Mindset

stay focused on your goals

2 Quick Tips To Help You Stay Focused

stay focused

I’m sure you’ll all agree that staying focused has a major impact on your productivity and thus ultimately your success.

Why? Well, focus allows you to stay on track and avoid the many distractions that life will put in your way.

If you can manage these distractions then you will be able to reach your goals that much quicker, and reaching goals quicker will help to motivate you as you are seeing results; it’s a positively reaffirming success cycle.

Of course, focus isn’t just about work or business. Focus impacts many other areas of our lives such as study and our relationships and if you lack focus it can cause many problems in these areas so it is well worth learning how to stay focused!

Medication and lack of sleep can cause people to lose focus so it is definitely worth taking these things into consideration if these are relevant to your particular circumstances.

So how do you stay focused?

Well, there are many ways and in this post, we are going to look at a couple of ways that you can keep your focus on the right things.

OK, on with the show…

Tip 1: Don’t Give In To Temptation

how to stay focused

By this I mean that you need to avoid the temptation to do things you would rather be doing!

Let’s be honest, most people don’t actually enjoy doing work. It takes a lot of time out of your day that you’d rather be spending either relaxing or getting small things done around the house, and it’s not always very fulfilling.

Obviously, you still have to get your work done – otherwise you won’t be making money. In order to keep up with your work, especially when working from home, you have to avoid the temptation of doing other things.

When you’re working for a large company in an office, it’s not so hard to stay on track. There are people around you frequently, and if you’re goofing off and watching Netflix during work hours, people are going to know.

However, while working from home, kicking back and relaxing instead of doing work is much easier. If you’re working on your own computer, you’re just a click away from watching some TV or movies, or a second away from pulling out your phone and checking social media.

For some, avoiding the temptation isn’t too difficult. You might be able to just set it all aside and get all of your work done before you choose to relax, and if that’s the case, that’s great!

However, some people have a more difficult time resisting the urge to go and do something that they enjoy instead of doing somewhat tedious work. One trick for people like this is to use a sort of reward system.

For doing a certain amount of work, you can engage in a specific amount of down time. If you do an hour of work, you can watch an episode of your show. This isn’t exactly a permanent solution, but it should instead be used to wean yourself off of these distractions so that you can really have a full workday to get as much done as possible.

Alternatively, if you’d like to easily cut yourself off completely, there are lockdown programs you can install that will block you from accessing certain websites, such as Netflix, during hours that you’re supposed to be working.

This option essentially makes your computer only able to do work related things during the hours that you want it to, and even on certain days. It’s understandably tempting to blow off work when nobody’s around and you have the freedom to do so, but in order to grow your business and bring in a good amount of money, you need to fully commit to working hard and not get sucked in by random distractions.

OK, now you have managed to avoid temptation, here is the second tip that can help you to stay focused on the task(s) at hand…

Tip 2: Allow Yourself The Right Kinds Of Distractions

stay focused

Part of being creative is being somewhat distracted by the world around you, because it allows you to draw a great amount of inspiration that you can channel into your work. The problem is, when people think about being distracted, they think about the wrong kinds of distractions.

Instead of being distracted by things that can help you be more creative, you might be getting distracted by things that can make you completely unfocused and uncreative. One of the most common types of sabotaging distractions is social media.

Most social media apps and websites have been designed quite cleverly to keep you scrolling and scrolling for hours on end. Never-ending timelines and feeds can have you hooked for far longer than you may realize, and they seldom contribute to your creativity.

In fact, even if you’re only following things related to what you’re being creative with, you’re still not going to be coming up with many of your own ideas, and instead might end up accidentally ripping off something or someone else.

Another major distraction for people is video streaming services. There are so many popular ones out there, from Netflix and Hulu to YouTube or Twitch. All of these can easily suck you in, just like social media, and you’re still going to be uncreative during the entire process.

The reason these distractions aren’t very helpful is a simple one. The whole point of being unfocused to boost your creativity is that it helps broaden your vision, and instead of being hyper-focused on one little thing, you’re more open to the world around you.

With things like social media and online streaming, you’re still very focused, just on something unrelated. Being distracted and being unfocused are not entirely the same thing.

Being unfocused is like going for a walk in the park with nothing in particular on your mind. You’re able to absorb all the little things around you, whether you notice it or not, and your mind isn’t crowded by something else.

This allows you to gather more inspiration to fuel your creativity. Even if you’re unfocused, you can still have creativity at the forefront of your mind, so you can at least try to pick up on things that can help you be more creative.

Distractions, on the other hand, just give you something else to focus on. If you’re really invested in a show and you’re watching it closely, you’re going to be heavily immersed in what’s going on. That doesn’t leave much room for your mind to wander or for you to be creative.

Having a strong mindset is critical to any attempt to stay focused, so click on the featured resource below to get a free report on how to develop a strong mindset. Download, it read and take action 🙂

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set goals

4 Step Goal Setting Strategy

goal setting

Everyone has certain goals they want to reach. It might be weight loss or finances in your personal life, or specific business growth goals in your career. Regardless of what milestones you want to achieve, you won’t get there if all you have is the end result in mind.

Setting goals is just one part of the equation. Knowing how to get there is the piece of the puzzle that so many people leave out, which leads them to flounder, procrastinate and veer off course until one day they realize they’re completely off base and have wasted a lot of time and effort.

There are four easy steps you can take to ensure your goals are met. It’s a process that allows you to map out where you want to be and take steps to get there with ease.

Step 1 – Know Your End Result

setting goals

In order to know what steps you need to take, you have to know how you’d like your journey to end. This is your outcome or end result. You have to be able to concretely define what you want that result to be.

This is the bottom line of everything that you’re attempting to do. Many people aim for something without ever knowing what they want the end result to be. The problem with not knowing your end goal is that you won’t realize it once you’ve reached it – if you even reach it at all.

Let’s say that you take up running for the exercise. Your end result could be to lose weight or get in better shape. Now let’s say that you set a more specific goal to take up running because you want to run in a marathon that’s happening in the future.

Your end result changed from a generic goal of losing weight and getting in better shape to the end result of competing in the marathon, which has a specific length and is on a specific timetable.

Only you will be able to determine your end goal. It might be to finish college, grow your business by $50,000 in the coming year, lose 25 pounds, and so on. Have a large, verifiable goal to reach.

Knowing the end result is imperative for whatever it is that you want in life. You need to know this to be able to work your process. This might mean that you figure out different end results for different areas of your life.

It’s okay to have one for the personal side of your life for relationships and things like that while having another one for your professional goals. Don’t just say, “I want to be happier.”

What would make you happier, specifically? Visualize that end goal that you want. For now, don’t worry about timing. You’ll be working on that as you develop your specific goal setting strategy.

Step 2 – Craft Mini Goals

goal setting

Goals are something that can be used to improve your life. By having goals, you can check to see if you’re on track for how you want your life to turn out. Goals are helpful tools that can keep you headed in the right direction when you need to make a decision that involves changing some aspect of your life.

Encouragement is a by-product of having goals. Whenever you have a setback, goals can encourage you to keep going. By seeing how far you’ve already come, you realize that you’ve already made some strides forward.

Most success-minded people will focus on short-term goals over long-term goals because these are easier to make come true. Living in a results-oriented world causes people to lean toward short-term goals more often.

Dreamers who do very little action taking often focus on long-term goals, forgetting that they need a specific path to get them there. They stay paralyzed, feeling the long-term goal is too far out of reach.

Having short-term goals means that these are things that you do in the present or in the very near future – such as within a week or a month. An example of a short-term goal might be setting up an email autoresponder system within the next 14 days so that you’re ready to build a list.

A long-term goal is usually something that you can’t reach as fast as a short-term goal. A long-term goal is one that you plan to reach within a few months or a year or longer after making it.

Long-term goals will be realized over time as each of your shorter milestones are achieved. For instance, your long-term goal might be to have a list of 100,000 subscribers.

