Resolutions Don’t Work Unless You Do

2015It’s that time of year again when you look back at the year that was and look ahead to the year that will be. I gave up putting a list of New Year Resolutions together a few years ago after reading a Chris Brogan post. Instead of taking the traditional route Chris suggested that you pick 3 action words to help you stay on point. Every action you take throughout the year should be a reflection of one or more of those 3 words. If they aren’t – then don’t waste your time.

If you’re having trouble accomplishing your goals give this method a try. It worked for me and I’m sure it will work for you. Concentrating on those 3 action words helped me stay focused and I ended up accomplishing more. Accomplishing your goals is a planned event, wishing and hoping won’t make it so. It’s not enough just to say it – you’ve got to live it.

Here are the 3 things I’m going to concentrate on in 2015.

Expand my circle of influence: I love what I get to do for a living. I get to work with people who want to learn how to communicate and interact more effectively: and who want to discover how to get the best out of themselves and others. I’ve grown my training and consulting business mostly by word of mouth. A satisfied client or someone who saw me speak at an event – mentioned me to someone – who mentioned me to someone – who helped grow my circle of influence by hiring me for their event or they passed on my contact information to someone else. If you’re self-employed and not marketing yourself, then chances are you aren’t growing. And if you aren’t growing you won’t be in business very long. One of my goals for 2015 will be to “Expand my circle of influence” by working with a marketing expert to help me reach more perspective clients.

Improve my golf swing: One thing that I was able to do in 2014 was play more golf. I love playing golf. It’s the one thing I like to do to get away from it all. You need to step back once in a while to recharge your batteries. It’s also a great way to network in a social setting and expand your circle of influence. For those who enjoy playing golf you know it can be a humbling experience. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out – it has a way of reminding you that you still have a great deal more to learn. One of my goals for 2015 will be to strengthen my core muscles and take golf lessons to “Improve my golf swing”. I want to be able to hit more consistent shots and lower my score. If you are going to spend your time doing something, you might as well take the time to learn how to do it right.

Spend more time with my family and friends:  I have a son and a 4-year-old grandchild. One of my goals for 2015 will be to manage my time more effectively by blocking off at least one day a week to hang out with my son and grandchild. The older I get the more I realize how important family and friends are. When I first started out it was all about work. My family came second to my career. Work was a priority for me because I wanted to be able to provide for my family. Mission accomplished. It’s now time to shift priorities and “Spend more time with family and friends”. (Now if I could just get my son interested in playing golf that would be the best of both worlds :-))

What 3 things would you like to accomplish in 2015?: What 3 action words would you pick? What 3 action words will help you stay focused and accomplish those things that are most important to you? What 3 action words would you pick that will give you the best return on your time investment. You only have 168 hours in the course of a week – no more or no less. Those who accomplish the things in life that are most important to them, have learned to invest their time wisely. Spending time on things that won’t get you closer to accomplishing your goals is a waste of your time. Put a plan together and then work your plan. Resolutions don’t work unless you do.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you or someone you know looking for a speaker who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today – http://briansmithpld.com 

Your Choices Define Who You Are

ChoicesWorth Remembering … “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound; rebuild those plans and set sail once more toward your goal” – Napoleon Hill. I was not my sons favorite person when his mother and I were going through our divorce. I had a choice to make. The divorce could become adversarial or not. I could be confrontational and drag out the proceedings or I could choose to be open and receptive and negotiate a settlement that we both could live with.

Having a relationship with me son was, and still is, very important to me. My ex-wife will always be my sons mother and my grandchild’s Nanna whether we were married or not. Nothing I do will ever change that. I knew if I wanted a good relationship with my son – I needed to have a good relationship with my ex-wife. So I decided to negotiate a settlement that we both could agree on. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m happy to say that my son and I have a great relationship and I consider my ex-wife one of my closest friends. I know I can turn to her for help when ever I need it and she knows she can count on me to be there for her.

