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April 2012

Taking Your Life to the Next Level



This weekend I heard an incredibly inspiring and riviting message from Rickey Bolden about taking your life your life to the next level.  Enjoy it here:  nextlevel

The 4 key points are:

1.  Assess and evaluate-  Reflect on how you're doing.  What's working, what's not working, what could better in your career, your marriage, your daily life, etc.  

2.  Let go of the past-  Watch your language.  Are you still complaining or talking negatively about what happened yesterday or are you talking about the present moment and where you are headed?  

3.  Change your thinking-  Einstein said, "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."  For example, most people know when they are angry but the don't change their thinking to shift their emotions.  

4.  Let go of the results and leave it to God-  Let go of your stuff.  You are not in control.  Do you want you can do and leave outcomes to God.    



Value Based Metrics for Improving Results- E.G. My Office Space


This past Thursday night, I attended an highly educational ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) meeting.  The presenter was Mel Schnapper who is an organizational development expert.  With his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior, Mel wrote the textbook, Value Based Metrics for Improving Results. 

In his generocity, he shared his model for measuring success with anything.  I will attempt to explain part of his process here.  There are 3Ms of Performance.

1.  Measure- Define in qualitative and quantitative terms what success will look like.  How will measure success at the completion of a goal?  What will it look like, sound like, feel like, etc?  What will you experience?  What will others notice?

2.  Manage- Survey all the variables that will help or hinder your progress.  

3.  Magnify- Evaluate and improve your systems to support standards of "Very Good" and "Excellent."

This model can be used for anything and everything that you want to improve your results on and I've just taken one small part of this model to demonstrate it.

I'd like to use it as a model for goal setting.  Let's say you set a goal.  You will have 3 ways to measure the standard of hitting that goal.  You will have a "Satisfactory", "Very Good", and "Excellent" levels.

I'm going to use a real life example of something I've personally been struggling with and would like to set a goal around.  

My goal is to consistently have a beautiful and organized office.  Mel says that every adjective and adverb means nothing so let me start defining it.  What do I mean by consistently? On a daily basis.   What do I mean by beautiful?  An inspiring place that I enjoy looking at.  What does inspiring mean?  A place where I am drawn to creating and doing great work.  What is great work? Work that is fun and expresses my highest values of connection, impact, beauty, and learning.  What does organized mean?  It means I can work efficiently because I know where everything is and everything is in it's place.  It also means I don't have any distractions with objects out of place such as piles of unsorted paper. It means that everything in the office has a home, has purpose, and is where it belongs. To bottom-line it, I have made decisions for each object in my office and it serves a purpose.  I have no loose ends.  

There are 3 levels of goal attainment:

1.  Satisfactory.  What will this look like?  How will I measure satisfactory?  At the beginning of every day, I will start my day by making sure my work space is clean.  My work space is comprised of  my computer desk and my writing desk.  They are free from papers and things that I don't immediately need.  The immediate working space is clear.  Papers to sort and file away are set aside in piles on the floor.  I can get my work done without too much interference.   

2.  Very good.  What will this look like?  The piles of paper on the floor are sorted, tossed, or filed away.  I don't have piles of paper on the floor anymore.  I have one pile that is sorted through on a daily basis.  I don't keep anything that I don't need.  I have cleaned out my bookshelves and gotten rid of paper, notebooks, and books I no longer use.   

3.  Excellent.  I have gone through all the papers in my filing cabinets and drawers.  Everything I have has a purpose and place and what I don't use I get rid of.  My space is clean, simple, spacious, and organized.  It is a place of inspiration where I can create and enjoy.  I have a system for everything coming in so that it immediately has a place to go.  I have it professional decorated and I love the details in the design. 

I could go in much more detail and depth in measuring but to demonstrate, will keep it simple for now.

There's also the management piece of the puzzle.  What will help or hinder my progress?  This will have to be a post of another day.   What do you want to improve in your life and measure?  Until then, happy measuring~