goal

How to stop worrying about your future.

By the amount of articles that I post about goal setting anyone would think that everything should always be about planning. While I do admit that I am a weekly planning freak I can assure that taking action has yielded way more benefits than planning. Even when said actions lead to screw-ups. When I published my first blog two years ago make a movie now I was excited, I wanted to talk on the blog the business side of filmmaking. I had very high hopes. I thought I was going to get a lot of traffic and sell an ebook for $50. I was going to live with passive income from now on and live the good life. Of course I was totally delusional.

It was a massive failure and got me in the brink of bankruptcy. If I had to do it all over again. I would, in a heartbeat. I could have wasted 1 year or more of careful planning and I’m positive it would have been a failure anyway, plus I would have lost one year of my life. Thankfully I took action did it and found out earlier. That’s just one of the many benefits of taking action always. You will see results and they will either please you or disappoint you. However the most important part is that you will move forward.

The book that I read that inspired me to always take action was the four hour workweek. A book that changed my life forever and that I have bought at least 5 times for myself and given away to my friends like it was the bible. It’s with that book that I learned that no matter what happens; action is always better that being paralyzed by analysis. As superman’s father Jor-El would say “You will fall, you will stumble, but in time you will join the sun”.

By all means if you have no goals yet then stop and think what would you like to do. Don’t rely on assumptions, find some information or someone who was done it before and then proceed to take action. There are smart people out there like professor Ann Langley from HEC Montreal who have done research on this phenomenon in large organizations. Her paper “Between Analysis by Paralysis and Extinction by Instinct goes deeper and gives suggestions on how not to fall on both extreme sides.

The planets will never align and life does not wait. To do A 5 year plan is laughable and it’s not my opinion only. The CEO of Expedia.com posted his advice on career management and it’s apply title “Why you should dump your 5 year career plan” which is a helpful advice for all of us, including me. Before the 4 hour workweek I used to plan for years ahead. That only lead to frustration and heartbreak. Then I moved to one year which was a huge leap; but still not quite perfect because I was not flexible enough. Now I’m moving to just plan for 6 to 3 months and I will gladly share the results of the later this year. I want to leave you guys with a geeky clip from War World Z that totally nails that concept of just keep moving. I hope you enjoy it and comment below what you want to do in the next 3 to six months.

How to do a weekly progress self assessment.

This weeks post is short and sweet and to the point since I am off to the Renaissance faire this weekend! Have you noticed how time has gone flying? Spring is now here and the Summer movies are upon us. Meaning lots of super heroes and things that go boom. Everyone should be in full swing with their goals.

When I read Dale Carnegie’s book how to make friends and influence people; I distinctively remember a story about how the best thing to do achieve success is to take every Sunday and meditate the comings and goings of the week as Bilbo Baggins would say. This stuck with me for some reason and in January 1 of 2011; I began to track what I considered were my achievements of the week. It was meant at first as a way to boost my confidence and later evolved as a critical tool to asses both my successes and my failures with objectivity. Below I show pictures of my excel spreadsheet of my success and failure tracking for 2014.

With this tools I can make decisions of what strategies are working and what aren’t. For example losing more weight has been a challenge among other things. This method of analyzing will show you exactly if you are making progress on the areas you wanted to see a change in your life. I encourage all geeks out there to make you’re own sheet. It does not have to be in excel. You can even write it in paper, but do move forward and try to make notes of you’re weekly activities so you can determine how successful or not you were able to carry them out.

sheet

How introverts can accomplish goals like Harry Potter and Harmonie.

Last week we discussed the topic of taking control of our lives, but this week is when you can learn actual steps to take control of your own life using systems and developing tiny habits without having to cast on yourself an Imperius curse. I loved the Harry Potter films and I waited to watch all films before I could start reading the books which, by the way I’m still in book one. Of course my favorite character was Harry because he always took action regardless of the risk involved, but I also was a fan of Hermione because she was methodical and organized. You could tell that she had routines that aided her self-development, becoming one of the brightest students in Hogwarts. It’s funny that JK Rowling said recently that she regretted not having them to be romantically involved, because despite that I was glad that Ron ended with Hermione, I can she how perfect Harry and Hermione were actually perfect for each other.

It turns out that their characteristics are perfect for us as well. How many of you want a better lifestyle? I’m willing to bet that many of you wish you could work in a dream job. Some of you would want to finally travel abroad. How do we accomplish those goals? As much as we may want to send hundreds of resumes using owl’s; alas, it’s probably not the most efficient way to do it. Same thing goes by just playing the lottery so we can finally go on that trip to Japan.

  • The first step would be write down what do we want. Sounds lame? Perhaps. Does it work? Ask any successful entrepreneur. I’m not joking… do it. Use meetup.com and start practicing your social skills. For those of you who are skeptical and say that by just writing your goals down nothing will happen, I will just say you are right, which brings me to my next point.
  • Write How your going to accomplish your goal in a measurable way. Let’s say you want to go to Japan. Other questions that you need to answer is when? How much would it cost? How much do you need to save per month? What automatic system would you use for saving? What steps are you going to take today, tomorrow, next week? See how the dream becomes much clearer. Don’t leave anything up in the air. Organize your thoughts because…
  • Action is the most important step. Move your ass dammit! Write down some actions to take and them start doing them even if you don’t know what steps you should take later. Will it happen just as you planned it. Probably not, like Harry said when suggesting to return to Hogwarts which was occupied by the forces of Voldemort:

 

Harry Potter: We have to go there, now.

Hermione Granger: What? We can’t do that! We’ve got to plan! We’ve got to figure it out…

Harry Potter: Hermione! When have any of our plans ever actually worked? We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose!

 

The key to achieving any goal is to ask yourselves always how? And if you get stuck remember not to figure things out alone. There are many tools you can use to break out your steps. Many of them are free like google calender and habitforge. The later is a free app to develop good habits or getting rid of bad ones. The final question I ask you is will you be more like Harry? What small step are you going to take today for your self-development?