- Throw away the pack of cigarettes in your pocket or purse. Right now.
- Get rid of the candy bar in your desk drawer. Right now.
- Sign up for a language class you've been meaning to take. Right now.
- Email the friend you wish you hadn't lost touch with. Right now.
- Put on your gym shoes and walk around the block. Right now.
- Register for a triathlon as you've always wished you were fit enough to complete. Right now.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
This Goal Is Finished
Good morning achievers! Hope you've had a wonderful week!
If this is your first time on our website, welcome. Velocity is about helping you find and achieve your passion through personal goal setting. You can find out more about us by clicking on any of these links.
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If you are inspired by reading our achiever interview below and want to get on the achievement bandwagon, sign up for our next Goal Setting Workshop on June 4, 2011 in Washington, DC.
Today’s TGIF achiever is Jackie Weisman. Jackie is one of the most kind-hearted people we know, as evidenced below by her ongoing goal of saving the world! She’s also quite busy, but seems to fit it all into her schedule. Read more about how Jackie is making in impact in the local community and loving every minute of it.
If only I could sum myself up in a few short sentences! Being as ADHD as I am, I prefer phrases: 20-something, social media guru for Color Coded Professional Organizing, entrepreneur wrangler for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, volunteer for Pathways of Northern Virginia, chronic hobby-er, Navy sister, professional organizer, wedding planner, weight watcher except when I’m enjoying great food.
This is a tough question since I tend to think of goals in a traditional sense – this is what I am going to do in this time frame. But most of my goals are a work in progress, or on-going goals that not able to be checked off a list. One of those goals is to give back to the community using my time and talent, or as I like to put it, attempting to save the world. What does that include? Reaching out locally to make a difference by volunteering, donating and educating myself.
Why This Goal?
I can’t say there was a time when this goal popped in my head and I set out to accomplish it. I grew up in an area of Maryland that has many disadvantaged families, so I was aware of poverty early on. My parents were amazing role models who encouraged my brother and I to donate toys, adopt a family around the holidays, help make meals during Thanksgiving and be aware of how blessed we are to have many things others do not.
The First Step
It’s so easy for me to say ‘I don’t have time’ or ‘I can’t make that big an impact’, but when I realized all the opportunities and small ways I could make a difference, there was no room for excuses. The first step was to find opportunities that fit in with my lifestyle. I clearly could not take a year off to live in Haiti, but I could donate money to Red Cross. I couldn’t go back to school to be a social worker, but I could volunteer once a month at a shelter. The most difficult part was downsizing my goal of changing the world, and breaking it into a smaller, more realistic goal of starting locally.
As a newlywed, dog owner and someone who juggles multiple jobs, finding free time is a challenge. First and foremost – if everyone used that excuse, nothing would get done to help a vast number of people. Also, there are SO many opportunities and causes, it would be impossible not to find something that fits in with my lifestyle. I spent time looking at causes that are important to me, but I knew that volunteering at an animal shelter wouldn’t make me happy (However, it would make me a multiple dog owner – not good!), so that cause was taken off my list of possible places to volunteer. Just because you are passionate about a cause doesn’t mean you have to put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. There are plenty of opportunities behind the scenes. Also, some of the organizations looking for volunteers require a lot of training and time commitments, which I didn’t have time for. It took awhile for me to find my regular volunteer position, one that worked for my schedule and my interests.
I won’t lie; it’s hard to make time to volunteer. But I knew from experience, once I got there and saw the difference I was making, and the difference it makes in my life, the inconvenience of it was forgotten. Knowing that I am giving back to my community was extremely rewarding.
Aside from my families influence, I utilized sites like Idealist to find opportunities to use my skills. I signed up for local organization’s mailing lists so I can be aware of volunteer and in kind needs. Though I volunteer on a regular basis for Pathways of Northern Virginia, I do other one time things like sending magazines to the troops, donating to Goodwill and giving money to organizations that help my causes.
TGIF – Celebrate!
