How the Successes and Failures of Others Impact You

To what degree do the goals and aspirations of those who are close to you impact your life?  For example, let’s say you and your best friend get together to create New Year’s Resolutions for 2013.  At the end of next year, you see that you are on track to achieving your aims, while your friend is struggling.  They’ve been leaning on you for support, and you’ve been there for them; but you’re so busy trying to get your own things done, that you haven’t been as proactive in supporting them as you would have liked to.  They get really down about the lack of success, and lose confidence.  Depression sets in.  How does this reflect on you and impact your life?  What if this were your companion or child?

These are interesting questions, and ones that are often neglected as we go about a new round of goal-setting that focuses on our own lives – the one we have most control over.  While that makes sense, it is worth considering whose lives you have an influence in, and thinking about how you can be of service to the goals of others that you care about.  You can’t do it for them; but sometimes, being a good cheerleader or sounding board is enough to make them feel accountable and cared for.  Think about the positive energy, appreciation and other benefits that come from the success of others, which you might be able to play a small part in.

In Timebug’s upcoming CEO of Me Workshop series, we will be exploring further what role relationships play in our own life goals, as well as that of others.  Key topics include raising awareness on who the stakeholders are in your life, who else’s lives you influence, and group time allocation decision making.

Posted in CEO of Me Workshop, Goal Setting, Relationships Tagged with: , , ,

The Dangers of Goal Snoozing

snooze procrastination bugAre you a snoozer?  I'm not talking about your morning alarm, although that habit may correlate.  Do you procrastinate key tasks, projects and goals?  Today, I found myself looking over my 2012 goals, and preparing for 2013.  Although I feel good about overall direction and achievements on most fronts, there were several goals that entailed projects that I didn't get to.  So I snoozed them for 2013, which seems like a reasonable and innocent move; however, upon further reflection, I recognize the dangers inherent in snoozing goals repeatedly, whether it's on a daily, weekly or annual basis.  At some point, our subconscious stops respecting us and doesn't believe the part of us that is setting these goals.

Here is a good example of this phenomenon, that ironically brings the snoozing analogy full circle.

Sometimes when I go to bed at night, I have a certain vision for the next day.  It could sound something like this in my mind's eye – “I'm going to get up early, go for a run, make a healthy breakfast, meditate and map out my whole day in a state of peace.  It's going to be a productive day.”  I can FEEL that possibility, and visualize it with satisfaction.  Then, in the morning, when the alarm goes off, there is a different feeling.  In fact, there is a different part of me – a different “I” – that is in the driver's seat.  The temptation to hit snooze, and skip the morning workout, is suddenly quite high.  The Procrastination Bug is wide awake, and he wants me not to be awake – “go back to bed, you're still so tired” he whispers in my ear, and my tired bones seem to respond to this message.  Who wins this little internal conflict?  Is there an internal Leader present to help make a logical decision, or is he on vacation?

This little temptation can be a microcosm of our entire lives if we are not able to build enough will power to follow through with our plans, in spite of internal resistance and external interference.  There are always good excuses available for snoozing particular goals.  Just remember that snoozing can become a very addictive habit, and one that is not easy to break free from as we continue to feed this powerful Procrastination Bug.  Let's make a New Year's Resolution for 2013 to limit or eliminate Goal Snoozing altogether.  It's easier said than done; but if we start with a realistic self-assessment, and set attainable, challenging and engaging goals, that's a strong first step.

Posted in Timebug Research Project Tagged with: ,

What Happens after we set a Goal?

Goal Setting feels great, doesn’t it?  When we set new goals, we’re right in that moment of vision and inspiration.  What typically happens after that, however, does not always transpire the way we planned it.

There are several common outcomes, which I have playfully named and outlined below:

  1. Bench Warmer.  The goal sits on the shelf (or the bench)…and collects dust. We avoid it or procrastinate it in any way possible.
  2. Fast Starter.  We get out of the gate quickly and enthusiastically, only to see our drive (towards the goal) decline over time, until finally it fizzles out.
  3. Breeze Through.  “Crushed it!” Not only do you achieve the goal, but you blow it out of the water.  This wasn’t even close.  And it didn’t even require significant effort.  Just a moment – was this a setup for an easy victory?
  4. (Self?) Sabotage.  Everything is going great, and you’re right on track to get it done.  You wanted to win the race, and you’re winning by a mile.  Then, at the last minute, all of a sudden, something happens, and you abort the mission.  A “more important” priority came up – an exciting new opportunity, or maybe just a new distraction.  Somehow, you lost total motivation in an instant, whether or not the sabotage was self-imposed or brought about by an external situation.
  5. NFLOE = Not For Lack Of Effort.  You hustled and put in significant energy, and fought all the way to the finish.  The effort was there, but the results did not come through as specified by the goal (i.e. “Win a championship” or “Lose 25 pounds.”)  It just wasn’t enough.
  6. Right On Point.  You charted out a plan, and followed through.  You nailed it!
  7. Latency Effect.  For Outcomes 5 & 6 above, there is something interesting that can happen after the goal deadline expires.  After you put the result in the books – as a “success” or “failure”, something happens, and the outcome changes.  All of a sudden, that promotion that you worked so hard for, comes through!  Or conversely, your nice achievement, after initial success, falls apart.

As you go about a new round of annual contemplation, on your life and how it progressed (or not) along the desired path in 2012, consider bucketing your goals into these 7 Outcome categories.  See any patterns?  Keep this in mind when mapping your 2013 goals.

 

 

Posted in CEO of Me Workshop Tagged with: , , , ,

Five Types of Goals

In the TEL (Time-Energy-Life) Workshop, I go over five different types of goals, so that we can gear up for 2013 with a bit more clarity on what exactly we want to achieve.

