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3 Practical Ways To Boost Your Commitment To Your Goals

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3 Practical Ways To Boost Your Commitment To Your Goals

Goal setting is something that nearly every successful person considers a MUST DO. I suspect there will be very little disagreement from most on that point.

But, have you ever noticed that, in the course of carrying out the work to achieve those goals, your focus and commitment to them can become blurry and sometimes even lost for good? I’ve certainly experienced this both personally and also see it happen regularly in my coaching work with health care entrepreneurs. Why is this and what can you do to change it?

I was recently listening to a podcast interview with serial entrepreneur, John Assaraf, that really slammed home for me the answer to this commitment question. During the conversation he asked the audience, “are you interested or are you committed to achieving your goals and dreams?” That got me wondering, what exactly does it mean to be committed to something?

I Googled commitment and found the first definition to be what we all know, but Google’s second definition of commitment is what caught my attention. It reads, “an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action. Now that makes me bristle a bit. What about you? In committing to something, do you really want to feel as if you’re giving up the opportunity to freely choose your action steps? Seems kind of counterintuitive, doesn’t it?

The fact is, you’ve probably been told regularly that successfully achieving your goals requires you to freely think, create and act outside the box. To paint a world of your own design. To ignore social convention. Right? But, consider this for a moment; Author Peter Drucker wrote, “unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes… but no plans.”  This says to me that making true commitment significantly narrows down the actions that can, and should be taken to achieve your goal. The plan is exactly that… a restricted set of actions derived from commitment without which, your goal is much more likely to remain just out of reach.

Here are 3 ways that will boost your commitment to fulfilling a goal:

1. Be a follower

In many cases, achieving success in life can be much like walking a well-worn path through the woods. Interest in a certain goal will often reveal the trail ahead of the pathway created by others who’ve gone before you. Beginning the journey is an exciting prospect and getting started in the footsteps of others toward your goal is really pretty easy.

But be warned, enthusiasm often wanes after some time. The novelty of the trail to your goal wears off and following the path begins to feel more confining than invigorating. You long for the exhilaration of being free to make your own choices again. The temptation to leave the boredom of the path looms large.

It is here that you must surrender to the guidance of mentors. Be a follower. Give up the freedom you have to go trail blazing and become a willing student of those that marked the path before you. Follow them ALL THE WAY to the end and your success is near certain!

“I’m no leader; I’m a little humble follower.” – Muhammad Ali

2. Be one hundred percent in

Without commitment, you often will give the path to your goal only a portion of your attention and energy. But, this approach of dabbling in the necessary actions results only in fractured outcomes full of stops, starts and unpredictability.

Develop a laser focus on what you want to achieve. Allow your goal to become one of your predominant daily thoughts. Be okay with the restrictions of choices and actions that result from such singular concentration. Give 100% of your mental and physical energy to the actions required to achieve your goal, even when you don’t want to.

 

3. Be willing to change

Following the path of others and giving 100% effort to achieving the success you seek is going to require change. Realize that previous thoughts and beliefs may slow or even oppose your goal. To stay on the path and not waste the energy you’ve devoted, you will likely have to restrict or eliminate them entirely. This might be uncomfortable, or even downright painful. But, it is so vital to goal success!

You may need to change a habit like creating a new morning routine, eliminating a vice (like alcohol or web surfing) or going to bed at a different time. You may have to change how you budget time. You may have to change the people you spend time with. Yes, this might even include cutting people out of your life that don’t align with the success journey you’ve chosen.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – E. M. Forster

Conclusion

Achieving a goal requires much more than just setting it and leaving it. You have to commit! And that often doesn’t come naturally. Leverage these commitment strategies of dedication and restricted actions to move beyond just being interested in your success to living it!

In the comments below, please share a strategy you use to boost commitment to your goals.

Doug is a chiropractor, a business coach and a writer too. He coaches and speaks on healthcare business success systems while he blogs and podcasts about strategies for handling life’s changes. In the last 3 years alone he has sold a business, evolved his career, moved his family from Texas to Wisconsin, lost control of his autistic son… and gained it back again. He knows change!  His goal is to help you face it and conquer it too! Join him at AchievementRenewed.com and Dr. Doug Sullivan on Facebook.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Howard

    May 15, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    What I do with my goal is to make it my first priority in the morning. I develop a plan for that day to keep my goal in my front sight. As the day progresses I adjust to what is needed to keep my goal in my front sight. At the end of the day I go over my accomplishments and distractions and make adjustments so when i get up the next day I can get up re focus on my goal and continue the process.

