Benefits of Challengers & Experts in Your Life

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Challengers, Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Experts, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Personal Value, Relationships, Self Reflection

Last time, we talked about the idea that, despite how much we romanticize the notion, none of us are really self-made.  If we’ve made anything of our life, it’s largely due to the help we’ve received from others along the way.  We’ve talked, specifically, about two types of helpers we need to invite into our lives – Experts and Challengers.  Remember, Experts are people working and living out a dream similar to your dream. While Challengers are the ones who typically tell it like it is. Click here to read our last blog about Experts and Challengers.

Now that you know what Challengers and Experts are, what is the real importance of inviting these key relationships into your life?  What can you really hope to see in your life as a result?  Let’s begin to answer these questions now.

3 Benefits of Inviting Challengers and Experts into Your Life:

  1. New Thinking. You’re a good thinker.  After all, the way you think has gotten you this far.  But, will it get you all the way to where you want to be? Truthfully, if you’re stuck in your own thoughts, it is likely to lead you into a corner or to a plateau; neither of which resemble your dreams.  Remember, Experts are people who are ahead of you.  They are where you want to be.  How valuable would it be to have them introduce their thought process to you?  On the other hand, Challengers are going to question your tried and true thought process.  If you’ve fallen into some pretty ineffective thought patterns, Challengers will ferret them out in a hurry.  Will it sting a little?    Will that sting be worth the new thought processes that form?  Absolutely.
  2. Time Savings. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If it sounds familiar, that’s because it’s true and somebody told you this to save you time. Experts have already invented the wheel or at least some form of it.  Why try and build your dream from the ground up when you can take an existing blueprint from your Experts and modify it to fit your personality, gifts, and aspirations.  This is how Experts can save you a lot of time.  Challengers can save you time by stopping a bad idea dead in its tracks.  Have you ever gotten lost inside your own thoughts and developed what you thought was a great idea, only to find out that it wasn’t so great once it left your head?  Running that idea by a Challenger first may expose it before you put all your time and effort into fully developing it.  You don’t have to bring every idea to completion to know if it’s worth the effort.
  3. Skipping Mediocrity. We are all guilty.  From time to time, we all think our own ideas are way better than they really are.  Think you have a great idea?  Compare it to the ideas of an Expert.  If it passes the test, you may have something.  If it looks mediocre in comparison, you know it’s back to the drawing board and you’ve been given a gift.  Ask a Challenger to give you some honest feedback about your latest, greatest idea.  They will, and you’ll have some great direction to improve and make your idea truly great.  Too many of us bring mediocre ideas to market because we’ve not had them properly vetted by the right people.  Bring true excellence by leveraging the Experts and Challengers in your life.

Sometimes we call these Experts and Challengers “helpers” because they really are.  If you hate the sting of realizing your ideas, maybe even your dreams, may not be as excellent or well thought out as you had hoped, this doesn’t feel much like help to you. But it is truly helpful.  If you can learn a new way of thinking, save valuable time, and skip mediocrity, you’ve been helped almost immeasurably.  The only thing that’s keeping you from getting to a higher level is you’ve not yet made the ask.  Make the ask!  Don’t know where to start?  We are here to help you discover and establish some of these crucial relationships in your life.  Just click here to begin the journey.

Challengers and Experts

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Challengers, Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Experts, Goals, Growth, Personal, Personal Identity, Personal Value, Relationships, Self Reflection

The self-made man. The self-made woman.  It’s an unique American concept that many of us find to be alluring in some way.  We imagine starting from zero and becoming something great, making a difference in this world, all on our own.  It sounds good, but the simple truth is that it’s an absolute myth.  There are no self-made people out there. None of us are self-made. True, there are some out there who proclaim to be self-made, but if you examine their story closely, you’ll find that they are either too proud or unaware of the help they received along the way from key people in their lives.  Whether or not it fits the story we like to tell, anyone who has followed a dream to completion has had people who have helped along the way.

