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Do anything in 90 days

What are some of your big goals? Do you want to earn a promotion? Write a book? Climb a mountain?

No matter how lofty your dreams, you can accomplish them—or make significant strides—in 90 days. It’s all about your mindset. If you put a certain goal at the center of your priorities, you can achieve great things in just three months.

Speaker and author, David Horsager, calls this your 90-Day Quick Plan.

The idea behind creating a 90-Day Quick Plan is this: accomplish one concrete goal in 90 days, using a step-by-step strategy. Horsager claims that 90 days is the “sweet spot” for achieving your goals. It’s a meaningful amount of time, yet not so long that the goal will slip away from you. So, how do you start making significant changes in 90 days?

The first step is to create a tangible goal (or up to three). Horsager advises against focusing on more than three priorities. Otherwise, you’ll be spreading yourself too thin. Ask yourself, “Where am I right now?” and “Where do I want to be in 90 days?”

Then, ask yourself the most important question of all: “Why do I want to make this change or reach this goal?” If you have a clear why, then you’ll have the motivation to accomplish your goal(s) in 90 days. For instance, why do you want to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle? Is it so you can be around for your children or grandchildren in 25 years? Is it so you can feel more confident about yourself?

Another example: Why do you want to learn how to create a website? Is it so your business can grow and blossom? Is it because you want to keep your mind fresh and young?

Whatever reason you choose for your “why” is, of course, a personal one and it should be at the very core of your motivation.

After you’ve figured out your goals and why you’d like to achieve them, ask yourself how you are going to get there. Horsager says to be very specific; make a detailed plan and ask yourself how you’re going to stick to it. He advises people to get extremely detailed with their plan by continuously asking themselves, “How, how, how?”

For instance, let’s say you would like to write the first 50 pages of your memoir within the next 90 days. How are you going to do that?

Maybe you’ll decide to write every day. (That’s great, but how?)

You’ll wake up at 5 a.m. every day and write for an hour. (Ok, excellent plan, but how are you going to hold yourself accountable?)

You will let your friends and family in on your plan so that you’ll be held accountable. (Great, now we’re getting somewhere!)

See the importance of how?

Once you have your plan in place (and you have a clear understanding of the why and the how), get started! You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish in 90 days.

Need help formulating your 90 day plan? Contact me for guidance.

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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best-work-year-yet

It’s the New Year (how did that happen?)! It’s time for a fresh start and a clean slate mentality. It’s time for your best work year yet. If you believe you can do it, you’re already part of the way there!

How will you shine this year in your career-related endeavors? Start with gratitude and go from there…

Why gratitude? When you focus on being grateful, you focus on what’s going right–the things you do NOT need to change. In terms of your career, what’s going well? Do you like your boss or coworkers? Are you hitting it out of the park with creative solutions? Has your number of clients increased over the last year?

If you’re having trouble coming up with a list of positive aspects of your job, that may be a sign that you’re ready for a significant change. If that’s the case, you may need to completely re-strategize and enlist the help of a career coach.

If, however, you can identify several positive areas of your current job, that’s great! It’s easier to refocus and re-energize your current position than it is to seek something entirely new.

Once you’ve considered the good elements of your current job, think about the areas of opportunity. Write a list of all the things you’d like to achieve, no matter how impossible they seem at the moment. Maybe you want to increase your sales revenue this year. Or find more leadership opportunities. Or earn a promotion. This is your chance to jot down all your hopes and dreams for yourself.

After you make your list, circle your highest priority item. Then, mark your second-highest priority item, your third, your fourth, etc. It’s best to focus on only one item at a time and do it RIGHT. Think about what you need to do to achieve that goal. What steps do you need to take? What support will you need?

After considering your main goal, draw up a timeline. Be sure to include mileposts along the way (and remind yourself to celebrate whenever you hit a milepost!).

Then, STICK TO IT.

Easier said than done, I know. This is where your support network comes into play. Talk openly about your goal(s) with your trusted friends, spouse, and coworkers. Ask for their help and guidance. Ask a few of them to check in with you every once in a while to make sure you’re on track. And if someone in your support network comes to you for assistance, be sure to return the favor.

