Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ready or Not, Here Comes 2016!

This proverb is a solid reminder that every day our lives are filled with opportunity. In some ways it doesn’t matter what happened yesterday – even when yesterday’s events have left a dent in our lives. Opportunity is what it is… a moment in time when we can change our minds and/or our direction, and choose something more, less, or different for the future. Gratefully, it also means we can make mistakes and still have hopes for the future. 

As soon as we start increasing our aware of how many moments and choices are available to us, it becomes easier to recognize moments when we can make choices in favor of our passions, talents, and dreams. 

Most of us are used to hearing, “Time flies when you’re having fun.” But the reality is that time passes whether we’re happy, sad, or indifferent. Now that 2015 is drawing to a close, each of us is being presented with the opportunity to take some time to think about ways we might be able to better support our goals, dreams, and desires in the upcoming year. 

Don’t think of this as an exercise in making a new year’s resolution (simply because you can do this at any time of the year). Think of it as an opportunity to come up with some ideas for kicking your pursuits up another notch. Each step you take is leading you somewhere anyway, why not point your steps in the direction of your dreams!
My motto is: Inspiration is for amateurs! It was said by an artist named Charles Thomas "Chuck" Close. His whole point was that the work we do from day-to-day to reach our destination may not always be exciting, but sitting around waiting for our dreams to fall into our lap isn’t likely to accomplish anything. Edison made a similar observation: "Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration."

So….…. What’s your motto for this coming year? If you don’t have one, go online and find one that resonates with you. Write it down and put it somewhere you can see it and read it daily. Then, get to work.

Hopefully, one of your goals for this coming year is writing your book! I'm available to answer any questions you may have about the process, to help you come up with a plan, and to help you stay on track once you get started. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Power Of Focus

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If I asked you to write down ONE problem getting in the way of your success, could you do it?
It can be hard to narrow the field down to ONE specific problem because different situations present different problems. In business, the ONE problem could show up in a variety of forms: If my prices weren't so high, I’d have more sales. If I had more prospects, I’d be able to exceed my quota. They show up in life too: If only I was thinner, I’m sure I’d be happier. If I had gone to school for just one more year, I could get a better job…. You get the idea.
Trying to solve multiple problems at once is likely to result in a lot of stress and frustration, and very little progress. A better approach is to decide which problem is most urgent and pressing right now. Once identified, you can focus your time and energy on coming up with a plan to resolve the situation.

It sounds like it should be easy enough to do, so why don’t people do it?
·        Sometimes it’s easier to have a good excuse for a problem than it is to take action and do something about it. People expect less out of you when you have a really good excuse. Of course, the down side of excuses is that people probably won’t have as much respect for you—or your work.

·        Really good excuses make it easier for people to ignore thoughts and desires about having or getting more out of their job, or their life. If someone is not where they want to be, they don’t believe it’s because of anything they have or haven’t done. Instead, they blame a list of seemingly valid excuses for not being able to tackle the ONE big problem standing between them and their success.  

·        People don’t take the time to adequately identify the problem. When they don’t, they are not able to come up with an adequate solution. Instead, the problem becomes hidden behind a multitude of excuses that slowly and steadily begin to wrap their way around all of the other problems—even the ones that would have been easy to deal with.

So welcome to 2016. Is there ONE business or life problem you want to work on solving to make this new year your best year ever? Quite simply, it’s your choice. Either you decide to let excuses stand between you and your success, or you come up with a plan for stepping outside old and worn out comfort zones.

Identify your most pressing problem, come up with a plan for solving it, write your plan down RIGHT NOW, and carry it with you. Anytime you realize you’re about to start making excuses, reread your plan, and for goodness sake, follow it!

Alan Luoma is a Sales Coach with extensive experience in industrial sales, sales management, and sales and product training. He holds key accounts with a national sustainable packaging company, is a motivational speaker, and provides sales training to individuals and groups. He is a member of the Hartford Springfield Speakers Network. You can view his profile on LinkedIn, or contact him at Luoma@snet.net

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Giving Yourself the Greatest Gift this Holiday Season!

What a truly amazing time of the year. As we exchange gifts with our friends and loved ones please do not overlook the greatest gift that you can possibly receive this year. The gift to reflect, to learn and to grow. How can you give this gift to yourself and those that are nearest and dearest to you? Actually, is really quite easy.

Many of us will enjoy some time off during the next several weeks. We will have an opportunity, given the fact that it is the end of the year, to reflect upon what we have done well and to congratulate ourselves on accomplishments, what we could have done differently or better, what things we need to improve upon, what educational opportunities or methods are there to learn from and how can we make 2016 the very best year of our life.

Goal setting is one of the most productive things that you can do with your time especially as we enter the last weeks of this year. Many of us develop New Year's resolutions which may last into the second or third week of January. What if you could set out a game plan that would take you from where you are to where you want to be utilizing a system that would guarantee your success? What goals would you set for yourself if you knew could could be achieved without fail? Why would you not take one hour out of your life to set aside and to develop the plan to get there?

