Tag Archives: goal


Hawk Logo_JAJ0561by Mark T. Wayne

“Quit talking business! This is important!” A shocking pronouncement coming from one’s employer! I go mum. We sit behind thick glass, watching the Chicago Blackhawks clobber the Anaheim Ducks in the final game of the series. The Hawks will win this game and go on to the coveted Stanley Cup. That is correct, sir—an opportunity for a third championship in just a few years! Continue reading HAWKS


Three New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Never mind about giving up carbs, going on the wagon, or getting in shape. These are the kind of New Year’s resolutions that are made to be broken. But that’s not to say that all resolutions are futile. If you’re looking to change the way others see and respond to you in 2014, here are three things you can start doing right away.

First, some quick background. When other people decide how they feel about you, the two qualities they’re looking for above all are “strength” and “warmth.” Strength is a person’s capacity to make things happen through a combination of skill and will. When people project strength, they command our respect. Warmth is the sense that a person shares our feelings, interests, and view of the world. When people project warmth, we like and support them.

Knowing that strength and warmth matter is one thing, but it turns out to be very hard to project both at once. This is because strength and warmth are in direct tension with each other. Most of the things we do to project strength of character—wearing a serious facial expression, flexing our biceps, or flexing our vocabulary—tend to make us seem less warm. Likewise, most signals of warmth—smiling often, speaking softly, doing people favors—can leave us seeming more submissive than strong. So with this in mind, what can you do to change the way people see you in 2014? Here are three resolutions you can definitely keep.

1. Low-Hanging Fruit: Stand Up Straight and Smile

Yes, it sounds simple to the point of simplistic, but doing these two things consistently makes a big difference in how others see you. When people meet you, they figure out how you’re feeling primarily from nonverbal cues. Posture is the #1 way to project strength—there’s a reason standing at attention is one of the first things military recruits learn in basic training—so standing tall counts for a lot. Similarly, smiling is the way we most commonly project warmth toward each other. When you smile at people, they remember the happy feeling they have when wearing that expression, even if just a little bit. So to put it simply, they will tend to like you if you smile at them because you make them feel good. If you can pair good posture with a smile, you’re already doing a decent job of projecting strength and warmth at once.

2. Um, Like, Ya Know…Own the Pause

Filler phrases such as “um,” “uh,” “like,” and “you know” serve an important conversational purpose: they are a way of saying, “I’m not done speaking yet—just hold on a second while I assemble my next sentence.” But overuse of filler detracts from perceptions of strength, especially in, like, professional settings. While different setting have varying expectations, heavy use of filler signals some combination of youth, inexperience, informality, and lack of polish.

Overcoming this habit requires owning the pause between words or sentences. The trick is to practice leaving silences, and notice the effect that these pauses have on the people who are listening. The point is not just to speak without the filler—it is to learn to use those pauses. The best way to rid your own speech of filler is to record yourself speaking and then force yourself to listen to it. It can make you cringe, but in this case that is a good thing: That uncomfortable feeling is your subconscious rewiring itself to cut out that behavior. This is the surest route to reform. Beyond the painful exercise of listening to your own voice, practice using pauses when speaking in social settings like lunch conversations rather than reserving this for high-pressure occasions when you’re likely to be a little nervous anyway. Once the habit takes hold, then you can turn it on and off in different settings.

3. Strike a (Power) Pose When people win big competitions, they feel powerful and elated, and they naturally get big, raising their arms in triumph, sometimes jumping, sometimes raising their heads and puffing out their chests as well. This is consistent across cultures. If you want a little shot of that feeling, all you have to do is adopt that posture and wait a minute or two for the hormones in your blood to catch up. (How powerful is this effect? Amy Cuddy and Caroline Wilmuth of Harvard University and Dana Carney of the University of California and ran a very clever study to find out. Check out Amy’s amazing TED talk.)

Anytime you are heading into a stressful situation, adopting a power pose a few minutes in advance will help make that happen. Whether it is a date, a doctor’s appointment, or a tough conversation with a coworker or a friend, a little less cortisol and a little extra testosterone will help you steer things to the conclusion you want. (In case you’re wondering, this is true for both men and women.)

Putting this into practice does not require any imagination at all: Just stretch and hold a big position for a minute or so to give your glands time to adjust your blood composition—you can often feel a tingle as it happens. Stretching across the upper chest seems to be especially helpful, and stretching out your limbs and shoulder and neck muscles in general to release tension is also a good idea.

So before your next big meeting or big date, stretch yourself out (in private) in a powerful pose for a couple minutes. Make it a habit to stand up straight and smile. And when you’re searching for the perfect word, own the pause rather than filibustering with filler. If you do all three of these things consistently, people will see you differently.

Matthew Kohut is the co-author of Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential (Hudson Press, 2013).

