Category Archives: Develop Dynamic Decision Making Strategies

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals – Featured on Bublish

The following excerpt from Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work by Halimah Bellows MA, MS is now featured on Bublish at https://bublish.com/bubble/stream/11888?share=email.

Bublish (www.bublish.com) is a publishing technology company that offers cloud-based tools, metrics and resources.

Author Insight

This process takes courage. What we’re talking about is a leap of faith. Go through this process as many times as you need to in order to become clear on who you are, what you want, and what your interests, values, passions and purpose are. Then develop a strategy to test your choices for your next career path. Your chances of achieving success in carrying out the actions you choose will be greatly enhanced by your ability to effectively set goals that give order and direction to your efforts. Here are the qualities that need to be considered in effective goal-setting:

Book Excerpt

S – Specific. Your goals should be stated in detail, not in vague terms.

M – Measurable. Your goals should be stated in language that includes definite quantities so that the degree of your success can be evaluated.

A – Achievable. You need to be realistic about what you can actually do and avoid setting yourself up for failure.

R – Relevant. Make sure that the goal aligns with the actual outcome you want to achieve.

T – Targeted. Give yourself a realistic, definite time frame for carrying out the action. Take the opportunity to practice effective goal-setting by applying the above guidelines to a result that you want to achieve in your life.

Dynamic Decision Making Strategies—Featured on Bublish

The following excerpt from Champion Your Career: Winning in the World of Work by Halimah Bellows MA, MS is now featured on Bublish at https://bublish.com/bubble/stream/11541?share=email.

Bublish (www.bublish.com) is a publishing technology company that offers cloud-based tools, metrics and resources.

 

Author Insight

Decision-making is a process—a process that can be so short as to be almost instantaneous or one that can so completely involve your thoughts as to lead to paralysis. The process presented in this chapter of my book will enable you to select the appropriate strategy for various situations step by step.

 

Book Excerpt

  1. The first step is to recognize that a decision is necessary. Understanding the need for a decision and the time of that decision is a vital part of the process. Must the decision be made immediately or can it be deferred while information is gathered and various options are defined and considered? Sometimes it is wiser to wait—sometimes it is wiser not to decide.
  2. The second and very critical step is to define the situation. This involves defining the purpose for the decision and establishing the desired goal and objectives. Quite often, how you defining the situation will automatically determine the decision that will be made.

What Are You Tolerating?

Potholes and Tolerations Part 2

by Dawn Quesnel

Last month we talked about “potholes and tolerations” – things in your life you tolerate, that slowly sap your energy and motivation.

Continuing our discussion of tolerations… Below are some common tolerations cited by my clients and colleagues. Maybe some of these potholes are also in your road.

What people are tolerating at home:

  • “I need to create a financial plan for my family.”
  • “I need to take care of the house projects.”
  • “I need to exercise more – get to the gym.”
  • “I need to exercise more control over personal finances.”
  • “I need to clean out the attic/basement/garage.”
  • “I need to help the kids with school more.”
  • “I need to take a vacation.”

What people are tolerating at work:

  • “No raises.”
  • “No positive reinforcement; even after clients have told me they have gone out of their way to tell my boss they are happy with the work I have done, he never acknowledges it in any way.”
  • “Unfulfilling work culture and lack of mental challange.”
  • “Throughout my tenure at my company, I have felt that I can do 100 things acceptably, but when one thing is identified as not good enough in so many words, it becomes a big deal.”
  • “I wait until I get mad to leave a place.”
  • Other people’s “poor me” syndrome.”
  • “Unprofitable professional relationships.”
  • “Personality dynamics.” -Need I say more about that one!

What people are tolerating personally:

  • “Waiting to receive permission before acting.”
  • “Not thinking things thoroughly.”
  • “Not waiting to learn from my mistakes before taking actions.”
  • “Waiting for events to happen – being reactive.”
  • “Letting other people lead the way.”
  • “My laziness.”
  • “My internalizing and over-thinking.”
  • “My inability to keep and meet goals.”
  • “My weakness for sweets.”
  • “My lack of willpower .”
  • “My closed-off attitude – not being willing to open up.”
  • “My reluctance to try new things more often.”
  • “My lack of empathy.”
  • “Not verbalizing my thoughts and acting on them.”
  • “Not making the most of every moment.”
  • “Destructive or draining personal relationships.”

