Hell yeah or no

Hell yeah or no.

High performer and brilliant mind Derek Sivers invented a genius cure for overcommitment:

When you've got a decision to make, if you don't think HELL YEAH! at the idea, then say no.

If you say no to almost everything, then when a truly incredible opportunity comes along that makes you think HELL YEAH, you have the time, energy and space in your life to fully commit to it.

Too many of us take on far too many things at once to function at peak performance.
Say hell yeah, or no.

Anti-goals

I think I might be one of the only people I know to set anti-goals (consciously). So I want to share my anti-goals today, in the hope that you might want to set an anti-goal too.

What is an anti-goal? An anti-goal is something you purposefully don’t want to achieve.

I created my first anti-goal in 2017, when I decided NOT to go to the gym for an entire year. I had been trying to get myself to go to the gym for years, and every year I would set it as my New Years Resolution, and I always failed miserably. Having the goal every year wasn’t actually working, and on top of that, it was just making me feel guilty because I wasn’t going. So in 2017, I just decided that I would make a new rule: No gym allowed.

I felt LIBERATED.

Did it mean that I exercised more? No I didn’t. But it removed the guilt I was feeling. By making it a rule, an anti-goal, I wasn’t actually getting any fitter, but I had released myself from feeling bad about not achieving my goal.

But hang on, what makes an anti-goal different from a regular goal?

A regular goal achieves something. An anti-goal achieves nothing, on purpose.

A goal to not smoke is still a regular goal because it achieves something. A goal to not drink achieves something too. An anti-goal doesn’t achieve anything, it keeps you exactly where you are, except it changes the way you feel about the situation.

If you always eat doughnuts, and you feel guilty about it but you don’t actually think you’ll stop, you could set yourself an anti-goal of continuing to eat donuts. That way, you’re not changing, but you’re now fulfilling a goal so you can stop feeling the guilt.

This can be a dangerous tactic, as it requires you to really evaluate why you are setting the anti-goal. It’s not a good idea to set an anti-goal if it’s just an excuse to behave badly. An anti-goal is purely there to give you permission to not feel bad, and to focus on other things.

Other anti-goals I have:

To not go skydiving.
To not run a marathon.
To not write a book.

Some people probably will not understand the concept of anti-goals. I can almost hear my logically-minded cousin saying, “If you don’t want to do something, why don’t you just not do it? What’s so hard about that?”

But see, that doesn’t work for those of us who feel obliged to others, or to our feelings. The purpose of an anti-goal is to give us permission to do what we actually want, and will probably do anyway. It just removes the pressure. Now that I know I’m not allowed to write a book, I don’t have to worry about doing that. It’s totally gone from my list, and I feel so much freer than when I had a general sense of unease: “Should I be writing a book?”

More examples of potential anti-goals:

To not go to that party.
To not buy Christmas presents.
To not wear makeup.
To not make your bed.

What are your anti-goals?

Existing without social media
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There is a part of me that craves a lifestyle without social media. No more scrolling, no more random messages, no more curating a lifestyle that isn’t totally real (because no matter how hard you try, can you really be authentic and transparent on social media?). What I’m currently doing isn’t working. I spend hours a day, whether intentionally or not, on social media. Sometimes consuming, sometimes creating, always wasting time. I started coaching to coach, so why am I spending far more time on this mind-numbing machine than on coaching?

This is a thought that has been crossing my mind a lot today: What if I lived without social media? How could my life be better with less social media? What if my coaching practice didn’t have a social media presence?

I’ve thought, “If I’m not on social media, how will I add value?”

Ha. How ridiculous is that? Social media has been around for a decade. People have been adding value to others since the beginning of human existence. And yet, I bet you’ve thought you couldn’t live without it, too.

I love writing a blog, and I love creating videos. This little section of the internet that I can create with no rules, is fantastic. The part I don’t like, is the nasty comments, the mindless dribble that I get in my inbox: “hey.” and the endless hours of wasted time checking every single notification. This is not value. This is not living a meaningful life.

Deleting social media:

Pros:
More time.
Fewer distractions.
Less stress.
More meaning.

