Kick Start Your Heart

The year was 1987. It was a wild tour with Motley Cruë on tour with Guns ‘n Roses. The bass guitar player for Motley Cruë, Nikki Sixx, had a very long history of trouble with the drug heroin. Nikki Sixx was partying with Slash from Guns ‘n Roses, I believe; he had way too much and overdosed. He was considered dead for a full two minutes, until an ambulance crew arrived. The leader of that medic team that night was a big Motley Cruë Fan. He is believed to have said one of his music heroes was not going to die on his shift.

I do not know the entire story because I was not there; I only read of it on news web sites, and in accounts by Nikki Sixx. What I can tell you is that most people who come back from an experience like that never forget it. Nikki Sixx wrote a song about it.

The band, Motley Cruë, is one of my favorites; it has always been. I use stories like this in my work and this is one of the things that makes the way I work with people in coaching stand out. I know many coaches, speakers, and motivators who would never have researched a story like this to use for their programs. Nikki is not exactly the kind of person who would speak at a local church. In fact, my personal experience growing up in church was always being pointed away from stories like this.

Nikki stands out to me because not only did his best years happen after this event, but some of his best happened after he cleaned up from the life of heavy drugs. As I have said his music will not make the church scenes. But his motivational story is one that impacts people – just like his life and music had impacted a paramedic enough that he vowed as a fan to kick-start Nikki’s heart because he refused to see him die.

Now let me tell you the story of another person I know personally who had a near-death experience like Nikki Sixx. Tim Newland is a friend of mine from the Dallas area. He is the current president of the Passion Riders chapter of the Christian Motorcyclist Association, in Carrollton, TX. Tim has had heart problems and has had a device implanted to help keep his heart working properly. A few years ago, before I met Tim, he was out on a motorcycle ride with some friends. Tim fell down in the parking lot where they were meeting and those who were with him claim he died that day. The riders took their own form of “we are not letting him die on our watch.” They all put their hands on Tim and prayed over him. He came back and now Tim, just like Nikki, lives a life that has much more passion than before.

So what is your passion in life? I hope for you that it will not take lying on the ground with friends praying over you, or an ambulance crew giving you two shots of adrenaline to make you come to life with passion. In this week where we are talking about standing out from the crowd to succeed, both Nikki Sixx and Tim Newland are people who stand out. So is it time to kick-start your heart?

I’m Tim Gillette the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Kick-start your heart with passion to be the RockStar in your world.


3 Keys to Define Habits

I am sitting on my patio today overlooking the lake at our home and the fact that I’m sitting in 60 plus degrees in the winter is awesome. In this part of Texas in the winter we never know what our weather is going to be like so it’s hard to plan for it. In my life I have several weekly things I do. One is taking a Friday night dinner ride with my fellow Harley riders. This time of year I miss some of the rides due to cold temperatures and the distance to ride back home in the cold after dark.

It got me to think this week about the habits I keep. The birds are on the lake and they seem to have their own world each day no matter what the temperature is; they do what they do by instinct. But we need to form habits that will carry us through whatever happens. So what are the things that we should keep in mind when forming the habits that will bring us success? I thought of three of them and want to share them today.

1.  Know the success you’re aiming for. We plan out a habit to bring success in our lives. So if you know what success you want, you know where you are and where you are going. You have to know the good that is coming from these changes. We all look at the goals we want to achieve but forget about the great things in our lives that the growth process brings on the way to the goals. So you need to know the success and the good that comes from changing your habits.

2.  Know the Struggle. In life when you make a change that is for the better it will often be a struggle. I once heard the description that when you set a goal you automatically set in front of yourself an obstacle as well. It’s not part of what we were thinking about when we set the goal but it will come. We never know what obstacles we’ll find, but we know they are coming. The key is to be prepared for a struggle and never take your eyes off the goal by putting them on the obstacle because that will divert you away.

3.  Do this for yourself. No matter what you are trying to change in your life it will not work until you do it for yourself. Too many people in life start to work on the problems, work on changing habits but do it for the wrong reasons. If you set your goals this year because someone else wants you to or if you are changing your habits to make someone else happy it will eventually fail. We have to make changes in our lives for ourselves. When you make those changes in life for yourself because you want to improve, it will bring you joy going through the challenges and struggles to reach a goal that is your own.

