Well this month for Mid Week motivation I've been sharing the critical elements to creating you're own Zone experience.  I do hope the information has been helpful. And I really hope that you've broadened your perspective about The Zone; understanding it's more about the elements than whether or not you play on the field.

Keep practicing and refining your elements and I can assure you, you will have your Zone experience and it that will take you to a whole new level.

Check out today's video for a review of all the critical elements, plus a few extras.

Well the month of September is almost over.  I don't know about you, but to me it seems like this year is flying by.

This month I shared with you the elements necessary to getting in The Zone. In addition it has been my intention to help you understand that getting in The Zone is not just for athletes, though that is often where we hear the experience discussed most often. Getting in The Zone is about having certain elements present in order to create the environment for an experience in The Zone.  It's not just for those playing on the field.

The first element we discussed was the idea of Focus/Concentration.  I discussed the importance of taking an activity you enjoy and engaging in that activity for 15-30 minutes with complete 100% concentration. I realize in a world that is pulling us in so many different directions on a day in and day out basis, sometimes just being able to concentrate is a task by itself.  But at the same time it is a necessary component to having a Zone experience. 

The second element I shared with you was the element of Getting in Synch with Yourself.  I discussed with you the concept of being mentally present is one thing, but taking it to the next level and making sure you're also present to the physical part of the experience is equally important, and absolutely necessary to having a Zone experience.

The third crucial element I shared with you was that of Setting Challenging Goals. This is an important point to understand because just concentrating and being in synch is not enough to have a Zone experience if the activity your enjoying is not challenging.  The goal has to require you to step up to another level. It has to require an increase in your concentration level and being in synch with yourself in order to achieve the goal. You can't just go through the motions or just be present at your usual level. You'll have to take it up a notch. Thus the goal is not too easy, but not overwhelming either -- it is achievable, but will require you to use the first two elements to achieve it.

This week's important element is a bit more challenging. It is often referred to as the Loss of Self-Consciousness.  Meaning you are so concentrated on the activity, so in synch with the physical aspect of the activity that it almost seems effortless and you lose the aspect of judging your behavior or performance.  Instead you are solely focused and aware of the actions. It is as if you are an integral part of the process of this activity.  It is more a feeling than an effort. Different from the previous elements, this is more experiential.

As you can see, each of the elements we have discussed this month actually built upon one another.  In order for you to Get in Synch with yourself you have to have established a good level of Concentration, etc.

For the final week I will discuss some other elements that are often mentioned as part of certain Zone experiences so that you have a fuller understanding. Not all the elements are needed, but I believe, from experience, there are definitely certain elements necessary to even create the environment for a Zone experience.

Until next week. . . Keep practicing!
Remember, if it was easy everyone would be having the experience. Here is another critical element necessary to having that Zone experience.  In addition, I answer a few questions from emails regarding some of the challenges that you may face when reaching for the Zone, the Flow, or that Peak Experience.

 Find out what it takes to have your experience. Check out the video below.

Hope you had a great weekend. 

If you'll remember last week I asked you to make a list of the values that are of significant importance to you.  I gave you a few examples as to how to come up with those core values or Big Rocks. How did that process go for you?  I'm sure you're aware that as we evolve, our Big Rocks change. The important thing is what are your Big Rocks now. Were you able to come up with 7 Big Rocks that fairly and accurately identify what is important to you? If you're still having trouble coming up with 7 Big Rocks, please send me an email so I can assist you. 

This week I want to talk about the importance of each of those Big Rocks.  Take your list of the 7 important Big Rocks and place them in their order of significance, most important to least important. One way of getting clear on how to place your Big Rocks in order is to ask yourself, "If I had to live without one of these values, which one would I give up, or do without". Now I realize that you've narrowed it down to 7 Big Rocks, how can you possibly live without one of the important 7, you're probably asking yourself. I'm going to ask you to push yourself to really get clear on which are the most important because that is the only way to get clear and assure your happiness and success.

The reason I've made such a big deal of putting your 7 Big Rocks in order of significance is because it's the framework from how I am going to ask you to organize and assess your life.  Often times we have goals, many times not even our own, and then really have no process or understanding of how to clarify if we're being productive.  Sure you get a paycheck and hopefully are able to pay your bills on-time and consistently, but are you happy and feeling fulfilled? Whether it's getting in The Zone, having a Peak Experience, or being in The Flow, you're only are able to achieve that experience when you are living consistently with the things that are most important to you.  That's why it's so important that you be clear on what your Big Rocks are and what order they go in -- for you.

Now here's the meat of today's post.  I want you to take each of 7 Big Rocks, core values, and place them in the following sentence "Being successful at (fill in Big Rock, core value) means  . . . . .".  What would success at this value look like to you? When completing the sentence exercise be sure to include what characteristics, feelings, behaviors, and achievements would accompany success at this value.

Whether it's in 2 weeks, 2 years, or much later, when looking back over your life, how will you know if you've been successful at certain core values, Big Rocks, if you don't have a way to define them.  This process serves as a sort of road map to assure your success and accountability.

  Just as a pilot checks the flight plan, and continually checks the course, your Big Rocks are your flight plan to success.

