20 Habits of Successful & Wealthy Traders!

Hello to all my readers :)

Hope my post finds you well and dandy! :)

Have you ever asked yourself the following questions:

What differentiates a successful trader from an unsuccessful one?

What are the habits of successful people and in particular successful traders?

trading success

I have often asked myself these questions as I have trained and coached a large numbers of traders as I came across a lot of different trader types and I could clearly see that there is a pattern and habits which successful traders follow :).

Traders types

For novice FX traders, and experts too, what can we learn from those who are successful?

To find out, I started to interview professional and well known traders as well as less famous ones who are successful at trading to figure out what made them different and successful. After hundred of interviews, I have collated what are the reoccurring themes of successful and wealthy traders :).

Successful Traders

Below, I have listed the 20 habits of successful and wealthy traders and if you are a seasoned trader, I am sure you will agree with them.

1. Have a precise Trading Plan and follow it with discipline

2. Patient with winners and impatient with losers

3. View Technical Analysis as a picture of where traders are lining up to buy and sell

4. Before they enter every trade they will know profit target and stop exit

5. Approach trade no.5 with the same conviction as the previous 4 losing trades

6. Use naked charts (Price Action)

7. Read about human and Trading Psychology

8. Successful traders stopped trying to pick tops and bottoms long ago

9. Do not think market as expensive or cheap

10. Aggressive with trade size when doing well and modest when not

11. Realise the market will be open tomorrow so don’t chase trades

12. Never add to a losing position. EVER.

13. Judge their trading success on anything but money

14. Comfortable making decisions with incomplete information

15. Making money is more important than being right

16. Practice reading the right side of the charts not the left

17. Have an edge in the market which gives them a greater than 50/50 chance of determining the future direction of the price

18. Determine position size based on risk, not round numbers

19. Buy strong market and sell weak markets

20. Play reaction, not the news

Analyse, trade, evaluate, repeat. Successful traders are creatures of habit – they are defined by their daily trading routines :).

Habit sweet spot

Sure, there is talent involved, but it is what they do everyday, over and over, through triumph and failure, that makes them successful :).

success day in day out

it is not about fortune. It is about skill, honed through persistence and discipline. They are dedicated to perfecting their craft :).

Trading Zone

We become what we repeatedly do‘ – Sean Covey.

aristotle

To your Successful Trading! :)

Viv :)

The Wisdom of Failure

A very good evening to all my readers, :)

Have you ever asked yourself:

How do you climb back onto the saddle when the horse has flung you off: when your plans fall to pieces?

Looking back, as we approach another year end and tabulating whether my successes have been more than my failures. It is clear that failure has left its imprint.

Life will constantly test your resolve and level of commitment.

If only we could have patience in the midst of our trials. Coping with rejection and apparent failure is a serious matter.

plan vs reality

If you focus on positive thinking, even the harshest defeat is only a stepping-stone. :)

Never let Success get to your Head. Never let Failure get to your Heart. “I didn’t get consumed by losses,” said Don Shula, “and I didn’t get overwhelmed by successes.”

Many of us have stifled our life by heeding some misguided critic who implied we were not good enough. Few things in life are certain but failure is.

Failure seems as something to be avoided at all cost. Although it leaves a sour taste, we should embrace failure for the learning opportunity it is. Failure is the oldest teacher, and perhaps the wisest of them all. Some things are impossible to completely grasp without first falling down.

We live in a culture that values perfectionism and failure is often viewed as a sign of weakness. People become so fixated on not failing that they never move forward. When it comes to failing, our egos are our own worst enemies. It is easier to accept failure in private, but once the failure is obvious to everyone around you, it becomes harder to accept it. Holding onto failures for way too long is destructive.

What is the importance  of failure?

  • It’s a learning Experience. Failure drives us to change. It represents opportunity and growth. It gives new direction.There is always one or more lessons to learn in what you may see as a failure.
  • It builds Character. We learn how to behave when we finally accomplish our goals. The humility we gain through our failures allows us to better handle and appreciate success.
  • It makes you Stronger. It is with persistence we overcome failure to achieve success . When people fail, they feel unaccomplished, and so they try again and again, until they finally reach success.
  • Your chances of Succeeding Increases. Failures are the pillars for success. You gain experiences you could not get any other way. Some things can only be learned through trial and error.
  • Failure is a type of Freedom. You might ask: Why? Because the worst has happened. Now, you can relax and rebuild again.

Success does not come easy. Everyone must face one hurdle after another. If you think that once you have the success you crave, you can relax, you are sadly mistaken.

the finish line

Failure can be costly, not only emotionally but financially as well. Some industries are very unforgiving as one or more failures may instantly get you the boot. The worse thing anyone can do, is not learn from failures.

“Failure is the tuition you pay for success.” ~Walter Brunell

In recent years, more and more executives have embraced the point of view, that failure is a prerequisite to invention. ‘The fastest way to succeed’, IBM’s Thomas Watson, Sr., once said, ‘is to double your failure rate.’ The growing acceptance of failure is changing the way companies approach innovation.

‘There is no failure. Only feedback.’ ~Robert Allen

However, distinguishing between excusable and inexcusable failure is crucial. Managing failure is key. Some mistakes are unpardonable for example producing and marketing a dysfunctional product caused by poor quality control. Encouraging failure doesn’t mean abandoning or supervision or respect for sound practices. Managing for failure requires leaders to be more engaged, not less.

Finally, don’t let the fear of failure hold you back.

I wish you the very best in life and success :)and remember that ‘Our best success often come after our greatest disappointments.’ ~Henry Ward Beecher

Remember to take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise. Always find joy in your journey for as George Bailey said it best “It’s a Wonderful Life!” :)

take risks if u win

I really appreciate that you are taking the time to read this post.

To your successes! :)

Viv :)

Trading in the zone!

 Have you have been so focused on doing something that you have not been aware of people walking around you or heard any surrounding noise?

Have you ever driven in a motorway and listen to your favourite music? Have you felt in tune with it?

I hope you agree with me that when you are in tune with something or someone, you are completely focused without any distractions or noticing any noise.

Most of you, who know me well, have already identified the subject of this article, and yes, you are not wrong. It’s about trading and in particular it is related to a famous trading book: Trading in the zone by Mark Douglas.

trading in the zone

I love this book because it is related to trading psychology and if you are a trader or you are thinking of taking up this career than this is an absolute must read for you. I have read it so many times that I have lost count. :-)

You will get the most from this book if you already have a trading system or execute the trades as effectively as you would like. :-)

This book taps into your belief systems, which in turn determine your actions, in a very coherent manner. ‘A belief system is nothing more than a thought you’ve though over and over again’ – Wayne Dyer. It is no exaggeration to say that if your trading methodology has a genuine edge, this book could transform you into the owner of your very own casino if you allow it to.

belief-system-2

The knowledge the author offers is also applicable to other areas of life including quitting smoking – it’s all about positively energising the concept that you’re a non smoker and de-energising the concept that you are a smoker.

Before you turn off condemning that comment as psycho-babble, you should remember, as the author explains, to keep your mind open to information according to what you already believe to be true.

