Why Not Wednesday

If you are not sure what a “Why Not Wednesday” means, you can read about it and the rest of the week here. It’s an exciting opportunity to start working toward a goal you want to accomplish!

After several conversations with friends and colleagues, one main topic is a desire for a better morning routine. So let’s focus on some details.

Why Not Wednesday is a perfect day to define what a perfect morning routine would look like. It might look something like one of these:

  • I want to read 10 pages of a book each morning and meditate for 15 minutes without interruption. Why – Because I have a long book list and have not been able to find time to finish a book in a long time and it brings me joy. Meditation will help me decrease my stress. Once my stress is less I can focus on more goals!
  • I want to meditate and do yoga before work each morning. Why? I feel stiff and tired most days. I think meditation will help clear my mind and yoga will help me relax and stretch my muscles.
  • I want to wake up in time to make a healthy breakfast before I leave for work. Why? I don’t eat as healthy as I’d like once I leave my home. Eating at home will be healthier, cheaper and provide a creative outlet since I love to cook!
  • I want to start walking in the mornings with my spouse. Why? We have talked about it for a long time, but never committed to actually doing it. I know we will enjoy the quiet time together and once we feel healthier we can focus on other exercise goals and maybe even train for our first marathon together!
  • I want to write 10 pages of the novel that I have put off for way too long. Why? It’s quiet in the morning and I could easily get up 30 minutes earlier and only write, no edits, just write every day. Once I finish my draft, I can edit and submit it to an agent!
  • I want to paint the sunrises in the mornings. Why? Painting has always relaxed me and mornings are quiet and offer nature in a beautiful light. Once I have a few finished I might try to sell them at a local craft show!

See how each “I want” is followed up with a why? And how some of those lead to other goals. That is how it should be…one goal should inspire others!

Why Not is the first step (it’s that simple!). You don’t have to figure it all at once. Have you defined a goal today? Congratulations! Share it below! I encourage you to start tossing around ideas for Tackle it & Transform Thursday.  

 

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Realistic daily steps for goal setting

I want to share my realistic daily steps for setting & accomplishing goals, it also works for starting a new positive habit, because it’s time to focus on your goals!

Anyone can use this method…

  • If you have a goal you are currently working toward & want to stay focused
  • If you want to start a new goal or positive habit, but unsure how to start
  • Or if you are searching for something meaningful to dedicate time to

The steps I’m sharing with you are ones that you can put into place each day and each week whether just starting a new goal or habit or wanting to stay focused on a current one. Each day allows an opportunity to take a step toward the future you want, the goal you want to accomplish or the new positive habit you want to start. These easy to follow steps make it easy to add to your daily routine and you can use this over and over with any goal or habit!

You can start on any day, but I like utilizing Wednesday as a start day…why? It’s a good mid-week point, but I don’t really have a scientific reason why! There is no right or wrong day to start working toward accomplishing your goals! You can adjust this as needed.

Let’s get started!

  1. Why not Wednesday – Define what you want to focus on, something you are passionate about or confirm what you keep thinking about, but have not quite committed to yet. Define it in one or two sentences and include at least one ‘why’. Example – I want to focus on my health and feel better. Why? – So, I can be more active with my family or participate in more outdoor activities, run a marathon or travel more. Once committed you can move forward with steps and actions toward it. Even if it’s a year or five year goal, defining your goal or habit is the most important step. You can set aside time in the morning, over lunch or in the evening to focus, but don’t overthink this definition, most likely you have a main goal in mind. If you find yourself unable to focus on just one, write down a few and then be honest with which one you are most excited about and focus on that one this week. If you need help focusing please contact me and I can help with some tips!
  2. Tackle it & Transform Thursday – How will this goal or new habit transform me or my future? What is my expected outcome? Envision your goal or habit in motion (tackling it), how do you want it to transform you personally? Example – When I’m healthier I can train for that marathon my sister and I always wanted to run together. When I’m healthier I can spend more active time with my spouse, children, grandchildren, friends…When I’m healthier I can travel more and go hiking. When I’m healthier I can feel better and start another new goal or habit.
  3. Focus on it Friday – Research tools and resources needed to accomplish your goal or start your new habit. Do you need to study or complete certification to accomplish it or using the health example above – I plan on exchanging my fast food breakfast each morning with a smoothie so I’m going to buy a blender or get mine out of storage. I plan on incorporating more steps into my day and want new shoes or a step tracker. Maybe you want to join a gym or find a walking partner. Discover what you need to start your goal, again don’t overthink it, just what you need to get started then adjust as needed as you grow and succeed. Keep the list short for now.
  4. Celebrate successes on Saturday and Sunday – I encourage you to spend some weekend time celebrating successes on Saturday and Sunday! Review what you have already accomplished; confirm your mindset toward your goal, envision how your future will look with the goal or new habit in place, seek out at least one resource and get ready for Make it Monday!
  5. Make it Monday – Create a list of a few steps that will get you started. I suggest a to-do list with about three steps, but no more than five to start. Example – Purchase groceries to take for lunch instead of eating out. Walk each morning or evening for 30 minutes. Make a smoothie for breakfast each morning and be more conscious of meals and snacks. Cook at home at least 3 nights a week. The steps you choose are ones that are simple to incorporate into your personal unique lifestyle. Make these steps realistic for you and don’t make all the changes at once. Add in other steps once you are comfortable with these; once the to do list becomes a comfortable part of your routine.
  6. Try it Tuesday – Try the to-do list you created. Put action behind your goal defining and research! Start turning your goal or new habit into reality. Celebrate the week of work you have already put in and keep going! Add your to-do list to your daily routine! Don’t get upset if you miss a day or something comes up, just pick up where you left off, just don’t quit!