If you’re going to get to the dream that’s currently living in your heart and mind, you’re going to have to do more than just imagine it.  You’re going to have to ask people to help in order to live it out.  This is where many of us get stuck.  We believe it’s a good thing to be self-made and it causes us to retreat from the very people who could help us the most.  This all boils down to humility and teachability.  Simply put, humility is lowering your guard and inviting the opinions and expertise of others into your life. And teachability is being willing to re-learn the things you thought you already knew.  There are several different types of people you will need in your life to see your dream become a reality.  Today we’re talking about just two of them.  Experts and Challengers.

Experts.  These are people working and living out a dream similar to your dream.  We all need models and mentors and you may need to do some research to find who some of these Experts are.  Remember, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.  Most of us will need to see and even learn a model before we can adapt it.  As you begin to research who some of these Experts are, reach out to them and see how you can learn from afar and even up close.  You may be surprised at how accessible some people will be if you just ask. Look for Experts and then lean into the relationships with those you feel you click with best.

Challengers.  These are the ones who typically tell it like it is.  They are very direct and straight-forward.  We all need these people who will challenge and push us to reach higher and get better.  They will challenge you both by the example of their lives and by the words they speak.  They may not know much about your dream, but they are for you and could play this role if asked.  Be aware though, you may feel threatened by these people.  You’ll need some thick skin to gain the valuable perspective a Challenger will bring to you.

Think about what could block these people from coming into your life? And remember, if you’re going to grow beyond your current limitations, you’re going to have to get vulnerable and invite these Experts and Challengers into your life.  Don’t know where to start?  We are here to help you discover and establish some of these crucial relationships in your life.  Just click here to begin the journey.  Let’s get started today!

Building a Growth Plan

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal, Personal Identity, Personal Value, Relationships, Self Reflection

In our last post, we talked about the idea of changing your mindset in order to imagine new possibilities.  If you didn’t get to read it, take a look.  You’ll be glad you did.  Now, let’s take that a step further.  Let’s say you have yourself in a place where you’re operating primarily in a growth mindset.  Mindsets are great, but there have been many great thoughts that have languished in the minds of individuals who have never gone to the next step.  That next step is a growth plan.  You wouldn’t build a house without a set of plans that were meticulously followed.  Why try and build your life any other way?  A growth plan is simply a well thought out plan that gives you a step-by-step path to get yourself where you want to be.

 

If you want to get someplace significant and see your dreams become reality in 2018, an effective and simple step is to write down and keep up with your growth plan.  The importance of writing it down and keeping up with it cannot be overstated.  Ideas in your head give you a general direction, but they will not get you to where you imagine you want to be.  In fact, over time, being guided by an idea will create frustration and you will begin to despise the very idea that began as inspiring vision for your life. It’s not the idea’s fault. But, you’re the one who can fix the problem.  You can start by answering these three questions.

 

  1. Where do I need to grow this year? This question speaks to the need for assessment.  You’re not just closing your eyes and picking at random or spinning a wheel to choose areas of growth.  Set aside some time and really think this through.  Chances are, you know some key areas in which you need to grow.  But what about the areas you can’t see?  To illuminate your blind spots, ask people closest to you.  Your spouse.  Your boss.  Your friends.  Your employees.  You’ll be surprised how much they will tell you if you’ll just ask.  You may need to take a deep breath and thicken your skin up to hear some of the answers, but if you want to grow, you have to know.
  2. What do I need to learn right now? You can’t do everything you want to do, but you can do anything you want to do.  This question speaks to the need to narrow your focus and choose concrete steps.  If you did a good job answering the first question, chances are you have a good list of areas in which you want to see growth.  Well, the next question narrows that down to specifics.  If you want to grow in a certain area, what do you need to learn?  Is it a new skill?  Is it a new discipline?  Do you need to shadow someone who is proficient in an area you aren’t?  In order for your growth plan to have teeth, you have to know what you want to accomplish. You have to be able to measure your progress and know if you’ve made it to the goal.  Get specific.
  3. Who will keep me accountable? This is probably the biggest missing piece from most growth plans.  If you’re the kind of motivated and growth-minded individual who would actually go through the steps to create a personal growth plan, you probably believe you can execute and complete it on your own. But no man (or woman) is an island. You need to invite others into the process with you and give them permission to keep you accountable.  Just as important as the specifics you discover and write down in the two questions above, you must write down who will keep you accountable and how.  Of course, that requires a conversation with any of your possible new accountability partners.  Just ask.  People who care about you will help you this way if you give them permission.

