There Is a Big Difference Between Setting Goals and Achieving Goals

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Learning the incredible power of goals has forever changed my life. At 16 years old, I was a full-blown drug addict that was completely throwing his entire life away by living a life with no meaning and surrounding myself with others who degraded my potential and ability to become the best version of myself. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom that I came to realization that I was either going to end up dead or in prison by my 18th birthday, or I’d have to go to commit to rehab and get very serious about setting goals for my life.

My parents and all of my athletic coaches throughout the years continuously harped on me about the extreme importance of goal setting, however, I never completely bought in. We all hear about goal setting and how vitally important it is that we create a vision for our lives, but why is it that very few people actually follow through with setting goals for their lives? I think there are a lot of varying answers to this, but I think the biggest reason is because most people don’t know how to properly set attainable goals for themselves to begin with.

There is a big difference between goal setting and goal achieving. Saying you want to earn a certain amount of money, lose some weight or start your own business without setting a clear and actionable plan as to how that’s going to happen is simply just a hope and a wish. And even then, once you are extremely clear about what it is you want, you must come up with an action plan as to how you are going to enter into the highly coveted space of goal achievement — and then commit to taking massive and relentless daily action.

Shifting from goal setting to goal achievement requires you to do three things exceptionally well. Here are three things that you can start to incorporate into your every day life that has helped me achieve every massive goal that I have ever set for myself, including landing a Division One college football scholarship, playing in the NFL, getting a major book publishing deal and running a successful business.

1. Get extremely clear about what it is you want.

The first part of the process is to get extremely clear about what exactly it is that you want. Saying you want to lose weight or make more money next year isn’t being extremely clear. It’s a start and certainly better than not wanting anything at all, but it’s still just a wish.

How much weight do you want to lose? How will it make you feel when you achieve your goal? Why do you want to lose the weight? What is your deadline to achieve this goal? These are just some examples to help get you started on the process of getting extremely clear about your goal.

Take your most important goal right now — whether it’s to lose weight, make more money, or land the promotion at work — and spend some time focusing all of your attention towards getting very clear about the answers to the questions I just proposed. To give you an example, when I was 16 years old and felt all hope was lost, it wasn’t until I got extremely clear about getting a college scholarship for football that my daily actions and behaviors started to change.

I had to answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how’s for myself. When you set a meaningful goal and then get extremely clear about those questions, an incredible transition can begin to take place.

 

2. Create your game plan for success.

This part of the process can drastically increase your chances of achieving your most audacious goals. After you get extremely clear about your goal, create a list of everything that you have to do in order to achieve that goal.

Looking back at my list when I set a goal to get a Division One college scholarship, I had over 40 things that I needed to do in order to put myself in a position for success. Everything from reaching out to a certain number of coaches every single day, running a specific  40-yard dash time, eating certain healthy foods that would help increase my performance and attending the right summer camps at universities that would put me in front of the right people.

My list was extensive, but failing to list all of the things that you have to do in order to achieve a goal greatly minimizes your chances of actually entering into goal achievement. Take the time right now to make a list of everything that you have to do in order to achieve that major goal of yours. Even if there are 100 things that you write down, write them down.

3. Take consistent and persistent massive action.

All three things are greatly important, but this step is the ultimate differentiator and transition between goal setting and goal achievement. Unfortunately, too many people spend their precious time looking for the secret formula out there that will help them achieve their deepest desires and biggest dreams that will take minimal effort on their behalf.

But there isn’t such a thing, and anyone that tells you otherwise is selling you a false hope and a wish. I have never in my life met an incredibly successful man or woman, whether in athletics or in business, that didn’t consistently and persistently take massive action on a daily basis.

After you have your action list created, move two to three things from your list over to your daily to-do list. Most people spend their days creating to do lists that consist of tedious tasks that hold very little value in helping them advance their lot in life.

Every single day — day in and day out — take massive action doing something that will help you in the achievement of your biggest goal. You will get knocked down, experience all kinds of hardships, but when you consistently and persistently move forward, you will be amazed at what begins to transpire in your life.

