How To Get Shit Done


 

Abstract:
 

Before I say anything else: From today’s title, you may have noticed that I do use adult language occasionally! Just a fair warning in case that’s not your thing.
 

A lot of my Coaching clients feel they should be doing more and that they fall short somehow. It seems to be an almost universal feeling. In some cases, trying too hard to get shit done even leads to complete inertia.
 
 

 
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Getting real

 

Most people have completely unrealistic expectations of themselves. They think if they don’t “function” perfectly and are productive every minute of every day, then they’re doing it wrong.
 

As a first step, realise that you’re not a machine, and neither are you supposed to be. It’s simply not how humans work! Stop measuring yourself against others and putting pressure on yourself.
 
 

Separating the wheat from the chaff

 

The second step is to take a good look at your life and clean it out the way you’d sort out your closet when you want to give some clothes to charity. Just like decluttering the closet, it can be hard to let go of some things. When you’ve done it, however, you feel a profound relief and clarity.
 

Focus on getting done what really matters to you: Yourself, your family and friends, your passions, and the necessities of life. Everything else gets cleared out.
 

get shit done

Photo by Haley Powers on unsplash.com

Accepting your human nature

 

Step three is to accept that you’re human and to play to your strengths. Some people are “seasonal workers” while others are particularly productive at a certain time of the day. Do what works for you, and don’t forget to work in breaks and self care as well.
 

Once you’ve accomplished these three steps, you’ll feel yourself settling into your own personal rhythm. Ironically, when you stop stressing about it, you’ll not only feel happier but you’ll also “get shit done”.

The 1% Shift


 

Abstract:
 

I’ve always been one for big announcements and radical do-overs. I’ve made so many “from this day forward” type changes in my life, my friends and family hardly bat an eyelid any longer when I announce another one.
 

Unfortunately, it’s incredibly hard to stick with radical changes in the long term. I used to think: “Who’d even get out of bed for a tiny adjustment?”
 

In fact, a 1% shift could be all you need to experience true transformation. I’ll tell you why and how in the following.
 
 

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Why 1% is huge

 

Imagine you were going to write a 200-page book and you haven’t been able to get yourself started. If you wrote the first two pages, wouldn’t that be incredible? It means you’re off, you got going, you’re finding your stride! Whenever you’re trying to get un-stuck or started with something, a 1% shift is all you need to gain momentum.
 

Are you trying to improve yourself or increase your knowledge? 1% at a time can quickly add up. Losing 1% of your body fat is amazing and can make all the difference. If you’re in business and work 1% more effectively every week, your results are going to skyrocket within a paltry few months.
 

celebrate
 

Slow and steady…

 

You know the saying: “Slow and steady wins the race.” That’s what this principle is about, and it’s easy to put into practice.
 

  • Determine what you’d like to change.
  • Improve/add/complete 1%, no more.
  • Whenever it’s appropriate, aim for the next 1%.
  • Keep celebrating and rewarding yourself.
  • Regularly look back and appreciate how far you’ve come.

Lasting change is best achieved in increments. If you do it by 1% shifts, you’ll easily leave behind all those folks who never get started because they can’t do it all at once.

What Your Life Could Look Like

dream life

I’ve always had big dreams. When I was a teenager in Germany, I dreamed of visiting Ireland. As a university student, I spent two years in Ireland and later moved here altogether. From childhood on, I knew I wanted to see other countries, and during my 20s and 30s, I lived and worked in four different countries.
 

When I discovered Coaching and experienced the fastest and most profound personal growth in my life with the help of my first-ever Coach, I knew I’d found my calling. Years later, I became a Coach myself, eventually studying for and gaining a recognised qualification in Personal and Executive Coaching. Then I dreamed of having more time and space for Coaching and my other passions and made that happen in 2015.
 

Now my dreams include growing my business and living a more sustainable life surrounded by people I love. I’m working on it, and I’d say that judging by my track record, I’ll achieve this one, too. It’s a wonderful feeling dreaming up one’s perfect life and then going for it. Nothing quite compares to it!
 

What does this mean for you? I’m going to attempt to paint you a picture and help you give shape to your own dreams, so you’ll be able to look at your life a few years from now and say: “That was when I first dreamt about xyz, and now I’ve achieved it.”
 
 

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There’s nothing wrong with you

 

Before I continue, I’d like to make one thing absolutely clear: I believe in dreams and always having a goal, but I don’t think people are broken or that their lives aren’t perfect the way they are. Too many self-styled “Coaches” try and tell you that your life’s all wrong and needs fixing (usually, followed by an offer to fix it for you – for a substantial amount of cash, of course).
 

