May 162022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Merry go round

Cookie was a fantastic artist, and art was her passion. She had all the tools of the trade, brushes, paint, easel, palette, canvas, etc. But she didn’t paint much. Being a wife and mother took up most of her attention. But she did make time to read artist’s magazines, go to art shows and talk with people about art.

She kept her skills sharp with her imagination. Neither the mind or body can tell the difference between the imagination and reality. When she saw something she’d like to paint, she’d describe how she’d get it onto canvas to her daughter. This satisfied her creative urge. She had hundreds of unpainted pictures in her head. The problem was that they didn’t make it to canvas so other people could appreciate them.

Doing the training and foundational work to support your goal or passion is important. You also need to have focus and know where you’re going. Without knowing how to draw, mix colors or compose the picture, an aspiring artist could start throwing paint onto a canvas and have it look nothing like they wanted. Working towards a goal, you could splash around great energy and enthusiasm, but create nothing worthwhile.

The Difference Between Motion and Action

Don’t confuse motion with action. Motion is when you do busy work that causes you to procrastinate taking action. You could spend your life in motion, like walking on a treadmill trying to get to China, but never get anywhere. It will build muscle and endurance but won’t get you where you want to go. Motion activities can be helpful, like when Cookie read her artist’s magazines. It creates a structure, supports your goal and can motivate you. But motion won’t translate into momentum.

When you have a goal, don’t get stuck in thinking, planning, organizing, and strategy. They’re motion related and all vital and necessary. But if they become all that you do, you’ll get stuck on the treadmill and never achieve your goal. They create the form for the Universe to flow into, once you act on them, by themselves, they accomplish nothing.

Visualizing your goal, and how you’d feel when you achieve it, is important. But it can also distract and derail you, as it did Cookie. It could fulfill your desire to accomplish it without actually making any headway. To remedy this, make sure you stay motivated. If you have a hard time converting from the planning stage to the action phase, remember your why you’re doing this. Why do you want this goal? What will it do for you? What will change in your life? These answers can inspire you forward.

When to Take Action

When you’ve done all you can with your planning, take some action. You may not know yet what to do, but getting moving in a direction will ground your decision. This isn’t just motion, throwing paint on the canvas. You’ve set the groundwork. Now it’s time to build some momentum. It communicates to your inner mind that you’re ready to move forward. Action also makes your goal more real and believable to you.

Maxwell Maltz, author of “Psychocybernetics,” said “Your automatic guidance system cannot guide you when you’re standing still.” You’ll be guided when you have your goal, steps and planning in place, motivation, and take action. Even if nothing happens immediately, because  you’ve dedicated yourself to your goal, you’ll be Divinely guided to contacts, opportunities or information that you need. Action also intensifies the energy of the Law of Attraction.

All of Cookie’s motion activities finally resulted in her getting into action after her daughter grew up. Eventually, she joined a group of producing artists. In that supportive environment, she began painting again. She created dozens of beautiful paintings that will be loved for years to come.

Motion activities, such as training, strategizing and planning, build the foundation and framework for you. You can use them to inspire motivation to get you into action towards your goal. And once you’re in action, you’ll gather steam and momentum. Are you ready to move towards your dreams? Then take that first step now.

Affirmation:

I accept that my talents and abilities are gifts I need to develop. They are innate and need to be shaped and molded so that they can create a beautiful life vision. Once I’ve done my foundational work, I start taking action. My efforts are Divinely guided, and everything I need for success is now provided.

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.
Apr 202022
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

Where are you putting your attention? Is it on your intention, vision or what you want to create in your life? There’s an expression, “Energy flows where attention goes.” Whatever you’re focusing on will be the direction your energy will go, whether it’s towards your dream or away from it. This is true whether you want to start a new habit of meditating every day, write more, or follow up on leads for your business. Is your attention on what you want or do you get sidetracked?

To achieve your goal, you need to have a plan and benchmarks to follow. But you may get distracted or scattered as you try to act on them. It’s inevitable that crises will happen and unexpected tasks get shoved into your schedule. This only becomes a problem if these issues become chronic. Your subconscious may have been trained to keep you off track by creating problems. The solution is to refocus on what’s really important first and deal with the unexpected later in the day.

