4 New Year’s Resolutions You Should Consider Making

Now that the Christmas rush is over the attention turns to 2016.

In consideration of the goals that you may be looking to set in 2016, l am pleased to suggest four New Year’s resolutions you should consider making.

1.Get More “Social” With Your Social Media.

People ConnectionsSocial Media is a game changer.  It allows us to connect instantly with anyone around the globe.  However, as great of a communication tool that social media in all its forms can be, it can also isolate us from the “person to person” communication so vital to creating the real and lasting connections that can truly help us get things done.

Therefore, resolve with me this year:

  • To make a phone call rather than send a text.
  • To use your mobile devices to create a short video to explain your point rather than to write a post.
  • To acutely meet your LinkedIn connections; discovering how you can be of assistance to them.

2. Never let “I don’t have enough time” be an excuse for not getting things done.

Man looking at the clockWhen the clock turns midnight on January 1st, we will all have the same 525 600 minutes to make our dreams, wishes, goals and accomplishments come true.  So the question is, why will some people get stuff done during those 15,493 hours 20 minutes and many others will not?  Yes, the answer between getting things done or not, often comes down to ability or money.  However, it should never come down to time.  We should be the master of our time instead of having time master us.

Therefore, resolve with me this year:  

  • To account for our time by using a planner to schedule our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities.
  • To be responsible for our time by vowing to make our meetings better. Use an agenda to make sure the most important items are covered while being committed to the revolutionary notion of starting and ending our meetings on time.
  • To take advantage of our time by looking for ways to be more efficient. With a dedication to making technology work of us instead of us working for technology. All the while, understanding that multitasking, despite how much technology is designed to give us that advantage, actually creates more inefficiencies.  It actually causes us to use more time than our “multitasking” efforts will achieve.

3. Be willing to mentor and be mentored.

MenatoringKnowledge is the key to becoming better at what we do and how we do it.  Knowledge is best obtained with experience guided by mentors.  A mentor is a person or friend who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behaviors. An effective mentor understands that his or her role is to be dependable, engaged, authentic, and tuned into the needs of the mentee.  We need more effective mentoring in our lives.

Therefore, resolve with me this year:  

  • To freely share our knowledge and experiences with others.
  • To become a thought leader by writing blogs on LinkedIn and other social media.
  • To challenge ourselves with an active learning life highlighted by reading articles, books and whitepapers. Also, by attending lectures, seminars and webinars.

4. Set goals instead of making resolutions.

Research from the University of Scranton suggests Set Goals Hand Red Markerthat just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions

So why do so many people fail at these resolutions?  Well the answer is simple. Resolutions are merely wishes, however, setting goals make our wishes a reality.

Therefore, resolve with me this year to set goals that are:  

  • Clear and Simple. Instead of developing a large list of aspirational goals, create a set of small, yet, attainable goals. With the clarity these goals can bring, the accomplishments will come.
  • Set Tangible Goals. If you can’t measure it, you can’t achieve it.
  • Advertise Your Goals. Letting people know what you are up to is a powerful way to gain the support you will need to get things done. Announcing your goals is a great way to build accountability, especially, in the Social Media era.

Final Thoughts

The New Year is filled with hope, opportunity and promise. And despite the ups and downs that will come, I am confident that with vision, perseverance, and hard work we not only reach but exceed our God given potential.

 

Have a happy and productive New Year!!! 

Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

January 2015Welcome to January! How are your New Year’s resolutions going? A recent Gallop survey indicates that nearly 90% of all New Year’s resolutions are broken by the end of January.

So, how do you make your resolutions stick? It may sound crazy; but, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah Winfrey don’t make any resolutions. Instead they make goals.

Goals can transform those vague, often unattainable resolutions into solid actionable plans that become real and attainable.

The goal of this post is to build the case for goal making; enabling you to make those New Year’s Resolutions Stick.

The Case For Setting Goals

  1. Goals Makes Things Happen

Written goals with a target date for accomplishment is the catalyst for making things happen.

Resolution: I want to find a new job.

Goal: I will find a new job by September 1, 2015.

A written goal with an accomplishment date is an external representation of your inner desires. It is a constant reminder of what you need to accomplish.

 2, Goals Bring Focus to Dreams

Dreams are a powerful force in our lives. New Year’s Resolutions are a direct by product of our vision for a better future.

However, dreams and resolutions lack the focus needed to make them happen. Goals can bring that focus.

Dream/Resolution: “I want to find a new job.”

Goal: I will have a new job by September 1, 2015. The job will be within 40 miles of my current home and will pay at least 90K.

Notice how much more focused the goal statement is and it gives the dream a fighting chance to be accomplished.

  1. Goals Trump Failure  

Resolutions are normally an all or nothing proposition. Almost 90% of our sincere attempts at improvement ends in disappointment.

Goal setting provides a safety net against the mayhem that will accompany our efforts when we fail. By establishing a target it allows us opportunity to simply readjust, recommit and move on. A luxury that the all or nothing resolution cannot give us.