An exceptionally fine book on the most important aspects of trading in which the author selflessly shares his soul in addition to his knowledge.

emotional guidance scale

For example, he shares the 5 fundamental truths of trading:

  1. Anything can happen whilst trading
  2. You do not need to know what is going to happen next in order to make money
  3. There is a random distribution between wins and losses for any given set of variables that define an edge
  4. An edge is nothing more than an indication of a higher probability of one thing happening over another
  5. Every moment in the market is unique

probability mindset

He also shares, the 7 principles of trading consistency:

  1. I objectively identify my edge
  2. I predefine the risk of every trade
  3. I completely accept the risk or I am willing to let go of the trade
  4. I act on my edges without hesitation or reservation
  5. I pay myself as the market makes money available to me
  6. I continually monitor my susceptibility to make errors
  7. I understand the absolute necessity of these principles of consistent success and therefore I will never violate them

consistency is key

So to think like a trader means to think in terms of probabilities, identify your edge, execute your trades the same way each and every time and take every setup that fits your criteria. Look to analyze your trades in sample sizes and not individually. Doing these things (over time), can help develop a level of confidence and consistency in your trading.

consistence creates confidence

He suggests an excellent Trading Mission Statement:

I am a determined trading athlete. My goal as an online trading athlete is to be confident and have belief.

Sticking tenaciously to my plan will help me become a full time trader, trading for a living.

Set and go!!!

Also, he outlines the importance of having a Trading Plan:

‘To have time to do what I want to do and still have the money to do it as well, e.g. travelling, etc.’

forex-trading-plan

To attain the best possible impact on your trading mindset, read with an open mind, make notes, re-read, and re-read again as the knowledge in the book contains has to sink deep into your personality and character arena.

success 2

Happy reading :-)

To your trading success :-)

Viv :-)

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules for Success

A very good evening to all my readers :-)

Hope my post finds you well and dandy :-)

Have you ever experienced feeling exhausted after you put so much effort into pursuing a goal?

Have you ever felt discouraged when you realize that you are still so far from your objectives no matter how strong your desire is to achieve them?

Have you ever asked yourself ‘what are the rules of success of accomplished people?

I personally have experienced all of the above and I can guarantee you that these are not pleasant feelings, they cause a lot of frustration and they can bring you to breaking point.

In my quest to find an answer to the question of obtaining success, I came across Arnold Schwarzenegger’ speech for Harvard University. Even though I am personally more familiar with the thinking of Rocky and Mohammed Ali; I have to be honest and say that when I listened to Schwarzenegger’s rules of success, they really resonated with me so I decided to share them with you. :-)

Arnold-6Rules-Success-e1367511772942

Here is a transcription of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s speech:

‘And, of course, people ask me all the time; they say to me, ‘What is the secret of success?

Before I start, I just want to say that these are my rules and I think that they can be applied to everyone but that is for you to decide, because not everyone is the same. Some people like to kick back, cruise through life, others want to be very intense, they want to be always number one and be successful, that is like me. I always wanted to be very intense and I always wanted to be number one. I took it very seriously in my career. This is the same when I started body building, I didn’t want just be a body builder champion, I wanted to be the best body builder at all times. The same was in the movies. I didn’t want just to be a movie star but I wanted to be a great movie star and I wanted to be a highly paid movie star. This intensity always paid off for me, this commitment always paid off for me:-)

These are my rules:

The 1st rule is: TRUST YOURSELF.

trust yrself

What is most important thing is that you have to dig deep down, dig deep down and ask yourselves:

‘Who do you want to be?’

Not what but WHO?

arnold-schwarzeneggar-speech-who do u want to be

I am talking about not what your parents and teachers want you to be, but YOU. I am talking about figuring out for yourselves what makes you HAPPY. No matter how crazy it may sound to other people. :-)

So rule number one is, of course, trust yourself no matter how and what anyone else thinks. I was lucky when I grew up as I did not have so many destruction as you have today such as TV, telephone, computer, i-pad, i-pod, twitter, etc. I spent a lot of time by myself so I could figure out and really listened to what was inside my heart and my head. I recognised very quickly that I had the stronger desire to leave my little village and be part of something bigger where dreams could come true. :-)

Rule number 2 is: BREAK THE RULES.

break the rules

We have so many rules in life about everything. I say break the rules. No the law, but break the rules. It is impossible to be a maverick or a true original if you are too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules.

You have to think outside the box. That is what I believe.

After all, what is the point of being on this earth if all you want to do is be liked by everyone and avoid trouble?

The only way that I ever got anyplace was by breaking some of the rules.

Which, of course, brings me to rule number 3: DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL.

don_t_be_afraid_to_fail___by_jandesignofficial-d7a6fzf

Anything I have ever attempted, I was always willing to fail.  You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions.  You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do and success will come:-)

So don’t be afraid to fail.

Which brings me to rule number 4: DON’T LISTEN TO THE NAYSAYERS.

Arnold Schwazenneger Dont listen to the naysayers

How many times have you heard that you can’t do this, you can’t do that and it’s never been done before?

I love it when someone says that no one has never done this before, because then when I do it that means that I am the first one that has done it. So pay no attention to the people that say it can’t be done.

I always listen to myself and say: ‘Yes, you can.’ :-)

Yes you can

And that brings me to rule number 5, which is the most important rule of all: WORK YOUR BUTT OFF.

Arnold-Schwarzenegger work hard 1

I always believed leaving no stone unturned, Mohammed Ali, one of my great heroes, had a great line in the ‘70s when he was asked: ‘How many sit-ups do you do?’ He said, ‘I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting and that’s when it really counts.’  That’s what makes you a champion. And that’s the way it is with everything. NO PAIN NO GAIN:-)

Let me tell you, it is important to have fun in life, of course. But when you are out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard, someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that. :-)

If you want to cruise through life than don’t pay attention to none of these rules, but if you want to win, there is absolutely no way around hard, hard work.

None of my rules, by the way, of success, will work unless you do.

I have always figured out that there are 24 hours a day. You sleep 6 hours and have 18 hours left. I know that there are some of you out there that say well, wait a minute; I sleep eight hours or nine hours. Well. Then, just sleep faster, I would recommend. ‘Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.’ – L. Peter

Arnold-Schwarzenegger-sleep faster

Just remember, you can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in the pockets:-)

And that takes me to rule number 6, which is a very important rule: IT’S ABOUT GIVING BACK.

GIVING BACK

Whatever path that you take in your lives, you must always find time to give something back, something back to your community, give something back to your state or to your country.

If you tear down the mirror that makes you always look at yourself, you will be able to look behind that mirror and you will see the millions of people that need your help. Let me tell you something, reaching out and helping people will bring you more satisfaction than everything else you have ever done.’ :-)

giving back arnold

I invite you to listen to the full inspirational speech by Arnold Schwarzenegger:-)

Personally, I believe that the last rule is the most important one. It has helped me to achieve most, if not all, of my successes in life. It has also gifted me with the most amazing satisfaction and accomplishments without forgetting that along the way I came to know so many remarkable people. Thank you for sharing my journey that made me a better person! :-)

VIV 2013

The only rule that I don’t agree 100% with Schwarzenegger is his most important rule: WORK HARD! I have been working very hard all my life, however in the last few years, I realised that whilst working hard is very important, working smarter is more efficient as it saves time and energy to enjoy the results of our own hard work :-)

I believe that the most important point that Schwarzenegger made in his speech is at the beginning where he said that his rules can be applied to everyone but everyone is not the same therefore you have to decide which rules to apply based on your personality. :-) In fact, I personally would have swapped some of his rules for others and added a few more, because these suit my personality more based on my experiences.

Remember that your personality and experiences will lead to your own rules to success as we are all amazingly unique and we all have different life journeys. :-) On this note, I wish to my dear Bro, all the happiness and success in the world as he truly deserves it on his special day! :-):-):-)

people-in-yr-life1

Thank you for all the amazing moments and lessons learnt, the most important of which is learning to dance in the rain :-)

Dance-in-the-Rain

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.’ – Vivian Greene

To your rules of Success :-)

Viv :-)

8 Steps Process to overcoming your obstacles

A warm greeting to all my readers :)

‘If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.’ — Frank A. Clark

Have you ever experienced difficulties and challenges before achieving one of your goals?