As you can see, my goal will never be finished but the goal of volunteering on a regular basis has been accomplished. I celebrate that by looking forward to my regular ‘gig’ at Pathways, and being happy that every now and again, I can contribute in small ways with other opportunities. I’ve figured out that no one is going to save the world alone; it’s an on-going and joint venture.
Start small! Reflect on what causes are important to you and find ways to support them locally. If you can take a year sabbatical and go save the rainforest, that’s awesome. But if you can’t - you can always drop off some old clothes to Goodwill or canned food to your local food pantry; you can always find one night a month to make a small difference in one person’s life.
While I still teach crafts to a group of lovely ladies at Pathways, I am always looking for different ways to give back. My brother is deploying again this fall to Afghanistan, so everyone around me will have the chance to help put together care packages for the troops. I am also working towards becoming a full time professional organizer.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Welcome to the first installation of the Top 5 Most Inspirational Movies. There are many more than 5 inspirational movies, so we’ve divided them into three categories:
Below, you’ll find the Top 5 Most Inspirational Sports Movies. Did your favorite movie make the list?
Top 5 Most Inspirational Sports Movies:
#1: Rudy – released in 1993, this film is based on actual events following the unlikely Notre Dame student turned football player that finally gets his chance to play after overcoming great physical and emotional challenges.
#2: Remember the Titans – Based on actual events in 1971 about a football team made up of students from two previously segregated high schools that were forced to integrate.
#3: Hoosiers – Another true story of a small-town high school basketball team from Indiana that proves everyone wrong as they make a run for the national championship in 1954.
#4: Miracle – If you were alive and American in 1980, you remember the unbelievable performance of the U.S. national hockey team during the cold-war Olympics as they faced the unbeatable Russians.
#5: We Are Marshall – In a tragic true story of 1970, almost the entire Marshall University football team, including coaches and some fans, die in a plane crash. This movie documents the 1971 season of a patchwork team, consisting of freshmen and walk-ons, trying to win just one game.
Bonus: Invictus - The South African nation is struggling with the lasting effects of apartheid. In Nelson Mandela's first term as President after being released from prison, he partners with the captain of the National Rugby Team to galvanize the nation by making a push for the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
We will release a new list each week for three weeks. Next week? The Top 5 Most Inspirational Military Movies!
Have recommendations? Leave a comment!
-by Matt Leedham
Nearing the end of February, it is quite common to see the waning efforts of once excited and motivated people that had set big goals in January. What I have come to learn, both through personal experience and further research and study, is that we are not mentally strong enough to rely solely on willpower to make lasting behavioral change.
My suspicions were confirmed this morning as I stumbled across Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab. Through the science of Captology (Computers as Persuasive Technology), these guys study the influence that technology has on our lives. It’s quite fascinating stuff if you want to dig around to understand things like the Psychology of Facebook.
But what I found really interesting is this concise slideshow that shows us the 10 most common mistakes people make when trying to address behavioral change in the form of goal setting.
Will power is hard to sustain. Rather, set yourself up with simple processes to rack up small wins. Recognize that the people, and things, and places you surround yourself with will affect your behavior. Focus on action, not avoidance, and make the changed behavior as easy as possible to do. Unfortunately, information isn’t enough to elicit action – we need triggers to set us in motion. Create SMART goals and actions. Being vague will result in your inaction.
And my personal favorite…
Don't assume that behavior change is difficult. If you can identify the right process, and put yourself in the right environment, you can make lasting, positive change in your life.
Monday, February 21, 2011
-Martin Van Buren
-James A. Garfield
Friday, February 18, 2011
|Photo by Alexander Morozov|
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
-by Matt Leedham
(written on Monday, February 7, 2011)
I am sitting on a bench at the scenic overlook of the Great Falls of the Potomac River in Maryland. I have my laptop out and am typing away, getting quizzical stares by the occasional hiker. I wasn’t planning on using any technology today, but the mood struck me to write. And so when it does, I must write. This post has no intent, other than to share a personal experience. It’s not particular deep in meaning, nor is it choc-full of practical tips for aspiring achievers. And I’m okay with that.