Establish Your Priorities

A plan is necessary and you have to work your plan to achieve success. Establishing your priorities is an integral part of fulfilling your intention. You have to make your next step or goal your primary mission each day. If you don’t, you’ll allow life’s diversions to pull you off course. It all depends on where you put your focus. Because wherever you put your attention makes that task or situation your priority.

For instance, let’s say you want to finish a project. But when the phone rings, you answer it, interrupting your work. By answering, you’ve allowed your phone to take precedence over your task. And you give your subconscious the message that the call is more important than your project. That means your subconscious will create more interruptions because it follows your lead.

On a personal level, you may want to lose weight. But you’re tempted by indulging in a bowl of ice cream. If you decide to eat the ice cream, your attention has shifted from weight loss to treating yourself. You’ve made pampering yourself your priority and have undermined your intention of losing weight. Do this more than a couple of times in a short time frame and you’ll create a habit that will destroy your original goal.

Your Intentions Are Important

In a professional capacity, many people will set their interests aside to help a coworker work on a report. The coworker is capable of doing it by themself, but they want help. Instead of taking the responsibility of handling it, the coworker finds someone to assist or support them.

Unfortunately, the person who has agreed to help ignores their own priorities to fulfill the other person’s goal. In helping, they’re acting on someone else’s agenda and not attending to their own. This occurs when you don’t let the phone go to voicemail, frequently check your email or don’t put a sign on your door saying, “Do Not Disturb,” when you need to complete a project. When you don’t focus on and stand up for your intention, then you allow another person’s goal to take precedence over yours.

Focus on Your Priorities

In general, women especially tend to put other people’s wants ahead of their well-being. Their focus is to try to make sure everyone else is happy and satisfied before they address their own intentions.  They forget that others are just as capable of fulfilling their own desires.

How often do you give an employee a task or train a coworker and say to yourself, “It would be easier and faster to do it myself?” When you fall into this trap of doing the work yourself, you’re telling them that you don’t believe they can do their job. You’re also instructing your subconscious to keep you overwhelmed. Again, you’re setting aside your priorities to handle someone else’s.

When you give your employee a task and allow them to complete it, you’re helping to build their confidence. Once trained, a coworker will be able to take some responsibility off your shoulders. This will give you more time to focus on your priorities.

How to Be Intentional

Every day, you have hundreds of decisions to make. Many of those have to do with your intention, vision or dream. To stay focused on it, you have to stay conscious and mindful, and not fall into the trap of just reacting to whatever shows up. Whenever you have something unexpected occur, ask yourself, “Is this someone else’s agenda?” and “Will this interfere with my intention?”

If the answer to these questions is, “Yes,” then you have to choose what’s more important, your intention or theirs. But remember, the only way you’ll be able to fulfill your dream is to keep your attention on your intention.

Affirmation:

The Universe supports me in all my endeavors.  I keep my intention in mind at all times. Whenever anything unexpected takes place, I stay conscious and mindful and make decisions that support my intention. I realize that everyone has the ability to take care of their own challenges. By attending to my agenda, I’m empowered and empower others to handle their own.

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.
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

Guided Meditation to Stay Motivated to Achieve a Goal

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Mar 152022
 

Do you ever have trouble staying motivated to achieve a goal or vision? You may start taking steps, but get bored, discouraged or have a setback and your motivation evaporates. To get back on course, reconnecting with your inspiration is vital. This guided meditation will help keep you energized and inspired, and remind you of your reason and intention for your goal.

Transcript:

Thank you for joining me. Today, I want to share a short meditation to help keep you motivated to achieve a specific goal or vision. When you have a goal, even if you’re making progress on it, your enthusiasm to continue to take action can evaporate.

You can become bored, discouraged you’re not achieving it fast enough, or even frustrated when you have some setbacks. Sometimes, you can have trouble taking the first step towards it, or starting again after a pause. This meditation will help with all of those issues.

I’m Linda-Ann Stewart, a vision empowerment strategist, and I’ve been a hypnotherapist for over 30 years. This meditation is similar to ones I’ve done with hypnotherapy and coaching clients to inspire them to stay on course to their goals.

If you’re so inclined, close your eyes. Take a deep breath to relax and get focused.

Now, think of a goal you want to accomplish. What is it you want to achieve? Imagine how different your life would be with it a reality in your life. What would you be doing, thinking, feeling and behaving that’s different from now? Place an image of these ideas in a picture frame. 