So, your short-term goals might be:

  • Set up an email autoresponder system within 14 days
  • Create a 10-day follow-up series for the autoresponders within 30 days
  • Achieve a list of my first 1,000 subscribers using social media within 6 weeks
  • Grow my list to 2,000 subscribers within 2 months using a giveaway event

…and so on.

Each time you’re able to look at your list and cross off an item that you achieved it helps you build momentum toward reaching your ultimate goal. Whatever your goals are, you shouldn’t let them just sit there as nothing more than an internal dream that you have.

You need them around visually so that they can help remind you of what you desire out of life. You need to be able to see whatever it is that your goals are so that you’re reminded to take action.

You can create a vision board with pictures that will help keep you motivated. Or you can write them down in a notebook and list the reasons why you want that goal.

Studies have shown that goals that are visualized or written down are reached more often than goals that are not. It spurs you forward into doing all of the small steps needed to send you up the ladder of success.

Reaching any goal will require you understanding what it is that you already possess that can help you meet that goal. It also takes you understanding what you lack in reaching that goal so that you can level up your skills to achieve it.

If you wanted to run a marathon and you were in fairly good shape, you would understand that your physical condition was something you already had. But if you were out of shape, you would understand that you couldn’t run a marathon until you got into shape.

You would understand that you lacked the physical conditioning. Defining that would help you set mini goals of getting fit, so that would then feed into your larger goal of the marathon accomplishment.

You can dig down and create mini goals for as many sub-levels as you want, too. For example, physical conditioning is a mini goal to competing in the marathon. But what are some mini goals for the physical conditioning?

  • Being able to go the distance of the marathon in a day
  • Being able to run instead of walking the entire time
  • Being able to achieve a 15-minute mile

Creating mini goals helps you focus all of your energy on the bigger goal. Focusing on the bigger goal can make you feel overwhelmed and cause you to talk yourself out of trying.

Making mini goals takes the overall goal and reduces it in size so that it’s manageable and doable. You won’t allow yourself to have excuses as to why it can’t be achieved.

Each mini goal that you set needs to be specific, too. This means that you divide these up into tasks. You would need to use a calendar in order to set a date for reaching each task that falls under your mini goal heading.

You then break down the date by the time that you have to work on the goal. When you have goals that have a conclusion date, it helps you stay on track to reach the bigger picture.

Goals, even mini goals with a conclusion date of “whenever” rarely get finished. You need to know when you should start that mini goal and when it needs to be completed.

Give each task under the goal a deadline. For example, a mini goal of walking a 15-minute mile within 15 weeks might require you (if you’re starting from a 30-minute mile) to shave one minute off your time each week.

That’s a doable mini goal, and the timeline is specific enough for you to have clarity in reaching it. Everything that you do under a mini goal should be something that matters. The more specific it is, the better it will be keeping you on track.

Mini goals need to be created in such a way that you’ll be able to see progress. If your goal is to start your own business, then one of your mini goals might be to write a business plan.

Next, you would write down when you need that plan finished by. Another mini goal could be having a mentor look over the plan and give you tips on how to further polish it up.

Each step that you take should have a purpose that propels you toward the end result of your bigger goal. If you can remove the mini goal without it impacting the overall goal, then odds are high that the mini goal may not be needed.

You need to have an order of importance in place before setting mini goals. After listing the mini goal, write down what you gain from reaching that goal. Write down what you have to do to make it happen.

List the deadline that it needs to happen by. Make notes under the mini goal that tell you what you must learn to reach that goal. Is there a class you need to take? A book you have to read or a seminar you must attend?

All of those should be listed under the mini goal. Make sure that you understand if completing the mini goal can be done alone or if you’re going to need someone else’s help with it.

You should list all of the possible roadblocks that could happen during the course of trying to reach each mini goal. After you list the roadblocks, write down all of the ways around them.

What this does is help you be prepared for whenever a setback crops up. They will – and it’s always best to have your offensive strategy in place before you need it.

Step 3 – Brainstorm Action Steps

goal setting theory

Before you can take any action, you want to brainstorm ways to achieve your goals and mini goals. You want options, not a single path that you think will work. It allows you to think outside the box.

Some people refer to brainstorming as creatively solving a problem before it happens or while it’s ongoing. Without brainstorming, most people come up with between two and four ways that they can reach their goals.

When you start brainstorming from a research perspective, you often find better ways to do things, shortcuts and money savers. Don’t be afraid to network with others and ask for their best practices, too.

Brainstorming action steps is easy to do. You need a notebook or a writing program on your computer. You start by thinking about the steps that you need to take, and you just write down whatever thoughts pop into your mind.

As you write down your thoughts, you may start to see how some of them are connected and might possibly overlap one another. This will help you see how you may need to prioritize or even group certain action steps.

When you brainstorm, you’re free thinking – and that can often let your mind pinpoint a better way to do something. Some people find it helpful to brainstorm on their own, while others can’t seem to move their mind away from a certain focus in order to come up with action steps.

If this happens, it can be helpful to brainstorm with someone else who understands the end result that you want. Brainstorming with someone else is as simple as having a conversation.

You simply tell them what you want to accomplish and say that you’re trying to come up with action steps that you need to take. Many times, having someone else to bounce ideas off of can yield new ways to get things done that you may not have thought of on your own.

Brainstorming can also be helpful when it comes to seeking a solution about an action step. Some action steps require more effort than other ones do. You may end up needing to do more or find additional help.

If you don’t have someone to connect with as a personal contact or even an online forum friend, you can start researching the best way to achieve certain goals online.

Be very specific when you search. For example, if you needed the mini goals to build a list, you might type in “steps to build a list” and see what came up. You might discover a blog post or infographic that details these steps:

  • Define your target audience
  • Create a viable opt in offer
  • Sign up with an email system
  • Set up the list responders
  • Create a squeeze page
  • Promote your opt in offer

Maybe you didn’t have one of those listed in your mini goals, but now that you’ve seen it online, you can add it. It’s easy to forget all of the small steps involved in achieving a larger goal, and you don’t want to forget something important along the way or feel caught off-guard if you realize it in mid-stream and have to reorganize your goals on the fly.

It shouldn’t require much time to brainstorm – or research. If you’re visiting other sites, just pop in quickly, scan the resource to see if you already have those steps on your list, and jot down anything that might be missing.

Step 4 – Implement Changes

set goals

Once you’ve finished, it’s time to take action. You’ll be putting into place the ideas that were generated from your brainstorming session. When you begin to implement change, you have to understand that it’s normal to feel a sense of unease.

Most people are resistant to change. Just know that it’s normal and don’t let it throw you off course.

Create motivation as you start making changes. You have to be your own biggest fan when it comes to what you’re doing. Celebrate all of your small milestones. It doesn’t have to be expensive or huge – just recognize your efforts and honor your accomplishments.

The fact that you’re working toward a goal and doing things to get you to the finish line is something that should be respected and admired. Sometimes, there’s nobody there but you to toast to your success.

Keep your vision. When you’re implementing change, you don’t want to lose sight of your goal. Understand the value of the changes that you’re making. In other words, realize what will happen if these changes don’t take place.

As you implement change, make sure that you monitor what happens as you make the change. You want to be alert to head off any negative situations or obstacles that arise from implementing your action steps.

There will be some obstacles that you can’t foresee and that you can’t head off. For those, you’ll want to try to get to the root of the problem quickly. Understanding why there’s a difficulty implementing a change can help you know how to get back on track.

You also want to keep in mind that while you’re implementing change now, you’ll see some small benefits right away. However, seeing the end result of some of the other changes may take a little time.

As you implement these changes, make sure that you’re continually revising your goals because as these changes take place, your goals will also change. It’s okay to fix goals along the way, too.

Sometimes, when you’re on the path to something greater, and you’re educating yourself, you discover fantastic new ways of doing things! This might mean changing a mini goal, or even altering your large goal completely!

One thing you shouldn’t do, though, is allow yourself to get distracted by too many good possibilities to the point that you’re forever chasing a shiny new object and never following through on the action steps you’ve mapped out to reach one milestone in your personal or professional life.

