Follow Up on Blowbirthdaycards.com

A few days ago I wrote about a new service that allows you to send a “personally written and signed” birthday card using digital technology to save time. I sent the card to myself and now for some follow up. See that post here.

The card was delivered right on time, one day before the birthday for my brother. I then hand delivered the card to him. He liked the card and thought it clever.

The envelope appeared to be hand addressed. I suspect they do that using a print font but it looks very much like the real thing. I was impressed that it was mailed on time.

As I mentioned last time the one flaw I found was that when they print your handwritten note and signature if you are careful on how you space it in your photo to them it will appear written over the printed message in the card. The one suggestion I have for them is to mention this in their instructions.

If you want to avoid a trip to the store to send a personalized card this is a good way to do it. I have no affiliation with this company and have posted this just for your information.

Check it out at www.blowbirthdaycards.com .

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Managing Your Time: Digital vs. Analog

There are countless gadgets, apps and paper products available today to manage your time, keep a calendar, etc. In addition to the traditional journals, calendars and day books on paper (analog) there are hundreds if not thousands of digital products that do the same things but somewhat differently.

Michael Hyatt recently posted on his blog a good article comparing some of the advantages of digital and analog time management devices. He is selling a paper planner he calls the Full Focus Planner, so his article is aimed at promoting that product a bit. Hyatt uses both analog and digital approaches and explains why.

Pros and Cons

Technology has its advantages for sure. It is very efficient. You can schedule a repeating event once and it will continue to appear on future dates where you want it, for the rest of the year or many years to come. You can use most digital products on all your devices: phone, tablet, computer. Most of them have reminder features that will alert you in advance about a deadline or appointment. Web based products allow multiple people to use and have access to the same calendar. Most digital products have search capability that will help you find that future (or past) event, appointment or reminder that you cannot find.

Technology also has its disadvantages. It depends on electricity: either hard wired or batteries which can run down. It often depends on access to the internet. Digital devices can be distracting. Entering information on them can be more difficult. It is much more difficult to preserve a permanent record of what you have done – all digital memory is vulnerable. Digital devices are more delicate than paper products if dropped, crushed or rained on.

Paper products or analog as it is now called has advantages. There is a comfort in using pen and paper that cannot be duplicated on a device. Perhaps more importantly is that recent scientific studies show that writing things down engages the brain in more effective ways then entering information on a digital device. These studies show that the mechanical process of writing engages different parts of the brain, may cause you to think about things more fully, creates better memory and recall and can enhance understanding. Paper products do not beep and do not distract.

Analog products cannot be as easily shared by others. Repeating events must be manually entered one after another for all future dates and most of them only allow planning out for one year. Paper is vulnerable to water damage (as are digital products), and there are no search systems, you have to manually look through the paper product to find things which can take some extra time.

The last factor the distinguishes technology from paper is what I call the trust factor. Yes, you can lose your paper planner and if you do lose it (and cannot find it) you are out of luck. Everything in it, except for what you can remember, is lost for good. You could also lose your digital device but they are usually backed up (perhaps on the cloud) which makes it easy to recover the contents. In over 40 years of carrying around paper planners and digital devices I’ve never lost either. I keep track of them. For me the risk of losing them is very small.

What is not so small is the risk of dysfunction. If I enter information in a paper planner it will always be there. And the planner will always display the information when I open it. There are no batteries to run down, no system failure, no crashing, and no loss of connection to the internet, all of which can plague a digital device.

One last thing: small digital devices display information in a relatively small space. You cannot look at an entire month and clearly see everything planned out as you can with a paper planner. I use an iPhone and have until recently used the calendar that comes with the phone. Recently I converted to the Google Calendar and I prefer it. It still does not show a full month of events in a way that clearly maps out day long events contrasted with hourly events. They all look the same. I wish the Google Calendar would allow you to color the entire day to show it has a daylong event.

The Best of Both

Hyatt advises that we use both to gain the benefits of both. The digital device is better for repeating events and appointments in general. The paper planner is better suited to thoughtful planning, reflection, goal setting, etc. I have at times used a paper planner as a backup to the digital device. The disadvantage to that is one must enter everything twice. The advantage is a sense of security – you are not likely to lose information if it is in both.

