- Thought for the Day: It is Necessary to Help Others
- The #1 Killer of Your 2013 Goals and Resolutions
- 30sec Tip: Pick Up The Pace
- 14 Must-Have Apps for the Entrepreneur
- Why You Need a S.M.A.R.T. Goal Refresher (or Primer)
- Share Your New Year Resolutions With Google
Posted: 10 Jan 2013 06:30 AM PST
It is necessary to help others, not only in our prayers, but in our daily lives. If we find we cannot help others, the least we can do is to desist from harming them. By Dalai Lama
The post Thought for the Day: It is Necessary to Help Others appeared first on Lifehack.
Posted: 10 Jan 2013 05:00 AM PST
It’s the new year and time for all those goals and resolutions to come to fruition. Or die. Whichever you choose.
For me, I’ll choose the former and not become a statistic in about 2 months. But, in order to make sure I don’t become sucked into the mediocrity of this world, I’ll have to take careful notice of why I set these goals in the first place.
Remember those Goals?
Yes, those goals: the ones you set maybe a month ago…or even just days ago. Hopefully you haven’t forgotten them by now. Or maybe it’s just one resolution that you will not stay in your sweatpants all weekend long, every weekend.
Whatever your goals and resolutions for this year, you’ll quickly fall off the bandwagon of “gung-ho” unless you think back to why you set them. Was it part of a larger goal? Was it a bet? Maybe just something you’ve been “planning” to do for years? Seriously, why did you decide on the ones you have?
I’ll venture to guess that there’s more to it than just a whim of a decision. I’d bet you had a much deeper reason for wanting to make such a drastic change. Or maybe it’s just a minor change—that’s okay too, but you have a deeper reason than “just because” or “I felt like it.”
…or at least you should! Goals with no essence behind them are useless, and you will undoubtedly fail to meet them. Why? Because there’s no solid passion behind it. And I know you have passion, right?
What You Stand to Lose.
You stand to lose quite a bit actually.
If you’re betting with someone, you’ve already got the stakes figured out. Maybe you’ll have to serve them breakfast in bed for a month straight or do laundry for 8 weeks without complaining. I don’t know what your wager is but I know you don’t want to lose.
Aside from those who have wagers in place, there are those of us who don’t necessarily “lose” a bet, but do lose if we don’t meet our goal. There are those of use who wouldn’t get the satisfaction of achieving that thing we set out to do—we wouldn’t get the sense of accomplishment or the ability to move onto bigger and better things after achieving success in our chosen scenario.
Yes, we all stand to lose a lot by not reaching that goal we’re striving for. So the question again falls back to “why?” Why did you set that goal? Why do you even care? Why have you forgotten to remember why you set it in the first place?
Or have you?
There is just one thing that must be remembered for everything we do in life: whether it’s setting a goal, working through a strategy, painting, reading or anything else, we always need to start in one place. That one place isn’t physical—in fact, it’s more emotional than anything. The one place where all our aspirations should start is “why.”
I ask you to remember this question as you progress through the year. Don’t neglect why you picked that goal in the first place; don’t look back in 4 months after working on it only to forget why you started. Keep “why” at the beginning of all you do, and you’ll always know exactly where you’re going.
Is remembering why you set a goal in first place something you have experience with? What other pitfalls can you think of that cause people to fail their goals?
Featured photo credit: magic tree via Shutterstock
Posted: 09 Jan 2013 07:00 PM PST
Pick up the pace. Move Faster. Speak faster. Type faster. And go home sooner.
Featured photo credit: dynamic street in modern city,dusk traffic in shanghai via Shutterstock
Posted: 09 Jan 2013 02:00 PM PST
Being an entrepreneur means high hopes for making an impact—with as low a budget as possible.
Nowadays, entrepreneurs are more and more tech-savvy. Using applications on the web and on mobile phone is becoming increasingly popular, especially when these applications are built to solve the kinds of problems that entrepreneurs face daily.
The entrepreneurs I know personally are all experts in their specialized fields, but they also need to have awareness of many other fields in order to get ahead. It would be difficult for a person to start a company successfully without knowing enough about accounting to keep the books running smoothly, and it would also be difficult for an entrepreneur to find success without having some kind of skill in sales or marketing.
Help solve the entrepreneur’s dilemma
How can a small team be on top of everything all the time when they’re so intent on focusing on their core mission? These apps can help. This new year season, consider gifting the entrepreneur in your life with some great apps to help their business flourish.
1. Evernote Premium
While Evernote is a great service that can be used for free, there are various reasons the entrepreneur might need the premium version.
In my experiences as an entrepreneur, here are the features I found I most needed:
With recently updated versions of Evernote for desktop and mobile, there’s no other app I prefer to use to keep things in order. I highly recommend it for any entrepreneur who wants help staying organized.
Keeping track of multiple projects and due dates is mind-boggling, but with a paid service like Basecamp, collaborating on projects is easier than ever.
What I like about Basecamp (and I’m sure thousands of teams around the world would agree with) is that the user experience is a simplified as it needs to be. Nothing is over-complicated or full of unnecessary features—it’s just what a team needs to get things done.
3. Things 2
Pro tip: If your entrepreneur friend needs a mobile to-do list, you might want to look into Things by Cultured Code.
Maybe I have a soft spot for accounting software just because I’m so bad at accounting, but I know that this is a sore spot for many entrepreneurs out there. Here are a few services I recommend:
With a simple, intuitive interface, getting you and your team on board is fast and easy on Harvest.
