Goal Setting

3 Steps to Greatness

There are a million articles out there about resolutions, goals, and becoming a better you, so I'm not going to waste your time with a 12-step manifesto on the subject.

I am, however, going to highlight 3 very simple principles that everyone with long-term success shares:

1.) The Process creates the Results

You can't magically create a dozen new clients out of thin air. But you can create a process of making sales calls every day. And those sales calls will create clients throughout the year.

You also can't run a marathon, do 250 push-ups, or lose 30 lbs today. But you can make jogging (or doing some push-ups, or eating a little better) part of your daily routine.

The process is what you can actually affect; it's what you have control over - day after day - for the rest of your life.

2.) Small to Big

You don't have to think about giant numbers, like making 20 sales calls per day, or running 5 miles at a time.

It's better to start small. Very small. Tiny.

How many sales calls are you making today? Zero? Then let's start with 1. The action of dialing the phone and making that 1 call is huge, even though 1 is a small number.

One isn't a lot by itself. But the process of making 1 per day quickly becomes 5 per week, and eventually compounds into 250 for the year. (and 250 is A LOT more than 0!)

After a while, when the process has become a normal part of your routine, you can consider increasing the numbers - maybe you make 2 calls on odd-numbered days and 1 call on the even-numbered days. If you get comfortable with this and you still want to increase your business, you can move up to 2 calls everyday, and so on.

It's no different for push-ups (try doing 10, or even 5, to start with), running (start out with a mile, or even 1 minute), and eating habits (try adding 1 carrot to your plate at lunch, or even just throwing away the last sip of your sugary soda instead of finishing the can.) You can level-up later once you get comfortable with the new process.

Start small, and grow to big over the long-term.

3.) Be Consistent

Repeating that itsy-bitsy little action over and over again is the difference between winning and losing at your goals.

Consistency is what converts that new action into a habit, where it just becomes part of who you are and what you do. It’s also what allows those numbers (and successes) to accumulate and add up to bigger numbers.

Doing 100 push-ups today, but then not doing any more over the next 6 months, has the same long-term benefit as doing nothing at all. I’d rather have done a mere 10 push-ups a day during those same 6 months.

Conclusion

  • Consider the action (or process) - and not the end goal.

  • Make the action so small that it seems ludicrous, like it's too easy. It's so easy that it's a joke. (It's also so easy that you can, and will, succeed.)

  • Be consistent - do that little tiny action over and over (and over) again. (and again, and again.)

  • Grow the action (slowly) over time.

It doesn’t need to be a “Resolution”, as much as just doing something small to get a little bit better. And then doing it again.

Here’s to a successful 2019.

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- Chris Butterworth

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Writing and delivering a monthly e-Newsletter is not something that’s easy to start small, as it requires writing and sending the entire newsletter, each and every month. If keeping in touch with your friends and family is part of your business plan for 2019, I’d love to help. Check out 8DollarFarming and give me a shout!

 

2 Ways - to get in shape

There are 2 ways to achieve your “get in shape” goals.

1.) Work out. Once you’ve done your daily workout, you’ve been successful, and the rest of the day is easy. Over time you’ll get stronger and faster, and more “in shape.”

2.) Wage a constant war against yourself throughout the day, pitting pleasure against self-discipline.

  • Elevator, since I already worked out? But the stairs offer more exercise!

  • Full lunch, since I already worked out and I’m really hungry? But the small lunch will help me lose weight!

  • Ice cream on the couch after dinner, since I had a good day (or a stressful day)? Ice cream, really, when I’m trying to get in shape?!

The first way will get you most of the way there, and is black & white easy - you either succeeded or you failed, each day.

The second way will get you all the way to your goal, and much faster. But it will consume your life.

Both options beat doing nothing.

The best option is a combination of the two: exercise consistently, and make good choices throughout the day. (Notice I said good choices, not perfect choices.) “In shape” will come, slowly and over time. Work on the processes, the daily habits, the pattern of making good choices consistently - and the shape will follow; it won’t have a choice!

There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it - only that you do it. You cannot, under any circumstance, achieve your goals (or even make progress towards your goals) without doing the work. And consistent work over time beats short periods of hard work, every time.

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- Chris Butterworth

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And if making good choices all day long is exhausting, and you don’t have the mental energy left over to sit down and write your monthly e-Newsletter, let me do that for you. It’s what I’m really good at, and it’s why I created 8DollarFarming!

 

Stay on your Path

 

Stay on your Path

when visibility gets low.

Sometimes you can't see the forest through the trees. Other times you can't see it through the fog...

Clients, family, meetings, commitments, vacation, illness - there are many times when we get so busy we lose sight of the big picture, and it's all we can do to get through the day!

That's why it's good to have a plan - a path to follow - so you know what needs to be done each day in order to achieve your big-picture goals.

