You‘ve heard the productivity gurus, read the time-management blogs, and heard from the motivational speakers. Everyone repeats the mantra that goals are what get you to your dreams. Goals. Goals. Goals. Yet, what if you hate goals? What if you find goals stifling and preventing you from being your most creative? What if goals feel like you’re imprisoned and de-motivates you from achieving things?
The good news is that you can still move forward without goals, no matter what all the experts and speakers tell you. Over the past several years, I’ve written more than 200 blog posts, written 5 self-published books, and have built a popular blog about starting over in love and life.
Honestly, it wasn’t goals that kept me going. It was something deeper – a strong internal drive and following my purpose. I let my purpose lead the way and took action every day in pursuit of that purpose to empower others who were going through their darkest hour.
If you hate goals, here are 7 alternative strategies to get things done and move you towards your dream:
1. Set up a daily priority list
Wake up every morning and write down 1-3 items that are a priority for you for the day. This is your to-do list and you write down the most important, high value tasks that you need to complete. What three things, if completed today, would make today a success? If one task by itself would take up a lot of time, put one task down. If you can do two or three, add them to your to do list. Each time you complete an item on the to-do list, cross it off and celebrate. Start over each day with a high priority to-do list.
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Marc Anthony
2. Build up your daily habits
You don’t need goals but you can use an even more motivational tool to help you get where you’re trying to go. It’s called habits. A habit is a daily routine or activity you do to help you achieve your end result. You build up habits by starting small and doing that activity every day. You hold yourself accountable by writing it down, telling someone about it and having a small celebration if you complete your habit for the day. Turn your life goals or dreams to daily habits and you’re sure to move forward on it.
3. Work during your peak hours
You might notice over your lifetime that there are certain hours of the day that are your peak hours. Figure out when yours are and work during those hours. Your peak hours are your most efficient and productive hours. For some people, this is early in the morning while for others, it’s late at night. Find the time that is most productive for you and schedule in the tasks that need to be completed for the day.
4. Work on what you’re passionate about
More than likely, you’re procrastinating or avoiding certain tasks because you’re not passionate about them. If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, try figuring out what it is you’re not passionate about. If it’s your current job, find ways to transition out of it. If it’s particular parts of your job, look for a way to change roles so you’re working on things you enjoy and assigning things to others which you don’t enjoy. Outside of your work life, experiment with different activities to see what lights you up.
5. Do work that doesn’t feel like work
Try to work on the tasks that bring you the most amount of joy. If you’re doing something and it doesn’t feel like work, do more of that. It doesn’t have to fill your pockets, it just has to fill your soul. When you’re doing work or activities that fulfill you, you’ll start seeing how easy it is to complete the task that’s in front of you. Also, when you work with joy, you’ll see more opportunities, success and luck show up.
6. Allow inspiration to guide you
Instead of goals, try using inspiration. This has been particularly helpful to me as a writer. Use inspiration and creativity to motivate you into action. Cultivate your inspiration by putting yourself in situations that will inspire you. This could be watching movies, observing art, reading, hearing from others in your field or being in nature. Use the inspiration as it strikes you to do work that fulfills your mission in the world. Raise your inspiration level by putting yourself in inspirational situations.
7. Live the life you see for yourself
Many of us are working on a life that we want to have some day. Goals and dreams are all in the “some day” category but you don’t have to wait to get there. Live everyday like you’ve already achieved your dreams. Imagine if you’ve achieved what you’ve wanted in life. Think about how you would spend your days and what feelings you would have each day. Do those activities and cultivate those feelings. Fill your days with activities that help you feel free, abundant, kind, generous, creative, and of service. Imagine that some day is today.
“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” — Farrah Gray
Do you use goals to help move you forward? What are some alternatives to goal setting that you use in your life? Please share in the comments below!
Success Isn’t Rocket Science, but There Is a Simple Equation
People all around the world are looking for the secret to success. There are countless answers out there: personal connections, wealth, good luck, positive mindset, hard work, determination, passion, and on and on.
