Effective goal setting is one of the most important and indeed exciting assignments that you can ever do. When you have goals that excite you every day and a clear roadmap to achieve them, you will have the power to change your life in a positive and lasting way.
Over the years I have tried many different goal-setting techniques. I have read dozens of books and countless articles about goal setting. Some techniques worked better than others, but most of them where like New Years resolutions, I always felt excited about my goals for a few days, and then I either lost interest in them or I forgot about them altogether. I have put together for you the exact system that I use every day to help me achieve all of my personal and professional goals. I totally believe that if you follow the easy to follow steps that I am going to share with you, you will discover what you really want to achieve in your life, and also how you can achieve all of your exciting goals and dreams.
I have found through years of trial and error that simplicity is key when setting goals. There is no need for a complicated system or magic formula, just a few simple principles that you need to follow every day.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said this about goal setting:
“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.”
Why set goals?
When you set the kind of goals that really excite you, and make you want to jump out of bed every morning. You will look at each day as being a step closer to achieving your dreams and your reaching your full potential. But just setting goals is not enough. Every year millions of people make New Years resolutions or make a wish as they blow out the candles on their birthday cake with the best of intentions, but usually these goals and wishes fade away and are forgotten about within a few days or weeks at the very best. The reason why is not in the setting of the goals themselves. It is in the lack of planning and action steps needed to achieve these goals. When you follow a goal achieving roadmap that will keep you on target and highly motivated, it is also when you will start to see exciting results and you will experience the feeling of being in control of your life and of your future.
I could have easily written thousands of words about why goal setting is important for you and how to set goals, but I wanted this article to be different, I want setting goals to be an enjoyable experience for you, and I want you to feel excited every day as you get closer and closer to achieving your goals. I also want you to start taking action and start to see results as soon as possible.
“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.” – Earl Nightingale
Write your goals down
Ask most people what are their short, medium and long-term goals? And they will either look at you blankly or else they will have to think for a few moments before rhyming off the usual “have more money” “Loose weight” “travel ” or “be successful.” These are some good goals to have, but are they really their own goals? Or are they what society and the people around them have told them what they should want? The problem is that most people do not have a clear idea what they really want in life. They are programmed by society, the media and their peers to tell them what they should want. You are going to be different. You are going to know exactly what your goals really are, how to achieve them, and you will be totally committed and excited to achieve them.
“When you know what you want and you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it.” – Jim Rohn
This exercise will take you around 20-30minutes.
The first step of successful goal setting is to write all of your goals down on paper.
Get a pen and write down as many goals as possible in just ten minutes. Let your mind wander, use your imagination, and really push yourself.
Write down whatever comes into your mind. Write down a word or a sentence, but just keep writing until you have at least 20 goals on paper. Try to think of all the goals and dreams that you ever had in the past. Remember, this is your goal list, not your friends, not the media; they are your goals, your dreams and your future.
You don’t have to be too descriptive; we will leave that for the another step. Just keep writing until you have at least 20.
Next go through your list and determine when you want to accomplish each goal. Write down next to each goal a 1, 3, or 5. The “1” represents if you want to accomplish it within 1 year, “3” = 3 years, “5” = 5 years.
For now we are going to focus on your top five one year goals. Write these goals down on a separate sheet of paper and title it 1 Year Goals. If you do not have five, look at your list again and pick from the list of three year goals until you have at least five exciting one year goals. Next, under each of your top five one year goals, write down a few sentences why you really want to achieve each goal? What will it do for you? And why is it important to you?
The next step is really important. To achieve your top five one year goals you will need to change some habits that you currently have. On another piece of paper write the title Who Do I Need To Become, write a short paragraph outlining some of the characteristics that you will need to change or develop in order for you to achieve your goals. Do you need to exercise more? Do you need to read more? Perhaps you need to watch less television? Perhaps you need to limit the amount of time you spend with negative people, and spend more time with positive and inspiring people? Think of the type of person that you will need to become so that you will achieve your goals. If you remain the same person as you are now, you will achieve the same results that you are currently getting.
The changes that you will need to make and the person that you must become usually does not have to be too drastic, sometimes all it takes is a few little adjustments in your beliefs of what is possible for you, your daily habits, and perhaps the people that you surround yourself with. Take a few minutes to really think of who you are, and the person that you want to become.