Following what I shared with you above isn’t going to guarantee that you will achieve your biggest goal. However, it will guarantee that over time you become a new person that wakes up every day with a new passion and desire to face the day ahead.

Goals changed my life in more ways than one, and I know that it can do the same for you when you begin to adopt these three ideas. Just remember, there is a big difference between goal setting and goal achieving.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

3 Ways to Remain Calm and Execute When Starting a Business

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Although it can certainly bring extraordinary excitement and fulfillment, there is nothing easy about starting a business. Launching a new business or even a new division within an existing business can be chaotic. There will be plenty of ups and downs, twists and turns, and wins and losses. Building a successful business has very much to do with how you respond when you get knocked down.

Below are three critical steps that can help you remain calm and execute your vision fully when the going gets tough.

1. Surround yourself with those who are already doing what you want to do.

When I first started writing and speaking, I knew absolutely nothing about how to go about turning it into an actual business. The first thing that I did was email and reach out to those who were already doing it, asking them how I might be able to help with whatever their most important project was. Some would respond and some wouldn’t, but every single day I put in the effort. I offered value in whatever way I could in the beginning, and over time, that transpired into a solid mentoring relationship. When you really care about what it is you do and eager to learn more, you would be surprised at how many highly successful people want to help.

2. Be obsessed with your vision.

Creating a blueprint of possibilities is the new “business plan.” No great entrepreneur has succeeded without developing an obsessive mentality surrounding the value of their product or overall vision of what they wanted to do. Coupling a steadfast dedication to your vision and value with an attitude of adaptability helps business owners and entrepreneurs to gain unbelievable momentum. And Big Mo as I like to call it—momentum—equals success.

3. Learn to love failure.

Failure yields opportunity. Entrepreneurs fail because when obstacles hit, they surrender to the negativity and attach their identity to this feeling of frustration. That’s not productive. All great entrepreneurs accept roadblocks as incredible opportunities to pinpoint areas of growth and get better. By learning to detach from the negativity and dig into the reasons these obstacles have arisen, entrepreneurs can narrow in on the aspects of their business that require extra attention or adaptability. Behind every failure and setback is a fundamental key to your business growth.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

5 Ways to Drastically Increase Your Productivity

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Regardless of how successful they already are, most entrepreneurs and business leaders would like to become more productive and efficient. Of course, the busy-ness of running a company and managing others can create a great amount of stress, which leads to exactly what we don’t want: decreasing productivity levels.

Here are 5 proven ideas and strategies for increasing your productivity that have tremendously benefited my life as well as the hundreds of thousands of people that I speak to each and every year.

1. Use your calendar to your advantage.

Most people use their calendar as a tool to simply remember birthdays and special events, but this is greatly undermining the true power that your calendar can serve to increase your productivity. A simple strategy that can work absolute wonders is to schedule your major tasks for the day. That’s right, don’t just create a to-do list of all the things you have to do the next day, but time block all of your most important tasks and projects that need to get done. The saying, “What gets scheduled gets done” holds an incredible amount of truth to it. Give it a try.

2. Plan your day in advance.

Sounds like such a simple thing to do and a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of people who wake up in the morning without a plan of action for the day ahead. Planning your day in advance helps you to get a good nights rest as you no longer have to stay up all night trying to remember all of the things that you have to get done the next day. It also helps you to wake up passionate and excited to attack your day as you already know exactly what you have to do instead of pondering and wasting precious time trying to make a plan.

3. Perfect your morning routine.

Perfecting your morning routine is crucial for you to take your productivity to the next level and set yourself up for a massively successful day. How we start our day is a great indicator on how the rest of our day is going to go. Most of the successful people I’ve met have, at some point, brought up their morning routine and how much it meant to them. Find something that works for you and start scheduling it in your calendar. An example of what mine looks like is getting a great workout in first thing in the morning, then reading an inspirational/uplifting book for 15-20 minutes, meditating, taking a look at my daily and yearly goals, and then writing in my gratitude journal. Get serious about your morning routine!