Having a strong mindset is critical to any goal setting strategy, so click on the featured resource below to get a free report on how to develop a strong mindset. Download, it read and take action 🙂

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Why Goal Setting Is Important

Goal Setting Is All About Prioritization

Goal Setting

People want to succeed in life. Success is often a result of planning. But what if the items you have on the plan are wrong? This could lead you to a place in your life you didn’t expect and not for the better.

Besides, it means that you have wasted your time. That’s why you need to focus on your priorities in life. These will be a better guide in helping you map out your journey and will influence the kinds of goals you will need to set to reach them.

Start by writing out everything that you feel is important in your life. The items can have degrees of importance and you can put a number scale on each one to indicate which are more important than the others.

After you have listed out your important items, use the number scale to rate the items. You can choose how you want the scale to be measured, but suppose it is 1 being the lowest priority to 5 being the highest. You can do this in a spreadsheet so that you can resort after you have done this for all the items.

Sort from highest to lowest. These are going to be the focal points of your goal setting. You can choose to try and include all the items on your list or you can decide to eliminate any that are below a certain number like all the items that have a priority of 1 or 2.

That is up to you. But you do want to make the list as manageable and as meaningful as possible. If they don’t really mean that much to you they won’t motivate you to achieve them or help you to keep going when you hit an obstacle.

For each of the highest priority items, the next step is to figure out what it will take to achieve them. List out high-level mini goals for each item. You can choose to prioritize these in much the same way, but at this stage of the process, it is not completely necessary.

The next step is to come up with more detailed tasks for the mini goals. You can go as far down as you want or you can stop at just one level. It all depends on the type of tasks you come up with.

If it’s enough to be defined as a work unit, i.e., a task that you can easily perform, then you probably have gone far enough down. If the item can be broken down into further sub-tasks, then that is the next step.

By using this list-prioritization process, you have a much better chance of containing tasks that are the right ones to meet the objectives of your goals.

Now when you have these goals, it’s time to come up with a plan. And it is really useful to come up with a yearly plan before anything else and we’ll have a look at this in more detail now…

Do You Need a Yearly Plan?

Goal Setting

Many people don’t believe they need a yearly plan. They believe they know enough about themselves or their businesses to bypass any planning process. Some people can get away with doing this. But, for most, having a plan and updating one on a yearly basis is essential to keep on track.

A yearly plan helps you to focus on what is important. There are too many events and things that happen during the year that we will simply forget about what needs to get done.

The plan lets you see what needs allocation of funding. You can see how your expenses are affecting your bottom line.

If you have employees working for you, a yearly plan can help manage them. You can find out what vacations they are planning, and you can ensure that they are scheduled for training that you may require of them.

You can’t account for everything that they may encounter over the course of the year. But, as long as you have the major events on your plan, you can make alternative plans.

When you implement your yearly plan, you solidify the necessary objectives to advance your organization. You and your employees can use it as a roadmap to make sure everyone is on the same page.

There are going to be changes, and as the year goes on, you may find some initiatives are no longer relevant. But, overall, a plan is a great tool to help your company.

Without a plan, people and companies tend to flounder. They spend more money than they should, and they start projects that they often don’t complete. They have no way of knowing whether those projects are even going to help the company at all.

It’s difficult to work as a cohesive unit when everyone is off doing whatever they feel like doing. Even if you have a manager who delegates the jobs, without a plan, the manager will also create projects as he or she goes.

A plan doesn’t have to be elaborate nor does it need to be exceptionally long. It can be as informational as listing out dates and tasks. Then, assign people to those tasks.

It is important to get everyone to participate, but once you get an agreement, they need to be held accountable. Business is difficult enough without having some kind of plan or map to guide you in the right direction.

Once you have your yearly plan, it is fine to break this down into smaller, more manageable chunks. In fact, this may be advisable as a yearly plan may seem too big to achieve. By breaking it down into monthly, weekly and even daily goals, you can keep on track and reward yourself along the way and before long you will have reached your yearly goal 🙂

Of course, using goal setting exercises and plans takes a lot of self-discipline which many of us lack, so if you want to learn about how to harness the power of self-discipline, please download the featured resource below, read it and take action 🙂

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behaviour based goals

Behavior Based And SMART Goal Setting

smart goals

When we think of goal setting, we usually think of goals that envision a specific outcome. Some examples include:

  • Lose 20 pounds.
  • Increase income by 10%.
  • Buy a larger house/newer vehicle.
  • Run a marathon.
  • Save money for college.

Of course, these are just a few of the more common goals that people set for themselves.

And one of the problems with the subject of goal setting is that it is discussed so often, it can become a bit blasé and not taken seriously.

And this is a big mistake if you really want to achieve the best things in life! Setting goals is critical to your success and can act as a motivator to keep you going and you can also reward yourself for hitting milestones along the way 😊

Ok, as shown above, many goals are oriented around hitting a specific outcome or target.

But what if we based our goals on changing behaviors instead of obtaining a specific outcome? Could we modify or completely change behaviors that would lead us to the desired outcome quicker, healthier, and with less stress? Some experts certainly think so.

Many times, when we set goals, we focus on the negative, i.e. what we don’t want rather than what we do want.

Behavior-based goals focus more on the behaviors we want to strengthen rather than the negative actions we want to remove.

The difference may appear to be subtle, but it does make a difference to the way you approach goal setting and the intended result.

In strengthening the positive behaviors, we change the way we act and react in many situations – not just situations surrounding a goal that is outcome-based. The ripple effect of creating more positive behaviors in our lives is wide-reaching, affecting far more than just what we may have had in mind when creating the goal.

Many businesses today are focusing on behavior-based goals rather than outcome-based goals, because of this ripple effect. Smart companies know that when behavior changes for the positive, the employee is happier not only at work but in their personal life and family life as well.

A happier employee is a more productive employee. So, managers are learning to integrate behavior-based goals at each employee review.

This type of goal setting isn’t seen just in the office, either. Personal trainers, life coaches, psychologists, therapists, and so many other professions are adding behavior-based goal setting to their repertoire of techniques. This helps those in these industries to help their clients reach success, whatever that may mean to them.

Goals that change behaviors can be seen as a kind of intermediate goal that helps one achieve outcome-based goals easier, faster, and with more residual positive effects. A positive behavior that is strengthened in order to reach a goal is going to be strengthened in every situation where that behavior is utilized.

Try setting a few behavior-based goals of your own and you’ll see that positively changing a behavior really helps in so many different areas of your life. The results are great, and your new positive behaviors will serve you well for the rest of your life.

Now, when you are looking at setting some behavior-based goals, it pays to make them “SMART” when doing so.

Not sure what we mean by “SMART” behavior-based goals? Well, let’s take a look at that now…

Setting SMART Behavior-Based Goals

what smart goals

When you’re discussing goal setting, SMART has nothing to do with your intelligence. (But it is smart to use this technique!).

SMART is actually an acronym which represents the five necessary facets of setting goals, and if even one of them is omitted, your goals will be much harder to achieve.

So, let’s get into what SMART really means!

S – Specific

While behavior-based goals can be harder to quantify than outcome-based goals, by focusing on the specific behaviors that need development or strengthening, we can see that clearly defining these behaviors is possible.

For instance, “I will close or turn off all electronic notifications while working on this project”, is basically stating that the habit of becoming distracted will be curbed in order to achieve more productivity.

M – Measurable

To be effective, the road towards achieving a goal must be able to be measured.

In the example in the above paragraph, the measure would be how much more of the project one is able to accomplish by turning off all electronic notifications.

A – Attainable

You want your behavior-based goal to be attainable, i.e. not so overwhelming that you start out feeling as if you can’t do it. That defeats the entire purpose of the exercise.

Start off with smaller goals that you know you can achieve, such as positively changing one single habit, and focus on doing that consistently before attempting to change other habits.

Build on these small successes and before you know it, you’ll be achieving your big goals, as well!

R – Realistic

Set yourself up for success right from the beginning by setting goals that are realistic to your personality and your lifestyle.

Changing your behaviors to achieve a goal will never work if you aren’t realistic about who you are, what you’re capable of, and what you’re willing to do.

