Accountability Challenge Week 48: Time to Relax

Accountability Challenge Week 48:  Time to Relax

Have you ever heard the expression that we need to slow down to speed up?

Sometimes in the frenzied pursuit of our goals, we get so caught up in the tasks, the duties or the actions that we need to take, that we get overwhelmed.

This often leads to ineffective or inefficient actions, and we actually begin to move further away from our goals, instead of moving closer to them.

If this has ever happened to you, or someone you know, then the advice I have for you this week is to slow down.

In the study of high performance athletics, it has been well documented that one of the core strategies for achieving maximum performance in any sport is for the athlete to be able to create a state of mental relaxation, prior to competition.

This very same principle holds true for you and I in the pursuit of our important goals and dreams.

When we are continually focused on “doing” instead of ‘being” we unknowingly build up a tremendous amount of internal stress and anxiety, both mental and physical. Without being aware of this happening, we take ourselves out of the peak performance state, and instead set ourselves up for failure.

If you follow sports at all, you are probably familiar with the expression “he choked”, or “she choked”. Usually this refers to simple mistakes made by an athlete in the heat of competition. For example a golfer who blows a big lead at the end of a tournament, or misses a crucial, routine putt that he or she would normally make in their sleep.

The reason this happens, is that whether they were consciously aware of it or not, the athlete’s internal level of anxiety, or stress rose to a level that made it impossible for them to perform as they desired.

This happens to each of us all the time.

The solution is so simple that it is often overlooked. The solution is to “relax” in the moment. We need to relax our bodies, and more importantly we need to relax our minds.

The best way to do this is to….”breathe”.. That’s it we need to breathe more, breathe easier, breathe longer, and above all relax.

Slow down just breathe

Performance psychologists, tell us through their research that we can not achieve states of high performance, and hence our goals if we are overly anxious.

Let’s practice putting ourselves in a relaxed state.

Sit with your back straight in a comfortable chair.

  • Take a deep breath and slowly inhale to a count of 4-5 seconds,
  • Release the breath with a slow exhale to a count of 8-10 seconds.
  • Focus your mind on the successful completion of your goal. In other words, focus on what you want, not what you don’t want,
  • Repeat this for a count of 10 breaths in and 10 breaths out.


Repeat this process several times through out your day, particularly if you feel any anxiety, worry, nervousness or fear creep back into your state of mind.

Repeating this simple, but often overlooked technique consistently, until it becomes a new positive habit is one of the best performance enhancing and goal achieving strategies available to us.

Go ahead and do it now.


Expect Success,

Coach Mark,

Thought for the week: ‘Slow down…just breathe”

Coach Mark,

Mark Hudon, CFP™CCS™

Financial Fitness Coach, Certified Cash Flow Specialist™

Creator of The Core Conditioning Program™


Accountability Challenge Week 47: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Accountability Challenge Week 47: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Are you living within your comfort zone?

People who are consistently achieving great things in their lives-specifically the goals and dreams that are important to them seem to be able to step outside the comfort zones that hold everyone else back.

They tend to be working on areas of their lives that are important to them long before and long after anyone else on a daily basis, come rain or shine.

We have all invested years, and years creating and maintaining our comfort zones, and for good reason. They serve us well.

They protect us from the potential pain created by looking foolish, failure, rejection, and other manifestations of fear or anxiety.

However when we hold on to the confines of our comfort zone, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible to strengthen our existing skills and talents, and to build new ones.

If you are serious about achieving the big goals of your life, you are going to have to do things that you haven’t done before. You are going to have to do things to break through your comfort zones.

Yes this can be scary. However to grow in life, we develop the courage to face our fears head on.  We must feel the fear, and then do it anyway.

Yoru comfort zone

My challenge for you for this week is simple and fun.

To help you to step outside your comfort zone this week I want you to commit to do one thing this week that you have never done before. For example:

Take the bus or transit to work.

  1. Take a different route home.
  2. Initiate a conversation with a stranger this week.
  3. Take time to get better acquainted with someone in your office this week. During the conversation tell them something about them that you find interesting or admirable.
  4. Go to the gym and do a completely different workout than you are used to. E.g. Find a pool and go for a swim.

The point of these exercises is that when you take yourself out of your self-imposed comfort zone, you will begin to find the passion, and zest for life that you need to achieve the goals and dreams that you may feel are outside your reach.

Whether you realize it or not, your comfort zone has been robbing you of the passion and joy that makes life so special.

Now go to it!

Expect Success,

Mark, Thought for the week: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

Accountability Challenge Week 46: Play the Confidence Game

Accountability Challenge Week 46: Play the Confidence Game

 Why do some people seem to reach their goals easily, while others struggle?

Often the answer boils down to one thing; confidence, or lack thereof.

We are confident and self-assured life seems easier, the action steps needed to achieve our goals, seem effortless. We have the ability to take more risks and accept the goals that come with successful goal setting. We are in what athletes like to refer to as “the zone”.

However, when we suffer from lack of confidence everything seems more difficult.  We are often unable to motivate ourselves to do what we know how to do and even want to do.

We sabotage even the best intentioned plans to achieve our dreams, and we stop ourselves from moving beyond our current level of success, be it physical, financial, or personal.

The good news is that we all possess the potential to improve our current level of confidence. We possess the ability to improve not just our physical strength and endurance, but more importantly, our emotional strength.

The more confidence we have the better our results are. The less confidence we have, the more we struggle, it’s that simple.

So how do we improve our confidence, (our emotional strength) so we can improve our performance and our results?

One of the best ways to improve our confidence and our results in any area of our lives, to do what we used to do when we were kids: Play a Fun Game:

When we are young all we want to do is play. The favourite question that I get most often from my 9, and 12 year old sons Noah & Jacob is “can you play with me daddy”? or “can we play a game?”

