May 19, 2019

Hard to believe, but Memorial Day is just one week away and Summer is almost here! I am very busy preparing for the third annual Prosperity Summer Camp webinar, so I am re-publishing a lightly-edited fan favorite post from two years ago that is as relevant today as it was then. I hope it inspires you to get moving on your Action Plans so that you can have the success you deserve!

April 9, 2017

 “If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.” – Mel Robbins

What critical tasks are you dragging your feet about doing right now because you just don’t “feel” like it?

I have to be honest, for me today, it’s writing this blog.  I love to write, but I have a lot of things I’d rather doing on a beautiful Spring day besides sitting in front of my computer, trying to come up with words that might inspire my readers to be more efficient, successful and fulfilled in their lives.

No matter how much you value keeping your word to yourself and others, I am sure you, too, know exactly what it’s like to want to avoid doing something that you know will benefit you or someone else.

The human Ego much prefers that you sit on the couch, safe and comfy, not doing anything that will challenge the status quo in your life.  Pursuing your Big Goals usually requires sustained effort, self-discipline, risk and emotional or physical discomfort.

Of course, Life Coach Mel Robbins is 100% right. Instead of keeping “busy” sharpening pencils, cleaning out the junk drawer, procrastisnacking, re-arranging your lists, perusing (and envying) others’ Facebook posts and binge-watching just ONE more episode of your favorite show –  consider where you could be if you had just plunged in and finished the very tasks you DON’T want to do: Make the calls, go to the gym, update your resume and go for the job you really want, apply for a business loan, join an online dating service, call your friend and apologize for the fight you had? What would your life would look like right now?

One of my clients recently made me laugh when she blurted out, “I didn’t read your blog this week.  I HATE reading blogs.”

Really?  You hate getting tips that can help you succeed?  You hate being challenged and inspired?  You hate developing yourself as a person?  You hate learning how others have overcome the same challenges you are facing? You hate stretching your belief about what is possible for you?

I was tempted to shoot back, “Well, sometimes I hate WRITING the blog!”  But that’s not true.  I actually love writing – or I would not have put in the thousands of hours of effort over my lifetime to develop that skill.

But do I love being 100% accountable for producing a blog that consumes half of my Saturday three times a month?  Heck NO! I would much prefer to be in my backyard right now, stretched out on the chaise lounge with an iced tea and a good book.  That would be nice for ME, but what about my readers, who read it and write comments such as, “This is exactly what I needed to hear today.”  Or “I felt so relieved to read that – Now I know I’m not alone.” THAT is what keeps me accountable.

Not everything we do is for someone else, of course.  Most of the tasks we avoid doing are uncomfortable things we don’t want to do that will bring us what we say WE want.

In her wonderful, tell-it-like-it-is book, Get Over Your Damn Self, direct sales superstar Romi Neustadt admits that even SHE doesn’t want to be accountable for doing the daily activities that have made her a multi-millionaire in a few short years.

According to Romi, “You’ve got to figure out what it is you really want that you don’t already have.  Whatever it is, it’s got to be important enough to get you to do something with commitment and consistency.  It’s got to be important enough to get you up, to make one more phone call, to reach out to one more person….even when you are bone-ass weary.  Because if we want something bad enough in this life, we make it happen.  It’s just that simple.”

Here’s Romi’s great method for overcoming the Ego’s preference for avoiding all uncomfortable tasks: At the beginning of her business, she wrote down her WHY for pursuing it in vivid detail, including both the carrot and the stick. She listed all the great things a successful business could produce for her and her family AND all the tragic disappointments that would occur if she DIDN’T succeed.

She kept that piece of paper by her bed and read it first thing every single morning before her feet ever hit the floor. She used it as leverage to make herself get up and do the tasks she didn’t want to do, but knew she MUST do, in order to fulfill her WHY.

