Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

How You Gonna Have A Dream Come True?

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Red Golf GTI

Today is the 66th day of the year. To put that into context, in just one week’s time 20% of 2014 will have GONE. How are those goals coming along?

Back in August of 2013, one of my readers (let’s call her… Jenny!) dropped me a line and asked if I could take a look at her goals which until then had failed to deliver any meaningful results. Well now, if you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that (for a small fee, I mean really small – quite pathetic in the general scheme of things) I’m only too happy to help with any aspect of concepts discussed in the book, and with this in mind Jenny and I booked a one-hour Happy Talkie into the diary.

Without going into too many specifics Jenny’s goals did indeed require some tweaking. They were a little drab. A little unambitious. Extremely practical. In short, were she to achieve them there was every chance her overall happiness would remain exactly as it was.

And after some discussion (much of which revolved around whether she deserved to feel happy) we threw away the goals she had and created new ones.

We wrote a work goal designed to motivate Jenny into leaving her less-than-fulfilling desk job and going it alone. We wrote a goal designed to address her work life balance and make more of her free time. And finally we decided that she DOES deserve to be happy and that she should get herself that brand new Golf GTI she’s always wanted but was too shy / scared / {insert appropriate emotion here} to splash out on.

We made some other changes too, such as the introduction of a notepad to her usual handbag paraphernalia so that Jenny could start creating a NOW List when ideas presented themselves.

A few weeks later I got an email from Jenny telling me that her NOW List was growing nicely, she’d broken her ‘work’ goal into baby steps, and that finally she’d signed up for an evening class purely for interest/enjoyment. Things were going well.

She’d also found the following ‘motto’ (from “The Man Who Wanted to Be Happy” by Laurent Gounelle) which was now stuck to her bathroom mirror on a post-it note.

“In life you need to know how to aim straight at the goal”.

Well, six months later, in preparation for this blog, I dropped Jenny a line to see what the latest was.

Jenny’s self-employment hadn’t progressed any further – but only because when she came to discuss them with her employer they offered her a more senior, challenging role as part of their expansion plans!

As well as enjoying work, she was also spending her evenings and weekends making and selling items at craft fairs – just for fun!

And the VW Golf? Well apparently it’s still on the cards for the Spring.


buttonNeed help making 2014 your best year ever? I charge a mere £28 for forty-five minutes, with our discussion specifically tailored to your requirements and around any of the elements covered in the book. Click here to drop me a line with a brief outline as to what you’re trying to achieve, and lets get talking. Or Pay Now for your session and I’ll contact you.

The Wisdom Of Fay

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fay's goalsReader Fay dropped me a line via facebook to let me know how she’d got on with her 2013 goals, but what really impressed me was how she’d written them.

Fay had three goals, all written in the present tense, each with a deadline, a penalty attached (ugh!), and saved on her phone where she could see them daily. Now that’s the way to write goals!

So how did she do?

I’m happy to report that during 2013 NO penalties were required – Fay has been dating someone since Oct, she’s running a marathon in May (it’s not Paris, it’s Edinburgh but I think that counts!) and she’s expanded her culinary skills with many a Mary Berry recipe.

The ‘Harrison fix up’ penalty intrigued me. Apparently it refers to her married friend who had a habit of inviting Fay to dinner, where upon she’d discover that the whole thing was a ruse to try and fix her up with another singleton.

If ‘romance’ features as one of your goals, I might be able to help! This month saw the launch of my new book How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting.

It’s available now in paperback, as an ebook, and (once I’ve finished recording it), as an audio download from audible. Pop along to amazon (.co.uk | .com) and select the format of your choice.

Alternatively, why not try the shorter, quirkier, companion guide, first; From Invisible To Irresistible – check it out on amazon (.co.uk | .com)

How to use GOALS Day

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Many, many self-help books bang on about the importance of identifying and setting Goals… but rather surprisingly, very few seem to tell you what to do next. The authors seem to assume that the average person, caught up in all the excitement of determining how they’d like their life to be, will crack right on with turning those goals into reality. In my experience that’s not what happens.

