How To Set Goals In Two Easy Steps

If you have not noticed, there are small changes in format and functionality made to this website every few weeks. Not only do I try to come up with valuable and creative content, I also learn how to make this website easier to navigate and increase its functionality. For example, this week, I fixed the iPhone/iPad interface bug that now allow comments from those devices. The previous week I added the search box that actually works. Whenever I am about to make a code or layout change to the website, I go through a backup procedure and keep a copy of all of the files and code off line, just in case I did something stupid and can quickly go back to functional version. After the change, I test everything I possibly can and have the patience for.  This week’s task was to stress test the search box, and just for fun I typed the word “Goals” and learned there are ten articles that reference goals.
One of the common underlying themes on articles about goals is that most touch systematic methods to set goals, a system. Developing systems and workflows is a professional approach to establish habits. Changing or adapting new habits requires a change in behavior.  Changing behavior is difficult if one does not recognize that a particular behavior needs to be changed, especially if it is identified as a possible root cause. Let’s look at an example of changing a behavior.
There are a couple of blogs that were written to help the reader observe and identify behaviors. One in particular, was the post on tracking your spending for a week on food, transportation and entertainment for one week.  How many of you actually made the efforts of collecting receipts every time you made a purchase?  Collecting receipts is one step of a simple system. How many of you summarized the purchases using a note pad or the excel sheet that was provided?  Not many, based on the comments and conversations I’ve had with a few readers, and here’s the reason why.  There is a saying in sales that applies to behavior changes.
“A customer won’t make a purchase until the cost of the problem outweighs the cost of the solution.”
The same principle applies to breakthroughs that create behavior changes.  No amount of “would of, should of, could of” will change a behavior until a level of discomfort is more unbearable than implementing a system and creating an action plan to solve a problem or achieve a goal.  Even if blog writers or coaches provides tools, techniques and systems and lays them out and explains how to use them, no one ever will use tools and techniques until a necessary reactive response comes into play, like a decision to change a circumstance or a habit. Developing systematic methods to set and achieve goals creates a more proactive environment, which to me, is certainly more enjoyable than constantly reacting to things. Much worse, solving the same problem over and over again and expecting a different result.
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How To Define Your Success: Back To Basics

Definitions for success can be listed from here and to “infinity and beyond” because everyone has their own interpretation of success.  These interpretations are usually formulated by what one hears, sees on TV, reads on the internet, or by emulating  people who one admires.  Of all things and meanings that one attributes to success, everyone can ultimately agree that success is not an endpoint, it’s a process.  Where everyone splits off into every direction is how success is measured. Jack Welch stated it best when he said, “You get what you measure”. That’s a great quote and it’s also a guideline to keep you honest and focused on the goal. It’s not all about achieving the goal, it’s about what you become striving to achieve the goal.  Along the way, you measure milestones to keep yourself on track.

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Enjoying Delayed Gratification

I always wanted two cars from the era of my youth, a 1969 Dodge Charger in Plum Crazy and a 1970 Dodge Challenger in white.  Vanishing Point White.  For a few years I researched the time, cost and effort to restore one of these rare and sought after cars. In 2008, Dodge came out with the modern version of the Challenger from my youth. Same shape, lines, hood and deck lid, just beefier, heavier and a more aggressive looking stance. A fantasy turned into a reality, and now a dilemma, restore or buy new.   Continue reading “Enjoying Delayed Gratification”

The Five Books You Must Read


When I started my technical sales career at Pharmacia Biotech, the sales department had a well-planned sales and product training program that to this day remains my gold standard of training.  It consisted of comprehensive course: two weeks at headquarters for sales/marketing product lectures, hands on product training and Professional Selling Skills training. After the second week, the trainers sent you into your territory with your manager for two weeks applying everything that you just learned.   After that, back to HQ to focus on different product areas and more selling skills for another two full weeks and then back into your territory.  This cycle repeated for over four months and the team selling/coaching sessions with your manager lasted another three or four months after.  During this period, it was also expected that you continue with your own self-study on the products and your customer’s business. On top of that, you were required to hit your monthly sales targets and complete your admin duties consistently.  It did get a lot easier once you mastered the product line, your customers, and learned what’s important to manage your manager. (See the 80/20 rule.)    This methodology of constant and never-ending improvement became part of a very healthy corporate culture and a team driven to lead the market in best in class products, technical sales and customer satisfaction. The lifelong skill that this method taught me is not only learn new skills and how to apply new developed skills. Knowing is not enough, one must apply. Continue reading “The Five Books You Must Read”

20 Rules That You Should Follow 80% of the Time

According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of all activities produce 80% of all results. To put it in another way, people tend to expend 80% of our efforts on activities that have minimal effects on the results. The Pareto Principle can be validated by looking at many of your past successes that you are most proud of. In hindsight, it seemed so easy because we focused on the right or the best 20% of the activities, whether it was expertise, guidance or sheer luck on how things fell into place. People who are focused on activities that produce results are those who have created goals and plans and follow these plans while making minor adjustments to them. Who has time for goals?  We’ll get back to that in a minute. Here’s another question: Who even has the time to read all of the content that lands in your feed?  Believe it or not, you are utilizing the 80/20 rule as you purposely filter things out. We tend to filter out 80% of the online content that require thought, learning or reflection and head right to the 20% that the reader finds entertaining. If it was a choice between entertainment or learning and applying a new skill, most people go right for the entertainment. Continue reading “20 Rules That You Should Follow 80% of the Time”

This Will Help You Be Prepared For Change Before It Happens

Who doesn’t like a good book that you’ve enjoyed reading and learned a few nuggets of knowledge from the author? Case in point, Who Moved MY Cheese by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard. It’s an easy reading parable about a couple of mice in maze looking for, what else, Cheese. Being a parable, it is generously peppered with metaphors related to the pursuit of goals. Continue reading “This Will Help You Be Prepared For Change Before It Happens”