I look forward to sharing with you next week the next step on putting these Big Rocks to work for you.
This week I wanted to address another critical element necessary for getting in The Zone, having a Peak Experience, or being in The Flow.  As I shared with you on Monday, many of us spend more time on auto-pilot than we do being present to the task at hand. If you're serious about making any sort of changes in your life, or are looking to have a re-creative experience, check out today's video blog post.

I really believe many people operate on auto-pilot more often then they even realize.  When you actually ask a person why they do such and such (a certain exercise, or have certain nutritional ideas) I get this looonnggg pause of silence, as though I've asked the question in Latin. Then the person usually goes on to quote some article or person who told them this perspective.  But when I ask them what do they think, they look bewildered.

The above is a great example of the goal of today's blog post -- to help you understand why you do what you do. Too many of us are operating on autopilot; dissatisfied with the results, but not really participating in the creation of the goal or process.

If you're serious about making any sort of transformation in your life, whether it's to lose weight, get out of pain, make more money, save more money, or just have a more satisfying life overall, you have to be clear on what your Big Rocks are.  If I may take it one step further, if you're reaching for a Peak Experience, Being in the Flow or Being in the Zone, you have to first be very clear on what your values are, what drives you, what moves you, what you're really committed to doing. Basically what values are you sincerely motivated by, and are they your values or one's you've just picked up along the way?

Believe it or not, I have found more than one or two people who practice fitness by default. They do it just because someone told them it's important, their partner does it, etc., not because they are sincerely motivated by the idea or the benefits it yields.  The problem with this orientation to health, fitness, and wellness is that it comes from a place outside of you. And trust me when I tell you that when an idea you follow is not yours, it is short-lived and usually has merger if any positive results.

You have to see the value of a certain idea if you're going to commit to doing it and see positive results. As we all know, even when we are doing things we like, it's difficult to commit to doing them day in and day out if we don't feel some sort of passion and commitment to doing them.  Because let's be honest, committing to something is not always convenient. And unless you're passionate about a certain value or idea, you'll just stop doing it when the going gets uncomfortable.

So. . .

Take out a piece of paper and write down a list of 7 things that are important to you. Don't judge them, just write them down. If you find yourself having a little trouble, perhaps think of people you respect and admire and write down characteristics of each of these individuals. Do you notice any items on the list being repeated? That's a clue that those items may be core values that you yourself aspire to have or already contain.  You could also write down things you've heard others say about you, both the positive and the negative. Sometimes other people see us more clearly than we see ourselves.  It may even be helpful to start off by writing what is most important to you in life. After you've written the 7 items are important to you, then ask yourself why is each value important to me, what does having 'that' mean.

This is a good starting point for getting to your core values. It is a way of fleshing out what values you live your life by and why.   And if you feel like sharing, then post your list and your observations on my blog.

Next week I'll share with you what to do with this list of core values and how to use it to your advantage in achieving all of your goals!

Until next week. . . .
I wanted to pick up where I left off last Monday regarding achieving an experience in The Zone. There are several elements that are necessary, or that people all seem to mention, as part of their Zone experience.  Click on the video below and check out the first element necessary to achieve a Zone experience. Be sure to tune in next week as each Wednesday, for the month of September, I will be sharing a crucial element to achieving a Zone experience.

As I finished yet another insane training day on Saturday, I paused for a moment, turning to my training partner and saying, "How lucky are we?" For a full 75 minutes I pretty much lost track of time. I was completely immersed in each and every exercise, every breath, was without judgments, or distractions and felt literally part of every movement I was doing. As difficult and uncomfortable as the workout was it felt as though my body was moving through the movements effortlessly. For years I've taken for granted this very special time that I get to enjoy a few times each week.

To me, this is being in The Zone!

When you are so present to a moment you are in, that you actually lose track of time and literally become part of that moment, feeling and experiencing the smells, tastes, touches from a place that is almost surreal -- that's the zone. Many athletes have described the zone as feeling like everything slows down to slow motion. They state their vision is crystal clear, they are without distractions, and while they are obviously in their body, they feel as though they are watching everything happen from a place beyond themselves, often saying they are doing the activity effortlessly.

The cool thing to me about being in the zone is that you don't have to be a professional athlete or weekend warrior. I have friends that paint, hike in the mountains, surf, friends that build things (wood work), and numerous other activities that are not sports related all comment on being in the zone. What I now realize is that in order to get into the zone in any activity you have to be willing to become completely immersed in the activity you are doing. The activity has to involve you using your body to do the activity and the activity has to require some significant level of concentration (and sometimes skill) in order to perform it.

The interesting thing about reaching the zone is that your body moves effortlessly, you feel as though you can go on forever. Runners often talk about this as a "runner's high". But make no mistake, achieving the zone state can be done while painting, doing cardio, wood work, or any other activities that meet the requirements I listed above.

The result of being in the zone is a completely refreshed sense of well being, clarity and calmness about things that had been previously troubling you, and if you're lucky a kind of giddy euphoria.

Is there anyone else out there that has an experience of being in "the zone" that they'd like to share?  We all get there in different ways, but WOW is the feeling fantastic.

Let me know about your Zone experience.