Most people will take those goals, stuff them in a drawer (real, virtual or symbolic) and never look at them again.

Which is why I spend quite a lot of time in How To Do Everything And Be Happy helping the reader put systems in place to make sure that some goal related activity takes place.

One of these systems is GOALS Day – a day, perhaps once or twice a month – when you will work on one of your three goals.

But what happens if your GOAL is quite ambitious? What if your plans for world domination might require more than 24 days this year? Funny. That’s pretty much what reader Shiva was wondering a while back. Here’s a copy of the message he sent me recently via facebook.

Greetings Peter - I have a question on the Goal Day. One of my goals (to be fluent in German by Dec. 2015) requires much more time than 1 or 2 days per month. Can a Goal Day be, say for instance, 15 hours spread over a week? Or does it really need to be taking place on regular slots?

Thank you for your support, Shiva

Hi Shiva! What a great question, and I think I know exactly what you mean.

Over the past couple of years I’ve had a number of goals to finish the various books I’ve written – but if I’d only worked on those books on a GOALS day I wouldn’t have gotten very far. Instead I scheduled in WRITING days, and then used my monthly GOALS day(s) as a bonus to work on whichever of my three goals seemed to be the most neglected.

But the real answer to your question is ‘it’s up to you’. You might want to do as I did. Or you might want to use your GOALS day as more of a planning day to coordinate your goal related activity. Or you might want to schedule in more GOALS days (say one a week) if that’s possible. Whatever makes sense for you.

The real point is to make time to work on making your goals a reality.

Pop back this time next week for more GOAL related tips and hints


Is romance on your 2014 Goals List? ‘From Invisible To Irresistible’ – the companion guide to my forthcoming book ‘How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting’ – is cheap as chips and available RIGHT NOW (amazon.co.uk | .com)

The Number One Goal Of All Time (Get ‘Eat Loads’ for 99p)

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how to eat loads and stay slim PAPERBACK COLOURS - with drop shadow copyIt’s a funny thing about running Happy Talkies and Happiness Workshops, I’ve started to notice that the same ‘wishes‘ – and therefore the same ‘goals‘ – come up time and time again.

Many people for instance want to embark on exotic trip around the world, visiting as many wondrous sites as possible. Others have burning desires to write a best seller (though asking to see someone’s ‘first chapter’ is usually enough to ensure they never come back to Happy Club ever again). But THE, number one goal – the one that perhaps half the attendees in any given workshop will share – is to lose weight.

And I can understand that, because I’ve been there too.

It seems to be the curse of the thirty / forty something. And not that long ago I too was standing in front of the mirror, wondering where on earth the skinny figure of my twenties went to, and why my body hated me so much. Of all the goals I’ve set myself over the years, shedding those extra pounds was one of the toughest.

Like most people I started with what seemed like obvious solutions (broadly summarised by ‘eating less’ and ‘moving more’) – but when those things didn’t work for me I threw my heart-rate monitor in the bin and went in search of something that might.

After much trial and error, I cracked it. I’m back to the size I was when I first met Kate, and whilst I wouldn’t call myself an expert, I definitely learnt a thing or two about weight loss on the way – stuff that I’d very much like to pass on.

Which is why last year I teamed up with Author Della Galton, and co-wrote my second book; How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim.

For a limited period How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim is just 99p or 99c for your kindle or kindle enabled phone, tablet, pc, or mac via amazon (.co.uk |.com) – but hurry! Price goes back up at 11pm next Wednesday.

It’s  a mixture of hard science (eg. how hunger really works), quick ‘cheats’ (eg. how to make zero fat chips), psychological techniques (eg. why focusing on your food as you eat is really important), ingenious strategies (eg. how to cut down on sugar without going cold turkey), and easy peasy recipes (eg. my ‘roast potato & egg smashup breakfast’ or Della’s ‘apple ginger clafouti’) – all served up in an easy-to-digest, humourous read from authors who’ve been where you are now.

