3 Keys to Define Habits

I am sitting on my patio today overlooking the lake at our home and the fact that I’m sitting in 60 plus degrees in the winter is awesome. In this part of Texas in the winter we never know what our weather is going to be like so it’s hard to plan for it. In my life I have several weekly things I do. One is taking a Friday night dinner ride with my fellow Harley riders. This time of year I miss some of the rides due to cold temperatures and the distance to ride back home in the cold after dark.

It got me to think this week about the habits I keep. The birds are on the lake and they seem to have their own world each day no matter what the temperature is; they do what they do by instinct. But we need to form habits that will carry us through whatever happens. So what are the things that we should keep in mind when forming the habits that will bring us success? I thought of three of them and want to share them today.

1.  Know the success you’re aiming for. We plan out a habit to bring success in our lives. So if you know what success you want, you know where you are and where you are going. You have to know the good that is coming from these changes. We all look at the goals we want to achieve but forget about the great things in our lives that the growth process brings on the way to the goals. So you need to know the success and the good that comes from changing your habits.

2.  Know the Struggle. In life when you make a change that is for the better it will often be a struggle. I once heard the description that when you set a goal you automatically set in front of yourself an obstacle as well. It’s not part of what we were thinking about when we set the goal but it will come. We never know what obstacles we’ll find, but we know they are coming. The key is to be prepared for a struggle and never take your eyes off the goal by putting them on the obstacle because that will divert you away.

3.  Do this for yourself. No matter what you are trying to change in your life it will not work until you do it for yourself. Too many people in life start to work on the problems, work on changing habits but do it for the wrong reasons. If you set your goals this year because someone else wants you to or if you are changing your habits to make someone else happy it will eventually fail. We have to make changes in our lives for ourselves. When you make those changes in life for yourself because you want to improve, it will bring you joy going through the challenges and struggles to reach a goal that is your own.

I hope this week has given you hope. Creating new habits and changing old ones to make your life better is another step on the journey to your success in 2012.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Forming good habits in life will make you the RockStar in your world.

Changing Habits

Good Monday morning. Welcome to week three of the year. I wanted to have a week about habits and how they make our success. No matter what part of your life you are trying to make better, it’s the habits you have that will make or break your success.

A few years ago I read Brian Tracy’s book called Million Dollar Habits. The book was great because it taught me how to build the habits I needed to succeed. So I want to dedicate one week to the idea of habits and how they make our success.

Today let’s talk about the time factor and how you use it to build a habit into our life. I have three areas today to think about as you dedicate the time to change your habits.

1.  Give yourself four weeks to make something a habit. There are so many things that say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well to make your new habit stick, you need a little bit more time than that. To make something a lasting habit, you need to set up the next four weeks, 28 days. Or even make it one 30-day month and after that time you will see how it the habit is making your success.

2.  Take it to your daily life. Yes, a habit is something you do on a repetitive basis. Whether good or bad, it is repetitive. Commit yourself to change daily. That will take you to one final step to break into the new habit.

3.  Inch by inch, anything is a cinch. I heard that a million times as a child. To get yourself through the 28 days to form a lasting habit, you have to take it on a daily basis, starting with just one day. You have to take small steps to make anything happen. It starts with the first time. Stop putting off to tomorrow what you want to change.

We are only three weeks into 2012 and it’s the perfect time to change your habits to bring success. If you start with one new habit using this idea, by the end of this year you will have success in life in 12 new areas. So start now.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do, and those you share life with. Change your habits this year and become the RockStar in your world.

Not Offensive

Did you ever make a compliment to someone and they gave you that strange look? You ask yourself why, and then find out later that they were offended. How were you supposed to know? Over the past 10 years I have noticed more and more that people get offended at the smallest things. In our world where we have more people, with so many living close to each other, we are going to push buttons of those that we get close to.
A few years ago I was living alone and was not able to travel each year at the holidays. I would take the Christmas day shifts at Starbucks since I didn’t have much else to do. After finishing my shift I spent the afternoon with an older Jewish woman who did not celebrate Christmas. She gave me a great idea of how she handled it when people said “Merry Christmas” to her. She would kindly say, “Thank you, and Happy Hanukkah to you.” She wasn’t trying to be smart about it; she was trying to politely tell others that their greeting was offensive, but she understood they didn’t know. A way to go the extra mile in life is in trying not to offend others but also in trying to politely say “I was offended” if something happens.
I have gotten to the place that I try to let nothing offend me. This is a tough way to go the extra mile, but like my friend above I have learned that many people are not going to fit into my world and I’ll not fit in theirs either. This is a tough place to get at; not everyone can get this way as easily as I did. Going the extra mile means not letting the small things get to you, and then remembering that it’s all small stuff.
Did you ever notice that when you meet someone who has a past addiction problem with alcohol or drugs, we put a mental flag up in our mind to refrain from talking about that part of our lives in front of them. For example, I make a point of not talking about going out to have drinks with friends I know do not drink. This is a form of going the extra mile to help them not fall back into something that has done harm in their lives. We go out of our way to help, making different choices in front of them.
In life we have many personal choices we have to make. Going out of your way to make these small choices is a form of going the extra mile in life to make another’s life better. So if you don’t want to be offended in life, you can try to get to the point that nothing offends you like I have; or you could go the extra mile to not offend other people. Remember the karma of life: you get what you give. Be a giving person and go the extra miles trying not to offend.
This is one area in life most would never think of as going the extra mile. But it’s the one area that most of us actually can immediately put to practice the idea of going the extra mile. So where in your life have you made changes going the extra mile to make someone else’s life better?
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Go the extra mile and you will become the RockStar in your world.

