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Who Gets Your Leftovers?

leftoversYesterday was Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. So today, many American families are eating leftovers.

That’s the motivation for our post. Only we’re not thinking about leftover food. We want to talk about YOU – your time, your attention, and your love.

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A time trap
This is an easy trap to fall into. See if you can relate to this:

You get up and get ready for work. You grab a cup of coffee for the road and get into your car to drive to the office. Finally, you get to work. Next thing you know, it’s time for lunch. You eat at your desk while you keep working. You look at the clock. Where did the day go? Time to go home. You rush out to your car and hit the road.

At home, you grab a quick dinner. Then you’re off for that committee meeting for your favorite charity where you volunteer. You drive home again and sit down at your computer to check your e-mail. You read that report for tomorrow’s meeting.

It’s late. You’re tired. Better get to bed.

Leftovers and scraps

You may have a different scenario, but is the net result the same? We unintentionally take for granted the people who are closest to us.

Our family often gets our final burst of energy, if we have any energy left at all. They get our leftovers.

But there’s yet another party that we haven’t considered. We may only have scraps left for this party. It’s …

You.

3 tips to give your best to the best in your life

Put it on your schedule
Treat family time like any other important activity – put it on your schedule. When you put it on your schedule, it becomes a priority. If it’s not on your schedule, it’s likely that it will get pushed aside to more urgent, but perhaps less important, activities.

Plan an activity
Now it’s on your schedule. But if you don’t have anything planned, it is easier to push it off to another date and time. So plan to do something, anything. Go to the movies. Play games. Attend a concert. Go to a museum. It doesn’t matter – if you have an activity planned, you’ll be less likely to let the day’s events get in the way of this important time together.

Make it a regular event
Now schedule a regular event every week. For example, a couple could schedule a “date night.” You and your spouse may decide that you’re going to go out on a date every Thursday evening. It may not always happen on Thursday. So “make it up” on Friday. By having it planned regularly, it’s more likely to happen sometime during the week.

We don’t intentionally neglect our loves ones or ourselves. The problem is that we don’t intentionally make time for them. The result ends up being the same.

Instead of giving our leftovers to the most important people in our lives, we should give them the main course by planning time with them just like we do everything else that’s important to us.

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We really appreciate that you stopped by today! Join us next time as we offer up a great reality check for your spending decisions. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Directions that Discourage

twisted_directions We saw the results of a fascinating study over at Medical News Today. The researchers tested how the directions about a task affect the perception of the task itself. They started by trying to motivate college students to exercise.

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They gave the students directions on how to implement an exercise program. Half of the students got directions in an easy-to-read Arial font. The other half received the same directions in a Brush font (think paint brush), which is difficult to read.

Then the researchers asked these students:

  • to estimate how long the exercise routine would take
  • how easy it would be
  • if they would make it part of their regular routine

The “Arial” group thought that it would take less time and be easier than the “Brush” group, who also was less likely to make it a part of their daily ritual.

It’s amazing how something as simple as the font we choose could make so much difference. Just to be sure their results weren’t skewed by the students’ preconceived notions about exercise, the researchers performed a similar experiment with a recipe for sushi.

The outcome was similar. They concluded that if instructions are easier to read, people respond positively.

Enough about fonts, let’s put all the pieces together

We need to think about the directions we give to make sure they’re not discouraging our people. We don’t want to make a simple task sound complicated by our directions. Since people equate the ease of a given task to the ease of the directions about that task, we need to think about our:

  • Message
    Be sure you’re clear in what you’re saying. Also be concise. Eliminate the fluff. Focus on writing high-impact copy.
  • Design
    Obviously, the font you use plays a role. So does      white  space     . Graphical elements are always good. You should also use headers and bullet points when possible to make your directions easier to digest.
  • Words
    Sixteen-syllable words don’t impress many people; they have the opposite affect on far more. Jargon doesn’t help either. Use words that your audience will easily understand.

Look at the following two sentences:

You’ll save money if you buy gas today.

Buying gas today could be economically advantageous.

Which one conveys the message better to you? Which words do you like? Which structure if preferable?

We often make the mistake of thinking “fancy” words said in our passive voice make us sound smarter or more professional. Usually it’s the opposite. We’re deemed smart when we connect with the audience we’re trying to reach.                

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Get the tips and tools you need to be a BIGG success!
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Next time, we’ll discuss how to be a good winner (or loser). Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00257-110408.mp3

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Strategies for Becoming More Confident

By Bigg Success Staff
09-11-08

Life Skills

rise_to_the_top 

The difference between those who are successful and those who succeed bigg is confidence. Elite athletes and those who are peak performers in their career have high self-confidence.

Here are some of the techniques they use to be at the top of their game:

Practice Consistently

The only way to be ready to "step up" is to put in the work. When the game is on the line, the Yankees are always happy to see Derek Jeter at the plate. When the pressure is on, Derek shines. Experience, along with countless hours of practice, allows us to master our craft and perform confidently.

Disregard Doubt

If we focus on what we can do, rather than what we cannot do, we can overcome self-doubt. Where is the benefit of worrying about the unknown? Winners push down feelings of doubt, by focusing what they know they can do to finish the task at hand.

Try Harder

If we label a defeat as a "failure", we are telling ourselves we lack ability and count ourselves out. Confident people never admit to defeat or feel defeated. They just try harder to achieve their goal next time. They look for ways to improve their effort through preparation, concentration, skill execution, or other factors.

Play to Win

When we play not to lose, our focus is negative and reactive. When we play to win, we aren't afraid to take chances and take control.

Manage Emotions

When we face adversity without confidence, we tend to get angry, upset, depressed, or pessimistic. When things don't go our way and we are confident, we don't get emotional, we don't give up, and we find a way to overcome the situation.

