Confidence, or rather, lack of it, is probably the single most common problem that children are brought to me with nowadays. Isn’t it strange how much emphasis we place today on ensuring that our children do well at school, go on to University and get a good job? Only yesterday I was reading that there has been a huge increase in private tutoring to support children at GCSE and A’ Level stage over and above what they do in school. Yet, when we first meet someone we decide in seconds whether we want to be friends, indeed whether we even want to talk to them in the first place. The way our children present themselves will affect them in life. It will determine how quickly they will get their first job, who they make friends with, and how adults respond to them. How people respond and interact with them affects how they in turn see themselves and it determines their self-worth because like it or not, we are influenced by how others see us. We don’t live in a bubble, we live with other people who will take an instant like or dislike to us. Their attitude to us may change over time but in some situations we simply don’t get the time to put ourselves across again. There are jobs out there but employers are complaining that interviewees are not turning up on time for their interview, they aren’t dressed appropriately and can’t hold a conversation. In a nutshell, they don’t know how to present themselves in order to get the result they want.
What can we do about this as parents? Whether you are confident or not will affect how confident your children will be. This book will help you to build your own confidence and it will give you plenty of tips to boost your child’s confidence in different situations. They are appropriate for any age child or teenager.
The book is based on many years’ work coaching children and teenagers in my practice NLP Kids, running focus groups as a children’s Market Researcher and teaching.
I have written a number of parenting and self-help books for families which you might like to read if you find this one helpful. I would particularly recommend ‘Be a happier parent with NLP’ and the Engaging NLP series of workbooks including NLP for Children, NLP for Tweens, NLP for Teens, NLP for Parents, NLP for Teachers.
‘Positive Parenting’ – it’s a term we are all very familiar with wherever we live in the world. It is bandied about and there are loads of books about it, courses you can go on and articles in the parenting media. We assume we know what it means, don’t we? Surely it just means praising our kids, not shouting at them or nagging them and encouraging them in whatever they want to do?
If only it were that easy!
Positive Parenting is about us being the model for our kids. It’s about us making choices in our behaviour that they will learn from. We need to be positive role models. It’s about allowing our children to learn from us and how we manage our emotions, setbacks and challenges.
In this book on Positive Parenting you will find how by making small changes in what you say, you can create a different result. You will find out how to change your thinking so you focus on what is going well rather than steering the focus towards what you wanted to avoid. You will discover how you can use body language to make a point and to get attention.
This EBook is an introduction to NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and how it can be a great help in parenting.
Click HERE to go to Amazon and either borrow it or download a sample.
As parents we are the greatest influence on how our children will develop and who they will become as adults. It is our job to guide them by example, which in NLP we call ‘modelling’.
Our children watch us and learn from us. They take on our values and beliefs in the early years and then gradually, as they have their own experiences, they form their own values and beliefs.
What we say and how we say it during these crucial childhood years are the outward expressions of our values and beliefs. It is important to understand that we have choices and that what we say and do, makes a difference.
One example is to take a positive approach. Many parents I have coached have noticed a significant difference when they tell their child what they do want rather than what they don’t want. Have a go and experience the difference!
Similarly, why give your child the idea they have a choice when they don’t? Use the word ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ and you’ll be more effective.
NLP gives you the tools and techniques with which to make these choices so you can influence and guide your children in the direction that will allow them to achieve.
They are usually applied in the workplace in the area of management skills, leadership, rapport and negotiation which, let’s face it, we parents certainly need! Our children will need these skills too as they make their way in an ever more challenging and competitive world.
‘Being the change’ means that instead of expecting to get a different result when you do the same thing, you will get a different result when you do something different. So YOU are the change.
What you do and say makes a difference to the results you get so Neuro Linguistic Programming is a way of life, a new and different, positive approach to the way we communicate and how we interpret the way others communicate with us both verbally and non-verbally.
The only way to make effective changes in our life is to engage with this new way and incorporate it daily into everything we do.
At home, at work or at play, whether we are a child, a teenager or an adult, we can make new choices about how we live our life so that we achieve all we wish for in our friendships, relationships and our own state of well-being and happiness.
Engage with NLP and see, hear and feel the difference immediately. You will improve your self-esteem, how you get on with people and your effectiveness both as a parent and in all the other areas of your life.
As you incorporate NLP into your parenting, your children will pick it up too and learn how to get the positive learning and more effective communication for themselves.
