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Taking Back Control of Your Time

You know the feeling…

…you answer all your emails, return some phone calls, go to a meeting with an unclear agenda, chat with a colleague who happens to walk by and ***ZAP***… it’s the end of your work day and you have ZERO to show for it.

Then you get home and organize supper, clean up, take care of some bills, return a phone call or two, put your lunch together for the next day and walk the dog and ***ZAP again ***… where did your evening go??

Ever get the feeling there’s far too much to do and far too little time? An awfully convincing illusion, isn’t it?

“Wait a minute!” you protest, “that’s no illusion; it’s my hard reality every day!”

Okay, but hear me out. What if there were a better way? After all, acquiring personal resilience is going to require that you take back control of your time and your life. And I think you’ll agree that very few things would make you feel better than that. Do you want to know what the greatest “trick” to doing that is? Then just learn from a master on the video below…





This highlights the extreme power of putting “first things first”, of differentiating the truly “important” from the endless stream of the seemingly “urgent”.
Personally, I had a very successful month in business a while back. In the final analysis, very few actions contributed to that success. And life’s always that way – very few things contribute to what’s essential and an awful lot of “urgent” things have very little importance in the long run. So if you want to take back control of your time, whether at work, at home or both, then your top priority when you plan your week has to be identifying the few things that generate real results and spending your time on them.


Did I say “plan your week”? Yup, and that means in writing, folks. One incredibly useful method, taught to me by my accountability partner, Kathy G., is to take an Excel spreadsheet and outline every day of your week, hour by hour… and color-coded for various types of activities. And that’s where you’d write down those “big rocks” first – those few activities that really matter.


If you’d like some help learning how to do this, one book I’d definitely recommend to you is First Things First, co-authored by Stephen Covey and Roger and Rebecca Merrill:



Your next step? Don’t delay – revisit your plan for tomorrow and see what you can do to put “first things first” in your life. Let me know how it goes!


~ Dr. Symeon Rodger
















“Back-to-School Bomb-Proofing”

It’s that time of year again… sigh!  At least, that’s what most people seem to think of the end of the summer vacation period and the resumption of “business as usual”.

While there’s no need to associate this transition with negative emotions – and we should all be careful to avoid that – there are certain facts we have to face: the pace of life will pick up at work, at home and in most every facet of your life.  Long story short, your personal resilience will likely be tested 😉

Interestingly enough, September 1 used to be New Years in the old East Roman (Byzantine) Empire and, in many ways, it’s at least as much of a transition point for us in the modern West as January 1st is.  In other words…

…it’s a great time to take stock, see where we are and clarify where we want to go.  With that in mind, here’s a simple process you can use right away to help significantly improve your results in life by the time New Year 2013 does roll around!  I would advise you to do this with pen and paper the first time – you can make a “good copy” later.   For the moment, you need to give yourself permission to scribble and be messy!

Step 1: Clarify What You Want

What would your life look like on January 1, 2013 IF you had a magic wand?  You can think of separate areas in your life, such as your health, your relationships, your career and finances.  Or you can use categories such as physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relational and financial.  The important thing is to be very clear on what you want to see.

Keep in mind this is just four months away, so you don’t have to get into deep and heavy debates with yourself about your ultimate life-purpose.  This is a pretty short time-frame, but one long enough that you can do lots to change how well it works out for you.

Step 2:  Define What You Have to Accomplish

Using the vision you came up with of what your life will look like at the start of 2013, list all the goals you would have to reach to make this vision a reality.  For example, if you want to improve your health, you may decide that requires you to commit to a specific dietary regime.  And voila!  You have one goal to write down.  Or dealing with an issue that’s disrupting your relationship with your significant other might mean the two of you need some professional counseling.  So that could be a second goal.  Those are just some examples to help get you started.

It’s important to write these goals down as fast as you can.  Don’t over-think this part of the exercise.  You may well end up with a pretty long list and that’s just fine!

Step 3:  List Your Top 3 Goals

Naturally, it’s unrealistic to attempt changing everything in your life at once – you need to prioritize.  So ask yourself, “Which three goals, if I committed totally to them, would have the greatest positive impact on my life?”

I know, sometimes it’s not easy to prioritize, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Step 4:  What Actions Will Get You to Your Goals?

This is the dreaded “how-to” step, the one that leads to the most frustration when you realize that what you want to achieve may appear to be impossible or you may not have the slightest clue where to start.

It’s really important to keep it light with this step.  Don’t let yourself get scared or frustrated; just write down everything you can think of.  If you have no idea how to accomplish something, just laugh and then realize that someone somewhere does and all you need to do is find them.

Step 5:  Evaluate Your Mindset

Think over each goal separately.  As you do, use a scale of 1-10 to evaluate your resistance to that goal, where zero is no resistance when you think of that goal (i.e., you feel good about it) and ten is over-the-top total resistance.

Try this a few times for each major goal and preferably on different days.  Once you know whether you have significant emotional resistance to a specific goal, you are FAR ahead of 99% of the population.  First of all, very few people have ANY idea what they are trying to accomplish at any given time.  And even most people who do set goals, omit this critical step.

Step 6:  Remove the Resistance

If you DO feel significant emotional resistance to a goal that’s really important to you, despair not!!  This often happens and is not a bad sign.  And in most cases it’s not a signal the goal is wrong for you.  So here’s what you can do…

The easiest method for blowing away this type of resistance is through a meridian tapping technique, such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Thought Field Therapy (TFT).  If you don’t know either one, I would strongly suggest you find a practitioner local to you and arrange a session.  After one or two sessions you should be able to use the technique on yourself and remove resistance in a matter of minutes.

