Love More, Fear Less

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-by Matt Leedham
My New Year’s resolution is simple. It’s not a goal. It’s not a metric to hit. It’s not entirely measurable or specific.
But it is inspiring. And it challenges me to grow.
Love more. Fear less.
That’s it. It’s more of a mantra than anything else. Yet it speaks volumes to me. In fact, the depth of its meaning for me is immeasurable.
You see, I’ve been living for many years at the whim of circumstance. I’ve tried to project, outwardly, an image of success, confidence, and perfection. While digging deep into who I am this year, I’ve discovered that I was living in a cycle of fraudulent fakery.
To me, love more has many meanings. Not only does it mean to have and express gratitude for all of the wonderful people and experiences in my life, but it goes one step deeper. It means having an unconditional love for myself, something I had never experienced before.
Which leads me to fear less. I have never allowed myself to live fully, in great appreciation of who I was. I was always not something. I was always not someone. I was always so busy projecting out a confidence that was inauthentic, that I found myself trying to protect the image that I wanted others to see. An image of perfection.
This inauthentic image prevented me from taking risks. It prevented me from going 110% in life to explore my full potential. It prevented me from living fully. And for what? To maintain an undefined image of success that I wanted others to see?
This year, I choose to live differently.
This year, I choose to express my gifts and talents freely, without the pressure to impress anyone. This year, I choose to understand my own ideal image of success, and not try to live up to an imaginary one I’ve created that I think will please others.
This year I choose to love more and fear less.
If this resonates with you, leave a comment and us know what you’re thinking.

2012: Massive and Immediate Action

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-by Matt Leedham

My New Year’s resolution is to not write about New Year’s Resolutions.

No, this year is about massive and immediate action. In fact, you will begin to see the effects of that action shortly.

For starters, we’re launching a new website. Everything is in production and is coming along nicely. You will likely see us go live in the first week of January.

We’re also launching an exciting new program, designed by 4 professional coaches, focused on a method that will drive sustainable change for those that are inspired to grow in 2012.

Next, we have partnered with two other premier coaches to enhance our ability to offer you incredible content online, in our workshops, and in one-to-one coaching.

And finally, you will see the contributions of these two amazing coaches in our blog posts going forward. Keep an eye on a couple of new voices started next week!

For you, in 2012, I wish the following massive and immediate action:

  • Love more
  • Fear less
  • Invest in yourself
  • Express gratitude
  • Develop deeper connections
  • Be creative
  • Know your unique talents
  • Love your unique gifts
  • Step into possibilities

Happy New Year from all of us at Velocity!

Get a Grip!

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-by Matt Leedham

We are entering the 3rd week of 2011. How are your goals or resolutions for the New Year coming along?

This is the make it or break week for many goal-setters. Research by Dr. Maxwell Maltz indicates that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. What this means is that if you have been consistent from January 1st, and you keep going for another week, you will have engaged in a new routine that will propel you forward for weeks to come. And in my personal experience, it’s after three weeks that you begin to see results, which is its own greatest motivator.

Get a grip on 2011! Grab it before it slips away. Stay focused on what you planned to do. Here are a few tips to keep you on track:

Recommit to your goals – many times, when we first set goals, we do so in an excited state – one filled with optimism and enthusiasm. After a few weeks, we can lose that feeling, and with it, momentum. Take a half-day or morning to recommit to your goals and get excited about them again. Go somewhere beautiful or inspiring and choose to re-engage.

Visualize success – start with the end in mind. If you’re like me, the end looks pretty darn good! Start there by visualizing success. Once you’ve accepted this, the outcome is no longer in question. It simply becomes something you must do.

Review your goals regularly (e.g. every morning) – writing down and reviewing your goals has an incredible effect on your subconscious mind. You will more clearly see opportunities and unknowingly make decisions that put you closer to achievement.

Phone a friend – ask for help. Working with a friend on a goal will not only help you stay accountable to your plans and push you toward higher levels achievement, but it may just bring the two of you closer together.