I like Hyatt’s suggestion of using paper (analog) for planning, goals, etc. and using the digital device for reminders, appointments and repeating events. This method is more expensive and requires more time but more time planning and thinking about how we use our time is not necessarily a bad thing.

Each person will have their own needs and their own preferences. Many people will not want to have two systems. If you are open to the idea though I suggest you try it. You may well find Hyatt’s suggestions useful. Read Hyatt’s full article here. Try using both a paper planner to capture big picture ideas and planning and your digital device for appointments and repeating events. You may find it very useful.

Learn how to manage your time to achieve more of what you want to do in my book, Effective Time Management. Get free lessons on how to use your time more effectively with my Effective Time Management Lessons.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

New Way to Send Greeting Cards

According to NPR (National Public Radio) Americans buy and send about 6.5 billion greeting cards every year. Among those the most popular are for Christmas and birthdays. Most of these cards are still the paper kind that people buy in a store and send through the post office. However a strong competing e-card industry has developed to make the process easier and faster.

Most people however seem to think that a real paper card signed in ink by the sender is more genuine, or in some way more meaningful. Ironically, according to a NPR article, older Americans favor e-cards more than younger people. Millennials seem to be favoring paper cards.

So is it possible to have the best of both worlds, combining quick and convenient internet technology with the paper greeting card? At least one company is doing just that. At www.blowbirthaycards.com you can order a birthday card on line, add your personally written message and signature and they will send it by post anywhere in the US. You do need a smart phone to do this. You write your message on a blank piece of paper including your signature, take a photo of the message and text it to Blowbirthdaycards. They then imprint your handwritten message and signature onto the card and send it for you.

They have a large selection of cards to choose from – rivalling what you will find in most stores. It takes some time to select your card (so many choices) and then send them the message. It takes less time however than it would take to go to a store, find a card, buy it, write in it, address an envelope, take it to the post office, etc.

I sent one card so far at the time of this writing using Blowbirthdaycards.com. It has not as yet arrived, when it does I will let you know how it worked out. The process is relatively easy. They explain it pretty well at their site. You do have to make sure that you leave space on your written message for whatever message is printed on the card in advance… I did not see that mentioned on the site and learned about it from doing it.

The variety of cards to choose from is excellent and for people wanting to save a bit of time this works well. If you find yourself having put off the task of sending a card this last-minute service may save you. You can tell them the date you want it delivered and not worry further. The site also lets you save cards to reuse them and create reminders to tell you when to send them.

If you would like to send a personalized paper birthday card and save some time this is a clever way to do so. It cleverly combines the best of both worlds: digital and paper. I will report back here in a few weeks with the final results on cards I send this way… but you need not wait for me, check the site out for yourself.

Check it out: https://www.blowbirthdaycards.com/

I will post again later on how it all turned out.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Morning Productive Time

If your day is anything like mine you are bombarded by tasks and interruptions throughout the work day. My day is heavily scheduled from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. There is often no down time. No time to reflect, to plan or do much of anything else but deal with each item on my schedule which we call the docket. I am a judge, and our time is heavily scheduled each day. We must hear as many cases during a day as possible, or we are in a trial all day long.  On non-trial days I am scheduled heavily to hear dozens of cases all day long. One recent day I heard over 90 cases in one day. I’ve heard it compared to drinking from a fire hose.

If you have a day like that you must find some time to think, to plan and to get the things done that need to be done outside of that schedule or docket. For me the only time that can happen is first thing in the morning. My docket starts at 8:30 but I get to work no later than 7:00 AM. I get more done in that 90 minutes from 7:00 until 8:30 than I can get done the rest of the day outside of my docket.

Benefits of Morning Time

In early morning everything is fresh. A cup of coffee tastes better at 6:00 AM than it does any time after 10. You are hopefully well rested. Your energy is high. Fatigue from hours of work has not yet set in. There will be few if any other people about to interrupt you. You have quiet and peace around you. This is the perfect time to think, review, plan and work on projects. Your mind is clear and it is the time to schedule things and set priorities.

It is remarkable how much you can get done with one or two hours of time free of interruptions. It is often the most productive time of your day.

If you are naturally a “morning person” like I am it is even better. Morning is when I am most productive. What if you are a “night owl”? First most people can adjust to different schedules. By gradually setting your alarm earlier (and going to bed earlier) you can train your mind and body to function well in the morning. I also find it beneficial to get some exercise in the morning before you sit down to work. It gets the blood moving and wipes those cobwebs away.