Have you ever appreciated something that came easily to you? Or did you appreciate it more when you sacrificed and made a real effort to achieve your goal?

Have you ever heard of the lottery winners who are worse off today than they were before they won?

They squandered their winnings because it held no value for them, they didn’t have to struggle through the obstacles, challenges and problems that self-made millionaires face, as a result even though their dream had materialised they weren’t able to hold onto it. As the saying goes ‘Easy come, easy go.’

It’s not so surprising when you think about how you feel when you achieve your goals easily or when you achieve them by overcoming obstacles.

greater the obstacle...

Which process gives you more satisfaction?

satisfaction-

I recently experienced a tough period achieving my goals; I overcome these by working on my mindset which led to this article.

I hope it helps you to deal with the obstacles that you will likely face as you progress along your journey towards the attainment of your objectives. :)

To commence, setting goals is the first step… achieving them is the second step… and surely, it is at this second step that most of us stumble. We stumble not because the goal is unachievable, but rather because of unexpected obstacles and challenges that arise along the journey that make the goal seem unachievable.

benefits of setting goals on blackboard

It is important to understand that every goal we set naturally comes with a plethora of landmines that are attached to that goal which show up in our lives as a set of hurdles, tests and problems that we must surpass in order to get to our end destination. In fact, unless we successfully manoeuvre through these difficulties and overcome them, then we will fail to learn the valuable lessons that are required to help us grow towards each stage and most importantly keep our goal when we get there. 

obstacles zig ziglar

There are three types of obstacles that you will likely face.

Firstly, personal barriers, which are related to your psychology, behaviour and state-of-mind, include limiting habits, debilitating emotions, fears and beliefs that prevent us from moving forward because of the negative thinking, inhibiting our ability to make effective decisions and undertake appropriate action that would help us create the momentum we need to get to our desired outcome.

Secondly, environmental difficulties, these are unexpected external occurrences and circumstances that we have little control over and we are usually ill-prepared to deal with these effectively. However, if we research and set in place contingency plans, we stand a greater chance of pre-empting potential pitfalls and even influencing the outcome.

To do this, begin by following Murphy’s Law:

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong at the worst possible time, all of the time when you least expect it. 

 murphy's law

So what are you going to do about it?

 

When you plan for the future, you gather a better understanding of the possible scenarios and consequences of your decisions and actions. Planning also gives you insight into additional resources you may need to help you overcome environmental obstacles that you could face on the journey ahead. :)

Plan-Design

Thirdly, social obstructions are related to people who either do no cooperate, sabotage you, or are incompetent and unable to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to them. Again it’s essential to forward plan and ensure that you clarify your needs adequately, your knowledge thoroughly and your instructions carefully. It also helps to develop strong bonds and relationships with the people you rely on most, safeguarding any future breakdown in communication. However don’t confuse this with trying to control people’s behaviour, decisions and actions. Instead subtly influence people and understand their needs, motives and desires. Only in this way will you successfully improve your chances of maneuvering through the social obstacles in your life.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Identify if any of these obstacles are currently preventing you from getting what you want most out of life, and choose today to take control of your thought patterns and begin making far more effective decisions. :)

effective-decision-making

As a coach, I often work with clients who are struggling to overcome personal and business obstacles. They don’t know what to do, where to begin or how to move forward. In such instances, I will ask them a series of questions that help them gain a new perspective and understanding about their circumstances. As a result they begin to unlock hidden resources they never realized they had. :)

life's challenges

I have listed below the ‘8 Steps Process to overcome your obstacles’ and integrated them with specific questions which will help you overcome your obstacles too:

STEP 1. Question the Problem

question

What are the indications that this is a problem for you?

How do you know this is accurate?

STEP 2. Question the Origins of the Problem

questions & qnswers

How did all this start?

Who or what perpetuates this problem?

STEP 3. Identify the Details

details

When did it happen?

How did it happen?

Where did it happen?

STEP 4. Determine the Consequences

Value_Graphic

What would happen if you ignored it?

When could it become a bigger problem?

What could lead to this specific outcome?

How does this affect you?

How does this affect others?

How does this affect your external life?

What other problems might be caused by resolving this obstacle?

STEP 5. Take Control

take control

Whose behaviour do you control?

What aspects of this problem can you control?

What aspects of this problem can’t you control?

How must you respond to what you can’t control?

STEP 6. Identify the Positives

positive

What is happening that is good?

What would you like to have continue to happen?

STEP 7. Gain Perspective

two points perspectives

What are your assumptions about this?

How are your assumptions contributing to the problem?

What is another perspective you haven’t considered?

Who has successfully overcome this problem?

What can you learn from this person?

STEP 8. Expand Your Options & Take Decisive Action

Just-Do-It (1)

What could you do differently?

Who could assist you?

Where haven’t you looked for a solution?

What action can I take to solve this obstacle?

How will you know when this problem has been resolved?

What is your criteria for success?

Remember, obstacles are just ‘things’ that are there to teach, strengthen and fortify you for the journey that lies ahead. We must therefore not view them as insurmountable problems that will prevent us from achieving our goals, but rather as small, and sometimes large, stepping stones that are mandatory ‘lessons’ we need to pass in order to obtain our Ph.D. in Goal Achievement. :)

obstacles m jordan

And finally, it is important to remind ourselves of the indispensable lesson that many former Lottery winners have found out the hard way, that there is only one thing worse than being poor, and that is ‘being rich and then being poor once again’. 

During the past years, this is the lesson that I have most appreciated, as I have learnt it by paying the most expensive price:

‘Take time to learn the lessons that life throws your way, because these lessons will be critical to your success as you move forward into the future.’ Viv :)

life-lessons

‘If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.’ – Frank A. Clark

overcome obstacles

Obstacles are placed in our way

To successfully overcoming your obstacles! :)

Viv :)

Take the 21 Day Challenge!

VIV’S CALL TO ACTION!!! :)

It is time to get busy!

I am challenges you to stop settling; to move from where you are to where you deserve to be.

I want to help motivate you to stop accepting the life that was given to you and make a serious and conscientious effort toward the life you want. With that being said, I ask you a favour… TAKE THE CHALLENGE! :)

GIVE 150% FOR 21 DAYS!

21 day challenge 1

NEXT STEPS: Upon accepting the 21 Day Challenge, I ask that you make the following 3 steps:

1) CAST A VISION vision

What will your life look like after 21 days?

What do you want to happen?

What is mediocre?

What bondage will you break?

2) DO IT RIGHT! do it right Do it right or don’t do it at all!

The time of doing things by half is over.

Stop putting in 50, 60 or even 70 percent effort.

Only accept 150% for 21 days!

3) NO EXCUSES, ONLY ADJUSTMENTS! no excuses

Everyone has excuses but Viv doesn’t want to hear them and neither should you. The time for excuses has run out! 00:00 After 21 Days:

  • Document your findings.
  • Share your true growth.
  • Tell us what changed and send us your video.

If you are on a team, or coach, share your success story within the locker room or on the playing fields.

If you teach or sit in the classroom, share your success that way.

Perhaps you need a change in the workplace; we want to hear that too.

No matter where you are in life, you can make a difference in your situation.

It starts TODAY, so join the movement! :)

This is my personal 21 Day Challenge:

2 hours daily workout in preparation to my Tough Mudder

Lose 1% body fat

Gain 1% muscle

Cycling, running and walking as only means of transport.

What about your 21 Day Challenge? 

