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Twelve Steps to Get Things Done

Twelve Steps to Get Things Done

    No Frills Personal Development

    It’s become apparent that not everyone connects with, relates to or gains value from the traditional personal development language or paradigm. Or words like paradigm (for that matter). Many of my readers have shared with me that their partner (sister, brother, mother, father, boss) needs to hear these (types of) messages but they seem to have an aversion to anything that smells like ‘motivational speaker’. To be honest, I don’t blame them. Some motivational speakers are a little smelly.

    So, here it is team: my no frills, twelve-step, personal development philosophy for people who hate self-help stuff and cheesy motivational types. In order to avoid boredom, confusion and distraction, I’ve kept it simple and succinct.

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    Step 1. Don’t talk big. Big-talkers are notorious under do-ers, under-achievers and under-performers. They’re also pains in the arse.

    Step 2. Don’t wait for things to ‘work out’. Idiots wait for things to work out. Rather than hoping things will happen, make them happen.

    Step 3. Lose the bad attitude. Attitude is a choice. Better attitude equals better decisions, behaviours and outcomes.

    Step 4. Don’t eat crap. Being unhealthy on a physical level means you won’t function optimally on any level: mentally, emotionally, professionally or socially. Eat crap and you’ll look, feel and function like crap!

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    Step 5. Actually care about others. Being a self-centered idiot ain’t a recipe for success.

    Step 6. Don’t make life harder than it needs to be. Life’s challenging enough without you complicating the simple. Suck it up, Princess.

    Step 7. Do things early in the day. Being productive early puts you in a better place (mentally, emotionally and creatively) for the rest of the day.

    Step 8. Let go of your ill-conceived beliefs. It’s time to lose those self-limiting, disempowering beliefs. They’ve run your life for long enough. You’re good enough, talented enough and, yes, you deserve happiness.

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    Step 9. Bad things happen and life’s not fair – deal with it. More often than not success or failure will be determined by the way you react to the situations, circumstances and events (good and bad, foreseen or not) of your world. Better reactions equal better results.

    Step 10. Don’t focus on (or obsess about) things you can’t change. Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation. Invest your energy in the things you can control.

    Step 11. Don’t avoid things you fear. Putting your head in the sand just shows the world your arse. And none of us want that. Lasting change begins with awareness and acknowledgement. Step up and do what’s necessary.

    Step 12. Don’t over-think things. Analysis paralysis is a painful, pointless and unnecessary condition. To think is good. To obsess is bad. Stop obsessing.

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    There you have it, Grasshoppers: politically incorrect self-help. In fact, let’s not call it self-help, let’s call it… some free practical advice. Of course, some will be offended and bothered by this type of language and message but fortunately for me, I’ve learned to take criticism pretty well.

    You may want to attach (nail, staple, rivet, sew, glue) these twelve steps to the forehead of someone special. And then run.

    You’re welcome. =)

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    Craig Harper

    Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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