I don’t believe in making people feel bad about themselves. Moreover, it’s my belief that everything happens in perfect timing and that we’re always exactly where we need to be in order to learn what we need to learn.
 

What’s even more important is the insight that this is simply the way life works. Everything that lives, grows (a tree that’s stopped growing, simply dies). Sometimes, we’ll find ourselves in situations, jobs, or relationships we don’t like. At other times, we’re on top of the world.
 

Wherever we stand at the time, it’s always a good thing have a dream in order to continue growing. It doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t like where we are. On the contrary, a dream is more powerful if it isn’t created out of desparation but out of a feeling of happiness and gratitude for the present.
 
 

A passion-centered life

 

Whatever your dreams for the future are, they probably include a very happy you. In my experience, human beings are happiest when they live aligned with their purpose, and that purpose is ususally connected to their passion (or multiple passions). In order to create a dream of a happy future, I therefore suggest you paint a picture of you focusing your life on what lights you up.
 

What would your days look like if they revolved around your passion? What would you do? Imagine money wasn’t an object, because believe me, it never is once someone truly puts their passion front and centre. Somehow, a solution always presents itself, even if you can’t see it just now. That’s why I suggest to not concern yourself with this particular detail.
 

Instead, pretend you didn’t have to worry about money or a place to stay at all. See a perfect day in your life, fulfilling your purpose and doing what lights you up. How would you feel first thing in the morning, when you wake up and realise you have only fun things to look forward to? What would you say to your loved ones during the day? What would you think about falling asleep at night?
 

Paint this picture in as much detail as possible. When I say “paint”, I don’t just mean you should imagine it like an actual picture, but to use all your senses. Hear the sounds, smell the scents, feel what you’re touching or holding. Bring the scene to life as much as you can.
 

Finally, it’s time to distill the main cornerstones of your dream and put them down in writing. Out of these, you can craft your next goals and go for them. Keep doing this, because life is too short to spend it without striving for something beautiful which excites you. You’re just like that tree: for as long as you live, you’ll grow and evolve, and you might as well do this consciously, after your own planning, rather than leaving it to chance.

Are You A Success?

success

A client once told me that she has issues with the word “success”. She explained that to her, it smacks of stressed-out stock market brokers and old men in board meetings, smoking cigars. I laughed and asked her what was so bad about that, if it’s what these people want?
 

Her answer was revealing: “There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s not an idea I relate to.”
 

It was revealing because it showed that the only problem she had with the idea was her rather rigid notions of what success constitutes. She had a point, too: Most people will answer along the same lines if you ask them how they define “success”.
 

I’m here today to challenge these ideas. Of course, we live in a world where certain expectations have become the norm, and achievement in education and the corporate world are part of it. However, this doesn’t mean success can only be achieved within these parameters.
 

Why is this relevant for you? Because it provides you with a different way of evaluating your life. I hope it’ll also give you confidence in creating a successful future, even if it doesn’t conform to society’s concepts.
 
 

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Defining “success”

 

The dictionary defines success as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”. Isn’t that interesting? “An” aim, not any particular one. Not riches or a great career.
 

For Stephen Covey, it’s up to the individual. He recommended thinking of what you’d like people to say at your funeral. That’s the best indication of what success means to you.
 

In one of the personal development workshops I’ve visited over the years, I heard the definition which makes most sense to me personally: Success is moving towards your goals in all areas of your life. This of course assumes that you have (written) goals and review them regularly, because that’s the most effective way to keep track of everything and measure progress.
 

In a way, my approach includes Covey’s, because your goals should of course be aligned with your purpose and your overall vision for your life. This is also were passion comes in: Whatever lights you up, should feature prominently in your goals. It all fits together.
 

Here’s how you can make it work in your own life.
 
 

Time to get personal

 

Definitions aside, it was a huge relief when I discovered how open the term “success” really is. I don’t have any particular hunger for outside validation, but it’s nice to know even just for myself that I’m doing something right.
 

So what’s success to you? What are you accomplishing, which goals are you progressing towards? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, it’s time to go back to basics and write down some goals. I firmly believe this is the most basic, fundamental step towards success.
 

The next step sounds a little wishy-washy, while it’s actually the most accurate measure I know of. It the joy-and-passion meter! How often do you feel excitement and passion? How many of the five main areas of life – health, job/business, finances, relationships, self – light you up with joy?
 