Now, uncover your reason for your goal. Why is it you want this change in your life? This has to be a reason that will continue to urge and energize you. Place this reason in the picture frame with the image of your goal. This reason could be a symbol, a feeling, a color, and outcome or something else that has meaning for you.

As you place the reason inside the frame, it creates a positive change in the picture of your goal. The picture and frame begins to glow a beautiful color. The reason itself causes the picture to be surrounded and filled with a powerful light. This light could be gold, silver, white, or whatever color excites and encourages you.

As the light glows brighter, the picture and frame get bigger and bigger, until they take up your entire perspective. The picture becomes a huge billboard, impressive and powerful. You feel excited to begin, and to continue, taking action towards your goal. You know you can accomplish your goal. The steps appear for you, and you overcome any setbacks.

Whenever you think about your goal, you imagine this billboard, the image of your accomplished goal and your reason for taking actions towards it. The image of the billboard is strong, powerful, motivating, encouraging, and inspiring you to take your next step. It fills you with anticipation.

Open your eyes.

This meditation gives your subconscious mind direction and energy for you start working towards your goal. If you find yourself needing a motivational boost, close your eyes, take a deep breath and imagine the billboard. Imagine the goal, your reason, and the brilliance of the billboard. Doing this will remind your subconscious mind of your purpose and intention.

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. I know that you can achieve any goal that you desire. Stay focused.

Read the accompanying article 5 Tips to Maintain Your Motivation

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

5 Tips to Maintain Your Motivation

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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.

Develop Your Potential to Reach Your Dream

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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.

Guided Meditation to Focus and Accomplish More

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Nov 102021
 

Cultivating focus is difficult in today’s world because of all the distractions. Fortunately, focus is a skill that you can develop with practice. When you visualize yourself focusing on a task, it makes that task easier to accomplish. You’re utilizing your natural ability to focus and rehearse your activity. Discover how this guided meditation can improve not only your ability to focus, but your success with any task.

Transcript:

Wouldn’t you like to learn one of the most important skills for success? That skill is focus and it’s hard to cultivate because our lives are filled with distractions from people, situations, and technology.

Fortunately, focus is an ability you have that you simply need to practice. I’d like to share a short, guided meditation that will make it easier for you to pay attention to an immediate goal or action. And it will improve your success with it. You can use this meditation at the beginning of each day or task.

First, what is your goal, desired action, task or project? Imagine that it’s something you want to work on and accomplish, just one item. Imagining doing it will make it easier to follow through on it. Visualizing also starts the subconscious mind to solve problems you might encounter.

Second, define what your motivation is to fulfill that goal, activity, or project. Why is it important to you? Dig down to the real reason, one that moves you. We’ll use that in our visualization.

Now, here we go. Close your eyes, if you’re so inclined. Take a long, slow, deep breath.

Think about what you want to accomplish, one task, today. Think of it in detail. Why is it important to you to take action on this? How will it benefit you? Consider that, and allow that motivation to grow and fill you.

Now, imagine yourself start working on your goal or task. Imagine it in detail. What does the room look like? How do you feel? What do you hear? Think, feel and imagine that it’s easy to focus on your task and bring all your resources and innovation to it.

Imagine that each step you take goes smoothly. Each step makes you  more enthusiastic to take the next one, to go further. Imagine that each action you take is easy and successful. You feel calm, relaxed, creative and engaged.

You easily find solutions for any challenges you encounter. Everything else fades away until you’re done. Imagine you stay with your task until your time is up or the work is done, whatever is right for you.

Think, feel and imagine that you’re delighted and amazed at how successful you were, how much you got done. Imagine how that success feeds into your next task or project, and propels you further.

Open your eyes. Something as simple as this visualization primes your subconscious mind to support your endeavors and create more successful outcomes. Your thoughts about a situation greatly influence its results.

You’re utilizing a natural function of your subconscious mind to program your activity, your thoughts about it, and your success. Practicing this kind of visualization, before any task, will make it flow more smoothly and easily, and you’ll accomplish more. And it will develop the habit of focus for you.

For more tips and articles on mindset, motivation and empowerment, please visit my blog, EmpoweringYourMind.com. Thank you for watching. I hope you practice this type of visualization each day, and achieve all the success you deserve. Take care. 

Read the accompanying article, Focus, the Power Behind Success.

