words by nerissa

…observations, thoughts and questions

Archive for the tag “Goals”

Lessons for living

Most parents look out for the lessons we can teach our kids.

We take the opportunity to teach them about fractions when they are helping us bake.

While reading a story we ask them to think of words that rhyme with a word on the page.

When going for a bush walk, we encourage them to look around to see how many different animals they can find.

Yet every now and then, our kids teach us lessons — if we just take the time to watch, listen and learn.

Today was my daughter’s school athletics carnival. It also doubled as selection trials for District Athletics.

For those of you who know my daughter well, she’s not a naturally gifted athlete. She’s always happy to be involved and give it a go, but athletics is not her passion. She’s more at home with a song in her heart, or her hands on the keyboard.

However, today she was more than happy to be involved. In fact, she had entered as many events as she could and was really looking forward to competing.

On the way to school, I asked her if she thought she’d make a District team.

“Maybe,” she said. “We practiced high jump yesterday.”

“How did you go?”

“Really good! I didn’t get out until the second time the rope went up.”

“Oh that’s good,” I said, secretly thinking she didn’t have a chance.

So I asked: “Will you be disappointed if you don’t make a team?”

“Nope!” she said. “I just want to go along, represent my house, have fun, do my best and try to be better than I was last year.”

As I dropped her off at school I promised to see her out on the field.

An hour or so later and we were ready to get underway.

Event number one was the 100m sprint. Ready, set, go! They were off. Down the track she runs, big smile on her face and only just scrapes in at second last.

IMG_6064

Over we go on the high jump

Event number two was high jump. While she’s lining up waiting to jump, she gives me a wave and a big smile. Time to jump. Over she goes. Another big smile. Fast forward a few jumps later and she ends up finishing fourth and wins her very first ribbon for a solo event. She was ecstatic!

Event number three rolls around. 200m sprint. She’s in the last heat with some fast runners. And they’re off. She’s leading initially, but only because she’s in the outside lane (LOL). Overtaken by one, overtaken by two. Soon, she’s running last. The other runners are getting faster and she seems like she’s slowing down. But all I can see is the smile on her face. It was so big it made my heart swell. As she crossed the finish line, the other girls cheer and pat her on the back with a “good job, Laura” or a “well done”. She is beaming. However, the best surprise is yet to come. Based on their times, she finishes 8th out of all the girls. I was shocked!

Event number four is the long jump. Once again she’s ready to compete and gives it her best. She comes away with nothing, not even a PB. Yet the smile doesn’t leave her face.

Event number five is the discus. She’s never thrown a discus before. She enters the cage and asks the teacher “What do I do?” I, (perhaps inappropriately), burst out laughing. She looks at me and laughs too. Then she swings the discus around and lets it fly, feeling very proud that she has done something new. On her second attempt, she betters her distance by more than 2 metres, and ends up finishing around 6th or 7th place!

After a break for lunch, it’s back out onto the field for the shot put. She’s never done that before either so I was interested to see how she’d go. She gets out there and her technique is fantastic for someone who has never thrown it before. Her best distance after three throws was 4 metres. Not good enough to win a ribbon, but her delight in improving with every throw is priceless.

The last event, number seven, is the triple jump. I don’t know if you have watched many kids attempt the triple jump but many of them struggle with the technique. Some kids get it and other kids don’t. Laura did and after three rounds finished with a PB of 4.95m and a fourth place ribbon.

IMG_6071

Throwing the discus for the first time

Two individual ribbons in one day! Neither of us expected that.

As I reflect back on the athletics carnival, there are five key lessons that I learned from my daughter:

LESSON No. 1. Always have a plan and know what you want to achieve. Laura’s goal was to “represent my house, have fun, do my best and try to be better than I was last year.” She wasn’t trying to ‘beat’ anyone. She wasn’t aiming to ‘win’. Those things weren’t important to her, so she focused on what did matter. As well as having fun, she achieved 3 PBs and won 2 individual ribbons.

