WITH THE HOLIDAYS past, it’s
easy to start looking ahead to
your next vacation. Why not
make it a New Year’s goal to
cut all ties with the office when
you are on vacation—and
instead concentrate on rest,
relaxation and family?
Brian P. Moran and Costco
member Michael Lennington,
co-authors of The 12-Week
Year: Get More Done in 12
Weeks Than Others Do in 12
Months (Wiley, 2013), say it’s
possible. They offer the following tips to help you prepare, so
your vacation can be a real one.
Picture the perfect vacation. Once you understand the
link between your vision of the
perfect vacation and your
work, you can define exactly
what you need to do to make
that great vacation happen.
Create a work plan for
each pre-vacation workweek
you have left. Identify the
most important tasks and projects that need to be completed
in the weeks leading up to
your vacation, and align your
time and efforts to ensure they
Resign yourself to being
uncomfortable now so you
can be comfortable later. Take
care of any tasks you’ve been
avoiding now, so they aren’t
on your mind when you’re trying to have a good time.
Don’t respond to the
demands of the day reactively. Keep control of your day
by breaking it into three kinds
of blocks: strategic blocks
(uninterrupted work time), buffer blocks (unplanned or lower-value tasks) and breakout
blocks (free time to refresh and
Isolate yourself from
modern-day distractions. If
you allow yourself to get distracted by email, social media
or the latest viral video, before
you know it you’ll be on your
vacation, stuck in your hotel
room, working on the project
you didn’t finish.
For more information, see
ARE YOU READY to turn things around in your life?
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to
leave the past in the past, let go of all the proverbial
baggage and start fresh with a clean slate. Here are
a few tips to help you successfully achieve all your
goals and make 2014 your best year yet.
Write out your goals on paper. Just thinking about your goals isn’t enough. Putting them
down on paper will dramatically increase your
chances of achieving them. By doing so, you’re
setting a clear intention and creating a subconscious contract with yourself. Be as clear and concise as possible.
Read each goal out loud. There is power in
verbalizing your goals. As you read each goal out
loud, pay attention to your thoughts about that
goal. If your inner voice is saying something negative about it (e.g., “You’ll never lose 50 pounds; it’s
too hard”), this is what is called a negative belief.
It’s important that you become keenly aware of
these negative beliefs.
More in archives
On Costco.ca, enter
Ricotti” in the search box.
SONIA RICOTTI: STARTING ANEW
New year, new you!
Why? Because you don’t manifest what you
want—you manifest what you believe. By becoming aware of these negatively charged beliefs
related to your goal, you can focus on shifting
them into positive and empowering beliefs
instead. This will dramatically increase your
chances of successfully achieving your goal.
Visualize your success. Take the time to
visualize yourself already having achieved your
goals. Take a few minutes each day and get into
the feeling of success. This will keep you motivated and help you reach your goals faster.
Plan your success. Make sure you take the
time to plan, plan, plan. What action steps do you
need to take to achieve each goal: Who do you
need to contact, what do you need to do, etc.?
Write out an action plan for each individual goal,
breaking it down into smaller daily, weekly and
monthly to-do tasks.
And one final note: As you take action to
achieve your goals (and ultimately your dream
life), always remember to stop and smell the
roses. In other words, as you move forward
toward living your greatest life, make sure you
appreciate and enjoy each day to the fullest. C
Sonia Ricotti is a best-selling author, speaker
and CEO of Lead Out
Loud Inc., www.leadout
Just say no
to a working
OBVIOUSLY, EVERY BUSINESS function is
important. But, unless there is employee engagement, business success will always seem to be out
of reach. Costco member Pauline Fleming of
ProActive Business Leadership (www.
Leaders WhoCare.com) says engagement begins at
the top. She suggests eight principles for building
a strong foundation for employee engagement.
1. Hire for attitude. Hire people who exemplify strong character and positive attitude. Not
only do these people work hard, they want to do
well and care about the company. Skills can be
taught; character cannot.
2. Create buy-in. More and more surveys
are showing that employees want to make a difference, they want learning and growth opportunities, and they want to be included. And, yes,
they want to be compensated fairly and have
future opportunities for advancement.
3. Throw away the carrot-and-stick. Cash
bonuses are nice, but they often backfire. Instead of
bribing employees into productivity, identify what
really drives them—their intrinsic motivators.
Hint: Their core values are their internal drivers.
4. Catch them in the act. Of doing something good. One way of catching people doing
something good is to practice “walk-around
leadership,” where you go to them. Sincere and
personal connection has a significant impact.
5. Use the personal touch. The more you
do to engender trust, the more faithful employ-
ees will be. This comes about not by directing
them, but by coaching them. And the more con-
nected people feel, the better they perform.
6. Go deep at every position. Some day
you are going to retire. Who will replace you?
Taking your succession plan to the next level is
smart. It also gives people a sense of place and a
deeper connection to the long-term vision and
plans you have for their role in the organization.
7. Stop the fence-jumpers. By creating
relationships and building trust, your top people
will feel far more comfortable in letting you
know when they are being pursued. The “grass is
greener” syndrome can be eliminated.
8. Grow leaders. A sure way to create
engagement is to invest in strengthening the
leadership skills within every employee. A company of leaders is a company of engagement. C
The secrets to employee engagement