Then, once in awhile, you'll find a great vantage point on a sunny day, where you'll have a chance to see the big picture again and plan out the next stage of your journey.

- Chris Butterworth

More reading / Previous posts

11 Years of blogging - What have I learned?
1% Improvement
Other posts tagged Picture Quotes
1 year ago: What your email address says about you, part 2
2 years ago: Blogging on a schedule
100 posts ago: Setting expectations as a team

You have the time

I know you're busy. I get it.

Working long hours. Fighting traffic each way. Kids' obligations. Social obligations. After-hours emails. Cooking. Cleaning... Too much, too busy - not enough time!

image credit - flickr keso s

 

The thing is, you have the time.

What we have to ask instead is, "How important is it to you?" This thing that you don't have time for - how much does it really matter?

Let's take a look at a busy person's week:

There are 168 hours in a week. (7 Days in a week, and 24 Hours in a day)

If we work 50 hours a week and commute 45 minutes each way, 5 days a week, that's 57.5 hours accounted for.

If we sleep 8 hours a night, and spend a half hour each morning and each evening "getting ready for bed" or "waking up," that's 63 hours dedicated towards sleeping.

So, after getting ready for bed, sleeping, waking up, getting to work, working, and getting back home after work, we've used 120.5 hours, leaving us with 47.5 hours each week that we get to program - to use for whatever we deem most important.

47.5 hours, every single week, that we get to choose how to spend.

While you might be committed to Ashley's dancing and Connor's soccer (7 hours a week, between them), and it might be the case that cooking for your family is important to you (7 hours a week), That still leaves you with more than 33 hours per week.

Recap

After accounting for sleeping, getting ready, working, commuting, the kids' hobbies, and family dinners, there are still more than 33 hours each week that we get to choose what to do with!

I believe you when you say you're busy - that your life moves at breakneck speed.

But don't tell me you can't find 2-3 hours per week to exercise. Or a couple hours a week to learn a new language. Or a few hours to keep up with your blog.

You have the time. The question is, what are your priorities?

- Chris Butterworth

New Years Resolutions (audio)

Happy 2017 Everybody!

Image Credit - flickr william warby

 

Since resolutions are a thing this time of year, I thought it was worth a few minutes to take a look at them - from a slightly different angle.

** NOTE - this is not a highly polished podcast; this is a simple audio riff. It's me talking into my phone - without intro music or a sound production engineer. 

click for audio file

I don't do a great job of following a script, but I'll post the draft/outline below as well.

- Chris Butterworth

Draft / Outline for audio:

click here to listen

New Year's Resolutions
  • Lose Weight
  • Get in shape
  • More sales calls
  • quit Starbucks
  • quit smoking
  • Save more money
  • Spend less money
  • spend more quality time with the kids
ultimately - all resolutions are Changes in Habits , which is HARD.
you're asking yourself to spend energy on something which isn't necessarily rewarding or gratifying.
nobody makes a resolution to play more video games - that would be easy and fun, but won't make you a better you. We don't need resolutions to do the easy stuff.
We need resolutions to do the hard stuff. The stuff we know is important, but which we don't see any immediate gratification.
Waking up early is hard. much harder than sleeping in. And then, after waking up early you have to get motivated to go for a run. Ouch. Then, after you've spent a ton of mental motivation to get up and go running, you have to reward yourself with a low-calorie breakfast.
That sucks. It would be so much more enjoyable to sleep in and then have waffles and bacon for breakfast!
But your resolution of Losing Weight requires those hard-to-do habits of morning exercise and eating less food.
The question is: How bad do you want to lose weight?
If you can hold that goal in higher regard than the need for waffles, bacon, donuts, and a cafe mocha, then you'll eventually be successful.
The same holds true for all new habits - how important was your reason for creating the habit?
Nobody wants to wake up early and go running.
Nobody wants to do the dishes and clean up the kitchen after dinner, either. But if you're sick of living in a pig sty, cleaning up after dinner is a great habit for living in a clean house. If your enjoyment of a clean house is important to you, and you can think about how much you'll hate the house being dirty, then cleaning up after dinner is the required habit - it's the price you have to pay.
Keep your eye on the big picture - the reason you created the habit in the first place. And make sure the result you're after is the result you really want.
If it is, then the habit - the Resolution - will be a price you're willing to pay.
Conclusion - wrap it up..
If your resolution is to stay in touch with your friends, family, clients - 8DollarFarming is a great tool.

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Better get moving!

Photo Credit - flickr jesus monago

It takes a lot of steps to cross the bridge.

Each one is necessary, and equally important.

Better get moving!

Whatever you planned for 2017: Goals, Resolutions, Targets...

I doubt you can wait until the last minute and then cram-in a years' worth of results.

Better to get started now - one step at a time, until you cross this year's bridge.

- Chris Butterworth