SigmaU Blog

Structured Living

There's an expression declaring there's freedom in discipline; and man is that true.

I've had periods in my life where I've lived very structured and disciplined and other times where I've really loosened my grip on healthy habits and routines.

Here's what I know. Ironically, we all think that structure and discipline will make us feel caged; when in fact those very boundaries are the key to making us feel free!

Let me explain.

When you have a structured life, you wake up at the same time each day, make your bed, spend time in gratitude, workout, eat healthy, it takes discipline and grit to remain consistent.

There are days it comes easily and other days it's difficult to drag yourself to get going. When your structured schedule becomes habitual, your habits take over on the difficult days, so you show up regardless. You don't have to think about negotiating because your habits have formed who you are. For example, I changed my mindset around working out. I was the type of person...

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Critical Thinking

If it doesn’t feel right, question it!

One of the things I love about working with high performers is their level of curiosity.  They know where they’re headed, they know what they stand for, and they consistently seek clarity.

One of the ways to differentiate a high performer from the rest of the pack, is their willingness to question the status quo.

The challenge is that we’re brought up in a system that requires us to follow along, often at times to our detriment. We’re taught to raise our hands and ask permission to use the washroom.  We’re taught to refrain from stirring the pot if our beliefs go against the grain.  I love working with high performers who question and think critically!

Here are some of the ways in which the highest performers leverage critical thinking to get ahead.

  1. They get curious

High performers seek clarity on a regular basis, which means, they’re on the look out for what’s normal and then they go...

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3 Signs we’re living below our potential!

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but while I was doing my annual reflection, the first subconscious thought that jolted me while reminiscing on 2022 was… “you lived below your potential”. 

Ouch! That was tough to hear.  I’m doing my best to be open and coachable and listen to the hard truths that are often just what we need to hear.

Don’t get me wrong, there were several positive habits I kept in place from previous years, but I had this nagging feeling that I could have done way more.  This isn’t about perfection or striving for 10 out of 10 and consistently moving the target. This was an honest reflection on what I had done, and I had come up short.

There were some telltale signs that I missed, or let’s face it, ignored so I’m sharing those with you here so you can catch yourself before too much time passes.

  1. Things running too smoothy

You may be thinking “Um Nikki, of course I want life to run...

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Fuel the Right Tank!

Fuel is damn expensive these days and keeping our tanks full is costly, but it's necessary to get around.

Consider for a moment, another type of fuel tank and that's your mind.

Our minds are beautiful, malleable, intricate, and powerful tools we can use to reach enormous heights.

The challenge is, we often shrink back from trying to chase our goals and dreams because we don't control our thinking.

Here's where the power lies! Consider your mind to have two separate fuel tanks side by side to form one large tank that keeps us motoring.

One side, will feed us negative thoughts. We will see the bad in all things. The weather is too cold, the relationship is meh, the business opportunities mediocre. And when we add fuel to this tank it works very efficiently to keep pumping us with evidence to support all the negativity we see.  A full negativity tank will tell us every reason why we are selfish for wanting more, don't have the time or we're unworthy of investing in our personal...

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From Rubble to Rock Solid

When was the last time life blew up in your face? Like really blew up. During that time, did you think “well this is a character-building time in my life” or did you think “holy crap, get me through the next 24hours”?

If you’re anything like me, it’s the latter because it’s hard to see and appreciate the lesson during a storm. It’s often when we’re on the other side of it that we can appreciate that the situation happened to help us, develop us, or steer us on the right path.

I was listening to my coach and mentor today describe a rocky situation in his life. He had just purchased land which was to house his dream home. He sunk most of his savings into it and people told him he even overpaid for it. When he went to start developing the land, he was told that the land was no good for building. He persevered and found a developer willing to literally use dynamite to blow up the existing space so he could build his dream home. ...

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Same Same!

I was on a group coaching call last night and my coach and mentor made a statement that made me stop dead in my tracks.

He said, “Same distractions, same year”! BOOM!

What a concept and so incredibly true. He was walking us through an exercise to evaluate our distractions and things we needed to eliminate to focus on our goals in the coming year.  When he said that, I literally said “WOW” out loud, put down my pen and shook my head.

It got me thinking.  We will continuously have a carbon copy of the year before unless we shake things up! I once heard someone say something to the effect that people who live the same lives over and over each year stop living well before their dead!

As I reflected on this powerful statement, I started substituting distractions for other words.

Same distractions, same year.

Same associations, same year.

Same nutrition plan, same year.

Same workouts, same year.

Same date nights, same year.

Same habits, same year.

I...

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Don’t Do that Shi!

I picked up Gary John Bishop’s book “Stop Doing That Shi*” at the airport before boarding a flight. I hadn’t heard of the book, and it wasn’t on my reading list so I had zero expectations.  What a ride it was! I gobbled up the entire thing cover to cover on my journey and wanted to share some of the insights with you.  As a side, Gary is from Glasgow and since my parents are Glaswegian, I enjoyed it even more as a I read through with a thick Scottish accent! :D

I had always been taught that you become what you think however Gary took it one step further and shared that you become what you say. He said that you create your reality and experiences by the narrative and language, the self-talk behind the experience. Not only that, but we also create our experiences of the future by our self-talk and then act accordingly. Um mind BLOWN - and we’re just cracking this bad boy open!

Regardless of our life experiences, it’s the way we...

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Reignite the fire!

We’re near the end of the year and some of you are STOKED that you’ve reached or surpassed your goals – awesome! For others, you may feel frustrated that you’re off track and feeling in a bit of a funk.  Regardless of where you’re at, I want to encourage you today. You can reignite the fire with a few sparks!

First, revisit your north-star! What is your long-term goal?  Do you take on new things or develop daily habits that support your vision for the future. This also helps you eliminate the crap in your life that distracts you, like cat videos on social. Your north-star will keep petty things in perspective.  You’ll have to let some things go that aren’t worth your emotional, mental, or physical energy. Release and move on, if it’s out of alignment with future you!

Next, you want to revisit why your goal matters so much! What will you feel like once you’ve accomplished your goal? What do you wear? Where do you...

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P.U.S.H

A great coach will PUSH you to your next level of excellence!

Part of why I love the High-Performance Coaching ™ community is that we are taught that we are paid to push our clients. We’re not paid to be friends or counsellors; we’re not equipped to deal with trauma, but we are paid to push the boundaries.

So how does a great coach do that?

P – Paint a Picture

It’s cliché but true, often we cannot see the forest for the trees. A coach provides an objective perspective of reality while encouraging you to paint a picture of the future. Better yet, a great coach pushes you to paint a picture that is so outside of your comfort zone that it’s difficult to believe it can happen. Since we often limit our dreams and goals, an outside coach who believes we can make things happen is critical for thinking bigger!

U – Uncover Strengths

Great coaches will work with you to focus on your strengths.  For years, you were probably told to double...

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Rephrase it to Reclaim it!

When we think of big goals, we’re often excited when we first write them down. Then reality sets in and we start looking at what could go wrong, the skills we don’t have yet or the barriers that will stand in our way.

Often, the obstacles are self-imposed, created by our minds and given strength through our language. When we ask ourselves dis-empowering questions like, “How the heck am I going to reach this goal?”, we’re not setting ourselves up for success.

When we are careful with our language and how we construct questions, miracles happen!

Instead, ask yourself…

  • “What is the best thing that could happen here?”
  • “What would it take to reach this goal in half the time?”
  • “Who can help me achieve my results even faster?”
  • “How would I be thinking differently if the stakes were higher?”

Questions like this challenge the status quo. They make us think in broader and more creative terms, allowing for...

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