On Your Mark – Get Ready – Set – Now Go

2016 - 3It’s that time of year again when we look back on the year that was and direct our attention to the year ahead. Instead of making resolutions the way you’ve always done – try something different this year. Write down 3 action words that will help you focus on your goals. Every action you take this year should be a reflection of what you want to accomplish. If they aren’t – then don’t do it. Resolutions won’t work unless you do. Your life is a planned event. Put a plan together and then work your plan.

Once you decide what you want to accomplish, you need to develop the how. Last year I wanted to improve my golf swing so I took some golf lessons and managed to take 15 strokes off my average score. I wanted to spend more time with my family and friends so I took some vacation time – rare for me because I’m a workaholic. The last thing I wanted to accomplish in 2015 was to expand my circle of influence so I spent one hour a day developing and executing a social media strategy on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google +. I accomplished all 3 in 2015 because I had a game plan and stuck to my plan.

My action words for 2016 are Health, Speaking and Finance. What 3 things would you like to accomplish in 2016? What 3 action words will help you stay focused and accomplish those 3 things that are most important to you? What 3 action words 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 your precious time on things that won’t get you closer to accomplishing your goals in 2016 is a total waste of your time. Any time is the right time to start a new beginning. On your mark – get ready – set – now go!!! – Make 2016 your best year yet.

Copyright (c) 2016. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you or someone you know looking for a keynote speaker who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Visit http://briansmithpld.com

If You Aren’t Failing You Aren’t Trying Hard Enough 1

bulls eye 2“A good goal is like a strenuous exercise – it suppose to make you stretch” – Mary Kay. Personal growth happens just outside your comfort zone. When was the last time you tried something you’ve never done before? Are you guilty of letting your fear of failing  hold you back? Setting and achieving your goals doesn’t happen by chance – it should be a planned event. If you are mentally and physically capable of accomplishing what you set out to do – then the only thing stopping you is you. There will be roadblocks, detours, and highways under construction along the way, but if you don’t lose sight of where you want to end up, you’ll get there.

Here are some basic guidelines on goal setting and performance improvement. Remember that a good goal starts with the end in mind. Once you decide what it is you want to accomplish put a step-by-step plan together to get there.  Think of your plan as creating a SMART Target and aim for the bull’s-eye.

S – Specific: Write down what you want to accomplish. Don’t generalize. You’ve got to name it to claim it. If you want to lose weight – how much weight do you want to lose? If you want to save some money – how much money do you want to save? If you want to improve your golf game – how many strokes do you want to shave off your average score?

M – Measurable: You’ve got to be able to measure your progress. Break your goal down into bite size pieces. Anyone can eat an elephant one bite at a time. What results do you want to see in a week, month or year? If you can’t measure it then don’t do it. Because if you can’t measure it you won’t know if you are working the right plan.

A – Attainable: Don’t set yourself up for failure. Don’t commit to completing a task in 20 minutes if you think it might take you 40? If you do that you’re beat before you start. You need to believe that the target can be reached  – that you aren’t just wasting your time.

R – Realistic: To try to lose 20 pounds in a week might not be healthy or realistic. To loose one pound a week may be more inline. It must be doable or you’ll most likely give up trying or not even bother trying at all.

T – Time-Based: An expected date of completion is a great motivator. It helps you create a sense of urgency. Don’t sell yourself short here. Add in some extra time to compensate for those roadblocks, detours, and highways under construction that you may bump into along the way.

Be sure to commit your plan to writing. It will give you something to refer back to as you monitor your progress. Give your written plan the same status that you’d give any contractual agreement. Honor your commitments and never ever give up. “Only those who fail greatly can ever achieve greatly” – Robert Kennedy. If you aren’t failing you aren’t trying hard enough.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a keynote speaker who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Give Brian a call. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find out what Brian can do for you visit http://briansmithpld.com

What Legacy Will You Leave Behind?

Optimistic 3My Mom had a great life – filled with much love – some sorrow – but mostly happiness. She was a devoted mother to her 7 children, 15 grand children and 11 great grand children. But most importantly she was best friend and loving wife to my Dad for over 66 years. She may have been small in stature, but don’t let her size fool you – she was one tough lady. She had to – to keep five boys in line. But she managed to do it in such a way that you always knew she loved you unconditionally, no matter how many times you messed up. And trust me – we messed up on more than a few occasions.

She was a member of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps and an outspoken advocate for the fair treatment of veterans. My Mom and her poppy blanket where a big hit on National TV. She managed to get a front row seat on Remembrance Day in the Nations Capital, where she laid a wreath in my Dad’s honor. A memory our family will cherish forever.

Those who knew my Mom knew she never shied away from giving her opinion on a variety of topics. A trait that she passed on to her children. You always knew where you stood with her. She was a serial volunteer, serving on a number of committees in one capacity or another. Mom was a proud member of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Red Hat Society and a Lady of the Knight. An honor bestowed upon her because my Dad was a Forth Degree Knights of Columbus.

Mom had a great sense of humor and loved to socialize with her many friends. Where ever, and when ever you saw my Mom you knew my Dad wouldn’t be too far behind – they were inseparable. They are now where they were always meant to be – together. “When you look to the heavens perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where are loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy” – author unknown but rather fitting. My parent’s spirit will live on through us and our children’s children. They will always be our guiding light and soft place to fall.

My parents taught us to be respectful towards others. To say please and thank you and pardon me – old fashion values that should never go out of style. They taught us to stand up for ourselves and each other. That family is important. They reminded us that nothing worthwhile comes without a great deal of hard work and sacrifice; and if it was worth doing – it was worth doing well. They reminded us that if you weren’t willing to go all in – then don’t waste your time and energy. What life lessons will you pass on? What legacy will you leave behind?

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a keynote speaking who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? Visit http://briansmithpld.com to find out more.

Everyone You Meet is Somebody’s Somebody

secret 5Every Friday night is date night with my 5-year-old grandchild. It’s our time to hang out and do what ever she wants to do. We usually start out at her favorite eatery and end up at the local toy store. I cherish the time we get to spend together. We where enjoying a fun moment when she playfully grabbed my hat and put it on. “Hey Poppa” she said – “I’m you and you are Mr. No Buddy”. It came as a shock to me because I’d never heard her say that before. I knew she was just repeating what she had heard at school. She didn’t realize how hurtful that saying can be.

Children are sponges. They soak up everything they see and hear. They are a reflection of the environment around them. Adults, especially parents, need to be mindful of the lessons they are teaching their children. Children aren’t born bullies. They learn that from others. Children aren’t born haters. They learn that from others. Children aren’t born racists. They learn that from others. You are the greatest influence in your child’s life. They take their lead from you.

What lessons are you teaching your child? Are you teaching them to be tolerant, compassionate and respectful of others?  Do they know what it means to be a good citizen, to be kind to others and lead by example? Do they know that everyone you meet is somebody’s somebody? You have a very important job to do. I hope you are up for the task. The next generation of parents are counting on you.

Copyright (c) 2015. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be reproduced without permission.  Brian is available for key note speeches or conducting workshops on a variety of soft-skills topics. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com