Start with easy behavior changes that are easy for you to accomplish, and fit your lifestyle and personality. Once you’ve mastered those, you can ramp up to changing behaviors that might be more challenging to you.

T – Time-Based

Giving yourself a time limit on achieving a specific behavior change can often spur more action toward that goal. But there’s a fine line between too little and too much time.

Changing behavior patterns often takes time, so make sure that you’ve accounted for this.

By using the SMART acronym when setting behavior based goals, you’ll find yourself much more likely to achieve them, and have measurable ways to check your progress!

So, what are you waiting for? Start setting your SMART behavior based goals today and see what a difference they can make to your life success.

Of course, you will certainly be aware that setting and achieving goals requires a lot of self-discipline, so if you want to learn about growing your own self-discipline then download the featured resource below which is a free report all about the power of self-discipline; download it, read it and take action 😊

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Productivity Tips

Keep Your Productivity On Track Through Any Obstacles

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Building a business can be an exciting time in your life. It can also be one of the most stressful and frustrating times for you. Any time that you start to do something – to move forward – things will crop up that stand in your way, threatening your success.

These conflicts can arise in many different areas – and they can affect the level of productivity that you have. Learn to recognize these obstacles and how you can successfully keep on track when they do appear.

The problems overlap between your personal and professional lives. For example, problems at work can cause hostility at home, and vice versa. You need to become a master at handling obstacles with ease.

Being Overwhelmed Can Impact Productivity

tips for productivity

There are what seem to be a million tasks to get done every day in a business. You have to keep up with the day-to-day tasks while trying to juggle the new things that pop up.

Trying to grow your business while maintaining what you already have can quickly become overwhelming. This is why you need to have a schedule for when tasks need to be completed.

You can’t control when the unexpected happens, but by sticking to a schedule, you have a better chance at getting things done. If an obstacle arises that tanks a days’ worth of productivity, you need to map out a plan to double up on other days until you’re back on schedule.

You need a task list. Every single thing that you have to accomplish each day for your business should be on this list. Whatever impacts your business the most should be at the top of this list.

By doing this, you can prioritize the tasks in order of importance. The first few tasks on your list should be whatever it is that you have to get done in order to keep the business functioning.

You have to keep the doors open or the site operational, keep the sales coming in and the payroll going, and keep the customers happy for positive word of mouth and steady growth.

Figure out what tasks you have to do that will profit or benefit your company today. If the task is something that will provide you with a profit in the same week, make that task a priority.

However, if it’s something that won’t make a difference immediately, you can put that off until a later date and time. Some business owners find it helpful to use one of the “year at a glance” calendars to keep track of the tasks that have to be done in the future for their business.

If you’re dealing with feeling overwhelmed, then it’s highly possible that you’ve taken on too much responsibility. In order to stay on track with productivity, you’ll need to find a way to delegate or outsource what can be passed on for someone else to do.

It can be easy in any business to take on too much. The shiny new object syndrome can make you feel a need to try something different in the hopes of improving your business.

Then before you know it, you have twenty different things going on that, instead of helping your business, is slowly grinding it to a halt. If any task manager or any organizational tool takes you longer to actually use it than the benefit it offers, get rid of it.

This could be contributing to the obstacle of being overwhelmed. Simplify anything you can to keep productivity moving along when you’re struggling. That means if you spent money on a software tool that is too confusing to use and has a steep learning, stop using it.

Chalk it up to a lesson learned. If you have to simplify things by turning to a spiral notebook and a pen or pencil, then do that – if you find that you make more progress that way.

Some business owners find it helpful to seek a mentor when they’re feeling overwhelmed, while others turn the services of a coach to help them clearly see their goals and how things are fitting into their lives.

One of the biggest issues in a business that can trigger being overwhelmed to the point that it slows productivity is clutter. If you have a cluttered office or a cluttered system online, it can make it difficult for you to find what you need when you need it.

Keep everything organized as you go along to prevent this from being an obstacle. Sometimes that means letting go of projects you once thought were viable, but never have time for.

The Obstacle Of Time Management

Improve Your Productivity

Taking on too much at once can lead to a time crunch. So can procrastination. The problem in a lot of businesses is a lack of planning for every step of a project – especially if the project isn’t due right away.

It can be too easy to think that you have plenty of time, so you do other projects first (or, if we’re honest, waste time on social networking site). Then before you know it, you’re suddenly faced with this deadline or launch date – and you’re not sure that you’ll have enough time to get it done.

Everything that you need to take care of in your business should have an action plan. You should know every area of your business that has a completion date. One of the easiest ways to blow your reputation is by being the person who can’t get jobs completed when you say they’ll get done.

A simple way around the obstacle of time management issues that slow your productivity is to make sure that each project you have going on has a detailed list of action steps.

You don’t want to tackle a big project all at once. It can lead to you feeling overwhelmed. The best way to handle this is to break down the project into mini tasks.

Use a calendar or other means to divide the project up into chunks. If you have a project that you know is going to take three months to complete, then do a little bit of work on it each week.

This way, when the due date arrives, you can be finished up with plenty of time to have done the job thoroughly and professionally. Rushed jobs can often affect the quality of the finished product and you don’t want to present work that’s less than your best effort.

To help with time management obstacles, you can outsource some of the work. Take the work that someone else can do that’s usually a big time drain and pass it off.

You can still get the work done, but free yourself up to do other tasks. If you’re in the business of supplying information products and you handle everything from the writing to the graphics to the formatting, you can easily hire someone else to run this area of your business.

If you put out a lot of information products, it might be worth your money to hire someone who keeps up with making sure the product is completed the way that it should be.

This way, you remove several tasks from your own to-do list. That would include sourcing freelance ghostwriters and graphics providers, evaluating deliverables, and getting the end product launched with JV and affiliate partners.

Many businesses have entire areas that they outsource to someone else. For example, many ad agencies take in too many client projects. So they turn around and hire freelance copywriters to write the ads.

This saves them time and money and allows them to be more productive. Focus on the skills you excel at and enjoy most – and find others to take over the tasks you least enjoy.

Other businesses allow an outside phone service to take care of their incoming calls. This way, they can focus on running the business and still have good customer service.

You might hire a virtual assistant to handle your customer service issues online. It’s all about freeing you up for the most important money-making and personally gratifying tasks.

Cash Flow Problems

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This obstacle is one that hits a lot of business at some point during their operation. Having financial struggles can be detrimental to the business itself and it can affect morale negatively, too.

Cash flow problems can be caused by the current economy, poor money management, not enough marketing, too much overhead and a lack of customer response for the product that you’re offering.

It can be difficult to want to keep on going when you’re facing cash flow obstacles. But what you have to do at this point is to remember what your dream was in the beginning.

Don’t lose focus during the hard times. So often, a business will go through a rough patch financially – only to turn around in the blink of an eye. Yet too many business owners get so discouraged when the cash isn’t flowing, that they slow productivity.

This slowed productivity then affects the overall business, which contributes to the cash flow problem. There are short-term and then there are long-term cash flow problems.

Short-term cash flow problems can creep up on you suddenly – and sometimes without warning. For example, you could have a big customer account that brings in thousands of dollars a month and suddenly, the customer notifies you that he won’t be needing the services your company offers anymore.

So just like that, your profit is slashed. If the obstacle is a short-term cash flow, you can turn this around in a short amount of time by picking up some easy jobs that your company can do to bring in money.

The faster you can bring in the money, the quicker you’ll solve your cash flow problems. If you’re used to making $300 an hour consulting for businesses, cut your price by a percentage.

You could bring in several smaller companies or individuals who couldn’t afford your services at the higher rate. Running a special to give our business an injection of cash helps you survive during the next planning phase.

Long-term cash flow problems are a bigger obstacle to keep your productivity on track with. When you have this kind of financial issue, it can lead to a lack of supplies, not having enough to pay yourself or your employees and struggles to pay your typical overhead expenses.

Usually, long-term cash flow obstacles do indicate that your business is headed that way before they become an issue. You might notice that invoices aren’t being paid on time.