All of the above issues could be resolved by making an actionable plan and sticking to it. To quote Nike’s tagline: “Just do it.” No amount of thinking will resolve nagging issues or create the change you crave. YOU have to act on your thoughts. If you recognize any of the above tolerations in your own life, make a list of three things you can do to move toward a resolution. Once you fill the potholes, you can start looking ahead to where your road leads!

Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC is a certified professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Find out more about her work at: http://coachdq.com/about/

7 Strategies to Shift from Goal-Setting to Manifesting

by Sig Nordal, Jr.           

From an early age, we are told that goal setting is the foundation for the yellow brick road to success. Starting as early as kindergarten or first grade, teachers and parents measure what kind of person we are by the goals we have achieved. By adulthood, the culture of goal attainment is so ingrained in our sense of self-worth that often we use goals to completely define our identity.

With our society’s focus on competition and being the “best,” it seems that in order to achieve any sort of success in life, one must actively strive to better themselves. Of course, goal setting is often seen as the ideal way to achieve this purpose.

7 Strategies to Shift from Goal-Setting to Manifesting

Most experts will argue that goal setting helps us maintain focus on long-term vision as well as increase motivation in the short-terms. However, when one really examines how goal setting works, the reality isn’t so magical.

Setting a goal, in essence, reinforces the belief that a situation is only acceptable sometime in the future, once an external marker is achieved. More importantly, goal-setting fuels the lack mindset, emphasizing what is missing from our lives.

The Universe is always listening to our thoughts, feelings, and desires. When we set a goal, we repeatedly focus our mind on something we don’t have. It is far too easy for our mind to attach the state of happiness with a time in the future. This future-oriented mindsets prevents us from enjoying the present and developing a sense of gratitude for what is positive in our lives.

Additionally, the focus of what we do not have only makes the goal seem further away. While there are a few people who can conquer this perception and maintain an attitude of positivity throughout the journey, for many, this is too difficult. How often do New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight fail? Even if one starts out energized and passionate about their goal, the constant reminder of what we don’t have, or what we have not yet achieved attracts more ruminating thoughts on this matter, thus making the goal seem even harder to achieve.

So, are we to give up our hopes and dreams of achieving great things in our lives? Of course not! However, it is the mindset and the language that must change. By setting intentions, as opposed to goals, we come from a place of acceptance that what we want is already ours. What a liberating realization!

7 Strategies to Shift from Goal-Setting to Manifesting

  1. Use present tense language. By framing your intentions in the present tense, you are putting your vibrations in a state in which you already have which you desire. Since like thoughts attract more like thoughts, you are creating a space so that your desires will be attracted to your life.
  2. Identify the feelings that your intentions will bring. Why do you want to lose weight or earn more money? Chances are, it is not the actual goal or intention, but the feeling that will result once it has been realized. Perhaps you want to lose more weight to feel more confident. More money might activate feelings of freedom or security. Be clear and identify how you will feel once your intentions are made a reality.
  3. Use emotionally charged visualizations to fuel the fire of your intentions. One of the fastest ways to manifest your intentions is to add real emotion behind the thoughts. The universe responds not just to thoughts and words, but to the feelings which are attached to those thoughts and words. When you state your intentions, concentrate on feeling the way you would feel if your dream had been achieved.
  4. Affirm your intentions daily. Setting an intention once and never going back to it is like planting a seed and never watering the plant. For an intention to manifest, it must be nurtured daily. Take 5 minutes each morning, before you begin your day, to review your intentions. Say them aloud and visualize yourself already living as if it has been completed.
  5. Start living as closely as you can to how you would after your intention has been manifested.   Envision your life after your intention has been manifested. How does your environment look? Are there any changes to your appearance? Do you have any different habits or mannerisms? Step by step, try adding those elements to your current life. Add a piece of furniture to your home that better reflects the style of your future self. Start dressing as you would if your intention had already been achieved. Or, spend a day exactly as you would after all of your manifesting has generated success.
  6. Incorporate activities which activate the feelings you hope to achieve. You don’t have to wait until your dreams have been realized to feel great! Make a list of 10-20 activities that spark the same feelings. Perhaps a date night with your partner inspires feelings of connection. Your weekly yoga class might make you feel grounded. Or taking a nap during the day might activate your feelings of freedom. Commit to doing 3-5 activities from your list each day to ensure that you are attracting more and more of your desired feelings.
  7. Be open to allowing your intentions to manifest in unexpected ways. Often, we become some focused on the exact way we want our intentions to manifest, that we close of other avenues that might bring us the same feelings we are hoping to create in our life. Focus on how you want to feel, not just what you believe will bring those feelings. When stating your intentions, add the phrase “I now manifest this or something better, in divine, appropriate timing.” You might just be surprised how your dreams might show up in you life!

