Are You on the Boss’s Nice or Naughty List?

Just as Santa has a nice and naughty list, so does your boss. Which one are you on? Here are some differences to compare where you stand:

Nice List:

  • shows up on time for work
  • takes breaks on time
  • helps out when needed
  • works well with others
  • has a positive attitude
  • steps up for more challenging work
  • communicates with the boss to keep updated on work processes/outcomes
  • completes work in a timely manner
  • consistently meets quotas and goals

Naughty List:

  • calls off frequently
  • takes longer breaks than usual, or can’t find them
  • minimal interactions with boss/peers
  • needs frequent directions/doesn’t learn from mistakes
  • has a ‘bad’ attitude
  • gossips
  • not a team player
  • unwilling to take on more challenging work – just does the minimum
  • complaints from others
  • resistance to any changes made

So, how did you stack up? The key to moving from the naughty to the nice list is to turn-around any behaviors you uncovered and do the opposite; for instance, if you are having minimal interactions with your team, start to have more conversations with them by asking questions or asking for their opinion on a project you working on. This will open dialogue with them and they will start seeing you in a different light. If you’re just doing the bare minimum, step up your game and go a step further on a work task; if you are grumpy or seem resistant, change your attitude by reframing any negative thoughts and putting a smile on your face- the brain doesn’t know your not happy until you consciously say it isn’t so.

Bottom line, this is all within your control to move from an unproductive or unhappy employee to being a productive, happier one. The choice is yours to make – do you want a reward in your stocking or a lump of coal?

I’d love to help you love your job again – check us out at and begin today!

Two Ways to Set Goals and the Benefits of Each

As we’re only two days away from a new month, what better time to plan your goals for what you want to accomplish in December. This can be the time to end the year strong or begin the new year running. The choice is up to you. To do so, there are two ways you can set goals, with each being beneficial to goal achievement.

The first way to set goals is through SMART goals, which is where you start  with what you want to accomplish. The acronyms stand for: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-limited. The more specific you are with what you want to accomplish will help the brain to lead into taking action. Being able to measure progress and ensuring they are realistic, again, keeps you in forward motion as much clarity comes on the steps needed to get them done. Goals need to spur us on and be compelling enough to keep us engaged in them, otherwise too soft of a goal can be demotivating and easier to put them off. Having a time-limit for when you want to achieve the goal gives your daily, weekly, or monthly actions manageable, as well as keeping on a schedule that will fit in with your day.

The second way to set goals is using Everest goals, which is where you work backwards from the end-result. You will take the view that you have already accomplished the goal and then ‘free-think’ of all actions and steps you took that led you there. This can be a more effective way to identify all that needs to be considered when setting a goal; I think looking at it as being accomplished creates a sense of self-efficacy and self-empowerment that leads – and keeps – you in action mode. I don’t think there is an excuse to not getting goals done if you already can see the desired outcome(s); it is essential that you are very clear on that desired result.

So, now you have two ways to plan and set your goals; use them to either complete current goals or to get started before January hits.  Happy goal-setting!

Stress-Less During the Holidays

First off, I hope you had a very fun and happy Thanksgiving holiday. Besides eating too much, this can also create a ‘lull’ in our motivation and momentum for getting tasks done. I find after having time off, I look forward to the next one; Christmas seems to refocus my attention to decorating and buying gifts. I look forward to celebrating and finding time off to be able to do so. Keeping the focus on work becomes challenging.

Part of the challenge is being bombarded with getting ready for the Christmas holidays – social media doesn’t help at all, plus having those close to us discussing their holiday preparations certainly can keep the focus on all that needs to be done. This time of year increases stress levels in the majority of Americans with all of these preparations, not to mention worry about how all of them will get paid for. Plus, most people worry about having time off – will they get the day(s) off to spend time with family and friends. It’s enough to take the merry out of the Christmas season.

BUT – it doesn’t have to be this way. Preparing and planning can help you to sail through the holidays singing Jingle Bells! Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • make a list of all that needs to be done in the next few weeks – gifts to buy, food to prepare and shop for, cleaning tasks, parties or after-school functions for the kids, wrapping gifts, decorating the house, paying bills, to name a few. Knowing what needs to be done helps to move to the next step:
  • planning a daily/weekly task list will keep you in control of tasks needing done and exactly when they need to be accomplished; list any help you can think of or tasks you can bundle together to ease your stress. For instance, as I grocery shop now, I’ve been buying some items that I’ll need for my Christmas Eve dinner so that when the day comes, all I need to do is cook :)! For wrapping gifts, consider a service that does it, such as the Boy Scouts or other charitable organization; now only will you get your task done, you will also be helping out a worthy cause (what better feeling than that).
  • schedule time each day to work on a task, whether or not it is 15 minutes in the morning or after the kids go to bed. This will keep you on track and feeling accomplished. Write this in your planner, calendar, or on your phone; use reminders that will alert you that it’s time to get to work.
  • reframe your thoughts: stay focused on positive thoughts, and the ‘reason for the season’ as opposed to what you fear (money, time, work-family conflicts, etc.). Committing to staying positive about the end-result – that everything will be fine – will have you dealing with any pressure or ‘blips’ that may occur. The only person who is putting pressure on yourself is you, so be easy. Use an affirmation or a holiday song that you sing/say during stressful times, as these will release happy chemicals in your brain and become a relaxer. The more you do, the happier you will feel

