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3 Great Options To Help Manage Your To Do’s

There are probably endless strategies and approaches to staying organized and productive. They key is to experiment and find what works best for you.

I can remember when I purchased my first IPhone (I was a little late to the party) wondering what all the fuss was about with Apps. Fast forward quite a few years and now there are plenty of apps I use every day some of which are key aides to my productivity.

Evernote is probably my favorite. It has been instrumental in helping me keep track of all my notes and research from being scattered all of the place. I will take some time later this year to post specifically about Evernote, but today I want to focus on something that everybody can appreciate.

To Do Lists

Did you cringe at those three little words?

Some of you may love your lists, some hate them, but it is difficult to accomplish much without some type of system to keep you organized. Our working memory can only hold about 5-7 pieces of information for approximately 30 seconds in our head at any given time. If we don’t do something with that information – it will vanish. No, it’s not just you and you don’t have a memory problem, that’s how the brain works.

Because our working memory is not much bigger than a post it note with invisible ink, we need to come up some type of strategy to stay on top of our priorities.

You can get as complicated as you like, but at a minimum you need a simple list of priorities, or some type of “To Do List”. Call it whatever you like, if you don’t enjoy that label.

Don’t get me wrong, you can get great results just using a simple piece of paper with pen or pencil. However, these days many people have their smartphones with them all day long and love using it for everything. With that in mind, I wanted to share three great options for you if you are looking to add a little technology to your “To Do”.

1)     Any.do

This app is available on both IPhone and Android phones. Any.do is designed to be simple, clean and easy to use but is still packed with lots of great features.

Pros:

–        Syncing is smooth, even with a family member or coworker

–        Breaking tasks into “Today”, “Tomorrow”, “This Week” and “Later” helps with overwhelm of having to many tasks in your face, but gives you peace of mind knowing they are captured

–        Easy to set up reminders and notes

–        “Plan Your Day” feature

Cons:

–        If you do most of your to do organizing on your desktop, you will need a Chrome Add-on, there is no desktop app last I checked

2)     Google Keep

Keep is a synching notepad that not only allows you to keep lists, but photos, voice notes as well across multiple devices and in the cloud. It is stored on the web or is installed on Android devices. For Android users or Google fans, this can be the easiest to start using. No accounts to set up etc.

Pros:

–        Can be great for not only to do lists, but for people like me that like to take lots of notes whenever inspiration hits

–        Easy to get started for Android or heavy web based users

–        Simplest option of the bunch

Cons:

–        Not available last I checked for Apple users

–        Doesn’t have as many features as some of the others like reoccurring tasks, or calendar views

3)     Wunderlist

Wunderlist has desktop and mobile options for Apple, Android and Windows. It is easy to use and supports features such as reoccurring tasks, timed reminders, notes, and multiple categories to name a few.

Pros:

–        It is supported on just about every platform out there, meaning that no matter what technology you use – you will have access to your lists

–        Higher level subscription offers collaboration tools, file uploads and comments on lists – great if you are looking for an enterprise solution

Cons:

–        There have been a few syncing issues in the past, but it looks like they have that worked out

Fancy technology and lots of features are great, but only if you use it. The key is to pick something you are comfortable with and USE IT!

If you don’t currently have a great system to stay organized, experiment with one or more of the solutions above and see what you think!

 

Your partner in success,

Josh Paulsen

Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work!

It’s that time of year again.

Most of us love to use milestones as a means for reflection and many of those milestones are triggered by a date on the calendar. For many, birthdays that end in a zero are a common one.  As we turn 30, 40, or 50, we take stock of our life, revisit what we have achieved thus far, ask ourselves if we are where we thought we would be and contemplate future plans.

The start of a new year is another common milestone. These days (late December as I am writing this) you can’t escape mention of New Year’s Resolutions. Most studies estimate that nearly half of Americans will make some type of New Year’s resolution. The most common are to lose weight, decrease spending or increase saving, quite smoking or get more organized.

How about you, have you made New Year’s resolutions in the past? Do you have any for this year?

Sadly, it is estimated that only between 8% and 12% of those that make New Year’s resolutions are successful in achieving their goals!

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for an excuse to take stock of your life, cut out what isn’t serving you and use it as an opportunity to fine tune your goals, behaviors and habits. But many resolutions fail because they aren’t goals, they are more like “intentions”. And soft ones at that.  It is something you would “like” to do, but there isn’t any real commitment behind it. It is a “should”, but not a “must”.

The problem with “shoulds”, are that they rarely ever get done. See my post about “shoulding all over yourself.”  We might do it when it is convenient, or when we are in the mood. But with all the distractions these days, how often is it convenient? How often are you in the mood? How convenient is it to lose weight or quit smoking?

