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There you go: Whining again about getting up to go to work or to get things done. The bed is feeling so good, you don’t want to part ways with it. News flash! The bed will still be there when you’re done taking care of business.

You see in this day and age, we get too much credit for just trying. If you show up, you want brownie points. If you put in minimum effort, you want a reward. In this generation, it is okay to accept and applaud mediocrity; but, how can you ever be your best self if you refuse to exert yourself to the fullest extent and feel that you have truly earned your reward?

The feeling of accomplishment comes from the journey and all you had to endure to get to your destination. Imagine receiving a trophy every time you showed up for something; As soon as you walk through the door, everyone claps and hands you a metallic ornament that says, “Nice job!” The first few times, you’ll find it funny, and it will even serve as one heck of an ego booster. Sooner than later, you’ll realize all of the trophies are taking up too much space in your home that you have to start throwing them away. Then, you will start to feel if you did do something extravagant the recognition will either go unnoticed or there will be neutral response to it.

Here’s the thing: Continue to complain and stay in bed as long as you want. Go to work and do the least amount of tasks. It is clearly contributing to the goals you want to accomplish, right? Wrong. Look, keep your habits, and bask in the ambience; or, change your dreams, literally, to where you get paid to sleep. Other than that, if it is not getting you a step closer to your bigger picture, don’t waste time doing it.

Tequila Cheatham

     There is an art to success. Every goal that’s been accomplished has been because of one particular ingredient: discipline.

     According to dictionary.com, by definition, discipline is “training to act in accordance with rules; drill, activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training” which means anything we desire, whether it be bringing up a credit score to buy a home, to cook your first meal, or to run your first marathon, it takes having a certain mindset to get you through the process. If you change the way you think, meaning rephrasing every negative comment that ever comes to your mind and out of your mouth, and work on doing that every day, you are practicing discipline. What you tell yourself effects your way of thinking and your actions, or lack thereof. 

    Having discipline means you are keeping yourself on a path to reflect nature, meaning you’re adapting to what happens in your environment, working to maintain its upkeep, and allowing it to make you grow. When you grow, it will inspire the world around you to do the same.

    For instance, go to the park, and watch the squirrels. One thing you should notice about the squirrels is they collect food every day for today, tomorrow, and for the upcoming seasons. They dodge cars, people, and inclement weather but, they don’t let it stop their mission. Yes, some days they may come up short but, they get out there and make it happen. They are the epitome of training, getting daily exercise, and organizing their priorities in order to survive, and they have fun while they do it!

     If you stick to being flexible while attending to your priorities, discipline will happen without thought, at some point, and will become a natural cycle. If you think openly, understanding will happen without much bias. If you stick to the routine of discipline, the process will project immense reward, especially in the spiritual realm.

 

- Tequila Cheatham

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A lot of us think about goal setting then get nervous because we either don't understand the strategy of it, and/or we feel like when we set goals we can never accomplish them. I will admit I used to be that person who set new goals for the new year and forgot them by the time January ended. I would later find those goals written on a random sheet of paper later during the year and think it's too late to accomplish it, or feel like there was no point in accomplishing it. I loved setting goals at the beginning of the year, but I never stuck to it.

I am happy to say that not only do I now understand the strategy of goal setting, but I have also been able to accomplish most of the goals I have set for myself. One thing I had to get clear on was understanding what I truly wanted; not just setting a goal, but understanding the feeling I wanted to achieve as a result of that goal. I had to dig deep to search and find what I really wanted at that particular point in my life. It wasn't easy, but with prayer, meditation, and learning more about myself I was able to discover those feelings I wanted to achieve.

There are two types of goals, short term goals and long term goals. I like to think of short term goals as the building blocks or check points that will get you to your long term goals. Short term goals make your long term goals seem more achievable especially if you set the bar high for yourself.

Goals help you measure your progress. Sometimes, if you don't have goals in place then you don't have a way to measure your progress. If you are clear on what you want to accomplish, then you are able to measure if you are on track or not. If you are on track then keep doing what you're doing, but if you aren't then you have an opportunity to examine what hasn't been working and make necessary changes.

