Archive for December, 2008

25
Dec
08

It’s almost 2009. Do you have a plan to reach your goals?

We’re just a few short days from counting down the last seconds of 2008 and ringing in 2009.  How did you do in reaching your goals this year?  Did you reach your goals?  Exceed them?  Were you close?  Well, good news.  I’m here to get you started on the right foot in 2009.  Here’s a few tips to get you started:

1. Find a mentor-Once you have identified your goals, find someone who has already suceeded in attaining your goal.  Their knowledge and experience will greatly curb your learning curve.  There’s no one better to show you how to get somewhere than the person who has already been there.  Make sure that when establishing this relationship that you express to the person your expectations and why you need their help.  Also, make sure to thank them for their time and help.  Find a way to return the favor to them in some way.

2. Share your give up goals-Are you looking to give something up this year?  Share that goal with as many people as you can!  That will help you with accountability and allow others to keep you on track to your goal.

3. Track your goals-Need some help tracking your goals?  Well, here are a few online resources to help you with that.

lifetango-logo

LifeTango-LifeTango allows you to systematically track any goal that you would like to.  You can also gain support from others online.

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Gyminee-Looking to lost a few pounds or gain some muscle mass?  Health goal site, Gyminee, can help with that.  On this site you can track your workouts, meet new friends and track your diet.

As with most things, it is best not to tackle a new goal alone, find the help and support that you need and make it happen in 2009!

Merry Cnristmas!

Mark

15
Dec
08

How do you get your news?

There are many ways that you can receive your news and stay up to date with the happenings of the world around you.  But how do you get yours?  I’ve been thinking recently about how I get my information.  It’s a drastically different way than my parents get theirs.  That’s for sure.

Let me give you an example.  A few months ago, I woke up, and as usual, started my day by checking email and Facebook.  Over night one of my friends had updated her status on Facebook that she had just got back from the hospital with her daughter.  About 2 hours later, the phone rang and it was her.  I was able to immediately ask how her daughter was feeling at that point.

Through the various technologies that are available now, we are able to find out news quicker and stay in touch better.  In days past, if you said that you had talked to someone, you would merely assume either that you spoke with them on the phone or in person.  Not the case anymore.  In the past week alone I’ve called, emailed, chatted on Facebook, tweeted via Twitter, and texted.  Over that same time period, I also sent video to my best friend in Mississippi of my son in swimming class just minutes after it happened and uploaded a longer video of him in a school Christmas program for him to download.

So, how do I get my news and stay in touch?  Here’s the rundown.  You can click on the logo of each site to find out more information:

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Google Reader–I have over 80 website feeds that go into my account.  As those sites update, I get the content sent to my Reader, all in one place.  From here, I can share, star (save), or email the webpages.  I can also search for the stories that I am looking for by keyword.

facebook

Facebook–I use this to keep up with friends and contacts.  I’ll usually update my status to let you know what I’m doing.  If you check it right now, you’ll see that I’m blogging.

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Twitter–Twitter is a microblog site.  You’re limited to 160 characters.  From here, I can share links or short thoughts.  I usually update Twitter and my Facebook status from my cell phone.  It’s just easier that way.

I’ve just barely scratched the surface on what is actually out there.  If you’re looking for a specific communication vehicle to use, feel free to email me.

Oh, and for the record, I do read the newspaper.  I just read it through my feeds on Google Reader.

Have a great day!

12
Dec
08

Investment advice

I am realizing more and more that I am a reflective thinker.  I tend to take in information and experiences and then comment on those experiences at a later time.  I’m the guy that won’t say much in a meeting but will have 2 or 3 ideas a few hours or a day later.  That’s kind of how this post came about.

As I look back at my life experiences over the past few months, even the last year, I am finding a common theme occurring.  There are certain people that are investing their time, prayers and resources to be a source of inspiration to me.  This means more to me than they will probably ever realize.  I appreciate their willingness to take time and share their thoughts with me and allow me to do the same with them.

There are different ways of investing.  The three that come to mind the quickest are time, talent and treasure.  For many people, the first form of investment that you may think of by default is that of treasure.  How much money do I have to invest?  Money’s great.  Money is needed to live.  However, I am finding that time is many times, a much more valuable asset that money.

We live in a world where time is extremely valuable and most people seem to not have enough of it.  Many days, every second counts.  There’s no room for margin of error.  We have so many time saving devices and programs and we use them to be able to do more and fit more into our days.  That’s why it is always so important and refreshing to me when I am able to sit with someone and just connect with them whether it is in person, on the phone or via the web, like I am now.

So how can you invest time that you don’t have into other people?  Let me give you a couple ideas.

  1. Make that phone call-You can make a phone call from virtually anywhere: your office, home, car or airport.  It can mean so much to someone to hear your voice and make that connection.  When you call, you’ll want to make sure that you have a purpose for calling: appreciation, thanks or recognition are always widely accepted.
  2. Send the text-If you want to send a quick note and get it to a person quickly, this is a great way to do it.  The words “good luck”, “I’m happy for you”, or “great job” translate well in text format.  This would be best if you’re communicating with someone younger or your favorite techie.  If you know the person well enough, you’ll know their communication tendencies.
  3. Send a note/card-Email is now a way of life.  At one point in history, you had to actually sit down and handwrite a note or card to a person and mail it to express your appreciation for them.  While this will take a few extra minutes, the response from the recipient will be well worth it.  Think about it tonight when you check your mail.  How cool would it be to receive a handwritten note from someone telling you how much they appreciated you.
  4. Be a mentor-Find someone to pour your life experiences into.  Usually, this is going to be someone younger than you.  Invest your time.  Invest yourself.  Serving as a mentor allows you to expand another person’s possibilities and thought processes because now they have your experiences and knowledge to pull from.

To those over the last few months who have poured their life experiences into me-thank you.  I appreciate it more than you will ever know.  My hope is that I am able to share more and enrich others lives the same way that you have enriched mine.

05
Dec
08

It’s the little things

It’s a busy work day.  We’re on our way to a very important company visit to promote our services.  I look my best.  The promotional materials have been carefully assembled…you get the picture.

As I pull into the parking lot with my carefully assembled materials, my cell phone rings.

Hmm, wonder who’s calling?

Oh, it’s a text message from one of my friends at the office.  Then I read the message, “Good luck @ the fair today.  Go get ’em!”

Now I’m sure you say, that’s nice, but what’s so special about that?  One fact: when my coworker sent this message to me, they weren’t even at the office!  They were someplace else and not even engaged in our business to where my meeting might be at the forefront of their thoughts.

Now I’ve got one question for you: what little things (that end up being BIG things) are you doing for your coworkers or customers?

Think for a moment about some of the most meaningful and memorable experiences you’ve had.  I’m willing to bet that in some of those experiences, someone proactively was looking out for your best interest or had anticipated just exactly what you would need next.

As you live out your day today, make it a point to focus on the needs of others.  Be proactive and attempt to anticipate the needs of those that you come in contact with today.  It is the little things that make a BIG difference in both business and life.