Archives for January 2023

Determine your direction and then take massive action

Setting goals and taking action are important because they help you focus on what you want to achieve and give you a sense of purpose. When you have a clear goal in mind, you are more likely to stay motivated and work towards it. Especially if you write it down and tell other people you trust. Once you do this you need to go all in and put your thoughts and ideas into action.

It’s important to have a clear sense of your goals. By writing them down or discussing them with others you can hone the a goal and the steps it will take to reach it. Not thinking through a goal will either result in you not reaching the goal or maybe focusing on the wrong goal or steps. Thinking through things will allow you to find the essence of what matters to you and where you want to be. Once you have fully thought through a goal, the next thing to do is to take the first step you outlined for yourself.

Taking action, or making progress towards your goal, helps you to see that you are moving forward and can give you a sense of whether your goal is the right one or reachable. It also helps you build momentum and makes it easier to continue working towards your goal. This puts you on a positive course even if it is changing your goal or the steps you think are necessary to reach the goal.

All of this being said, it’s important to have a clear sense of your goals and regularly reassess your goals. Having a direction or a sense of purpose helps focus your efforts and motivation. Taking massive action means being proactive and putting in the effort to make things happen, rather than waiting for opportunities to come to you. It also means you are willing to take risks and step out of your comfort zone in order to make progress, both of which matter and help on the path to success.

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Make the day; don’t let the day make you

I am speaking about controlling your schedule in an affirmative manner and not just being reactive all day long. There are many ways to do this, some of which I have written about before, which means the first step is to figure out what works best for you to manage your calendar and time each day. Then make sure to put it into play to stay in control of your time. It will help you avoid getting to the end of your day and wondering where the time went and why you didn’t get everything done you planned to.

I run my own calendar, but I know many people who have assistants do it for them. Either way is the right way depending on what works for you. For me, I like deciding when to schedule meetings or calls so I also can leave time to check and respond to emails or to work on specific projects. This works well for me but I know the tradeoff is the time I spend scheduling for myself. I find that time is investing in something that works for me.

You need to find your system and know it always can be tweaked or changed if you think something different may work better. The result of not doing this is watching days get away from you. This will result in you accomplishing less while not being in control of your time.

We all know it doesn’t feel good not being able to connect in person, video, or phone with that person you really needed to speak with. Whether speaking with someone or a project you want to get done, scheduling can help you accomplish it. If it’s connecting with someone, be intentional and contact them to set a time when you will have the time you need to cover what you need to. Even if they won’t give you the time you think you need, take the opportunity and see where you get to.

Look at your calendar for the rest of the week and see what you can do to take control and get done what you want and need to before the week ends. If that works you can try to plan out the next week, or longer. It will feel good and you may well start timely getting things accomplished when you want to instead of whenever they otherwise may be completed. Stop leaving things to chance by taking control of your time and therefore your days.

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Build identity capital

When you go through an interview or meet someone, is there something about you or you have done that people will remember? I recently read something that suggested younger adults do at least three fascinating things in their 20s that job interviewers or dinner companions will want to ask about for the rest of their lives. I know, what does that mean? Think about it and it makes sense though. Having a positive story (or three) that people are interested in and remember will help you build your network and be memorable because people will talk or hear about you and your fascinating stories.

I thought about this in relation to myself and others I know. I believe everyone has an interesting backstory if you ask the right questions. At the same time you have to understand that what may be interesting to you may not be interesting to someone else. Though there are many things that are easy to remember and spawn lots of questions.

For instance, I know a woman who saved money in her 20s and traveled the world for a year. She used to send update emails every week or so and it was like reading an amazing travelogue from my office. It seemed to adventurous compared to going to work every day. She has amazing stories. I know someone else who has summited Mount Everest and climbed other dangerous mountains such as K2 around the world. He has amazing stories. And another person I know followed the Grateful Dead selling sandwiches to survive. All of them have amazing stories to share.

Not everything has to be so big or crazy like those examples. Maybe you have some amazing story about playing in a band with someone who went on the conquer the music world, or you worked at an interesting startup (whether or not it became a household name). Maybe you played collegiate sports or had a strange and interesting job in high school or after. Travel may be easier such as trying to get to all 50 states or learning about wine in Southern France or how to cook in Italy. The ideas are endless, but you get the idea.

