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 🙂

Without a Plan – Anywhere You End Up Will Do 4

It’s that time of year again when we sit down and map out where we’ve been – stroke off what we’ve accomplished – and look over our things to-do list and see what still needs to get done. What’s on your list? What are those kinds of things that you’d still like to accomplish over the next 6, 12 or 18 months? It’s time to stop making New Year’s Resolutions and start making plans instead. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so – life is a planned event. Without a plan – anywhere you end up will do.

Worth Remembering “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists of eliminating the non-essentials” – Chinese Proverb 

Goal Setting: Take a look at your list of things that you’d like to accomplish. Think carefully about what items on your list are most important to you. Which one – when accomplished – will bring you closer to where you’d like to end up? Which one would give you the best return on your time investment? Which one would bring you the most joy? Write it down on a piece of paper. Don’t generalize. Be specific. If you want to lose some weight – write down how much weight? If you want to save money – how much money do you want to save? If you want to switch careers – what would you rather be doing? A good goal starts with the end in mind and walks back to the here and now. When you write your goal down also write down a realistic timeline. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If you want to lose 40 pounds by June 1st. Mark June 1st. on your calendar. How many weeks are there between now and then? How many pounds do you need to lose per month? per week? per day? (Anyone can eat an elephant one bite at a time)

Worth Remembering … “Once the what has been decided the how will surely follow” – Author Unknown 

Planning: You’ve most likely heard it a thousand times or more before – “Fail to plan – plan to fail”. But it’s absolutely true! Committing yourself to a goal and then writing a plan to accomplish that goal – is the only way to demonstrate to yourself and others that you are serious about accomplishing what you’ve set out to do. Goals and planning go hand-in-hand. Once you have decided what it is you want to accomplish – all you have to do is write down all those things that need to fall into place to make it happen. If your goal is to lose 40 pounds – what steps do you need to take in order to accomplish that? You’ll need a meal plan, an exercise plan, perhaps you’ll need to join a support group or club. You’ll need to empty out your fridge and cupboards – throwing out all those things that will get in the way of you accomplishing what you’ve set out to do and replacing them with the kinds of foods and snacks that will help you lose the weight.  You need to change the habit to change the result.

Worth Remembering … “Our habits may control our destiny, but we can control our habits. Before we change our habits we must change our thinking” – Author Unknown 

If you aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to accomplish your goal – then just keep doing what you’ve been doing and you’ll continue getting what you’ve got. Motivation is inside out – never outside in. You are the boss of you. You may be a victim of circumstance but where you end up is a choice that only you get to make. Your future is not in your past so stop living there. If you aren’t satisfied with the cards you’ve been dealt – then it’s time to fold your hand and get into a new game. Dreams are merely goals with deadlines. What would you rather be doing then what you are currently doing? What changes will you have to make in order to bring more joy into your life? Decide what it is you want to accomplish and put a plan together to get there. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so – life is a planned event. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2012. Brian Smith. Not to be reproduced or printed in any form without written permission. Excerpts of this article  were taken from Brian’s soon to be published book – “Get-A-Grip – Wishing and Hoping Won’t Make it Happen”

Life Lessons – Slow Down But Hurry Up

Most of us seem to be in such a hurry to get to where we think we need to be – that we miss a great deal along the way. You have 168 hours in the course of a week – no more – or no less. Are you accomplishing all you set out to do? We all face the daily dilemma of having too much to do and not enough time to do it. The problem is not that you have too much to do – the problem is you are trying to do too much. The secret to good time management is good self-management. Time is not spinning out of control – we are out of control. Good self-management is about deciding and choosing how we are going to spend our time and on what. Make sure you are spending it on those things that are most important to you.

Worth Remembering … “Besides the noble are of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists of eliminating the non-essentials” – Chinese Proverb 

If you where to write down the 3 most important things in your life – what would you jot down on your list? Of those 3 things that you’ve written down – how much time out of those 168 hours do you spend on each one? Where did you put yourself on that list? If you aren’t number one – you need to rethink that. I want you to think carefully about what priorities mean to you and about how you decide what is really important. Remember, you will never have enough time to accomplish everything on your list. You will never have enough time in the course of a day, week, month or year to stroke the last item off your list. But you do have the time to do what is important to you first.