Cons:
Harder to be found (but maybe that’s a good thing, too?).
No way to share your content.
Harder for people to reach you.

Here are some options I’m considering:

  1. Deleting/hiding all of my public social media accounts

  2. Keeping the accounts, but deleting my access to them. Aka, people would still be able to find me and follow me, but I wouldn’t be present.

  3. Just keeping the accounts that add true value: YouTube, my personal Facebook account (for my friends and family only, with News Feed Eradicator turned on).

  4. Having no online presence… at all. Going totally off the grid. Word of mouth only. This is the option I’m least considering, but I like to keep it open.

I’ll keep you posted on what I choose. Or maybe I won’t. Then you’ll know I’ve gone with option four.

Choosing happiness – now
I haven’t been posting photos of me for a while, because I haven’t felt compelled to take them. I don’t want to take photos that seem ‘aspirational’ just for the sake of making things look good. Things ARE good. I don’t want feel the need to show that they’re good by post a selfie right now. More thoughts on this to come.

I haven’t been posting photos of me for a while, because I haven’t felt compelled to take them. I don’t want to take photos that seem ‘aspirational’ just for the sake of making things look good. Things ARE good. I don’t want feel the need to show that they’re good by post a selfie right now. More thoughts on this to come.

The past few days have been a time of unexpected awakening, and I think I’ve been jolted out of another layer of the matrix (hey, not trying to get too woo-woo, but you gotta love the film the matrix). I feel like I’ve realised I’m on the right path, I’m doing the things I want to be doing, but I’m in the wrong vehicle. I’m not sure what exact vehicle I would like to be in yet, but I know what I’ve been doing doesn’t feel quite right. I’ve been struggling, and all because of my own mentality. Right now, I choose maximum happiness. I’m finished with the struggle of being here and wanting to be there.

Instead, I choose to want to be here, right now. I choose to want my life exactly as it is right now.

I choose to be 10/10 happy with my life. Someone has to be the happiest person in the world, right? Why can’t it be me? Or you?

I've been thinking about it all wrong

Goal setting is amazing, but I think we should stop calling it ‘Goal Setting’. Goal setting is only part of the process, but it’s not just about setting a goal. It’s about setting an ACTION. Setting a goal is the first part – setting a possible commitment is the most crucial part. We should really be calling it “commitment setting.”

I shouldn’t only be saying “I have a goal to reach 100 push ups” – I should be saying something like, “I have a commitment to train push ups everyday.” Because in truth, I don’t care about 100 push ups. It’s not about the number, it’s about the action.

Here’s the thing: It’s not about setting end-goals. It’s not about attaining something. (Reach 100 push ups, complete a marathon, achieve xyz…) It’s about the dedication of doing the thing. A daily practice. A weekly practice. A practice. An act. A present moment experience. It’s about cultivating the practice of an action, not achieving an end goal.

(Is it okay to say my mind is being blown as I’m writing this?!).

That way, we are growing, and yet we are content – as every single moment we practice is a moment of success. There is nowhere to go, nowhere to get to. The goal is just a container for the practice to occur.

What does this look like in action? My 365 day meditation goal is a great example. Yes – it has an end-goal. But I’m not doing it to reach day 365 and check it off my list. I’m doing it to cultivate the practice of mediation. And so each and every day practice, I succeed. Once I reach the finish line, I don’t wish to stop. I want to continue this practice.

So, should we not set goals at all? I think we should still set goals. Goal setting can give helpful instructions and direction. However, I think action setting (or commitment setting or practice setting, whatever you’d like to call it) is a crucial part of it, if we are to develop and grow.

Sarah Arnold-HallComment
Inspiration vs Aspiration
The inspirational Emily

The inspirational Emily

Tonight I had a coaching call with one of my amazing clients, Emily, and she said, “I’ve stopped following anyone on social media who is aspirational. I only follow inspirational people now.”

BAM. That hit me like tonne of bricks. I had never even thought about the difference between the two because people so often use them interchangeably. But it is the insatiable desire to have more and achieve something that won’t actually make us happy – that makes us unhappy! Whereas inspiration is an inner feeling that can produce happiness on its own.

