JAM with Mike

An Archive of Mike Osorio’s Jammin’ twice-weekly email service

First things first

 Thursday March 27, 2008 #22

“Set priorities for your goals. A major part of successful living lies in the ability to put first things first. Indeed, the reason most major goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first.”

~ Robert J. McKain

I hope you’re enjoying this series of action ideas to help you “get up and get on with it”. 

Remember:  Learning to take action is critical to your long term success and happiness.  You are someone with incredible talents who will change your and others’ lives in so many incredible ways if you just get up and get on with it!  Here is the second of 8 action ideas to enable you to do just that.

Action idea #3:  Prioritize!

Last JAM, I had you create a free-form list of all the things you want to do.  For many people that is enough.  For others, a bit more organization is necessary to make the list useful for energizing action. 

Go get your list (or make one if you didn’t do one already).  There are many methods for prioritizing and I will get into those in future JAMs.  For now, either use a method you already prefer or try this simple method:  Mark each item on your list with a 1, 2, 3, or 4.  

1 = Urgent to me, but not necessarily to others (training & education, important reading, working out, spending real time with family, etc.)

2 = Urgent to others, but not necessarily to me (what the boss, community, family member or friend demands of me)

3 = Not urgent for anyone, but I like it and it doesn’t hurt me or others (healthy relaxation activities)

4 = Not urgent for anyone, and I may or may not like it and it may not be good for or even hurt me or others (mindless or violent TV & other ‘entertainment’, partying, etc.)

Try to focus your actions on as many “1” items as you can, the necessary “2” items (can any of these be delegated?), reward yourself with a few “3” items, and try to say no to all the “4” items.

Like the previous idea, try this for 30 days and read through your prioritized list in the morning before you start your day and again before you go to bed, crossing out completed items.  If you stick with it, you will definitely avoid many “4” items you have been wasting time on and this alone will give you more time to attend to “1” and “2” items and maybe a few “3” rewards!

March 30, 2008 Posted by | Goal Setting, Take Action | , , | 2 Comments

Jon Bon Jovi helps us take action

 Tuesday March 25, 2008 #21

“Map out your future, but do it in pencil.”

~ Jon Bon Jovi

I hope you’re enjoying this series of action ideas to help you “get up and get on with it”. 

Remember:  Learning to take action is critical to your long term success and happiness.  You are someone with incredible talents who will change your and others’ lives in so many incredible ways if you just get up and get on with it!  Here is the second of 8 action ideas to enable you to do just that.

Action idea #2:  List it all out

This sounds too simple, but it is surprising how well it works.  Get out a piece of paper, or open a Word document on your PC and make a list of everything, and I mean everything you want to do.  Little things, big things, important things, trivial things.  Walk the dog, become eligible for that promotion, increase savings by $50,000, visit parents, etc., etc.  Do it free form – no rules, no categories.  Just write or type until you’ve purged everything you want to do from your mind and heart.  You might fill a page, or you might fill 20 pages.

Just the act of making this list will often galvanize you to take action on many of the items right away.  Keep the list with you for 30 days, read it every morning before you start your day and again before you go to sleep.  Cross off items when you do them.  At the end of the 30 days you will be pleased with all you’ve accomplished.  It will be up to you whether to update the list again at that point.

Bon Jovi also said, “Like a No. 2 pencil I always got a point.”

March 30, 2008 Posted by | Take Action | , , | Leave a comment

Take Action! Clear the deck

Thursday March 20, 2008 #20

“Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.”

~ Arnold Toynbee

Did you watch the Randy Pausch video on Tuesday’s JAM?  If so, you should be ready to learn 8 great ideas on how to take action now so you can experience achievement!

Learning to take action is critical to your long term success and happiness.  You are someone with incredible talents that will change your and others’ lives in so many incredible ways if you just get up and get on with it!  Here is the first of 8 action ideas to enable you to do just that.