LESSON No. 2. Don’t compare yourself. How many of us compare ourselves to other people and find ourselves wanting? A number of Laura’s friends are great athletes and usually win ribbons in most events. One of her best friends always cleans up at sports days. Today that girl entered 6 events and achieved 4 firsts, 1 second and 1 third. If Laura compared herself with her friends, she would have come home feeling discouraged and ‘not good enough’. Instead, she came home on a high, being proud of what SHE achieved.

LESSON No. 3. Always smile. One of the best things from today was Laura’s smile. She smiled before her events. She smiled during her events. She smiled when she came last. She smiled when she came fourth. She smiled for the whole day. She didn’t think about how slow she was while running. She didn’t worry about whether she was ‘winning’. She was just happy to be there in the moment, giving it her best.

LESSON No.4. Be proud of what you achieve. Laura is still beaming and is so proud of herself for ‘her best results ever’. On the way home from the carnival, she had to ring several family members to tell them how she went. When her dad came home from work, the first thing she did was show him her ribbons and the scrap piece of paper on which she recorded her PBs. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook our achievements, particularly when we focus on what others have achieved. But today Laura showed me just how happy you can be, by being proud of what YOU achieve.

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So proud of what she had achieved today.

LESSON No. 5. Cheer for others. Sometimes it’s difficult to cheer for other people. Sometimes we feel they don’t need it, or deserve it. Sometimes jealousy causes us to stay silent. However, when someone is cheering for you, it can mean so much. When Laura crossed the finish line of her 200m race, in last place and a long way behind the others, the other girls cheered for her. And I could tell in that moment, it meant the world to her, because the smile that was upon her face became even bigger.

Today was a good day. Actually, today was a great day.

While Laura didn’t qualify for the District athletics team, she taught me that with the right attitude, we can always feel like a winner.

Write to the Point CommunicationsNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Dreams and plans

Dreams and Plans words by nerissaWhen I was a girl, I had a dream. It was a very unrealistic dream, but I dreamt it nevertheless.

There was no way that I could ever achieve it — even if I devoted every minute of my life to it, and all of my money.

Would you like to know what it was?

I dreamed of reading every single book that had ever been written.

A silly dream? I know some of you can’t even imagine finishing one book!

However, I was a young, avid reader. I would read the cereal box if there was nothing else to read. I spent all my pocket money on books and my spare time reading them. Reading them was my favourite thing to do. Once I went on a day-trip with our local church. My mum gave me some money to spend on ‘something special’. I came home with two new books. That wasn’t really what she had in mind. But they were special, weren’t they?

I would often read way past bedtime. Sometimes I stayed up until I had read the whole book from start to finish. (Shh. Don’t tell my mum).

I couldn’t imagine anything lovelier than a life of just reading. Reading. Reading. Reading.

Dreams and Plans words by nerissaHowever, as I got older I realised what an unrealistic dream it was. Once I got to high school and had to read set novels that I absolutely hated, it dawned upon me that to achieve my dream, I’d have to read things I hated. When I discovered that new books were published every day, then I quickly realised that time was running out — I’d never have enough time!

Then there was always that pesky question of whether I would have to read books in a different language.

When it came down to it, the dream was too hard and unrealistic, so I let it die.

Sometimes dreams are unrealistic and the best thing to do is to let them die. A life spent chasing the impossible is not only frustrating, but it is a waste. A waste of time, a waste of energy and a waste of other opportunities that are possible.

But what about those dreams that are possible, yet require a lot of hard work and effort? Should we let them die just because they seem impossible?

Or is there something we can do to increase our chances of success?

I believe there is. It’s called a plan.

Planning is something most of us do anyway. We plan our meals. We plan our weekends. We plan our holidays. Why not plan our success too?

Sometimes dreams can take years to fulfil. Sometimes to achieve the ultimate goal, you need to achieve many goals along the way.

Take becoming a brain surgeon for example. There are 13 years of school to complete, then six years studying an undergrad medical degree. After that, a further six years of specialist training. If a little girl starting school this year aspires to be a brain surgeon, she has 25 years of hard work ahead of her, and wouldn’t be qualified until 2040!

