Setting SMART Goals

Setting SMART Goals

 

Hey family! Sorry for the hiatus I’ve been working on a lot of new projects and a lot of work that’s been keeping me fairly busy.  But I’m back, and hopefully I’m back for good.

I’m blessed to have a circle of people that love to talk about goals and the things that they want to accomplish.  What are your goals?  What are the things you’re willing to go the extra mile to get accomplished?  I love to hear about other people’s goals and ambitions, but the one thing I notice is that most of the time when I hear a goal, they lack structure & clarity.  They are usually vague, have no clear endpoint, time frame or a combination of three.  This sense of false clarity makes it impossible to get anything done because 1.) it isn’t specific (Ex: I want to lose weight) or 2.) It doesn’t specific when exactly the goal has been accomplished (I want to be a better public speaker).

If your goals are like this, there’s an useful acronym I’d like to introduce to you.  Following these simple guidelines will instantly evolve your goals from basic to SMART.

 

  • Specific – Make your goal specific and make what you want to do crystal clear
  • Measurable – This goal should a have a tangible endpoint
  • Attainable – While you do want your goals to force you to stretch, you should still be able to actually achieve them
  • Results-Oriented – Your goal should measure an outcome, not an activity
  • Time-Bound –Your goal should have a specific date to create a sense of urgency

Following these guidelines make your goals more defined and specific; and this will make them to focus on.  Having a better idea of what exactly you want and need to do, makes it easier on the mind to focus on the things that do matter and to remove the things that don’t.

Do you have 5 goals that you need to make SMART?  Hopefully this helps you out in your own personal life and journey.

Until next time,

Nahum

How to Learn a New Skill

How to Learn a New Skill

What’s something you’ve always wanted to do?  Ever been interested in learning how to play piano, how to snowboard, or how to deliver a great speech? These things to do take time, but they may not take as much time as you think.  In order to grow, you need to continually update your skill.  Overtime, you need to be constantly updating your skills so you remain valuable while the times change.  At first glance, learning a new skill looks daunting and seems like it will take a lot of work that you may not feel like investing. But by breaking it down to three smaller steps, you’ll see that it may not be as hard as you once thought.

 

Get Over the Mental Hump

Before even attempting to learn a new skill, or trying to adopt a lifestyle of just learning new things you need to have the proper mindset first.  The first thing you need to understand and fully accept is that learning a new skill is not easy.  In fact, it can be very challenging. But you have to accept and take it on straight on.  One of the best things you can do is pre-commit.  Mentally commit yourself to dedicating however much time it takes to learn the skill.  If you go in with a “dabbler’s mindset”, you’ll always seek the easy way, because you always had.  It’s better to assume the worst for yourself.  Plan to learn as if you know future is going to be lazy, unmotivated, and unwilling to put the work in.  By committing yourself to putting the work in and setting up your environment in a way that promote success; you’ll prevent failure.

Make it Specific

Why do you want to learn this skill?  Defining your goal will help you save a lot of time and energy every time.  There is a huge difference between the time it takes to become a world-class chef and being able to provide a quality meal for your family.  A great way to define this is by asking yourself, “What is the problem I’m trying to solve by learning this skill?” or “Why is the skill important to me?” Again if you’re learning to play the piano to play at your families next get together, you probably won’t need to put as much as work in as someone that wants to backup Bruno Mars on his next world tour.

Breakdown the Skill

Once you have your skill and you’ve made it as clear as possible, you need to make it even clearer than that.  Many big skills such as public speaking, playing the guitar, or even painting a portrait are just made up of smaller skills.  For example, I’m a blogger; however I don’t just blog.  I have to write, research, network, use social media, understand SEO, master WordPress, understand basic photo-editing skills, and apply basic development skills such as discipline and perseverance.  If you’re someone that wants to become a better blogger, focusing on each piece individually elevates you as a blogger in general.  The trick to doing this however is understanding that you don’t have to do everything.  The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your results come from 20% of the work you do.  So, in the case of the blogger I would put a bigger focus on the 20% of skills that are more crucial to my success.

Practice!!!!!!!!!!

So you’ve specified the skill, then you broke it down into smaller skills.  What now?  From here, watch three videos online or read three books on the skill.  This will help you figure out what the most crucial skills/concepts are, then DROP THE BOOKS AND START PRACTICING.  You must understand that anything that stops you from deliberately practicing the skill is a distraction, and too much learning can be one of those distractions.  Your brain is muscle and like a muscle it must be worked and trained in order to perform better.  Like a muscle, you must also understand that you can’t get the all the results you want in the short-term. You must put the work in day-by-day and consistently and then you will get the results you are looking for. If you need assistance on creating the best days possible feel free to check out my previous post on daily planning here.