If you allow other companies or individuals to pay you in arrears, several slow payers could hurt your business. If this is the case, then you would need to cut off the company having access to your services until the debt was settled.

Never risk your business’s viability over someone else’s lack of responsibility. Take care of the matter and if necessary, replace a slow or non-paying client with someone who is reliable.

Every business will always have an area where there’s a money drain. Go over every section carefully to see where you can cut costs. If necessary, have a mentor look over your day-to-day business operations and make suggestions.

If you’re a start up business and cash flow is an obstacle because you don’t have any at all, then barter what services you do have to get what you need. It’s also a good idea to consider working on other cash-generating ideas like freelancing or an offline job if you need money to pursue your dreams.

Other Influences Can Be Productivity Obstacles

Productivity Tips

Your friends and family can be your biggest supporters when you own a business. But they can also be obstacles. People who care about you can fail to understand and not respect your work schedule.

They can drop by to hang out at the office when you know you should be working. Or if your office is at home, they can interrupt you several times during the day.

When you have a business, setting boundaries to keep productivity flowing can be an issue. This is why you must set and keep clear-cut boundaries. You have to speak up whenever lines are crossed.

You must treat your business like a business and respect it – or others won’t either. Sometimes people who work in a similar field will show up unexpectedly to talk, and this can temporarily slow you down.

Other times, they come by so often that it becomes an issue. If this is a problem, you’ll have to take control – and it can be as simple as saying, “I’d love to chat, but I have a deadline, so I have to get back to work.”

Employees can create productivity problems when they don’t do their job. When one person fails to do what he’s supposed to do, it can have a trickle down effect. The project could slow down until someone goes back to complete the original task.

Things get missed during a workday or a workweek. Mistakes are inevitable. Repeat mistakes and repeated issues of not completing assignments on time affect your business negatively, slow productivity and cost you in long-term profit.

If you have employees or an outsourced team that slows down your business, they either need retraining or to be replaced with ones willing to do their jobs correctly and on time.

Sometimes, it’s vendors that can slow your productivity. They don’t deliver a product when they’re supposed to, so that can slow down the time a shipment needs to go out or a launch needs to take place.

You can work through this by finding a replacement vendor. If someone makes a commitment to you to have something to you on a certain day by a certain time, that commitment should be kept – otherwise, your business is the one most affected.

Sometimes, in an effort to save money and offer goodwill, business owners hire family members or friends. Working with people that mean a lot to you can be a great opportunity.

Loved ones and friends working toward a common goal can often increase productivity. But if you have a family member or a friend who doesn’t do what they’re supposed to, that can be a problem.

In order to protect the family or friendship, you might not want to give that person a boot from the business. If that’s the case, move that person to an area where what they’re doing won’t impact the productivity.

Let them answer phones or handle email or do other tasks that help. But don’t be afraid to put your foot down if there’s nowhere else to put them. You’re in charge of turning your business into a success, and you need to adhere to your own responsibilities.

Overcoming A Mindset That Affects Your Business Productivity

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How you feel impacts how your business runs. If you’re experiencing something in your personal life, it can slow productivity. For example, if you’re dealing with a family situation that causes you to lose sleep at night, it can be hard to keep your mind on the tasks at hand the next day at work.

If you have to deal with something out of the office that impacts your productivity, you need to take a step back and let someone else handle what you normally take care of in the business.

It can be a problem if you don’t have a second in command who can run things for you. If that’s the case, then you have to find a way to clear your head and push through.

One of the ways that you can do this is by assigning a specific time to think about and work on problems that occur outside of the office. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of business.

Having the mindset that you’ve learned all there is to know can be a productivity obstacle. In this case, people will continue to do what they’ve always done – even if there’s a faster and less expensive way.

Not being teachable can easily cost you in terms of less productivity. Companies who produce tangible items or even strategies for you to learn from are counting on your ability to be open to growth through learning.

You’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you turn a blind eye to opportunities that can help you be more productive just because you’re comfortable with the status quo.

Obstacles are a given in life. You have to strengthen your ability to handle them without panic. Once you learn the right way to navigate toward your goal, you’ll find that the once intimidating obstacles put in your path look less frightening over time.

Want to learn more about productivity? Then, download the featured free report below, read it and take action 🙂

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strategic thinking skills

5 Questions To Ask To Clarify Your Strategic Thinking

strategic thinking

Are you feeling a bit confused by strategic thinking? How is it different to tactical thinking because both are important for your success in life/career/business?

To sum up the key differences between a strategy and a tactic is simple: A strategy is your overall plan to achieve your goals, while a tactic is a method used to implement the intended strategy.

So, you need to focus on the strategy before you even think about developing any kind of tactic and this is a mistake many marketers make; they focus on tactics rather than the underlying strategy.

As you can see strategic thinking skills are essential for your career and your business, but how do you actually do it?

Here are five questions you should ask yourself to really sharpen your strategic thinking. Ask them to gain clarity on the strategies you want to develop to move you forward in your life/career/business.

What Do You Want?

strategic thinking skills

The most important thing to work out is where you want to be. Everything—goals, strategies, steps, should all be pointing to your desired destination.

Do you want to be CEO, or be running your own company?

What do you want to achieve this year, in five years, ten? What are your actual goals? What’s your vision?

Get it all down on paper and think big!

Where Are You Starting From?

strategic thinking exercises

Do a survey of exactly where you are right now.

What skills, resources, and assets do you have? What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and risks in your current job or business?

Are you satisfied with life the way it is, or do you want something more? What connections do you have?

Map out your network and what value you provide to them, and what they offer you. Write up your self-inventory.

What Do You Have The Power To Change?

strategic thinking

Think about what is in your control at the present moment; you don’t need to worry about anything that isn’t directly under your control which can be kind of liberating!

What can you streamline or eliminate?

What do you need to add, enhance, or modify to reach your goals?

This can include anything from training, networking opportunities, to investment advice or strategic career planning.

What Do You Need To Move Ahead?

strategic thinking skills

Take another look at your self-inventory.

What skills, resources, knowledge, and connections do you need to get closer to success?

If this is difficult or overwhelming, consider finding a mentor or life coach who can help you find your way.

How Can I Reach My Goals And Still Enjoy Life?

strategic thinking exercises

Really going for success shouldn’t make for a joyless life, totally focused on getting ahead. Make sure you take time to have fun and do the things that give you pleasure. Think of what Future Successful You enjoys doing. What makes your future worth striving for?

Write down all the fun things you will do, whether it’s staying in 5-star hotels or being able to work for only half the year. Imagine driving your dream car. See yourself in your future executive suite.

See what elements of your future life you can start to incorporate in the present and build on those. Before you know it, you will be toasting your success!

Now, one of the biggest issues that stops you from planning and building for the future is by staying in the past.

Remember: the past doesn’t equal the future!

If you keep looking back, you will never move forward, so let’s look at how you can let go of the past and build a fantastic future!

How To Let Go Of The Past

strategic thinking

You read much about why you should let go of the past. However, it’s more important to know how to do it. Most people will eventually come to grips with why they should do it. They get stuck on actually taking steps to make it happen.

Give yourself permission to let go of the past. That is an important step. Your brain can latch onto something and is waiting for you to release the responsibility. By committing to this release, your brain can focus on other productive areas. That release comes in the form of telling yourself to let go.

Learn from your past experiences. There are learning nuggets contained within your past. Anything you have done or tried before is up for grabs in the University of your past. It’s up to you to recognize what those lessons are and how to use them effectively. The way to use them is to determine why they happened and how to avoid them in the future.

Consider learning meditation. When you are relaxed, you will have an easier time of purging your past. One of the best forms of relaxation is meditation. It takes several sessions to get your body and mind in tune with the techniques. Don’t expect fast solutions with this. The key is to keep doing it until you feel the effects.

Don’t hide from your past. People try to pretend certain aspects of their past did not happen, especially the more embarrassing moments. However, this may cause them to come back to you with a vengeance since they are bottling up within you. Acknowledge everything about your past but commit to pushing forward.