Mel Robbins has her own simple, powerful method to counteract the Ego’s preference for safe inertia. She calls it “The 5 Second Rule.”  Most of my coaching clients have watched Mel’s short presentation about this.

I share the link to her TEDx talk with you below and urge you to spend 20 important minutes being entertained and confronted with the reality that you have just five seconds to do what you promised yourself to do when the time comes to do it.  If you stall longer than five seconds, like a skilled legal litigator, your wily Ego will make a compelling argument for why it would be better to “wait until tomorrow” to carry out your task.  Guess what the outcome will be if you listen to that compelling little voice inside your head instead of getting into action right NOW?

That’s right, you will never get your WHY. Instead, you will earn a comfortable seat on the sidelines, watching as others get their WHYs.

So what’s it going to be for YOU?  You have five seconds to decide.

Here’s Mel Robbins TEDx talk “Stop Screwing Yourself Over” about the Five Second Rule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp7E973zozc

PLEASE NOTE: Next Sunday the blog will be taking the day off for Memorial Day Weekend.  A Cup of Caroll will return on Sunday, June 2.

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website at http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for a while, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com  to schedule their session.   

April 14, 2019

“Change is unavoidable.  Change sometimes feels uncomfortable, at least at first.  Change is often messy.  Change takes time, patience and commitment.  Change requires planning, perspective and an investment of time and energy.  Change opens the door to valuable new possibilities, discoveries and adventures.” – From the book Getting Unstuck: 10 Simple Secrets to Embracing Change and Celebrating Your Life.

From time to time, I like to share the advice and wisdom of other coaches and Master Manifesters with my readers.  One is my former personal trainer, Rose Zahn, who owns the Healthy Habits workout studio in Sacramento, California, where I lived in the 1990’s. Rose helped me get into great shape, both physically, mentally and spiritually. In a recent blog, she shared the unvarnished truth about the mindset you must adopt in order to reach ANY Big Goal:

“We are living in a have-it-all, have-it-now world. Access to anything you desire is literally a key stroke away.

There’s one-click ordering. There’s food delivery in 30 minutes or less. There’s credit available with the swipe of a card.

More so than any time in history, we have forgotten the art of sacrifice.

Can you blame us? Mainstream marketing tells us hundreds of times each day that we should have it all, and that we should have it right now.

The problem with this have-it-all-right-now mindset is that real accomplishments require sacrifice and delayed gratification. And these real accomplishments are where true satisfaction is found.

Think about it for a moment. When was the last time that you felt proud of something that you’ve done? I doubt that it was for the shoe purchase that you just one-click ordered online 🙂 More likely it was for a big project that you tackled at work, or a meal that you cooked for your family, or an 5K (or marathon!) that you worked hard for and finished.

Those proud moments have one thing in common: they all required sacrifice and delayed gratification. You gave up your time, you invested your attention and efforts, you put in the miles and the effort for a considerable period of time…

And then you achieved your goal and experienced that sweet satisfaction.

Learning how to sacrifice and delay gratification, rather than getting something right now, is a skill set. This skill set can grow as you use it more often. Just like a muscle that becomes stronger under resistance, your ability to sacrifice your immediate needs in favor of a larger accomplishment will improve the more you use it.

Sacrifice and delayed gratification are the name of the game when it comes to getting into great shape. Get comfortable with sacrifice and you’ll achieve any goal.

I know that’s not what any of us want to hear. We’d prefer the one-click-to-dream-body button over months of a controlled diet plan and challenging workouts. But by embracing and enhancing your ability to sacrifice you’ll gain traction on all of your big life goals, including getting that dream body.

I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. Yes, it’s going to require that you put in hard work and sacrifice, and I’ll be there with you every step of the way. Call or email me today to get started.”

Rose Zahn www.healthyhabitsstudio.com

I am working on my own personal fitness goal right now, and I can admit that delaying the gratification of yummy foods and adult beverages is the hardest part for me.  But I know that it will be SO worth it when I am looking good in my swimsuit this summer!  And more importantly, I will feel great about myself because I know that I worked for it and proved to myself that I had the willpower to stick to it until I reached my Big Goal.