I can promise you that if you’ll apply this planning procedure, you’ll be far more clear on what you want to achieve and have a far more pleasant experience getting there!

Happy planning!!

~Dr. Symeon Rodger


Resilience Tip: Know your own "standards"

Here’s an easy way to organize your own thinking in life.  It’s a way of thinking to give you more clarity and make you more resilient faster.

Standards: 

In every area of your life – health, fitness, relationships, spiritual life, career, finances – what do you want to do, have or be?  Or, to put it another way, what do you expect of yourself?  Define those now in each area, using no more than a few points for each.

Protocols:

What do you plan to do in order to achieve those standards?  What actions will you commit to?  How will you train yourself, develop the resilience, the mental, physical and emotional toughness to carry you through?  What specific actions will you take?

Best Practices:

Now that you’ve figured that out, what tools already exist to help you get there faster?  What are the best methods to use and the best mentors to learn from?  Who has already paid part of the price for you and figured this out?  Seek out those people and tools and write them down!  

If you want an example of a program that helps you set standards, give you protocols to follow and some of the best practices in the world, examine this:

http://bit.ly/6zEWFU

So remember, if you want to develop great clarity now and start making progress soon, always think about your standards, protocols and best practices.  Follow the blueprint…


~ Dr. Symeon Rodger


Resilience Tip: Two Kinds of Goals

In any area of your life, you have a choice between two different kinds of goals, of targets to aim for.  

To illustrate this, let’s look at fitness:

One kind of goal is the “results” goal – that’s when you’re aiming at losing X number of pounds / kilograms, fitting into last year’s clothes or adding X inches / centimeters to those muscles. 

The second kind is a “performance” goal, when you commit yourself to taking specific actions at specific times over a certain, usually short, period of time.  You might commit to running 5 km twice a week or doing 100 push-ups a day or doing your yoga routine every morning without fail, for instance.  

And remember, in every area of your life you have a choice between these two kinds of goals.  Wisdom is knowing which to select when.  Fortunately, experience will teach you that.

In general, performance goals are the place to start, because if you don’t learn to keep your commitments no matter what the obstacles, it’s not much use to chase after results goals!  You just won’t have what it takes to get there.  That’s why every ancient tradition for training people physically and spiritually favored performance goals, knowing that performance automatically brings results.


This is also important because you don’t always control the outcome – in relationships, for example, you don’t control the other person’s perceptions and reactions.  All you can do is act with integrity and let the chips fall where they may.  So in situations like that, a results goal is dangerous, because it makes you responsible for things you don’t control – so beware.


So concentrate on your performance goals and the results will almost always follow.  They’ll usually follow in the short term and will always follow in the long term.


Do you know YOUR performance goals for the week?  If not, pull out a pen and paper…


~ Dr. Symeon Rodger


Tired of Flopped New Years Resolutions? Read This…

Well, it’s that time of year; the time when people sign up for the local fitness club, go diligently for the first 3 weeks, then less and less often until finally, by mid-March, they’re never seen or heard from again… until next January.

Just some thoughts from a veteran of New Years Resolutions, including, yes, some failed ones in the past.  Fortunately, I now know a few things about the reasons for all of our past failures that most people don’t think about.


So here are my top 3 tips for making resolutions that WORK:

1. FOCUS

If you sit down and make a list of 15 or 20 resolutions, you’re chances of attaining any of them take a nose dive.  Why?  Well, your mind simply can’t focus on all that stuff.  So keep your resolutions to a minimum.  To be specific, I’d advise you to limit your resolutions to THREE.  That’s right, no more than 3.  Your mind can’t adequately focus on more than that.

And if you’re adamant that you have to achieve more than 3 things this year, that’s okay.  I understand and feel the same way.  However, you can save the rest for later in the year, after you’ve achieved your first 3 priorities.

2. DO THEM IN SEQUENCE:

Along with the sin of trying to do too many things is the sin of trying to do them all at once.

You need to prioritize your resolutions and do them in sequence, not simultaneously.  Again, you simply can’t give your full attention to a ton of different things at once.  So don’t try.  Set yourself up for inevitable success by going after one fish at a time.  Let the rest of that school of fish swim around for now; they’ll still be there for you later.

3. MOTIVATE YOURSELF:

It’s amazing how many people totally lose their original motivation within weeks, if not days.  Motivation is like food – if you don’t go to the trouble of eating, you starve.  If you want to stay motivated for any one goal, you MUST build yourself a steady “diet” of inspiring books, videos, courses or whatever else you can get your hands on!  

I can pretty much guarantee that if you don’t do this, you’ll lose your motivation – the downward pull of laziness and the general busy-ness of life will take over and defeat you yet again.  For a rocket to put a satellite into orbit, it first has to achieve “escape velocity”.  So do you.  And if you drop your inspiring “diet” at any point, you’ll quite likely be sucked back into the atmosphere of laziness.  So motivate yourself continually!


There’s also a fourth tip, but I’ll save that one for another time.  In any event, if you put these 3 tips into practice, you’ll be off and running for sure!  So don’t wait.

Do you have your goals for the new year written down?  If not, stop reading and go do it now!


~ Dr. Symeon Rodger




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