At this time of year, we’re bombarded with goal setting ideas and strategies from EVERYWHERE! And they appeal to us because we all want more of something: more health, more positive relationships, more meaning, more financial security...
We’re convinced that if we could just identify our goals, we’d be able to achieve them.
But here’s the problem with goal setting that many of us face: Our brain reminds us of all the goals we’ve set in the past and haven’t achieved…and that saps all of our energy and agency to move forward. Maybe we set unrealistic goals in the past or maybe our goals weren’t specific enough or we had a traumatic life event that kept us from moving forward. Whatever the reason, goal setting now is a painful (and seemingly pointless) exercise.
But what would happen if we focused this next year on achieving growth instead of achieving goals?
Setting or even reaching your goals won’t necessarily help you grow. But growing will always help you reach your goals.
G.R.O.W.T.H. is the secret to creating a #WildAndBrave 2018!
There are 5 Challenges each of us can use to jumpstart growth for 2018: career, health, relationships, finances, you name it. You don’t need to do all 5 Challenges and you don’t need to do them in any specific order. Just pick one that interests you and give it a try.
One idea + One challenge + One day = #WildAndBrave You!
One thing we’ve learned from our coaching and training clients is that information alone never creates growth. It never creates change. And it doesn’t give us what we want. Growth and results happen when people accept a challenge. So…are you up for a challenge? Then read on, Wild + Brave Buddies!
G = Get Curious
Curiosity is one of the most overlooked keys to growing your happiness and success! Curiosity is just being actively interested in something. It’s the catalyst to living wild and brave and here’s why:
- Curiosity makes you smarter! Highly curious adults and kids have higher test scores, problem-solving ability, and greater overall intelligence.
- Curiosity keeps your brain healthy! The decline in curiosity is actually one of first signs of neurological illness and scientists are using curiosity-enhancing interventions to reverse that.
- Curious people have better relationships. In one study, even after five minutes, participants who displayed curiosity were reported as confident, happy, and likable…even by virtual strangers.
- Curious people are happier! Gallup conducted a survey of over 130,000 people in over 130 nations - which represents 96% of the world’s population - to determine what contributed the most to daily happiness. They identified two things and one of them was “learning something new.” (You’ll have to stay tuned to learn what the second contributor is!)
Each day ask yourself this question, “What would make today great?” Think into this question and - if you’re feeling extra wild and brave - follow it up with “Is there anything else?” Once you’ve identified something, write down your answer. Identifying a specific goal that lights you up will make it easier for your brain to cooperate and find ways to get it! Once you’ve become curious, you become limitless.
R = Reflective Thinking
The quickest way to grow in the future is to identify what has contributed to our growth in the past. The more we know, the more we can grow. But that requires thinking, and it turns out that most of us would rather be zapped with an electric shock than be left alone with our thoughts!
One research study asked participants to put away all distractions and entertain themselves with their own thoughts for 6 to 15 minutes.
Subjects were wired up and given the chance to shock themselves during the thinking period if they desired. Here’s the bizarre part: even though they were all allowed to try shocking themselves before the experiment started and found the shocks painful, 25% of the women and 66% of the men still chose to zap themselves when left alone with only their thoughts!
A much less painful way to grow your thinking, is to take the Hero Challenge:
Simply write down 3 things that you’re proud of yourself for from the past 24 hours and include why these were hero moments. These could be as simple as “I’m proud of myself for getting to the gym today because it felt good to keep a promise I made to myself.”
Or “I made two sales calls today which I’ve been dreading. I’m proud of myself for pushing through my fear and taking action.”
This exercise forces your brain to scan the past 24 hours for confidence boosters - hard things you attempted, things you accomplished at work, a strengthened connection with a family member - anything that makes you proud of yourself.
Each of us gets to choose our thoughts. We can think about what’s wrong with us or what’s strong with us. Only the latter will enable you to grow.
O = Optimistic Mindset
Optimism is more than putting on a smiley face. Optimism is how you explain things that happen to you. When you’re optimistic and something negative happens: you look for explanations that don’t make you the bad guy. You recognize that problems come and go, and just because you have a problem, it doesn’t mean that everything in your life is bad.
When you adopt an optimistic explanatory style, you don't give the bad experience more credit than it deserves. It’s just one thing that happened. On our team we say #sothathappened!
Optimism is one of the top three characteristics of individuals who achieve long term success, and one of the best ways to develop this success tool is to take the Gratitude Challenge.
Grow your optimism by writing down 3 specific things you’re thankful for right now. These can be small things or large things, as long as they’re specific and meaningful to you.
Cultivating gratitude changes how you think and will enable you to create an explanatory style that allows you to grow, regardless of your circumstances.
The first three letters of GROWTH, focus on our thinking - which is the Wild part of Wild + Brave. Our growth will always be limited by the thoughts that we think. By Getting Curious, Reflectively Thinking, and Cultivating Optimism, you’ll begin to have wild thoughts about what’s possible in your life. But developing Wild Thinking isn’t enough.
We have to take Brave Action.
W = Well-Being
Well-being is your ability to feel good and function well in your entire being: in your emotions, your relationships, your sense of meaning or purpose, your achievements, and in engaging your strengths. Positive psychologists call it flourishing.