I hope this week has given you hope. Creating new habits and changing old ones to make your life better is another step on the journey to your success in 2012.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Forming good habits in life will make you the RockStar in your world.

Habits and the Mind

Good Thursday morning. How are your habits going so far? In this week’s theme of habits, one of the key things is use of our minds to change our habits. I have told my story many times about how I decided to change my mind. I wanted to get past something so I used the power of the mind to change myself. Many times I have talked about the beautiful mind, how I use my mind to control things instead of taking a medication.

So how do we use our minds to change our habits? Well before we can use the mind, first we must remove all the temptations. Once you have the temptations to go back on the new habit removed, you get your mind ready to handle the tough stuff.

There are two ideas we use to get the mind ready and they both are needed to get your mind to establish your new habits.

1.  Meditation. You have to use the mind to focus on what it is you are going to change. If you are trying to remove a bad habit, picture yourself in your mind about to partake in the bad habit, then in your mind stop yourself; tell yourself you are not going to do that. For example, if you’re trying to quit smoking, close your eyes and see yourself about to light the cigarette. Picture yourself stopping and telling yourself that you don’t smoke.  If you are trying form a good habit then you must close your eyes and picture yourself doing that very habit. Let’s say you want to start getting up 45 minutes earlier each morning so you can read the newspaper before heading to the office. Then each night before your go to bed close your eyes and picture yourself waking up with the alarm. Then see yourself being tempted to stay in bed but getting up anyway. This is the way to visualize what you want and picturing the outcome you want.

2.  Affirmations. This is the other side of the coin. Now you have to focus on your positive changes. Affirmations are phrases that you use to give your mind a positive direction. Imagine if you were to take the exercise above, trying to form a habit of waking up earlier each day. You would picture it as mentioned above, but along with dealing with the temptation to snuggle back under the covers instead of waking with the alarm, you also include a saying like “I always wake up at 7 am to greet my day. I never need an alarm clock since I love mornings so much. I’m looking forward to what I will do with my extra time.” Habits are the things that change us, but you must condition your mind to get you into the habits that will bring you the success that you want in your life.

Take these ideas and take control of your mind. When people ask me how I do what I do, one of the key things I tell them is I take control of my mind. If I can tell my mind to do something, the rest is a downhill venture.  I hope this week not only helps you to get rid of those bad habits but take control of your mind and create some good habits that bring you success in 2012.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. Start living your dream, love what you do and those you share life with. Create habits that will make you the RockStar in your world.

Habits and Failure

When it comes to habits and the word “failure,” most people tend to think of bad habits.  So today we are going to focus on getting rid of habits that are pulling us away from success.

One of the things I hear most from people as they are thinking of changes to make is stopping things that were keeping them in a pattern of failure. They make resolutions to stop eating fried foods, to give up drinking, to quit smoking. These are habits many people try to get rid of; they’re trying to break the hold those habits have on their lives and they cannot picture these habits as part of a successful life.

In my own life I am making changes to live a healthier lifestyle, and the biggest bad habit I have is eating fast food. I have lived many years where my budget was limited and had to find a good deal in order to eat. The dollar menu at McDonald’s was good to keep me fed, but it was not the best thing for me.

Another bad habit I have is drinking energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster. I loved the taste of them, and they usually skyrocket my energy level, but in most cases it is too much. The truth is they are harmful to drink at the rate I was drinking them. So it has become a bad habit that I’m trying to remove from my life.

I want to show you a few steps to keep you on track and help avoid failure as you remove bad habits.

1.  Form a reminder or something other trigger for if you are falling back into your habits. If you are trying to remove the energy drinks from your diet as I am, well removing them from the house is the first thing. But look at what other drinks lead up to them. I do drink many forms of caffeine and have had to limit myself to one per day. So I have set up a reminder to drink water more during the day. I replaced the shelf of energy drinks in my fridge with bottled water. That way when I grab a drink from the drink shelf it reminds me to choose something that is better for me.