Learn how to teach them NLP so they can reframe negative experiences so they learn from them and set compelling outcomes for school, home and socially.
Positive Parenting is about focusing on what’s working, what’s going well and extracting the structure so we can get more of it.
As parents we often feel we’ve failed because we focus on what’s not working. When we change our focus we can get a different and better result.
NLP is a completely different way of viewing your world. Once you have been introduced to the NLP way of thinking and communicating it will seem like you’ve come home. It is respectful of others and more importantly of yourself and it is positive.
John Grinder and Richard Bandler developed, what they came to call NLP, from a combination of Virginia Satir’s Family Therapy, Franz Perls’ Gestalt Therapy and the work of Milton Erickson in the area of language patterns.
What Grinder and Bandler added was the idea of coding excellence. They studied how successful and effective people communicated and formulated some ground rules that would bring these results to anyone who applied them. These ground rules are what we call NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming.
Are you a parent? How well do you know parents? Are any of your friends and colleagues parents? Ask them what it’s like to go shopping with children? Go on!
Shopping with children is a nightmare! Whether you are shopping with a sleeping baby who could wake up hungry at any moment or with a bored child, adults shopping with children do not make the same decisions they say they make when asked in a focus group. Clients want logic and reasoning, decisions based on weighing up the comparative merits of brands on the shelf. They can even replicate this in a hall test or mall test. They can replicate it on line and using all manner of clever technical gadgetry so that what the respondent sees is as close to the real thing as possible. However, what it fails to replicate is the state of mind of the shopper when faced with this choice with an attendant child.
In adult mode, in a research scenario we would probably all claim to be rational and even with a few glasses of wine, a reliable babysitter putting your child to bed , some delicious M&S sandwiches and convivial company, we can along with our fellow groupees discuss price, display, branding, pack design, promotions and so on. However, when we’re shopping we aren’t adults, we are parents and will do something completely different. We will buy whatever we know our child will eat, regardless of the promise of a smily faced child eating a different product on the pack design,a sepcial offer or a well known brand. We will look for the best deal on familiar and regularly purchased items and we will try to get out of that store as quickly as we possibly can.
I have conducted numerous surveys on buyer behaviour, in store and out of store for products ranging from cheap frequently purchased items to large ticket toy items and in every case it’s perfectly clear that logic in the way that marketing people view it, does not feature. Adults know that the more expensive product, the bigger brand is the higher quality product but if they can get away with the cheaper one they will with their parent hat on. Ask them in a focus group or an interview though and they will answer what in an idealistic world they would like to think that they would do.
I’m not saying that adults or parents lie because that would be to suggest there is no point in doing market research at all. No, what I’m saying is that marketing people need to get out from behind their desks and just stand near the display of their product and watch what happens. Listen to people talking about their brand and ask shoppers casually why they haven’t picked your brand up.
Judy Bartkowiak is the author of Secrets of Success in Brand Licensing and Learn Market Research in a Week. She runs Kids Brands Europe a specialist kids market research agency. Contact Judy on 01628 660618 or email email@example.com
Maybe you already hold an NLP qualification but you have decided you want to work with children or perhaps you want to use NLP with your own children but the course you went on was more specific to the workplace. By becoming an NLP Kids Practitioner you can use it to run your own business and treat children and teenagers, you can offer help to parents and teachers and you can of course use it with your own children.
This course not only covers all the principles of NLP but through weekly homework you will be applying the techniques on yourself and your children. There is a lot of reading and the books you need are supplied but you will almost certainly find particular issues more interesting than others and want to read further and in more depth.
Neuro Linguistic Programming is a way of life, a new way of thinking that at first may be a bit ‘clunky’ but as you develop the skills and use them daily you will soon do it without realising. The changes will become automatic and subconscious as you make the transition from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence. You have probably already been applying NLP in your life so the concepts won’t be new but by going over them with fresh eyes and ears as a parent, foster carer, teacher or social worker you will find new applications and different ways of using them.
There are many NLP courses and many offer you the world, they promise to make you wealthy or slim, successful, powerful and so on. My courses don’t promise this.
Neuro is how we think. This is based on our experiences of life, our upbringing, culture, age and those we’ve grown up with. Many people think that this can’t be changed but let me assure you that it can be. Not only that. It will be. As you start to question some of the beliefs you hold and challenge them you will find yourself replacing them with a new and grown up way of thinking that will give you permission to do some of those things you thought you couldn’t do before. You’ll still be YOU so don’t worry that you’ll lose the best bits. It’s those limiting beliefs that we’ll work on; the beliefs that hold you back from being the parent you want to be.