I hope you are working on your own Big Goal right now, and that you will “embrace and enhance your ability to sacrifice” so you can have the unparalleled satisfaction of achieving it, however long it takes.

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off for Easter Sunday.  Look for your next Cup of Caroll on Sunday, April 28

If you would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to my website http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give yourself, a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can gift this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (Feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com

  

June 17, 2018

“Sustained concentration is a learnable skill.  It’s not something you’re born with; it’s something you develop through daily practice.” – from Secrets of the World Class by Steve Siebold

In the last blog (What is Your Why Today – Blog 306), I gave you a few specific tips to help you maintain your focus and enthusiasm and willingness to take consistent daily actions toward a Big Goal that you know will take a fairly long time to reach.

Besides being crystal clear on your WHY, I believe you also need to give yourself a consistent short-term emotional reward at the end of “just another Wednesday” that was full of To-Dos, errands, and activities. At the end of the day, when you have carried through on your promised action steps toward fulfilling your long-term Big Goal, you crave a feeling of inner satisfaction and fulfillment, whether or not your efforts produced any apparent outer results.

Without a satisfying feeling of accomplishment, you won’t be so enthusiastic about getting up and pursuing your Big Goal again tomorrow, even if you have an empowering long-term WHY.  We all need regular “Atta Girl/Guy” emotional pats on the back to keep us motivated, especially if it takes a while to see a tangible payoff from our faithful efforts.

Here’s a little daily emotional reward my BFF Lisa and I cooked up spontaneously during our recent morning texting routine. We often reach out early in the day to make each other laugh, encourage each other and remind each other to “carpe diem” (which means seize the day, in case Latin isn’t your first language) and not waste precious time because, well, we don’t know in advance which day is going to turn out to be our last one on this planet, now do we?

I shared with her my vow that from now on, before my head hits the pillow each night, I am going to ask myself “What was my L.A.C.E. today?” That’s an acronym for:

L.EARN – What was one new thing I learned today? In order to learn something NEW each day, we all have to remember to LISTEN more than we TALK, and that’s a good thing. Today, I learned from my accountant how to pay our corporate Payroll Tax using Quickbooks!  It was the very first tax payment for Rick’s and my fledgling “R & C Schwartz Inc.” corporation — and that’s kind of exciting!

A.CCOMPLISH – Did I courageously tackle the important things on my To-Do list first today? Or, did I just check off the easy little “busy work” stuff that won’t move me any closer to my Big Goals? If I tackled the hard stuff, the stuff that matters, I give myself a big old “Atta Girl,” because I know those things WILL pay off, if I just keep at it.  Today, I spent several hours writing two blogs so I can have more time on the weekends to play and to prepare my Prosperity Summer Camp course lessons.

C.ONTRIBUTE – What did I do to help someone or improve something today? My life is about more than just pursuing my own personal goals — it has a bigger purpose.  I believe we were all put here by our Creator to make the world better by using our own unique skills and talents.  A day lived without helping someone else is not a completely fulfilling day. Today, I helped my clients see some possible new ways of tweaking their daily method of operation that are going to help them be more successful.

E.NJOY – (Lisa added this one. She’s all about fun and laughter.) What made me laugh, feel happiness, glad to be alive today?  For me, it was my walk on the most perfect Southern California summer morning. I let myself drink it in and thanked God out loud for another day of life in Paradise.

If you make a habit of asking yourself at bedtime, “What was my L.A.C.E. today?” and honestly answering each of these four questions, I believe it will help you to stay motivated and on track to accomplish your long-term Big Goals. (Or do what we now do and get yourself a L.A.C.E. Accountability Buddy to share your answers with.)