Workshop participants will be asked to spend a week beforehand paying attention to how they spend their time, accounting for every single one of the 168 hours in a typical week, without trying to change anything.  Not changing a thing is technically impossible, bcing that the act of observing alone changes things.  That said, the goal is to figure out what our baseline lifestyle is, and what we typically achieve during a week.

So here are the Five Types of Goals, according to a system that I have created over the years, which works for me, and soon, will hopefully work for you too.

1. ET Type. Energy & Time allocation. ET implies the process of setting and tracking goals through the filters of how we allocate our time and energy.

2. AS Type. Achievements & Skills. “I want to speak Spanish fluently” or “I want to run a marathon”

3. IQ Type. Internal Qualities. “I want to be more confident.” (TASK: specify what that means; create a scale)

4. MO Type. Material Outcomes. “I want to have $1 million dollars.” Or “I want to get six pack abs this year.”

5. RQ Type. Relationship Quality. “I want to have a better relationship with my father.” or “I want to be regarded as a well-liked colleague at my company.” (TASK: paint a picture, of how that would look)

These distinctions are important because the approaches to attaining each Goal Type vary, and some, for example Material Outcomes, are often not under our direct control.  The Types are ordered actually, from what is most under our control to what is least under our control.  I encourage people to have all five goal types, but to separate them out in order to have some clarity.  There will be overlap, where certain goals fit into different types; in that case, I recommend assigning one as the primary type, and any others as secondary.

In the TEL Workshop, we will spend a good deal of time developing meaningful goals, as well as an action plan for attaining them, utilizing the Timebug PI (Personal Intelligence) App, and the associated methodology underlying the application.

Visualization Technique.  When listing goals, you are advised to state them all as facts, and envision them being true.  A fantastic and effective meditation is to close your eyes, concentrate on your breathing to clear your mind for 10 minutes, and then really imagine yourself having achieved these goals, as if it already happened.  What does it feel like?  Remember that feeling.

 

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14,000 Days & Nights

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A few days ago, I reached a milestone – 14,000 days of (this) Life!  I think that’s a pretty interesting personal factoid (for me at least).  Not many people might look at their lives from this perspective – but it’s pretty neat when one does.

The first thing that comes up for me is “Gratitude” – I am grateful for every one of these 14,000 jewels.  While some days have been brighter than others, and there were certainly some tough ones as well, each one was and is a gift.  I have spent many of those days with cherished family and friends, some of which are no longer with us (in person at least).  It makes me smile to recall all of those friends, even ones who were just passing by for a year or two of my youth – and those whose names I cannot recall.  Many of these gems were spent training for Soccer – my first passion – countless hours, surely over the 10,000 deemed by Malcolm Gladwell as one of the keys to success.  In the past 6,000 days, that primary passion has been transferred from Soccer to Entrepreneurship and Spirituality, which is the lens through which I present this thought piece to the reader.

Personal Science has always been at the forefront for me, in terms of my process for understanding things, setting goals, getting motivated and organizing my life.  Each day is a chance to get to know oneself better, journey deeper into one’s heart and soul, and figure out how to best navigate the complex machinery of our very own human brain and body.  To that effect, I have become a strong believer in Personal Intelligence and Productivity apps, which in and of themselves do not solve your problems.  But they are powerful tools, which if combined with a clear head, willing heart, and some type of guidance (from above, within or peer partnership), can lead us to achieve greatness, happiness or other noble aims.

I have spent over 7,000 days (20 years) conducting my own Personal Science, and the past 3,500 days (10 years) developing customized time and life management tools – mostly for my own personal use (yes, I too am in permanent beta mode), as well as utility within my companies.  This year, I humbly open up this wealth of knowledge and experience to the world, in the form of an ambitious, collaborative research project, and a series of productivity apps, which will be available for testing in the coming months.

It’s going to be 3 whole years until I reach 15,000 days.  By that time, I will be 41 years-old, with a few more gray hairs on the head and chin, each of which will hopefully represent additional capsules of knowledge – perhaps even some wisdom, and undoubtedly, more Gratitude, for each and every new gem that is gifted to me.  This opportunity to live, breathe and experience what we call “Life” is something magical and precious.  Reflecting on 14,000 days – and the flash flood of memories and emotions that are encapsulated within that timebug (my word for “any period of time, past, present or future”) – simply reminds me of that.

 

Posted in Milestones, Personal Intelligence Apps, Timebug Research Project Tagged with: , , ,

The Timebug Project: A Global, Open-Source Research Initiative

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We are creating the world’s first database of how human beings spend their time and have spent their time across all of human history.  This database will also gather and publish invaluable data about how long things take.  Anything, everything – sorted by critical attributes or aspects, including Location, Time Period and Demographics.  The Timebug Project is about leveraging Personal Intelligence tools to gain insights into the science of our lives – a Personal Science, if you will.

The methodology for data collection and storage is presently being finalized, and will be presented on an ongoing basis, as such data is deemed statistically significant enough to share with the public.  Much like Wikipedia, Timebug.org will host this open source, collaborative project, enabling anyone with certain levels of information or expertise to share data on their respective knowledge areas.  Trust authority will accumulate over time, and identities will be verified, to ensure a high level of data integrity.

The result of this initiative will garner key insights into many aspects of life and human nature, enabling us to answer questions like:

  • How long it takes to install an AC unit? [first timers vs. veterans (experience level), men vs. women (gender), (age), (geography), other criteria)]
  • How much time people spend exercising? [same type of criteria…reading data from APIs and data mining from a multitude of sources]

If you are interested in being a contributor, sign-up for our newsletter, leave a comment on this blog chain or email us [info@] for more details.

 

 

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