Worth Remembering … “Just because something is urgent doesn’t mean it’s important. What we need is the wisdom, courage, and discipline to do the important things first.” – Stephen Covey

We all seek a balance in our lives. Pretend for a moment that you are juggling six rocks: Health, Wealth, Relationships, Volunteerism, Career and Hobby. Each rock is important to our well-being. Some rocks may be more important than others at times but the secret to a balanced life-style is to make sure we spend some of our time nurturing each rock. You can’t spend too much time on one rock at the expense of ignoring another because that may have a negative impact on you in the future. Your challenge is to schedule your time effectively in order to spend some of your time on each rock. You don’t need to spend an equal amount of time on each rock but you do need to spend some time on each every week. (Remember you only have 168 hours so spend it wisely)

Worth Remembering … “The more we believe we can control, the more we will try to control, and the more we will control” – Author Unknown. 

Urgent things like wealth, career and relationships have short-term consequences. They may or may not relate to your long-term goals, but urgent things demand your immediate attention. (Play the “what-if” game and if the consequence of not doing something is too great – then you’ve identified an urgent thing) It’s urgent you have a job so you have enough money coming in to pay the bills, keep food on your table and a roof over your head. However, you can’t ignore an urgent thing at the expense of something that is important like health, volunteerism and hobbies. Good self-management is finding a balance between important and urgent things. Good self-management is making sure we schedule time for both. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2012 Brian Smith – Not to be copied or reproduced without written permission. http://briansmithpld.com

Suck it up Butter Cup and Get Back in the Game

It is what it is – either change it or change the way you’re thinking about it because you’re letting it hold you back. As Larry Winget  would say “Shut up – Stop Whining – And Get a Life“. Stop complaining about it. Feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of energy. Use that energy to put a plan together to get you to where you’d rather be. Your future is not in your past – so don’t live there. Stop playing the victim of circumstance. Reality is – bad things happen to good people – so suck it up butter cup and get back in the game.

Take a moment and try this exercise. Grab a blank sheet of paper and a pen. I want you to think outside the box for a moment. In a perfect world what would you love to do? What would you rather be doing then what you are doing right now? Don’t set your sights too low. I want you to think big and dream bigger. What would be your ideal career? Think about that question for moment and then write it down.  Now list all the things that need to happen for you to land your dream job. What new skills will you need to learn? What clubs, associations or networking groups should you join? Do a “Google” search and find out who is already doing what you want to do. I want you to contact at least five people and interview them to find out how they did it. You don’t have to have all the answers. You just need to know who to go to and ask.

Congratulations. You’ve taken the most important step towards your future. You’ve taken the “First” step. The first step is sometimes the hardest step to take . Nothing happens by chance. You’ve now put a plan together to get you to where you’d rather be. Now go out and start working your plan. Have faith in yourself. You are capable of doing anything that you truly believe you can do. There is nothing getting in your way of doing what you truly want to do – but YOU. All you need to do is learn how to get out of your own way.

I want you to take that “To-Do” list and post it on your fridge, the bathroom mirror, on your desk – post it where you’ll see it everyday. “To-Do” lists are great because they give us a sense of direction. They help us focus on what’s important. They are a constant reminder of where we’ve been – but more importantly – where we are going.  You’ll love the feeling you’ll get when you complete one of the tasks on your list and you get to cross it off .  It will motivate you to keep going.  There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment to spur us on to do more. It’s like licking a 9 volt battery. If you love that feeling – you’ll do it again.

Anytime is a great time to start a new beginning. Anytime is a great time to write that book, record that CD, sign up for those art lessons and paint that landscape. Anytime is a great time to get into business for yourself, to go back to school or become a conisour of fine wines. You are never, ever too old. The brain has the capacity to learn new things – to get rewired – to take you to where you want to go. Anytime is a great time to start a new beginning so you might as well start now. Think BIG – Dream BIGGER – 🙂