Jan 022013
 


Happy New Year!


 
Picture of New Year's Fireworks
It’s that time of year again. Everyone posts a Facebook status detailing all the positive changes they’re going to make this year, but for most people those changes will be short lived.
 
Separate yourself from the masses and crush your New Year’s resolution with five strategies to pave your way to goal setting glory.
 
 

Number 5: Believe Your Resolution Is Achievable

When you’re setting a goal, the first step to achieving it is believing you can. Some people create a spur of the moment resolution because everyone else is doing it, and this can result in an unreasonable goal.

If you announce a resolution to gain 30 pounds of muscle without knowing anything about diet or exercise, you’re setting yourself up for failure. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be ambitious, only that your ambition should be tempered with realism.

It’s better to be forced to raise the bar once you reach it than to lower the bar because you couldn’t get there. Be honest with yourself and start with a goal you believe you can reach.


Number 4: Reward Your Small Successes

Setting milestones and rewarding yourself as you hit them is proven to increase motivation and strengthen commitment. This works because of something called classical conditioning – we’re hardwired to seek rewards and avoid punishment.

By rewarding yourself as you achieve progress, you’re conditioning your brain to associate progress with pleasure.

We’ve all heard someone say that going to the gym is hard at first, but eventually it becomes hard not to go. This is because there’s not much of a reward at first, just hard work and sore muscles.

As muscles grow and fat disappears, the brain starts to understand the short term pain of working out leads to long term happiness and self-esteem. The emotions you feel are a result of whether your brain has a positive or negative expectation about future events.

Your brain is a quick learner, so take advantage of this mechanism and reward behaviours you want to develop.

Picture of Active Brain
 


Number 3: Be Prepared With a Clear Plan

A person’s level of preparation is one of the best predictors of resolution success.

If your goal is to lose ten pounds, you’d have a decent shot at success if you plan to eat less and exercise. A better plan would be to eat less, join a gym, and avoid fast food. A great plan would be to create a meal plan, have the groceries in the fridge on New Year’s Eve, hire a personal trainer, limit your drinking on nights out, and avoid fast food.

Take into account multiple ways to succeed, and anticipate multiple ways you might fail. It’s much easier to succeed if you have an in depth understanding about what you need to do and how you’re going to do it.


Number 2: Make Your Resolution Is Specific, Measurable, and Attainable

If your resolution has these three traits, you’re already ahead of pretty much everyone.

Specific goals are far more likely to be pursued because you know exactly what you have to do. A classic example of this is the wave of people who buy a gym membership in January only to quit days or weeks after signing up.

These people likely made a goal of going to the gym – which they achieved – but they didn’t specify a series of exercises to do when they got there. As a result, they felt overwhelmed by the variety of equipment and didn’t even know where to begin.

PIcture of Jacked Dude
I remember my first experience in the gym being incredibly awkward. Huge jacked dudes were everywhere moving quickly from machine to machine; they knew exactly where they needed to go and how to use different equipment. People waited around impatiently while I figured stuff out, and I felt like I had to rush through everything.

I stopped going after a couple weeks because it was such an unpleasant experience, which brings us to the number one secret to making your resolution a success…
 


Number 1: Define Failure Realistically

Getting in shape was my resolution that year, and I felt like shit when I quit after only two weeks. About a week after I stopped going, a friend invited me to a Muay Thai class and I loved it. I started training three times a week and eventually got into competitive fighting.

Success doesn’t always happen the way you think it will. If you define failure as having a slip or a setback you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, because we all slip at some point. Mentally prepare yourself for the times when you come up short, and don’t beat yourself up over it.

Remember: you don’t have to be perfect to succeed, you just have to be consistent.

 Posted by on January 2, 2013
Apr 242012
 

You don’t need money to be attractive to women.

 
You don’t need to be tall.

You don’t need to have a magazine worthy body either.

To understand how to be attractive to women, you have to understand how attraction works. Women are attracted to value, and most guys understand this – the problem is they don’t understand what type of value women are attracted to.