Some of those things might be true for some people, but I don’t think success comes from just any one variable. I also don’t think there is a single tangible answer that can be replicated by the masses. It seems that the more we look for one, the more questions we tend to find.
What is the secret to success? Is it enough to be passionate and hardworking? Is it enough to have a positive mindset? What steps can we take to become more successful?
Well, if you have been pondering questions like these, look no further. I believe success comes from, not one variable, but a combination of variables, an equation if you will. I’m not talking about anything too complicated or complex, like rocket science. This is an equation so simple it practically solves itself:
(Intrinsic Motivation + Action) x Momentum = Success
“I’m not a math whiz! What does this mean?” Don’t worry, as my high school algebra teacher could attest, this isn’t real math, but I can assure you that it works very well. Allow me to explain each variable.
Intrinsic motivation is your internal, innate reason for wanting to do something and it’s the vital first part of the formula for success. Without it, everything we try to do will most likely fail, but what is intrinsic motivation?
Let me ask you a question: what do you like to do in your free time? Do you volunteer because it feeds your soul to help others? Maybe you love doing puzzles because you love the feeling you get when you solve a problem? Do you go hiking because you love to connect with nature?
If no one were paying you, would you still volunteer, solve puzzles, or go hiking? Of course you would! You receive intrinsic rewards when you do those things, and therefore you have a strong, internal motivation to keep doing them.
Another way to look at this is to know your “why.” Your “why” is your deep-rooted reason for doing something. Simon Sinek talks about this a lot, and Tony Robbins says, “If you have a strong enough ‘why,’ you can do anything.” It’s a great concept, but there is another side to this coin.
Having a weak “why,” or no “why” at all, means that you have no intrinsic motivation to speak of. You’re practically a rocket ship with no rocket fuel. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a rocket get too far without fuel.
To achieve success in any endeavor, you must start with your intrinsic motivation – you must start with why. Why do you want to achieve success in your life?
“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them, just find a new way to stand.” – Oprah Winfrey
Now that you know what motivates you and you have a strong “why,” you have to take action towards your dreams. Action is the second part of the formula for success because, without action, we wouldn’t get anywhere in life. We might have fuel in our tanks, but we still have to hit the launch button.
I see a lot of people who spend time learning, planning, learning some more, trying desperately to perfect their strategy before they start. But the reality is, you are going to discover the most valuable lessons along the way.
It is impossible to plan for every situation, so trying to do so only delays your success. Author Karen Lamb says, “A Year from Now You May Wish You Had Started Today” and that’s true. “Someday” is a common code for “never.”
Sure, jumping in without having everything figured out will cause you to run into the occasional obstacle or setback, but again, you can’t plan for every obstacle. If you have a strong enough “why,” you’ll overcome obstacles and press on.
So, whether you’re ready or not, you need to take action towards your goals to achieve success. The only way to achieve success is to start taking action and build momentum. What one thing can you do today to take action towards your goals?
In my opinion, momentum is the most critical aspect in the formula for success and here’s why: Starting isn’t worth much if you keep quitting. Remember that rocket ship analogy from before? If not having a “why” is like not having any fuel, then starting and stopping is like using up all of your fuel only to land again immediately.
Building momentum, however, is like breaking free of the atmosphere and reaching space. Once there, the zero gravity keeps the rocket afloat, and the pilot only uses relatively small amounts of fuel to propel and steer the rocket through space.
I read an article from The Huffington Post and it said, “In 1967, Apollo mission to the moon, the Saturn V rocket’s needed over 500,000 gallons of fuel just to break free of the Earth’s atmosphere. The final stage of the trip only required 86,059 gallons of fuel. That means it took nearly 5.8 times as much effort to launch as it did to keep the momentum.”
So, the next time you think about quitting, remember how much energy and effort it took to get started in the beginning. Do you want to go through that again? Do you really want to waste that much energy when you could keep going?
Don’t quit! Instead, keep taking action towards your goals, day after day, month after month, and year after year. Doing this will help you create radical momentum in your life and in your goals.
“Momentum solves 80% of your problems.” – John C. Maxwell
So there you have it, the formula for success. It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do – land on the moon, lose weight, start a business, run a marathon, save a million dollars – you have to know why you want to achieve success. You have to have fuel in the tank.
