Where am I frustrated and stuck? Where am I effective and seemingly unstoppable?
It’s a process I’ve gone through most of my life.
This year it seemed I need a boost, a grounding, something to spur on my thinking.
That’s when the delivery arrived. I knew immediately what it was from the packaging. Michael is a close friend, and he sent the book ahead of its release as an early gift. Of course, I already pre-ordered the book, so now I will have two copies, which is perfect. It’s a book I will be buying for others to spread its message.
It’s hard to describe the book. Knowing Michael, I expected a goal-setting system, but it’s far more than that. It is filled with research and stories that I found extraordinarily motivational.
The five steps are deceptively simple:
Believe the possibility.
Complete the past.
Design your future.
Find your why.
Make it happen.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
“Goals poorly formulated are goals easily forgotten.” -@MichaelHyatt
This is a guest post by Joel Curtis. Joel is a registered Psychologist with Endeavour Wellness. Joel owns a number of private practices in Sydney and provides expert content for several national media programs.
Take Charge of Your Life
Feeling like you are not in charge of your own life is an unsettling feeling. Worse yet, many individuals are not even aware that they are acting according to the scripts laid out for them by society, family and other outside pressures, without any true self direction.
“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.” -Jonathan Winters
Being able to take direction is a positive quality, but there is a potential downside. Many individuals who are great at figuring out the formulas that will make other people happy, such as the teacher or the boss, may follow those formulas blindly without taking the time to decide what it is that they really want.
Take a second to look at your career choices by asking yourself the following questions:
Why did you choose the field you’re in?
Are you doing something that you honestly love to do?
Does your career enable you to have the lifestyle that you want?
Is there anything missing?
Could you be delegating certain tasks to others so you can focus on what you are truly great at?
What is one thing that you would like to stop doing?
What is one thing that you would like to start doing?
The goal here is not to craft some ideal vision that may not be attainable. Most of us have to do some things that we do not want to do each day. The point is to determine how much of your day-to-day work you consciously chose to put on your plate.
You may find that you got to where you are simply by taking the next logical step, or that you are doing things a certain way just because that is how they have always been done. Take some time to reconsider your options if you need to.
Take decisive action
If the previous exercise identified any areas of your work life that need some adjusting, make the decision to change them. Depending on how much you need to change, this can feel a bit daunting. Here is how to make it more manageable.
“Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination.” -Carl von Clausewitz
After you have a 5-year goal, decide what you can reasonably accomplish in the next year to move yourself towards it. You may choose to focus on networking, education, or a side hustle.
Break your 1-year goal down into smaller tasks.
No matter what your 1-year goal is, you will need to break it down into actionable steps in order to achieve it. For instance, if you need an additional certification, that can be broken down into the steps of researching programs, applying to programs, scheduling out study time, etc.
Chances are that you’re driven. You have goals, and you’re actively working on them. When you get to work, you’re off and running.
I know this because most people reading this blog are here for success tips to become better leaders and more successful. If you were lazy and drifting without goals, you probably wouldn’t be visiting.
As you push through obstacles, you likely don’t think much about the word “restraint.” In fact, if you do, you may think that the only thing that matters is removing all restraints so you can get to your destination. Fast.
“Never let others define what success means for you.” -Alison Eyring
That’s why I was drawn to the work of Dr. Alison Eyring. Her book, Pacing for Growth: Why Intelligent Restraint Drives Long-Term Success, is about the balance between speed and restraint. I asked her to share some of these principles with us so we could learn from her research into what she calls “intelligent restraint.” Alison Eyring is the founder and CEO of Organisation Solutions, and she has advised some of the world’s most innovative companies on leadership and growth.
Solve Your Growth Challenge
How has competing in long-distance runs and triathlons impacted your approach to business?
Like all business leaders, I struggle to drive my business to perform today, as I also lead transformation for the future – all without damaging the business or my team. It’s so much easier to focus on just one of those things, but we have to do all three for long-term success. My experience training for endurance races led me to discover a growth philosophy I call “Intelligent Restraint” that helps solve this growth challenge.
Can you tell us more about “Intelligent Restraint”?
