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A Lifestyle Blueprint: Achieve Your Dreams In 3 Easy Steps

A Lifestyle Blueprint: Achieve Your Dreams In 3 Easy Steps

Making the necessary changes in your life so that you can achieve your dreams is a daunting task, but something many of us, deep down, really want or need to do. So, what’s stopping you?

What is it that separates the successful entrepreneurs from the rest? Is it guts and courage? Is it working harder than everyone else? Is it luck? In my opinion, it’s none of these. Success isn’t about working harder, it’s about knowing what actions to take and when to take them. It’s not the volume of action, it’s the right action at the right time that makes the difference.

That brings me to strategy. Something as massive as building a new life for yourself or starting out as an entrepreneur needs a proper process, a proper plan, a Lifestyle Blueprint!

Remember, “A goal without a plan is just a wish!”

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Building the lifestyle you desire requires a proper foundation, just like building a house. Strong foundations make a sturdy house that will withstand varying intense conditions, such as a tropical storms, the “big bad wolf,” etc. Building your new life or business is no different.

So, you’ve made a decision, you’ve decided enough is enough, that there’s more to life than your 9-to-5 job and you’re going to make a change. That’s fantastic, but think about this first:

According to Bloomberg Business, around 80% of first-time entrepreneurs fail because they don’t follow a proven business plan.

Success is never a guarantee but failure is certain if you don’t establish a solid foundation and do the work required for success.

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Visualize your dreams, make a commitment to success and ask yourself:

  1. Are you willing to persist?
  2. Are you ready to be disciplined and strategic with your time, energy, and resources?
  3. Do you want this badly enough? Have you discovered your why?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. “Change your thoughts and change your life.” Make the decision and don’t be afraid, be positive. Positive thoughts and behaviors bring about a positive outcome — your exterior reality is a reflection of your interior reality. Fear and negativity will only hold you back. So here we go, the Lifestyle Blueprint:

Step 1: Define the outcome you desire

Anyone who is successful knows exactly what they are working towards at all times. Their goal is perfectly clear in their minds. If you’re unclear about your goals, how will you ever get what you want? How will you ever make the right choices and take the right actions? Specific goals drive specific actions to achieve those goals. It’s not good enough just to know what you don’t want! You must define what you want, be specific, be ambitious. Ensure your outcome generates a fire in your belly that burns so bright you know you will stop at nothing until you achieve it — this is your why.

Step 2: Create an action plan

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. We’ve all heard that cliche before, but it’s true. You are only as good as your plan. Successful outcomes are driven by solid plans. Examples of this are all around us; sport, battles, business, etc. But most people don’t have a proper plan as they aren’t actually clear on what they want out of life.

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Once a goal has been clearly defined, you can form a specific plan of action to achieve the outcome you desire. But the plan must be specific. For example, knowing you need to set aside time to develop your business is not enough. Specifically stating how many hours you will work, on which days, and at what time is more specific and definitely more likely to help you achieve your goals. Brush up on your action planning skills here.

Step 3: Take consistent action

Consistency is key! You need to take consistent action towards your goals, every day. Even if it’s something small, just be consistent. Small steps every day keep us making progress and eventually build momentum.

But, what makes us keep taking action? We need a goal that inspires us. A goal that inspires a burning desire within us. A goal we will get done, no matter what. For me, it was creating the freedom in life so that I could dedicate time to my wife and children. What’s yours? How will you achieve it? What’s your why?

I’ll say it again! Consistent action, along with a plan to guide you, taken every day towards that ultimate goal, is what will get you there. Visualization is key. Create a vision board, meditate on it, talk about it regularly with those dear to you, post about it online — whatever it takes, just keep that vision in mind and the law of attraction along with the law of action will make it possible. By the law of action, I mean working diligently to make it happen.

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Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I would spend the first four sharpening the axe!”

By thinking and acting in this way — being proactive, not reactive — you hold yourself responsible for reaching your goals and being successful.

Good luck!

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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