Lots of guys try to project the wrong type of value, usually by talking about their high salary job, or by acting in an overly nice way.

How to be Attractive to Women

A perfect example of projecting the wrong type of value is the guy who always ends up in the friend zone. This guy presents little value to a woman in terms of attraction, but lots of value in terms of friendship.

She keeps him around to get rides and free dinners, and he provides her with these things to secure her companionship.

He resents her for not being attracted to him, but he doesn’t realize it’s because he’s projecting the wrong kind of value.
 

Women want social value.

 
For the most part, men spend their lives building professional and financial value, and the reason they struggle with women is because they try to attract them by projecting it.

Any guy who has tried to attract a woman by talking about how much money he makes, his position at work, or his BMW will know most women could care less about professional value.

They want a man who is confident, fun to be around, and easy going. Taking care of your body and making her feel beautiful won’t hurt either.

The socially valuable guy is the one who’s laughing with his friends, telling stories and having a good time, teasing her playfully and making her feel desired.

How to be Attractive to Women

Ever notice how you seem to be more successful with women when you’re out just having a good time? It’s because you aren’t approaching women with a hidden agenda, using lines or stories to get her to like you. In fact, you aren’t trying to get anything.

You’re just in a good mood, spinning girls around, saying whatever comes to your mind, and everything seems so smooth and effortless. You’re GIVING value instead of trying to GET value.
 

Women are attracted to guys who aren’t afraid to put themselves out there.

 
Women are attracted to men who are confident, funny, laid back, and outgoing. The type of man who isn’t shy about expressing his interest and speaking his mind.

Every woman likes being around a guy who feels good about himself and makes her feel good too. Make a conscious effort to develop these qualities, and become the guy with a cool, interesting lifestyle and an attractive personality.

Guys who try to take value are easy to spot. They’re out at bars and clubs wondering what to say, how to act, and generally have no idea what to offer a woman – which is why they feel the need to develop pickup lines and techniques.

If you’re a high value guy, you don’t need to come up with witty stories or lines, you can just approach a woman and be yourself. Value takers typically get frustrated when they’re told to “be yourself” because they haven’t developed an attractive self, and the advice doesn’t work for them.

Find out how to develop a naturally attractive lifestyle, and learn how to be comfortable and confident around women. If you’re the type of the guy who doesn’t know what to say or you feel like being yourself won’t work, click here to check out our personalized coaching programs.

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 Posted by on April 24, 2012
Apr 042012
 

Get procrastination under control.

If you’re reading this, chances are your procrastination is more than just an inconvenience.

Like no matter how much you do, there will always be a big to do list of chores, assignments, work, and responsibilities? It can feel overwhelming, and it’s tempting to escape by procrastinating.

How Can I Stop Procrastinating?

The point of procrastinating is to appease our conscience so we can go have fun without feeling bad about it. But there’s a way to go have fun without a guilty conscience and still get everything handled.

It’s a simple method I’ve been using for years now, and I’m amazed I don’t hear of any other people using it.

So what’s my secret?

I organize my tasks in order of urgency and make a timeline with milestones when necessary.

Why is this so effective? Think about it this way:

If you have five days to complete a 1000 word report, you only have to do 200 words per day. Starting a 1000 word report seems daunting; writing 200 words quickly before you go out is easy.

 

Another great thing about this method is it capitalizes on how motivation really works. Most advice I see about motivation is people saying you should repeat mantras, put up vision boards, and leave inspirational notes around the house, all things that don’t address the real issue.

The problem with this approach to getting motivated is it ignores the concept of momentum. If you’re on the couch watching TV, it’s difficult to will yourself to get up and tidy the whole house. But if you make your goal putting away one dirty dish instead of tidying everything, it’s much easier – putting away one dish only takes a few seconds.  Ever been reluctant to start something, but once you do you spend hours on it? That’s momentum.

Once you put away one dish, why not put away one more? Once you start, it’s easier to keep going. Momentum works for you instead of against you.

