How to Get Better Results in Almost Anything

goals Jan 12, 2017

Last week, I read an article about an art teacher who decided to do an experiment with his ceramics students.

To one half of the class, he said, “This semester, you only need to turn in one pot. It should be as close to perfect as possible, but I only want to see one.”

To the other half, he said, “I want you to turn in as much pottery as possible. I’ll weigh what you hand in, and if it’s over 50 pounds, you get an A. If it’s over 40 pounds, you get a B. And so on.”

The students worked on their pots, and at the end of the semester, the results were clear: the best pieces came from the group that was graded on quantity. The students who were instructed to make as much as possible ended up producing the highest quality.

I thought, that’s so fitting for this time of year, when we’re focused on our New Year’s Resolutions.

Sometimes, we get really dogmatic about our plans. “I’m going to lose weight.”...

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1 Simple Question that Will Change Your Life

coaching goals mindset Nov 02, 2016

The other day my dog-walker, Pam, showed up at 1 o’clock instead of 3, like she usually does.

“Wow,” I said, “Sadie’ll be so glad to see you! Her walk this morning was pretty short.”

“I should get here early from now on,” Pam said, smiling. “I finally arranged it so that my walks are all in this area. My life is a hundred times easier. And actually, that’s thanks to you. Remember that talk we had, almost a year ago?”

I remembered. One day last year, she’d come in super-late – as in, later than usual – looking really stressed. Her dog-walking business was booming, but it was wearing her out. She had clients all over Manhattan, so every day she had to rush up and down the city to get to the next dog.

“You asked me what my bigger vision was,” she said now, “for what I wanted my business to be. And it was to have all the dogs in one area. That question completely changed my outlook.

...

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Here’s Where to Start on Your Journey to Success

coaching goals mindset Oct 04, 2016

People often tell me they feel overwhelmed when they think about setting a big goal (or doing an outrageous act).

“All I can see is how hard it is.”

“I’m so stressed out by all the things I have to do.”

“I’m exhausted just thinking about it.”

I know, I know. Big goals are scary, and they take a lot of work. (Someone on Pinterest once said, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”) But sometimes that overwhelm can be paralyzing. Every day, it stops someone from achieving a goal that they are capable of.

So how do you move through it?

When I feel that way, I remember my client Anna.

She called me one Sunday night sounding desperate. She was in the process of leaving a career in film to pursue one in hotel business, and she had her first job interview the next day. So, understandably, she felt overwhelmed.

“Why am I even trying?” she worried....

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The Most Outrageous Thing You Could Do Right Now

adventure goals mindset Sep 20, 2016

This summer, I played the role of the women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, when she interviewed Hugh Hefner in the 1970s. While I was studying her for the role, I came across something she said that changed the way I think about my own life and work.

She was promoting her book Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, and Someone asked her about the title. Initially, she joked “It’s too long, don’t you think?”

“Not necessarily,” he said. “I’m just curious what it’s about.”

“Well,” she said, “A movement is really just people moving. In order to create a movement, you have to have people consistently moving toward what you want to achieve.”

She explained that whenever she gave a speech, she worried that the energy would stop when she stepped down from the podium. Her feeling was, “Okay, maybe I inspired people, maybe I’ve informed them about something they didn’t know....

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How to Stop Fear from Stopping You

adventure goals moticise Sep 08, 2016

As soon as I booked the plane ticket, it started.

If you’re going to New Zealand, said my brain, you’ve got to do something exciting. They’re the inventors of crazy adventurous things. They even invented bungee jumping.

Bungee jumping. Oh, boy.

I’d heard you could do it off the Auckland Bridge, which sounded cool, but I wasn’t sold. I was scared.

All during the thousand-hour plane ride, my brain went back and forth. Do it, don’t do it. It’s exciting, it’s scary. You have to, I don’t know if I’m ready.

I got to the hotel at 6:30a.m. As soon as I checked in, the first thing out of my mouth was, “Do you think I can bungee jump off the Auckland Bridge this week?”

“I don’t know,” said the concierge. “People do, but maybe not in winter. I’ll call as soon as they’re open.”

I thanked him and went up to my room. An hour later, he called up. “They go...

