Simple App To Track Your Promises

Most of the people promise themselves couple of new activities and habits over the year. I do the same thing, based on what I feel is important and would help me grow. But how to track those? We deal with the same question in DEVELOR and we developed a special tool to track the action plans and their fulfilment for our training participants. But for personal use, I have a simple app, which I want to recommend to you.

For past couple of months I’ve been using the Way of Life app. It’s a simple tracking tool with a pleasant interface and that makes it easy to use.

In simple words, the app lets you set positive or negative habits and then update, whether you’ve completed them and uses the colour coding to show you at a glance, how you’re doing.

After you’ve set up the habits, this is what the week looks like:

Way of Life - Start of the Week
Way of Life – Start of the Week

This is how simple is the update. You only have 3 options: you’ve done it, you didn’t or it doesn’t apply for the day. The update in the evening takes 30 seconds (for me with 7 habits to track):

Way of Life - updating
Way of Life – updating positive habit
Way of Life - updating negative habit
Way of Life – updating negative habit

Here’s the app basic view at the end of the week (a successful one):

Way of life - this week
Way of life – this week

The best think about the app which I like is that for me, it actually pushes me to get the things done, as I really don’t want to see the red bar in the week overview. So last week, when it was already pretty late on Friday and I wasn’t feeling like reading, but had only read on Thursday, I pushed myself to read for 30 minutes, so that I can get the green slot instead of read.

Plus, there are some cool additional features, such as viewing trends for longer time, setting reminders for morning and evening to update, archiving the completed goals and other.

Way of Life - 12 W trend
Way of Life – 12 W trend

I recommend everyone to get this app, for now it’s available for iOS devices. For Android users, a quick google search returned for example this app as an option.

What do you use to track your promises to yourself? Is it an app, a paper tracker, or some other tool? Let me know, I’m really curious.

[:sk]Krátke intro do koučovania[:en]A Short Coaching Introduction[:]

[:sk]Today it’s time to put a bit of clarity into what coaching actually is. I think the best source to tap into is the ICF (International Coach Federation). Let’s look what they say about coaching:

ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.(1)

I think this definition is something that’s really touching the center of the coaching as profession. I especially appreciate some of the words, which give me meaning to work on becoming coach.

PARTNERING means that coaching isn’t something where you are on the receiving end and coach is on the giving end. It’s a mutual relationship which will not work without both sides covering their responsibilities.

HONORING CLIENT AS AN EXPERT ON HIS LIFE actually means, that coach isn’t going to give you any kind of advise, because he / she is not entitled to play an expert on you and your life story. He’s solely there to walk with you through the discovery process and help you.

The ICF definition continues:

Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
Encourage client self-discovery
Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
Hold the client responsible and accountable

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.(1)

In my opinion, the defined COACHES RESPONSIBILITIES quite clearly tell what he shall be doing in the process – clarify the goal, help the personal discovery, work with the generated solutions of client and make him accountable throughout the coaching relationship.

You can find a bit more about coaching here.

What do you think of coaching? [:en]Today it’s time to put a bit of clarity into what coaching actually is. I think the best source to tap into is the ICF (International Coach Federation). Let’s look what they say about coaching:

ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole.(1)

I think this definition is something that’s really touching the center of the coaching as profession. I especially appreciate some of the words, which give me meaning to work on becoming coach.

PARTNERING means that coaching isn’t something where you are on the receiving end and coach is on the giving end. It’s a mutual relationship which will not work without both sides covering their responsibilities.

HONORING CLIENT AS AN EXPERT ON HIS LIFE actually means, that coach isn’t going to give you any kind of advise, because he / she is not entitled to play an expert on you and your life story. He’s solely there to walk with you through the discovery process and help you.

The ICF definition continues:

Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:

Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
Encourage client self-discovery
Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
Hold the client responsible and accountable

This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.(1)

In my opinion, the defined COACHES RESPONSIBILITIES quite clearly tell what he shall be doing in the process – clarify the goal, help the personal discovery, work with the generated solutions of client and make him accountable throughout the coaching relationship.

