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Goal Setting
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Envy Self-Reflection Exercise

Envy Self-Reflection Exercise
Exercises, Coaching, Motivation, Decision Making, Goal Setting, Emotional Intelligence

Article Rating:::: 24 Ratings :::: Tuesday, August 18, 2020

It is easy to think that a different life would have been easier or better. It is easy to think that somebody else’s life is vastly better than yours and to fantasise being in someone else’s position.

This brings us to envy. Why do we feel envious? Every day we make hundreds of decisions. These decisions have good or bad consequences. No one makes good decisions all the time. This means that at some point in life you feel envious of someone who made better decisions. You may feel envious for those who had a better beginning in life, better opportunities or better luck.

Envy, if unchecked, can be debilitating. Here, we provide a series of self-reflection exercises that will help you examine this important topic. The exercises can be used by you personally or be given to delegates attending your course, followed by coaching and discussions.

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How to Manage Regret: The Powerful 5-Action Exercise

How to Manage Regret: The Powerful 5-Action Exercise
Training Articles, Coaching, Motivation, Goal Setting, Appraisal

Article Rating:::: 27 Ratings :::: Tuesday, March 12, 2019

One of the primary reasons behind lack of motivation is regretting the past. When you are down, it is easy to question your past decisions and how they have let you down. Sounds kind of logical to look back and examine the past, right? May be somehow there is a clue there that would help. It is a tempting approach, except that this backward looking action can be quite damaging to current life.

This article offers insights on how to eliminate strong feelings created by regret, while exploring some significant findings over the past three decades. This is followed by a very effective exercise that consists of five primary actions helping to systematically manage the strong emotion of regret.

Examining regret is rather personal and this exercise is designed to be carried out in private. Hence, as a trainer, you don’t need to run this exercise in a group or during a course. To run as an exercise, do the following:

  • First, brief the delegates about regret and how it can be handled. Let them know about the research presented here and lead them to question assumptions.
  • Walk through the systematic 5-Action exercise and help delegates see what they need to do during each step. They can then complete the exercise in private to achieve best results.

This 5-Action exercise on regret is ideal for courses on emotional intelligence, motivating people, stress management, performance management and appraisal.


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Instant Happiness: A 5-Day Diary Like No Other

Instant Happiness: A 5-Day Diary Like No Other
Training Articles, Motivation, Goal Setting, Personal Impact

Article Rating:::: 36 Ratings :::: Monday, February 11, 2019

Here is a simple yet powerful exercise to make you feel happy. It is a weekly diary where each day you get to follow specific instructions and write down your thoughts. It is well-known that journaling can do wonders for motivation. This exercise makes journaling systematic based on established research. It really delivers.

Research shows that if you follow this routine, you will quickly feel the difference it brings in your mood and happiness (Seligman et al. 2005).

The exercise also relies on research that writing down your thoughts can be more powerful in boosting your happiness than sharing them with friends or family. The process of writing down is more structured and systematic than talking which is why the diary technique is so much more effective.

The routine is suggested by Prof. Richard Wiseman and a variation of this is provided here (Wiseman 2009).

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Why Most People Focus on Efficiency but Forget About Effectiveness

Why Most People Focus on Efficiency but Forget About Effectiveness
Exercises, Productivity, Goal Setting, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 187 Ratings :::: Monday, August 29, 2016

There is a fundamental difference between efficiency and effectiveness. Most people focus on efficiency. How to get something done faster? How to get somewhere quick? How to achieve more in a given time? How to finish the day’s tasks and go home early? How to do little and get the most from it? How to do only 20% of the effort to get 80% of the results?

This is all good and important. However, it should not be at the expense of something much more important; effectiveness. This captures the idea that what you are doing is going to help you get closer to your goals. Effectiveness is purely personal since it is entirely based on your specific personal goals. In contrast, efficiency is universal—there is a way to do something faster and you can learn to do it too. Effectiveness is about how far you are from your goal and if what you are doing now is going to get you closer to that goal. Efficiency is about how fast you get there.

When it comes to time management, goal setting and productivity, most people tend to focus mainly on efficiency. What is an ideal time management system? What is a good calendar app? How can you do something faster? Where can you get training for it? In contrast, there seems to be very little focus on effectiveness; why are you doing what you are doing? Why should you be doing this rather than something else?

What is the point of getting somewhere faster when where you get to is not where you want to be? How important is it that you check where you are and where you are heading periodically rather than just constantly obsessing about how to get there faster?

If you look around, you will notice that many people are suffering from this misunderstanding and lack of awareness. People spend a huge amount of time getting a degree on a given topic only to realise it is not for them. In a big city, people rush back and forth to work day after day not thinking what this is all about and why they are in the rat race? People get into a job thinking that it is only temporary and end up staying there at pretty much the same level for thirty years and then feel unhappy that no one wants to employ them for anything else.

Hence, a reflection in this area can be quite an eye opener. It is important to learn how to be constantly aware of the distinction so that you don’t get carried away with efficiency at the expense of effectiveness.

