Got A Plan?

No matter how well we plan and how secure we think we are we never really know if the good times will last or not. We have great government jobs, and the government shuts down. We save and invest what we earn in great wealth, and the market turns on us, or technology makes our investments fruitless. Sometimes we just cannot count on getting a break.

If you can see yourself as someone who has these worries, do not despair. There is no easy Street, for even those who we think live on easy street often have stresses and heartaches that would break the average person. What you do have and can become more aware of in your life is your great ability for resilience.

Resilience is a great thing. Think of resilience like the old Timex™ watch commercial, it means that you can take a licking and keep on ticking. It says that no matter what is thrown in front of you, you’ve developed a plan of action to get you where you want to go.  You have made contingency plans that if something happens, you have a workaround or a what to do next.  You are on top of it.  Do you have those plans?

You may not get to your final goal, however. If you don’t hit it, you’ll probably come close. That’s what insightful planning does. And if you do not get to where you want to be, at least you have a plan not to get to where you would hate to be. You know how to be resourceful, and you know how to be committed. Are your plans in place?

Have you considered weather, government, and global financial tragedies and set contingency plans accordingly?

So, I have to ask you, of what you have read so far, is this who you are or who you would like to be? Although most of us are aware of many of these problems and the fact that there’s going to be good and bad in all of our lives. We plan more seriously for where we want to go and much less for what could happen along the way. I don’t wish bad for anybody, yet I sincerely hope we all at least have some ideas of the what ifs.

If you are interested in information on planning for your future growth, please send me a quick reply. I will send you some info.

Thanks for being with me today.  I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Pace Yourself

When I see new things, I want to do them. I’m a very kinesthetic learner. This means I want to see, do, touch, try, rip apart and put back together. I want to know what it can do, what it could do, and where both it’s positives and negatives begin and end. If you aren’t sure, I am one more of those tumultuous ENFP people.

The problem is, I often find myself overbooked and tied to so many commitments and due-by dates, I cannot get anything done well. I am not the only person like this. I know many people in the corporate world who face this type of problem on a daily basis. Luckily, I once worked for the smartest Chief Master Sergeant in the Air Force. When I found myself wrapped up in commitments, he would tell me to slow down.

When my Chief Master Sergeant told me to slow down, I had a tough time initially understanding what the Chief was trying to teach me. I was running full speed 12-hours a day, and I could not keep up. I had no idea how slowing down could get everything done. One thing I did know was that he never frivolously told anybody anything. If he told me to slow down, it was because he had been there, and he knew how to get out of the hole.

When a Chief Master Sergeant tells you to slow down, he is telling you to take grasp of your commitments. If something is needed and doable, do it. If other items are more urgent, do them first and get a reasonable extension for everything else. Have a plan of what you will do and when. Every time a new request or commitment comes in, put it into the plan. Does this mean your plans will change? Yep. A calendar or plan of To-Dos is never absolute. Plans and schedules are only directions that are hoped for until the next crisis or higher need shows up. You have to stay flexible in an ongoing situation.

This whole system only works if you are genuine to yourself and to those who are counting on you. You will need genuine communication skills to keep everyone you work with, and all your stakeholders in the loop. When a Chief Master Sergeant tells you to slow down, he is not telling you to take it easy. He is advising you to get yourself and those who count on you organized.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

 

Prepare in moderation

We had a beautiful snowfall last night. It clung to the yard and even to the street. We knew what was coming, we just did not know how much snow we would get. Sometimes life is like that. We know something is happening, we just don’t have knowledge of how intense it may be or how much it will affect us.

The trick in dealing with the question of amounts is not to get carried away. Being prepared is always good. Just don’t plan or spend for something that would cause pain if it did not happen. Think of it as a measured response in everything.

 

It is easy to get carried away. I remember the first year I was in Alaska with the Air Force. We had significant snow early in September, and I went downtown and had studded snow tires put on my truck. What I did not understand, because it was my first year in Alaska, was that the snow would melt right away, and we did not get another heavy snow until late October. So, I had spent money on snow tires that just weren’t needed for another couple of months. I would be better off if I purchased the tires later when I really needed them.

I know we all take such actions, trying to stay ahead of the circumstances before us, and often spending to procure things we don’t need right away. I think that’s the way we are as a society. We are often looking forward and planning. Although it is good to look ahead and prepare, there are also some problems that can be caused in some related actions.

We need to be careful not to purchase too much, for it may not all be required. Even worse, we can buy things too early, and by the time we need them, we cannot remember where we stored them. Then we have to go out and spend more money to purchase them again.

The trick is to find moderation in preparedness. We have the things that we usually use, and maybe a few items for just in case. We need to not go overboard one way or the other, and we should have a plan to know what’s where.

 Just by putting in a little bit of forethought, we could spend less, enjoy things more, and have some real preparation of what may come, without spending too much.

Just one mean old master sergeant’s thoughts.

Thank you for being with me today.  I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Transition

It feels like this may be the last hot day of the season. Coolness starts to come back tomorrow along with the possibility of rainstorms in and out for the rest of the week. More and more our weather puts us into not one season or another, instead, into a state of transition.

