Keeping Those New Year’s Resolutions

At the beginning of every year, we are faced with making those greatly anticipated New Year’s Resolutions.  Each year we make them, then break them, don’t you agree?

If you are perfect, you don’t need to alter or change.  Yes, at some level each person looks at some change that is needed.  It could be personal, mostly weight related, or it could be behavior (stop smoking, start exercising, eat healthier).  Sound familiar?

Each New Year we think of change.  However, it doesn’t need to be that way if you have a written plan and set goals that can be measured.

An example of practical goal planning would be:  you want to lose 12 pounds this year.  That is a pound a month – easy yes?  Well, put a plan together to accomplish this goal and an action plan with consequences for missing your target.

Start with where you are now – 200 pounds.   In 30 days I will reach 199 pounds – I will check my weight on January 31, 2012.  If I am not at that weight, I will buy a weight guide and vow to not eat more than 2,000 calories per day until I am at 199 pounds.  I will check weight daily and will be 198 by February 29, 2012 or only eat 2,000 calories per day for all of March 2012.  I will continue this regiment until my weight is at my doctor’s recommendation.

Any goal, whether it be health related, education, job seeking or retainment, starting a business or just living life, is best served by having a written plan with specific measurable goals.  This allows you to fail fast and make corrections to help you achieve your target, pace yourself, evaluate, reevaluate and learn from your mistakes to achieve all that you can conceive.

 Thanks for stopping by and I’d love to hear your thoughts on what would make it easier for you to keep your New Year’s goals.  Wishing you a successful, healthy and happy 2012!

Tom Loegering

Author

Conflict – How Do You Deal With It?

I’d like to discuss an uncomfortable subject in this week’s post, but it’s something that just can’t be avoided.  Conflict – it’s almost as powerful of a word as one of those four letter kinds!  We all hate it, try our best to ignore it, but it just won’t stay out of our lives.  We have conflict at home with our family and then we go to work and most likely deal with conflict there also.  So what can we do about it?

We need to face conflict head on and look into its beady eyes!  To begin dealing with conflict means that we must understand the role that it plays in our lives, both at home and at work.  Then you must assess your own personal conflict style.

Let’s start by identifying areas where we are anticipating conflict – that particular co-worker that makes you crazy on a daily basis, or perhaps your teenage daughter or son who loves to push your buttons.  Once you identify the areas of conflict, then you can work towards finding solutions for successfully navigating through them.  Most likely, you will not be able to remove them or even totally eliminate them, so you need to create strategies to work through them.

Conflict Considerations

  • What is your definition of conflict?
  • How do you feel when you are in a conflict situation?
  • Is conflict a part of your life?
  • Grade your interpersonal relationship skills (be honest!)
  • Do you avoid conflict like the plague?

Watch this quick video for an explanation of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument and the different conflict styles we’re discussing here.  The video’s a little rough, but it is interesting.

Conflict Styles

Competing – assertive and uncooperative.  You try to satisfy your own concerns at the other’s expense in order to ‘win’.

Accommodating – unassertive and cooperative – the opposite of competing.  You sacrifice your own concerns to satisfy the other person’s.

Compromising – partially assertive and partly cooperative.  You look for an acceptable settlement that only partially satisfies both your own and the other person’s concerns.

Avoiding – unassertive and uncooperative.  You try to sidestep or postpone the conflict, satisfying neither person’s concerns.

Collaborating – assertive and cooperative.  You try to problem-solve to find a solution that completely satisfies both your concerns and the other’s.

Do you see yourself in any of these descriptions?  Here’s another quick video on how dealing with conflict affects you overall.

A Few More Considerations

  • How do you usually respond to conflict?  Is it different depending on the power and position of the person the conflict arises with?
  • How does your conflict style fit in with your values?
  • Are there scenarios where you know your conflict management style will cause serious issues for you, yet you can’t seem to change?
  • Set a goal for finding a more balanced conflict management style.  Which one would it be?
  • How can conflict management improve both your business and home life?
  • Will things continue on an even keel if you don’t change your conflict strategies, or will they get worse?

Corporations have done studies and have statistics proving how much time and money is lost from employee turnover due to improper conflict management.  What would the ability to deal more effectively with conflict mean to you?

Share your conflict management strategies with us and join the conversation.  Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Tom Loegering

12 Characteristics of Successful People

I was reading this article about the 12 characteristics needed to be a successful entrepreneur and it struck me that these are characteristics that will benefit anyone who is either an employee, a big boss or an entrepreneur.