December is coming, and so are the holidays and all it brings. Right around the corner is the new year, which will be here before we know it. Don’t wait until you’re caught up in the hustle and bustle – take time now to plan and be prepared. You will get through this time one way or another – choose to do so in your way and time. Let the holiday season begin! (

(P.S. I’ll be sharing more tips to get you through the season merrily and be prepared for success in 2017, so stay tuned!)

Thanksgiving Wishes

As we celebrate this Thanksgiving Day. I wanted to send gratitude and wishes that you and your family has a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving Day. Let’s keep our focus and appreciation on all that we have in our lives so more will come. Enjoy your day!

Planning to Make a Career Move? Now’s the Time

It’s so hard to believe that we are almost done with 2016. I’m still in awe that next week is Thanksgiving – it feels like November just began! With that being said, this is the time that many people will decide to make a career move in the new year. If you fall into that category, now is the time to get started.

Many people will wait until the new year begins to think about finding a new job. I will say that you can get the advantage by planning and making the move now. Most organizations have already planning, or are in the final stages of, for what their labor needs are. You can beat the competition by being prepared so you can hit the ground running, if you decide to wait.

The end of the year is often the time when hiring managers are taking time to wind things up and, due to the holidays, don’t put major plans in their books. This means they will have time to review candidates and interview. Planning now, as I stated earlier, is vital to finding and landing a new job quicker.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Plan your schedule – meaning, put this in your calendar, time you will spend for your job search activities. By doing so, you will give this the same priority as you do shopping or appointments you need to make. You need to give a job search the same focus and commitment.
  • Review – spend time reviewing your past accomplishments and skills that you’ve used so far, and how they will relate to a new position you want. Review job descriptions for that job to see what the employer both requires and desires to see if you match; what skills do you need to improve on or education you need to have that will align with that position. You can certainly start to work on those. By knowing what you offer, you can work to translate this into language that will appeal to a potential employer.
  • Get your materials together – these include: your resume – time to update, add/delete, etc. This is your time to shine so make it great. If you aren’t good with this, hire a resume writer who can make you stand out. This also includes your cover letter and references (yes, they do check them). If you have any supporting materials, get those together; this might include projects you worked on, graphics you designed, and the like.
  • Practice – as you will be interviewing, practice your skills by getting questions you may be asked, as well as questions you will ask, so you will have ready answers and sound more at ease. Get your ‘stories’ together, as behavioral questions are asked to see how you’ve handled certain situations you may deal with in the workplace. Remember, employers are looking at how you will fit in with their culture so the more polished you are, the more you will stand out.
  • Research – include in your job search looking at either particular jobs or companies that would fit with you and then hone in on them. Reach out to those, as you will be less frustrated from feeling overwhelmed and going for ‘just any’ job; you can learn more about those organizations to help you know if it will align with your needs and speak to the employer as they do want to know what you know about them. We need to align our job tasks with the culture so this is a critical piece.
  • Get networking – once you identify either the job and/or the company, look at who you may know that works in them and reach out to let them know of your intent. Begin talking to people to let them know and see who they may know and can refer you to; find networking events to attend to get connected to people. These can include:  professional association meetings that are industry-related; alumni functions; Meetup groups; Eventbrite functions; or church functions, to name a few.
  • Set a target date – as part of your schedule, set a date that you would like to be in the new job (be realistic). This will make it more compelling to do the work involved when we have a finish date; one way this will help is to use Everest goal setting, where you work backwards, which helps you to identify all the steps you took that got you the position. Also, set the start date (today?) and begin

These are just a few steps I recommend. Even if you want to wait to change jobs until the new year, don’t delay in getting prepared as it will allow you to hit the ground running once January begins. Happy job hunting!

Lessons I Learned from the Election (this is NOT about Politics)

I was sitting in church last Sunday when the priest began his sermon talking about the election; I started to get upset as I don’t think the two mix but some of what he was talking about resonated with me as he focused on being kinder and more tolerant of each other.