4. Develop a sense of urgency.

A lack of urgency hinders so many people from not only increasing their productivity levels, but also from reaching their full potential and achieving their biggest goals and dreams. I have written down on a notecard, “DO IT NOW!” that I take with me everywhere I go and I look at this notecard anytime I notice that I’m second guessing myself or procrastinating on a certain task or project. When I glance down at this notecard, it instantly reminds me the power of taking action and moving forward with a sense of urgency. Create a trigger for yourself that works for you. Whether it’s writing a reminder on a notecard or in your notes section on your smartphone, try to constantly remind yourself to get moving.

5. Become obsessed about limiting distractions.

We live in such a noisy and distracting world that if you don’t make an intentional effort to limit the amount of distractions when it’s time to work, it’s a guarantee that your productivity will take a hit. A typical day for a huge majority of the population consists of logging onto their computer first thing in the morning, checking their Facebook, sending out a few emails, taking a coffee break, chatting with coworkers, and then getting some tedious work done for the rest of the day. Keep breaks to a minimum, limit the chatter with co-workers, and stop searching the internet when it’s actually time to get some meaningful work done.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

What You Need to Do Next Time You Stumble

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As entrepreneurs, business owners, and leaders, we repeatedly find ourselves faced with failure and adversity; it comes with the territory. Unfortunately, too many of us fail to recognize its rewards. We go through it instead of grow through it.

In her bestselling book Mindset, psychologist Carol Dweck breaks down what separates the high achievers from everyone else. One of the main differentiators is in how they view failure. Successful types are able to look at stumbling blocks and learn from it. Others — or to use her language, those with a “fixed mindset” — fail to look for ways to grow and ultimately hate to be challenged.

As a leader, you’ve (quite admirably) increased your chances of failing miserably. Sometimes you’ll see it coming; sometimes you won’t. In the words of Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth.”

That’s why consistently training yourself to deal with failure is important. It’s called creating a growth plan and there is no right or wrong way to do it. My growth plan consists of looking at my goals each and every day to remind me of what I am working towards, reading uplifting books first thing in the morning, listening to audiobooks in the car or on flights and having a group of similarly ambitious people who share the same hunger to make a difference and achieve big goals.

Also remember to ask yourself this simple question: “How can I grow through this setback?” It’s not an easy thing to do, especially after having been knocked down, but it’s the first and most important step to carving a path to the future. Before letting your mind race and drawing conclusions about what’s going to happen next, take the time to ask it.

Your future self will thank you.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

3 Things I learned in the NFL About Being Successful in Business

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Making it to the top of any profession requires an insane amount of hard work, perseverance, belief, preparation, and precise execution. Being a former professional athlete in the NFL required everything I thought it was going to take and more. And yet my football career didn’t last all that long; in 2010, I was injured in my first game as a linebacker for the Chicago Bears and, during the months-long recovery, decided that my true calling was in helping people find their true calling.

Now, having established a career as a business-performance strategist and motivational speaker, it’s amazing how much of what I learned in football applies to business. I wish more athletes, particularly those nearing the end of their careers, were able to see that what helped get them to the top as an athlete can also play to their advantage in business.

Here are three things I learned in the NFL about being successful in business.

1. You must win from the neck up before you win anywhere else.

I tell people all the time: the only way I was ever able to at least give myself a chance to play in the NFL was to work on developing my mind. The best athletes in the world will tell you just how important it is to have vision and focus. The same goes for business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, business owner, executive, or employee, for you to win, you must first win in your mind.

Motivational books can help interrupt the negative inner dialogue that often shrinks your vision; some of my favorites are As A Man Thinketh by James Allen and The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. I also find it helpful to read the autobiographies of people who have achieved a great amount of success in the world. It’s important to engage in conversations that build you up instead of tear you down. It’s important to go to work on your mind every day of your life. And when you do, you will begin to experience a whole new level of happiness and success that will prime you for a bigger future than you ever imagined.

