I was trying to come up with a clever or catchy name for my goal post (goal post … ha!) but realized that the last three years I’ve simply went with “Five for (insert year)” so I’m sticking with tradition and simply naming the post, “Five for Twenty-Fourteen: My Goals for 2014”.
See what I did there? Rather than type out the numbers, I made 2014 sound fancier by writing Twenty Fourteen. It’s just those little nuances that make this list a little more special than years past.
But before I get into my list for Twenty-Fourteen (there I did it again!) I’ll write about how I did with last year’s goals. I always dread this part. I get to look back at the goals that I failed to accomplish, see how badly I missed out on those goals, realize that I actually didn’t even try to achieve those goals, feel less-motivated to write down this year’s five goals and end up writing a half-arse post about goals, that usually ends up being my fifth or sixth draft before I finally pull a clean version of Cee-Lo Green and say “Forget You” and submit my post. After all there are about five of you that are still reading this.
Why must I start with last year’s goals? Why can’t I start with this year’s goals? Twenty-Fourteen is supposed to be a better year, why not try something different for a change! Fine! I will!
Here are my five goals for 2014!
To introduce each goal I’m going to use a line from Zig Ziglar, the late, great, motivational speaker that I latched onto this past year in an attempt to help me get out of my rut. It worked, but like everything you have to continue to work on it, so though I listened to Ziglar for a solid two weeks and felt great during those solid two weeks, once he was done, so was I and it was back to Crapsville for me.
As I told you in my Year-in-Review, Twenty-Thirteen (getting old isn’t it?) was an overall lame year. Which led me to this non-Zig Ziglar quote that actually comes from Philippians, yes, from the Bible, that says, “No dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it yet, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” What a great verse to start off the new year! That’d be Philippians 3:13 for those reading at home.
In sales (and in life) you have to set a lot of goals, and you have to work toward them, this year I hope to do the latter – set goals and then work towards them.
Why set goals? Ziglar says, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time,” and “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
I have a lot of goals that I want to set for myself and my family this year. I guess you can say the honorable mention for my top five goals are: Write more, and perhaps find a freelance or a larger audience for my writing; to be a successful president for the Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce, perhaps with more networking events, and being a face for the business community; I would like to celebrate our 10th anniversay of being Team Force at the Relay For Life of Sky Valley; I would like to consistently hit my premium goals, thus helping my family live more than paycheck-to-paycheck. There are a few others, but those are some that consistently pop into my mind when I think about what I’d like to accomplish in 2014.
Here are the top five that earned their own little “breakout session” with a Zig Ziglar quote to introduce them, starting with …
“If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.”
If I haven’t already said it enough, let me say it again. I spent a lot of time last year worrying about making my month that I didn’t do what I set out to do when I took the chance to start my own little agency. I wanted to help people. I wanted to write business. I wanted to make insurance fun. Last year I did none of that. I tried different ways to market myself, but never tried it consistently. If it didn’t work right away, I moved on. If someone thought it was a lame idea, I didn’t try it. If it was three weeks into the month and I was in danger of not making my month, I wouldn’t attempt it. Not many people would take the risk I took (healthy paycheck, regular monthly income, health benefits to starting from scratch) in starting their own business, but I did and I need to remember why I did it, and why I thought I would succeed. I have to stop thinking like every other agent, refill my passion bucket and remember what I had hoped to accomplish when I went out on my own. I want to make insurance fun. I want to be able to help people. I want to succeed. I want to support my family. I don’t want to have a year like last year. So I’m putting all my chips in. It’s this year or bust. I want to know that if I fail, if I succeed that at least I live as I believe. Oh wait … that’s a Sexual Chocolate song. You know what I mean!
“I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in business life if your home life is in shambles.”
My home life isn’t in shambles. Actually it’s the one perk that came out of last year. I really enjoy my little family of five. But like everything else it needs a lot of nurturing and a lot of work. As I mentioned before I spent a lot of time last year trying to improve myself, not just for myself but for my family. I actually stole the “Lead Them” from a Sanctus Real song called “Lead Me” that talks about a husband / father that sees his beautiful family from the outside, but on the inside they are asking him to lead them with strong hands, stand up when they can’t, show them you’re willing to fight and that they are the love of my life. Makes sense, and even though this awful beautiful life seems like it’s running fine, it always needs work. I need to be an example for them. To show them the respect I want to be shown, and that they show to others. To not always say the first thing on my mind, or lash out with not-always-clean words in frustration. To be patient with them as they grow and learn. Respect is the main thing. With three kids it’s hard to maintain an even playing field. They can come out you all at once and mentally and physically drain you that you almost throw in the towel. I was unfortunately blessed with two very stubborn kids (they get that from their mother) so not backing down (or blowing up) after you’ve had a long day at work, and whatever else you’ve gotten yourself involved in, is extremely tough. That’s what I hope to work on this year. Make sense?
