When setting goals and making new years resolutions, it helps to be as specific as possible. The greatest success in achievement happens when we spend time really thinking through what we want and why we want it.
When setting goals for 2012, take time to look back on the accomplishments you've made in 2011. Look at the goals that you've been most successful in achieving this year, and consider the strengths that you should build on 2012. It's important to build on those things that we are the most talented and accomplished in. This will result not only getting more joy out of work but in experiencing greater success as well.
Expect success and you are more likely to achieve it.
Visualizing what you want to happen is an important tool in achieving your goals. Take time to write down in as much detail as possible the outcomes that you'd like to see happen in your career, family, and personal lives. You should do this for both short term and long term goals. By spending time visualizing the details, the goals become less abstract and the steps towards success begin to reveal themselves.
When you are faced with a very difficult decision, pretend you will have to defend your actions on the 6 o'clock news. If you feel like you wouldn't be able to go on camera because you would be embarrassed or ashamed, reconsider your decision - chances are it isn't in the best interest of your company.
Change is a constant in every organization. Strong leadership is vital so that when big changes occur, we can go with the flow and not be frightened.
When writing an email, delivering a speech or simply engaging in a conversation, notice how many times you say the word I. Try to eliminate the word I as much as possible. Studies show that people like hearing the word you - second only to hearing their own name. When someone hears or reads the word I too often, they mentally check out of the conversation. So make a conscious effort to structure your conversation and writings to be more about the benefits to the other person and less about your agenda.
Are you at the mercy of your schedule? Do you say yes to so many requests you feel you can’t get anything done and rarely have enough time to do something for yourself? Look at your watch. We all have the same number of hours in a day, and although the days never seem long enough, there are ways to get more done. The secret lies in taking charge of your schedule instead of letting it take charge of you. Here are a few tips on how to get started.
Imagine all of your priorities are balls you are juggling. Too many balls in the air at one time can result in total chaos. It creates the feeling you are doing everything, working all the time and yet never accomplishing the things that are really important. To change this dynamic, decide which balls are made of rubber and which are made of glass. You have to decide what can you let go of and what will shatter if dropped.
Studies show that the more goals we set for ourselves, the less likely we are to achieve any of them. If we set three goals, we have about a 90 percent chance of success. In contrast, if we set ten goals, we have almost no chance of accomplishing any of them. Why? Because when we take on too much at one time, we lose focus and become distracted, which leads to procrastination and stress.
The question is how to narrow it down. Spread out your priority projects so that everything isn’t an urgent matter all of the time. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish and give each item a ranking of high, medium or low priority. Now reduce the list to tasks that absolutely must be done by you.
Look at your weekly calendar and actually schedule a time to accomplish the jobs most important to you — such as that report you have to write at work, the evaluation that is way overdue, the family dinner you keep promising to host. This system works because it provides the opportunity to actually schedule the important tasks, not just meetings, so you don’t feel as if everything must be done today. This increases the chance of getting it done while providing a schedule that you can manage.
The first time you try this exercise, expect to have more needing to be done than there are hours in the week. That’s normal. But doing this exercise also helps you see what might be eliminated all together or be scheduled farther out. It helps identify the things that you really should be saying no to. You don’t have to rationalize to others why you can’t do something. The art of saying no can be a difficult one to master, but be persistent in your practice. It helps to remember that saying yes to too much is actually saying no to other more critical items, like spending time with your family or getting some much needed rest.
Don’t worry about scheduling an end time on every project when you first start this exercise. Instead, just schedule a time to start it, and then schedule a time to work on it. That in itself will provide a sense of success and accomplishment. You will be motivated to keep going and stop putting off the hard tasks because your schedule will also have some time to have fun, spend time with friends and family, exercise, and do something just for you.
The most successful executives are those who successfully set limits and manage their time well, using this technique of actually looking at the days of the week and scheduling time to fit in the most important things first. Once you get in the routine of making a weekly schedule for your priorities, the natural flow will be to look further ahead and schedule projects months in advance.
So make your list for the week. Narrow the list to the most important tasks you need to accomplish. Look it over to see what you can eliminate entirely, and consider where you might need to start saying no, so you can say yes to yourself more often.
The average person needs to be exposed to something about seven times before he or she will buy a product. In networking, you are the product.
Today's tip comes from my book, Don't Kiss on the Lips and Other Networking Tips which you can find at Amazon.
Everyone is busy during the holidays, and it sometimes causes tempers to flare in a way that they normally wouldn't. No matter how frustrated you get with anyone you work with, never (ever) yell at them. If you have made the mistake of yelling at a co-worker or someone you supervise, make sure to have a normalizing conversation as soon as possible, and be sure to apologize for your behavior. Then demonstrate your apology in action by never doing it again.
A friend recently asked advice on what to do for a staff member who was retiring after many years of service. I have found that people really like to know that the time they spent working for a company meant something, that because they were there it made a difference, that their commitment and hard work didn't go unnoticed.
People love to have a nice brief letter from the president of the company telling them how much they meant. Have the letter framed so that they can display it for their family to see. Read it to them at the lunch - people love recognition and it sends the message to others in the organization that longevity and hard work are valued.
Management Expert, Executive Coach, Columnist, Strategic Networker