If you just cannot be productive before 9:00 AM then shift some of that time to your late afternoon or evening if that works better for your natural rhythms. I still think morning is best because there are fewer interruptions than any time until late at night.

Morning Tasks: Email, Scheduling, Planning, Writing

I divide my mornings into two parts. I arise at 5:00 AM (I assure you that you can get used to that and learn to love it). That is when I exercise, eat a good breakfast, shower and get ready for work.

Then I write. I spend 30 minutes each morning minimum to writing. In fact I am writing this article at 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning!

I get to the office by 7:00 AM and then engage in the second part of my morning. Yes I check email. You will read a lot about how you should ignore email first thing in the morning. I disagree. If you communicate heavily through email like I do you need to review those emails first thing in the morning to see what you will need to put on your to-do list. You can sort out what needs to be done immediately and what can wait.

This is also the time I plan for the day and the week. I review my task list and prioritize. I will have no good time to do this for the rest of the day so it gets done before 8:00 AM.

Because my work life is driven by a docket this is also the time to review the cases I will be hearing that day, make sure I’ve read late submissions and am familiar with what needs to be done.

If you have not watched a sunrise lately, heard the first song birds of morning, or felt the coolness of morning you are missing a lot. Enjoy the quiet and peace of early morning and then get important things done so that you can follow your scheduled activities the rest of the day.

Learn more about how to manage your time to achieve more of what you want to do in my book, Effective Time Management. Get free lessons on how to use your time more effectively with my Effective Time Management Lessons.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

A book review by Daniel R. Murphy 

Title and Author:  Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

Subtitle: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Synopsis of Content:

Eat That Frog is a book about time management, personal development and project management all in one. It includes many of the familiar teachings of Brian Tracy but with a focus on getting the important things done.  The Frog one must eat is the major task or project one must do to achieve one’s goal. It may be difficult or unpleasant at times, thus the analogy to eating the frog, but Tracy tells us why it is so critical to do it and get it down before we make excuses not to.

Find out what other successful people do the same things until you achieve success.

Develop the habit of focus. Concentrate on your most important task, do it well and finish it. Your frog is your most important task to be completed.

The book is full of tips and advice of great value. It is difficult to summarize it all. Here are some of the best lessons in the book:

  • Take action immediately.
  • Plan every day in advance. Create your To-Do List for each day.
  • Apply the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule to all you do.
  • Consider the consequences of what you want and what you have to do.
  • Think about the long term.
  • Use the ABCDE system to prioritize continually.
  • Focus on key result activities.
  • Prepare thoroughly before you begin.
  • Upgrade your skills.
  • Motivate yourself into action.
  • Slice and dice the big tasks.

Tracy also teaches his basic formula to achieve success:

  • Find out exactly what you want to achieve and pursue it.
  • Write it down.
  • Set a deadline to achieve your goal and write it down.
  • Make a list of everything you can think of that you need to do to achieve your goal.
  • Organize that list into a plan.
  • Take action on that plan immediately.
  • Resolve to do something every single day to achieve your goal.

What I found useful about this book:

As with all of Tracy’s work this book is chock full of tips and ideas that will help make you more effective in your use of time and accomplishment of work. The list above, though not exhaustive of what the book provides, are all excellent ways to improve how you get things done.

The action steps at the end of each chapter are excellent as well.

What I did not like about this book:

Tracy has published many books and I’ve found them to all repeat a great deal of material. The author does not assume you have read his other books and includes in each of them some of the same basic information. This is only a problem if you have read a lot of his books.

Some of his advice seems contradictory. For example to say you should act immediately and you should prepare thoroughly before you act may seem contradictory. One might also conclude when he says act immediately that includes doing the preparation. It would be helpful if he explained those conflicts in advice.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well written. It is easy to follow and is well organized.

Notes on Author:

Brian Tracy is a speaker and author in high demand. He has published many books and many more audio and video training programs.

Related Website:

To learn more about Brian Tracy and his products go to http://www.briantracy.com/ .

