In the new year, make a plan. Make it simple. Be successful!

It’s a new year! A time to let the old go and be excited about what’s new. For some it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions. I like this idea, but all too often they are forgotten within weeks of being made.

In order to be successful this year in your goals, do this: make a plan, make it simple, and be successful.

In my life as a manager and in my personal life I’ve learned that either too many goals/plans or complicated goals/plans are usually a recipe for failure. In my experience I’ve learned that if you focus on a maximum of three goals/plans (one or two is better), and you make those goals or plans simple, the likelihood of making them happen greatly increases. This is true whether you have fitness goals, career goals, financial goals, or any other.

Once you’ve reached those goals, you can make new goals and plans, keep them simple and make them happen.

So in 2014, make your plans, make them simple and be successful!

Happy New Year!

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The reason we can and should be positive.

I dedicate this post to a friend that has been an amazing example through difficult times. His wife’s funeral was yesterday. She passed away after a long battle with cancer and was only 37 years old. How can anyone be positive through this kind of trial? My friend has been about as positive as anyone could. Yes, there have been awful times and will continue to be hard days, but he knows something that Jesus sums up in John 16:33:

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

What more positive news could there be? My friend knows that even through what is most likely the lowest time in his life, he can turn to Him whose birth we celebrate.

This Christmas season, hold your family close and be grateful for Jesus Christ, for He has made it possible for us to overcome anything.

The Complain Drain vs. the Positive Pulse

The other day after getting off the phone with someone who wanted to do nothing but complain, I was reminded of something we’ve all realized from these types of encounters. It saps anything fun or enjoyable out of you for a little while. It’s a downer, especially when the complaining is not constructive. I get the idea that we sometimes need to vent. That feels good and can be healthy. But without mentally moving on, you’re drained. I call it the “complain drain”.

On the opposite end of the spectrum there are people with the “positive pulse”. These are the people that build up, help out, and find solutions to problems in order to help those around them better their situations. When you feel that positive pulse from these people it’s invigorating – the complete opposite feeling that comes from the “complain drain”.

I’ve seen it time and again and have observed that you will get more out of life and find more success when you have the “positive pulse”.

Most days are great

When we think about how relatively good we have it in life, most days are great. We have the occassional reminder when we hear of a natural disaster ravaging a certain part of the world and we go home to food, clothing, water, and a bed to sleep in. We have the occassional reminder when we watch the news and hear of a crime or murder story and think about the relative safety we usually live in. We have the occassional reminder when we see a neighbor go through a hard time while we live a fairly busy but great life. When you really think about it, reminders of how good we have it are everywhere.

Sure, we will have some tough times on occassion. It’s part of life. Some of those tough times test our endurance and patience. But even during those tough times we can still look around and say “even so, my life is still great”. Some of the people I look up to most looked at the things they had during hard times, not the things they were lacking.

The more you look around at the good things in your life, the more you will see them. And the more you will realize that most days are great.

Give in, give out, and give up!

Sounds demotivating, doesn’t it? But if you want to find real success and real happiness in life, you’ve got to do these three things. Let me explain.

Give in
Give in means to give yourself opportunities to grow into who you want to be. That may be personally, professionally, or any other way. You have to elevate yourself before you can help others do the same. Find ways to develop your talents, career, passions, etc; and don’t feel selfish about spending this kind of time on you. It may only take a few minutes per day and you can start to see results fairly soon. Give in!

Give out
Give out means that when you’ve reached a point that you can give to others by teaching, training, sharing, helping or any other way, you do it! By lifting those around you, many things can happen. If you lift your boss by your own solid performance, that can only help your own and your bosses career. When you give to your spouse, you help your marriage. When you give to your neighbor, you help the neighborhood. The list could go on. The great thing is that when you do this, you help someone AND you elevate yourself! Give out!

Give up
We’ve all been blessed with god-given talents and abilities. Whatever god you believe in, you should thank him as often as you can for what you’ve been blessed with and give credit where credit is due. By doing this you realize how blessed you really are. This turns into more blessings, or at least a gradual realization of how much you have going for you.

These things can be done in any order. You don’t have to wait to complete one before moving on to the next. They all should be going on simultaneously. So Give in, Give out, and Give up! Watch great things happen as you do.

Simplify to succeed

Every weekend my wife and I have what we call our “impossible list”. You know, the list of all the stuff you want to get done, whether it be fun, work, projects, etc. We call it that because we never get through the whole list in one weekend. Sometimes that’s been, well, frustrating. How many times have you done this at home, or at work, or in life in general? You set yourself up to fail from the get-go because your list is just too big. I’ve learned I need to simplify to succeed.

Some might think this means lowering my expectations. Nope. All things can get done eventually, it just takes prioritizing things that are most important and putting those on a short, realistic list. Sometimes I’ve found that things that are way down on the list didn’t need much attention anyway, or worked themselves out over time.

It’s the important things that need attention. Make a short, realistic list of these. Once it’s knocked out, make a new short realistic list and be glad about the things you’ve accomplished, not what you haven’t.
Simply put: Simplify to succeed.

It’s OK to lose, as long as you win.

In the society we live in, a lot of attention goes to those who win or succeed. If you lose, it’s looked on as bad or shameful. How often, though, do we see the big stories of the winners or the successful and think “how long did they lose until they finally won?” The thing that’s easy to forget is that most of those winners or successful people experienced a fair amount of hard times, failures, and loss before they got the big win.

So we are in our own lives. We have to remember when we are in those hard times, those losing times, that we have to learn from it. Maybe today isn’t our day. But if we learn from our losses, our hard times, our mistakes today, we can very well change things tomorrow that will lead to that win, that success, that thing we’re striving for.

It’s OK to lose, but learn from it so you can turn those mistakes into success. It’s OK to lose as long as you stick with it and win!