• Productivity

    A client once shared this with me … let me know if you can relate?

    I sat down at my computer to do some writing for a report that was due at the end of the day – lots of time I though. Then I realized my coffee mug was empty. I went to the kitchen to make myself another cup. While I was in the kitchen, I loaded some dishes into the dishwasher and wiped down the cabinets. I headed back to my home office with my fresh mug of coffee and sat down at my computer again. It was time to write. So, I checked my Facebook. Then I checked Twitter. Then I responded to a few emails. I must focus! So, I opened the two documents I needed for the project I was writing on. Then I spent some time cleaning out my Twitter followers and reading some blog posts. Finally, I saw it was time to prepare supper. It was a busy day but I am not sure what I did all day or what I meant to do but I did a lot of things today, but I still have a lot to do.

    Day after day, we often find ourselves overwhelmed, overworked, and not in control of our time. So we use "busyness" as a badge of honor. But the question is not are we “busy” (who isn’t), the question actually is – are we productive.

    What is productivity ?

    Creating good habits and untangling bad habits

    so you can  achieve your outcome.

    However, a real danger is that often our Habits can become Handcuffs – they are what can keep us where we are, and from where we want to be.

    Yet here are two more truths:

         Everything worth doing has some sweat and hardwork involved!

         Everything worth reaching for is uphill with some kind of struggle.

    So our habits are designed to take us Up Hill. But the question is do some of our habits in fact take us downhill?

    Despite the ambition, commitment (and good intentions) we can find ourselves stuck in a rut and unable to move forward in achieving our goals. Often, the reason for this is that our habits are not in alignment with our goals.

    Are your habits taking you uphill or downhill?  Not sure what I am talking about? Well take a listen to these episodes from our You Can Make It So Podcast

    Episode 107 - Up Hill and Down Hill Habits

    Episode 106 - Increase Capacity

    I also encourage you to read our Blog posts on Time Management and Time Blocking. They are among some of the great tools we have available on our Make It So Platform

    Preparation, engagement, understanding, knowledge, and planning are essential to success. I know, it’s obvious. But if these were easily incorporated into our habits, everyone would do them…  So.... newsflash: Everything doesn’t matter equally. Setting priorities is essential.

    There are a lot of distractions in life and if we don’t have a system in place we can follow to filter that which is demanding our attention, that we can rely on as a framework, then we’re going to be, like my client in the opening story use to be  -  "busy" and not "productive".

    Remember at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada we work with individuals and teams helping them lead with confidence and grow in clarity. Find out more about how we can help you personally and professionally - reach out today - Do not hesitate to Contact me

    Remember - Great Leaders Don't Grow Alone

    #Makeitso


  • Where can you generate your focus?

    For the past several days the picture above has been my “working office”. It is at the JW Marriott at Lake Rosseau in Muskoka where I have hung my hat (or better said - rested my feet). I have some business interests there so it is a good time to check in, and yes full disclosure, some phone calls and client check ins do happen when I am here, but most of all, it has been a place of quiet retreat for me for almost a decade. I go up occasionally – and with that view – wish it was often. (may be one day). This week away has been exceptionally regenerative.

    During my time away, I celebrated a few milestones, but most of all looked back on memories. I am so grateful for this chapter in my life and for the clients I get to work with. Each day (literally), I think about them and their accomplishments, their aspirations and their acceleration toward thriving with a #Makeitso mindset. 

    Whether it is the start-ups that I coach, or the three trades businesses, two food retailers, the automotive supplier, the insurance industry leader or the national corporate teams I serve as a trusted advisor to – all of them – to me are more than clients – they are friends - whom I want to see succeed and one day enjoy this view with me. It has been a very positive year for all of them with several hitting income milestones, others being on the verge of major deals, and still others setting the stage for an exciting next chapter.

    My profession is so satisfying. I help others succeed - one person, one problem, one promise at a time. It is challenging at times, yes, after all no road is without speed bumps or pot holes, but it is rewarding when you see others looking at the view of thriving due to their hard work, not in the distance, but within their reach.

