Episode 365: Your Tool Kit for a Highly Successful Year

Episode Summary

In today’s episode, we get you ready to experience a highly successful year; we share a powerful tool kit with just four life-changing items. Among some of the things we explore, you will learn how turning planning into a habit can save you tons of time, correct your trajectory, and clear tons of space in your mind. 

Steve Shallenberger: Welcome to our Becoming Your Best podcast listeners wherever you may be in the world today. This is Steve Shallenberger, your host. And we are honored to have you participate. This says far more about you than anything else about your desire to become your best, to improve, to gain new ideas. And we look forward to sharing some thoughts today that hopefully will stimulate a lot of thinking.

It’s been said that if you are prepared, you shall not fear. So, today’s podcast is all about how do we create our own personal toolkit for a highly successful year. And when we have the right things in the toolkit, we’re a lot likely to succeed, especially if we have the right things. Just think about, for example, a surgeon or a doctor and some of the things that are in their toolkit. So, imagine with me together, for example, being in the operating room. And if you can imagine, right there, the computer-assisted equipment performing the surgery, and you have the surgeons actually are looking into it with all the right equipment there. Imagine, if you will, have in an x-ray or some type of document where the doctors can see what they want to do, what they are going to do, or what they have done. Another thing you might imagine would be the instruments that they use to perform the surgeries or to seal somebody up after surgery, or just think of the medicine, shots, and pills. These are all tools that a doctor or surgeon has. So, here’s the question that I have for you today: What would happen if a doctor did not have access to x-rays? What would happen if a doctor did not have surgical tools? What would happen in today’s world if they didn’t know how to operate a computer? The answer that if you responded this way as, “Well, they couldn’t do their job,” that would be exactly right; they simply couldn’t function.

So, we all need the right kind of tools to get the job done, and this would apply to any industry. Think about HVAC technician, a warehouse supervisor, a CEO, a team leader, a coach, a teacher in school, a truck driver, an airline pilot, whatever it might be, we really require tools. Now, we started off by thinking about the surgeon or doctor, they’re always thinking about how can we improve the tools that we have so that we can do a better job. So, it is in that mindset today that we would like to discuss your toolkit for having a highly successful year this year. So, what are some of the things that would be best to have in your toolkit? I’m going to mention four, you may have some others, and let’s have some fun together as we think about them. But they’re crucial, each one of these, that help us get to a better place, to be among our best, to have an outstanding year that creates happiness and satisfaction at a high performance. All of these are important both individually and together as a leader.

Here is the first thing I would recommend that each person has in their personal toolkit, and it would be a planner. And it could be a paper-based planner or an electronic planner. Now, as you all know, probably, who are listening in, Becoming Your Best has designed a very specific type of planner that helps you lead your life through having certain things in place that allows you to create a crystal clear focus. And I know that you’ve probably heard this quote, but what you focus on and where your focus is your inner energy flows. So, it’s so powerful to have a clear focus because whatever that focus is there, your energy flows. And we want it to be a positive, confident, precise type of energy. So, some of the things that you want to have in that personal planner so that it can help set you up for a highly successful year should have your monthly calendars where you can go ahead and put all of the key dates you have for all year right now. And the things that you want to have in there is every single date that you can think of if you’re a team leader, or a CEO, or whatever you might have, you may have an annual meeting, you’d have quarterly meetings. So, you want to actually put all of the dates in right now and envision yourself walking through the year. Here are your goals for your organization, I see myself as a leader and manager helping realize those goals with my team. You want also to consider putting in any key dates, not only professionally, but for associations, board meetings, training sessions that you might like to attend, these would be all plotted out in advance, vacations, dates that you might like to have. So, this is an opportunity to sit back and say, “What really is most important to me and what do I want to be sure that I address?” And we’ll get more into that in just a minute, but it is the planner that everything really revolves around and it’s the touch point for you. Becoming Your Best, of course, also has the digital planner. So, depending on what you use, some people like a paper base, others like a digital, and there are some that like a hybrid approach. So, that would be my first recommendation in your toolkit, and that really set you up to get locked and loaded.