2. Preparation breeds champions.

Every single football coach I’ve had since the age of 6 has rightly preached the importance of preparation.Preparation breeds champions. The football teams with the best cultures and Super Bowl records prepare like no one else. That same trait carries over to the most accomplished leaders.

In my short time with the Chicago Bears, I saw the value of preparation in probable Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, who consistently put in the time and effort to perfect his craft. Look at Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and other business legends; they prepared and worked to master their craft. Make it a priority to make sure that your preparation is second to none.

3. You can’t become great by yourself.

In order to be great in athletics or in business, it’s imperative you build a world-class team around you and seek out the best talent to carry out your vision.You may be able to reach a certain level of achievement by yourself, but it’s impossible to be great alone.

When I first started writing and speaking, the first thing that I did was assemble a world-class team of mentors and friends to provide me with the knowledge and skills to help me along the way. Take a long and hard look at the team that you have around you. Are they supporting your vision and helping you to grow and get better? If not, start now. It means everything.

Originally Posted on Fortune.com

‘The Rhythm of Life’ Is One Book That Will Get You Into the Groove of Thriving

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A sad truth that becomes an everyday norm for millions of people is to go through life without any passion or purpose. They let their age become an excuse as to why they can’t embark on a new dream, they completely neglect their health and they have no sense of direction of what they truly want from life. They stay busy and may even achieve a little bit of success from time to time, but ultimately, they are incredibly unfulfilled.

One of the more powerful books that I have read which clearly and articulately explains why so many suffer from a disengaged and unfulfilled life is The Rhythm of Life by bestselling author Matthew Kelly. This book is full of timeless truths that if followed carefully and then acted upon can drastically change the quality of your life.

In the book, Matthew asks an extremely powerful question that you should take some time to think about and answer yourself. That question is, “Are you satisfied being in the habit of surviving, or are you ready to get into the habit of thriving?” Whether in life or in business, every single one of us is either doing what we need to do in order to just survive, or we are going above and beyond while working to become the best version of ourselves so we can thrive. Sadly, a huge majority of the population settles for right where they currently are in life and has no real desire to change their current situation.

Matthew states that one of the main reasons why so many people go down this road and end up living unfulfilled lives with no passion whatsoever is because they neglect their secondary needs. In the book, Kelly explains that we all have primary needs, the things that are necessary to sustain our existence. We have physical needs, emotional needs, intellectual needs and spiritual needs.

If we don’t have food to eat and water to drink, we will eventually die. Our emotional needs may not be life threatening if we neglect them like food and water, but emotional starvation is not any less important. Kelly says that, “Our emotional needs are in many ways subtler but certainly no less important if we are to thrive.”

From an intellectual standpoint, he says, “We need a diet of the mind just as much as we need a diet of the body. The ideas we feed our mind today tend to form our lives tomorrow.” For an example, are the books you are reading helping you to grow and become the best you can possibly become?

On spiritually, Kelly states, “Our spiritual needs have a tendency to change as the seasons of our lives change. Each of us has a unique spiritual journey. In different stages of the journey, we have different needs. And yet, there are some needs that are unchanging and necessary in all seasons of our lives — silence, solitude and simplicity.” He goes on to say, “The way we seek to experience these habits of the soul may change, but all the same, they remain essential to our spiritual diet if we are to find lasting joy in this changing world.”

I came across this book during a very dark time in my life. I just reached an injury settlement with the Chicago Bears, and I was very uncertain about what was in store for me at the time. After reading the book, I was very eager to put into practice all that I had learned and started to really pay attention to my needs and give them the attention that they needed in order for me to truly thrive.

Every morning when we wake up, we have a choice to make. Are we going to listen to that little voice in our head that is telling us to eat that double cheeseburger for lunch, or are we going to eat a lunch that completely nourishes us and helps us to become the healthiest version of ourselves? Eating that double cheeseburger is a want. You may want to do that, but it’s not a need. When you start to feed your wants more than your needs, a lack of passion and fulfillment will start to build up over time.