You can find a bit more about coaching here.

What do you think of coaching? [:]

My Favourite (Work) Feeling

Done. Completed. Accomplished.

I’m one of those who like to tick the to-do list, track the plan, use the schedule. Simply see the small progress. Some used to call me “structure freak”, some just called me plain crazy 🙂 But this works for me.

After a couple of months, when I was extremely unstructured and reactive, I put together some kind of schedule for my day. Before I came often into the situation, that I was so overwhelmed with the number of “big things to do”, that I actually didn’t get anything done. But the schedule helps.

It is simple:

  • Wake up, exercise, meditate
  • Get to work, get the work done
  • Get home, rest, eat, run
  • Work on personal projects for next 2-3 hours
  • Read / paint / write
  • Sleep for 7 hours min

The beauty of the schedule is, that following it forms the habit. And it helps me to go step-by-step, without being scared of having too much to do.

Once in a while, I need to sit down and revise the things from the bigger perspective. And then back to schedule. Inch by inch I will get there.

And that is my favorite feeling. Knowing, that today I made another step towards achieving something.

No One Cares About Your Plans

I have a complete post about my targets for 2015 written and saved in the draft. Just now I realized, how stupid it is.

Who gives a damn about what I plan to do? No one. No one cares about the plans, plans are just plans.

I have a lot of plans and lots of ideas, but the truth is, as my girlfriend says “No one pays for ideas.” And no one cares about plans. People care about what was done, what was accomplished.

So I’ll leave that post in the drafts for now and I’ll publish it by the end of the year, to see what I’ve actually accomplished.

I know, people say (I think there’s research on that as well) that public commitment could make me perform better. This actually is a form of public commitment. I commit to give you the showdown by the end of the year and to compare the “what I wanted to achieve” vs “what I’ve actually accomplished”. That will be something that people could care about.

Bottom line: Don’t listen to people talking about their plans, ask them about what they’ve already done.

What Footprint You Leave Behind?

Recently on our company event we discussed the topic of our “sales footprint”. What is the impact, impression we leave after our sales encounters.

Do our footprints get washed away by first wave, or we leave a lasting impression?

It’s very important to clear out for yourself, what YOUR impression is about. Are you professional, creative, innovative, structured, inspiring, hardworking…? What are the characteristics you leave behind?

For me my footprint is defined by my ambition, my goals. So here are couple of methods I find useful in defining my footprint:

PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT:

I made this exercise of setting up my personal “mission statement” some months ago. It’s inspired by the 7 habits book by Stephen R. Covey. For me I have 3 roles, 3 types of impressions I want to leave with people I meet and projects I get involved with:

CONTRIBUTOR – a person who gives in the best possible contribution to the idea that matters.

CHANGE AGENT – someone who helps driving positive change and generates the change in others.

LIFELONG LEARNER – someone who is willing to learn and improve for whole life and inspires others to do so.

You can also read more about my mission in this presentation.

BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL:

When I was still active in AIESEC we were putting together the ambition for year 2015, something like a long-term vision. The interesting concept we used was BHAG = Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

BHAG, as Wikipedia defines it “is a strategic business statement which is created to focus an organization on a single medium-long term organization-wide goal which is audacious, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible.”

AIESEC set it’s BHAG as “Engage and develop every young person in the world.

My BHAG is to significantly help 1.000.000 people.

It does not matter which way you choose to define your footprint. It’s important to define it, commit to it and act on it.

So what is your footprint?

The Spark In The Eyes Makes The Difference

Last weekend we were running an innovation workshop for the guys from AIESEC Slovakia. As a part of it we had a short presentation from a Jozef Porhincak from Challengest project.

What mostly inspired me about his talk was not the content. Though the idea and success of the project are really interesting. What caught my attention was the spark of enthusiasm and full commitment that he displayed.