If you’ve read How To Do Everything and Be Happy, the format will be familiar to you. Several broad chapters, broken into smaller sections, each of which result in an Action Point. However each thought provoking, scientifically-provable, action point also has a STAR RATING. There are fifty four stars available. You get one just for buying the book! Collect enough and you’ll steadily increase your chances of being able to eat loads AND stay slim. Collect enough stars (thirty or more would be a good target to have) and we personally guarantee that a slim figure, coupled with a healthy but satiated appetite, are yours for the taking. No dieting required.

How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available right now as an ebook, paperback and audio download. You can read the opening chapter here, or how about we read it for you? Just click the big play button in the video link below to listen to the opening chapters.

As with all goals why not share your experience with ‘the class’ in the comments box.


If you’re reading this in an email or can’t see the video link  just click here

If you enjoyed listening to us you can download the entire book from audible (.co.uk | .com)  - an amazon company and the internet’s largest supplier of spoken word entertainment.

If you’re new to audible, and in the UK, you can get it for free. Just use this link, follow the instructions and search for  ’How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim’.

Is romance on your 2014 Goals List? ‘From Invisible To Irresistible’ – the companion guide to my forthcoming book ‘How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting’ – is cheap as chips and available RIGHT NOW (amazon.co.uk | .com)

From Invisible To Irresistible

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SDSW drop shadow colour smallLast week we talked about Goals and how to identify what yours should be using the ‘Vision’ method.

When I do this exercise in workshops there are a handful of Goals that come up time and time again. I blogged about the number one Goal of all time a few months back, but there’s another popular goal that easily takes the number two slot.

Even in this day and age of social media and online dating it seems that more people than ever find themselves sitting at home on a Friday night, with nothing more than a packet of crisps and a cat to keep them company. For some people that might sound like absolute bliss, but I’ve met many others who were hoping for a little more. At the very least someone who would sit between them and the cat, share the crisps, or bring their own bag for the occasional swapsie.

If finding and starting ’a new relationship‘ made it into your Goals List then you’re in luck! Over the next few weeks I’ve got not one, but two books coming out on the subject.

How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting, my long awaited third How To book, will be released in paperback, audio and as an ebook, on the 14th of February this year; Valentines Day. If you enjoyed How To Do Everything And Be Happy, if you’ve ever found any of my advice useful, if you’re fed up with being single and would like 2014 to be full of love, lust or romance… well, this might just be the book for you. Subscribe to this blog (top right hand corner of this website – it’s FREE), or LIKE the facebook page, and I’ll be sure to remind you know when it’s available.

FITI drop shadow colourIn the meantime, do you remember how I met Kate? (You can find out here, or listen to the radio interview I gave to BBC Broadcaster Matthew Bannister below). When I tell people the story of how I met my wife they nearly always get the short version. The one paragraph version. But there was quite a bit more to it than signing up for a flirting course and sitting myself next to the prettiest girl in the room. I also underwent something of a self imposed image makeover. I did anything I could to turn myself into a ‘accidental relationship’ waiting to happen.

Now, I’m not about to start handing out fashion advice or makeup tips. That’s not my bag. What definitely is my bag however is a slew of ideas based on my own experience and/or scientific research, on how you can influence and improve how people perceive you. Think of it as a step-by-step personal re-branding exercise, all wrapped up in a mini-book.

From Invisible To Irresistible is the shorter, quirkier, but none-the-less completely gorgeous companion guide to How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting. Through a series of twelve anecdotes I highlight (and fix) those underlying problems, that make otherwise attractive, charming people invisible to those they’d like to date.