Written by

Co-author of Compelling People. Lives with the curse of the easily amused.

Published December 31, 2013


This New Year, do not make Losing Weight your resolution

Lose weight as a byproduct of a more audacious goal

One of the all time most popular New Year Resolutions is to Lose Weight. While it is a fine and lofty goal, unfortunately, it is quite unlikely to be attained.

Gazing into the crystal void of a brand new year, riding a high of motivation, many of us head off to the gym, jump on the scales, count the calories and say to ourselves, “this time it is going to work”.

Then, a few weeks later, the tide of normal life-pressures come flooding back to drown our commitment. We have to work late. We have to get the kids to after-school activities. One day, perhaps to de-stress from a busy day, we might wander into the pub, order a hamburger — ah, to heck with, add some fries with that — and our resolve is dashed. The diet and fitness regime is put off for another time — next year for sure — and the bad old habits return. Soon, we are right back where we started from: overfed, overstressed and under-exercised. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. This was me, year after year after year.

Last year, however, was very different. I did lose a ton of weight and I did get fitter — much, much fitter. I stuck with my plan for the entire year and integrated healthy eating and exercise habits into everyday life.

What did I do differently? I moved the goal posts.

The problem for me in all those failed years was that according to the Goal Commitment Scale (PDF) my resolution was too weak. Losing Weight was rated, “I think this is a good goal to shoot for”, while it should have been rated, “I am strongly committed to pursuing this goal”. Quite frankly, the goal of Losing Weight was never going to become a strong goal for me, it was just not energising enough, not exciting enough.

My goal posts shifted when I signed up for my first marathon. It seemed a near-impossible goal at the time. I had a year in which to progress from struggling to run just a few kilometres to enduring 42 kilometres. I had paid my entry fee and travel deposit. I had committed to raising a lot of money for charity. I had announced my goal to all my friends and business associates. I had started a blog. I was not just strongly committed, I was manacled to this goal — I had way too much face to lose if I failed.

First marathon complete! 20 kg lighter & much fitter

I did achieve my goal and it felt amazing. It was one of the most successful and enjoyable years of my life. Weight loss was a byproduct: I overcame obesity and metabolic syndrome in the process of striving for an audaciously larger goal.

Paradoxically, it seems that the most difficult goals produce the highest levels of effort and performance. So this year, why not give yourself a big hairy audacious goal: sign up for marathon, or a triathlon, or a mountain climb — something that is right at the edge of your capability, something that energises you, something that is bigger than the everyday pressures of life?


A couple in their 60’s have completed a run around Australia, that is 15,500 km—one Marathon per day for 365 days.

Oliver Emberton has published an excellent article along the same lines using a blockbuster movie-script metaphor: How to make resolutions that actually work

Written by

Founder of Nexus IT & Communications Solutions. Training for my first marathon.

Published December 30, 2013


The Power of Embarrassingly Small Goals

See original article at http://smplme.wordpress.com/


The joy of setting lofty goals


So often when we set a goal, we set an impossibly large goal, and it makes us feel good — doesn’t it?


I’m not the greatest swimmer, so I’ll set the goal of swimming five days per week and compete in a triathlon.


I don’t enjoy reading much though I know I should do more of it, so I’ll set the goal of reading the great classics in philosophy.


My partner and I have fallen into a rut and lost our sense of adventure, so we’ll set the goal of doing something adventurous every week.


Goal original
Goal original (Photo credit: Peter Fuchs)


We feel good when we set these ambitious goals because at the starting line, before we’ve gotten wet, cracked open Aristotle’s “Nichomachean Ethics”, or jumped out of an airplane holding our lover’s hand… it all seems to be within reach. We see the possibilities and we already feel the success when we pack our bathing suit for a morning swim, when we enter the used bookstore to grab a classic, and when we think about all of the adventures that lie ahead. It’s because the work hasn’t started yet. It’s because we haven’t yet taken stock of where we truly are in this moment, and just how far away these ambitious goals are from this place.


When the work starts, and our distance from the end goal becomes painfully apparent, we find ourselves feeling discouraged, and we stop. Too much uncertainty lies between our starting place and where we want to end up, and it becomes easier to envision our failure rather than our success. To make this realization less painful, we begin to speak within ourselves, convincing ourselves that the problem was not us, nor was it our approach to achieving the goal — the problem was the goal itself. As a result, we don’t experience the rush of a successful triathlon completion, we don’t fill our minds with some of humanity’s greatest ideas, and our relationship remains stale.


Worse yet, the pain this should cause us fades with time, because we become someone that hates the water, has no need for lofty ideas, and our relationship is fine the way it is because we’ve found what we like and we stick to it.


My own failure


The first example regarding swimming is a personal example, so I’ll speak to that.