The next step is one of the most important steps of goal setting. Finding out what you want and why you want it is crucial, but if you do not follow through with action, you will never achieve your goals. Write Action Plan on another piece of paper. I want you to write down your five one year goals and the three action steps you are going to take for each goal to get you started. For example, it could be…
Open a savings account to save for…
Go to the car dealership and take a test drive in my dream car.
Get a catalogue for a world cruise from the travel agent.
Order books online to help me develop the necessary skills and knowledge.
Join a group of like minded positive people locally or online.
Purchase exercise equipment for training at home.
Spend more quality time with my partner or family.
Join a health club or start yoga.
Join the local library.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.”- Pablo Picasso
Every morning you need to read your Five One Year Goals and your Action Plan. I highly recommend that you read your Goals out loud. This way you will feel more passionate and enthusiastic about your goals and your future. Also, when you are journaling in the morning, you can write down what action you are going to take that day that will help you to achieve your goals. Repetition is key when achieving your goals. I read my goals every morning, I then write my action steps in my journal, I also have a copy of my goals on my phone that I read once or twice a day. I then like to watch videos or search for images on the Internet that depict my goals. You could also have your goals written on a piece of paper in your wallet or purse, this way you will see your goals every time that you spend money. The more ways that you can program your mind to stay focused and visualize your goals the better.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe
Small Steps Will Get You To Your Destination
You now have your list of exciting goals completed, you also have your action steps planned out, and you are committed to read your goals every morning. So, how soon will you start to see results? The answer is simple; you have already taken massive steps to achieve your goals and dreams by getting this far. This in itself is a fantastic result. We already know that most people do not have any serious goals, let alone have them written down, or an action plan to achieve them. You are different, you have decided what you want, why you want to achieve your goals, and you are totally committed to achieve them. This is your first success. Well done you!
I learned the next important lesson many years ago. I used to beat myself up if I did not take massive action every day to achieve my goals, this did nothing to help me achieve my goals. Instead it filled my heads my head with doubts and I would have a negative mindset that I should give up, or that I had failed. When I learned that every action step taken no matter how small was a step in the right direction, I felt that every day was a success, and that every day was a step closer to achieving my goals. There are no written rules to what you need to do every day. If you just read your list of goals one day that is fine. If one day you take just one small action step to achieve one of your goals that is also ok. If you listen to a Meditation audio in the morning and you feel positive and confident for the rest day that is wonderful. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t take massive action every day.
Achieving your goals is an exciting and gradual process. It is going to take a few days to reprogram your mind and change your daily habits by reading and visualizing your goals. When you know exactly what you want and you totally believe that you are going to achieve your goals, something amazing will start to happen in your life. You will suddenly start to meet online or through friends the kind of people that will help you succeed, you will also discover the books and courses that will teach you the skills that you will need, and you will attract opportunities that will put you on course to achieve your goals. I also cannot emphasize strongly enough the power of a productive morning ritual.
Keeping on Track
To help to keep you on track to achieve your goals I recommend writing in your journal every day. Keeping a journal is a powerful tool that will help you review the action steps that you have taken, your learnings for the week so far, and all of your wonderful achievements. You can be as brief or descriptive as you want when you are writing about your actions steps taken and your learnings in your journal.
Some Action Steps Taken might include:
Listened to a Meditation.
Wrote in my journal every morning.
Exercised three times.
Read for 30 minutes every day.
Saved images of my dream holiday on my computer and phone.
Ordered two books online that will help me to achieve my goals.
Watched less tv every night.
Improved my eating habits.
Next, under Learnings for the Week, you can write down what worked for you and what you will do next week that will keep you on track.
I will get up one hour earlier every morning to fit in my morning routine.
I will leave my journal on the kitchen table to remind me to write in it every day.
I will spend less time using social media.
I will organise my lunch the night before.
I will set a reminder on my phone to read my goals every day.
I said it before that I really want you to enjoy this whole exciting goal setting process. I think that it is vitally important that you recognize and take credit when you either reach a milestone or achieve a goal. Every time you achieve a step that you made in your Action Plan put a tick beside it. When you achieve one of your one year goals celebrate. Go out for a meal to your favorite restaurant, or treat yourself to a day trip, go to the movies, or perhaps go shopping. The important thing here is that you reward yourself. The reason for this is that many of us forget to give ourselves a pat on the back when we achieve something in our lives. We often forget about all of the amazing things that we have accomplished. By rewarding ourselves we attach more pleasure to our achievements, which in turn will keep us motivated and it will make our achievements more memorable.