Playing games is fun-life is not supposed to be all serious and stressful-we just tend to make it so.

All you need to play the confidence game is a pen and paper, real or virtual, and a desire to play the game.

Confidence Level

So what are the rules?

Take 10 minutes out of your day to relax. You can do deep breathing exercises, meditation, or just get out of your office and go for a walk around the block. When we are relaxed we are naturally more confident. When we are anxious, and stressed out our confidence wanes.

  • Do Aerobic and anaerobic exercises at least 3 times a week, more often if you really want more confidence.
  • Create a daily Performance Journal. Write between a half and a full page about how your feeling, your successes, your challenges, and what you learned from the exercise of writing.
  • Commit to playing this game every day.
  • Give yourself a reward, or a treat when you play the game. No treat if you don’t play the game.

The more fun you have playing the game, the better you will feel, and the more confidence you will have.

The more confidence you have, the more action you will take, the more action you take, the better the results you will have.

Expect Success,


Thought for the week: Confidence is the key to success.  Coach Mark

Coach Mark,

Mark Hudon, CFP™CCS™

Financial Fitness Coach, Certified Cash Flow Specialist™

Creator of The Core Conditioning Program™


Accountability Challenge Week 45: The Pain & Gain of Goal Setting

Accountability Challenge Week 45: The Pain & Gain of Goal Setting

It’s quite common to hear the expression “no pain no gain” as it relates to the pursuit of our physical fitness goals, and goals in general.

What this typically means is that in order to achieve a challenge objective we first have to go through a certain amount of hardship or discomfort.

However it is a very natural and common tendency of human behaviour to want to avoid pain at all costs.

One of the biggest reasons that more people don’t achieve their goals in life is that they perceive the pain that they would have to go through to achieve the goal to be greater than the gain from the goal.

So the desire for the avoidance of pain quite often leads us to fall short of our goals.

Let’s look at our goal of completing a marathon, in other words we have a desire to run 42.2 km in an organized running race.

Last week we looked at the payoffs or “gains” around our goal. This week let’s look the perceived “pain” that might prevent us from achieving this goal:

• It’s too hard.
• It’s a long way to run, too long.
• I will have to commit a lot of time and effort to achieve this goal.
• It’s not worth all the pain and suffering
• My body might break down or get injured.
• Running is boring and monotonous
• I’m not cut out for running.
• My spouse will be resentful if I spend all this time away from them and my family.

There are many more manifestations of pain real or otherwise that can prevent us from achieving our goals.

The truth is that if we do have a significant goal, be it a health and fitness goal or a business related goal there is going to be some pain and discomfort that we will have to go through to enjoy the “gain”.

Feel sore or feel sorry

Another important truth is that we can never really avoid pain in life, whether it be achieving a goal that is important to us, or just getting on with our daily lives. Pain and gain are as natural and essential as breathing.

The desire to avoid pain, will only serve to hold us back from enjoying the myriad of the gains that life has to offer. This in turn only serves to perpetuate a vicious cycle of more pain in our lives.

So now the old adage becomes…”no pain, no gain, no gain, more pain”.

I dare you to say that five times fast.

Expect Success,

Thought for the week: When you surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and inspire you, anything is possible”. Elle Crane

 Coach Mark,
Mark Hudon, CFP™, CCS™
Financial Fitness Coach, Certified Cash Flow Specialist™
Creator of The Core Conditioning Program™


Accountability Challenge Week 44: What is the Payoff?

Accountability Challenge Week 44: What is the Payoff?

One of the most important things that drive us toward the accomplishment of our goals is the benefits or the payoff that we receive by achieving them.

For instance let’s say your goal is to complete a marathon; to run 42.2 km. There are a number of benefits that come to mind when achieve this goal including:

Your fitness level is dramatically improved.

  • Increased self-esteem & confidence
  • Tremendous sense of accomplishment.
  • You become a stronger person-both physically & mentally.
  • Knowledge that anything is possible for you.
  • Admiration and respect of other people.
  • You can now fit into those sexy pair of jeans you’ve been eyeing.
  • Increase energy, focus, discipline
  • You become a positive role model for other-including friends, family & peers-

With all of these great payoffs you would think that nothing would stand in the way of us reaching every important goal we strive for.

However, I’ve also come to realize in my own journey that we not only enjoy payoffs for reaching our goals, we also enjoy payoffs when we fail to achieve or even set our goals. You might want to read that sentence over again. Yes there are payoffs for not reaching your goals.

Ignoring goals

Let’s list some of the payoffs for not reaching/setting our goals:

  • We get to stay within our comfort zone…After all isn’t it better to be “safe than sorry?”
  • We avoid doing something that we perceive to be very difficult.
  • We don’t stand out from the crowd-we don’t draw any attention to ourselves.
  • We can spend the time that we would have been working onour goals with our families or friends, or sitting on the couch.
  • We avoid taking the risk that we won’t be successful in completing our goal.
  • We don’t have to face rejection.
  • We get to keep our own expectations low.
  • We get to hold on to our rationalizations/excuses: “I could have done it if I wanted to-I just didn’t want to”. “I’ll do it when I have more time”.

 So we get to enjoy payoffs for accomplishing our goals and payoffs for not accomplishing our goals.

The question becomes which payoffs will you choose?

Next week we will look at the “costs” of goal setting.

Expect Success,

Coach Mark,

Thought for the week :“ The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. It lies in having no goal to reach”. Benjamin Mays

Coach Mark,

Mark Hudon, CFP™CCS™

Financial Fitness Coach, Certified Cash Flow Specialist™

Creator of The Core Conditioning Program™