People are good at making goals, New Year’s resolutions, dream lists and plans. But there’s a fundamental problem with them. They leave room for interpretation, revision and even delay. Where’s the accountability? So I gave it some thought, and I’ve decided never to make “goals” again. OK don’t be alarmed. I know I’ve told you in the past that goal setting is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your success. But I’ve changed my mind. I don’t want to do that any more.

You see, people set out to achieve their goals and genuinely have good intentions. But often life, work, circumstances, family, health, and a host of other things often get in the way. Goals are flexible in people’s minds and we’re often inclined to postpone them or disregard them altogether. We’ll say “well I couldn’t do that today, so I’ll get to it tomorrow”. Or “my money is short this week, let me put this training/course/coaching/conference off until next month, or maybe next year when I’m ready”. The intentions are there, but some times the execution and implementation are off. And we rationalize why we couldn’t meet the goal to try to excuse ourselves or make us feel better when we don’t meet them.

Here’s what I propose. Instead of making goals or resolutions, we should make promises. Yes, make a series of promises to yourself. You see when we make promises, we are held accountable. When you make a promise to your child, you move heaven and earth to make it happen so he or she isn’t disappointed in you. When you promise to get a task done on time at work, you do what needs to be done to get the job done so your boss isn’t disappointed in you. So why not make promises to yourself? Think about it. Some of the mot successful people are successful because of the promises they make to themselves. “I promise I will never be poor again”. “I promise myself I will move up within my company”. “I promise I will start my own business”. Making a promise to yourself is much more effective than setting a goal. Goals are fine, but promise yourself success. There’s something psychological about a promise. It means you WILL get something done. There is no postponing or forgetting. You will make it happen by any means necessary. Think about how you feel when others make promises to you that they don’t keep. It isn’t so nice. Well can you live with breaking a promise to yourself?

The next time you sit down to write your goals, rephrase them into a series of promises you make to yourself to guarantee your professional success. And to give them extra added incentive, assign time lines to those promises, then fulfill those promises to yourself as if you were your child, boss, spouse, parent, etc. What “promises” have you committed to make to yourself? Please share!

Til next time,

Adrienne Graham

24036885Hi ladies!

It’s that time of year again.  It’s almost the end of June. Have you met your goals and objectives for 2009 yet?  I usually stop and take a look at my progress at the mid-point in the year to see where I have succeeded and where I may need some help. I’m pleased to say, I’m on track!

At the beginning of the year, I made some decisions that I didn’t know I’d be able to accomplish this year. I have to admit, at times I felt discouraged and overwhelmed, and felt like I was in over my head. Admittedly, even with this network, I felt like I was failing. Maybe I was missing something. But you know, at one point I had to shake that #$&^%$ off!  For one thing, I have a ton of great and hugely supportive people behind me. I am eternally grateful to them for sticking by me every step of the way of this journey. Even when I feel “blah” they are wildly excited about the things I’m doing.

I have a strong determination to succeed. This country has been hit with some pretty brutal times this year. We all know there is no quick fix and that we have a long road ahead of us. But I proudly stood up and declared “I will NOT participate in this recession”.  Some folks say “easier said than done”. True, to an extent. But I think attitude and mentality play a huge role in success. It is often said that times like this is when great companies are formed, and when people reach down deep and come up with that fighting spirit to succeed. I’ve had that in me and continue to have it in me. And it is my hope that you all have it in you…or dig down and find it and bring it to the surface. I run two businesses, a recruitment firm and the publishing/media/professional network company that is Empower Me. Recruiting has taken a hit, but strangely, I am not phased by it. I continue to have clients, just not as intensely as before. I know that the market will pick back up. I’ve been through this before. Not as intense, but I have. Ironically, other opportunities have surfaced. I’ve seen an uptick in coaching (or rather strategy consulting) and brand building through social media. So my consulting firm is working itself out. In fact I have recruiting clients in the wings for when the economy picks back up.

In terms of Empower Me, wow, what can I say. I’m AHEAD of my goals. While the network part is still moving along slowly (I’ve learned to not blame that on myself as much), other areas are picking up. My first book was written and released this year. I’m working on two more to be released by fall. I’ve developed a whole brand based on the premise of the first book Go Ahead Talk to Strangers- The Modern Girl’s Guide to Fearless Networking, which is Fearless Networking. Participation in the webinars and requests for the book and companions books are growing. I’ve been asked to speak at events and conferences and share my knowledge of Fearless Networking. I’ve been traveling meeting new people to network with and in some cases, taking our online relationships offline (finally). I debuted my radio show Views From the Top. I had NO idea I’d be doing a radio show at the beginning of the year, but it was a pleasant and scary surprise. I’ve been getting some wonderful feedback on the show. We are 6 shows in and I am just getting started. I’m very excited about the upcoming show. I’m in talks to consult on a pending tv show idea. I won’t go too much into that as not to jinx it. But this was another unexpected twist that wasn’t in the plan. I’m loving it!  And the plans are underway to launch the magazine! That has long since been my dream and I am pleased to say that it is well on it’s way. Look for a January launch! This one is more personal to me because it’s something I wanted to do for years and to see it unfolding now brings tears to my eyes.  So Empower Me is morphing into this publishing/media/professional network. Just watch out for what’s next. Trust me, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

Am I done yet? Heck no! This is only June. I can’t wait to see where this road leads me. And while I’m not a millionaire (yet) I’m enjoying the ride.  It’s not about money for me. That will come in time. My son has graduated from high school (May) and on his way to college this fall. So now my parental role shifts and will allow me to step into the mogul/businesswoman/power broker role that I can freely assume. Life without restraints…wow, what a concept. I hope you all come along for the ride with me.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

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