Once you know what’s propelling you forward, you have to take action every day and never quit. This will allow you to build an unstoppable momentum that will carry you to the success you seek.
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Success takes time. There are no shortcuts. There are no quick fixes. There are no overnight successes. To be successful, you have to intrinsic motivation for the long haul, and no matter what, you cannot quit taking action.
The Power of Personal Reviews: How It Can Skyrocket Your Success in Life
Do you want to elevate your personal success? If so, do you know what the number one thing that’s keeping you away from that success? You could be doing everything right in terms of setting goals and going after them, and still not make progress if you’re not doing this.
The secret is personal reviews. As goal-getters, we’re conditioned to take action and work hard to make our goals happen. But if you’re not measuring the effectiveness of your actions, then the outcome may be no better than if you were running around in circles. In order to not be stuck in the same place, you have to be continuously adjusting your strategy.
The key is knowing exactly what to do differently in order to achieve your goals and accelerate your success. This is where personal reviews come in, because they answer the most important questions such as: What parts should you keep on doing? What parts should you do differently? What exactly happened last time that prevented you from reaching your goals? How can you get to your goals even faster the next time?. The victory path often isn’t linear, and reflecting on it will improve the process, which is the most important part for speeding up success.
According to Harvard Business Review, people were shown to be more productive and less burnout after thinking about and planning their day than those who didn’t. Studies cited in the same Harvard Business Review have also shown that employees in call centers who spent 15 minutes at the end of the day reflecting on the lessons learned performed 23% better after 10 days than those who did not reflect. If you work in an even more complex role, imagine the benefits you would gain from consistent reflections. Ready to take on your own review?
Here are the three parts of a personal review and how each part will help you achieve personal and professional success:
1. Get Clear On Where You Are to Make Better Decisions
It’s hard to get to your destination if you don’t know where you are right now. Luckily, personal reviews are similar to a GPS, where it can accurately pinpoint your place in life. By getting clear on your current situation, there are three main benefits that’ll contribute to your success.
One, it reaffirms your goals. As I often find working with clients doing their own personal sprints to success projects, goals can be easily forgotten without regular check-ins. Each personal review helps bring these goals to top of mind, and align all your actions so that each one will move the needle.
Two, it keeps you on track. Once you are clear on your goals, it’ll become much more obvious whether you are on your way to hit your target or if you have strayed off the path. This will help you focus more clearly, and save time from unnecessary distractions and course-corrections.
Three, it builds momentum. By regularly reviewing how things are going, you can celebrate the wins, and improve on areas that didn’t go well. After all, success comes from consistent action and making progress towards your goals.
“What you can measure, you can improve.” – Peter Drucker
2. Discover the Roadblocks That Are Holding You Back
Now that you have a solid understanding of where you are at, it’s time to get down to the why. Why are you where you are currently, and how can you go even faster? The second part of personal reviews is where you’ll discover the golden nuggets of insights that you can use as your secret weapon.
Maybe you realized that you usually only get one or two important things done each day. Why is that? Is it because there are too many distractions? Or is it because your energy levels are low? And is there a filter you can set up to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not?
These are all incredible insights into the decision-making process and the factors that contribute to your success. If you stumbled, think about what parts you wouldn’t do again next time. If you achieved your goals, think about which parts you can repeat to succeed again. And as you collect more data points, the easier it’ll be to pinpoint how to 10x your productivity and results. And the more frequent you do reviews, the faster you’ll be able to progress. For example, if you conduct weekly reviews, you’ll be able to move four times as fast as someone who does monthly ones. Now, you can work smarter, instead of harder.
3. Fast Track Your Success Through Feedback Planning
Once you have the clear understanding of exactly where you are and what you need to do differently, you can use this feedback to make powerful changes to your plan. This is the last part of personal reviews – setting and prioritizing goals to accomplish by the next review.
These new goals will not be something that you’ve haphazardly put together, but rather it will be a combination of your insights and your vision of success. These reviews can be massively effective productivity tools and accountability structures that you can use to review the past and set in place the steps to take for the future.