Google’s definitions:

Inspiration: the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Aspiration: characterized by wanting to achieve social prestige and material success.

My definitions:

Aspiration appeals to the ego, while inspiration appeals to the intuition.

Social media is a brilliant place to start cutting aspiration out and editing inspiration in.

I’m going to take a leaf from Emily’s book and do a bit of an inspiration audit on my online consumption.
Is that person inspiring? Are they inspiring me to be a better me? To push my limits? Or are they aspirational? A hollow symbol of success, wealth, fame, beauty? Causing me to believe I’d rather be cool than happy?

I think we confuse the two because we admire both kinds of people.

Here’s my litmus test to tell the two apart:

When you consume their content, do you feel:

a) motivated and encouraged?
b) envious and dissatisfied with your life?

Be. Honest.

I can already think of a few Instagram personalities I need to unfollow once I’ve finished writing this!

Thank you Emily for the inspiration to write this post!

Push your limits
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Last night I set a brilliant, impossible goal. I went to bed excited, and then this morning I awoke feeling sick to my stomach about it. It wasn’t my impossible goal. I realised I was putting immense pressure on myself to do another ‘impossible’ thing, but I didn’t actually want to do this one. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE setting impossible goals. But only if I’m setting them for me. The moment that it feels like I’m doing it for someone else, I feel totally off.

This realisation made me have a deep think about my message as a content creator. I don’t ever want to make anyone feel like they have to set an impossible goal just for the sake of it, including myself.

I realised that the core of my message isn’t really about achieving impossible goals. It’s about pushing your own limits, whatever that means. Setting impossible goals might be part of that for you (it certainly is for me) – but pushing your limits is more than that, it’s a way to grow. Achieving an impossible goal is an outcome. Pushing your limits is the action.

Pushing my limits feels so authentic to me. I do it every day. I’m attempting to achieve 100 push ups in a row. I moved to the other side of the world without a clue where I was going to live. I followed a career path (the personal development industry) that my friends and family weren’t so sure about. I’ve committed to writing this blog every day for 2 years. I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. I committed to 365 days of meditation in a row. I push the limits of what I can achieve in my career, in my relationships, in my health and fitness, and in my whole life. I believe that’s what makes life fulfilling – growing into your highest potential so you can serve this world as best as possible.

Goal Rush
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Something I love so much about goal setting is the rush of adrenaline you get when you set something that feels impossible, but there’s part of you that believes you can do it – and that voice suddenly becomes louder than the voice that says you can’t do it. And then you come down off that high, and you think, ‘Am I crazy?’ and there’s a dark cloud of questioning if you can do it. The voice that says you can’t is there. But no matter how loud the voice that says you can’t is, the voice that says you can will always be there.

I’ve just experienced that adrenaline-fuelled rush of setting an impossible goal. It’s so delicate, so recently born into my mind, it’s too fragile to share with you right now. But when it grows into a small, but sturdily formed idea, I will share it.

All I can say now is that my heart is pounding with excitment and anticipation for what could be.

Do you ever feel that way about goal setting too? Or is it just me?

I don't want to achieve my dreams yet
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I don’t want to wake up tomorrow and find out all my dreams and impossible goals have come are true. What? Am I crazy?

Take marriage. Imagine waking up tomorrow, married to the ideal person, with your ideal children all grown up, with the perfectly designed house and garden and country club.

You’d miss out on all the excitement!

Instad, you want to meet the person, anticipate your first date, experience the magic falling in love, creating a vision of your life together, choosing the table decorations for the wedding, finding out you’re having a baby, seeing your baby on the ultrasound for the first time… and so on.

How awful would it be to wake up, married to the ideal partner with the ideal kids and never experienced any of it?

Sounds like my idea of a nightmare.

I don’t want to have my Impossible Goals given to me. I want to work for them. I don’t want to have the success I dream of today. I don’t want my dream life right now. Anticipation and working for it make the success so much sweeter. It’s the dance along the way.

Remember this the next time you’re feeling impatient. Patience is sweeter deal than you think.

