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How To Make A Championship Team

By Goals, Entrepreneurship, management, Success

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been fortunate enough to do some amazing interviews in our podcast. And with those interviews, what we do is we talk about teams and we talk about what makes up a championship team.

There are a number of things when it comes to really leading and building these championship teams. And from the feedback that we’re getting, LEADERSHIP always came out on top as one of the major components of what makes a championship team.

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How To Improve Team Spirit

By Blogpost, Goals

No matter the size of your company, your success depends in large part on teamwork.

A genuine sense of teamwork improves the morale and mood of the whole office, but it also brings out the best in people as everyone feels valued, liked, appreciated and respected.

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Too Busy in Your Business? Set Goals!

By Blogpost, Goals, Time Management

It might sound counter-intuitive to spend time setting goals when you’re already buried neck-deep in your business. Who has time?? But the irony is, goals will simplify and clarify your business operations, maximise motivation, avoid wasting time, money and effort, and free you up to use your talents to their fullest.

 

Let’s focus here on your business goals of achieving a certain level of success (as defined by you). This includes your quality of life, finances, work/life balance, growth, continuing education and contribution.

How about taking just 10 minutes a day to work on goal setting? Steps 1-3 are essential – don’t skip them. In fact, don’t take one single step in building your business until you have completed them!

1. Decide exactly what you want. Don’t spend time wandering around in circles trying to move your business toward some nebulous, ever-changing goal. What do you want out of life? What do you want your business to do for your life? For the lives of others? WRITE IT ALL DOWN. I can’t stress this enough.

2. Prepare yourself. Do your research! Develop an understanding of what it takes to achieve what you want (talk to people who already have – most love to help!). This includes how long you can expect it to take; the resources needed; the time commitment needed; and the best business practices, including marketing. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Do your research before you start, and modify your approach as needed rather than having to backtrack to learn essential skills. Know what’s necessary to achieve your goal. It may be more than you think – or less. This may influence your commitment level to your goal.

3. Reality-check your commitment level. How badly do you want this? Some business owners go into it thinking, “I’m the boss, I’ll work my own hours and plenty of free time.” This usually brings about laughter from people who have been putting in long hours to make their business thrive. Yes, you are the boss, but how badly do you want to make it? You know there will be sacrifices necessary (usually time away from family, more money than you anticipated, etc.). And there will be struggles and frustrations. So don’t waste your time and energy on goals that don’t light up your eyes and make your heart sing!

Okay – all of this can be accomplished in very short chunks of time that you set aside each day for goal-setting. This lays the groundwork. Without these three elements, you can expect the road to success to be longer and rockier than if you had prepared yourself mentally, emotionally and physically.

Once you’re clear on all of the above, here’s how to make it all work:

4. Set intermediate goals. In business and in your personal life, there are always distractions, interruptions and URGENT EMERGENCIES. That’s why doable, achievable, realistic and manageable milestones or intermediate goals will give you flexibility and let you deal with life’s crises while at the same time marching you directly toward your bigger goals. Again, setting these intermediate goals can take just a few minutes of planning and preparation. But more importantly, the achievement of these milestones is manageable. These are the small steps that add up to massive results.

5. Prioritize and say NO. Finally, when you’re taking action on these goals, learn to say NO to “urgent” things that are not “important.” Don’t let the squeaky wheel get your grease if the squeaky wheel isn’t attached to the wagon that’s hauling you to success!

Inspired by Michelle Connoly’s blog post on www.smartgoalsguide.com

The 15-Minute Miracle

By Blogpost, Goals, Time Management

If I were to counsel you to work on your goals for just 15 minutes a day, you’d probably have a good laugh. What can you accomplish in 15 minutes, after all – right?

But, let me assure you, any big goal can be achieved by working in consistent 15-minute chunks every day. No matter whether your goal is huge or small, personal or professional, dedicating a come-hell-or-high-water 15 minute segment to it every day will achieve miracles.

