13 Reasons why you should skip Happy Hour

It is 4:45 pm on a Thursday.  Or maybe for you it is any day that ends in Y.  But you are eagerly waiting to go to the closest Happy Hour at your favorite watering hole.  You are so excited that it is like you are a child on Christmas Eve.

We all have seasons in our life where going to Happy Hour is just what we do.  However, if you look at any of the below thirteen comments and you can relate, then my suggestion for you is to stop going to Happy Hour.

If…

1. You are broke:  You don’t have any money.  Go home and save your money.

2. You haven’t read a book since college or since someone made you. Invest in your mind instead.

3. Your family thinks you work late every night: Your family hates your company, because they think they work you too hard. Go home and spend time with them.

4. Your gym recently called you to see if you were still alive:  You are overweight and out of shape. Invest your energy into your most precious resource, you.  Get healthy instead.

5.  Work later so you can get the project completed: It’s already overdue, get the job done so you can move onto the next.

6. You went yesterday: It has become routine for you. Take a week off, at least.

7. Your college credits have dust on them: How many credits do you have?  Finish the degree, you aren’t getting any younger.

8. Nobody else is going but you: It’s not called happy hour if you go by yourself.  Its called alcoholism.

9. You haven’t met someone new since you met your spouse: Attend a networking event. Meeting new people opens up doors. If the only people you know in your industry are the people in your office, that is a problem. Get out and meet some people.

10. Your happy hour usually turns into an all nighter: You can’t stop at one or two, you go all night like it is a party.

11. Your skills haven’t been enhanced since Microsoft Windows Millennium edition came out: Attend a seminar, a class, a course, invest in developing your skills, a new skill, or a pursue new venture.

12. You treat it like a college party: Happy Hour is a for a few drinks, not keg stands and shots.

13. Your last goal was to graduate college:  It’s time to set some new goals.  Spend some time charting out what you want your life to look like.

As I stated above, at different times of our life we are going through different seasons.  There are some seasons where happy hour makes sense and we can do it without any regrets.  Then there are other seasons where we have to take care of the most important things first.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

If I knew then what I know now part (3)

In this third post on the topic of “If I knew then what I know now” series, I discuss the art and science of Goal Setting.  This series and the data come from a group of people in my circles that I posed a very simple question to.  “What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you graduated high school?”  I received a lot of responses, but as I stated in series 2 (click here for that post) http://www.thebrianwillett.com/self-development-addict-blog/2015/5/22/if-i-knew-then-what-i-know-now-part-2  many of the respondents, about 50% said they wish they understood finances better.  The second largest response from this group was specific or tied to goal setting. This is a subject that I am very passionate about as well.

To me goal setting is something that everyone says they do, but rarely when I ask them to tell me what their goals are can they state them with clarity.  In my position I interview a lot of people.  I ask a very simple question followed up by another very simple question.  “Give me an example of a goal that you set for yourself in the last six months personal or professional, that you were successful in accomplishing”.  The follow-up question is the same question, except, I change the word successful to unsuccessful in accomplishing.  Most candidates, have to think about it for a few minutes then they typically go to something related to work, professional.  That is a good answer because it lets me know they can think on their feet and it lets me know a little bit about who they are.  But this makes my point.  Most people don’t have clearly defined goals for their life.  The professional goals are usually goals that are handed down to the individuals or it is part of their job to begin with.

As of typing this blog this morning.  It is May 27, 2015.  In four days it will be June 1, 2015, which means we are half way through 2015.  On my computer I have my 2015 goals opened up at the bottom of my screen all of the time. It is there as a constant reminder to me.  I know where I stand on all of my goals that I set for 2015.  But just to give you some insight on a few of these goals.

I had a personal development goal to read a new book a week this year.  As of this morning I have read 28.  So obviously I am doing a little a better on this goal. Another goal was financial:  Without being too open here, lets just say I had a goal to save a large amount of money. Another goal I have related is to relationships/dating.  In each of these three areas, I have met or exceeded my goal.  Our lives are made up of really a few major areas.  They typically are financial, relationships (family, friends, spouses, etc.), career, spiritual, health.  You can add in other areas as well, such as traveling and as I did, personal development.  I am not saying these are the only areas we should have goals in, but these make up the biggest parts of our lives.

