Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared!

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While teaching an acting class several years ago, I was stressing the importance of being prepared for an audition, because unexpected events can off-set your important day.  One of my students told me that her school motto was “Don’t be scared, be prepared!”  What a great slogan for life!

When we want to change our lives it can be truly scary.  How do we start? How do we stay motivated? How will life be different as we move through this?  Whether you are trying to lose weight, get a new job, get a better education, change your mind-set, get out of debt, or just re-decorate your house, here are some simple tips to eliminating the fear and getting prepared for greatness.

 Write It Down

I got this tip from friend and fitness coach, Natonya Pacchiarotti.  Write down your overall goal.  Then write down why you want to accomplish this goal.  Your “whys” may be numerous and that’s OK.  Write them all down!  Put your “whys” some place that you can see them every day- on your mirror, in your car, on your computer.  Also, establish a timeline for your goal.  Nat, suggests using a backward model for setting mini-goals along the way. If you plan to accomplish your goal in a year, where should you be in 9 months, 6 months, 3 months, 1 month and so on? Divide your goal into small portions/benchmarks to keep yourself on track.  As the saying goes, “So it shall be written, so it shall be done!”

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Do Your Homework

Do some research and find out what you are in for.  And don’t just use the internet.  Go to the library and find books and DVDs on the subject.  What tools or education might you need to be successful? Connect with people or groups who have accomplished a similar goal; ask them how they went about it and decided if their process will work for you.  The more light you shed on your goal, the less intimidating it becomes.

 

Plan for Slip-Ups and Set-Backs

This is all about the Japanese proverb, “Fall down 7 times, get up 8.”  A need to be perfect will not get you to your goal.  There will be bumps in the road and you need to plan for how you will handle them.  Be kind to yourself when you falter and remember that showing up in the moment is more than half the battle.  You may  find that your plan needs a few adjustments.  Make them and move on!

 

Celebrate Every Victory!

Be very proud of your small accomplishments along the way.  Pat yourself on the back and let others know so they can celebrate you as well!  You may even want to set-up a reward system to keep you motivated.   It is so important to focus on the positive changes that you are making no matter how small.  You’re making progress so do your happy dance!

 

 

Where is Your M.O.?

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In police dramas you will often hear a detective ask about a suspect, “What’s the M.O.?”  M.O. stands for the Latin phrase Modus Operandi, which is loosely translated as “method of operation.” Meaning how does this person operate?  Why do they do what they do?  What motivates them? 

On television the M.O. is usually obvious.  A suspect feels wronged by someone and seeks revenge. They were treated badly by their parents so they take it out on their spouse.  Or the character feels superior and above the law and thinks that they can do whatever they want.  But what if our M.O. is not only a “what” or a “why”, but also a “where?”  There are places/states of being in which we habitually live that influence or drive our behavior.

Fear is a very common M.O.; fear of death, pain, lack of success, actual success, not being acknowledged, disappointing others, etc.  Or maybe you operate from a different place like regret, jealously, abandonment, pride (hubris), insecurity, or a combination thereof.   Your M.O. may motivate you to do things or not do things, because it’s where you live.   You can’t live in a place if your behavior doesn’t support it. 

You cannot operate from peace if you live in fear.  You cannot operate from love if you live in anger.  You cannot operate in gratitude if you live in shame. What if you chose to operate from places of  faith, kindness, joy, fellowship, hope, or all of the above?  How different would things be if you navigated life from a positive place versus a negative place?

However, being postive is not enough! We need affirmative thinking and actions.  Remember change happens through us, not to us. We have to think our thoughts on purpose, so we need to know where we are forming our thoughts. Figuring out your M.O. may be difficult, but worth it in the end.  Ask yourself why you behave (or don’t behave) in certain ways and try to answer with one word.  If you find that you are coming up with the same word over and over, then this is where you “live.”   If this is not a “place” in which you would like to reside, it’s time to move!

Designate the Space

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I am someone who always works in organized mess.   Meaning it looks completely untidy, but I know where everything is – OK almost everything.  I function, but I would not say that it’s a good thing or the best way to live.  It’s awful to look at, I always have to plan to clean for when guests come over, and it makes me feel tired all the time.  I’m no feng shui expert, but I am beginning to understand the importance of space, how we use it, and how we function within it.

This caught my attention last week after I watch a documentary on juicing.  I’ve wanted to get into regular juicing for years, but never committed to it. So, I designated a small part of tmy kitchen counter to my juicer.  Now, I can juice whenever I want.  I did the same thing with my blender, so I can make those green smoothies that everyone is raving about!  I also have a cleared a space in front of my TV in the living room for when I use an exercise video. My free weights sit to the side, ready to grab! I went one step further and joined a gym in order to truly have a space dedicated to fitness.   These actions are forcing me to look at my other spaces and what assignments I have given them.  Several of them are dead wrong!

For instance, I have a terrible habit of eating in my bedroom while watching TV.  I have a perfectly good table in the living/dining area, but my husband and I never use it.  Instead, we throw our coats, mail, and laundry detergent on it.  We do, however, keep a bowl of fruit on the table, but it occasionally gets masked in the mess leaving me with forgotten, rotten fruit.  My closets have become a place to hide anything that I don’t want to deal with, so my shoes sit anywhere that I feel like taking them off.  Any flat surface is covered in clutter – coffee table, dresser, computer desk, file cabinet, night stand. 

This year as we are approaching spring and thus spring cleaning, I am giving my spaces a hard look and reevaluation.  It’s time to get organized and create new, organized, peaceful, creative spaces in my home and workplace.  That being said I realize that my weight loss journey is growing in scope and needs its own space too.  So, I intend to create another blog dedicated solely to that.  Tentative title is “Losing Myself.”  I will keep you posted!

What changes can you make to a space so that you more than function within it, you thrive?!