Sig Nordal, Jr.,(https://nordammarketing.wordpress.com/author/signordal/) has been working as an entrepreneur since completing his business studies at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada. Sig has been involved in businesses and commerce in all corners of the world and he understands the risks, the excitements and the potential rewards associated with being an entrepreneur. Sig has a passion for political science and philosophy as well as human development and he writes extensively about these subjects.

Stop Analysis Paralysis: How to Be Fast and Decisive in Decision Making

Excerpted from an article by Celestine Chua. writer and founder of Personal Excellence: Be Your Best Self, Live Your Best Life.

How do you behave when it comes to decision-making? Do you spend a long time thinking over every single decision, because you are afraid of making the wrong choice? Do you feel a need to analyze every single option before you come to a conclusion? Does your over-analysis often stop you from making a move quickly — at times missing perfectly good opportunities?

If so, congratulations — you “suffer” from analysis paralysis. Analysis paralysis is the state of over-thinking about a decision, to the point where a choice never gets made, thereby creating a paralyzed state of inaction. A person faces analysis paralysis when he/she…

  • Is overwhelmed by the available options
  • Over-complicates the decision when it’s supposed to be quite simple
  • Feels compelled to pick the right “perfect” decision, thereby delaying making a decision until due research is done
  • Feels a deep fear of making a wrong decision, hence stalling decision making to prevent a wrong decision being made
  • All in all, not able to decide at all.

My Experience with Analysis Paralysis

As much as I’ve no problems making major life decisions quickly and precisely (I took less than a few months to realize my life purpose, less than a month to decide that Ken is the man for me, less than two months to decide to quit my day job to start my business), up until recently I totally sucked at simple, daily decisions. I began to tire of my analysis paralysis as it was stopping me from being productive. I brainstormed on how to break out this behavior… and this guide was the result.

How to Make Decisions Quickly Like a Ninja

Today’s guide shares 10 key tips that have helped me to break out of analysis paralysis. Having worked through these steps, I no longer mull over little decisions like I used to. Tips #1, #3, #5, #6, and #7 have been particularly crucial for me. If you frequently experience analysis paralysis like the old me, don’t fret. The ten tips below will help you to breeze through decisions in no time!

Tip #1. Differentiate Between Big and Small Decisions

Firstly, differentiate between big and small decisions. Then, give them the attention they deserve based on their importance.

A big part of my analysis paralysis in the past came from treating all decisions as if they were life-altering when really, they weren’t. While my meticulousness helped with life decisions like finding my soulmate and discovering my life path, it was very draining with other decisions because I would invest much time and energy in them even though they didn’t warrant the effort.

Are you stumped by a decision right now? Ask yourself:

  • How important is this decision?
  • Will the outcome of this decision make a difference a year from now?
  • What’s the worst thing that can happen from this?

Give a decision only the time and effort that it deserves, based on its importance.

If the decision isn’t going to make any major difference to your life in a year’s time and there are no serious consequences that will come out of it (e.g., picking a mismatched shade for your wedding table linen), then it is a small decision. Chill and let go. Spend as little time and effort as you can to nail it.

If a decision will create major impact in your life even after a year and there are serious implications from making the wrong choice (e.g., marrying someone you no longer feel right about), then that’s a big decision. Set aside proper time to think over it; delay if necessary.

For anything in between, give it some level of thought, but don’t let it drag for too long. Interestingly, as you evaluate your decisions, you’ll find that few decisions are ever as important as we make them out to be.