Focus, the Power Behind Success

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Nov 082021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

"Your ability to focus is the most important success skill you can ever develop." Brian Tracy

“Your ability to focus is the most important success skill you can ever develop.” Brian Tracy

In today’s world, it’s hard to stay focused. It seems that every minute, there’s something to divert your attention. You probably check your email several times a day. Every time there’s a notification from your phone, you have to see what it is. That’s in addition to interruptions from co-workers, family and friends. After a distraction, studies show it takes at least fifteen to twenty minutes to get focused again.

Also, your mind can focus on only one thing at a time. Each time you shift your attention from one thing to another, you’re “task switching” and it burns up extra mental energy. When the entire day is filled with these intrusions, you end the day feeling drained and exhausted, with very little to show for it.

Benefits of Focus

However, when you’re more focused, you feel more in charge of your world, get in the flow and get more done. You also have less stress and overwhelm, because your mind has one thing to do at a time. In addition, you have more clarity, so you make better decisions, as well as being more efficient, effective, and productive.  

Therefore, to achieve your goals and dreams, your ability to focus is vital. Fortunately, it’s a skill that you can cultivate and develop. The more you focus, the more you’re able to focus. It’s just like a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

How to Create the Habit of Focus

You can’t be focused all the time, because the unexpected does happen on occasion. But you can set aside time each day to pay attention to your most important tasks. Schedule time into your day to focus on important projects. Here are some ways you can get started and cultivate your ability to focus.

Motivate yourself to focus. Decide how having increased focus benefits you, and remind yourself of that incentive when you set aside time for it. As you build your motivation, and act on it, focusing becomes a habit. Jim Rohn said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Once you establish the habit of focusing, your mind will automatically know what to do when you want to do it.

Use visualization. Choose one task that will move you towards your vision or goal. What is it you want to focus on and achieve in this period? Before you get to work on it, take a couple of minutes to visualize yourself performing your task and accomplishing what you want. This increases your motivation, and primes your subconscious to start solving any issues you might encounter. You’re rehearsing your actions, which then makes them easier to execute.

Eliminate distractions. Find a way to minimize the effects of whatever can intrude on your focus time. For instance, research shows that if your phone is in the same room as you’re in, your mind is always tuned to it. Even turning your phone off doesn’t work. Therefore, put your phone in another room, where you can’t see it or hear it. Turn off your email. Close your door.

Minimize multi-tasking. Constant multi-tasking trains your mind to hinder your focus. However, you don’t have to completely avoid multi-tasking. When you’re performing automatic behaviors, such as doing dishes, watching television doesn’t drain you. Or you can pay bills and listen to a podcast. But when you do activities that need you to think, multi-tasking uses up mental bandwidth and exhausts your energy. Your mind is always seeking something new, and when you multi-task, you jump from one attention getting novelty to another. Multi-tasking triggers the reward centers of the brain, therefore gives you an incentive to repeat the process, which makes multi-tasking addictive.

Strengthen your focus muscle. Set aside time to focus on one task without distractions. Start off with as much time as you can before you need a break. You may need to begin with only ten or fifteen minutes. Each week, increase the time. Aim to have a sixty to ninety-minute stretch of focusing on one topic or chore before you take a break. When you take your break, do something that rests your mind for several minutes, such as going for a walk, getting a drink, or something to eat. This gives your mind time to replenish its energy and get ready for your next work period.

Being able to focus is an inherent talent that we all have. But it’s not an skill that is exercised much, so most people have gotten out of practice with it. With the above tactics, you can cultivate your natural ability, strengthen it, and develop it into a habit that will support your success.

Affirmation:
I have a natural ability to focus and pay attention to what’s important to me. It’s a skill that I can develop and grow through practice. The Universe flows Its energy through my focus, supporting my endeavors and smoothing my path to maximize success.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Focus and Accomplish More.

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.

Get Greater Satisfaction from Living Intentionally

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Oct 202021
 

Living intentionally brings better health, happiness, freedom and peace of mind. It’s not always easy to live intentionally, because you have to be pro-active or let other people or circumstances make the choice for you. Learn how making deliberate choices brings you better outcomes and the results you want.

Transcript:

Do you live intentionally? Living intentionally means that you deliberately choose a desired result and follow through to create it. It also means that you chose to live according to your values and beliefs. When you live intentionally, you’re healthier, happier, freer and more at peace. Who wouldn’t want that?