So why do I share the above examples with you?  As I pointed out from the respondents in my poll, goal setting was clearly an area we all wish we had known more about when we graduated high school.  As I illustrated in my example of interviewing people and asking them the question on goal setting it is something that we all understand, but most aren’t as intentional with their goals as they think they are.

When you become a better and more intentional goal setter in all areas of your life, your life will become the life that you design and develop and not the one that you end up pursuing because you didn’t plan it out.

I write this blog today and share my examples with you with the hopes of inspiring some of you to take action.  If you are interested in learning how to become a better goal setter, I challenge you to reach out to me, I have some tools that can guide you to accomplishing your goals.  Remember this.  A goal that is not clearly defined and written out (typed out) is merely a wish.

To your success and your future.

Don’t continue to be a fool

It is time to count.  Yep.  It is black and white.  It is not gray, it is not up for debate, it is not  up to interpretation.

You have either made progress towards your goals or you haven’t.  Do you remember back in December, btw: it was only 12 weeks or so ago.  You made a decision to make changes in your life.  It could have been in a variety of different areas you wanted to make changes. The ones that are most common can be found in a previous blog post here: http://wp.me/p4eY1f-cX

How are you tracking towards your 2015 goals and dreams?  How much progress have you made?  The good thing is that quarter 1 of 2015 is in the books and you are still here and you have three more quarters to win the game in 2015.  So you can start today!

A fool is described as a person who acts unwisely or silly.  So a person who is wise would be a person that is aware of what they are doing and is alert.  If you haven’t made any progress towards your goals you set, be wise and decide today what changes you should have made but just haven’t for whatever reason.

When the Why gets stronger the How gets easier.  Is your why strong enough?  If you haven’t made any progress towards your goals your why must not be strong enough.

My advice for you is to go back to your goals?  Oh, if you didn’t write them down, then shame on you.  You have to write them down.  If you have them written down already or you are now taking my advice and writing them down.  Next to each one of them write down why this goal is important.  Ex:  I want to lose 10 pounds.  Losing 10 pounds because your clothes don’t fit, is probably not a strong enough WHY.  You can just buy new clothes. And guess what, most people will.  They would rather do that than put in the hard work and discipline required to lose 10 pounds.  Your Why should be centered around what it will mean for you personally when you lose 10 pounds.  Maybe it is your blood pressure will be lower, which means you are healthier and you can play with your children. Or by losing 10 pounds, you will be more confident in your appearance that it will give you the confidence to change jobs and pursue that big opportunity you have been thinking about.

The first day of April is April fools day.  My hope is you will look at today as the opportunity to be wise instead of being foolish.  Being foolish means doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, or maybe that is insanity.  Either way you have a choice to make today.  You have three more quarters in 2015 to accomplish your goals and your dreams.  Take inventory today and create a game place to ensure you accomplish those goals.

To your success and your future.

 

The reason why you procrastinate

Procrastination is a disease and if you aren’t careful it can kill you.  It can kill your spirit, it can kill your confidence, and it, really can kill you.  If you don’t get the pain in your chest checked out, it could eventually kill you.

Why do we procrastinate?  Best selling author Steve McClatchy states it like this from his years of studying the psychology behind procrastination.  We all know that we procrastinate on the tasks we like the least.  But why do we procrastinate on these tasks?  And then what compels us to do them when we finally do them?

What happens in our brain is that the closer we get to the deadline for a specific task our brain gets us thinking about the consequences of not completing the tasks.  This could be the embarrassment we might have if we don’t get it done, or we may get in trouble with our boss, we may have to apologize to our spouse, or we may just feel like a failure.  Once we start thinking about the consequences of not completing the tasks, we get scared and then FEAR sets in.  The fear tips the scale over and pushes us to complete the tasks. Our brain is just that brilliant, it uses fear to motivate us to get the things we don’t want to do, done.

Steve McClatchy in his best-selling book: Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example, he states that all human psychology and motivation can be broken down into two categories. Prevent pain categories and Gain categories.