Any type of change requires a level of commitment and drive that will help you succeed even when it isn’t convenient, or easy. That is where most people fail with their New Year’s Resolutions.

Instead of a New Year’s Resolutions, I encourage you to perform a Year-End Review!

Here is an example of the format I use for my year end reviews. Feel free to use it to get started, or as a basis for your own version. I prefer to keep things simple as simple as possible.

1)    What went well in the past year?

Even though it may feel like it passes in a flash, quite a bit can happen in a year. Write down some of your accomplishments, your successes.  You can even break these down by category if you prefer (career, family, finances, relationships, personal growth, spiritual). I like to use this as a time to relive what Tony Robbins calls “magic moments”, the highlights of your year that are priceless.

–        For me, 2014 was the year I kicked off my website www.sitegoal.com and started posting to my blog.

–        I was able to really fine tune my brain training classes and make an impact with my students.

–        My wife landed a great new job that she loves.

–        I attended a 4 day Tony Robbins event (UPW) that was incredible. Besides walking on fire, it was a great revitalizer to get myself on track and reenergized.  I also picked up some great ideas for my coaching clients.

–        We had a wonderful family trip to Disneyworld with our two young children.

–        We were all healthy (minus the occasional sickness) and happy!

2)    Where did you fall a little short?

It is just as important to be honest with yourself about what didn’t go as well as you would have liked. Nobody is perfect. This will help provide potential areas of improvement for the coming year. I prefer to stick with things I can control and steer away from outside circumstances that I can do nothing about.

–        For me, I haven’t been as consistent as I would like with my morning routine. With two small children and a working spouse, the morning is my time to set the tone for the day, get some exercise, reading and writing in. Many times, if it doesn’t happen in the morning, it can be difficult to fit it in at all. I started to wake up earlier, some mornings before 6am and it has been really beneficial when I do it. I have been pretty inconsistent with it and could really benefit from taking advantage of this more often.

–        I didn’t write as many blog posts as I wanted to. This post will be my 12th post since I started in April (little under 9 months). I can blame it on not having enough time, but I know that is BS. Everything comes down to prioritization. I have all the time I need for anything I am committed to.

–        I have struggled to organize all my notes from books, webinars, podcasts, research etc. Sometimes I am in front of a computer, sometimes I have a notebook in front of me, but often times I am at the gym or driving. I am still working on coming up with a better way of staying organized with all the learning and research so that I can come back to it whenever necessary.

–        I have been working on my first eBook on procrastination and it has taken me longer than I would have liked. I won’t say I have been ‘procrastinating” necessarily, but the scope has grown and I haven’t been committed to carving out the required time blocks to get it finished.

3)    What would you like to improve and focus on in the coming year?

This area does not just have to include areas that didn’t go well in the previous year (although it might). This could be an area of strength or success in the previous year that you want to develop even further. What would you like more of? Where are some areas of improvement that would make a big impact in your life? What do you need to stop doing, or remove from your life? In short, what would make your life better and more fulfilling?

–        I would like to get into a consistent morning ritual that starts at 6am or earlier and includes some meditation, exercise, reading and writing.

–        I want to continue to modify my food intake to include more fruits, vegetables with more portion control to reduce the “food comma effect”, to give me more energy to accomplish my goals and the goals of others. I experienced great results with this after UPW, but have slacked off a bit over the holidays.

–        I want to spend more time with my kids actively playing, exercising, sports etc.

–        I would like to post more often on the sitegoal blog in 2015.

–        Finish my book on procrastination and offer it for free on my website

–        I would like to get more organized with my notes and great tidbits I pick up from various sources

–        I would like to take my family on another great family vacation in 2015 (Cancun?)

–        Create and structure more time blocks for writing

–        Create a product of some kind to stretch my knowledge and abilities

4)    What are your Goals for the upcoming year

Now that you have taken the time to review your wins and successes, reflect on what didn’t go so well over the past year and gained some clarity on what you want to focus on going forward – you can create your goals for the upcoming year.

The goals in step four will be more specific and time based than the information and brain storming in step three. For me personally, I try to stick to no more than five goals. Any more than that and I lose some focus and commitment. Usually I will write down 10 -15 and then refine it to my most critical list of five that I feel would make the most impact.

–       I will wake up at 6am or earlier 3 days a week, every week to write, read and exercise.

–       I will create and post 25 new blog posts by December 31st 2015.

–       I will complete and have my procrastination e-book available for free download on my website by January 30th, 2015

–       I will schedule and keep 5 hours of writing time blocks each week.

–       We will take a week long family vacation by September 30th 2015.

5)    Review your goals weekly (at least)

Do yourself a favor and don’t skip this last step. A goal doesn’t do you any good if you write it down once and forget it, or never look at it again. Now that you have your five most important goals for the coming year, put each on a separate piece of paper or notecard. Notecards can work great because they are very portable.

