Can you? Or can’t you?

Can you? Or can’t you?

Achieving Those Goals

Hey there!

It’s time to raise a belated glass to that elephant in the room… Goal Setting. 

Ewww, I know. Love it or hate it — setting goals is an undeniable step to success. 

Maybe you’re part of the shiny ‘New Year, New Me’ crowd. You’re still hard at the gym. You’re keeping up those dinner dates with girlfriends…

Perhaps, despite the symbolism of fresh starts and new beginnings, you prefer to eaaase yourself into a new year — mug in hand, lounging in the gorgeous cashmere sweater you finally treated yourself to in January’s sales. Bliss…

Or maybe you’re one of the 80% of resolution makers petering out as we now move into the first week of February…

Finding you’re beating yourself up already. (Pah! You know I don’t believe in guilt-trippin’ or shaming. We’re human. I’ve got your back.)

Last month, I talked through the numero uno secret you need to master in order to go the distance this year. The one thing that’s a game-changer for giving back clarity and making sure we’re firing on optimal levels. Missed it? You can read that post here.

This month, I’m going one step further. You’ll be leaning into your own energy. Being gentle with yourself. Learning how to trust — and make your internal dialogue work for you when it comes to goal setting.

So the question is — what are your goals for this year? 

And more importantly — do you think you can achieve them?

Because, truth is, there’s scientifically-validated wisdom in Henry Ford’s quip: whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.’

Or in other words, on a scale of 1–10, what confidence do you have that you’ve got what it takes to make your goals happen this time…

And, well stick?!

The study of Self-Efficacy (or the Science of Self-Confidence) is SUPER important in this.

It quite simply translates as: the belief that you can achieve what you set out to achieve.

And Albert Bandura — one of the most respected psychologists in the world — is one of its biggest proponents.

Bandura tells us there are 4 primary ways we can build on our own self-efficacy — and finally make our goals stick:

  1. Accomplishments. Specifically, your past successes. When did you last accomplish something that felt difficult — or even impossible? Reminding yourself of big and small wins from the past are HUGE ways to boost your current confidence. 

Create those wins, celebrate them. Build your self-image as someone who succeeds… And bring those past mastery experiences to mind when you’re facing current challenges.

  1. Social Modeling. Seeing someone else achieve the success YOU would like to achieve. Truth is, if they can do it, you can do it! Know that.

(Note: Don’t be envious of their success. Celebrate it!)

  1. Verbal Persuasion/Support. When someone tells you that you can achieve success, listen to them. This could be a coach, or supportive co-worker or friend. 

Better yet, persuade yourself through positive self-talk! Kindly challenge yourself as you would someone near or dear to you. 

  1. Act as if. This is a game-changer (and one I practice time after time). If you want to succeed, act like a successful person! Walk, talk, breathe, and carry yourself as if you’ve already achieved that which you aspire to be. 

You can read more about this in my past post here.

Lean into your energy. Listen to your past successes. Visualize your value: allow yourself to celebrate your wins when setting goals — and get ready to triumph.

Now ladies — strike that power pose and go get ‘em!

XO

Holly

P.S. Before I leave you today, I’d LOVE for you to take a pen and paper and jot down the answers to these 4 questions:

  1. What’s a past success you can celebrate and build on — for future triumph?
  2. Who do you admire — who’s achieved something you’d love to have for yourself? Celebrate them! If they can do it, you can do it.
  3. Who’s your biggest cheerleader? And what supportive words do they share?
  4. When you’re at your best, how do you walk, talk, breathe and hold yourself? 

P.P.S  So, what are your goals for this year? Shoot me an email here. I’d love to know— and cheer you on as you rock them!   

And know that whenever you’re in doubt, that’s what I’m here for…

New year, new you…right??

New year, new you…right??

The Secret To Making Resolutions That Actually Stick

It’s January — and we’re back to our routines. In line at the supermarket, you’re hit by all the articles on health and wellbeing. You’ll go back to the gym. Dust off that yoga mat (or Peloton). Seal the deal with a big client/see your best friend more/eat less carbs… You’ve got your resolutions. New year, new you, right? And you are on it. 

Sound familiar?

How many times have you started the year — with the best intentions — only to peter out in February or March? Slowly lose interest. Feel exhaustion return, and go back to the same old habits.

Truth is, you can have all the goals in the world. But if you don’t have the right foundation in place, it’s all for sh*t — or at least, you’re not going to be able to up-level your game. Dish out the work. Be available to your friends and family. Whatever the aspiration, if you don’t take care of yourself…

Your goals are going to flatline.

So, how can we make sure we’re not only on it now — but stay on it throughout the year?

This month’s post is all about the one big secret you need to conquer to stay on top of those goals. The one thing — above even nutrition or movement — that if mastered, is a game-changer for giving back clarity, a sense of purpose and making sure we’re firing at optimal levels…

(And it’s a problem I see more and more of you struggling with, desperate to find a solution…)

The answer? Sleep.

