Action Planning, Business Productivity, Daily Routines & Rituals, Goal Setting, Health & Fitness, Solopreneurs

Create Game-Changing Habits

Creating and changing your habits is hard.

If it were easy, we would all floss our teeth daily, eat healthy foods, quit smoking, exercise faithfully, have wildly successful businesses, and so on. Even when you’re highly motivated, mustering the self-discipline to take the small, consistent actions required to form a lasting habit (or break a bad one!) can be challenging.

As F. M. Alexander said, “People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.”

Think about this. Most people choose the wrong habits.

They create short-term habits to achieve a short-term goal. For every new goal, they have to create different habits. The result is a series of short-lived bursts of activity, rather than sustainable long-lasting habits.

Short-term habits aren’t really habits at all, but rather tasks done for a short time in pursuit of a specific outcome. Once the outcome is achieved, the behavior stops. The behavior hasn’t been practiced long enough to become automatic, to become a habit, like buckling up when you get in a car.

Let’s say you want to lose weight and get in shape, so you set a goal of losing ten pounds. You might try a new “lose-weight-fast” diet, work out every day for an hour, take appetite suppressants, or some similar tactics. After you lose the weight, you celebrate your achievement and promptly stop doing the things you did to lose the weight. Chances are you will go back to your old habits that helped you gain the weight in the first place and the lost weight will reappear.

What if you chose a better habit or even a better goal?

What if your goal was to be strong and fit for the rest of your life? Would you employ the same short-term habits you used to lose ten pounds fast? Or might you instead look at the long-term habits required to be strong and fit for life? Chances are, the habits required to be strong and fit for life would not only help you lose the weight in the near term, but they would also help you to continue to be strong and fit for years to come.

This paradigm shift was a game changer for me.

Instead of simply setting goals, I now consider the game-changing habits I need to create not only to achieve the specific outcomes, but also to achieve my bigger goals in the future.

Yesterday I met with a fitness trainer who drove the point home. My long-term goal is to be strong, healthy, fit, and flexible for life. It’s not a SMARTER goal because I’m not looking for a specific outcome (although I do want to lose the muffin top). This is a long-term strategy to help me become leaner, stronger, and achieve some specific training goals along the way.  To achieve the long-term outcome I desire, I need to think differently about exercise, training, and moving my body daily. I need fitness habits that are sustainable for life.

My new game-changing habit is weight training 2-3 times a week. I expect to become leaner, stronger, and develop the shoulder, core, and upper back strength to achieve my next milestone goal: hold a handstand for 10 seconds.

As you’re setting your 2021 goals, think about the game-changing habits can you create to help you crush your goals and set you up for continued future success!

Business Productivity, Goal Setting, Mastermind Group, Personal Productivity, Solopreneurs

Accelerate Your Success with a Mastermind Group

Imagine having an inner circle of trusted advisors to help you overcome challenges and accomplish your goals.

You tap into the collective wisdom and experience of the group. You help each other solve problems, brainstorm solutions, make wise decisions, and stay accountable to achieve your stated goals.

Imagine how much faster you could grow and achieve with a personal support team like this than you could by yourself!

But you’re on a team, so it’s not all about you.

You also help everyone else in the group achieve their goals. You share your experience, knowledge, resources, and insight to help them on their journeys. You are the first in line to cheer them on and congratulate them on their successes. Together you are better!

That’s a mastermind group. This is why you should join one.

I first heard about mastermind groups about 12 years ago at a conference. The panelists discussed how their mastermind groups were an integral part of their business growth. They talked about staying accountable to their goals and the value of their regular meetings to stay on track.

I wanted so badly to be part of a mastermind group and have amazing success like them! Over the years I tried unsuccessfully to find accountability partners because I couldn’t find any mastermind groups.

Things are different now.

This year I joined not one, but two mastermind groups and they are changing my business. Within the first month of joining Impact Mastermind Group, I created and delivered my first workshop. This was a huge accomplishment!

Was it perfect? Hell, no! My dry run was a disaster. I was frustrated and embarrassed. I stumbled, got back on my feet, made some adjustments, and tried again. The public presentation the next day went well!

The most important thing is that I got out of my own way and tried. I would never have acted that quickly on my own. My mastermind group pushed me, and I willingly stepped out of my comfort zone and into action. This is where the magic happens!

In the fall I joined Synergy, a mastermind group and mentoring program facilitated by mastermind expert, Karyn Greenstreet. With the support of my Synergy group, I am launching my own mastermind group in January. My group helped me make let go of my own perfectionism, pare the process down to the few essential elements needed to launch the group, and let the rest. I reached out for their support and encouragement to give me the confidence to put myself out there and try. My sample session today went well! I am most proud of myself for doing it. I know next time it will be better and easier.

If you want to make 2021 the best year ever, join a mastermind group to accelerate your success! Tap into your inner moxie, step out of your comfort zone, make things happen.

Mavens with Moxie Mastermind Group begins January 6 for badass women solopreneurs who want to crush their goals in 2021! If you want to join us, contact me at Monica@PremoProductivity.com.

Family, Personal Productivity, Solopreneurs

Gobble, Gobble, Zoom, Zoom! Navigating Family Video Calls

Thanksgiving will be different this year. Our families and friends are staying away to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. If your family is like mine, we’ll be spending some time together virtually on a video call.

