Are You Focused on Process or Outcome? Why Project Success depends on this Question.

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I work with a number of large companies and it always strikes me as crazy that at certain times of the year someone decides it’s time for a sales campaign and then a flurry of meetings begin where everyone throws in their ideas about what type of campaign they will do and how it will be measured and who will be responsible for it and then they do exactly the same campaign they did last year.

A lacklustre campaign is then developed and run and at the end of the process, it’s never mentioned again until next year.

This scenario is repeated year after year and no one ever stops to ask if this is achieving what they want it to achieve. It’s as if because it has always been done this way they have to keep doing it.

Many years ago in the U.K., we all looked forward to the annual Boxing Day sales (26th December) all the big stores began an ‘everything must go’ sale that ran from Boxing Day to usually the first week of January. In most cases, it was the only sale a store had all year and we all got excited. We even saved money just for the sales.

Then some clever person came along and thought, why don’t we have a sale at the end of every season? And so began the end of season sales and then the every week sale.

The problem with having a sales campaign every week is nobody looks forward to the Boxing Day sales anymore. Nobody saves money to spend in the sales and stores have become so desperate, they begin their end of year sales at the beginning of December, and in many cases even earlier.

What has happened is a loss of sight of the outcome — to clear out the old stock to make room for the new stock. — It has just become a process. Something they now do at the end of every season. There’s nothing special anymore. Nothing for the customer to get excited about. But the question still needs asking, why? Why are we having a sale? Because the competition is doing so? Because we want great short-term sales results? Because sales performance is not very good and we need to boost our figures?

In our own personal lives, we often do something similar — New Years resolutions and the desire to lose weight before going on holiday — We plan the same things year after year and eventually lose sight of why we are doing it. We just go through the motions and when we just go through the motions, the goal becomes irrelevant and we just follow the process we followed last year so we can say we tried and we failed again.

When you stop and think. Get clear about the outcome you want to achieve and know exactly why you are doing it, your outcomes improve. The “how” becomes obvious and your energy and enthusiasm for doing your projects increase and you know, with clarity, when you have achieved it.

That’s the secret to accomplishing anything. Understanding your “why”.

If you are doing something ‘just because’ you are either going to fail or your results will be poor. Unclear outcomes and unknown whys never achieve very much.

It is true, the process is what will get you to the result you want. But before you begin the process you need to take a step back and clearly define the outcome you want. Start with “what is it we want to achieve?” And “What will successfully achieving this outcome look like?” Write the answer’s to these questions down and make sure everyone in your team fully understands them.

Next comes the why. Why are you doing this project? Ideally, this needs to hit an emotion. “To safeguard our jobs” might be a bit extreme and does not really hit the right emotions — fear is never a good reason for doing something. But “to make it more affordable for our customers to receive the benefits of our products” works better. Particularly if you are sincere about wanting to help your customers.

Likewise on a personal level. If your reasons for losing weight and getting fit is to look good in your swimwear, you will probably find vanity is not such a good motivator. But if you want to lose weight and get fit so you can spend more time playing football with your kids, now you have a strong personal why. It also becomes apparent that this is not something you should start thinking about at the beginning of the summer. This is something that should be built into your daily life as a matter of course.

In both our personal and professional lives, being very clear about what we want to achieve and why is crucial to our success. Clarity of outcome and strong, emotional whys gives us the right motivation to push forward when things don’t go according to plan and that is why it is vital we spend enough time defining the task and knowing why we are doing it so when things do go wrong we have a strong fallback position from which to launch a big push.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit the like button below 👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

How Your Reasons For Doing Determines Your Level Of Happiness.

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Your happiness comes from your reasons for doing whatever it is you are doing. It’s your reasons for doing it that ultimately leads to you feeling happy, satisfied and fulfilled.

When we get our first job, most people do it for the money. We fall into the trap of get a well-paying job, buy a nice house, buy a nice car, go on nice holidays etc. It’s all about the money and what money can buy us.

At some point, though, we discover having that nice house, car and those increasingly expensive holidays no longer give us the buzz they once did. So we buy more and more expensive luxuries and the thrill we feel having those new things lasts less and less.

So what really is the secret to feeling happiness, joy and fulfilment? It’s your purpose — your reasons for doing whatever it is you are doing. When you do something for someone else and you see the smile and gratitude on their face, the feeling of happiness stays with us all day. When you give a friend a piece of advice and they act on it and it enriches their lives, the feeling we have, knowing we helped them — even in a small way — is lasting.

If we are doing a job for the money, we soon begin to hate the job. We resent having to go to the office every day. Our commute becomes a drudge and we spend most of our time complaining about email, our boss and colleagues.

But if you are going into work because you are doing a job that enables people to look their best by designing great clothes for them or you design beautiful buildings that give people a comfortable and safe place to live. That’s a purpose worth going through traffic hell for every morning. It’s your mindset for doing the work that brings you joy. Not the paycheque at the end of the month.

Too often the deciding factor for taking a job is the salary. Yet, that will never bring you fulfilment, joy and happiness. Whether you do a great job or an average job you still get the same amount of money each month. But if you took a job because of what that job will enable you to do to help people live better lives, now if you do a great job your sense of fulfilment and happiness increase massively. Improving the way you work would mean more people benefit from your efforts. That’s an incentive worth getting out of bed for.