2.  Always replace what you are giving up with something else. This is a big one I learned when starting my coaching practice. I learned about space and energy in life. If you remove one thing something will jump in to fill its place and if you’re not careful, it can be another bad habit. In my life I have a tough time with this, as I want to remove things that are not needed to create more space. But I’ve learned that if I leave a void, something else will fill it. So replacing the bad habit with a good one is always a way to help get rid of those bad habits.

3.  Don’t be afraid to fail. This is key. So many people just quit on what they worked hard on for so much time because of one minor foul up. So you failed; get up and start over. Think of how many times successful people fail. They get up one more time and try again. If you fell back into that bad habit, well, get back up and start over. This happens a lot with people who are trying to give up a habit completely – like drinking alcohol or smoking. They count the number of days they’ve gone without a drink or without a cigarette and if they slip, they simply have to start over. While I do drink some, and we have many parties here at our home that include alcoholic drinks, many people aren’t able to handle alcohol; they shouldn’t have it in their lives at all because it’s just not healthy for them. In my case those energy drinks are just not healthy for my life. If you fall off the wagon when one friend offers you a small drink or a cigarette, get up and start again; there is nothing wrong with failure if you learn from it. So set your goals high and take some chances to change your bad habits.

2012 is just starting; yes you are going to have a setback or failure this year. One or two of them will happen. You must learn to get back up and press on towards those goals you have set for yourself this year. Getting rid of the bad habits and replacing them with better ones will change your world one day at a time.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do, and those you share life with. Exchange your bad habits for good ones and become the RockStar in your world.

Keep Yourself on Track with Habits

Good Tuesday morning. We are now 17 days into the month of January as well as into the year. In yesterday’s post we talked about the idea of taking 28 days to make something a true habit. They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit and make a change in our lives but we talked about how giving yourself a full 28 days will make sure it’s really part of your life. That can make the difference in your success.  I hope that habits and change are starting in your life in 2012.

Yesterday as I was putting up that post, I personally was dealing with some of the issues that I’m facing in this new year in making changes in my life and taking it step by step. In December, when planning my year, I took on the idea of making my life healthier. One of the changes I planned to make was to exercise more, to keep my heart and my life healthy. Right off I had to deal with the fact that even taking small steps of walking I ended up with cramps the following day due to not stretching enough and not taking enough extra water in my system.

When people face challenges like this, they can tend to give up hope in the changes that they are trying to make. Yesterday when I woke up, I wanted to just lie in bed, not do anything. With the many stresses and other things I am facing right now, I am also looking at getting regular massages to work out the stress out as well as deal with those pains and rough times from doing more exercise.

But then I had a reminder when looking at these changes. A little more than a year ago my father was feeling very stressed so he went to get a massage and that is where he left this world. Putting the two of these things together today I wanted to bring out some points to help you in the process of making the changes, making new habits this year to change your life for the better.

  1. Set some reminders. In life we always are tempted to fall back into our old ways. The soreness I’m experiencing in my new exercise program is a reminder from my body that I’m not as young as I used to be. To counter that I need to remind myself that what I’m doing by exercising more and stretching is part of what I’m doing to keep me healthy. The discomfort in my body often makes me want to quit my program so I set a system of reminders that tells me to keep on track when I want to just give up because the road is not easy. The new habits will be formed but until they are life will be a bit uncomfortable.

2.  Stay consistent with your plan. This is key to developing a real habit. You can’t do it only when you feel like it. As I was thinking about the fact that I need a massage for those sore muscles that need to get some stress out of them, I was reminded of the fact that my Dad didn’t lose his life on that massage table because of the massage itself. It was because he was not taking his medication for his heart – something he should have been doing consistently, every day. We must stay consistent with training or whatever it is that is needed to make any changes and habits that will bring success in our lives.

