Archive for the ‘Motivation’ Category

Commitment, Priority, & Accountability: The BIG 3

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about these three big concepts. It’s logical to understand that nothing much gets done if there is no commitment to doing it. So, in my mind commitment comes first. However, I bet you’ve committed to do something you didn’t do. I know I have. That’s where prioritizing the commitment comes into play. Honestly, I thought that was it. I know now that public accountability plays a big role in accomplishing the most challenging things.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean. When I make a commitment to meet with someone on the phone, at their office, for lunch…I prioritize that commitment by putting it on the calendar. It’s very rare that I would not honor that kind of agreement.

In my mind, that strategy would work for anything. I decide what it is I want to do (commitment), put it on the calendar (priority), and then it is so. However, the reality contradicts that theory in a big way. In my lifetime, I have made a lot of commitments and scheduled many appointments with myself to do things like go to the gym, write the book, eat seven fruits and vegetables daily, make ten sales calls, send one thank you card three times per week, call a friend, connect with a family member who’s out of town, and so on, and haven’t actually followed through at all.

Those commitments and the priority of the obligations I made to myself aren’t always honored at the same level as those prioritized commitments I make to others. By now you are probably thinking of a therapist you want to recommend. Hang tight, though. I’m getting to the point.

I’m pretty sure I’m pretty human. In the last 258 days, I’ve learned a giant lesson regarding accountability. What I’ve found is that when you sprinkle a little “accountability to others” in with prioritized commitments, you wind up with a recipe for real success. This is fact. Over the last 258 days, I’ve adopted a “whatever it takes” attitude to make sure I get 10,000 steps per day in the first 100 days and 12,000 in the last 158 days. My experience is that if this had been a commitment to me only, then I could not have written the previous sentence. Honestly, I do not know what compelled me to post my daily step goal on Facebook. I do know that the results indicate that about walking, accountability to others motivated me more than the hundreds of times I committed to me only.

For me, putting something out there as a public commitment made a huge difference in my ability to perform. I’ve discovered that daily exercise is no easy thing. What is easier is honoring my word to others. Maybe I do need a little therapy about honoring my word to myself! Humans are wonderful justifiers, especially if the justification is just in our head.

So, in conclusion, if you know there is something that could make a big difference in your life, and you keep NOT doing it…I encourage you to make the commitment publicly, prioritize the commitment, and then be accountable to communicate your progress to someone else.

I Didn’t Even Notice I Reached My Goal!

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During a recent daily walk, I noticed I had gotten all the way to Starbucks (about 2 miles) and nearly back home and had not checked my Fitbit once to see how many steps I’d taken. It was fascinating because I used to be pretty obsessive about checking how many steps I had for the day and how much more I would have to walk to reach the goal. Was I getting the job done? What else will it take?  How much more time would I need to put in? Obsessive is the right word. I never do anything a little bit.

It was interesting, though, because, after 165 days of being pretty relentless about making sure I got the job done, I found I didn’t need to check to see where was. I had the confidence to know what I was doing would give me the results I was looking for. I know what I have to do to spend the time it takes to make sure all the steps are made. I know what happens if I don’t take care of it early in the day. I still have to get the job done but it’s a lot harder in the evening.

This got me thinking about the correlation between my walking life and real work. At our company, you know we’re focused on helping the people we work with sell more and lead their businesses at a high level. When coaching others, we are obsessed with having the right score with the right measurements to understand if and when the job is getting done. Are we taking the right steps to get the results we seek? (Pun intended!)

In selling, one of those big daily steps winds up being how many meaningful conversations you have with a potential buyer. A meaningful conversation only counts when you have a next step with someone. Next steps are defined as:

  • You set a follow-up appointment with a time or date.
  • You booked an event.
  • You learned you weren’t talking to a decision-maker but got the right name and set an appointment with yourself to follow up.
  • The potential buyer told you to buzz off so you marked them off your list and added someone new.