Of course, we need a certain amount of money to survive, we need to eat, to have shelter and we need to be able to move around. But a lot of what we use money for we don’t need. We just think we need because everyone else has it. I would certainly not say that money is not important. It is when it becomes your purpose. When it becomes your purpose you will never have enough. And the more money you receive, the pleasure it brings diminishes. Yet when your purpose is about giving and helping others, the joy you feel increases.

How this affects your productivity.

When you look at your projects list, what are the reasons you are doing those projects? Do you have a clear purpose for doing them? When you go to the gym what are your reasons for doing so? Why are you trying to achieve your goals? When you have a clear, higher purpose for doing everything you do, you will find your energy and passion increase. The closer that reason is to helping other people or making the world that little bit better, your sense of fulfilment will improve and so will your enthusiasm for doing the tasks or completing the projects.

This really is a simple mental shift. Rather than focusing on the material benefits to you, focus on the benefits you will give to others. Going to the gym means you are keeping yourself strong and healthy so you can be there for your family. Doing the accounts for the small business that needs your help so they can thrive and support the community by providing jobs and a service people want.

Whenever I sit down to write a blog post, record a YouTube video or podcast, in my mind I see the people I am trying to help. I have a clear vision of the difficulties they are facing and how I might be able to help them with some advice, or a new way of doing something. That’s all the motivation I need to write, record or prepare. Knowing that somewhere, maybe, I have helped someone become less stressed and be able to spend more time with the people they care about.

Every piece of work you do has a higher purpose than money or personal material benefit. It is when you focus on those higher reasons you will discover long-lasting happiness and joy and a passion and drive for what you do.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below.👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

How To Stop Procrastinating Once And For All.

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Many of you, I am sure, have big dreams. Things you want to accomplish in your life, goals to achieve and a lifestyle you want to create. Yet, despite having these dreams and aspirations, you never seem to be able to get round to doing anything about making them happen.

One of the biggest reasons for this is procrastination. We think about what we want, begin to give some thought about how we will achieve it and then get pulled away by another blog post on motivation or productivity or a video by Mel Robbins or Robin Sharma. It becomes a never-ending cycle. We sit down with the intention of finally doing something about what we want and get dragged off in directions we had not intended to go.

So how do you overcome this?

Be specific

Nine times out of ten the reason you never actually start doing what you need to do is that you have not clearly defined what it is you actually want. You may have a vague idea — to build a solid financial foundation for your future, for example — but it is only a vague idea and every time you sit down to develop a plan you begin to feel overwhelmed, so a Ray Dalio video on investing seems close enough to make you feel like you are doing g something.

To avoid this kind of procrastination you need to get very specific. What do you define as being financially secure? How much money do you need? What investments will you need to make? How will you grow your investments? Unless you answer these specific questions, you will always struggle to get started. The task will always feel too big. The solution is the break things down into bite-sized chunks so you can begin moving forward and building momentum.

Be intentional.

Whatever it is you want to achieve unless you are intentional about doing what you need to do to make it happen it will never happen. Knowing you need to start exercising is very different from intentionally starting to exercise. As Tony Robbins says, you need to “turn your shoulds into musts” “I should start exercising” is never going to happen. “I must start exercising” has a much greater chance of becoming reality.

To do this use your calendar. Whatever it is you want to change or begin doing, schedule time on your calendar to do it. Often to make something happen consistently, you need to have a regular time to do the activity. If that is exercise, get it on your calendar. If you want to master a new language, get your study time on your calendar. If you want to save more money, get putting money into your savings account on your calendar.

Whatever it is you want to do, be intentional. Set a day and a time when you will do what needs to be done and stick to it. You don’t accidentally roll out of bed at 5 AM in the morning and go out for a run. You go out running when you intend to wake up early and go out running.

Be consistent

Consistency is the key component of any person’s success. Without consistency, nothing will change. Saving $100 in January and then not saving anything else until July is not going to give you the results you want. Likewise, if your goal is to wake up early and you only get up early once a week, you are not achieving anything.

When you consistently schedule your activity on your calendar, when the time comes to do whatever you need to do arrives, you don’t need to think about what to do next, you will know exactly what you need to do and you will do it. I set my exercise time at 2 PM every Sunday to Thursday. I know exactly what I need to be doing at 2 PM on those days. It’s on my calendar and I know exactly what I want to do. There is no procrastination, no matter how tired I am or how cold or wet it is outside. If my calendar says I am going running at 2 PM today, that is exactly what I will do.

Be Aware.

Being aware of what you do when you procrastinate helps you to stop yourself from doing it. If you find yourself aimlessly scrolling through Instagram frequently, don’t let yourself go near Instagram until you have completed the task you want to complete. In extreme cases delete the app from your phone. Although this is not necessary if you cannot resist the urge, delete it. Alternatively, hide it on a screen you rarely go to so the temptation is not there.

Knowing what your procrastination habits are goes a long way to helping you avoid situations where you procrastinate. In the past, I have found following the political machinations in the UK one of my bad procrastinating habits. I ended up deleting all news feeds that contained UK political news and now only allow a limited amount through into my RSS reader, Reeder. That way, I am not distracted whenever I am doing research for courses or articles, but I still get to know about the antics of the politicians in Parliament when I catch up on the news later in the day.