Look at the chart below. A goal and target date has been set. The chart shows how the resolution of finding a job is doing one month later.

Job Goal 1

Goal charting is an excellent way to stay on track and to readjust our goals when things go wrong.

  1. Goals Can Bring Help

Going solo is a big reason for the failure of many resolutions.

For example look at this resolution: “I will exercise more this year.” The nature of this resolution “I”, has the “go it alone” approach. This resolution is already doomed for failure.

Take a look at the next goal chart. We will take this one a few steps further. We have included others; which will increase the likelihood of accomplishing our goal.

Exercise Goal2

The simple act of taking the resolution and detailing the steps needed for accomplishment will provide the help we need.

  1. Goals Are S.M.A.R.T

The hardest part of converting a resolution into a goal is writing it. The most effective goals are SMART. A SMART goal is should be specific and measurable. It should also be attainable, relevant and time based. Click on this link to use the S.M.A.R.T chart as a way to get started in writing goals that will stick.

In 2015 Your Resolutions Will Stick!  

Henry David Thoreau said “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”

Our resolutions are dreams. We imagine a better life than we are living now; but, it is up to us to successfully bring those images to existence. Get the confidence you need. Make your resolutions stick by turning them into goals that will be accomplished.

©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland

Note: This blog contains material form Marben’s new workshop: Goal Set Your Life!!! An action packed seminar designed to give you simple yet, effective tools to live the life you imagined.

Call Marben today at (608) 358-1309 to set up this or other informative seminars for your office, church or civic group.

Marben Bland is a certified project manager, steeped in Six Sigma and Lean methodologies. His unique background in the military, business and the faith community gives him the experience, plus the credibility to obtain results for you in a wide range of consulting, training and speaking assignments.

Contact Marben today (608) 358-1309, marben@marbenbland.com for a free assessment of your needs.

 

 

6 Moves To Turbocharge Your Career in 2015

Welcome to 2015! A brand new year to be all we can be! As we pursue our yearlong quest for optimal personal productivity, many of us make New Year’s resolutions.

Instead of making resolutions I set goals. Because the goals you set today are the actions you keep for the year.   Tomorrow in this spot I will discuss the importance of goal setting to get things done in this New Year.

Regardless of your stance on resolutions, we can all make career moves. Career moves are simple adjustments to way we conduct ourselves in our professional and personal lives. So, on this first day of a sparkling New Year; here are 6 moves guaranteed to turbocharge your career in 2015.

Move #1: Be Flexible

The odds are that the way you’ll do work on January 1st of 2015 will not be the way you’ll be doing work on December 31st of 2015. In a recent Gallop poll more than 50% of employees responded by saying they have experienced “significant change” in the way they worked in the past 12 months.

From reorganizations to new workflows, and layoffs; change is a big part of the workplace. Make sure you are flexible. Your boss will see that you are someone who can get the job done. No matter what’s happening around you.

Move #2: Stay Current

Keep up with trends in your industry by either reading trade, business and general publications or checking out online sources. Then, take what you have learned and apply it to solve problems in your workplace. It will make you a more valued employee.

 Move # 3: Strengthen Your Network

In today’s workplace sandbox everyone has to play well with others. Fitting within the network of the workplace is a part of the new definition of a great employee. The idea that you can be an individual contributor and be successful is an idea of the past. Why? Look at the numbers, research from the Corporate Executive Board indicates that 40% of all employees work with more than 20 people on a given day; and more than 80% work with at least 10 people. It is arithmetic! People who can build strong networks on the job and outside of the job have a big leg up in getting things done.   Next week in this space I will review ways to power up your networking.

Move # 4: Seek Leadership Opportunities

No matter how small, large, trivial or daunting the task may seem; pursue a strategy to actively seek opportunities for leadership. For example: chairing employee teams, or leading projects. “Be selective about taking on leadership assignments; but, aggressively seek them,” says General Colin Powell. “There’s a difference between begging for these opportunities and raising your hand,” he warns, “but if someone says there’s a job to be done, raise your hand first and then ask for help. Powell ended by saying, “The biggest mistake a person who would like to get ahead or stay employed can make is passing up the opportunity to lead.”

Move # 5: Make Friends with the IT Guy

Technology is the lifeblood of a productive workplace. According to the Corporate Executive Board the average number of work-related emails we receive each day has increased fourfold since 2005; underscoring the explosive importance of technology in the office. This makes the IT Guy and the IT department, not just another employee or department; but a vital part of the workforce.

However, don’t stop with making nice with just the IT Guy. Making friends with admins is an important move as well. In the 2015 workplace power, authority and decision making is cropping up in some unexpected places.

Administrative assistants are at the center of it all. Underestimating their authority—or missing the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with the IT Guy or the admins is something no employee can afford to do.

Move #6: Become A Thought Leader

A thought leader is an individual that is recognized in and out of the company as an authority in selected areas of specialization, making that person a go-to source.