 

I call these microgoals, and microgoals are what I use to get me out of the absolute laziest moods.Stop Procrastinating, Start Relaxing

Microgoals are so ridiculously simple and require such a small amount of time to do that I feel intolerably bad if I don’t do them.

The trick is breaking a task down repeatedly until it’s the first step is something that requires only seconds to do, and from there momentum makes whatever you’re doing a downhill battle.

Even if you don’t end up finishing what you started, at least you made a dent in it and can go have fun knowing when you come back to you have less to deal with.

Sign up for coaching and start making real progress toward your goals. Focus on doing a bit each day, and you’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll be enjoying the rewards of your labour.

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 Posted by on April 4, 2012
Mar 212012
 
As a culture, we are obsessed with normality.

We want to know what’s normal, what’s average, and where we fit along the spectrum. Last month on Google alone there were over TWENTY MILLION people that searched “how can I be normal?” In the same time frame, more than TWENTY FIVE MILLION people asked Google “how do I fit in?

 

I wonder if any of these millions of people stopped at any point to ask themselves how normal is defined.

What exactly IS normal, who decides, and is being normal a worthwhile goal to have?

 

People imitate what they see in magazines and what they see on TV instead of being comfortable with what they think is cool. People look outside themselves to try and figure out how they should act or what they should wear because they’re so concerned about fitting in. I’m not saying you should act like a confused teenager, but if you base your interests, passions, and social group around what other people think is cool, that’s a problem.

 

Why stifle yourself for the sake of fitting in? Stop giving a shit about what other people think, about what side of normal you’re on, and start being yourself.

 

Cool is whatever you think it is.

Who cares what everyone else is doing? Give yourself permission to be who you want to be.

If you see a shirt you like, don’t stop and think about whether or not your friends will like it. Don’t ask yourself if girls you don’t know will look at you and think you’re cool.

Take it off the rack and buy it.

You naturally connect with people similar to you, but if you aren’t being yourself, how will you ever connect authentically with anyone? If you pretend to be something you aren’t, you’ll miss out on making connections with people who actually share your interests, and you’ll end up around people you’re pretending to be like.

Developing confidence and your own sense of cool can be tough if you’re not a naturally outgoing, confident person, so click here to check out our coaching packages and see how we can help you out.

Be comfortable with who you are and own it. You’ll be a much happier, more attractive (and much cooler) person.

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 Posted by on March 21, 2012
Jan 132012
 

Goal Setting

 

How do you set goals?

More importantly, how do you successfully achieve goals?

It’s easier than you think. Here are the four keys to successful goal setting:

 

1)      Sit Down & Figure Out Your Goals

Surprisingly, the first step is often the most difficult. We have spent so much time listening to others talk about what is achievable, what is possible, what is practical, that we lose the ability to think about what WE want.

Our brain is so trained to think in “realistic” terms we often filter out our deepest desires. Pretend you live in a world with no consequence, no chance of failure – what would you do?

Setting Goals

2)      Engineer, or Reverse Engineer, a Way There

Trying to achieve your dreams is often like feeling your way through a maze in the dark. You have a sense of how to navigate the few feet in front of you, but absolutely no sense of the bigger picture. The only difference between successful people and failures is the successful people aren’t afraid to bump into things in order to figure out how to get to their destination.

A different approach is to instead start at the end and work backwards – want to start a company? Figure out what you resources you need to start a business in your area. Once you figure that out, find a way to acquire the necessary resources. Sometimes starting at the end and working backwards can give you a much clearer sense of how to get there.

Goal Setting Plan

3)      Stay Focused and Stay Motivated

The most important thing is seeing visual representations of your goals several times a day. Creating a vision board in your office, taping images of your goals on the ceiling above your bed, or sticking little pictures on your monitor are all good ideas.

Next, you need to have a visual map, chart, or sketch of your path so you can keep track of your progress. When you feel demotivated, you are quickly reminded of how much work you’ve done so far and exactly how much more you have to do.

