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Did you know that habits are incredibly powerful tools for personal growth and success?
Think about the habits you have now and how they affect virtually every aspect of your life. Your weight and health are determined by your eating habits. Your relationships with people are determined by your social habits. Your success at work is determined by your work habits. You have sleeping habits that dictate how well you sleep. You have sexual habits. You even have buying habits; just take a look around your house and you will quickly see them. Our character, health and virtually every aspect of our lives are indeed determined by our habits.
If you ask ten people on the street what the word habit means, nine out of ten will tell you that a habit is a negative action that people do over and over again, like smoking, or procrastinating, or eating too much. Bad habits get all the press. Let’s look at the results of just one bad habit: smoking. Every year, over 400,000 people lose their lives to smoking-related illnesses in the United States. Imagine then, the negative power that exists in just that one bad habit. It is staggering.
Now I want you think about an even greater power, a power that can bring you success, health and happiness; a power for positive, permanent, and automatic personal growth: the power of positive habits. Let’s look a little closer at the meaning of the word habit. Random House dictionary defines habit in this way:
Habit: An acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary.
The important words in this definition are acquired and almost involuntary. Let me ask you a question. When is the last time you sat down and said to yourself, “Today I am going to add a new habit to my life?” I would venture to guess that you have probably never said those words. As you read this article, you will see how easy it is to add positive habits to your life and the great power they have to change it. Think about the words almost involuntary. This means the habit is so powerful in your mind that it is almost unstoppable! With respect to bad habits like smoking, procrastination, and overeating, this is very bad. But with positive habits, this is very, very good.
What is a positive habit?
A positive habit is simply a habit that produces positive benefits, actions and attitudes you want to acquire and make a part of your life. Why is there such great power in positive habits to effect change? Because habits, by their very nature, are automatic. After a period of time they can become permanent.
So how do we go about adding new positive habits to our life? It’s really quite easy. You simply begin repeating an action, attitude or thought process every day for at least 21 days. Research has shown that an action that is repeated for a minimum of 21 days is likely to become a permanent habit. Remember that positive habits have positive benefits and you will reap those benefits for as long as you maintain that habit. So now that we know what positive habits are, and how to acquire them, let’s look at some simple positive habits from the book that will help you reach your goals and have a healthier body.
Positive Habit– Make it a habit to set goals
Since we are talking about goals, what better habit could you have then the habit of setting goals? Did you know that the most successful people all share the common positive habit of goal setting? A study was done to determine the importance of goal setting. College students who had gone on to achieve great success in business were asked to list their habits. The students who had made a habit of setting goals were in the top 3% of earnings in the population! It is almost impossible to overestimate the value of goal-setting as a positive habit. Goal setting is simple, yet 97% of the population never do it. By making goal setting a positive habit, you can start placing yourself in the top 3% of the population of successful people.
Here are some simple steps to help you start making goal setting a positive habit:
Step 1 – Define your goals, write them down, and be very specific; capture your goals on paper. It is amazing how many people never take the time to write down exactly what it is they want in life. Remember, you can’t hit a target if you don’t have one.
Step 2 – Determine what the time line is for reaching your goals; set specific deadlines for each goal.
Step 3 – Identify any obstacles that may stand in your way, list them, and state how you plan to overcome them.
Step 4 – Make a list of the people and/or organizations who will help you reach your goals.
Positive Habit – Take Flax Every Day for a Healthy, Trim Body and Lower Cholesterol!
What is flax?
Flax is a blue-flowering plant known for its oil-rich seed. People have been eating flaxseed since ancient times, it has a pleasant, nutty flavor. The health benefits of flaxseed and flaxseed oil are significant and for that reason this habit is recommended as a primary habit for health and a trim and fit body. Here are some of the benefits of flaxseed and flaxseed oil:
Flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Several studies have shown that flaxseed can help to lower cholesterol in the same way that other soluble fiber foods like oat bran and fruit pectin do. A study at the University of Toronto showed that total cholesterol levels dropped 9% and LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) decreased 18% among a group of women who ate milled flaxseed cooked into bread every day for a period of 4 weeks.
Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of lignans and alpha-linolenic acid. Studies suggest that lignans may help to prevent certain cancers. Flaxseed is one of the few plants in the plant kingdom that provide a high ratio of alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) to linoleic (omega-6 fatty acids), it is an excellent source of healthy polyunsaturated fat.
A new study has confirmed that the positive habit of taking flax seed daily can help you get a trim and fit body. I interviewed Dr. Sam Bhathena, a researcher at the Phytonutrients Laboratory of the US department of Agriculture, he said, “we have observed that flax seed meal is much more effective in lowering cholesterol then soy. Several other studies have shown that in general, omega-3 fatty acids,lower lipid deposition, and help in reducing body weight.”