When you figure out your ultimate goal (how many events you need to book in order to have the sales you want), you can better understand how many meaningful conversations you must have. By the way, you also have to understand what your close ratio is. It’s simple math. When I have X number of meaningful conversations, I close Y number of parties/events which = $XXXXX.XX.

So, the BIG goal (the ultimate sales number) is like my 12,000 steps each day. In order to make that happen, I have to put one foot in front of the other 12,000 times. It doesn’t matter if I run or walk or stroll or get up every hour and make sure I move. I have to take it literally one step at a time every day.

If it takes you 50 meaningful conversations in a week to book 25 events (50% closing ratio), then you better be having NO less than ten or more meaningful conversations each day. I personally would bump that up 20% (12) just to be sure. AND I would get that done earlier in the day since everything is harder late in the day. I promise that sometime after 65 days in a row of being relentless in your pursuit, you’ll look up and think WOW! I didn’t even check and I’ve already reached my goal for the day!

When that happens, maybe you can break for lunch and walk to Starbucks and also reach your step goal!

Celebrate Success

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We have just finished Q3 and are sliding into home plate for Q4. A friend of mine recently said at her quarterly planning session that games are won in the 4th quarter. I loved that analogy. The game has certainly been going on all year but technically what we do in these next 13 weeks can make all the difference.

What’s possible?

What have you done this year? What’s possible for this final quarter of the year? Are you going to meet your goals? Are you still stuck having the same conversations and facing the same challenges you faced last year?

I personally think there are many different ways to look at every situation. It may be no surprise to you I typically do my best to spin stuff as positively as I can. We have had a good year. I don’t think we will hit all the goals we meant to hit but we did some great things we had not planned for.

Daily Gratitude

When I think about finishing strong, I’m forced to celebrate all the good things that have happened in order to not get mired in the mud of the points we didn’t score. Some people might call that counting your blessings. If celebrating success or counting your blessings is not a habit you have, I encourage you to start running through your success list on a daily basis. It takes about ten minutes to reflect and get grateful for the day’s wins. You can easily reflect on the stuff you didn’t get done. That’s easy and exhausting ;). Why not trade your “woe is me” list for “Yay… I did that!”

As I went through my daily gratitude list, I felt like it was important to share with you that we are celebrating yet another win over cancer at my house. My beautiful husband has beaten this vicious disease again. He is so amazing. JD refers to his recurrent non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as cancer-lite. I don’t know that I agree with that assessment but I’m happy for him to think of it any way he wants.

He endured six rounds of chemotherapy again and this time he did it with very little disruption. Honestly, I think he made up his mind it wasn’t going to knock him down. He played tennis, bowled, and worked right through this episode. The little bit of hair he has stayed intact and we just celebrated every day.

Celebrate Success

There’s a ton of tough stuff in the world today. We can’t deny the difficult conversations we bump up against on a daily basis. However, for me and my house, we choose to celebrate the successes of each day. I hope you are encouraged to do the same. Dig deep if you have to. I know every day is not great. I understand sometimes you have to simply celebrate the success of waking up on time or having access to a good meal or fresh water. When you think about all the people who don’t have those things, maybe it will be easier to celebrate one another and the day.

I hope you have a great day today and take the time to acknowledge all the good that is there for you.

Getting to Know TrainerTainment’s Rosie Salas, Director of Marketing

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What do you enjoy most about working with our clients?

Being able to see them grow! It’s always amazing to see how much joy people have in those “ah-ha” moments of learning something new and using that to help them meet their goals.

 

How long have you been in the FEC industry and in what roles?

Wow, I can’t believe it has been 13 years since I started in the entertainment business. My first “real” job was with the Albuquerque Isotopes baseball club in 2004 working in media and community relations. After a few season there, I moved to the casino industry doing marketing and special events. In the fall of 2006 I joined the FEC industry with iT’Z Family, Food & Fun. I joined their team at their first location in Albuquerque as their party and front of house manager. After a year in Albuquerque, I moved back home to Houston to help them open their second and largest location, again as the party and front of house manager. During my time there, I gained heaps of operational knowledge stepping in for temporary roles in the kitchen, game room, and store manager. I spent the next five years at iT’Z in Houston and assisted in opening their next three locations. I’m proud to have built a million dollar a year birthday party program at iT’Z Houston. I’ve been the Director of Marketing for TrainerTainment the past five years.