“Look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion, and up in gratitude.”
Beating a lame horse here (NOTE: no animals were hurt in the writing of this blog) but as mentioned prior, I spent a lot of time worrying, which leads to frustration, which leads to stress, which leads to negativity. To be a success with the aforementioned business and family life, I need to be more positive. I can’t let the kids see me turn negative, because they’ll want to be negative. Actually I need to be more like my half-full daughter, who is constantly smiling, skipping and singing wherever her life leads her. I’m the opposite. A very half-empty kinda dude. It drives Lis nuts. It drives me nuts. Being positive will go a long way to helping me obtain the goals I want to obtain.
Monitor the Stuff I Put Into My Mind and Body
“What you get by achieving your goals is not near as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
Not like that sickos!
OK, so that last quote didn’t really have anything to do with my goal, just a good quote.
This is my tricky way of saying “lose weight”. For three weeks last year I was “clean”. I ate good things. I didn’t eat late at night. I lost some weight. Heck, the last couple of mornings I’ve dropped down to 215 (was up to 218 by the end of the day but still better than the 220 I’ve been stuck at). But I also stayed clear of things that may distract me from work and being a good leader. For instance, Facebook seems so negative (and a waste of time), and often has articles that I may want to read that lead me to more articles that I may want to read and then all of a sudden we’re hours into work and I haven’t accomplished anything! I stayed away from the music that I love, but may not have the lyrics I need to hear to keep my positive thinking. And you know what I felt great! And then I gave in real quick … and then since I screwed up once, I might as well screw up again. What a wonderful mind we have eh? So I’m going to try it again. I’m six weeks in and have not had any pop, any alcohol, any “aggressive sexual content” in the movies we’ve watched, any fast food. It’s all water and maybe a glass of milk. It’s all salad and BLT’s. It’s all TV-14 and inspirational music.
Spend Christmas and New Year’s in Brazil
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
It’s been a few years since I’ve had a vacation longer than two business days that didn’t involve a sibling getting married or a baby being born. Last time was spring of 2009 when we went to Brazil. Well, my ultimate financial goal this year is to make enough money that for the final two and a half weeks of the year we are spending it in the warm sun of South America. Lukas and Lia will be out of school. The insurance business drags that time of the year. I need some sunshine, partying and a little time away before 2015 starts. Why not celebrate with my family down south.
There you have it! Check in next year when I recount how awesome I did!
Oh yeah … this year …
Celebrate No. 10
This year Lis and I celebrated Season No. 10 of our marriage. I wanted to make sure we did more than dinner and a movie, with the occasional post-movie Dairy Queen Blizzard (depending on if we can splurge or not). I wanted to make a weekend out of it. We didn’t have the income to afford that trip to Italy we wanted 10 years ago, so instead we spent an evening at the quaint Cascadia Inn in Skykomish, with the next-day hiking trip. Sounds romantic … and it actually was. I was in the midst of the Relay For Life season. I was five months into worrying about my business. Our youngest had just turned two. Skykomish was the perfect place to get away from all of that. Limited cell phone reception, a small quiet town, where we shot pool, ate dinner and did what we did when we were first together, binge snack on frosted donuts and peanuts while watching nonsense on TV. The best part of the weekend was spending some alone time hiking up to a natural hot spring, then relaxing in the hot spring (you can’t see those pictures) while overlooking the snow-capped Cascade Mountain range. Definitely worth the A grade!
The $50k Club
As mentioned last year, this was a “far-fetched” goal. I wanted to write $50,000 in business in one month. Turns out it was way too far-fetched. I didn’t even reach $20k in a month! Moving on …
Eu Quero Falar Portugues
As it became more and more likely that we would not be able to afford a trip to Brazil for this year’s World Cup, my care for obtaining this goal became more and more less likely to happen. Sure, I still know a bit of Portuguese, but not enough to make me unstoppable if we get to Brazil. Merda!
In my final year of the Relay For Life of Sky Valley’s Event Co-Chair, I wanted to reach the goal of $200k raised and 200 survivors. We fell short of this goal. However, we did raise more than we had the prior year and we set a record with over 150 registered survivors, shattering the prior record by 30. The final 200, was my attempt at getting down to 200-pounds. As mentioned in my Year-in-Review, I started to watch what I ate and was able to level down to 220. You can recap last year’s event here.
Don’t Speak Too Soon!
I did my best to stay off social media, mostly posting pleas for business and stories I wrote for PopBlerd! I did my best in not bugging family and friends about whether or not they planned on showing up to events that I invited them to. When family drama arrived I did my best to keep it between my wife and myself, though when people came for help, support or advice I gave it and it ended up biting me in the butt. Heck, I even started using my own advice of “Say Nothing. Trust No One.” something I plan on continuing to do in 2014.
Oh and do me a favor. Follow my insurance blog at Sky Valley Insurance. I hope to post weekly or bi-weekly.