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Do You Need X as Much as You Think You Do?

Do You Need X as Much as You Think You Do?
Exercises, Productivity, Motivation, Stress Management, Goal Setting

Article Rating:::: 179 Ratings :::: Monday, August 1, 2016

In today’s world, we seem to be constantly chasing something; a new job, a new house, more money, more time, new cloth, a new partner, a new car, a new gadget and on and on. This chase is becoming a major source of anxiety for many people. It is like you live in a world where you can have a lot, but you are not getting much. The problem is not with you though. The problem is that several significant trends in the past century have led to the explosion of content, products and experiences. The availably of all of this is of course great for society. It makes living richer and more rewarding but it also means that today’s people would feel that they are missing out on a lot; in fact, more so than any other people in history simply because we have a lot more available to use.

As such, to reduce any potential anxiety that arises as a result of all this abundance and our inability to have it all, we must consciously practice being content and appreciative. By being content we focus on what we desire the most and take pleasure in having it. By being appreciative we focus on what we already have and feel happy about our good fortunes.

Many techniques exist for practicing being appreciative or content. Here is an exercise that help you in this regard. The questions can be answered individually and with as much time as necessary. The following instructions are provided as a guide in case you want to use the exercise during a training course and then follow it with a general discussion.

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Evaluate Your Yesterday

Evaluate Your Yesterday
Exercises, Productivity, Goal Setting, Appraisal

Article Rating:::: 75 Ratings :::: Monday, July 18, 2016

This is a powerful exercise that helps delegates see if they have been efficient as far as their own goals and ambitions are concerned. Sometimes, people need a reminder that they could be getting carried away chasing unimportant tasks and errands at the expense of those that matter more. This exercise elegantly highlights this and can lead to some deep reflection on where people are in life and why they do what they do.

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What Can We Learn from Arnold’s Career Choices

What Can We Learn from Arnold’s Career Choices
Training Articles, Motivation, Goal Setting, Personal Impact, Appraisal, Planning

Article Rating:::: 128 Ratings :::: Monday, July 11, 2016

Is there such a thing as a good career or a bad career? Is there such a thing as a good hobby or a bad hobby? Such choices are often very personal so can we really say what is good for people and what is bad? Probably not, but we all know that these days a lot of people desire “success”. It seems that with success comes a lot of happiness affecting all areas of life. It is not the only way to gain happiness but it certainly can lead to it. Success is not always about careers or jobs; it can be about anything in a person’s life; it could be success in raising good children, success in gardening, success in being a likable person, success in being the first to achieve a feat, success in being good at a given skill, success in being useful to society or simply success in being happy and getting the most from life.

With the concept of success and happiness comes options and choices. We all need to make decisions about what careers to get into, what hobbies to engage in and what to spend our finite time on. The decision means that, yes there is such a thing as a good or bad choice that can in the long run influence your happiness.

Some people seem to excel at this. They make all the right choices and it seems that the world goes out of its way to accommodate their desires. How come they succeed so well? Perhaps on further examination we can discover the underlying principles that help one make good choices.

As an example, let’s consider an episode in the life of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. No one can dispute that he had an extraordinary life so far and with his universality and fame, it is certainly worth examining his life to see how his decisions and interests has shaped his life.

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Weekly Slogans

Weekly Slogans
Training Articles, Motivation, Goal Setting, Attention and Focus

Article Rating:::: 137 Ratings :::: Monday, June 22, 2015

In Chapter 14 of Focused Determination, a motivational technique is presented which we call “Weekly Slogans”. These are inspiring quotes or “Slogans” that you choose for personal motivation. As described in the book, you need a collection of them so that you can use a different one each week. A list is provided in the book (in Appendix B) which is included below.

As indicated in the book, this page is where you can submit your favourite weekly slogans so that other readers can get inspired by them while preparing and extending their own personal lists.

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Team Building Exercise: More of, Less of and the Same

Team Building Exercise: More of, Less of and the Same
Leadership, Exercises, Team Building, Goal Setting, Giving Feedback

Article Rating:::: 169 Ratings :::: Monday, September 1, 2014

You can use this teambuilding exercise to help delegates discover the strengths and weaknesses of their team. The exercise encourages individual thinking without pressure while at the same time helps the team to work together to address potential issues. The exercise focuses on both positive and negative aspects of the team so it is well-balanced. It also allows the team to see if any particular area is considered problematic by many team members which then indicates the scale of the issue. This in turn can lead the team to address the issue with high priority.

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Goal Setting Exercise: Role Models

Goal Setting Exercise: Role Models
Exercises, Coaching, Motivation, Goal Setting, Appraisal

Article Rating:::: 121 Ratings :::: Monday, July 28, 2014

This exercise is ideal to explore role models and the importance and significant of having one. Instead of trying to explain directly how useful role models are, the exercise takes an indirect approach by simply getting delegates feel excited about their role models or feel the excitement of others when they talk about theirs. Such discussions can inspire the participants to look more closely at role models and if they have not thought of one so far, choose one during the exercise.

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