Embrace Massive Mondays For Maximum Motivation

For maximal motivation you need to go against the common attitudes – which isn’t surprising given the low levels of motivation displayed by most people these days. Instead of dreading Mondays and then dragging through the workweek, ramp up for Massive Mondays and breeze through your week!

In business, for example, certain parts of your work take more effort and are usually the parts you keep putting off. Prospecting for new customers is often considered the toughest part of the week, so schedule all of your prospecting or at least the toughest part of it for Mondays. You’ve just had two days off to rest and do the non-business activities you like best, so you should be fresh and raring to go. Use that prime energy to tackle the biggest and toughest part of your week!

Massive Mondays For Maximum Motivation

By doing that, you’re making the rest of your week easier to face and easier to zip through. You’ve got the confidence and ego boost from having already completed the dreaded tasks, and the remainder of the week is all work you enjoy more or at least dislike less. You’re on a roll and your motivation starts high and can stay that way from Tuesday through Friday, letting you get more done than you normally would.

It takes a mindset change to plan and follow through with Massive Mondays, but once you get the hang of it you develop the habit and can enjoy maximum motivation each and every week. And if you plan go get a lot done on Mondays and can’t get through it all your first few weeks it’s not an issue, since you just finish that plan on Tuesday morning. Either way, you’re still in better shape for the workweek than you would be by putting the hard parts off and trying to find the motivation to tackle it later in the week…

The same goes for your health and exercise – planning Massive Mondays in the gym can fire you up for the whole remainder of the week… If you’re doing full-body workouts 3 times a week, make Mondays the day you up the weight over what you were lifting the previous week. If your weight lifting schedule is Monday-Wednesday-Friday, Monday is the only day you’re coming in after 72 hours off, so it’s only natural to hit the gym harder then than the week before.

If you’re doing single-bodypart workouts over multiple sessions a week, make Monday’s workout the day you train legs or legs and back. All too often people train chest on Mondays – that’s just ego, trying to build an impressive chest. The heaviest weights you’ll move all week are while training legs and back, so train them immediately following your 2 days off over the weekend. Massive Mondays won’t only help you keep maximum motivation but will give you maximum momentum as well as help keep you on track.

Weightlifters who schedule chest for Monday usually plan to train legs on Friday, the one day most missed in the gym as people decide to start their weekend a little earlier. Add to it the motivation that comes from knowing your hardest work is already done for the week and the rest of your workouts that week will be truly inspired!

You now know why they’re called Massive Mondays – you’re stacking your busiest & toughest workday on top of your heaviest day in the gym, and you are going to find they’re a challenge, especially at first. But once you realize you’re up for the challenge you’ll see your maximum motivation building every week, resulting in your pushing through to reach levels you’ve never hit before – and increasing your motivation even more!

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Momentum: Happy New Year or Happy Next Year?

Once again another year has rolled around as 2015 begins… But should I be wishing you “Happy New Year” or “Happy Next Year”?

The Happy New Year greeting has become so common it rolls off our tongues and out of our computers or pens with nary a thought – but maybe it IS time to give it a bit of thought. What exactly are we implying when talking about the New Year?

Momentum: Happy New Year or Happy Next Year? When such discussions roll around, one inevitable part of the conversation is based on New Year’s Resolutions – the problems we’re going to fix, the bad habits we’re going to overcome, the poor physical condition we’re going to correct and/or the excess bodyfat we’re going to shed starting January 1st. Often these resolutions include getting out of debt, paying down the mortgage, cutting back in credit card spending and finding new ways to increase our income to help overcome these problems.

Notice what’s inherent in every one of these? They’re all based on your performance in the previous year, which in every case has been sub-optimal or just plain wrong. Each is saying ‘I’m an ineffective imbecile, but I’m going to change that right now…’ Based on the previous year’s failures that spawned these New Year’s resolutions – that less-than-impressive track record – what do you think the chances of a sudden, successful series of changes is? But yes, with a lot of focus and effort, the new year can be a success if you stay motivated and on track.

Therefor, wishing one Happy New Year could be defined as acknowledging their failures to date and hoping they’ll be able to start turning things around in the year ahead…

But what if they had a great year? What if they’ve either been building health, wealth and happiness so far, or already turned around their previous issues and have been making huge strides forward in all the right ways?