    I am so deeply grateful to my family who have supported me, cherished friends who keep me grounded, to my team of collaborators who encourage me, and to colleagues from past chapters who check in on me to offer encouragement, sage advice and even just some humour along the way.

    As the summer begins to set, and the signs of Fall begin to rise – where does your gratitude evolve from, and where can you generate your focus for the next chapter? As we like to say #letsgetafterit and #makeitso


  • Chase Cash or Seek Revenue

    I tend to encounter two types of entrepreneurs in my work as an Executive Coach, those who “chase cash” and those who “seek revenue”. Now before you think it is the same thing, or that is too simplistic or even judgemental, hear me out a little as I try and demonstrate the difference and the characteristics that each provides. I have come to see that one is about ‘surviving today’ and the other about ‘thriving tomorrow’. To illustrate let’s give you some frameworks.

    First, people generally become an entrepreneur for several reasons: to be their own boss, to provide a unique service based on their skillset or passion, to offer a unique product that meets a need in the market, to experience financial freedom, or just because they can’t work for somebody else anymore. I am sure there are other reasons, but that is a good start.

    Second, when people get started at something, sure they ‘just do it”. They take whatever work they can and keep the bank balance positive. However, over time, as they ‘figure it out”, they begin to decide what they want, who they want to serve, and why they are doing what they are doing. And that is when the rubber hits the road - they can “chase cash” or “seek revenue”.

    If they choose “chase cash” then they enter the endless olympics of “doing it all”. They say “yes” to the most pressing or most lucrative option before them, they get it done (eventually without a sense of service as it becomes “a task to get done”), they forget why they became an entrepreneur (if they ever really took time to ask themselves), and eventually their “word” means little, their reputation means less, their staff and client turnover is high, their relationships are strained, and the only thing that is actually happening is they are growing tired from all the chasing.

    All of that does not happen overnight. Actually at first “chasing cash” seems successful. At first you are “busy”, your phone is ringing, and your calendar is full. But slowly you also sense yourself pulled in every direction. You are reacting, not deciding. But there is “cash”, so it must be alright. But soon the pace of “just do it” and “yes to everything” catches up to you because you cannot keep up with it. Anxiety increases, your reputation wobbles, details fall through the cracks, and envisioning tomorrow is replaced with surviving today.

    Now, those who “seek revenue”, are deciding a different pathway. Yes they want “cash”, but they are deciding there is a calmer (albeit at times slower) way to get it. They chose “productive” vs “busy” and they begin by asking a few “who” questions before they embark upon “do”.

    They ask themselves “who” they want to be known as, “who” do they want to best serve, “who” do they want people saying they are. Taking time to ask the “who” questions defines your lane in the race you are about to enter, and enables you to begin to “seek revenue” for the long term. Let me illustrate this for you.

    If you discern you want to get into landscaping, you set forth ….. you obtain the equipment, set up a website, put your name on the truck and just knock on every door until someone says yes. Not a bad start, and one most entrepreneurs can relate to.

    After the first yes, you seek the second yes, and so on and so on. With each yes, a different job. One person wants a lawn cut, another wants flower beds pruned, a third wants bushes trimmed. All are “cash” and so all get a “yes”. As the seasons change someone asks: “do you shovel snow?”, “do you trim trees?”, “can you gather leaves?” They all get a “yes”. After all, you tell yourself, it’s all landscaping and that is what I “do”, and it keeps the bank balance healthy. Again, nothing bad here. After all, it’s the start.

    Eventually someone asks about a paved walked way, another inquires about a pool installation, and before you know it you have lots to “do”, and it all fits “landscaping”. It is good, you are ‘busy’ and the bank balance looks good. You are hustling and you are landscaping everything you can. But then, the first three call back, and still want their lawn, flower beds and bushes done. Now comes the moment… will you chase the cash or will you begin to “seek revenue”?

    At first, you say, ‘good problem to have’, and you hire someone to do the smaller job in your name in the short term, or even “get the smaller job done when you can”, but the problem will expand and repeat. Lots of little jobs, and a growing number of larger jobs. You are pulled and streched and you do not want to "say no" or turn away work. Maybe you will get smaller jobs done, get fast "cash" and enable yourself to do larger ones, but, what if the larger ones go elsewhere. So you "chase cash" and keeping saying yes to everything and "busy" becomes your bumper sticker!

