Tag Archives: Goal Setting

3 Keys to make 2017 – “The Year You Finally Did It”

It is amazing what a new start can do. Make 2017 be the year that you actually do it. That nagging goal that never seems to happen… Make this year that year that it does.

Don’t let others’ cynicism infect you. Don’t carry old ways of thinking into your new year and don’t let your own voices of past disappointments talk you out of becoming the best you before you even get started.

One truth is that life is pretty short and when we realize that :

1.    every day and every year matters.

2.     we have everything we need to start making progress to reaching our goals and living a life of purpose.

In Short – What you do today matters to yourself and those around you.

Here are 3 Keys to help you get started.

Set Destinations and First Steps – What do you want to see happen in your life in 2017? Is it a promotion, a new job, better relationships, to get in shape? Begin the year with your destination in mind.

You need to be motivated enough by the destination to be willing to make the changes needed. If you don’t know where you want to go, you will just stay where you are.

Many of us stop before we ever get started because our old habits and ways of thinking stop us before we even get started. Many get overwhelmed with looking 10 steps down the road.   Take one step, then another, then another. A journey of 1000 miles is take a step at a time.

Change is made one decision at a time. You make a decision to work out today and then become determined to do it again tomorrow. Take the first step and don’t over-think it.

Prioritization is the Key – You can’t change 10 things at once. You can change 1.   So take a look at what you want to do and begin to prioritize. You will only change what you are truly committed to change. Prioritizing your goals will make sure you gain alignment and momentum to conquer the next one.

Momentum Starts Today….. One Step at a Time!!!

Make Today Count.

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Stop the Busy-Ness – It’s Crazy….

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When you asked someone how it was going five years ago, the dreaded answer used to be “fine.” I never knew what that meant other than:
1.     They were in a hurry.
2.     Things were not horrible.
3.     They did not want to talk to me.
4.     In fact, things were just fine.

Worst was if you knew things were not fine, like you just screwed up and my wife told me things were fine.  Even I knew this meant they were not fine.

Whatever the reason, it used to drive me crazy as it is an innocuous answer that has no real meaning but is accepted everywhere. Even now as I am writing, I can feel myself getting frustrated with this word.

Language has power. Fine has been replaced over the last 5 years with an even worse word that has overtaken our society. The #1 answer I get to the question of “How are you?” “How are Things going?” Etc. is the word “Busy.”

It does not matter who I ask. Business colleagues are busy, Mothers are busy, Pastors are busy, Teachers are busy and we know our kids are busy.  
 
We have become addicted to being busy.  Don’t agree with me?  Try not using the word for a Week. 

This addiction is killing us and as as hard to break as any other.  The challenge is that one is reinforced by everyone around us as positive.

I think even babies are busy. I talk to young people who work 10 hours a week and guess what? They are busy as well. How in the world did everyone get so busy? It is amazing we can barely agree on politics, God’s role in our lives, education, etc .  but we can all agree that we are busy.

It seems like we are a world of people that is be unified in our “busy-ness.” I am sure you have used the word no less than 30 times in the last week. Isn’t it amazing that with so many people being so busy that it seems like less and less is actually getting done? I know there are great things going on. We have new technologies being invented all the time.

Do not take this for negativity on what is being accomplished in the world.  It is the cost of our addiction to Busy that has real consequences.

Technology has sped us up. That is for sure. We have certainly over-filled and over-complicated our lives. That is true as well.  

Before, we can work on a Cure, we have to first admit we have a problem and that that problem has consequences.

So, let’s start with the language we use. As I stated before, language has power and I think if we can talk differently, we can begin to think differently.   Then, we can actually be able to change our perceptions, our activities and our lives. My problem is the use of the word busy. It does not relate the meaning we prescribe to it. We use it as a positive. We use it as an excuse. We use it like we are passive victims to a day that someone else planned. We use it to obfuscate our responsibility in our day. Think about it this way. I have a 4 year old, Evan. He is awesome and guess what? He is amazingly busy.

I would not call him exactly productive, but definitely busy. We should judge ourselves on a different scale. The word busy is like the word food. If you walked up to me and asked what I had for lunch and I said “food” you would think I was such a jerk and did not want to talk to you.

The truth is that the word busy is just as unhelpful in describing your day.  Food in many cases is actually better as it is at least accurate. It is crazy. The word busy now includes the time filled texting, adding photos to Instagram or trolling Facebook. Just in case you wondered. Those do not count as busy and are actually things you do when you are not busy 90% of the time. The word busy also has become an answer to. “How are you?” When did busy become an emotion?

The craziness of busy has got to stop. Today, it all counts as busy and we all just go on agreeing with each other as if there was no other choice.

THERE IS ANOTHER CHOICE. The only New Year’s resolution I have ever kept was the one I made three years ago to stop using the word “busy.” When I stopped using this word, I realized I had to actually describe what I was doing, not doing, prioritizing and forgetting. I actually had to start looking at my days, my emotions and my life and provide the language that actually described what I was doing and how I was feeling.  