Keep a journal of your experiences. Be as detailed as possible so you can refer to the journal when faced with similar circumstances in the future. Don’t treat your journal as a bible, however. Just use the journal as a guideline.

Don’t expect all changes to occur immediately. Your past habits may be difficult to break. Therefore, don’t try to change everything in one shot. Give it time. It took a long time to develop those bad habits.

If you are too hard on yourself about your past, stop. It’s okay to acknowledge that you made some mistakes but don’t get overly critical of them.

Concentrate on the good aspects of your past. Sometimes, you may focus on your mistakes and mask the fact that you had some wonderful experiences in the past as well. These are equally important.

Of course, using strategic thinking exercises takes a lot of self-discipline which many of us lack, so if you want to learn about how to harness the power of self-discipline, please download the featured resource below, read it and take action 🙂

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Mindset Hacks

7 Mindset Hacks For Online Marketers

Mindset Hacks

Have you ever wondered why some online marketers seem to be so much more successful than others?

Or why one marketer bounces back from a failure within days, while another one gives up and begs for his old job back?

Or why you see some online marketers everywhere, and other marketers hear only crickets?

Many successful businesspeople and entrepreneurs realise that your thoughts have a huge impact on how you see yourself and thus impact on your actions or lack thereof!

So, if mindset is so important, isn’t it about time you paid more attention to it?

And wouldn’t you like to know how to improve the way you think about yourself?

Here are seven mindset hacks that help to set some online marketers apart from others. Use them for yourself and you can boost your chances of success almost instantly! What have you got to lose…?

Believe In Yourself

Mindset Hacks

Successful online marketers believe in themselves and their business.

When the going gets tough and when you make mistakes, it’s your belief that will pull you through.

You’ve got to believe that you are fully capable of building this six or seven figure business, that you are able to bring tremendous value to your customers, and that you can overcome any adversity that gets in your way.

Obstacles will always be there but if you believe that you can do it, you are already halfway there.

Have A Plan

Success Mindset

Some marketers don’t look beyond what niche they’re going to enter and what their domain name should be.

But you need to have a plan in place, a roadmap you can follow when you get stalled.

Who is your audience? What do they want and need? Are you going to create your own products?

If so, what problems will those products fix or what benefits will they give the customer? Will you blog? Podcast? Make videos?

Your plan can be flexible and change as needed, but the importance of having a plan in the first place is unquestionable.

Without vision and goals – both of which will be in your plan – you’ll get up in the morning without a clue of what you should be doing. And that is a recipe for failure.

Leave Your Comfort Zone Daily

Mindset

You’re going to be doing things you’ve never done before. It’s going to be uncomfortable, and even scary. You might be afraid to take the next step.

And all of that is perfectly normal. The key is to embrace the fear and do the things you need to do anyway.

If you stay within your comfort zone, you will never grow, nor will your business.

But if you embrace the new and unknown, there is no limit to what you can do.

Try to reframe challenges that you face and make you uncomfortable into opportunities to learn and grow and see your life and business flourish

Think Big, Think Small

Mindset Hacks

As an online marketer, you’ve got to think about the big picture. What is your end goal – to make $100,000 a year? Or maybe to build a million-dollar business and sell it? What campaigns will you use to reach your customers over the coming year? What is your marketing strategy for the following year?

But you’ve also got to think small. Are your customers getting their questions answered the same day? What should you do today to get more customers? Are you going to promote this product this week, or that product?

It’s easy to get so bogged down in the little stuff, that we lose sight of the big picture. But if all you ever focus on is the big picture, you’ll never get anything done today.

Make Your Success A Habit

Success Mindset

Figure out the three things you should be doing every single day that will bring in more business.

And then no matter what, before you quit for the day, make sure that you have done those three things.

For example, maybe it’s writing and sending an email to your list to make sales, posting on social media to get new subscribers, and contacting 3 possible affiliates to promote for you.

Whatever your three things are, do them every single day and you are guaranteed to be successful.

Habits are a crucial part of being successful. Make them part of your daily routine and you will see for yourself how powerful they are.

When you first start creating success habits, you can also try rewarding yourself for keeping to them to positively reinforce the habits. The reward doesn’t have to be big; it is just there to help you to ingrain the habit in you.

Audience First, Product Second

Mindset

Too many online marketers make the grave mistake of creating a product and then going in search of customers for that product. This seldom works.

Instead, find your audience, provide them with great content that they love, and build their trust.

Then find out what they want and need and sell that to them.

Repeat after me: “Audience first, product second.”

Honesty And Generosity

Mindset Hacks

This last one is two-fold, and yet I find they are intricately intertwined.

Give yourself to your audience without holding back. Do you suffer from the same stupid mistakes they make? Then let them know that. Do you have an answer to your readers’ problem? Let them know what it is.

Want to make friends with other marketers? Give them something before asking for a favor. I know of one marketer who offers his plugins for free to fellow bloggers, and he makes all sorts of contacts this way.

You cannot go wrong by being generous. And you also cannot go wrong by being honest.

Tell them the shortcomings of the product you are promoting. The REAL shortcomings. Show your human side. Talk about your own trials and tribulations and struggles.

Hey, you’re not perfect? Your audience already knew that, but they’re mighty glad to hear you say it. It makes you one of them.

Post a card above your desk – “Honesty and Generosity.”

Master these seven keys in your life and your business, and you cannot go wrong.

By the way, if you want to learn more about developing your mindset, download this free report, How To Develop A Strong Mindset which will give you much more information.

Just click on the Featured Resource image below.

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Success Mindset

7 Habits That Lead To A Strong Success Mindset

Success Mindset

If you want to succeed at anything in life, not many people will realise that the first step to success starts between their ears with what they think because what and how they think will determine how they act in a certain situation and if you don’t have an abundance mindset and the accompanying habits, your chances of success will certainly be much less than someone who does think this way.

To get what you want, whether it’s in your personal or professional life, you have to learn to do what works. For most people, this means creating a habit. But a habit isn’t something that never changes.

A success habit is always evolving.

1 – Make sure what you want is really what you want

Success Mindset

Don’t do something just because you should. Check in with yourself every 30 days to make sure that the path you’re on is the one you want to stay on.

Doing this prevents you from ending up with business models that don’t satisfy you.

Make sure you’re not abandoning something out of fear of failure. There’s a big difference between doing what’s right for you and doing something that feels easier.

2 – Begin every day with motivation

Mindset

These are things that work to get you to take the next step. For example, if you need to go for a run to clear your head and get some time to think, then do that.

If you need to use specific habits every morning in order to get into the flow, then let those habits be what compel you to get into your day.

Starting off with motivational reminders is like eating breakfast in the morning – it helps fuel you throughout your day. You also want to spend a minute or two looking back over your day and being proud of what you did accomplish.

3 – Don’t chase success to the point that you stop dreaming

positive mindset

Your success begins with an idea, a hope – a dream. If you go all out, driving hard, keeping your nose to the grindstone, you can reach the point where your mindset becomes fixed.

All you can see is the end result rather than the journey. Remember that on your way to getting what you define as success, you will never have these days filled with learning curves again.

Sometimes it becomes a chore to just blast through a task list – especially if you forget about why you’re doing everything.

If your goal is to live on the beach in a nice home, make sure your routinely revisit those plans to keep you inspired with your action taking.

4 – Make sure you leave room to grow

Success Mindset

You need to have a success mindset that keeps you learning even when you feel you’ve made it.

There’s always something else that you can learn.

Seek out new resources online, book, new niche leaders who teach things from a different perspective – anything that helps round your education out.

5 – Answer to someone else

Mindset

You want to have someone in your life that you’re accountable to. Make time to meet with someone who can help keep you on track for reaching your success.

You want this person to be someone who can tell you when you’re driving yourself too hard and someone who can help steer you around pitfalls.

Sometimes you won’t have a specific person in your life capable of doing that. You can turn to a paid life coach or even join a forum of like-minded, positive individuals all striving for their own success.

