Apr 142022
 

Do you sometimes have trouble sticking to your plan, or get distracted from your goal? There’s a time-tested tactic that can increase your likelihood of success many times over. The technique makes it much easier to stay on course, whether you want to change a habit or stop procrastinating. Learn how to use this tactic to more effectively achieve your goals and vision.

Transcript:

Do you sometimes have trouble sticking to your plan for a goal? Do you fall off your diet or get distracted from your vision? If so, you’re not alone.

There’s a tactic that can increase your likelihood of success many times over. Researchers refer to this tactic as an “implementation intention.” Try saying that fast. In other words, you create an intention of what to do when a specific situation arises. More informally, they’re called, “If/Then” plans. That term is more understandable, isn’t it?

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision empowerment strategist, and I’ve been a hypnotherapist for over 30 years. I’ve taught this tactic to my hypnotherapy and coaching clients, to help them stay on course to their goals and vision.

The way this kind of plan is used is you identify traps or pitfalls or issues that can sabotage your goals. And you know what those are, right? And then you proactively decide how you’re going to respond to the situation.

The plan goes like this:

If (or when) [a specific situation arises], then I will do or perform [a specific behaviour or response].

Got it? In other words “If ‘abc’ happens, then I will ‘xyz.'”

As in: “If someone asks me to volunteer my time, then I will tell them I have to think about it first.”

The sentence becomes a trigger for you. You know ahead of time what action to take, instead of being confused in the moment. When the situation comes up, the decision is already made as to what behavior you’ll do. It’s like you’re programming your response. Execution becomes automatic.

It works for new habits. For instance, if you’re on a diet, you might say, “If I eat cookies today, then I’ll forgive myself and get right back on my diet.” This keeps you from getting discouraged and giving up.

Lets’ say you have a coworker who always interrupts your work, your cue could be, “If Jody wants to talk when I’m busy, then I’ll tell her I can’t talk right now, and will call her when I’m done.”

Or you can set an intention for something you might otherwise procrastinate, such as, “When I get to my desk in the morning, then I will start making follow up phone calls.”

This tactic takes the guess work out of what you’ll do and motivates you to follow through on your goals. It works for whenever you experience setbacks, distractions or get tempted to take a detour from your goals and vision. Simply identify the pitfall and decide how to address it ahead of time.

When you use this tactic, you’ll achieve your goals much more easily.

For ways to achieve your goals with greater confidence and ease in 4 powerful steps, watch my FREE training video, Set Your Course to Success. Register for the video and accompanying action planning guide at www.SetYourCourseGuide.com

Thank you for watching. How can you use the If/Then tactic today? Stay focused.

Read the accompanying article, 4 Ways You Sabotage Yourself (and how to deal with them).

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Apr 042022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Reach Goal

All you have to do to find out what your priorities have been is to look at your life. It’s a perfect reflection of your thoughts, beliefs, and choices. If you’re an entrepreneur and don’t have enough income, where have you been putting your energy? Has it gone into checking your email all day long or into promoting your business? Being out of shape means that watching TV, surfing the internet, or eating junk food have been more important to you than exercising.

Everything you have in your life is a result of  your past choices. You make decisions each day and then act on them. When you’re hungry, you can reach for a cupcake or have an apple. If you eat a cupcake for a snack every day, you’ll probably gain weight. Munching on the apple means you’ll have  better health. All the choices you make have consequences, either good or bad.

Change Your Choices

If you want something different in your life, you’ll need to start making different choices and following them through with a plan of action. To lose weight, reduce your calorie intake, portion sizes and increase your exercise. For more business, take action to become more visible and let people know about your product or service. 

Decisions are made in different ways, for different reasons, and not always consciously. Unfortunately, sometimes the actions you take sabotage what you really want. Learning to identify how your decisions are made can make the difference between success and failure. Once you become more aware of what prompts your decisions, you can formulate strategies to keep you on track and make decisions that will move you forward.

When Your Choices Sabotage Your Goals

Choices can sabotage you when they’re made:

1. Unconsciously. You could simply be acting out of a habit you created in the past. Although, you have the best of intentions, you fall into old patterns that undermine your goals. What can you do to break that habit and create a new one that supports your vision?

2. Based on past programming. For instance, you accepted ideas from people who told you that you wouldn’t be successful. By continuing to act on this, you’re limiting yourself for no reason. They didn’t know or couldn’t recognize your potential. Reassess them and reprogram your beliefs.

3. To avoid uncomfortable emotions. Change can be threatening. Achieving your goal could bring up outdated beliefs that don’t want to let go. So you choose the path of least resistance to keep from confronting those ideas. You have to decide which is most important to you, continued comfort or facing your fears.

