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5 Goals You Should Commit to 10X Your Life in 2016

5 Goals You Should Commit to 10X Your Life in 2016

The new year is almost upon us.

This means a fresh start, new goals, and new opportunities ahead. Every year we revert back to setting the same old, boring goals that we give up on before February. The main reason is that these goals aren’t exciting enough.

We need to set goals that will have a 10x impact in our lives, which gets us energized just thinking about the effect it can have on us.

In 2016, let’s take it up a notch and commit to goals that will 10x your life.

Here are 5 to get you started.

1. Travel Somewhere That Makes You Uncomfortable

Traveling the world itself can expand your mind, but traveling somewhere that makes you uncomfortable can change your life.

Where in the world can you go that you’ve never been before?

When I traveled to South America this year, I knew zero Spanish, zero people, and zero idea on how I was going to get around. But that experience fundamentally shifted the way I looked at the world. From witnessing some of the poorest people on the planet to building a deep relationship with people I would never have had the opportunity to connect with, these are experiences that will transform the way I make decisions for the rest of my life.

Eiffel tower reflection in camera lenses
    Eiffel tower reflection in camera lenses

    It’s part of the reason why we created the 1% program at Rype, where we donate 1% of what we make and 1% of our time to organizations like Pencils of Promise, who are building hundreds of schools in developing nations for children in need.

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    The surprising realization of all this is that we often underestimate our capabilities and what we have the potential to overcome, so as scary as it may be to some of us to travel alone to a place like Colombia or Peru, it’s not nearly as bad as we think.

    2. Learn A New Instrument

    Learning a new instrument like guitar can not only help de-stress you, but it’s a great way to improve your mental capabilities as well.

    With a little bit of dedication and persistency, there are dozens amazing place to learn an instrument at the comfort of your home, such as browsing around Youtube Music. Or you could find a local teacher in your city, which could be a more intimate learning experience when it comes to music.

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      If you’re not sure which instrument you should learn, check out this article.

      3. Learn A New Language

      Of course, we have to advocate learning a new language. We’ve written extensively about the benefits of learning a new language, what are the most effective ways to learn, and where to learn a new language, so we won’t repeat them here.

      However, there’s no better time to start than the beginning of the new year.

      The first step is discovering which language you should learn (if you haven’t already). While we don’t want to set up any limitations, we want you to learn a new language for the right reason, because a weak one will make it easy to quit early on.

      Here are some weak reasons to learn a new language:

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      a. Most number of speakers

      When you pick a language for the sake of being able to speak to as many people in the world, this is not a good reason. The reason is, with nearly every language, you’re going to be able to find enough speakers wherever you go.

      Let’s say you want to learn Mandarin with over 1 billion speakers around the world, there’s no real benefit of learning Mandarin because of this reason since you will never engage in a personal conversation with 1 billion people in your lifetime.

      b. Best for your CV/Resume

      Most jobs won’t require you to know another language, so unless you’re planning to join a company specifically for the sake of using a target language, then it’s likely not going to make a big difference.

      Yes, it is better to learn Spanish, German, or Mandarin if you have the desire to eventually do business internationally, but is one better than the other? Not really.

      c. The one you learned in elementary or high school

      You may have some knowledge embedded in your memory from your younger days, but this shouldn’t limit you from making the decision to learn another language. Let’s say you learned French in school.

      It doesn’t mean that re-learning this language will be much easier than to learn Spanish or Italian.

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        Learn what you plan to use

        As Benny Lewis, from Fluentin3months says, “Spending all your time with books or courses may help a little, but unless you are willing to make mistakes in front of people you won’t get far on improving your spoken abilities.”

        This means that your plan to use the language shouldn’t be too far away. We personally recommend anything below 4-6 months.

        Do you have a family member that speaks Spanish? Or are you going to be travelling to France this summer in a few months?

        Unless you use it, you’re certain to lose it!

        We recommend checking out our free mini-course on how to learn a new language in 90 days.

        4. Get Your Health In Order

        Your health is your wealth. Taking care of your health will not only improve your physical body, but your mental agility as well.

        Like any new habit, we recommend starting small and finding something to keep you accountable.

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        A few examples for fitness could be enrolling into a gym membership, finding a trainer, or joining a kickboxing class. This way there’s something you’ve committed to and you’re much more likely to stick with it.

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          As for nutrition, you could make the commitment to only drink 1 cup of coffee per day or cutting caffeine completely. Or as simple as the decision to wake up earlier to eat a healthy breakfast each morning. You’ll be surprised how many people miss this step!

          5. Spend More Time With Your Loved Ones

          There’s nothing that can replace the time we have with our loved ones, whether that’s your children, spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, or your close friends. Yes, we can decide to squeeze in more hours of work on the weekends, but is it worth it?

          From history the biggest regret that people have before they die is not that they could have been more productive in their careers, but that they didn’t get to spend enough time with the people they love. This applies whether you’re 17 years old or 50 years old reading this.

          We hope that 2016 is a year full of growth, learning, and love.

          Share Your Thoughts

          What is a goal you have for 2016?
          Do you agree or disagree with some of the goals we suggested?

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          Last Updated on April 11, 2019

          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

          I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

          I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

          Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

          How Communication Skills Help Your Success

          Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

          Create a Positive Experience

          Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

          When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

          What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

          Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

          As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

          Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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          Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

          Help Leadership Skills

          It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

          Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

          As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

          Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

          If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

          Build Better Teams

          Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

          In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

          If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

          When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

          Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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          How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

          There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

          Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

          1. Listen

          Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

          Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

          People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

          Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

          Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

          2. Know Your Audience

          Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

          Here is a good way to think about it:

          Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

          You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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          3. Minimize

          I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

          He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

          Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

          State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

          The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

          4. Over Communicate

          So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

          What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

          Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

          Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

          Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

          There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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          5. Body Language

          The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

          When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

          In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

          When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

          Conclusion

          Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

          Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

          There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

          Now go communicate your way to success.

          More Resources About Effective Communication

          Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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