I started to eat foods that nourished my entire body and provided me with sustained energy for the day ahead. Emotionally, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and put in the extra work and care that is needed to create thriving relationships. In return, this fulfilled me in enormous ways. Intellectually, I read books that inspired me and constantly looked to fill my mind with ideas to help me be the best I can possibly become. Spiritually, solitude started to become my best friend, and I paid more attention to what my soul yearned for on a daily basis.

I highly suggest you read this book. It can change your life just as it has mine.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Don’t Lose That All-Important Sense of Urgency. Do It — Now!

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The secret weapon that is often overlooked to your personal and professional success is urgency. Creating a sense of urgency is rarely talked about when discussing all of the required characteristics that make up the highly successful, but without a doubt, it’s a prerequisite for success in business and in the pursuit of achieving your personal goals and dreams.

It’s important to approach each assignment, task and project with extreme care and focus, but being a perfectionist often hinders the sense of urgency needed to produce. Whether it is letting your perfectionism slow your growth or waiting for the perfect moment rather than creating a sense of urgency to make it happen and get it done, you must be deliberate in your efforts to identify a sense of urgency in all that you do.

People who live with a sense of urgency, also live their lives with purpose and meaning. They wake up everyday with purpose and possess an inner urgency that drives them to deliver on it.

The amount of people that I have witnessed over the years who have let a lack of urgency in their personal or professional lives sabotage their success and full potential is unbelievable. Quality will always matter, and perfectionism can be a great asset, but productivity, efficiency and speed are equally important.

In football, we had a saying — “speed is the name of the game.” It was brought up repeatedly before every meeting, practice and game. What I learned about that saying from hearing it for so many years is that it holds the same amount of truth in life as well as in business. Speed matters. Doing something to the best of your ability and creating quality work should always remain a top priority, but speed is essential.

So many people want to take their business to the next level, but they are so busy perfecting one aspect, they miss the opportunity to expand beyond it. This lack of urgency stumps growth. So many others walk around unfulfilled wishing they had acted on what they were passionate about or an idea that they truly wanted to move on but let a lack of urgency prevent them from ever getting started.

How to create a sense of urgency in your life.

W. Clement Stone, the late great businessman, philanthropist and author had a success statement that he thought was one of the most powerful statements you could ever say to yourself which was, “DO IT NOW.”

There have been plenty of things throughout the course of my life that I have pondered on for days and never ended up taking action on, because I thought a better moment or opportunity was going to present itself. I now know — this is a trap mentality. It rarely happens that those same opportunities will come again.

Life presents itself with small windows of opportunity, and we have an even shorter time frame to make a decision. Those with a sense of urgency, will jump through these windows when they see them. Those who lack urgency will do as I once did, and weigh the pros and cons for so long that the opportunity passes us by, and all that’s left is the “woulda, shoulda, coulda’s.”

I now have written down on a notecard that I keep in my briefcase, as well in the notes section on my phone the simple but powerful saying, “DO IT NOW.” Seeing this daily and making it top of mind every day has helped create the sense of urgency that I lacked for so many years. It’s so easy to let your mind talk yourself out of taking action on a goal or dream of yours, and letting that lack of urgency take over your decision making is one of the worst things that you can allow when it comes to ensuring personal and professional success.

Even if you end up being wrong or maybe don’t get the results that you had originally hoped for, taking action and making mistakes along the way is more beneficial than not moving at all. Get used to the saying, “DO IT NOW.” Incorporate it into your everyday life. Creating a mindset shift that prioritizes a sense of urgency in your life can be a game changer for you — just as it has been for me.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

4 Habits the Highly Successful Have Mastered

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Whether it’s a famous CEO, professional athlete, superstar entrepreneur or anyone who is thriving at the highest level of their profession, chances are they didn’t just wake up one day and be in that position that they are in. There is no doubt about it that there are some who are ridiculously gifted at what it is they do and were destined since day one to make it to the top, but even then when you dig a little deeper, you will come to the realization that their habits is what ultimately drove and determined their success.

There may not be anything more important to ensure future success than to adopt world-class habits and master them daily.