4. Due to procrastination. This is similar to the last one. Once you move forward, you’re going to be in uncharted territory. You could be risking failure, criticism, or more responsibility. Find out why you procrastinate and develop a way of handling it.

5. Because you didn’t make a choice. You decided to put off making a decision. But not making a choice is a choice in itself. You’ve simply chosen not to change or take any action towards your goal. What do you need to do to decide to take action?

6. Trying to change too much all at once. Some people dive in and try to change their entire lives at one time. If you aren’t forced to do this, through divorce or some other trauma, don’t overwhelm yourself. The subconscious doesn’t like to change too much at one time. Take one area and work on it until it’s underway, then start on another.

7. From a sense of overwhelm or stress. Unfortunately, decisions made under duress are rarely for the best. They usually are made in reaction to outside circumstances and not well thought out. Step back, take a deep breath, and assess the situation before you make a choice.

Make Your Choices Work For You

Once you recognize how you make decisions, you can create a plan to keep you on the path to your goal. You simply break the old habit by establishing a new one.

You want to be able to consciously make decisions. The only way to be effective at achieving your goals is to know your target and aim for it. Some people weigh the pros and cons, and some decide what feels right. Whatever way you make choices, be aware of what you want and make a plan. Then stay on track and work your plan. And each day, make sure your choices support your endeavor.

Affirmation:

The Universe is always supporting my endeavors. It wants me to be abundant and successful. I am always Divinely guided. When I have a goal, I create a plan to achieve it. Any resistance to moving forward is now dissolved. It no longer serves a purpose. I commit myself to my goal and work my plan every day.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

5 Tips to Maintain Your Motivation

 Article  Comments Off on 5 Tips to Maintain Your Motivation
Mar 082022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar

There’s a saying that you can only motivate yourself. You have to supply the desire for an improvement to make the effort to accomplish your goal. But sometimes, your determination flags and you need a boost. The good news is that you don’t always have to go it alone.

For instance, when I was facilitating smoking cessation classes for the county health department, I had a reputation for being very motivating. Once someone had convinced themselves to commit to the classes, I found ways to encourage them to follow through.

They wanted to accomplish the difficult goal of quitting smoking and wanted group support to achieve it. The group dynamic kept them focused on their goal and gave them inspiration to keep going. But, first, they had to want to quit smoking. No one else could make them want that goal.

Motivation for a Goal

To achieve any goal, you have to be motivated and willing to make changes, put forth energy, and take action of some sort. Your motivation is the driving force and the reason you want a better outcome. No one else can provide this reason for you.

Necessity can provoke you to move forward. For instance, you have to find a job or else you won’t be able to pay your bills, and will end up indigent. Or you discover that your health is in danger unless you make some lifestyle changes. But even then, the possibility of severe difficulties in life doesn’t always motivate people to change. For many people, the danger has to be immediate. They have to feel the pain.  

So how do you develop and maintain your motivation, whether it’s something you want or need?

Ways to Stay Motivated

Have you ever gone to motivational program and been inspired? The program aroused your intrinsic desire for something better for yourself and caused you to take action. But not long after the event was over, the excitement probably wore off and your enthusiasm flagged.

Every day, you need some stimulation that will keep you motivated and on course. Here are 5 tips to fuel your drive and keep you stimulated.

1.  What’s your “why?” Uncover your big why, which is your reason and purpose for wanting your goal. What is your goal going to get or give you? How will it improve your circumstances? Get detailed. It has to be an aspiration that connects with you. Once you’ve discovered your why, keep referring back to it.

2.  Fill your mind with motivation. Read inspirational books, listen to motivational podcasts, and be around uplifting people. Study people who have accomplished what you want to achieve or who overcame obstacles similar to yours. This will add motivation to your efforts.  

3.  Get creative. When you get bored, discouraged or want to take a break, find a new way to approach the steps to your goal. For instance, change your routine. If you’re always working in your home office, go to a park. Find alternative ways to stay interested in the actions you need to take.  

4.  Acknowledge your progress. Don’t just check a task off your to do list. That feels good, of course, but to make a bigger impact, congratulate yourself on completing that step. Reward yourself. This is a powerful technique to encourage yourself to keep going.

5.  Accept support. Find an accountability or empowerment partner, and ask them to help keep you focused. This is one of the roles of a coach. People who tell a partner what they intend to do, and then report their progress, achieve their goal 76% of the time. 

