Have a compelling reason to change

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At some point in our lives I suppose we all decide to change something in our life that we think is unhealthy, or limiting us. For me this has been especially acute as I travel through middle age, and parts of your body don’t seem to work as well as they used to.

It doesn’t matter what you want to change, if you want to make it permanent then you will have to prepare yourself. Most of us wander blindly into a change, and suddenly make knee jerk reactions, as a result of something adverse happens to us. For me it would be getting my shorts out for the summer and realising I cannot fasten the button. “Right that’s it, I am going on a diet, I look disgusting!” This is never going to be a good enough reason to lose weight. Once I have gotten over my indignation I would just buy a bigger pair of shorts.

Moving away from a negative lifestyle or situation rarely works for any length of time. Ask yourself how many times have you been on a diet. Many of us do very well at first if we use a sensible diet plan such as those organised established diets such as Weightwatchers or Slimming World. How long do maintain your new weight for? How many of you actually get to your final target weight? When most of us embark on a diet our primary goal is not to be fat, to lose weight. Or if we try to give up smoking we want to stop as it is expensive. In both examples we a moving away from a negative. However the further away from the negative we move, the reason for making the change becomes less, therefore our motivation to maintain and consolidate the wonderful change lessens. Then when something stressful happens in our life, we immediately say “I cannot do this, there is just too much going on in my life, I need a fag, or chips or wine or cake.” Then all that hard work has come to nothing and we end up back at square one.

Instead of moving away from a negative, why don’t you move towards a positive future? For instance when I gave up smoking I asked myself what do I value the most. I was able to answer straight away without any hesitation. I value the time with my children above anything else. I then asked myself in the next 10 -15 years what will I value. That was easy again, it was spending time with my children’s family. I imagined myself playing with my grandchildren in the garden, taking them on adventures, and generally being a fun granddad. I asked myself if I could guarantee that I would be able to do all these things in my sixties if I continued to smoke 20 cigarettes a day. Would I be around to see my grandchildren grow into adults like my mum has? I struggled to answer that question. I then knew exactly what I needed to do, and giving up smoking was easy from then on. I had a compelling reason to give up smoking. More importantly I can use that same reason when continuing to change my lifestyle to a more healthy one.

As I am moving towards my goal my motivation to stay a non-smoking is always high.

Never rush into a change if you want to succeed, take you time and think carefully why you want to make the change.

If you want to discuss this further to help discover your compelling reason or keep you focussed get in touch either by email or messaging via social media.

Are you satisfied with your life

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From time to time I feel dissatisfied with my life. I feel I should be more than I am, that I do not live up to my potential. I should have a higher paid job, I should be living in a big house, driving a fancy car, going on exotic holidays. I should be more decisive at work, be pro-active, ruthless, a go getter. Sound familiar?

These are just some of the markers of success that our culture values, therefore we have a tendency to measure ourselves them, and decide if we are a success or not. Invariably with are not able to live up to all if any of these values. But we are constantly exposed to the idea that people around us are doing better than us. Pre-social media this exposure was limited to people we saw on the telly, the odd self publicist and gossip. Now we are all connected with have all become shameful self publicist, and now it seems even our friends and neighbours have a better life than us. This just adds to our feelings of inadequacy, and dissatisfaction. This clearly is no way to live our lives.

One answer to this problem I suppose would be to disconnect yourself from all forms of social media. But social media has so much going for it. You would not be reading this blog for one if you stopped engaging with all forms of the media. After all Facebook and Twitter are great ways to share with everyone, how much of a nice time you had, or to share a common experience, therefore adding to your feelings of satisfaction.

The answer is not to change the world but to change the way you see the world and how you respond to what you see. The first thing to do is to assess how you see yourself based on your own measure of satisfaction rather than the medias’. I like to measure myself against Martin Seligmann’s conditions that are required for happiness. Martin Seligmann suggested that to be happy the following conditions need to be present in your life. If you are happy then you will feel more optimistic about you future and therefore more likely to succeed and feel satisfied. The conditions are:

Positive Emotion; how many times a day do you laugh and smile?

Engagement; do you take part in activities that you do for the sake of it, something you don’t have to think too much about (reading, sewing, running, singing etc.)?

Relationships; how often do you see or speak to family or friends or both?

Meaning; why do you do what you do? what are your values?

Achievement; this does not have to be academic or vocational achievement, it could be baking bread for the first time, a personal best time swimming or running, anything where you have done your best, and achieved personal excellence (as good as you can do it). How many times have a you achieved this week.

Answer the questions relating to each condition above. What are areas of your life do you need pay attention to your life to be satisfied? Identify them and then plan how to address them. This is how you can be successful, rather than trying to live up to an impossible ideal imagined through our cultural idea of success.

Be happy, be what you want to be, then you will be successful.

If you want to discuss this further, or want some coaching to have a successful happy life, email me.

Matt@mattycoach71.com

Live in the moment and enjoy your journey through life


Many of you will have realised by now that I use this blog as some kind of therapy, to remind myself how to be to keep myself on an even keel. 

With that in mind I thought I would talk about the day I have had today.

It has been a good day, bordering on a lovely day. 

It started in the usual fashion with butterflies and that general feeling of inadequacy. That didn’t last however I was soon distracted by the sound of birdsong and a lovely bright summer morning. The kind of  morning that reminds you how wonderful the world is.