One of the most common complaints about goals is that there just isn’t enough time to work on it after all your responsibilities have been taken care of. You’re just too exhausted to even think about the goal. “I’d love to, but I just don’t have the time to devote to it right now.” In the back of your mind you’re hoping for that magical day when you will have time… but as we all know, that day never comes. Ever. The amount of stuff you have to do on a day to day basis might fluctuate somewhat, but realistically, unless you take a paid leave of absence from your responsibilities, your time is never going to free up to the point where you can devote serious time to your goal.

Here’s a no-compromises solution: devote 15 minutes a day to it. It doesn’t matter if all you do is compose an email… or order business cards… or make one phone call… or write 1/10 of a blog. It doesn’t matter how much you accomplish. What matters is THAT you accomplish. Something. Anything.

The miracle in this is twofold:

1. You create a habit of consistent action. You train yourself to take action on your goal every day (at least 5 days a week). You discipline yourself to take action whether you feel like it or not. You won’t create magic every day, but you will keep the creative juices flowing and even if you have to go back and redo something later, so what? You’ve only spent 15 minutes on it before, and it’s a lesson in how not to do that thing. It’s all good. It’s all steps in the right direction.

2. You will rarely spend only 15 minutes. Yes, there will be days when even 15 minutes seems like an eternity because you’re overwhelmed with the rest of your to-do list. But you’ll be shocked at how quickly 15 minutes will turn into 30, or 60, once you’re happily immersed in what you’re doing.

Here’s how to implement the 15-minute miracle:

1. Be very clear on what you want to achieve.

2. If you have some idea of what steps you need to take to get there, break the steps down into their smallest components and take on as many of those components as will fit into a 15-minute time block. Prioritize the steps.

3. Write down a week’s worth of 15-minute action steps. This way, you can dive right in and make serious progress every time.

4. Try to be consistent about the time of day you work on your goal. This will help make it a habit. Suggestion – first thing in the morning works best, because your mind is fresher, you aren’t exhausted from work, and you can tell yourself, “just 15 minutes” and stick to it because you do have to motivate yourself to actually do something before you get going to work.

5. Track your progress to motivate yourself. Daily progress is very satisfying!

At the end of one year, you will have allocated at least 62-½ hours if you’re working on your goal 5 days a week and take a 2-week holiday; or, at least 87-½ hours if you work on it 7 days a week and take a 2-week holiday. That’s a lot of time when you consider that it is time spent on focused action, not la-di-da ruminating or busywork.

Inspired by Jeri Dansky’s blog on http://unclutterer.com/

How to Take Your Goals Seriously (So They Light You On Fire)

By Blogpost, Goals

It’s one thing to have great goals that inspire you, and it’s another to have goals that light you on fire to the point where nothing will stop you. Only the on-fire goals will be achieved because inspiration can wane, motivation can be hard to come by, and unless you’re on fire about something, life will get in the way.

You probably have a really awesome goal that has been brewing in the back of your head, and you may be taking action on it. Even making major progress. But are you moving as fast as you can toward your goal? Do you feel stuck? Are you focused on the 20% of your actions that will yield 80% of your results? Are you achieving a good work/life balance?

If not, it’s mostly due to not being on fire. You may have a great action plan, but unless you’re on fire about your daily tasks and unless you’re giving them all you’ve got (instead of just going through the motions), your progress will be spotty.

Here’s how to turn a inspired goal into an on-fire goal:

1. Visualise

An idea that lives in your head isn’t a verbal idea, it’s a mental image. So every day, for at least 5 minutes, use visualisation to add character and richness to that mental image of your goal. Put yourself in the picture. Use your senses to add realism. For every detail that is missing, create one. For example, if your goal is to live in a villa on the Mediterranean, every time you “visit” your dream villa in your imagination, add a detail. Picture yourself and your family lounging on the veranda. Add the scent of bougainvillea and ocean breezes. Infuse the scene with sounds of music, laughter, etc… you get the idea. And don’t forget feelings – you have to be totally in love with your goal! The more you can visualise your ideal scene every single day, the more your mind will pick up on the fact that this is really, really important to you. That’s when you’ll start noticing even more opportunities and ways and means than you did before. That’s when things will start to fall together magnificently.