This daily practice can also make you feel more present, more fulfilled and more satisfied with your life.  You won’t be living in the past or the future, as too many people do. Instead, you will be living in the NOW, focused on making the most of each Today, which will inevitably lead to more successful and prosperous Tomorrows!

PLEASE NOTE: The blog is taking next weekend off to celebrate my birthday weekend with my wonderful husband Rick at Disneyland on Friday and dinner with friends on Sunday. (And since it’s a milestone one, who knows what else might be in store for me?)  A Cup of Caroll will return to your inbox on Sunday, July 1.

If you or your friends would like your own F*R*E*E* subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top to enter your name and email.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* hour of phone coaching that will help you clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com today.

“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” – William Feather

I hadn’t planned on reprinting yet another blog written by my wonderful former fitness trainer, Rose Zahnn, who owns a great fitness studio in downtown Sacramento, CA called Healthy Habits (www.HealthyHabitsStudio.com).  But darn it, once again, she’s identified a formula for success that is SO simple, SO true and SO helpful, I just had to share it with you!

Although her coaching specialty is helping her clients get fit and healthy, I am sure you can see that the success secret shared in this blog applies to ANY Big Goal you are pursuing in your life – business, relationship, career, financial, you name it.

The one thing you’re missing . . .

By Rose Zahnn

“There is one reason why most people haven’t yet reached their goals, and it’s a simple one. It’s something that I’ve struggled with in the past, and it just may be the one thing that’s holding you back from your big breakthrough.

That one thing is consistency.

Think about it. The difference that separates a fitness lifestyle person from a couch potato is the consistency with which the former applies to their diet and exercise routine. That’s it!

Look, I know you can exercise and eat right. You’ve done it before! But a fitness plan only works when you consistently stay with it. You start, stop, start again, take a few days off, then get back on track. This haphazard effort will never lead to a dramatic body transformation!

What if I told you that you’re 5 feet from gold? That if you simply dug in a little deeper, and stuck with the program with consistency, you’d finally achieve the big results that you’ve been hoping for all along.

You are 5 feet from gold; don’t stop now!

The fact is that anyone can stick with a fitness and diet plan for a little while. Anyone can complete a challenge. Anyone can finish a 30-day program. Anyone can put in 2 weeks of solid effort.

It’s those who click into consistency that see the big changes and experience the joy and triumph of real accomplishment.

I want this for you.

I know that you see how valuable consistency is, and you want to do it, BUT you get off track time and time again. How do you tap into the consistency you need to make a real improvement in your life?

Use these three steps…

See it: Define exactly what it is you want to be consistent on. For example instead of saying that “I’ll start exercising,” say, “I’ll do the 7am session on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.” And instead of, “I’ll start eating healthy,” say, “I’ll eat XX number of calories per day divided into 5 small meals.” The more specific the better!

Keep in mind that you are defining your actions – not your outcome. Don’t use this step to determine what size jeans you want to fit into. That outcome is a byproduct of you consistently doing the actions. Just clearly define the actions that you need to be consistent on.

Feel it: Now that you’ve determined the actions needed, let’s think about that outcome and clearly define it. Be specific! What will you look like? What will that new body feel like? How will your friends and family respond to the new you?

It’s time to get your emotions all tied up in your quest. Daydream about getting to that outcome, feel it, emotionally take ownership of the idea of owning it. FEEL the happy, excited, proud emotions as if it’s already happened!

Do it: You’re clear about what you want. You feel invested in getting the results. Now go about the business of taking consistent action toward your goals.

Yes, this sounds simple, and it is simple.

Be consistent and you’ll soon strike gold.”

Yep. Rose nailed it. The three steps to setting yourself up to reach any Big Goal: See it, feel it and DO it.  Get clear on what you must do, visualize and FEEL what it will be like when you have exactly what you have dreamed about.  Don’t let yourself be distracted by how close or far you are from your goal.  Just keep on executing your daily plan of action with clockwork consistency — and know in your heart that you are just 5 feet from striking gold!