Action Idea #1:  Clear the Deck

Often our lack of action is from being paralyzed by too many ideas, projects, etc.  With so many things competing for our attention we may do them all poorly or not at all.  When this occurs, try wiping out your list completely and start a new one, with just one idea or project on it.  Allow no distractions and attack that one item until it is done.  Then, move on to the next item and so on.  Do this for 1 day minimum and up to one week.  You can then rebuild your list of projects knowing that you have accomplished the highest priority projects.  This sense of accomplishment and confidence will spill over into your productivity for the next several weeks.  Try it!

March 26, 2008 Posted by | intention, Take Action | , , , | Leave a comment

Inspiration for taking action – The Randy Pausch Lecture

Tuesday March 18, 2008 #19

“First say to yourself what you would be;
and then do what you have to do.”

~ Epictetus

We’ve spent the last 3 weeks or so discussing seven potential blocks to goal achievement.  I hope they have helped give you some ideas on how to get on with taking action to achieve your goals and some perspective as well.  Before we move on to discussing 8 tips on taking action now so you can best experience achievement, I want to share an inspirational video.  You’ll only need 10 minutes to watch and I assure you it will be worthwhile and remove any remaining excuses you still have for not getting on with your best efforts.

The video is of Professor Randy Pausch reprising his last lecture at Carnegie-Mellon University – “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”.  Professor Pausch is an extraordinarily talented and popular professor who happens to be battling inoperable pancreatic cancer.  Pausch talked about his lessons learned and gave advice to students on how to achieve their own career and personal goals. This is not a depressing or morose video.  It is inspirational and will give you even more impetus for living your best life!

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tIyt8oSLVs (sorry!  Oprah’s publishing company (Harpo) convinced YouTube to take the video down due to copyright issues.  The full lecture is worth watching and the link is below.)

The link to the original full 1 hour+ lecture at Carnegie-Mellon:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo&feature=related

March 26, 2008 Posted by | Goal Setting, intention, Take Action | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The courage to quit

Thursday March 13, 2008 #18

This week, I’ll finish the series on overcoming that which blocks us from making progress on our goals.

“Vince Lombardi:  ‘Quitters never win and winners never quit.’  Bad advice.  Winners quit all the time.  They just quit the right stuff at the right time.

~ Seth Godin

Block #7:  Lacking the courage to quit 

If you never enjoy the efforts necessary to push through obstacles, the goal probably isn’t the right goal for you and not worthy of your best efforts and persistence.

This is a challenge we all face from one time or another with our goals.  We’re focused, we have an accountability partner, our goals are in alignment with our core values, etc.  But no matter how hard we try, we literally hate taking the necessary actions to achieve a particular goal.  At some point we have to recognize when a goal isn’t worth the effort and have the courage to quit.

In Seth Godin’s great little book, “The Dip”, he explains that when we are fighting obstacles that are worthy of us then we must hang tough.  But if not, superstars know when to escape dead ends quickly and put their energies into goals that really count.

Your assignments: 

1. Read “The Dip,” by Seth Godin

2. Decide if each of your goals is worthy of your efforts and then recommit to them knowing that they are!

You’re a winner!  Focus your energies on the goals that are worthy not only in their achievement, but also in the journey.

March 26, 2008 Posted by | Goal Setting, Take Action | , , | Leave a comment

Get an accountability partner

Tuesday March 11, 2008 #17

This week, I’ll finish the series on overcoming that which blocks us from making progress on our goals.

“If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Block #6:  Lacking an accountability partner.

Today’s quote from Goethe comes from the signature file of my close friend and business coach MKR. I thought it was perfect for emphasizing my point in today’s JAM.

You can be immensely talented, with well-crafted goals and a true desire to succeed – and you can still struggle with goal attainment.  Why?  Often the one thing we lack is an “accountability partner.”  The role of an accountability partner is to keep us on track and kick us in the behind when needed.  They can be a co-worker, a close friend, a spouse, a coach, or a mentor.  No matter who they are, you must trust them completely, share your goals with them, and ask them to hold you accountable to your goals; provide you with unedited feedback and kick you in the behind if needed.

Most of the people in our life “treat us as we are”, which may feel OK, but does nothing to push us to what we are “capable of becoming”.  Find that partner who will treat you as you “ought to be” and watch your achievement soar!

