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Set Goals Like Goldilocks

Set goals like Goldilocks for BIGG SuccessA friend of ours told us a funny story recently. Her son was sitting with her mother in front of his computer.

He called up Skype video. They were looking at themselves.

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Grandma said, “Oh, that’s a nice picture.”
Our friend’s son replied, “Grandma, that’s us right now.”
To which Grandma responded, “Oh, I look so old.”

Isn’t that exactly what we do to ourselves?

If we looked at ourselves like a stranger in a picture, we can be complimentary. But as soon as we realize we’re looking at ourselves, we become very critical.

When you look at yourself, what do you see?

This is a particularly important question this time of year as we shift from one year to another. Let’s talk about two mistakes you’ll want to avoid when you look back and two to avoid as you look forward.

Reflection mistakes

Reflection mistakes are common errors when looking back.

  • Hyper-Critics Condition

    Are you like Grandma? When you look back, are you too hard on yourself? It’s a mistake. We call it Hyper-Critic’s Condition.

    Filter yourself by pretending you’re evaluating a close friend. You’ll be more likely to see the good with the bad.

Plus, even when you see negatives, you’ll frame them in a positive way.

  • Underdog Disease

    Some people are the opposite of Grandma. They’re too easy on themselves.

    They see themselves as underdogs. So they don’t push themselves hard enough.

    You can diagnose yourself to see if you’ve been infected. Ask yourself a question:

    Did you accomplish everything you set out to accomplish this year?

    If not, why?

    Resist the urge to just give yourself a pass. Pretend you’re reviewing a subordinate who has under-performed.

    As his or her leader, your job is to discover the reasons for the shortcomings and then help coach them to improve performance. That’s what you’ll do with yourself.

Projection mistakes

These are common errors people make when looking to the future.

  • The Slacker Symptom

    Your goals – or your New Year’s resolutions – should be attainable. But not easily attainable.

    Easily attainable is boring. As humans, we don’t sustain activities that bore us.

    We need meaning. And meaning comes from growth, which comes from challenge.

    So set goals that push you a little bit beyond where you’ve gone before.

    Stretch goals aren’t boring. Stretch goals are challenging. Stretch goals are meaningful.

  • Superhero Syndrome

    Superheroes set unrealistic goals. Your goals must excite you.

    They must spur you on. But they have to be attainable.

    There are two risks from setting your goals too high. You may realize quickly that they aren’t attainable. So you abandon your plan without really giving it a chance.

    You may keep telling yourself you can do it. You’re a BIGG goal-getter. BIGG goals are great. But not if you burn out trying to reach them. It only leads to disappointment, despair, and maybe even depression.

    You aren’t able to push yourself to the next level. You keep hitting the wall. So you give up. And nothing changes.

Taking some time to reflect on the past year to find the lessons is a healthy exercise. Investing time to plan out the coming year, make some projections, and set some goals is also valuable.

But think like Goldilocks. When looking back, don’t be too hard or too easy on yourself. When planning ahead, set goals that are challenging, but realistic.

We tend to have a bias. Understand yours so you can guard against it and you’ll live happily ever after! That’s BIGG success!

Do you tend to be too hard on yourself or too easy? Do you tend to set goals are too challenging or not challenging enough?

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3 Questions for a Brighter Future

questions You and you alone create your future. You are the only person, place or thing with that power. With that being the case, it's up to you to create the future of your dreams.

One way to do that is to look back so you can look forward. Reflecting upon the past and pulling lessons away so your future is bigger and brighter. With the New Year upon us, now is a great time to review last year so next year lives up to its promise for you.

There's a simple three-stage framework for performing this exercise. It involves asking yourself three questions:

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What?

Start with the actual events of this year. What happened? Describe major events in your life. As you record your answers, test your perceptions to make sure they reflect the reality of the situation. If it helps, pretend that you are a reporter objectively recording the facts of the event.

So what?

At this stage, you move from reporting to understanding, from logic to emotion. That's why it was so important to get the facts right in the first step. What did this experience mean to you? How did it make you feel? Why did you feel that way? What have you learned?