These are the people to whom I offer “Happy Next Year!” That’s not ‘next’ as in skipping this year and looking further into the future, but honouring their momentum in the year just ended and wishing that this coming year will be the next year along that path, the next year of progress towards their personal and professional goals and that they are able to continue building on the momentum they have currently.

And it’s that MOMENTUM that’s the ‘secret sauce’ of success – it’s the difference between running on ice and skating on ice. In both cases you can exert every bit of focus, experience and energy you have at your disposal, yet your progress is far greater in the latter situation than it is in the former. Put another way, if you’re travelling at 20 miles an hour and you get a 10% boost, you’ve picked up 2 mph. If your momentum has you up to 200 mph, that 10% boost is a jump of 20 mph.

So if you had a lousy 2014 and 2015 finds you in the same or worse shape financially, physically, emotionally and/or spiritually, then I wish you a complete break in the cycle and a fresh start in your new and improved direction: Happy New Year! On the other hand, if you had a great 2014, improved your life in all areas and ended the year with maximum motivation then I wish you every continued success and an ever-increasing amount of momentum: Happy Next Year along your chosen path!

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Are Entrepreneurs More Susceptible To Depression?

Entrepreneurs are often thought of as eternal optimists, always pushing forward in the face of all obstacles and ignoring the concerns of others about the future of their enterprises. But the reality may well be that entrepreneurs are more susceptible to depression, loss of motivation, suicidal thoughts and other related mental health issues than those in the general population.

Entrepreneurs Are Todays Business Warrior Class

That the life of an entrepreneur is stressful should come as no surprise. From dealing with suppliers, customers and employees to the fiscal concerns of staying in the black, meeting payrolls and even keeping the lights on, entrepreneurs deal with so many more factors than face employees. And while losing one’s job can create difficulties for an employee, losing one’s business often results in the loss of the entrepreneur’s home, vehicle, credit rating and, more importantly, sense of self worth.

In an excellent article in the September 2013 issue of Inc. Magazine, author Jessica Bruder refers to building a company as “psychologically brutal” and discusses “the price so many founders secretly pay”. Citing a number of studies and real-world examples, Bruder shows that the strong emotional states that propel a person into becoming an entrepreneur are closely related to the negative emotional states that become true mental health issues for business founders.

When you look at some of the commonly-touted ways of dealing with depression it’s not difficult to see some of the probable causality. Advice abounds that eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy bodyweight, exercising regularly, avoiding stressful situations and spending time with friends and family – your personal support group – are all a part of positive mental health practices.

By contrast, entrepreneurs tend to be fully invested in their startup venture, with little time or attention for anything else. Food is usually an afterthought, gobbled down quickly at their desk or in their vehicle en route to a meeting. Couple that with no time used to stay in shape and it’s easy to see why many add 10, 20 or 50 pounds of bodyfat as they build their business. Add that stress to the enormous amount of stress one experiences in running a business and not only do one’s nerves end up ‘shot’, but all that stress causes the body to release excessive cortisol.

Since cortisol causes the body to store fat and cannibalize muscle, the situation gets even worse. As self-confidence and self-image erode, many entrepreneurs react by throwing themselves more and more into their business pursuits with less and less quality time for family and friends, robbing themselves of the very support network that could help them most.

And all of that is before we add in the two greatest truisms of running your own business: everything takes longer than you planned and everything costs more than you expected. Insufficient capitalization and cashflow shortages are the biggest factors in most business failures, and that added stress is often enough to all but destroy the mental health of even the most resilient of entrepreneurs.

Compounding the problem is the common belief that one can’t show weakness or expose any cracks in the ‘success facade’ – the fear that customers will shy away and that the ‘sharks’ will circle and destroy your business if they sense any weakness. Before long the entrepreneur’s identity is so enmeshed with the business that they lose sight of where the business ends and they begin – survival of the business seems to be tied in with their own personal survival. They’ve become so emotionally invested in their business that they lay awake all night, tossing and turning as they worry about the possible impending downfall. Without realizing it they’ve become emotional cripples – so they continue to fight the good fight and put on a brave public face, all the while becoming more isolated and less productive.

In an earlier century, Samurai warriors balanced their violent pursuits with time spent painting, writing poetry and arranging flowers. Today’s business warrior class, the entrepreneurs, have lost that balance. As the battle heats up they shed extraneous activities to focus even more on their challenges, often losing all sense of perspective and of self.

