Measure your success

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”

Earl Nightingale     1921 – 1989, American Radio Announcer, Author, Speaker, Co-founder of Nightingale-Conant Corp

Good morning – and happy New Year!

Some people asked me why Good Start ground to a halt last year and I honestly told them that I needed to concentrate on my day job.  Which I did.  But when the end of the year came and we closed for the December holidays – I asked myself:  Did not writing Good Start help me in any way?  Again, an honest answer – I don’t know for sure, but it didn’t feel like it.

 You might wonder how could I not know?  Well, what was my objective, what was the goal, the point of not writing?  How was not writing going to help?  If the answer to those question was starting work the minute I walked into the office and not stopping until I left (and then sometimes working at home too), then the answer is yes.  Was that what the intention was?  NO!  So then what was the goal?  I don’t know, because I didn’t set one. 

To be practical here, this is some of the things I could have said, that would have fitted the SMART* principle.

  • Less than 10 tax returns still to submit
  • Less than 5 financial statements to be done
  • Filing trays (even 1 of the 4 would have worked) empty
  • Emails filed

Not only have I not done any of the above examples, I lost the momentum of Good Start, let myself down by not following through on the commitment I made to myself, the people who regularly read Good Start missed it too.  No use crying over yesterday, on with now.

So – here we are at the beginning of a new year.  Ok, 8 days have gone, and I wonder how many “resolutions” have already been broken?  Do you have goals for this coming year?  I am going to make a list of things I would like to achieve – during this year, and then I am going to put the “by date” next to it and arrange it by the date.  Then every Friday I am going to look at it, and evaluate whether I am on the right track.  To remember to look at it, I am setting a recurring reminder in Outlook. 

That brings me to the picture today.  Imagine you are at the bottom of the picture and you want to get to the top.  You can either start at A or B – both will get you to C.  Which way would you rather go?  By going the A route, you can look around at each step, gather your thoughts and your breath and even look down to see how far you can come.  Think of A as being Attainable. 

The B route will get you there too – but Boy! it would be much more difficult.

Until next time, whatever your goals are, may you get off to a Good Start.




22 September 2011

“Expect the best, plan for the worst and prepared to be surprised.”    

Denis Waitley        1933 – , American motivational speaker and writer

After my diatribe posting yesterday, I went off to Joburg town with Viv.  She had been involved in an accident and had to report it at the Johannesburg Central Police Station – the building previously known as John Vorster Square. 

We decided it would be best for me to go with her, as it’s not the greatest part of town and parking was going to be a problem.  I drove, which in itself was a novelty, as Viv normally drives regardless of which seat she sits in.  Eventually she stopped helping.  We had a good drive through to town, only came across one idiot driving like he was at Kyalami.

I had found the police station on Google maps but the system froze before I could print the map (I just remembered that we have a map book at home, but that is so last century).  So I drove from memory, looking for the tall building with blue ‘strips’ – look at the picture, you will see what I mean, near the double decker highway.  We took a couple of wrong turns due to the one-ways, but we got there.

I was surprised at how clean the streets were.  There was a pavement or two that needed fixing and the empty dilapidated buildings that were once so beautiful were so sad to see.  What a pity that there are empty buildings there while huge buildings are being built elsewhere that are probably going to stand empty too.

Murphy’s law that when we got to the Police Station there were two openings big enough to park a car in, on the opposite side of the street.  I am not saying they were parking spaces because there was a red line, which when I took my licence meant no parking.  It obviously didn’t mean the same to the other cars parked there but we are law abiding citizens.

So I sat in the car while Viv went off into that imposing building. Not ten minutes and she was back with her case number.  There was someone to direct her to the right place and when she got there she was attended to immediately.  Everyone she came into contact with was friendly and the place was clean.

Viva, South Africa, Viva!  That’s all I want – clean, friendly and efficient. 

I expected we would be successful in obtaining the case number; I planned for the worse by taking my Kindle with me to read in the car and I was more than pleasantly surprised.  All in all, a great experience.

Until tomorrow, may all your surprises be good.