Now what?

The previous two questions lead to this one. How will you apply the lessons you learned? What specific actions will you take as a result of the events you've outlined?

These three simple questions serve as a great outline to review major events in your life and develop forward-thinking plans to be a bigg success.

Let’s look at a couple of examples, using events from 2008.

Example: Volatile stocks

What?
The stock market can be very volatile.

So what?
I can lose money if I don’t understand the risk and how to manage it.

Now what?
I will learn more about investing and asset allocation. I won’t invest money in stocks that I will need in the next ten years. I will pay closer attention to my quarterly reports to make sure I maintain the proper asset allocation given my age and goals.

Example: Layoffs

What?
Times are tough at work; layoffs are possible.

So what?
It makes me nervous. I think I could lose my job.

Now what?
I will look for ways to help my company save money. I will make sure my boss is aware of the projects I complete successfully. I will look for opportunities to add additional skills so I’m more competitive.

Solid goals

In our examples, the “Now what’s” are a little bit fuzzy. You really want to refine them to turn them into solid goals. For instance, looking at the second example, instead of saying “I will look for ways to help my company save money,” turn that into “I will find one way to save my company $X (you pick a relevant amount) in the next 30 days.”

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Would you like more help turning your thoughts into concrete goals? Get our FREE Goal-Setting Workbook when you subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE too!

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We really appreciate you taking the time to read our post today. Join us next time when we look at the most important people of 2008. We think you’ll be surprised at our choices! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Battle Scarred vs. Battle Scared

battle You’re probably familiar with the term “battle scarred,” which refers to the scars from wounds received in combat. Most of us are fortunate to not have to engage in real warfare where the scars are visible (i.e. physical) and invisible (i.e. mental). Our battles are more esoteric so our “scars” tend to be only the second kind – mental.

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Today we want to talk about a different word – battle scared. It’s amazing what a difference that one “r” can make.

By our definition, “battle scared” means that the damage done in combat is so severe that the injured party doesn’t push on.

It’s possible to be battle scarred without becoming battle scared.

People who are battle scarred start with an open wound that leaves only a scar over time. For people who are battle scared, it’s as if the wound never closes.

Mentally, the battle is still fresh in their mind. So they’re unable to fight again today. Two people can engage in the same battle and experience the same thing. One pushes on to fight another day (the battle scarred) while the other can’t live with the memories of the battle (the battle scared).

An example: the recent financial crisis

We have an example of a battle recently – the financial troubles rolling through the economies of the developed world. We all may feel a little battle scared at this point because it is still so fresh in all of our minds. It’s important to pause and reflect so we’re only left with the scars of the battle.

Learn the proper lessons
“Stocks are too risky.”
“Playing the stock market is no different than gambling at a casino.”
“It’s the government’s fault.”
“It’s the banks’ fault.”

These are the wrong lessons to takeaway from this battle. They are the reactions of the battle scared.

“I took on too much debt.”
“I spent more than I took in.”
“I didn’t create a safety net for myself.”
“I focused too much on what I wanted now and not enough on my future.”
“I should have seen that stocks were risky.”

These are the right lessons to learn from this calamity. The battle scarred will come away with these things in mind.

Make the proper adjustments.
“I’m going to close out my 401(k).”
“I’m never going to invest in stocks again; they’re too risky.”
“I won’t take any risk ever again.”
“You can’t trust anyone.”

These knee jerk reactions are common among the battle scared.

“I’m going to have an emergency stash.”
“I’m going to get out of debt.”
“I’m going to learn to allocate my portfolio so I get decent returns for the risk I’m taking.”

The battle scarred will make adjustments, but they won’t go from one extreme to another.

Giving up gets you nowhere

We have to keep fighting. We have to learn the right things from every battle so we can make the correct adjustments. We should gain wisdom from the battles we fight. That wisdom will help us win the war faster with more certainty.

If we become battle scared, we fail. We fail to take advantage of the opportunities that will present themselves in the coming days. We fail to reach our full potential. We must resolve to learn from our battles and make the adjustments necessary to win the next one.