I have had many false starts on my path to becoming a stronger swimmer. It starts with me being inspired by watching an expert glide effortlessly through the water. I then set a goal to swim just like that. I research and purchase the gear that will help me get there. I get to the pool. I find myself gasping helplessly after one or two laps of inefficient swimming, my enthusiasm fizzles, and I convince myself that I am not cut out for this and so it would be best if I stick to what I am already good at.


Read more – > https://medium.com/better-humans/1fc879091b36




How to Stay Focused When You Get Bored Working Toward Your Goals

We all have goals and dreams, but it can be difficult to stick with them.focus

Each week, I hear from people who say things like, “I start with good intentions, but I can’t seem to maintain my consistency for a long period of time.”

Or, they will say, “I struggle with mental endurance. I get started but I can’t seem to follow through and stay focused for very long.”

Don’t worry. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else.

For example, I’ll start one project, work on it for a little bit, then lose focus and try something else. And then I’ll lose focus on my new goal and try something else. And on and on. When everything is said and done, I’ve stopped and started so many times that I never really made much progress.

Maybe you have felt this way too.

This problem reminds me of a lesson I learned while working out one day…


Read more – > https://medium.com/the-blog-of-james-clear/6ff0a0bc0dc8


The Conscious Lifestyle: Awareness Skills – Holding focus


This is the third in a series of posts about skills in awareness; the first two were being centered and paying attention. Being centered brings you into the present moment. Paying attention allows you to fully engage in the moment. Now we arrive at the next skill, holding focus.

When you desire something to come about – a goal, outcome, or solution – keeping focused on it comes naturally. But does awareness have its own power to bring about results? In other words, leaving aside the work needed to create an accomplishment, can you find a quicker, easier path by being more conscious? To find out, you must use a different kind of focus, known as “clear intention.”

Knowing what you want, uncomplicated by confusion, is a clear intention. Your body obeys clear intentions more easily than confused intentions. Every time you hesitate or feel mixed emotions, your intention is no longer clear. It’s the difference between running a marathon burning to win and running the same marathon worrying that you might collapse halfway through. The brain is thrown off by mixed messages, even when they are subtle. For example, if you know how to make an omelet, it will generally take less than two minutes from start to finish. But try timing yourself against the clock, setting a deadline of two minutes. You’ll find yourself fumbling over easy steps, and at the very least your mind will be divided between making the omelet and keeping your eye on the clock.

The problem of mixed motives leads to much frustration. Think of how hard it has been to make decisions in your own life when you felt ambivalent, indecisive, or unsupported in your decision-making. These factors affect not just you but the entire situation. Worse still are decisions that must be made where there is distrust, rivalry, and hidden agendas. A group of people with mixed motives isn’t conducive to reaching any goal smoothly, and when a bad result occurs and outsiders ask, “What were they thinking?” The answer is usually “They were thinking too many things at once.”

Focused intention has long been given inexplicable power. Consider the act of prayer. People pray under many different circumstances, some of them quite desperate, when the mind is agitated, some of them quite peaceful, when the mind calmly turns to God. There are prayers for success, rescue, redemption, forgiveness, healing, or if you happen to be ten years old, for a new bike. People make bargains in their prayers: “God, if you give me what I want, I promise to be good” is a well-tried formula. The fact that some prayers are answered while many go ignored leads to enormous confusion and frustration. But in terms of awareness, prayer can’t be expected to work if your intention isn’t clear. In every area of life, intentions become murky when you

Don’t really know what you want

Think you don’t deserve to get what you want

Feel skeptical that any result will come

Have mixed motives

Experience inner conflict

Prayer is a controversial subject, and I’m not passing judgment on whether it works or not (given a clear connection to your true self, I personally believe that prayer – or any clear intention – can come true). But the lines of communication are cut off when you send a confused message. With clarity comes focus, and when you are focused, the power of awareness is activated.


The secret to holding focus is to make it effortless. The image of a genius with furrowed brow concentrating like mad is the wrong image. Awareness likes to be focused when it is pleased – that’s why two people in love can’t tear their eyes off each other. They drink each other in; there’s no effort involved. So apply your focus to the things that charm you. Put your energy on things you love but also on things that most easily hold your attention and make you feel energized and vital.

That kind of focus is effortless but not passive. It involves the following:

You relax into a receptive state.

You are quiet inside.

The experience is allowed to sink in.

You are filled with a subtle feeling of curiosity, pleasure, wonder, or love.

You appreciate this feeling and allow it to linger.

In short, this is one of the gentlest skills in awareness, and one of the most pleasing.

Deepak Chopra, MD, Founder of The Chopra Foundation.

(VIA. Deepak Chopra MD (Official) – Linkedin – Founder, Chopra Foundation)