 

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Visionary 101: The 3 Parts of A Vision

Visionary 101: The 3 Parts of A Vision

I think a visionary is one of the most mid understood occupations in the world today.  Anyone can be one, but not everyone can do it well.  Webster defines a visionary as “a person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like”.  A visionary can also be used as an adjective where it would mean, “thinking about or planning the future with imagination or wisdom.”  Again, by that definition anyone and everyone is a visionary.  But a true visionary doesn’t live his life by just thinking about the future, but by also taking the actions to change it for the better.  As one of my brothers once said, “There’s no use in being woke if you’re the only one that benefits from it.”  While you may have your great ideas, concepts, and ideologies; it’s all useless if you don’t actually do anything with.

There are three parts to every vision:The vision, communication, and execution.  The vision part is self-explanatory.  I really wanted to focus in on the second two parts   A visionary not only sees the future, they make others see it as well, and with the help of others they make it come to life.

Look no further than Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream speech” to how much a well-communicated speech can move people to make change happen.  Prior to that day, there wasn’t one person know exactly what King’s picture for the future was.  However, after the fact it was clear as day to the 250,000 civil rights supporters that attended that day.  King was able to get his vision across to the supporters because he was able to do the five things you need to communicate as powerful as possible:

  1. Inspire
  2. Challenge
  3. Make it Clear
  4. Make it Task Specific
  5. Make it We Focused

When people understand your vision, they become inspired to do whatever it takes no matter whatever the challenge is.  By making it clear and making people feel involved; they go from hearing about it to becoming a part of it.  As Eddie Connor Jr. says, “Get to know people that are pro your vision because they will ensure your “provision”.

A vision & execution go hand in hand.  They stand together well alone, but when combined their effectiveness multiples.  Strategic execution is having everyone in your organization internalize your strategy in their daily thinking, actions and behaviors.  Think about the most influential people in history.  Their true power didn’t lie in what they themselves were able to accomplish, but with they were able to accomplish collectively with other people. As a visionary you must continue to remain focused.  Check out my blog post on how to improve your focus by clicking here to remain.  Once you have the vision and you have your team, it’s time to work!

 

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Goals. System. Follow Through.

Goals. System. Follow Through.

Money comes easy when you do two things

Simplify and organize. 

Allowing your money to  move beyond you and what you are able to control is a recipe for disaster. While life would be a lot better with a personal accountant who could just do all of that for us, majority of us don’t need that at all.  By knowing what you want to do with your money, with some simple planning and organization you’ll be able to get where you want in no time. Set Goals.  Make a System.  Follow through with your system.  Eventually, I’ll go deeper into this but until then eat, breathe, and sleep this statement. “Set Goals.  Make a System.  Follow through with the system.” Getting rid of the clutter, and clearing the path will make this journey a whole lot easier.

Rich Dad Poor Dad Takeways

Rich Dad Poor Dad Takeways

“Money is not the goal.  Money has no value.  The value comes from the dreams money helps you achieve” – Robert Kiyosaki

 

Rich Dad Poor Dad is one of my favorite books on personal finance. Scratch that, it is  THE book on personal finance. I am going to highlight what I think are the most important points of the book, I think it is worth going through and actually reading through the book for yourself.  I am a firm believer that your mindset dictates your net worth, not the money itself.  Robert Kiyosaki does an excellent job of pointing out limited beliefs and barriers you should be aware of and then points you in the right direction.

My 3 key takeaways from the book are

Stop Slaving for Money

Getting your finances under control begins with understanding the differences between your wants and your needs. Unfortunately, this step is overlooked repeatedly because of the simplicity of it.  I love this way the bible puts it: “the love of money is the root of evil”. Getting money for the sake of having money is unnecessary and foolish when you step back and look at the big picture.  Kiyosaki goes on to explain that money is not something you just have, it’s simply a tool to get something else. That something else could be rent money, a down payment on a home, or money being saved up to finally start the business you wanted.

For the next month, question everything you buy.  Honestly ask yourself whether you need it or not.  The line can get blurry because it’s easy to mistake our wants for things we believe we need.  Rich dad Poor Dad does a good job of helping you differentiate the two. By understanding the things that you need and spending less on the things that you want, you’ll be setting the foundation necessary to get set financially.