 

Remember, the answers to all these questions need to be written down and you’ve got to keep up with it.  Keep these answers close to you.  See them often.  Schedule times to assess your progress.  If you have a good plan and you’re intentional about following that plan, you absolutely will see the growth you desire.  If you want someone to come along side you and help you create and follow your plan, one of our coaches is ready to help.  Just click here to get started on a growth journey that will take you places you’ve only yet dreamt of going.

 

New Goals Need a New Mindset

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal, Personal Value, Self Reflection

It’s January.  It’s a new year full of new possibilities.  Want to know the fastest and most effective way to unlock those new possibilities?  It all starts with the way you think.  Yes, the way you think.  The truth is, you can write down a list of goals that will set the world on fire, but if you are still stuck in the same old self-defeating thought patterns, it’s likely those goals won’t be reached.  Why do you think most people fail in their “New Year Resolutions”?  There are a number of reasons, but one of the biggest is trying to insert new actions into a life with old, stale thinking.  The bottom line is that if you learn to think differently and imagine new possibilities, that change in thinking will enable you to get some serious traction on those goals.

In her book, “Mindset”, Carol Dweck writes brilliantly about what she calls the ‘fixed mindset’ versus the ‘growth mindset’. Understanding these mindsets and adjusting accordingly, may make all the difference in how effective and satisfied you are in 2018.

First, let’s look at the fixed mindset.  This is a mindset that believes intelligence is static. People in this camp believe “they are the way they are”.  They see no real hope for any significant development of who they are.  Now, it’s important to say that believing this is believing a lie.  But, simply saying this is a lie and don’t believe it is not sufficient.  Let me explain why you must work to get out of and stay out of this fixed mindset.

Although people with a fixed mindset generally believe they are the way they are, this does not mean they have less of a desire for a positive self-image than anyone else.  They still want to perform well and look smart.  This desire, coupled with the fixed mindset, leads to some negative tendencies to be front and center.  Just to name a few, people in this space tend to avoid challenges, give up easily when facing obstacles, see high effort as generally fruitless, ignore useful negative feedback, and feel threatened by the success of others.  As a result of these patterns of behavior, they may plateau early in life and achieve less than their full potential.  This, of course, ‘confirms’ their deterministic view of the world.

Now, let’s contrast this with the growth mindset.  People who hold this mindset believe that intelligence can be developed, that the brain is like a muscle that can be trained.  This leads to a desire to grow and improve.  Unlike their fixed mindset counterparts, these people believe their self-image is not tied to success or how they look to others.  For them, failure is not something to be avoided, but an opportunity to learn and grow.  So whatever happens, they win.  Generally, people in this mindset embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, see effort as a pathway to mastery, learn from criticism, and find lessons and inspiration in the success of others.  All this gives them a greater and greater sense of free will.

So, it should be clear that the growth mindset is greater than the fixed mindset in every way.  However, this is real life and we all know that almost no one will have a 100% fixed mindset or a 100% growth mindset.  Most of us have some of both going on simultaneously.   If you’re hoping to operate in a growth mindset that may sound like bad news, but remember, free will is a gift at your disposal. It is possible to develop a worldview that’s ever-evolving from more of a fixed mindset to more of a growth mindset.  This is true even if you are on the older side of life and are “set in your ways”.  Dweck’s research indicates that both children and adults of all ages can be taught to change their mindsets.

