We weren’t planning on this topic, but we had quite a few messages and conversations following our last post specifically around the personal development concepts that we shared, so we wanted to elaborate on a few other ideas that have really stuck with us!
We have always tried to challenge ourselves, if we achieve a short/long term goal on our list, we start the process of executing another one. We will forever be learning and trying to develop our growth to personal excellence.
I like to start off my day with the famous Jim Rohn quote, “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.” I know that I am the only one who is accountable for my life. It is up to me to keep pushing for new goals and accomplishments. Luckily I am one that loves a challenge. If someone says I can’t do something, I use that as fuel to set my goals.
My power hours are from 6:30am to 10:30am. I devote two hours to my personal development and two hours to my professional development. This doesn’t mean it stops after the four hours are done, but I know that my best work is done in the morning with a cup of java.
I love to read self-development books. My favorite to-date is the Compound Effect from Darren Hardy. It’s a game changer. I remember reading it for the first time and feeling incredibly motivated. I felt that the book reminded me of a few things that I was slacking on. It made me accountable for my actions. The book reminds me to be the best version of myself and that it’s a daily task.
I thought I could share some of my goals with you:
- If you know you aren’t the best you can be, you simply have to work harder. I often get frustrated at myself in a hockey game for my screw ups, but then I think – do I practice? When is the last time I worked on the skill that is frustrating me? In the end, we get what we put out!
- Things don’t just happen, you need to be consistent if you want to achieve certain goals. One of my long term goals is to stay in shape. If I only went to the gym or stayed active the odd time, this would not be accomplished. For years, I have done five workouts a week and I have eaten healthy to be successful at this goal. I remember talking to some of my clients who weren’t happy with their weight. We talked about starting with some realistic goals (food/workouts) to hit the weight they desired. They would add their comments, “Meh, you don’t have to worry about anything, just look at you!” I quickly responded that I am the size I am because of my consistent workouts and my healthy eating. This definitely doesn’t just happen. We are lucky because we get to choose the path we want, no one decides for us. Your choices dictate the outcome!
- Is a settled life better than a completely happy life? Choose wisely and make the necessary changes to live a completely happy life. You deserve it!
- Be careful of the small choices you make. Like Darren Hardy says, they compound. If your goal is to buy your first home, are you going to go to Starbucks every day or will you do without and start making your coffee from home? Seven dollars a day at your favorite java place before work adds up quickly. Here’s the simple math: $7 x 5 days a week = $35 x 4 = $140 a month and $140 x 12 = $1680 a year vs $5 for a huge tin of Maxwell House on sale, which will cost $70 a year. Do you want a down payment for the house??? The choice is yours!
- Be grateful. Acknowledge what you have and keep pushing for the things you don’t.
- Nothing is 50/50…you have to own 100% of your responsibilities. In a relationship, you can’t just put in 50% and expect to have a fantastic partnership. In your profession, if you’re a boss and only half assed it, what would your company look like? In your health, if you only ate nutritious food half the time when you had high blood pressure, your health isn’t going to get better. And I could go on. In the end you have to commit and give it your all to be truly successful. If you screw up, fix it and learn.
- You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge. I would like to claim that I’m not a right fighter. I can definitely admit when I’m wrong. This isn’t always easy, but I think it’s important to admit when you’re in the wrong. Own it, take a step back and figure out where you can be better.
- Tracking is key for success. Write it down so you can be accountable.
- Learn something new every day.
- If your heart isn’t in it, make a change.
- What is your why power? I loved this chapter in Darren Hardy’s book: What motivates you? How do you change your bad habits? What is it that you want? You need the why power! An example of mine was about 4 years ago when I applied for a full time position at Fanshawe. My why power was stability for my family and myself. Having that as my focus pushed me to prep for a month and a half before my interview. I read a ton of articles about the school, I met with faculty and asked them about their job, the interview process and if they were happy with their profession. I did countless mock interviews (thanks #16). I knew the background of every interviewer, I prepped a lesson plan etc. Some would say I was over the top, but I can tell you being over the top landed me the job.
- Write down your goals and look at them daily. I swear it helps you achieve them. It definitely did for me.
- Where is your focus? Entertainment? Education? Work? Family? Health? Friends? Make sure you have the right balance.
- Positive results usually don’t come easy. If I want to lower my sugar intake, I can’t grab the donut at a faculty meeting. If I want to pass my exam, I have to skip the killer party. If I want to have money, I need to work 3 jobs and not go out to dinner. If I want to stay healthy, I have to get to the gym after a 12 hour work day. SUCCESS IS NOT EASY!
- When you are slipping, find an accountability buddy. (If you want to know how this works just email me J )
- Don’t rush, it may take time to reach your goal.
- Rank your relationship – Team 27 hasn’t done this is awhile, but we love it. It starts up a great conversation and allows us to fix things that have wavered. The key is, you must be open minded and be able to listen to what your partner has to say. Let them feel what they are feeling with no judgement. So to give you an example we chose Sunday nights to do this, I would tell Britt what I felt our relationship was the week between 1-10 and Britt would do the same. Let’s say I ranked us at a 9 and Britt ranked us on that same week as a 6. We then discuss the reasons why we didn’t hit a ten. It keeps us accountable.
