Sophie's Blog

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I recently visited my eldest son, who is currently on exchange at UCLA. It was a delightful visit as I had not seen him for five months. When you travel, there are often hidden perks like when we went to the UCLA bookstore on campus...it was a treasure trove of books and a real delight to explore the bookshelves. I found myself quickly calculating how many books I could bring back. One of the books, I brought back was Marshall Goldsmith's 'Triggers'. If you have not read this book and you like to read, I recommend that you get it NOW. Goldsmith talks about how most of us are very good planners, but rather poor implementers. Yes this applies to all those New Year's resolutions that may already have fallen by the wayside. He describes lack of implementation as failing a test, that we wrote ourselves!

So what's the solution? Goldsmith recommends that we write out what we want to achieve and rate ourselves on how we did on each item on a daily basis, but add active wording in there e.g. "Did I do my best to preserve all client relationships?" and then you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how you did. If you consistently score low on the 'test' you wrote for yourself, then question whether this is really a goal of yours or what's stopping you from actioning and achieving it. Goldsmith also recommends having someone to hold you accountable e.g. a coach.

I started writing down my personal ( sixteen) goals, that I want to be mindful of 'doing my best' to do on a daily basis. At #11, I had "Did I do my best to manage my state to respond at the highest level?", when it dawned on me that this really needs to be #1 on my list as if I can manage my state, the other things on the list will be relatively easy.

Think about it this way, have you ever turned up for work rearing to go and something has happened e.g. a temp didn't turn up, a client is complaining, a staff member isn't pulling their weight or someone cut you off in traffic? And as a direct result, you ended up in a bad mood and then couldn't think about doing your job in a positive and therefore in a more effective and efficient manner, which leads to better results? And frankly having more fun while doing it?

Imagine if you could manage your state, which is really about controlling your emotions and isolating those annoying incidents and seeing them for what they are, then there really are no limits to what you can achieve. Even just being aware of how important your state is to success will make a huge difference to your results. The thing about taking this on, is that you realise the ONLY thing, that is stopping you from achieving what you want, is you. Responsibility is at once scary and euphoric. As I say to all my coachees, when they tell me they are uncomfortable: "I am excited for you, if you feel uncomfortable as then you truly have the opportunity to grow." Will you choose to manage your state?

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