Be disciplined.

Discipline, along with consistency, are two of the most powerful traits of highly successful people. Without discipline, you will never get yourself out exercising or sit down to study applied economics. You need discipline and the good news about discipline is it is like a muscle. The more you exercise it the stronger it becomes.

To develop your discipline all you need to do is start small. Begin by limiting your social media time to lunchtimes and evenings for thirty minutes, for example. Learn how to say “no” to yourself. When you find yourself procrastinating, say “no” to yourself and stop doing whatever it is you were procrastinating with. Go for a short walk, or get up off the sofa and do the dishes. Do something other than what it was you were procrastinating with.

Over time you will find yourself being stronger mentally and that will set you up to be much better at preventing yourself from procrastinating.

Procrastination is not all bad. There are times when your brain needs a distraction to be creative. Procrastination is bad when it is stopping you from doing your important work or is not allowing you to get on with achieving your goals. When that happens you need to take steps to stop yourself. Be specific about what you want to achieve, be intentional with your time consistently and be aware of your procrastination triggers These habits will allow you to develop the necessary discipline to be more focused on what you want and will take you further towards achieving the success you are capable of.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like below👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Why Your Fears Destroy Your Goals.

And how to protect yourself from your fears.

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Every October I create a new note in Evernote and begin planning the new year. When I tell people I have begun planning next year they ask me why so early? The reason is simple. Giving myself two or three months to think about what I want to achieve gives me enough time to analyse the reasons why I want to accomplish something and to understand why I have not achieved it before.

One of the biggest reasons for failing to achieve goals is because when we set a goal we do not anticipate the difficulties we will face. A goal, by its very nature, is going to be difficult. If it was not it would not be a good goal to achieve. Goals need to be challenging, they need to test you, push you and help make you a better, stronger person. To do that, a goal needs to pull you away from your comfort zone and into places you feel afraid of, uncomfortable in and ultimately towards a place you have never been before.

Analyse Why You Are Afraid.

And it is the fear you need to analyse. What is it that you are afraid of? Why are you afraid of it? And why do you want to accomplish this goal? These questions are as important as making the goal itself. The reason you either have not made whatever it is a goal before or you have tried before but failed is that of that fear. If you do not understand where that fear comes from and why you fear it, you will not accomplish the goal next year either.

On a purely logical level, giving up smoking is easy. You just stop buying and smoking cigarettes. But of course, as any former or current smoker knows it is not that easy. Nicotine is addictive and incredibly comforting to a smoker. It’s that comfort that smoking gives in times of stress the smoker is afraid of losing. Fears about what they can do when they come face to face with a stressful situation without their cigarettes are what prevents most smokers from quitting. If you decide you want to quit smoking in the last week of the year, you are not giving yourself enough time to anticipate those difficult times and so you will not have any strategies for when the temptation to smoke becomes overwhelming.

If your goal is to quit your current job and begin your own business, the fear of losing a regular salary and not knowing where the next payment is going to come from is a genuine fear. The fear of failing is another strong pull to stop you from achieving your goal. Both of these are legitimate fears and without enough time to think through the consequences and develop some plans to overcome those fears, you will either not make a determined enough effort or you will fail very quickly and then decide owning your own business is not for you.

You will experience moments of weakness.

Setting goals is fun. It is energising and can get you excited about what your ‘new life’ will be like. Those feelings can disappear very quickly when we come face to face with reality. This is why when you allow yourself enough time to write out all the things you want to achieve you can objectively look at your list and think carefully about what you will do when you have a ‘moment of weakness’. For smokers, you can create a list of all the reasons why not smoking will benefit you and keep that list somewhere accessible at all times of the day. Or you can arrange with a trusted friend to be there to talk you out of smoking whenever the urge hits you.

Don’t try and achieve all your goals at once.

Another reason for starting early is so you can build a long list of all the things you want to achieve. This means when December comes around you have a list you can reduce down to the top three or five goals you would like to achieve. Another reason for failing to achieve your goals is because people often set too many. Three to five goals is a realistic target as this allows you to start a new goal every two or three months. Starting all your goals at once is just a recipe for failure. A better way is to focus on one goal at a time and when the new habits have taken root, you can begin the next goal. As Tony Robbins says “we overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and underestimate what we can achieve in a decade”

To give you an example of this in play, six months ago I began studying Korean language. My goal is to be fluent in the language by June next year and I have given myself one year to accomplish that goal. When I decided to set this goal, I knew I had tried to learn Korean before and failed every time. This time, before I began, I looked back to see why I had failed before. I saw that I had tried studying at night and that was where there was a significant problem. Evening times can be unpredictable for me. Most evenings I will finish my work around 10 pm. But after I do finish work I am tired and just want to head to bed. That is not a good mindset for spending forty to sixty minutes for studying a language.

