted. I pushed myself to act as if I already had those things, and never looked back.

Inspiration starts the action. Momentum finishes it.

I don’t know about you, but I love newness and beginnings. I can start new projects all day long. What I was very aware of, though, is that I only finish half of the projects I start. And most just die after a few days or weeks. The ones I finished were done so with Herculean effort toward the end.

(I tried to trick my brain into looking at the old, forgotten projects as if it were a new project. No go. Restarting old projects didn’t have that same glow and new love like starting brand new projects. I would rather ignore it and start something new or work on a current project than revive an old project left to rot.)

Daily action was how I gained momentum on the dreams that were just scribbles in a notepad two years ago. I’m still a long way from accomplishing what is a 5-year plan, but I am already a year ahead of schedule.

I have learned to lean into any fear or anxiety I felt along the way with action. I would brain dump onto paper any of my thoughts or anxiety. I would create systems and plans from the word vomit. I would tap a trusted friend for feedback, advice, and encouragement.

Whatever I did, I didn’t stay idle. I stayed in action, and through it, gained progress, however small the steps were.

With each bit of progress, I gained confidence and belief in myself that I was going in the right direction. Every time I felt resistance, I leaned into it. Every single time, I pushed through the other side and was rewarded with deeper clarity and heightened courage to keep going for my goals.

Everyday Efforts

I noticed a theme in my journals, though. The projects I finished, I worked on nearly every day. When there weren’t long gaps, I was able to push through and finish the projects with a manic glee.

That’s when I started really embracing the idea of everyday efforts. It’s so much easier, and feels so much more rewarding, to devote little bits to a Hot Project daily than it was to return to it whenever I had a three-hour block in a day.

Not only have I been able to embrace my process, it also became the name of my new program and brand.

{It’s not quite ready to launch yet, but you can sneak peek it here: Everyday Efforts}

The 7-Day Challenge

I know how rewarding it was for me to start 2015 with a bang. So, I thought to invite anyone who wanted to join me for my planning session this year.

Starting Jan 1-Jan 7, I’ll be posting my fitness and planning tips here on the blog and on my facebook page. I would love to hear from you each day if you choose to follow along!

change-starts-with-you

Until then, enjoy your New Year’s celebrations!

xoxo

Liza