If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to http://www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

February 11, 2018

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan.  And guess what they have planned for you?  Not much.” – Jim Rohn

I hope you had a nice Super Bowl break and are now fully engaged in following YOUR plans for 2018 to go the way you want it to!

Today’s blog comes to us courtesy of my wonderful husband’s real estate newsletter, Rick’s Review: Tips on Everyday Life. (I get great exercise one weekend a month, helping him walk through our nearby neighborhoods to hang it on about 600 door handles.)

In his Review, Rick shares with his clients and future clients some of his own favorite recipes, plus inspiring or amusing articles. For January, he included one that really resonates with me.  He’s not sure of the originator, since it was emailed to him by a friend, so unfortunately, we can’t give the author the credit he or she deserves.

The list is amusing, pithy, and a great reminder that not all New Year’s Resolutions have to be about making major or difficult changes like getting fit, finding a better job or saving more money. Some opportunities for personal transformation may appear small, but they can measurably increase your happiness, productivity and fulfillment.  And what is life really about except creating MORE of those attributes for yourself and others, as you go about pursuing your passion and purpose?

So please enjoy these Tips for a Powerful New Year (original author unknown):

  1. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.  It’s an ultimate anti-depressant.
  2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  3. Live with the 3 E’s: Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
  4. Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did in 2017.
  5. Make time to practice meditation, yoga and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
  6. Spend more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
  7. Dream more while you are awake.
  8. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants, and eat fewer foods that are manufactured in plants.
  9. Drink green tea and plenty of water, and eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds and walnuts.
  10. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  11. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
  12. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control.
  13. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away, like algebra class, but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
  14. Smile and laugh more.
  15. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
  16. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  17. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  18. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
  19. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  20. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  21. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
  22. Forgive everyone everything.
  23. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  24. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  25. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  26. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  27. Get rid of everything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  28. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  29. The best is yet to come.
  30. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  31. Do the right thing.
  32. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
  33. Enjoy the ride. Remember, this is not Disneyland, and you certainly don’t want a Fast Pass.

If you want to start making some of these upgrades in your mindset or habits, here’s my suggestion: Start with THREE that really resonate with you.  Work on those until you feel you have mastered them and they have become your new go-to thoughts and habits.  Then move on to the next three, etc. etc. etc.

Here are the first three I am committing to do NOW:  4, 9, 11.  I will let you know how it goes.  If you want an “accountability witness,” feel free to share YOUR three with me or with a friend of yours!

 If you or your friends would like your own free subscription to receive this blog three Sundays a month, just go to www.practicalprosperitycoach.com  and click on the Prosperity Tips button at the top.

*************** Give Yourself the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ******************

To schedule a no-obligation, F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make them a reality, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com.

                                                                                          

January 21, 2018

“Today is unique!  It has never occurred before, and it will never be repeated.  At midnight, it will end, quietly, suddenly, totally. Forever.  But the hours between now and then are opportunities with eternal possibilities.” – Charles R. Swindoll

 I hope you have had a chance to complete your 2017 and create a vision for the brand new year that lies before you. If not, there is still time!  Go to my blog archives at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com and use the past two blogs to guide you in these important steps to lay the foundation for a happy and successful New Year.

If you have completed these two steps, there is one remaining step for you to get your year off to a successful start and maintain order and ease throughout the year ahead – getting organized. If you practice using the plan I am about to share with you, I can promise your 2018 will be filled with more internal peace and ease and more external efficiency and productivity.

(What follows is a lightly-edited post I published in June, 2015 that is definitely worth reviewing to get your year off to a great start!)

One of the biggest challenges my coaching clients seem to face is how to sort out multiple priorities among all the important tasks and projects they want to accomplish each day. With a demanding full-time job and a side business to manage, along with a family that needs their time and attention, how on earth are they supposed to find time for their own personal needs like daily exercise and Personal Development time? Where is that elusive “life balance” everyone wants?