6 – Learn to trust yourself

positive mindset

When you go after what you want in life, there will always be someone waiting to tell you that something is either a good idea or a bad idea.

Everyone has a built-in alarm that will sound if something is off.

You’ll feel it as knots in the pit of your stomach or as a sense of unease. When you begin trusting yourself in these situations, it helps you develop a sense of self-confidence and strength.

7 – Understand that roadblocks are going to happen

Success Mindset

You have to determine ahead of time that you won’t give up – you won’t surrender a growth mindset to a fixed one. Roadblocks can often be used as character builders.

They can strengthen your resolve and help you learn to become more resourceful as you find another way to do what you want to get done. If you become too comfortable with your efforts, you often don’t achieve the ultimate success that you’re after.

Having a strong mindset in life, whether for your personal or professional satisfaction, requires a combination of positive thoughts and verifiable action steps.

Whenever you do something that you start to feel a bit of shame over (like quitting on a project), ask yourself if you’re doing it because you don’t believe enough in yourself to succeed.

If that ends up being the case, take the task and break it up into micro-sized mini goals that you can work on to see if you’re capable of making progress that way. Sometimes, it’s the simple fact that a project seems too big that ruins many of the best plans.

It’s also a good idea to surround yourself with action-taking, positive people. Take inventory of the kinds of people you’re currently surrounded with. Do they always complain about everything?

Do you find yourself commiserating with people stuck in the same boat as you? If so, jump out and swim to shore – because that boat is sinking fast, and you don’t want to be swallowed up by the pity party they’re throwing for themselves.

Seek out motivational experts whose thoughts align with what you find inspiring. Tune in to their messages or read their books daily as if you’re taking a vitamin designed to prevent illness.

Over time, you’re going to become someone who others look to for support, and you’ll notice they come to you with fixed mindsets. They’ll be attracted to the positivity you project. Make sure you turn their mind around, rather than letting their limited thoughts infect you.

By the way, if you want to learn more about this, download this free report, How To Develop A Strong Mindset which includes this article and much more information.

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Take Massive Action And Transform Your Life

Goal Setting

You Really Can Become Anything You Want To Be

Do you remember when you were younger, and everyone was telling you that you could be anything you wanted to be? It’s strange because many of those people will have turned out to be hypocrites. Tell them now that you want to be the next Bill Gates and they’ll probably tell you to stop daydreaming and get a job. Nice.

But the fact is that they were right the first time. It actually is possible to be anything you want to be and the amazing thing is that it’s easier today than it ever has been. Let’s take a look at why that is…

How To Be Whatever You Want To Be… Tomorrow

Actually, being whatever you want to be is incredibly easy. Want to be a writer? Then start writing tonight. Congratulations! You are now a writer! Want to be a swimmer? Then start swimming. Congratulations! You are now a swimmer!

Sure, in these cases you aren’t being paid to do what you want to do and you’re not ‘professional’ but that doesn’t change the fact that you are a writer or swimmer. And as soon as you start trying to be paid for it, you become professional. Does the fact that you have no clients yet mean you’re not a freelancer?

Once you realize this, things get better right away. You don’t have to make your day job ‘who you are’ because you can make your hobby ‘who you are’ – or your side project. It doesn’t matter if you hate your work and it’s not satisfying as long as you’re doing something else that gives you hope and purpose.

Making It Big

And if you try hard enough, then eventually you will be able to go professional with what you do. The reason is that if you write enough, you will eventually learn how to get good at it and how to find clients. Ever heard of the ‘10,000 hour rule’?

It means that you can put 10,000 hours into anything and become a master of it that way. Do the thing you love every night then and you will eventually be great at it.

What if the opportunity to make it big never comes? Well in that case you can make the opportunity.

Save enough money in your day job for instance and you can put that money into self-publishing your book or into producing your own music video.

And who cares even if it’s successful? Now you’re a writer or a singer and lots of people have seen your work. So honestly… you really can be anything you want to be!

Here’s How You Do Something Amazing And Change The World

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Ever wanted to change the world? Come on, be honest…

Most of us on some level would probably like it if we could make a big impact on the world or do something amazing at least but we’re too afraid too because we don’t think that it’s something we can possible accomplish.

You see most of us know our place. We realize that we work a 9-5 job, put food on the table and then go to bed. We leave the ground breaking stuff to the others…

But what you maybe don’t realize is that ‘the others’ are people who were once in the exact same position as you but who had the nerve to try anyway. Everyday people like you and me change the world all the time and believe it or not, there’s actually a formula for doing it!

Define Your Goal And Shout About It

The first step to changing the world is to define what it is you want to achieve and then own it. Most of us will never change the world because we don’t think that we’re capable of it and so we keep it to ourselves.

Our biggest ambitions are often things that we’re embarrassed of, terrible though that is.

But as soon as you start acknowledging what you really want to achieve and you start going for it, then you will be able to define your plan of action and you will get attention from people who will be moved by your passion, ambition and dedication.

Big ideas will often get attention and a following much quicker than small ones. And that’s how you move on to the next stage.

Find Powerful Allies

This is the part that most people don’t consider. Sure, you might lack the funding or the authority to change the world, but if you have a good enough idea… then you can find someone who does have the power to.

And if you convince then, then they can trumpet your idea or give you the platform and funding you need to accomplish the things you need to accomplish.

This is what Palmer Luckey did when he decided he wanted to make virtual reality a reality (ironic though that sounds). First he admitted to himself that that’s what he wanted.

Then he shouted about it on Kickstarter and got a huge backing and then he took the idea to powerful people like John Carmack and Mark Zuckerberg. They gave him the funding, the resources and the knowhow and now the Oculus Rift is poised to genuinely change the world.

He started in his basement and he got to where he is in just a few years… and you can do the exact same thing!

The 80/20 Principle – Knowing Where To Put Your Effort In

Work Smart

Going big is often the best way to ensure your success – create enough output, take enough chances and eventually you’ll be sure to have a hit or ten under your belt which for many of us will be more than enough.

But while working hard enough is often the secret to almost guaranteed success, you mustn’t also Underestimate The Power Of Working Smart.

What It Means To Work Smart

What it means to work smart is basically to be strategic in the way that you approach any problem or any ambition. In turn, this means approaching your aims in such a way that you will be able to cut corners and accomplish the most with the minimal effort.

In theory, this will then allow you to combine your smart strategy with huge output in order to accomplish the best possible results.

Putting in 10,000 hours is a great way to become an expert – but the quality of those 10,000 hours also makes a big difference.

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule, also sometimes know as the ‘Pareto Principle’, basically states that whatever it is that you do, 20% of your effort will yield 80% of your success.

So if you sell 100 products, chances are that 20 of them (or even fewer) will make up the vast majority of your cash.

The moral of this story is that if you ‘throw enough paint at the wall’ some is bound to stick.

We often won’t know what is going to be the most important aspect of our strategy but once we do, it’s then a good idea to focus on that smaller percentage that yields results.

In the case of a business providing a service, it will often be that the company makes the vast majority of its money from just a few clients while the others serve as nothing but a distraction really. In other cases, it might be that a small number of clients cause the vast majority of the problems.

In such a case, it would be wise for that business to lose the 20% causing the 80% of the problem and even to get rid of some of those clients that aren’t bringing much to the table.

Instead, focus purely on the ones that are generating the most income and actually life will be easier and you’ll earn much more. Then you can put in huge effort and see huge rewards for both them and you!

The Art Of Failing Fast

Goal Setting

If you want to achieve a lot in life, sometimes the secret is to stop trying so hard and to put out lower quality work.

Wait… what?

That’s not what they told you at school right? And it probably goes against pretty much everything you’ve been brought up to believe as well. But in fact it is very often the case when it comes to really being successful so let’s take a look at why.

What It Means To Fail Fast

What I’m talking about here is ‘failing fast’. In business, this means creating your ‘minimal viable product’ or your ‘MVP’ and releasing that as quickly as possible. So a company will create a product that is really sub-par in many ways and that certainly could be better and then they’ll release ten more.

In the same time another company that doesn’t take the fail fast approach might only release a single product that’s much better quality.