This is where a good coach can help you in 2018.  When you’re ready to get started changing that old self-defeating mindset, a great step is to get engaged with a coach who will challenge your thinking, ask you the hard questions, and help you learn to think differently and imagine new possibilities.  When you’re ready, we’re here to help.  Just click here to get started.  Here’s to a happy and growth-filled new year!

December, a Time for Reflection

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal, Personal Value, Relationships, Self Reflection, Time Management

Life happens in cycles.  Look at the seasons, or the economy, and even yourself.  If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re a motivated high-achiever.  This is a good thing, but the constant motion has a dark side and a high price tag, too.  Over the last few posts, we’ve talked about the pure magic that happens when we take time to pause.  Energy returns, vision grows, and your ideas just seem more creative and more doable.  It really does seem like magic.  However, we must beware of the tendency to see rest and reflection as just another productivity tool in our achievement toolbox.   While increased energy, clarity and even achievement are natural by-products of rest and reflection, they are not the only reasons we rest.  In fact, they are not even the best reasons we rest.

We’re entering the thick of the holiday season, just beyond Thanksgiving with Christmas just ahead.  It’s an inherently busy phase of life.  What if you pulled back this month and enjoyed the holidays and family and friends and didn’t try quite so hard to achieve?  What if you look at December as a time to celebrate all you have accomplished this year, big or small?  What if you slept in and rested more than usual?  What if you were quiet and still more than usual?  Does this sound like a waste of time?  It’s not.

Consider this.  Every move you make need not be to leverage some future move or goal.  Yes, a period of rest now will likely yield increased energy and clarity in the next stage of life, but I want to ask you to forget about that for now.  We achievers suffer from a sickness.  We struggle with focusing on what’s next at the expense of what’s here now.  Take a minute or two and think back over the past year. What have you accomplished this year that you should be grateful for? What should you celebrate? Who do you need to slow down with and just enjoy their company?  Perhaps your family?  Your friends?  Your church?

Consider the cyclical nature of life and embrace a time of rest. Not for what it’s going to yield to you in the next phase, but so you can enjoy and reflect on this time, right now.  You’re not a machine and your family and friends don’t need you to be one either.  Just be present during this holiday season and enjoy the other people in your life.

Rest

Relax

Laugh

Sleep

Celebrate

The next stage of your life will be here soon enough.  Not only will you be ready to maximize it, but if you slow down intentionally now, you just may learn to enjoy the fact that all the phases of life are to be enjoyed and celebrated.

Consistency in Reflection

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal Identity, Personal Value, Self Reflection, Time Management

Life happens in the margins.  You’ve probably heard it.  It means, simply, that the most fulfilling and most significant pieces of our lives will occur outside of the pressure packed grind we will find ourselves in, if we’re not strategic about planning our lives.  Therein lies the problem.  If we just live life, life will suck the life out of us.  However, if we take time to reflect and plan, life will have margin – the space between the want to do and have to – and we will begin living a totally different and much more purposeful life. If you have not yet read the article detailing the power of the pause, please take a few minutes and read it now.  The pause carries incredible power in our lives.  Today, let’s talk about creating consistency around that idea of pausing to reflect.  We’ll explore two powerful truths.

