Every second of every minute, of every hour. Every day of every week, of every month. Every year of every decade, of every century. You make a choice whether to exceed human limitations or to sit quiet and go with the flow while being average. You make choices to aim for something with purpose or to sigh in frustration, wondering what could’ve been. You make choices. What choices are you currently making? Are you reading this already wishing you did more? If so, I have good news. It’s never too late to meet your goals. One thing you must understand are that goals are completely defined by you. Nobody can make you do something you don’t want to do. Your productivity, drive, and habits are yours alone. Likewise, your stubbornness, procrastination, and laziness are your own. Choosing which side you want to be on will be the determining factor between finishing the race or continuing to run around in circles.
We have all heard of a “to-do” list before; A list that outlines what needs to be done. On that list, we itemize what should be at the top, our priorities, and what can wait, our lesser important. It’s a very simple tool to help us focus. Our lack of clarity and attention to detail can bury us. Not knock us down, but bury us. When our actions are being impaired and halted, a mindset of “I can’t do this” creeps in. Learn to close that door and lock it tight! The most successful people in business take their most important tasks for the day and hit them like a wrecking ball to a building. They channel the proverbial upper cut and leave their opponent wishing he had stayed in bed that morning. But how can you get to this point of clarity? The answer is habitual actions, or doing things in repetition. I would say that 90-100 percent of our successes in life will be linked to our habits we choose to keep or let go. The good news – Your best habits will keep opening doors. The Bad news – your worst habits will leave you locked in your personal asylum. Let me clue you into 3 key habits that you can incorporate NOW and get back on track.
1. Time Management – Being a chef, I’ve found that a great ratio for hamburgers is 80 percent meat and 20 percent fat. This allows for great tasting beef flavor and just enough juice to keep you satisfied. In business, the same ratio exists, just reversed. I’ve read and been told over time that 20 percent of your practices will set up 80 percent of your returns. If we turn this into money terms, 20 percent of the people that eat at a restaurant will turn 80 percent of the total sales. Hard to believe! The business world has pegged this idea as The Pareto Rule. The hardest part of anything in life, business or non-business related, is taking the first step. Your time management in taking that first step, and continuing to walk with a strong stride, is making sure to put important things at the top of your list. Find the 20, and watch closely for the 80 to be not far behind.
2. Positive Self-Reinforcement – Cheerleaders are in charge of lifting crowds’ spirits. The effect they have on a crowd can mean the change of tempo in a game. Every day you have the chance to be your own cheerleader in a sense. Preparing yourself for positive influencing and getting yourself pumped up for accomplishing the tasks throughout the day. This includes being optimistic, internally speaking of yourself with high-esteem, and having a clear path to conquer your goals. When you set yourself on a pedestal, you can see things clearer because you are higher than on the ground. Don’t be self- centered in an egotistical way, but in a confident way.
3. Paper, not Plastic – Successful people think long-term. Successful people think winning. Successful people write things down. Just because you have an idea in your head or tell yourself “I’ll remember to do that,” doesn’t mean you’ll do it. Stop thinking in space, and start thinking on paper. It’s really hard for me to believe that less than 8 percent of adults in this country have ever written down their goals. How can you know what to accomplish if you can’t even start to write it down to see? You are already setting yourself up for failure if that’s the case. Switch that mentality and grab a pen. You need to figure out what you want do (in the general sense) first. Once you have it written down, give yourself a timeline of when you can accomplish it. Figure out what tools or traits you need to develop in order to get to your goal in time and start right now! Don’t wait 5 minutes, tomorrow, or a week from now. If you can’t start on your goals now, waiting 2 days isn’t going to change anything. Your new mindset is “Take Action Now” and it will get you closer to your goals than ever before!
There are many other ways to elevate your quality of life, but for me, this is a great place to start while in the workplace. Do you know why goal in soccer is called that? Goals take time, planning, and patience. Sometimes you get lucky and score quickly, but the game isn’t won yet. Practice is required, as well as endurance. Be willing to go the extra mile to achieve what it is you want. Success isn’t given, but rather earned. Keep your eyes on the prize and your pen to the paper. The choices we make now will affect the outcome of our tomorrow.