Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category

A Special Kind Of Unique

“In my honest opinion, success is about making your life a special version of unique that fits who you are, not what other people want you to be.”

Do you ever think about why you do the things you do?  Is it because you think they will make you more successful?  What does achieving higher levels of financial success really give you in the bigger picture of your life?  What does having a bigger, nicer or more expensive house really do for you?  Does having a new car make you more successful?  What do all these possessions mean?  Do they mean you are more successful?  Who’s standards are all these things being measured against?  Are they yours?  Do these belongings create a special version of unique in your life?

Ultimately, you have the choice to say what success means to you, and what you need to do to achieve it.  At the end of the day, the only person you have to answer to is yourself.  So have you ever asked if you are happy with what you are doing today to become successful?  If you’re not, what do you think you could do differently?  How do you think you could change the path you are on, to lead you to a place where you’re more successful?  Maybe change jobs?  Change cities?  Get rid of material possessions?  Buy more material possessions?  Have more?  Have less?  Have you ever asked yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing?

Mark Cuban is the author of the quote that started this post.  He tells you what his definition of success is: he’s trying to make his life a special version of unique that fits who he is.  How he does that is by asking himself a simple question to determine whether or not he will do something.  That question is, “when I hopefully turn 90, and look back at my life, would I regret having done it, or not having done it?”

Pretty simple.  But it can make your decision-making process much easier when deciding whether something fits into your life’s journey to success.  If you think it’s something you will regret not having done then maybe you should do it.  And if you think you might regret doing it, then you should probably trust that feeling and not do it.  Remember, every decision you make will, in some way, effect where your life takes you.  And also remember that you attract to yourself that which you are.  Keep that in mind when making decisions on your journey to success.  If you choose to take short cuts and try to cheat your way to success you will find yourself with everyone else who took that same path.  And you will realize that road is filled with many empty rewards.  But, if you choose to live a life where you hold high standards and always strive to do your best you will attract to yourself people of the same caliber.  In that respect, you will be given the opportunity to live in a world where everyone around is always doing their best.  Those are the people you want to share your life and success with.  That is the world in which you should want to live.

Today is unique for all of us in that we will never live this day again, so when you’re 90 what will you remember about it?

Happy Wednesday!


If Only You Had More Time…

You, like everyone else, are always trying to find more time.  More time to exercise.  More time to cook healthy food.  More time to relax.  More time to hang out with family and friends.  More time to travel.  More time to read.  More time to try new things.  The problem is there is no more time to find.  You only get 24 hours in a day.  No one can get around this – not even the wealthiest and most successful people in the world can buy more time.  Therefore, what you really need to do is learn how to maximize your time.  You need to learn how to prioritize things in your life so they allow you to live the life you want to lead.  And also, so they allow you to achieve the level of success to which you aspire.

Since I’m always looking for better ways to manage my time, and life, here’s a technique I recently came across for prioritizing your to-do list.  Now this assumes you have a to-do list, which whether you have it written down or not you still have one.  However, it just may be in your head with no formal organization.  Now is the time to get your to-do list out, and if you don’t have one you need to make one, then continue reading…

The following is compliments of John Maxwell.

1. Rate each task on your to-do list in terms of Importance:

Critical = 5 points
Necessary = 4 points
Important = 3 points
Helpful = 2 points
Marginal = 1 point

2. Now determine each task’s Urgency:

This month = 5 points
Next month = 4 points
This quarter = 3 points
Next quarter = 2 points
End of year = 1 point

3. Lastly, multiply the rate of Importance by the rate of Urgency:

Example: 5 (critical) x 4 (next month) = 20.

Now take the score for each task on your to-do list and reorder your list from highest to lowest using that score.  You will see all the things ordered on your list in a much more effective manner as opposed to putting 15 things on a to-do list and then starting at number one with no consideration for importance or urgency of the task.

What you may also find is that some things you are spending your time doing fall to the bottom of the list.  And the things that you have not had any time to do find their way to the top of your list because now you’re giving them the importance they deserve.  With exercises like these you will often notice the following:

  • You’re wasting your time doing things that are not important.
  • You have things on your to-do list that really never need to get done and can be taken off the list altogether.
  • You are ignoring, or putting off doing, the things that could make the biggest positive impact on your life.

This exercise will take ten minutes out of your day but could save you hours of time that are being spent on unimportant tasks.  So don’t let another day drift by without a plan to maximize your time.

Happy Wednesday!


Strategies… I Didn’t Have Any So I Got Fat

“Strategy even trumps willpower. Studies show that willpower is actually in limited supply. Meaning, resist the cookie now, it might be hard to resist it later. Therefore, I believe it is more important to build in good strategies. For example, if you eat ice cream every night, rather than trying to “be good” and resist it, simply remove it from the house. If you consistently visit the vending machine because you don’t have time to go to lunch, your strategy would be to pack your lunch the night before and bring it with you.”

Hat tip to Valerie Waters for that quote.

Will power can get you through a lot of short term situations but if you want long term success you need to start strategizing.  What having strategies boils down to is just having a plan.  A road map for success.  When you’re presented with a less than optimal situation you have to develop a strategy to deal with it and to overcome it.  You strategize in your professional life so why not in your personal life too?  Take, for instance, the holiday season.  What happens to you over the holidays?  You lack time so you don’t exercise, then you eat too much, drink too much and soon find yourself rolling into the new year with 10 extra pounds that you hope to combat with New Year’s resolutions that you will probably never stick to.  You didn’t have a strategy so you basically set yourself up to fail.

Instead, what you should be doing is creating holiday strategies to prevent these things from ever happening.  Plan for this time of year when your physique has a less than optimal chance of staying svelte.  What can you do?  That list is endless but here’s a few simple suggestions.

  1. You have extra days off but don’t waste them away by sleeping in late then farting around all day.  You no longer have structure of a work day but don’t let that throw you off.  Wake up early and plan your day.  What do you have to get done?  When and what are you going to eat?  Are you going to exercise?  Have this stuff planned for the day and you will stay on track.
  2. When you’re at holiday parties don’t just drink and eat aimlessly.  Have a strategy.  You are there to relax, enjoy yourself and, yes, indulge yourself – just don’t go on a bender.  Don’t try to resist, just create your strategy – you are going to have one beer and one desert – and then stick to it.  You can still enjoy yourself without stressing out over having a drink or two.
  3. Get your workouts in.  Even if you only have time to do a 15 minute bodyweight circuit in your bedroom, do it.  Don’t make excuses.  This is part of your strategy to keep your metabolism jacked up so you don’t have to lose pounds in the new year.

At the end of the day, the holidays are a time to relax, spend time with your family and give your body and mind a time to recharge before the new year.  Don’t go overboard with your strategies.  Remember they are there to help keep you on track, not stress you out and make you insane.  This time of year is a challenging time to make gains in your physique, make it your goal to maintain where you are at so when the new year rolls around you can pick up where you left off, not 10lbs in the hole.

Merry Christmas and Happy Strategizing!


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