With a large family, group video calls are a great way to see all the smiling faces we usually see in the same room. This picture is from our call last weekend celebrating my mom’s 81st birthday. We had at least 17 people on the screen and about 28 people on the call!

I’m sharing are my lessons learned and top tips to help you make your Thanksgiving call more joyful and less frustrating.

Use a platform that can handle your group size. I use Google Meet because it’s free and we can be on the call for an hour. Users need a free Google account to login, so if you have Gmail, you’re set. The free version of Zoom limits you to 40 minutes if you have more than three participants. If you have a small family, you can do a group call via FaceTime or What’s App.

Communicate the meeting and send the link via email and text. Some people check one or the other, and others may miss both. You might have an old phone number or email address. If you’re not sure, call ahead and make sure everyone knows about the call. You don’t want to miss anyone.

Choose a moderator. The moderator will control the call, manage the agenda, make sure everyone gets a chance to speak, and watch the time so you wrap up before the call cuts off.

If you’re the moderator, join the call 30 minutes early. Work out your own bugs and be available for other people who are trying to get on the call.

Designate a tech helper. Someone familiar with the technology can help people troubleshoot if they can’t get on the call, don’t know how to unmute, etc. It’s helpful if this isn’t the same person as the moderator.

Ask someone to set up the technology for older parents or anyone unfamiliar with it. My brother went to my Dad’s and my nephew set things up for my mom.

Have a group text chat and tell people to use the text for troubleshooting. Texting is a faster way to communicate and several people can help one-on-one if this is your first group video call.

Cast the call to your TV. We used Chromecast and could see everyone on the TV instead of just a few on the laptop. Be sure to take a picture of your family!

Have an agenda. I know it’s not a meeting, but it is. Without an agenda, it’s like chaos of people meeting and greeting as families arrive, exchange hugs, and catch up. That will happen anyway as people join the call. 😊 After a while you want everyone to talk to the group.

Go around the “room” and have everyone share something. Just like we do before our Thanksgiving meal, each person will share one thing they are thankful for. This is always my favorite part of Thanksgiving.

“Popcorn” to choose the next person to speak. The moderator starts, then calls on the next person. That person calls on the next person and so on. Keep track to make sure everyone gets a turn.

Be patient. Be kind. Be loving. Be thankful.

I wish you a joyful Thanksgiving and wonderful holiday season!

How is your family connecting this year?

Personal Productivity, Small Business, Solopreneurs, Task Management, Time Management

5 Baby Steps to Get Things Done

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

When babies learn to walk, they are focused on that one task at hand, taking one small baby step. They are persistent and persevere, despite many failed attempts. After each attempt we encourage them to try again and we praise the effort as well as the success.  Eventually they are not just walking, they’re running effortlessly. Apply these same principles to achieving your goals and you’ll be off and running in no time!

1. What’s the next step?
Now that you know what your goals are, take each one and ask yourself, “What’s the next step?” You don’t have to have the whole plan mapped out, just the next step. What action is required – finding a phone number, making a phone call, searching the internet, discussing a problem with someone, taking 5 minutes to straighten your desk?

2. When will you take that next step? Notice that I didn’t ask when you will achieve your goal. I just asked when you will make time to take that step. How long will it take you? One minute, 5 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour? Put it on your calendar, daily task list, or group it with similar tasks you’re already planning. If it’s a difficult task, schedule it when you have the most energy.

3. Take that baby step! Here comes the hard part for most people – just doing it! We find a million excuses to put it off because we just don’t have time. The reality is that many baby steps take less than 2 minutes to accomplish. Remember, they’re baby steps.

4. Give yourself credit. You did it! You took the first baby step toward reaching your goal. Did you give yourself an “atta-girl” or ‘atta-boy” for your success? Doing something, taking one baby step, just took you one step closer to reaching your goal.

5. Evaluate and repeat. Okay, what happened? Did you successfully complete the task or do you need to try again or do something else? Keep the momentum going and go back to the top. What’s the next step?

Personal Productivity, Solopreneurs, Task Management, Time Management, Uncategorized

5 Easy Steps to Partner Up and Get Things Done

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Are you struggling to stay on task and focused on what needs to be done? It’s easier and more fun to partner up with a friend do it together.

An accountability partner can help you stay focused and motivated as you work toward achieving your goals. My partner and I meet weekly by phone to check in and make sure we have done what we said we would do. She holds my feet to the fire, helps me work through the hard parts, and motivates me with her progress. We get more done because we know we have to check in with each other every week.

Take these 5 easy steps:

1. Select your partner.
A friend, colleague, family member, or coach who is supportive and helpful is a good choice.

2. Have a regular time to check in weekly. Meeting weekly keeps you focused and accountable. It also helps you to break your goal down into small steps that you can take daily or weekly.

3. Commit to taking action every week. You can make time daily or weekly for what’s really important to you. Sometimes it’s as simple as completing a five-minute task that takes you to the next step and over a big hurdle.

4. Celebrate your successes; learn from your challenges. Every step toward your goal is a small victory, and small victories add up to big results. If you come across a challenge, brainstorm new strategies and tactics to overcome it.

5. Don’t give up! It’s about progress, not perfection. If you stray from your plan, start again right now and continue to make progress. Good enough is better than did not start.