The Results Killing Virus

Are your results being impacted by an infectious disease? Science has proven that attitudes are literally catching like a virus. We live in a society where avoiding responsibility (non-responsibility) and placing blame is deeply rooted in our culture. Do you allow your mood to be determined by how others treat you? Do you feel others cause you to be offended or frustrated. If you do, you are probably infected with the highly contagious blame disease.

Blaming is often associated with strong emotional feelings. Author Daniel Goleman writes, “…emotions are contagious. We ‘catch’ strong emotions much as we do a rhinovirus – and so can come down with the emotional equivalent of a cold.” (Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence) American Psychiatrist, Daniel Stern, says our minds are continually interacting through a type of neural WiFi. (Daniel Stern, The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life, 2004, p. 76) Parents blame teachers for low test scores, teachers blame parents for unruly children, employees blame their bosses when work gets too hard, and citizens blame the government for their economic woes and more.

When we think our problems are externally caused, it reduces our power! It causes us to focus on who to blame rather than on finding a solution and changing our circumstances. If we believe our problems are external, then we are at the mercy of those external conditions. For some people this is convenient. It gives them a ready made excuse when things go wrong. Taking personal responsibility is a much more difficult doctrine. True, some circumstances are beyond our control. I will discuss how to approach those in future articles. Let’s inoculate you from the blame virus.

Stop the spread of blame today!

The author Spencer Horn is the President of Spencer Horn Solutions, LLC. Additional articles which may interest you: Leadership Is About Impact Not IntentionHow To Prepare Your Next Generation Of LeadersIncrease Your Effectiveness As A Leader With Perception Science; How To Create Success From Failure; How To Get Your People To Change TodayCure For The CEO DiseaseThe Importance of Values

The Help You Need To Achieve Your Resolutions

We are two weeks into our resolutions. How are you doing?

If you are like me, we are two of the over 145,000,000 Americans who make resolutions to lose weight (21.4%), self-improve (12.8%), make better financial decisions (8.5%), quit smoking (7.1%), spend more time with loved ones (6.2%), provide more service (5.2%) and more. However, according to a recent survey by Statistic Brain Research Institute, only 9.2% actually achieve them. More than 59% of Americans refuse to make resolutions or make them very infrequently. Why go through all the trouble of setting a goal you probably won’t achieve and then you will probably feel worse about yourself than if you did nothing? If the statistics of how few Americans achieve their goals are accurate, the majority of Americans have a point.

Why then do so may continue with the practice? Perhaps they have experienced the euphoria and enthusiasm of achieving goals as I have. My personal goal setting successes help me to persist. To help those considering capitulating on the opportunity to make a fresh start each year, I want to share what successful resolution and goal setters did that the rest did not. There are several things we can do to help us succeed in our goals. To simplify, I am going to focus on just two: How we set resolutions and behavioral balance.

One of the reasons we fail to achieve goals is how we set them. If you look at the list of resolutions above, what do you notice? Most are broad statements that are hard to define and achieve. What does self-improvement look like? How much more time will you spend with loved ones? Where will that time come from? How much weight will you lose and by when? How much time will you exercise each week? Many goals tend to focus on massive or extreme change. When life gets busy, we quickly lose track and motivation for goals, which no longer seem attainable. With fatigue, our will to pursue goals and resist going back to old habits is eroded.

 


The key to success is to use our understanding of brain science to set and achieve goals.

1.    Simplify your resolutions:

Set a series of smaller specific goals and focus only a few goals. If you set too many and or intangible goals, the brain rebels. Our brains are easily distracted and do not understand how to achieve a vague goal. I had wanted to lose 25 pounds for many years and not been successful. It wasn’t until I broke that bigger goal down into smaller goals that I had success. Last year I set a a smaller specific goal on January 15th to lose ten pounds by March 15th.

2.    Focus on behaviors to achieve goal, not just the goal:

Next, I changed my focus from losing the weight to focusing on actions, which cause me to lose weight. The two things I could control were diet and exercise. Everyday, I would measure the calories I consumed. This was very time consuming, and the discipline kept me focused on the actions I could control, which was calorie consumption. I also measured how many calories I burned on a daily basis.

3.    Regularly self-evaluate:

With this simple focus, I reviewed each week how I was doing. Resolutions seem overwhelming because we only do them once a year. I would resolve at the start of each week to stick with my plans. Thought leader Brian Tracy suggests you review your goals every day. Greater frequency is needed for success.

4.    Reward success:

After a particularly successful week, I would celebrate. I would give myself permission to eat something I enjoyed. I want to achieve my goals and I want to also enjoy life. This kept my brain engaged and motivated to move forward. After two months, I had lost 12 pounds! I was so excited and motivated to lose the next 10 pounds. However, because of my success and over-confidence, I no longer measured my calorie intake to go along with my exercise. The discipline of measuring my calories everyday was hard and time was limited with all my obligations. The result was that I only lost 2 pounds over the next seven months. Returning to the discipline of measuring calorie intake made the difference.