Your stick-to-it attitude is what is ultimately going to make this the best work year ever for you. You have the talent. You have the support. All you need is a clear direction, a plan for the year, and a good support system.

Let’s make 2017 the best work year yet!

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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Nelson Mandela quote

What are your deepest hopes? Where do you ideally see yourself in your career and personal life? What’s holding you back?

Hopes can be big and ambitious–you may hope to change your career, make a difference in the world, or overcome a fundamental personality challenge (such as low self-confidence). Or, hopes can be modest. Perhaps you simply hope to appreciate others more fully or use your creativity more often.

No matter how lofty or humble your hopes may be, they are POWERFUL and WORTH PURSING. 

Recognize that your hopes are important and take the time to reflect and consider them. Make a list of your hopes (no matter how small!) and figure out which ones are most urgent–the ones you’d like to pursue first.

Keep in mind: hopes are only the beginning. They are the catalysts that spur you to act. Use them to light your fire!

How can you turn hopes into reality? One of the ways to hold yourself accountable for pursuing your hopes is to share them. Meet with a trusted confidant and tell her about your hopes and what you’d like to achieve. Let her know that you’re serious about bringing your hopes to life and that you’d like her help as an accountability partner. Check in regularly.

Need help articulating your hopes? Or, do you need guidance with developing a plan to achieve your hopes and goals? Feel free to contact me today and let’s get started!

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, AUTHOR, INSIGHTS®DISCOVERY LICENSED PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. SHE HOSTS WORKSHOPS FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED CAREER OR PERSONAL GUIDANCE. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

 

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Back to Business with UXL

Are you ready for Back to Business time? Photo Credit: GarrettSpecialties.com

Summer is winding to a close. Kids are heading back to school; vacation time is over. For many businesses, this is the time to buckle down and start ramping up for a strong fourth quarter. But sometimes it’s just plain difficult to switch back into work mode. What can you do when your head says, “You should work now,” but your heart is still enjoying lazy afternoons in the sun? Not toe mention, if you have children you have to completely revamp your evenings (from relaxed family dinners to homework/sports/after-schools activities time). How can you effectively deal with the dramatic shift? Here is a list of four suggestions to get Back to Business:

  1. Set goals and make a plan to achieve them. I’m all about goal-setting. Goals give you a concrete objective to work toward, rather than just “showing up” and expecting you’ll do something in the office today. When you set a goal, make sure you also set a deadline. Then, outline the steps you’ll need to take in order to achieve the goal on time. When you step into the office every day, ask yourself, “What do I need to do today to reach my goals?”
  2. Visualize yourself working. Seriously! This is a technique athletes use all the time: They close their eyes and picture themselves running down the field, breaking open, taking that game-winning shot. Visualization is a proven tool that helps bolster concentration and motivation. You can use the same technique! Just find a quiet space and spend five to ten minutes thinking about your day and what you’re going to do to make it successful.
  3. Make a list. Similar to goal-setting, a daily list will give you a set of tangible objectives that you can accomplish. Write down even the small stuff—it feels good to cross them off!
  4. Use your summertime joy as fuel. Even though you might be disappointed that summer is winding down, you can still hang onto the summer sunshine! Your summer BBQs, vacations, and walks in the sun hopefully helped you feel rejuvenated and relaxed. Use that extra bit of rejuvenation as fuel in the coming months. One thing you can do: Post a picture on your desk of a favorite summer memory and glance at it whenever you need to “find your calm.”

Don’t be sad that summer is over; celebrate the fact that it happened! And, if working is ramping up, don’t forget to appreciate the fact that you have a job and that you are a much-needed piece of the company puzzle.

Good luck this fall and please, reach out to me if you’re struggling to find your feet at work.

-Margaret

MARGARET SMITH IS A CAREER COACH, LICENSED INSIGHTS DISCOVERY PRACTITIONER, FOUNDER OF UXL, AND CO-FOUNDER OF THE TAG TEAM. YOU CAN VISIT HER WEBSITE AT WWW.YOUEXCELNOW.COM

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