21 days to break an habit

Remember, I truly can’t wait to see how your life will change in the next 21 days.

I am super excited to hear your feedback; to hear about your successes and your triumphs as well as to share my personal one with you.

amazing

Remember: When you put in 150 percent you get back 150 plus! 

I can personally vouch for it Go ahead! Put on your hard hat and let’s get to work. :)  

Without struggle, there is no progress. ‘Without struggle, there is no strength.’ – Oprah doesnt challenge

I encourages you to learn from your past instead of allowing it to stop you from achieving your goals and use its lessons to make the rest of your time the best of your life. :)

When you know better, you’ll do better. So, now you know! Stop giving 70, 80, or even 90 percent…

Put in 150% and help change the lives of others around you.

Your 150% affects your family, friends and community. :)

Let’s go! Let’s work! Take the 21 Day Challenge! :) 21 day challenge heapi

I am also participating at the Tough Mudder and I have a fundraising page  https://localgiving.com/vivthoughmudder where you can donate as little as you can!

Every donation will go to the charity organisation Urban Voice UK who TEACHES YOUNG PEOPLE HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL. It has used Creativity, Entrepreneurship,  Education  & personal development training to engage youth across the UK, for over 10 years. Through its courses and programmes, participants many from disadvantages backgrounds have gone on to obtain a degree, find jobs and pursue their career paths.

Thank you for your generosity and for being part of young people lives :)

given To your 21 day Challenge Success! :)

Viv :)

Discover your inner Mandela. Call for action : Become the Leader of Tomorrow!

Hello to everyone :)

Hope my latest post finds you well :)

Have you ever wondered why some people have a greater influence than others?

Have you ever wondered how people become leaders?

Have you ever asked yourself: ‘How can I tell if I am a good leader, or perhaps even a great one?’

5-Hidden-Qualities-of-a-Great-Leader

‘It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.’ – Nelson Mandela

Mandela leadership

What a description of a leader!

I hope most of you will agree that Nelson Mandela is a shining example of what a leader should epitomize. His positive impact not only inspired his country but the minds, hearts, and souls of billions across the world. :)

We could speak endlessly of his courage, principles and his commitment to righteousness, his contributions to the African continent, his suffering and sacrifices, his humble roots and his too-numerous-to-mention accolades.

However, what he is a supreme example of is how to be a leader. :)

Mandela do  it again

In broad terms leaders fall into two categories, tough or nice.

If you’re tough — a “driver” — you can push people to go beyond the limits of their abilities.

If you’re nice — an “enhancer” — you can better understand the needs, problems, and concerns of your charges.

It’s a hard choice and therefore being a leader is not straightforward.

Being successful is not easy, being a leader is not easy, and not getting torn down by negative influences is even harder. My coaches and mentors have told me that there is a lot of room at the top, but it’s the bottom that’s crowded. We have two choices in life; we can either live in an ocean of sameness or a lake of differentiation.

Which one do you choose?

It’s your personal choice, no one can make it for you, so be wise in your decision. :)

So what does it take to be a leader?

Here are 6 of Mandela’s transformational lessons that could turn you into the next leader.

 

1. Be a Visionary

Mandela vision

‘Give us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for – because unless we stand for something we shall fall for anything’ – Peter Marshall

A clear vision helps you pursue dreams and achieve goals; an idea of the future, a strong wish. A vision that is clear will open your mind to the endless possibilities of the future. :)

Make a mental picture in your mind, add feelings and emotions to that mental picture, envisage taking every step to its completion, give thanks like you’ve already received your wish and keep the emotions parallel to the vision. Do the things that will contribute to your vision and in time it will manifest. :)

Being a visionary will help you to overcome obstacles and hold on when times are tough. A vision that is well defined helps you to focus and create a purpose that becomes your measurement for your success. A strong and compelling vision is in line with your values, interests and desires. It connects with your passions and greatest potential giving you the edge in bringing it into reality. You feel much more valuable as a person when you set and achieve visions and goals. :)

You can see that being a visionary is key to success throughout your life. It determines whether you win or lose. Vision gives you a glimpse of your inner potential. Being a visionary is 50% mental completion process and 50% physically acting towards that vision. This mental completion process requires that you see with your mind and not with your eyes, the reason for this is that what you see with your eyes can contradict and potentially compromise your vision and therefore your goal.

Remember that vision is something you will actually achieve. You should follow the law of taking action. Action is not something you say but rather something you do. So get off your ASSETS and make something happen. Leaders ooze action, they move mountains, plough through obstacles and refuse to take no for an answer. They don’t sit on the couch waiting for the world to come to them. They are visionaries and they make their lives happen:)

Mandela impossible

 

2. In leadership, character is more important than strategy

Mandela character

General H. Norman Schwarzkopf once defined leadership as a potent combination of strategy and character but, he said, if you ever have to be without one, be without the strategy. Some of Mandela’s questionable strategies and decisions could easily have led to his political undoing but his strength of character as a leader compensated for occasional lapses of judgement.

Where did Mandela develop his remarkable resolve and character as a leader?

These qualities emerged early during his school-years. His anti-apartheid convictions resulted in expulsions and continuous strife with school authorities. Despite consistent misdemeanours he made it into law school, passed the bar and went on to establish the most successful black law firm in South Africa – a remarkable feat in those days. Eventually, he would serve 27 years hard labour. In his later years in prison– he was finally released in 1990 – he was offered his freedom if he would renounce his commitment to armed struggle. He refused.

3. Be prepared for Short Term Sacrifice

real leaders

Leaders know that one of the key ingredients to success is short term sacrifice for long term success. They evaluate their cost opportunity before taking any decision to ensure that the benefits gained will be worth more than the sacrifices made. However, everyone needs to sacrifice something; this is part of the journey of life. :)

Think: if Mandela could sacrifice 27 years of his life for the greater good of the South African people, I am adamant that you can lay off all the distractions and temptations that are stopping you from achieving your goals. Here is a valuable tip: Resist temptation and stay strong because the sacrifices you make now will bear fruit for the rest of your life. :)

4. Make Gut based Decisions

Mandela courage

Every leader makes decisions fast. There are 3 ways to think: with our mind, heart and gut.

When you think with your mind, the more reasons you are going to find not to do something.  This is called analysis by paralysis.

The second way is to think with the heart. These tend to be emotionally based decisions not driven by logic or reason but something that is hard to describe. Many people have been burned doing this.

The third way is to think with your gut. Research has shown that intuition – a feeling that something is right or wrong – is one of the ways our brains store, process and retrieves information.  The brain draws on past experiences and current external cues to make a decision; a process so rapid that the reaction is subconscious. This is why when we make a decision with our gut we are often right but once our brains and hearts become involved things start to get cloudy.

Remember the lesson here is to make decisions on the spot and then you can re-evaluate them. Entrepreneurs don’t say I have to think about it, they make a decision and then they re-evaluate it.

5. Be Innovative

Innovation

Leaders are innovative, continually thinking forward to the next trend or invention. If you don’t keep asking yourself how do I cut through the clutter, how do I differentiate myself… there is little chance you will ever succeed and even less become a leader.

Remember how you change is how you succeed and if you don’t, you will never truly live the life you want and you deserve.

Remember there is someone behind you who is looking at taking your place in the market.

Mandela success and failure

6. Be Humble, Forgive & Give

Mandela prison

He also understood the power of forgiveness. Despite 27 years in prison, he emerged with his sense of justice intact — but no discernible bitterness. He maintained his faith in people no matter what, that people would come right in the end, he said. He was in a prison for something he didn’t do and when he came out the first thing he did was forgive the person that had put him there. The world is a challenging and cold place at times, seeing through that and trying to make a difference is difficult but a great leader cannot hold grudges.