  2. Ramneek

    Apr 11, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks Sir,
    I am an engineering student from India and daily visit this site and search for some motivation and i do apply in my life and at every instant I do learn new things and boost myself always with some or other way so that my career should walk on that way, on that i want to. In Addition, i Want you to guide me throughout my career if you can, i will be highly able to recognize every tip that you will add for me.

  3. Janna

    Feb 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Doug, I’ve read your article at least three times this morning. Thank you for stating what many may say is obvious in such a simplistic yet thought provoking manner. I will definitely jot this on a notecard, carry it in my purse,

    • Doug Sullivan

      Feb 16, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks Janna… I’m so glad my writing has made such an impact on you! I hope these points carry you far!

      Cheers,

      Dr Doug

  4. Waqar Ahmed

    Feb 13, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Great post Doug!
    I would add one more thing. I think we will remain more consistent and committed with our goals when we will constantly monitor our own performance. In my view sense of self accountability plays a vital role in one’s success.
    Best regards,
    Waqar

    • Doug Sullivan

      Feb 16, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      good point Wagar. That sure is hard to do too, isn’t it? self monitoring can be clouded with emotion, long-standing beliefs, self denial, etc. I always recommend to my coaching clients that they set up some sort of self accountability… but temper it with an external accountability too. someone that can be impartial to the outcome and provide honest, straight forward feedback. sometimes hard to find… but certainly worth the effort!

      Cheers

      Dr Doug

  5. Rose Costas

    Feb 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks Doug for this reminder. One think I would add is that one must expect to face challenges and even fail but the determination to success should be so great that even failure and setbacks won’t deter you. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Doug Sullivan

      Feb 10, 2016 at 3:07 am

      Great comment Rose! and oh how right your are!! Failure is such a great tool for shaping commitment. I think we truly MUST experience failure first so that we may better appreciate the later success. The commitment to reaching that success is strengthened through the lessons provided in failing. I love to call that “failing forward” (I’m very likely stealing that phrase from someone… but I can’t think who at the moment).

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Success Advice

A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break!

Here are 5 simple steps to avoid burnout once and for all:

Step #1: Build A Sustainable Work Schedule

Scheduling your work around your breaks (not the other way around) is the most effective way to avoid burnout. Now to be clear, I’m not saying “don’t work hard”. I’d never tell you that. But rather, to work in a sustainable fashion.

In other words: Prioritize your breaks the same way you would prioritize your work. For example, LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, schedules two hours of breaks throughout each of his workdays (in 30 to 90-minute blocks). How many breaks are scheduled in your day?

“Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.” – Michael Gungor

Step #2: Practice Gratitude

If you’re reading this, you have eyes. Be grateful for them, some people don’t. Remembering what you already have is critical, because gratitude is a divine quality and awakens our sense of true abundance. Work hard and be mindful of every gift that you have in your life. An attitude of gratitude is the path to true happiness.

Step #3: Remember Your WHY Power

Why do you do what you do? Why do you go the extra mile, get up early, stay late, and work around the clock? Only once you’ve answered this question will you have isolated your “why power”.

For instance, do you want to retire your parents? Is your why power to become a billionaire so you can fund cures for diseases? My suggestion to you would be to prepare a pocket-sized list of your whys and re-read them whenever you’re feeling low on energy (you’ll know when the list is long enough when you read it and feel recharged).

Step #4: Meditate Twice (Daily)

If you only take away one thing from this article, please let it be this: Meditate, twice daily, 20 minutes (per session). Personally, I meditate once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Like exercise for the brain, meditation compounds and is truly a life-changing activity. You’ll experience unparalleled clarity by activating your brain’s “reset” button, which will allow you to focus on your work and get infinitely more done in a fraction of the time.

But like all worthwhile things in life, it requires consistency. To help with getting on a consistent schedule, I’d highly suggest purchasing a physical calendar and making a big red “X” on the days that you meditate. How many days in a row can you meditate without fail? If you’re new to meditation, I’d suggest starting with 10-minute sessions and using a guided video (I love this one on YouTube by the Chopra Center).