The Warning Signs
Every situation is different, but there are some common warning signs to watch for if you’re an entrepreneur…

Have you experienced any unintentional but noticeable weight gain or loss? Are you 15 or 20 pounds heavier than this time last year, or 10 or 15 pounds lighter? Either can be a sign of depression, the effect of neglecting a healthy diet or even the harbinger of a more serious physical ailment.

Do you find yourself working more and more but achieving less and less? Have a number of ongoing projects with none getting finished? Are you finding yourself procrastinating more and more, even putting off calls you know you really should have already completed? Does there no longer seem to be any correlation between how much time you’re putting in and any concrete, measurable results?

And what about your personal relationships? Are you losing touch with your friends? Does your social circle, outside of business contacts, seem to be shrinking? Is your home environment no longer a harmonious sanctuary? Is your spouse more frequently bringing up feelings of rejection or abandonment? Are the bulk of your conversations about business or arguments about money instead of about each other, friends and family matters?

Most, if not all of these situations take time to reach that point – seldom do they suddenly rear their ugly heads overnight. The initial seeds are planted, then the stresses and strains of entrepreneurship water and fertilize them and help them grow to significant proportions. Don’t rely just on your own self-audit to see if these issues are affecting you; seek out the opinions of your friends and family and, if necessary, seek professional advice and help as well.

Some Possible Solutions
Whatever you do, don’t ignore these matters if you’re an entrepreneur. Avoid the common attitude that ‘Yeah, times are tough right now, but it will get better – it always does.’ In the aforementioned article Bruder mentions the suicides of Ilya Zhitomirskiy, the co-founder of Diaspora, and Jody Sherman, founder of Ecomom. While your own situation will hopefully never deteriorate to that point, it can still cause your life to be a living hell or at least fall far short of the life you truly deserve.

To start with, you have to protect your Number One Asset – your physical, mental and emotional health. No matter whether your business soars, succeeds or sinks, you will carry on. You’re of much less use to your enterprise if your capacity is in any way diminished, and you can achieve much less if you don’t have the necessary health, energy and mindset.

How much time are you investing in your business? While most entrepreneurs need to put in more than the employee’s standard 40-hour workweek, if you’re putting in more than 60 hours a week it’s time for a change or two. Decide which of your duties is giving you the least return for the time involved and take on a partner, hire an employee or outsource that portion to someone with true strengths in that area. If you are currently so busy you don’t have time to think, you also have no time to innovate or expand, so diverting some of the current business income to freeing up some time can lead you to greater revenues and greater profitability when done right. If your business can’t be successfully operated and grown in 60 hours a week you either need to make these changes or look for a different business to replace it.

What shape are you in, right now? Carrying an extra 15 or 20 pounds around your middle or on your hips & butt? You may not see how that affects your business, but that extra bodyfat makes your body work harder during everything you do, robbing you of energy you would find helpful in your entrepreneurial pursuits. Even being just 3% dehydrated can affect your mental functioning – how long since you last had a glass of water? And don’t forget that being out of shape is hurting your self-image and self-confidence as well… You know you function best when you’re brimming with energy and feeling self-confident, and much of that comes from good physical health and conditioning. Whether you lift weights, do cardio, attend yoga classes or regularly play squash, be sure you’re getting at least 3 hour-long fitness sessions in every week, and work towards getting in 5 sessions per week.

Right now is also the best time to patch things up at home and with friends and family. Surprise your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend with an unscheduled date night. Take your kids to a football game, tennis match, live theater or the ballet. Call your parents and/or an old friend just to say ‘Hi – How are you?’. You may be surprised by how much of a lift that gives you, mentally and emotionally. We’re spiritual creatures, and reaching out and connecting with others, especially those we care about, is almost always uplifting.

Finally, use at least some of that new-found time to pursue other interests. Leave the television turned off and pick up a book or head out to a class. Not something connected to your business – choose a subject that has always held an interest for you but has been put off so far. It might be a hobby or it could be simply a mental pursuit, but it should be of enough interest to take you out of the ‘entrepreneurial headspace’ for an hour or two at a time.

In short, get back in touch with you and your life outside of your efforts as an entrepreneur. You are not your business and your business is not you. You will not be a better person because your business succeeds, neither will you be a worse person because your business fails. If your current business goes south, it’s the business that failed – not you!

Reclaim your soul and your life outside of your business and fight off that depression and those worries about personal failure. And when next you bounce into your business on a Monday morning with a spring in your step and a smile on your face you’ll remember why you chose to be an entrepreneur and be ready to do battle with the best of them!