Try something new – shake things up! My friend let me borrow the P90X program on DVD recently. Their methodology is all about “muscle confusion,” which means doing a variety of different exercises each day so that the body does not adapt and plateau. Sometimes you can “plateau” on a goal and things become stagnant. Shake things up and try something new to reinvigorate yourself.

Stay focused in 2011 and make it a great year! Be in touch with questions as you achieve great things.

New Year’s Resolutions, part deux

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-by Matt Leedham

It’s January 4th. If you’re like many people I know, you’ve set one or more New Year’s resolutions. The problem is, only a small percentage of people actually achieve or complete their resolutions. I wrote about this fascinating phenomenon last month and you can read it here.

Having heard some of my friends’ and family’s resolutions, we can probably figure out why so many fail. Here are a few I’ve heard this week:

  • Read more
  • Eat better
  • Better work life balance
  • Exercise more
  • Be nicer

These are nice dreams and desires, but I see red flags everywhere when I hear these. If anything, the resolutions above may be admirable pieces of a personal vision, which I am completely supportive of if they are in alignment with your personal core values. But as we know, to make the personal vision come true there is a critical step missing here. You must turn these resolutions into specific, measurable goals that you can work on. Read more about that here.

If that’s too much for you right now, let’s talk baby steps. At bare minimum, write down your resolution in as much detail as possible and review it daily, if only for a minute. Keep the resolution in front of you often – post it on your bathroom mirror, put it next to your bed, have it on your desk at work.

You can also use one of many web applications to help you. One simple app is Joe’s Goals. It’s free and you can give yourself a check mark on the days you made progress on your goal or resolution. It’s a great visual way to start or stop a habit.

Stay focused. Remember why you’re doing this. For your health, your family, your career and financial security, etc.

Happy New Year and here’s to a successful and prosperous 2011!

New Year, New You?

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– by Jaime Willis

“When you are finished changing, you’re finished.” – Benjamin Franklin

I was browsing through my facebook feed the other day and one of my friends had written this as her status update, “No New Year’s Resolutions for me – I like me just the way I am.”

First, I applaud my friend for her healthy self image – that’s a huge accomplishment that many of us struggle our whole lives with. But, I think she may have missed the point of New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions don’t have to be about dissatisfaction with your life, although a lot of common resolutions certainly are: losing weight, quitting smoking, etc.

Resolutions can also be goals that help you continue to grow and learn. In 2011, I am resolving to visit two countries and two U.S. States I’ve never been to before. That goal is not about any deficiency in my life, it’s about experiencing new things and seeing the world, one of my own personal core values.

The New Year is a great time to reflect on both what you don’t want in your life (extra weight) and where you do want to go in your life (e.g. travel, school, promotion, family, etc.)

I hope you take the time in the coming days to reflect on both! And, if you want help in creating or executing your goals, sign up for our New Year’s Resolution Workshop Extravaganza on January 8th in downtown DC for just $20. Sign up now!

The Biggest Loser

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– by Matt Leedham

Last week, the live finale of The Biggest Loser was on NBC and I just couldn’t change the channel. In fact, whenever it’s on, I just seem to get sucked in. It got me thinking…

I think the program “The Biggest Loser” is popular because obesity is an issue that far too many people face in America. Many viewers can connect and relate to the competitors on the show. However, while my weight fluctuates daily, weekly, and monthly too, the real reason I watch the biggest loser is for the mental victories.

Without exception, the contestants on the show, and those that are currently overweight, are dealing with mental and emotional obstacles that seem overwhelming. What makes the show so interesting to me is the break-through moments, the awakenings, the paradigm shifts in the minds of those battling with a variety of tragedies and insecurities. Let’s face it, Jillian and Bob aren’t the world’s best trainers. They are very good trainers, but they are even better therapists. They help people reconstruct their perception of themselves and the world around them.

Rising to the Top
The show starts with many competitors, but only a handful seem to rise to the top. What separates them from the pack?

