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 

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.

Heart Trumps Talent Every Time

heart 2The will to win is often more powerful than the talent or skill to win. The difference between those who are successful and those who are not is that successful people never, ever give up. In spite of all the odds against them they persist in following their dream. They understand that every time they failed it moved them one step closer to achieving their goal. They understand that no one achieves anything great by staying where they are. You have to stretch yourself in order to grow. Think it, act it, eventually you’ll become it. No one is born knowing all they need to know to accomplish what they want to accomplish in life. Success and being successful is a learned behaviour. Once you decide on the “what” – the “How” will reveal itself.

Worth Remembering … “The depths and strength of a human character are defined by its moral reserves. People reveal themselves completely only when they are thrown out of customary conditions of life, for only then do they have to fall back on their reserves” – Leon Trotsky 

Attitude isn’t something – attitude is everything! Henry Ford knew all to well that if you think you can – you can. If you think you can’t – you’re right. Attitude is a choice. It’s 100% in your control. Only you get to decide how you want to react to every situation. You can decide to quit or not. It’s your choice. Only you get to decide if you want to put in the effort to achieve your goals or not. It’s your choice. No one can make you give up on your dreams but you. How bad do you want it? What are you willing to do to achieve your goals? There will be sacrifices. What are you willing to give up to move yourself closer to living your dream? Heart – your heart – trumps talent every time. It’s the difference maker.

Worth Remembering … “The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedeness or skill. It will make or break a company … church … a  home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is your attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … We are in charge of our Attitudes.” – Charles Swindell 

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you looking for a keynote speaker or someone to deliver a workshop on a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today. He will work with you one-on-one to insure your event is an overwhelming success. To find out more about Brian and what you can do for you and your organization visit http://briansmithpld.com – or email: brian@briansmithpld.com