Also On my goals list for this year was to begin waking up at 5 AM and joining Robin Sharma’s 5 AM Club. Robin recommends that between 5 AM and 6 AM you do 20 minutes exercise, 20 minutes planning and 20 minutes studying. I hate exercising first thing the morning, but I enjoy exercising in the afternoons and I do all my planning in the evening. However, I saw the opportunity to use the time between 5 AM and 6 AM to study Korean so I modified the 5 AM Club to give myself one hour of Korean study divided into three segments.

In the final quarter of 2018, I also had on my goals list to start meditating. Again, I saw the opportunity to use my 5 AM Club time to incorporate fifteen minutes each day for quiet meditation. So now, I wake up at 5 AM do forty-five minutes Korean study and fifteen minutes meditation to finish with. I’m now three weeks into this new routine and I am loving it. I now wake up excited and I really enjoy my 5 AM Club time. Back in December last year when I was planning this I anticipated the difficulties I would face, built strategies to overcome those difficulties and so when I began I was ready and had backup plans to deal with those weaknesses and difficulties. I used to hate mornings. I was a night owl. Now I love them.

If you want to build a set of goals that you can achieve next year, start building the list of things you would like to accomplish now. Spend November adding to your list and when December comes reduce your list to no more than five goals that you strongly believe you can achieve. Then spend December deciding when you will begin achieving those goals and what you can do to overcome the moments of weakness you will inevitably experience. Good luck!

If you want help in discovering what you want out of life and in achieving your goals, Take a look at my Time And Life Mastery online course. It is a course designed to help you discover what you want to achieve in life and then show you how to turn those goals and dreams into achievable goals. Now is a great time to take the course. It has over 70 lessons, a comprehensive workbook and will give you the building blocks to building an amazing life. Full details can be found here.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below. It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

Why Drifting Through Life Will Result In A Lifetime Of Regret.

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It so easy to allow ourselves to be seduced into following the prevailing currents. To allow life to push and pull us in any direction it so chooses. To follow the latest trends, to get upset by the things the faux outrage crowd are outraged about that day and to just settle for whatever life has served up for us.

The problem with this approach is that one day you are going to wake up and look back over your life and feel a huge sense of regret for not having done anything about the things you wanted to do. To have missed out on a chance to see the amazing things the world has to offer. From the canals of Venice to the Northern Lights in Norway. To have missed out on the chance to develop new skills and to have achieved something remarkable.

Sometimes, it feels like the world is against you. All the things we like are bad for us, chocolate cake, vodka cocktails and sitting down and binge-watching episodes of our favourite drama on Netflix — too much of a good thing…

Life has never been fair.

However, this is how it is meant to be. The world is not fair, Life is not fair. If you want to make an impact on the world you have to take action. You can’t write something on Facebook or Twitter and sit back and expect the world to change. It does not work like that. It takes years of writing, making your point over and over again and building a community of followers. It means consistently crafting your message and becoming better and better at what you do through deliberate practice. That’s the way life works and that is why we live in such a wonderful world and at such a wonderful time.

Find your own path.

A fulfilled life is not created by following other people. A fulfilled life is created by following your own path. It is about trying new things, no matter how crazy they may seem to other people. If you want to take a year off work and travel through the Amazonian jungle in an old 1970s Land Rover, then do it. Save the money, buy the Land Rover and just go do it. The adventure, the memories and the experience will last a lifetime and the skills you will learn along the way will make you an even better person than you already are. People will tell you if you buy an old 1970s Land Rover you will spend most of your time under the bonnet fixing something (probably true) and if you go to the Amazon you will get bitten by dangerous snakes or eaten by cannibals. They will tell you anything to stop you. Not because they care about you, but because they don’t have the courage to follow through with their dreams and they envy you.

Society wants you to live to the standard blueprint. It wants you to be ‘normal’, whatever that means in the society you live in. When you are “normal” you are predictable and you follow the rules. Most people yearn for something more than that. They want adventure, they want to be able to work from wherever they feel like working that day and they want opportunities to pursue unusual hobbies and interests without the fear of being negatively judged.

People will always judge you negatively because they envy you.

The thing is you will always be negatively judged if you veer from the norm. People will tell you-you can’t do something, or that other people have tried that and have failed (those other people are not you. Always remember that). You should just shut up and settle down to a nice Job and a quiet family life. But that might not be what you want. And if that is the case don’t let these people stop you from pursuing your dreams and ideas. If you do you will soon find you have no time left to pursue them and you will be filled with regret and disappointment.

We only get one shot. Life is not a rehearsal. It is your duty to create a remarkable life. To seek out adventure, to try new things and to leave the world a little bit better than you found it. That should be the goal. Not to live a life someone else wants you to live.

Live life with no regrets.

I’ve always liked the quote: “live life with no regrets”. That is a great way to live your life. It suggests you live life on your terms and not someone else’s and it invokes a sense of joy and happiness. Regret is poison to the soul. It erodes your confidence and it leads to misery. Don’t let it happen to you. Take some time to decide what it is you want to do with your life. What you want to achieve and what you want to learn. Then make a plan to achieve it. Once you have decided what it is you want to do and you have a plan, start doing. Start ticking off those things. Go see the sunrise in the east and the sunset in the west. Learn how to dismantle a car and rebuild it. Start learning Portuguese. Whatever it is you want to do start doing. Decide, plan, do. It’s that simple.