No matter how much we strive to find a permanent place, whether it is work, home life, or even the climate, more and more we find ourselves in a state of transition. We often fight transition wanting to stay where we are, doing what we know, and living the life we have. Believe it or not, we actually want to stay where we are, whether we like it or not.

The trick is to embrace transition when it comes. We want to get out in front of the change. Why? Because failing to do so puts us at the whims of the winds of fate. We can either enter transition not knowing where we will end up and having to live with the consequences or when change is upon us we can plan and research and act in a method which will help us to end up where we want to be. The choice is ours.

When I was 42, and just out of the Air Force, I actually built a layoff business plan. My dad was Army, I was Air Force, and I really didn’t understand how the civilian world worked regarding employment. I did know, to find a job I wanted, I had to go out and find one.

Although the factory I worked at did not close for 14 more years, the fact I had written that plan, served me well when needed. The fact that my family and I made it through those times and grew better because of them, I believe, proves that with a little fore-thought, guidance from above, and faith, transitions are not to be feared.

Transitions merely keep us excited about what is to come next. Change can be large or small, or better or worse. More than anything else change is what you make it.

Protocols

It’s another day, and my list of things to do is growing, and growing, and growing. I was explaining to a good friend yesterday a portion of what I was trying to do. The conversation helped me to realize how much I’m trying to accomplish and made me ask the question, “Am I actually accomplishing something, or am I just continuing to add to the heap?”

Often, I feel like I am trying to level a mountain, and it just keeps growing under me. How does this come to be? Not being able to say no very well. Wanting to do many things. And the biggest of all not having a robust set of procedures to help manage my personal and professional life.

Most successful people have some plan to help ensure good self-care. Good self-care helps to ensure you are ready to do good for yourself and others.  They start with a set of protocols for self-care. They have a process and a time for preparing and going to sleep. They have a set of actions and a time for getting up in the morning and know what they’re going to do to prepare for the day. These protocols may be identified as morning rituals, standard operating procedures, processes, or something else. It doesn’t matter what they’re called the only real question is whether or not they work. Protocols only work if they are used.

If you don’t have protocols for self-care, it is never too late. You set your mind to the fact that you will try something and stick with it.

You can set a time to go to bed, and prepare for that time by curtailing the use of interactive electronics about an hour before then. You could choose to write or read instead of playing computer games. Sleeping in a cool room without much light gives you better rest.

Plan when you will wake up in the morning and what you’re going to do. What do you need to do to feel good at the start of the day? Take a shower? Shave something? Exercise? Grab caffeine or something to eat? Go over your plans for the day?

You can do many things to improve life and make it work in your favor. Only you know what is best for you. You are the one that will know for sure. I can tell you that a little planning and commitment can go a long way in helping.

Ahhh… Sensory Perceptions

Good morning.

The sky is blue, and the temperature is cool shirt sleeve weather.  This will be a great spring day.

Did you ever stop to think how things get done? The dread of taking out of the trash? The fear and loathing of the laundry? The dank despair of the dishes? There’s a very easy explanation to help all these things become accomplishments.

The truth is, they get done because the only thing worse than having to do these unpleasant deeds, is to not do them and have to live with the results. Therefore, we do the tasks we often hate. And as we do those tasks, we find a reward.

Our hard work culminates in several sensory delights. The area we were working in Looks better. The same area probably smells better. And, there is a comfortable realization that for the moment it is one less thing to do.

All of these sensory perceptions are actually highlighted by the release of endorphins in the brain that make you feel better. The endorphins and the positive sensory perceptions upon the completion of the task actually work together to provide you a very positive experience.

You still may not like to do the dishes or clean the bathroom. Yet, with positive completion experiences, you might be willing to do it again and sometime in the future. As these things come about, they form habits. Habits persist because of the outcomes they produce.

If the endorphins and positive sensory perceptions do not work out well for you, McDonald’s always worked for my kids.

Have a wonderful day and a fantastic week.

Let your Spark Shine

Thank you for being here today. I know many of you have been following the blog over the last week or so as we talked about some very interesting topics. I truly appreciate you reading our blog, and I really appreciate the comments. Thank you so much.

I have seen trainers, writers, and others say that if you have something and it’s only in your head, you really have nothing. I strongly disagree. If you have that idea or goal in your head, you have an idea or a goal.

That idea or goal in your head is the spark. You need to bring it forth. I liken this to the Boy Scout fire building contest. Building your idea is a lot like building a fire. You have to make sure that the spark has air to breathe and fuel to burn. If in trying to start the fire you have too much air, the spark extinguishes. Too little air in the spark suffocates.

The same can be said with the fuel needed to add to the spark for fire. The fuel is wood from the forest. But if you try to use large logs or big slabs of wood the spark will never catch. We used to teach our scouts “thin to win.” Rather than using large slabs of wood, use little real thin pieces of kindling that the spark can easily heat up and catch fire.

The same for your spark of the idea or the goal. You need to get it out in the air where others can see it and help it grow. At the same time, you can’t immediately throw it into a demand to grow fast, be an overnight sensation, and make some bazillion dollars the first year.  A good idea needs the time to grow and be a stable platform.  The best and brightest ideas take time to start earning money.

Never let anyone tell you an idea in your head is nothing.  And, take the sparks of ideas out of your head and see what they can really do.

Remember the idea about slow and steady, and thin (lean) to win.