Finally, you need daily reminders. Set up automated daily reminder lists on your phone or email and watch your progress grow.

My personal favourite is Astrid, here’s the daily goal reminders on my phone:

Goal Setting Reminders

4)      Reward Yourself

Too many people bust their ass constantly and never reward themselves. They burn out and have trouble finishing things, then wonder why.

It’s good to be motivated, but you’ll never STAY motivated if you don’t take a break and reward your efforts every now and then. Take a day off and go drinking with your buds or have a cheat day on your diet where you feast on fast food. Stop stressing yourself out trying to be perfect and you’ll achieve more.

Reward Your Goal Setting

 

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 Posted by on January 13, 2012
Sep 122011
 

Everyone has experienced the frustration of someone replying “just be yourself” when asking for advice about a date, job interview, or other social situation. The first reaction to this is thinking, “Be yourself?! I’m always myself!” and remembering all the life experiences that reinforce this belief – things like approaching girls and getting shut down or job interviews that didn’t work out.

If you’ve ever worked up the guts to be yourself and had it backfire, you know how bad it feels. It could be because the girl you approached legitimately wasn’t into you, that there was a more qualified employee for the job you wanted,  or whatever the case may be – but most of the time it comes down to simply not knowing how to be yourself.

When I was a kid, maybe 5 years old, I would approach beautiful women fearlessly and on a regular basis. I would run up to secretaries, women passing by, bridesmaids, any woman I liked, and tell them what I thought. If I saw a girl I liked I would go start a conversation with her, and although I didn’t know it at the time, it was a completely natural thing. I didn’t think about what to say, how to act, or what cologne to wear before I went out. I’ve spent (and will continue to spend) years of my adult life trying to recapture this simple, honest way of being.

As people age, what used to be natural for us in childhood becomes difficult. The impulses and desires we blindly followed years earlier become stifled. We lose the ability to be ourselves and instead cater to our fears and insecurities. Instead of just walking up to a woman and expressing interest, guys try to be friends first, because some ‘dating expert’ in a magazine said it was a good idea.

When I tell clients to “be yourself”, what I’m saying is take the time to find out who you are, then develop the confidence to follow your desires. Going up to a girl you think is hot and making small talk isn’t being yourself, it’s stifling yourself.

You have to be able to relax and have fun. Being overly worried about looking cool is the fastest way to kill attraction, which is why developing a solid, congruent identity is so important.

So how exactly do you reconnect to your inner pimp (or pirate, or whatever) and figure out how to be yourself again?

First, you need to be deeply rooted and guided by your truest desires, passions, and values. If you aren’t in touch with who you truly are, what you truly want, and what you’re truly passionate about, you will never be happy. Not only will you never be happy, you will never attract the right woman.

Once you figure out what you’re most passionate about, what you want the most, find a career that channels your passions, and carve out a value system, you officially have your “inner game” handled. Inner game gives you a foundation, a sense of worth that comes from within, and prevents the needy behaviour that sabotages so many relationships.

A strong sense of identity provides you with that grounded, decisive confidence women love, but it’s not always easy to figure it all out on your own; we know because we’ve gone through all the hard work and discovered the secrets to building an attractive identity first hand. Email us at contact@donjuaninc.com and we’ll help you get started for free. Put “free consultation” in the subject line and tell us a bit about yourself.

 

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 Posted by on September 12, 2011
Sep 052011
 

 

Regardless of who you are or what you do, the answer to this question will always be ‘yes’. The human brain adapts both quickly and constantly, rewiring itself to be as efficient as possible at completing any challenges that we encounter.

A few minutes ago I was watching Underworld (the vampire movie with Kate Beckinsale – check it out), but I couldn’t enjoy the movie because I had an unfinished article that needed to be done by morning. I knew as long as an incomplete task was on my plate, I wouldn’t be able to relax – so I decided I would put my laptop down, write the article when Underworld was finished, and unwind.