I have a complete course, Time And Life Mastery, that will help you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. The whole course is designed to help you discover what you want to achieve in your life — for you to live your life how you want to live it and show you how you can achieve it. You can check out the course details here.

So whatever it is you yearn to do with your life, don’t let anyone tell you-you cannot do it. You can and even if you fail, at least you will have no regrets because you tried. “It’s better to have tried and failed than to not have tried at all”

Not trying will lead to a lifetime of regret and that is not the way to live your life.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, please hit the like button. It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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My purpose is to help 1 million people by 2020 to live the lives they desire. To help people find happiness and become better organised and more productive so they can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, and how I can help you to become better organised and more productive, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

The 2018 Planning Guide Part 2

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This is the second part of my 2018 planning guide. The first part can be read here.

In the first part of this process, I wrote about gathering your ideas and giving some thought to how you would like things to change for you in 2018. This process really just involves thinking about some basic questions. These questions are:

Ideas — Things you’d like to try or do

What would I like to change about myself? — these might be things like to spend less money or give up smoking/drinking etc.

What would I like to change about my lifestyle? — Things like where you live, where and who you socialise with etc.

What would I like to change about the way I work? — Because of the way our work environments are changing, would you like to work from home more often?

How can I challenge myself? — It is easy to get stuck in a day to day, non-challenging life, this question is designed to get you thinking about moving away from your comfort zone.

On the surface, these questions are quite simple, and that is what they are designed to be. But, if you go a little deeper you will see they are designed to challenge you, to get you thinking about the way you live your life and what you really want to achieve in life.

Now for the second part.

Once you have spent a few weeks thinking about these questions, adding answers and developing some thoughts about how you would like to change, then it’s time to pull out all the actionable steps. To do this you need to go through your list and look for things you feel are actionable and, more importantly, achievable next year.

One way I do this is to begin an action list at the bottom of the note (I do this process in Evernote) I pick out things I know I can turn in to action steps. For example, this year on my list I have “to begin writing a journal every day”. This can easily be turned in to an actionable step, so I have added: “write daily journal” to the list. This can then be copied into my To-do list manager as a daily recurring task when I am ready to do so.

Another example from my list is something I have added to my “how can I challenge myself?” list. In there I have “to become an expert on social media marketing” This means I will need to study social media marketing, do a few online courses and read as many books as I can on the subject. Tasks related to that would be “find and read articles on social media marketing” or “research online courses on social media marketing” . These can also be added to the list at the bottom of my note.

Again, like the first process where you gather your thoughts and ideas about how you want to make 2018 a fantastic year, this process may take a week or two. Don’t worry, you have plenty of time. This is another reason why I keep this note in my “Incubator” file. I am adding to it daily, when I am on the bus, when I am waiting for a client or student to arrive etc. The list is growing.

Then, in the final week of the year, when most businesses are away on holiday and everyone is enjoying eating too much and binge-watching TV, I start putting these tasks and projects into my to-do list manager. Things like write a journal would be added to my daily routines folder and becoming a social media marketing expert will become a project.

The hardest part of this two-step process is the first part which, hopefully, you will already have done by now. This second step is the easiest. All you need to do is to find the things you can do either by turning them into a routine (my journaling, for example) or into a project (becoming a social media expert)

The only warning I will give you is don’t try and start everything in January. This is why so many people fail to achieve their goals in the first place. They try and do everything all at once. My top two goals are journalling every day and learning more about social media marketing. These two (and some work projects I will be doing for all you guys) are the only two I will be focused on in the first quarter of next year. Other things I have on my list will be spread out throughout the rest of the year and, if timed correctly, I should have completed my goals by the end of the year.

So, as we approach the end of 2017, start collecting the actionable ideas you have written down and turn them into projects and tasks. Think about how you will achieve them and when will be the best time to start working on them.

Good luck and I wish you all the very best in 2018.

 

 

 

If you don’t already know, I just published Your Digital Life 2.0. A book created to help you to get the most out of your technology. You can find out more right here.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that like button below  It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My goal is to help show you how to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, you can visit my website or you can say hello on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

It All Begins With A Vision

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It’s that time of the year when we begin thinking about what we want to achieve next year. It’s a great time of year, filled with hope, excitement and ambition. The problem is most people will fail and achieve nothing next year. Sure, they will set some goals, they will develop some ‘I would like to…’ objectives and then by the second week of January will have forgotten what it was they really wanted to achieve.

The reason for this fail-rate is most people begin in the wrong place. If you want to set goals that are achievable, you need to begin with your vision. The vision you have about what you will be doing in twelve months time. Your relationships, your work, your hobbies and interests, your lifestyle. Everything must be included. It takes time, it can be a lot of fun and it should excite you. If you are doing it because you think you ‘should’ do it, then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. You need to be determined to make the changes and be prepared to take the necessary action to make it all happen.

To achieve goals, your goals need to reflect the person you want to become, the way you want to live your life and the things you want to be doing. Once you have established those things, only then will you be ready to start creating goals. Your life vision is not going to be achieved in twelve months. It takes a lifetime to create an amazing life, but each new year represents a large stepping stone towards achieving that life. When you break things down into easily achievable chunks you will find you are creating a special life for yourself. Step by step, each year taking you towards the vision you have for yourself and your family. It’s a journey, and it will be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding journeys you go on.