Dreams and Plans words by nerissaShould she give up, simply because it is hard and will take a long time?

Everyone has dreams.

“Wouldn’t it be great if…..”

“One day I’m going to…”

“I wish….”

The trouble is that’s what most of them will ever be — dreams and wishes and a life of regretting that you never achieved what you so dearly wished for.

Unless you have a plan, then the chances of achieving success is slim.

Being successful in your life is a little like taking a road trip. You need to know where you are going, you need to know from where you are starting and you need a map. When taking a road trip, we usually look for the milestones along the way — usually a town, a river or a turnoff. By following the map, we don’t get lost. But if we simply get in the car and drive, then who knows where we will end up?

When you have a map, it’s also easy to overcome any roadblocks. You can easily identify another route that will get you to your end destination.

Fear often stops us from success, but so does the lack of a plan.

Planning takes thought. Planning takes work. Yet planning is often the difference between wishing and succeeding.

Do you have a plan?

If so, then you are a step ahead of the dreamers.

If not, you had best get busy making a plan.

Write to the Point CommunicationsNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

Give yourself a chance

words by nerissa

Source: VicFit Factory (http://www.vicfitfactory.com/)

If you could do (or have) anything at all, what would it be?

Perhaps you want a new job, a promotion or even a change in your career.

Maybe you really want to travel — see the world and meet new people.

You may even wish to do something daring — like bungee jumping, parachuting or leaving the house without making the bed!

Maybe you are thinking about starting a family, buying a house, selling a house, buying a bigger house?

Perhaps you want to leave a bad relationship or start a new relationship, or deal with something from your past.

Do you have a dream or goal? Or maybe an idea forming in your mind of what your ideal life would be like?

If you do, and you’re not going after it, then what’s stopping you?

The biggest thing that holds people back is FEAR.

What is FEAR?

Fear is a very real feeling. Actually, it is our body’s way of protecting us in the face of life-threatening situations. Fear is a response to a perceived threat — whether it be physical or emotional.

words by nerissaYou may have heard of the ‘fight or flight’ response. This is our body’s inbuilt response mechanism, that prompts us to either fight or flee from perceived harm or threat to us.

The key word in both the above paragraphs is the word ‘perceived’. Perceived doesn’t mean ‘actual’. It means that you have interpreted something as threatening to you.

The trouble is most of us are afraid of things that are not really threats at all. More often than not, the situations that we imagine are more frightening than reality. The situations we imagine are also not likely to happen.

We may be frightened of what people think, of being ‘left out’ or ‘not fitting in’. We might be afraid that we will lose friends.

We may fear losing our money.

We may fear failure and the feeling of disappointment.

Perhaps we are scared about being out of our comfort zone, of feeling uncomfortable in new situations.

Maybe (in the case of bungee jumping), we are fearful of losing our life.

We may worry that the price we need to pay to have what we want will be too great.

We may even fear that when reach our goals, it may still not be enough — we may still feel unsatisfied, unhappy and discontent.

But what we are afraid of is not really the negative outcome — we’re afraid that we won’t be able to deal with it. We don’t trust ourselves enough to say “well, whatever happens, I can handle it’.

Fear is a real feeling, but it’s often based on false evidence.

FEAR can be described as  False Evidence Appearing Real

It can also stand for Face  Everything And Rise.

This week, I was encouraged to give myself a chance. To forget about everything that wasn’t happening, or that may not happen, and instead, focus on steps I need to take, regardless of any outcome.

words by nerissaI was encouraged to give myself a chance.

While we are consumed with fear and worry, we cannot possibly be doing all we can to maximise our chances of success. After all, a head full of fears, has no space to dream.

We have two choices. One, we can either Forget Everything And Run

OR

two, we can Face Everything And Rise.

When was the last time you gave yourself a chance?

Really gave yourself a chance?

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

The path to success: a leap of faith and a whole lot of trust

leap of faithTrust is something I have been thinking about a lot of late. When you really think about it, all of us exercise varying levels of trust every day. We trust that our train will get us to work without incident.  We trust that the school will take good care of our kids.