 

What is the most significant thing you have learned working in the FEC industry?

 I think the most significant thing I have learned working in the FEC industry is that we have really important roles. From leadership to a team member, every role is important. It doesn’t matter if you are a party host creating a special memory for a five-year-old, a person in the dish pit making sure each person gets clean dishes, or a manager leading your team to greatness. We touch so many lives on a daily basis and that’s pretty special!

 

Which of our core values resonates with you the most?

For me, our core value of intentional learning is super important to me. I have always had a desire to learn and with marketing constantly evolving and changing, I get to keep up with the times. Learning doesn’t only benefit us. We also share the things we learn with our clients.

 

What country or place would you tell every person they must visit before they die?

This one is really hard for me. We have done so much traveling and seen so many amazing things, it’s hard to narrow it down. The first I would say is go to India and see the Taj Mahal. Most people think India is really dirty and all you see is poor. Yes, you do see that in pocket areas but it is really an amazing country. The food, the history, the people, and there’s a lot of green space, too. Seeing the Taj Mahal has been on my bucket list since I was a teen. It was even more amazing in person than I imagined! It literally took my breath away and I was just overcome by emotion. Don’t let negative misconceptions of India deter you from going to this amazing country.

 

Who was your favorite artist or group when you were growing up?

Mariah Carey. I was obsessed and had her Emotions cassette. I would play it over and over and sing at the top of my lungs in my room. Who am I kidding? I still like to do that today!

Taking It One Step at a Time

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Have you ever tried to force yourself to do something you know you need to do? I hear people talk about having the willpower and the discipline to make one more sales call, lose weight, start a new job, write a book, take a walk, talk to a girl or boy you want to go out with, etc. and yet I find the willpower to be an elusive concept. My experience is that willpower fades easily when you want to do anything else besides the thing you are trying to will yourself to do. Discipline works the same way. I am very disciplined right up until when I am not.

Commitment

For me, commitment and priority seem to be the real key. And it works in that order – commitment first and then priority to fulfill the commitment. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

You see, I can do a ton of things. On a daily basis, I take care of my family, the business, even a neighbor, if needed. The thing I haven’t done well is take care of my health. I’ve struggled with this weight thing most of my adult life. I’ve tried every program, read every book, and lost hundreds of pounds only to find them again on another day. This might sound like a familiar story to you.

About 85 days ago, I decided that one of the challenges related to my weight loss efforts is that I rarely stick with anything long enough to get a sustainable result. In casual conversation, one day a friend of mine talked about my “diet du jour” mindset. It’s true. I find the motivation and willpower to start a new program. It’s easy when it’s new. There’s hope and excitement about getting started. And then…the motivation fades and the willpower gets all used up in the first few days. It’s a vicious cycle that tears away at the discipline it might take to stick to the program even one more day.

With that lack of “stick with it” awareness, I knew I needed to commit to something that was longer than a 10 day this or a 21 day that. I’m also aware that my travel life can wreck routine, which also takes me off track. But my travel life can’t be an excuse.

Giving it 100%

There are plenty of people who travel and don’t suffer from obesity. Out of the blue, I thought about the next 100 days. I can’t say exactly why 100 days came to mind. I think maybe I was thinking of giving “it” 100%. Anyway, I decided one thing I could do whether I’m traveling or not is walk. Humans are designed to walk 5-10 miles a day. I have several tracking devices because, of course, during any one of my “diet du jour” moments I knew I needed to add exercise, so over the years I’ve bought pedometers, smart watches, heart monitors, and anything that would tell me how many steps or calories I’m burning and more. Honestly, if what I knew about diet and exercise mattered even a little bit, I’d be super model thin! Knowledge has not been power for me with this particular situation.