Success Breeds Confidence

Bring more success your way, by recalling your past successes. Remember your accomplishments and that feeling of success. Remind yourself that you can do it!

Find Success

Confident people recognize their accomplishments on a consistent basis. They set small achievable goals along with bigg ones. They structure success into their daily lives by setting and accomplishing meaningful, attainable goals.

Success Networks

Confident people reach out for help to get to where they want to be. If you want to learn how to do something, find someone who is successfully doing it and learn from them.

Success Talk

Confident people say the words "I can" and "I will".  Their self talk is never doubting and negative, but rather instructional and motivational.

Look Successful

Act confident to feel confident, even if things aren't going your way. Confident people always stand up straight, walk with a bounce in their step, and keep a smile on their face. Acting confident helps you feel confident which makes you look confident. 

*Improve your self-confidence by identifying your abilities and positive attributes. Complete the Finding Your Self-Confidence worksheet.

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Is Passion Overrated?

quote For our discussion on passion today, we talk with one of the most awesome people we’ve met since we started BIGG Success: Jim Bouchard. He’s a black belt turned motivational speaker. He does a great job helping you get in touch with your personal power. Recently, Jim turned the table on us – instead of us being the interviewers, we were the interviewees!

But that doesn’t mean we didn’t take the opportunity to send a few questions Jim’s way – we love to hear his fantastic insight! So today we thought we’d share some of the highlights with you.

Let’s check into the conversation as we talk with Jim about passion …

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jimThere’s a lot of rhetoric about getting into a business that expresses your passion. The business I’ve been involved with for a long time is the martial arts business. Most martial artists will go into business – start a school – because it’s our passion, but it’s not always the best way to make money. I think that’s a very important, and often overlooked, factor when entering an entrepreneurial life. Passion is necessary, but it’s not the only ingredient that’s necessary.

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georgeThat’s a great distinction. It’s the old story – I have a hobby I love that I turn into a business. Now I don’t love my business or my hobby. Think about your hobbies, but also reflect on the elements of that hobby that you really enjoy. Teaching has been my hobby, because I had my businesses full-time. What I got out of it was the joy of helping people and seeing the light bulb come on. Bigg Success fulfills me in the same way.

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jimThat’s what people really need to look at. When you open these doors, you find passions that you never knew existed. I didn’t set out to get into the speaking business. I did always have the ambition to write a book at some point, but I never thought I’d go out into the speaking world. Like you, George, I found it was just a natural extension of the teaching that I liked to do – in my case within the martial arts world.

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marylynn You’re such a great presenter, Jim. How did that happen for you … that you ended up getting into the speaking business?

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jimThat’s a great question – it actually came from some of my martial arts students. I was sharing the martial arts philosophies that helped me create an anchor and a sense of value and worth in my life. They found themselves applying these philosophies to their business and personal life. A few of them encouraged me over the years to take my message to a different audience – not everybody wants to learn how to punch and kick, but everyone wants to learn how to develop their personal power, their capacity to act effectively. That’s how it got started. Then one of my mentors told me that I was already presenting every day anyway – I went on the floor and taught! So for me, it was a very natural transition. But I’m going to mark it this way … one of the greatest gifts that I learned from the martial arts was the idea of beginner’s mind. The whole world is open as a learning experience for us and we should never stop to pat ourselves on the back too long. Perfection is not a destination … it’s a never ending process. So I’m going through the same process as a speaker that I went through as a martial artist. I want to learn, I want to grow, and I want to be a better presenter every day. And I know you guys feel the same way!

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georgeAbsolutely, Jim! The thing that strikes me from your story – you said some of your students made a suggestion. With that one little suggestion, and you listening carefully and then processing it, you found this opportunity. That’s something we all need to be aware of – opportunity doesn’t hit you like a train. In most cases, it’s very subtle. But that’s where you’ll find that thing that you really want to do!

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What’s On Your Plate?

By Bigg Success Staff
08-06-08

Work – Life Balance

nutritionFor us non-athletes, when we think of conditioning, we often don’t think of physical conditioning. However, just like athletes must also prepare mentally, we must put caring for our bodies on our plate. So today, we’ll share three great articles with a different twist on nourishment, exercise and rest.

The 3 Parts of a Sustainable Diet

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits always puts out great content. Recently, he wrote about the three parts of a good diet – (1) Follow a plan (2) that’s chockfull of super-healthy foods (3) that you love. We loved the third one!

He points out that having a meal plan for which you shop and cook is the beginning. It doesn’t have to be all healthy foods, but they should be the bulk of your diet. If you don’t love the food you’re eating, you’ll never stick with it.

Leo builds upon this simple formula to explain in detail how he follows it. It’s a great post on eating right … today, tomorrow, for life! 

Work Up the Motivation to Work Out

Many of us make resolutions at the beginning of every year to get fit. Why wait? Frederic Premji has a great post over at I Need Motivation on finding the motivation to work out. Here’s our slightly paraphrased version of his six tips:

  • Schedule it as a high priority activity
  • Get a buddy
  • Short-term … think attractive
  • Long-term … think health
  • Have a goal
  • Just get started

Like any other area of our lives, no one can motivate us to do anything. We must do it ourselves. So motivate yourself to check out Frederic’s article so you get motivated to work out!

A Little Shut-Eye Opens Your Mind

Naps have been much maligned as an inhibitor of 531 a good night’s sleep]. However, recent studies have shown that 157 taking a nap in the middle of the day is good for you]. You’ll get more done and be more mentally alert after a nap. 

Now The Boston Globe has published a fantastic resource on napping. Learn the best time to take a nap. Understand how long you should nap. Discover all of the elements that make your naps more productive. 

3 Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. ]