Prevent pain Category:  These are the things we have to do to prevent pain in our life.  In its simplest form:  Taking out the trash.  Why do you take out the trash?  So you wont have the pain of smelling the trash in your house.  Or your wife yelling at you to do it.  Prevent pain tasks are tasks that are really survival tasks.  They have to be done.  They may need to be done frequently, you do them because you have to. They require a sense of urgency and they don’t usually produce significant results.

Gain Category: Produce 90% or more of the results in our life. Attributes of a gain task:  They typically lack a sense of urgency, meaning they are not required for us to do them and usually don’t have a deadline.  We can’t delegate them.  When we do these tasks we remember them.  They help us make movement and improvement in our lives.  Example:  Writing a book.  There is no deadline, you can’t delegate it, when you are 80 years old, you will remember it.  At 80 years old you wont remember taking out the trash. What about   getting an advanced degree?  It isn’t required usually, there is no deadline, you can’t delegate it, and you will remember it for the rest of your life, that is why it is a “gain task”.

Based on this analysis and psychology you can see why and how it is really easy for us to not get anything accomplished.  There is no end to the “prevent pain” list is there?  No.  So how do we get things accomplished in the Gain Category.

It begins with this first.  Setting some goals with deadlines and putting your “Gain” goals on your calendar.  As the author points out, you will put anything and everything on your “To Do List”, but sometimes those things are just “preventing pain” things.  The to do list motivates you because you feel like you are accomplishing something and they have to be done usually.  But when you put things on your calendar, they are more important and you will be sure to set aside the time to get them done.

We can’t use procrastination motivation to help us achieve our “Gain tasks”, it doesn’t work, because “Gain tasks” don’t have the necessary attributes that will instill the fear in us if we don’t get them done.  We have to use something else to motivate us to get our “Gain Tasks” accomplished.  We can use accomplishment and momentum.  When you have momentum and are accomplishing things, it triggers endorphins in your bloodstream that pushes you.

The author also speaks about “Have To’s” and “Want To’s”.  “Have To’s” are the prevent pain tasks.  “Want To’s” are those “gain” tasks.  You need to fill up your day with enough “Want To” tasks (Gain tasks) to give you motivation to do the Have To’s (Prevent Pain) tasks.  Think about your last vacation.  It was really easy to stay motivated at work on the last day and get all of the “Have To’s” accomplished because you had a “Want To” motivating you, which was the vacation.  You wont remember the “Have To’s” but you will remember the “Want To”, the vacation.

We have covered a lot of ground in today’s post.  I was highly motivated after listening to Steven McClatchy speak.  His book as I mentioned earlier is on sale.  I already purchased it, I would suggest you do it as well.  Here is the link on amazon.  http://www.amazon.com/Decide-Smarter-Reduce-Stress-Example/dp/1118554388/

I am off to do some “Gain” activities, because they are the ones that matter.  I will not allow procrastination to prevent me from movement and improvement in my life, and I suggest you do the same.  

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

Adjust the action steps

Based on my research on the facts and numbers of New Years resolutions and people’s ability to stick with them. We are roughly about ten days or so into the new year, which means people are already starting to fail on their commitments that they made. Read this link to see those facts and figures.  http://wp.me/p4eY1f-cX 
Confucius said it like this:  “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” 
How are you doing on your commitments?  Are you sticking with them?  If not.  What needs to change so you can keep those commitments.  For things to change you must change.  Which may require new information.  Sure, change requires you to have a strong compelling reason to make the change.  And then the commitment to that new change.  However, an important step in this that is sometimes overlooked is the information necessary for you to make this change actually occur.

We cannot do something that we don’t know how to do.  Can we?  Sure we can try, and that is a start and is admirable.  Is it enough?  Sometimes it could be, sometimes it isn’t.
For example:  When I made a decision to lose weight.  I said I wanted to lose X amount of weight by April. I got to April and I hadn’t lost much weight.  I knew that calories and exercise impact this.  It is basic math.  Fewer calories in and more calories burned, I would lose weight.  What I didn’t have though was an app that could help me do this.  I heard about an app that could help me track my calories from a friend of mine. That app changed everything for me.  It was new knowledge.  That new knowledge helped me achieve my goal.  I didn’t change my goal of losing weight, I changed my action steps.  That app gave me the awareness I needed to change my action steps in my day to achieve my goal.
We are only ten days into the New Year, if you have already nibbled away from your commitments, then you are lucky, because we are only ten days into the new year and you can get back on track.  Don’t adjust your goals, adjust your actions. I am here to help, maybe you need some new knowledge, or maybe you need an accountability partner, or maybe you need both. Jump over to thebrianwillett.com where I have resources that may be able to assist you or reach out to me and maybe I can work with you one on one. Lets make 2015 our best year yet.
 To your success and your future. 