 

Here are four habits that the highly successful have mastered.

1. They use failure and adversity as a springboard to greater success.

No matter how big or small it may be, we have the choice whether or not failure and adversity is going to serve as a roadblock for lack of achievement or springboard to greater success.

The highly successful use their failures and adversities throughout the course of their life to help them grow and reach new heights of success. If you can adopt this often-challenging but greatly rewarding habit into your life, you are putting yourself in a fantastic position to win and become the best version of yourself.

2. They are obsessed about energy management.

We hear all the time about time management and how important it is, but I strongly believe that energy management is more important than time management. You can manage your time well, but that does absolutely no good if you direct all of your energy towards low-rewarding and tedious tasks. The highly successful are fanatics about time management, but they also are even more obsessed with where they direct their energy every minute of every day.

Something that I am always looking at is ROE (return on energy), and that’s how I eventually decide what gets my attention on a daily basis. Time management is important, and I think you should constantly look for ways to better manage your time, but don’t forget about the importance of energy management. Stop wasting valuable energy on low-rewarding tasks that don’t inch you closer to the achievement of a major goal of yours or living out your purpose.

3. They never stop learning.

The highly successful are lifelong learners. I have never met someone at the top of their game and doing magnificent things in the world who weren’t lifelong learners and always searching for ways to develop the skill set and expand their knowledge. A sad reality is that most people stop learning the second they finish their formal education. Don’t be like most people. Commit to becoming a lifelong learner, and join the ranks of a very small percentage of people that get to reap the tremendous benefits of doing so.

4. They have an incredible vision for their life.

Having a great vision and seeing yourself beyond your current circumstances is a habit, because it is something that you must do every single day. The older we get in life, the more we experience failure and adversity. One day you can be extremely happy and then the next day you can be completely miserable. Having an incredible vision for your life must be an everyday habit that you not only incorporate into your daily life, but also work to carry out that vision every minute of every day.

The highly successful visualize themselves succeeding and achieving their loftiest goals and dreams in life way before they actually do so. Having an incredible vision for your life is only half the battle, believing that you fully can make it come true and then working daily to bring that vision to life is what brings everything full circle. Start to create an incredible vision for your life if you haven’t done so already, and then develop your self-belief while working diligently to bring that vision to reality.

Becoming the best you and reaching your full potential all comes down to your daily habits. Incorporating the above four habits into your life can be a complete game changer for you.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

 

Finish Delayed Projects, Get Out of Your Comfort Zone — and Drastically Shift the Momentum in Your Life

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One of the more popular questions that I get asked on a daily basis is how to create change and shift the momentum in your life. Whether you feel stuck at your current position at work, not seeing the results that you had originally hoped for or simply just not satisfied with how your life is taking shape, it doesn’t have to stay that way like how a lot of people think it does.

All of us from time to time will more than likely feel stuck at some point. The sad reality is that when most people feel stuck, they aren’t intentional about creating change and shifting the momentum in their life and unfortunately continue on to live in quiet desperation as Henry David Thoreau once said how most people live.

We as human beings have the incredible opportunity to change if we don’t like how something is turning out in our lives. We can change our careers, characteristics about ourselves, learn new skills, get out of toxic relationships and embark on a new journey if the one that we are currently on isn’t deeply fulfilling to us.

Once you know that you don’t have to continue down a path that you don’t want to, it all comes down taking action and creating the change yourself. A major pitfall where most fall victim to is that, deep down inside, they want to change, but they end up waiting for someone else to come along or for a specific circumstance to make the change for them. Waiting for change to come along and happen is a surefire way to continue to get the same results that you have been getting.

Here are two ways to help you create radical change and shift the momentum in your life.

1. Pick three things daily that you have been procrastinating on, and make it a priority to finish them.

In order to create change in our lives, we not only need to see why things have been stagnant and what the root of the problem is, but we need to start taking massive action and get moving. When I feel stuck and sense that I am not moving forward in the direction of achieving my biggest goal at the moment, I take out a sheet of paper and make a master list of all the things that I have been putting off.

