Creating Realistic Goals

I have a bad habit of setting up unrealistic goals for myself. 

There’s nothing wrong with setting goals that stretch you, but be careful to not beat yourself up during the stretching process. 

I am working on a writing project that is definitely stretching me!

The project is helping a phD candidate in an electrical engineering program turn his research into a written dissertation. 

Reading the material and translating the data takes time–which means that setting realistic goals is important. 

I’ve been working on this project less than a week and I’ve already logged in 5 hours. 

Setting realistic goals keeps you and your project collaborators on the same page. 

There’s also no shame in being honest about your limitations and potential time constraints. 

I already know that having this proposal completely finished by Friday (what we agreed upon last Saturday) will not happen. 

I am working diligently to get as much done as possible, but I have also communicated this fact to my employer, the student. 

What I am learning as I begin this journey is that you can never go wrong in planning and goal setting by telling the truth. 

The Blame Game

If a project is your responsibility, wouldn’t the logical conclusion be that if something goes wrong you’re responsible? 

I am a big believer that if the buck stops with you then it’s important to assume complete responsibility for any failures within the project.

Maybe it wasn’t directly your fault, but being a leader requires taking a hit every once in a while. 

This project failed at this point.

I am the leader of this project.

Therefore, I have to step up and say, “This is directly or indirectly my fault.” 

Just say it!

Don’t say, “Well, anything can happen and I did my best and I tried….” 

Be quiet. 

Assume responsibility.

“I assume responsibility for this failure and here is how my team is dealing with it.” 

Playing hot potato with the blame will not move the team forward.

To me, being able to say, “This is my fault” is a good indication that someone is ready to be a leader. 

Leaders don’t only take the credit when things are successful. I call those kind of leaders Glory Hogs.

As a leader, your team is looking at how you handle failure.

If you cannot assume responsibility for mistakes, don’t be surprised when your team hesitates to assume responsibility for their mistakes.




Long Work Day

I just worked 14 hours straight….


I think there may have been 15 minutes in the day when I wasn’t doing something. 

Hard work doesn’t bother me, but it does wear me out!

Feels good to put my feet up a few minutes. 

Normal posts will resume soon, I promise…

Today’s just been hectic. 

Avoid overcommitting

I’m learning that showing up is a big deal. No one likes a flaky, only when it suits me kind of person. 

Jesus said, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”

I try to only commit to what I can reasonably do. Overcommitting was a major problem in my past and it led to me not being able to do anything all that well. 

As much as I love to help people, jamming my schedule full of stuff only meant that there was no way I could actually be of much help. 

I think about the requests that come my way now. 

Keeping a calendar is the best way I’ve found to keep from overcommitting. 

Whatever you need to do to show up when you agreed to show up, do it!

Being faithful in your commitments speaks volumes. 

Tax Day Thoughts

Happy Tax Day!

Or, for all of my accountant friends, Happy I-Get-My-Life-Back-After-Today!

I am truly appreciative for accountants because they help keep everyone in good standing with the government. 

And…I really don’t like dealing with all the paperwork and fine print myself. 

However, tax collectors during biblical times were not treated with much respect and I can understand why. They often cheated the people to make a profit. 

Thankfully, accountants (for the most part) have a better rap today. 

Jesus didn’t villainize taxes either. 

He basically told the people to stop grumbling about taxes and give the money to whom it is due-whether to the government or to God.

I agree with Jesus. 

Just pay your taxes. 

Don’t make a big deal about how the big, dirty, rotten, corrupt government who zaps you dry. (Heard quite a bit of murmuring today.)

What good does whining do?

And our tax law, for the most part, is much more lax than that of biblical times. 

The tax collectors could charge whatever percentage they wanted as long as the government got their cut. 

We’ve got it good! Most of us will get money back! 

On this tax day, keep your perspective positive. Our government may have its flaws, but we have so much to be thankful for. 

Getting past minor snafus 

I had a messy moment at work today. 

My attitude needed adjusting and perfectionism tried to pick a fight with me–and at the same time, too!

I am a Christian, which means I don’t have to be controlled by feelings, but I’m also human. 

Choosing to not react to my feelings and frustrations is tough. 

The situation I faced was not a big deal at all. Some poorly written instructions collided with my first time using a computer program. 

Despite the challenges, Step 1 of my project was completed. 

The minor snafus of life are true tests of our ability to respond instead of react. 

I didn’t fail the test, but I didn’t make an “A” either. 

It’s easy for me to become cynical about whatever I perceive to be the problem. 

Not everything, though, has to be a tragedy. 

Life happens. 

Most of the things that irritate me are small in scale. I just have to get over myself. 

It’s not the end of the world to make mistakes, to mess up, to drop the ball. 

What’s important is to learn from your mistakes and move forward. 

Did you hear me?

Move forward!

Quit your pouting.  

And if you can’t tell already, this post is more of a note to myself. 

A new job description

I was charged today with bringing humor into our office. 

My boss told me to make him laugh everyday because he tends to be too serious. 

I can handle this task! 

(I was already doing this anyway, but it’s good to know I have job security.)

The gears are turning in my head now…

Work just got even better for me! 

I don’t know if my boss fully understands how exciting this new challenge is for me. 

Sure, there’s plenty of “real” work to be done, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun, too. 

And fun we shall have! 

It’s a part of my job description now.