    Sooner or later, however, you have to decide what will guide you, “the job (“do”) of the day” or “the vision (“who”) of tomorrow”? You see the “do” is motivated by cash, the “who” is powered by revenue.

    The “who” is about knowing your values, your priorities, envisioning your larger expression of getting it done. It is about knowing when to say “not yet” or maybe even “not anymore”, and when to “yes now”.

    It is about defining the “do” by discerning the “who”: having a ‘rally cry” to guide, the right team to assist you, a sense of where you add value to propel you, and determination to ‘stay in your lane” as you seek revenue not only to survive today, but a better tomorrow. Doing this helps you respond, not react. Serve not just finish. Accomplish with pride, not just complete with sweat.

    Too often, entrepreneurs are afraid to ask “who” questions and just keep deciding to be about “do”, but the pace gets you and “busy” bites you. Worst of all, you ‘loose” yourself. If you came into being an entrepreneur “to serve” you lose that and “just get it done”. You begin to resent the phone ringing, the client calling, the supplier seeking. You are tired of chasing. As I said before, busy bites you. Productive motivates you.

    When productive is your motivator, then you see purpose, keep perspective and are focussed on principle. Your name matters, your quality counts and your vision is soundly not on accomplish, but achieve! 

    Take a listen to this Podcast episode I did on “who” before “do” and consider working with an Executive Coach to help you discern your “who”. You can learn a bit about me and what I do here.

    I am sure you will agree “seeking” is a lot less strenuous than “chasing”, and “productive” sounds so much better than “busy”.  #letsgetafterit #makeitso

     


  • Time Blocking

    We’ve all experienced the feeling of time running away from us. A meeting goes on too late, a work related phone call means you miss family time. You’re too stressed about a deadline so you skip a friend’s invite.

    But what if you could take control of your time? What if you could become a master of calendar planning and achieve your tasks efficiently—without the stress of missing deadlines or running late? Here are three tips which are part of Time Blocking

    Tip 1: Be Proactive

    Time is a reflection of our reality, so take control of yours. The key is proactively organizing your time rather than reactively responding to demands placed on you by others. If you want to dedicate all of Monday to meetings or need Wednesday mornings at home to concentrate on your next task, set that goal and make that happen.

    Tip 2: Create Boundaries

    Whether it’s leaving at 5.30 pm to be home for dinner with your family or a 20-minute gap between meetings to get up and move around your house, creating rigid boundaries enables you to shape your time more effectively and efficiently. If you know you have to leave at a certain time, your brain will focus on meeting that deadline.

    Tip 3: Share Your Week with Your Team and Your Family Too!

    Inadvertently, your employees or co workers (and even family members) can derail your week’s plans. Consider sharing your Ideal Week with individuals in your life to communicate how you want your week to go. Of course, life happens, but if others know that you like to keep Tuesday afternoons free for client calls, they will be less likely to schedule you for nonessential (and nonurgent) commitments during that time.

    Patrick Lencioni explores the three primary biases that often prevent leaders and organizations from embracing organizational health. They can also be some reasons why people choose not to use Time Blocking as a means to growth and success.

    Time Blocking is a great tool that leads to higher productivity. This tool will equip you with a roadmap for success. Take control of your family time and your professional time will reap the benefits. For more information contact us 

    By the way, we have a great new Masterclass on Time Blocking - For more information contact us 

    The last few episodes of our podcast "You Can Make It So", encourage you to look at this tool

    Episode 65 - Don't Quit

    Episode 64 - Follow Through

    Episode 63 - Get Over Excuses

    Episode 62 - Three Ingredients

    if we can help you here at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada to develop long-term solutions and drive your personal success and professional success - do not hesitate to Contact us. One of the ways we do that is with Full Service Coaching – which gives you not only one to one coaching with me, but also access to our #Makeitso Platform with over 100 tools, articles, masterminds and resources to help you, free access (including unlimited replays) to our Group Coaching Masterminds and lets you be part of our Facebook Group as well as so many other features including tools like our #Makeitso Journal, some of our 23 Books for 2023, our Summit in the Spring and so much more. If your are not a member of Full Service Coaching - it’s time to join

    #letsgetafterit #makeitso


  • "I am busier than ever!”