Some of the things on my master list can be important work projects, household chores, daily tasks, phone calls and emails. Some are small and some are big tasks. Some hold more weight than others, but I focus on just writing everything down. Whether you end up having five or 20 things on your list, the most important thing to do during this exercise is to then pick three things daily — and complete them.

When I first tried this exercise, I was blown away at how quickly I was able to not only change my state of mind and happiness because I was finally finishing things that I have been putting off for so long, but how the momentum in my life all of a sudden shifted. Every day for one week straight, I picked three things that I have been procrastinating on made sure I carried through on finishing them by the end of each day. Give this exercise a try if you are looking to spark change in your life and get the momentum back in your favor.

2. Pick one thing that scares you and forces you to get out of your comfort zone — and then do it.

I don’t know a lot of things that help create a radical change and shift the momentum in your life more than forcing yourself to get out of your comfort zone each and every day. Part of the problem as to why we feel stuck and not fulfilled is because most of the time, we have become complacent and stopped searching for ways to get out of our comfort zone. When we force ourselves to leave our comfort zone, we not only grow and become a little bit stronger throughout the process, but we begin to plant the seeds of change day by day.

Major changes for the better don’t happen overnight. Just like anything worthwhile in life, nothing ever comes easy. The same goes for drastically changing your life, circumstances and overall success. Picking one thing that scares you and then following through on doing that one thing every day builds small victories which over time will bring the change and momentum that you are looking for.

I can tell you right now that nothing has benefited my life more than making it a daily habit for the past seven years to do one thing on a daily basis that at first scares me. It has helped me to grow into become a better version of myself, develop an inner strength that is required to achieve massive goals and increased my self-confidence levels through the roof. If you want to change and get the momentum back on your side, step out of comfort daily.

There are a lot of ways to create change and shift the momentum in our lives, but the above two exercises have worked wonders for me whenever I felt stuck or lost momentum. I hope they help you to do the same.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

Planning a Road Trip? If So, Use It as a Guide to Business and Life.

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May is the time when many people think about planning their vacations, and oftentimes, that vacation involves a “road trip.” No matter if you’re an entrepreneur or staff member in a company, road trips and vacations are nice getaways and can help recharge your batteries. Generally, we all need time and space to recharge our batteries.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about life and business and how all of it is like a road trip. A road trip in business-terms is a continual vacation and not just a once- or twice-a-year event. Because when people are on vacation, they have to constantly make decisions about what clothes and essentials to pack, the route they’re going to take, the vehicle they’re going to use and if they’re going to fly or drive.

 

They need a map to guide them, places they will stop and eat, or shop, places they will visit, expectations from the trip and people they will interact with. This is what you do on a road trip. But this is also what you do throughout life whether it’s in your personal, business or academic world. And all of these incorporate some trait of leadership that’s within you. You are the entrepreneur of your world.

Within these leadership and entrepreneurship attributes, there are four traits that contribute to whether you’re a good leader or a bad leader. Those are: positive attitude, honesty, listening to your inner voice and trust. I’ll explain further how each one affects your road trip and leadership style.

Think about this: What skills or talents can you as a business leader or team member bring to the table?

We’re all on journeys. Personal and business. We’re all on road trips in life. Just like it’s important to get fellow travelers’ opinions and ideas about the road trip, it’s important to do this if you’re having a meeting or planning an event at work. This encourages teamwork and it helps the co-workers feel valued.

1. Positive attitude

An important part of planning your road trip is your attitude. As you plan your road trip, what are your expectations? Are they positive or negative? If you go into a situation feeling negative, you immediately impact everything that you will experience as a way to validate your preconceived notion.

For example, if a fellow traveler says, “I don’t want to go to Orlando, Florida in the springtime. It will rain every day.” And then, you proceed to go to Florida, and it does rain every day, your travel companion says, “See? I told you it would rain!”