Gary Vee Mode: Review
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I love Gary Vaynerchuk as much as the next overcaffeinated 23-year-old start-up founder. Which is exactly why last week I decided to take on the challenge of Gary Vee Mode, where for 4 days in a row, I planned to:

  1. Post on my blog (as usual)

  2. Post on Instagram

  3. Post on Facebook

  4. Post on Instagram stories (10x minimum)

  5. Film and post a YouTube video

  6. Post on Tik Tok

Some of this went to plan. Some of this did not go to plan. Here’s why:

  1. I did post on my blog every single day, as usual. One night, I was up until 2:30am doing it, but I managed it, because it is a priority to me. (For reference, the only time I don’t post on my blog on time is when I’m traveling and have no internet access on a flight (although I’m working on this for the future, having posts scheduled in advance.)

  2. I only posted on Instagram two out of four of the days. There’s really no excuse. However, my reason is that I want to only put out content on my Instagram I’m super happy with, and I wasn’t happy with the content I would have posted. What I should have done, was make the goal to “create beautiful photos”, as posting on Instagram seems to be a natural byproduct of that.

  3. Post on Facebook. My Instagram content gets “pushed” to Facebook, so my answer is the same as above.

  4. Post on Instagram Stories (10x minimum). I did post on Instagram stories, every single day. But I only managed 1 day where I posted 10x, and on that day I noticed I was proactively thinking about posting the things I was doing, rather than just hoping they would happen in the moment.

  5. Film and post a YouTube video. I’m actually impressed I managed 2 out of 4 days! Especially considering that I have only got about 8 videos on my entire channel, so two extra in 4 days is great. Learning lesson: plan ahead what you will create! I didn’t end up creating more because my days ended up filled with so many other things, and I didn’t have a plan.

  6. Post on Tik Tok. Woohoo! I managed to post a video on Tik Tok every single day of these 4 days. It felt like one of the most straight forward ones, so I always managed to do that. There was one day where I felt like I couldn’t be bothered, but I did it anyway. Woop woop!

What are my overall learning lessons?

  • Gary Vee Mode is supposed to be intense, that’s the whole point.

  • I needed to leave room for error. Or in my case, just life. On the first day, I completed absolutely everything, because I squeezed the most out of every moment. But the next day, my mum invited me for a 3 hour car trip to our national park, and I decided to go. 3 hours was enough to throw off the whole plan. Gary Vee would have said no to his mum. I wasn’t willing to do that.

  • If I do Gary Vee Mode again, it will be altered. It will be more specific, and less insignificant. Posting on Facebook, for example, is not my #1 priority. I have to remember: the main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing. So, next time, I will really carve out what is important to me.

What would Gary say to me? I think he would say I focused my energy on the wrong things. If they really mattered to me, I would make them happen (aka, the blog).

So next time I do Gary Vee Mode, it will be something along the lines of:

  • YouTube

  • Instagram

  • Blog

    And doing them all with 100% energy and passion.

Let me know if you try Gary Vee Mode or something similar, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

November Goals
Is this not the best meme ever?

Is this not the best meme ever?

I’m super happy with my success in October, as I completed all of my goals.

However, I did find myself run off my feet and running around trying to do far too many things at once. So my overarching theme for November is: The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

What is my main thing? My main thing (right now) is my coaching.

With that in mind, I am setting myself goals that will foster self-care and make me feel as energised as I can be, so I am better able to show up for my goals, my clients, my friends and family, and my work.

Here they are:

  1. I will easily craft a dedicated space in my house for meditation by November 30, 2019.

  2. I will easily reach 30 deep, consistent, improved-form push ups by November 30, 2019.

  3. I will easily stop working and begin winding down for sleep by 10pm for the entire month, until November 30, 2019.

  4. I will easily create 1 new YouTube video by November 30, 2019.

I’m feeling so good about these goals, they feel like exactly what I need in order to move forward and to foster a better work-life balance.

October Goals: Review
Flying back from NZ to England today!

Flying back from NZ to England today!

I can’t believe we’re already done with the 10th month of 2019. Here were my goals for October:

  • I will easily create a training video opt-in for my website by October 15, 2019.
    It’s up! Go and download my free masterclass to create a step by step plan for achieving your impossible goals. You can check it out on my homepage by clicking the button under the headline (just click on my name, Sarah Arnold-Hall to head to the homepage, or scroll to the top of the blog!).