    “I am not looking forward to September – I am busier than ever!”

    Those were the words I received from a client in a text (shared with permission). I started to ponder that he probably is not alone in that. I am guessing you probably feel 'busier' than ever.

    Dealing with an overwhelming, never-ending list of responsibilities was made even more complicated by the Pandemic of 2020-2021.

    So what do we do? Well it’s hard to solve a problem you don’t understand.

    Naming a problem is the first step toward fixing it.

    So, here’s the question: Why do you feel so busy? I want to share the 4 reasons that I mentioned on Episode 32 of our Podcast "You Can Make it So", on why maybe you do and I am happy to expand upon them in this post.

    Your Office is in your Pocket

    The working from home shift disrupted the boundaries between work and life in a profound way. But long before the pandemic, your home and pocket were increasingly becoming your office anyway. You used to go to the office, but thanks to technology, the office goes to you. Between your laptop, tablet, and phone, work follows you everywhere. So, your work is never really done.

    Add to that the fact that you can now do your work anywhere, well that is not a formula for balance. The ability to work from anywhere anytime leaves many people feeling like they’re never really on and never really off. No wonder you feel like you’re never done, because you aren’t.

    So here are some tools I have used :

    1. Put self-care on the schedule

    Self-care is vitally important. It's still hard for me to relax when I "walk away" from the office, so I set things into my schedule that demand my full attention, so I can't get distracted. A dinner with family, working on a 'hands on project', or a "serious hike" all make me leave work behind. I am still working toward enjoying unstructured time - right now it makes me very uncomfortable to have nothing on the schedule - but my hope is that by getting more comfortable with it, I can get more comfortable with actual leisure.

    2. Learn to unplug

    A big part of learning how to be engaged in the world outside of my work has been to commit to other activities and to hold myself accountable, so I'm spending time unplugged - my phone is not allowed to come with me on a hike, a dinner, or any other activity.

    During that time, I just can't work. My goal is to eventually be in a place where I don't actually need to schedule that time and to learn how to push work completely out of my mind when there's nothing I can do about it.

    3. Learn to change the way you talk to yourself

    The biggest struggle I have is feeling guilty whenever I take time for myself. I have a hard time focusing on activities that are important to non-work-related parts of my life. My first goal was to get a coach to help with it. We discussed where this feeling came from, and how to change , "You're being lazy and wasting time." into "No one can work 24 hours a day. You are not being lazy by letting your mind rest." One of the most important things to remember is that taking real breaks actually helps me be more productive when I am working.

    Messages Are At An All-Time High

    Last month, I counted up my inboxes. I have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, two email accounts, text messages, Whats Up chats – all of these are channels people can use to message me. This means that whenever I look at my phone, someone is messaging me.

    The thing about technology is that messages are always sent at the convenience of the sender, not at the convenience of the recipient, which deepens the sense of overwhelm you have because there’s rarely a time when someone isn’t trying to get your attention or ask you about something.

    It also meant deciding if I will respond right way or not. Obviously, for a few people, I do respond right away.

    Here’s my rule: The depth of the relationship should determine the speed of your response. What does that mean? It means my family, team, and perhaps very closest friends get a near-immediate response. Others get a response later when I am finished downtime.

    Too Much Task-Switching

    Constantly checking email, switching between the project you’re working on, and pausing to answer texts and take phone calls distracts you to the point where you can’t really focus enough to accomplish deep work.

    I know on days when I’m juggling between many things, I can often put in eight or ten hours and feel like I’ve accomplished nothing at all.

    The antidote to constant task-switching is to create deep periods of uninterrupted focus in your work.

    Your brain needs to focus to produce quality work and, ultimately, a good quantity of work over time.