Understand where you are now and where you want to be on the matrix

When you start to work for money, you end up one part of the matrix Kiyosaki introduces in his book.  There are two ways you can earn money: Passively or Actively.  When you earn money actively, the amount you make depends on something you do.  An example of this is having a job.  When you earn money passively, you could take the whole year off in Mexico on vacation and still be earning money.  An example of this would be when an artist makes money earning royalties every time a radio station plays their song.  From there you have four different types of people.  You can be an employee, which means you work for your money at a job.  You can be self-employed, which means you have a business, but you’re the only that works it as well.  You can be a business owner, which means that you own a system which helps you leverage your own growth.  And the last step would be to become an investor, which is where your money does all the work for you.  Investors use their money, to invest in businesses or the stock market, which then makes money for you.

Develop your financial literacy

Financial worries can simply come from not understanding them.  There are different aspects to finances you can learn, such as: accounting, history, taxes etc. The main thing to understand is: like anything you want to master, you must continue to learn and practice to get better at handling your finances.  That’s the just the way it is.

One of the key takeaways from this book is the understanding of how the rich think about money and how the poor think about money.  The rich buy assets that make money for them therefore taking care of their liabilities.  The poor buy assets they “think” are assets (cars, houses, clothes) and those liabilities drain them of their main asset “cash”.  This process puts them in a never ending circle of working just for their liabilities, never to actually build their assets.

3 Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills

3 Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills

No matter where you go, you’ll need to be able to communicate– whether it be with a group of people, or a presentation in front of hundreds .  The key to  improving your communication is to remember the reason you communicate in the first place.  When we communicate, we are trying to dig deeper into someone by talking to them.  Tips can be helpful but maintaining that mindset can be a whole lot helpful.

Listen

The number one issue with communication is people generally fail to listen.  A lot of people hear what’s being said without actually understanding what’s being said.  Listening with the intent of understanding is called active listening.  Strive to be an active listener because this makes a conversation much easier and smoother.  When you imagine a conversation as a game of ping-pong; a conversation that flows is similar to two people who hit the ball back and forth to each other with ease. The game flows because the players flow.  When you don’t actively listen it’s as if one player serves the ball to one person and then the other person instead of just hitting the ball, stops it and then re-serves it; hence the awkward conversations.

Don’t think of what to say

Spending the conversation trying to think of what to say distracts you from the conversation.  I was a big offender of this.  I had social anxiety when I was younger, so when speaking to someone after the usual “what’s up” or “how’ve you been?”,  I was at a loss for words so I instantly started thinking of new conversations and topics to talk about; instead of listening and participating in the conversation at hand.  When it was my turn to speak, I would have nothing to talk about, so I would use up all of the topics I had in queue.  Please don’t make the mistake I did.  You’d be surprised at how much just listening makes conversations more enjoyable.

Seek to Understand

The overall goal of communicating is to understand the person you’re talking to.  People give clues about who they truly when they speak.  When they laugh at certain things, when they become more defensive at certain points, when they can’t stop talking about a certain someone; these all give you clues to who they really are. Not only their name and what they do, but their motivations and beliefs.  What drives them?  Why do they do what they do?  This is why relationship experts recommend new couples to spend as much as possible communicating.  When you’re in the honeymoon phase, it’s easy to get caught up in physical characteristics and everything on the surface. Conversation is meant to be the counter to that.

Did I miss any thing?  What has helped you become a better communicator? Feel free to comment below.

New Year, New Me

New Year, New Me

Happy New Year Family! I pray you all are as excited for the new year as I am.  2017 is going to be great year I can feel it.

With the new year coming in, you’ve most likely heard the saying “New Year, New Me”.  With the passing of the 2016, most of us want to look past it and start with a clean slate.  So with that being said, who is the “new you”?  While we do want to move past 2016, we forget to define what we want to be in 2017.  To put you on the right track, I wanted to discuss the concept of branding for a moment.

What is A Brand?  A Brand is a definition of who you are, through the eyes of others.  When you think about Nordstrom, what comes to mind?  When you think of Donald Trump, what comes to mind?  When you think about Apple, what comes to mind.  These experiences, feelings, and opinions you have about what I just named comes together to form a brand. Always remember, first impressions really do matter, but most of the time our brands are actually the ones that do the talking for us; and without the proper brand management theres a good chance your first impression wont be the best one.

If know anything about branding, you’ll most likely hear this word associated with companies such as Apple.  Right now, they have the most valuable brand, which in dollar terms comes out to about 154 billion dollars.  That have 154 billion dollars basically because they make their customers feel good about their products.  I don’t think this really merits any proof, just check out the thousands of people who line up waiting for the iPhone when it’s released.  How many times have you ever heard someone say “I would buy _____ cause it’s apple” or “Apple made _____ so it must be the legit”.

A brand is simply a promise that make you to anyone that would want something from you.  So for the year of 2017 what will be your brand?  Instead of just hoping 2017 is good year, let’s make it a good one.