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

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 

Stop Doing What Doesn’t Work 14

fortune-telling It’s that time of year again when we sit down and reflect on the year that was and start making plans for the year ahead. Are you great at making New Year Resolutions but somehow manage to fall short of actually accomplishing them? You are not alone. According to a recent study, only 10% of those who make a list of resolutions manage to see it through.

Perhaps it’s time to stop doing what doesn’t work and try something different for 2014. Like most of us I was in that 90% group until I read a blog post by Chris Brogan. Chris suggested that I pick 3 action words that best describes the things that I wanted to accomplish for the coming year. So with nothing to lose and much to gain I picked Ask, Health and Networking. I decided that everything I set out to do in 2013 had to be a reflection of those 3-action words or I wasn’t going to do it. I gotta tell you – it works – it forced me to do things that I normally wouldn’t bother doing. Even though I knew I should.

ASK: I use to sit back and wait to be asked – not now – I ask for what I want. If you don’t ask you don’t get. You have to ask for what you want out of life because chances are no one else is going to offer it to you. You have to ask for that raise, ask for that promotion or ask to go out on a date with that special someone. I sent out more proposals this year then I ever have and they are paying dividends. 

HEALTH: I rarely ate breakfast or lunch. I would go all day without eating until I sat down at the end of my day for dinner. I knew it wasn’t the right way to go about taking care of my health but I never felt like taking the time to cook myself a meal. I now religiously eat breakfast, lunch and dinner – regardless of whether I feel like it or not.

NETWORK: In spite of what some people may think I’m actually a pretty shy guy and rarely go out of my way to meet and greet new people. I’ve gone to more events and meet-ups this year then I ever have. Which in my line of work is a good thing. I realized that the only way to expand my circle of influence was to get actively involved. I attended my first networking event and MC’d a fashion showcase this year.

Thinking of trying something different this year? Think of 3 action words that will help motivate you to accomplish your goals in 2014. Here’s the thing. Every time you go to do something – if it isn’t a reflection of your action words – then you shouldn’t do it. If it’s not going to move you a step closer to achieving your goals – then why bother? My 3 actions words for 2014 are No, Yes and Exercise. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a speaker who can inform as well as entertain on a variety of soft-skills topics? Are you planning a leadership development training session? Give Brian a call. Visit http://briansmithpld.com

Action Speaks Volumes About You 4

 It’s time to stop talking about the life you want and start doing something to make it happen. Life is a planned event – wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Instead of writing out your list of New Year Resolutions try something different this year. Think of 3 action words that will motivate you and help you to move closer to your goals. I got this idea from Susan Murphy (http://www.suzemuse.com) – who got the idea from Chris Brogan (http://www.chrisbrogan.com) – who started using this goal setting technique back in 2006. As Chris explains it “Think of a word that gives you the HUGE picture, not the small picture”.

Everything you set out to do – should be reflected in your 3 words. If it isn’t then that’s a strong indication that you are spending time and energy doing something that won’t help you accomplish your goals. And if it’s not going to move you closer to accomplishing your goals – then you have to ask yourself why are you doing it?

The 3 words I’ve chosen for myself this year are – Ask, Health and Network. I’m going to concentrate on these 3 things to motivate me to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself.

ASK – I’m going to ask more this year. I’m going to ask for more of the things that I want – instead of hanging back hoping someone will offer them to me. I figure if I don’t ask – I won’t get. If I ask for what I want – what’s the worst thing that can happen? Either they say no – and if the answer is no I really haven’t lost anything because you can’t lose something you never had. Or they can say yes. And if they say yes – then mission accomplished.

HEALTH – I haven’t been treating myself as well as I should be. I’m going to take better care of myself. I realize without my health – everything else falls by the wayside. I was never big on eating 3 meals a day – specially breakfast. But everything I read – and everyone I talk to – tell me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So this year – I’m going to eat breakfast. I’ll have a light lunch and a healthy dinner. (I’m going to pay close attention to my portion size and sugar intake – limiting my sugar intake to 15 grams a day) I’m going to exercise more. I’m going to spend 20 minutes a day – stretching – doing push-ups and sit-ups to help strengthen my center core. I’m going to take more “Me” time this year. I’m going to schedule more time off to do things other than work. I’m going to read more, relax more and play more.

NETWORK – Marketing has never been my strong suite. I’ve never been the one to knock on doors to get the word out.  I’m not a joiner. I’ve never been big on joining social clubs or associations. But this year I’m going to expand my circle of influence. I’m going to reach out more – attend social functions – and networking events.  I’m going to give more of myself to those who have a need for my expertise without expecting anything in return. I’m going to pay it forward more.

What 3 words are you going to pick? What 3 words will help motivate you to achieve your goals? Give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. Make this year your best year yet. – Cheers 🙂