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

How Are You Holding Up So Far? 6

images (9) We are at the mid-way point of 2013 so how are you holding up so far? Is your game plan for 2013 coming together? Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel or have you already given up on your new year resolutions? If you’re like most people you may still be searching for the motivation to begin. Not to worry – you still have six months to go.  Anytime is a good time to start a new beginning – so why not start now. It’s not necessarily how you begin the race – it’s how you finish. The person who gets hot at the right time usually ends up winning the cup. Most races are won and lost in the final laps.

If you are up to trying a different approach you might consider what I did this year. I got the idea from Susan Murphy (suzemuse) who I think got the idea from Chris Brogan. Instead of taking the traditional route they suggested that you pick 3 action words to help you stay on point. With nothing to lose and much to gain I picked Ask, Health and Networking. I decided that everything I set out to accomplish  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 helped me prioritize what’s important to me, either in the short or long-term. It helped me stay focused on what matters most. By concentrating my efforts around these 3 action words I’ve ended up accomplishing more.

ASK: I was never big on marketing or self-promoting. I use to sit back and wait to be asked – not now – I ask for what I want. Like the saying goes, if you don’t ask – you won’t get. I have sent out double the proposals to speak at events or deliver seminars then I did in the past and at the half-way point I’m already ahead of last years numbers in confirmed engagements. All indications are that this is going to be an outstanding year.

HEALTH: I am making healthier food choices on my weekly shopping trips. I rarely ate breakfast or lunch – settling on eating when I got home at the end of day. Not now – since January I haven’t missed eating a simple breakfast (usually oatmeal with dried cranberries sprinkled on top) and a sandwich or soup for lunch. I now schedule quiet “me” time to de-stress after a busy week. I’ve taken up baking on the weekends. (Nothing over the top mind you – oatmeal cookies and banana bread – that my son and grandchild Chloe seem to enjoy) I plan on playing more golf this summer and start exercising for at least 15 minutes a day.

NETWORK: I’m volunteering more now. I haven’t said no to any event that I’ve been asked to attend or be part of. I’m reaching out to non-profits and offering my services for free. I was never big on rubbing shoulders at networking events. I’m happy to report I attended my first ever  and survived to tell about it. And I was the Master of Ceremonies at a Fashion Showcase. (A first for me) My Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook “likes” continue to grow – helping me reach a wider audience for my blog posts and books. If someone is kind enough to reach out to me – I reciprocate – expanding my circle of influence.

So I’ve told you how I’m doing – what about you? If you had to score yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being totally satisfied with your progress to date) what score would you give yourself? If you don’t think you warrant a passing grade then it’s time to get re-energized and get back in the game. It’s time to re-invest  in your own future. Remember – It’s not how you start the race – it’s how well you finish. 🙂

Copyright (C) 2013. Brian Smith. Not to be reproduced without permission. Are you looking for a keynote speaker, planning a lunch-n-learn or organizing a seminar? Brian specializes in soft-skills training and leadership development. Visit to discover what he can do for you and your organization.