Under each goal write down at least five reasons why you want to achieve this goal. The more the better, if you can’t come up with at least five I suggest finding a new goal! Dig deep, this will provide the fuel for you to actually accomplish the goal, especially when you don’t feel like it, or obstacles come up. Review these goals at least weekly and you can use your notecard or sheet of paper to write down next action steps as you go.

There you have it – it is as simple as that! I believe I took about 60 minutes to perform the exercise this year (a little longer to explain it). You can commit more or less time depending on your situation. Have fun with it, use what feels right to you. There is no perfect format, just do it!

 

Your partner in success,

 

Josh Paulsen

A creative approach to productivity!

Raise your hand if you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done?

The interesting thing is that TIME is the one thing that is equal for everybody.

It doesn’t matter whether you are CEO of Google, a stay at home mom, or a college student – everyone has the same 168 hours to accomplish their goals, tasks and fit everything in. In a previous post make everyday the day before vacation, I discussed a great strategy to increase your productivity. In this post I have another productivity, or time management strategy for you that can even be fun to implement.

I picked up this idea from a CEO that was running two large companies AT THE SAME TIME!

I have found that many of my entrepreneurial clients struggle not only with getting everything done, but many feel that they are putting out so many fires that it can be tough for them to be proactive and spend time on things that can really make an impact on their business. Things like developing staff, training, getting more organized and creating systems that will leverage their time.

Jack Dorsey is the co-founder of Twitter and was also the CEO of Square – leading both companies at the same time! I am sure you can only imagine how much he has on his plate. What was his “secret”?

Give each of the days of the week a “theme” so you can ensure that you are not just putting out fires, but working on things that will really impact your company and your results.

Since Dorsey was running both companies at the same time, he founds spending one day a week working on “Products” for both companies and one day focusing on “Management” allowed him to stay more focused and away from the typical day to day distractions.

You may not be running two large companies at the same time, you might just be managing yourself. But you can use the same principle to ensure you are putting your focus on what will have the greatest impact, not busywork that will lead you no closer to your goals.

Let’s look at an example of what this might look like…

Monday: Customer and client focus

Tuesday: Staff development and training (or your personal development)

Wednesday: Sales and Marketing

Thursday: Accounting and Finance

Friday: Catch-up and organization

The themes will look different depending on your situation. How might you use this principle to structure your week?

Your partner in success,

Josh Paulsen

How much of your potential are you using?

An American psychologist James Flynn has studied something he calls “capitalization rate”. To keep it simple – the concept revolves around how efficiently someone like you or me, or a group of individuals makes use of its talent.

For instance, I spent a good deal of time growing up in Minnesota and in elementary school, my best friend who happened to be from Canada was an amazing hockey player. Canada is highly capitalized when it comes to hockey players. If you have any raw talent for hockey, believe me, it will be developed. Just about every kid is not only exposed to hockey, but grows up watching it, idolizes its stars and plays hockey for countless hours on Canada’s many frozen ponds and outdoor rinks.

Contrast that to someone living in Africa. There are probably many children with great hockey potential living in that country. But lack of exposure, access and desire will lead to very low capitalization rates in that particular country.

James Flynn has even looked at the capitalization rates in the United States for different occupations. For example, Flynn estimates that only 60% of US males who are “capable” of holding a top tier professional or managerial position,  actually end up in those types of positions. That means 40% are fully capable, (they have potential), but never get there.

I fully believe that as a society we place a much higher emphasis on “TALENT” than anything else. We have been taught that if a person becomes really successful, it is because they are really talented, or that it came easy to them. In fact, if you study many high achievers, this simply isn’t the case. It is much more about the “process”. The hunger they had to succeed. The hours they put into their craft and the perseverance they demonstrated when they came across the inevitable obstacles.

I truly believe that very few of us have fully capitalized on our real potential. Meaning, we are capable of so much more than we have achieved to date. That is what got me started studying high performers, how the brain works and how those that are truly successful and happy think and act. That is what lead me to coaching and why I love working with my clients to help them tap that potential that lies asleep within all of us.

What are you truly capable of if you really wanted it, designed a plan to achieve it, and worked towards that end every single day? What if when you got knocked down, you got back up every time with more resolve than the first time?

It is almost scary isn’t it?

Unbelievable success, happiness, fulfillment is not just something that the “lucky few” have access too. It is for anybody that knows the recipe and is willing to work for it, each and every day.

The good news is that with neuroplasticity (your brain is constantly rewiring and changing), you have the ability to rewire your brain by the way you think and act. Over time, those become new habits and it becomes more and more automatic and ingrained in your nervous system.

So start today. What is it that you have always wanted, but have never committed to?