Mandela was a humble man. He didn’t cling to power. He empowered. He announced during the election that he would serve only one five-year term – a remarkable action not only in Africa, a continent riddled with corrupt leaders who refuse to cede power, but also for someone who had waited so long and given so much to reach that position. A leader has to be better than his detractors, he has to be humble and not allow his ego to get in the way. He has think of the greater good. He has to freely share with the world his knowledge, experience, expertise and acumen:)

Mandela Humble

He was a courageous and resolute leader. His character and visionary actions, stamina and resilience were profound. Yet, his most enduring legacy will not be the things he did, but what he didn’t do, he was the pattern breaker and refused to succumb to the seductive pull of revenge and the politics of hatred that infected large parts of the anti-apartheid movement. As a consequence, South Africa was saved from a grizzly civil war that would have torn the nation apart. That will be his greatest legacy. :)

M

Nelson Mandela played his role magnificently and we can learn great lessons from his life. He served as a role model, conveying messages through his personal actions and his words about what kind of behaviour, what kind of culture, would characterize the new South Africa he envisioned. :)

But now it’s time for a new generation of leaders to emerge, leaders willing and motivated to empower and develop other leaders to confront corruption and transform institutions for good. Great leaders create great leaders:)

Leaders create leaders

Mandela’s legacy is larger than racial justice and more widespread than his country or continent. His legacy lies in the lessons about leadership he left for all of us. His goal was to change not only laws but behaviour.

What is your greatest legacy?

You are the only person that can honestly answer this question.

There is a potential leader inside us all Leadership is something that is contagious and spreads for the greater good of us all. There is no perfect manual on how to be a great leader but rather great people we look up to and try to emulate in our own way. I know personally that if it was not for my coaches and mentors, I wouldn’t even be writing this article. :)

This is one of my favourite quotes: ‘There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.’ – Nelson Mandela

Mandela no playing small

Life is full of choices. And each of us has the choice of how we want to impact the world. Some choose to leave the world a worse place than they found it. Some choose to leave it the same as they found it. Some choose to leave it a much better place. :)

Mandela what counts in life

Which one is your choice?

Just remember that ‘We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.’ – N. Mandela mandela change the world

You have the power beyond measure to achieve what you want and to become the next leader of tomorrow! 

 Mandela deepest fear

Mandela next generation leader

To the discovery of your inner leader :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

If your dreams don’t scare you, you are not DREAMING BIG enough!

Hope my blog finds you all well :)

What were your dreams when you were growing up?

What did you want to be, have and do?

Were they BIG DREAMS that made you feel excited?

Lowell Lundstrum’s quote is the mouthful title of my first article for 2014. In my blog I concluded 2013 talking about achieved goals, celebrating them and discovering your own personal formula for success in preparation for an amazing and joyful 2014. If you have not read it, here is the link: My personal note: THANK YOU 🙂

celebrate success 1

To start this New Year let’s go back in time and remind ourselves of our dreams when we were growing up. :) We had so much clarity, vision and belief that we could do anything we wished, ideas without limits but above all we were not afraid to DREAM BIG. It doesn’t have to stop at our childhood memories…I still dream big now, even bigger than ever before…:)

dream big

What are the reasons we stop dreaming?

The main reason is YOU. YOU stop yourself from dreaming big and achieving your goals. You allow yourself to be conditioned by the environment, people’s negativity and skepticism. Your self-limiting beliefs and your doubts interfere with your ability to dream the life you really want. Remember that you are destroying the inspiration needed to motivate yourself and take action towards your goals. Your dreams are your BIG WHY that will support you during the bad times. So, don’t be scared to DREAM big as it is your fuel to take action. Sometimes you will need to change your dreams and aspirations but never stop dreaming.:)

never let go of your dream

So, who would want to have scary dreams?

Probably not many people. When we say, if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough… we are not talking about the kind of fear you feel watching a horror film, we are talking about the fear that exists outside your comfort zone, the place where you need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Stepping into the unknown and overcoming your fears is what really makes us grow; it starts with an idea, a dream… so don’t let your fears stop you from thinking big because you would be surprised by what you can accomplish. :)

always dreambig

I personally define myself as a BIG BIG DREAMER. When I was a young child my biggest dream was to live in London and become a teacher. That dream was my motivation for everything I did. It was the reason I went to language school to learn to speak English fluently; I wanted to learn as much as possible so I could pass on my knowledge to others in the future. I had to make sacrifices along the way but nearly 15 years later I finally accomplished my dreams. The effort and sacrifice required will be proportionate to the greatness of your dreams but don’t be scared to DREAM BIG as sacrifice and pain are only temporary; remember my article NO PAIN NO GAINI can assure you that your rewards will be far greater than the effort needed to produce permanent results. For these very reasons, I will never stop DREAMING BIG. :)

reward worth the sacrifice

However, DREAMING BIG is not enough. You have probably noticed that dreaming by itself doesn’t produce results. You may know from previous posts my motto ‘ACTION speaks louder than words.‘ :)

To simplify the action process, you need to follow these 4 steps to fulfill your big DREAMS:

STEP 1: DREAMING big

Where do you want to be in a month, a year? Then ask yourself, is it big enough?

This is the beginning of your journey. It’s your vision that keeps you on track, fuelling your desire to reach your goals. I use a vision board to continually remind myself of my BIG DREAMS. If you don’t dream BIG with a clear vision, it will be a struggle and you will get stuck in a rut. Think about a car, when you switch on the engine it doesn’t move unless you take further actions. It is the same for accomplishing your big DREAMS. :)

Always shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.‘ – Les Brown

If you do something, do it well, put all your efforts into it to accomplish your BIG DREAM.:)

dream big 2

STEP 2: Have an action plan

An action plan is fundamental to your success, it will keep your mind focused on the steps you will need to take so that you are alert and can seize every opportunity presented to you. Great ideas without correct application are almost certain to fail. An action plan will provide you with a solid structure for achieving your big DREAMS:)

dream into action plan

STEP 3: Remove distractions by focusing on your big DREAMS

You might think this is obvious, however, when coaching my clients I have noticed the main factor that delays them in achieving their goals is distraction. You have to fight against your own self-sabotage in the form of self-limiting beliefs, doubts and negativity and you need to protect yourself from negative people and their opinions.

What do I mean by protect yourself?

Firstly, protect yourself from negative people who might tell you: ‘your big DREAM is impossible’, ‘it can never be achieved’, ‘you are crazy to think so big’, ‘keep your feet on the ground’. Believe me, I have heard it all. Mandela wisely said: ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done.’ :)

Mandela it's seems impossible until is done

Secondly, protect yourself from other people’s opinions. We live in an era of mass information; there is so much personal and often contradictory opinion out there on how to ‘do this and that’. If you’re not cautious you could become confused and lose clarity on your own goals because you’re trying to figure out whose opinion is right.

A truly unbeaten strategy is to model yourself on successful people and duplicate their results however what is necessary to understand is that you can only do this if your personality aligns with their processes and formulas. Remember you already have the necessary tools, do not underestimate the power within yourself to achieve your goals, you can read my last blog about how to create your own personal success formula for achieving your big DREAMS. :)

dream focus

STEP 4: Commitment & Precise Execution

Commit yourself 110% when DREAMING big

Until you accept the responsibilities of the word ‘commitment’, you are going to waste much time and energy. Life is short and precious and the sooner we get serious and committed about our lives and businesses, the better off and the happier we will be. So commit yourself to achieving your goals and reap the results of success!  ‘Anything and anyone worth succeeding with are worth committing to. ‘– Adrian Pantonial

Have you honestly made the decision to get serious about your life and your business, to stop blaming others and to finally becoming the best successful person you can be?’