First, find several like-minded individuals who are interested in setting and achieving goals for 2016. Decide on a time and a location where you will not be disturbed. Bring a pen and pad and get ready to get to work. On the top of the first sheet of paper write: By December 31, 2016 I will: followed by 10 specific goals you wish to accomplish within the next 12 months. What are your health goals? What are your relationship goals? What are your financial and work goals? What do you want to learn? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Make sure you set very lofty goals!

These goals must be very specific. You do not want to say that you are looking to lose weight but rather you want to write down your goal weight.

You cannot say that you want to earn a lot of money or get more clients you must be specific in the amount of money you are going to earn or the number of new clients you are going to obtain. You are not going to say that you want to go on exotic vacation you are going to indicate the exact country that you are going to visit. The more specific your goal, the easier it will be for your subconscious mind to process this information to help you to achieve that outcome.

After you have formulated this list of 10 specific and lofty goals, take a separate sheet of paper and at the top of that page write: By December 31,
2016 I will, and then choose the one goal from the preceding list that you most want to accomplish in 2016 and write it at the top of that page.  You will then write down 10 actions, acts or activities that you can take on a daily basis that will help you to achieve that goal. You should spend at least one hour a day doing something on that list and you will achieve that goal without question.

By way of example, if you are looking to obtain 48 new clients in 2016, you know that you have to obtain four new clients a month or one new client a week. Your progress in this case would be very easy to track. So what can you do to obtain one new client a week? Here are some examples: make two telephone calls a day to potential prospects; send out five emails a day to potential prospects; follow-up with two prior clients a day and ask them how you could assist them in making their life easier; send out one note a day to someone you know congratulating them about something you heard or read; develop four press releases a year on something that you or your business is doing; go to one networking event a month; join your local Chamber of Commerce and get involved with that organization; join Toastmasters; contact one person a day who you can form a joint venture with whereby each of you can develop business through the other person's contacts; write one blog post or article per week and post those on Facebook, LinkedIn or some other vehicle where your potential clients would be looking; volunteer or join some organization where potential clients or referral sources might be; and/or be creative and come up with any one of a number of other activities you could do generate business.

If you do one, or multiple, things on that list every day for at least one hour then you will attain your desired goal. After this process was explained to a group of people, one listener asked; what happens if it does not work? The facilitator of the meeting then asked; what happens if it does work? Even if you fall short of your expected goal, you will be amazed at the difference this brief exercise will make. It will also form a habit that will enable you to accomplish more in less time and will provide you with a great sense of accomplishment. Give yourself the greatest gift this holiday season and determine what goal you most wish to accomplish and then obtain it.

Wishing you the best of everything, and especially good health, for 2016 and beyond!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Is Organizing a Waste of Time?

“BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!” It’s 5:00AM on a Tuesday morning. You roll over, foggy eyed and hit the snooze button. 18 minutes later your body finally negotiates with your mind and you crawl out of bed. You disconnect your smartphone from the charger and begin looking at emails and social media, when you glace at the time…6:00AM! You race to the shower, get yourself groomed, and skip breakfast, seeing you need to be on the road by 7:00AM. You glace at the kitchen clock on the way out the door. 6:55AM. Maybe you’ll have time to hit the drive-thru for a quick bite on the way to work?

Your car is in the driveway yet again. Why? It’s too big to fit into the two-car garage. How can a vehicle be too big for a two-car garage? Well, it’s not really the fault of the vehicle. It’s the endless piles of “stuff” in the garage, which has rendered this car to the outdoor elements. And last nights elements came in the form of snow, eight inches of snow. Now you need a shovel, but….it’s in the garage.

You open the side garage door under the covered porch to retrieve the shovel. As you open the door, you need to push with some force to fit your body through the entrance. Stuff is in the way. As you look around the garage, all you see is stuff, stuff and more stuff. No shovel. You remember using the shovel last year and tossing it back in the garage. So, it must be under this jungle of junk, but where? Your hands are numb from the cold, as you pull out your phone, to check the time…7:25AM. You loose your grip, and your phone crashes on a metal object, which looks to be a tire iron. The screen is cracked, but it’s still working. Phew. This isn’t the first time you’ve cracked a screen on your phone.

You should have been on the road at 7AM, but that’s not going to happen this morning. Your stress level is boiling over now. Frantically, you start sifting through the piles of stuff; worn out boxes of old sporting equipment, ripped bags of clothes that no longer fit, broken toys with missing parts, and various tool equipment in disrepair. Panic has set in. As your eye scans the piles of contents in the garage, you notice what looks like part of a red handle. THE SHOVEL!! You start climbing over the stuff until you finally reach your goal. As you reach your arm out to grab the shovel, you hear a awful sound….”SNAP!"

Sound familiar? It’s time to make room for clarity. Start by decluttering your garage. Doing so, will save you time in the long run, so you can find the things you’re looking for quickly and easily.

As a Professional Organizer, Speaker, Author, TV Personality, and Podcast Producer & Host, Rick Woods helps residents and businesses make room for clarity, by getting rid of the clutter that gets in their way.

Rick’s book “Make Room for Clarity” is a step by step guide to getting rid of the clutter that gets in your way. Available on Amazon.

Inquire about Rick's professional organizing business, "The Functional Organizer, LLC.", which focuses on decluttering, organizing, paper filing and time management by visiting www.TheFunctionalOrganizer.com