What do you KNOW you are capable of, but have never gone after?

You have the ability, you have the POTENTIAL, but will you capitalize on that potential?

Your partner in success,

Josh Paulsen

How to become more confident in an instant!

Many of the clients I work with have an area in their life where they are lacking confidence.

So what is CONFIDENCE?

con·fi·dence

noun

  1. the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something

– the state of feeling certain about the truth of something

– a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities

Confidence is simply an emotion (feeling), just like being happy, angry or frustrated. What is interesting, is that many people magnify and blow up confidence to be this mysterious thing that must be earned and is very fragile.

Is it?

Or is it just an emotion?

Let’s look at it another way, pick an emotion that many people are more well versed in. Worry. If you wanted to – couldn’t you right now, in a moment – bring up the emotion of worry?

Go ahead try it. Think about an uncertain situation you have in your life right now.

–        Maybe it is about your current employment situation

–        Your current unemployment situation

–        The health of yourself, or a loved one

–        The status, or future of a relationship

–        An area of your life that you wonder if you are “good enough”

I am sure you have a few cued up already that you have used in the past. Most people do, it is not hard for people to get there. And you can get there in a moment. Maybe you are triggered by a news article, a comment from a coworker, or just a passing thought.

Most worry comes from a sense of uncertainty.

Now come back to confidence for a minute. Confidence is an emotion that is usually on the polar end of worry, but it is still just an emotion.

Which is a more useful emotion? Which emotion gives you your best chance to succeed, solve problems, get creative, overcome adversity and just flat out make it happen?

What more could you accomplish if you were in a confident, certain state more often. Better yet, what would change if you could call that emotion whenever you needed it?

As I heard Tony Robbins once say; how do you know your dog is YOUR dog?

Dog

 

 

  You give it a name and train it to come when you call!

 

 

You can do the very same thing with confidence. Who are you when you are in that confident, certain emotional state? Name that person and bring that emotion up whenever you need it.

The easiest way to condition yourself for confidence is to recall a time in your life where you had great confidence. We all have areas of our life that we excel at and have achieved great things. Think back regarding some of your achievements. When did you really feel like you were unstoppable, like you could do anything? Remember what that felt like.

How did you stand?

How did you breathe?

What type of language did you use?

What type of thoughts ran through your head?

You see, confidence  is just a program that gets run when we are in that emotional state. You can reproduce that sequence whenever you like. The easiest way is to focus on your Physiology, or by how you use your body.

Did you know that just by changing your physiology (how you move, stand, breath etc) to a “power pose” you can alter the hormones in your body? According to a Harvard study, just by altering your physiology for two minutes you can increase your testosterone levels by 20%! By contrast, if you use your physiology the wrong way, you can decrease your testosterone by 10%. On the flip side your physiology can also decrease your cortisol (stress hormone) level by 25%.

Now why is this important?

Confident people tend to have higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol. This leads to not only more assertiveness and ability to seize the moment, but lower cortisol improves the way individuals react to stress.

Now you may be asking yourself what the heck is a “power pose”?

Power PoseSocial Psychologist Amy Cuddy who has done much of this research sited that “wonder woman pose” as one example.

Now don’t worry, you don’t have to look like Linda Carter to get the benefits, nor do you have to specifically use this pose. The commonalities are an expansive body posture. Think of an Olympian that crosses the finish line and throws his hands up to the sky and outstretched in a victory pose. Confidence 2 pose

Have fun with it, create your own!

Condition yourself to a state of confidence over and over again. Then just like with your dog, train it to come whenever called!

 

Your partner in Success,

 

Josh Paulsen

What “GIFTS” are you accepting?

Many of my clients and students mention their struggle with negative influences in their life. Most often times this shows up with the people they are closest to. They could be coworkers, friends and many times are family members.

The easiest approach to limiting negative influences can be to simply eliminate those types of people from your life, or limit topics of conversation. That can be difficult if they are family members or people you care about.

There is another approach that I think is powerful.

If someone offers you a gift of some kind, whether it be for your birthday or “just because” and you declined to accept that gift. Who would the gift belong to?

My clients will invariably answer “well, the person who is giving me the gift still owns it, because I turned it down”.

Many times people will bring their negativity, anger, jealousy, or frustration to you as a “gift”.

Are you accepting that gift, or do you decline?

Your partner in success,

Josh Paulsen

 

 

 

 

Part 2 – What’s your one thing – the secret to making it happen!

In my last post I challenged you to come up with your “one thing”. That thing that if you got started, stopped, changed or completed, would have a huge impact on your life.

Did you come up with your one thing? If not, take a moment to do so now, or reread my last post.

I am going to assume you have landed on your habit, behavior, mindset, thinking pattern etc. Let me ask you this first. Is this the first time you have acknowledged or identified it? For almost all of my clients the answer is no. They have felt a desire or urge for quite some time.

