Having Problems with Goal Setting ? Try using Mental Contrasting Technique.

Daily Quote and Challenge:

” Mental contrasting when used by those with high expectations of success leads to increased goal commitment and energization.” Gabriele Oettingen,

In using mental contrasting or visualization technique to reach a personal change goal it is important to identify and picture how you will FEEL once you have attained your goal. To execute mental contrasting answer these two critical questions:

  1. What does success look like ?


2. How will you know when you have reached your goal?


Reaction to Failures–Develop more Self-Compassion and Resilience.

Daily Quote: ” When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realize that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives”. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Reflection: Self-critical people don’t allow themselves the indulgence of believing in luck. They take responsibility for everything. They think winners make their own luck. They don’t see luck as a genuine feature of human existence. We are robbing ourselves of genuine and fair consolation by believing that we are entirely in control – and therefore entirely to blame when we fall on our face. We are not losers in a game that was fair. We are unfortunates in an often highly random inconvenient and at times an unlucky event.

When you experience disappoint or failure it is difficult to accept and sometimes heartbreaking. A tough defeat or loss can leave you down in the dumps and exhausted. You can’t see how you can move forward and sometimes feel “stuck” or loss. This approach to failure or loss is not the only way to react. These feelings and reactions are not the whole truth; they are merely how it feels when disappointment and self-criticism has distorted reality and other perceptions. The loss or failure has served –up a big hit to your belief in yourself and an erosion of confidence. You need time to recover and release the pressure of bent-up feelings. You need to clear the brain of negative thoughts through meditation, sleep and rest. Learn to hug and nurture yourself. We have grown too good at accepting criticism and blaming ourselves for mistakes and failures. Learn to shut out the voice of negativity and stop beating yourself-up by being more forgiving and self-compassionate.

Self-compassion is different from saying you are not responsible or totally innocent. It’s being more gentle and understanding about why you failed. You’ve been disappointed, but you deserve to exist with respect,dignity and to be understood and forgiven. In essence self-compassion is necessary function that allows us to accept ourselves and move forward from failure and loss in a more healthy way so to build that part of our character called resilience.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Over the next 24 hours think of a recent disappointment and loss that has knocked you down. Then, reflect on what you said to yourself and how you could have responded with more self-compassion.

Want to be Happier in life? Identify and create more “FLOW” experiences

Daily Quote: People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

” Life at its source is about discovery and creating meaning and constructive living…” MW Hardwick 

Reflection:Your strengths and gifts are the creative core of life.  What are your natural gifts?  Are you expressing your gifts fully at home and work? If not, how can you?  The peak of energy and vitality is the experience of it in everyday life. Flow, is often found where gifts and passions meet.  We use our gifts on things we deeply care about until we are fully absorbed, mentally, emotionally and physically, which is one component of living a meaningful life.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Choose one activity in which you have felt flow – complete absorption that allowed you to lose yourself in the experience. Time went put and you didn’t notice. Write down three words that describe the flow experience and what you got from it.

Daily Quote: Learning from failures and the Past New Rule of 8

Powerful rule for living a more constructive and fulfilling life:

” Using focus through full attention and seeing eye to eye with others opens pathways for empathy and rapport. Learn from but don’t live-in the past keep challenging yourself to do better and be open to change and growth through continuous improvement in your quality of life. And by all means stop taking yourself so dam seriously”  Coach Mark

Daily Quote, Reflection and Self-Coaching Challenge: Doing something to increase the “ripple of hope” effect

Daily Quote : “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
― Robert F. Kennedy

Reflection: Learning something new keeps you growing. Exploring and looking at things differently opens up new paths for learning. Deliberately seeking out the unfamiliar and people who are different from you keeps hope alive. Developing more experiences increases self-efficacy and confidence in one’s ability to handle a new challenge. These qualities—are characteristic of an agile and growth oriented learner and add to the “ripple” of hope that Robert Kennedy’s quote references. And with the world becoming increasingly complex with each passing day, Learning to be flexible and embracing small acts of kindness can make a crucial difference in making the world a better place.

Self-coaching Challenge: Commit to do something in the next 24 hours to increase the “ripple” of hope in the world.

Self-Coaching Challenge: You are what you think

Daily Quote

“Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they’re all a projection of you”. Deepak Chopra, Philosopher 

Self-coaching is a skill that can be learned. It is the basic skill that underlies what we mean when we speak of having emotional and social intelligence. When you develop the skill of SC, you actually change the physical structure of the brain, your thinking and action. Dr. Dan Siegel in the book Mindset says: “This observation and revelation is based on one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of the last twenty years: How we focus our attention shapes the structure of the brain which impacts thinking and then behavior. Neuroscience has also definitively shown that we can grow and create new connections in the brain throughout our lives, not just in childhood. ” This finding provides a positivity not known in years before these new brain discoveries.

Self-Coaching Challenge:  Seek first the goal of personal development and reaching your full potential then everything else will take care of itself. What do you want to develop over the next 30 days. Make and plan the execute it.  For support read about Dr. Rock, a noted neuro-leadership scientist,  who has put together a practical model called SCARF for enhancing how to use the new research on the brain to improve leadership and workplace climate.

Daily Quote: Sterotypical Thinking limits Our Potential for Self-Understanding

Daily quote:  Another Country…” We accept white people’s stereotypical view of who blacks are…goodtime people…and all that Jazz…being black was a terrible thing to be…I did not know who I was as a black person. Never to be looked at…invisible…must learn how to live together or perish…country has done this to themselves…must teach people to think…must teach them to think about everything… in order to know your name must learn mine”… James Baldwin 


For more information consult the following:

1. James Baldwin, author of  Go Tell It on the Mountain and Another Country  

2. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/nov/25/jimmy-baldwin-stirring-waters/