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Eat That Frog: get the things done you find most challenging first and continue to work on them until they are completed.
  1. Learn to focus intently on one task or goal at a time until it is complete. Avoid distractions.
  1. Continually learn and upgrade your skills to become more effective and competitive.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy

Copyright holder: 2007 by Brian Tracy

Publisher: Barrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Books2Wealth Book of the Month for January 2015

Buy the book–

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Book of the Month – July 2014

Title and Author:  Getting Things Done by David Allen

Subtitle: The Art of Stress-Free Living

Synopsis of Content:

This book is about how to organize everything you work with: every document, email, and every other item in your home or business office and how to manage these things along with your projects and tasks in the most effective manner.

The table of contents provides an excellent overview of the book:

  • The Art of Getting Things Done
  • Getting Control of Your Life – the 5 stages of mastering workflow
  • The 5 phases of project planning
  • Practicing Stress-Free Productivity
  • Setting up the time, space and tools
  • Corralling Your Stuff
  • Processing: getting “in” to empty
  • Organizing: setting up the right buckets
  • Reviewing: keeping your system functional
  • Doing: making the best action choices
  • Getting projects under control
  • The Power of Key Principles
  • The Power of the Collection Habit
  • The Power of the Next Action Decision
  • The Power of Outcome Focusing

Allen’s system is based on some basic principles:

  1. Anything that must be done in the future clutters your mind and distracts you unless you can get it out of your mind. He maintains that as long as it is on some list your mind will dwell on it. Put it on a list and you can forget it. So he recommends putting everything – and I mean everything – on a list to be scheduled or worked on later. This applies to your next medical exam, replacing the batteries in your flashlight and the next big project at work. This will empty your mind of the “to-do” list and free it to relax and do more important work.
  1. Maintain a minimum number of lists. Too many lists and they will be unmanageable, too few and they will also be unmanageable. He provides guidelines for how many is ideal.
  1. Lists must be reviewed regularly and at least weekly. If a list is not managed it gets out of control.
  1. As you go through things on your desk or in your email in-box follow this simple rule: If it can be done in two minutes or less, do it. If it will take more than two minutes file it and either schedule it, drop it or delegate it. The goal is to maintain a clean desk and empty in box.

The mechanism you use to keep your lists and manage them is not important. Whether it is paper or electronic he urges you to use the one you are most comfortable with.

What I found useful about this book:

Allen’s book is truly one of the best time management books I’ve read. It is full of great ideas and his systems work – I know as I’ve used them. If you set up the system he advises and manage it regularly you do get control over your tasks and time. The trick is to follow the steps and manage the system regularly.

What I did not like about this book:

Allen short sells the discipline it takes to follow the collection habit he describes. This takes some real effort. The payoff is worth the effort. However Allen soft sells the effort required to some extent.

Also Allen fails to address a real problem some people have: some people simply have too much to do. No matter how it is organized it is simply more than one can get to. A chapter on how to deal with this problem would be helpful.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

Getting Things Done is very readable and easy to follow. It is well organized and provides clear steps to follow.

Notes on Author:

David Allen is an author, consultant, coach and keynote speaker. He advises some of the world’s largest businesses.

Other Books by This Author:

Getting Things Done – The Art of Stress Free Productivity – 2002

Getting Things Done – C Pbp – 2008

Getting Things Done – B – 2012

Related Website:

http://gettingthingsdone.com/

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. You must get organized to be productive and reduce stress. This means getting everything organized from your desk top to your computer. It means getting all your tasks on a list so your mind is not mired in keeping track.
  1. Practice a simple formula for organizing what needs to be done: if it takes 2 minutes or less do it; if it takes more than two minutes either schedule it, dump it, file it or delegate it.
  1. Lists must be actively managed at least weekly. Develop this discipline to keep on top of things and free your mind for creative thinking and work.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Getting Things Done by David Allen

Copyright holder: ©2001 David Allen

Publisher: Penguin Books

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Information Overload – Learn How to Manage It All

Forbes.com featured an article with 10 Steps to conquer information over load. The article was written by Laura Shin. She points to the many sources of this over load, even the grocery store. ““In 1976, there were 9,000 products in the average grocery store, and now it’s ballooned to 40,000 products. And yet most of us can get almost all our shopping done in just 150 items, so you’re having to ignore tens of thousands of times every time you go shopping,” he says””. The “he” she is quoting is Daniel Levitin, McGill University psychology professor and author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.