You can use this same method to track your success, stay focused and motivated by adjusting as follows –

  • Why not – confirm your goal instead of defining it, confirm why you are focused on this particular goal/habit
  • Tackle it – How is this goal or new habit transforming me? What outcome am I experiencing?
  • Focus on it –  Are the tools and resources I’m using working for me? Do I need other tools or resources, what would make this more productive?
  • Successful Saturday and Sunday – Continue celebrating accomplishments, fitting in additional time for your goal or habit as time allows. Share successes with friends or track online or in a journal. Confirm your mindset toward your goal and accomplishments.
  • Make it – Keep creating a weekly list of what you need to accomplish your goals. Once that list is a comfortable routine, add to it. I suggest each weekend creating your weekly list to stay focused.
  • Try it – Stay focused on your to-do steps and incorporate new ones as you feel comfortable. Stay active toward your goal or habit! Remember, celebrate those successes!!!

I suggest keeping a weekly calendar or journal to record your steps and celebrate your accomplishments! Join me in the daily journey with doable steps, tips & encouragement! Share your progress below or email me at successencourager@gmail.com.

Thank you for reading! For more details about services, tips and professional experience check out my ABOUT ME page!

Questions to ask the interviewer

One of the most important interviewing tips has to be examples of questions to ask the interviewer. Typically, at the end of an interview you are asked, “do you have any questions for me/us?” And this seems to stump a lot of people, it has me in the past.

I always suggest researching the company you are interviewing with, this will help you come up with questions to ask. Read over the mission statement and discover as much as you can about the company. When researching find answers to the following:

  • Are they opening a new division or beginning a new project?
  • Have they been highlighted in a recent article or received an award?
  • Did they recently celebrate a milestone such as so many years in business, etc.?
  • Is there a board, committee, executive team, etc. if so familiarize yourself with the names.
  • Do employees participate in a volunteer day or does the company support a local non-profit?
  • Is there an accomplishment or focus that the company has that you connect with or feel passionate about?

Once you answer the questions above or similar ones you are prepared to ask a variety of questions to the interviewer(s). Example questions to ask the interviewer include:

  • I recently read that the company expanded out of state, can you tell me more about that expansion?
  • I read in a recent article that the company was awarded the best place to work recognition, can you tell me more about that process?
  • I know two of the main responsibilities of this position are to coordinate travel and set up quarterly board meetings. Can you explain a bit more about who requires travel, is it every member of the board, etc.? And please describe a typical agenda for the meetings. 
  • Please provide a brief summary of a typical day in that position.
  • What professional development opportunities are offered?
  • What is your (or each committee member’s) favorite app or program that is used most often?

What questions have you asked during an interview?

Have any interviewing or career or writing questions? Contact me below or at successencourager@gmail.com

Thanks for reading! For additional information check out my ‘about me‘ page!