Intelligent Restraint is a growth mindset that helps you build the right capabilities for growth at the right pace. Sometimes it means going slower, and other times it means going faster.
When you are training for an endurance race, you have to push yourself to go as far and as fast as you can but then no further so that you don’t get hurt or burned out. In my book, I describe practical ways leaders can apply this growth mindset. For example, you can define and measure “maximum capacity” of the business and then create a plan to bridge the gap between current levels of performance and “maximum capacity.”
Another way leaders can put this way of thinking to work is by practicing what I call “Rules of Intelligent Restraint.” Like rules of restraint in endurance training, these rules help leaders drive growth in a way that conserves energy and can be sustained. My favorite rule is “routines beat strengths.”
Don’t spend your life doing only what you do well.
Never let others define what success means for you.
Be courageous and be humble; persevere and be willing to stop.
Never be intimidated by anyone who looks stronger and faster than you.
Train for the Right Race
How do leaders find the right balance between the sprint and the marathon?
You can’t sprint and run long distance unless you’ve trained properly. A midfielder in soccer, for example, will sprint the entire game AND also run several miles. They’ve trained for this. On the other hand, if you ask a world class sprinter to run a marathon tomorrow, they might possibly complete a half marathon but they’ll be in tremendous pain.
As leaders, we need to train our business and our people for the right race. We all want to succeed over the long-term as a business, but there is seldom a long-term unless we can deliver in the short-term and have enough energy to keep going. Leaders who can practice the rules of Intelligent Restraint and manage energy strategically can achieve this.
Matthew Snider is a writer, a personal development junkie and a regular blogger at Self Development Secrets, a blog to help you achieve your goals. For more tips like these, I encourage you to visit his site.
While staying organized can seem like a daunting task, there are some habits that almost all organized people practice. Adding these habits to your own life will help you get organized and stay that way. You may find that you really struggle in the first few days or weeks, but the reward of living an organized lifestyle will be worth it in the end.
“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” -Warren Buffett
People who are organized start out with a routine each morning. That routine may look different for some than it does for others. Some find it helps them to start their day with meditation while others find that exercising helps them get started. Regardless, establishing a pattern that you will follow each day helps you start to get your life together.
Everyone has the right to see a cup as half-empty or half-full. People who are organized see the cup as half-full. Then they concentrate on what they can do to make their cup even fuller. Disorganized people see the cup as half-empty and have no real idea of how to make it any fuller. So staying positive is really powerful.
Organization Tip: People who are organized see the cup as half-full.
Organized people take care of their correspondence on a daily basis. It does not matter whether it comes by text, email or snail mail, they set aside a specific time of day and handle all their correspondence at that time. During this time, they file information that is most important to them in an organized manner and discard the rest. They understand how to separate relevant and irrelevant information and do so effectively.
Organization Tip: Handle correspondence on a daily basis.
According to a study by the Centre for Organisational Excellence, people who are organized are more conscientious. They focus on what they can do to make the world a better place. They also tend to be very self-disciplined. Because of this, they are often content to tell others that they will not handle a task while disorganized people tend to accept too much responsibility.
5. Create a Space for Everything
People who are highly organized have a space for everything. That way, they do not waste time looking for anything. They also take the time to put everything back in its place when they are done using it. Most organized people have very few processions because they realize that the more things that they own, the more time it takes to care for them. They also keep the most important things that they need very near to them as this eliminates the need to get up and go find them. When a person gets up from a task, they often become distracted leading to disorganization.
6. Use Storage Systems
While disorganized people tend to throw everything in a big pile to deal with later, organized people keep everything in some sort of container. This helps them know exactly what they need to keep and what they can get rid of because if it does not have a space for it, then it needs to go immediately.
7. Become a List Maker
The most organized people create a list that tells them exactly what they need to accomplish. After creating the list, they then set priorities. They are driven to take care of the things that matter most first and then use leftover time to do the rest. They constantly have their lists with them as they do not trust their memories to keep them on the right track. An important part of setting priorities is dealing with the biggest problems first and then moving on from there. They understand when doing their best is good enough and when they must put in an all-out effort. Lifehacker has an amazing article about how to simplify your to-do list.