Linguistic is how we talk. It’s the words and phrases we use to communicate. It’s also that irritating little inner voice that tells us where’s getting it all wrong. The words we use matter. They mean something. They reflect the thinking behind them so we need to ensure that we communicate what we want to communicate and nothing else.
Programming is the results. These are the habits and patterns we’ve formed and the things we keep doing even when we know they don’t work. When you learn about NLP you will start to recognise those patterns and find out how to change them so they are more resourceful and get you the results you want.
The NLP Kids Practitioner course that I run is on Skype and the next one starts in September 2013. The course costs £550 or its equivalent in your currency and you can pay in installments if you want. This cost includes the books I recommend. The sessions are weekly and there will be homework. The homework is not so much a written test but it is instead an opportunity for you to explain how you have incorporated that bit of learning into your life and your parenting. I shall be available on Skype to help with any questions or issues you have.
Connect with me on Skype to discuss this further. My Skype name is judy.bartkowiak
You can pay your deposit here
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Have you ever wondered why it is that when another parent is telling their child off or you see a child misbehaving you don’t get stressed by it; indeed you may hardly notice it. Yet when it is your own child misbehaving or you disciplining your child it seems as if the whole world can hear and is aware of it? Our perception is completely different when we are emotionally involved in the situation. In fact, many times it is that emotional involvement that gets in the way of our being able to reason or calm down the situation. Our inner voice is reprimanding us, telling us we are bad parents, that our child is out of control and it is all our fault. Does this sound familiar?
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? We lose our temper and say things we didn’t mean. We shout at our children and lose our temper and we may cry. In many cases we are tired and fed up with the seemingly endless task of parenting and we want some peace and quiet, some time out to relax and unwind but that’s so hard to get.
I want to teach you an NLP technique for taking the emotion out of the situation. It’s a technique you can teach your own children as well so that they can use it when someone makes them angry. Remember, how you react to their behaviour will be what they copy when someone annoys them. We want to teach them skills that will allow them to have self-control because when they become teenagers the sort of conflicts they will meet will potentially be a lot more dangerous. It is therefore so important for them to learn how to control their anger when they are young.
Step 1 – Notice your state. Are you tense? Are your shoulders tight? Is your face tense? Be aware of the danger signs and the triggers that set you off. Are they visual (what you see) auditory (what you hear) or kinaesthetic (what your child does)? Just taking a minute to be aware of your state gives you back some control.
Step 2 – Imagine you could float up above your body and be a CCTV camera looking down at the situation. What would this camera notice? What is actually happening when you look at the situation as if you are not in it yourself?
Step 3 – Now seeing the situation as that CCTV camera, what could you do to calm the situation down?
Step 4 – Take a deep breath and do it.
The reason this process works is because
- You’ve paused and given yourself a few minutes to consider your reaction
- The situation really does look different once you’ve taken the emotion out of it
- Your mind and body are one. By taking control of your physical state you automatically take control of your mental state and vice versa. This is how athletes operate.
Away from the situation just think about what that trigger was because it may reoccur. Think about whether it was visual, auditory or kinaesthetic. There are other NLP techniques you can learn in my books. I would particularly recommend ‘Be a happier parent with NLP’ or my EBook ‘Positive Parenting with NLP’. They are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and the Book Depository in all formats. If you often have a problem with your child you can book a SKYPE or telephone consultation with me.
NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming has been used in Industry for leadership and management training for many years and is now being adopted by parents all over the world to help them build parenting skills. Surely if it has been successful in business for building confidence, rapport, negotiating skills and conflict resolution then we need it as parents too!
So how does it work?
Neuro is the bit in our head, the self talk, the limiting beliefs such as ‘I can’t….’ and the way we think and feel about what we experience.
Linguistic is what we say, our communication patterns.
Programming is the patterns we repeat regardless of whether or not they serve us well.
What does it offer to us as parents?
From birth our babies mimic us and we them. We make faces at each other, make funny noises and movements with our hands to encourage them to respond and connect with us. As they get older they copy other things we do, mannerisms and expressions.
They learn what your approval looks, sounds and feels like and they want to get it because this gives us both a warm feeling. They naturally match us and this is a learning process. When they can’t do something, they don’t give up, they have another go and eventually they all walk, talk and eat as we do.
