Get SMART With Your Goals

Few things in this life as as satisfying as the feeling of accomplishment. That mix of relief and pride is euphoric, isn’t it? Crossing the finish line, sealing the deal with a firm handshake, hearing others ooh and aah over an award you hold in your hands: nothing tops that.

Setting goals is actually much easier than most people believe. If you want to open your own shop or you want to get a promotion at your work, the idea seems daunting. But that’s only because at this point in time, it’s just an idea, an intangible concept and without a set plan, yes, it feels like something you can’t actually achieve. It’s like wanting to go to travel the country, but you don’t even have a road map. Here we’ve set out a few tips for that trip.

First, you want to be realistic with yourself. What is your goal? WILL you actually try to achieve it? Do you have the time and the interest to invest in the challenges because it’s not going to be easy. You can gain the skills and resources along the way, but if you’re not 100% committed, you may as well quit now.

So be specific. Identify your goal by answering the question “What do you want to achieve?” Not just “What do you want?” We all want health and wealth, but you need to think about what specifically you want to do. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to have a certain amount of money in your bank account by retirement? Start broad, but just keep a specific goal in mind.

Saying “I want to walk a mile a day” is more specific than “Walk more.” Deciding to take a business class is more specific than wanting to learn about business.

Your goals should be measurable. Break down your ultimate long-term goal into simple short-term goals that you can achieve one at a time and you will be able to keep track of. Writing your goals is a great way to measure your progress because it makes them “real” and harder to forget.

You can write your goals and plan on a calendar, in a list, using an app or making a spreadsheet. Then, as you accomplish each step, you can cross them out. You’ll see your progress and it will keep you motivated!

Make sure your goals are even attainable. Do you have the funds to open a business? If not, do you know how to get funding? Is this the best move for you right now?

They should be relevant, too. It’s all well and good to want to open your own yoga studio, but if you don’t even like yoga, then what’s the point? Your goal should also in some way make you happy and fulfilled. If you’re not going to be happy once you reach your goal, then it wasn’t relevant.

Your goal should be time-bound. Give yourself a time frame you can stick to, but be flexible. As you accomplish or don’t accomplish each step, you need to be able to change your plan to stay on track.

When you do accomplish your goal, go ahead and celebrate! Do a dance, pop some bottles, but the most important part is to not stop! Set the next goal and keep moving forward. Because really, there is no “end” to your goals. Continue on, keep improving, keep learning, and keep expanding.

Happy goal setting!

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Monkey Business

Guess what day it is? Yes, Monday, we’ve heard it all before. But it’s also a very special holiday in the Chinese culture. It’s the start of the New Lunar Year and this year is the year of the monkey!

In Chinese astrology, there are twelve different zodiac animals and each year is attributed to one animal. This year, the monkey reigns. Whatever year you are born, your life, personality, career, and relationships are tied with the characteristics of the current zodiac animal. People born in the year of the ox are stubborn and methodical. People born in the year of the tiger are passionate and make strong leaders. In honor of the holiday, we thought it might be interesting to point out some characteristics of your standard run-of-the-mill “monkey.”

Personality:

The typical “monkey” is smart, witty and have a magnetic personality. People are drawn to their outgoing personality. Monkeys are also very mischievous, like their animal counterparts. But those little practical jokes may go too far and if someone is offended, the monkey might feel like they are being misunderstood. When around large crowds, the monkey’s moods can change quickly from cheerful and energetic to withdrawn and subdued. They are also very good at reading others’ emotions which makes them very easy to get along with.

Career:

Monkeys are driven by impulse. If something seems interesting to them like an idea or a new project, they will eagerly jump on board. This sort of impulsive approach could mean that they either meet moments of success or crash and burn and must learn from their mistakes. A monkey finds it hard to focus on doing one thing and doing it well: they have the energy and enthusiasm to pursue several projects, but this is often a mistake. Ever hear the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none?” That’s a monkey who is trying to do too much. If they settle into one career long-term, they are often very successful and can advance their careers quickly!

Best Careers for Monkeys:

Accountants, Directors, Engineers, Air Traffic Controllers, Sales Representatives

 

You’re Sabotaging Yourself at Work

Humility is the Achilles Heel of the business world. You can be professional and mature, but humility is the kiss of death. Business and success are for people who are not afraid to make compromises and at times be more assertive than the guy standing next to them.

There’s a line, a sort of balancing act you have to perform. When is being polite too much? At what point does your modesty turn detrimental? In some cultures, it’s common practice to brush off the compliments or praise from a client or fellow co-worker and say, “Oh, it’s nothing” or “No, no, really I’m just the low man on this totem pole.” But at a certain point, usually around the time you find yourself thinking “Wait, am I really that worthless?” you cross that line and give people a negative impression of you.

Think of it this way: the more you tell someone they are special or awesome or funny, they’re going to start believing it and will act accordingly. They’ll glow with that confidence you fill them with. So why would you deny yourself that validation? If you want to succeed, you need to sell yourself as successful!

Words to watch out for in everyday conversation include:

like (think Valley Girl, using ‘like’ between every other word.)

just (as in “I just wanted to say…”)

only (as in “I’m only a rep, I’m not really in a position to say.”)

sort of (as in “We’re sort of in the business of…”)

infancy (as in “Our company is still in its infancy.”)

Don’t diminish yourself or your company. If you want to succeed, you need to toot your own horn and make yourself look phenomenal!

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Change the Way You Use Social Media

Wael Ghonim wants to change the way we act and think on social media platforms. No longer just a base for posting funny pictures or the latest craze in food, social media is a political and economic minefield. By approaching social media behavior, Ghonim wonders if we can change the way we interact with others and conduct business.

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