On Your Mark – Get Ready – Set – Now Go

2016 - 3It’s that time of year again when we look back on the year that was and direct our attention to the year ahead. Instead of making resolutions the way you’ve always done – try something different this year. Write down 3 action words that will help you focus on your goals. Every action you take this year should be a reflection of what you want to accomplish. If they aren’t – then don’t do it. Resolutions won’t work unless you do. Your life is a planned event. Put a plan together and then work your plan.

Once you decide what you want to accomplish, you need to develop the how. Last year I wanted to improve my golf swing so I took some golf lessons and managed to take 15 strokes off my average score. I wanted to spend more time with my family and friends so I took some vacation time – rare for me because I’m a workaholic. The last thing I wanted to accomplish in 2015 was to expand my circle of influence so I spent one hour a day developing and executing a social media strategy on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google +. I accomplished all 3 in 2015 because I had a game plan and stuck to my plan.

My action words for 2016 are Health, Speaking and Finance. What 3 things would you like to accomplish in 2016? What 3 action words will help you stay focused and accomplish those 3 things that are most important to you? What 3 action words 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 your precious time on things that won’t get you closer to accomplishing your goals in 2016 is a total waste of your time. Any time is the right time to start a new beginning. On your mark – get ready – set – now go!!! – Make 2016 your best year yet.

Copyright (c) 2016. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Are you or someone you know looking for a keynote speaker who can entertain and inform on a variety of soft-skills topics? 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 

Good Enough is Good Enough – Perfection is Highly Overrated 4

Perfection 2Twenty percent of your effort will get you Eighty Percent of your results. I like those odds. If it was good enough for Pareto it’s good enough for me. Perfection is highly overrated. Why strive for perfection when good enough – is usually good enough? Waiting until you’ve written the perfect plan shouldn’t get in the way of you actually accomplishing something. Paralysis by analysis. You can over think things. One thing you have to know for certain is that nothing is perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect plan. Unless you are clairvoyant and can look into the future, there are somethings that will happen that you just can’t predict. And if you can’t predict them that means your plan has to be flexible enough to be able to deal with those unforseen events that may happen along the way.

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it”. I think Salvador Dali was on to something. Instead of striving for perfection why not just settle for progress. Why not just settle for good enough. You may not be on time because you had to take the odd detour to end up at your final destination – but you will be on target. And when all is said and done – isn’t that what you wanted to accomplish in the first place? So lighten up. Give yourself a break. Have a plan – and work your plan – and eventually you’ll end up just where you wanted to be. And most importantly, remember to stress less and enjoy the journey.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith-PLD – Reformed Control Freak. Looking for a speaker who can present an entertaining and informative session of a variety of soft-skills topics? Contact Brian today. You won’t be disappointed http://briansmithpld.com

Selfless or Selfish – Depends on Your Point of View

7-ways-your-wasting-timeOne of my three “Action” words for this year is “No”. If  I’m going to accomplish what I want to accomplish then I need to say “No” to those things that will distract me and pull me away from doing what I need to do, to get to where I want to go. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m all in favor of paying it forward – however, I think there needs to be limits to the number of times I say yes. How about you? Are you accomplishing all that you want to accomplish – specially those things that are most important to you – or – are you saying no to yourself so you can say yes to someone else?

Worth Remembering … “How you manage your time is how you manage your life” 

You have 168 hours in the course of a week. No more, or no less. How well are you managing your 168? Keep track of where your time goes over a 2 week period and then analyze the results. Are you spending it wisely? Who is robbing you of your time? Are you wasting it by spending it on things that won’t help you reach your goals? You are the boss of you. Only you get to decide where you spend your time. Be sure you are spending some of it on things that matter most to you and that will help you get to where you want to go. Don’t allow others to steal yours away. Time is not a renewable resource. It’s OK to be stingy. Learn to say “No” to others, including your family and friends, so you can say “Yes” to yourself. Are you being selfless or selfish? I guess it depends on your point of view.

Copyright (c) 2014. Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Brian is available for speaking engagements and conducting seminars on a variety of soft-skills topics including: communication, leadership development and dealing with difficult people and challenging situations.