Outright helps small businesses and those who are self employed with online bookkeeping through their exceptional accounting software
Manage your budget with easy to use personal finance tools and calculators on Mint. Track spending and monitor your online banking account. Free to get started.
7. Lemon Wallet
Lemon Wallet, it’s a mobile app that allows you to store a digital copy of all of your cards in your wallet so you can access them whenever you need.
Hiring accounting help is a great luxury for small-time entrepreneurs. By pitching in with accounting software inholiday season, you may just be gifting the one thing the budget hadn’t made room for.
From a creative and organizational perspective, mindmapping can really help put ideas in order. Some mindmaps are free with limited features, but splurging on a great piece of mindmapping software might help. Here are a few options:
Create, share and collaboratively work on mind maps with MindMeister, the leading online mind mapping software. Includes apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.
MindNode‘s focus and flexibility makes it the perfect brainstorming tool. The clutter-free interface lets you concentrate on generating and connecting your ideas.
Xmind is intended to assist users in capturing ideas, organizing various charts, and share them with collaboration.
Pro tip: Use a mindmap to organize your business (organizational chart), your services (portfolio), ideas, and more.
Creativity apps are awesome: the human mind is programmed to work through problems in similar ways over time, sticking to comfortable patterns of thought. Sometimes, an insightful question is all we need to get our brains going in a different direction.
With QuestionUp, entrepreneurs can browse through a list of questions and brainstorm the answers. The idea behind the app is to get people thinking through difficult questions, and hopefully help them solve sticky problems! (Disclosure: I designed and developed this iOS app.)
I use Reeder to keep up with my favorite blogs and magazines: it syncs up with Google Reader, so I can view my favorite content in a more zen-like interface. What I love about Reeder is that it has both a desktop and mobile app, so I can view articles on the go, too.
Pro tip: Set IFTTT to send your starred Google Reader items to Twitter. That way, you’re sharing your favorite content with your followers, positioning yourself as knowledgeable in the industry with just one click of the mouse.
Reflecting on the ups and downs of entrepreneurship is key to growth. With DayOne, entrepreneurs can record what’s going on each day and make plans to iterate on noticeable slumps or achievements.
Protip: Set a password for DayOne to keep your thoughts and insights extra private.
As an entrepreneur, what other apps would you like to receive as gifts this year?
Featured photo credit: Young Businessman with Computer next to Swimming Pool via Shutterstock
Posted: 09 Jan 2013 11:00 AM PST
The key to achieving goals is to make sure that they're created in a defined way that makes the outcome and time frame clear, and by using the well-known S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting method, we can increase the likelihood of success. While no system is a guarantee for success, an effective strategy is a very useful tool when trying to achieve something that is important to us.
The problem is that though many of us are familiar with this method and may have even used it in the past, we often overlook it or cut corners because we're in a hurry to get moving towards our goals. However, by these actions, we may be unwittingly undermining ourselves.
For those who are not familiar with S.M.A.R.T., this is a primer; for those who are, it’ll be a refresher.
SMART Goal Method
Specific: Goals must be very clear, not vague ideas. We often set goals that are so generic, it's nearly impossible to measure progress or successful achievement—you need to know what has to be done, or what specifically the desired end result will be.
Measurable: Goals need to be measurable. They should be well-defined, concrete goals, and must be laid out in qualitative or quantitative terms. If there are no metrics or other way of measuring progress, it’s difficult to determine if you are making sufficient headway towards your end result. Choose a method of measurement that will allow you to gauge your progress.
Attainable: Goals need to be realistic and achievable. Time and again, success or failure is determined by having a realistic view of your ability to achieve your specific goal, and the best goals require you to stretch a bit to achieve, but aren’t out of reach. You should consider what resources you have and your level of skills necessary to achieve your goal. Setting goals that are not achievable can be very disheartening, and will only serve to discourage you in other aspects of your life.
Relevant: Goals must be relevant to your purpose (or your company's.) Setting goals that are relevant will keep you on the right path to your long-term goals, and will also make certain that you stay focused on your personal vision, professional objectives, or overall strategic long-term plan in life. It also helps if the goal is related in some way to your area of expertise or knowledge, and revolves around an area in which you desire either personal or professional growth.
Time-Sensitive: Goals need to have a time frame, milestones, and a deadline. Setting a specific period of time in which to achieve said goal will help to give you a timeline for steps needed, and a deadline for achievement. Doing this also helps you monitor your progress. Not having time constraints attached to your goal triggers procrastination: without an end date, there is no sense of urgency, no impetus to take any action today. Without this component, we are tempted to put off the goal, relegating it to the “someday,” pile—you may possibly never get around to it, or it will get lost in the shuffle of the day-to-day grind.
By taking a little extra time determining goals to ensure that they fit the S.M.A.R.T. criteria, you can not only improve your chance of success, but also in many cases make the actual attainment of the goal less of a challenge. A small dose of preparation will result in better results, smoother progress, and a higher rate of goal-achievement success.
Featured photo credit: Young archer training with the bow via Shutterstock
The post Why You Need a S.M.A.R.T. Goal Refresher (or Primer) appeared first on Lifehack.
Posted: 09 Jan 2013 09:00 AM PST
2013 has only just started, have you decided on your new year resolutions yet?
Google has launched a new site called Google Zeitgeist 2012, where you can write down your new year resolutions and take a look at other peoples resolutions. Even if you don’t have a Google account, you can still use Zeitgeist and your resolution will automatically transform into a small dot pinned at your location. If you haven’t decided on your own new year resolution, it’s time for you to brainstorm with this cool tool.
Try it yourself at Google Zeitgeist 2012
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