Are You Meeting Your Goals?

I love when other bloggers inspire me….

The first Monday morning of a new month, how I love setting up goals for success.  I am learning how to set goals in all areas of my life in an effort to stay focused.  It isn’t always easy on those “bad days” but there are things I want to accomplish, what about you?

Sometimes we focus on professional/ business goals, sometimes the focus is on personal goals and often it’s both. Regardless of the focus, many times we don’t meet our goals, even when they’re really important to us.  Admit it, I am  not alone, right?

Why?

When I am talking about goals, I don’t mean the proverbial to-do lists, I mean actual goals.    When we are trying to lose weight, the goal is a number on the scale.  In our careers, maybe it is a certain pay or job title.  In our business maybe it is the chance to have our own business which actually pays the bills.  Maybe your goal is freedom from debt.  Whatever it is,  why is it so hard to meet those goals?  You have the desire and motivation, right?  So why don’t we reach them sometimes?

Multi-tasking!  Yup, the main reason most people don’t reach their goals is because they are trying to do too many things at once. As we get ready to set ‘new year resolutions” or as I like to call them “new year goals”, how often do we list out more than two?  Think about how you started this past year, how long was your list of goals?

Maybe you wanted to lose weight, eat better, get a new job, find your passion, be a good mother, create a vibrant social life, start a business and so on. Sound familiar? All are terrific desires, but too much for one person to handle at any given time.

When we try to make lots of changes in our life, it is overwhelming and we become unproductive. Despite years of thinking “multi-tasking” was a good thing, recent studies are showing it is actually less efficient than focusing on one project at a time. WOW!  I was the QUEEN of multi-tasking.  With the onset of MS, I am finding this doesn’t work for me.  The truth is our brains just aren’t wired to do lots of things simultaneously.

Although it’s wonderful to have multiple goals in life (I know I do), the key to success is to step back, examine what you really want right now, and pick ONE goal to focus on. YIKES!  I know it’s hard to do, but if you spend the majority of your time focusing on just one goal, you’ll accomplish it in record time. Determine the steps you need to finish the project, follow those steps daily before you tackle anything else on your daily to-do list.  Remember no more than 3 things on your to-do list a day!

I will admit, my vision board for 2017 was filled with many things.  The reality is, when I focused on just two aspects – things began to happen.

First, I earned the Leadership Incentive Trip.  Then I moved on to being consistent in my business.  The results have been AWESOME!  While reaching for my goals in business, I built strong relationships and strengthened my walk with God.

I am already thinking about my vision board for 2018.  I really do like the simple drawings and words.  Handmade helps me to feel connected with it instead of just cutting out pictures from a magazine.

What’s amazing is with laser focus, you’ll reach the goal sooner and be able to move on to the next goal on your list. Handling your goals one at a time like this will actually enable you to achieve more each year than if you try to complete everything at once.

Set up a time frame (90 days is recommended) to devote yourself to the goal you’ve chosen to focus on first. After 90 days, if you’ve been taking consistent and concentrated actions you’ll have hit the goal – or at least come a lot closer to it than if it was just another item on your list of things to do.  Will some of the other goals overlap?  YES!  Will you make progress in other areas while focusing on one? YES!

Won’t it feel AMAZING this time next year to know you have accomplished the most important goals you’ve set for yourself? Try it for six months and see what happens!

Want to be accountable?  Share your goal with us and then come back in 90-days to share the results.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Time Saving Tips

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WOW! Where did the month go?  I am so glad that the weather has warmed up here in New Jersey.  I LOVE the Spring.  It is the last day of the month, for some the kids are on Spring Break.  For others, they are just wondering where time went, right?

Over the last two weeks, I have been concentrating on being more productive in my business and in my personal life.  I was tired of saying “there is not enough time to XYZ” or looking at my to do list and seeing NOTHING checked off yet feeling busy.

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My first step was to really put the AMAZING Passion Planner that hubby got me to work.  I have been sitting down on Sunday night and planning out my week.  I mean EVERYTHING from work to be done in my business to errands to chores in the house to meal times and sleep time.  WOW!  I now feel like I am accomplishing something.  The planner is broken down into 1/2 hour increments so I plan my tasks that way and I keep checking the clock – especially when I am in my office.  When it is time to switch tasks, whether the task is done or not, I switch.  It took me a little while to get used to it but it has helped me to stay on task.  It has also helped me to stay focused and get things done.