Omega-3 fatty acids
More than half the fat contained in flaxseed is omega-3 fatty acid type, an essential fatty acid. There have been numerous studies reporting the health benefits of consuming omega-3 fats. Recent studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids which are abundant in flax seed can help protect you from coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Studies on the effects of flax seed on breast cancer are now under way. Omega-3s can also help boost your metabolism, helping your body to burn calories faster.
Flax is available as raw seed, ground seed and also as an oil which is made by cold pressing flax seeds. You can purchase raw flax seed, ground flax seed and flax seed oil at most health food stores. The easiest way to incorporate flax seed into your diet is to buy ground flax seed meal and add it to your food.
–Substitute for cooking oil or shortening in baked goods.
· Add ground flax seed to pancakes, waffles and cereals.
· Put ground flax seed on salads.
Here is a great recipe for a super health shake. Make a protein shake with 8 ounces of your favorite juice such as apple or orange, add 2 tablespoons of flax seed oil, 2 tablespoons of soy powder, 1 tablespoon of lecithin, fresh fruit such as bananas, papayas or blueberries. Blend with a hand blender or an electric blender. This power shake will provide you with the health benefits of soy; omega-3’s, fiber, antioxidants, and enzymes from the fruit, and the fat loss benefits of lecithin.
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Is your goal taking longer than you thought?
Are you feeling frustrated and on the verge to give up due to your lack of results?
If so, read on. In this article I share with you five tips that will help you achieve your goals faster.
Are you ready? Here are the five tips to help you achieve your goals faster
1. Find who has what you want
Sure, you could figure it out all by yourself, but how much time will it take? Six months? One year? Five years?
There are people out there who have achieved a similar goal before you. They’ve been there and know the process so why reinvent the wheel? Why not ‘steal’ their blueprint?
Find people who have achieved what you want to achieve and learn everything you can from them. Look at their mindset, beliefs and habits. As Tony Robbins says, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”
Who has what you want?
2. Create a new identity to match your goal
Whatever your goal may be, you want to create a new identity in line with that goal. You want to think and act like the person who has already achieved your goal. To help you do so you can create a goal statement starting with ‘I am’.
Let’s say you want to lose weight to improve your health. Then, see yourself as a healthy person. An examples of an ‘I am’ statement for that particular example could be:
I’m a healthy person. I walk every day and I always take the stairs. I love eating healthy food because it makes me feel good about myself.
When you craft your statement try to be as specific as possible. Imagine how a healthy person would think and act. What specific actions would they take every day and why? Why is their health important? What emotional benefit do they get from taking care of their health?
When you write down your ‘I am’ statement make sure that:
- It starts with ‘I am’. Using I am statement is a great way to strengthen your new identity.
- It is compelling. You want it to resonate with you and inspire you in some ways
- You read it regularly. Practice reading your goal statement in the morning and in the evening. Add emotions to it and visualize yourself talking about your goals to people you’ve just met.
What identity do you need to create to achieve your goal?
3. Fall forward
Over time, as you strengthen your goal identity, you’ll start believing in yourself and will take consistent action towards your goal.
However, let’s face it. Often you won’t feel 100% ready. Thus, one of the keys to achieve your goal faster is your willingness to start before you’re ready.
In the past few years I did many things I wasn’t fully prepared to do. I created a blog, shot YouTube videos, did Facebook Live and even quit my job. All of these activities were out of my comfort zone, but I did them anyway because I knew I couldn’t wait to be ready. I had to act now.
The truth is that your time is incredibly scarce. If you wait to be ready, you risk looking back at your life wondering why you didn’t do all the cool things you’d always wanted to do when you were younger.
What is one scary thing that if you did, would allow you to make a giant step toward your goal?
4. Ask, ask, ask
Get into the habit of asking again and again.
Sadly, most people are afraid to ask because of the fear of rejection. They don’t want to feel bad; they don’t want their ego to be hurt. Unfortunately, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no!
Many people out there are in the position to help you, and would willingly do so. They may have the time, the money or the connections you need. However, if you don’t ask, how are they supposed to know you need their help? Thus, the first step is always to ask.
Remember that, with the internet, it has never been easier to connect with people from all around the world. Find people who can help you, swallow your ego, and ask.
5. Expose your sneaky ways to procrastinate
Have you noticed that the harder you work, the luckier you tend to become. To achieve your goals faster you must commit to take concrete actions that produce real results.