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filter it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” – Buddha

Step #5: Remember That You’re Going To Die

Newsflash: You’re dying. You’re not going to be here forever, so stop acting like it. I don’t know how old you are, but I’d please ask you to take a quick moment to teleport to age one-hundred. Feel free to close your eyes right now and do this.

As you’re on your deathbed, do you have regrets that you didn’t accomplish your goals, leave a legacy, and serve more people? Which of your dreams remain unfulfilled? Now, open your eyes and teleport back to the current moment. Alright, now go make it happen — and avoid that dark future from occurring!

I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, please feel free to share with a friend or co-worker!

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5 Simple Mental Tricks to Help Leaders Deal With a Heavy Workload

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Entrepreneurs and other business owners put in a lot of work. In fact, many entrepreneurs report spending over 60 hours a week (or more than 12 hours each day) working on their business. These hours are busy — no extended breaks for browsing Facebook or watching funny YouTube videos. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of work, and a lot of learning. Of course, having such a heavy workload and so many responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming.

So how do successful business owners manage? A lot of it comes down to the right mental practices. By working smarter, not harder, leaders can effectively manage even the most seemingly insurmountable workloads and achieve their company goals.

Here’s a closer look at the mental practices you can apply to better manage your responsibilities:

1. Stop Multitasking

When you have a lot of work on your plate, it can be tempting to switch back and forth between projects so you can make progress on each one. But this is actually one of the worst things you can do for your productivity. Research has consistently found that multitasking actually slows down your work, rather than speeding it up.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Although switch costs may be relatively small, sometimes just a few tenths of a second per switch, they can add up to large amounts when people switch repeatedly back and forth between tasks. Thus, multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error … even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.”

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

2. Start Your Day With the Hardest Tasks

Each task and responsibility you’re faced with will have varying degrees of difficulty and time commitment. It’s all too easy to save the hardest tasks for last, but if you wish to maximize your productivity and get through your workload, you should actually start with the tougher challenges.

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs take care of their toughest tasks first thing in the morning. For one thing, most of us have more energy when we first start the workday. The later in the day it gets, the harder it becomes to maintain that same drive and focus, making it all too easy to procrastinate. Knocking out a hard assignment early in the day also brings a sense of accomplishment, which can provide additional energy for powering through future tasks.

3. Know Your Limits

While hard work is essential for entrepreneurial success, you don’t want to run the risk of burnout. Continually pushing yourself beyond your boundaries can cause chronic exhaustion, anxiety, relationship problems and even heart disease.

“Everyone has different limits,” notes Jason Bliss, co-founder of Healthy Living Network. “As a serial entrepreneur myself, I’ve seen far too many people overwork themselves to the point of exhaustion, thinking it will help them succeed. In reality, overwork usually makes their results worse, not better. Learning the warning signs of burnout has helped me know when to step back — even for a short break — so I can come back later when I’m feeling refreshed.”

4. Plan Out Your Day

Knowing which task you want to start your day with isn’t enough — you also need to plan out the rest of the day. Catherine Adenle recommends “breaking your day into sessions, of maybe two or three hours. Take regular walk breaks after each session. First thing in the morning, when you get to the office, begin your day with a plan and assign tasks to each session.”

By dividing your day into more manageable chunks and planning corresponding activities, your workload won’t feel as overwhelming. You’ll be more likely to stay on track with everything that needs to get done. For best results, organize tasks based on urgency, deadline and the time they’ll take to complete.

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” – Margaret Thatcher

5. Understand Proper Delegation

As a business leader, you have a significant resource that few others enjoy: a support staff that can assist you with your responsibilities. Asking for help or delegating tasks can help you maintain focus on the activities that matter most for your business. Though you should be mindful of your employees’ pre-existing workloads and clearly communicate project expectations, delegation can significantly improve company productivity.

The problem, however, is that many leaders are reluctant to delegate. They worry about employees’ abilities to complete a task, or feel they could handle the work quicker and more effectively on their own. It is essential that you develop the humility needed to delegate to your staff.

Research from Gallup has found that employers who delegate, effectively experience significantly higher growth than their competition. By leveraging employee strengths to lessen your load, you can enjoy major improvements to your bottom line.