Focusing on one task is actually a proven strategy used by many successful entrepreneurs.  Okay, maybe not planning every minute BUT “picking 1 task to focus on”.  You pick one thing and do it, blocking out all distractions.  There is a program called Rescue Time for those who may not have the willpower to be self-accountable when online.  I haven’t tried it but I know some who have.  It is an application that runs in the background of your computer and measures how you spend your time so you can make better decisions.

A problem area for me is setting time limits when I meet with a hostess, a customer or go to a meeting.  Even in my personal life, this is a struggle.  I am trying hard to stick to a set amount of time.  I assign travel time to the meeting, meeting time (usually an hour unless scheduled for longer) then travel time home or to the next task.  Vanessa Coppes said  “Meetings can be time vampires.  So, be cut-throat when it comes to managing your time so you can focus on high value tasks.”

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Get up earlier. It really is true that “the early bird catches the worm”.  Research shows that mornings can make or break your day.  By scheduling my day with tasks, I push myself to get out of bed earlier so that I can get things done.  I know that if I don’t get up and get moving, things will fall by the wayside and tasks will not get done.

For the “people pleasers” out there.  Yes, that can include me.  Practice saying NO!  You don’t need to say yes to every request.  When I don’t have everything planned out, I tend to say yes to everything and then I take on more than I can handle.  When we do this, we kill our productivity.

Are you the proverbial multi-tasker?  Been there, done that!  Believe it or not it is the WORSE way to get things done.  Research confirms that all the multi-tasking causes our brains to be rewired and as a result we get less done.  It will take practice but you will be amazed at the difference when you have mono-focus on one thing.

Finally, did you know that by saying “I don’t have enough time” or anything along those lines, you are actually drawing less time into your life.  You want to speak the positive to the Universe because the Law of Attraction really does work.

When you protect your time, you will protect your energy, your business, and your life.  What is YOUR best time saving tip?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Want To Be More Productive?

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We are almost done the first full week of the New Year, so how do you feel?  Are you overwhelmed with all of the posts about “planners”?  Does the thought of getting taxes ready make you sweat?  Are you already dreading the goals that you set thinking they are impossible?

BREATHE!  Stop for a moment and take a deep breathe.  Release it slowly.  Now, let’s talk about putting things in perspective.  Here are some tips that I have picked up over the last year that work for me:

  • Put just 3 things on your to do list every day that will help you reach your goal.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have a LONG “to do list”. The difference is that each day I pick 3 things that will help me reach my goal and make sure that they are done first!  Not sure what your goals are – use this SIMPLE planner by my friend Desiree Wolfe.
  • Block out distractions. Period.  Shut down Facebook or your email or whatever else is on your computer that distracts you.  You will be surprised at what a difference in makes in getting things done.
  • Set up productivity rituals. This is a work in progress.  By 9AM, my goal is to have completed my devotions, a blog post and checked off my “daily tasks”.  This even includes about 15 minutes on Facebook to see what it going on with friends and family.  Setting up rituals of automate behaviors, make us more productive – without depleting our energy reservoir.  By getting all of my “daily tasks” done, I am able to focus on the 3 things that will make me money when everyone else opens for business.

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  • Get up earlier. Research shows that mornings can make or break your day. Use the mantra “mind over mattress” to motivate yourself to get out of bed to pursue your goals.
  • Increase your effectiveness through technology.   There are oodles of programs to help with this and many are FREE.  I use Cinchshare for posts to Facebook.  LOVE Dropbox to store files online and it allows me to access documents when I am out and about.  Hootsuite will also help to schedule your social media posting.
  • Don’t say yes to every request.  I am guilty of this! Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which can kill our productivity
  • Stop multi-tasking.  Yes, you heard me!  There is new research that confirms that distractions invading our lives rewire the way our brain works.  Practice focusing on just ONE thing and you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish.  Set a time limit if you have to but stay present in whatever you are doing.
  • Learn from others.  I am like a sponge, always learning – I am in constant student mode.  The idea is that you have to gain information you don’t know so you can get to where you want to be.  This does NOT mean that you have to copy everything.  Learning means that you find out what works for you and knowing that just because it worked for someone else, it may not be right for you.

Taking consistent steps to move forward in your business will allow you to ultimately reach your goal.  Yes, you want to see the big picture.  In order to be successful in reaching that BIG dream, you need to break it down into smaller manageable steps that do not overwhelm you.

Hope you have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

 

Multi Task versus Productivity

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WOOHOO!  I really do like Mondays… Yes, I am one of those crazy people BUT it is because I love my business.  So, let’s talk about multi-tasking and productivity.

