Find your true north.

Last week I asked a client who was pondering their next move What is it you actually want? They were stumped. I think often we can all be guilty of being on auto-pilot,  drifting into careers (and other areas of life for that matter) which we feel like we didn’t choose but know deep down we simply  weren’t in tune with what is really meaningful to us. It’s time to turn off the auto-pilot button people!

Next week I’m fortunate enough to be joining the media crew at the Wanderlust Festival on the Sunshine Coast. Wanderlust.com is a mindful living community created in the U.S. based on yoga, meditation and fun times where their brand ethos is ‘Find your true north’. I love this!

So what’s your true north and are you living and breathing it?

In the book “I could  do anything, if I only I knew what it was” author Barbara Sher points out how many of us end up in careers which have been heavily influenced by our parents without us even realising (sneaky!). Just list all the careers your closest elders wanted you to do when you were 12 and you’ll understand why you were so confused at high school and sought advice from the guidance counsellors dodgy ‘career-picking computer system’.Untitled design (3)

All too often we end up in roles where the work/ life balance is unsustainable, we like the job but not the people/ leadership, we just drifted in there, the actual work is disappointing or we ‘make it’ & then feel unfulfilled . But then it’s ok for a bit. And then it isn’t. And it continues until you crack & go walkabouts or straight into another role which looks different from the outset but is just the same with a different wrapper. And while I’m not suggesting their is a perfect job out there which will be 120% ace everyday I can assure you there are people who’ve found their true north and are thriving.

One of the most simple, yet useful guides to finding a career you love is this:

  1. What are your intrinsic drivers ? List everything you LOVE to do but then ask what is it about them you love.  Go back to childhood & right up to now.
  2. What do people close to you give feedback that you’re good at (I even did a survey of friends to find this out about 10 years ago & still missed the clues so pay attention!)
  3. What are people going to pay you to do.  If this is a new career you want to make sure it’s not just a hobby.

If you’re more a ‘realist’ try describing the worst job you could ever imagine and then flip it on it’s head for the opposites.  Or work with a buddy who asks you What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? tri

A key to finding your true north doesn’t have to start with how you make a living – it might be volunteering, joining a new club, contributing to your community or trialing out new activities which excite you. Just start something!

Want more? Check out Larry Smith in a funny, blunt review on why you’ll never reach the career of your dreams.

 

Get motivated. And stay motivated.

If I had a $1 for every time I’ve seen “New year, new you” in the last couple of weeks I’d at least be up $85.  The media however is simply riding off the annual ‘resolution frenzy’ as we recover from our seasonal holidays, reflect on the year just gone and make promises to ourselves and our loved ones about what will happen in 2015.

And now it’s the first week of February. Some of you may already be knee deep in your goals, many may refuse to make any while others made grand resolutions but well, it’s still summer… the beach is calling.

I’ve already written about goal setting and procrastination however what is key at this point is actually motivation. You can write as many goals, make resolutions,  design vision boards and review last year till the cows come home but if you don’t take ‘massive action’ as Tony Robbins discusses – your chances of achieving your goals are slim to none.

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So how do we get motivated and more importantly stay motivated to take action?

Clear the space. Give yourself at least a half day in a clutter and distraction free zone and get those goals down written down. Paper, whiteboard, mobile, diary, laptop – whatever is easily accessible so you can read them daily and review your progress weekly.  When you write them down you are declaring your intention to yourself and putting the wheels in motion.  Ensure they are not just gliding over from one year into another. Get real with yourself about why you didn’t achieve them – were you realistic or are they no longer important to you? Vocabulary is also essential – the words we use around a goal influence how we committed we feel about achieving the goal.

Have a plan. Were your goals conjured up with a massive hangover on New Years Day with not a strategy in sight?  The best way to stay motivated is to have a simple plan breaking your goals into smaller manageable action steps. Keep it simple with five to seven goals at one time. This will prevent you from going into ‘overwhelm and mass abandonment mode’. Robin Sharma suggests a quarterly themed focus for example ‘health and well-being’ to allow you to be solely concentrate on one area of your life. While Gretchen Rubin in The Happiness Project has monthly resolution to achieve, for example ‘Boost energy’ or ‘Pursue a passion’.

Visualise it. If you spend time every day visualising achieving your goal research has shown you are far more likely to achieve it than if you didn’t. Simply take 5 minutes as you read your goals daily to visualise yourself having achieved the goal and what it will look and feel like. A vision board is a super helpful tool – contact me for some quick tips to get you started.

Be inspired by others. Who else has done what you’re doing? Research, model and ask questions to people who have done what you’re wanting to do. What do they see as the key to achieving their goals? Join a network of people who will stretch you, watch a TED talk to inspire you, attend a motivational workshop or read book that expands your thinking.

Build yourself a support crew. Gone are the days when we have to go it alone. Look to the experts. Whether it’s a nutritionist to get your wellness back on track, a coach to hold you accountable to your plans, a sponsor within your company to accelerate your growth, build a team who are invested and excited for your success. Refrain from sharing your goal with every man and their dog on Facebook – in fact this TED talk reveals why you shouldn’t over share. Get help from those you respect and are on board for your success.

Get physical. Having great physical and mental health is essential to achieving goals. If you’re slothing about in your trackies and ugg boots vs getting your endorphin’s pumping through a top notch workout how differently do you think your approach to making goal progress might be? Your state is a key factor.

Action stations. Once you’ve reviewed, planned and are inspired here’s the crucial element – take massive action within the next 24 hours to leverage your momentum and passion. And when you encounter speed wobbles take a moment to reflect, get to the core of the obstacle and take appropriate action immediately – knowing that overcoming obstacles is actually what will give you the most satisfaction when the goal is complete.

 Celebrate. When you reach any decent milestone reward yourself – I even have a tiered list of rewards (now that is a fun list to create!). Be sure to share your progress with your support crew, give yourself a big tick or strike through on your ‘to do’ list and leverage the momentum of the feeling of achievement to take your next step of action.

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This week I’ve launched ‘The Motivator‘. A short intensive programme for those who know what their goals are but are having problems making progress.