By the way, those of us older than our 20s can do things now people will ask us about for the rest of our lives too. The adventure level depends on you, but all of us should test our limits within reason and do fascinating and amazing this.

If you did fascinating things in your 20s (or after) shoot me an email or message and tell me about it. I want to know because I am sure I will want to ask you about it when we meet, the next time we see each other, or when we speak.

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Deliberate planning matters

Deliberate planning is important for a number of reasons and is important to think about at this time of year. It helps you to set goals and create a roadmap for achieving them. It also helps you to anticipate potential challenges and come up with strategies for dealing with them. Deliberate planning can also help you to use your resources more efficiently, both in terms of time and money.

Step one in deliberate planning is setting goals and creating a roadmap to reach them. This is important because:

  1. Goals provide focus and direction. By setting clear, specific goals, you can give yourself a sense of purpose and direction. This can help you stay motivated and focused, and make it easier to prioritize your tasks and activities.
  2. Goals help you track progress. By setting goals and periodically reviewing your progress, you can see how far you’ve come and how much closer you are to achieving your objectives. This can be a great source of motivation and encouragement.
  3. Goals can help you stay motivated. Having a roadmap and clear goals can help you stay motivated and focused, especially when you’re facing challenges or setbacks.
  4. Goals can help you make better decisions. When you have a clear understanding of your goals, it can be easier to make decisions about how to allocate your time and resources.
  5. Goals can help you achieve your long-term vision. By setting goals and working towards them, you can move closer to achieving your long-term vision and dreams. This can help you create a sense of meaning and purpose in your life.

Setting goals and creating a roadmap is a powerful tool for helping you stay organized, motivated, and focused as you work towards achieving your objectives.

Step two in deliberate planning is anticipating challenges and coming up with strategies for dealing with them. Some steps you can take to do so include:

  1. Identify your goals. Start by clearly identifying your goals. This will help you to understand what you are trying to achieve, and what potential challenges you may face.
  2. Analyze the potential challenges. Next, think about the potential challenges that you may face in achieving your goals. What could go wrong? What are the risks and uncertainties?
  3. Come up with strategies. Once you have identified the potential challenges, start brainstorming strategies for dealing with them. Consider both proactive measures you can take to prevent problems from occurring, as well as contingency plans for when things don’t go as planned.
  4. Prioritize and plan. Prioritize the strategies you have come up with, and create a plan for implementing them. Consider the resources you will need, and make sure you have a clear timeline for executing your plan.
  5. Monitor and adjust. As you work towards your goals, be sure to monitor progress and adjust your strategies as needed. It is likely that you will encounter unexpected challenges along the way, and being flexible and open to adjusting your approach will help you to overcome them.

By anticipating potential challenges to your goals and strategizing to lessen or avoid the challenges you will give yourself a better chance for success.

It’s obvious that resources such as time and money may be scarce and negatively affect your ability to put your plan into action. There are no easy answers because you cannot simply create more of either. Despite this, there are things you can focus on to more efficiently work on your goals:

  1. Make a plan. Clearly define your goals and create a plan for how you will achieve them. This will help you focus your efforts and use your time and resources more effectively.
  2. Set priorities. Determine what is most important and focus on those tasks first. This will help you avoid wasting time and resources on less important tasks.
  3. Use tools and technology. There are many tools and technologies available that can help you manage your time and resources more efficiently. For example, you can use project management software to track your progress and stay organized, or use online tools to automate tasks.
  4. Delegate tasks. If you have the resources, consider delegating tasks to others. This can help you free up time and focus on the tasks that are most important to you.
  5. Avoid unnecessary expenses. Be mindful of your spending and try to eliminate unnecessary expenses. This will help you save money and redirect those resources towards your goals.
  6. Stay organized. Stay organized and keep your workspace clean and clutter-free. This will help you work more efficiently and save time and resources.

These types of ideas can assist you in dealing with scarce resources. You may not move forward as fast as you hope or want, but, when resources such as time and money are in short supply, the timeline is under your control and the important thing is to keep moving forward.

Remember that what you’re doing is investing in yourself. By taking the time to deliberately plan out your actions in this manner you can increase your chances of success and make the most of your opportunities. At the same time, it’s important to also be flexible and open to adapting your plans as needed, as things may not always go exactly as you expect.

The most important thing is to take the first step towards where you want to go. Start now.

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