Adapting the way you approach your workload will require a fair amount of effort. There may even be some failures and setbacks as you change how you manage your work. But if you wish to obtain lasting success, few things will be more important than improving your mental approach. By implementing these tactics, you’ll be able to work more effectively and achieve higher-quality outcomes.

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Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur!

All successful entrepreneurs understand a few simple principles that enable them to achieve their goals, including how positivity along with taking ownership and accountability for your attitude, actions, and outcomes play a major role in your success.

The Power of Positivity

Never underestimate the power of positivity. Thinking positive thoughts, embodying a positive and healthy lifestyle, and reciting positive affirmations everyday enable you to tap into a higher level of your subconscious.

This is in line with the law of attraction, which says we attract into our lives what we manifest and put our energy into. You attract the energy that you put out into the universe, so the more positivity you put out, the more positivity comes back.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that are meant to promote success:

  • I have the power to create change.
  • I refuse to give up because I will succeed.
  • I deserve the best and I accept everything that has happened up until now.
  • I am unstoppable and I will achieve all of my goals.

Replace your “I can’t”s with “I can.” Replace your “I won’t”s with “I will.” Speak positive things into existence, and watch your life turn around and have those positive thoughts come about. When you make the effort to make a positive change, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?

Accountability means to take responsibility and accept ownership for your actions and decisions. This means that you are responsible for the fate of your business. Do you feel that things aren’t taking off as quickly as you originally hoped? Work harder. Not selling thousands of products? Sell harder. Don’t have enough clients? Conduct more cold outreach. Keep your word.

Set goals and intentions and follow through with them. Be responsible and hold accountability for your actions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you’ll feel rewarded when things work out, and you’ll close more deals, sell more products, and your dreams will come true.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” –  Winston Churchill

What It Means to Take Control of Your Life & Business

In order to take control of your life and the fate of your business, you must understand your purpose in life and be willing to fulfill that purpose. It’s not enough to only desire a certain lifestyle.

You must stay true to what you really want to do in life. This means that you are mentally prepared to take on everything you need to in order to succeed. You follow strict self-set rules and guidelines that will help to keep you on track toward those dreams and goals. You don’t give up.

You keep going when things get tough, and you never see failure as an obstacle. You aren’t discouraged. You accept minor bumps in the road on the way to your destination, because you know you will ultimately reach your goal, and you won’t stop until you get there.

Here are three factors that personally helped me succeed:

1. Becoming more organized

Prior to organizing my tasks and goals, I was just flying by the seat of my pants and wondering why I wasn’t progressing at all. That’s because I didn’t have a set direction.

Becoming more organized helped me to prioritize what needed to get done in order to grow my business to the place where it’s at today.

2. Starting my off my day with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are more powerful than you may believe. I started each day reading and reciting a quote that was positive and inspiring in nature, which exponentially increased my motivation and mentally prepared me to take on each day.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

3. I developed long-term goals and stuck to them

Instead of working every day toward the unknown, I decided to set long-term goals. The kicker in helping me stick to these goals was creating smaller milestones that kept me on track and focused which gradually led me up to the ultimate goal.

Although I recognized that the ultimate achievement (of growing my business) was still at hand, my behavior was reinforced by a consistent sense of accomplishment upon completing these smaller goals.

If you are willing to stay focused, motivated, commit the time, effort, and energy toward reaching your goals, and you truly believe that you can and WILL achieve them, then there is nothing that will stop you in your path toward success.

As William Earnest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” states, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Once you wholeheartedly believe this, then you will harness your true power, unlock your full potential, and begin to live out your truth and reach the level of success you’ve always dreamed of.

What is success to you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credit courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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how to avoid burnout
Image Credit: Unsplash

Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break! (more…)

Alex Edson is a 19-year-old entrepreneur from Phoenix Arizona who has scaled two multi-million dollar companies from nothing. Alex began his entrepreneurial journey during his sophomore year of high school, founding a YouTube talent management agency from his apartment that would later grow to over 10 billion annual views. Today, Alex is the Founder and CEO of MailTag.io, a startup that helps sales and business people track their emails in real-time, for free. You can connect with Alex on his company’s blog https://blog.mailtag.io or by email Alex@MailTag.io.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Howard

    May 15, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    What I do with my goal is to make it my first priority in the morning. I develop a plan for that day to keep my goal in my front sight. As the day progresses I adjust to what is needed to keep my goal in my front sight. At the end of the day I go over my accomplishments and distractions and make adjustments so when i get up the next day I can get up re focus on my goal and continue the process.