I always said “I am great at multi-tasking” but I always felt like I was falling short on productivity.  Despite my best efforts to lay out a plan and a timeline, I was always crunching things at the end.  So then my tag line was “I work better under pressure”.  Really, who wants to work under pressure?

Now as CEO of my own business, I occasionally find myself on this same hamster wheel.  I find that I spread myself too thin,  getting small amounts of many tasks done, but never quite finishing any of them.  In the end, I feel over-worked and under-productive, basically burnt out.

So my mission is to change the hamster wheel mindset.  Did you know that you can increase your productivity by 40% when you give yourself time to focus on one task?  You know what I mean, those squirrel moments.  We all have them, right?

So how do we get off the hamster wheel and increase our productivity?

1.  Put your phone far, far away.  

When I am in my office, I very seldom have my cell phone.  I have spotty reception in my office so why be frustrated  or frustrate others with dropped calls.

If you are one of those who have notifications for every app (Facebook, etc) alerting you –  STOP!  That simple notification in the middle of working on a project can leave you distracted and considerably less productive.  Put your phone across the room or even *gasp* turn it off which will reduce the risk of distraction. Why not let people leave a message and return their calls later after you finish the project?

2.  Notice patterns and set specific times

Think about your patterns. What’s your go-to distracter? Email? Updating your calendar? “Work”-related social media? Whatever it is, avoid the distraction by setting specific times during the day that you can check it.  Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Workweek suggests checking your email 2-3 times a day, max. Give yourself specific times when you’re not working on other tasks.  This way you are present when talking to customers and team members without being distracted.

I close all  “tabs” on internet when I am working on something.  Better yet, if I am working on a project, I close the internet if I don’t need it.  When I consistently do this, it takes less time to get a simple project done because I am not distracted.

3.  Take a productive break

If you feel the urge to switch tasks, take a a little break – this will increase your productivity.  Now, that doesn’t mean make a call or run a quick errand.  Instead, take a walk or meditate for 10 minutes.  A real, mental break will give you the relaxation you  need and leave you with a more productive mindset.

4.  Set a timer

I only use this one when I am pushing to pick up the dreaded 500-pound phone but I may need to try it for some other projects.  Set a timer for your task.  While the timer is running, ONLY work on one thing.  When you’re finished, take a quick break to check social media, or whatever it is that normally distracts you

Set your timer based on your daily to-do list of the top 3 things you want to complete then set a time limit for each task.  This way you can properly plan out your day.

Who is ready to conquer Monday and spend the rest of the week being productive?  What is your best tip to increase productivity?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Living in the Moment

Are you living in the moment?  I know a Monday morning and I am asking right?  Are you thinking – where did the weekend go?  I never have enough time to get things done.  How am I going to squeeze all of this in this week?  Dreading heading back to work?

I have been there and on some days I am still there trying to answer those questions.  My weekend is usually on Monday and Tuesday when hubby is off but the questions are still the same.  When I worked full-time AND had my own business, I used to say “I am great at multi-tasking” but the truth was I was not living in the moment.  I was worried about what needed to get done or stressing over what hadn’t gotten done.  As a result, I missed what was happening AT THAT MOMENT!  I was physically at things but mentally not there.  I am sure that my daughter and family could attest to that fact.

In a counseling session this past week, we talked about that this exact thing.  When I jump backwards or forward and add “what if” into the scenario, I begin to start the slow decline into depression. I never realized how easy that slide was for me.  Okay, so you may not slide into depression but I am sure that stress and worry do become your friend (or enemy).

Here are two quotes that I came across over the weekend that I am going to print and hang on my wall as a reminder to stay in the moment:

Multi-tasking is the only thing that gets worse with practice. If you’re fully present, you’ll have all the time to do what you need to do. Dr. Deepak Chopra

You can say YES to this moment and experience a joy that cannot be put into words.  From pastor and best-selling author of Love Wins Rob Bell

As we start the last week of January, for those of us in direct sales this is crunch time.  This is when you begin to stress about whether or not you have reached your monthly goals.  Or has your team reached their goals.  This is when you begin to project how the lack of sales may or may not impact your life in the upcoming month.  I know, I am there right now.  I totally get it!

You become — not what you want — but what you believe.  Oprah

So, as I begin this Monday morning…. I BELIEVE that I will make my sales volume.  I BELIEVE that my team will make their sales.  I BELIEVE that I will fill my calendar in February.  I will NOT multi-task, I will do each thing on my list so that I can check it off.  When I start to lose focus and move out of the moment, I will STOP and re-focus.

So, who’s with me?  Who is ready to BELIEVE that they can stay in the moment?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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