So if it has been hanging around, why aren’t you there yet? The answer is incredibly simple. In your mind you associate more discomfort, frustration, fear or some type of PAIN to changing or modifying your behavior, than you do to just staying right where you are right now. If you really think about it, isn’t that true?

As an example, let’s say you have wanted to lose 10 lbs. What have you been focusing on consciously or subconsciously – how great it would feel, how you would look on the beach, the sense of accomplishment? Or have you been focusing on depriving yourself, the loss of eating your favorite foods, being hungry because you are eating less, fitting exercise into your schedule and you don’t have the time?

Just about every person on this planet knows HOW to lose weight. We all know it is some combination of eating less or burning more calories. Then if we all know how to do it, why does America have a large percentage of people overweight? Why is losing weight the top New Year’s resolution?

It is because the HOW is much less important than your WHY.

blog 6 image 2

As Tony Robbins would say “the reasons come first and the answers second”.

If you have yet to lose the 10 lbs. then you are simply associating much more pain to the process of losing those 10 lbs. than you are pleasure in achieving that end. It is that simple. Now I say it is that simple, but that doesn’t mean it is easy to overcome unless you consciously choose your perspective. Most people don’t give it a second thought.

Let me help you set yourself up for success in achieving the “one thing”. Write down that thing you wish to change. Now underneath your one thing, write WHY you want to change it.

For instance, let’s say someone kidnaps someone you love and tells you the only way you will see them again is to lose 10 pounds in 45 days and keep it off for a year? Do you have any DOUBT you would achieve that goal? Of course not, you would probably lose 20 or 30 lbs.! You might take an approach that is not all that healthy, but my point is your WHY is big enough. The why is the most important part of achieving any goal.

So what is your why for your one thing? Take the next two minutes and write down your top 20 reasons. Get to 50 if you really want to guarantee success. Don’t put it off for later, do it right now. You have been putting it off long enough!

Ok, now that you have your 20 reasons why you want to achieve your one thing, write a paragraph describing what it is costing you right now to not have it. What has it cost you in the past? What will it cost you 10 years from now? 20 years? Don’t worry about the format, the spelling, just get it on paper. Get just as clear on what it is costing you not to have your one thing as you do on why you want it. This will provide leverage in both areas.

Most people will do more to avoid loss, or avoid pain, than they will to seek pleasure.

Mindset is everything, get crystal clear on your lists, internalize it, picture it, feel the emotions. If you do this consistently with enough focus, it will be difficult for you NOT to achieve your one thing.

No, you don’t need the latest and greatest exercise class, you don’t need the newest diet pill, or the fad of the moment. Your thinking and what you are associating to your “one thing” is what will really allow you to achieve it!

Your partner in success,
– Josh

What is your ONE thing? – Part 1

So what’s your ONE thing that you know if you – changed/started/completed/eliminated -would have a drastic impact on your life?

I am willing to bet you have one. Don’t worry about the HOW to change, or IF you can change. For right now, just identify what that one thing is. Stay with me it will be worth it.

What is the one thing that would have the biggest impact on how you feel about yourself, the income you make, the results you get, and the satisfaction of your relationships or your happiness level? Don’t over complicate it, don’t pick five things, just pick ONE.

Now, this part is important. As you are identifying your one thing, do it without judgment of yourself or what you have done in the past. This is an exercise about your future not about your behaviors or actions prior to today. The only place the past exists is in your mind. Right now, let go of any shame, blame and disappointment regarding these areas and just focus on the reality as it is, without all the extra “stories”.

Perhaps for you your one thing is finally losing the weight you have been talking about losing for the past ten years. The weight that if you lost, would give you the confidence, self-esteem, pride and sense of accomplishment that would elevate all the other areas of your life. Maybe this one area is holding you back from putting yourself out there and seeking out a relationship.

Perhaps your one thing would to find a new job or career. You wake up every day dreading going to work. Or, maybe work is just ok, but it doesn’t challenge you, you aren’t using your strengths and there is no opportunity for growth. You know you have more to offer and you are capable of much more.

Perhaps your career is heading in the right direction, you feel great about where you are physically and your one thing is to establish a new morning routine. Instead of hitting snooze three times in the morning, you know that if you started your morning with exercise, meditation, prayer, reading, yoga etc. it would have a drastic effect on your mindset and how the rest of your day unfolded.

Perhaps your one thing is to finally take your finances seriously, to create a plan and stick to it. To measure where your money goes and hold yourself accountable.

Perhaps your one thing is to stop living in a mode of reaction, but instead proactive planning your week and days around your highest priority. Being more deliberate in how you spend your time and eliminate your many distractions that are holding you back from being as productive and getting the results you are capable of.

