A goal without a plan is just a wish

How Do You Define Success?

Every one of us can define success using our own criteria, Family, relationships, career, peace of mind, spirituality, finances, knowledge, comfort, safety, health and dozens of other variables can all be brought into the equation of success measurement.

We all have unique values and opinions on what is most important in our lives. We all have dreams and goals that spring from our beliefs about what’s important to us. And our beliefs drive our actions.

Our priorities can be a catalyst for taking steps toward realizing our dreams. However, before we launch ourselves into action, it can be helpful to take a step back and assess what our priorities are and how they fit into our definition of success.

One person can have many motivators that drive them forward in their goals and plans. The following are a few areas to consider when evaluating your priorities:

• Relationships: Perhaps, for you success means building long-term and meaningful relationships with loved ones. This can include deepening friendships,

My Goals mind map business concept

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being a better partner to your spouse, or being the best parent you can be to your child.

• Finances: Our finances can impact every aspect of our lives. Placing an emphasis on financial goals can mean focusing on increased revenue for your business or generating personal wealth or a security blanket of savings.

• Career: Priorities in your career may involve moving up the corporate ladder at a current place of employment, starting your own business, celebrating your life’s work at your retirement, or going after a dream job that you have always wanted.

• Inspiration: Your objectives might include inspiring and coaching others to accomplish their goals. Countless non-profit workers, educators and volunteers dedicate their lives to enhancing the well-being of others. For many people, personal success can mean helping another individual to recognize their potential.

• Development: Your interests could be tied to developing a skill or hobby in your personal life. For example, you may find you feel most happy and accomplished after advancing your skills in photography or art. Learning doesn’t have to lead to an educational degree. We can learn every day from others we meet – then apply what we learned as we develop our own capabilities.

Your objectives may include a combination of the areas mentioned above, or they might involve a priority that is entirely different. But in either case, once you have a clear understanding of which areas of your life are most important, you will be able to better establish goals and visualize your success.

Defining what is most important to you allows you to have a better grasp on your values. It enables you to feel empowered when making decisions, because you’ll be more certain that your choices align with long-term priorities.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Business plan made of post it notes

What Are Your Goals for 2020?

Click. The clock ticks over to midnight, the ball drops in Times Square, the music plays and the kisses are planted. Suddenly it’s a new year. Traditionally time to look back with thanks and gratitude, and forward with optimism and hope. Time to envision new horizons and set new goals for the year ahead.

But let’s forget about 2015 for now. That’s right – “Fuhgeddaboudit!” as they say in some of my favorite parts of New York City.

Let’s be really bold and look ahead five years out to 2020. Where do you want to be then? What do you want to be doing? Where is your home? What would your life look like if you allowed yourself to be truly and completely who you are intended to be?

In one of my favorite books Excuses Begone! author Wayne W. Dyer writes, “As Abraham Maslow once observed about self-actualizing people: They must be what they can be.

Here’s a five-minute exercise to get you started.

Step One. Imagine you wake up one morning and everything is perfect. What do you see, smell, hear and feel? Where are you? Who is with you? What do you look like? What are you planning to do that day? Allow yourself to put A white speedometer background with words representing steps to achieving success - Dream, Plan, Work, Make it Happen aside where you’re from and where you are right now. Release anything others may say you ‘should do’ and replace it with intentional thinking about what you ‘must do’. Push it all to the side for five short minutes and let your imagination see that day in early 2020 when all is now perfect.

Step Two. While it’s fresh in your thoughts, go write it down. Use bullet points and write as fast as you can. Remember, there are no limits. Have fun describing your desired changes just the way you see them on the horizon. Give no thought to limitations on how you’ll get there. Avoid the practical details for now. Just describe what you intend to accomplish in the next five years.

Of course, dreaming about five years from now includes the huge assumption that you will be here then – healthy, energized and living a fully charged life every day. That means you have to take good care of yourself every day between now and then to have any chance of success. All important goals are built on a platform of good health that allows us to pursue everything else. So take good care of yourself starting right now.