What now?

As you wake up on this awesome day, the first day of 2015, it truly is an awesome day.  Really, it is.  Most of you don’t have to work today, and secondly if you are reading this, congratulations, you made it to the next year.

The question that I have on my mind this morning is this.  What now?

2014 was a great year.  I accomplished more in 2014 than I did in almost any other year in my life.  So what do I do now?

The more goals I set, the more commitments I keep, the more I want to do.  The bar keeps getting raised.  What I thought was a big deal two years ago, is no longer that big of a deal anymore, you shouldn’t think so either.  You have to raise the bar.

I remember running an 8 minute mile for the first time.  I thought I was going to die.  But immediately I raised the bar and said, now I have to run 8 minute miles for 3 miles, then for 6 miles, then 10, then for 13.1.  I haven’t accomplished the last one just yet.  Close, but just haven’t made it yet.  Raise the bar.

What is your “what now?”  Many of the people I know are killing it.  Good jobs, great families, enough income that they aren’t starving.   So I ask them “what now” .  You have to have a “what now”.  This is what life is about.

We have three things we must constantly do;

  • 1) consider the past
  • 2) concentrate on the present
  • 3) think and plan for the future.

Too many people do the first two more than they do number three.  Give each area enough time to make the decisions that need to be made.  But on this first day of 2015, I  challenge you to really think about these three things today. Spend most of your time reflecting on 2014 enough to make some good decisions about what you will do in 2015.  You will have plenty of time tomorrow to concentrate on the present.

I am currently meeting with clients and discussing commitments and goals for their life in 2015 and beyond.  If you are someone who has set goals, made commitments, and fell short on them.  It means your system doesn’t work.  Maybe my system will work for you.  If you are interested in meeting with me one on one via face to face or over the phone. Please go to thebrianwillett.com and send me a request.  I am currently meeting with clients at a reduced rate of $100 an hour.

What now?  Only you can decide what that will be.

To your success and your future.

 

 

 

Who is in your Reference Group?

The definition of reference is the use of a source of information to ascertain something. Every single day we all refer to something.  We may make a political point or point about sports and refer to a source in which we heard that point from.

What is a reference group?

  • Reference groups act as a frame of reference to which people always refer to evaluate their achievements, their role performance, aspirations and ambitions.

Your reference group are the people in your circle that you are around the most.  This could be the people at your church, your work, your football team, your friends, an organization you are involved in, etc.  This reference group over time becomes who you are and what you are.  If you are happy where you are, then stay within your reference group.  If you want to accomplish more, do more, see more, have more, and ultimately give more, then you must have a reference group that can help you fulfill these desires.

Napoleon Hill (Author: Think and Grow Rich): after studying thousands of successful men, concluded that all successful men had many things in common and one of those things was a “mastermind group”.  This mastermind group is 3-5 people who an individual associated with the most.  These are the people who all had common goals and aspirations.    This became the reference group.

Are you accomplishing your goals, desires, and ambitions?  Yes or No?  Who is in your reference group? I am re-thinking my reference group, I suggest you do the same.

To your success and your future.

 

How do you realize your dream?

What are your dreams and wishes?  How do you turn those into some goals.  Goals and dreams are different.  Goals have a deadline and an action plan.  Turn your dreams into reality by following the process below

  • Decide what you want.
  • Make commitment to that goal and write it down. (You must write it down)
  • Put next to that goal “Why” you want to achieve it.  What will it do for you by achieving that goal.
  • Establish a deadline for this goal.  How long will it take you?
  • How will you measure your progress?
  • How will you hold yourself accountable.

Napoleon Hill said that the mind can achieve anything that it can conceive.

Make some goals today and achieve everything in life you want and realize your dreams.