They have a purpose. They are fighting for something bigger than themselves. They are fighting for their families, for their children, and for their friends. They realize that they’ve made some mistakes and they owe more to the loved ones in their lives. They have a purpose…a reason to live and survive and contribute. They realize that the world is a better place with them in it. They realize that they have something to offer. They are now aware that they matter.

Are you struggling with a goal? Something you know you need to address but can’t seem to get it done? Shift your perspective. Change your context. Start with why. Find your purpose for that goal and focus on that. Be relentless.

Give it up!

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– by Jaime Willis
It is easier to break a bad habit today than tomorrow.
– Yiddish Proverb
We’ve talked a lot about setting goals and achieving your dreams. But sometimes, this means giving up. Not that kind of giving up! I mean give up your bad habits! Successful people don’t have a lot of bad habits, because those unfruitful behaviors only drain their energy and reduce their ability to achieve.
Let’s look at some common New Year’s Resolutions and see what I mean.

You want to lose weight in 2011? You are probably going to have to give up junk food, late night snacking, heaping scoops of sugar in your coffee, and/or your drive-through “cooking.”
You want to travel in 2011? You are probably going to have to give up random days off of work so you have enough vacation time to go on a trip and impulse shopping for yet another purse you don’t need as that money should be saved for your travel.
You want to get healthy in 2011? Stop smoking.
You want to have time to work on a new hobby in 2011? You are probably going to have to stop saying “Yes” when anyone asks you to help out so you have some time for yourself and your own goals.
You want to accomplish more in 2011? You may have to give up some sleep & get up earlier or stop procrastinating and start working.
Bad habits sneak up on us all through-out the year. You may have started out 2010 strong, with the best of intentions, but a little slip-up here and a little compromise there and next thing you know your gym regimen is history and your bad eating habits have creeped back in your life.
Make sure your bad habits are NOT invited to come with you into 2011. Start now — make a goal to give up your bad habit, and make a plan for how you are going to do that. Line up your support network now and make sure everyone knows what you are giving up.
You can do it! Give it up!

New Year’s Resolutions

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– by Matt Leedham

It’s that time of year again. As New Year’s Day approaches, many of us are faced with the challenge of choosing (and hopefully sticking to) a New Year’s resolution.

But why do we do this? Why engage in this annual ritual?

The reason for setting resolutions on the first of the year has certainly evolved over the centuries, but a couple of things seem to be clear. The obvious is that the New Year represents a new start, a clean slate, and a chance to press the reset button. Our current interpretation of resolutions likely got its legs from religious traditions. Christians prefer to sacrifice a vice during Lent (e.g. chocolate, alcohol, TV, etc.) and from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur Jews reflect on wrongdoings and seek to improve themselves. Many other religions and cultures share similar traditions during their New Year and high holidays.

This is all very interesting, but how effective are New Year’s resolutions? I’m fascinated by this topic every year when the gym seems to be packed in early January, but empty again in late February.

Professor Richard Wiseman is behind Quirkology, a collection of many interesting studies into daily living. Three years ago, his team tracked over 3,000 people that set New Year’s resolutions, including the most common ones of losing weight, working out, drinking less, volunteering more, etc.

Alarmingly, while 52% of respondents were confident of success, one year later only 12% actually achieved their goal. Yikes!

What he found in his study (and what we have found coaching people on goal achievement) is that you are much more likely to be successful if you set specific, measurable goals that have a deadline. In fact, Professor Wiseman found that 22% of men were more likely to achieve their resolution if they engage in proper goal setting techniques. He also found that telling others about your resolution and seeking support from friends and family was another important factor toward achievement. Specifically, women were 10% more likely to be successful when reaching out to others.

We want you to succeed this year! Here are three things you can do to dramatically improve your ability to succeed this January and beyond:

  1. Set specific, measurable goals, with deadlines and checkpoints.
  2. Use your network and resources to achieve your goal.
  3. Sign up for our Goal Setting Workshop this Saturday (December 11th) where we’ll teach you all of this in greater detail!