We can use this natural process to build our parenting skills because we are the ‘model’ for our children. What they do and say they have seen in us so when they do something we don’t like the question is, how do we do this ourselves? What could we do differently that would show them what behaviour we do want from them?
Children naturally learn from feedback and don’t feel a failure when they fall over as they learn to walk and yet we have teenagers who have no confidence. So what happens between babyhood and teenage years that changes their response to setbacks?
NLP offers us the opportunity to show children by our own behaviour how to overcome setbacks and limiting beliefs, access our strengths and skills and apply them to where we need them and how to get on with people from all walks of life.
How can we use NLP as parents?
NLP has a number of very useful ‘ground rules’ that if we apply ourselves, we will be leading by example. Here are a few of them.
- If you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you’ve always got – in other words, if you aren’t getting the result you want, do something different.
- You have all the resources you need – whatever skill you need now you have either in the past or in another area of your life, so we need to find it and use it now. If you really don’t believe you have the skill, find someone who does, and copy it.
- There is no failure only feedback – setbacks are there to learn from so next time you do something different.
- The map is not the territory – how you see the world is unique to you and based on your experiences, values and beliefs. Be curious about other people’s map in order to build rapport and connect with them.
- The person with the most flexibility controls the system – this means that if you exercise choice as to how you respond then you are more likely to achieve your desirable outcome. Knowledge of NLP internal representations (Visual Auditory and Kinaesthetic) as well as the personality types enables you to match and connect with the other person and give you the opportunity to influence them.
Judy Bartkowiak is an NLP therapist based in Burnham, Bucks tel. 01628 660618. She is also the author of Teach Yourself: Be a happier parent with NLP and a series of NLP workbooks for the family called Engaging NLP (NLP for Parents, NLP for Children, NLP for Tweens, NLP for Teens, NLP Back to Work, NLP for New Mums, NLP for Teachers). She has also written NLP for the 11+. All her books are available via Amazon or from her website
Would you like to get the better of exams? When I say the word ‘exam’ what comes to mind? Do you get a picture in your head? Do you hear something? Or do you feel something? Being aware of whether you are visual, auditory or kinaesthetic can help you manage your reactions. Is it the word exam itself or is it what the word exam is associated with such as success or failure, the fear of the implications or the hard word that is required before-hand?
One thing is probably true, most people don’t respond positively to the idea of sitting an exam yet we all have to take them and the results will affect our future so wouldn’t it be so much better if we could reframe our reactions such that they are positive and empowering?
So let’s first face up to how we currently think of exams. Close your eyes and think about exams. Be aware of whether you’re getting images, sounds, feelings in your body.
If you’re getting images, where are you looking for them? If you’re looking up and to the left then you are remembering what happened last time you had an exam. If this was a bad experience or a bad result, think about whether this image is helping you prepare for the next exam. It isn’t. So instead, look up the the right and think about how you’d prefer the image to look. Picture a positive scenario, maybe you confidently answering the questions or you seeing the results up on the noticeboard and YEH you’ve done really well!
If you’re getting sounds, are they coming from your right or your left because again the same thing applies. If they’re sounds from the past (from your left) they may be your parents being annoyed with you or your teacher telling you that you will have to re-sit. Turn your attention to your right and focus on what you want to hear. Maybe you want to hear your mates telling you how well you’ve done.
If you experience feelings in your body, maybe butterflies in your stomach, a sick feeling, headaches or goose bumps then you’re probably looking down and to your right. Look up instead. This tends to subconsciously raise your spirits. Now think about something much more positive, something physical such as stroking your pet, hugging your girl/boyfriend, scoring a goal, running your personal best. As you think of that positive thing, anchor it by squeezing your earlobe. Do this a few times and you’ll be able to squeeze your earlobe when you think about exams and instead get a good feeling.
We can reframe negative things like exams by thinking about all the benefits of them. After all, they are the door to your future career or job, they will enable you to do what you desire in life and when you work hard you’ll never have to take this exam again, will you? They are an opportunity to show what you can do, an opportunity to show off your skills. Are you really going to let your negative thought processes get in the way of success? It is YOUR choice how you decide to feel about exams, no-one else’s. You are in control so make choices that will inspire you and motivate you to become the person you want to be in life.
Learn how to build confidence in your kids with this great new Ebook ‘Confidence for Kids’
Nigella Lawson recently showed off her new slim and toned body claiming that the weight she’d put on in recent years was down to the demands of filming her TV series. “Lack of sleep and stress make me put on weight even though my eating doesn’t change” she told reporters.