  2. Ramneek

    Apr 11, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Thanks Sir,
    I am an engineering student from India and daily visit this site and search for some motivation and i do apply in my life and at every instant I do learn new things and boost myself always with some or other way so that my career should walk on that way, on that i want to. In Addition, i Want you to guide me throughout my career if you can, i will be highly able to recognize every tip that you will add for me.

  3. Janna

    Feb 13, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Doug, I’ve read your article at least three times this morning. Thank you for stating what many may say is obvious in such a simplistic yet thought provoking manner. I will definitely jot this on a notecard, carry it in my purse,

    • Doug Sullivan

      Feb 16, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks Janna… I’m so glad my writing has made such an impact on you! I hope these points carry you far!

      Cheers,

      Dr Doug

  4. Waqar Ahmed

    Feb 13, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Great post Doug!
    I would add one more thing. I think we will remain more consistent and committed with our goals when we will constantly monitor our own performance. In my view sense of self accountability plays a vital role in one’s success.
    Best regards,
    Waqar

    • Doug Sullivan

      Feb 16, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      good point Wagar. That sure is hard to do too, isn’t it? self monitoring can be clouded with emotion, long-standing beliefs, self denial, etc. I always recommend to my coaching clients that they set up some sort of self accountability… but temper it with an external accountability too. someone that can be impartial to the outcome and provide honest, straight forward feedback. sometimes hard to find… but certainly worth the effort!

      Cheers

      Dr Doug

  5. Rose Costas

    Feb 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks Doug for this reminder. One think I would add is that one must expect to face challenges and even fail but the determination to success should be so great that even failure and setbacks won’t deter you. Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Doug Sullivan

      Feb 10, 2016 at 3:07 am

      Great comment Rose! and oh how right your are!! Failure is such a great tool for shaping commitment. I think we truly MUST experience failure first so that we may better appreciate the later success. The commitment to reaching that success is strengthened through the lessons provided in failing. I love to call that “failing forward” (I’m very likely stealing that phrase from someone… but I can’t think who at the moment).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Success Advice

A Must-Read Guide for Avoiding Burnout

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how to avoid burnout
Image Credit: Unsplash

Burnout. We’ve all been there. It happens to all “workaholic” entrepreneurs like you and me. But please allow me to provide a reality check: You’re not a machine. And regardless of how much you think you’re like Gary Vaynerchuk, you need to take breaks in order to function at maximum capacity. Non-stop hustle without ever taking a break is dumb. That’s why it’s called a “break”. Because if you don’t eventually stop, that’s exactly what will happen. You will break!

Here are 5 simple steps to avoid burnout once and for all:

Step #1: Build A Sustainable Work Schedule

Scheduling your work around your breaks (not the other way around) is the most effective way to avoid burnout. Now to be clear, I’m not saying “don’t work hard”. I’d never tell you that. But rather, to work in a sustainable fashion.

In other words: Prioritize your breaks the same way you would prioritize your work. For example, LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, schedules two hours of breaks throughout each of his workdays (in 30 to 90-minute blocks). How many breaks are scheduled in your day?

“Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.” – Michael Gungor

Step #2: Practice Gratitude

If you’re reading this, you have eyes. Be grateful for them, some people don’t. Remembering what you already have is critical, because gratitude is a divine quality and awakens our sense of true abundance. Work hard and be mindful of every gift that you have in your life. An attitude of gratitude is the path to true happiness.

Step #3: Remember Your WHY Power

Why do you do what you do? Why do you go the extra mile, get up early, stay late, and work around the clock? Only once you’ve answered this question will you have isolated your “why power”.

For instance, do you want to retire your parents? Is your why power to become a billionaire so you can fund cures for diseases? My suggestion to you would be to prepare a pocket-sized list of your whys and re-read them whenever you’re feeling low on energy (you’ll know when the list is long enough when you read it and feel recharged).

