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5 TIPS on Achieving Your Goals This Year Without Making a Resolution

The New Year is approaching and you may be thinking of New Year’s resolutions. On average, the success rate on follow through it quite low. So instead, start thinking about where you are now and where you want to be. You still will be making a plan of action, but don’t call it a “resolution”. Set measurable and achievable goals to get on track and keep on track.

Plan – then take action to make it happen!

Don’t you find that it’s easy to sit down and make the plan of action, but then implementing and following through each day, you start to lose steam or have “make up task” days?

Written goals provide you clarity of direction that set you, your business, and your movement towards your goals up for success. But, it’s your commitment to take action and to keep following through to actually make things happen. One of the biggest areas where people de-rail their efforts they wrote down on paper, is setting to LARGE of a goal or task item to-do list each day. Best advice, is to break it up!! Big pie in the sky dream goals are good to have for the upcoming year, but break it down to week by week, and then day by day to-do list. General rule of thumb, is to create a TOP 3 list each day, and do that no matter what!! They all don’t have to be extensive and elaborate, but just a step in motion moving forward.

You may know where you want to go but realistically, without taking time out to make a written plan or map of how to get there, you are losing valuable time to actually reach it!

Below are my TOP tips on making a plan of action and to-do list that will actually have you feeling successful as opposed to as a guilty failure.

1) Make your plan something you want to do!
Too many times people make a list of what they SHOULD be doing because someone else says they should or they think that is the right thing to do. Define, what you are most passionate about, what you are most talented in, and set the plan to focus more on tasks that involve those things. You will be more likely to follow through.

2) Pick Something You Can Do Easily
Ask yourself if your plan is realistic and achievable for you right now. Evaluate realistically where your current obligations are in your life, and how your new action items can fit in for success. If you think it’s going to be too hard to stick to your plan, change it so that you’re likely to succeed.

3) Be Action-Specific
Specify exactly what is it that you’re going to do. Measurable action goals are a way for you to actively keep working on them in motion. You feel yourself doing and completing it as opposed to a wish list of “I’m gonna”. Set your action goals with measurable notches.

4) Set Measurable Goals
Defining a goal without a mark of deadline, quantity, or risk is still a wish list. There is no gage or mark of achievement. Be specific with your goals when you have them broken down in years, months, and days. For example, in business you may have a monthly goal to sign up 10 new customers. Breaking that down even further into the weeks will help you keep a measurable rate as the month nears it’s end. So your goal for the week may be to speak with 20 people. We all know the law of averages with success rates. If your goal is 10 new customers a month, you surely need to speak with almost 100 people to nail that goal as achieved.
If you have a goal each week of 20 people, then now break it down to your working days, and how many people will you be speaking with on those days to ensure you at least hit your 20 per week.
Weight loss works the same way. You may have 50 lbs you want to lose, but you can’t say at the start, I’m losing 50 lbs. You have to break it down into what will you achieve that month and that week etc.

5) Celebrate and Evaluate
Celebrate and recognize your achievements no matter how small they are! It’s forward progress in reaching your goals!
A strong tip I have suggested to many of my team through the years is to create a note book log. Record what action items, steps, programs etc.. you did during the measurable timeframe. Write down what you didn’t feel went well or was good effective use of your time as well as write down how you can really improve and do things differently or even better next time.

It’s easy to say you will be a huge success, you will lose 50 lbs, you will make the highest award level you can achieve. But, when it comes right down to it, your goal setting, you to-do lists, your action, your commitment and confidence, and your follow through will prove you got what it takes.

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How to Start Conversations

When you come from a place of genuine interest and warmth, almost anything you say will be well received and appreciated. What you actually say doesn’t have to be clever, how knowledgable you are, or how much you can “save” them will actually create alienation and a loss of connection. People appreciate others showing genuine interest, and everyone appreciates and treasures those moments when we drop our “presentations” and become authentic.

Conversation and small talk isn’t easy and natural for everyone, but it’s a skill that can be learned. The more you practice, obviously, the easier and more spontaneous it will become. A tip to start “training” yourself to be better at it, is to put yourself in a non threatening comfortable situation. This will mean different things for each of you as some of you might be a very comfortable parent chatting on the sidelines to other parents, while others may be very comfortable walking up to someone to help them in the grocery store. You can easily start by making small talk with the clerks where you shop and the waiters/waitresses when you are out for a meal or even your morning coffee. Oddly enough, this tip may be VERY helpful…..Practice with telephone solicitors! Why? Because it will challenge you to keep the conversation going with asking leading questions and the caller will stay on the line for obvious reasons!

Initiating a conversation with a stranger might not be easy, but we can’t let fear or our anxieties run our lives and keep us from growing. You only grow when you put yourself in challenge uncomfortable positions, and learn some lessons along the way. Additionally, you never know what kind of day the other person may be having, and just your friendly banter may brighten their day or even make them smile. Others may even be flattered! In general, we all love to be noticed and appreciated for our efforts.

So what do you say? It really doesn’t matter as long as you say something. Start be getting comfortable with opening the door for communication with a simple SMILE and a warm “Hi,” “Hello,” “How are you?” or “Good morning,” and see what happens! If you know the person’s name or something about them say, “Hi, Nancy. How are you doing?” or “Hey, how is potty training that new dog of yours?” the next step is VERY important, Listen and respond appropriately. Some people need that nudge to keep the fire of communicating going. You may need to drive the conversation a bit. Always pay attention to body language though. If someone is darting their eyes, pulling away from you, seems rushed, let the conversation close. You may find some of your conversations may be a bit out from left field while others open a whole new world of things in common and the conversation can go on and on. Additionally, some conversations you wish you never started and others might be the high point of your day. It’s all a lesson, and sometimes a risk we have to take on opening the lines of communication.

What you really want to get into the habit of doing is asking open-ended questions as opposed to yes/no questions. If the person can respond with either a yes or a no, that’s not a good question you should ask. Again people always like to be complimented or feel of value. Starting with a compliment or asking for their opinion even on something you may be an expert about, will open up for a back and forth dialogue. It gives other people the permission and opportunity to talk. You may need to memorize some cliche open-ended questions that can be used as ice breakers in different social settings. At a party you might ask how they know the people who are throwing the party. Or at the grocery store, you may ask for some help on picking out the best beef for your stew. You can even ask for directions or recommendations to some great local restaurants or shopping areas. (even if you know them all!)

One of the best tips to finding out someone’s name is to introduce yourself first or introduce someone else in your party so they can offer up their name to them. People always value the sound of their name, especially when someone else remembers it. So at the close of the conversation, if you have completely forgotten their name, don’t be ashamed in asking for it again. If it’s a name that warrants spelling, ask them how they spell it.

The only way you will get better at socializing and communicating is to get out there and do it! Follow me on Facebook for more free advice, tips, motivation and training! http://tinyurl.com/christinedwyer

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