Transform yourself by picking a new challenge

chessPay-off: set yourself up to win
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Happy New Year!

Time to reset. There’s uncertainty ahead.

You are where you are. And you want to be where you want to be. So what, in 2017, are you going to do about it?

It’s that time of year again when we get flooded with articles, posts, tips and quotes on setting new year resolutions. And why they fail. I’m not going to bang on about that (I did that last year).

And I’m not going to suggest that you set any goals either. Because it’s not 1993.

Better than goals and resolutions

No, I think you should be doing something far more important. I think you should be flicking a new switch in your mind. A switch that once flicked, instantly gives you a winning (but sensible) mindset, and pumps you full of confidence you didn’t realise you had.

So how do you flick the switch?

Like this: You switch any thoughts you have around picking goals or new years resolutions for picking a ‘new challenge’ instead.

This is simple

And by new challenge, it doesn’t have to be something you weren’t already going to do.

I’m not suggesting you run a marathon. You can pick something new, or something you were already going to do, or take something you feel you have to do (like, I dunno, sell yourself, your business, or your services a bit more when perhaps you feel a little uncomfortable doing so) and instead, framing it up firmly in your mind as a CHALLENGE rather than a goal or new years resolution. I use the word ‘new’ because I’m suggesting you pick a part of whatever you want to do and package it up in your mind as a ‘new challenge’.

Some guidelines

You have to feel that you’re facing a challenge that makes sense for you to tackle and that you’re compelled to tackle.

You have to think this: “It’s my new challenge. I’m taking it on.”

It should almost feel as if it’s a game. And it should be a game that you can win if you apply yourself. And it should be activity based. So don’t set a challenge to bring in £x revenue, but set an activity challenge to reach out to x new people each week. The challenge should be more about keeping moving x times per day or week than arriving at a result. (But point the activity towards a desirable result obviously). Mostly, you have to decide that you’re serious about playing and winning it. And prove that you’re serious by taking steps boldy into it.

Why ‘a challenge’?

Small tweak, big benefits

Because when we see something as a challenge, everything helpful within us starts kicking into place. It’s not a chore, it’s not a threat, it’s not a pain, it’s not boring, it doesn’t consider failure an elephant in the room (with challenges, failure and adjusting is all part of it – with new year resolutions, failure is often game over), it doesn’t have a reputation of not working (like new years resolutions do) and it’s not a ‘have to’ – it’s a ‘choose to’.

People like you respond well to challenges

If you’re reading this, then you’ve qualified yourself in. I know something about you; you respond well to the right challenge. We choose challenges because there are rewards along the way, at the end, and simply through the idea of tackling a ‘challenge’. We (people) are wired up to feel alive and thrive when tackling challenges of our choosing. You’ll have experienced this before. So time to weave it into whatever’s ahead that’s important to you.

A well-chosen challenge will instantly transform you

Motivation, focus, drive, useful thinking, and other intrinsic drives rise up inside us ready for us to leverage when we square up to a challenge of our choosing. We feel better and stronger when we choose to take on a well-defined challenge that will make us better off than we’d be otherwise.

And choose your challenge well. Robert De Niro is sometimes quoted as having said, “the talent is in the choices”. Choose well, and you’ll be well placed to succeed in your challenge.

One other important thing

Oh, one other thing, on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being ‘absolute certainty’, how likely do you think it is that you’ll achieve this challenge?

1-6? OK, you’re going to need to either:

  1. reduce the size of the challenge
  2. give yourself more time
  3. look for more convincing evidence that you can do this

Do any or all of these until you’re 7+ on the scale.

7 or above? You’re primed. You’re ready. Now build yourself a plan that can’t fail and go for it.

P.S. If you want to share your challenge with me and ask any questions about how to increase your chances, drop me a note using the contact tab at the side of the screen and I’ll give you some actionable feedback.

Please share if you think others will find it useful.

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