- What are you willing to tolerate? Are you ok with what you hear? Are you ok with your relationship? Are you happy with your health? If you don’t tolerate it, change it.
Just writing this blog gets me so pumped up! I hope you are as well. If you have any other books that you think we’d love, please share.
Darren Hardy spends quite a bit of time discussing goals, goal setting and how to measure success. The whole idea of the compound effect is essentially small choices that applied consistently over time brings results. Now you just have to choose which results you want! Team 27 is no stranger to goal setting, we continue to set goals as a couple and individually. But what has really resonated with me and that I’ve incorporated into my life is the concept of tracking.
The Compound Effect quotes another brilliant man, John C. Maxwell, who says, “you will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” Darren discusses the idea that installing a new, more productive habit into your life takes time, effort and practice.
At first glance, this can seem pretty dramatic. How hard can it be? But how many times have you set a New Year’s Resolution and then fell off the wagon only a few weeks later? Or how many times have you vowed to do something, only for the novelty of it to wear off and then you move on with your life?
We’ve all done this – and that’s okay! Heck, I still have moments like this. But The Compound Effect drove home the idea that the key to success is staying aware and that you MUST pay attention to this new habit at least once a day. But how do you do that? Tracking.
Weekly Rhythym – (click for the PDF version)
If I’ve set a goal…I track it. If I want to see change in something…I track it. Even the small things. The small things are probably the most important! This is one of the tracking sheets I use (courtesy of Darren Hardy. And don’t think you have to fill up this sheet! I consistently track 5 things so one sheet lasts me 3 weeks. Don’t overwhelm yourself!) I’ll give you a couple of examples that I’ve incorporated into my life:
In the last three years, Team 27 has bought a house, got married, bought a new cottage, changed jobs and started to plan for a family. I don’t know about you – but that’s a lot of $$$$. All very exciting and positive things, but also things that bring a financial burden and can bring stress. Steph and I are both incredibly money conscious, mainly because we have to be. We are grateful for what we have, but it comes with a lot of responsibility and we have to be incredibly diligent to make it all work.
Because of that, I track everything that I spend money on. I’m not kidding…everything. I look ahead in my calendar to see what I’ve got going on and then I set my budget for the month. I incorporate the non-negotiables like mortgage payments, bill payments, car payments, etc. But I also include all the extras. Birthday presents, celebrations, getting my nails done, coffee, food, fun…all of it.
I had an ah-ha moment when I was working at my last job and I calculated all of the money I spent on coffee in one month. Over $70!! I couldn’t believe it. You grab a coffee every once in a while and think $2 here and there can’t really add up to that much. It amazed me how quick money can go when you really aren’t pay attention to it.
It’s not that $70 on coffee is a bad thing. If coffee is your thing, then have at it! But for me, it wasn’t my priority. There are other places in my life I would rather spend that money…helloooo manicures!
On top of an already busy and fairly jam-packed life, about a year ago I decided to go back to school and pursue my passion in nutrition. It’s been great so far and I am grateful that I finally took the step and committed. It’s a two-year program so I figured now was as good a time as any. But I didn’t take this decision lightly. I knew that if I was going to do this, I had to really focus if I was going be successful (and I’m going to be successful!)
I’m studying online, which is a blessing and a curse. It’s great because it provides the flexibility to fit school into my life, but it also comes with challenges because I have to self-motivate to spend the time and put the effort in. And some days are easier than others.
Do you know how hard it is to say, “I have school work to do” when Steph is ready to sit down and watch our favourite show. Or how hard it is to get out of bed at 6am to get two hours of school in before work? It’s overwhelming sometimes, but that’s when I know it’s something that I really want, and I really love.
And you know what that means – tracking! With distance education, I was provided a “study schedule” that provided guidance on how long each course should take in order to complete everything in the allotted time frame. I’ve maintained this schedule and I track every hour that I spend on school so I don’t fall behind.
There are some weeks where I am very diligent with schoolwork and other weeks where I’m not, but tracking all of this allows me to stay ahead of the curve rather than falling behind. I always know where I stand and what my goals are so that I can enjoy the learning and soak it all in.
As a self-proclaimed worrier, I can be overcome with fear, anxieties and stresses for things that haven’t even happened yet or that I have no control over. As an emotional person, I can also be affected by things that happened during the day that most other people wouldn’t think twice about or probably didn’t even notice (there’s a reason I don’t watch the news).
For this reason, and many others, the last thing I do before climbing into bed is grab my notebook that sits in my nightstand and fill out at least one thing that I am grateful for during that day. It allows me that quiet two minutes to reflect on my day and bring me back to what really matters in life. It keeps me centered and it’s a constant reminder of how much good there is and how much I have to be thankful for. It always amazes me how many things I can write down at the end of just one day.
We love personal development – as you can tell! Whether it’s reading a book or an article, listening to an audiobook or a podcast. There are so many ways to challenge and push yourself and your own ideas. This commitment to learning and growing has pushed us both in so many ways. We can honestly say that we are much better off thanks to the ideas and concepts we’ve incorporated into our life.
And the best part is that it’s never over. There is always more knowledge, information, thoughts, ideas and perspectives to be read. Please do share any resources you have that you think we’d like!
Love Team #27