    A concept I teach is called “Appointments with Self”… that is when you turn a moment in your calendar into an “Appointment” with a task or project and just like when you are in other appointments you do not check your phone or email – you focus. Long have I taught, and lived by a principle, and one I sincerely try and make it happen in my daily life – ONE PERSON, ONE PROBLEM, ONE PROMISE…. That is how I strive to #makeitso

    Busyness Is a Choice

    This is a hard one for me, but the truth is that busyness is a choice.

    Over the years I have tried to remove the word from my vocabulary and instead insert “productive”…. I try and make that my focus instead. I do not look at tasks as “burdens to get done” but opportunities to move the needle forward to live in a way today that will help me to thrive tomorrow.

    You’re as busy as you want to be. No more, no less.

    Most days, this is hard to remember. The vortex of busyness draws you in deeply and regularly.

    The chaos I feel is, for the most part, internally generated. It is the pressure I put on myself. The same would be true for you. Without a new strategy and approach, it's easy to continue to:

    Overcommit and underdeliver

    Have no time for what you actually want to do

    Struggle to get time off to refuel and relax

    Worst of all, other people—other tasks, jobs, and projects—will continue to hijack your life and that of those you love.

    It’s time to change that by implementing a strategy that works. 

    Find out how we can help

    Let's get after it - #makeitso


  • How To Take Control Of Your Schedule

    With school getting ready to begin, and Fall season routine resuming, families are trying to get back on a schedule. For so many, as much as they want flexibility, they need the structure and flow that the school year brings. For some if they don’t have a schedule, they will most likely go down rabbit holes and hurt themselves on tangents.

    I know that not everyone has the same bend; however, after years of coaching, it’s clear how time management is so crucial to thriving. I often hear from clients, “There Are Not Enough Hours In The Day!” or “I Feel Like The Madness Will Never Stop!” And while many are overworked and expected to do too much, we won’t know unless we have control of our schedules and this comes, as my friend David Meltzer says, when we are "students of our calendars". When you control your schedule, you can then have constructive professional conversations. When you know what is happening weekly, you can sit down with your family and determine if you’ve overcommitted. But you won’t know any of this unless you:

    USE A TRACKING METHOD

    Time is a lot like money; if you don’t track it, it’s easy to misuse it. Whether it’s the calendar on your phone or something else, it is essential to have a planner; having one place where you write down obligations is vital. By writing down an appointment, it becomes memorable (Plus, On The Phone, You Can Set Reminders). When you track your time and review it you’ll discover patterns. From those patterns, you’ll be able to identify what you’ve made a priority. When you create a tracking method, it slows you down so you can make better decisions about what you do and when it needs to get done.

    DEVELOP SOME ACCOUNTABILITY

    You don’t have to share your calendar or report to someone regularly, but inviting someone to check in and ask the question, “How Is Your Flow Going?” can be extremely helpful. Their accountability will remind you to review what you write down and determine whether you have a healthy balance. Don’t be afraid to ask people to help you maintain focus. One of the opportunities I give to my one to one clients is to discuss their calendars and priorities with me. Even doing this quaterly with many has produced signficiant increases in productivity (and happiness too). If I can help let me know

    OWN YOUR DOWN TIME

    Probably one of the biggest reasons schedules gets out of whack is that people are not pacing themselves. Yes, there will be naturally busy seasons, but most often we get tired when we are not protecting downtime. And when we get tired that’s when we double book and mess up priorities. It is critical to guard your days off and use them to rest and refuel. Make sure you plan vacations and time away with regularity. Success is a marathon and we don’t need you treating it like a sprint.

    DEFINE PRODUCTIVITY

    I struggle with this the most. I’m not the type of guy who likes to sit on a beach taking in the sun. I don’t like to sit still and if the day flies by and I don’t feel like I accomplished anything I feel disappointed. I’m working with my own Coach on this and reminding myself that being productive doesn’t mean accomplishing a thousand tasks. Being effective means staying healthy and being available for the long run. If you struggle with managing your time and expectations, make sure you talk to someone and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

    Once you lose your time, there is no getting it back. Whether you are hitting a transition or a busy season, make sure you are tracking your hours. Have people help you focus on what matters most, and be sure to schedule some recovery days.