2. Write down your targets.

The big picture, the intermediate milestones, the short-term goals and the daily stuff. Now go beyond the “business” of writing down your goals and write about how you will feel when you reach your milestones. Happy! Yeah! And even beyond that, how you will have evolved and grown. Write about it as if it’s a done deal and watch as your predictions come true!

3. Have fun.

What’s the point of a great goal if you’re going to be miserable during the time you’re working on your goal? Nooooo! So many people do that – they slave away for their goals and in the meantime, they forget to live. The whole point is to have a blast while you’re in the process. It IS about the journey! Take the attitude of play and don’t take it so seriously. Don’t let it become “work” even if it is hard, or temporarily monotonous.

These very simple things will keep the fires of passion burning hot. They will motivate you to action even when you don’t feel like it – but you will feel like it, because it feels so great to work on your goals!

Inspired by Celestine’s blog on http://celestinechua.com/

How to Reduce Distraction When You’re Working on Your Goals

By Blogpost, Goals

Distractions have a nasty way of sneaking up on you and ruining a perfectly productive day. Unless you live in a perfect world, you will have distractions. Even if you live in a cave, you will have distractions. Here’s how to reduce distractions and minimise their impact:

1. Unplug. Turn off cell phones, electronic notifications and social media. Even in this instant-availability world, you have a right to be able to focus on what you’re doing without being at everybody’s beck and call 24/7. Set aside an hour of noise-free work. People can wait an hour. Seriously. And you might get to like this so much that you will turn off your electronics for several hours at a time. Imagine how productive you’ll be!

2. Don’t take it so seriously. When you hear the word “focus,” you probably imagine yourself cloistered away somewhere, head down, buried in what you’re doing. Well, yes. But who says that focus has to be serious? That it has to be “work”? If you have kids, you know how immersed they get in their play. When they pretend, they’re all in it, 100%. The secret to focus is being relaxed, curious and playful. The more you can chill out, become fascinated with your project and infuse what you’re doing with joy, the easier it is to focus.

3. Manage your internal distractions. The urge to get up every 15 minutes to have a drink of water or coffee; the urge to check your email/social media; the inner voice that helpfully reminds you of the things you would rather be/should be doing. Here’s how to silence the inner chatter. Simply say, “Shhhh, not now.” to yourself every single time you have an intrusive thought. Give your mind a direct order – you are working on something and it needs to be onboard with that. This might sound like a silly thing to say to yourself, but it works. It immediately shuts down that train of thought, and allows you to return to your task.

4. Clear the clutter. Clean your workspace so that there is less to visually distract you and/or remind you of other things you need to do.

5. Finish what you start. Unfinished business has a way of hovering around you like a horsefly. It just won’t go away until you’ve finished it.

6. Make it a habit. Once a day, devote a minimum of 15 minutes to your goal. Ultimately you have nobody, and nothing, to blame if your goal doesn’t get achieved. If you devote just 15 minutes a day to it, your small steps will add up and multiply to huge results that will defy the odds – why? Because in 15 minutes, you can make a big mistake; and in the next 15, you can fix the mistake, learn from it and move on. Success has often been called the combination of a series of failures; so the more action you take, the more you mess up… and the more you learn and apply what you’ve learned. Then, you will succeed.

 

Inspired by http://www.43folders.com

Celebrate Your Goals

By Attitude, Blogpost, Goals

When I talk about celebrating your goals, I’m not talking about the extrinsic rewards of money, fame, medals, etc. Those are wonderful perks but they are not the real reason you devote yourself to them.

The intrinsic approach is more important in the long run. That’s why if you approach your goals as one big celebration, you’ll have a blast along the way.

“One must approach music with a serious rigor and, at the same time, with a great, affectionate joy.” – Nadia Boulanger, composer & pianist

That goes for everything, not just music.