I show them how to prioritize and manage their many accountabilities with ease, using a simple system I learned years ago.  I call it the “Big Rocks” weekly scheduling system, after a memorable demonstration by a time management/efficiency expert.

First, he placed a big glass jar on a table.  Next to it, he placed four glass jars containing rocks, pebbles, sand and water. He asked the audience in which order he should put the four substances into the jar so that ALL of them would fit.  Looking at the four containers separately, it seemed unlikely that the rocks, pebbles, sand and water could ALL fit into the one big jar, but he promised they would IF they were put in the right order.

Finally, someone got it: Put the BIG rocks in first, followed by the pebbles (which filled in the open spaces between the rocks), then the sand that sifted down into the cracks between the pebbles, and finally the water, which seeped down between everything, filling the jar to the top.  Yes, all four items DID fit into the available space, even though it looked impossible when you considered them separately.

The point he was making is that if you take care of your most important tasks (the “Big Rocks”) FIRST, all your other tasks can be managed with ease.  But if you eat up most of your day checking off a long list of meaningless “little stuff” – or worse, spinning your wheels trying to figure out what to tackle first — you won’t have enough time and energy left to accomplish the truly IMPORTANT things that will make the biggest difference for you.

In addition to this great prioritizing insight, I also learned another key principle of productivity from the book “Master Your Workday Now!” by Michael Linenberger. He asserts that, while you may like to think you attend to the most “important” tasks first, the truth is, we all invariably do the most URGENT tasks first, whether or not they are the most IMPORTANT to us.  These may or may not be your personal priorities, but they are tasks with a short deadline that your boss, church committee, spouse, kid’s teacher, Team members or customers say they MUST have your help with right NOW.  You will put out these annoying little fires first because alleviating the internal pressure caused by the feeling of urgency trumps all.

Linenberger believes that, as a rule, we can handle a maximum THREE urgent matters each day. When more than three urgent tasks are competing for your attention at one time, your brain loses the ability to prioritize and accomplish them. Most of the time, attempting to accomplish more than three urgent “Big Rocks” causes your brain to shut down and not finish some or all of them, or makes you to try to get them done in a slap-dash way that produces poor results.

What is the best way to accomplish your most urgent and important Big Rocks tasks each day?  Rule #1 is DO NOT schedule yourself for more than THREE Big Rocks per day. These are defined as tasks that must be done by YOU (meaning you cannot delegate them to someone else) AND must be done or worked on TODAY.  If it can be delegated, ask for help!  If it can be put off to a later time and still be done properly, schedule it as one of your “Big Rocks” for another day.

All this talk of urgency probably doesn’t sound very easeful, does it? So how do you accomplish three Big Rocks, along with the rest of your To-Dos every day with a feeling of ease and control?  Simply PLAN your Big Rocks in advance! Here’s how Mr. Linenberger’s book taught me to do it:

  • For 20-30 minutes each weekend, sit quietly with your long To-Do list of upcoming tasks and projects and your day planner calendar open to the coming week. Study your To-Do list carefully and decide which tasks are going to be your Big Rocks to accomplish during the coming week.
  • Schedule a maximum of THREE Big Rocks tasks per day into your weekly planner/calendar at the TIMES of day you think they should be done. Some Big Rocks will be appointments at set times, such as a conference call with a potential business partner at 10am on Tuesday, a dentist appointment at 3pm on Friday, getting your car’s oil changed on Thursday morning, going to your kid’s soccer tournament Thursday at 4pm, etc. Other daily Big Rocks will be projects and tasks that you must choose the best day and time for YOU to work on. In that case, you will be blocking out times on your appointment calendar that you feel are optimal for you and the results you want, such as making prospecting calls from 10am to 11am each day, writing a report that’s due by the end of the week from 2pm to 5pm on Tuesday, practicing the cello each day from 5 to 6pm, in preparation for a recital in two weeks, etc.
  • IF a conflict arises between a previously-set appointment (which, of course, you wrote in your planner the minute you set it) and a Big Rock task or event that came up later, your weekly planning time alerts you to either change the current appointment OR negotiate a time change for the task or event. Being in integrity requires that you notify anyone else who will be affected by such changes, just as soon as you become aware of them. If another’s expectations are not going to be met, alerting them ASAP allows them time to either get someone else to fill in for you or to negotiate a new time for you to accomplish it.
  • After scheduling the three Big Rock tasks and appointments for each day of the coming week, you then can fill in the rest of the open times with your “Pebble Tasks.” These are not as important as the Big Rocks and/or they can be done at flexible times, so you can fit them in after you see what the Big Rocks schedule looks like each day.
  • Next, come the “Sand” and “Water” items, such as errands. If these small items don’t get done today, it’s not a big deal; you can still fit them amongst the Big Rocks and Pebbles another day. Try to be efficient by looking at your To-Do list for multiple errands that can be done in the same trip and block those out for 30 minutes or an hour in a given day.  TIP: Always have something useful to read or listen to while you commute or are stuck waiting somewhere for a few minutes.  Don’t waste precious time playing games on your smart phone when you could be reading a good book or improving your skills via a recorded training call.

IMPORTANT CAVEATS: In order for this system to work:

  • You absolutely MUST keep a daily/weekly planner that has slots of at least 30 minutes for each day. (My coaching appointment calendar has 15-minute time slots from 8am to 8pm each day.)

AND

  • You must keep ALL of your appointments – business, personal, doctors, kids’ sports, social engagements, etc. on the SAME planner/calendar.  If you have multiple calendars going for different areas of life, you will inevitably double-book yourself for something important and tears will flow.

My clients who faithfully use this simple “Big Rocks” weekly scheduling system report that it really works!  They have a greater sense of control over their time and no more stress and guilt from double-bookings or forgotten appointments. And they have a real sense of accomplishment at the end of they day because they were able to complete the things that really mattered to them, instead of just checking off a bunch of little tasks that can’t help them reach their Big Goals.

Is setting aside time each weekend to plan your week ahead worth the sacrifice of 30 minutes of precious me time or family time? I promise that, in return, you will gain a greater sense of personal control, lower your stress level, and begin to create that “life balance” we all crave. Seems totally worth it, doesn’t it?

PLEASE NOTE: The blog will be taking the next two weekends off for taxes (Ugh!) and Super Bowl Sunday (Yay!).  A brand new Cup of Caroll will appear in your in-box on Sunday, February 11th.

****************** The Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to offer someone you care about a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching!  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* of charge, with no obligation and no strings attached!  And if YOU haven’t coached with me in awhile and would like a “tune up” session please give yourself this gift!

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help clarify your Big Goals and get you into ACTION to make this the BEST year yet, please email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com and request a complimentary session.

“If you only did the things you don’t want to do, you’d have everything you want.” – Mel Robbins , Stop Saying You’re Fine

First, I want to thank everyone who sent me their lovely birthday greetings and good wishes on my birthday last Friday!  I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating at The Happiest Place on Earth (AKA Disneyland) with my wonderful husband, Rick.  The weather was perfect and we even manifested an unusually small crowd for a summer day.

Because of my birthday and preparing my upcoming six-session “Prosperity Summer Camp” webinar to teach you step-by-step exactly how to create ANYTHING you want using the Law of Attraction, I did not have time to prepare an original blog for today.

However, because I needed some valuable material to share with you, the Law of Attraction (which says “energy attracts like energy”) guided me quickly and easily to a great post by WalktheTalk.com (which I have permission to reprint) about an important topic that has come up a lot lately among my coaching clients: How do you prioritize the many tasks and goals competing for your time to ensure you will accomplish the ones that really matter MOST to you?