It go me thinking of my take-aways from the election, that I can apply in my business and career, and my life; I hope they speak to you, too:

  • It is possible to do the impossible: many predictions did not favor Donald Trump, but he was able to achieve the impossible. This showed me that if you have guts and determination, you can overcome any challenge and come out on top.
  • When you speak your authentic message, your tribe will listen: if we look at why people followed any of the candidates, it was because of the message they sent which aligned with people’s values and beliefs. If you want to build that list or get noticed, don’t be afraid to be your true self and speak what’s in your heart, no matter how others may feel. You’re not trying to reach the masses – you just want to find those who align with what you stand for. That is why people buy and refer.
  • Your brand can make or break you: any candidate had their own brand that defined them, whether positive or negative. Brands are how people identify you, either through words you say, a color you wear or hairstyle/color, or something signature that is personal to you. I have a friend who loves to wear hats so that is how she is identified; someone else I know loves to wear Hawaiian shirts. It seems strange when I don’t see either in their signature piece; when I refer to them, people go ‘oh yes, I know who you mean.’ What better way to be remembered.
  • You can bring people together for your mission: everyone in business started theirs due to an idea or a passion that they want to either help others with or make their life better in some way. When you focus in on whatever that is, you will forge through no matter what challenges are in your way. Both candidates had separate agendas but were able to bring people to their camp who all have the same mission. This is how movements are started and make a difference in the lives of others.
  • You won’t reach or affect everyone – and why you shouldn’t try: unfortunately, even with a great mission or message, not everyone will agree or accept it. This is ok – you don’t have to affect everyone; doing so can be frustrating and exhausting. This why a niche area is the easiest way, whether for your business or in your job – focusing in one skill or topic will help you to be better at them as well as get identified by others, which can lead to getting more referrals or more challenging work/promotion.
  • Having a campaign strategy is essential to success: I’m not exactly sure what the campaign strategy was for any of the candidates, but I’ sure they had one as this allowed them to know what to do each day to get those votes. Having strategies for how you will grow your business, as well as navigating successfully throughout your career, gives you the same direction and exact steps to take daily. You will be in control of what you do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis that will lead you to having more sustainability and success.
  • Never give up: neither of the major candidates gave up willingly; they persevered and kept going, even when things did not seem to be going their way. Don’t you give up, either, no matter what you are facing on a daily basis. This is where resiliency comes in and makes you stronger for any other situations you are faced with.
  • Believe in yourself: the one thing that all of the candidates had in common was self-belief in their commitment to serving our country, that they had the leadership abilities to do so, and that however they would lead would make a difference. They also had the belief that their lot in life is to serve others, which kept them going through most grueling times. I don’t believe one can face persecution and not believe in themselves and doing the ‘right’ thing. If you want more success in your business, your career, and your life, you need to believe that you can do so. Keep that word in front of you as a reminder – you can find all sorts of pictures or kotschkes with the word on it – I have quite a few, myself – to be a subliminal way to believe that no matter what, you can achieve anything you want and that you are the one to do so.

Doing Something that Scares You But Is Exactly What you Want/Need

First off, Happy Halloween! It feels strange having it be on a Monday but I did party on Saturday night. It was so fun to dress and have people you see daily not recognize you. I was a blond for the night (which I was for a period of time in my past). It was scary to see how people would look at me but, hearing many compliments, it was empowering.

This made me think of how scary a goal or task we want to accomplish can be; this goal can be something we want, such as getting more money, changing jobs, or stopping a bad habit. But it also can be something that we need, even though we may not realize it. I think of individuals who say they are unhappy in their career but stay out of a fear of some kind, which could include: fear of rejection (‘what if I don’t get hired?’), fear of change (‘I know what I have but don’t know what’s out there’), or fear of how it will impact others (‘how will my family deal with me having a new job?’). Going on a different path is scary – but is it more so than staying in a job (or a situation) that depletes you?

Even positive changes can be stressful (eustress) and feel so scary that they are either done slowly or never done. Again, the fear is greater than the desire. So what’s the solution? We’ve all hear the saying “feel the fear and do it anyway” (Susan Jeffers); I say also ‘get over yourself and move on.’ Is the task, goal, or whatever it is you want to do more compelling and powerful than any fear you have? I hope so, because if it’s not, then why do the ‘whatever?’ Your goal must be so compelling that it doesn’t matter what you, or others, think. You just know it needs to happen. The importance is what will give you courage to start and accomplish anything you set out to do.

This reminds me of a story I read with the title of “How Religion Helped her Lose 100lbs.” It seems that the woman in the story was in church listening to the Pastor’s sermon; his message concluded with the statement ‘when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, then when do you get over your self?’ The woman related how this really resonated with her about her weight, so she decided then and there to make serious changes, which led to her profound weight loss. I think that statement is very compelling in that we all can ask ourselves that question when we find ourselves fearful and frustrated. Like this woman, you can set a goal and begin to make changes that will move you fulfilling that goal. Sure, it will be scary at first; but if you have a compelling reason and be committed, you can move past scary and into accomplished.

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