Without trust, we would probably spend most of our days incapacitated with worry.

Obviously, there are varying degrees of trust. Yet the ability to trust seems to be related to the consequences of the trust being broken, or the likelihood of something going wrong.

For example, if you trust that a chair will hold your weight, and it doesn’t, then the repercussions are likely to be fairly minor — maybe some bumps and bruises and a bruised ego to boot. So it’s a risk worth taking.

However, one thing that I have realised, is that it can be a lot harder to trust ourselves than to trust other people. Yet in order to begin to trust ourselves, we sometimes need someone to believe in us first.

About seven weeks ago, I completed a 12-week body transformation. It was a fantastic 12-weeks (overall). There were times when I wanted to throw in the towel and just blob on the couch and eat ice-cream. There were times when I really didn’t want to get up at 4.50am to get to the gym for my workout. There were even times when I wanted to quit because I couldn’t see any changes happening, no matter how hard I was working out and how spot on my nutrition was.

So in order to keep going, I began to trust more. I stopped thinking and analysing and began to trust the process. I trusted the advice my trainer Mel, was giving me, especially when it came to nutrition. I trusted my body would respond if I kept following the plan. And during my training sessions, I trusted my partner to ‘spot me’, especially when I was lifting weights where I knew the likelihood of getting out all my reps was low. Trust was becoming more important the further we got into the challenge.

The most important person I had to trust in, was myself.

Trusting in ourselves is sometimes easier said than done. Too often we doubt our abilities and our intuition, only to find that if we trusted in ourselves in the first place, we would have been a lot better off. Often this inability to trust ourselves can render us paralysed with fear, rooted to the spot, afraid to take the next step.

I clearly remember a training session towards the end of the challenge. Six of us were in various stages trying to master three sets of 12 push-ups on our toes. When Mel found out that I could already do a full three sets she told me to get a weight and put it on my back.

“What! A weight?,” I thought. “How much?,” I asked, expecting her to say 1-2kg.

“5 kilos,” she said.

“5 kilos? That’s heavy!” I said in shock.

“There are heavier ones,” she countered.

So off I went to get the 5kg weight plate, pretty sure that I wouldn’t be able to do one push-up with that extra weight on my back. After all, push-ups on my toes had taken a while to achieve. Besides, push-ups were always the last thing in our training sessions, and I had already increased my weights for every exercise. I didn’t trust my body’s ability to push much further than I had.

“Even if you only get out three or four,” said Mel. “Just try it!”

So the weight went on my back. And I began to push them out. 1-2-3-4-5-

“Keep going,” said Mel.

6-7

“Keep going”

8-9-10

“keep going”

11-…

And then I collapsed, ecstatic but shocked that I had done so many.

I then went on to do another two sets of 12 push-ups with that 5kg plate on my back.

My trust in myself (and my body) was restored because Mel, whom I trusted when it came to exercise and training, believed that I could do it. She felt it was safe for me to attempt it. She also gave me permission to ‘fail’ at getting the full set out, yet encouraged me to keep going in my attempt to get my push-ups out.

Somewhere along the line, we all need people like that. Someone who can see the potential in us that we often fail to see. Someone to help us believe in ourselves when we find it difficult. Someone to encourage us to ‘have a go’. Someone to be there beside us to support us and cheer us. Someone whom we can rely upon to help us out if things go wrong. Someone to say ‘it’s okay if you fail’. Someone you can trust.

success isn't linearThe road to success is never smooth sailing. It’s a bit like a dance where you take some steps forward and some steps back. Sometimes your steps take you back to the start and sometimes they go way off course. At times your steps may be stumbles and may cause you to fall. And depending upon the dance, you may need to take a giant leap of faith.

However, if you have someone beside you guiding your steps, picking you up when you fall, believing in you and giving you the confidence to take that leap of faith, then your chances of success are that much higher.

The question you need to ask is: “Do I have someone like that in my life?”