Step #4: Meditate Twice (Daily)

If you only take away one thing from this article, please let it be this: Meditate, twice daily, 20 minutes (per session). Personally, I meditate once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Like exercise for the brain, meditation compounds and is truly a life-changing activity. You’ll experience unparalleled clarity by activating your brain’s “reset” button, which will allow you to focus on your work and get infinitely more done in a fraction of the time.

But like all worthwhile things in life, it requires consistency. To help with getting on a consistent schedule, I’d highly suggest purchasing a physical calendar and making a big red “X” on the days that you meditate. How many days in a row can you meditate without fail? If you’re new to meditation, I’d suggest starting with 10-minute sessions and using a guided video (I love this one on YouTube by the Chopra Center).

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filter it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” – Buddha

Step #5: Remember That You’re Going To Die

Newsflash: You’re dying. You’re not going to be here forever, so stop acting like it. I don’t know how old you are, but I’d please ask you to take a quick moment to teleport to age one-hundred. Feel free to close your eyes right now and do this.

As you’re on your deathbed, do you have regrets that you didn’t accomplish your goals, leave a legacy, and serve more people? Which of your dreams remain unfulfilled? Now, open your eyes and teleport back to the current moment. Alright, now go make it happen — and avoid that dark future from occurring!

I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, please feel free to share with a friend or co-worker!

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5 Simple Mental Tricks to Help Leaders Deal With a Heavy Workload

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Entrepreneurs and other business owners put in a lot of work. In fact, many entrepreneurs report spending over 60 hours a week (or more than 12 hours each day) working on their business. These hours are busy — no extended breaks for browsing Facebook or watching funny YouTube videos. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of work, and a lot of learning. Of course, having such a heavy workload and so many responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming.

So how do successful business owners manage? A lot of it comes down to the right mental practices. By working smarter, not harder, leaders can effectively manage even the most seemingly insurmountable workloads and achieve their company goals.

Here’s a closer look at the mental practices you can apply to better manage your responsibilities:

1. Stop Multitasking

When you have a lot of work on your plate, it can be tempting to switch back and forth between projects so you can make progress on each one. But this is actually one of the worst things you can do for your productivity. Research has consistently found that multitasking actually slows down your work, rather than speeding it up.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Although switch costs may be relatively small, sometimes just a few tenths of a second per switch, they can add up to large amounts when people switch repeatedly back and forth between tasks. Thus, multitasking may seem efficient on the surface but may actually take more time in the end and involve more error … even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.”

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

2. Start Your Day With the Hardest Tasks

Each task and responsibility you’re faced with will have varying degrees of difficulty and time commitment. It’s all too easy to save the hardest tasks for last, but if you wish to maximize your productivity and get through your workload, you should actually start with the tougher challenges.

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs take care of their toughest tasks first thing in the morning. For one thing, most of us have more energy when we first start the workday. The later in the day it gets, the harder it becomes to maintain that same drive and focus, making it all too easy to procrastinate. Knocking out a hard assignment early in the day also brings a sense of accomplishment, which can provide additional energy for powering through future tasks.

3. Know Your Limits

While hard work is essential for entrepreneurial success, you don’t want to run the risk of burnout. Continually pushing yourself beyond your boundaries can cause chronic exhaustion, anxiety, relationship problems and even heart disease.

“Everyone has different limits,” notes Jason Bliss, co-founder of Healthy Living Network. “As a serial entrepreneur myself, I’ve seen far too many people overwork themselves to the point of exhaustion, thinking it will help them succeed. In reality, overwork usually makes their results worse, not better. Learning the warning signs of burnout has helped me know when to step back — even for a short break — so I can come back later when I’m feeling refreshed.”

4. Plan Out Your Day

Knowing which task you want to start your day with isn’t enough — you also need to plan out the rest of the day. Catherine Adenle recommends “breaking your day into sessions, of maybe two or three hours. Take regular walk breaks after each session. First thing in the morning, when you get to the office, begin your day with a plan and assign tasks to each session.”

By dividing your day into more manageable chunks and planning corresponding activities, your workload won’t feel as overwhelming. You’ll be more likely to stay on track with everything that needs to get done. For best results, organize tasks based on urgency, deadline and the time they’ll take to complete.