For today, don’t worry about HOW you would accomplish your one thing, don’t think about what it would take or any of the potential roadblocks or stumbling in the past. There will be plenty of time for that later and I will address that in my next blog post.

Just decide on your one thing first, and then we will move on to the next step in our next blog post.

So what’s your one thing?

Do you HAVE to? Or are you choosing to?

I have to wake up early tomorrow and take my kids to school. I have to go to the gym this week. I have to attend that function at work. I have to lose some weight. How many times do we tell ourselves we have to do something? Upon further inspection, what do we really have to do?

This list gets pretty short if we are really honest with ourselves. You don’t even have to wear clothes when you leave the house! Would you get some odd looks? Maybe get arrested? Sure, there would be consequences, but you don’t have to wear clothes. You choose to wear clothes.

HAVE TO

 How do you feel when you have to do something? Thinking in these terms creates a feeling of resistance and of being a victim. When we get pushed, whether it is by someone else or even from our own doing, it is a natural reaction to push back and negative consequences are inevitable. Below are just a few examples of the consequences we may experience:

–         Procrastination

–          Excuse making

–          Poor work

–          Complaining

–          Withdrawal

–          Minimal effort

–          Negative self talk

–          Anger

–          Resentment

blog 5 powerless

When you say you have to do something, what you are really saying is If I had my way, I would be doing something else. But I don’t have my way, it is beyond my control. I am powerless. It is also often associated with an “or else” consequence driven by fear. Your reason for going through with the task comes from a negative place of avoiding some undesired consequence.

CHOOSE TO

It may seem like a small shift, but when you choose to do something, it releases energy inside of you and it is based on free will. It is your idea, your choice. You are in control. You have the power and freedom to act and are a willing participant.

How do you feel when you choose to do something? There is a sense of ownership and empowerment. You are in control and it is your choice. The natural by-product of this attitude is:

–          Striving for excellence

–          Energy

–          Determination

–          Resolve

–          Resilience

–          Clarity

–          Action

It what areas of your life are you feeling resistance? What are you avoiding and putting off?  Are there things you feel you have to do? When you find yourself feeling like you have to do something, ask yourself:

What would happen if I don’t do it?

Am I ok with the consequences?

What are the benefits of my taking action?

Why is this really my choice?

What are some of the things in your life you feel like you have to do? How is that perspective holding you back?

What would it look like if there were no more things you have to do?

Your partner in excellence,

Josh Paulsen

 

 

 

Stop “shoulding” all over yourself!

I really should lose some weight. I should clean my house, I should make that Doctor’s appointment.  I should get going on the (fill in the blank) project.

How often do you SHOULD yourself?

If you are like most people and you were to keep score on a daily basis, you would probably be shocked at the end of the day with your final tally!

We are usually great at recognizing what we should do, but not so great at actually doing it.

But does it matter?

You bet it does! You see, when you tell yourself that you SHOULD do something, you are recognizing and highlighting that there is a problem, or that something needs to be done – but you have very little intention of ACTUALLY DOING IT.

I am sure you have realized by now that shoulds get down when we feel like it, are in the mood, or when it is convenient, but in many cases not at all.

Using the word should is constant reinforcement to yourself that if you were a better person, or had the will power, were strong enough, motivated, smart enough (or whatever is your favorite limiting belief) you would take action, but you are not.

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You aren’t just procrastinating, you are lowering your self-image while you are procrastinating and more importantly – reducing your chances for success in the future.

Instead of telling yourself all the things you should be doing all day long, pointing out what your better self would be doing, I suggest you take one of two paths.

THE FIRST PATH 

If the item, task, or behavior in question is truly important to you, my first suggestion is to simply replace the phrase “I should”, with “I am going to”. Notice that I haven’t jumped off too big of a cliff here and actually suggested you PERFORM the task. Let’s not get crazy! By all means, if it is something that can be done right away, get off your duff and do it. That often times can be the best solution, but I have found with many of my clients that “should” is often used for future tasks, those things that we procrastinate on over and over again.

A simple statement like “I am going to lose some weight”, or “I am going to make that Doctor’s appointment”, starts to put the power back in your court. No longer are you admitting defeat and bemoaning your weakness. You are speaking with certainty and verbalizing your commitment. It may sound like a subtle change, but give it a try and you will be amazed at the difference.

There is one more critical piece to this path. While stating that you are going to do something is the first step, there is another step that will help you actually see results and greatly increase your likelihood of following through. The best part is that it is backed by many research studies. It is called utilizing Implementation Intention.

Implementation intention is a fancy way of saying, describe the WHEN and WHERE you will undertake the task or take action. For example, scheduling that Doctor’s appointment we used earlier.