As human beings we have natural rhythms embedded in us. Back in the day, before the lightbulb was invented, we’d just sleep when it was dark. And now? We’re taught to go, go, GO! And as a result, our circadian rhythms are shot.

You probably felt it over the holidays. And ladies, it’s hard to admit, but we’re faced with a double whammy — we no longer have our youth to pull us through those late nights. We can’t just pull on a pair of leg warmers, plug in a Walkman and bounce right back (what can I say, I love the 80’s).

And no, it’s not just that your body’s changing — we groove to consistency. Maybe you wake up like clockwork each morning at 3am, needing the bathroom? You have a hot flash, and your mind starts whirling. We stare at the clock, getting back to sleep is so challenging!

4 years ago I struggled with exactly this. I’d survive on 5 hours a night. (And probably shouldn’t have been driving in the afternoons…) But when 8 or 9 hours is considered the norm, the fact is probably 90% of us are deprived sleepwalkers…

And so I know how important it is to share the habits I’ve used — to break destructive patterns, and help you live life to the fullest. So you can show up consistently and keep your goals alive month after month (and not just in January.)

7 Steps You Can Take TODAY to Help You Recalibrate: 

  • Caffeine. This is a biggie. Listen, I love a cup of coffee (maybe even 2 or 3!) But pushing the envelope isn’t a good idea. You can indulge — but stop after 3pm, and give caffeine a chance to leave your system.
  • …And alcohol. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but though soothing in the moment, that glass of wine after a long day stops you from reaching the really deep, restorative sleep that truly rejuvenates. If you can go without, do.
  • Avoid blue light. (Oh yeah — just like the electric blue eyeshadow you wore in your teens, blue light after dark is not going to suit you anymore!) Unplug your phone, maybe leave it in another room if you can. My secret? Set an alarm and remind yourself to shut your phone down.
  • Stop that Nextflix binge 2-3 hours before hitting the sack. The stimulation makes winding down that much harder. So save the new reboot season of Sex and the City for early evening hours only…
  • Be honest, what time do you stop working? (That includes checking your phone, deliberating over a response.) When my children were younger I’d put them to bed, and get back on my game for 2-3 hours. This was a terrible idea! Giving yourself time to wind down should be your number one priority.
  • Take a power nap. It might not be the American way to take a break in the middle of the afternoon, but your body will thank you for it. Get out of the habit of needing to be on it, every minute of the day.
  • Keep your room temperature down low, no higher than 68°. And that means no exercising or big meals before bed that only stimulates and raises our body temperature (and nix the sweaters and socks under the covers).

But what if you’re one of the many women who come to me tired and exhausted — unable to switch off your anxieties, thoughts and worries? The techniques above will certainly help, but you may require another layer — to truly quiet the mind and signal to your body, that it’s time to flip off the switch…

Go-To Rituals to Quiet the Mind 

First take five minutes. I gently potter about the kitchen and put away the dishes. Whatever routine might be personal to you, to signal that the day is done.

Take a warm bath, dim the lights, light a candle. Heating your body up, to then cool it down, is a relaxant and sets you in the mood for sleep.

Make your bedroom a sanctuary. It should be dark, calm and cool. Your bedroom should be for 2 things only — sleep… and sex! No TVs, phones, nothing else. That’s it.

Establish a 3-5 minute ritual of breathing exercises. For me, it literally signifies flipping the switch… Because otherwise I know I’ll sit in bed and think about ideas for the day ahead, or that person I have to get back to. I’m running down the list, right? And that is not going to work.

Instead breathing allows us to tap into our parasympathetic nervous system — accessing calm, rational thinking. And box breathing (tracing the outline of a box as you breathe) is a very simple place to start:

  1. Breathe in for 4, hit one corner
  2. Hold for 4 until you reach the next
  3. Exhale for 4 seconds hitting the next corner
  4. Hold for 4 before repeating

And my final ritual for sleep? A nighttime gratitude practice. It’s a game changer — I talked about this back in November, but it bears repeating. Take a piece of paper and pen (no screens, remember!) and list everything you did throughout the day, from taking out the garbage to picking up dinner or conversations you’ve had. Now take that list, and flip it — look only through the lens of gratitude, and write each one down. Only seek the good. Because honestly? Gratitude is a superpower, it’ll squash any negativity you feel dead in its tracks.

XO

Holly

P.S. So, what about you? Hit reply…I’d love to hear how you prepare for sleep — or which practice(s) I share resonates with you?

P.P.S. Please know this is NOT about perfection,  just adding any one or two of these practices can make a big difference. You better believe there are some days I fail my caffeine curfew and nights a Netflix binge takes over. BUT those days are now far and few between. 

What’s Your Krptonite?

What’s Your Krptonite?

WOOP It Away!

Let’s keep building off of last month’s blog post to address the seemingly common and continued theme I have been hearing from many of my clients regarding a lack of  “omph” or a petering out when it comes to aggressively pursuing their more challenging aspirations.