The answer follows! I hope you will find it as helpful as I did.

“Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.   In Eat That Frog, author Brian Tracy says that your ‘frog’ should be the most difficult item on your to-do list because, if you eat that first, it’ll give you energy and momentum for the rest of the day.  But if you let the frog sit there on the plate and stare at it while you do a hundred unimportant things, it can drain your energy and you won’t even know it.  Your ability to select the most important task at the moment and get it done will have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill.” – WalktheTalk.com

“Apply the 80/20 Rule to Everything” from the book Eat That Frog! By Brian Tracy

The 80/20 Rule is one of the most helpful of all concepts of time and life management.  It is also called the ‘Pareto Principle’ after its founder, the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who first wrote about it in 1895.  Pareto noticed that people in his society seemed to divide naturally into what he called the ‘vital few,’ the top 20 percent in terms of money and influence, and the ‘trivial many,’ the bottom 80 percent.

He later discovered that virtually all economic activity was subject to this principle as well.  For example, this principle says that 20 percent of your activities will account for 80 percent of your results, 20 percent of your customers will account for 80 percent of your sales, 20 percent of your products or services will account for 80 percent of your profits, 20 percent of your tasks will account for 80 percent of the value of what you do, and so on.  This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to be worth five or ten times more than the other eight items put together.

Number of Tasks versus Importance of Tasks

Here is an interesting discovery.  Each of the ten tasks may take the same amount of time to accomplish.  But one or two of those tasks will contribute five or ten times the value of any of the others.

Often, one item on a list of ten tasks that you have to do can be worth more than all the other nine items put together.  This task is invariably the frog that you should eat first.

Focus on Activities, not Accomplishments

The most valuable tasks that you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex.  But the payoff and rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be tremendous.  For this reason, you must adamantly refuse to work on tasks in the bottom 80 percent while you still have tasks in the top 20 percent left to be done.

Before you begin work, always ask yourself, ‘Is this task in the top 20 percent of my activities or in the bottom 80 percent?’

The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place.  Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you will be naturally motivated to continue.  A part of your mind loves to be busy working on significant tasks that can really make a difference.  Your job is to feed this part of your mind continually.

Motivate Yourself

Just thinking about starting and finishing an important task motivates you and helps you to overcome procrastination.  Time management is really life management, personal management.  It is really taking control of the sequence of events.  Time management is having control over what you do next.  And you are always free to choose the task that you will do next. Your ability to choose between the important and unimportant is the key determinant of your success in life and work.

Effective, productive people discipline themselves to start on the most important task that is before them. They force themselves to eat that frog, whatever it is.  As a result, they accomplish vastly more than the average person and are much happier as a result.  This should be your way of working as well.”

Thanks, Brian! Once again, he has proven that the most profound, impactful ideas are often the simplest! If you will just discipline yourself each day to identify and then plunge in and tackle your 20 percent most IMPORTANT tasks (also often known as “Income Producing Activities”) FIRST, you will inevitably create all the success, money, time freedom, happiness, fulfillment and self-esteem you could possibly want.

And once you realize that you really DO stand to gain ALL those goodies, then eating that ugly old frog doesn’t seem so daunting, now does it?

IMPORTANT NOTE: A Cup of Caroll is taking next week off for our USA Independence Day holiday weekend AND so that I can continue preparations for my Prosperity Summer Camp webinar.  On June 19, you should have received the first email letting you know that registration is now OPEN and Early Birds who register by June 30 will qualify for two additional VALUABLE gifts!  If you didn’t get it, watch for the next email about the course that comes out Monday the 26th and jump right in! The six-module Zoom course begins on Tuesday evening July 18. I promise it will be interactive, fun and create lots of new prosperity for all who join me. Your friends, family and Teammates are welcome to join the course.  Please pass my emails along to them and encourage them to sign up too! (If you or they have any questions, please email me right away.)

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