She notes that by one calculation we have created more information in the last ten years than I all of human history before that. The average American receives five times more information every day than they did in 1986.

Here are Levitin’s ten steps to getting control of it all:

  1. Do a brain dump

Follow the advice of productivity “guru” David Allen in his book Getting Things Done and get stuff out of your brain. As important information comes to you write it down immediately, this allows you to let go of that information in your mind. Allen then provides a serious of steps for how to organize and use that information.

  1. Follow the Two-Minute Rule

If a task can be done in two minutes or less get it done now. If it cannot be done in two minutes put it on a to-do list and do it when you have time.

  1. Clump together similar tasks

For example, return phone calls all at one time. Pay all the bills due at the same time. Complete one set of tasks before moving on to others. Resist distractions from this.

  1. Do not multitask

Research shows we do not perform well when multitasking. Focus on one task at a time. Eliminate distractions from that task.

  1. Limit email distractions.

Turn off audible signals that you have new email. Set aside certain times in your day to review and respond to email. If you need to turn email off the rest of the time.

  1. “Eat the frog” first thing in the morning.

Follow the advice of movie producer Jake Edwards and success expert Brian Tracy to “eat the frog” first thing in the day. That is, take on your most difficult or unpleasant task first thing in the morning, get it done and move on.

  1. Spend only as much time on decisions and tasks as they need.

Sometimes we devote more time to a decision or task then it really needs. It is better to assess how important the decision or task is and how easily it can be efficiently dealt with. For example Levitin says if you think you need to keep five year old bills and receipts just throw them in a box in case you need them, do not spend hours organizing something you’ll likely never need.

  1. Take breaks.

Taking a 15 minute break every couple of hours can make you more efficient and effective. Listening to music, taking a walk or even a short nap can recharge you and make you more effective.

  1. Daydream now and then.

Levitin says, “The brain operates in two oppositional modes: “one is when you’re directing the thoughts, and the other is when the thoughts take over and run themselves,” says Levitin. Directing mode is the one that allows us to get our work done, whether we’re an office worker, chef or tile layer, but our minds can’t stay in one gear all day long.

In daydreaming mode, says Levitin, “one thought melds into another and they’re not particularly related.” This daydreaming mode acts as a neural reset button and replenishes some of the glucose you use up in staying on a task.”

  1. Push against authority.

By this Levitin means to give workers in an organization as much autonomy as possible because people are happier and more productive if they have some autonomy.

This is a great list of ways to maintain focus, limit distractions and improve your effectiveness. Limiting information over load is about controlling how much information you are exposed to so as not to overwhelm yourself. I add these ideas as well:

  1. Limit internet use.

The internet is a great resource and you can learn a great deal from its content. You can also get mired in too much information. Turn off notifications from social media and other sources that will interrupt you and usually with information of little value. If you decide to “surf the web” set a time limit and avoid doing it throughout the day.

  1. Be selective about what you read.

With e-readers, internet content, magazines and books there is an endless source of information to read. The problem is that if you do not limit your reading you can be overwhelmed with information. You will not retain it, analyze it or make use of it.

The bottom line is that you must control how much information you read or listen to. Use what is truly useful to you or truly inspiring to you. Be aware of how well you are understanding and retaining what you read, see and hear. Our ability to take in and process information is limited. You must be discerning about it.

Learn how to manage your time to achieve more of what you want to do in my book, Effective Time Management. Get free lessons on how to use your time more effectively with my Effective Time Management Lessons.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

You Must Have a Plan

From The Success Essentials

“Plans are Nothing; Planning is Everything” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Proper planning is essential to success. Once you have clearly identified what your goals are it is important to carefully plan how you will achieve them. Many people skip this step in their excitement to pursue their goals. Failure to plan adequately however will lead to failure and disappointment. Repeated disappointment can suck your enthusiasm dry and lead you to abandon your goals.

It is true that no matter how carefully we lay out our plans reality will require us to change course during their implementation. Often the final path to success is quite different than we originally planned. This does not mean however that the planning process is not useful. To the contrary, the process of planning prepares you to take the steps necessary to realize your goals and aspirations.

An Example of How Planning Leads to Success

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the primary architect of the invasion of Europe during WWII said, “Plans are nothing, planning is everything”. Eisenhower and his allied staff spent thousands of hours planning every detail of the invasion of Europe during WWII. Their task was unimaginably formidable.