Hard fact: only 30% of people around the world say that they’re flourishing in life.
Despite good health, or satisfactory employment, or healthy relationships, many of us experience only brief moments of well-being during our day or our week. The rest of the time we fluctuate between feelings of “just getting by” to experiencing “distress.” And the worst part is that we’ve gotten used to feeling this way.
Well-being isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity if we want to live our best life. Research shows that people who have higher levels of well-being have more energy, more happiness, better health, more positive relationships, and earn more money. Flourishing requires a commitment to invest in yourself. How long has it been since you had a good night’s sleep?
Do you remember what it feels like to wake up feeling rested and energized? According to the CDC, one in three adults are sleep deprived, not only in hours of sleep, but also in quality of sleep.
The quality of your sleep directly impacts every area of your life. Losing 90 minutes of this precious commodity, can actually reduce your alertness during the day by one third! That means you’ll achieve less at work, and have less energy to exercise, to invest in relationships, or even do the things that you love to do. Insufficient sleep increases our risk of developing serious medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and has even been associated with a shortened lifespan.
Are you up for a challenge to improve your well-being?
Turn off your technology at least one hour before going to bed. The blue light emitted by your digital devices increases the release of cortisol which makes you more alert and reduces your production of melatonin, which you need to fall asleep. Additionally, the light and chimes from texts, emails, or calendar reminders can continually interrupt your sleep cycle. Turning off technology can increase your quantity and quality of sleep.
There’s no need to choose between getting your sleep or getting more done. Sleep experts say that when you invest in sleep, the “rest” will follow. (#PunIntended:)
T = Take a Risk
Being brave is all about stepping out of your Comfort Zone, into your Optimal Anxiety Zone.
Everyone loves to live in their comfort zone. But if we want to achieve any new level of success, we have to leave our Comfort Zone and enter what’s known as our Optimal Anxiety Zone, where our stress levels are a little higher, our neurons fire faster, and we perform better.
Anxiety improves performance, but if we increase it too much, we leave the Optimal Zone and enter the Danger Zone where our performance actually declines…and we often crash and burn! This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t attempt big, audacious goals in life. But the quickest way to achieve those goals is to take one brave step into your Optimal Anxiety Zone every day. It could be anything from just ordering something different off of the menu at your usual restaurant, to setting up an interview for a job you’ve always wanted. The more you stay in your Optimal Zone, the more it expands. So over time, you’ll be able to take on bigger challenges with less stress!
Optimal Zone Challenge:
Identify one brave action that you’re willing to take today that will move you out of your Comfort Zone and into your Optimal Zone…and go do it! Growth requires you to get a little scared every day.
Which leads us to the last growth step…
H = Help
Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is ask for help.
Problems become opportunities when we work together. A Stanford study found when we feel like we’re working together with someone else, even if we’re at different locations, our motivation increases and we work 48%-64% longer on our tasks with higher levels of energy. There’s power in together.
Identify one obstacle you’re facing today, and ask someone for help who has more experience than you, has a strength you don’t have, or a skill you haven’t developed yet. Don’t let your fear get in the way of your growth.
You’ll probably be surprised how willing people are to help you and by asking, you’re making it easier for them to ask for help too!
How would you like a 52% Return on Investment (ROI)?
Growth doesn’t happen in a day, it happens daily. It happens each time you take a step in the direction of your dream. Just think: if you grow 1% a week, you will have experienced a 52% increase in your growth by this time next year! That’s an incredible ROI by any standard!
That’s why we create bite-sized action steps for EVERYTHING we share….we call them CHALLENGES. Challenges combine the best of wild thinking and brave action to make a dynamic difference in our lives and work. And every challenge takes some courage, because it requires us to take action, often in front of others. And one thing about courage is that it leaks. You can’t store it up and call on it once in awhile…you have to consciously build it a little at a time. If you’re willing to live a Wild + Brave lifestyle, you need people to put that courage back into you (which is the literal meaning of “encourage”), to be doing challenges too, to share their struggles and strategies. And THAT is what the Wild + Brave Community of Hendrix Coaching is ALL ABOUT!
It’s not another program, it’s not a coaching package, it’s not something to purchase. It’s a precious shared braintrust and energy hub all in one.
So I want to leave you with a final challenge:
Join the Wild + Brave Community of HC&C...for FREE!
There are 2 free steps to doing this so you don’t miss out:
- Like our Hendrix Coaching Facebook Page
- Click the Preferences Tab and choose “See First” and then “On” for Notifications.
Why should you bother doing this? Especially if you’ve signed up for our HCC Mailing List or Follow us on Instagram? Because beginning January 2018, we are doing FREE, LIVE Wild + Brave Masterclasses RIGHT on our Facebook Page where you’ll be able to interact with us, join in the challenges, and win wonderful things. Facebook can get cluttered…this is the simplest way to set your intention and make it easy to experience a Wild + Brave 2018 with us!
We hope that our #GROWTH strategy is freeing and powerful for you! It’s what our team is focusing on building in ourselves to be prepared for a powerful, beautiful, connected 2018!