    Your personal and professional lives both have people who need you. They need you to find a pace, so you are not burning out or running frantic. Plus, when we slow things down and take in the people, experiences, projects and things around us with calmness, we’ll discover the joy that comes with living in a way today that will help you thrive tomorrow.  #makeitso.


  • Procrastination: The Next Action Habit

    This month on our Blog and Podcast we are featuring a deep dive into the world of Clarity.

    One of the struggles to having clarity, and probably its biggest hurdle, is often the practical realities of a tendency to procrastinate. Now, I know that it’s human nature to put off uncomfortable or undesirable tasks, or to make the easy choice in the moment, but the reality is something will have to get done eventually — and sooner is better than later. So how do we deal with the tendency to procrastinate?  

    First off, I invite you to listen to this week’s episode of our Podcast “You Can Make it So”. Episode 17 discusses 4 Ways to “Put Away Procrastination” – check it out here. If you are a Full Service Coaching Client then you also can access additional resources on this topic in our #Makeitso Platform. If you are not a Full Service Coaching Client then just know it is never too late to join.

    In this Blog post though, I want to do a deep dive into one of the 4 Ways to Put Away Procrastination that I mention in the Podcast …… The Next Action Habit—focus on something do-able.

    In his book, Getting Things Done, David Allen discusses the power of figuring out your very NEXT ACTION for any given thing you’re working on. It’s one of the most powerful ideas in the book — just figure out the next specific action you need to take in order to move yourself closer to completion, then DO IT…

    Now, it’s no secret that procrastination causes lots of stress and pressure… but the way in which we relieve this pressure is where the secret comes in.The key to this tip for avoiding procrastination is to figure out the very next physical action—no matter how small—you need to take to move something forward; be it a task, a project, a phone call, or whatever else.

    Want to learn how to stop procrastinating? Learn how to shift your focus. Shifting your focus to something your mind perceives as do-able makes the difference that makes a difference. Let me explain:

    Think about something you’ve been procrastinating on; like, finishing a presentation for work. Now FOCUS on how it makes you FEEL whenever you think about how you have to do that presentation. Think about all the work involved. Sucks right? How’s it make you feel? Overwhelmed?

    Now shift your FOCUS to ONE SIMPLE thing you can do right now to move this presentation even the tiniest bit closer to ‘done.’ Maybe you need to google some images to include in the presentation. That’s do-able, right?

    Make that you’re NEXT ACTION. Do it.

    The rationale behind this Next Action method is simple: when you do something your mind perceives as do-able, your energy will go up, your sense of direction and drive will increase dramatically; and you’ll be able to motivate yourself to get whatever you need to get done—DONE!

    Here is a practical tool: Anytime you feel the procrastination creeping back up again, you should take it as a trigger to CHUNK down whatever you feel like procrastinating on into something simple and do-able… Even if it’s something as small as naming your presentation…

    One small step leads to another… and another… and another… and before you know it, you’ve got momentum.

    It’s human nature to put off uncomfortable or undesirable tasks, or to make the easy choice in the moment. But if we want to Start Living in a Way Today that will Help You Thrive Tomorrow, then we have to accomplish the meaningful goals and tasks (even the ones we are not too keen on doing)  — and #Makeitso.

    BTW – You may also want to check out Episodes 1-3 of our Podcast “You Can Make it So” where we discuss Habits – an important foundation – these episodes also contain our Podcast Guide and discussion questions as a special bonus.


  • WHAT DO IF I AM IN A RUT?

    We all have moments when things overwhelm us. So what do we do – well here are 10 things we can do if we are in a rut

    1. Work on the Small Tasks

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Do your laundry, make a snack, take out the trash. Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Do a Fun Task

    Get yourself away from anything that weighs your down, maybe its your desk, your room, and go take a walk. Go for a short walk (even just to get the mail), go out and get a snack. Take a Bike Ride or check out the mall. Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away.