This is a simple ‘Yes or No’ answer! It should also be clearly demonstrated by your actions, as behaviours never lie! ‘Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.’ – Abraham Lincoln

commitment 5

So what is your answer?  

You will become successful in your life and in your business only when you seriously decide to be successful! Until you have done this, you will not have any hopes of achieving your success. You will need to have the commitment to keep going! When the tough get tougher, keep going!– W. Churchill

How do you know when you are really committed to getting results?

How are they demonstrated in your daily behaviour?

You see, one thing about successful people who dream big, it’s that at some point in their life, each one of them has looked themselves in the mirror and decided that ‘enough was enough.’ They were done playing games, settling for crumbs, standing in the back row…while other people that they didn’t perceive as courageous or as ambitious, were living in a better home and enjoying a better quality of life than them. It was in that moment that they decided to get serious and commit to being the best and the most successful person they could ever be, both in their life and in their business. I can assure you that all the great ones had this conversation with themselves. ‘There’s always a way – if you’re committed. – Tony Robbins

Once you have committed to achieving your big DREAM and your action plan details realistically the steps and time frame needed to get you there; and you are able to disregard negative opinion, you can focus on your execution. This is what will make the difference to your success. This is the step that requires more focus, time and hard work because the preciseness of your execution will determine the quality of your results. Great companies, lives and families are built on superior execution skills. The better you execute, the better you perform and the bigger the DREAMS you can take on. :) Simple as that!

Be reassured and encouraged that a small step closer is better than standing still, you’ll be amazed how far you can get. :)

dream big and take action

KEEP IN MIND:

NEVER ALLOW ANYONE TO DETERMINE YOUR VALUE!  

FIND 10 REASONS IN YOUR LIFE TO DREAM & PLAY BIG

NEVER EVER QUIT ON YOUR BIGGEST DREAMS

dream big aim 4 the star

All of us can create BIG DREAMS, so ask yourself:

If not YOU, who?

If not NOW, when?

Remember, to DREAM BIG is a matter of CHOICE, to REACH your dream is a matter of DISCIPLINE.

dream big matter of cjhoice

This is the right time of the year to start DREAMING big and remember that if your dreams don’t scare you, they are not BIG enough! :)

dream big live your life

To your BIG and beautiful DREAMS!  :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

My personal note: THANK YOU :-)

Hello to one & all :)

2013 has drawn to a close and another amazing and joyful year to look forward to will begin. :)

What about 2013?

What did we achieve in 2013?

Before DREAMING BIG for 2014, I believe that we have to look back to 2013 to celebrate our successes and learn from our mistakes to be better equipped for a optimistic and happy 2014.

Celebrate yr success

Celebrating our success is something most people are not good at, instead people happily share their failures, as if they are afraid that people will think they’re crazy for being successful.

Just remember like most things in life, success goes in cycles. :)

Many people ask: ‘How long does it take to become successful quickly?

Sir Sugar once said: ‘It takes 10 years to get rich quickly…you need to both learn how to do it and then ride at least one cycle…Are you ready for the next cycle?...

SirAlanSugar 1

It’s true there is no overnight get rich quick formula, our success is based on determination, perseverance, positivity, consistency, tenacity, passion and hard work just to mention a few. :)

Take the time to list on a notebook your accomplishments, I am sure, like me, that you will be surprised of many goals you have achieved in 2013, and whatever you have achieved in 2013, tiny or huge, give yourself a pat on the back and a standing ovation! WELL DONE! :)

 well done

What did we set out to achieve in 2013 that we haven’t achieved YET?

List what you still have to achieve. You need to write them down and acknowledge them but remember to focus on the word YET, because you can still achieve goals, if you really wish to. :)

What is the difference that makes the difference to your answers above?

What are your PERSONAL rules for success?

Jot them down and once you have listed them, stick to them, then you know what you need to do accomplish your goals for 2014. :)

Whilst doing this exercise with my coach, he introduced me to a new formula called ‘Physical creation‘. Everything is created twice: firstly, in our mind and secondly in physical form.

This is the formula:

Physical creation: FUNC (Energy, Clarity & Time)

These are the four obtainable results:

↑ Energy ↑ Clarity ↓ Time to create what you wish

↓ Energy ↓ Clarity ↑ Time to create what you wish

↓ Energy ↑ Clarity ↑ Time to create what you wish

↑ Energy ↓ Clarity ↑ Time to create what you wish

The time involved to accomplish your goal on the last three results depends on how long you will take to align your energy and clarity on what you wish to achieve.  Remember that time is our most precious commodity and time lost cannot be regained!

time lost cannot be regained

I guess if you are like me, you need a little more explanation :)

Physical creation is the function of energy, clarity and time.

When you have energy and clarity about what you wish to accomplish, you employ less time to achieve it. I invite you to test this theory by thinking about a past accomplished goal. Before obtaining it, you had energy and clarity about what you wished to achieve. How long did it take you?

Then think of a time when you had energy but no clarity or clarity but no energy about what you wished to accomplish. You would have spent a considerable amount of time in obtaining your goal. Only when your energy and your clarity were aligned with what you wished to achieve did you finally reach your goal. I also invite you to test this theory by thinking about a past goal when you had neither energy nor clarity. How long did it take you to achieve it?

Now that we have understood the ‘Physical creation’ formula, we have celebrated our successes of 2013 and discovered our personal success formula to achieve our goals, :) we might ask these questions: 

How are you going to approach this coming year 2014?

Are your goals set?

Are your plans in place?

Are you committed to seeing them through to the end?

THE FACT IS…

It’s irresponsible to start 2014 unfocused, unprepared, and uncommitted.

Yet, that is going to be the reality for far too many people. Ensure that it’s not going to be that way for you.

Be mindful, a big challenging goal has limited value if it’s not achieved, and expecting to get better results in the New Year from the same old behaviour will only succeed in perpetuating your current situation. It will NOT get you to another level of performance.

Great companies, lives, and families are built around superior execution skills. The better you execute, the better you perform, and the bigger the challenges you can take on. It’s that simple.:)

If your 2014 plans include achieving some BIG GOALS, then you must decide that what you want is bigger and far more important than any fear which prevents you from achieving it.

let yoru dreams be bigger than yiur fears

Fear is never a reason for not starting or quitting. It’s only an excuse for those unwilling to face their doubts, insecurities, and mental demons.

Therefore, your first duty in rising to meet the demands of a challenging goal is to conquer the fear and the mental resistance it brings along with it.

Before 2014 begins, you must shine a flashlight on your character and inspect yourself for will, courage and grit. You will need these to achieve your goals.

You must decide right NOW, that you are going to put fear behind you, that you are going to stare it down, and walk straight through it, advancing toward the goals you want with confidence, conviction, and certainty.:)

action will

Perseverance is ultimately a physical, emotional, and spiritual demonstration of how badly you want to succeed.:)

As it should be, it’s constantly fueled by a heart-pounding, ego-bashing, soul-searching test of your limits. :)

So let them see you sweat, as YOU express your greatness not by the acts you perform, not by the goals you achieve, but by the gritty perseverance that made those acts possible.

If you passionately believe that you are up to the challenge and committed to seeing your goals achieved in 2014, it is your right and responsibility to cultivate an unbeatable mindset and persevere until the end. :)

Some of the two most powerful words in English are ‘LET US’, it’s about collective success. It is how we are going to become more successful by inspiring each other to succeed.:)

everything in life up

LET US make 2014 our best year yet! :)

2014 best year yet

Before you make your goals for 2014, watch this INCREDIBLE MOTIVATIONAL VIDEO.