Strategy consultant Dorie Clark, wrote in the Harvard Business Review 6 steps on How to became a Thought Leader; 3 of those steps include creating a robust online presence, networking, and public speaking.

I urge you to read this post to discover the secrets of sharing the knowledge you already have with the world as a thought leader. In the post you will learn that good employees are nice to have; but thought leaders are irreplaceable — and indispensable.

The Bottom Line: You are the Turbocharger

You are much more than an employee. You are flexible. You are a networker; a leader and a thought leader — you are a turbocharger!!!! A turbocharger knows that the arc of your career is in your hands. In other words you are in control.

Happy New Year!!!! Go out and make 2015 your best year ever!!!

©Copyright 2015 Marben Bland

Need an inspiring speaker for a seminar, workshop or conference keynote? Let’s talk! My unique background in the military, business and the faith communities allows me to speak effectively on many topics of interest to your audience. From a project management seminar to stirring speech about the importance of leadership. I can give a presentation that will leave your audience entertained and informed. Call me today at (608) 358-1309 or email me marben@marbenbland.com

Marben Bland is a business strategist professional speaker, faith leader and writer. Specializing in assisting business with the acquisition of human and financial capital along with the strategies required to succeed in the marketplace. Find more post at www.marbenbland.com

6 Moves to Turbocharge Your Career in 2013

Welcome to 2013, a brand new year to be all we can be!  As we pursue our yearlong quest for optimal personal productivity, many of us make New Year’s resolutions.  In my post 3 Goals for 2013 I talked about the importance of setting goals instead of making resolutions.  Because the goals you set today are the resolutions you keep for the year.   But, if you are not into resolutions or goals how about a-to-do list?  That’s right a simple listing of things that you want to get accomplished in the New Year.  So as we unpack this sparkling New Year I am proud to present for your consideration a 6 item to-do list for 2013.

Be Flexible

The odds are that the way you’ll do work on January 1st of 2013 won’t be the way you’ll be doing work on December 31st of 2013.  In a recent Gallop poll more than 50% of employees responded by saying they have experienced “significant change” in the way they do work in the past 12 months.  From reorganizations to new workflows to layoffs change is a big part of the workplace.  Make sure that you are flexible so your boss sees you are someone who can get the job done no matter what’s happening around you.

Stay Current

Keep up with trends in your industry by either reading trade, business and general publications or checking out online sources.  Then take what you have learned and apply it to solve problems in your workplace.  It will make you a more valued employee.

Strengthen Your Network

In today’s workplace sandbox everyone has to play well with others. Fitting within the network of the workplace is a part of the new definition of a great employee.  The idea that you can be an individual contributor and be successful is an idea of the past. Why?  Look at the numbers, research from the Corporate Executive Board indicates that 40% of all employees work with more than 20 people on a given day, and more than 80% work with at least 10 people.  Its arithmetic!  People who can build strong networks on the job and outside the job have a big leg up in the getting things done department.   Read my post 5 Ways to Power Up Your Networking in 2013 for tips on strengthening your network.

Seek Leadership Opportunities

Pursue a strategy to actively seek opportunities for leadership including chairing employee teams, or leading projects no matter how small and trivial or large and daunting the task may seem. “Be selective about taking on leadership assignments….but aggressively seek them,” says General Colin Powell.  “There’s a difference between begging for these opportunities and raising your hand,” he warns, “but if someone says there’s a job to be done, raise your hand first and then ask for help. Powell ended by saying, “The biggest mistake a person who would like to get ahead or stay employed can make is passing up the opportunity to lead.”

Make Friends with the IT Guy

Technology is the lifeblood of a productive workplace. According to the Corporate Executive Board the average number of work-related emails we receive each day has increased fourfold since 2005, underscoring the explosive importance of technology in the office. This makes the IT Guy and the IT department not just another employee or department but a vital part of the workforce. Don’t stop making nice with just the IT Guy, making friends with admins is an important move as well. In the workplace of 2013 power, authority and decision making is cropping up in some unexpected places. And administrative assistants are at the center of it all. Underestimating their authority—or missing the opportunity to develop a strong relationship with the IT Guy or the admins is something no employee can afford to do.

Become a Thought Leader

A thought leader is an individual that is recognized in and out of the company as an authority in selected areas of specialization, making that person a go-to source.  Strategy consultant Dorie Clark, writing in the Harvard Business Review outlines 6 steps on How to became a Thought Leader, 3 of those steps include creating a robust online presence, networking, and public speaking.  I urge you to read this post to discover the secrets of sharing the knowledge you already have with the world as a thought leader.  In the post you will learn that good employees are nice to have but thought leaders are irreplaceable — and indispensable.

The Bottom Line: It is all up to you

You a much more than an employee you are flexible, you are a networker, you are a leader and you are a thought leader.  The arc of your career is in your hands and the first step in this process is knowing that you are in control. Working with this 6 item to-do list for 2013 can give you the confidence if you need it along with an achievement roadmap to get ahead, stay on the job or get a new job.  – Remember it is all up to you.