 

Then a thought hit me with the force of a freight train, and I had one of those epiphanies us self-improvement junkies love.

 

A few weeks ago I was reading about the philosophy of Kaizen, which is Japanese for ‘constant improvement’. Rather than attempting to make huge leaps in progress, Kaizen is about making small, steady improvements consistently, collectively resulting in a larger change.  It just so happens to be the philosophy Toyota utilized to become the top automaker in the world, so right away I knew it had merit.

I didn’t realize the important part until minutes ago. When I tried to ditch my responsibilities to watch a movie, the connection I was looking for became apparent.

 

Improvement can be positive or negative, and it’s happening all the time.

 

Every decision, no matter how small, changes you – for better or for worse. A seemingly innocent decision to dismiss my professional responsibilities actually results in a negative improvement: I get better at being lazy.

Even if it seems like you aren’t doing anything, you are making improvements of some kind. For example, say you’re relaxing watching some TV after work – seems innocent, right? Well, while you watch TV, your brain is less active than when you’re sleeping, and it adjusts accordingly. It’s just like your muscles: your brain is incredibly efficient, and if it recognizes it can downsize and still achieve what it needs to, it will.

You are improving all the time, but for better, or for worse?

Practice being aware of your decisions, aware of what you’re doing, and assess whether or not each particular decision you make is guiding you towards what you want in life, or away from it. Figure out what you can do better every day, and constantly cut out the unnecessary or inefficient – this is a great way to whittle at unproductive behaviours, and will result in immediate, tangible benefits.

 

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 Posted by on September 5, 2011
Aug 282011
 

This weeks guest post is by Emily Walsh. She is a cancer advocate and outreach coordinator for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. Emily is passionate about helping cancer patients find ways to integrate holistic therapies and address the mental and emotional aspects of the disease, as well as the physical.

Emily’s struggle with cancer has taught her how to lead a healthy, balanced, fulfilling lifestyle, and she has been gracious enough to offer an article passing on some of her wisdom. The lessons she has learned can be applied by all of us to enrich our own lives – check out her site for more life advice by clicking here.

For many people, a cancer diagnosis is the worst thing that has ever happened in their lives. It seems that one minute you are a vibrant and healthy person with a life full of possibilities, and the next you have been given a death sentence. However, you should know that a cancer diagnosis does not have to mean the end of your life! You don’t have to sit and wallow in misery as you deal with your diagnosis and treatment. There are things that you can do in order to make sure that you are living the best life possible, and all of these things start with you and your attitude about yourself.

HealthyWomen.org points out that, while having family and friends around to lend an encouraging word or a shoulder to cry on is helpful, it is also important for you to know what you can do for yourself in order to cope with what happens after a breast cancer or mesothelioma diagnosis. Two of the most important things that you can do to take care of yourself are eating well and exercising. Though food and the gym may be the last things on your mind, it is important to realize that keeping a healthy body will not only help ease the physical pain that you may experience during treatment, but it will also help your mental state by keeping fatigue and depression at bay.

One other thing that you can do after something as seemingly devastating as a mesothelioma prognosis is to make time for yourself. Whether you want to do some quiet thinking, go shopping, or spend time walking around the neighborhood park, it is vital to make sure that you set aside some time to do the things that make you happy. One thing that may help you do that is to create a daily or weekly schedule that will incorporate your favorite activities. Though your family and friends may wonder why they can’t tag along, you don’t have to feel guilty about wanting or needing time to yourself.

It is imperative to remember that, while you need to do things that will keep you healthy and happy, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Talking to family and friends who are willing to listen to you can help you to recognize any negative feelings you may have. Furthermore, working with a life coach can help you to understand those negative feelings and get you on the path to a more enjoyable life. Knowing how to manage your time, your health, and your feelings so that you achieve total balance in your life is the key to being happy and staying happy. Find a life coach that will help you achieve the balance you are searching for, and discover how to live a life full of contentment.

 

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 Posted by on August 28, 2011