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Personal Mission Statement

A personal mission statement not only helps you create and accomplish goals, but also focus on the future you want in a brief summary. Your personal mission statement describes what success means to you. It summarizes where you want to be in the future and should reflect your goals, values and life’s purpose. Everyone’s should be unique to them.

You can create such a statement through a few questions and a journey through personal self-discovery. This process helps you focus on the most important goals and encourages you to create a list of steps to accomplish them! Once you have a personal mission statement you can expand that into a more detailed mission and goal list.

You can create a personal mission statement by asking yourself:

  • What is important to me?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • What does my future look like?
  • What skills and experience do I have?
  • What skills do I need to learn?
  • What makes me unique?
  • Do my goals include others?
  • How will my goals benefit others?
  • What values are most important to me?

Once you have answers to the questions above, you can start to piece together a statement by combining the words that mean the most to you and create your own personal mission statement.

After a lot of drafts, I came up with my own personal mission statement:

To encourage others to set goals & succeed, share my professional and personal knowledge and create through my passion for writing.

Other samples include:

  • “To be a teacher. And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.” – Oprah Winfrey’s personal statement
  • “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.” – Sir Richard Branson’s personal statement
  • “Making the best possible ice cream, in the nicest possible way.” Ben & Jerry’s mission statement

What is your personal mission statement? What goal do you want to focus on and accomplish?

Thank you for reading!!

Read more about me and my professional services at ABOUT ME!

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Photo by Matt Ragland on Unsplash

Categorize your goal

Goals are easier to focus on when you can categorize them and have a ‘why’. The ‘why’ is what you envision your future being once the goal is accomplished. I have listed some categories below.

For example learning to decorate cakes could fit into the Spirit category as a hobby or creative outlet. The ‘why’ could be to personalize a celebration cake for a birthday, shower, special anniversary or as a positive outlet since you already enjoy baking and want to expand that skill. This goal could even turn into a new full-time or part-time career.

Once you have a category and a ‘why’ it is easier to prioritize and focus on the steps. Using the example above, decorating cakes, the first step might be to research cake decorating classes, estimating cost, timeframe and what supplies might be needed. Another step could be saving for the training, purchasing supplies and organizing your home so you can hone your skills after the training. A future step might be researching the requirements for starting a small business or working for a baker.

Prioritizing and accomplishing a goal can encourage you to explore more and offer endless possibilities.

Well-beingMental and physical health; stretching, walking, meditation, conscious eating, plenty of water. Ask yourself – What are my health goals, what are my limits?

SpiritSelf-care, gratitude journaling, positive affirmations, create, hobbies. Ask yourself – What brings joy and peace? What nourishes me?

Circle – Mutual relationships that allow you to give and receive support; family, friends, work friendships, recovery groups, clubs or hobby groups. Ask yourself – Who balances with me? Who supports me and invites my support?

ProductivityDaily routine; work, volunteering, care giver, budgeting, learning. Ask yourself – What is my current daily schedule (define it). What do I want my future schedule or routine to look like and consist of?

The May giveaway announcementI’m offering a FREE goal categorizing session to the first five people to contact me that are interested in creating a beginner’s goal priority. We will work through a few questions via email focusing on a goal you’d like to make a priority with suggested first steps. Email me if interested! successencourager@gmail.com 

Thank you so much for reading! What goal category is your focus right now?

 

Professional Development Value

Professional development is key to not only successfully performing your career choice but also for enjoying the position! Continuing to learn new skills and enhance the ones you have helps you be more productive but it also brings about a sense of pride and creativity. There are several professional development opportunities available through articles, books, webinars, online courses, conferences and peer to peer communication and sharing resources.

Some resources are free or very low costs while conferences or online training can seem costly and require justification. When talking with other assistants, from a variety of industries, the cost is always a concern.

A simple justification is that the best way to find relevant resources is by attending a conference. Last year, when I attend the Accelerated Assistant conference by Office Dynamics I learned so many great tips over those four short days from the professional speakers and during the team activities. Joan Burge shared her experience and resources with the group daily. The learning did not stop there though! After returning to work, I followed up with subscribing to a few of the newsletters from the speakers and read their blog posts, which offered time-saving and organizational tips and highlighted apps and programs. I shared those sites and posts with my coworkers which offered several additional communication and learning opportunities.

So, how do you justify travel and conference fees? I did a lot of research before attending the conference including costs, speaker topics, and experience, balanced with team and networking opportunities and chose the best conference for my needs and learning expectations. I typed up a justification form to present to my manager. I highlighted several topics of interests and the speaker’s credentials and experience, relating the topics to several of my yearly performance goals.