Instead of saying “I should schedule a Doctor appointment.” Choose, “I am going to schedule a Doctor appointment on Monday first thing when I get into the office.” Multiple studies have shown that when two randomly assigned groups are undertaking a task, the group encouraged to decide WHEN and WHERE they would undertake the task were more than TWICE as successful as the group who just agreed to the task. In one study 75% of those who chose a time and place were successful, verses 33% that did not.

THE SECOND PATH 

I think you will find that not all shoulds are things you are committed to. Sometimes your shoulds are things that originate from other people’s desires, wishes or maybe even societal pressure. For example, you may feel pressure to attend an event because of what others might think, or from some sense of obligation.

The actions for Path two is simple, but not always easy. Identify those shoulds that you are not committed to, are not important enough and that you have no intention of completing. In this case, just give yourself a break! Choose consciously not to add that task to your virtual to do list loop in your head and LET IT GO!

Be ok with the status quo and accept that we all have limited time, resources, energy etc.

The middle ground between the two paths is what causes most people’s frustration. Either choose to make a commitment and set the when and where, or let it go and be ok with not accepting that activity!

Do or Do not, there is no………SHOULD!

Your partner in success

 

Josh Paulsen

Productivity Power – Make everyday the day before vacation!

One thing I have found is that I seem to produce more results and get more done on the day BEFORE I leave for a vacation, than any other day of the year! I think there are a couple of reasons for this that we can use to increase our productivity on a daily basis.

Focus!

When I know I have 8-10 hours to wrap up any loose ends before I am going to be out of the office – it gives me laser like focus. I want to walk away from work knowing that I have left no loose ends so I can fully relax on the beach with my Corona. I start the day knowing I must get results and there is no tomorrow to push things off to. This focus takes my productivity to an entire new level. It keeps me from getting caught up in distractions. You want to stop by my office to chat about the game yesterday? I would love to, but sorry, NOT TODAY! I am going on vacation and have things to do!

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Clarity!

My limited timeframe gets me clear in a hurry. I am always able to get clear on what exactly needs to get down before I leave the office. I am also able to very quickly decide what is not important. I write down specifically what it is that must get done before I leave for my vacation and that gives me a clear picture helping me to lock out anything else.

Energy!

Am I pumped about my vacation, you bet I am! That energy provides an emotional fuel that allows me move at almost twice the rate I normally do. I move from task to task with speed and I enjoy the process. I am thinking less about any activities, especially those that are unpleasant and more about the end result. In this case, it is leaving for my vacation with a clear head and being able to fully leave work behind.

Delegation!

Delegation is something I normally don’t do as much as I could – that all changes the day before my vacation. Am I going to be able to get this done today? If the answer isn’t a solid yes, boom, DELEGATE it to someone else. If I take on this task, will it allow me to complete all my other tasks? If not, boom, DELEGATE. Usually everyone knows you are going on vacation, so delegation is expected and that is one of the reasons I think it comes a little easier for me in this instance. I have a free pass to delegate, delegate, delegate!

Results!

The day before vacation, it is all about results. I get clear on what needs to be done and focus like a maniac to ensure those items are completed either by me, or by someone else. There is no tomorrow, so the urgency propels me to work while avoiding all distractions. It is easy to get caught up in a to do list most days. To do lists typically have you focusing on all types of tasks that need to be completed, some important, some not important. I am sure all of us have had days where we mark plenty of things off of our to do list but still don’t feel like we have accomplished anything. It is a recipe for overwhelm. I never have this problem the day before a vacation. I know what results must get done and I know with certainty that they will get done…TODAY!

How do you use this to your advantage for all the other days in the office?

Unfortunately, I don’t go on vacations every week, or even every month. But what I have learned in that day before a vacation has helped me every other day. To be honest, I might not have the same gusto every day, but I can use the same principles to increase my productivity 5x.

– Get clear on the RESULTS I want. If you are like me, if you ask yourself what needs to get done, there will always be more things than there is time. Instead I ask myself – what outcome or result is most important today? This helps to provide focus and clarity, but most important it has be focused on results and production, not just being busy.

– Look for items to DELEGATE. For me and most of my clients, delegation does not come easily. We may believe that nobody can do it as good as we can, we may be hesitant to off load our tasks, or not want to deal with training someone on how to do it. We all only have 168 hours in a week and are limited in our focus. More importantly, if you are in a position of leadership, or are a high performer, there are tasks that are more critical than others towards your success and that of your organization. Maybe someone won’t do it exactly as you would, but is that so bad? Free yourself up to focus on those items that are most critical to your success.

– Celebrate your VICTORIES. You may not be able to celebrate your wins with a Corona on the beach every day, but take the time to review your accomplishments and acknowledge them. Reward yourself and take off early every so often and spend some extra time with your family or loved ones when you do stay focused and achieve your desired results.