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Why Your Motivation Doesn’t Stick Around

Motivation, like luck, is a very fickle lover. You’re highly motivated, moving forward at warp speed with everything going your way and never even notice Mistress Motivation slipping out the back door…

It’s not hard to get yourself into a higher state of enlightened motivation. Attend a motivational speech by Les Brown, Tony Robbins, T. Harv Eker, Brian Tracy or myself. Read a book by Jack Canfield, Mary Beth Maziarz, Ivan R. Misner, Napoleon Hill or Norman Vincent Peale. Listen to a Steve G. Jones recording or watch a video series from the late Jim Rohn.

Motivational vs Demotivational Issues

Now you’re all fired up with enough motivation to conquer the world – and your energy levels are through the roof! You leap out of bed in the morning and head to the gym. Workout finished you shower and head to the office, spending your day making every big deal your competitors can’t. You’re moving and grooving, rocking down the house and demolishing the obstacles that stray into your path. You head home and leave your spouse tired, sore and sporting a silly grin that just won’t go away. Life is FANTASTIC and can only get better…

Except it doesn’t. In week two it takes more effort to keep it all together, but you manage. You still feel like you’re giving 110%, but now you’re not quite getting to everything – at the end of each day there’s still an item or two on today’s to-do list. No worries, you figure – you’ll just add them to tomorrow’s list. Right now you need to deal with a couple of things that aren’t going just right this week.

Somewhere in week three you notice things are slowing down again and maybe it’s not quite so important to get to the gym EVERY workout… Besides, you decide, it was naive to think you’d be able to keep moving forward that fast. After all, no one else does either, right? Even on bad days you’re doing as much as the next person, and you’re still smarter, better looking and more likable than them anyway.

Week 4 ends with all your new-found motivation lost once more and your co-workers welcome you back while trying to hide their annoying ‘told-you-so’ snickers.

What happened? Where did all that unstoppable motivation go? Just why doesn’t motivation stick around?

The Other Side Of Motivation…

First, don’t beat yourself up over having gone through the above cycle. The careers of most salespeople, marketers, executives, musicians, artists and everyone else who depend on energy and creativity are littered with many such cycles – it’s one of the reasons that motivational resources and speakers are always in high demand as professionals rush back for their next fix. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you approach personal motivation the same way you do other challenges in your life.

To understand what’s happened, think of yourself as a container meant to hold motivation. When you first started your adult life you were a shiny, brand-spanking-new container that held tight to every drop of motivation that was ever poured into you. But over time the trials and tribulations of daily life punched small holes in the bottom of your container – not enough to drain the motivation out of you quickly, but still enough to slowly lower your levels. As time went on, though, the number of holes kept increasing and you began running out of motivation faster and faster as the leaks increased the outflow.

So when your low-motivation indicator light came on you rushed out and poured in more motivation. Thinking logically, what would happen? Exactly what you’ve just been through – your container filled up but emptied before very long.

Has the light bulb over your head come on yet? Using this analogy it’s easy to see the problem, isn’t it?

Your motivation will just keep leaking out no matter how much you pour in unless you fix the holes already in your motivation container!

THAT’S the side of motivation you seldom hear about – the need to remove the demotivational factors in your life. Sometimes it’s physical factors – a person, your environment or your health. Most likely you already know how to plug those holes once you’ve identified them. Just as often it’s a mindset issue – your own way of looking at things can be demotivating you every single day.

Every time you complain about ‘the rich’ or ‘the big guys’ you’re telling your subconscious you’re not part of those groups and don’t want to be – gee, think that might hold you back a tad? If you’re always dwelling on your bills and poor financial status you’re undermining your own self-image – an important aspect of your motivational capacity. If you’re daunted by huge projects that are looming on your horizon or by to-do lists that seem to go on forever, take a look at the NLP technique of ‘chunking’ and get over it.

Take some private time and really look at your current life situation and your attitudes and you should be able to find the motivational leaks in your daily life. You won’t be able to identify them all at first, but as you fix the more obvious ones the smaller ones will come to light too. List them as you notice them and then cross them off the list as you permanently correct them. Here’s a tip – if all of your problems appear to stem from others and none from your own actions or attitudes you need to grow up, accept responsibility for your actions and be a LOT more honest with yourself if you intend to get anywhere in life.

