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

Without a Rudder Any Direction Will Do

images (6)It doesn’t matter how much wind you have in your sails, without a rudder, you stand little chance of ending up where you wanted to go. Life is a planned event – wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Hedge your bet for success and make a list of what needs to happen for you to accomplish your goals. We have a tendency sometimes to do what we like to do first – not what needs to be done, so prioritize the items on your list and the expected date of completion for each one to help keep you on course.

Don’t let yourself get discouraged or side tracked, keep your eye on the “prize” and remember why you are doing what you are doing. Think of all the good things that will come your way. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with the number of things you need to do before you arrive at your destination. Be patient, take one step at a time, accomplish one thing at a time and you will eventually realize your dream.

Be Confident: Be confident in your own ability to accomplish what ever you set out to do. Be confident that no matter what roadblocks you come across you will find a way around them or over them.

Be Competent: Know what you know but, more importantly, know what you don’t know. You aren’t born knowing all you need to know. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Asking for help is a sign of strength. No one ever accomplished great things alone.

Use Common Sense: The only thing common about common sense is that it’s not very common. Common sense should be called life sense. It just seems to me that the older we get – the smarter we get. Learn from your mistakes. And trust me, you’re going to make mistakes. Look at mistakes as your opportunity to grow, as your opportunity to try again but this time  more aware of what not to do. Remember that failing and falling down is not the issue. Not getting back up and trying again is.

So adjust your sails, take a look at your map and keep your rudder pointed in the direction of your goals. And most importantly, enjoy the journey. I wish you good sailing. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2013. Brian Smith-PLD. Looking for a speaker, planning a lunch-n-learn or training session? Visit http://briansmithpld.com. Let’s talk.

The “Secret” is a Load of Crap 5

The “Secret” is a load of crap – not my words – but I get Larry Winget’s point. Just because you think about success doesn’t mean you will be successful. Success in any undertaking is hard work. Which is why most people aren’t as successful as they could be because they aren’t willing to put in the effort. Success is a planned event. If you aren’t willing to put in the time than don’t waste your time. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Success and being successful is a planned event.

“A good goal is like a strenuous exercise … it makes you stretch” – Mary Kay Ash

Dreams are goals with timelines. Here are some basic guidelines on setting goals. Remember to always start with the end in mind and walk your plan backwards to the here-and-now. Think of the plan as setting a SMART target.

S – Specific: Write down what you want to achieve. Don’t generalize. As Dr. Phil would say – “You’ve got to name it to claim it”. If you want to lose weight – how much weight? If you want to save money – how much money?

M – Measurable: You’ve got to be able to measure your progress. Break your target down into bite size pieces. What results do you expect to see in a week, month or in a 3-month period? If you don’t measure your progress you’ll never know if your plan is going to get the desired results. Anyone can eat an elephant – one bite at a time.

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 40. Keep in mind that it’s not a sprint – it’s a marathon – be patient.

R – Realistic: To lose 20 pounds in a week might not be healthy or realistic. To lose one pound in a week may be more in line. The task must be do-able. If you think you can – or can’t accomplish the task – you’re right. You need to become your biggest cheer leader. (The little train that could)

T – Time-based: An expected date of completion is a great motivator. It helps us to create a sense of urgency. It gives us a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Keep in mind that there may be some unexpected road blocks along the way and you may have to adjust your time-line to account for those delays and detours.

Be sure to commit your plan to writing. It will give you something to refer back if you find yourself getting sidetracked or lose sight of why you are doing it in the first place. By putting it in writing you’ve given your plan the same status that you’d give any contractual agreement. Think of your written plan as a contract you’ve made with yourself.

“Planning is as natural to the process of success as its absence is to the process of failure.” – Robin Sieger

The “Secret” is – there is no secret. Nothing worthwhile achieving comes by chance. Have a plan and work your plan. Set a SMART target. – Cheers, 🙂

Stop Making Resolutions – Wishing Won’t Make it So 2

It’s that time of year again when we reflect back on the year that was and start looking forward to the year ahead and what we hope it will be. Are you great at making New Year Resolutions but fall terribly short on actually accomplishing them? “Should have – could have” is the theme song of losers. Break out of that mould this year and learn to be a winner. Stop making resolutions! As Pete Drucker once said, “Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Miracles are great but they are so unpredictable. You just never know when one will come along.”

Do you have what it takes to stay the course?

Making a list and setting goals is easy. Putting a plan together to achieve those goals is a step in the right direction. Getting started and working your plan is the hard part. It takes the discipline and stamina of a long-distance runner to hang in there until you reach the finish line. Do you have what it takes to stay the course?

Unfortunately we live in a world of instant gratification 

According to a recent study, only 10% of those who make a list of New Year’s Resolutions actually achieve them. I’m not totally surprised by those findings. We live in a world of instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it right now. Instant credit – video on demand – mail-order diplomas, smart phones and text messaging have conditioned us to expect instant payoffs. What-ever happened to putting together a SMART target and working your plan to accomplish your goal?

We are in danger of raising a generation of under-achievers

We are in danger of raising a generation of under-achievers. Have we made it too easy for our children to acquire those kinds of things that we had to work hard for? It’s natural for parents to want their children to have an easier life – after all – our parents did the same for us. But in our rush to ensure our kids a better life, did we forget to instill in them a good work ethic? Did we forget to teach them that nothing replaces hard work? That most worthwhile things in life don’t come easy, and that you have to apply yourself to get ahead?

Learn to set SMART Targets to accomplish your goals 

Don’t feel disheartened – It’s not too late. All we need to do is teach people how to set SMART targets to achieve their goals. We need to tell them to stop wishing and hoping and start putting a plan together that will get them what they want. This year – set yourself some SMART targets.

S – Specific: Write down what it is you want to achieve. Don’t generalize. You’ve got to name it to claim it. A good goal needs to be specific. A wish is a goal with a plan. I want to lose weight is a wish. I want to lose 20 pounds and here’s how I’m going to do it – is a goal with a plan.

M – Measure: You’ve got to be able to measure your progress. Break it down into small steps. What results do you expect to see in a day, a week, a month? How far along in accomplishing your goal will you be in 6 months time? If you can’t measure it – don’t do it. If you aren’t going to measure how do you know if you have the right plan?

A – Attainable: Don’t set a target that you don’t believe you can meet. You’ve got to believe that the hard work will be worth it. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

R – Realistic: To lose 20 pounds in a week might not be healthy or realistic. To lose one pound per week may be more in line. Don’t expect too much all at once. Be patient. If you are willing to put in the time and hard work you will accomplish your goal. Remember – It’s   a marathon – not a sprint.

T – Time-Based: An expected date of completion is a great motivator. It creates a sense of urgency to help you guard against procrastination.

Stop making New Year’s Resolutions 

So stop making New Years Resolutions and start setting “SMART” targets instead. Believe in yourself. Believe that there is nothing you can’t accomplish once you put your mind to it. Life is a planned event. Have a plan – and work your plan. Make 2012 your break-out year.