Sunday, July 26, 2015

4 Tips for Setting Powerful Goals
Written by Jim Rohn

We all have two choices: We can make a living or we can design a life. Here’s how to do the latter.

The most important benefit of setting goals isn’t achieving your goal; it’s what you do and the person you become in order to achieve your goal that’s the real benefit.

Goal-setting is powerful because it provides focus. It shapes our dreams. It gives us the ability to hone in on the exact actions we need to perform to achieve everything we desire in life. Goals are great because they cause us to stretch and grow in ways that we never have before. In order to reach our goals, we must become better.

Life is designed in such a way that we look long-term and live short-term. We dream for the future and live in the present. Unfortunately, the present can produce many difficult obstacles. But setting goals provides long-term vision in our lives. We all need powerful, long-range goals to help us get past those short-term obstacles. Fortunately, the more powerful our goals are, the more we’ll be able to act on and guarantee that they will actually come to pass.

What are the key aspects to learn and remember when studying and writing our goals? Here’s a closer look at goal-setting and how you can make it forceful and practical:

1. Evaluate and reflect.
The only way we can reasonably decide what we want in the future and how we’ll get there is to know where we are right now and what our current level of satisfaction is. So first, take some time to think through and write down your current situation; then ask this question on each key point: Is that OK?

The purpose of evaluation is twofold. First, it gives you an objective way to look at your accomplishments and your pursuit of the vision you have for life. Secondly, it shows you where you are so you can determine where you need to go. Evaluation gives you a baseline to work from.

Take a couple of hours this week to evaluate and reflect. See where you are and write it down so that as the months progress and you continue a regular time of evaluation and reflection, you will see just how much ground you’re gaining—and that will be exciting!

2. Define your dreams and goals.
One of the amazing things we have been given as humans is the unquenchable desire to have dreams of a better life and the ability to establish and set goals to live out those dreams. We can look deep within our hearts and dream of a better situation for ourselves and our families. We can dream of better financial, emotional, spiritual or physical lives. We have also been given the ability to not only dream, but pursue those dreams—and not just pursue them, but the cognitive ability to lay out a plan and strategies to achieve those dreams. Powerful!

What are your dreams and goals? This isn’t what you already have or what you have done, but what you want. Have you ever really sat down and thought through your life values and decided what you really want? Have you ever taken the time to truly reflect, to listen quietly to your heart, to see what dreams live within you? Your dreams are there. Everyone has them. They may live right on the surface, or they may be buried deep from years of others telling you they were foolish, but they are there.

Take time to be quiet. This is something that we don’t do enough of in this busy world of ours. We rush, rush, rush, and we’re constantly listening to noise all around us. The human heart was meant for times of quiet—to peer deep within. It is when we do this that our hearts are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams. Schedule some quiet “dream time” this week. No other people. No cellphone. No computer. Just you, a pad, a pen and your thoughts.

Think about what really thrills you. When you are quiet, think about those things that really get your blood moving. What would you love to do, either for fun or for a living? What would you love to accomplish? What would you try if you were guaranteed to succeed? What big thoughts move your heart into a state of excitement and joy? When you answer these questions you will feel great and you will be in the “dream zone.” It is only when we get to this point that we experience what our dreams are.

Write down all of your dreams as you have them. Don’t think of any as too outlandish or foolish—remember—you’re dreaming! Let the thoughts fly and take careful record.

Now, prioritize those dreams. Which are most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to do the most? Put them in the order in which you will actually try to attain them. Remember, we are always moving toward action—not just dreaming.

3. Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.
The acronym S.M.A.R.T. means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-sensitive.

Specific: Goals are no place to waffle. They are no place to be vague. Ambiguous goals produce ambiguous results. Incomplete goals produce incomplete futures.

Measurable: Always set goals that are measurable. I would say “specifically measurable” to take into account our principle of being specific.

Attainable: One of the detrimental things that many people do—with good intentions—is setting goals that are so high that they are unattainable.

Realistic: The root word of realistic is “real.” A goal has to be something that we can reasonably make “real” or a “reality” in our lives. There are some goals that are simply not realistic. You have to be able to say, even if it is a tremendously stretching goal, that yes, indeed, it is entirely realistic—that you could make it. You may even have to say that it will take x, y and z to do it, but if those happen, then it can be done. This is in no way to say it shouldn’t be a big goal, but it must be realistic.

Time: Every goal should have a timeframe attached to it. One of the powerful aspects of a great goal is that it has an end—a time in which you are shooting to accomplish it. As time goes by, you work on it because you don’t want to get behind, and you work diligently because you want to meet the deadline. You may even have to break down a big goal into different parts of measurement and timeframes—that is OK. Set smaller goals and work them out in their own time. A S.M.A.R.T. goal has a timeline.