Chapters include:

  • Changing Your Mind - How you can think yourself more attractive, and why a little back-to-front logic might work wonders.
  • Changing Your Image - Why it might be a good idea to cut off your hair (or grow it back again), how to shed pounds without spending a fortune, and why hiring a professional image consultant could be a waste of money.
  • Changing Your Environment – Why sitting at home in front of the TV isn’t a dating strategy, why some of your friends are holding you back, and why it’s vitally important to have the right sofa.

But best of all, it’s cheap as chips (£1.53 if you buy the ebook, a little more for the paperback) and available RIGHT NOW. Follow the links below:


How I met Kate

Finding a wife wasn’t quite the breeze I always assumed it would be. It required a little effort, some planning, and a somewhat unorthodox approach to problem solving. You can find out more in this short audio snippet taken from a BBC interview with Matthew Bannister. Click the big play button in the middle of the image (or here if you’re reading this in an email).

You can listen to the full length interview here.


Next Happiness workshop is 9th of February, at the Therapy Life Centre, in Southend on Sea (Essex). Click here for more details.

New Year – New You!

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holidays in space

Welcome to 2014!

2014! Who’d of thunk it!? And may I be the first to say; Holidays In Space – what’s the flippin’ hold up!?

Shouldn’t there be a Moon Base Disney by now? Somebody, somewhere, needs to put that on their Goals List!

Which leads us rather nicely onto the topic of today’s post. Goals.

I’ve written quite a lot about Goals in the past (here for instance), and if you’re a long time reader of this blog, or you’ve read How To Do Everything And Be Happy, then you’ll know that in previous years I reset my Goals every January. But not any more.

2013 was an interesting year for me. The re-release of How To Do Everything And Be Happy by Harper Collins in January, the plethora of Happiness related workshops and talks that followed, and the impending release of my second How To book (How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim), all meant that I was suddenly busier than I’ve ever been. And whilst it was all very exciting, initially, by about June I was flagging a bit, and life didn’t seem quite as *fun* as it had done previously. The rather vague & dreary goals I’d set myself in January seemed a far cry from what I really wanted. Something had to be done.

So, me being me, I set aside a day to tackle the problem in the only way I know how. I sat myself down, and planned to spend the entire day brainstorming all the things that make me really happy – and later distil those down into new, inspiring goals.

After just five minutes I’d finished. Here’s what I’d written:

Today is another day, sitting in the sunshine,
writing fiction,
whilst my beautiful ‘wife’ reads her book,
and then goes and makes us a sandwich.

This was something of a surprise to me on several levels.

For starters I hadn’t expected to be able to capture the essence of what I want out of life so easily, so quickly, and so succinctly.

Secondly I really hadn’t expected to see a ‘wife’ in there (that really was a shock)!

But thirdly, after a moment or two of letting the thoughts settle in my head, I realised that out of this “vision” I could tease out some very specific goals; namely that whilst I love helping people to do everything and be happy, what I really want to do is write. Preferably fiction. Preferably in the sunshine. Preferably somewhere other that dear old Blightly. And preferably with someone very special. Oh, and a sandwich would be nice.

Now, that was back in the summer and you might be curious to know how what’s happened since – and maybe I’ll tell you, perhaps when I write another WTFHIBD - but for now let’s turn the spotlight back on you.

What do YOU want? Imagine you could see three, four or five years into the future – if all your wildest dreams could come true, if money, kids, or commitments weren’t an issue – what would your life look like?

Between now and next week find ten minutes (you’ll only need five) when you can be alone with your thoughts. Spend 60 seconds imagining your perfect future, then write down what you see. Use the remaining time to tease out two or three goals. (If you need a little inspiration, take a look at the video below. It’s a smidge over 3 minutes. Turn up the volume on your computer and click the big ‘play’ button. Or click here to see the video on YouTube)

This time next week we’ll start tackling some of the more common goals that people come up with, beginning with love, romance & relationships – specifically, how to attract all three into your life!

In the meantime feel free to post any questions, comments, or thoughts in the comments below, or on facebook, or twitter.