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” – Margaret Thatcher

5. Understand Proper Delegation

As a business leader, you have a significant resource that few others enjoy: a support staff that can assist you with your responsibilities. Asking for help or delegating tasks can help you maintain focus on the activities that matter most for your business. Though you should be mindful of your employees’ pre-existing workloads and clearly communicate project expectations, delegation can significantly improve company productivity.

The problem, however, is that many leaders are reluctant to delegate. They worry about employees’ abilities to complete a task, or feel they could handle the work quicker and more effectively on their own. It is essential that you develop the humility needed to delegate to your staff.

Research from Gallup has found that employers who delegate, effectively experience significantly higher growth than their competition. By leveraging employee strengths to lessen your load, you can enjoy major improvements to your bottom line.

Adapting the way you approach your workload will require a fair amount of effort. There may even be some failures and setbacks as you change how you manage your work. But if you wish to obtain lasting success, few things will be more important than improving your mental approach. By implementing these tactics, you’ll be able to work more effectively and achieve higher-quality outcomes.

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Positivity & Self-Ownership: Your #1 Factor for Success

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Leaving a reliable 9-5 job and risking a steady, biweekly paycheck to live out a dream and pursue a totally different lifestyle can be terrifying. However, there is no reason to fear, aspiring entrepreneur!

All successful entrepreneurs understand a few simple principles that enable them to achieve their goals, including how positivity along with taking ownership and accountability for your attitude, actions, and outcomes play a major role in your success.

The Power of Positivity

Never underestimate the power of positivity. Thinking positive thoughts, embodying a positive and healthy lifestyle, and reciting positive affirmations everyday enable you to tap into a higher level of your subconscious.

This is in line with the law of attraction, which says we attract into our lives what we manifest and put our energy into. You attract the energy that you put out into the universe, so the more positivity you put out, the more positivity comes back.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations that are meant to promote success:

  • I have the power to create change.
  • I refuse to give up because I will succeed.
  • I deserve the best and I accept everything that has happened up until now.
  • I am unstoppable and I will achieve all of my goals.

Replace your “I can’t”s with “I can.” Replace your “I won’t”s with “I will.” Speak positive things into existence, and watch your life turn around and have those positive thoughts come about. When you make the effort to make a positive change, the universe will conspire to help you succeed.

What Does It Mean to Be Accountable?

Accountability means to take responsibility and accept ownership for your actions and decisions. This means that you are responsible for the fate of your business. Do you feel that things aren’t taking off as quickly as you originally hoped? Work harder. Not selling thousands of products? Sell harder. Don’t have enough clients? Conduct more cold outreach. Keep your word.

Set goals and intentions and follow through with them. Be responsible and hold accountability for your actions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you’ll feel rewarded when things work out, and you’ll close more deals, sell more products, and your dreams will come true.

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” –  Winston Churchill

What It Means to Take Control of Your Life & Business

In order to take control of your life and the fate of your business, you must understand your purpose in life and be willing to fulfill that purpose. It’s not enough to only desire a certain lifestyle.

You must stay true to what you really want to do in life. This means that you are mentally prepared to take on everything you need to in order to succeed. You follow strict self-set rules and guidelines that will help to keep you on track toward those dreams and goals. You don’t give up.

You keep going when things get tough, and you never see failure as an obstacle. You aren’t discouraged. You accept minor bumps in the road on the way to your destination, because you know you will ultimately reach your goal, and you won’t stop until you get there.

Here are three factors that personally helped me succeed:

1. Becoming more organized

Prior to organizing my tasks and goals, I was just flying by the seat of my pants and wondering why I wasn’t progressing at all. That’s because I didn’t have a set direction.

Becoming more organized helped me to prioritize what needed to get done in order to grow my business to the place where it’s at today.

2. Starting my off my day with positive affirmations

Positive affirmations are more powerful than you may believe. I started each day reading and reciting a quote that was positive and inspiring in nature, which exponentially increased my motivation and mentally prepared me to take on each day.

“Make each day your masterpiece.” – John Wooden

3. I developed long-term goals and stuck to them

Instead of working every day toward the unknown, I decided to set long-term goals. The kicker in helping me stick to these goals was creating smaller milestones that kept me on track and focused which gradually led me up to the ultimate goal.

Although I recognized that the ultimate achievement (of growing my business) was still at hand, my behavior was reinforced by a consistent sense of accomplishment upon completing these smaller goals.