Most people believe they’re take action towards their goals while in realty they’re procrastinating in some way or another. Watching a TED Talk is not work. Reading a great book is not work either.
Here is the difference between working and not working: intent. The key is the intent behind what you’re doing. Below are some examples:
- Work: Watching a TED Talk with the intent of using the content for one of your article or for a presentation at work.
- Not work: Passively watching a TED Talk.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that watching TED Talks hasn’t some value. I’m simply saying that I wouldn’t call it work.
- Work: Reading a great book with the intent of using the content to write an article or develop materials for a seminar
- Not work: Reading a great book because you enjoy it.
Ideally, you want to spend 90% or more of your time taking concrete action towards your goal.
Now, make a list of everything you did this week. Then, answer the following question:
- Do you have a clear intent behind your task?
- Would your company pay you for that task?
- Is it a task you could delegate to someone else? (i.e. is that task valuable?)
- Is it the type of tasks you would write on your to-do list?
- Is that task really moving you toward your goal or is it a distraction?
As you go through this exercise, you may realize that many of the tasks you completed this week aren’t ‘real’ work.
So, from today, among these 5 tips, which one will you start using to achieve your goals faster? Leave me a comment below to let me know.
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Thibaut Meurisse is the founder of whatispersonaldevelopment.org. Obsessed with improvement, he dedicates his life to finding the best possible ways to durably transform both his life and the lives of others. Check out his free e-book “The 5 Commandments of Personal Development” or order his book The One Goal: Master the Art of Goal Setting, Win Your Inner Battle, and Achieve Exceptional Results on Amazon now.
Why is it that most goals are never achieved? For many setting a goal appears to be the end result however goals need to be acted upon every day. These seven steps, if applied conscientiously, will ensure you achieve your goals but it will always be hard work.
How many times have you heard that being successful is all down to setting goals? It may come as no surprise to you to learn there is a lot more to success than just setting your goals.
Most of us, at some time, have been told that an essential part, if not the major part, of being successful is setting goals. If that were true many more of us would be successful millionaires, actors, parents…etc. In this article I show you why many people fail to achieve their goals and how to be successful whatever you want or need.
1) What is a goal?
A goal is a target achievable in measurable attainable steps. It is more than just a desire or a need and has an existence of its own. A desire or a wish is less tangible and often just fleeting. Who doesn’t desire or wish to win the lottery with all its millions in prize money. Very few would not but, despite the widespread desire, it is not a goal. A goal is a desire, wish or need achievable by actions you can take. It is more than a mere wish or desire.
2) How to set a goal?
Setting a goal is a process which starts with an achievable wish, need or desire. First you must decide on the following
What do you want?
Where do you want to be?
Your status, career or qualifications?
A goal can relate to any desire, wish or need achievable by actions you can take.
You then break down the goal into small individual steps or actions. Achievable goals are goals where you can influence their realization and measure your progress towards them. Achieving long term life changing goals is a process of achieving, step by step, short and medium term actions.
3) What actions are required?
Goals require action on your part. You first need to decide what action is required to achieve the goal. Your first action is always to always write your goals down. Putting pen to paper, and this is one time when a real pen and paper are required, gives your goals an existence of their own.
Writing a plan is an essential step in achieving your goals – without it you will, over time, amend the long term goal to fit your reality. You will eventually reduce the goal to a wish, and wishes only come true by chance.
4) Analyse the results
You then need to analyse, and work out in detail, how you are going to accomplish each individual goal. This means writing a detailed plan of what tangible actions are required to achieve each individual goal.
These actions then become smaller shorter term goals leading to major longer term goals.
5) What steps do I need to take today?
Every day ask yourself “What steps do I need to take today?”. By now it should be all planned in advance so check your plan and make sure you take each step every day. If you discover additional steps are needed add them to the plan.
6) Review your achievements every week and month
Every week review your progress for the week. Check what you’ve done and what you may have missed. Adjust your plan for the next week or month.
Your plan should always take into account what you will do today, tomorrow, this week, next week before the end of the month, in the next 3 months, 6 months…? Always write down your results.
7) What if things go wrong?
If goals were easy to achieve everyone would be successful millionaires. Goals are difficult because they move you outside your comfort zone to do things differently. To be successful you have to face your own fear of failure and take risks. There will be setbacks, expect them, they are part of the process.
If you are not prepared to take action towards your goals then you are wasting your time. True success comes from the daily actions we all take. Using goals ensures that all the actions you take are moving you in the direction you wish to go. Daily or weekly reviews keep you on track and applying these simple tips will ensure you achieve your goals