Pssst. I’ll be giving a *FREE* one hour talk at the Therapy Life Centre in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, January 15th, 7:30pm. Why not come along?

Turns out you can reserve a place for when Holidays In Space become a reality.

Phoenix FM ‘Happy Club’ October 2013

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Earlier this month I joined the delightful Michelle Ward of Phoenix98 FM to discuss ‘happiness’, and to answer your happiness related questions.

This month’s questions were…

  • How do I control my uncontrollable rage when people do not follow my legitimate instructions?
  • How do you achieve a healthy work/life balance? As in, how can you effectively balance work and home life, especially when you work from home?
  • How can I be happy with my diet when I can’t afford lobster and fillet steak each day?
  • I want to change my life completely; my job, my looks, etc. Where do I start on such a monumentous task?
  • How do I get an octopus into a paper bag?
  • I would like to know Peter’s tips for staying focused on goals, and for being organised when the path is full of obstacles.
  • Why is Peter Jones’ name a mash up of the names of two of the band members of The Monkees?

To listen to the show click the big play button in the image below (or if you’re reading this in an email, click here)

How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting (mentioned throughout the show) is due out February 2014, How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available, now, in three formats. Find out more at howtoeatloadsandstayslim.com

If you have a question for next month’s show feel free to drop me a line, post a comment below, tweet either myself or Michelle, or send me a message on facebook. We’ll get through as many as we’re able.


Michelle’s live on Phoenix FM every weekday from 10am.

To listen to other radio interviews (and audio content) about How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim click here

 

The Number One Goal of All Time

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how to eat loads and stay slim PAPERBACK COLOURS - with drop shadow copyIt’s a funny thing about running Happy Talkies and Happiness Workshops, I’ve started to notice that the same ‘wishes‘ – and therefore the same ‘goals‘ – come up time and time again.

Many people for instance want to embark on exotic trip around the world, visiting as many wondrous sites as possible. Others have burning desires to write a best seller (though asking to see someone’s ‘first chapter’ is usually enough to ensure they never come back to Happy Club ever again). But THE, number one goal – the one that perhaps half the attendees in any given workshop will share – is to lose weight.

And I can understand that, because I’ve been there too.

It seems to be the curse of the thirty / forty something. And not that long ago I too was standing in front of the mirror, wondering where on earth the skinny figure of my twenties went to, and why my body hated me so much. Of all the goals I’ve set myself over the years, shedding those extra pounds was one of the toughest.

Like most people I started with what seemed like obvious solutions (broadly summarised by ‘eating less’ and ‘moving more’) – but when those things didn’t work for me I threw my heart-rate monitor in the bin and went in search of something that might.

After much trial and error, I cracked it. I’m back to the size I was when I first met Kate, and whilst I wouldn’t call myself an expert, I definitely learnt a thing or two about weight loss on the way – stuff that I’d very much like to pass on.

Which is why last year I teamed up with Author Della Galton, and co-wrote my second book; How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim.

It’s  a mixture of hard science (eg. how hunger really works), quick ‘cheats’ (eg. how to make zero fat chips), psychological techniques (eg. why focusing on your food as you eat is really important), ingenious strategies (eg. how to cut down on sugar without going cold turkey), and easy peasy recipes (eg. my ‘roast potato & egg smashup breakfast’ or Della’s ‘apple ginger clafouti’) – all served up in an easy-to-digest, humourous read from authors who’ve been where you are now.

If you’ve read How To Do Everything and Be Happy, the format will be familiar to you. Several broad chapters, broken into smaller sections, each of which result in an Action Point. However each thought provoking, scientifically-provable, action point also has a STAR RATING. There are fifty four stars available. You get one just for buying the book! Collect enough and you’ll steadily increase your chances of being able to eat loads AND stay slim. Collect enough stars (thirty or more would be a good target to have) and we personally guarantee that a slim figure, coupled with a healthy but satiated appetite, are yours for the taking. No dieting required.