Five-year horizons provide opportunity for major changes in life. New careers, advanced education, relocation to a new and exciting environment, better relationships, measurable savings, and dramatically healthier lifestyles. Maybe even a beach condo in Hawaii!

Where do you want to be in five years? What do you want for your family and friends in 2020?

Now is the time to sketch out the shapes on your own five year horizon. You can fill in the details in the coming months. Stay tuned in 2015 for dozens of ideas on how to do exactly that.

For a detailed Six-Step System for setting, pursuing and

accomplishing your goals, take a look at my book

Do What You Can! Simple Steps – Extraordinary Results.

I’ll get you a signed copy at a discounted price through the end of January –

just let me know at John@JohnHallSpeaker.com.

Happy dreaming!

 

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Definition of the word Competence highlighted in green with felt tip pen

Better! Results Idea #3: Build on Strengths

Mary was obsessing about what she described as a weakness in her work. When co-workers asked her how things were going, she would launch into how frustrated she was about it. She would say, “Every day, I spend an hour trying to get better at this skill I’ll need in my next job if I get to take over for my boss some day, but I’m stalled.”

Mary works very hard. She is exactly the kind of caring, dedicated supervisor you want on your staff. And she is really good at the job she is doing right now.

So we took a few minutes to get her re-focused on what she already does so well. I interrupted her story of frustration and asked her to tell me three things she knows she does well right now today. Here’s her list.

Technical Competence. Mary’s position in the audit department requires her to know and utilize the technical skills required of all outstanding auditors. I know from past experience with her that she is a true master of this work, KEEP EDUCATING YOURSELF concrete wallincluding mastery of internal consulting concepts. I said, “You are already a great auditor. But what could you do to get even better?”

Business Competence. Mary knows her business and the competitors to her company. She studies what’s going on in the industry, what trends are already in place, and what might be coming down the road that could change how her organization will need to operate to compete in three to five years. I asked, “What could you do to get even better at preparing yourself for what you company will need in three years? What skills will be in demand then?”

Interpersonal Competence. Mary is outstanding at developing new staff on her team. She is a great communicator in one-on-one and small meeting settings. And she has a flair for influencing action when others in her department find only resistance. Before I could ask, she said, “I know – what else could I do to get even better at my interpersonal, behavior and communications skills?” Clearly Mary got the point.

In my coaching, consulting and training work, we focus on just one word: Better! How can we be Better! tomorrow than today — Better! next week than this week? And so on into the future.

Obviously we should all identify and correct any weaknesses in our performance. But never forget to build on strengths as well.

What are you “good” at right now today? And what could you do to get even “Better”? Correct weaknesses, but build on strengths for Better Results.

 

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Harnessing the Power of Probabilities

Some daily actions move us towards our goals. Other habits get in our way, block progress and undermine our efforts.

Maybe it’s because I’m an accountant by training, but it seems like it’s all a matter of simple math. When I take a positive step forward, I increase the Probability of a successful outcome. When I delay, fail to act, or do anything that blocks my progress, I decrease the Probability of a successful outcome.

The more positive actions we take each day, the closer we get to the goals we set. The more bad decisions we make and counterproductive habits we allow to drive our actions, the further from our goals we drift.

Simple math, based on harnessing the Power of Probabilities.

Here’s an example. If I want to get fit, I need to move my body in a way that builds and tones. I also need to make smart choices in what I consume for food and drink. The more I move and the better I consume, the more fit and healthy I am

goal setting

In large organizations, top performers are already on the right track. But at many as 70% of employees don’t contribute at their highest levels. Why? Many feel a lack of empowerment, and many don’t have a clear understanding of the organization’s vision or key goals. Even if these employees do understand the goals, most simply don’t know how their individual efforts support those goals. Do What You Can! keynotes and workshops specifically target the 70% while reinforcing the results already being achieved by top performers.

likely to become.