Living intentionally is not easy, because every day, your life is made up of a series of choices. You can either make a decision each time a choice arises or let that decision be made for you by other people or by circumstances. Many times, it’s easier to let other people or circumstances make the choice for you, but then you feel helpless and hopeless. And you probably won’t get the outcome you seek.

Whether or not you live intentionally is like being in a canoe in a swift running creek. Do you want to use the paddle to keep you on course or throw that paddle away and let the creek toss you about every which way? This would be the proverbial, “Up a creek without a paddle” scenario, right?

If you don’t have a paddle, which is your decision making power, your canoe might run onto rocks and be overturned and you’d be in the water. Not a good result, right? Being intentional is like using your paddle to direct your canoe through the water safely.

When you’ve chosen a result you’re willing to work towards, or to live by your values, most of your choices become easier. You discard the possibilities that lead you away from your path, and choose the ones that support the direction you want to go. You’re more focused and fulfilled. You feel empowered, motivated and in control.

How can you become more intentional with your choices today?

For more tips and articles on mindset, motivation and empowerment, please visit my blog EmpoweringYourMind.com.

Have a wonderful and intentional day.

Read the accompanying article Why You Need a Vision and Plan.

Why You Need a Vision and Plan

 Article  Comments Off on Why You Need a Vision and Plan
Oct 062021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

When you choose to grow a garden, do you start watering the plot without planning what you want to grow in it? Or do you decide what plants you want, and till and fertilize the soil to make it receptive for those kinds of plants? Don’t you clear the area of growth that doesn’t fit with your plan? And then you choose seeds or seedlings you want and place them in the soil. To care for your garden, you water, feed the plants, and weed out what doesn’t belong.

Your mind and life is like a garden. If you just jump into a garden, or life, without a vision or plan, you’re going to receive what plants and seeds are already in that plot. By not sowing any new seeds, you can only harvest what is already growing there. You won’t reap anything new. In this case, to misquote an investment disclaimer, “Past performance will indicate future results.”

The Downside to Going with the Flow

Many people just want to go with the flow, having no intention, vision or plan. They want to follow instinct or intuition, without any real idea of what they want. This kind of philosophy is fine if you want to float through life. But if you want to change a habit, or achieve something, you have to be more deliberate.

The problem with the idea of just flowing is that it means you’re acting on what’s already in your subconscious. There’s no new destination or goal. It’s like watering a garden without putting any thought into what you want. You’ll get what you get, not necessarily what you want. Your subconscious can only deliver on the ideas you’ve already sown into it. If you’re simply following your subconscious, you’ll wander in circles, never accomplishing anything new. And the weeds in the garden of your life may choke out most of the flowers.

The Role of Your Conscious and Subconscious

Your subconscious has a specific role to play in your life and it’s a powerful one. Your subconscious is your problem solver, and where your creativity and insights come from. But your subconscious can’t make decisions for you. Choices must come from your conscious mind to be fulfilled by your subconscious. Your subconscious uses all your knowledge and experience to help you achieve your intention. But your subconscious can’t seek any outside information to help. New information has to come to, and through, your conscious mind.

Your conscious mind chooses your destination, intentions, goals or vision.  Your subconscious provides you with the ideas, innovation and insights to realize them. When you have a vision and plan, you give your subconscious concrete information to work with. With a vision, your subconscious knows what to seek and scans your environment to help you. Your plan creates guiderails and makes it easier for your subconscious to locate and discover opportunities.

Tending Your Intention

In your garden or your life, not all the seeds you sow will germinate and not all of the plants will survive to maturity. The same is true of your vision and plan. You’ll need to discover what didn’t survive and why, and address that problem. It could be that you didn’t tend to your garden as much as it needed or that the soil wasn’t fertile enough. Maybe circumstances changed, and your vision and plan needs to be adjusted.

If you want better results in your life, you’ll tend to the garden of your intention. A garden takes constant attention to support its growth and fertility. Only after putting in the effort will you reap the rewards. Your life deserves the same care, love and consideration as a garden.

Affirmation:

As I choose my direction in life, it gives the Law of Attraction definite details of what to draw to me. The Universe is on my side, and wants the best for me. I’m Divinely Guided and Directed into the right path for my Highest Good. Everything I need is provided in the best way possible.

Watch the accompanying video, Get Greater Satisfaction from Living Intentionally.

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.