Examples of small decisions:

  • Which hair conditioner to purchase
  • What color cable clips to buy
  • What to eat for dinner

Examples of mid-level decisions:

  • Whether to continue or break off a relationship
  • Whether to collaborate with someone in a project
  • When and where to get your new home

Examples of big decisions:

  • Whether to marry someone
  • The career path to go for
  • What to pursue as your life purpose
  • Whether to have kids

Tip #2. Identify Your Top Objective(s)

Before entering into the decision making process, identify your top objective(s) for this decision. Then, use that to guide you in your decision-making. This will help you to arrive at a valid decision quicker.

For example, many people often want to collaborate with me in my business. From promoting their products, to promoting their campaigns, having me create a course for their portal, to creating a new offering together, these are examples of pitches I get every week.

My criteria for this decision is simple: exposure for PE. “Will I gain any exposure for PE from this engagement?” is the question I ask myself. If the answer is “no” and they are simply trying to get free exposure with minimal/no contribution on their end, then it’s usually a “no” – short and simple.

Tip #3. Perfection is not the key; “Moderately okay” is

Unless it’s a life-altering decision, perfection isn’t the key. Your role is to pick a moderately okay decision in a fair amount of time, then move forward after that.

Why do I say that? That’s because every option has its pros and cons, and it’s very hard to be in a situation where the perfect choice is available right there and right then. While you can work through and hunt down the perfect choice, it comes at a high cost. The 80/20 rule applies, where you need to invest 80% of effort just to achieve that incremental 20% improvement in your final decision.

This doesn’t mean that you should just pick a random option for all decisions: after all, negative effects can accumulate over time to create a huge negative impact. However, it does mean that you should go the 80/20 way and go with a moderately okay selection and not hunt down a “perfect” choice.

Tip #4. Eliminate the Bad Options

Next, eliminate the bad options. Having a flood of options can clutter up the decision making process, so eliminate the bad ones right away to make it easier to assess. Refer to your objectives for making this decision (see Tip #2), identify the options that will definitely not meet your objectives, and get rid of them. The ones that are left should be the considerably good ones, which then allows you to make a more pinpointed assessment.

Tip #5. Pick One and Go — Don’t Look Back After That

If you are stumped by the options and you are not sure which one to pick… then just pick one and go. Don’t look back after that. While this may seem reckless, it actually isn’t. The reason why you have shortlisted these options is because they are reasonably good. If it’s really crappy, you would have eliminated them as per Tip #4! Now, no matter which option you pick, you will miss out on the benefits exclusive to the other options, since each option probably has its unique pros and cons.

Hence, rather than agonize over which one to choose, it’s more important that you select one quickly and make the best out of it. In doing so, you will create your perfect outcome – simply because you made the commitment to make the best out of it.

Tip #6. Let Go of Your Childhood Stories Surrounding Decision Making

Part of the reason for my past analysis paralysis is because my dad would always tell me to be prudent and to only buy the things I need (he still does that actually). Such incidents built up over time led me to be (a) hyper sensitive about anything I had to buy and (b) self-reproaching if I ever made a wrong purchase decision. I grew to see the negative side of every (purchase) decision I made, even though every decision has its pros and cons. I would also spend endless time flicking back and forth between purchase options, even though there were minuscule differences between them.

If you constantly freeze in the face of decisions, and your paralysis always seems to have a life of its own, then it’s possible that there’s a childhood story driving you to act this way. What is your childhood story for decision-making? How can you let go of it?

Tip #7. Set a Hard Time Limit

In my upcoming book 10 Rules of Super Productive People, I talk about Parkinson’s Law and how it affects productivity. Parkinson’s Law says that “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” What this means is that your work will take however long you allow it to take. If you set aside 15 minutes for a task, it’ll take 15 minutes; if you set aside 30 minutes, it’ll take 30 minutes; if you don’t set a time limit, it may well take forever!

This is the same in decision-making. When you don’t set a time limit for your decisions, each decision can expand monstrously to take up your entire consciousness and schedule as you find new options to mull over, new details to analyze, and every reason to contemplate the decision further and simply not commit to a decision. To solve this, set a hard time limit for your decision. Your time limit should be based on the importance of the decision (refer to Tip #1). Since time is relative and every decision is different, there is no hard and fast rule on the limit.

