Tag Archives: goal setting

Letting go the past… Planning for what you can…

influence

Greetings Leaders!

Have you ever had a time when you did something you regretted and wish you could live that one moment, that one second, over again? Or looking down the road in the other direction, have you ever worried about what was coming down the track, trying to plan for the future? Things like who you’re going to marry, what your career will look like 10 years from now, what your kids are going to become, how you’re going to retire or what your health will be? Reflecting on the past, or planning for the future is healthy, but worrying about it is not.  If you’re a worrier… read on…

Continue reading Letting go the past… Planning for what you can…

Dreams and Goals without Execution = Hallucination

Edison Hallucination

 

Greetings Leaders!

I’d like to take credit for the title, but as you can see Thomas Edison beat me to it. As you go about making your resolutions for the New Year, have you thought about how to actually succeed at them? If you use the 80/20 rule – only 20% of people will set themselves apart by taking a chance and setting some goals this year. Of those 20%, only 20% will achieve them. For you math geniuses, that amounts to just 4% of the total (I had to use a calculator). That’s a pretty small percentage isn’t it? When you think about it, most of the worlds wealth resides in the top few percentage points of the population. I would guess that the world’s wealthiest people are in the 4% that are setting goals this year AND achieving them. So, how do you set yourself up with the best chance at achieving your goals?

Continue reading Dreams and Goals without Execution = Hallucination

Goals Blown Out of the Water? How to Start Over

Greetings Leaders!

Lately, it seems like all my goals have gone out the window. Not to be negative, but it’s been a tough year. Business is down. Rates are down. I tore my distal biceps tendon while working out at the gym. Stocks are doing ok, but not great. I imagine there are a lot of you out there going through something similar. Either in your finances, career, health or relationships.

You had some goals at the start of the year and are far from meeting them. Perhaps you’ve even gone backwards. That’s ok. Life happens. Trust me – in the vast majority of circumstances your situation will improve. So… let’s get back on track.

Let’s think about this in terms of a race. For those of you old enough to remember the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Derek Redmond epitomizes what it means to start over.

There are several things to take away from Derek’s tragedy and triumph.

  1. After Derek injured himself, he stopped. When you miss your goals, take a  moment to collect your thoughts. Take a short vacation or retreat and reassess where you’re at. As you think about your goals, remember, if you’re thinkin, your life ain’t over. We are in a race called life. You will suffer set backs. That is a given. What matters is how your respond.
  2. Don’t rest too long, or opportunities will pass you by. Like Derek, you need to get up and set your mind on a new goal. When Derek started the race, his goal was to win. When he pulled his hamstring, all that changed. He could’ve just sat there on the track, but he didn’t. He made a new goal – to finish the race.
  3. Fight for your dreams! As Derek got up and headed towards the finish line, people tried to stop him. He pushed them away. Don’t let others stop you from setting new goals.
  4. Let others help you. As Derek was limping along, his father came to help him. Derek, not knowing who was there, tried to fight him off. But as soon as he realized it was his Dad, someone who loved and cared for him, he accepted his help freely.
  5. Don’t be afraid to cry. Sometimes life can be painful. If you’re hurting, that’s ok – let it out. Just don’t hang onto your pain too long, or it will prevent you from moving forward.

So, how do you start over? You assess where you’re at, make a decision to move forward and you make some new goals. Simple isn’t it. I’ve already established new ones. What about you?

All the best!
All the time!
JT

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Capturing Perfection

Greetings Leaders…

I found this short video of big wave surfer Dylan Longbottom taken by Brett Barley on StumbleUpon, and it reminded me of what it takes to capture perfection.

To capture this moment on film took a lifetime. Sure, the video is only about a minute long, but think about it. To get to this specific point in time required a lot of things to happen first.

  1. Brett needed to have passion to take up videography of surfers
  2. He studied and practiced using his equipment
  3. Physical Fitness was a must
  4. Multiple attempts were undertaken. Not just that day, but every other day he was out there, hoping for the perfect shot
  5. Others were needed to do the surfing
  6. The environment had to cooperate – the weather, the surf, the sun

Bottom line – Perfection doesn’t happen by accident. If you want to achieve something great with your life, you have to pay the price as you go after it.

So… how about you? What is your goal in life? How are you going about achieving it? Are you…

  1. Passionate about your goal
  2. Learning and Studying (are you teachable?)
  3. Practicing
  4. Enlisting the help of others
  5. Persevering with multiple attempts
  6. Studying the environment
  7. Staying physically and mentally fit

Achieve your ultimate goal. I know, perfection isn’t possible, but as the old saying goes, if you shoot for the stars, perhaps you’ll just reach the moon. Not a bad place to be….

Live A Life of Excellence!
JT

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Halftime – Remember Those New Year’s Resolutions?

Greetings Leaders!