If you are negative about your journey, you will constantly be on the lookout for things that reinforce that negativity. For that “See, I told you so” moment. Unfortunately, along the way, because you’re looking for the negative, you may have missed some wonderful opportunities for enrichment and enjoyment.

Attitude is everything and is just as impactful on your road trip as it is in the workplace. It’s important to have a positive attitude instead of negative, but sometimes, you can take that negative attitude and put a spin on it, making it a positive.

In the workplace, you might find gratification and satisfaction in pointing out the errors others make. Many people who are trying to make themselves feel more important will do this. By pointing out negatives in others, it makes them feel superior. Now you might think of this as a very negative trait, and it can be. But, if you thrive on that negative feeling, you can turn it into a positive by explaining to others ahead of time that you have this tendency.

Point it out as a “positive” to demonstrate that the overall goal is a perfect product, and by catching these items you are only doing your job.  Explain that it isn’t personal when you point out the negatives in a decision or a product — that you are only thinking of the company and bottom line. When you do this, you put yourself in a leadership role whether you are the boss or not. And you are turning your “negative” into a “positive.”

Planning a road trip can bring out the worst and best of people — just like your work environment can. If you continually emphasize the negative with your fellow travelers without putting a spin on it and pointing out the positives, then, people won’t want to travel with you ever again, and in the workplace, they won’t want to work with you.

2. Listening to the inner voice

Part of maintaining a positive attitude while planning your road trip or conducting your “trip” at work, means trusting yourself to make good decisions. We all have an inner voice that is driven from our knowledge of our “self.” The better you know your tendencies and thought processes, the more likely you will be able to acknowledge your true self. This is your true voice — and this voice never lies to you. We don’t always listen to this inner voice, however, but it’s important to tune into that voice.

Use your inner voice to assist your leadership role in the workplace. It is important not to confuse this inner voice with irrational feelings. When we get overly emotional, angry or frustrated, we tend to act before we thoroughly think through the situation. By taking a moment to think about your options, your true “inner” voice will guide you with ideas for the best course of action based upon what you are most comfortable with or most qualified to do.

3. Honesty

No matter what your leadership style is, there’s one quality that should be taken for granted — but it’s not. Not everyone has this quality, and this can cause many problems on your “road trip at work” and your journey in business and life. And that’s honesty.

In the workplace, you need to be able to identify who will give you an honest answer.  Are you listening to the real experts? Too often, internal expertise is overlooked in favor or external guidance.

To be an effective leader, you must trust yourself and your abilities. Being your true self in the workplace provides an avenue for you to offer genuine qualities that others can respect and admire. Attributes like a positive attitude, honesty and listening to your inner voice.

All of our experiences are part of who we are and our leadership abilities surface when needed. It’s how we exist and how we survive, and in difficult times, it might be the one thing that sets you apart from others.

4. Trust

On a road trip, there are times when you are not in control, and the way you handle these situations can define who you are as a leader. If you’re a passenger in a car, on an airplane or on a cruise, you do not have control of the vehicle. You have to know how to let go of control.

Those who feel uncomfortable and have a tough time letting go may find themselves with a team of individuals in the workplace that view them as a micromanager or one who does not provide trust in others.

Trust is the root of not wanting to let go. We can all find things to occupy ourselves, but refusal to let go can demonstrate your ability to trust only what you can do. When people hand in their work or turn in a project, do you review it for errors? If so, you may be displaying a lack of trust. If you trusted that person, you would have confidence that it was thoroughly checked before handing the work in.

Leaders and entrepreneurs must be willing to let go if they desire to have a true trusting relationship with their staff members. Leaders recognize what each person needs to do their job successfully and ensures that the environment around them supports their talents and abilities.

What type of road trip are you planning this summer? Is it designed to enrich your life or learn something? Are you going somewhere to help others, to volunteer your services or learn a new skill?  Are you ready?

Likewise, as an entrepreneur or leader in business, are you ready?

No matter what kind of road trip you’re on — in life and in business — our road trips bring us “back to us” and help us establish an ongoing process of self-recognition, self-definition and self-awareness.

Originally Posted on Entrepreneur.com

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