4. Have accountability.
When someone knows what your goals are, they hold you accountable by asking you to “give an account” of where you are in the process of achieving that goal. Accountability puts some teeth into the process. If a goal is set and only one person knows it, does it really have any power? Many times, no. A goal isn’t as powerful if you don’t have one or more people who can hold you accountable to it.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2015. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

5 Reasons Why Self-Motivated Learners Win at Life
Written by Jack Canfield

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. ~ Mahatma Ghandi

In Japan, the word for constant and never-ending improvement is kaizen. Not only is kaizen an operating philosophy for modern Japanese businesses, it’s also the age-old philosophy of the warrior class—and it has become the personal mantra of millions of successful people all over the world.

All the world-class achievers I’ve ever met – whether in business, sports, or the arts – are committed to continual improvement. They understand that in order to succeed in an ever-changing world, they must always be learning and evolving.

They don’t wait until external influences – such as a teacher, manager or boss, or new developments within an industry – force them to gain new skills or knowledge. They are self-motivated learners who are constantly looking for new ways to improve their performance and deepen their understanding of the world around them.

Are you a self-motivated learner?

Here are 5 ways to tell if you’re a self-motivated learner who has what it takes to achieve incredible success in life...

1. You learn because you WANT to, not because you think you “have” to

Are you a naturally curious person? Self-motivated learners tend to ask more questions and devote more time to discovering the answers. If you are the kind of person who actively pursues your personal interests, you’ll find it easier to naturally acquire the skills and knowledge you need to design a life that’s more in alignment with your goals and dreams.

2. You’re willing to admit you don’t know everything

Do you have a greater sense of self-awareness? Self-motivated learners tend to have a deeper understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses. If you view gaps in your knowledge as growth opportunities, you’ll be able to upgrade your skillset to achieve even higher levels of success.

3. You’re willing to take bigger risks – and get bigger results

Are you driven by a strong sense of personal achievement? Self-motivated learners thrive on accomplishment and have more confidence in their abilities because they are able to achieve so much on their own initiative. If you’re not afraid to leave your comfort zone and take big risks, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.

4. You’re more likely to finish what you start

Do you refuse to give up in the face of setbacks? When self-motivated learners experience challenges, they become even more determined to succeed! If you have a strong sense of personal accountability, you will naturally be better at managing your time and avoiding distraction – and will see your projects through to completion faster.

5. You’re always two steps ahead of the pack

Are you a naturally pro-active person? Self-achievers refuse to wait for changing circumstances to force them to adapt. If you are continually learning, you will be able to anticipate new developments long before they happen and thrive in an ever-changing world no matter what life throws your way.

How many times did you answer “Yes”?

If you answered “Yes!” to four or more of the questions above, congratulations! You are a self-motivated learner.

If you didn’t answer yes to most of the questions, the good news is that these habits can be developed over time.

All you need to do is make the commitment to become a self-motivated learner. Set aside a specific amount of time each week to expand your knowledge and upgrade your skillset – and stick to it!

The more you learn, the more you will naturally want to KEEP learning because of the huge positive impact it will have on your life and career.

Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul©Inspirational Books)© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com/.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Biggest Challenge You’ll Face as a Leader
Written by Jim Rohn

... is choosing the right people to help you reach your goals. Here are 4 tips to pick the good ones.

Once you've set a goal for yourself as a leader—whether it’s to create your own enterprise, energize your organization or lead your small team—the challenge is finding good people to help you accomplish that goal. Gathering a successful team of people is not only helpful, it's necessary.

To guide you in this daunting task of picking the right people, here’s a four-part checklist.

1. Check their background or history.
This might be the most obvious step, but it’s vitally important. Seek out available information regarding the individual's qualifications to do the job.

2. Check their interest level.
Once you’ve learned their qualifications, gauge the potential employee’s genuine interest. Sometimes people can fake their interest, but if you've been a leader for a while, you’ll be a capable judge of whether somebody is merely pretending.

Arrange face-to-face conversation and try to gauge his or her sincerity to the best of your ability. You won't hit the bull’s-eye every time, but you can get pretty good at spotting genuine interest. The most interested prospects are often good ones.

3. Check their responses.
A response tells you a lot about someone's integrity, character and skills. Listen for responses like these: "You want me to get there that early?" "You want me to stay that late?" "The break is only 10 minutes?" "I'll have to work two evenings a week and Saturdays?"

You can't ignore these clues. They indicate his or her character and often reveal how hard he or she will work. Our attitudes reflect our inner selves—so even if we can fool others for a while, our true selves eventually emerge.

4. Check results.
How else can we effectively judge an individual's performance? The final judge must be results—and there are two types of results to look for.

The first type is work activity, and it's simple to follow up on. Within a sales organization, you can request a new salesman make 10 calls his first week. If he starts telling a story or makes excuses for poor results when you follow up on his progress, it’s a definite sign. If his lack of activity continues, you'll soon realize that he may not be capable of being a member of your team.

The second area you need to monitor is productivity. The ultimate test of a quality team is measurable progress in a reasonable amount of time. Be up front with your team as to what you expect them to produce. Don't let the surprises come later.

When you're following this four-part checklist, your instincts play a major role, and they will improve each time you go through the process.

Remember, building a successful team will be one of your most challenging tasks as a leader. The good news is that it will reap you multiple rewards for a long time to come.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2015. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.