If you are willing to stay focused, motivated, commit the time, effort, and energy toward reaching your goals, and you truly believe that you can and WILL achieve them, then there is nothing that will stop you in your path toward success.

As William Earnest Henley’s famous poem “Invictus” states, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” You are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. Once you wholeheartedly believe this, then you will harness your true power, unlock your full potential, and begin to live out your truth and reach the level of success you’ve always dreamed of.

What is success to you? Let us know in the comments below!

Image credit courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The 3 P’s of Irresistible Leadership: Passion, Persistence, and Panache

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If any of you reading this have ever studied the theoretical underpinnings of leadership, you will have come across several theories such as the great man theory and charismatic leadership theory. Over the decades, leadership has evolved more from an art of telling people what to do to that of subtle influence, suggestion, and rendering by example.

In my new e-book “High-Octane Leadership: Pole Position Performance,” I mentioned that the goal of the manager is to create followers, but the goal of a leader is to create new leaders! This is a relatively new concept in leadership! There are many new and emerging micro theories of leadership that can be expounded upon and useful to individuals looking to assimilate a leadership style.

Here are the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership:

1. Passion

No great achievements, no illustrious undertakings, and no works of genius have ever occurred without the infusion of passion. Passion creates connections where none existed before.

Passion heightens the desire in the individuals who have opted to follow, and it has moved individuals forward toward a common vision. Leaders such as Steve Jobs, have to demonstrate a sense of passion in everything. Although his passion could be somewhat subdued, there is no doubt that when it came to any Apple products, he was the number one salesperson, champion, and evangelist.

“When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible.” – Howard Schultz

2. Persistence

For years when I was in direct sales, I had an 8.5 x 11 sheet with a cartoon on it hanging over my desk. It was a crane (that’s the bird, not the machine) who had a frog in his rather ample bill. However, the frog’s arms came out of the side of the crane’s mouth and were clutching the crane by the throat so that he (the crane) couldn’t swallow the frog. Underneath this caption where the words, “never, ever give up!

Leaders persist! They understand that there is always a way to solve the problem. Following this understanding, there must be subsequent action that follows, and this can lead to enthusiasm and optimism!

3. Panache

Leaders are self-confident people. They have systematically developed confidence over the years. In situations where they don’t feel confident, they make themselves feel confident. Confidence is learned. It’s a mental model and a cognitive mindset of how we approach problems.

Leaders understand and know that they will solve the problem before them; it’s not a matter of guessing, it’s a matter of knowing.

“Positivity, confidence, and persistence are key in life, so never give up on yourself.” – Khalid

If you buy the notion of passion, persistence, and panache as attributes of irresistible leadership, the question before us now turns on how do we develop those skills?

Here are a few behaviors that leaders use on a consistent basis to develop new skills:

  • Awareness – Great leaders and irresistible leaders always have their antennae up. They are always looking for ways to improve. They understand that self-improvement is a never-ending process to be embraced, even if the execution of the new behavior is difficult!
  • Repetition – Irresistible leaders practice their new skills. They will practice them in front of their subordinates, their family, and in front of themselves while staring at their face in a bathroom mirror! They understand the way to install a new habit of behavior is like with any habit, repeating it over and over again.
  • Feedback – Irresistible leaders are not afraid to ask how they are doing. And, they are not afraid to hear the answer. They understand that the best answer is that they are doing well but the next best answer is that they are not doing well, instead of not being told about their potential flaw. They understand that input in terms of behavioral awareness is one of the singular most important things one can attribute to leadership performance and style.

Try this: take an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and draw three columns. Atop each column write passion, persistence, and panache. On the left-hand side in the margin of the page, write awareness and 1/3 of the page down, write repetition, and then at the bottom one third the word feedback.

Writing solidifies thought, and it is that solid thought that motivates us into action. You will find yourself becoming more aware of opportunities to develop in each of the 3 P’s of irresistible leadership. Document them! Then jot down ideas down about how you can repeat those new behaviors. Finally solicit feedback and document what you’ve heard.

In the span of several weeks you will have developed new and exciting leadership attributes. Continue this new and exciting habit for other leadership development opportunities.

Which one of the 3 P’s do you need to work on most and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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