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We’re so glad you stopped by today! Come back next time to learn how to get on the radio as an expert in your field. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Don’t Worry! Be Happy …. And Healthy!

By Bigg Success Staff
01-09-08

Work-Life Balance

000071_happy_door_jpg

Are you happy? It turns out that your answer to that question may determine, in some part, how healthy you are.

A recent study, published in American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that there appears to be a link between positive emotions and body chemistry. The study was conducted by Dr. Andrew Steptoe, a professor of psychology at University College in London, along with researchers Katie O'Donnell, Ellena Badrick, Meena Kumari and Michael Marmot.

Specifically, the study showed that people who reported being upbeat had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone may contribute to high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, and reduced immune functions when it’s persistently elevated.

Women who are happy may experience lower levels of C-reactive protein and interlukin 6, according to the study. These two proteins indicate inflammation, which is believed to contribute to heart disease and cancer.

So, if you want to be healthy, be happy!

Happiness is related to enjoyment, contentment, willingness, and gratefulness.

Enjoyment
Spend more time doing things you enjoy. Spend less time on things you don’t. You’ll smile more, which is very infectious! No pun intended! Ah, who are we kidding? Of course, the pun was intended!

Contentment
You can be happy without being content, but you can’t be content without being happy. Contentment is an inner feeling, related to peace of mind. Peace of mind comes from knowing you did your very best to reach your full potential.
 

In case you missed it, in our inaugural blog, we said that
our favorite 6 definition of success] comes from John Wooden,
who says you’ve succeeded when you have peace of mind.

So do everything you can to become all that you can be. You’ll be happy … and healthier!

Willingness
Be willing to lend a hand. To be a friend. To help someone who can never pay you back. To give back. Develop a willingness to help others in need. Strive to make it part of your essence.

Research shows that 31 people who give are happier … and healthier!] Be willing to help someone today. You’ll be thankful you did, which leads us to …

Gratefulness
Just like a willingness to give has its health benefits, so does an 30 attitude of gratitude]. We all have so many things for which to be thankful. So many things that we take for granted. From family and friends. To talents. To blessings. The list could go on and on …

So spend some time today reflecting and being thankful. You’ll find it makes you happier … can you feel that smile coming?

Because it’s hard to think about happiness without thinking about a smiling face, isn’t it? Doesn’t that make you smile? Happiness flows outward and affects others. So tell us …

What makes you happy? Share it with us … you’ll be happy you did. Can you see our big smile?

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

Related Links:

6 Define Success For Your Peace Of Mind]

30 Putting The Thanks In Thanksgiving]

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(Image of happy door by oskay, CC 2.0)

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The Face In The Glass

By Bigg Success Staff
01-03-07

Timeless Principle

face in glass jpg

As we enter another year, here’s an old poem that reminds us that the only opinion of yourself that really counts is your own!

The Face In The Glass
When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself
And see what that face has to say

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass,
The person whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

Some people might think you’re a straight-shootin’ chum
And call you a great gal or guy,
But the face in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look it straight in the eye.

That’s the one you must please, never mind all the rest,
That’s the one with you clear to the end,
And you know you have passed your most dangerous test
If the face in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the face in the glass.

Your reputation is important. It is built moment by moment, action by action, day by day. You can spend years building a good reputation and then lose it with a single act. You can recover – but it will take even more time than it did before.

That’s why you should be more concerned with your character, than with your reputation. Your reputation is what others think of you. Your character is who you truly are.

If you continually develop your character, you won’t have to worry about your reputation. That’s why you need to know 62 what’s most important to you].  As you internalize your core values, you’ll find that your actions, in the moment, are likely to be consistent with them.

You’ll tend to say and do things of which you can be proud. Just as important, you’ll stop yourself before you do something that will bring you dishonor.

It’s what we, here at Bigg Success, call “the light of day” test. If it won’t stand up in the light of day, don’t do it. If you feel like you need to hide it, don’t do it. That way, you’ll always be proud of who you see in the mirror!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

(Image of face in glass by antkriz, CC 2.0)