Unfortunately, many of us are under the impression that we have to feel highly motivated in order to achieve what we want but the truth is motivation is more powerfully derived once we cultivate habits that support it. It’s like a fire that needs to be stoke-motivation, inspiration, resolve, however you want to refer to it as won’t appear out of thin air. We need to create an atmosphere that fuels it. Life is way too distracting and consuming. That is why last month I highlighted the value of knowing and having a strong “why” behind our pursuits as a critical component in keeping a fire under our ass even when the going gets tough. 

Let’s face it, it’s a given that their will be hurdles we will encounter zapping our energy reserves required to make our goals come to fruition. In fact, research proves we can better secure higher levels of motivation and reach our goals if we take a more realistic approach before setting out to attain them. To actually consider all the possible obstacles we may encounter along the way. This way we are not caught off guard and can have a plan in place to work through most challenges and lessen the likelihood of losing our tenacity to push through. 

Gabrielle Oettingen, a leading researcher on motivation refers to this as mentally contrasting, where we examine what about ourselves or our circumstances might specifically prevent us from making our goals come to fruition. Could that be a lack of time, skill, emotional support, or knowledge? What’s your “kryptonite” so to say weakening your motivation level? Maybe it’s distractions due to familial responsibilities, poor sleep, or digital consumption. If so how can you better manage these obstacles more effectively so you can create the greatest likelihood for success.

Using a simple yet powerful four step process, Gabrielle Oettingen, suggest applying a technique called WOOP, it’s an acronym that stands for Wish + Outcome + Obstacle + Plan and works like this:

Step 1– Name your Wish, what you aspire for.

Step 2– Identify how you will benefit from the Outcome of this goal, your “WHY”

Step 3-What about you or your circumstances may create Obstacles in achieving this goal.

Step 4– Write down your if-then Plan to get around any and all obstacles you foresee. 

So for example if you know you’re prone to procrastination and likely inclined to get sucked into a social media rabbit hole, wasting valuable time you can be using towards goal driven tasks, it would make sense to create clear boundaries on its usage or just unplug from your digital devices for a time being. Or possibly, if you find yourself questioning your emotional or intellectual capability in accomplishing what you desire most, then finding support via coaching or mentoring might be the right plan to put into place to help bust through those self-doubting obstacles.

The great thing about the WOOP technique is that it is super practical and can be used for everything and anything, from an interaction with a loved one, optimizing our daily eating and moving, or a presentation/project at work.  It’s where the science of visualization and effective goal setting help us maintain our motivation in the process because we’re not only creating excitement and buy-in but being realistic by considering what may get in the way so we can then make a solid plan to actualize our aspirations. So WOOP away!

 Wishing You Always The Best Of Success

-Holly-

Discover A Superpower

Discover A Superpower

Know Your Why

Lending further to last months post on the value of using “reminders” to cultivate a consistent commitment to those things we desire most in our lives, along with a common theme I hear from many women regarding either a petering out or a lack of “oomph” to aggressively pursue their more challenging aspirations, I want to take this month’s post to share a powerful exercise on Knowing Your Why.

Trust me when I say this, it is not you! You don’t per se lack the willpower or capability to obtain those things you want more of in your life. Truth is, reaching our goals and then sustaining them is more about putting habits into place that will support them. We all know anything worth having doesn’t happen overnight and requires extra attention and effort to attain. This is where the power of knowing and having a strong “why” comes into play.

Life is crazy distracting, filled with many curveballs, making it so easy to fall off our path to raise our game. If we don’t get super clear about the value of our pursuits, we undoubtably will run short in obtaining them. Why would we ever push threw the discomfort of a hard conversation with our partner, wake up  early to fit in a workout, or chalk up a loss of a client to a lesson learned? Knowing both the positive things we will experience when reaching for our ideal self verse the negative consequences that will result should we abandon our goals is the superpower we all need to take ourselves to the next level. 

 

  “Knowing My Why”

Reflection Exercise  

 Brief Description of Your Aspiration:

 

 List:

-Positive Things I Will Experience As A Result                      –Negative Consequences Should I Give Up                          

 _____________________________________________                        __________________________________________

 _____________________________________________                        __________________________________________

 _____________________________________________                        __________________________________________

 _____________________________________________                         _________________________________________

 _____________________________________________                         _________________________________________

Ask Yourself:

-How is my life going to change if I follow through, most immediately and in the long run?

 -Consider the impact actualizing your goal will have on every aspect of your life: health/wellbeing,   relationships, finances, personal & professional development. 

Now, get your mind right, you know the the famous expression “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Growth is not a linear path, we zig up and we zig down. Of course it won’t be easy, be patient and compassionate with yourself as you would with a dear friend or your child. There’s no shaming nor should we let ourselves off the hook. We keep at it and always, always remember our WHY! 

P.S. On a side note, this exercise is also a great tool to determine whether or not the goals you are pursuing are truly worthwhile to you. So often we fall prey to setting goals that we think we “should” be acquiring when in actuality they aren’t really all that important to us nor do they align with who we genuinely are and what lights us up. 

 

 Wishing You Always The Best Of Success

-Holly-