4 Critical Second Quarter Review Questions

June 12, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Goals, Productivity 

Q2 Review

In January you developed your goals using the SMART system as part of the Goals Development 6 Part Series. Since then you have been actively working on hitting your targets. Now it’s time to look back and complete a Second Quarter/Mid-Year Review. The first step in preparing for this important meeting is to print out your 2014 Goals so they can be easily reviewed.  Once printed, do a self evaluation of your performance to date. (If you have your goals in PiVI there’s a feature on the Goals List page that will export them to Excel.)

In each of the Fortune 500 companies that I’ve worked for there was a prescribed time set aside to look at employee performance for the first half of the year. Managers and their teams were encouraged use this time understand what everyone has been working on and to make any necessary course corrections. Your goal for this meeting with your manager is to get a glimpse of what your final performance rating might be. It’s a chance to make new agreements about exactly which targets and responsibilities you will be evaluated on. I have coached many people who were shocked after receiving a poor end year performance rating. But when we looked back on their mid-year review we found signs that things were not going well back then. If you want to avoid a fourth quarter shocker, here are 4 questions you want to be sure to address in your Second Quarter Review. Read more

5 ways to stay motivated at work

June 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Goals, Happiness, Productivity, Success 

I hate my job!

Either our slowly recovering economy, lack of opportunity or just plain bad luck has kept stuck in jobs they hate. I’ve spoken to many professionals who complain that their job doesn’t tap into their skills, abilities, or interests and is just plain boring. If you feel this way too you’re probably not very motivated at work. But who doesn’t need their job right now; no matter how mundane it is? Though less than you desire, the job you’re currently in is all you have. So you may as well make the best of it.

And the lazy summer months ahead are no help. Who wouldn’t rather be outside enjoying a cool beverage in the sun instead of inside performing some mindless function? Don’t suffer through June, July and August. Try these 5 techniques to keep you motivated through your long work days.

1. Don’t Look For Another Job This Summer.

According to Career Sidekick June, July and August are the worst months to be looking for a new job. You’re better off enjoying the summer and picking up your job search in September. Read more

Goal Setting vs. Goal Achievement….There’s a difference!

May 22, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Goals, Happiness, Live Your Dreams, Success 

Bars in Sky

Experience satisfaction and peace of mind by crossing completed goals off your list one by one. Learn how to consistently and successfully attack short term or long term, small or large, personal or professional goals using simple and easy to apply tools to help get you to where you want to be. In this fun interactive workshop you will identify external roadblocks and internal issues that have hindered your success in the past.

Register HERE

During the session you will explore:

  • How to manage Tasks, Projects and Priorities.
  • Why your daily ToDo list is not helping you achieve your goals.
  • The difference between people pleasing and task management.
  • The 1 key to developing better SMART goals.
  • How to create “actionable” action plans that you can easily follow through on.
  • Strategies for getting back on track if you get derailed.

The session introduces techniques for goal setting and goal achievement, while focusing on self knowledge and self management. We look at a component of SMART goals that most workshops and seminars don’t address. This missing link often means the difference between success and failure when it comes to actually accomplishing what you have set your mind to do.

Finally, we will introduce you to Priority & Impact. The two competing forces pulling on you whenever you try to achieve your goals. This session helps you understand how these forces can work for or against you.

Session participants learn:

  1. How to use organizational tools and software to increase productivity.
  2. Simplified scheduling tools to ease the burden of managing multiple projects.
  3. Techniques that work for both personal and business goals.


PiVI Web App and Custom Dashboard free with your registration. Get details at the event.




Take this job and shove it!

May 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Goals, Happiness, Live Your Dreams 

Emergency_exit_slideHe didn’t wake up with a goal to quit his job that day.

August 9, 2010 Steven Slater started his day like any other. He put on his uniform, drove to the airport and prepped for another day as a Jet Blue flight attendant. But this day would be like no other. Somewhere on his round trip between Pittsburgh, PA and New York, JFK he had enough. In one of the more memorable job quitting events ever displayed, Jim popped open the emergency door, grabbed his bag along with a couple of beers, hopped on the safety slide and told the airline where they could fly that plane. Before anyone could figure out what happened, he was home napping in his bed. All this stemmed from yet another rude and abusive passenger. (Read full story here)

Four years ago Mr. Slater didn’t wake up look, into the mirror and say to himself; “Today I’m gonna do it! This will be my last day in this crummy job!” Read more

Don’t let Monday morning sabotage your productivity

May 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Goals, Productivity, Time Management 

Blue Monday

This is a conversation I recently overheard in the company cafeteria one Friday afternoon.

Old Timer: “Glad it’s Friday! Did you know that some people get angry on Fridays?”
Youngster: “Really?”
Old Timer: “Yeah, guess they’re not excited about being off work. Me? I’m always glad it’s Friday!”
Youngster: “I hear you about Friday. Wanna know my favorite day?”
Old Timer: “Um hmm.”
Youngster: “Monday!”
Old Timer: “Monday!?!?”
Youngster: “Yep Monday. Because if I wake up on Monday and I have a job? I’m a happy man!”
Old Timer: “Ok, you got that one.”

What a refreshing take on “Blue Monday“.  Monday represents opportunity, not drudgery, for this young man. He chooses not to get stuck on the “negative”. Their conversation brought to mind two other areas where people typically get stuck.

Read more

The 1 Thing you need to know to make progress on your Goals.

BiorythmHave you ever started working on a project and become quickly distracted? Or have you ever started working on a project and become energized to the point that you were able to get most of it done in a short amount of time? Have you felt at times that you could complete an entire project in one sitting? Are there certain times of the day that you have lots of energy while other times you feel drained?