To understand how difficult this challenge was for Eisenhower and his staff it is necessary to review a few facts about that challenge. The Nazi war machine was at that time the most powerful and successful military force in the world. It had conquered nearly all of Western Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, much of the Mediterranean, much of North Africa and much of the Middle East. Its armies were threatening to conquer the Soviet Union and take control over its European and Asian territories.

The Germans had years to fortify their control over France, the Low Countries and much of the rest of Europe. Millions of mines had been laid on land and at sea. German U-boats had made the oceans treacherous. Its air force was formidable. And the Germans were pioneering new forms of war technology including radar, rockets, and were even working on the atom bomb.

The allies had a small window of time to strike at the German empire and win before it attained greater strength and hegemony.

While the allied forces were also formidable they had the giant task of assaulting the beaches of France and invading a land occupied by this powerful enemy. Furthermore, this had to be accomplished by an alliance of multiple armies, navies and air forces working together. Some of these nations had been adversaries among themselves. To make matters worse, many of the allied commanding officers possessed strong egos, wanted to claim credit for the victories to come, and distrusted one another.  This was the task that lay before Eisenhower and his staff.

You know the outcome of course, and you know that the war did not go exactly according to plan. Many things went wrong. Many plans had to be changed. However in the end the allies won and destroyed the Nazi war machine. Eisenhower understood the importance of planning not because he thought his plans would be followed in every detail, but because he understood that by careful planning his armies would be prepared to respond to what the enemy threw at them.

Planning alone did not win WWII. Planning alone does not win any war or achieve any success. It takes courage, resources, coordination and persistence. But planning is the crucial first step.

Learn more about how you can achieve more and realize your goals in my book, The Success Essentials.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

My New Year’s Gift to You

Happy New Year!

It is a brand-new year. This is a great time to take stock of where you are and where you are headed. You might want to spend a little time today thinking about that.

To start things out this new year with a bang I have a free gift for you. You can get my free lessons on Effective Time Management. Learn how to use your time most effectively. Learn how to take control of your time. Get more done and achieve what you want to achieve.

These free ten lessons come to your email in-box just by signing up for them.

Could you use your time more effectively? Could you achieve more if you did use your time more efficiently? Absolutely, and these lessons will show you how. Sign up today and start making the most of those 24 hours you get every day.

Get free lessons on how to use your time more effectively with my Effective Time Management Lessons.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com

Learning From 2016 – Planning for 2017

successHow was 2016 for you? I hope it was good or at least mostly good. Did you achieve your goals? Did you make progress on them. This is always a very good time to take stock of where you are, how far you’ve come, and where you are going.

2016

Every year of our lives teaches us things. We merely have to listen. I hope you keep some form of journal. Reviewing a journal is an excellent way to see what you have accomplished and what you may have fallen behind on.

What you write down you will remember and learn from more effectively. Write down a list of the goals achieved, the important things accomplished, and of course the places where things did not work out as hoped.

From this list, and after some reflection, make a list of what you have learned. What works and what does not? How must you adjust your approach in light of your results?

If you suffered some setbacks analyze them. Did you set expectations too high? Not high enough? Did you plan adequately? Did you stay focused? Did you make needed changes to adapt to external change? What might you do differently? Where might you learn skills or information that would help you do things differently?

2017

Now that you have assessed the past year you can plan for the coming year. You can use what you learned from 2016 to do better in 2017.

Create your new goals for 2017. Some may be to complete unfinished goals from 2016. If so re-establish your date of achievement and your mileposts – those things that you plan to achieve monthly, quarterly, and at year’s end.

Do you have new things you would like to achieve? Create new goals then. Just remember not to have too many goals. One to three is ideal. More than that and you can easily overwhelm yourself and achieve little on any goal. It is OK to have more than 3 goals if you work them in succession: get the first three done and then work the next three. Or as one goal is achieved start on another.

It is always exciting to plan for the new year. It will motivate you. The possible is inspiring. Where do you see yourself on December 28, 2017? That is your bearing. Make your plans to move in that direction.

I wish you success and happiness in 2017. I hope to see you here on the blog next year.

Learn how to formulate goals correctly to gain control over your life and achieve your dreams in my book, Goal Power!

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com