Every decision you make is a matter of choice. You may not like your choices – but it is a choice. You can choose to do nothing and see what happens, or you can choose to do something and hopefully end up with what you want. You always have a choice. Your choices define who you are. I know I can’t control everything that goes on around me. I know most outcomes are out of my hands. But I do know that I can control how I choose to react in any given situation. Think about what it is you want and then choose to act in a way that will help you get there.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be copied without permission. Are you looking for a speaker or workshop facilitator who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Call me – Let’s talk

Change Starts Here

Trust 2The definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting a different result. You can’t argue with Einstein’s logic on that one. Nothing changes until you do. The question you need to ask yourself is; Are you better off where you are – or – will you be better off when you make those changes and end up where you’d rather be? Yes – Change is scary. Most of us would rather turn around and back into the future. Change can make you feel like you’re walking a tightrope without a net. After all, you’re venturing into uncharted waters, not fulling understanding what obstacles lay ahead. That’s totally understandable. We all feel that way when trying to do something for the very first time.

Worth Remembering … “We have to go for what we think we’re fully capable of, not limit ourselves by what we’ve been in the past” – Vivek Paul 

What’s getting in the way of you making a change besides the fear of the unknown? Sit down and put a list together of all those things that are holding you back from doing what you’d rather be doing. Get it out of your head and down on paper. Now take a look at your list. Stroke off  all of those things that you have no control over. Trying to change something that you have no control over is a total waste of time. Your time is better spent changing those things that you can.

Worth Remembering … “Change what you can, influence what you will, and give up on all of those things that you cannot control. ” – Brian Smith 

Change starts here. Here’s where the real work begins. You need to put a plan together to change those things that you acknowledge are within your control. What do you need to do to accomplish each one? Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t do all the easy ones first. It’s OK to do a few easy ones to gain some momentum but I suggest you tackle the one that will give you the greatest return on your investment. Start with the one that will challenge you the most while you’re still motivated to take on all comers. Start with the gorilla in the room. Once you’ve removed your greatest obstacle changing the others will feel like a walk in the park.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith-Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for keynote speaking and delivering workshops on a variety of topics. He specializes in soft-skills training and leadership development. Contact Brian today – He’ll work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. Visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more about Brian and what you can do for you and your organization.

Death is Fatal But Never Final

optimisticMy Dad passed away on November 17 – 2012. Just six days after we celebrated Remembrance Day in his hospital room. My Dad, like so many others of his generation, was a veteran of the Second World War. He taught me the value of hard work and applying yourself. He always made the best with what he had, always striving for something more. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. I know his spirit lives on. He’s watching over me and helping to guide me. I like to think that we’ll meet again some day when my time comes. I don’t know that for certain, no one really does, but I’m hopeful just-the-same.

We all have someone in our lives who have passed away all to soon. I was reminded of that the other day when I got the news that a very close and dear friend of mine has stage two lung cancer. She’s beat cancer twice now – and I’m optimistic that she’ll beat it for a third time. Unfortunately the odds aren’t in her favor. She’s getting on in years now and each fight gets more difficult for her to win. Her Doctor feels that surgery will be too evasive and suggested radiation and chemotherapy. She’s leaning towards taking the treatment, but  hasn’t decided yet what she’s going to do.

She’s earned the right to do what ever she thinks is right for her. I believe we all should have that right. The right to leave on our own terms. I know my Dad left on his. Whatever she decides to do I wanted her to know that I’m thinking of her. That I love her – That she made a difference in my life. Her spirit will live on through me and others she has touched. She will never be forgotten. What kind of legacy will you leave behind? What would you like people to say about you when you pass on? Death is fatal, but never final. Make your life memorable.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Management expert, author and speaker specializing in soft-skills training and leadership development. Looking for a speaker? Planning a lunch-n-learn or seminar? Call me – let’s talk. http://briansmithpld.com