I scheduled the day off of work today on purpose. My goal was not to sit around the house and watch movies, but rather to be inspired. I should rephrase that. My hope was to be inspired. My goal was to go enjoy the day, preferably outdoors.
I learned of this “Inspiration Day” concept from my Challenge Buddy (it’s like a step up from an accountability partner). The idea is to just go out into the world (or into the wild) and explore. For some people, that may mean going to the shopping mall. For me, today, it meant driving along Clara Barton Parkway in DC up the Potomac River until I crossed the Maryland state line.
I stopped at Great Falls and hiked the trail for about half a mile. I found a little clearing off the main trail that seemed to lead down to the riverbed. I followed the trail a ways and came to a large, rocky inlet. There was a clearing of the rocks, and out of it formed what resembled a small beach. Not Caribbean by any means, but sand, water, and a beautiful scene.
I sat there for some time, soaking it all in. I reflected. I wrote some things down. I breathed. I ate some grapes, drank some water, and threw some stones into the river. Near some branches and rocks along the riverbank, foamy water had gathered and it looked like the top of a lemon meringue pie. I just watched it for awhile since I had never seen that kind of thing before. I got cold, put on my extra sweatshirt, and began to walk back up to the main trail. I was probably down there for an hour or an hour and a half. I’m not sure. I didn’t look at my watch.I began walking back the way I had come in. This time, noticeably slower. I felt at ease. Along the canal to my right were 6 mallard ducks. When I noticed them, I stopped to watch. When I did, they began to swim toward the middle of the canal, away from me. One of the females didn’t see me and kept digging in the mud with her beak. Then a male duck came back for her and scurried her along back to the group. It was then that I realized that they were travelling in pairs, as couples. Three “married” couples were just going about their business on a lazy afternoon. I chuckled.
After some more walking, and more observing, I find myself here. Just sitting on this bench, listening to the powerful sound of white water rapids.
Did I achieve my goal for the day? Absolutely. Did I realize my hope for the day? I’m not sure. But what I can say is that I’ve written more in 40 minutes than I normally do in 2 hours. Not earth-shattering results, I’ll admit, but there’s something to be said for unplugging from the madness…from going off the grid for a day or an afternoon. It may take longer for some than others, but a clarity and focus sets in that is hard to get when your eyes are twitching from trying to keep up with your laptop, desktop, smart phone, GPS, satellite radio, and TV.
Take some time with yourself. Sharpen the saw, as Stephen Covey would put it. If you don't put you first, who will?
Welcome to Wednesday! We're halfway through the week -- woohoo! I hope your week is going well. If it isn't, do me a favor and "etch-a-sketch" the pain or sorrow or anger from earlier in the week and start today out with a fresh, new attitude. Hold onto a great memory, keep a smile on your face and watch how your day will follow your lead!
"There are two goddesses in your heart," [Coach Joe Vigil] told them. "The Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Wealth. Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come. So they concern themselves with chasing money. But they have it backwards. You have to give your heart to the Goddess of Wisdom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous, and follow you."
-Excerpted from Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall. I'm reading this book right now and it is truly inspiring!
|As seen on Reddit, submitted by sawbutter.|
This ten-minute video about how we are motivated is compelling viewing, and not just because someone is animating Daniel Pink's speech as he gives it.
Have an AMAZING Wednesday!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
It all seems so simple.
Faith + Desire = Realization
As I read more, and watch and listen more, and teach more, and write more, and coach more, and see success more for myself and others, there is a common thread to it all. Faith and desire.
Those that achieve more do two things more than the average person. First, they believe with conviction that they can and will do something. Second, they want to do that thing more than others. That’s it. They want it really bad and truly believe in themselves.
Watch this video. If you’re short on time, watch the first two minutes, and pay particular attention to what this guy says from 1:24 to 1:44. In fact, listen to it over and over again. He speaks the truth and has the credentials to back it up.