As some of you may know, in addition to leadership development, I day trade stocks. One of my informal mentors is Jeff White, aka The Stock Bandit. I know, the name isn’t one I would pick for leadership development, but Jeff is first class all the way. Honest, sincere, a good teacher. He also has great values and is very likable. You can follow him on twitter, or check out his website. The reason I mention him is he wrote a really good blog called Halftime Honesty for trading and I wanted to give him some credit before I used his idea in regards to Living A Life of Excellence.

So, the year is half over. Remember those New Year’s Resolutions? Yeah. I thought so. Me too… what were they anyway? Where are you in your goals for the year?

Now is the perfect time to celebrate, recalibrate and rededicate yourself to Living A Life of Excellence.

Take stock of your life. Celebrate those milestones and achievements! At the same time, look for lessons to be learned and recalibrate your goals for the rest of the year.

For some of you, the first half of the year has been difficult. Tough times for a lot of people. So, what are you going to do to make the second half better? For others, life has been great! Don’t get cocky and sit on your laurels. Keep up a full head of steam. As Admiral Farragut once said, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”.

Full Speed!

Lead With Honor,
JT

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Getting Control Of Your Life – 1st in the series

Get Control of Your Life

Greetings!

This is the first blog in a series about Getting Control of Your Life. Click here for instructions on how to journal.

Do you ever feel like a marionette and think that there is some unseen force or persona pulling your strings… that your life is out of control… or at least beyond your ability to manage it?

Well, I have good news and bad news. Let’s start with the bad first. Life, to a certain extent, is beyond our control. The good news? While complete control of life is an illusion, reality is that we can firmly be in control of key components of it.

Philosophically, life is beyond our control. We cannot control things like earthquakes, illnesses, how people will react to us, the weather, or if we will fall victim to an accident.

However, just because we can’t control everything, does not mean that we shouldn’t control the things we can. We can control our attitude, our choices. We an control things like who we will marry (at least in the US), how many kids we might bring into this world (if you’re not in China), who our business partners are and how many friends we will have. We can control how we invest our time and money. We can control what we watch, who we hang out with. We can control what we eat, how long we sleep. There are a LOT of things we can control.

I have been blessed with a group of friends who know how to control the things they can. There is Wesley and Kathy, childhood friends of mine. When their daughter Stephanie was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, they dealt with it head on. Sadly, Stephanie passed away at age 16. I just had dinner with Wesley and Kathy a few weeks ago… they didn’t just roll over give up on life. They are living life to the fullest.

There is Fred. A navy buddy who I’ve known for over 25 years. His wife Dottie just passed away last year from cancer. When she passed away, she left behind 7 kids. The oldest 21 and the youngest is about 9. Dottie is my hero. She was a trooper. I cannot even begin to tell you how bravely she fought. How in spite of her illness that lasted years, she accomplished more than most stay at home moms I know who are perfectly well. Despite having become a paraplegic due to a surgery gone bad, she never made excuses. She drove here kids to school in special van. Fred put ramps in their home so she could get around. They took control of what they could and moved on.

There is Grace. A friend from high school who just finished her 12th chemo session. I’ve got her permission to share her blog. If you don’t know her, it might not make much sense, but her postings are pretty hilarious. Judging from her writing, you would never guess she was in real pain. She tells of her experiences with a lot of humor. I hope I can laugh in the face of adversity.

My point – to gain control of your life… you have to accept that you can control it. No more pity parties. Let’s stop worrying about the things we can’t control, and focus on what we can.

The economy seems to be the biggest thing on people’s mind lately. I know I think about it. I wonder about some of the choices I made over the years and sometimes second guess myself as to whether or not I did the right thing. But then… I catch myself. Who cares about the past. It is done. The only thing that matters is the present, and the future.

I love this quote from Kung-Fu Panda…

Yesterday is history…Tomorrow is a mystery…

but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.

So what about you? Do you accept the fact that you are in control of certain aspects of your life? That you are living the life you deserve? This is the first step in getting control of your life. Believing that you can… and more importantly… that you will…. step up to the plate, and gain control of the portions of your life that you can.

Journal Assignment:

Complete the following thoughts…

  1. I am committed to changing my life because…
  2. I feel that I have no control over my life when…
  3. The things I have control over are… be specific. As an example… don’t just write, my attitude. What you need to put down is something like… My attitude when so-and-so or such-and-such thing happens to me.
  4. End the Journal with some positive affirmations such as I believe that I can control key aspects of my life.

If you need to journal over a couple of sessions… go for it.

All the best,
All the time,
JT

Getting Control of Your Life – Series Overview

Greetings…

journalingI am starting a blog series on gaining control of your life. To get the most out of the series, I recommend that you start a journal. Go out and get a  nice journal from Borders or Barnes and Nobles. You might want to also get a special pen to write with. I use a fountain pen. It gives my writing a bit more meaning. Silly perhaps, but it works for me. I don’t recommend using a computer. I know, it’s more efficient… but it’s just not the same as writing it down in a book.