It’s great to see people fully devoted to the idea they believe in. And it makes me think “what does make me feel this way”? What is the thing that would light the spark in my eyes?

Do you have something that lights your spark? If yes, what do you do about it?

The Simplest Advice On Customer Care

Companies spend a lot of time and money on figuring out how to make their customers happy. People spend a lot of effort on trying to crack the code to good relations with others…

The key to all relations (with clients, friends, family…) is to actually CARE. Care for their problems, for what is happening in their lives.

Every person likes to feel the real, authentic interest. Show that to those whom you want to win. Show interest. Care. It will make them happy and it will help you win their loyalty and love.

It is not about claiming that you do care. It’s about acting. Listening with attention. Speaking with right intention. Offering and actually delivering your help. Searching for options. And being personally happy for the chance to help.

Acting vs being

Have you ever wanted to be different than you are? For me it happens. Mostly when I’m disappointed with what I have / haven’t done.

In fact, I think when we wish for being different, what we really mean is that we would want to have acted differently. When we wish to be more “outgoing”, what we mean is “I wish I would have gone out and spoke to those people.”

We are the sum of our habits. And habits are formed by actions.

So if you want to BE different, just ACT differently.

Observer mentality and call for your action

Today I want to talk to you about little something I call “observer mentality” and I want to ask you for one simple step to take.

OBSERVER MENTALITY

Have you ever been for a football match in the lowest league in the country? It’s not a pretty picture. Not because of the football quality, but because of the fans around there. They display one of the best examples of “observer mentality” that I’ve ever seen. You hear nothing from their mouths except of swearing on the players. And all of them seem to think they are 100x more capable of playing than those 22 guys on the field.

Problem is, none of them actually does play. Moreover, none of them does anything to improve the play of others. They are just great at being critical observers.

Let’s look at what I see as typical for people with “observer mentality”:

  • they know the best way to do something, but they don’t do it
  • they are constantly proclaiming how someone is doing it wrong
  • they find pleasure in criticising every move
  • they take no action to improve the situation, rather wait
  • they usually blame others for own failures
  • if confronted, they don’t propose suggestions
  • if asked to help, they back-out, it’s not “their job to do”

Critique is important. If it is constructive and well aimed. 

I believe in criticising with good intention and a suggestion how to improve (just as I wrote in my do-not-do list). I hate observer mentality and I have a constructive suggestion for all those “observers” (and I suggest you forward it to any of those around you):

Either act with aim to change it or shut up!

This action does not need to be taking over full responsibility. Small steps are enough: talk to the player after the match and give him some advice, become an expert in the tactics and talk to the coach on how to make the starting line, raise some money to hire better players…

I’m not saying speaking-up about what bothers you is wrong. It’s great! But speak up with the right intention to the right people with right information. 

Just don’t spread all-knowing words without constructive action!

CALL FOR YOUR PROBLEMS

Constructive Meet-up Cover

I’m tired seeing observer mentality around me and sometimes stepping into it myself.

That’s why in 4 days I’m meeting with couple of friends for our first “Constructive Meet-up” – a meeting to generate solutions to problems and take them forward.

Thank you Lubica for co-organising it with me.

Now a request towards you – take first step to sort out things that  bother you. Let us know. We’re looking for problems that we can solve on our meet-up. So if you have something that bothers you, go ahead and let us know in questionnaire below or on this link.

Couple of rules:

  1. insert problems, not solutions
  2. be specific
  3. don’t go into politics or religion (we don’t want to deal with that)
  4. take time and fill in ALL 10 QUESTIONS (we need quantity)

Most probably we won’t be able to cover all the topics, but we will cover some. It’s a start. Your input will not be forgotten and we will look at it.

If you like it, share it forward 😉

Thank you for your input and for not having the observer mentality.

PS: if you wanna know more about Constructive Meet-up or you wanna take part in it, get in touch with me. For now it’s a closed group, but let’s see…