Goals help give you motivation. Sometimes we get distracted and lose track of what it is that we want to accomplish. When you set solid goals for yourself you're able to quickly get back on track and remember what you want to achieve. Goals give you direction in life. Sometimes we have no idea where we are headed, but when you set goals you have some control over where you're headed. This allows you to create the future that you desire for yourself.

Goals give you a starting point and a destination to reach. It doesn't matter where you are now. No, you may not be where you want to be in life and that's ok. You have to understand that you have the power to change and create a life that you are proud of. It is not where you start, but rather where you are going. Be proud of how far you've come, because it is farther than where you were yesterday.

Don't be afraid to set goals for yourself, because if you start now you will be one step closer to where you want to be. Remember, the hardest part is getting started.

 

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The things you do at the beginning of the week really do set the tone for your week. It is important to have a clear vision of what needs to get done throughout the week. Having a weekly routine allows your to create new habits, and stay on top of things. Creating a routine has done wonders for me. It keeps me on track, and I am constantly reminded of the things I would like to accomplish. 

Here are three ways to start your week off the right way: 

1.) Write your goals out for the week

Whether its business related or for your personal life it's important to write out your goals for the week. When you are clear on your goals it is easier to accomplish them. This is probably the most effective way to set the tone for your week, because you know exactly what needs to get done. Write your goals out and put them in a place where you will constantly see them. I like to write mine out in my planner, so when I create my to do lists I see my goals. Seeing my goals when I create my to do list is a way for me to incorporate those goals into my daily schedule.

2.) Set your intentions for the week 

Keep a positive mindset. A lot of us dread Sundays and/or Monday because we are reminded of the work week, so it's important to change your thinking. I love Sundays and Mondays because it's another opportunity to start a new week, so I can work towards my goals. I pray and meditate on the things that I want to accomplish. Visualization is also something that has helped me stay focused and on top of things. 

3.) PLAN PLAN PLAN

Planning is so important. When you set your intentions for the week and write out your goals, you will then need to plan out how you will accomplish it all. Create a to do list for each day, and adjust daily as needed. Also, make sure everything lines up with your goals for the week. Planning gives direction. Creating to do lists everyday has helped me out SO much, and although I may not be able to get everything done everyday that's perfectly fine. 

In order to have a successful week it's important to write your goals out, set your intentions for the week, and plan. Doing these three things will only benefit you. The more prepared you the better, and this is a great way to set yourself up for success.

 

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Let’s face it, sometimes it seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. The hours seem to rush past as we scramble to get everything on our to do list done, and half of the time we don’t get most of those things done. It may seem never ending, but I’m here to tell you that there is a solution. You may not notice a huge difference overnight, but learning to leverage time management is a process. It’s all about trial and error, and figuring out what works for you. 

Always stay positive, and remember that just because you didn’t get everything done doesn’t mean you didn’t accomplish anything. Never give up, and remember to relax. 

Here are a few time management starter steps for you: 

1.) Take plenty of breaks throughout the day.

This may be hard if you work a 9-5, but there are still ways you can incorporate multiple breaks. Our brain is only able to remain focused for about 90 minutes, so try to take at least a 15 minute break for every 90 minutes you work. Breaks give our mind and body time to refresh, relax, and reset our attention span.

2.) Take power naps.

A power nap is a sleep session that happens during the day (ideally between 1:00 to 4:00 PM “siesta”) lasting between 10 and 30 minutes. If you take a longer nap you’re at risk of developing “sleep inertia” — that groggy feeling that takes too long to shake off. Power naps improve     creative thinking and productivity, and they are beneficial for mental alertness. Naps also help solidify new memories, and avoid burn outs.

3.) Recognize and eliminate unnecessary distractions.

I’m sorry to break it to you, but you may have to log out of social media. Whether social media is         a distraction, or your tv is; you’ll want to make sure that you’re eliminating these distractions so that you can have a productive 90 minutes of getting things done. When you can work distraction free you’ll notice that you get a lot more done. 

4.) Ignore low priority items on your to do list.