As each hole in your container gets plugged your motivation will be around longer before it drains away. You’ll never plug every leak since new leaks appear even while you’re removing the existing ones. The trick here is to fill enough of the holes that it becomes easy to keep adding more motivation than can leak out.

Once you get to that point you’ll be able to hold onto so much motivation that it’ll be sloshing over the top as you race forward – and you’ll have become a motivational resource for those around you as well. Just think of all you’ll accomplish when you no longer run out of motivation!

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Need Motivation? Reward Yourself!

We all have times when our motivation slips, when we just don’t seem to be able to keep moving forward at full speed. Fortunately there is an easy habit to adopt that can end your procrastination habit and keep you motivated and on track…

First, you need to identify the areas you normally lack motivation in – the areas you tend to procrastinate about most. For some people it will be work-related issues, for some it will be relationship issues, while some will be forever putting off tasks around the house. Try to picture what you’re putting off right now, or to hear someone telling you what needs to be looked after – or simply go with the 800-pound gorilla in your headspace, that one HUGE issue you’ve been avoiding seemingly forever.

Attach Rewards To Your Achievements And Watch Your Motivation Soar!

Before going any further, is it a small task you’ve been putting off, or a large one? If small, do YOU really need to do it? If your spouse is on your case because the lawn hasn’t been mowed in a month, or you’re upset because the car is filthy, why let it intrude on your mindset at all? Find a local teen who could use the $20 and pay THEM to do it. Don’t want to be forever washing dishes? Hold a garage sale & use the proceeds to buy a dishwasher – there are probably a lot of things around the house you’d happily part with if it meant no more washing dishes by hand, right?

So clear out the inconsequential things, and anything else you can easily outsource. The same goes for your business if you’re an entrepreneur – find someone on a one-off, temporary or permanent part-time basis to look after the parts of the business you just can’t stand. After all, when doing something you hate doing, how good a job are you liable to do?

Now we’re down to the bigger items, the important ones that no one else can do for you. In every case, you’ll have prioritized them beneath something you’d much rather be doing. You’re not spending enough time with your spouse because you’d rather be golfing. You’re not getting things done at work because the beautiful weather has enticed you into heading to the beach. You’re not writing that report because it’s easier to veg out in front of the TV. The books aren’t up to date because, well, bookkeeping is boring and you’d rather be doing ANYTHING else!

Here’s the trick… Take out a sheet of paper and divide it into 3 columns. In the first column, list the tasks you’re putting off right now followed by the tasks you routinely put off. In the 2nd column, put a completion date and/or time for each. For the things you’re already procrastinating over, set a firm, reasonable completion point. For those that routinely compromise your motivation, set a relative time – i.e. within a day, within 48 hours, etc, of it first needing to be done again.

Now in the third column, assign yourself an appropriate reward for meeting or beating your deadline. Make sure your reward is in proportion to the task – something you can do in a couple of hours might warrant your favorite dessert, while re-shingling the house may deserve a weekend away at that swank new hotel you heard about. If you’re an executive or run your own business and your husband is complaining you’re never home, clear your schedule for a 3-day weekend and book a romantic getaway where your only focus is HIM – and once it’s all arranged, reward yourself with a new outfit and TWO new pairs of shoes for the trip. If your wife is really upset with your dingy kitchen and always on about getting new cupboards and counter tops, secure her agreement that as soon as the kitchen is updated the next renovation is setting up your den the way you want it.

And if you’re single, the same rules apply… You never invite a date over without cleaning up the house or apartment first, right? So modify that slightly to boost your motivation – agree you’ll keep the place clean by not going out to socialize unless it IS clean. If you’re procrastinating in your love life, not really getting out to meet new people, tie your reward in with what you love to do. If you love to golf, attend social events at your club, and those at other local courses – you need to attend one event for each time you want to go play a round. Love going to the ballet or live theater? Invite people you know to a pre- or post-event party, and ask each to bring a +1 who is also a fan. Love the opera? Football games more your style? Make it a rule you’ll take someone new each time you go – or you can’t go.

In every one of these cases, getting your reward will be enough to power you through the fears, lack of energy or procrastination habit and keep your motivation strong, keep you moving forward at full-speed. And when you’re getting enough of what YOU want to do and what YOU want to have, your friends and family will swear that motivation is your middle name and leave them wondering where you get all that time and energy – but don’t worry, I’ll keep your secret… 😉

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