How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim is available right now as an ebook, paperback and audio download. You can read the opening chapter here, or how about we read it for you? Just click the big play button in the video link below to listen to the opening chapters.

As with all goals why not share your experience with ‘the class’ in the comments box.


If you enjoyed listening to us you can download the entire book from audible (.co.uk | .com)  - an amazon company and the internet’s largest supplier of spoken word entertainment.

If you’re new to audible, and in the UK, you can get it for free. Just use this link, follow the instructions and search for  ’How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim’.

 If you’re reading this in an email or can’t see the video link  just click here

Taming The Beast

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lists(or ‘One Man’s Wrestling Match with Lists’)

I’ve been having a very interesting email exchange with a reader (let’s call him ‘Bob’) about the lists mentioned in the book, and what should or shouldn’t go on them.  Here’s an extract from Bob’s opening email…

I’ve been re-reading the Wish List bit of the book and wonder whether things like ‘get boiler serviced’ are just plain old To-do lists stuff whereas having a baby is definitely Wish List stuff.  Have I got that right?  Here’s my wish list:

1.      We’re (me and Mrs) going to have a baby
2.      I’ve transferred my pension
3.      Make some money by selling our “holiday” photos
4.      Work out details of student loan
5.      Make an excel “balance sheet” and update it monthly
6.      Develop the habit of regular exercise (6 x 30 mins per week)
7.      Book – never eat alone by Keith ferrazzi
8.      Organize a new tenancy agreement
9.      The paint chip on car has been repaired free of charge
10.     Work out an annual bills saving schedule to make sure we have enough funds
11.     Get the cahoot account closed down
12.     Get the NS&I account closed down
13.     Setup an ISA for £5,000 emergency fund
14.     Get Halifax account closed down
15.     Thought = pay-off student loan or mortgage????
16.     Can we get the telephone (and television) cheaper
17.     Can we get electricity and gas cheaper
18.     Organize myself for tennis team
19.     Get the water pipe noise gone
20.     Get the boiler serviced
21.     Get the toilet repaired
22.     The doors + handles have been replaced
23.     The oven has been cleaned and is almost as good as new
24.     The road outside the house has been fixed by the council
25.     The wardrobe is painted
26.     The shelves are painted
27.     The TV cabinet is painted
28.     The gutters have been cleaned out
29.     The hole through to the bathroom has been filled
30.     The tiles, grout and sealant have the mouldy stuff removed
31.     We’ve purchased a new vacuum cleaner
32.     The mortar around the outside of the house is better (no window drafts)
33.     The damp in the kitchen is a thing of the past
34.     The front-door has been painted
35.     The doors in the bathroom have been painted
36.     We’ve fitted a shelf in the bathroom cupboard
37.     plant the seed of selling the flat
38.     The car has been thoroughly cleaned
39.     The under the stairs cupboard is more user friendly
40.     I would like metal things for my shirts
41.     We want a lamp for the lounge
42.     Cancel my subscription to men’s health magazine
43.     Cancel my subscription to wired magazine
44.     Work out how to get page counts from the printer
45.     Buy new brush heads
46.     Change address for pension
47.     Ask pension people if can have contribution back
48.     Go climbing
49.     Enter lots and lots of competitions
50.     The gambling to pay off the mortgage idea
51.     Clay pigeon shooting
52.     Water heater idea
53.     Glasses
54.     Shirts
55.     Cooking
56.     Clothes
57.     Look into getting a credit card (enjoy the benefits)
58.     Club card (enjoy the benefits)
59.     Nectar card (enjoy the benefits)
60.     Tidy wardrobe shelf
61.     Wardrobe boxes
62.     Tidy under spare bed
63.     Box to keep watches in
64.     Watch collection?….
65.     My own collection of portraits (self portraits) in a book or website
66.     Have my own website

That’s an impressive list of 66 assorted items. And Bob’s right, there are quite a few items on here that seem a tad dull and more like day-to-day to-do list items.