3.  Accountability. As coaches we always bring this one up. If you have a trainer or friend to work out with, you always have someone to hold you to your goals. Or maybe you have someone to keep you remembering the routine things that need to become regular habits, like the doctor who told my dad he needed to take that medication to keep his heart in shape. We all have someone, from our doctor, to our kids, parents, or close friends, who wants to see us succeed at the goals we want to accomplish. We set habits we want to develop and then have that loving family member or friend or coach to keep us on track. If you are like me and working to make your life healthy in 2012, I recommend a health coach. This is someone who will keep you accountable to the fitness and health goals you want to achieve. In coaching, it is you who sets that plan; your agenda is what life coaches are all about.

So take these three ideas to make your habits stick in 2012. After all, the year is just starting; if you have not gotten started, now is the time. Don’t wait until this year is over then say, “I wish I would have…” You can start over at any time; that is the great thing about a new day or new week. You decide to make that change.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach; it’s time to live your dream to love what you do and those you share life with. Form habits that help you become the RockStar in your world.

Not Offensive

Did you ever make a compliment to someone and they gave you that strange look? You ask yourself why, and then find out later that they were offended. How were you supposed to know? Over the past 10 years I have noticed more and more that people get offended at the smallest things. In our world where we have more people, with so many living close to each other, we are going to push buttons of those that we get close to.
A few years ago I was living alone and was not able to travel each year at the holidays. I would take the Christmas day shifts at Starbucks since I didn’t have much else to do. After finishing my shift I spent the afternoon with an older Jewish woman who did not celebrate Christmas. She gave me a great idea of how she handled it when people said “Merry Christmas” to her. She would kindly say, “Thank you, and Happy Hanukkah to you.” She wasn’t trying to be smart about it; she was trying to politely tell others that their greeting was offensive, but she understood they didn’t know. A way to go the extra mile in life is in trying not to offend others but also in trying to politely say “I was offended” if something happens.
I have gotten to the place that I try to let nothing offend me. This is a tough way to go the extra mile, but like my friend above I have learned that many people are not going to fit into my world and I’ll not fit in theirs either. This is a tough place to get at; not everyone can get this way as easily as I did. Going the extra mile means not letting the small things get to you, and then remembering that it’s all small stuff.
Did you ever notice that when you meet someone who has a past addiction problem with alcohol or drugs, we put a mental flag up in our mind to refrain from talking about that part of our lives in front of them. For example, I make a point of not talking about going out to have drinks with friends I know do not drink. This is a form of going the extra mile to help them not fall back into something that has done harm in their lives. We go out of our way to help, making different choices in front of them.
In life we have many personal choices we have to make. Going out of your way to make these small choices is a form of going the extra mile in life to make another’s life better. So if you don’t want to be offended in life, you can try to get to the point that nothing offends you like I have; or you could go the extra mile to not offend other people. Remember the karma of life: you get what you give. Be a giving person and go the extra miles trying not to offend.
This is one area in life most would never think of as going the extra mile. But it’s the one area that most of us actually can immediately put to practice the idea of going the extra mile. So where in your life have you made changes going the extra mile to make someone else’s life better?
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Go the extra mile and you will become the RockStar in your world.

Best of 2011

Wow! The year is over! As I’ve said many times this year, I hope we have been able to help you have reach your goals. If you have not, then it’s time to reset them for next year, learn from what you did and did not get done. Yes you have to take a look and say, “I failed. How can I use this to succeed next year?”

Today is the final day of the year and one last post for this blog. I wanted to do a “Best Of” for this year, and thank those who read them each day, making these posts so well known. Congratulations to those who found something to push them through to new heights after reading one of this year’s blogs and reached for goals that far exceeded anything they thought they could reach before.

With that I’m going to head into this year’s 10 best posts. These aren’t just those voted best but also some I chose myself for special reasons. Here they are:

  • Hope and Change. The Dude. This was not only part of one of my favorite weeks, but it started the use of weekly themes. This was the post that came out about how my dad, in his 70 years, said he only had two bad days. When we looked back over his life and the many trials that he had faced, he never considered any of them a “bad day.” He is and always will be a hero to me, not just because he was my dad, but because of an old concept that is not seen much anymore: my mom built him up to me. She made him a hero in my life. It was one year ago today we lost him, and I’m sure he is still doing the regular maintenance on all the vehicles in heaven. He is the original Dude to me.
  • Have You Seen My Farm? This was one of my favorites to do. I have loved the fact that we can learn so much about ourselves by how we play a game. It also came about from the story of the grandma who told her granddaughter she had left her farm then in the dying breath tells her the riches and farm are on facebook.
  • Entrepreneurs I Want to Meet. This was a week-long theme I did a few months back, talking about how to learn from those who have become our leaders. I did the entire week on people like Jim Koch, Howard Shultz, John Schattner, various social media leaders, and Steve Jobs. It was a few months after this that we lost Steve Jobs.
  • Starting Over? Dream Big. In April we did a theme week of starting over. I liked the Dream Big concept. With many people I help start over, the main thing I focus on is thinking bigger this time.
  • Rock ‘n Roll Lessons Teamwork. Another one from April was a week on lessons learned from Rock and Roll. One of them was about team work and how some bands have learned to work together, how they were better as a team. Others are still working on that. But I’m glad to hear that Van Halen will be touring with David Lee Roth again next year.
  • Road Trip: Detours Delays and Treasures. I wrote this blog while sitting at a Starbucks in Joliet, Illinois. I had just gotten through a 10-mile back up and was about to head south on Route 66 for days.
  • Stop Hanging On and Take That Jump. This is one of our best guest posts. Janet Tingwald, another great coach I talk to, told her story of the time that she learned to take a jump and have some faith. We posted it in the middle of our Faith and Fear week.
  • Dude Rules. In February, someone asked me what rules I live by and I wrote a post to tell how I live by my own rules in life. I focused on the fact that they are my rules and I should not hold you to my standards.
  • Random Saturday Challenges. I was able to be at the start of the Hoka Hey motorcycle challenge; to see the spirit that was there among those that were taking off was great; to see the challenges that people faced as I followed the stories of it on their blog inspired me.
  • Hire a Life Coach. Last month we did a weeklong theme on the reasons you would hire a life coach. The week covered five reasons and the first day had such an interest that it became one of the most-read posts of the year.

With that I want to say a big thank you for the many people who read. At the time of my writing this we are just short of the goal I had for total hits for the year. I have put together just over 250 blog posts as of today, most of them this year. It looks like we will finish out the year with just under 7500 readers. Thanks to all of you. I hope that you were able to make changes in your life that brought you results that mattered.

In 2012 I have many goals and places that I will be taking my blog. Tomorrow I will have a short post with my announcements for 2012. It’s time to be the RockStar in your world in 2012. Rock on.

Effective Planning and Thinking Big

Good Monday morning. It’s the last week of the last month of the year. 2011 is almost over. Are you ready for 2012? I was watching a movie this last week, it was made in 2010, about the idea of companies downsizing and how three executives took losing a six-figure income with no prospects for something new. As I was watching it, I was thinking of this week’s topic about planning.

In the early ‘90s, I read the book, The Magic of Thinking Big. While I could pull many lessons in life just from that book, the biggest I learned was to plan ahead. Life is too short to spend stressing over things that you did not plan for. When you look at the past year, how many things hit you by surprise? What would happen if you started to think bigger in your planning?

When I moved to Dallas in the late ‘90s, I lived in the Plano-Frisco area. In the past 12 years of living here that area of the Dallas metroplex has grown a lot. One thing I have noticed is how they have built roads and planned for future traffic. They seemed to have extra space planned for wider streets to come through. Now you look at the way the area is growing and see they have space to expand.

When I mention all of this, I think back to the town I come from in Pennsylvania. We had an intersection that had two historical buildings on either side of the road. They could not be torn down to expand the road. That means as the area grew they could not grow the roads to handle the traffic. Those buildings would always hold back the growth of the area.

Also in the Plano-Frisco area, many of the builders are putting up what we now call “MacMansions.” I knew a friend who, when he was building his home, planned it to be ready to add new electric capacity later on. As part of this “bigger thinking” he also bought a larger lot so he would be able to put in a pool later. This is about planning for growth, but living in the real world while you are in the process of getting there.