Here is to you treating every day like it is the day before your vacation!

Your partner in success,

Josh Paulsen

 

What is your definition of SUCCESS?

What is success?

If you ask someone if they would like to be successful, you probably won’t have to wait long for a resounding YES. How about you, would you like to be successful? Of course you say. But what is success? Most people I work with have a much more difficult time with that question, defining what success is.

Is success about having a good job, a nice house, car, buying the most recent gadget, or making lots of money? I think that is a popular starting point for many people. However, research indicates that after a certain level – money doesn’t correlate to happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those people that thinks money is the root of all evil. Money is simply a tool that magnifies your character. The lack of money however can certainly lead to unhappiness.

The research shows that money does in fact correlate to happiness up to the point where you can provide for your basic needs. This is the point where you don’t have to worry about how your rent is going to get paid next month, if you are going to be able to pay your bills and provide for your family. But AFTER that point, once you have satisfied your basic needs, the correlations starts to disappear. That is counterintuitive to what most of my clients think or has been conditioned to believe. It is quite different from what I used to believe as I was graduating from a great college, landing my first job in consulting, buying my first home – doing all the things successful people do. Or so I thought.

If it isn’t money, is success about accomplishing certain milestones or climbing up the corporate ladder? I have seen many people do just that only to be left unfulfilled. I have seen plenty of people land that great promotion, or finally get that job they have been waiting for and then once they get there, they say “is this it?”

To me, success is about staying true to your values and utilizing your strengths in a way that provides that “juice” of life. Whether you have a need for achievement, contribution to others, significance, growth or stability, you are pursuing a path that allows you to meet those needs on a daily basis.

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Success is much more about the journey than a destination. Have you ever looked forward to a great vacation, or life event? Sometimes the planning, anticipation, and build up can be just as exciting as the event itself. You might even find yourself once you are there being a little let down. Your expectations and vision might have overshot the reality of the event itself. Now that the event has come, you have lost the energy and excitement that came from all the buildup. That doesn’t mean the event itself is a disappointment. Our brains are wired to seek, to strive for the next goal, the next area of focus to challenge ourselves and grow.

Many people will spend much more time planning a beach vacation, or purchase of a new car than putting time and effort into planning what it is they really want from life. Maybe it is because we don’t know where to start? Or we don’t know what it is that we really want? Maybe we don’t believe we are deserving, or can actually have what we want anyway?

I believe everyone is capable of much more than they are achieving right now. What are you capable of if you could get out of your own way?

To get you started on your path to success, ask yourself these questions……

  •    What are my top three values? The three things I hold in importance above all else?
  •    What strengths and abilities do I have that makes time stop time for me and I become lost in the moment?
  •    What would my ideal life look like and more importantly, “feel” like?
  •    What would I do if I knew I couldn’t fail?
  •    What does success really mean to me?

The worst thing you can do is get to your destination and realize you have been traveling the wrong path the entire time!

 So, what does success mean to YOU?

 Your partner in success,

Josh Paulsen

 

 

Welcome to SiteGoal’s blog!

Thanks for checking out my SiteGoal blog! My goal with this blog is to share my experiences and concepts that have changed my life for the better in hopes that it will help others.

 For the last 15 years I have had a passion for not only fulfilling my own potential but in helping others fulfill their potential as well. Whether it has been working with Adult students who are establishing, growing or changing careers, working with  my employees as a leader, or with my coaching clients  – my goal has been to help others get out of their own way and utilize their God given talents!

 I have a passion for the psychology and science of high achievement and happiness. I read everything I can get my hands on from experts in the field to learn best practices and I love learning about the emerging science of how our brain works.

  We have supercomputer right between our ears that most of us have been given no instruction on how to operate! We have picked up most of our thinking, perspectives and beliefs from how we were raised – whether it be from our parents, siblings, teachers or peers. This has a dramatic impact on how we view the world  with then drives our thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, feelings and most importantly results.

  For many, those experiences or learned mindsets haven’t been positive ones and it has contributed to failure and unhappiness. The good news is that your brain is constantly changing and rewiring, you don’t have to stay stuck.

 There are tools and strategies to harness that supercomputer between your ears that will allow you to maximize your abilities, succeed in life and enjoy the process. Is it easy? No, especially if you have created habits and have been thinking a certain way for many, many years. But most things worth having aren’t easy and in this case, it is well worth the effort!

 I have seen many clients make huge transformations in their life and I love seeing that light bulb come on and watching them to take back control of their life. To learn what has been holding them back all these years and that there is a solution.

 I am a student of life and I am hopeful that in this blog I can serve you in helping you reach your true potential.

 Stan tuned, I am just getting started!

Your partner in success,

Josh Paulsen