Likewise, when I take the simple step of writing out my action ‘To Do’ list each evening covering the next day’s activities, I increase the Probability of completing the important actions that I have decided will move me towards my goals. By working this list every day, I start each morning with what needs to be done and avoid much of the distracting and delaying stuff that eats up time and energy as I start my day. I enjoy crossing off actions as they are completed, and look forward to throwing out my completed To Do list when the last item is done.

I end my workday by writing out my list for the next day and then placing it right on top of my closed laptop where I am guaranteed to see it as the very first thing when I sit down to work in the morning.

Working this Simple Step each day increases the Probability of achieving my goals.

What Simple Steps could you take starting right now to increase your Probability of success? The more of these ideas you pile into your daily routine, the higher your Probability of Success.

Likewise, what daily routines and habits are getting in your way? Is it excessive text conversations with friends? Checking your email every five minutes just in case someone has reached out to you? Mindless use of social media? Plodding through your workday without structure? How about consistently failing to get enough sleep so that you always feel drained by mid-day? There are literally dozens of bad habits that we all engage in that decrease the Probability of achieving our goals on our terms.

Here’s an idea to get you harness the Power of Probabilities.

Pledge to spend one full day consciously noticing your actions that move you forward and the habits that get in your own way. Do a soft calculation of the effect each positive and negative action has on your own Probability of success. Making simple adjustments to your behavior based on the results of this exercise could help you adjust your action path and launch you towards more effective results.

Why not get started right now? Let me know if I can help.

 

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

John Hall, SPA Speaker, Author & Consultant

The Three Secrets of Any Presentation

Just as I was about to start a recent full-day seminar on business presentation skills, David walked up, looked me in the eye, and said, “I hate making presentations. I’m just no good at it. I hope you can fix me today.”

Well, that’s a tall order – considering there were over 100 in attendance. How could I ‘fix’ David while simultaneously meeting everyone else’s unique needs?

Fortunately, I was given outstanding advice when I was starting my speaking career. This advice has remained consistently on target through over 2,100 presentations spread over 25 years. And it’s a simple formula anyone can follow in any setting.

“Every presentation must contain the Three E’s.”

Here’s what they are.

John Hall, SPA Speaker, Author & Consultant

John J. Hall’s highly customized “Do What You Can!” keynotes and workshops outline his unique, 6-step system to help leaders and teams clarify business goals, measure their progress, and achieve those goals. It’s simple. It’s powerful. And it works. These programs captivate your audience while delivering substantive information. Participants are inspired to step up, take action, support their organizations’ goals – and take leaps to reach their own professional and personal goals.

#1 – Educate. Every presentation must contain information that’s useful to the audience. “How to” ideas work best, but even background information on why something works might meet the need for useful educational content.

When preparing for your next talk, concentrate on the information needs of the audience. Never forget: It’s always about them. Always! Teach them something useful in every presentation.

#2 – Encourage. Outstanding presenters encourage their listeners. Even the most technical business presentation must help audience members believe that the work they do every day is important and makes a difference to the success of the organization. Long ago I ran out of fingers and toes counting the times that business technical speakers lost their audience simply because they did not take the small step of finding a way to encourage the audience members.

Employees crave encouragement. Why not give them a healthy dose. It’s free and it works.

#3 – Entertain. Now I acknowledge that ‘entertain’ might not be the best word to apply here. Singing, dancing and juggling are not the recommended style of business presentations especially in the Boardroom (although it may help in a pinch!).

How about if we pull back and use the softer idea that all presentations must be ‘interesting’ if not outright entertaining. And the easiest way to accomplish making dry technical points interesting is with the two magic words, “For example.” Relevant examples make concepts come alive. Examples provide color, context and flavor.

Hmmm…maybe the ‘Third E ‘ should be Examples!

Try these ideas in your next presentation. Plan your content to include information that educates. Include comments that encourage the audience, and hold their attention by being entertaining through the use of relevant examples and quick stories.

Of course you have to practice and maybe even find a coach. But there’s no substitute for focus, repetition, and the Three E’s. Keep them in mind the next time you are in the audience of a business presentation. Analyze what you see and hear as you plan your own next outstanding presentation.

 

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

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