How are you thinking?

January 11th, 2013

by: Kelly Barnes

Quick Task…

1) Grab a pen and paper.

2) Take 2 minutes and write down every word you can think of that describes emotion. Go!

3) Now, divide the list into 3 categories. Positive – Negative – Neutral.

4) How many are in each category?

I am making a prediction that most are negative. Am I right?

Dr. Robert Schrauf, associate professor of applied linguistics at Penn State University, did an interesting study. He took a large group of people from different ages, races, locations and socio-economic backgrounds and had them do the same task you just performed. The study found that half of all the words that people produce from their working vocabulary to express emotion are negative. And 30 percent are positive and 20 percent are neutral.

Over the past decade of working with individuals and teams I have noticed that negativity and skepticism have become habits. We wake up thinking that today is going to be another bad day. “I hate going to this class it is so boring and I never learn anything.” “I don’t know why I am even making this sales call, they are not going to buy.” “My child doesn’t listen to a thing I say, I don’t even know why I try…”

When it comes to people and situations, we always find what we are looking for. Focus on the positive and you will find it.

Andrew Carnegie was once asked by a reporter; “How is it that you have so many successful people working for you?” His response was spectacular… he said; “I develop people like you mine for gold. When you mine for gold you go in expecting to sift through tons of dirt, rocks, trash and debris to find just an ounce of gold. But, you don’t go in looking for dirt and rocks and trash and debris. You look for gold and you don’t stop until you find it.” There is no wonder why he was one of the most successful industrialists of our time. What are you looking for in the people you encounter and the situations you are in?

What we think about comes about. Start looking for the positive things about your job, your co-workers, your marriage, your circumstances… and don’t stop until you find them. You will be amazed at how easy it is to find them and how many there are.

The late Zig Ziglar once said; “Having a positive attitude will not allow you to do everything but it will allow you to do everything better.” Try it, what do you have to lose?



New Year – New Habits – New You

January 8th, 2013

by: Kelly Barnes

The gyms are packed, self help books are on back order and people are chanting “this is the year!” It is easy to be excited about your goals at this point but as we all know, in a few weeks, the tread mills will be vacant, books will become coasters and “I will do it later” will be the mantra. Here are some tips to keep you on the winning side of your goals.

1) Put it on paper.

This is one of the most important and most overlooked steps in accomplishing your goals. By writing your goals down you make a commitment or challenge to yourself. On paper and on purpose!

2) Be specific.

Don’t set a goal to lose weight. Set a goal to lose 5, 10 or 25 pounds. Don’t set a goal to save money, set a goal to save a specific amount and by a specific date. If my goal is to save $5,000.00 dollars by June 15th and I am starting on January 7th… all I have to do is save

$1,000.00 a month or…

$222.22 a week or…

$31.64 a day…

I am not saying it is easy but it is simple. Do X for X number of days and get the result you want. This leads to the 3rd step…

3) Set benchmarks.

There will be challenges, hiccups and set backs along the way. It is going to happen so accept it and plan for it. By setting bench marks, a time for you to sit down and analyze where you are and what adjustments you need to make, you can ensure that you do not stray too far away from your goal. Remember; our goal is small progress. Robert Collier said; “Success is the result of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

4) Remind yourself why.

It happens to everyone. There are going to be times when you want to take a day off, hit the snooze or stop altogether. These are the times when you must simply remind yourself why you are doing it. I love what the late Zig Ziglar said about positive reinforcement:

“You don’t pay the price for good health, you enjoy the benefits of good health. You don’t pay the price for a good marriage. You pay the price for a bad marriage.” It is impossible to beat the man who refuses to quit.

5) Celebrate!

There is a chance you will not accomplish all of your goals for 2013. A big chance in fact. However, when you set out to accomplish something great and give it your absolute best, you become great in the process. Accomplishing the goal is just the cherry on top.

Good luck and I hope 2013 is the best year yet…And then some.