Here’s what I decided. I know it’s going to take more than 100 days to get to a healthy goal weight. It’s going to take at least one year. That knowledge always screws with my willpower and discipline. So, I decided I could make a commitment for 100 days.

It is not scientifically true that it takes only 21 days to build a habit. That’s a gimmick. The science says at about day 66 real habit begins to form. No wonder I couldn’t get locked in and find real lasting results. I committed to walking 10,000 steps 100 days in a row. I made it one day and then missed day two and started over. I walked two days and missed day three. On that day, I joined Jenny Craig. That’s one of the programs I had not tried. It’s working well. On try three, I took that commitment and began to prioritize the walk.

As of this writing, I’m on day 82. I’m very excited about completing this 100 days and committing to 12,000 steps during the next 100 days. It’s been difficult. I was extremely sore for the first three weeks. I had to walk two or three times a day to get all the steps in. That felt miserable. However, once I got past day four, then five… on to seven and for sure at day ten, I did not want to start over. The success of each day “fed” the next day and is supporting the completion of the goal.

Why do I share this?

Why do I share this? There are a couple of reasons. One, I think there are things everyone faces that hold them back. There’s some kind of magic about this 100-day commitment and I am compelled to share it with you. I don’t have the science of anything more than my own experience but I want to encourage you that if you can commit to whatever it is that you know will make you better, happier, richer, calmer, healthier, have more fun… whatever it is and then just go for it, I believe something BIG can happen for you.

It sounds so simple or maybe even trite. But it is BIG. There’s something magic for me about putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time. I have to block about 90 minutes to make sure 10,000 steps happen daily. I prioritize the walk time before I start my day and usually take a short walk at the end of the day.

I listen to music and read by listening to Audible. I’ve read or been read to a ton in the last 82 days. I am able to feed myself spiritually, mentally, and physically. A commitment is baseless without prioritizing it. Giving the steps top priority each day has strengthened my resolve in other areas. Understanding that I can make commitments to myself and keep them has given me a strength I was unaware of. I want you to have that.

Thank You

Second, I want to say thank you. Many of you have watched this journey on Facebook. I hesitated to post daily but found that it was a super way to hold myself accountable. In our leadership training, we talk a ton about performance management. I believe that I’ve reinforced my own learning of what we teach by checking in each day on Facebook.

Here’s what happens. In our leadership training, we talk about the ABCs of performance management.  There’s the A (all the things that happen before you put a team member to work… job description, orientation, on the job training, etc.) It’s like all the reading I’ve done about health and fitness. Then there’s the B (behavior). Your team member does the job. With my walking, the job is to get the 10,000 steps a day. Now the C comes into play. This is the Consequence or reinforcement regarding the behavior. The reinforcement works and I’ve watched that in a BIG way each day and have been surprised and amazed at just how much it impacts my own behavior.

Early on, I posted very late one night… I nearly forgot. It must have been day seven or eight. A close friend reached out and texted me, “Did you get your steps in today?” You see, someone was watching. Someone I cared about. That mattered a lot to me. I quickly posted and haven’t forgotten since then.

I hope you are making the team member correlation. Some might even say that was negative reinforcement. He checked in because I had not completely done my job that day. Although I had completed my steps, I had not posted the results. All the other reinforcement has been incredibly positive. I receive encouragement on a daily basis. Other people have made walking commitments and are posting their results on my page! I love that.

I know this article is longer than we normally post but I believe there is such an important message here. Find something you know you need to or want to do. Identify that thing you know could make a big difference in your life. Make one small commitment. Make it something you know you can do that will move you one step closer. And then do it for 100 days. See what happens. It might take you two or three times like it did me. You might be able to get after it and stay after it from day one.

All I know is that anything we do or want to do must be done one step at a time. When the commitment to take the first step is real, then the priority to follow through is easier than trying to force yourself through willpower and discipline.

I hope you’ll take the time to share your experiences, questions, and thoughts about this newsletter on our blog.