Let’s back up for a moment and consider what should and shouldn’t make your wish list. You’ll remember from the book that your wish-list is is basically a list of items that pop into your head when faced with the question ‘what do you want’. But I can see a number of items on Bob’s list that don’t appear to be an answer to that question. Numbers 16 and 17 for instance. They seem to be answers to a slightly different question (‘how do we reduce our outgoings?’). Number 49 is quite interesting too. Does Bob like doing lots and lots of competitions? Is that what he really wants to do?

But a wish list is more than ‘things that you want’ – if you look on page 130 of the book (the final part of the section entitled ‘Making a Wish List’) you’ll notice that items on your wish list should also be there because getting that thing would make you HAPPY!

I’m wondering just how happy Bob would be if his printer could give him page counts.

Finally, remember the idea of a wish list is to feed into your Goals. You take the top three wishes, turn them into goals, then put away the wish list until a goal slot becomes available. With this in mind, he might never get to learn about page counts.

Now I don’t mean to tease Bob, because I don’t know, maybe page counts really is a big deal for him! I have another reader for whom learning to touch type is one of her three GOALS. One of the three things she wants more than anything else in the world. She’d honestly be that happy if she could type really really fast.

What I think’s happened here is that Bob’s jumped a stage and started to do some of the GOAL related work – that of identifying the Next Action – here on his wish list. For instance, he seems to have a lot of items that are related to reducing outgoings, or increasing income. With this in mind, what I would expect to see an item on his wish list like this:

‘to be able to pay all the bills, every month, and still have enough for fun’

Then, if this item gets chosen as one of his three Goals, it might be reworded as follows…

‘Me & the Mrs manage our money effectively (pay all the bills each month) and have plenty left over for fun. December 31st 2013.’

Having written the goal he might start brainstorming ways to achieve that, at which point you’ll come up with ideas that are currently items 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 42, 43, 46, 47, 49, 50, 58, and 59 of his wish list. (Incidentally, I wouldn’t recommend 57. Having worked for credit card companies for many years I can tell you now, credit cards are evil, and no way to manage your money. Get a debit card. Enjoy those benefits.)

Likewise, he might have an item on your wish list along the lines of…

‘we live in a nice home that works!’

..and when he’s re-written it as a goal, all those house-repair jobs that are currently on his wish list (but shouldn’t be) will miraculously become possible next actions to achieving his goal.

Anyway, here’s hoping this helps Bob, and you too if you’re still struggling with your wish lists or goals. I’d really like to know your thoughts. You can post them in the comments below.

(PS. Bob gave me permission to reproduce part of our email exchange. You can email me without fear of being made into a blog post)

(PPS. That said, I am a busy bloke – free one-to-one coaching isn’t something I can necessarily offer to everyone)

 

 

Goals, Ghosts, & Supper Club Hosts; WTFHIBD Episode 3

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With barely 10 days left of 2012, I figured it was about time I gave you a What The **** Have I Been Doing update. This is the ‘regular’ feature – well, sort of – where I come clean on what I’ve been spending my time on and show you how I’ve gone about applying the concepts in the book to my own life.

Boxing Day

I’ll confess that I’ve built up a bit of a Boxing Day backlog these past couple of months. I did manage to squeeze one in a couple of weeks back and it was bliss.

I didn’t do much really – quite a lot of it was spent larking around on facebook - but the sun suddenly made an unexpected appearance so I wandered down to beach and rearranged some of the pebbles. I also jotted down some ideas for what could, one day, be a novel. Whether anything will come of that you’ll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, I have two Boxing Days ‘in the bank’ so I suspect I might be using those over Christmas. It would be nice to have a Boxing Day on the 26th of December (a Boxing Day on Boxing Day!) … but my publishers (Harper Collins) tell me I’ll be busy giving interviews that day!!

My Now List

You will be pleased to know that since my last WTFHIBD update I have managed to tick several things off my Now List!

