Tag Archive: goals


Focus on Steps

I made a rather large goal shortly after becoming debt free. $40,000 in savings by December 15, 2014… This has been eating me up as of late, especially since we bought a new vehicle (2005 Chevy Suburban) which ate up the nice cushion of money that we did have.

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As I was wallowing in torment over this I was reading others blogs from feedly and got some good insight. Insight about making goals smaller, more reachable or really just working on the smaller goals that will lead up to the larger one.

This eased my burden and I decided to worry about the closer things and than worry about the large hairy goal later.

So now I will focus on getting around $2,000 for repairs on this newer vehicle and then $2,000 for our trip to Utah in July. That takes my problem from $40,000 $4,000 only a tenth of the size!

Now granted I still need to do something extravegant to get that surplus money. But it is not such a mighty beast to vanquish!

Have you made a massive hairy goal that you need to step back from and attack something smaller?

The Most Frustrating Thing

I have recently become debt free, have started to save thousands of dollars and  got a promotion at work.  Things have been going really well for me and I am elated that I have reached many goals that I have set not too long ago.   Yet I am still frustrated internally.  I am fretful all the time.  When there are things to be done and deadlines I feel trapped and anxious, when there is free time I get fretful again thinking I should be doing something.  Upon excessive thinking and driving all over the place to relax I have found what may be the cause of my frustration.

I have been thinking of a post like this for a few weeks now.  I keep putting it off or rather just didn’t make myself do it until now.  That is my biggest problem.  There was something inside my mind, something that I should do or write and I don’t.  The longer I don’t the more I regret it.  Then I eventually lose it.

After writing goals and deadlines, or putting the date on ideas that I want to do, I become sickened by how long ago I had an idea and when I finally see that note again a year or more has flew by.  Now granted I am not doing poorly, from the first statement above you can tell that things are going really well, but still the frustration lingers.

I started this post on my tablet one night and then the missionaries from my church came for a visit.  These are always great cause I rant and rave about whatever topic comes up till I am blue in the face, and on this visit I spoke of all the controversies that inundate Facebook and how no one listens and no one cares, so it is just spinning wheels.  Then I went on to say, “if people really wanted to improve the world they would improve themselves, they would start in their own home and become an amazing father, or an amazing mother.  They would take care of themselves, get out of debt, figure out how to earn more money…and by being their best they would improve their situations, their lives and thus improve the world and later have real ability to help people around them become better and more fulfilled…thus improving the world even more so!”

I thought this was a great breakthrough, while this was in my mind for the longest time I did not have the words.  As I thought more about it and how I could enact on my own sermon the reason for my constant frustration became a little clearer.  The most frustrating thing is that we are capable, and know that we are capable of so much.  That we can have what we want and others can too…BUT we don’t cause we constantly allow small failures, habits and addictions to slowly ruin our lives.

Think about it, have you even decided to go to the gym, you are driving there and at the last turn don’t make that tiny effort to turn the wheel and you drive past and just waste that time or go back home and watch TV?  Have you tried quick drinking caffeine and rebound because you were just bored? These, among many other examples, fill our lives and then we wonder why we are tired and anxious.

I propose that it is just not the bad habits and failures that drag us down so low, but that we know on some level that we could have done better.  How scary it is to think that I would wake up at 40, 10 years from now and had done more of the same from age 20 to 30.  That hundreds of thousands of little choices buried me in the same mediocre person that I have been.

I don’t need to get more tasks done in a day, I just have to make the right decision in the right moment.  No more effort will be required than if I had made wrong choice, but often things are worse off if do.  I save nothing by neglecting a work out.  You may argue time but really how is that hour used that day that you did not work out?  Pay attention…you will find that you are cheating yourself…over and over and over again.  And THAT is frustrating! 

Lazy Haze

It is the New Year and everyone seems excited about new goals and plans.  As for me, the last week or so I have just felt lazy and unproductive.  There is not really anything at the moment that gets me excited and fearless to the point where it does not matter whether I get 8 hours of sleep or not or if I have to stay late at work to get everything to a point that makes the next day easier and less stressful.

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Above: The debt payoff charts.

In the last quarter of 2013 my wife and I have paid off most of our remaining debt and only have $7,000 on my student loan left to pay off.  It’s been a really exciting process, but December was an odd month with a forced vacation, so the income was irregular, and I think that must have knocked me off the exciting “appetite for life” feeling that I had at the time.

We all know that many make grandiose plans for the New Year and if you listen to Dan Miller or a number of other motivational podcasts, these plans rarely last past February.  A thought I had was that I was not going to get caught up in the goal frenzy that happens this time of year.  I would just wait until March so that I could make and act on the goals in a sober manner.

But still this “lazy haze” is really annoying me.  I still need to be proactive and get things done at work and around the house and with the kids.  So I am trying a few things just to be less annoyed with myself.