Truth #1:  Consistent margin creates a continual source of energy in your life.  You’ve been there.  Hours turn to days.  Days turn to weeks.  Weeks turn to months.  Months turn to years.  All the things you thought you would get around to aren’t even close to completion.  You feel like you’ve accomplished very little and you’re exhausted too.  Why?  Simple.  No margin in your life.  If you allow it, life will . . . well, it will suck the life out of you.  The cure is margin.  And margin is a whole lot more than a 2-week vacation once a year.  You know that 2 weeks’ rest won’t fuel you for the whole next year.  What will fuel you for the next year is consistent time to stop, reflect, and plan.  Andy Stanly has famously coined the phrase, “Don’t just work in it, but also work on it.”  He’s talking about an organizational principle that says leaders are wise to back up from the day-to-day grind, get some space and perspective, and work on the plan before the dive back into executing the plan. What if you did this in your personal life, especially as it pertains to living out your God-given dreams?  What if you took a full day and got away – maybe even to a different space – and dreamed and planned for your future?  What if that one day spawned regular, pre-scheduled times in your calendar where you got away to rest, think, and assess how you’re progressing toward those dreams?  If you did this, you would be creating margin and that margin would begin feeding your soul.  The time stepping back would create energy for you in two ways.  One is that you simply have time to unplug your brain from the day-to-day grind.  This creates a natural return of energy.  Second, progress creates energy.  If you can see yourself making progress toward your dreams the energy infusion will be tangible.

Truth #2:  Consistent margin leads to exponential results for you.  If you keep your head down grinding out the work, you may gain some ground, but will you know where you’re going?  The “work on it, not just in it” theme applies here too.  Hustle is a current buzzword in the business and leadership world, but if you have a dream you’re working to fulfill it won’t happen with just pure hustle.  You must know where you’re going to achieve the results you desire.  You’re the captain of your ship.  Imagine how the ship would go off course if the captain was always below deck rowing.  When you’re consistently living in the margins, as we talked about above, you have your eyes clearly and consistently on the goal.  Work on it, not just in it.

One of the best ways to get yourself living with consistent margin in your life is to work with a skilled coach who can help you maximize your time and effort as you work to achieve your dream.  When you’re ready, our coaches are here to help you live with margin and get on track with your God-given dreams.  Just click here to get started.

 

The Power of the Pause

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal Value, Self Reflection, Time Management

Are you a motivated individual? Are you always moving forward? Are you always working on the next goal? Do you get pleasure from the hustle of creating your future?  There are some of you who are reading this right now and nodding your head yes.  These are generally good qualities to possess. You’re well on your way to achieving your dreams.

However, let me ask you another set of questions. Which day of the week do you generally take off to rest?  How often do you find quiet places to reflect? What do your personal retreats look like? How much do you value rest and reflection? If you’re staring blankly at your screen wondering why anyone would ask such silly questions, then let’s discuss the power of the pause.

But, what’s the purpose of the pause? Why would you need to stop, rest and reflect?  You don’t get any work done that way. You’re either taking ground or losing ground, right? If you’re under the impression that you can just push, push, push, and continue to take ground, you’ve bought into a lie. Have you heard of the Law of Diminishing Returns? The Law of Diminishing Returns simply states that every individual will hit a point in time when productivity will drop off significantly and will not return. This means no matter how many hours you work or how hard you try to push through, you will feel as if you’ve hit the wall of productivity. Typically, you’ll hit this wall daily around the eight to ten hour point. On a weekly basis, after 5-6 days. Beyond that, you’ll need to experiment and figure you’re monthly and yearly rhythms. Think of your life like a road trip. Driving hard may get you to your destination, but every road-trip is filled with pauses to cool down and re-fuel.

If you’re a hard driver and have thought of rest and reflection as wasted time, let me share two truths that may help in learning to take and enjoy pauses.

Truth #1: Magic happens when you create space to dream and reflect.

A great mentor of mine told me years ago, “Life happens in the margins.” He was right. What are the margins? They are the buffer times in your schedule and your life. If you have every minute scheduled, all the time, you have no margin and that’s no kind of life.  When you create these margins in your life, you’re creating space to dream and reflect.  Imagine how much more you could accomplish if you had a regular flood of new and creative thoughts come to you. That’s the magic that happens when you create space to dream and reflect. Have you ever taken a walk down streets you normally drive? If you do, you’ll notice all kinds of things you’ve never seen before. That mom and pop business that doesn’t have a flashy sign. The beautiful fountain that’s slightly obscured by a strip mall. A single home in the middle of a retail district. You can gain a greater perspective when you slow down. You see things that were previously hidden from sight. Your best ideas will remain hidden from you if you continue to drive hard all the time.

