Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pick Goals That Matter

Have you ever hammered away on a goal that didn't really matter to you? It must have been hard.

I know the feeling - something is due and you are obligated to complete it but it just doesn't stir you, just doesn't feel compelling. That's when procrastination can take over adding tension and delays and all kinds of nonproductive problems.

We can do better.

While we do not always get to pick our goals (sometimes our bosses or clients impose them) when we do, let's pick goals that resonate. Let's work on goals that make a difference. Let's choose wisely.

Your goals will require significant time to achieve. Pick goals that truly matter to you.

Life's too short for silly insignificant goals.

What goal matters the most to you today?

-- Doug Smith

Doug Smith Training

Front Range Leadership



Monday, April 27, 2015

Align With Your Passion

What do you care the most about?

Setting goals can be hard work. Working that action plan is filled with pitfalls. What one thing makes it easier? Aligning your goals with your passions.

Work on what you enjoy the most.

That doesn't mean give up your day job and chase a crazy dream that maybe makes sense and maybe does not. I'm not one of those people who thinks that anything is possible -- when you think about it you'll likely agree that while more is possible than we sometimes consider, certainly not everything is possible. It's better to focus our passions in areas of possibility.

When your passion meets your mission the goals become clear.

Work on goals that align with your passion.

Whatever your passion is (presuming it's legal and ethical) you can apply it to your work and to your goals. See what a difference it makes.

I apply my passion for creativity to the training that I do. It makes every task connected with preparing for a workshop fun and exciting. It energizes me toward achieving the goal.

Turn your passion into a focused energizer. Align your passion with your goals, and align your goals with your passion. It's a high energy cycle that will take you far.

How are you using your passion today?

-- Doug Smith


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Grab Those Unexpected Connections


Have you ever been surprised by how two completely unrelated things seem to connect? The TV commercial that says the name of someone you were just thinking about.

The thing you forgot to grab at home that delayed you and then just missing an accident on the road by minutes.

Coincidences can sometimes feel providential. Connections pop up unexpectedly.

Sometimes the solution to a problem is an unexpected connection or combination.

It pays to pay attention.

Grab those unexpected connections. Find out what they mean. It could be the solution to that problem.

-- Doug Smith


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Keep Score

Do you like to keep score?

We've got dozens of ways to track our progress on our goals these days. Web and mobile applications for charting our exercise progress, our goals results, our action plans. If it works for you, go for it.

I'm a score keeper. Competitive by nature, it takes a bit of an effort to reign that in for the sake of cooperativeness. It's possible, it just takes a conscious effort. Keeping score can get in the way.

But, keeping score can also prod me forward. Keeping score let's me know how I am doing in connection with my goals, and in a sense, who I am becoming.

We become the result of our goals. Achieving them gets you one result, missing them gets you another.

If keeping score motivates you, by all means keep score.

What works for you?

-- Doug Smith



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Drop Those Excuses

What's your favorite excuse for avoiding your goals?

We all make them. Little reasons why we can't work on our action plan today. Rationalizations for why we won't be achieving our goals today. Lies we tell ourselves to make us feel better about missing something important.

Here are some of mine:


  • I won't have enough time to finish
  • Someone will interrupt me
  • I should really read some of my twitter feed to keep up with what's going on
There are more, I'm sure -- but you get the idea. What are some of your favorite excuses?

Here's the point: our excuses are not serving us well. They get in the way. They stop us from getting what we want. They slow us down.

One of the keys to achieving your goals is to drop your excuses. Just stop it. Just cut it out. Move forward and work through them.

Drop your excuses and time wasters. It's so important, it's part of my IDEAL process for achieving your goals:

IDENTIFY YOUR MISSION
DROP EXCUSES AND TIME WASTERS
ENERGIZE YOUR TEAM
ACT RELENTLESSLY ON YOUR PLAN
LEARN FROM FEEDBACK EVERYDAY

I'm willing to work on dropping my excuses today. How about you?

-- Doug Smith

If you'd like to learn more about the IDEAL process for achieving your goals, attend or schedule a session of my one-hour webinar How To Achieve Your Goals.  

doug@dougsmithtraining.com


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Improve the World

Are you working on a really big goal?

Bigger than career advancement, bigger than obtaining things, bigger than learning a new skill -- are you working on something that will change the world?

I know that it's important to achieve little goals because they encourage us, they propel us forward, and they lead us to bigger goals. It's also important to keep in the plan some major life-changing goal. Some noble purpose that will construct your legacy and (more important than that) improve life for the generations who follow us.

Does what you're working on have the potential to change the world?

If not, what can you add to it that will? What should you be working on?

Imagine a book written with you as the central character. What do you want to be known for? What is your mission? What is the theme of your story?

And, most importantly, what's your next step?

-- Doug Smith

If you're interested in taking that next step contact me about attending or scheduling my webinar How To Achieve Your Goals. You'll emerge with a great plan.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stay Relentless, Creative, and Flexible



Do your action plans ever weigh you down?

I've been on projects where the action plans were so detailed, so precise, and so constricting that each task felt like a burden in my day. It took the fun right out of it.

Yes, we do need detailed plans to achieve our goals. Yes, we do need to relentlessly follow our plans in order to overcome certain obstacles. But, we can have fun in the process. We can add our creativity. We can embrace new possibilities. We can improvise a new script when the old one seems stale.

Goals are meant to give us more hope, not to chain us to a plan.

When the plan slows us down, dance!

Well, maybe not really dance. But I have been known to break into dance and noticed that it helps. What works for you to get your creative juices flowing?

-- Doug Smith



Act Relentlessly On Your Goals

How much energy will you give your most important goal today?

How many tasks on your biggest goal's action plan will you complete?

Centered leaders achieve their goals with clarity, courage, creativity, and compassion. 

And, in order to put those high performance leadership skills into motion they create clear plans and then act relentlessly on those plans every day.

What's your next big goal task?

-- Doug Smith


Work On Your Top 3 Goals

Do you work on your top three goals every day?

I'm working to get better at this: creating focus on the three most important goals every day. Not just having the goals in front of me but doing something to move them forward.

Our top three goals need our attention and energy every day.

Not just when we feel like it. Not just when someone reminds us. Not just when we don't have any other choice. Every day.

I'll work on that today. How about you?

-- Doug Smith

Take Your Goals Seriously

How many unachieved goals have you left behind?

I'm not judging because I've left plenty of goals behind. Some deserved to be left behind. Some goals never made sense and never got the energy they needed to be achieved.

But some -- some goals that were supposed to be important to me withered on the vine until they became untenable, unachievable, inedible.

Don't you hate it when that happens?

Treat your goals seriously and they'll payoff.

Ignore them and well, they won't.

What's your choice today?

-- Doug Smith

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Reduce Violence

Would you like to see a much less violent world?

While that is a monumental task and probably too big for any one of us, there's no reason to do nothing. There are things that we could do to reduce the violence in the world. The only thing stopping us from moving forward on these things is our willingness.

Let's take a first step. Here are some ideas:


  • Reduce violence: let's not put anymore guns in move ads. Ever.
  • Reduce violence: for every movie death, show the funeral (this is not my idea but I don't remember who proposed it -- I do think it would reduce the shootings in films)
  • Reduce violence: no more pre-emptive attacks. Ever.
  • Reduce violence: make weapons the only thing that's forbidden to cross borders.
  • Reduce violence: teach a balanced view of history.
That's a start. What ideas do you have?

-- Douglas Brent Smith