If you don’t have someone like that…

I don’t wish this blog to sound like an ad, but if you don’t have someone in your life to help you reach your goals (particularly if they are related to health, fitness and wellness), then I really encourage you to contact Mel Cook.

Not only is she a Lifestyle Transformation Specialist and Director at Run With Life, but she is a friendly, positive and happy person who brings out the best in people. It doesn’t matter if you are young or not-so-young, or whether you are fit or not-so-fit. If you want to become a happier, healthier version of yourself, then take that leap of faith and give her a call.

You can also find out more information about our next 12-week Transformation Challenge.

 

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Want to change your life? First you need a support team

surround yourself with peopleAs some of you may know, I am currently participating in a 12-week Transformation Challenge.

What most people think of when they hear the words ‘Transformation Challenge’ is that if you really focus, you can have an amazing body at the end of it.

Well, that’s what we are led to believe with shows such as The Biggest Loser gracing our screens.

While some people do have amazing physical transformations, the biggest transformation you can achieve is that of your mind.

Improving your confidence, learning how to set goals, learning how to step out of your comfort zone and do things you have never done (or didn’t think you could do), is all part of changing your mindset. Part of the mental transformation may involve turning your negative thoughts into positive ones. Sometimes it’s about learning to change unhealthy habits into healthy ones.

I have done a couple of Transformation Challenges and while there have been transformations in my body, they haven’t been as amazing as those that have happened in my mind. I have learnt to be more positive, to set goals (in all areas of my life), and have grown in my confidence and belief that I can achieve my goals — even though some of them will take some time.

One of the most important things you need when undertaking a Transformation Challenge (or when you set out to change any part of your life), is a great support network.

One of the key people who has been supporting me in my quest for a happier, healthier life for over 12 months now, is Mel Cook, founder and owner of Run With Life. She offers personal training, nutrition advice, running coaching and is one of only 30 trainers world-wide who is a Level 4 trainer in Metabolic Precision (MP) — a science-based approach to achieving permanent body transformation.

You could say, that Mel is very knowledgeable when it comes to the world of health and fitness.

One of the most amazing things about Mel is how she has built a community of people who support one another. Her Run With Life community is made up of people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Some of us are super fit. Some of us are working to be super fit. Some of us are part of her running crew and some of us are not. However, the one thing that we all have in common is that we support each other, no matter what our goals are.

I’m pretty luck really, to be part of such a group. So this week, I thought I would introduce you to one of the people in my support group, who inspires me each day to make the right choices in order to reach my goals.

Please meet, Mel Cook.

Why did you become a personal trainer?

Do you know what, I actually never wanted to be a personal trainer. I used to be so shy, it scared me to think I had to talk to and tell people what to do as a trainer.

I went to Uni and did health sciences. In my degree I had the option of following exercise science but I decided to follow health promotion and nutrition. When I finished my degree, I got a desk job in health promotion and that’s when I started running. In my desk job, I always seemed to try and find more ways of challenging myself. Then I came up with the idea that I wanted to educate people on how to start running or start exercising. With my nutrition background, I thought it would be good to put the two together and form my own business.

So off I went, I left a secure, great paying job to take a risk, to challenge myself to see what I could do with my own health and fitness business and for other people

What do you love most about your job?

My clients’ gratitude 🙂

How do you get the best out of your clients?

I develop a great trusting relationship with my clients and get them to be 100% honest and truthful with me. No more ignoring the actual underlying factors that are causing the problems. And of course follow the structure of MP.

What do you think your clients value most about you?

I am not too sure. I have never asked them the question. But if I were my client I would value that I offer them the best program possible, which is Metabolic Precision. Without this program many people fail. On top of this, I would also value how much time and energy I put into each of them. Little do they know how much I think about them and do for them outside of when I actually see or talk to them.

What differentiates you from every other personal trainer out there?

Well, I don’t think there is another trainer with the name Mel Cook who combines the Metabolic Precision system with their running clients at the level 4 level. There are only 30 of us worldwide who have completed level 4, and now another 25 who are completing it this year, so I believe I am in a unique situation. I am not the best trainer out there, and I definitely do not know everything, but I am changing the way people who run view training and nutrition. I am changing the way a lot of people view their training, nutrition and health. I also invest a lot of my time and money into bettering myself so I can deliver the best possible program.