Think about what you want to do with your life over the next year, the next three years, the next five years. Maybe you have a bigger plan, bigger than you see yourself now. Learn to live within your means now, but continue to plan so you are not stressing out over it as things grow and change.

So back to the movie I was watching this past week about how three men handled being downsized. The youngest man lost everything he had built in his 10-year career with the company. The second man was struggling to find the money to put his daughter in college. He was older in life, further in his career, and could not get another job. He ended up killing himself. The third man had enough to retire and walk way but he would have to cut back in his life in order to do it.

Life is not always easy, the movie made me feel for each of these men. In life, helping people start over is the gift I have been given. Helping people to get started again and build life with some forward thinking, big planning, is my purpose. And through planning, you can prepare yourself to be ready for these things next time trouble comes along.

This week I will have a few other topics around planning, but for today I want you to think about planning big. You can give yourself the space to grow by thinking bigger. So take this week and think bigger than just getting through 2012; think a few years down the road. Start your planning to be able to handle the hurdles. Don’t use up all of your strengths to live way ahead of yourself. It’s a great thing in life to have the space to breathe when you hit the hard times. So make 2012 a great year, and start planning past it.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Start planning and think bigger than you are now to become a RockStar in your world.

Your Belief, Your Life.

Good Friday morning to you as we wrap up this week on Belief. In our world many people have many different beliefs. This time of year it is evident with the many holidays that are celebrated. So many different religions celebrate different things.

There are great things we talked about in our beliefs this week. We need to know what we believe. We need to know who we should believe and trust in life. We need to believe we can change. We need to understand that we could believe the wrong thing, that the mind can be fooled into believing the wrong thing.

As we close the week out, I want to thank you all for reading my blog. I want to pass along my wishes to all of you for a blessed holiday. I am about to share this weekend with my family and friends and I hope you are able to spend this time with your family, whether Christmas is the holiday that you celebrate or you follow other beliefs.

Next week we will finish out 2011 with a week on effective planning called “Planning Ourselves to a Successful 2012.” While most people search for different things, I search for ways to help those who want to have a great life. So start your great life out with a great weekend and we shall see you on Monday.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Know what you believe and become the RockStar in your world.

Do You Believe You Can Change?

While writing this post this afternoon, I started over because of something that came up on my Facebook page. I love how some good things can go viral; all you have to do is hit the share button and put it on your wall. The picture today was what I viewed and shared. Consider how hard it is to change yourself, then you will understand how small a chance you have of changing others.

Today I was thinking of this and how life happens sometime. I think back to when I was a young man, how I was trying to change other people. Then I look at the young kids, or young adults today who tell us how we should change our ways to make the world a better place. It reminds me of the poster my parents showed me that said: “Quick! Move out on your own while you still know it all.”

As I am older now and have adult children of my own, I remember how it was so easy to have this great vision of the world but with no experience to back it up. I recall one time telling my dad how things couldn’t work a certain way and he should change; Dad got very angry with me. To him I was telling him the way that he fed me and kept a roof over my head all those years was wrong. Very few times in life did I push him that far, but when I did, he had a great way of pushing back usually followed by the something about how stupid I was. The last time I made a comment to him like that, I was in my mid 30s. I was just starting to get the picture I now have; I was just beginning to realize trying to change him was not my job.

I found many of the times I was trying to change a boss, a partner, my brothers, that I should have learned to change myself instead, if I really believed in change, I would have gone out and lived it on my own first. It is hard to change yourself, yet so many of us try to change others having no belief that we can change ourselves.

I recall working with counselors, and watching other coaches try to work with couples. You can always tell where the problem is when two people are not getting along. My favorite to see is each of them telling you how the other is wrong and needs to change. Truth is, we can only change ourselves, and if each would stop and go to their corners and change themselves, letting the other person work on their own problems, I know we would see more results come and less fighting.

As I mentioned last week we only get one life so why waste it trying to change what you can’t? It’s time to take your own life into your hands, to see what you can change and work on yourself. When you change you, then you will see an awesome world open up in front of you. Do you believe in change? Then start with changing you.

I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Believe you can change you, start there and become a RockStar in your world.