Here is now the second thing, and this is all in the spirit of this mindset of “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til the good is better and the better is best.” And the better is best. And this is what we’re really thinking about the entire year. So, the second item that we would recommend that you have in your personal toolkit for success to have a highly successful year would be to have the big three high-performance habits set up. So, what are the big three high-performance habits? There are three physical documents that you should have, and they’re easy to go through the checklist. Habit number one is having in place a written personal vision. In our books, we talk all about how to do that. You can go on our website and there are tutorials on how to create your own personal vision that you can have access to. But this is a powerful document that creates your direction in life. And it should be inspiring, inspirational, and motivational to you, and it touches on the various roles that you have in life. It literally is the seed to your legacy. And your planning, what is the mental creation now that becomes the physical reality, which is grand and glorious. That’s habit number one.

Habit number two of these big three high-performance habits would be that you have your roles and goals, written roles and goals, in place for the year. So, it’s really pretty straightforward to do this; just go down a sheet of paper and put your five to seven most important roles in life. So, personal is one we all share — physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial. But then other roles you may have might be partner, significant other, spouse, it might be a parent or family or friends, certainly professional or work, civic or service, could be a student, but what are your key roles. And then under each one, now sit back and say what are the most important things that I can do this year under each role that helps me reach my vision. So, you can see how this is a system that just fits together. It’s simple. Start with a vision, the direction, and then physically what will we do specifically this year to realize it. And those should be SMART goals. They should be crafted in a way where your behavior is deeply impacted. So, SMART is a nice acronym; they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant to your vision, and Time related. And if you can craft those that way, that’s helpful.

The third high-performance habit is doing pre-week planning. Now, this is already part designed into the Becoming Your Best planner. You simply turn to the week, and at the top are the four simple steps that you do every single week, which is; number one, just access your vision, and look at your calendar, and put into your calendar any key commitments you have; number two, write out your roles, there’s a place to do this, it’s scientifically engineered to lead you right through it; then four, with a focus on this week, and you do it during the weekend before the week ever starts, so when the week comes, you’re highly focused, you’re at peace, you’re confident, and you’re ready to go. So, the third step is just to write down which action under each role is most important for you to do this week. And you might have three, four, or whatever that number is. But for example, under personal, it might be “exercise three times this week.” Under spouse or significant, it might be “go on an exciting date that’s well planned.” These are just examples, but we would submit to you that these three powerful high performance habits are transformational, and take your year, the quality of your year to a whole nother level. It takes 62 to 65 times to create a habit. And so we recommend that people consider doing pre-week planning 52 times on average this year. And if you do this, I guarantee — I mean, I don’t guarantee a lot of stuff, but I guarantee you will have a different experience and you will feel at such a higher level of operation; you’ll feel more at peace; you’ll feel happier; you’ll have stronger relationships; you’ll be far more effective in your professional life. And you’ll experience a harmony and a balance because you’re being successful across the various areas in your life. So, that’s the second thing that I would recommend. Number one is to have your planner locked and loaded, get it set up. Number two, have in your toolkit, these three high performance habits.

The third of the four things that I’d recommend is consider regularly reviewing the principles of highly successful leaders. And for those that follow Becoming Your Best, there are three books that really allow you to stay focused on the cutting edge of leadership, and they are Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of Highly Successful Leaders, Do What Matters Most, and then the problem solving book Start with a Vision. Each of these is on audio. I personally listen to each one once a year, and then I also keep them close by and review them. The reason? I mean I wrote the book Becoming Your Best, you mean I’m gonna listen to it every year? Why would I do that? Well, the answer is the power is in the principles; it’s not in me. And as I go through life, I gain new experiences, I’ll see life differently, and the principles are the constants. They’re like the North Star; they’re always there, they won’t change, and they produce an excellence, a chemistry, a magic that is high performance. So, that’s why we recommend that the third one in your toolkit is to regularly review these; those are the good goals among your goals for the year.

