How to Make an Ordinary Goal Become Powerful

When Benjamin Franklin was a young man, he identified twelve virtues that he wanted to develop and make a part of his character. A friend saw his list and half-jokingly suggested that he add humility to his list. Franklin agreed, and appended it to his list of now thirteen virtues.

Humility was the one that he always had the hardest time with. There’s a significant reason for that. The first twelve virtues were ones he had come up with. He thought long and hard about the kind of man he wanted to be and that’s what he saw. That was his vision. Humility was someone else’s idea. He didn’t have the same intimate, emotional connection to it.

That’s the same reason we struggle with setting goals that last more than 30 days. Defining the SMARTER attributes and breaking down the goal into smaller milestones, checkpoints, projects, and specific tasks are a good start. They’re necessary, but not sufficient. In order to make our goals powerful—and not just written aspirations—we need to be clear on why we’re setting the goal.

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Five Ways Gratitude Will Improve Your Life

The right attitude will reinvent every relationship you have.

One of the fastest ways to ruin your life is to take everything for granted. Feel you’re owed everything—it’s rightfully yours, and if it isn’t, it’s because someone else is hoarding it instead of giving it to you.

When you step back and say the words out loud, it sounds like a ridiculous attitude. You probably know someone who feels that way. It’s a seductive way of thinking: you don’t have to work for it, you just have to want it!

The key to keeping that kind of entitlement mentality in check is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Gratutude is one of those concepts that should permeate our lives, but we tend to only think about it at specific times. Like Thanksgiving.

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How to Get More Done with a Fraction of the Work

Three simple steps that will change your task list forever

We’re busy. It’s either a corollary to Parkinson’s Law or nature simply abhorring blank space on a calendar. The days are just packed.

We’re driven to do more, to be more, to achieve. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It only becomes a problem when we start doing things for the sake of doing things. We do things because we’ve always done them. We do them the way we’ve always done them because we don’t have time to find a better way. It never even crosses our minds that we might not be the best person to even be doing it.

We become more focused on the process than on the results we’re trying to achieve. We become more and more busy with less and less to show for it.

Fortunately, it’s possible to dig ourselves out of here. There are three simple steps you can take that will help you align your schedule with your priorities.

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Have You Forgotten Why You Do What You Do?

Every challenge has a purpose. Do you still remember yours?

Why do you do what you do?

When did you last stop and think about that? If you’re like most of my readers, you make some difficult decisions every day that most people aren’t willing to make. You take the road less traveled. You sacrifice. You do what others won’t so that you can do what others can’t.

Taking the challenge starts to become a reflex. Given the choice between easy and hard, we choose hard. It’s often the right choice, but not always. Sometimes it just comes down to why we’re doing it.

In the midst of all these difficult decisions you’re making (good for you!), don’t lose your connection with your why. You may end up making things harder for yourself for no reason.

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How to Plan Your Day with the Productivity Matrix

You can’t do everything, but you can do the right things.

You’re probably familiar with Eisenhower’s 2×2 productivity matrix. It’s a common productivity tool, popularized by A. Roger Merrill and Dr. Stephen R. Covey, usually used to help decide which of two tasks we should be spending our time on.

Someone recently asked if this is a tool that you can only use when you’re planning your week or setting goals, or can you use it to plan your day?

Yes! You can use Eisenhower’s productivity matrix to plan and execute your day! Several years ago, my team switched to planning with nothing but the Productivity matrix, and the results were incredible.

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