The second key to achieving goal success is finding behavioral balance. Our behavioral temperament can often conspire against us in achieving our goals. Last week I was conducting a communication workshop with employees of an IT services company. Over 50% of employees had what we call a high patience trait. When I asked members of the class what they thought they could do to improve communication, most of them said that they needed to be more assertive. This is a behavior that is difficult for people with high patience.

You may be asking, “What does this have to do with achieving goals?” When these technicians work with co-workers, clients and others who talk too much, they find it difficult to interrupt and get control of the conversation. High patient people find themselves at the mercy of other people who hijack their precious time and they do not want to be perceived as being rude and cut them off. As a result, they feel powerless to control their schedules. Many people with this behavioral tendency have a really hard time saying no. These individuals may become overwhelmed with helping others and run out of time to achieve their commitments. They end up working longer hours and putting their personal goals on the back burner. If you say yes to everyone else, you may be choosing to say no to your goals.

If you can relate to this personality, you can learn to be assertive without being rude. Set expectations around your communications. If someone interrupts you, let him know you really want to listen. However, if the conversation is going to take more than five minutes, you will need to schedule time to talk. This gives you permission to set expectations without being rude. Learn to say no, and you will be so much happier.

Each personality type has behaviors, which may cause self-sabotage and imbalance. This lack of balance makes it hard to achieve our goals. High dominant personalities may delegate responsibility but hold on to authority because they feel the need to be in control at all times. This causes them to be overwhelmed because they are often unwilling to let others have more authority. Some high conforming personalities get out of balance because of their desire for unattainable perfection. The high extroverts get out of balance when they spend too much time socializing. Also, their desire to be liked may cause them to say yes to too many assignments, which leaves them too little time for their own goals.

These are only a very few of behavior tendencies which have the potential to work against your efforts to achieve your goals. If you recognize any of these behaviors in yourself, here are a few suggestions for you.

1.    Identify your behavioral preferences:

There are many great behavioral surveys that will help you identify behaviors which may be causing you to be out of balance. I love the ProScan Personal Development Report. It is highly accurate tool, which provides a tremendous amount of information you can immediately put to use. You will become more aware of your behavioral tendencies, which may be helping or hurting you to achieve your goals. Armed with this knowledge, you can make the necessary adjustments.

2.    Identify an accountability partner:

Share your behavioral results and goals with someone you trust and respect. Empower them to let you know when your behavioral tendencies are getting in your way. This will help you make needed adjustments more quickly. A coach is a great accountability partner option. Not only can she help understand how you are getting in your way, she will help you identify how to leverage your behavioral strengths to achieve your goals.

Simply change the way you set goals. Make them simple and tangible for a specific time. Then learn how you may be self-sabotaging. Our behavioral tendencies can cause imbalance, which can inhibit our ability to achieve our goals. Learning how to leverage your behavior and partnering with an accountability partner will help. These suggestions will help you achieve your goals in 2017 and every year.

The Author Spencer Horn is the President of Spencer Horn Solutions, LLC. For additional information consider the following topics: “Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired;” “The Power of Accountability;” “Act As If…Today!:” “Silence Your Saboteur!”

5 Suggestions to Achieve Your Dreams

5 Suggestions To Achieve Your Dreams

Achieve Your DreamsFive suggestions to help you achieve your dreams:

  1. Have a big vision for your life and be willing to take massive action towards it:

    Most people are motivated by more than Blog vision1money. It could be the quality of your relationships, time, travel, service or whatever you choose. Your vision should be so clear that you are willing to hold to that vision so tight that your knuckles turn white. You will need to hold on tight to you vision to overcome initial resistance.   Once you have a vision, it is time to make waves! Be willing to pull up our anchor and move your boats from the safe harbor. What happens when you hit the throttle in a boat that is at a dead stop? At first the boat struggles to get up out of the water. There is a great deal of resistance. It makes a lot of waves. The other boats in the harbor at anchor may call out to you to stop making waves. There may be people in your life that feel you are off course and encourage you to ‘stop making waves.” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “To be great is to be misunderstood.” If you strive for great goals, you must risk rejection from peers, and be confident enough to understand that not everyone will share your vision.