I was making choice and prioritizing and if I didn’t want to go to something, I actually had to tell that person why.

All of a sudden,  I was having to use like productive, unproductive, lost, excited, nervous, frustrated, challenged, etc.  I started to become real and my relationships became stronger.

Here is a big one. I actually had to apologize when I did not get back to someone or blew someone off and I had to start owning my actions and outcomes. A funny thing began to happen. I became much more productive with my time and my schedule began to line up with my priorities. I had more time in my day and I actually got much more done.

This is not because I was so great. (Trust Me) I had to start assigning value to my day, to my activities and measuring the outcomes. Busy was not longer good enough. I began to schedule my priorities first and let the little things go. I am still a work in progress on making sure my priorities are correct.

Following are a couple of changes that were helpful for me. My point is not to turn every moment into another productive opportunity or to replace the word busy with the word productive. Lying in the grass, playing catch, worshipping and going swimming are all incredibly valuable and make life worth living.  

 This is about being truthful with ourselves and each other. This exercise is about taking ownership of your life and setting your direction and agenda for your life.

(Hopefully) Helpful and Practical Hints:
1. Stop Multi-tasking… It does not work and it annoys people.  Every time you are multi-tasking, one of those things does not need to be done.
2. Take 5-10 minutes at the end of the day to evaluate your day and set the top priorities for the following morning.  Congratulate yourself for your successes and forgive yourself when you blow it.  . Grace abounds anew each day in case you feel like you missed it.
3. Have more fun with life and build in moments to take a breath and think.  We will talk more about thinking later.
4. Be honest and say you are sorry when you blow it. People are very forgiving but your schedule did not miss lunch, you did.
5. 90% of on-line activities are time takes, not time makers. You decide what you do, what you don’t’ do and own the results. You deserve better than busy. We all do.

If you were not allowed you use the words Busy, how would you describe your day?

All of our time has an opportunity cost as we could be doing something else.  It is when we don’t assign a value to our time, that we can just fill our lives.

Life is too important to miss.  Start Today.

Neutral is Backward – 3 Nuggets to “Get Growing”

Let’s face it, change always looks easier and better when someone else is doing it.

We can encourage them, envy them and even be inspired by other people and companies who have changed their culture and their lives.

It just always looks so much easier in the “Before and After” pictures or as we read the Business Case. We are so smart with Hind-sight.

Most people desire growth but very few are willing to work for it. The truth is that if you want GROWTH, you have to be willing to not just change but you have to willing to change more than the person next to you. You have to be willing to apply the work needed to make the change permanent

The first truth you have to understand if you want to change your life or your culture is that you got yourself here. Your decisions or lack of decisions have you right where you are today. You might like where you are today. If that is the case, keep rolling but make sure you read the last point of this article before you log off. There is no Neutral.

Realize, there is no, “them.” You are responsible for your circumstance and if you lead others, you are responsible for that culture as well. As Michal Jackson said, you have to start with the Man in the Mirror. Who doesn’t love a random MJ reference? If you never get started, they never will.

Here are 3 areas that are necessary for focus if you really want to “Get Growing.”

Commit to Change – Change is not a slogan, Change is not a sign on a wall. Change is not talking about change. Change is when a person decides to do something differently. Momentum is built for change when a group of people start to actually move in the same direction.

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This will not be as easy as anyone makes it sound so you must want to desire to be in a new place more than you will resist the work or you are not committed and change will fail. Habits are the enemy of change. Even good ones will never get you to great.

Prioritize Growth – This sounds to simple. Prioritizing means you have to start new things and more importantly STOP doing the old things. As a runner, I am a bit of a disciple junky. Discipline has built a solid foundational work ethnic for me. This is not enough for growth and when my discipline blocks my creativity, my discipline is a hindrance to growth for myself and my team

When growth is a priority, everything that doesn’t lead to growth, needs to be stopped. This leads us to our last point.

There is no Neutral – You are either going forward or backward. When you are holding steady, you are actually going backward. You just don’t realize it. When people or companies get momentum going, many times, they make the mistake to take their foot off the pedal and coast. This is a huge mistake.

Easily said, Everything that is not growth is taking you backwards. There is no Staying steady. Status Quo is Dead Wood. New things can grow from it but there is no life in it.

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While you can’t always tell why you have momentum, you can tell when you have it and you need to keep pushing into what is working, measure results and stay committed to growth.

Today’s world is very fluid and the business world even more so as technology companies seemingly appear from nowhere and many of the assured formulas for growth that we once used are no longer applicable. It is sometimes very hard to tell what magic piece actually caused the growth.

In hindsight, we can make ourselves sound very smart but many times, we have no idea which egg is golden until we have bitten into it.

Here is what has not changed, be committed to Growth, means that no ritual is sacred.

You need to be passionately committed to your vision, you need to committed to your purpose for existing. You cannot tie yourself to, “The way we do things.” So the WHY shouldn’t change but the WAY is always negotiable.

Get after Life, it is just waiting for you to take it. No matter, if you lead thousand or lead yourself, your life is depending on you getting growing.