Even though, 2013 has been a very tough year for me, the toughest one so far, I can only describe it as a rapid roller coaster of emotions and pain accompanied with a lot of success but even more failures and plagued with health issues where along the way, I met some remarkable people but lost a few too, one of whom sculpted and affected my life with his priceless lessons. I will never forget you and your lessons. :)

However, the highlights of 2013 have been immeasurable such as running my Marathon, my Health & Fitness qualifications, writing this blog thanks to all your feedback, notes, comments, emails, suggestions to incentivise me to write every month and travelling to four different continents for my book launch ‘The Book on Success’ winning two Author awards ‘The Winning Mindset Award’ & ‘The Success Steward Award’. I visited some wonderful places, embarked in new challenging adventures, discovered  and appreciated new cultures and histories, tasted so many different dishes and learnt many useful skills but the cherry on the cake was meeting all the amazing talented individuals along the way and the happy and unforgettable moments, laughs, jokes and smiles we shared.:):)

the-happiest-people-dont-have-the-best-of-everything

I never could have accomplished those things without being ready to make mistakes, ruffle some feathers, or ‘falling’. I can assure you, day after day, I have experienced countless failures but I have employed them as springboards to strengthen my character and achieve my ultimate goals because I never gave up. As Mandela wisely said:

mandela great leaders

 So, I ask you:

 What fall did you experience this year?

 Ensure you learn from it while celebrating your SUCCESS! :)

I want to conclude this year by thanking every single person that has accompanied me on my journey because I would not be who I am today and my life would not have been so enriched as it is now. It does not matter if it has been a short or long part of my journey, what matters is that you have been part of it and you have taught me some life priceless lessons that I will never forget. :)

TO YOU, all my dear friends, family, coaches, mentors, trainers, readers, mentees, business partners, colleagues and acquaintances…to every single person that has touched and enriched my life, especially my dear, amazing and phenomenal Bro with his very wise motto and post blog ‘Health before Wealth‘, this article is a tribute and a dedication to YOU:):):)

VIV 2013

‘Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be, but when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way!’ – Viv

Thank you, to all of you, with all my heart for being part of my life! :)

Viv:)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

4 Steps to Keep Fit During the Holidays

Hello to all my readers :)

How are you going to approach this coming holiday season?

What comes to mind when you think about the holidays?

What about holiday and fitness?

healthy holidays

Holiday and fitness? Some of you might think, ‘She must be joking, this isn’t an appropriate combination’. If you are caught in this type of thinking, believe me, you are not alone. I used to think the same. However, I grew up in a small town near the sea where holidays were generally associated with the beach (with the exception of the December holiday :)). Therefore keeping fit was always part of the deal, unless you were willing to go to a beach where nobody knew you (not likely as my town was very small and everyone knew each other) or getting taunted by your peers which obviously was not something anyone would want to invite. Believe me, unless you wanted to move to another town for the holiday seasons, these were strong motivators for keeping fit. :)

healthy

Others might think, ‘Bring it on…the high-calorie food and drinks; I have earned it after a year of hard work!’ You are not alone; the majority of people probably think like this.

It’s really no wonder we gain weight during the holidays. Generally speaking, most people lose sight of their fitness and fat loss goals entirely this month, only to have a rude awakening in January when their clothes are too tight.

For the last 3 years, during December to February I am at my fittest which goes against the accepted statistic, as usual. :) This got me thinking about what I did differently in these months, so alongside my coach, I came up with 4 concepts which I would like to share with you. I want to make sure you don’t forget your goals exactly the same way that my coach keeps me accountable to my goals. This post is addressed to those, who like me, want to sidestep those holiday pounds.:)

changes

These are my 4 steps to keep fit this holiday season:

Step #1: Get Focused on your Goals

‘Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.’ – Paulo Coelho

So many of our holiday traditions are focused on food. This holiday season try to draw your attention away from food and on to what’s really important, friends, family, giving and reflecting on your past years efforts. Stay focused on these rather than the plate full of hors d’oeuvres in front of you.

Be aware that the holidays can be a time of emotional eating. Sometimes stress, family conflict, or even depression can be triggered. If this happens to you, address the root of your problems with solutions other than food or drink. It’s important that you don’t lose sight of your fitness goals. Remind yourself of all the progress that you’ve made. Celebrate your successes but not with food. :) Keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. :)

reach goals

Step #2: Use Effective Strategies

Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. A great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling.’ – Naveen Jain

It’s important to use a strategy when approaching the many celebrations held at this time of year. With night after night of parties and events, you’ll need to pace yourself in order to keep your diet on track. :)

The most obvious and effective strategy is to arrive at the party not hungry. Instead, eat a small low-calorie snack ahead of time to prevent overeating. When it’s time for extreme measures, wear tight-fitting clothes around your waist so there’s not much room for expansion.

Another idea is to chew gum before and after a meal, so you won’t be tempted to overindulge in appetizers and desserts. During the party, don’t stand next to the food table, instead keep a safe distance. And before you get a plate of food, choose your selections wisely. Use a small plate instead of a large dinner plate and don’t go back for seconds!

One of the most important strategies is figuring out how to exercise between parties. Finding room in your busy holiday schedule for exercise will help you fight off the extra weight trying to attach itself to your midsection and rear. You don’t have to spend an hour at the gym, there are very time effective exercise which you can do in less than 5 minutes such as HIIT and Tabata. It will require effort, planning and a strong mindset which I call mental metal as you will go against crowd thinking and behaviour but I can assure you the end results will be worth the sacrifice! :) If you want to know more, my dear Bro recently wrote an excellent article on ‘Highly effective workout in less than 5 minutes…‘ I encourage you to read this inspiring post on www.springboardyourself.com/2013/12/10/highly-effective-workouts-in-less-than-5-minutes

strategies

Step #3: Preparation and Moderation are the keys!

‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.’ – Benjamin Franklin

‘The choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation.’ – Benjamin Disraeli

I am not suggesting that you completely deprive yourself, as this will likely lead to a splurge that ruins all your good intentions. Be smart about what you choose to eat. Prepare what you are going to eat and above all prepare yourself mentally to overcome the challenges, I speak by experience. :) Enjoy the goodness of the season, but in moderation. Reduce calories where you can by limiting your trimmings, cheeses, sauces, creams and nuts.

Some of your favourite indulgences may only come around at this time of year. Instead of stuffing yourself, survey what foods are available and make your choices. Have your favourites and leave the everyday dishes for another time. Only eat what you love, and don’t just eat something because it’s on the buffet.

Also, be sure to limit the amount of alcohol you drink. You may not know it but it’s highly calorific. Try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non-alcoholic drink, like unsweetened fruit juice diluted with water.

prepatation & moderation

Step #4: Review to Success

‘Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.’ – Les Brown

It is important to review own results. This means we need to understand what we did right to keep doing it and what we did wrong to avoid it. We celebrate our successes and we learn lessons from our mistakes! This is the most effective way to achieve our goals and see tangible results. So, review your week without fail to avoid regret when the holidays are over. I personally have a journal for my fitness and dieting. It really helps me be objective, it’s all there in black and white and I cannot hide behind excuses, but above all it assists me to accelerate the achievement of my goals. :)

measure your success

You might have noticed that all these tips involve working mainly on your mindset as this is the key to your success. :)

mindset performance loop

Follow these simple tips, and you will avoid weight gain this holiday season and start 2014 off on the right footing.