All of these questions relate to optimal productivity times. These are times  during the day when you are most productive, most creative and most energized. (You can also map your productivity times to highs and lows in your week.)

I’m an early bird. Read more

NCAA March Madness Basketball. Could this be the ultimate in goal setting?

April 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Success 

NCAA 2As I sat at home last night watching two of the top college basketball teams in the country vie for the national title, I couldn’t help but think about the journey these young men traveled to get to this game and what this tournament says about striving for your goals.

The college basketball season starts in November and runs through February – about 18 weeks. Each team can expect to play 40 regular season games – tournaments not included. Remove holidays, school closing, etc. and these college athletes can expect to play 3 games per week. Now add in practice.

There are 212 NCAA Division I Colleges. From this pool, 68 were chosen to participate in the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Each team carries a roster of about 15 players. That means, on day one of the tournament, there are 1,020 student athletes confident they will make it to the championship game.

This year, one team with sixteen players rose victorious. Read more

The 3 Stages of your First Quarter Review

ChecklistLet’s start off with the motivation behind developing Goals and implementing Achievement Plans.

“What gets focused on gets done!”

Here at PiVI we want to help you achieve your goals. When the New Year started we began providing tips and tools to support you in that effort (see Jan 14 Post). At this point you have your goals clearly defined and – as of about 30 days ago – you have an achievement plan in place too! (see Feb 11 Post)  You’re off to a good start and it might seem too soon to do a formal progress review. But if you want to stay on track with your goals there are key times  throughout the year that you have to know how you’re progressing. To keep on track for the rest of the year, every three months we are going to stop working on our goals and analyze where we are. Using a standard measure of “quarters” makes it simple; end of March, June, September and December.

Since this is the first review of the year the analysis will be light. So get out your printed goals and let’s get started! (If you have your goals in PiVI there’s a feature on the Goals page that will export them to Excel for you.)

Stage I: Review what’s in front of you.

  1. Are all of these goals still valid? Should any of them be removed from the list?
  2. At a high level, do they still seem achievable this year?
  3. At this point are any of them more than 50% achieved?
  4. Are there any goals that you have not started working on and why?

Stage II: Set a course direction

  1. Review your goals achievement schedule.
  2. Check your milestones. Are any coming up? Are you on track to meet them?
  3. Goals that are 50% or more complete. How can you adjust your plan to finish them off by June? July?
  4. Goals that you haven’t begun working on yet. How should you adjust your plan so that you achieve them on time?
  5. Do a month by month check. Are you still on target? Do you need to adjust your timeline?

Stage III: Re-Commit

  1. Remind yourself of the reasons why you undertook these goals this year.
  2. Remind yourself of the benefits you’ll receive from every goal you achieve.
  3. Decide on how you will reward yourself once you achieve your goals.

That’s it! It shouldn’t take you long to go through Stages One through Three. Then use this information to drive your activity in the second quarter.

Good Luck

Two things they didn’t tell you about your promotion.

March 28, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Goals, Live Your Dreams, Productivity, Success 

PromotionYOU DID IT! You achieved your goal of getting promoted! BRAVO! Give yourself a pat on the back.

When I was employed by Fortune 500 companies performance reviews occurred from January to February, and promotion announcements were made in March. So if you’re up for a promotion and you haven’t heard yet, you have about a two week window to receive some good news. Now don’t celebrate too long, once you get promoted people will expect you to begin producing at a higher level right away. I remember getting promoted to Sr. Director of Technical Development. My manager and her boss met with me and gave me the good news together. I felt honored for their faith in me and expressed it by saying “I want to thank you guys for this. I appreciate the vote of confidence.” Without taking a breath, my managers’ boss looked me right in the eyes and said. “We’re going to expect a lot more from you with this new title.” The deadpan way that he delivered his message made me wonder whether this promotion was such a good idea. I had been working my ass off already!

In time and through several more promotions I learned that the expectation to produce immediately was a trap. Failure is imminent for the newly promoted or newly hired who jump in and start rattling the bushes without first doing their homework.

I have been using the book “The First 90 Days”, by Michael D. Watkins, when coaching new leaders to successfully make the transition from one role to the next. My clients find its practical wisdom easy to digest and immediately applicable. If someone would have given me two key strategies from this book I would have had a much easier time adjusting and being successful in my new role. So here goes. Read more

3 Reasons Why You WILL Achieve Your 2014 Goals

Create SuccessThe problem we faced last week was that after about 3 months of working on your goals you begin to get distracted. The truth is this is natural.  You should be expecting this, so don’t let that bother you. The trick is getting back on track. When most of us lose focus that ends it for our goals. Month after month goes by with movement on your objectives. Before you know it, it’s Christmas and you’re wondering where all the time went. Not a happy place.

This week we’re going to tackle 3 of the top reasons why you have difficulty rebounding when non-goal focused responsibilities grab your attention. Let’s address it and fix these problems today!

The No Plan Problem

We’ve all heard it before; “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This adage is so simple, yet so true. What’s surprising to me is the number of people who don’t take time to create a plan for their goals. Planning is a simple process. We do it all the time because innately we understand its benefits. Imagine trying to do your weekly grocery shopping without a grocery list? Creating a shopping list is planning. Imagine getting dressed in the morning without checking the weather? Or going to the hair dresser without knowing what you want to look like when you leave? Planning is easy. And like with any one of these you have to set aside time to plan for your goals. In January I presented a Six Week Goals Development Series that included planning steps. If you haven’t already, give it a look. But no matter what set aside time this week to check your goals and plan how you’re going to reach them. Read more

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