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“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement”. – Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog
The quote amply explains why having and setting goals are so vital not just for companies but from an individual’s perspective too. There are a plethora of tool and methods currently in practice and a number of tools that claim to help with goal setting. For me, I believe that goal setting is all about personal development and each person must follow the method and apply the tools that will help them grow personally through the achievement of their goals.
I have been around long enough and seen a lot professionally and personally to know that goal setting does not need to be a daunting and intimidating exercise and a few pertinent strides will suffice to help one grow in all aspects of life.
Start at the beginning – that is common sense. Analyse the root-cause that has persuaded you to think about this particular goal. Make a list of the things that you consider to be stumbling blocks to the accomplishment of the goal and pit them against the actions required. For instance, when my doctor told me that I needed to lose weight, the first thing I did was to figure out what I did wrong that contributed to the excess weight. My goal was to get fit and stay healthy rather than following mindless diets that would crash the weight but rob my body of essential nutrients.
With a clear goal in mind, it was much simpler to put down a set of methods and practices that would help me achieve my goal. When the goal is clear and the stepping stones are in place, the chances of success are much higher.
Enlist the help of someone who has had a similar problem and overcome it. This not only helps you stick to your plan to achieve your goal, but also provides you with the necessary support and determination required in attaining what you have set out to do. Such a person will serve as an inspiration, a stimulus and an encouragement – call it what you will – it is crucial to the success of your own personal goal.
The reality however is that no plan or support will help, if you lack focus and steadfastness. The determination of making something happen must come from you – from the deep desire to accomplish your goal. Weave the plan in to your everyday life – make it a habit – we all know that habits are hard to break and therefore easier to stick with.
Goal setting for personal development or professional growth means that you are already committed to make changes in your life for the better. I believe that the achievement of anything is a mind-set – positive and resolute. This perseverance and a single-minded focus will be the cornerstones in the achievement of these goals. Take small steps and as you overcome each one, your confidence will steadily build and each subsequent step will become easier and more achievable as you move along. It’s been working for me!
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“When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything.” – Stephen Richards
When I changed my thought process to understanding what I need and want right now rather than what I hoped would happen in the future, I added a new dimension – self-motivation. This term means taking ownership of one’s destiny now and calls for initiative and drive. Self-motivation is the fire that pushes someone forward helping to get closer to their personal and professional goals. A lack of self-motivation, in my opinion, would sound the death knell on progress and the achievement of anything and relegate the person into nothingness and maybe even abject failure.
Self-motivation is more than just a skill – it is difference between moving forward and hitting a plateau that will interfere with every aspect of the person’s life. It is a life sustaining attribute then. Self-motivation pushes us mentally even if we may feel physically spent and tired. It is proven that people who have strong urges and drive, will be more passionate, organized and have the zest to get more done in a shorter period of time. This leads to higher and sustained levels of self-confidence and enhanced personal esteem. Do you understand your self-motivation?
Why is self-motivation so important?
Self-motivation works as an elixir for life. It helps you accept and take on challenges and struggles head on, safe in the knowledge that you will be able to tide over.
– It keeps you focused and also provides new ‘leads’ and direction to your life. You feel more in control and are able to plan ahead with more ease. Life’s difficulties become a given and yet are unable to deter you from your chosen path.
– Self-motivation lends eagerness and interest in everything you undertake. Be it cooking up a tasty meal or completing an important project – self-motivation will let you go at it with gusto.
– When you are able to complete whatever you undertake with a high degree of excellence, you feel satiated and fulfilled. This feeling is probably incomparable to any other.
– Self-motivation empowers you not just in the face of tough times but also tough people and their barricaded thought processes. It keeps you positive despite negativity that may surround you thereby ensuring that your mind remains balanced and focused only on what you have set out to achieve. Over time, sustained use and understanding of self-motivation becomes your trademark and a robust habit.