Remember, this is a time limit you must commit to, by hook or by crook. Even if you haven’t made up your mind by then, just make the best decision based on available data

Tip #8. Delegate the Decision to Someone Else

This tip is a little sneaky since you are effectively removing yourself from the decision-making process and shifting the decision-making responsibility to someone else. However, it works if you trust the opinion of that person and you’re okay with not handling the decision.

I recently put this at work in my business. After months in book writing hell, I realized that I need to speed up the way I manage my business, so as to make bigger progress in shorter time. The problem though is that whenever I get hands-on in something, I’ll want to tweak it to perfection.

To prevent this pesky behavior from ballooning out of control, I’ve hired a permanent admin assistant – sort of like my right hand person — to take care of my admin work. This includes making administrative decisions on my behalf, after which I’ll review and approve or amend where needed. By doing so, I never get too involved in the admin work, which prevents me from going into analysis paralysis mode with them. Delegating doesn’t have to mean hiring. You can also delegate personal decisions to your loved ones.

Tip #9. Get the Opinion of Someone You Trust and Go with It

The second to last tip is to get the opinion of someone you trust and go along with it. This is slightly different from Tip #8 in that you still take ownership of the decision even though you’re basing it on someone else’s opinion.

I often do this when I’m shopping and can’t make up my mind. Usually I narrow it down to two options, after which I’ll consult my friend whom I’m shopping with and/or seek the advice of the store assistant. If their recommendation makes sense, I’ll go along with it; if not, I’ll pick the one I prefer. Either way, getting their opinion accelerates my decision-making process since I get more inputs to help me decide what I really want.

I recommend to get someone with insight in the area you are consulting on. For example, if I’m buying a new video camera for my video channel, I’ll ask someone with knowledge in video camera equipment, not some random Joe. If I’m going into investing, I’ll seek the advice of friends who have invested before and made actual money, as opposed to people who dabble in investments and lose money constantly.

Tip #10. Channel Your Energy into Other Things

If you are still in analysis paralysis mode despite the nine tips, it’s possible that you simply have extra energy that’s not being channeled into more meaningful areas!

So if your analysis paralysis is coming from having too much excess energy, then channel that energy into other tasks. Find more important tasks to devote yourself to. You’ll be much more productive this way; you’ll also find yourself getting clarity in your decision as you spend time away from it.

 

Build a Successful Brand

Five Ways to Get SMART When Setting Goals

by Marietta E. Gentles

What is it about goal-setting that can be a task within itself? Sometimes it seems like you have to set a goal to set a goal. But it shouldn’t be so difficult. With the new year moving forward as quickly as it started, your goals can easily get lost as the memories of the countdown for the gigantic crystal ball to drop gets further and further away. Luckily, today is as good as any other day to work towards your goals and build your brand. As the saying goes, “slow and steady wins the race.” Instead of trying to speed ahead to check off all the things you want to do, take a step back and set yourself up for steady progress.

Here’s five tips to help make your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

1. Make sure that your goals are actually SMART. Yes, let’s take it back to the basics. It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to create a SMART goal. Sometimes you have it in your head what you want to accomplish, but when you write it down it’s too general. For example, the goal to “Grow my bakery business and build my brand, so that I can increase sales” sounds great in your head, but does it pass the SMART test? Not really, since the statement is broad and doesn’t have a timeframe or way to measure success. A better approach would be: “Build my online brand and increase sales for my bakery business by 20% within the next three months by creating a social media campaign.” This example not only includes ways to measure success and a timeframe, but also has one of the ways to make it happen. Be sure that when you think (and write) out your goals, they pass the SMART test.

2. Narrow down your goals. If you’re an ambitious intrapreneur or entrepreneur, chances are you have a long list of goals (you secretly wouldn’t have it any other way). While it’s easy to get super motivated and want to conquer the world—as you should— it’s about quality not quantity. Start with the top three goals that are most important. If you want to work on building your network, plan ahead to attend at least four to six events for the year instead of RSVP’ing for every event that pops up in your inbox— or worse, not having a plan at all. If there are new certifications you want to add to your credentials, narrow down which ones are most aligned with your goals and make a plan to take them in order of highest priority. Effective goal-setting means that you have to choose wisely and realistically.