When creating a workflow, list your to-dos in the order of priority. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but at least try to put your to do list in order of what absolutely has to be done, and what can be put off until later. Hold yourself to these priorities. Set your phone to do not disturb and tackle your list in order. If you get to the low priority items then great, but if you don’t then no need to stress about it. Just complete them when you can. 

5.) Time everything! Time your meetings, email time, and phone conversations.

Take ownership of your time, set clear boundaries when meeting or talking with others. I know I personally have received a phone call while I was in the middle of a task, and instead of scheduling the call for later I would end up on the phone for much longer than anticipated. When the conversation finally ended I would feel all over the place, and be dissatisfied with how I spent my time. I decided that if I was in the middle of something important I would schedule the call for later, and let the person know that I was in the middle of something. That way I could return to my tasks and get things done how I intended. 

Leveraging time management is all about about trying different things, and figuring out what works for you. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get to everything on your list. It’s ok for the unexpected to happen that why you have to be flexible. Do you best to plan your days out, prioritize your to do list, and adjust when necessary. 

 

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Goal setting was something I did not put a lot of thought into just a few years ago. I would set goals at the beginning of the new year, and forget what goals I set by May. For so long I struggled with goal setting. I would set goals, and could not figure out for the life of me why I was not accomplishing them!  

As time passed, I began to put more thought into my goals. I also began to research and test out suggestions that I found. It was not easy at first, but I began to learn and understand the science of goal setting. I FINALLY learned how to create achievable goals. This wasn’t an overnight thing for me, but with trial and error I finally figured out what worked for me. 

I have put together five steps to creating achievable goals. Each step also starts with the letter “P,” so maybe we can call these “The 5 P’s.” 

Here are the five steps to creating achievable goals.

First you have to prioritize. Start by writing your goals out, and prioritizing them in a list. Consider which one you want to accomplish first, and which one is most important to you. No matter what, you have to prioritize. If you have a goal that you would like to accomplish, but it’s not that important to you, then don’t put that goal at the top of your list. This goal belongs somewhere in the middle if not towards the bottom. Reason being, we often focus too much energy on things that can wait when we have more important things we can put our energy towards. 

Step two, focus on the positive. Change your thoughts from “I wish I could,” or “One day I want to..” to thoughts like “I will…,” and “I will have…” This alone will make a huge different. We have to wire our brain so that nothing seems impossible. It is all about your mindset, and to accomplish anything you need to have the right mindset. Lift yourself up, and believe in yourself. It’s true, you can literally do anything you put your mind to. You just first have to believe it. 

Step three, be precise. You goals need to be clearly defined. Specific goals are more     likely to be reached than vague ones. They give you a sense of direction, and you will    know exactly what to do to achieve it. This is a great time to define, who, what, when, where, why, and how. The more specific you are the better. Make your goals as clear as possible. 

Step four, measure your performance. Set a time for starting and completing     your goal. Even set up checkpoints so that you can measure whether or not you are on track to accomplish your goals. That way if you are not on track you can figure out what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. If you aren’t on track, that’s ok. Life happens, so it’s important to be flexible. Just because you may not accomplish a goal when you want doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Maybe you set the finish date too soon, or maybe the goal isn’t a true representation of something you really want. Having deadlines and checkpoints will be a great time for you to evaluate your goals. If along the journey you realize that a goal isn’t something you want, then simply take the goal off of your list and move on to the next thing. 

Step five, make sure your goals are personal. You can do this by asking yourself a question like “is this goal a personal goal or someone else’s desire for me?” This question is very important, because we often find ourselves wanting to accomplish things because it is someone else’s vision for us. I am here to tell you that, your vision for yourself DOES matter. It may not line up with what someone important to you wants and that’s ok. You have to remember that you are living this life for you and no one else. Do what makes you happy, and go after what you see fit for yourself. 

 

When writing your goals for the week, month, and/or year always remember the five “P’s,” prioritize, be positive, be precise, measure your performance, and make sure your goals are personal. If you implement these five steps I promise that accomplishing your goals won’t seem as hard. Remember, you can do anything you put your mind to. As my mom always says, anything worth having is worth working hard for. After all, the hardest part is getting started.