I arrived at work and started on writing a training session, something that I started last week. This early stage of writing a training session is my favourite part, this where I start bringing together all the current evidence and combine it with my existing working knowledge. I learn so much during this process about how much I know and don’t know. I always over write at this stage as I get so fascinated with the subject. This kept me engaged for the first hour. Then to stop me getting stuck I went to collect some paperwork from one of the wards. 

As a consequence of visiting a ward I ended up doing a coaching session with one of my coachees. Again I was completely engaged in what I was doing. We managed to spend an hour discussing her plans, and she gave me some very useful feedback. 

2 hours in and I am buoyant. I then meet a member of staff to sign off evidence for her competences, and then back to writing the teaching session. In the meantime I received an email from a colleague at the university giving me feedback from the students I taught on their last module. I was practically walking on air.

After lunch I must admit I got a little carried away on a particular part of the session and ended up doing a quick literature review. Now I have 15 articles to read through. They may not change the presentation dramatically but they are often good to provide more context when delivering the session, and provides a wider reading list.

When I got home the weather was gorgeous if not a little warm. I decided to go for my mile a day run before I relaxed too much and didn’t want to go.  Even though my knees and hips and ankles ached (my legs really object to carrying this fat lad around) it was worth it. I do keep telling myself it will get easier, I have to keep the faith. Anyhow just being out in this glorious weather was worth it the sunlight lit up the trees and the houses giving everything a majestic glow. 

Today has been so good, because I have concentrated on the moment and not over thought the past or the future. There is so much around us to embrace and enjoy. I don’t manage it everyday but when I open my eyes to what is happening and live it the moment I feel so much more fulfilled. 

Open your eyes to what is around you and start enjoying your journey through life.

Be Your Perfect Leader

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On Monday I facilitated a timeout morning for a group of senior ward Nurses. The subject soon got onto leadership. The discussion centred on how to encourage leadership in the team, to enable staff members to actively seek solutions rather than default to the ward manager, deputy manager or unit co-ordinator, and how to manage difficult situations themselves.

To try to help them answer these questions, I posed them a question. They did not have to answer the question at the time, in fact they could keep their answer private if they wished. The question was more an exercise on looking for the right answer from their own knowledge and experience.

The question was, do you have a person you admire, and look up to when it comes to leadership? What are the qualities that make them a great leader? How do they behave (portray themselves to others)? I asked them to create a clear picture of their perfect leader. In reality this perfect or great leader is actually themselves (or yourself if you are having a go).

I personally always like to project my ideal onto someone else other than me, I find it easier to admire someone else than think of myself in those terms. However if you find it easier to see yourself as the perfect leader then construct the image as the perfect version of you.

Once you have this construct of your perfect leader, then you can use them as your reference point. When you come to a difficult dilemma, ask your perfect leader what they would do in this situation. The answer they provide are based on the attributes that you admire so are worth listening to. Work through the problem answering how you perfect leader would, including the people the perfect leader would, asking the questions your perfect leader would. You will get to the answer you need.

In reality you have been the leader, you are your perfect leader. That is not to say you will be right all the time. This method gives you the confidence to think you actions through, and to give yourself a better chance of success.

Give it a go it works.

If you want to discuss how you can improve your confidence at work, and be the best you can, email me on Matt@mattycoach71.com or message me via my Facebook page. Changing your opinion of yourself will make a massive difference.

 

Next Release from Vialetters

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The releases are coming thick and fast now. Below is a link to next track via their Facebook page. This is my personal favourite. Above is my favourite picture of the band taken at The New Adelphi in Hull, where bands like Pulp and  The Housemartins cut their teeth. Enjoy and spread the word.

State of Me

 

Vialetters new release


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Above is a link to Vialetters new release. If you know me on Facebook you have probably heard it. If not give it a listen. The A side will be dropped soon. 

I am being unashamedly a proud Dad, I think it is fantastic, but see what you think. If you like it share it. 

 Thank you for tolerating my indulgence.

Everything Is Going To Be OK

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All us adults between 40 and 70  have tried our best to stuff everything up. We were the generations that had it easier than any other generation in the history of the world. In the UK we had universal health care (free at the point of access), free education up to University. Excellent pay and work conditions, which has led to a whole economy based on leisure and entertainment.

Now instead of using these opportunities wisely, considering parts of the world with less opportunity, the environment and future generations, we greedily consumed all we could and more, without a thought of how we were going to pay for it all.

Well now the bill has arrived, in the guise of financial meltdown worldwide, global warming, racial and religious intolerance, and the resulting finger-pointing and blame.

Fear not, all is not lost. There is still hope, and it is in the shape of our young people. As part of my day job I speak to young people about careers in healthcare. From speaking to these young people (not all of them wanted to work in healthcare) have a real sense of community and value, the welfare of all above anything else. They see themselves as part of a wider global community and concentrate on what unites them rather than what divides them.

Now I realise that we are all idealistic when we are teenagers, but this waivers when you get older and cynical. The question is why do we become cynical? We became cynical because no one took us seriously, we were not listened to and gave up. It is easier to look out for yourself.

So we have a responsibility to our youth to listen to what they are saying, to learn from their wisdom and help them make our world a better place to live in. Let them rekindle your passion for a better world. Most of all encourage them to have a social conscience, and to act on their beliefs. After all they are going to spend longer on this Earth than us.