Why is running such a key part of your life?

I am going to keep this answer simple. Having something that you can train for and keep getting better at pushes you to places you will have never been before.

When you have a skill that you can keep training for and achieve goals with, the person you become is amazing and the experiences along the way teach you so much that nothing else can teach you about yourself.

What motivates you?

Life motivates me. Seeing people who have missed or wasted opportunities, or didn’t even realise they had the chance makes me so mad/sad/frustrated. Making the best life for yourself is so important.

What are your goals this year?

Last year my fitness goals were on hold whilst my body decided to work as optimally as I wanted it too, so at the moment I just want to get back into training hard.

I do have goals for later this year. I want to sprint. I want to be an athlete — I have the discipline and motivation to push myself beyond limits and I think I have so much in my tank to give. It will take me a while but I aim to be able to sprint competitively by November this year. If not, then early next year, and then I would like to see what I can accomplish by the time I am 30.

I would also love a sub 40min 10km this year. That would be amazing 🙂

What accomplishments are you most proud of (you can have more than one)

Setting up Run With Life and also running my fastest 10km (40mins 22) and my first marathon (3 hours and 29mins).

In order for someone to accomplish their goals (whether it be fitness or something else), what qualities do they need?

The most important quality is to be willing and able to learn.

The person has to want to be resilient and be able to handle all the ‘nos’, downs and disappointments because that is when we learn, when we get stronger and what helps us achieve our goals.

What advice do you have for someone wanting to make a change in their life?

Mel Cook - a super supportive and knowledgeable trainer

Mel Cook – a super supportive and knowledgeable trainer

Do it now because life is way too short and when you have made the change you will regret not starting earlier.

When you are healthy, feel fit and strong, I can tell you, life doesn’t get any better than this!  And…….please do not give me an excuse 🙂

So if you are looking to make positive changes to your health and fitness, but don’t know where to start, contact Mel at Run With Life. Not only will you have access to a highly educated and dedicated trainer, but you will become part of a group that provides great support, no matter what your goals may be.

And that my friends, is something that money just can’t buy.

cropped-twitterpic.jpgNerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

 She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

 

Why dreams don’t belong on the shelf

Do you have goals, dreams or aspirations? Are you working towards them? Do you have a plan?Go get dream

If you do, then nothing should stand in your way right?

Wrong!

You see, I have goals and dreams. Things I am working towards. I even have a plan.

But this week, I have discovered there was a BIG obstacle in front of me. One I never saw coming. One I didn’t even expect.

ME!

All of a sudden, it all seemed too hard.

My goals seemed unattainable.

The work involved loomed in front of me, too huge to overcome.

My belief that I could do it had disappeared.

Small things, which previously were inconveniences, suddenly seemed insurmountable.

My attitude was one of doubt, fear and negativity.

I was dragging my feet, feeling tired and beaten.

So what had happened to cause such a turnaround? After all, I was feeling on top of the world come New Year. And I had experienced great success last year as I worked towards my goals. What had changed?

The truth was, I had stopped protecting my dreams.

I had let ‘life’ get in the way of doing what I needed to do, to make my dreams a reality.

I had let the busyness of the end of the year stop me from focusing on my goals on a daily basis.

I had let ‘holiday’ mode make me complacent.

I had stopped visualising myself achieving my goals.

I had let a lack of routine dampen my enthusiasm.

All in all, I was what happened.

You see, if you have a dream, you need to protect it. You need to protect it from people who want to steal it, or sabotage you or ridicule you, or doubt you.

But most importantly, you need to protect it from your own complacency.

When we dream a dream, or set a goal, we need to look after it. In some ways, it’s a lot like a new-born baby. It needs to be looked after, fed, nurtured, protected, allowed to grow. In the beginning, doing these things is a pleasure, part of the excitement.

But over time, it is easy to become less vigilant.