This is why if you have never sat down to think about the way you want to live your life, now would be a good time to do so. Make sure your vision mirrors the vision of your spouse or life partner. If your spouse or life partner’s vision is different from yours, then you are either heading towards a breakup or you are not going to achieve your vision. Neither of which is good.

It is not easy to develop your life vision as most people find deciding what they want in the future difficult. We see so many things we want, yet we can’t have everything. I find it is easier to begin with things like the kind of work you want to be doing in twenty years time, where you want to be living, what you will be doing in your free time etc. These are great questions to start with. They can be the spark that puts you in the right frame of mind to come up with your real desires and aspirations.

I have always found the question about what work you want to be doing, how and where you will be working are the best places to start. From there you can imagine where you will be living. What will your home look like and what kind of car will you be driving.

This does not have to be radically different from what you have now. You may be very happy with your career, your lifestyle and your relationships. But there are always things you want to change or improve. It could be your diet, or you want to become more active or you may even want to dress better every day. No matter what it is you want to change or achieve, you do need to begin with your vision of how things will be once you have made that change. It is from that vision that great things grow.

Your vision will allow you to work out what it is you have to do to make that change happen. If you imagine yourself in December 2018 going out for a 5KM run after work every day, that can be translated into a goal of going out for a thirty to forty minute walk every evening after work. Then, as time goes by, you gradually move towards walk/jog for thirty to forty minutes and finally, you will find yourself running. Because you set the goal to go and do something active every evening after work, you will develop the habit of being active after work every day and within a few months, you will be running your 5KM every evening.

If you have the vision of managing your own department in December 2018, you need to arrange to have a meeting with your boss or your HR department to talk with them about what you need to be doing to achieve that position. By talking with your boss or HR department now, you are notifying them that you want to move up in your career and they will tell you what you need to do to achieve that position. Once you know that, you can set about doing what needs to be done to make it happen.

So, whatever it is you want to have achieved by December 2018, you need to be visioning now. Really understanding every aspect of what it will be like once you have achieved that goal. Then work backwards to where you are today and build your goals around that. It does all begin with your vision.

 

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit the like button below. 👍 It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

My goal is to help show you how to live the life you desire. To help you find happiness and become better organised and more productive so you can do more of the important things in life.

If you would like to learn more about the work I do, you can visit my website or you can say hello on TwitterYouTube or Facebook and subscribe to my weekly newsletter right here.

If Your Don’t Have Patience and Consistency, You Will Fail.

I recently found the first book I ever read on productivity and time management, The 10 Natural Laws of Time and Life Management by Hyrum Smith, in the Kindle Bookstore. This was an opportunity too good to miss, so I bought the book and began reading. What I did not realise twenty-five years ago, when I first read it, was the huge impact it would have on my life. Many of the concepts Hyrum Smith wrote about became embedded into my character, my personality and the way I work. Even to this day, I still follow many of the lessons I learnt from the book. For example, I understand the importance of my values on my goals and I understand that sometimes we have certain beliefs about the way things happen in life, that are just not true. For instance, if you had a bad experience with a dog when you were younger, you believe that all dogs will attack you. Yet this belief is simply not true. The vast majority of domesticated dogs will never attack you.

This “belief window”, as Hyrum Smith calls it, also works with your productivity. If you believe you cannot get yourself organised, then this is a false belief. There is no reason at all why you cannot get yourself organised and productive. It just means you have not tried enough times to find the perfect system for you.

This concept of false beliefs goes much further. Many people, when beginning a blog or a YouTube channel, believe if they do not get a few hundred, or a few thousand followers in the first week or two they are not going to succeed. This is completely false. It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to build a significant following. My conservative estimate is that you need to commit to a consistent schedule of content delivery for around four years before you will see a significant following. During those four years you are going to modify, tweak and play around with your concept and your topic. It will take time for you to find your sweet spot. Those four years are the learning cycle, they are part of the journey and will, with the right attitude, be one of the best times you have building your following.

The good news is that, as so many people quit in the early stages, if you do have the patience and are consistent with your content delivery it is very easy to make your blog, YouTube channel or Instagram account a success. All you have to do is to prepare yourself for a four year development process, and know everything you do during that four year period is taking you closer and closer to your end goal, whatever that end goal is. It is a time to learn, develop and grow.

And that brings me on to goals. Most people fail at their goals because they want instant results. That is not going to happen. If you are 30 pounds overweight, then you are going to be about 30 pounds overweight tomorrow even if you don’t eat anything today. Weight loss does not happen overnight. If you want to save $10,000, you are not going to have $10,000 next week. Both weight loss and saving money takes patience and consistency. You have to consistently have a reduced food intake or put some money away each week or month. If you are consistent and you are patient, in time you will lose those 30 pounds and or save $10,000. It is that simple.