 

Thriving

 

In my opinion, the best measure of success is thriving. At first glance, the joy and passion you feel might not have anything to do with you moving towards your goals, but they are deeply connected. Here’s why:
 

If you don’t have goals in each of the above five areas, review them regularly and take steps towards achieving them, any passion or joy you feel will be short-lived like the proverbial flash in a pan. For joy to become a steady flame, it needs to be fuelled by regular, consistent action.
[bctt tweet=”The trick is realising that joy and passion aren’t static; they need constant evolvement.”]
When you progress towards your goals, being lit up becomes your natural state. The trick is realising that joy and passion aren’t static; they need constant evolvement. It doesn’t matter if you change your goals on the fly. In fact, achieving your goals is almost secondary to what you experience along the way of working towards them. Even if you end up changing your mind and going for a new, different goal, nobody can ever take away the experiences and the growth you’ve gained in the meantime.
 

When you keep evolving along whatever lights you up, you can’t help but thrive. You’ll feel alive and you’ll be in constant motion. Other people will be drawn to your flame and swept along in your joy, and these are the things which make you the greatest success you can be.

Four Steps To A Radically New Life

New Life

“I’ve had it,” my client informed me. She had signed up for Coaching for the same reason everyone does: To create changes. And as we talked about baby steps and changing one thing at a time – which I still think is the most radical and effective way – she stopped me and said it wasn’t enough.
 

“I’m ready to leave it all behind,” she said, “and start a completely new life. What would you recommend?” Now, Coaching is not advice giving, but since she’d asked me directly, I told her she’d already taken the first step I’d recommend: getting a Coach. Even small changes can be challenging to stick with, but completely overhauling your life takes a lot of support and accountability.
 

Just in case you’re at a point where you’re no longer willing to compromise, and prepared to take radical steps towards living a life you’ll love every minute of, here’s a how-to. It includes a breakdown of the steps needed as well as the reasons behind them. And in case you’re wondering, my client went on to quit her job and become a freelance artist. The last I heard from her, she was wildly happy, so yes, she was serious about radical change.
 
 

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The anatomy of change

 

Every change begins with motivation. Usually, something triggers the “that’s it” moment. It may be that you’re sick and tired of the status quo, or you’ve compromised for too long. Some people are downright unhappy, others simply have the nagging feeling that there’s more to life.
 

What’s attractive about making a big change is that big changes come with big motivation. You’ll have huge amounts of energy to start off your new life. The saying that the first step is the hardest is not quite true here; in fact, at the beginning you seem to blast obstacles out of your way and easily dismiss objections from those around you.
 

The problem is that lasting change requires you to build momentum, and the only way to create momentum is through consistency. To do this, you need to go beyond the flashy, dramatic beginning of radically throwing out the old and embracing your new life. You need to take daily steps, do the work, and stick with it through these unglamorous times of feeling off or losing sight of your goal. Sometimes, you just need to endure.
 

I’m not going to lie to you – it’s hard! And it’ll require every last ounce of willpower and persistence you possess. You may even have to find strength you didn’t know you had in the first place. However, if you see it through and don’t give up, the rewards will be astonishing.
 
 

Building a new life

 

Are you ready to take the leap? Here’s how you build your new life.
 

1. Get a Coach

I’ve said this before, but I can’t state it often enough. People often think they “can’t afford it right now” and convince themselves they’re going to sign up later. In fact, they set themselves up for failure, prolong the journey and multiply obstacles by not getting support. If you’re serious about your new life, commit to it.
 

2. Move past the planning stage

It feels great to draw up goals and detailed steps along the way. I’m all for setting goals and writing them down, but I suggest you figure out the details later. Don’t get stuck in trying to figure out your path; the truth is that most people who’ve achieved great things, set out without having a clear idea. They learned along the way because doing is more productive than thinking. So do.
 

3. Prioritise your passions

There’s a reason why this is central to my Coaching! There will be points when you can’t find motivation and just want to throw in the towel. If you want to have any chance at creating a new life, you need to feel passionate about it. Centre your plan around at least one passion and never compromise on honouring it. This will fire you up consistently enough to see you through setbacks and periods of low motivation.
 

4. Take consistent action

This is the unglamorous bit. In order to make a lasting impact, your changes need to be accompanied by regular action. Determine something you can do every day, no matter what. Regularly review your goals. Focus on the next few steps only, and take them. It helps to commit for shorter periods at a time, such as a month or 90 days, and then review again. This keeps your eye on the ball when the overall goal takes longer to achieve.
 

There’s magic in beginnings, and a New Year is the perfect time to start a new life. If you’re ready, then stop waiting for a sign or for “permission”. Just take the leap.