The Next Step…
Ok, so you have taken your three initial action steps to get you started to achieve one of your goals, what do you do next?
You need to keep going, you need to be consistent. You are going to make faster progress on some goals more than others, this is completely normal. That is when you need to update your action steps. As you complete one action step, you need to add another, and another and then another. You always need to have three action steps to take for each one year goal. This way you will stay highly motivated, totally inspired and on track with your goals.
So now you have the system, you have the enthusiasm, don’t wait until the end of the year! Start today to make the next 12 months Your Best Year Ever!
How Neurobics Can improve Your Memory
When you are trying to improve your overall well-being, it is just as important to focus on your mental fitness as well as your physical fitness. Most people have heard of aerobics. Aerobic exercise is a great way to boost your heart rate and burn a few extra calories while improving your heart health. But, have you ever heard of Neurobics? Neurobics is the science behind brain exercise.
Yes, you can exercise your mind and keep it just as fit as your body. But, it is not like your brain is going to do any jumping jacks or jogging any time soon, right? So, what can you do to keep it fit, and how does exercising your brain actually improve your memory?
Let’s dive a little deeper into how Neurobics actually works, and a few exercises you can try to boost your memory and overall brain health.
What Is Neurobics?
When you break Neurobics down, it stands for neurons + aerobics. Neurobic exercises increase the level of oxygen in your brain and “breathe life” into the neurons.
When those neurons are stronger and more stimulated, it improves your brain health – especially your memory. A good way to visualize how Neurobics actually helps is by picturing a piece of glass being blown into a decorative item. The glass maker has to stretch the piece when it is warm and malleable. But, once it is stretched out, it doesn’t spring back to where was before. It stays permanently in place.
Neurobics work the same way. By taking part in an activity or experience that taxes your brain, you are “stretching” the neurons. Once they are stretched, they don’t return to the shape that they were in before.
That is the point of Neurobics – to challenge your mind in different ways so that it gets stronger. If you are working out your body, doing the exact same exercise the same way each day, it would eventually cause your results to plateau. You have to switch things up to “confuse” your muscles and get them stronger. Working out your brain is just the same. With that in mind, let’s cover a few easy Neurobics exercises that you can start doing right away.
Change Your Habits
One of the easiest (and yet, most challenging) ways to get started with Neurobics is to step out of your daily comfort zone. Some habits can already be detrimental to your memory, and cutting them out of your life will make a difference.
When you stop old habits, you are actually using Neurobics to challenge your brain into different thinking patterns. Some ideas to consider include:
- Giving up (or at least cutting down) on television
- Quitting smoking/drinking alcohol
- Changing your eating habits
- Exercising more
When you stop doing some of the things that you have grown comfortable with, you require your brain to stretch, adapt and change. As a result, you will start thinking clearer, become more focused, and remember more things.
Do Something Different
Some Neurobic exercises are things that you can do in just a few minutes each day – the equivalent of doing 50 jumping jacks in a five-minute work break. Things like solving a crossword puzzle, writing in a journal or giving yourself a High Five in a mirror can all fire up the neurons in your brain. Even yoga and/or meditation can force you to push away the “cluttered” thoughts that are in your head and require you to focus on one particular thing.
The places you go and the experiences that you jump into can be considered as Neurobic activities. Anything that challenges your mind and causes you to think differently about something is a great way to stretch your brain.
These could include going to a museum, a zoo, a musical performance, or even different cultural festivals. Allowing yourself to be open to new ideas and experiences is one of the best ways to exercise your brain and improve your memory.
Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do.”
While one of the biggest benefits of Neurobics is improved memory, it is certainly not the only “perk” to this type of mental exercising. Neurobics can also help you to face your fears, live without regrets, and experience a fuller, more meaningful life.
They can give you the courage to take more chances and experience the rewards. They can turn you into a better leader. Most importantly, Neurobics can inspire you by changing the way you see the world around you.
If you are already passionate about your physical health, it could be time to start thinking about your mental fitness, too! Whether you want to improve your memory as you get older or just want to keep your mind as sharp as possible now, trying Neurobics is a great way to “stay in great mental shape”.
Use some of the exercises listed here to get started. You might be surprised by just how quickly your focus and memory will start to improve.