Known for her love of deliciously fattening recipes and a hearty appetite it would be easy to dismiss her excuses as simply that – excuses.
But scientists are increasingly finding that our stressful lives could indeed be making us fat.
When our bodies sense danger or stress, they quickly release hormones that stimulate the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline and cortisol. The adrenaline will get you alert and focused and the cortisol increases fat and sugar in the bloodstream to give you a boost of energy.
This clever system of ours is what enabled Man to run away from sabre-toothed tigers in years gone by and continues to help get us out of trouble today.
Whilst this may be a welcome extra boost of energy required to meet that deadline or put in those extra hours, for most of us stress now consists more of mundane traffic jams, exams, missed appointments, supermarket queues and mortgages.
Our bodies can’t tell the difference between a real-life danger and the ordinary, daily pressures of life and so continue to keep releasing these stress chemicals for hours on end and sometimes for days.
And the more these chemicals hang around, the more they’ll lead to an increased appetite which is why stressed people often feel hungry all the time. Worse still, your body will start to crave fattening carbs and sugar, because it will think that it’s a good idea to stock up, sensing that there could be tough times ahead.
Dr Marilyn Glenville PhD explains in her book ‘Fat around the Middle’ that if we don’t burn off all the extra glucose energy produced by our bodies by running away or exercising, and choose to sit at our desks or behind the wheel of our cars instead, then it will simply be re-deposited as fat. And this type of fat gets stored around the liver so it can be converted back into energy if needed, which is what often gives stressed people an apple-shape or belly fat.
Life in the 21st century has indeed become fast-paced, frantic and stressful compared to that of 50 years ago, when the pace of life was slower and mentally less demanding. Technological advances whilst making our lives easier, also mean it’s possible to retire to bed at night and keep in touch with friends on social networking sites, answer emails, continue working or even do the weekly shop, until the small hours of the morning.
It may not be such a coincidence then that the busier our lives become, the more weight we find ourselves putting on.
The key to successful weight loss may lie in de-stressing our lives rather than following the latest faddy diets.
Here are my top weight loss tips that have absolutely nothing to do with dieting whatsoever:
1. CLEAR YOUR KITCHEN CLUTTER
Take time out over a weekend and clear your kitchen clutter. If your worksurfaces are cluttered up with the latest kitchen gadgets (especially those that rarely get used) as well as old newspapers, bills and piles of ironing, you will not feel inspired to cook healthy, balanced meals. Clear the decks completely and create a more calming environment for yourself.
And if you regularly come home from work to find dirty breakfast dishes – or even the previous evening’s left-over dinner plates – cluttering your work surface, then it’s definitely time to get organized.
Kitchen cupboards and fridges that are full of half-eaten packets of out-of-date food will leave you feeling frustrated each time you search for ingredients. You’ll quickly give up the idea of cooking healthy meals and reach for the takeaway menu or a microwave meal instead.
Make no mistake, your untidy kitchen is making you fat – allow yourself plenty of time to give it a thorough de-clutter. Get organized and plan your shopping and menus for the week ahead and you’ll find it easier to relax as you cook and eat.
2. DON’T EAT ON THE RUN
Too many of us arrive home and check emails or Facebook as we eat. If you regularly sit in front of the computer at mealtimes or grab something to eat as you fly out of the house and travel, you are sending a very big message to your brain that you are short of time and under pressure.
Your body will start to release those stress chemicals that will start to shut down your digestive system – that is why people who are anxious or scared often find themselves running to the loo. Eating when you’re in this stressed state will result in you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
3. LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’
Our eating habits can be a reflection of how well other things are going in our lives. People who regularly feel out of control and find it difficult to say ‘no’ to certain foods, often struggle to turn down requests in other areas of life.
If you regularly ‘give-in’ to people asking favours of you and feel coerced into taking on extra projects, you’ll end up feeling over-burdened, stressed and resentful. Those stress chemicals will begin to build up again and you’ll find the quickest way to take your mind off your feelings will be to eat something.
Practise the art of saying ‘no’ and get used to using phrases such as “I’d love to help you out, but unfortunately I’m already busy ……..” or “Yes, I’d be happy to help, just as soon as I’ve done……….” . Start off by practising with family members over small requests as you gradually build up your confidence.
4. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Scientists have known for years that skimping on sleep is associated with weight gain. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied two groups of men – half had 8 hours sleep and the other half had just over 5 hours. The group with fewer hours sleep consumed 500 extra calories the next day – their tiredness meant that they needed a shot of energy in the form of caffeine, sugar and carbohydrates.
But it’s also been shown that a lack of sleep results in our bodies producing high levels of the stress chemical cortisol. Again, if this is not used up by way of energetic activity, our bodies will convert it into glucose energy, which will get deposited as fat.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine for yourself and start turning in for the night as least 30 minutes earlier than you have been. Take a warm bath and consider burning candles made with essential oils such as lavender to aid restful sleep. Not only will you feel more relaxed but you’ll also be too busy to consider eating those late evening fattening snacks. It’s tiredness that creates these cravings and not true hunger.
5. DETOX YOUR MIND
It’s common to kick start a weight loss regime with a dietary detox – in fact many of us will go to great lengths to eliminate toxins by eating and drinking next to nothing in the hope of losing that excess weight quickly.
As we all know though, weight that’s lost quickly usually goes back on just as fast – detox your mind and you’re more likely to experience longer term benefits. If your mind is racing with stressful thoughts, you’ll find it very much harder to slow your pace of eating or summon up the willpower to conquer cravings.
Take just five minutes each day to sit and meditate – make yourself comfortable in a chair and focus on your breathing. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen, just below your belly button. As you breathe in and out, you should notice the lower hand rise up and down. If you find the upper hand doing most of the moving, change your breathing by blowing out slowly for 10 seconds before allowing yourself to take another breath back in. Repeat this several times until you can notice the shift from shallow breathing to deep breathing.
6. WALK THE DOG
And if you haven’t got a dog, pretend that you have. People who own dogs have no option but to get out and walk them every day, come rain, wind, sleet or snow.
Find a way of introducing just 15 minutes of extra exercise a day, into your life – yes, just 15 minutes will make all the difference. Choose something that can easily be incorporated into your routine and maybe team up with a buddy or friend for ongoing support. During the summer months, take advantage of the light evenings by walking round the block – not only will you be burning off calories, you’ll also be using up the stress chemicals that have accumulated throughout the day.
Don’t let things slip in the winter time – invest in a couple of pieces of equipment such as a rebounder or a stepper and get moving as you watch TV.
Alicia Eaton is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Licensed NLP Coach based in London’s Harley Street. She is the author of “Fix your Life with NLP” as well as the best-selling “Stop Bedwetting in 7 days” book and video programme.
Thinking ahead to the New Year I have my diary out. Every year I write down ten things that I want to have achieved by the end of the next year. I share them with my kids who laugh and remind me that I do this every year. They tell me that they are unrealistic, that I always set myself ambitious goals that will be difficult to achieve with the commitments of home, hubbie, kids, dog, hens, parents…………
So this year, I’m going to scale it right down and start with five goals then whittle it down to one. Yes just one.
What are my five? They’re the same as yours probably.
- Exercise every day for an hour (for that read lose weight!)
- Eat more fruit and veg (for that read lose weight!)
- See a friend every week
- Practice the piano for 30 minutes daily
- Finish my novel
The first three goals are about self-worth, valuing myself enough to spend time during the day doing things that will keep me healthy and happy. I love playing tennis and hockey, cycling and walking the dog so I will simply extend these activities. I love seeing friends but don’t allow myself much ‘playtime’ during the working week.
Number four, practising the piano, is about making the time to improve an activity I have committed to. It’s about discipline but also about making time for me but not the physical me. I have been learning for years but I am ashamed to say that my playing is still only at Grade 2 level.
Looking at these four goals, I know I have seen them all before…………..every year I think. Why? Because they are worthy, sensible goals. But how much do I want them that they keep appearing every year and never being achieved? Why am I setting myself up to fail?
The final goal is what I really do want. I am half way through my novel, I have had it critiqued and I have been on a self-editing course to work on some of the issues regarding voice and psychic distance. This is where my passion lies.
This year I shall have just one goal – to finish my novel. As I sit here writing, I can imagine seeing it on the Best Sellers display in Smiths. I can imagine people asking me about it, being interviewed, holding the book itself. I’m making my goal visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. Making it real.
Where you put your focus is what you’ll get so I know I will achieve this goal. What one thing will you achieve in 2013?
Judy Bartkowiak is a Freelance Writer http://www.judybartkowiak.com