During the series, I will be giving specific assignments for you to do in your journal. Here are a few tips on how to journal.

  1. Do it consistently. If you want to gain control of your life, you have to do something about it on a regular basis. If you journal often, you’ll see results faster.
  2. Journal in a place and time where you can focus. This will be different for everyone. Perhaps you can get up 15 minutes early and journal at home in the morning. If that doesn’t work, try your favorite coffee house during lunch or after work. Perhaps just before going to bed is a good time for you. Your choice. Just don’t do it at the kitchen table while trying to help the kids with their homework. You get the idea.
  3. Put on some music that inspires you.
  4. Be open and honest.
  5. Be careful what you write – Journals sometimes become public information. If  you want to write something down that you don’t want others to see, you might want to get a journal that has pages that you can rip out and then throw away. Or, get a second journal and keep a close eye on it.

That’s it. The first blog will be coming out shortly. Keep an eye out for it.

All the best,
All the time,
JT

You Can’t Manage Time… So Why Do You Try?

astronomical clockWhile sipping a quad-shot Americano at Starbucks today, I noticed a young woman reading a book on Time Management. She was thumbing slowly through the book, stopping every now and then to read a passage. While watching her, I wondered how successful she was going to be in her endeavor.

Managing Time. What a thought. Let me ask you a question, can time be managed? Believe it or not, the answer is…. no. Time cannot be managed. Time is a concept created by man to measure the passage of… well, time. I don’t want to get too ethereal, but time is relative. A day is measured by how fast the Earth turns around its axis. A year is determined by how long it takes the Earth to circle the Sun. A month is determined by the Moon’s rotation around the earth. Can you control or manage time? No. It is what it is. Based on how we calculate time, you have 1440 minutes in a day… just like everyone else.

So, why do we try to control it? To get more done? To be more efficient? To become happier? If anything, those that try to control time tend to be more driven to succeed and all this tends to do is create stress, not relieve it.

Your goal should not be to manage time. Your goal should be to do the things that are important to you first, and save the less important things for last. Think about it. That is all you have to do. You don’t have to buy a planning system, a calendar or a PDA. You don’t have to buy a book on time management. These things will help you get organized, but won’t help you manage time. All you have to do, is focus on what is most important to you first.

By trying to manage or control time, many of you are trying to become something you are not. You are probably struggling with getting things done around the house or at work. You can’t find enough time to get all the things done that you want to. I have a reality check here…

You are getting done…. exactly what you want to!

Say what?! Yes, you read correctly. If you REALLY wanted to get something done, you would. It would be at the top of your list, and it WOULD get done. It isn’t getting done, because you haven’t placed it at the top of your list for some reason. Case closed.

If at the end of the day you find yourself wishing you had more time, I want to know why? Why are you trying to cram 28 hours of work into a 24 hour day? Perhaps it isn’t time you should be trying to control, but your ambitions. Of course ambition is a great thing, but perhaps… just maybe… you are trying to do too much. There are a lot of statistics to back this up, especially if you have kids. Who says you have to have your kids in piano, soccer, dance and the girlscouts? Why do you have to have the house spotless before going to bed? I know several women who just can’t sit down until the house has been vacuumed and mopped every day. My point – some of our desire to manage time is self imposed. Perhaps the answer is to slow down just a tad and enjoy the ride.

Well… here we are. Bottom line. You can’t control time. All you can do is to do the important things first and ensure you aren’t biting off more than you can chew. Do these things… and life will become less stressful and you’ll find yourself much happier and content.

All the best,
All the time,
JT

Living A Life of Excellence! A Life Filled With Intention

When you go to a sporting event held in a stadium you’ll find three kinds of people there. Those on the field playing the game. Those in the stands watching. Others at the concession stand ordering some food. When you look at what they are doing, they equate to those that 1) Make things happen (on the field), 2) Watch things happen (in the stands), and 3) Wonder what happened (at the concession). So which one are you?

The players on the field didn’t get there by accident. They just didn’t happen to wander into the stadium and decide to play. The same can be said of those in the stands watching and those at the concession. The same analogy can be used to look at your life. You are where you are – because of intent. You have the same amount of time, the same basic resources, the same opportunity, as most people around you. If you are making things happen, that was a choice. If you are watching things happen, that was also a choice. And yes, being the bearer of bad news, if you are wondering what happened. Ditto. Your choice.

If you want to make things happen, you have to be intentional about it. So… what are your goals, and how are you going to get there. Don’t wait….life happens fast.

Here is a great video that I just love. Don’t blink!

All the best!
All the time!
JT