8 Great Ways To Reward Your Employees
Employee engagement is more than a current trend – it is something that more businesses across the globe are starting to value for plenty of good reasons. When employees feel happy and appreciated, they are more likely to be productive and loyal to your company.
While basic benefits packages are still important, it is now more important than ever to go above and beyond for the people working for you. Not only can great rewards help you to hire the best talent, but they will also make your business environment a positive one where people will actually enjoy coming to work and do their best.
The great part about rewarding your employees is that you can let your creativity shine. Think about practical, functional rewards that your employees will actually use and appreciate. Then, don’t be afraid to have some fun with your ideas.
Feeling stuck? Not sure where to get started? Let’s cover some great ways to reward your employees.
1. Make Your Gratitude Public
Sometimes, the simplest gestures can make the biggest difference. If you really want your employees to feel good, make sure everyone knows how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication.
So, thank them publicly. The next time you have a company meeting or public event, carve out some time to thank people individually. Giving them a few moments of attention in a public setting is a great way to show them how much that you appreciate them. After all, who doesn’t like to be complimented?
2. Give Time Off
A reward doesn’t have to be something tangible to be valuable. If your employees have been working hard, reward them with some extra time off. It could be a long weekend, a surprise vacation, or even just an afternoon off on a random Tuesday.
If you do decide to reward them with some free time, make sure you let them know how much you appreciate the work that they have been doing. That appreciation, along with getting a break from work, can help them to feel more motivated and productive when they return.
3. The Little Things Count
You don’t need to go overboard with flashy, expensive rewards. Sometimes, it’s the little things that mean the most. Plus, you will be able to give them more frequently.
Hand out things like gift cards to local coffee shops or movie theaters, or give them something practical like a travel mug or ergonomic desk chair. Small gestures can really mean a lot and your employees will remember and appreciate the gesture.
4. Build Community Through Food
Everyone has to eat, but not everyone likes spending money on their lunch or bringing a regular sandwich from home.
One of the easiest ways to reward your employees is to have lunch catered in as often as possible. Not only does it show them how much you appreciate their work, but when everyone eats lunch together, it will build a more positive work environment. Your business benefits all around.
You can take things one step further by making your catered lunches a scheduled event, whether you do it once a week, once a month, etc. It gives people something to look forward to and serves as a constant reminder of your appreciation.
5. Subscription Services
Subscription services have become more popular than ever in recent years. They really grew during the pandemic, when most people started spending more time at home.
Consider signing your employees up for a subscription service you think they would enjoy. Perhaps give them a list of magazines that they can choose from and give them a years subscription for a job well done.
6. Schedule Company-wide Activities
Host company parties, picnics, and other fun events as often as possible. Everyone deserves to have fun after working hard, and it is another great opportunity for your employees to get closer, a build a better bond. Company activities can also help to prevent burnout in the workplace.
Make sure to include certain events that can include employees’ family members so everyone can join in the fun and your workers don’t have to be away from their loved ones. Family picnics, movie nights, bowling tournaments, or even a catered dinner are all great ways to make sure everyone is involved.
7. Extra Responsibility
While more responsibilities might not seem like a “reward” at first, it is how you present it to an employee that makes a difference.
When you sit down to talk to an employee about increasing their responsibilities, make sure they know why. Talk about how much you trust them and their ability to make decisions on their own. Let them know their value as a part of the company, and you take their career goals as seriously as they do.
8. Give Them A High Five
Giving someone a high five should not be confined just to sports. You have probably seen the viral videos of a teacher giving their students a high five as they enter the classroom. You can feel the positivity, genuine excitement and the wonderful energy from these videos. Research has shown that the biggest difference in whether or not someone will enjoy their job and be more productive, is not the amount of vacation time or their salary package. It is when someone has a manager who cares, appreciates and trusts them and makes them feel that they matter. The next time someone hits a target, makes a sale or gives great customer service why not give them a well deserved high five and see how it makes them feel.
While your employees might not regularly expect rewards, that is half the fun of giving them. Boosting morale, no matter how big or small your business might be, will make a big difference in how productive your workers are. It will shape the environment of your entire company, and the best part? It doesn’t take a lot of time or money to reward people for a job well done. Get creative, get personal, and find unique ways to show your employees how much you appreciate them.