Self-motivation is like fuel, the more you use it the faster you will move towards your chosen destination. Each person needs to have some kind of motivation – for some it is achievement or affiliation, others thrive on competing and power and yet others are motivated by reward or fear. The desire to attain a goal and advance in life is achievement motivation, being liked and to build cooperation with like-minded groups is another kind of self-motivation known as motivation through affiliation. For some others being ahead of others while competing, being masters of their chosen field and being known as leaders are motivating factors and is known as competence motivation. Yet others are motivated when they are in positions of power and influence – able to control others and bring about changes while taking calculated risks – this is power motivation. Some people are motivated when the situation answers the question “what’s in it for me”? Awards and rewards drive such people and this is motivation by incentive. Fear is another great motivator – it pushes people to doing things instantly and speedily. However, this kind of motivation is not long-term, since people eventually learn how to deal with their fears.
Self-motivation as an attribute may seem like common sense but the reality is that motivation changes depending on the situation and a person’s needs and wants. A clear understanding of what will drive and motivate you is the key to moving ahead and overcoming your own biases and the prejudices of others.
The living room in a home occupies the most important place – the space where a family gathers to discuss their respective day, relax, have fun and enjoy laid-back evenings. Guests of the family are entertained here too and so this room sees the maximum traffic and activity compared to other spaces in the home. It is necessary to understand the importance of this space and thus it is imperative to keep this room looking fresh and exquisite.
While setting up your living room remember the purpose of this space. It must be comfortable, comforting, warm, inviting and invigorating and must speak of your personal style and taste. The occupants of the home and the visitors will be spending a considerable amount of time in the part of the home. There are a number of styles, colours, designs and decors, which can be used to manifest all the attributes I just mentioned.
An all-white flawless living room is unmatched in grace and charm. It really is impossible to go wrong with a completely white living space. However, to keep it from looking like a hospital room, it can be accentuated with different textures and fuchsia accents provide the perfect blend of panache and softness. Different hues of fuchsia – chiffon curtains, rough-hewn linen fuchsia coloured seating, white background with embossed embroidery in fuchsia – all add depth and life to the monochromatic appeal.
As you imagine this room, you will know that it is fresh, light and bright and looks appealing and in step with modern trends. The vibrancy of the fuchsia hues and textures look neat, chic, trendy and yet subtle and more than just a dash of classic appeal! Adding some indoor plants will provide a striking color combination leaving the room look fresh and airy even in the driest and hottest of weather.
Keep the furniture subtle. A mix of too many different types and colors of furniture will make the room looking overbearing and confused. To keep the ambience relaxed and yet lively, choose furniture that has a couple of common design themes and uses a similar color palette as the room. The furniture finishes should be light to accentuate the feeling of space. The doors and windows too must be in white and in a material, which would be easy to maintain, clean and which would continue to look good and perform well over years.
Make your living room space stand out – make it the envy of onlookers. Fuchsia is an eye-catching and attention grabbing color. Blending this color with the elegance and fluency of white, makes this color combination the kind that gets living spaces published in popular design magazines. After a hard day’s work, coming home to this space is sure to melt away all the worries and chaotic humdrum of a work life.
Let’s start first with some swimming instructions and how you can keep yourself, your loved ones and even your gadgets safe while swimming. The sweltering heat is enough motivation to drive one to the embrace of the cool and crystalline waters of a swimming pool and there is no doubt that it is great fun and much needed relief from the fiery sun. However, those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, and may not have undertaken swimming as an exercise before and tend to have sensitive skin and weaker bodily functions, must consult their doctor before swimming. The fact is that the chlorinated water and presence of sub-products often leads to skin irritation, respiratory problems and even eye infections. Protect your eyes especially by using water-proof swimming goggles. Using a swimming cap also protects the hair from harmful agents. Often people go directly from work to have a swim and carry their gadgets along with them. Leaving them in the change rooms could get them stolen – take them with you for a swim – make them waterproof by encasing them in easily available and robust waterproof carriers.