For more information on goal setting and goal accomplishment.  Reach out to me.

 

 

40 hours is the starting line

This morning I was listening to the recorded version of the Dave Ramsey show like I do every morning.  In all his wisdom (which is why I listen) he said to someone who called in that they had competing goals.  I believe the caller was asking if her husband should go back to school or they should pay off debt.  I can’t remember the full context of the story.  However, Dave talked about competing goals and gave a few illustrations of what competing goals look like.

Maybe your goal is to grow within your company.  But you also want to spend more time with your family.  We have some competing goals here don’t we.  So what do you do?  Life is full of seasons.  You may be in a season right now where you have to pay now so you can play later.  Nothing in life is forever, seasons come and go. Summer is almost over and it will soon be fall, so seasons constantly change.   

You can’t get ahead by working 40 hours.  The bottom line is 40 hours is basically the starting line.  What you do after that first 40 hours is what will lead to success.  I have seen it, witnessed it, and experienced it.  So what is your goal?  

Yesterday I was talking to a good friend of mine. He likes to play golf, he is a big time golfer and is really good at golf.  However, in our weekly accountability meeting we discussed the fact that he doesn’t have much time for golf right now because his goal is to sacrifice now, so it will pay later.  He made his decision and even though one of his goals is to maintain being really good at golf.  What is more important right now is putting in 60 hours a week in work, training, education, etc. So he can feed his family and prep for his future desires. Which is even more important. After 40 Hours is where his real work begins.

Competing goals.  In the pursuit multiple high priority goals, one is diluted.  You can’t serve two masters. Pick a goal, pursue it, and don’t look back.  I say this many times: The reason I write/blog is for my own accountability.  I have competing goals right now in my life and career.  I have to find more focus, pick a major goal and stick with it.

Remember life is full of seasons.  Just like a baseball player, basketball player, or football player, the more seasons we have the closer we get to greatness.  Athletes during their season don’t do anything else except focus on the goal, which is a championship.  We should do the same.

What is your definition of championship?  Is it a promotion?  If so, it is time to focus on the season you are in or need to be in and pursue that goal.

The biggest GAP

What is the biggest GAP?  If you put the word GAP in a google search, you would think that it is only a clothing store.  GAP has done a great job at owning the search engine to ensure they pop up first.  However, I am talking about the other gap:  definition:  a break or hole in an object or between two objects. an unfilled space or interval; a break in continuity.

So what is the biggest GAP?  The biggest GAP is between knowing and doing.  Yep that is it.  That is the biggest GAP.  How many times do we know what we should do, but we don’t do it?  I can speak for myself and say a lot.  Matter of fact, I am sure there will be something this weekend that I do that I know I shouldn’t.  Like eating a Mighty Meaty Wick from Wick’s pizza with a few beers.  However, I will put in a few miles of running right afterwards.  Still doesn’t make it right 🙂

Example:  Sorry smokers but its true.  How many years now have the surgeon generals been telling you that smoking causes cancer and other health related problems? Many. But people still smoke. How many of us know that texting while you drive is dangerous?  All of us, right.  Do we still do it?  Yep, because we are smarter, right?  How many of us know we should get the project done now instead of waiting until next week, when we will be pressed for time and it will be last minute?

So if this is the biggest GAP.  What do we do about it?   Well, I am a process guy.  I have to develop processes to protect me from myself at times.  Since we as human beings are habitual to a fault, we have to develop the disciplines and the processes that over time become habitual, just like the current habits you have established that you shouldn’t be doing.

1.  Pick something out that you know you should be doing and you are not. EX: Reading more, working out, stopping smoking, procrastination on something, etc.

2.  Now write down this commitment and take a picture of it with your smartphone and make it your wallpaper on your phone.  Studies show that most people check their phone 135 times a day.  So you will see that commitment a lot.  135 times a day at least and this is only if you are average and if you are reading my blog you are not average 🙂 you are above average.

3.  What other processes can you put into place to keep you from falling into the GAP between knowing and doing?

There are many things you can do to hold yourself accountable.  I am currently working with many people on developing processes to ensure they stay accountable to the goals they have set for themselves.  Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about these processes, also share with me some things you do to bridge the GAP between knowing and doing.