When our children grow and become more independent, it’s easy to think that they don’t need as much protection as they did in the beginning. This is true, to some extent. However, they still need nurturing on a daily basis. They still need protecting from certain things and they still need to be encouraged to grow.

The same goes for our dreams.

Just because you have set a goal doesn’t mean you can ignore it and still hope to achieve it. Even if you start working towards it, you cannot afford to be complacent about it.

Dreams are precious things. They should be cherished, nourished and looked after. Not placed on a shelf, allowed to gather dust.

For when they are on the shelf, they are open to all kinds of negativity, doubt and fear.

If we don’t give our dream the protection or attention that it needs, it begins to wither and die, until all we have left are remnants of something we wanted to achieve, once upon a time. Distant memories of something we started but never finished. Discarded dreams left upon the shelf, covered in dust.

This week, I almost gave up on myself and my goals — almost.

I was lucky in that I realised what had happened to cause me to feel this way. And instead of shutting the door on my dreams, I have shut the door on the doubt.

I’ve taken my set of goals down off the shelf, dusted them off, and put them in a prominent position where I will see them each day. I will read them, I will visualise them happening, and I will continue to work towards them.

What about you?

Do you have any goals you need to take off the shelf?

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Nerissa Bentley is a Melbourne-based freelance writer at Write to the Point Communications. This blog is just one of the things she writes in her spare time.

She also specialises in writing for the health and well-being market. As well as writing thoroughly researched articles, she can provide assistance with press releases, copywriting, editing, proofreading and communication strategies.

So if you would like her to help you, contact her at writetothepoint@hotmail.com

Why you shouldn’t make New Year resolutions

As the year is beginning to wind down, and most of us are in the process of putting the final (or even the beginning 😉 ) touches on Christmas, some of you may be thinking about the next big event — New Year’s Eve.New Year resolutions

And what goes with New Year’s Eve? New Year resolutions!

I’m sure all of us at one time or another have made New Year resolutions.

I’m going to lose weight.

I’m going to quit smoking

I’m going to get fit

I’m going to get a better job

I’m going to save more money.

Blah, blah, blah.

Well, I don’t believe in New Year resolutions.

Why?

Because they never amount to anything.

Some research I came across recently stated that only 8% of people achieve their New Year Resolutions.

Just 8%. So why bother making them at all then, if they are just going to remain wishes and dreams until the next New Year rolls around and you do it all again?

People who make New Year resolutions are really just making a wish. Saying they want to achieve something, yet leave it to fate. As if by putting this dream into the ether will make it manifest before their eyes.

If you want to make next year better than this one, then you need to set GOALS!

Over this year, I have achieved some truly great things. Most of these were a result of getting serious about setting goals, rather than making a wish.

During the past few weeks, I have been thinking about what I want to achieve next year, and am now in the ‘goal-setting’ phase.

For those of you who think goal-setting is boring, you haven’t done it properly. When you set goals, you should become excited about what you are going to achieve. You should feel motivated. And you should come out of it with a plan on how to make it all happen. Which excites you even further. And having a plan helps you believe you can do it.

Over this past week, I have set my health and fitness goals for the year. I will be sitting down with my trainer and some like-minded people later on this week to clarify them further and to make a plan so I can achieve them. That is very cool.

During this week and next, I will be setting aside a good few hours to clarify and set my business goals for 2014. I already have a fair idea of what I want to achieve but I need to put it on paper and make a plan so these goals become a reality.

I have also been thinking of some more personal goals I want to achieve. These are not tied to my health and fitness, nor to my business. But rather, things that I would like to achieve just for me.

One of these is quite huge. It’s something I have wanted to do for a very long time, but the timing has never been quite right. Well, I am beginning to think the timing might be better next year, so it’s on my list. I have moments of believing I can do it, and then other moments when I question it.

Nevertheless, I am setting it anyway.

Because once something is on your goal list, things begin to happen.

So now that 2013 is drawing to a close, why don’t you think about some real GOALS for next year instead of wasting time with resolutions.

set a goal so big....

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