Swimming is Fun
We live in fast moving times – even families hardly get time to spend together during the day. Go swimming – the whole family together! It’s a great way to share laughs, unwind and sharing a common activity strengthens bonds. The whole family has their share of exercise and remains happy and active. Even if you are not great swimmers, playing water games, splashing each other with the water and having that time together does wonders for the spirit of unity and oneness for a family. As the cool water caresses the skin, even the older members of the family feel fit, rejuvenated and I say younger too! Is your family next?
Swimming is Exercise
Despite being an intense workout and exercise, swimming is so much fun that the effort rarely seems present. What better ambiance to exercise in than in cool water splashing around you, a soft light breeze wafting across the water and birds flitting past in the cerulean sky – it’s an uplifting and joyous feeling. No matter how bad or hard a day you have had, I guarantee that a few minutes in the water will wash away all the fretting and regrets of the day. It’s almost like magic – I speak from experience – after a few laps around the pool there is no way you won’t be smiling despite being exhausted from the exercise. In fact, I would say that swimming as an exercise should be used proactively – engage in this exercise at least once a day and you will find your mood more buoyant and your head a lot clearer, which in turn will keep you feeling great all day.
Lose weight and Get Fit
As an aerobic exercise swimming is a great way to burn some calories – combine it with a sensible diet and overtime you will have a slimmer you. Every muscle in the body is put to work when you swim, improving the overall feeling of well-being and also serving to keep you fit. It increases the circulation of blood and also improves respiratory control and lung function. Keeping fit is not just a bodily function – having mental agility counts for fitness too. Swimming as a sport is demanding and builds a person’s self-esteem and confidence. It inculcates the spirit of teamwork, being competitive in a controlled manner and instils discipline in the person undertaking it. Swimming is good even for older people – they do not necessarily have to swim around but just moving their hands and legs about in the water lets them feel energized and relieves aches and pains. Plus it makes them feel like children again!
Summer is here – splash, frolic, swim!
While summer may bring with it the chance to splash around in cool swimming pools, go on the much awaited vacation and of course the widest variety of juicy mangoes, it also brings with it sweltering heat that can cause serious health problems if proper precautionary measures are not taken. Heat strokes are the most common complaint during this time of the year and are a result of a person becoming dehydrated and the bodily temperature rising. Heat strokes can prove fatal and people have been known to go into a coma. If your work keeps you out in the sun for long periods or you are part of large event such as a sports function, ensure that you take the necessary precautions to save yourself from becoming seriously ill. To prevent heat strokes, apart from drinking enough fluids – keep a water bottle handy, use safety products such as a sun block, use a Water purifier (Ultra Filtration), wet wipes, carry an umbrella, wear sunglasses and remain calm.
Signs of Heat Stroke
The first and most obvious sign is that the person does not perspire. This means that your body is unable to keep itself cool through its natural cooling mechanism of sweating. It is important to be extra vigilant for elderly, infants and children. People who are on certain kinds of medication are also at risk of heat stroke. Other high risk groups are athletes and people who work outdoors for long and sustained periods of time.
Keep a look-out for these tell-tale signs:
Shallow and rapid breathing
Pale and dull skin
Extreme tiredness and weakness
Feeling of nausea and dizziness
Higher than normal pulse rate
Unnatural and profuse sweating
What you should do
It is absolutely crucial to take the necessary preventive measures to keep a normal body temperature despite the blistering heat and unbearable humidity. If you know that you will be exposed to the extreme temperature it would serve you well to keep the precautionary measures in mind:
– Take regular breaks in the shade
– Continually sip on water or other healthy fluids (steer clear of aerated beverages and caffeine)
– Don’t push yourself beyond a point. The body can endure only so much.
– Wear airy and loose clothing in light colours.