You may be able to reach your goals eventually without an accountability partner, but why not supercharge your efforts with a partner?  The relationship can also be reciprocal, where you help your partner be accountable to their goals as well.

Your assignment:  If you don’t yet have an accountability partner, get one!  If you don’t have someone in your life who you feel comfortable asking to take on this role, you might consider a business coach.

March 26, 2008 Posted by | Goal Setting | , , , | Leave a comment

Ready for Responsibility!

 Thursday March 6, 2008 #16

“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”

~G.M. Trevelyan

Let’s continue to discover how to overcome that which blocks us from making progress on our goals.

Block #5:  Lacking a sense of responsibility.

You’ve set great goals – specific, challenging yet realistic, in alignment with your values, etc.  But just thinking about them won’t do.  We take action not because we think about it, but because we sense some sort of responsibility – as a family member, an employee, an employer, a member of our community, etc. 

We are response-able:  We have the uniquely human ability to choose our response to any situation at all.  No victims!

Your assignment today is to look at each of your goals and determine the source of your responsibility for taking action.  From that source of responsibility, how can you control and influence the outcome?

Will you take responsibility for what you can control and influence?  Excellent!

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”  

~ William James

March 19, 2008 Posted by | Goal Setting, Take Action | , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy March New Year!

 Tuesday March 4, 2008 #15

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man. 

~Benjamin Franklin

Most of you know that I don’t believe in making resolutions once a year in January.  Rather, I believe in “rolling 12-month” periods and therefore celebrate a “Happy New Year” at the start of each month as I reassess and recommit to my goals for the next 12 months.

So…  Happy New Year!  Your assignment is to look at the actions you took in February towards your goals, no matter how small or large, and celebrate them!  Recommit to each of your goals and challenge yourself to continue your achievement path in March.

To help celebrate:

Today, March 4th, is National Poundcake Day.  And, March is National Caffeine Awareness Month.  What could be more delicious than a piece of pound cake served with sliced strawberries and whipped cream? Enjoying it with a steaming cup of Joe! Yum!  Aren’t you glad you get to celebrate every month?

March 19, 2008 Posted by | Goal Setting | , , , | Leave a comment

Too many ideas

 Thursday February 28, 2008 #14

“Knowledge does not become power until it is used.” 

~ Harvey MacKay

Let’s continue to discover how to overcome that which blocks us from making progress on our goals.

Block #4:  Too many ideas.

This may sound odd, but some people are unable to move forward on their goals because they spend too much time learning. 

There have been at least two times in my life when I recognized I was stuck in learning paralysis.  It is the idea that if you read one more book, attended one more seminar, etc., then you’d be ready to start.  At some point you have to stop reading all those books and websites, attending all those seminars, setting and re-setting your goals, and start!

Learn enough to be able to make reasonable decisions and then get on with it!  You can always make course corrections along the way.

March 10, 2008 Posted by | Goal Setting, JAM with Mike, Take Action | , , | Leave a comment

Lack of Persistence

Tuesday February 26, 2008 #13  

“You’re alive.  Do something.  The directive in life, the moral imperative was so uncomplicated.  It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences.  It sounded like this:  Look.  Listen.  Choose.  Act.”  ~ Barbara Hall 

Let’s continue to discover how to overcome that which blocks us from making progress on our goals.

Block #3:  Lack of persistence.

Even when we have constructed clear goals that are in alignment with our values and we create time for them by cutting back on activities that do not contribute to our success, we still fail.  Why?

There are always elements around us conspiring to hold us back:  self-doubts, interruptions, “other people’s priorities”, and more.  The only way to keep moving forward is to adopt persistence as a core competency.  Like any other skill, the way to develop persistence is through practice.

You know you need to move forward today on your goals but something is trying to block your progress.  Practice your persistence.  Look. Listen. Choose. Act.  Push through.  The first time is monumental, but each subsequent act of persistence becomes easier and easier.

 “Persistent thought is your ticket. Persistent gratitude makes it easy. And persistent action, tells one and all, “There ain’t no way, honey, I’m settling for less.”  ~ Mike Dooley

March 10, 2008 Posted by | Goal Setting | , , | Leave a comment