One thing is working on my daily checklist again.  Despite that I think my system could still use some tinkering, the best thing about it is to just track what I do in a day and have the list for suggestions of things to do when my mind is blank and hazy.  The other thing is that I signed up for Jon Acuffs “30 days of hustle”…then forget that I signed up for, then got an email giving me today’s task. 

After getting onto the 30 days of hustle Facebook group I saw that so many were talking about ramping up their blogs that have died, and while no one likes a copycat, I thought that was the perfect thing for me to try out.  So that is why you will be getting all the delicious content that my mind has to offer!

My hope with my blog has always been getting some discussion, advice and feedback from anyone who happens to read it.

What do you do to combat the “lazy haze”?

I’m Always Thinking…

Do you have a million good ideas?  I mean literally a million, or if not that many then at least a whole lot of ideas that just fill your brain with ecstasy?  I know that I do, and I absolutely love it.  It is probably one of the things that I will always un-shamefully love about about myself.  But there is a dark side to it as well…

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Have you ever felt disgusted with yourself?  Yes, you and I have all these amazing ideas, and what do we have to show for it?  I have tried many times to get in the habit of always writing my ideas down, because I know that they have a very short shelf life.  And if you have lost an idea and trying to think it back up, I can almost guarantee you will not retrieve it in its full splendour.

I had written the idea of a YouTube series that I would start about just the journey of attempting to be successful.  It would be really cool.  I wrote it down in some detail… Then forgot about it…well not really it was always in my mind, more and more ideas about it came to my mind.  But I decided it was alright I will start on it in a month or two.  Then one day as I was cleaning up my mess of a would be office in the basement I found the notes.  IT WAS MORE THAN A YEAR that I had these awesome ideas and I had not done a single thing for it! 

I felt gross about myself, and for good reason.  No matter how great of an idea that I have, it means nothing because it was not acted upon.  Enter the Matthew Effect, I have been in ruts for ideas since I have not used the great ones I have had.

There are some fantastic articles on Lifehacker that helped me really get the sting and the importance of this concept.

http://lifehacker.com/stop-waiting-on-your-ideas-and-get-them-out-the-door-no-476459071

http://paidtoexist.com/why-you-need-to-start-now-infographic/

http://lifehacker.com/seeking-inspiration-stop-looking-and-start-doing-476417146

Another side of the coin is that I do not want to become one of those people that I loathe… The idea guy (or gal).  The person who will walk through an idea and get all excited and when you ask them how they will do it… they shrug and say, “Someone else will do it for me…I am the idea guy…”  I almost want to slap them right then and there.

As of this post I am re-committing to acting on ideas and ceasing the trap of procrastinating and day dreaming that something good might come of just having an idea and not acting on it.  Will you do the same?

P.S. Here are some of the YouTube videos I have attempted to make.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=HlalLOGm6yU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=gNogs4_2Nn0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=85otWbzOb-Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=IbhhwwE0cpo

2012 has been a rough year for the family and I.  I switched jobs in the middle of the year and had to wash dishes for $10/hr while I was transitioning.  I had a lot of lofty goal and wanted nothing more to get out of debt. Then near the end of the year, mostly November and December, everyone…and I mean everyone got sick.  It almost seemed like a plague that took over Alberta Canada.  I stopped even trying to blog, just queued up a bunch of regurgitation to post on Facebook and Twitter and have not read a book or listened to an audio book for the last two months!

I was thinking in the last week of the 2012 about my goals and my dreams and the horrible failure that I am and how I can’t accomplish anything…it was rather depressing.  But now that I am finally feeling a bit better, and I got my wife back from the Alberta plague I am much less depressed, we worked together on getting the house in order and even have time to relax.  She (my wife) plays her new Wii games that she got for Christmas and I am actually taking a look at my long neglected blog.

It is easy to crash and burn in life, it is almost impossible to not fall into a crash and burn situation at least a few times a year.  When I was in the dumps with being sick and my wife was passed out on the couch I thought that there was nothing more that I would want to do than to go up to my bedroom and pass out as well.  But I felt gross and I didn’t believe that sleeping could make it feel better (and I believe that sleeping can make almost anything better!).  So I started doing dishes and cleaning up the house.  I thought of all the failures I have had and that I should just give up on everything, but as the house got in better and better shape I started being more positive.

My thought process was that I will repair what it can in the house, I will do what I can to make my wife and I feel better, I will do what I can for the kids, and then I will work on other projects as I am able.  I caught the flaw in my thinking in where if I could not do it all, then there is no point in doing anything.  Ludicrous! If a stock drops a few cents does that mean it has to plummet?  If a plane crashes does that mean there are no survivors? If I stub my toe should I cut off my leg?