– Use a hat or parasol and most definitely use a sunscreen
– Wipe your face with a moist cloth or use the more hygienic wipes available in the market
– Avoid eating foods laden with calories like fast foods, fried foods and such. Stick to healthy food options as these will keep up the energy levels of your body and provide the required nutrition.
Who is most at risk?
Heat stroke, like any other ailment can strike anyone. However, there are some people who are more at risk of suffering a heat stroke and if you know of such people in your family and surroundings, help them to keep safe.
– The elderly – especially people over 65 years of age. Make sure their surroundings remain cool and airy
– Infants and young children – simply because they have lower immunity and would be unable to care for themselves
– People who have medical conditions like heart ailments, suffer from high blood pressure or lung disease and use medications for these ailments
– Certain medications also put their users at higher risk of catching a heat stroke:
• Allergy medicines
• Diet drugs
• Laxatives and irritable bladder relief medicines
• Cough and cold medications
• Anti-depressants and other mental health medication
• Medicines to control thyroid and seizures
The sensitivity to heat continues for as long as a week post the rest and medication for a heat stroke. Check with your doctor to know when it is safe for you to begin an exercise regime or even go back to work. Prevention is the best way to avoid heat stroke – just like a lot of other ailments and problems. Be Cool – be safe!
“Networking means the act of exchanging information with people who can help you professionally.” – Michael Jennae
Networking is not just a skill – it is an urgent requirement for both individuals and companies. The rise of social media then, is not surprising since the very basis of these sites is networking. Smart business networking allows companies to attract more customers and receive great testimonials from existing customers, thereby increasing profitability and market reputation. The only reason that we see a surge of new companies and the success of many of them, it is due to their business networking skills. In fact, even large and well established companies cannot hope to survive without consistently applying the art of business networking – there is too much competition to let your guard down! It would be useful to understand some of the reasons why business networking has become even more crucial than before and is not going to be less important any time soon.
1. In my experience, business networking is most crucial to remain an influential part of the market and company groups and industries. People are able to generate leads for themselves and even their associates using the art of networking. There is a huge potential of gaining more business and leveraging your business’ strengths by these interactive activities.
2. Business networking is a form of communication. When businesses ‘communicate’ with each in this manner, there is a world of opportunities that opens up and this is how new ventures, joint endeavours, fruitful partnerships, gaining of assets and whole other set of lucrative deals come about. While it is true, that no one can be successful by operating alone or remaining in a silo, it is also equally correct to say that it is not prudent to grab every opportunity that comes about. Business networking brings on market intelligence too and makes people choose wisely and profitably.
3. No one who is anyone today became so by working alone. It is the power of business networking that has made so many people and businesses more successful than they would have hoped or expected. Networking with relevant people and opportunities can make even individual entrepreneurs and business owners relevant and capable of leaving their mark. Business networking paves the way to getting ‘influential’ people in one’s network which in turn opens up more possibilities and opportunities, as these influencers attract others towards them. Be smart and sharpen your communication skills to succeed in the arena of business networking.
4. No one person can have all the good ideas. Business networking opens up the realm of communication and ideas exchange as like-minded people talk and speak of things that are of common interest. It is a huge learning opportunity and must be leveraged to gain optimum advantage for oneself and the company. As you garner advice and help from industry experts, it is not long before you are seen as a subject matter expert and soon people are attracted to you for advice.
5. Business Networking raises both an individual’s and a company profile and influence. As more people become part of your network, you get noticed, are spoken about and also get invited to high profile events and functions. These events in turn raise the number of leads you can get and also attracts more people to be part of your network. Great business networking then, works almost like a huge magnet!
On the personal front, I know business networking has boosted my confidence and made me a better listener and learner. I can now engage in smarter conversations, beyond business, and have been able to make some strong and lasting business connections even with people who are completely unlike me. It may seem daunting at first, but through consistency the new connections you build and the proficient relationships you foster will only serve to strengthen your business and you as a person.