  • I will easily do 25 push ups in a row by October 30, 2019.
    I did this! However, in my last exhaustion test, I actually ended up only doing 22. I don’t know if that means I shouldn’t count this, but I feel like since I did actually reach the goal at one point, it should count. Now I’ve just got to keep it up!

  • I will easily photograph 3 high resolution photoshoots for my blog by October 30, 2019. (Trying this again this month!)
    Done! I’m counting these posts: Push Ups: Week 8, Just Call Me Tiger, Dress for the Job You Want. I also did quite a few other blog posts where I was happier with the level of photography I shot too. Even though I had to consciously plan when I would do these photoshoots, they mostly fit as part of what I was already doing, and weren’t staged, which is great because it suggests higher quality photos on my blog are sustainable for the future.

  • I will easily create and upload 2 YouTube videos by October 30, 2019.
    Also complete! It got to almost the end of the month and I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but I chose to push through and create a video! I found it WAY easier creating videos while I was in NZ, because it was sunny and I had lots of places to film with great lighting, which I don’t have in England (where I’m currently living). My two videos from this month are: How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others and my first 100 Push Ups Vlog

I’m super happy with completing all four of my October Goals, because last month in September I didn’t complete all my goals. I think the difference was I was more realistic about the action I could take. And before you say “Sarah! You always say being realistic is a bad idea!”, remember I believe that when you set your goals, you should set impossible goals, but when you create your commitments, they need to be realistic and actionable. Possible action makes impossible goals happen.

Birthdays
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Tomorrow is my sister Helena’s 17th birthday, and we celebrated together with our mum by going out for dinner this evening since I’m leaving NZ tomorrow. 17 is a wonderful age. So close to adulthood, yet still in childhood. Feels very Peter Pan to me! We ate delicious vegan food and played a balance game that had us in fits of laughter.

Birthdays have always been so special to me, because not only do you get to celebrate someone’s existence, but it has the magic of a Fresh Start. You know, that feeling that THIS IS IT, this is the time when you will become the person you want to be, or finally learn violin, or stop biting your nails, or start exercising. Am I the only one who feels this spark of magic? I can’t be, because I think the magic of the Fresh Start is what makes so many people set New Years Resolutions, or want to start their diet on a Monday, or when they move apartments or jobs or schools. Birthdays are one of those too. Of course, it’s actually arbitrary and sometimes the Fresh Start is used as an excuse not to begin right now, but when you’ve got the opportunity of a Fresh Start, why not use it?

If you’ve got a birthday or another Fresh Start opportunity coming up, what change will you make?

P.S. Happy birthday, my beautiful sister! Thank you for always being there for me and making me laugh <3 The world is a better place because you are here! xx

100 Push Ups Vlog

Hey guys, I’m super excited to share my ‘Beginning My 100 Push Ups Challenge’ vlog! I’ve been getting told I need to create one of these for a while, so I thought it was about time (even though I’m already at 25 or maybe back down to 22 – but hey, who’s counting?).

In this vlog (my first ever vlog!) I’ve chucked in a bunch of clips from day zero to now, so you can watch my progress from the beginning. Now that I’m vlogging the challenge, I’ll be trying to get more regular footage of my progress. What would you like to see next? I’m thinking of sharing a vlog on my training routine and what that looks like in my day. Thoughts?

Dress for the job you want
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Ever heard that old saying, ‘Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have’?

I love this philosophy. You have to be “on the level” of the things you want, in order for them to happen. I’d take it even take it further: Show up for the life you want, not for the life you have.

It goes so much further than dressing. As entrepreneur Jim Fortin says, If you want to get from A to B, you have to be the person at B.

How does that person dress?

How do they act?

What do they eat for lunch?

What do they do every morning?

How often do they call their mum?

You’ve got to act like your ideal self if you want to BE your ideal self. It will transform you, and one day you will wake up and realise you’re no longer acting.

If it’s too hard to figure out how your ideal self would act, pick a person you aspire to be like, and do some method acting. Be that person in every way.

Sarah Arnold-HallComment