    3. Upgrade Yourself

    Consider learning something new. Lots of apps and webinars are short. Consider a language, a new task, or watch a video about an area of your life you always wanted to learn a bit more about (eg a hobby, task or talent). Does this work – yes, the modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration? Check out this great article by Entrepreneur Magazine

    4. Talk to a Friend about something except what is getting your down

    Talk to someone and get your mind off stuff for a while. Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget About Trying to Be Perfect

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies. Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    6. Paint a Vision to Work Towards

    If you are continuously getting in a rut, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward or you have forgotten the one you already have. Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind? Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.  I did a Podcast episode on this - take a listen to Episode 14 here 

    7. Read a Book (Or Blog)

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials. Check out our 22 Books for 2022. My weekly E Newsletter offers suggestions of books, movies and apps to check out – look them up or drop me an email and I will send you a full list.

    8. Discern the Reason for the Rut

    You might recognize that you are stuck in a rut, you might not know what the next step should be. One thing to remember is that not all ruts are the same. Figure out what's causing your discontentment before you make any drastic changes in your life. Consider working with a coach. Don't criticize or berate yourself once you understand the root cause of your feelings.

    9. Remember Why You Are Doing This

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your reason. Simon Sinek has a great Ted Talk on this - check it out here 

    10. Find Some Competition

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. Set for yourself small reasonable targets as part of the bigger goal and work toward those small targets and don’t let the big picture overwhelm you. If you want to know if your targets are on track drop me an email.

    Always know that you are not alone…. I am here to support you in One to One Coaching - drop me a line

    #makeitso


  • Long Term Thinking

    So my microwave is getting slow! That is what I told myself recently while waiting to warm up a bowl of home made chicken soup. (It was so good by the way).  Now the reality is that my microwave has not changed speeds at all, but my expectation of it has. It’s human nature to want fast results. Now let’s add to that the constant barrage of social media, navigating the results of a global pandemic, outbreak of war, an economic period of re-adjustment, and most of us are not in the mood to pause long in expectation of any result, let alone think long-term. We just want things done (like an item in the microwave), fast!

    Ever since the pandemic came upon us, I’ve been resetting the way I think about time, and consciously embracing long-term thinking. Maybe it was the time working from home, or the solitude of not sitting in a coffee shop, or maybe it was just seeing clients, friends and society in general struggling, but I have been pondering it a lot. Reflecting on our expectations of self, others and timelines, has been something I have done with my clients in their businesses and careers, and been trying to apply it to my own day to day.

    I have been inviting all I meet to start thinking - long term. So what does longer term thinking do for you?

    CHANGES ATTITUDE 

    Re-orienting your point of view to the long-term, you force yourself to ask questions like “In 20 years, will I be proud of this?” Such questions enables you to resist pressure in the moment and make the right decisions based on values and ethics, not immediate gain or loss. It makes you “Pivot, not Ping”, as I like to say. You change not with the wind or a wave, but adjust with wisdom.

    CHANGES YOUR GOALS

    As Jeff Bezos observed, “”If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people. But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people, because very few companies are willing to do that. Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could never otherwise pursue.”

    Long term thinking sets you apart. In sets you apart in your career, in your business and in your personal relationships too. You permit yourself sometime to "bask" in wins, to learn from woes and to clairify wants. 

    CHANGES YOU

    When you think long term, its not hours, days or weeks that pause you, but seasons. There are seasons, (and I don't mean weather here), but seasons in our life when some things are expected, and some where not so, and we have to respect them. One season you might focus on work when you start a new job, for instance and then times when you might need to refocus for example likely pull back when caring for a sick relative.

    We have to respect the seasons. And with a long-term mindset, you recognize: There’s plenty of time to shift your focus back to work, or whatever your key projects are. Rebalancing changes you and allows you to grow in gratitude for the moment, especially moments precious to another that may never return again.

    In Episode 10 of my podcast “You Can Make It So”, I touch on this with the concept of the “Bank of Goodwill”. Check it out.  Long-term thinking isn’t just “nice to have”, like a speedy microwave. When we embrace it, it’s a step toward becoming the kind of people we want to be. We begin to live with a serenity that keeps us on purpose. 

    We become a people who have good habits, who are gaining growth, meeting goals, hitting thresholds, but also people who are embracing a gratitude that makes the habits and growth about something even bigger (and more long lasting) than success – legacy.