Read the entire post here and I’ll go over the main characteristics for you:

1.     Independence
2.     Visionary
3.     Persistence
4.     Determination
5.     Creativity
6.     Honesty
7.     Self-Confidence
8.     Risk-taking
9.     Tolerance
10.  Perseverance
11.  Commitment
12.  Organization

The article goes on to make the point that all of these qualities mean nothing unless they are accompanied by action.  I whole-heartedly agree with this point!  You could be the most intelligent person in the universe, but if you just sit inside of your home and watch television or play games on the computer, that intelligence will surely go to waste.

Read the entire article here:  12 Characteristics of Success

It is so important to create a life and/or business plan.  If you don’t, you may as well be driving around in your car on unmarked roads in a strange city, because you have no idea where your destination is and how you are going to get there.

What’s your opinion?  Do you believe that if you have these characteristics that being successful in life and business is easier, or do you still have to have a plan in order to have balance and success?  Do you have any other characteristics you would add to the list?  Let us hear from you and don’t forget to order your book today so you can start heading down YOUR path to your destination you desire.

Thank you for stopping by.

Tom Loegering, Author

Handle Your Finances Wisely | Financial Planning

After reading a short article, originally posted in the Grand Season Periodical, written by Sharon Hoelscher Day, I decided to expand on it in today’s blog post.

Most of the things we should be doing sound so easy – eat better, exercise, stop smoking (if you’re a smoker), create a life plan, and a financial plan and budget for you and/or your family.  What is it then that keeps us from accomplishing these things.  They challenge us to change our habits and focus our thoughts away from the computer or the TV perhaps?  They require us to take action and a change our day-to-day habits.  That would be my best guess at least.

So why should you track your income and expenses and develop a budget?  In our current down economy, it’s even more important to know where our hard-earned dollars are being spent.  If you’re having a hard time making your paycheck last until the next one comes in, creating a budget and tracking expenses is even more important for you.  Avoid damaging your credit rating and having late notices coming in the mail by simply learning how much is coming in and how much is going out.

It doesn’t have to be a fancy chart or on any new-fangled software on your computer.  It can just be a sheet paper with one column for income and one column for expenses.  So where do you start?

 

Track your income and expenses

If you have some envelopes or file folders, mark one ‘receipts’.  Be dedicated about putting those receipts in that envelope for a month or two.  Be sure to include your monthly bills for utilities and such in with those receipts or write them on the sheet if you pay online.  Even if you purchase something for a dollar or two, include those receipts.  You’d be surprised how much those little incidentals add up to.

Develop a spending plan and/or budget based on your income, expenses and include any financial goals you may have (purchasing a new car, paying for college, new furniture).  Don’t look at a spending plan as restrictive, but as a way for you to achieve those wanted items by allocating an amount to be saved towards them monthly.

Decide what your family’s most important financial goals are.  If you’re married, include your spouse and even the children in the financial planning.  Let the family know how much is being spent on things they may take for granted – movie rentals, cable, internet, cell phones.  It should make them appreciate how much the things they enjoy really cost.

Don’t give up if it takes a little while to get in the habit of tracking your expenses.  If you’ve not worried about it in the past, you will have to re-train your habits if you’re really serious about creating a budget and long-term financial plans for you or your family.

If you’d like more information on financial planning, visit the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension’s website at cals.arizona.edu/Maricopa/fcs or call the consumer information line at 602-827-8200 ext. 341.

I hope you find this information useful in finding your balanced path to success.  If you haven’t ordered your book yet, you can get a soft-cover version for $24.97 or get an instant download version for a reduced rate of $9.99 and get going on your Journey of Significance.

Tom Loegering, Author

Top 10 Work Values | Employment Tips

I found this interesting article pertaining to transitioning from an intern into a full-time position with the company you interned for.  After reading through it I decided that the 10 values that they identified were also very important to have in an existing position within a company or if you’re running your own business.

  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Dependability and Responsibility
  • Possessing a Positive Attitude
  • Adaptability
  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Self-Motivated
  • Motivated to Grow & Learn
  • Strong Self-Confidence
  • Professionalism
  • Loyalty

The younger generation coming out of high school and college are being identified by potential employers as lacking in some of these desired values.  In a recent survey that West-MEC did with employers in the West Valley, there was a common thread in their responses as to why they were having difficulty filling open positions.

The foremost concern was that the younger employees are lacking in even the most basic job skills: basic math skills, strong work ethic, basic communication skills (both verbal and written) and common sense.

So read this interesting article through and make a list of how you can help your company achieve profit by adopting these attributes.  Leave us a comment and your thoughts about the Top 10 List.  Do you have any other work values you would add to the list?

The Top 10 Work Values Employers Look For

 

Tom Loegering, Author