  2. Be teachable and teach others:

    Take responsibility for your development. Many people who fail to achieve their potential have excuses. They truly believe their excuses which absolves them of responsibility. These beliefs keeps them stuck. Imagine two concert pianists. One is wearing overalls and bare feet. He walks to piano on the stage of a Blog Teachablebeautiful concert hall that is full of people anticipating a great show. The pianist begins to pound on the piano making a cacophonous noise! The audience boos and even begins to throw vegetables! The pianist ignores them, finishes, gets up and calmly walks off the stage to the green room. The second pianist is dressed in a tuxedo and tails. He sits down to the piano and begins to play Rachmaninov’s second piano concerto. The audience is mesmerized by the performance. When he finishes they give him a standing ovation! He bows and leaves the stage. In the green room he sees the other pianist. He says to the first pianist: “I don’t mean to be rude, I would like to know how you feel about being booed off the stage?” The first pianist responds: “I don’t take it personally; the piano was out of tune.” We all have the same opportunity to achieve, why do some consistently perform better than others and some stay stuck given the same piano? It is a choice.We must take time to work on our abilities. Learning and growing takes commitment. Read books, attend classes, have a mentor or coach. Teach others what you learn: By teaching others you become a greater expert. As you learn new principles think about how you can share your knowledge with others in your life. When you do this, it causes you to learn the material at a higher level. I know that if I am responsible to teach others, my study and preparation are much higher which ultimately benefits me.Another benefit of teaching what you learn is that you create an environment where others look to you for leadership and hold you accountable for your professed beliefs which help you achieve your goals.

  3. Be willing to fail:

    Blog FailureFailure is not the enemy of success. It is a teacher. Abraham Lincoln’s path to the presidency taught him many lessons that helped make him one of the greatest leaders in our history. He failed in business in 1831, was defeated for legislature in 1832. Second failure in business in 1833. Suffered a nervous breakdown in 1836. Defeated for Speaker in 1838. Defeated for Elector in 1840. Defeated for Congress in 1843 and 1848. Defeated for Senate in 1855. Defeated for Vice President 1856. Defeated for Senate in 1858. Elected President in 1860. The formula for success: Double your failure rate. Learn to love the “no’s” get through them so you can get to the yeses!

  4. Focus on what is important:

    There are so many distractions and time parasites that will keep us from our goals. In many organizations, employees get into the office around 8:30AM. They get a cup of coffee and greet their co-workers regaling them with stories of the night or weekend. When they get to their desk, check email and waste time on the Blog Focusinternet it is 11:00AM before real work begins. The rest of the day people play catch-up and they have to stay at the office until 7:00PM or later. Working longer hours does not mean you are working harder. Activity should not be confused with productivity. In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country; he observed that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth. His observations have come to be known as the 80/20 rule. You can apply the 80/20 Rule to almost anything, from the science of management to the physical world. Twenty percent of your staff will cause eighty percent of your problems, but another twenty percent of your staff will provide eighty percent of your production. It works both ways.Of the things you do during your day, only twenty percent really matter. Those twenty percent produce eighty percent of your results. Identify and focus on those things. When the fire drills of the day begin to sap your time, remind yourself of the twenty percent you need to focus on. If something in the schedule has to slip, if something isn’t going to get done, make sure it’s not part of that twenty percent. Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 Rule, should serve as a daily reminder to focus eighty percent of your time and energy on the twenty percent of your work that is really important. Don’t just “work smart”, work smart on the right things.

  5. Do what you fear:

    Look for opportunities to get out of your comfort zone. Your mind is very much like a muscle that must be exercised to grow and change. Think of when you first started physical training. How did the first mile you ran feel? Recently, I started a new exercise regimen. I started running with my daughter. The first time out we jogged a few Blog Face Fearshundred feet and I began to gasp for air. Luckily she was wearing her IPod and couldn’t hear my heavy breathing, which would have been embarrassing to my ego. As I labored on, my body screamed to me to quit. I had to trick myself to keep going and make it to the next light pole and then another and another. Finally, I had run 1.5 miles. My legs hurt, my heart was pounding. However, the next time I did it, it wasn’t so bad. I did it again and again. Soon I ran faster and farther. What happened? My body began to react to strain and stress. As we exercise, our bodies develop new blood vessels, our hearts ability to pump blood to our muscles increases, our lung capacity increases. Our muscles grow and strengthen allowing us to increase the stress and strain we are able to bear. Our brains work very much the same way. The first time we do something that we may be afraid of like speaking up, sharing our opinion, speaking in public, learning a new job, our brains may scream for us to stop! However, as we persist, pretty soon, we develop new neural pathways that allow us to be more and more comfortable in new environments and opportunities. Pretty soon, our capacity to perform the new job is increased and we are able to do more and more.The opposite is also true. If we do not exercise our bodies and our minds, soon they begin to atrophy and our capacities diminish. If we waste our lives in front of the TV, soon we will not be able to lift the remote to change the channel. Author John R. Noe suggests: “Sit down and make a list of all the things you are afraid to do, within legal, moral and spiritual limits. Then go out and deliberately make yourself do every one of them. Each time you confront a fear, become sensitive to the atmosphere surrounding it…then fear will no longer control your life.

To achieve your dreams it is time to leave your complacency and act. It requires you to leave your comfort zones, take responsibility for developing your abilities and share your knowledge with others. It means risking failure and ignoring the naysayers.