This year is both a bit scary and also very exciting.  The US is not ready for the fiscal cliff deal and I think it never will be, there are hard times up ahead, but there is also a lot of opportunity to work and get out of debt and be prepared.

What do you do after a Crash and Burn situation?

I Wanna Work for LifeHacker!

So I have been stewing about my goals that I had for 2012, ones that I accomplished and the many that I have not.  And I have been trying to think of want I really want out of life…I finally discovered how awesome of a blog the http://lifehacker.com/ site is and all the wonderful little articles that help one be more prodcutive, do more with their goals, and just some neat things that you can do with everyday items.

Lifehacker has been there for quite some time and I guess I just nothing had any interest in it, or when I ran across it…it did not have anything of interest to me.  But I read an article that almost change my life (I say almost because I have not perfectly implemented it yet…), it was about clearing to neutral, something that I had always known and sometimes used and have always had great results with. http://lifehacker.com/5957553/stop-procrastinating-by-clearing-to-neutral

I have always had ideas and systems like this, I also am crazy about mind maps, organization, and success strategies.  I have decided that I would really like to work for Lifehacker…so I tried finding job posting and the closest thing I could find was a job in Australia… don’t get me wrong I would love to move there, but that is not feasible at the moment since I am living in Canada and struggling to provide for my wife and two daughters.

So the new plan is to do better and better on my own blog, and get it to the quality that you would expect to see on lifehacker…who knows, maybe they will pick up one of my post and put it on their blog!

Here’s to dreaming, scheming and making some big hairy goals for 2013 that will make us stretch and grow!  Happy holidays!

 

Goals, not New Year Resolutions

It is the season to make new goals, to reflect and to decide how to make yourself better.  But new years resolution has become an ugly word to me…meaning that you will make a goal or two before the new year and you will have given up on them or forget them all together in the first quarter of the new year.

Goals, I believe are to be set right when you think of them.  The moment you say, “I am out of shape, I need to work out.”  How pointless is it that you will not make goals for this until the new year?  Is there a magic that dictates that if you are well into the year that you cannot change anything until the new year comes?  I think absolutely not!  I have made goals, and yes I have made them in this season of reflection looking towards the new year, but I have started working towards them how, I was working at them before, but just have given them a tune up, more clarity, and revamped my efforts to make myself accountable for those goals.  I have downloaded an Android app called “Habit Droid” and it has fantastic charts that track your progress, and nags your with reminders.  Despite how long term your goals are, make quarterly goals (that is three months out of the year…), then make weekly goals.  Check yourself quarterly, weekly, daily, by every event in the day that adds to or detracts from your goals.

Be brutally honest with yourself.  Realise and accept the motive behind your goals.  I laugh at myself when I think I want to get in shape for my own health,  sadly for some reason it is not that important to me.  I’m young and my body works when I need it too.  But…the real reason I want to be fit is so that when I go swimming my wife and any other girl that sees me thinks, “Oh my I would like a piece of that!”  Shallow? Yes!  Actual motive, most definitely.  But I have also matured to the degree that there are things I want just to give me self appreciation, self worth if you will.  I love reading cause it gives me this high to know things and to be able to use bigger words!  Financial goals are much the same, I want to be rich, filthy rich, because I want freedom from worry.  I really do not have grandiose plans to give the money away…yes I will more than happily give money and better Christmas gifts to friends and family, but one of my drives is to have a nice BMW car…Be honest, your actual motive are the motives that are driving you anyway, and if they are not there, all your false or would be pious motives are not going to move you forward.

You can make a goal at any given moment, one of my favourite goals that I have accomplished is putting a line through my 7’s and mt Z’s in my handwriting so I can tell them apart from my 2’s…I have very sloppy handwriting, but I like it well enough and this goal I decided on a whim when I saw someone else write that way and I thought it was very classy.  I think that only took me a month or so and now I write that way without even thinking about it.

I wish us all the satisfaction of accomplished goals and self elevation!

Driven by the Unseeming Goal

So I got the book on the life of Steve Jobs, and I was really excited to read it, I got it for the Kindle and started reading it all the time.  I would do things quickly at work so I would not have to bother with them at home.  I would clean or take care of my daughter and get her to bed right on time so I could go read some more…When I finished the book, I had about a half day of feeling lost.  I was thinking about when I was looking into another book to read, and realized how driven I was by the goal to read that book.

I am not sure if this drive that came out of left field is a good thing or a bad thing, or just a thing that has to be tempered so as to not over ride important things, but is great for building the mind instead of being trapped in many little unimportant things.  Surely the goal to have a well trained and active mind drives my desire to read, and the ambitions for business are met by the content of the book about the founder of Apple.

I would think that our actions from moment to moment are driven from these unknown or unrecognised goals.  And more often than not this would be problematic.  Because the goals that naturally come to us are drives that have to be satisfied instantly, leaving more lofty goals that require time and sacrifice to be sabotaged.