The smoking cessation classes I facilitated used every one of these steps and had a great success rate. The participants needed different ways of keeping themselves motivated, just as everyone with a bold goal does. These tips will motivate, support and inspire you, too, to stay on course to your vision.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Stay Motivated to Achieve a Goal

Affirmation:

The Universe completely supports my goals and aspirations. It wants the best for me and knows why my goal is important. The Universe supplies me with all the inspiration and motivation I need to take action. I am Divinely guided and directed in Right Action for my goal and aspiration. My next step is made clear to me.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

What Is Your Motivation for Change?

 Article  Comments Off on What Is Your Motivation for Change?
Feb 282022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Time for Change Dial

When a hypnotherapy client came into my office wanting to make a change, one of my jobs was to find out what was motivating them. Was their motivation stronger than their attachment to what they were experiencing? For instance, I’d have smokers come to me and say, “I really want to want to quit smoking.” (No, that wasn’t a typo.) They hadn’t made the commitment to quitting, even though they knew they need to. Until their determination was stronger than their attachment to their habit, nothing would happen.

Subconscious Patterns

In the subconscious mind, the strongest idea wins. When the desire to stop smoking is more powerful than continuing, then the person will quit. This is true for any change, whether it be weight management, self-esteem, success, prosperity, relationship issues or anything else. Only when the desire for the new pattern becomes stronger than the attachment to the old will change occur.

Many times, the old pattern will have more energy to begin with because it’s familiar. People tend to like to hold onto what they’re used to, because they don’t know what the change will bring with it. But as a person contemplates the advantages of the new, feels the excitement and enthusiasm about it, then the subconscious will create the pathway for the new pattern to manifest.

Tips for Change

What change do you want to make in your life? Do you want more prosperity, self-acceptance, success, a better relationship, weight management, improved health? Write down what you want. Ask yourself what keeps you where you are and write that down. What changes in behavior, attitude, or belief do you need to make for your goal to succeed?

What is it that motivates you for your goal? If it’s to meet someone else’s expectations or to impress another, that won’t be strong enough to convince the subconscious. The reason for your goal has to be deeply meaningful to you. And your motivation has to be stronger than your desire to remain in your current situation.

You must be committed to do whatever is necessary for the change. Once you’ve determined your motivation, write it down and look at it several times a day. From your list of what changes you need to make, pick one per day to add to your behaviors. Before long, you’ll have accomplished your goal.

Affirmation:

I bring to mind what it is that I want. I know that the Universe wants it for me. I discover what my motivation is for the change I desire. As I contemplate how my goal feels, I uncover other reasons to accept it. I commit myself to do whatever I need to do to accomplish my goal. I deserve it.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Special or Safe Place Imagery

 Ask The Expert  Comments Off on Special or Safe Place Imagery
Jan 312022
 
Sparks of Insight

Question: Does the “special, safe or happy place” in self-hypnosis or guided imagery have to be from a childhood place?

Answer: The peaceful, special, safe or happy place doesn’t have to be from childhood. When I’m leading a client into it, I tell them to imagine a vacation spot or someplace completely imaginary, where no one can bother them and they feel completely safe. It could be on a cloud, above the cares of the world, or on a deserted beach.

Only a few people have had a hard time with that, and usually it’s because they can’t remember ever feeling safe. In that case, I recommend that they think of a time when they felt a little safe, maybe with a trusted friend. I then tell them to continue practicing with it, because each time they’ll get a little closer to the feeling of safety.

Not only is a feeling of safety important for stress reduction, but also for any improvements in your life. If you don’t feel safe, the subconscious won’t to create anything new. It will still be in “survival mode” and consider that any change is threatening to your current tenuous sense of security.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

 Sparks of Insight  Comments Off on Sparks of Insight
Jan 182022
 
Sparks of Insight

You create your life by rearranging your thought patterns, beliefs, and attitude. You don’t actually bring anything different together, because it’s all within you. It’s sort of like a kaleidoscope. When you look in one end of one of these magical toys, you see a pattern of colored glass, forming geometric designs. If you turn the end, it changes the patterns and you see a completely different pattern. The same happens when you change the way you think of something. You’re simply turning the end of your kaleidoscope and change the way you view your life.  

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

How One Small Technique Can Improve Your Attitude

 Video  Comments Off on How One Small Technique Can Improve Your Attitude
Jan 172022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When you’re in a bad mood or feeling down, it seems like nothing goes right. If you can shift your attitude to being more upbeat, life flows more smoothly. There is a simple technique you can use to improve your mood and attitude, and it just takes a minute. Here are 3 tips on how to use it to feel better and be happier.