David Goggins exudes an unyielding confidence in himself, wouldn’t you say? Just listening to his perspective on life and achieving great things, chances are you’d bet on him to win any time. I don’t even care what the competition is – if this guy is competing, I’m betting on him. He’s got faith. He sees victory and achievement in his mind so clearly, that it becomes his reality.
Think this is a new message? You’d be wrong. My boy, Napoleon Hill was saying it 70+ years ago. Watch this video and you’ll learn a thing or two. I’ll admit, Mr. Hill isn’t as cool as David Goggins above, and the video isn’t as edgy as Lexus’ documentary on endurance running, but the message is sound.
Did you get that? If you can so clearly define your image of success, whatever that may be, and know clearly what you are willing to sacrifice in pursuit of it, you will achieve it. Mr. Hill expands upon these concepts in his groundbreaking book, “Think and Grow Rich.”
So, how bad do you want it? Seriously, how bad do you want that image of success? Don’t lie. This guy will catch you and call you out. No joke. When you watch this next video, know that the audience is young college students, so some of his message is directed at that demographic. But if you don’t feel like jumping out of your seat to conquer the world, I need to take your pulse.
Lessons learned from Eric Thomas, the Hip Hop Preacher: 1) Success is not about where you come from, where you’ve been, or what’s happened to you in the past. It’s about right now. It’s about heart. 2) You have to be able to, at any time, be willing to sacrifice what you are for you for what you will become. 3) Pain is temporary. Some day it will subside and be replaced by something else. If you quit, the pain will last forever.
Are you ready? Are you fired up? Have you clearly identified that image of success for yourself? What are you willing to sacrifice for it?
Monday, February 14, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
An entrepreneur, author, speaker, and worldwide connector, Peter is recognized globally for radical new ways of thinking about Social Media, PR, marketing, advertising, creativity, and customer service.
Peter is perhaps best known for founding Help A Reporter Out, (HARO) which in under a year has become the de-facto standard for thousands of journalists looking for sources on a deadline. In addition to HARO, Peter is the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc, a boutique Marketing and PR Strategy firm. Peter is the author of Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work--And Why Your Company Needs Them and Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World (Que Biz-Tech).
Thursday, February 10, 2011
-by Matt Leedham
Every morning I receive an email entitled “A Daily Boost From Your Professional Partner.” A good friend of mine from New Jersey, Anthony Fasano, is an executive and career coach for engineers, and sends out these little 1-2 sentence daily boosts. This morning message was particularly awesome:
"Matt, many people equate chasing their goals to climbing a mountain. If that were the case we would always be climbing mountains. Maybe we need to reframe this though in a way that promotes a more enjoyable career.
Reaching Your Goals Should Be Fun,
-Your Professional Partner
I immediately had this vision in my head of all of my friends, family, colleagues, and clients climbing mountains, constantly trying to reach the summit and achieve their goals (like these crazy mountain goats to the left). I laughed out loud. That would be ridiculous! Unless you’re an avid mountaineer, that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me, especially if you're starting at the base of the mountain.
So, let’s take a moment to reframe the thought process here, as Anthony suggests. Instead of looking at goals as simply an end result (i.e. victory, accomplishment, satisfaction, pride, etc.), let’s appreciate the entire goal setting (and goal getting) process.
If it will take you 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months to achieve a particular goal, viewing the entire process as a personal growth experience validates the whole time it takes to achieve (or not achieve) the goal. In other words, even if you fall just a little short of your goal, or even if you downright fail, you still take with you the experience you had along the way.
Your journey will become more enjoyable, as every day and every challenge, and every method you use, is helping you grow and become better. You won’t be forced to define yourself by the goals you achieve, but rather by how well you navigate the process.
Enjoy the ride!
PS...Nearing the end of the process of a stretch goal and looking back can often feel like you've just climbed a mountain. I should note that the visual image of reaching the Summit is a positive way to celebrate success after achieving a big goal.
Bonus Reading: Scott Young wrote an interesting post about setting goals for process vs. setting goals for desire. It’s a different spin on things, but you might enjoy the message.