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The Secret to Winning Gold

Last week in Rio, the gold medal in the 10,000 meter track event went to Mo Farah, a British super-runner. (He holds about a million world records). But during this one Olympic race, you might’ve thought he’d lost the gold – because he wiped out in the final loop.

But what did he do? He got up and kept running. He wasted no time being upset, or worrying, or beating himself up. He just popped up and ran straight to the finish line. And he won.

It’s so simple, but what an important lesson we can take from that. Falling isn’t the end of the race. It’s not even a guarantee that you won’t win. You can take a major wipeout, and still win an Olympic medal.

Yet how often do we mistake failure for something permanent? We “fall,” or fail, or reach a setback – and we interpret it as final. But it’s not.

Falling is difficult, especially when the stakes are high. When we fall, gremlins like to jump right in with their...

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Close Your Eyes, Face Your Fears

coaching goals mindset Jul 25, 2016

Recently, my family and I went to Coney Island, and, as they often do, my kids taught me a powerful lesson.

My son Ty is almost eight, and he wanted to go on all the wild and crazy rides. Anything he was tall enough for, he’d go on. When we got to the haunted house, no one else wanted to go, but that didn’t stop him. So there I was, watching as he rode on the little cart, all by himself, into the Spook-a-Rama. His hands gripped the handle bar, and as he disappeared from sight, I caught a glimpse of his big blue eyes, wide with fear. I didn’t relax until he came out the other end.

When he did, his face was transformed. Actually, his whole body was. His fists were in the air, and he jumped out of the car and ran over, yelling, “I did it! I got through! Whenever I got scared, I just closed my eyes and faced my fear. That’s how! Just close your eyes!”

It was so cute, and at first, it didn’t strike me as anything profound. But on the way home, I...

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​Are you playing to win – or just playing not to lose?

coaching goals mindset Feb 08, 2016

The other day I went to this fundraiser for a friend of mine, where we played poker with the Poker Divas. This was the first lesson – you have to play to win. If you just play not to lose,  you will almost definitely lose.

I thought, what an applicable lesson to life. It made me think of a time I was at a conference, where they asked you to put a number on a ping pong ball at registration. And then throughout the conference, sporadically, they’d come out with this big box full of ping pong balls, like a lottery, and they’d call a number and give out some pretty significant prizes.

One time when they were calling out numbers, I was out in the hallway, and a guy who worked at the conference asked me, ”How come you’re not in there? They’re giving away prizes.”

I said, “I know, but I never put my number on a ping pong ball, so, I’m not going to win.”

And he said, “Hm, that’s interesting. I wonder where else...

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Why You Should Say “I’m Excited!” When You’re Most Stressed

coaching goals mindset Oct 19, 2015

Last week, I had the honor of co-hosting a fitness talk show with my good friend Eraldo Maglara on WMCN TV. It was such a thrill to be on set, talking about fitness and lifestyle and mindset (all my favorite things!)—but you can bet, I was nervous.

Backstage, after having my make-up and hair done, I had a few minutes before the cameras started rolling. And in those moments of waiting, nervousness crept in: my hands were sweating, my shoulders were tight. I tried to relax, but I only succeeded in getting more and more worked up. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, tried a little meditation—but it didn’t work.

After a minute, I thought, this is stupid. Let me just get up and do something. So I went out into the hallway, and did jumping jacks and boxing moves, trying to disperse all that nervous energy. I made a fist and jumped up, like my team had just scored a goal, like “Yes! I did it!” And I got so excited!

Then, since...

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The Most Important Aspect of Visualization You Probably Forgot

If you know me, you probably know I’m passionate about visualization. I’ve used it for almost every important goal in my life – and, as long as I’ve done it right, it’s always worked.

Which means that I’ve had times it didn’t work—and that I’ve found one crucial aspect that makes all the difference.

Back when I was on soaps, I had an audition for a role in the reprise of Bonanza: The Next Generation. The character sounded perfect for me—except that she was an expert equestrian. I barely qualified as an amateur.

Still, I went to the audition. My plan was to fudge through the part on horseback by riding English style, not Western. Just a few minutes after I mounted the horse, though, it started pouring. The director called me back before I even made it once across the field. It was over so quickly, I was sure I wouldn’t get the part.

But maybe because it was over so quickly, they didn’t have...

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