Transcript:

Thank you for watching. I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision empowerment coach. Everyone has bad days, right? When you’re having one, it’s hard to get anything done, isn’t it? You feel like you’re wading through molasses. You know you’re fighting an uphill battle with your attitude and it seems that anything that could go wrong, does go wrong.

You realize that if you can shift your mood to a better one, everything flows more smoothly, right? What if I told you there was one small action you could take that could boost your attitude, lower your stress, and be happier? Would you try it? I certainly would.

Believe it or not, it’s something as simple as smiling. Please, bear with me. I know, when you’re feeling down, the last thing you want to do is smile. But smiling, whether you mean it or not, will make you feel better. It stimulates your brain into a more positive state, fooling it into thinking that you are actually feeling good. The old cliché, “Fake it until you make it,” is true in this situation. The brain can’t tell if your smile is real or forced. 

My first tip is going to look silly, but try it. You have nothing to lose, except your dignity. When you’re not feeling like smiling, but want to feel better, take a pen or pencil and put it between your teeth. [DEMO]

Looks silly, right? But notice how it activates the same muscles you use when you’re smiling? The muscles of the corner of your mouth turn up. Your brain doesn’t know that you’re just pretending. Hold it for a minute or so, and then take it out. Try smiling on your own, and see if it isn’t easier. 

My second tip is to start the day by deliberately smiling for 30 seconds to a minute. That will set your day up to be more productive, and you’ll approach your work with a more positive attitude. When you’re more positive, your day goes smoother, doesn’t it?

My third tip is to do the same thing when you hit a slump or start to feel stressed during the day. Smile for 30 seconds to a minute, again. It will cause you to be more upbeat, lower your stress and energize you.

So, “Turn that frown upside down.” Yes, I know, it’s corny. But smiling will encourage your brain to shift into a more positive state. You’ll look at your life differently. And when you change your attitude, then your responses, and your life, changes.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel to receive more mindset coaching tips to improve your life.

Thank you for watching. And remember, smile.

Please read the accompanying article, How Simple Actions Improve Your Attitude.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Walk to Improve Your Wellbeing

 Article  Comments Off on Walk to Improve Your Wellbeing
Jan 032022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Walking down a path

Many years ago, I was devastated when a relationship ended. All I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and escape. I knew that taking a walk would improve my mood, but it was an act of will to get myself prepared. As one sock went on, I thought, “Maybe I’ll just go lie down.” Forcing myself to pull the other sock on, I thought, “Maybe I’ll just go watch TV.” Lacing each shoe brought up other excuses not to go. But I persevered, took a deep breath and pushed myself out the door.

Research on depression has shown that exercise and walking is almost as effective as anti-depressants. Brain chemicals called endorphins release during exercise, and they naturally elevate mood. Studies have also shown that people who exercise have higher self-esteem, a greater sense of competence and internal control over events, and sleep better. It’s been said that if there’s a fountain of youth, it’s exercise.

Half an hour later, I was returning home with a quarter mile to go and decided to check my inner self to determine how I was feeling. Although I was still sad, I was amazed to find that I could now plan ahead. I actually looked forward to getting involved with a project waiting for me at home. My mental outlook had improved by over 80 percent. To me, at the time, that was a miracle.

Even if I feel exhausted after work, walking rejuvenates me. That’s because the tiredness is more mental than physical. Whenever I need to ground myself, clear my head, break through a writer’s block, or ruminate on a problem, I know that taking a walk will help all of those things. I sometimes say affirmations as I stroll. It’s as if the exercise starts stagnated energy moving again. Walking jumpstarts my well being on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. So, anytime you’re feeling sad, angry, blocked, or stuck, try taking a walk. I’ll bet you’ll find that it helps you clear the way for the changes you desire.

Affirmation:

My well being is important to me, and I make attending to it a priority. I know that exercise is beneficial on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. Knowing that, I find the time to exercise in the best way for my body. As I walk, deeper levels of my mind are at work finding solutions to whatever challenge I’m facing. If I’m reluctant to take a walk, I remind myself of all the benefits, take control of my own well being, and get my feet moving.

Dec 152021
 

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
by David Burns, MD

Here’s a book that gives specific instructions on how to change the way you think about your life. It was created to help people erase depression, anxiety, procrastination, guilt, pessimism, as well as perfectionism, anger, stress and low self-esteem. And it works. In a study of people with clinical depression, 70-75% of them were “cured” three months after reading this book and following the exercises.