3. Tackle your goals in chunks. There’s a principle that says eat the elephant in chunks at a time. Now it’s not to say eating elephants is the “new green,” but there’s something to this metaphor that has been used everywhere from setting business goals to running a race. Once you’ve narrowed down your top goals, break them down into mini steps (your objectives) until you get to the finish line. For example, if you want to develop your personal brand in order to change careers, some of your objectives may be to take the 360°Reach survey; identify three brand-related books as resources; and research career paths aligned with your brand attributes. This is where the difference between goals and objectives are important to remember. A goal is an accomplishment: using your brand to start a new career. Objectives are the steps you take to get to your goal: assessing your personal brand, doing research, and targeting potential career opportunities. Remember, the steps to get to your goals are just as important as the goal itself.

4. Designate time to work on each goal. Try scheduling time to work on your personal goals just as you would for your professional obligations. Plan ahead the tasks you need to accomplish and make a commitment to keep to a schedule. If you want to work on building your LinkedIn network, schedule time daily or weekly to log on and participate in discussions or post useful articles. If you’re working towards a professional certification, schedule your study times throughout the week, so that you can break it up in pieces (remember that elephant!). You may need to rearrange your schedule because life happens, but if you keep your goals in front of you they won’t get lost in the shuffle.

5. Be an active participant. You’re no stranger to hard work, so it goes without saying that you have to actively stay on top of your goals once you have them in place. If your goal is to get a promotion or grow your business, make sure you’re doing things daily towards meeting your objectives and re-calculating timeframes as needed. Review your goals and objectives on a constant basis. Make sure you’re clear on the steps you need to take and give yourself an action to do towards each of them daily. Whether the steps are small or big, it’s still movement and that’s better than nothing at all. And don’t forget to celebrate the small wins in addition to the big ones. Building your personal brand is hard work, but if you play it SMART, you’ll be successful.

Marietta E. Gentles is a Personal Branding Advocate and Certified Professional Resume Writer for intrapreneurs needing a getaway driver to reach their career destination. With over ten years’ experience climbing through top corporate and government brands as a writer and trainer, her passion is sharing lessons learned along the way.

You and the New Year

This is the time of year that everyone and everything is abuzz with plans, down-time, and anticipation of what is to unfold in the year ahead. You become aware of the life you have led up until this point and ponder what the future may hold. Even if you don’t subscribe to officially making resolutions for the New Year, you can approach this exercise as a time to anticipate new or renewed beginnings, endings or standstills.

For your New Year’s Resolutions, take a breath and take your time. Think and feel out the overall direction that you want your life to take. Start with one single goal and work it with realism and commitment. Take it one goal at a time and spend some time with each one. This is not a process to be rushed. If the resolutions matter to you and you desire success, proceed accordingly like you would with any smart life plan. It often helps to write down your ideas so as to see them as valid, real and possible (or not) for you.

Decide if your goals are realistic and approachable for where you are in your life right now. The next step is to record a few key points to remind you of the necessary action steps needed to fulfill them. Continue breathing and imagine each goal as being reached, then project how you will feel when each one is accomplished. Mentally and emotionally digest each goal in bite-sized pieces, like the chunk theory. If you see your action steps as comfortable strides walking the path on your journey, they will seem more manageable as you write down, and then enact your visions. You will maintain your enthusiasm and likely not peter out if they are within the scope of your abilities, resources and energy levels.  If you’re aimless & without goals, the road to success takes longer or you may find yourself lost or back at the same starting place again next year.

Take a safe risk and commit to at least one resolution that you will accomplish or strive for with consistency all year long. If you desire to lose weight, become more fit, learn a new skill, create a more fulfilling and lucrative profession, open your heart to true love, be a more patient parent, attentive partner, focused worker, optimistic human or playful friend- make it so! After all, the choice for how you live your life is entirely up to you. No excuses- get on with it and be your very best for you and the new year! Your world and the world around you will delight in your success! Happy, Healthy New Year! Live Inspired!

Offered by Nina Siddell of Nina Sidell Inspiring Lives, LLC. http://www.LiveInspiredwithNina.com/