For high potential professionals who do not conduct weekly reviews, one of the top reasons is that they either don’t understand the process, or can’t see the benefits. Now that you know how it works and the huge impact it can have, I invite you to take charge of your life, and face your goals and fears head-on.
“Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy.” – Brian Tracy
After all, in order to stay a high performer and relevant, you must grow. And whether you want to become more focused, motivated or productive, personal reviews will carve out the path for you to get there and skyrocket your success.
How do you envision yourself accelerating through personal reviews? Leave a comment below!
5 Surprising Ways Your Posture Impacts Your Success
What makes some people successful while others flop, even with the same education, background, and job position? There is no one size fits all formula, but one thing that always stands out is a person’s posture and body language. The way in which you sit, stand, and even walk, tells people so much about you, and you don’t have to utter a word.
I’m a big movie buff, so if I reference a few scenes, you will understand why. Your posture not only tells people about you, but it can make you feel more powerful and confident in your own abilities. Wouldn’t you like to know what your posture is saying to others and how you can change it?
Here are 5 ways your posture impacts your success:
1. Posture is a Nonverbal Sign of Who You Are
Remember in Titanic, when Jack is waiting to have dinner with Rose. When he’s leaning against the staircase, what does his posture say to you? Gangster? Thief? Then Jack sees the distinguished (banker?) walk by. He’s impressed with his posture and manner of walking, which he tries to emulate.
This is a perfect example of the image you are projecting to others. What do you want your image to say to others? When you are in a business setting, you should always be aware of your posture, so you don’t end up leaning on the staircase like Jack.
2. Good Posture Empowers You
Your posture and other body language makes you feel more powerful and boosts confidence. A study from Ohio State University found that those who sat up straight had more confidence in their own abilities and believed more strongly in positive statements they had written about themselves.
“A strong confident person can rule the room with knowledge, personal style, attitude and great posture.” – Cindy Ann Peterson
3. Your Posture is Vital to Your Health
Anyone who has spent time sitting in front of a computer screen will tell you that it can wreak havoc on your neck, back and shoulders. It’s true that our bodies were not designed to sit for the majority of the day, but when you add poor posture to the mix, you are asking for some serious pain.
You can only imagine what people will think if you take time off work because of back pain or neck pain. Of course, the alternative is to spend your time rubbing your neck, which won’t do much for your image or authority presence. Avoid these issues by practicing good posture!
4. Good Posture Helps You Perform Better
When your body is out of balance, that is to say, when you are hunched over that keyboard or your head is pushed forward when you are standing or walking, you can’t perform to your true potential. This is especially true if you end up with neck or back aches later on in your day because you are slouching. When you feel good, you look good, and you can perform like a champion!
5. Your Posture Affects How People See You
This should be fairly obvious to everyone. Have you ever seen a CEO slumped over their computer? Think of the movie Shawshank Redemption, when escaped prisoner Andy Dufresne sits in front of the bank executive to cash out his account. His posture screams confidence and authority in that scene. Imagine if he had been a quiet mouse, staring at his feet, with slumped over posture. Your posture can make a huge difference in how you are perceived.
“I listen better with earplugs in, so I can see what your body is really saying.” – Jarod Kintz
The Good Posture Problem
Whenever I counsel new employees, I always stress good posture and how important it is to every area of their lives. I see them sit up straight, pull back their shoulders, and sit back in their chair, only to find them slouched over their keyboard or phone a few minutes later.
Let’s face it, keeping good posture after years of neglect can seem like a lot of work and you’re right, it is. However, it only seems that way because we are unaccustomed to how it feels. We are also creatures of habit and slouching at your desk is probably a bad habit you learned many years ago. Habits were meant to be broken, friends, and it’s not as hard as you might think.
Tips for Practicing Good Posture
If you want to come across as Meryl Streep does in every scene where she is walking in The Devil Wears Prada (minus the arrogant attitude, of course), you should think about your posture every day.
You can try setting an alarm on a daily basis to check your posture at work or at home. Try to be mindful of the way you’re sitting, standing and sleeping, and avoid any unnatural positions. Ask friends and family to remind you to stop slouching, too!
