Category Archives: Learning

Setting goals: first things first

Goals can be daunting. Setting a goal plan even more challenging the more complex the goal.

What actions can you take to get you started and move the register to begin starting on path to accomplish larger goals?

Begin with a relatively easy goal you have in mind.

On a separate sheet of paper or online tool, write down every possible action you can think of to help you achieve this goal.

Include any tasks you can give yourself, any obstacles you can identify to your actions and tasks and the resources you would need and person that could help you around obstacles or help you with tasks.

Ultimately, you are responsible for completion and accountable to yourself.

As you begin working on your goal, more action items may emerge. Incorporate them to your original list.

Ask a friend or accountability buddy to help you think about your list and brainstorm action steps.

Decide how many hours per day and many days per week you want to allot to working on your goal. A good rule of thumb is two hours per task!

Implement and revise if needed.

Note that if you change your mind about starting toward your goal more than three times, you’ll need to reevaluate how important that goal was – no matter how small – and how committed you were.

Start small. Reach your goal. Learn and build your self confidence along the way.

Call Joe the Life Coach for more help at 202.328.7414 or Skype at sandpdc.

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Mindfulness and focusing

Do you do just enough thinking and end up making little real progress?

Are some parts of the day, week, month or year better for certain types of work than others?

Writing on his blog Study Hacks, Georgetown Professor Cal Newport sees the benefits of deep concentration as a technique to allocate time, focus and become more productive and efficient.

First, reduce the “overhead” you spend remembering where you left off and getting your mind ready to concentrate each time you only spend a few hours focusing on a problem.

When you focus on a specific deep work goal for 10 to 15 hours – two days immersed in deep work – you might produce more results than two months of scheduling just an hour a day.

Second, since your body works in cycles, match your rhythms. Consider your planning during a certain time and then another for actually executing.

This deep concentration probably yields better results than trying to mix everything together.

And multi-tasking? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Focus!

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Global do-gooders: train free online

Free training online resources!

Where else can you study for free?

Through USIP’s Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, you can learn online and get a certificate in:

+ Conflict Analysis
+ Interfaith Conflict Resolution
+ Negotiation and Conflict Management
+ Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

http://www.buildingpeace.org/train-resources/online-courses

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Act today and look toward tomorrow

Tolerance may be a good thing. Complacency may deter you from your goals.

Tolerating something – an aggressive coworker, a runny toilet or a squeaky wheel – continually drains your energy, like filing a cup upon which someone has made little holes.

Does continuous tolerance or complacency keep you from being yourself and evolving quickly as a human being?

How often do you distinguish between your activities that are incomplete, unresolved and require resolution or those that are unfinished, still needing work and require action?

In your life, how many things are unresolved or infinished?

Here are two simple exercises to help you break those negative reinforcing loops of tolerance and complacency.

List five unresolved issues or situations (large or small) that are draining your energy. Circle one that you can complete today.

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List five things (small or large) you’re putting up with or tolerating. Circle the one that you can eliminate TODAY.

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What’s the one big change that would make the most difference in your life?

What’s the first step you will take in the direction of that change?

When will you do this?

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Are you a good judge of people?

The most critical choices we make relate to people.

Being a good judge of people, however, is difficult – particularly when you throw in eons of biological prejudices or cultural biases, stigmas and discrimination.

How do you get better at sizing up first impressions?

Do you focus on extrinsic markers?

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What’s your cultural IQ?

Are you developing the right cultural skills?

Learn and develop cultural skills throughout your life.

Be humble.

Understand that cultural differences can have local and regional variations.

Learn them and encourage people to tell you about these variations.

Get ready to accept sharing knowledge.

Ask questions!

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Photo courtesy of @boys_indian.

What’s your cultural IQ?

Consider your answers to this cultural IQ test:

What values does another culture embrace?

How do those values compare with those of your culture?

How do people make decisions, conduct relationships and display emotion?

How does this culture treat time and scheduling?

What are social rules and boundaries surrounding gender?

How does this culture display and respect power?

Which authority figures are revered?

How do individuals relate to their employers?

How do employers relate to their employees?

How do people in this culture communicate?

How direct are they in what they say and mean?

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