In September I spent a few days in Cornwall, and whilst I didn’t manage to make it to St Michael’s Mount, or the Minack Theatre, I did make it back to Fowey. On the way back I drove through Devon and decided that I really ought to add that to the Now List.

I finally managed to visit a pop-up restaurant. Our host, ‘Food Urchin‘, treated us to pit roasted lamb. He quite literally dug a massive hole in his back garden (a few days earlier I hasten to add) and created a kind of rudimentary oven in which he roasted a whole lamb for several hours.

The rest of the menu looked like this:

Cold mezze consisting of
homemade Taramasalata, Baba Ganoush,
Hummus and Tzatziki
with Grilled Haloumi and Flatbreads.

Kleftiko, Roast New Potatoes
with Capers and Red Onions, Greek Salad.

Palate cleanser (of some description)

Poached Pears
with Filo, Praline, Pistachio and Vanilla Ice Cream.

It was fabulous!

The Woman In Black - click for a closer lookAnd last week I finally saw the stage production of The Woman in Black – a play that I’ve wanted to see for the longest time. And Blimey O’Reily it was jaw droppingly fabulous. I’d go back tonight if it wasn’t sold out already. Easily the best play I’ve seen this year – possibly this decade. Possibly ever.

And as I sat there marvelling at the ingenuity of the story telling, whilst at the same time keeping an eye out for anything that might make me jump three foot in the air, I remembered why I started a Now List, how doing this stuff is the ice cream sundae of life, and how I skip dessert way too often in preference for a slightly larger main course. Madness.

Next year I’m making way more of an effort to work my Now List.

My Goals

After my last update I had a bit of a melt down.

Things were moving in the right direction – generally speaking – but it felt a little like I was on a runaway train – thundering down a track, without anyone at the helm. Do train’s have helms? Anyway. Life seemed to be getting away from me. So I booked a Goals Day, sat down with my Goals and my master to-do list and reviewed everything.

By the end of the day I’d re-written my three primary Goals and re-structured the list. To give you an example here’s how my primary goal used to look.

“I am supporting myself
doing the things I love & enjoy,
and no longer worry about bills.”
December 2012

And here’s how it looks now

“I am supporting myself
doing the things I love & enjoy.”
December 2013

I know what you’re thinking, it’s virtually identical to the previous goal. Except that it isn’t. That line in the original goal (‘worrying about bills’) was impairing my ability to focus properly.

If you’ve read How To Do Everything and be Happy then you’ll know that it simply isn’t possible to not think or worry about something. The very act of NOT thinking about something requires your brain to conjure up images of the thing you don’t want to think about, so you can ignore it. It was as if I was constantly reminding myself to worry about the damn bills whilst I attempted to earn a living out of the things I love and enjoy. Way to go Jonesy. Talk about putting myself under pressure. I can’t believe I didn’t notice it before.

Since re-writing that Goal things have got significantly easier. Or they seem significantly easier, which I’m pretty sure is the same thing. I’m back in control.

The new paperback version of How To Do Everything and Be Happy is printed and should be in shops everywhere on the 17th of January. There should be a feature in about me and the book in tomorrow’s Guardian newspaper, and Harper Collins tell me that I have no idea just how much publicity I’ll be doing this time next month. And when it’s all done I’m going to celebrate. You did get the invite didn’t you?

I had a nice chat with Harper Collins in the USA. They’re publishing the paperback in June 2013. The ebook is available now of course.

My second book (How To Eat Loads And Stay Slim) has been finished for a while and is sitting with my agent whilst I put the finishing touches to my third book (How To Survive Online Dating). Both should be available, in some format, next year.

A new monthly version of my Happiness workshop starts in January (I’m calling it Happy Club – why not come along) and my assistant is booking me talking gigs up and down the country. It’s all good.

But enough about me. How’s life with you? Drop me a line or post a comment below. I really want to know.