Why is it better in some cases to release things that you don’t really think are the best they could possibly be?

Well it comes down to the fact that these ‘minimal viable products’ require smaller investment and allow you to get something out the door faster. That means that you can beat the competition to market and it means that you don’t lose out on such a big investment as you otherwise might do. More importantly, it means you can quickly release something else again next week as well.

As a result you’ll be able to rapidly test the market and get an idea for whether or not people want to buy your product. If you get lots of interest and lots of sales then you know that it’s worth your while to invest even more time and even more effort into that particular version because there’s a market there to buy it. If you don’t get any interest? You move on, having taking the minimal financial hit.

Meanwhile, the company that invested all their time, effort and money on creating one fantastic product might risk that product failing and costing them huge amounts, possibly ending the business.

Applying It To Life

The ‘fail fast’ technique can also be applied to other areas of your life. Basically this means releasing a ‘beta’ version into the public and you can do this in all kinds of situations.

For instance, if you’re in a bar and you want to get someone to go home with someone attractive, then instead of spending all night staring at one person, instead try smiling at as many people as possible.

Some people will look the other way, but when someone finally smiles back, then you can go over and invest the time.

See what other areas you can apply the fail fast approach to!

How Playing The Numbers Game Can Help You To Succeed At Everything

Take Action

Want to increase your likelihood at success? Then simply try more often.

In gambling this isn’t a good idea because it means you’ll lose a hundred times before you win and go broke. But in life things are different. In life, you can ‘fail’ thousands of times and bounce back stronger than you were before… But you only need one win. If you ‘play the numbers’ then, you can effectively rig yourself to succeed no matter what you do.

In Dating

I have a friend who applies this logic to dating. He’s a funny guy and every time we go on a night out, he will set off to approach lots of women.

In a typical scenario he might chat up 10-20 girls on a night out and 9/10 times he will get rejected. We all laugh at him and tease him for it but here’s the thing… really the joke’s on us.

If you’ve done the math, then 9/10 fails means that on a typical number he’ll succeed with one or two women… which means he’s basically getting more action than all of us put together. Now that’s success!

In Making Money

You can also apply this to making money, as I once did.

When Kindle first came out, there was something of a ‘gold rush’ as people clamored to upload e-books to Amazon. I started out by uploading a book or two and it got a couple of downloads a month – I was happy, if underwhelmed.

But then I realized that every book I uploaded would get me two more sales a month. And once the book was there, I wouldn’t have to do anything to promote sales. Seeing as I’m capable of writing 10,000 words or more a day, that meant I could write pretty much an e-book a day.

Can you guess what I did? For one year I uploaded an e-book or two every single day and by the end I had hundreds of e-books in the store. All of them got at least two downloads a day and two of them went massive… the result? A huge ‘passive income’ that would pay my wages travelling for the whole subsequent year.

The moral of the story? You make your own luck. Play the game enough and you will win and make it big!

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3 Powerful And Surprising Goal Setting Tips You Missed

goal setting

I once heard a famous motivational and sales speaker tell the story of someone who set some goals.

It seems he wrote down all of his great big goals like getting a super high paying job, traveling the world, starting a non-profit foundation and so forth, folded up the paper and put it in a drawer.

Then he forgot all about those goals and went about his life.

Fast forward three years, and he’s moving into his new house. Packing up that drawer, he finds the goal list he wrote out, and realizes he has accomplished every single goal on that list, including buying a mansion.

Yeah. Right.

And then a leprechaun jumped out of the drawer and handed him a magic genie lamp, and he made three wishes and married the fairy princess.

As you might have guessed, I’m not buying that story. Are you?

You can’t simply write down your goals, forget about them and then have them magically happen. If only you could.

But there are things you can do to help you achieve your goals and New Year’s resolutions – things I’ll bet NO ONE has told you about.

Things that can give you the life you want, if you embrace them.

Things that… well… might just set your goal getting abilities on fire.

Let’s get started:

Goal Setting Tip 1: What Kind Of PAIN Do You Want To Have?

goal setting theory

Focusing on what you want usually isn’t going to work unless you also consider what kind of pain you want to have.

Everyone wants a rock hard body and a few million dollars in the bank. But are you willing to go through the pain it costs to get those things?

THAT is the question.

An art fan tells a great artist that she should would do ANYTHING to paint like he does.

To which the artist replies, “If that were so, then you would already be painting like me. I’ve painted every single day since I was seven years old. I painted when my friends were outside playing. In high school I painted when my friends were going to dances and playing sports. In college I painted instead of dating. I’ve taken art courses and studied art until I know more than most of my professors. I’ve traveled the world to sit at the feet of great painters and observe their process. I’ve given everything I have to be a great painter. And if you really wanted to be like me, you would have done the same.”

Ouch.

That artist paid a very big price for achieving his goal.

Goal setting and goal getting isn’t just about choosing the rewards you want like you’re a kid in the candy shop with mom’s credit card. It’s also about deciding on what cost you are willing to pay to achieve those rewards.

What pain are you willing to go through to achieve your goals?

What you willing to do?

What will you sacrifice?

What regiment, training, practice schedule and so forth will you commit to doing every day until you succeed?

When you decide this in advance, you multiply the odds of achieving your goal by ten-fold.

Goal Getting Tip 2: The Secret Ingredient

setting goals

“I want to be a medical doctor.”

Okay, that’s your goal. But what do you do to achieve that goal? Writing it down and stuffing it into a drawer won’t make it happen.

You need systems in place to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

For the would-be doctor, she needs systems to apply to and get accepted at medical schools. She needs a system in place to pay for the school. She needs another system to make sure she studies, and so forth.

For a pianist, his goal is to give concerts to millions of people. But his system is to practice each day of his life.

For a coach, her goal is to win the championship. But the system is the practices she puts her players through each day.

For an entrepreneur, the goal is to build a profitable business and sell it. But the system is the sales and marketing process that brings in the customers, as well as the system for delivering the products or services.

Without systems in place to reach your goals, you won’t get there.

That’s because it’s the system and not the goal itself that achieves the results you want.

First, you choose your goal based on both what you want and what pain you are willing to endure to get that goal.

Then you choose the system you’re going to use to achieve that goal.

Goal Getting Tip 3: Goal Assassination

why setting goals is important

You’ve made your goals and now you’ve got a list – the kind of list a kid might send to Santa Clause – so what’s the delay? Why aren’t you achieving your goals?

Maybe you’re got too many of them. The more goals you have, the less likely it is that you will achieve any one of them. That’s because they’re all competing for your time and attention, and you simply don’t have enough of either one to simultaneously achieve every goal on your list.

Imagine you’re growing roses. On one rose bush, there are a hundred rosebuds. But on the other rose bush, you snip off every single bud except for one.

Which rose flower will be the biggest? The one by itself, of course. And that’s because it gets all of the energy and food the plant can provide, instead of having to share it with a hundred other flowers.

Your goals are all competing for your time and energy.

That’s why you’ve got to ruthlessly eliminate your lesser goals, at least until you achieve your biggest goal.

The more time and energy you can put into your #1 goal, the faster you can achieve it. And once you do, then you can focus on the next goal, and then the next, and so forth.

The exception: If a secondary goal directly supports your primary goal, then it can be best to pursue both at once.

For example, you want to build a business. It’s going to be a lot easier to make good decisions and work hard if you get enough exercise and eat right.

Exercise and proper eating support your goal of building a business, so don’t wait until the business is built to get in shape. Start exercising and eating healthy right away, so you have what it takes to build that business and live the good life.

I know the motivational gurus want you to think getting your goals is easy, but usually it’s not. It takes work. Sacrifice. Pain. Focus. Perseverance. And tenacity. But knowing this from the start means you’re forewarned and forearmed to get the job done.

And once you achieve your first big goal, you just might find you’re addicted to the process.

Guaranteed, the second goal will be easier than the first, because now you’ll know what it takes.

The New Year is upon us. 12 months from now, you can either look back and wish you had achieved that big goal, or look back and be thrilled that you did.

The choice is yours.

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