How to make effective New Years Resolutions

Many of us who are looking forward to the future have made New Years resolutions

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You know those grand plans that we come up with, that if we follow-through, will make our life more fulfilling. Unfortunately, they are also the same plans that are usually forgotten by the 3rd week of January. If you don’t believe this just check the classifieds in February for used exercise equipment.

Common resolutions like “Quit Smoking, Lose Weight or Save Money,” may sound great, but they aren’t very successful. Using the following 7 steps will help you design more powerful New Years resolutions.

1. Develop S.M.A.R.T. Resolutions

Specific: You must specifically and clearly identify your target because you need to know what success looks like.

Measurable: Clear destinations and checkpoints along the way provide stepping-stones,  that are easily attained and provide victories that keep you motivated.

Action Oriented: Effective resolutions require action, they are doing resolutions, not being or having resolutions.

Realistic: You design resolutions to solve a problem or to achieve a dream. They should stretch you outside of your comfort zones, but if you make them completely out of reach, you are only setting yourself up for failure.

Timely: They need to be important to you at this time in your life, if it is not, you will not do the work necessary to succeed.

 

  1. Identify what’s in it for you: If you are going to follow through with your resolution you need to be excited about the benefits it will bring. Visualizing yourself fitting into those jeans that “shrunk” or driving that new car are powerful motivators.

 

  1. List the obstacles that stand in your way: Knowing what the obstacles are can help you determine how to get around them.

 

  1. Consider who can help you: You need to carefully identify friends whom you can trust to share your goals with and who can check your progress and encourage you. These people enable you to maintain your focus and keep your eyes on the goal itself.

 

  1. Consider what resources are needed: Knowing what tools and knowledge you’ll need to help you accomplish your goal will increase your chances of success.

 

  1. Develop an Action Plan: There is something so powerful about putting your resolutions down on paper, but this is the step where most people fail. I think Denver Broncos football coach Mike Shanahan put it best when he said, “If you have a plan, and if you have your direction laid out. You can chart your progress to your dreams at each stopping point along the way. And just as important, all along the way you can see how far you’ve come”. Developing your action plan will give you the road map to your dreams.

 

  1. Set a deadline for achievement: Resolutions without deadlines are only dreams. Deadlines are another powerful motivator. Also when you are setting deadlines add the phrase “on or before” ie. “I will acquire 20 new clients on or before July 1, 2016”

 

So this year make those New Years Resolutions stick, and reap the benefits. Because the best way to predict your future, is to create it yourself.

What Amazing Bosses Do Differently

Worlds Best Boss

This blog post was from the Harvard Business Review and written by Sydney Finkelstein author of Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Manage the Flow of Talent where he talks about 5 things Amazing Bosses do differently.

We all know that job satisfaction often hinges on the quality of the relationships we have with our bosses. Yet in today’s rapidly evolving, 24/7 workplaces, it’s not always clear what managers should do to create the most satisfying work experiences and the happiest employees. My research into the world’s most successful bosses has unearthed some common practices that make work much more meaningful and enjoyable. If you supervise others, make sure you do the following:

Manage individuals, not teams. When you’re under pressure, it’s easy to forget that employees are unique individuals, with varying interests, abilities, goals, and styles of learning. But it’s important to customize your interactions with them. Ensure you understand what makes them tick. Be available and accessible for one-on-one conversations. Deliver lessons cued to individual developmental needs. And when it comes to promotion, look past rigid competency models and career ladders for growth opportunities tailored to the ambitions, talents, and capacities of each person.

Dr. Paul Batalden, a professor emeritus at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine, who previously worked under Tommy Frist at healthcare giant HCA, told me that his former boss was “such an unusual CEO” of a company that size. “You could always get to see him. He always had time.”  Samuel Howard, another Frist protégé who is now CEO of Xantus Corp, added, “when you asked him to do something, he would roll up his sleeves” and work with you to get it done.

Go big on meaning.  Most employees value jobs that let them contribute and make a difference, and many organizations now emphasize meaning and purpose in the hopes of fostering engagement. But this is also the manager’s responsibility. You can’t rely on incentives like bonuses, stock options, or raises. You’ve got to inspire them with a vision, set challenging goals and pump up their confidence so they believe they can actually win. Articulate a clear purpose that fires your team up, set expectations high, and convey to the group that you think they’re capable of virtually anything.

Legendary bosses like Bill Sanders in real estate, Julian Robertson in hedge funds, and Bill Walsh in professional football all communicated visions that entranced employees and left them hell-bent on success. Scot Sellers, a protégé of Sanders who went on to become CEO of Archstone before retiring in 2013, recalled that his former boss “would lay out his vision and say, ‘I would like you to be a part of it.’ You were so honored to be asked… that you just wanted to jump in and say, ‘Sign me up!’”

To read the other 3 things that Amazing Bosses do differently click here:


 

Sydney Finkelstein is the Steven Roth Professor of Management in Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and the author of Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Manage the Flow of Talent (Portfolio/Penguin, February 2016) from which this article was adapted.

The guys guide to buying gifts for his wife

Christmas-gift-for-girlfriend

Giving a gift to your wife

This post was originally part of the series “The 7+ Habits of Highly Effective Husbands”.

Although giving your wife a gift is a great way to show your love, especially if it’s in her favourite currency, if you’re not careful it can still blow up in your face.

Like the time when we were dating I gave my wife April a beautiful red lace rose, not knowing that when you took the plastic off, the head of the rose was really a little pair (and I mean little) of skimpy underwear.

That wouldn’t have been so bad, except that I gave it to her at her birthday party… at my parents’ house.

And that summer when she started talking to me again… (her birthday is in December), she suggested that I needed help.

And that is when I decided to study and learn the science behind effective gift giving.

A science that has been a mystery to husbands (and sales reps) for years… until now!

What I discovered were thes 4 elements of effective gift giving that I call the T.I.M.S. factor.

The 1st element it Timing:

A gift that is a surprise is more powerful that one she expects.

You still need to give her a gift on special occassions, like Christmas, her Birthday or your Anniversary, but you may find that she will be just as delighted if you bring her flowers after work on Friday.

But, don’t do it every Friday… because then she’ll expect it which will not only make it less powerful, but if you forget one week she will be disappointed. This is certainly not the emotion you want to generate.

The 2nd element is your Investment:

And by investment, I don’t just mean the money you spend but also the time and effort you take in thinking about, finding and picking out just the right gift for her.

The more time and effort you invest, the more powerful the gift will be.

Trust me, women know which gifts are bought on December 24th.

The 3rd element is your Motive:

My research shows that there are 4 different types of gifts.

The “Just because I love you (or was thinking about you)” gift, which is the most powerful.

The “Thank you” gift, which is the next most powerful.

The “Negotiation” gift, which is less powerful, because if you receive something in return it is not really a gift.

And the “Please don’t make me sleep on the couch again tonight, honey” or the “suck-up” gift, which is abviously the least powerful.

The 4th element of the T.I.M.S. model of effective gift giving is the Sensation that she feels when she gets your gift.

If your gift leaves her happy… you’re golden.

If you have to go out and buy her a “Please don’t make me sleep on the couch again tonight, honey” gift to make up for your original one… not so much.

So remember Habit #10 and think T.I.M.S. before buying her a gift.

Motivational Quote: Continuous Improvement

Racing yourself

“Be better than you were Yesterday, but not as good as you will be Tomorrow.” – Richard Elmes