Exercise is a huge part of the equation when it comes to achieving fitness goals such as weight loss. :)

I am passionate about seeing my clients achieve results, without wasting time, energy and effort on mistakes. Contact me today to get started on my best available program.  :)

Remember, you can create your life just the way you want it. Take action NOW! :)

‘Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. ACT! Action will delineate and define you.’ – Thomas Jefferson

Action speak louder than words…’ – Mark Twain

running

To your keeping fit during the holiday! :)

Viv :)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

 

 

Get set to change!

Hello to all my readers :)

What are the benefits of changes for you?

What are the consequences for you of staying the same?

What are the reasons for changes?

change 4 2 reasons

You might know this quote:

change mind

The first step to change starts in our mind, our thought process and our mindset. If we don’t like who we are and where we are in our life, we can change it. Most of the time changes happen because we just wake up one day and decide that we don’t want to feel like that anymore or ever again, so we change just like that! Therefore we should not fear changes, as they are opportunities for development and for personal growth.:) It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.  You will have a few setbacks along the way and this is the time where you have to show your determination and fighting spirit to comeback strongly to be a winner! You need to show bouncebackability! If you really want to know the meaning of this word and how to apply to different aspects of life, then I warmly invite you to read one of my favorite posts of my inspiring dear bro! You are in for a treat, I assure you! :)

change fear

Are you NOW set for change?

A few years ago, I came across the ‘change equation formula’ developed by Richard Beckhard. It helps people to think through issues of individual change and development. It suggests that the majority of people will resist or avoid change because it often brings with it some level of pain or discomfort. In order to help people change, some other factors need to be brought into the process.

Here is the formula:  A+B+C >D

It suggests that for productive change to occur the sum of  A + B + C must exceed the value of D, where:

A = attractive vision of the future. What do I want? How can I clarify my vision – what help do I need?

B = some dissatisfaction with the present. What would I most like to change? What is the basis of the dissatisfaction? If I did change my role, what would I be leaving behind? How important is that to me? Which has the greatest pull – the way things are at present or the way they could be if I change things? How much do I really want to change?

C = some practical first steps. What can I do to move things forward? What resources and networking do I have available?

D = the pain involved in changing. What is the magnitude of the change required? How will I and others be affected by the change?

Consider each Beckhard factor, give the best estimate as to whether each factor is low, medium or high priority and what actions you need to take to increase/decrease its priority. (Sorry Guys, I guess my love for maths is evident in this post! :))

Please answer the above questions for yourself, making notes as you go along and notice the major themes that come through. Use these to design an action plan. You  can visit my website www.thebooksonsuccess.com and download the PDF exercise called ‘The Change Equation Formula’ for a printer-friendly version. When you download this PDF, I’ve made sure that as an extra gift, you discover what leadership skills to use in order to help you with the change process.

Individuals learn and adapt more readily if they have a good enough reason why they should change their behaviours and can see the benefits for themselves, in the short and long term.

It’s not about perfection, it’s about effort. When we bring that effort every single day, transformation happens and change occurs!  :)

change yr thoughts and change ur world

Change is the essence of life and business. It’s a process and it takes time. :)

 change 1

Remember: Don’t ever change just to impress and please someone. Change because it makes you a better person and leads you to a better future. :)

Only when you consistently apply the secret of change in your life, then you discover the real benefits of changing:

change 2

To your successful changes :)

Viv :)  xx

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

2013: Planning for being your Best Year yet!

Hello readers, :-)

Are you ready to plan for this year to be your best year yet?

Have you reviewed your last year successes and missing goals?

What lessons have you learnt?

What your results have provided you evidence of?

Consistency? Effectiveness?

If you continue doing things the same way this year as you did last year, what type of results can you realistically expect?

What will make this year your best year yet? What make this year different from your previous ones?

…and yes you are right, another year has just gone and the good news is that a new one has just started! :-) New year, new opportunities! Will you spot and capitalise on them?

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

2013 new years resolutions

Well, this year, I have consciously decided to not have any…Surprised? I’m not…This year, I have an Action Plan instead and decided to commit to it. I knew that it would have been a different one in same way or another and I had a great start…Instead of wishing and making New Year’s resolutions as usual, I decided to take ACTION and do what my resolution would have been…be fitter and healthier and do what I really love doing: running!

action plan

So at 11.40 PM on the 31st of December 2012, I left home with my trainers and headed off to Trafalgar Square, my usual running journey. Was it easy? I can assure you, it was everything else than easy…going against the crowd flow, being looked up as a crazy one :), being challenged by a young guy, a bicycle and a car…I have to admit, I felt completely outside my comfort zone but I am proud to have not given in and achieved my first step to my long term running goal: 50 miles in 5 days! :-)

running

What about you?

What action have you already taken this year to bring you nearer to your goals?

What have you committed to achieve this year?

Every 1st of January is the first blank page of a 365 page book. You duty is to ensure to write a good one.

1st page of a book

You see, there are no excuses to start planning your next 12 months as you should had reserved some time during this break to reflect on your past year and above all, to think about what you want to achieve in your next 12 months...

What are the steps you have planned to move you from where you are now to where you want to be (your goal)?

STEPS_goal_setting

The steps that you put in place to achieve your goals are the closing gaps between goal formulation and goal execution and consequently goal achievement. It’s very important to start the new year by taking advantage of the Momentum of the new year with a chick start as it will strengthen your focus and intensify your commitment, add discipline and prioritise your task to achieve your goals! :-) My dear bro, last year had given some very good tips on what he considered in his planning, here his link: ‘Planning for 2012 to be your best year on record…!’

The reality is that any task or goal takes as much as we allow for them to take and by setting non-negotiable deadlines and by not allowing much time to get the results we expect, it won’t take much time to start seeing BIG RESULTS:-)

To achieve our personal best and to start and focused, we need to develop a sense of urgency and importance about what we are doing – urgency to the extent that getting results and achieving our goals is a matter of life or death.

The size of your Success is measured by the strength of your desire and how you handle disappointment along the way.‘ – Robert Kiyosaki

I want to share and leave you with something intriguing and inspirational, it’s one of the most motivational speech from Rocky Balboa:

When Things got hard, you started looking for something to blame. Like a Big Shadow.

Let me tell you something you already know…

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently IF YOU LET IT…

You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. Although it ain’t about how hard you hit… it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much can you take and keep moving forward? THAT’S HOW WINNING IS DONE!

Now if you know what you’re worth, Go out and Get What Your Worth, But you gotta be willing to take the hits. Not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. COWARDS DO THAT AND THAT IS NOT YOU! YOUR BETTER THEN THAT.’ :-)

RockyBalboa5

What are your commitments for 2013?

‘Make the next 12 months, the year of YOU! It’s time to bring out your best! :-)

Remember that it takes a second to smile :-), a second to frown, just a second to say ‘I love you’ and a second to say ‘enough.’ It takes a second to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

It takes a second to say ‘let’s do it’ and another second to show you mean it…it takes a second to let go and a second to hold tight.

It takes a second to stop and a second to start. It takes a second to breathe…to blink…to be… So it takes a second to commit to your new life...

The real opportunity of our lives live in these tiny temporal ‘tick-tocks’, and if our life is made up of moments – the seeds of which start with a second … then this is how many wondrous opportunities you have in a single day ! :-)

So go on…’CARPE DIEM’ and make your life extraordinary! :-)

To your commitments to your next Best 12 months!

Viv :-)

Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success

www.vivoliver.com

P.S. ‘If you want to make yourself accountable, please feel free to leave a comment with your commitment and I’ll be very pleased to hold you accountable of them along this year journey but and there is always a but :-), you need to do what it takes to stick to your commitments and achieve your goals – this requires a two ways effort! :-)