Slow down.

Create space in your life to dream and reflect.

Truth #2.  Energy naturally returns and increases through these times of rest and reflection.

Are you tired? When you don’t pause and rest, you are more tired. This puts you in the camp with so many others who desperately want more energy. However, a good-night’s sleep or a few hours unplugged from your work will give you 10x’s more energy than a four pack of your favorite energy drink. This is how God created you.  You’re an amazingly complex machine, but you were born with the design that requires rest. Just like any other machine with a design, if you use it like it was intended to be used, it performs. If you use it in a way contrary to its design, it breaks down. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done nothing for nearly an entire day, feeling like I had no energy, only to magically feel my physical and mental energy hit 100% sometime in the late afternoon. The only thing I did to replenish that energy was nothing. You are made to rest.

It seems counter-intuitive, but if you want maximum energy and creativity, you must step back, rest, and reflect.

It’s the power of the pause.

It’s wise to not ignore it.

 

Daily Learning

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Business, Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Personal Value, Self Reflection, Time Management

Lately, we’ve been working on the question, “How do I best manage my time?”  Since your time is your most valuable resource, it’s certainly the right question to answer.   Managing time is all about understanding and capitalizing on rhythms.  Last time, we explored the 6th Day Project and how to devote time to work on your dream on a weekly basis.  You can read all about the 6th Day Project here.  I hope you’ll read it and take it to heart.

Today, we continue exploring how to manage your time. But now, we’re talking about what you do daily.  If you’re not growing, you’re dying.  There is no plateau.  There is no holding pattern. Even if you believe you’re holding steady in a season of your life where you’re not growing, those closest to you will tell you that you’re regressing.  If this is true – and it is – it poses the next question we’ll explore.  How do you learn and grow daily?

Focus.  This is the first step.  The subjects you could learn about and the material available are virtually unlimited.  There is more to be learned than any of us could even begin to digest in a lifetime.  So, this requires some focus on your part.  If you’re on the path to accomplishing a given dream, your daily learning must center around that dream.  Say you want to change careers and you want to become a CPA.  You can devour books on chemistry, learn a ton, and still be no closer to your CPA dream.  When we’re talking about daily learning, focus matters.  Unless your goal is to be a Jeopardy champion, general knowledge is of little use.  So, what do you need to learn? At this point, it makes sense to put this down on paper (or your phone or computer or whatever floats your boat).  The point is, you’ll learn what you decide to learn.  So, take the time to make it clear. Let your goals and dreams guide you.  Take a fresh look at your goals and write down what you need to learn to make those a reality.

Who.  This is the next level question.  Who do you need to learn from? This is a question of personality and media.  You can learn from many different people via many different medias.  The step that you may be tempted to skip is research, but please don’t skip this step.  Spend some time researching the voices out there.  You can find a multitude of voices on any subject wrapped up in many different types of learning.  Do yourself a favor and do the research and figure out what voices you want to learn from and via what media.  These are decisions that will be driven by your goals, your preference, and the cost.  You can learn a lot from free podcasts and from a PHD program at a university. Neither is right or wrong, but they are different delivery methods and carry vastly different costs.  Here are some types of learning you can explore:

  • Books. The most tried and true method is the good old fashioned book. Imagine how different you would be if you set aside 30 minutes per day and devoted that time to a well-researched reading list.
  • Podcasts. If you’re not leveraging this goldmine, I can’t imagine why not.  We’re talking about thousands of experts delivering free content to you.  If you subscribe, you don’t even have to go get it.  It comes to you automatically.  What if you redeemed that drive time to and from work each day listening to your chosen experts in your chosen field of learning?  Wow.
  • Mentors. You probably know people who are where you want to be.  Have you considered asking them for a little of their time?  My experience says that they almost always say yes.
  • Coaches. Everyone who has a dream or goal needs a coach.  Generally, you’re going to invest some money into coaching and it’s worth every penny.  Why?  Because your coach will ask you the hard questions that you don’t even know to ask.  Then, he or she will hold you accountable to what you say you want to do.  Of course, one of our coaches could be a huge help in getting where you want to be.  Just click here to get started.
  • Classes. This is the most expensive option, but depending on your goal, a degree may be needed.  If so, this is a great learning option too.  Do your research.  Not all degrees are created equally and not all degrees carry the same price tag.

So, the final question.  How much time will this all take?  I’ll answer your question with a couple of my own.  How much do you want to learn?  How quickly do you want to make your dream a reality?  If your current learning plan is non-existent, then any time spent is an improvement. However, if you’re serious about becoming a student and eventually an expert in your chosen field, 60 minutes per day is a great place to begin.  Imagine if you spent an average of one hour per day learning and growing in the specific areas you need to make your dream a reality?  This time next year could look very different for you, indeed.  We’re here for you.  Just let us know how we can help.

 

The 6th Day Project

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Dreams, Goals, Growth, Personal, Self Reflection, Time Management

It was nine years ago.  I sat with my coach in a coffee shop on a Friday.  He eagerly asked me how my work in developing as a coach was coming.  He had helped me identify my desire, discover my gifting and develop a plan to begin coaching others.  I had to be brutally honest with him.  “I’m off from my full-time job every Friday and Saturday.  I say I want to develop my coaching skills and clientele.  But my behavior is that I spend most of those off days binge watching television.  If that’s the reality of my behavior . . .”  He finished my sentence for me, “Then how badly do you really want to develop as a coach?”

He was asking me the right question.  Eventually, that question and many others like it, got me to a place where Fridays were no longer mindless T.V. marathons, but rather calculated, well-planned days to develop my dream.  I made my dream a 6th day project and so can you.  Here’s the question to ask yourself today.  How can I work on my dream on a weekly basis?  The answer.  Block your time and make your dream a regular “6th day” project”.

Let’s start with the philosophy.  Tony Robbins has famously said, “We over-estimate what we can accomplish in a day and under-estimate what we can accomplish in a decade.”  It’s true.  You will never achieve your dream during a single day locked away in your office or even some secluded wooded cabin.  On the flip side, neither will you achieve your dream by devoting some attention to it when you have some extra time.  The recipe is simple.  Planned and repeated work, over time, yields incredible results.  Enter the 6th day project.  The 6th day project simply says that you must block out time, on a weekly basis, to work on your dream.  A year from now, you’ll either be light years closer to that dream or you’ll be in the exact same place you are now.  The main difference will be if you decided to set aside the time and execute the plan within those specific times.

Next let’s deal with reality.  Not everyone has the exact same schedule.  Not everyone can block out Friday, or even Saturday for that matter.  You have a demanding job.  You have family commitments.  You have friends and hobbies.  I’m not saying any of these needs to go away. Balancing all the pieces in our life is a myth.  Rather, the goal is to manage the tension between all the pieces in your life.  I believe every person’s life has rhythms, and no matter what your life looks like, you can identify the rhythms in your life and find regular time to focus strictly on your dream. Like most, you probably waste way more time than you realize. I talked about this just last month, but you can read about managing your time here.

The 6th day does not have to be the true sixth day of the week.  The concept is that you must find significant weekly time to block out to work on your dream?  How much time?  Well, how badly do you want to develop your dream?  How many other responsibilities must you manage?  These are the kinds of questions that lead you to answer how much time.  With that said, however, the time you invest each week must be significant. Can you look at a normal week now and find the time?  If you can, why not block that time and begin working on developing your dream methodically, week-by-week?  If you can’t maybe you need to look at putting something else aside.  All things are not equally important.  Just like I had to come to grips with the reality that I was making a weekly television marathon more important that my dream, you may have a similar reality to face.