The world we live in today is an instant gratification world. The internet, our smartphones and technology in general means we have begun to believe we can have everything now. But this belief is not true. Successfully achieving your goals, building a blog or YouTube channel and many other things in life take time. The iPhone itself, launched ten years ago, began as an idea in 2002. It took five years before it was launched. The one piece of technology that arguably changed all our lives and society took five years to develop. All great things take time to develop. You are not going to publish a 1,000 word blog post, having never written anything before, and tomorrow have 10,000 followers on Medium. That does not happen. To get 10,000 followers on Medium takes years to grow. Most of the top Medium writers began writing their own blogs a long time before Medium launched.

My own YouTube channel and Medium blog are small by comparison to the top writers and YouTubers in personal development and productivity. I don’t care. I am eighteen months into a five year plan. My channel and blog are growing and I am learning so much about video production and writing. The journey itself is tremendous fun. I am getting to know so many fantastic people from all over the world through these channels and that in itself is worth the time and effort to produce the content each week. And that really is the point, it is the journey, the education you get and the people you get to know that makes the effort worthwhile. If you are not going to enjoy that process, and are not willing to be patient and consistent then I would suggest you look for something else to bring you what you want.

So, whatever it is you want to create or build, set yourself a four or five year plan. The first four or five years is your development phase. It is not about the numbers in this stage, it is about learning your skill. Finding what works and what does not work. It’s about crafting your talent and growing. Don’t look at your numbers frequently. Focus all your energy and efforts on the quality of your content and delivering that content consistently week after week. The old adage “if you build it they will come” is not always true, but if you don’t build it, it will never be true.

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that heart button below ❤️ It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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Carl Pullein is a personal productivity specialist, presenter and author of Working With Todoist: The Book as well as Your Digital Life, a book about using your technology to achieve greater productivity. Carl works with clients all over the world to help them focus on the things that are important to them and to become more successful, productive and creative.

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What's Stopping You?

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I work a lot with middle managers who have been stuck in middle management for years. I am always interested in why many of them have been middle managers for so long and have never moved up into the higher reaches of their companies. They say they want to be promoted, but they have not been promoted “yet”. When I talk with them about it, they always have an excuse of some sort. Excuses that people in the higher reaches of their companies never have and have never used. But then that’s why they are in the upper echelons.

These excuses come in many different forms. Some are related to a lack of English, when in reality there is no lack of English, just a lack of confidence with English. But admitting you have a lack of confidence in anything is much harder to say than saying “my English is not good enough”. Other excuses come in the form of not having any luck, or not having the marketing know-how or having no experience in a particular area of the business.

All these excuses are just that. Excuses. I still have not come across any legitimate reason why any of these people stuck in middle management cannot progress to directorships. They are smart, highly intelligent people. They have immense experience and are fantastic at building relationships. All of the excuses they have could easily be rectified with a little self-development or reading.

I often feel incredibly frustrated when talking with these people. There is excuse after excuse followed by more excuses. They seem incapable of finding reasons why they can do it. Instead they expend an enormous amount of energy trying to find reasons why they can’t do it. I know it is much easier to use an excuse and then get confirmation of that excuse by talking with like minded people. But really what does that achieve? All it does is give you another excuse not to do anything about your unhappy situation.

The thing is, you can do something about it. If you lack the necessary skills to progress, then start reading books around the subject, or do an online course. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of you own home to do that. If you are overweight and want to lose some weight, then stop eating so much. Reduce your calorie intake and get more active. It’s not impossible. If you are trying to buy your first home, then start saving money. Don’t spend money and get yourself a part-time weekend job. If you really want to get the deposit together for the house enough, you will always find away.

And that is what it really comes down to. If you really want something enough you will find a way. I find people only make excuses because either they are afraid they will fail or they really do not want it badly enough. Failure is inevitable. We all fail from time to time. To overcome failure you find alternative ways to succeed. Fear is not something to be afraid of. It is something to overcome. And if you really do not want whatever it is badly enough, then stop talking about doing it and find something you really want to achieve.

In twenty-five years of studying what makes people successful and productivity systems, I have learnt that most things are achievable. There of course some limitations. You are not going to become the next Olympic 100 metre champion if you are 50 years old, 30 pounds overweight and have never run on a track before. You left it too late. But if you are in middle management and want to get yourself to an executive position you need to find out what it is that is holding you back and then create a plan to overcome whatever it is that is holding you back. That is achievable.

A plan is only as good as the activity you do to make it happen. There are many plans written down, but only the successful execute those plans. And that is where most people go wrong. They plan out what they want, but then don’t execute on that plan. If you want to change your life around, really want to get yourself promoted to the position you believe you should be at, then you need to create the plan and execute it. Daily activities that take you closer and closer every day towards that goal.

I often ask my students if they won the lottery and wanted the best investment advice, who would you go to? 90% of my students reply: Warren Buffet. Warren Buffett is 86 years old! But he’s still one of the best. How does he do that? He reads 4 to 5 hours a day. That’s how he does it. What he does not know about investing is not worth knowing. Age is not a limitation in business. In fact, age is often an advantage in business.

As I sit here and write this I realise this all sounds very simple. The thing is it is simple. But therein lies the problem. If it is simple to do, it is also easy not to do. As humans we naturally take the path of least resistance and so we do not do anything. Or we say, I will do it later, when I have more time or when I have thought it out properly. Remember, whenever you say things like “when I have more time” or “when I have planned it out properly” you are making excuses. If you want something, the time to start is now. No more excuses. Just start. Plan today, execute tomorrow and the day after, and the day after that until you have achieved your goal. You can always modify your plan as you go along. But you need to start now and have no more excuses.