Companies That Go the Extra Mile

Good Wednesday morning to you. As we move into the middle of this week of going the extra mile, I wanted to bring you a true story that happened to me just recently. It inspired me to talk about the businesses that have it as part of their goal to go the extra mile for their customers.

You may not know this about me but most of my purchases are done online these days. I have gotten to the point in my life that I like to research the best deal for my money. I still visit two fast food chains for food on a regular basis: McDonald’s and Arby’s. I know their menus and the prices by heart. Last month I received a coupon offer from Living Social, one of the coupon mailing systems. It was such a bargain that I clicked and purchased it.

They mailed a set of coupons to my house that I could take to the stores and on the back of the coupon was the statement that I was to receive one Big Mac. The only charge I would pay was for tax. So I took it to one of the McDonald’s restaurants in Irving. I was told the coupon only gives me a $1.25 off the price and I had to also pay another $1.85. Imagine my surprise since this would have me paying just over $4 for a $3 sandwich!

So, I come back to my home office and immediately posted this info to my Twitter page tagging both the McDonald’s, and the Living Social Twitter accounts. Then I sent emails to both McDonald’s and Living Social complaining about my experience.

Within the hour I received an email from Living Social with a phone number to call at McDonald’s to receive a $5 gift card from them. Within 24 hours I received two more emails telling me they were working on this problem. Within 48 hours I received a letter in my mail box with an apology from McDonald’s and that $5 card. That is better service then I received from the manager at the original McDonald’s in Irving, Texas. She told me it was “tough” and that I was keeping her from a trip to the bathroom.

My point to this is that the McDonald’s corporate office went the extra mile while the local manager told me “tough.”

The other place I to a lot is Arby’s. Every time I go there, they go the extra mile in just asking me what I like; they have never made a suggestion based on whatever promotion they are trying to sell. They want to know what I, the customer, like. Then they make suggestions based on what I say. Did you know that if you get great service at an Arby’s they have a bell you can ring as you walk out the door if you received great service. I urge you to ring that bell for the service you receive and see what happens when you do that.

There is another place that I go to experience workers who go the extra mile. I have about five Starbucks shops I visit on a regular basis in the Dallas area. Most of them have my drink ready when I walk to the counter. The one or two times it just did not taste right, they asked me how to they could fix it, then made me another drink, followed by a coupon for a free drink on my next visit. I know from my experience working there that they have a policy to just say “yes” to the customer.

These are just a few ways that I personally get extra-mile service here in places that you would not expect: fast food restaurants and coffee shops. In my travels I know many small mom and pop shops that give this kind of “extra mile” service in our fast-paced world. Why not go to the comments section and tell your story of service you’ve received that goes the extra mile?

I want to say, this is my way of saying “thanks” to McDonald’s, Living Social, Arby’s and Starbucks for the extra mile examples used in today’s post. These are some RockStars who already go the extra mile.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Go the extra mile in your business and be the RockStar in your world.

Getting Past the Past

It’s time to finish up the week and I want to be honest with you. My writings this week were about a fresh start but I have spent most of my week locked in my office facing another one of my depressed modes that come from time to time. Dealing with depression while writing words of encouragement is not always that easy; it means I’m writing for myself as much as for you.

I have found in life that the many struggles I have gone through and the ones I’m going through now are what give me some of the best ideas that I write and speak about. I was thinking this week of all the artists — from writers of books and blogs like me, to those who paint pictures and do other visual arts, to the musical artists who write and perform our great songs. So many of the great art works of our world came from someone who was dealing with pain and that art or music or writing is an outlet for those feelings.

When making the many fresh starts and startovers in life that I have gone through, I have faced these issues of depression as I did this week every time. If you go back in my history of writing you, will see of one of the topics I talked about was from the movie, A Beautiful Mind. It’s the idea that someone could use the mind God gave them to learn to control the emotions they are feeling and get to the results they want.

In the movie, the main character was a brilliant mathematician, a genius who suffered from a severe psychotic disorder and schizophrenia. When he took medicine to control the disorder, he found the trade-off in his life was too great so he decided he would use his mind and his will to tell himself what was real (his wife, his child and his colleagues) and what was not (his hallucinogenic “friends” who never aged and therefore could not be real).

My point is not that abandoning medicine is the right approach for everyone; my point is that we can take ownership and responsibility for much of what we are feeling and when we do that, we have the power to overcome those feelings that aren’t helping us.

We are all going to have hard times while making a fresh start. In life you would not be starting over if what you had was a success. There are some exceptions to this rule, but usually it was a feeling that made a person decide what he or she was doing was not a success.

I have several friends here in the Dallas area that walked away from some rather nice companies they have built. I have one friend who walked away from the IT field with history at many companies – not because he was not successful by most standards, but because he no longer felt his life was a success. This is one of the many stories I know. Sometimes people are just tired of what they are doing, and say, “That is enough.”

So as we finish this week out I want to leave you with one last idea. It’s your life. If you have chosen to make a fresh start at something in your life; if you have decided you no longer want to do something; if you feel you’re a failure because your last venture did not pay for the life style you wanted and decided to start over; if, maybe, just last year you were not able to achieve the success you wanted to; here are my great words for you: It’s OK. You are still alive so make the fresh start.

This time, consider the entire picture of what you want. Don’t let your feelings tell you that you are a failure; instead, work to control them so that they also encourage you toward your goals. Build your support system. Make a motivational playlist. Find a friend you can talk to about trials to get encouragement. Have an affirmation list to get you past the things that hold you back.

2012 is your year to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Learn to get past the hard feelings and become the RockStar in your world.

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