By becoming aware of what you think, and then either addressing it or disputing the reasons, you begin to change the mental processes that have sabotaged you. Many people resist writing down their thoughts, for various reasons, but doing so allows you to view them more dispassionately. No longer are you controlled by your moods or negative thinking, you are empowered to confront it and change it.

Awareness and claiming your authority are key. When you take the time and effort to pay attention to what you’re thinking and write it down, you’re taking control. Then, by responding to it rationally, more positively, you’re accepting your authority over your own thoughts. This will begin to change your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Develop Your Potential to Reach Your Dream

 Article  Comments Off on Develop Your Potential to Reach Your Dream
Nov 302021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Woman with outstretched arms and sun

Success means different things to different people. But success can also mean different outcomes depending on the person’s dream. A business person measures their dream of success by income and number of customers. When a beginner marathon runner finally stumbles across the finish line, whether he’s first or last, that’s a win to him. To the person afraid to speak in public, victory is being able to effectively lead a meeting. To others, it’s wealth and acclaim.

In every case, the person had the potential to succeed at their dream. But they had to cultivate and develop the qualities that would lead them to the result they wanted. It didn’t happen by chance. They had to become a person who could reach their vision. That meant they had to let go of some characteristics, habits and ideas, and acquire others.

So where in your life do you need to change? Who do you need to become to be successful and accomplish your dream? Here are five areas to address.

1. What characteristics do you need to develop within yourself?

The characteristics you need to develop are going to be individualized for you and customized for your dream. You won’t want ones that help you climb the Matterhorn if marketing your business is your goal. So consider your dream. Then take stock and assess what qualities you need to develop.

Once you decide which traits are essential for you to have, establish a way to learn and practice them. Choose one from your list to cultivate and start small, with baby steps. But be consistent. Exercise the attribute as much as you can. In doing so, you make it a habit. Then you can start working on the next one.

2. What do you need to identify with?

Your identity affects what you believe and how you act. If you identify with being a business person, you’re going to act differently than someone who feels they’re a teacher. It molds the way you perceive yourself and what you believe about yourself. In some ways, it forms your self-image.

Your identity isn’t concrete. It’s shifting all the time, depending on your roles and responsibilities. And you can influence it by what you choose to believe about yourself. Someone who wants to learn to draw will begin to connect with the idea of being an artist. They then start acting in a way that supports their new sense of identity by associating with artists, going to art shows and being more creative.

3. What do you need to believe to achieve your dream?

If you believe life is out to get you and that you’re a loser, you’re not going to be able to make your dream a reality. Your attitude of failure will sabotage your efforts and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you believe inspires and affects your actions, and a belief is simply an opinion. So you can choose to change your belief.

Discover what ideas will support your dream. Imagine that you’ve already reached it. As you explore how it feels to live your dream, what beliefs did you have to have to get there? You’ll identify beliefs about life, yourself and your capabilities that you can begin to change. One way to shift them is through positive self-talk.

4. What skills, knowledge or habits do you need to acquire?

When I wanted to use a computer and get onto the World Wide Web, I had to learn how to navigate the machine’s commands and surf the internet. They were new skills, but essential for me to reach my goal.

Once you recognize the necessary extra information or behaviors you need, figure out how to acquire them. You may need to read specific books, take courses, change your choices or your routine. As you take these steps, others may become apparent to you. Follow them through. Just don’t get stuck in the preparation stage. At some point, you need to actually take the leap into action.

5. What are you willing to do to achieve your dream?

This is probably the most important question. How strongly do you want your dream? Just day dreaming about it won’t bring it into reality. Only by committing to it will you be able to make it yours. For instance, if you want a higher paying job, are you willing to move to a new location, work a different shift or take on more responsibility? If there’s any part of you holding back, it will undermine you.

As you determine what your dream requires of you, do an internal inventory to make sure you’re ready. To accept something new in your life, you’ll have to sacrifice something old. Your life will be different. Are you prepared for it? You’ll also have to put physical, emotional and mental energy forth to bring your dream into reality. If your dream isn’t important enough to you to put in the needed effort, it’s better to know now. Take stock and decide what you’re willing to do.

As Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” If what you’re doing now isn’t bringing you the result you want, you need to change.  Only by doing something different will you get results that are closer to what you want. And you can’t just change your actions. You also need to be someone different. Inner change is necessary for you to become the person who can achieve and live your dream.

Affirmation:

If I can conceive of my dream, then I can achieve it. I have all the support of the Universe in my endeavor. I am willing to do whatever I need to so that I create a new life. It’s safe for me to reach for my dream, and to make the changes necessary to accomplish it. As I put forth the inner and outer effort, I am Divinely guided in my quest.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.