You have the power to change almost anything about your life. You also have the power to do nothing. The choice is always yours. So go ahead and decide and don’t let anything stop you. No more excuses!

Thank you for reading my stories! 😊 If you enjoyed this article, hit that heart button below ❤️ It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

Subscribe to my Newsletter HERE

Say Hello On

Twitter: @carl_pullein

YouTube: CarlPulleinGTD

Facebook: @CarlPulleinProductivity

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Carl Pullein is a personal development and productivity specialist, presenter and author of Working With Todoist: The Book as well as Your Digital Life, a book about using your technology to achieve greater productivity. Carl works with clients all over the world to help them focus on the things that are important to them and to become more successful, productive and creative.

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Success Is About Focusing On One Thing At A Time.

When I was in my thirties, I had a multitude of ideas, projects, life goals and things I wanted to do. By the time I had reached the end of my thirties I still had a multitude of ideas, projects and life goals and I had made little to no progress on any of the goals I had ten years earlier. Why was that?

With age comes wisdom and the wisdom I gained during my thirties was that it really doesn’t matter how many goals, dreams and aspirations you have or how determined you are to achieve them. If you do not focus on those goals or dreams one at a time, you are not going to achieve them. To really get down and achieve your goals and dreams you need to focus on them one at a time. If you don’t, you too will end up with a long list of started, incomplete and failed goals and you will blame yourself or some other outside force or person.

The good news is all you need to do is make a tiny adjustment and take one goal at a time. It really is that simple.

Tony Robbins has a brilliant quote:

“People overestimate what they can achieve in one year and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade.”

This quote really uncovers the core problem why so many people fail at achieving their goals. I guess it is the human condition that we want everything now and we don’t like waiting. But if you really want to achieve the long list of things you have written down as your goals and dreams you are going to have to decide which ones you are going to go for first and which ones can wait until another year. If you only focus on two goals or projects each year, at the end of the decade you will have achieve twenty amazing things!

Once I started focusing on just one or two goals a year my life turned around. I started achieving things. In 2011, I got my first book published here in Korea. It was a book about presenting in the twenty-first century. After that I developed a number of workshops to go along with the book, started my own communications company and wrote two additional books, and started a second company. I had all these dreams and goals in my thirties, but never achieved any. That was because each year I started out trying to achieve all my goals at once. Now, I have a much more realistic time line. Each year I write a book, grow my business and usually begin a new project. Last year was my YouTube channel, this year it is my online course business. My life has simplified and at the same time I am achieving so much more. All it took was a tiny adjustment and a realisation there is plenty of time to achieve things, so you can take you time and pick and choose which goals you want to achieve each year rather than trying to complete everything all at once and finishing nothing.

I have never written or recommended writing out a ten year plan, after all life is extremely unpredictable. But you can always hold a list of the things you want to accomplish in Evernote or a notebook. Then, each October or November take some time out, have a look at the list and pick two big projects you want to accomplish next year. Decide which one you will focus on in the first half of the year, and which one you will focus on in the second half of the year. Once you have done that, you should list down all the action steps you need to take to make the goal or successfully completed project a reality. Once you have that list of action steps you then bring them in to your todo list manager of choice and make sure you are doing something every day, or at least once a week, to make that goal or project complete.

I have been following this structure for over five years now and I have accomplished so much. I do not always hit the deadline, last year’s book (Working With Todoist: The Book) was published a month late, at the end of January instead of December. But I do complete the projects. It does not always mean the projects are successful or I achieve everything I expect of them, but they get completed, which is a huge improvement on having ideas, projects and goals incomplete or never started. The thing is; my goals, plans and dreams are now becoming a reality and all it took was a tiny adjustment.

When I was a little kid, I remember my mother telling me “my eyes were bigger than my stomach” what she meant was I frequently put far more on my plate than I could realistically eat, and that is what most people do with their projects and goals. They have far too many projects and goals going on at any one time, which means they either fail in their goals or they never get started or completed.

So, if you want to stop failing at achieving your goals, if you want to get projects completed, then you need to reduce the number of projects you work on each year. Focus on two big projects each year and assign one to the first half and one to the second half. When you start doing that, you will accomplish far more in one year than you ever did in ten years. It really is all about focus and you can only focus on one thing at a time.

For all my readers on this blog, I am offering a 50% discount on all my online courses. I have moved all my courses over to Thinkific. It is a great platform that allows me to have just one code for all my readers to get their 50% off. Just follow this link and it will take you to my course page. If you have trouble managing your email, or have become tired of feeling stressed, disorganised and overwhelmed then I have coarse that can help you to become more productive and better at managing the things you want to do. So take action and take advantage of this offer :-)

*** 50% Off Coupon code is… syep50 ***

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Carl Pullein is a personal productivity specialist, presenter and author of Working With Todoist: The Book as well as Your Digital Life, a book about using your technology to achieve greater productivity. Carl works with clients all over the world to help them focus on the things that are important to them and to become more productive and creative.

Amazon iBooks | Website