Also, check your workstation and make sure nothing is triggering bad posture there. Is your computer screen at eye level? Is your chair comfortable? Make sure your office equipment isn’t negatively affecting your posture.
Finally, some people have great success with a yoga or Tai Chi class, which focus on building strength and flexibility in your postural muscles. If you’re interested, you might sign up to maximize your posture. Otherwise, you can also try a home morning posture routine with different stretches.
In the end, you have the power to change your posture! As your mother might say: sit up straight!
How do you practice having proper posture throughout your day? Share your thoughts below!
If You Must Work, Work For A Leader You Love
Let me lay this out nice and simple for you all: it’s not companies, or products, or services that make us go to work.
It’s people. To be more specific, it’s the leader you work for.
I came to this realization when I looked back on my own career. I looked at why I stayed in certain jobs for too long. I looked at why I gave a damn about finance when in my head I hated it.
The answer came to me late one night as I was trying to think about how to get myself out of this crappy career situation I’d found myself in where I literally didn’t give a stuff about business anymore.
Then it hit me: I’m following a leader I love.
It’s not the company.
The company doesn’t make you love your work, sorry.
No video on company culture or fancy office with stand up desks and indoor plants is going to change that. A company is a legal entity which revolves around a group of people who all work together towards a common goal that makes money.
None of us will be inspired by this incredibly dry thing called ‘a company’
A company is a figment of our imagination. Some people in the company rock. Some people in the company suck.
And that applies to all companies including Google, DropBox and any other company you think is sexy because of its uber cool culture and work from home days.
Working for a leader you love.
Why the hell would you bother?
It’s because it’s in our human nature to be led by someone who touches the deepest, darkest places that we don’t want to go to but must in order to survive.
Those dark places look like:
- Leading a team of people
- Doing public speaking
- Admitting you’re wrong in a major argument
- Quitting your career because it’s wrong
- And even breaking up with a lover
These are the things a leader made me do. I didn’t want to do any of it although I had to.
This made me want to come to work every day and work for this leader because in the work I was doing, I was discovering myself and finding a way to grow into the person I’d avoided becoming for so long.
No one wants to face the darkness, but when a leader guides you, you’ll find a way and be forever grateful that you did.
From one company to the next.
You see many people go from one company to the next. They’re not chasing the idea of a company or trying to find a better company.
“We go from one company to the next because in most cases we’re chasing a leader”
Finding that leader you love working for is not easy. You’ll have to work for many useless leaders before you find a couple that are worth dedicating your entire career to.
The process of finding a leader you love working for is so difficult that once your search ends and you find those rare individuals, your standards will be forever raised and anything less will piss you off.
In my own career, I’ve met 1–2 amazing leaders and every other leader that is not them ends up making me want to move on.
Not finding a leader I love.
I end up moving on because the leaders I don’t love working for focus on the following: numbers, email signatures, the share price, managing people into the ground in favor of ‘productivity’ and overcomplicating business.
That last one is the most important. Business revolves around understanding how people think, what motivates them and how to get them to take ownership.
“To put the people part to one side is to completely Mess up the most simplest idea that has ever existed in the business world”
The process goes like this:
- Hire one good leader
- Support that leader
- Allow them to hire incredible human beings
- Stay the heck out of their way
Hiring the right leader and then letting them hire people who love working for them is the number one consistent approach I’ve seen from looking at many of the unicorn tech companies that have gone on to define the future of the human race.
It’s this counter-intuitive, somewhat magical approach that makes us stay working for a leader we love. Until, of course, we may not need to work or decide to go off and start our own thing.
The leader makes it all worth it.
So from this day forth, I’m committed to only working for a leader I love. If you mess that part up, you’ll probably find me saying goodbye.
I’d encourage you to think the same way.
The leader you work for makes it all worth it. It’s knowing someone has your back, someone cares and someone is simultaneously going to push you to the next level whether you like it or not that will not only define your career but your life.
Don’t. Settle. Ever.
Find a leader you love working for.
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