Monday, December 20, 2010

Be Careful of These Two Words - by Keith Hafner

When dealing with kids (or really anybody, for that spouse), be careful how you use the
words ALWAYS and NEVER.

Have you ever had anybody, while upset with you, say,
"You know you ALWAYS (leave your sock on the floor;
forget my birthday; are crabby when you get home...)


"You NEVER (appreciate what I do; include me in your
plans; help with the chores)...

This kind of hyperbole creates a defensive reaction in the
person you are talking to. They immediately think (or say),
"That's not true! Don't you remember when I..."

And -- you've got an adversarial situation on your hands.
With your exaggeration, you've made it difficult for them
do focus on or discuss the point you are trying to make.

Instead, substitute words like "sometimes" and "occasionally"
as in: "Michael, SOMETIMES when I ask you to do something..."

Monday, December 13, 2010

9 Ways to Achieve Your Goals

Hello Everybody! With New Year's right around the corner I thought I'd offer a little time tested goal setting wisdom. Some of it may be self explanatory, some of it may contradict other things you've heard - but it all works for me! Feel free to take what you want and leave the rest.

1) Set goals you're going to enjoy working on. Often people choose strategies to acheive their goals that aren't going to be any fun to execute. For example, your goal is to lose weight, but your strategy is to get up and run 3 miles on the treadmill every morning. If you loathe treadmills, and running hurts your knee this is the wrong strategy... and you probably won't be successful. Choose a strategy that's going to create enjoyment in the process.

The point of life is to enjoy it! If you don't enjoy the journey the destination may not be worthwhile.

2) Be honest with your self about what you can and cannot do. This is a knife that cuts both ways - don't sell yourself short, but also be careful not to set unrealistic goals.

3) Make your goals about you. Don't set goals that rely on you changing another persons behaviors.

4) Know how you're going to celebrate when you reach your goal. Make sure you make time for a victory dance! After you get done patting yourself on the back there will be plenty of time to set your next goal.

5) Guard your goals from anyone who will not be supportive. In the beginning it's easy to let one naysayer derail your freight train of success - so don't follow the tracks that lead to negative people.

6) Don't waste energy telling others what you're going to do. Do spend energy telling people how you did it. Some people say make your goals public, I disagree. Too many people are too full of talk. Also, see #5.

7) Figure out what behaviors support you, and what distracts you. For example, right now I have certain goals in Taekwondo that I'm working on. It requires a lot of time training, and so I've given up playing as much music as might like to make room for more TKD time. Guitar didn't support my goals, so I've let it go for now.

8) Don't be average. Don't do what other people are doing to reach goals like yours - DO MORE!

9) Fantasize. Spend time daydreaming, in as much detail as possible, about what it will be like when you reach your goal. Take a few minutes to live in that fantasy every day and soon it will become the reality.

I hope these little tips are useful to you! If they are, please share them with your friends.

I wish you all the success and happiness you can possibly handle in 2011!