Are You Working For A Tyrant Boss? (And what you can do about it)
Multiple studies have indicated that a large percentage of people are unhappy with their jobs. Research carried out by Microsoft in 2021, showed that 41% of the workforce are considering leaving their employer. Sometimes, this dissatisfaction comes from working long hours. Other times, it is about not making enough money.
On occasion, however, the source of unhappiness is the person that you work for. Working for a tyrant boss is draining and stressful. It can have a negative impact on nearly every area of your life, because the stress that it causes makes it hard to “let go” of your workday even when you are at home.
So, how do you know if you are working for a tyrant boss? And if you are, what can you do about it?
A Boss That Is Never Wrong
You have heard of the phrase “the customer is always right,” but do you work for someone who never seems to think that you are ever right?
A tyrant in the workplace is often a dictator. This means that they don’t listen to anyone else’s opinion or ideas, and if they do, they are instantly shut down. A tyrant boss can “never be wrong,” and they have the final authority on everything.
Unfortunately, they are often the ones who will suffer in the end. No one is perfect, no matter how much your boss thinks that they are. If they do not take other people’s input into consideration, they are going to burn out and end up making poor choices, which will impact the business in the long run.
Help people reach their full potential, catch them doing something right. ― Ken Blanchard
They Expect Carbon Copies Of Themselves
Does your boss seem to gravitate toward employees who are just like them?
Narcissistic people tend to be kinder to those who have the same characteristics. The problem with that? It takes a diverse group of people with different skill sets to make a great team.
If your boss favors people just like them and expects everyone to conform to certain unreasonable expectations, you should see this as a huge red flag.
Additionally, pay attention to how your boss’ personality changes around certain people. If they tend to play favorites, it might be another sign that they are running a tyrannical operation. Everyone in a business should be treated equally. Favoritism doesn’t belong in a professional setting.
Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is a success. – Henry Ford
They Don’t Respect Your Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance has become an important topic of conversation over the last year. With more people working remotely, it has been harder for some to strike a healthy balance between their work life and their home life.
While, in many cases, you can find ways to manage this balance, some bosses simply won’t allow it.
For example, does your boss frequently call you on your day off? Do they email you or message you after working hours, or first thing in the morning?
If your boss cannot respect that you have a life and that you deserve some free time, they are running their business like a dictatorship. Good employers know how important it is for their employees to have free time, whether it is for self-care or socialization. When a worker constantly feels like they are “on the clock,” they are more likely to get burnt out quickly, and their performance will suffer.
They Are Master Micro-Managers
Does your boss lurk over you more often than not? Do you find it hard to get anything done in a day because they are micromanaging everything that you do?
Micro-managers want a play-by-play of everything that you are doing throughout the day. They will try to take charge of your projects and overlook everything so you can’t be as productive as you could be.
You can work to diffuse a micro-managing boss by giving them more information than they ask for. Beat them at their own game by giving them detailed information about what you are working on. If they feel like they are not able to be “on top” of you anymore, they will likely give up and let you work in peace.
Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people. – Steve Jobs
They Want All Of The Credit
Typically, when a business sees any kind of success, it is a good sign of a strong, dynamic team. One person cannot hold up an entire company on their own.
But, if your boss tends to take the credit for everything and loves being in the spotlight, it can often feel like your efforts are unnoticed and unappreciated. There are children’s books about people doing all the work and someone else taking all of the credit. Some adults just never seem to learn the “moral of the story”.
What Can You Do About It?
So, what can you do if you are working for a tyrant boss? Aside from resigning, which is sometimes the only option, there are a few ways that you can manage things on a daily basis.
First, try not to let your boss’ behavior affect you. Yes, they can be frustrating. They will get to you, at times. It is important for you to take the high road and be the bigger person. No matter where you work, everything that you do is a reflection of who you are – your personal brand. Don’t give in to your frustrations, and don’t fuel your boss’ attitude by snapping back at them. If you do, chances are, their behaviors will become even more exaggerated.
Your overall well-being should be your top priority. If you don’t see any signs of a changing environment, you don’t need to stay in a toxic workplace. Understand some of these signs, and trust your gut when it comes to how you should respond. Many of us have had bad experiences with tyrant bosses in the past, I know I have. In my experience, tyrant bosses very rarely change. They have either moved on or I have.
Life is too short to be stressed out by your boss. Thankfully there are plenty of great bosses out there too who will respect and value you and they are a real joy to work with.