And the last one happens to be a guest invitation. This is a special book I’m recommending we throw into our toolkit of success this year. In the last two weeks, we’ve just finished a series of annual planning retreats with one of our companies. We have seven offices, and we held a annual retreat for each one of those, there are major divisions, very successful operations. But of course, like any other organization, you’re always being challenged, there’s new things that are going on, and whatever we did yesterday, rarely is sufficient or enough to be successful tomorrow. So we’re always adapting, always adjusting. And the end goal is maintaining real growth — the good, better, best. So, that’s the purpose of these annual retreats. We went through these very points that we’re talking about today, what should be in their toolkit of success? Well, here is the fourth one, and this is a gift that we gave to every single one of our employees, and it will really enhance the success of this year, and it is the book “The Greatest Salesman In the World.” Some of you will be familiar with that book, others it will be new. I would like to just give you a little outline. The setting is in the time of Christ. It is about an individual that wanted to get ahead and be among the greatest salesman in the world. And a fellow was gifted to receive a gift of 10 scrolls from a mentor. And his instructions he had received them from another mentor and they were handed down. But he had, first of all, the instructions that a half of all you earned was to be given to those in need because they would create this great success, and that a sign ultimately would be given to this person of who they should be handed along to and then they could become public knowledge to all the world.

So, I love this story, it’s a wonderful, inspiring story. I first read this when I was 23 years old and I was selling books door to door in the state of Maryland, and having an extraordinary experience, which is really one of the hardest experiences my whole life but I learned so much from it. So, what I’d like to do is just briefly go through each of the 10 scrolls, maybe 30 seconds to a minute each, and you’ll get a flavor for this book, and you may consider adding it to your toolkit for success this year. Here we go. Scroll Marked One — Today, I will begin a new life. And I’ll just give you a couple of quotes from this chapter from this scroll:

“I will form good habits and become their slaves. Only a habit can subdue another habit. I will read each scroll for 30 days in this prescribed manner. And before I proceed to the next scroll, I’ll read the words in silence when I arise again after my midday meal. And last, I will read the word again just before I retire at days in. As I read and reread the words in the scrolls to follow, never will I allow the brevity of each scroll caused me to treat the scrolls message lightly. Today, my old skin has become as dust. I am a new man with a new life.”

Well, I just guess I was dumb enough to just follow what they said, and so I quickly read through the book when I was 23. And then I read each scroll, starting with the Scroll Marked Two, three times a day for 30 days, and then I moved on to the next one. Well, Og Mandino was brilliant, because three times 30 is 90. And guess what it takes to form a new habit? That’s right, 62 to 65 times. And by the time you’re done with each scroll, you’ve got it, it’s part of you. And that’s what I’ve found throughout my life. I’ve read the book 10 times since then at least. So, this is the first one, it lays the foundation of the rule. So, here’s the Scroll Marked Two — I will greet this day with love in my heart. Each one of these scrolls is just a few pages long and so it’s easy to follow the prescribed formula. Here’s a quote just from this particular scroll:

“I will greet this day with love in my heart. And how will I do this? Henceforth will I look on all things with love and I will be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will greet this day with love in my heart.”

This is a powerful chapter that talks about how will you greet your enemies with love, and it will be a shield against adversity where the rains will fall softly. Oh, that’s so good. Here’s the next one, the Scroll Marked Three — I will persist until I succeed. Here are just a couple of quotes from this scroll:

“I will persist until I succeed. I was not delivered unto this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lion and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny. I will persist until I succeed.”

And once again, this has so many wonderful thoughts and ideas that inspire us on how to persist and the impact of that. Here’s the fourth scroll, Scroll Marked Four — I am nature’s greatest miracle. Here’s a couple of quotes:

“I am nature’s greatest miracle. Since the beginning of time never has there been another with my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears, my hands, my hair, my mouth. None that came before, none that live today, and none that come tomorrow can walk and talk and move and think exactly like me. All men are my brothers yet I am different from each. I am a unique creature. I am nature’s greatest miracle.”

And then it goes on to talk about how do we bring out the best and build upon that uniqueness. Here is the Scroll Marked Five — I will live this day as if it were my last:

“I will live this day as if it were my last.  I will waste not a moment mourning yesterday’s misfortunes, yesterday’s defeats, yesterday’s aches of the heart, for why should I throw good after bad? I will live this day as if it were my last. This day is all I have and these hours are now my eternity. I greet this sunrise with cries of joy as a prisoner who is reprieved from death. I lift mine arms with thanks for this priceless gift of a new day. So too, I will beat upon my heart with gratitude as I consider all who greeted yesterday’s sunrise who are no longer with the living today. I am indeed a fortunate man and today’s hours are but a bonus, undeserved. Why have I been allowed to live this extra day when others, far better than I have departed? Is it that they have accomplished their purpose while mine is yet to be achieved? Is this another opportunity for me to become the man I know I can be? I will live this day as if it is my last.”