One warning to give.  If you think you’ll get a return on skipping rest and replenishment time, think again.  When you look at your weekly rhythm, do not give in to the temptation to cut needed rest time to work on your future dream.  The biblical concept of Sabbath is something none of us can circumvent.  Just like you need a weekly rhythm of blocked time to work on your dream, you need a weekly rhythm of rest and replenishment.  Don’t trade in one for another.  Look elsewhere for that 6th day project time.

Well, now it’s time for you to develop and execute your plan. You can start in six months.  You can start next year.  But why?  Why would you sit for one more week and wish you were closer to your dream when you could use that week to get much closer to your dream?  If you’re ready to get started now, one of our coaches could help you begin building your 6th day project plan.  Just click here to get started.  When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to help you get there.

 

Time Management Fundamentals

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Coaching, Discovery, Goals, Growth, Leadership, Personal, Personal Identity, Personal Value, Self Reflection, Time Management

Years ago, I had a young guy working on one of my teams who just was not cutting it.  His excuse for all his missed deadlines?  “I didn’t have time.”  I remember telling him, “Everyone in this world, from the President of the United States to a homeless guy on the street, has the exact same amount of time in the day and decides how to use that time.”  He didn’t get it.  And he didn’t make it on my team.

It’s one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves, “I didn’t have time.” This is a fundamental problem that has worked its way into our culture and we have the responsibility to keep it from taking hold of us.  The problem: we feel busier than we ever have while accomplishing less and feeling less satisfied by all we’re doing.  So, what’s the solution? How can we change our way of thinking?  Here are three questions you can answer to help you manage your time better.

  1. When am I most energized? All hours of the day are not created equal.  Have you noticed sometimes you get incredible work accomplished and sometimes it’s like you’re pushing against a brick wall?  What’s the difference?  Well, it may have to do with the type of work you’re doing, but it probably has much more to do with when you’re doing it.  Are you taking advantage of your natural rhythms or fighting against them?  Are you a morning person?  Are you an evening person?  Does the afternoon feel like a burst of energy or a crash?  It helps to figure out these types of questions, and know how you best function during the day.  If you know you have a time of day that is going to be ultra-productive, try to schedule your most important tasks during that time.   If you know what time of day is going to be sluggish, why not do the mindless or menial tasks then?  Don’t just plug tasks into any ole time of the day.  Know your personal rhythms during your day and plan accordingly.
  2. What am I doing with my downtime? You have way more natural downtime than you think. What do you do during the two hours before work?  Is sleep the answer?  What about the four hours after work?  Is that your “veg-out” time?  That’s great if your goal is to be a vegetable.  But, if your goal is to live up to your potential and accomplish your dreams, you must look at your downtime as opportunity time.  We’re talking about hours each day that you’re just giving up because you’ve told yourself you need all that downtime.  The truth is you need some, but probably not as much as you’re taking.  Examine your patterns and make some changes.  Plug in productive work into some of that excess downtime.  There are many people who have started profitable businesses in their downtime.  It’s not a myth.  It’s about intentional discipline.
  3. How might I be wasting time every week? How much television do you watch?  How much time do you spend on social media?  How many YouTube videos do you watch each week?  These questions could go on and on and the answers, for most of us, are embarrassing.  The point is, you are wasting a tremendous amount of time during any given week.  What if you were intentional with 30% of that wasted time?  Identify it and schedule it.  The results may surprise you!

You manage your money carefully.  Your time is a way more valuable commodity.  Why not manage it too?  If you’re ready to get started now, one of our coaches will help you build your time management plan.  Just click here to get started.  When you’re ready, we’ll be ready to help you get there.