I also detailed the costs; hotel, registration, and flight. Breaking down the total cost of an average conference which is about $2600.

  • $217 a month
  • $50 a week
  • $7.12 a day

That is a bargain for continued education that would provide resources for me to be even more productive!

Luckily, I have a professional and respected working relationship with my manager. When we met and went over the document and talked more about the conference and what was offered his only additional request was that I present my experience with coworkers after I returned. About two months after the conference I completed a presentation to about 20 of my coworkers. I shared my experience, discussed the temporary support team I had worked with daily at table 28, shared websites of the speakers, newsletter links, and books that were suggested.

Most conferences detail the agenda and speaker information while providing justification letter templates or suggested content for meeting with managers to help you through the process. Office Dynamics offers this information as well. I highly recommend attending a conference to open resource doors, to continue your education about your industry and position and to learn time-saving tips that will benefit you long after you return to work!

Almost six months after attending the conference I still utilize resources and relationships I formed during that training. I continue to share tips with my team that I receive via weekly newsletter subscriptions, blog post readings, etc. I’m also looking forward to attending this year’s conference – The Stellar Assistant. With all new speakers, additional content, learning labs and unlimited online access to the videos, participant guide, and bonus materials. I’m anxious to share even more reading suggestions, tips and speaker websites with my team!

What are some of your favorite professional development resources? What books do you suggest?

A few of my favorite reads are; Tribes by Seth Godin, just about anything from Wallace Wattles, Permission to live the Big Life by Joan Burge, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, A Beautiful Questions by Frank Wilczek, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, there are too many to name!

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions about a sample justification letter or how to talk with your manager about professional development opportunities please contact me and I’d be happy to share more of my experience!

 

Read more about me and the professional services I offer on the ABOUT ME Page.

Shine during your next interview!

You have the skills, the professional and personal experience and the passion needed to apply for the position. You’ve submitted the application, resume, references, and other documents required. You get the invitation to interview. Your palms sweat and you automatically get nervous. How can you convey that you are exactly the candidate they need to hire?

Be prepared! Simple right? Well, it can be, yes. Alleviate interview stress by being prepared and confident to answer any question the interviewee or committee may ask you!

One of the easiest ways to prepare for an interview is to study your resume. Yes, duh, you know exactly what is on your resume, most likely you created it, but it’s not just about your past positions or experiences. Study your resume along with the current job description you want to apply for by breaking down the list of responsibilities and turning them into questions (and answer those questions!).

For example

  • Position requirement – Applicant must have ability to flourish in a fast-paced environment while adapting to change as needed. Question – This statement would become the following – How have I flourished in a fast-paced environment while adapting to change?
  • Answer – Discover your answer by using the facts on your resume or the application you filled out. If you had a position as an assistant in a busy marketing department maybe you were constantly juggling tight deadlines on a daily basis with numerous projects going at one time. Define how you organized those projects and tracked deadlines, keeping your manager or team informed of progress, updates and milestone timelines as they passed. Include a particular project that changed course or the deadline was moved up due to client’s request and again state your role and how it worked out despite the challenges.

Once you turn each position requirement into a question and prepare an answer you will exude confidence and be reminded of all the hard work you have put into your professional development and why you truly are the perfect candidate!

Two more basic tips that can help you prepare for the interview:

  • Study the company. Typically, companies have informative web sites, most have mission statements, progress reports, etc. Learn about the company and talk about key points you relate to with the hiring manager or committee. Did they recently incorporate a new product or program you have experience with? Does their mission statement echo your own passion or interest?
  • Don’t forget to ask the hiring manager or committee questions. Questions such as ‘What are the top three main responsibilities or goals of the employee in this position?’, ‘What is one common company goal and what resources do employees have to help accomplish this?’, ‘What is one common personality and/or one common skill shared by past employees that held this position?’ or ‘Please briefly describe one of the team’s current projects and what role this position will play’.

Of course there are numerous articles with tips and resources about a variety of career interviews. I’m just sharing a few of the most popular that I have personally used or shared with others when editing or creating their resumes. I hope you found them beneficial!

I’d love to hear your favorite interview tip. Let me know if you have any questions about the interview process.

Thank you so much for reading!