Each of the thoughts in this particular scroll and chapter are inspirational. The Scroll Marked Six — Today, I will be master of my emotions:

“If I feel depressed, I will sing. If I feel sad, I will laugh. If I feel ill, I will double my labor. If I feel fear, I will plunge ahead. If I feel inferior, I will wear new garments. If I feel uncertain, I will raise my voice. If I feel poverty, I will think of wealth to come. If I feel incompetent, I will remember past success. If I feel insignificant, I will remember my goals. Today, I will be master of my emotions.”

Each one of these is so inspirational in them selves, and so you can see by reading them three times a day if that’s what you choose to do for each scroll what happens at the end of 30 days, and ultimately by the end of the book. The Scroll Marked Seven — I will laugh at the world. Here are some quotes excerpts from this chapter from this scroll:

“No living creature can laugh except man. Trees may bleed when they are wounded, and beasts in the field will cry in pain and hunger, yet only I have the gift of laughter and it is mine to use whenever I choose. Henceforth I will cultivate the habit of laughter. I will smile and my digestion will improve; I will chuckle and my burdens will be lightened; I will laugh and my life will be lengthened for this is the great secret of long life and now it is mine. And most of all, I will laugh at myself for man is most comical when he takes himself too seriously. And so long as I can laugh never will I be poor.”

Well, I hope you don’t mind this brief overview of this wonderful book but it’ll give you a feel for what’s ahead. The Scroll Marked Eight — Today, I will multiply my value a hundredfold:

“Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold. A mulberry leaf touched with the genius of man becomes silk. A field of clay touched with the genius of man becomes a castle. A cypress tree touched with the genius of man becomes a shrine. A cut of sheep’s hair touched with the genius of man becomes raiment for a king. If it is possible for leaves and clay and wood and hair to have their value multiplied a hundred, yea a thousand fold by man, cannot I do the same with the clay which bears my name? Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.”

I love the invitation to innovate through your imagination. Here’s number nine — I will act now:

“My dreams are worthless, my plans are dust, my goals are impossible. All are of no value unless they are followed by action. I will call on ten who can buy my goods while the failure makes grand plans to call on one. I will act now.”

Well, that’s a very brief snippet of that particular scroll, but it is outstanding. And here is the last one, the Scroll Marked Ten:

“Oh creator of all things, help me. Who is of so little faith that in a moment of great disaster or heartbreak has not called to his God? Who has not cried out when confronted with danger, death, or mystery beyond his normal experience or comprehension? Oh creator of all things, help me. For this day I go out into the world naked and alone, and without your hand to guide me I will wander far from the path which leads to success and happiness.”

So, each one of these are wonderful. I love that book. I hope that you’re able to include it in your personal toolkit for success for this year. So, in a recap, here are four things you may consider that will have a huge impact on having a highly successful year: Number one, set up your BYB planner for the year, have it locked and loaded. I have in mind also all the birthdays for all year, I have them on one sheet, I paste them in the back. I paste in the back of my planner, my annual goals, and also I paste in my vision, they’re all there. This is what we talk about having things set up to go. Number two, have the three high performance habits in place. Just have your personal written vision and your annual written goals. Share those goals with some other people. Have a place where you can see them. If it’s a digital planner, they’re right there always. And then do pre-week planning on average once a week, 52 times during the year. The third thing we recommended is to read or listen to Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles, Do What Matters Most, and Start with the Vision. Do this every year because this gives you the tools will be right on the tip of your tongue and will set you apart from everybody else that unless they’re doing it as well, to give you that leg up. And the last one is the special guest of the year, consider putting into your toolkit, The Greatest Salesman in the World.

Well, that’s it. We’re so grateful that you can join us. And just like a surgeon or doctor has certain tools, these tools will help you have an amazing year. We are so grateful for you. Thank you for tuning in today. We’re honored that you did. And we wish you all the best today and always.

Steve Shallenberger

Founder, Becoming Your Best

CEO, Executive, Corporate Trainer, and Community Leader.

    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
      Apply Coupon