Infuse everything you do with a sense of joy. At some point the honeymoon phase will be over and you’ll be down the hard work and the day-to-day ‘grind.’

So STOP looking at it as a grind. See it as a miracle that is unfolding. After all, you are a creative force and here you are, manifesting what you desire!

1. Set goals that are attainable. Don’t take the joy out of the daily effort by taking on goals that are too big for you. Smaller goals are more fun, and their achievement will fuel you for the bigger ones.

2. Become one with what you are doing. Really be in the moment, totally focused on what you’re doing, and being fascinated with the whole process. Be curious, be enthusiastic, even about the ‘mundane’ stuff. There’s a calming zen in the everyday stuff and if you choose to see the zen in it you won’t forever be looking ahead to “when things get fun.” Make them fun, now.

3. Focus on constant improvement, not on mindless repetition. That keeps things interesting and helps you master your craft.

4. Enjoy the problems. What a fun challenge, for your mind and your body! If you take the attitude that challenges are adventures, and that failures do not exist because they are re-routes or helpful guides, then problems cease to exist too. Every problem becomes just another tool in your personal growth toolbox. You’re so much better, stronger, wiser, faster, etc. after you deal with each of these challenges!

So enjoy the hell out of the process. Celebrate each moment – after all, how cool is it that you get to be on the road to achieving a goal and manifesting what you want!

Inspired by: http://musiciansway.com/blog/2014/02/bringing-joy-to-practice/

What is That ONE Thing?

By Blogpost, Goals

What is that one thing that can have the biggest impact on your life this year? Hint: it’s a goal.

You know what you want out of life… right? You probably have several goals that you’re hoping to achieve in the near future. Well right now, let’s turbo-charge that process.

Choose one goal – just one. It has to be the one that will create the biggest change, but something that can be accomplished within the year (I’m talking about calendar year, not by December 31st). It can be a sub-goal to a larger one. For example, if you want to make your mark as a professional photographer, your one-year goal can be to shoot two weddings. That’s going to take a lot of marketing and a lot of work, if you’re just breaking into the business.

sprintThis goal has to be:

  • Something you’re incredibly passionate about
  • Something achievable within the year
  • Something that will CHANGE your life

Why should it change your life? Well, this is the goal that will make you say “YES” to all the rest – even the big ones that may take years to achieve.

This is the paradigm-shifter, the one that will help you break through your barriers and gain confidence you would otherwise not get.

So… you have the one goal, laid out in front of you. Here’s how to achieve it:

1. Create a mantra that will you repeat every single day, for a minimum of 30-90 days or until it feels as natural to you as your favorite jeans. For example, “I am a successful wedding photographer.” Say it to yourself while driving to work; while cleaning the kitchen; while out on a bike ride; while walking the dog; while in the shower… just keep repeating it, with loving persistence, every time you think about it.

2. Make an “Immediate Action” plan. What can you do to make it happen…

  • Today
  • This week
  • This month

These sub-goals will provide forward momentum, and keep you motivated as you achieve them. It’s important to write down daily/weekly/monthly tasks, so you aren’t left wondering what to do next. You just wake up, and do it. If it takes you a month to come up with a plan, okay. That’s a step in the right direction too!

If your daily action is very small, that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be something monumental. Let’s be realistic. You have a life, you have responsibilities, and it’s just not practical to drop it all in favour of this one goal. Go ahead, LIVE YOUR LIFE. Just take one small step every day. You should have this step written out, so you’re not wasting time wondering what to do.

…Aaaand, that’s it. Say your mantra, and take daily action. This will create a powerful habit that will motor you straight to the goal that changes everything.

Why is this so simple? Why aren’t we talking about fears and doubts and motivation? Because none of that matters, if you follow steps one and two. And repeat. Just the fact that you’re thinking/feeling your goal, and taking daily action, won’t leave much headspace for fear.

Inspired by a post by Leo Babauta on: http://zenhabits.net/really-simple-goal-setting/