    Let’s #Makeitso

     


  • Efficiency which leads to Effectiveness

    One of the questions I often hear from clients is “How can I become more efficient?” I often reply by saying “I can help with that, but I would rather invest in your becoming more effective.”  You see it comes down to asking - are you living for today or do you want to Thrive tomorrow? 

    What is the difference? Well for the clear distinction check out my Podcast – Episode 7 – where I crush the explanation, but for now let’s look at three principles it would be good to implement so that you can be ready for efficiency which leads to effectiveness.

    First choose to be consistent. Now more than ever before, we are all surrounded by more options and noise. We have more choices — but also have more distractions. These can push you off your course. That moves you away from the goals and the targets that you set. That’s why it’s so important that you’re moving consistently towards your goals.  I’ve been deeply studying over the last many months what the best companies all have in common and the role that leadership plays in those companies.

    The one thing I have found in the leaders of those companies is that they consistently show up. They may not, due to the turbulent times we live in, make as much progress every single day as they wish, or they may be fighting head winds along the way, but as long as they are moving forward consistently, they are going to achieve meaningful progress.

    That’s also why accountability is so important. In our Full Service Coaching one thing that we’ve done with all of our clients is we’ve helped them to develop a strategic quarterly action plan so they’re clear on their highest value goals.

    We ensure that they’re working on the right goals to create the result that they desire. Then, we support them and provide accountability to work through their quarterly plans. Doing this consistently creates breakthroughs in your business and personal success.

    Second, choose community- surround yourself with the right people and community. Jim Rohn said, “You’re the average of the five people that you spend the most time with.”  The question is, what type of community. Are you part of a community of people who are not only doing what you are doing, but are also doing what you have not yet done? This community must share your values and goals. This community must seek to make you better, not just affirm where you are at.

    You want to be spending time with others who are at a level above you, and where you aspire to be. That will keep you inspired and motivated. When you have a community of big thinkers and successful people, you start to see what’s possible. You start to think, act, achieve bigger and greater levels of success come with that.

    If you’re not surrounding yourself with that community, you don’t have people at the next level around you that is motivating, inspiring, supporting you, it’s going to be much more challenging for you to achieve that success all by yourself.

    Third, if effectiveness and not just efficiency is your goal you have to adopt Learning as a principle.

    The fact that you are reading this is a good indication that you are a learner. You are constantly wanting to grow and improve. That’s fantastic. Welcome because you’re in the right place. This is, in fact, one of our core values at Phoenix Life Coaching Canada. To achieve more, you want to learn more.

    The more that you learn, study, work on improving yourself and your knowledge, the more success that you’re going to create. This may sound daunting to some but it doesn’t need to be. We started the 22 Books in 2022. It can be accomplished by spending one hour a day reading as a baseline and then and push yourself to learn more. If you’re not doing any reading, make time for it.

    Reading and learning are some of the best investments that you can make. In fact one of my relatives asked me once “what can I give you as a gift to invest in you?” Knowing where he was at in life I replied “a bookstore gift card”. He has for over a decade now done that yearly and  when I buy a book I often think “How is it possible that I invest in such a small amount but I tapped into the knowledge of this author, who’s spent 15, 20, 30 years accumulating that knowledge?” They’ve gone through trial and error. Here I am able to accumulate that knowledge for such a small investment.

    Whether you are investing in books or podcasts or a coaching program, whatever it might be, the more that you can learn, that truly is the best way to shortcut your path towards greater success. I don’t mean you get a cheat sheet, you just avoid the scrapes and scuffles. You still have to do the work, if you want to get the results.

    Most good things in life take time and require hard work. They require focus. But if you truly want to find ways to accelerate your progress, to identify those shortcuts, that will come through learning. That’s why, if you look at athletes, any performer artists, they have mentors and coaches. They’re studying and learning. Without it, they only know what they know.

    When you can get access to learning, you’ll see new things and perspectives that you haven’t seen before — or can’t see by yourself because you’re not even aware that those things exist. That’s where you can find a much faster and direct path to achieve the result you ultimately want. Not only a more efficient, but a more effective self. It will help you live in a way today that will help you Thrive tomorrow.

    #Makeitso