7 Steps for Gen Y to Achieve Goals

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We all struggle with goals: setting, planning, and completing them. It could be because we procrastinate, don’t have time, are lazy, or can’t finish what we started, which are all stereotypical Gen Y reasons. But they’re wrong. The truth is… it’s hard! Setting goals can be a daunting task that carries with it a burden of responsibilities and hard work that we just don’t want to do. We all know we should do it because:

Without goals, we will become a product of other people’s choices and unforeseen circumstances, not our own making.

So here are the 7 tips on how to achieve your goals.

  1. It’s All About You

Don’t just take orders. Think about how your goals affect your personal and professional growth and leverage it. If the goal is work related, talk to your employer. Set clear expectations of what kind of work you enjoy doing and what you expect of each other. If the goal is personal or school-related, recognize your strong and weak points, and find what areas to focus on. For example, if you’re amazing at setting and planning goals but then never actually acting on them, work on motivating yourself to complete those goals. Know yourself and be your own boss when it comes to setting goals.

  1. Get Pumped!

Set goals that make you excited. And if they don’t, re-phrase them so that they do. Instead of “Answer e-mails”, how about “Talk to people online”. Change “Clean my room” to “OBLITERATE THE DUST BUNNIES”. Not “Save money just in case”, but “Collect gold coins in case of pirate attack”! Treat the goal as a secret mission, a duty to protect the weak, a job only you can complete, or simply make it fun for you.

  1. Stop Loafting

Start now what you will wish later on you had done earlier. Confused? Here is an example: if I didn’t start my personal blog in 2013, I may not have gotten the opportunity to write these articles for Raeallan. Back then I wasn’t thinking about internships or writing for others, I had a goal and I mustered up the courage to act on it. Realize that while you’re wasting time, other people are Hustling for a Life. (http://raeallan.com/2014/02/18/how-to-hustle-for-a-life-vs-just-hustle-for-life/)

  1. Make it Matter

Gen Y is known for wanting to be recognized and treated as special. We want to feel that our work is making a real-world impact and that the goal matters. Let’s use that need for recognition to motivate ourselves. Set goals that are important to you or something/someone you care about. And while you’re working hard to achieve your goal, keep in mind why you’re doing it.

  1. Eat Your Timbits

View the goal not as a huge cake that you cannot possibly eat by yourself, but as a box of timbits. Totally manageable one at a time, and you can even share some with your friends if you want (and you may find they want it too!). In other words, break your goal down into small steps that don’t overwhelm you and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Accomplishing a goal is a process, not a cram session.

 

  1.  Put a Ring on It

After you’ve set and planned your goal, make it tangible and then commit to it. Write it down, get supplies if you need them, put something on your desk that reminds you of it, stick a bright-coloured post-it on your computer. Taking that first step will help you keep working on achieving your goal and physically reaffirm your commitment to it.

  1. Step Up

Don’t sell yourself short. If you complete most of your goals and get bored after doing your work, it means you’re not challenging yourself enough. Step up your game and make that game count. Make your dreams grander, set your goals higher, and take leaps instead of steps. You can do more and be more and you know it.

We understand that setting goals and completing them is hard. But the bottom line is that it’s a necessary part of your leadership growth. This doesn’t have to be boring because it’s YOUR goal, which means you have complete control over it. Hopefully after you’ve read this article, you’ll be setting short and long –term goals left and right. But if you do get stuck, feel free to come to us for help.

Check out our Youtube video for more information at: http://youtu.be/kw_hzYK52AY

written by Katrina Van

What You Can and Can’t Have

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You can’t have love without fear. You can have love to overcome fearhaveitall_crop380w
You can’t have truth without doubt. You can have truth to clarify doubt.
You can’t have connection without change. You can have connection to embrace change.
You can’t have growth without ambition. You can have growth to fuel ambition.
You can’t have passion without reflection. You can have passion that’s rooted in reflection.
You can’t have it all without sacrifice. You can have it all with meaningful sacrifice.
You can’t have me without giving a bit of yourself. You can have me to give all to yourself.

Whether you sometimes think you can’t, you really can.

 

 

If you like this, please share.

http://www.raeallan.com

7 Ways to Become More Confident

How to Become More Confident: 7 Ways to Help You — by Katrina Van

Many people say ‘confidence is sexy’. Whenever you type in “How to become more        ” in a Google search bar, the second item that comes up is ‘confident’ (the first being ‘social’). We all struggle with confidence and self-esteem. There is so much pressure to become confident while we’re at college/university or learning to live on our own because we were taught to believe that all adults are confident. The truth is something else:

They struggle with it too. Everyone doubts themselves now and again.

In today’s society, confidence plays an important role in many aspects of our lives. We look for it in our partners as an indicator of healthy self-esteem and we’re judged on it in interviews as a sign of capability. We see it in our parents which reinforces trust and knowledge that they know what to do. We see it in our friends and peers as being social and having their life together. We see it on TV as sexy and powerful (think Suits). The media, the Internet, the people in our life are all screaming “BE MORE CONFIDENT!”, but they don’t tell you exactly how. Well I’m here to tell you how, not as some confidence expert or psychologist, but as a regular person struggling with it every single day.

1. Accept praise

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One of the reasons people lack confidence is because they have low self-esteem. By learning to accept praise and answering “Oh so you think you’re pretty?” with “Damn right I am” in your head, you will begin to feel better about yourself (Comment below if you caught that Mean Girls reference). And if they’re complimenting you for a shady reason, who cares! They noticed something nice about you so instead of arguing with them or feeling shy about it, just say “Thank you” and smile. Notice any recurring aspects that you’re being complimented on, is it your fashion sense, assertiveness, wisdom, sense of humor, hair, kindness, passion, entrepreneurial spirit? Recognize that the most common compliment you receive is a strength, and it’s probably one of the first thing people notice when they meet you. Accentuating that part of you will help you feel better about yourself and what kind of image you’re projecting to the world.

2. Be your own role model picture2

Having role models is great, don’t get me wrong, but we end up idealizing them and creating God-like images of them. We forget that celebrities and CEOs and family members are all regular people that make mistakes just like we do. By creating a better version of you in your head and becoming your own role model, you will have a realistic image to strive for. Comparing your current, accomplished self to your past, younger self, may increase your self-worth and help you reflect on your past.

3. Treat ‘yo self!

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It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. You are worthy of everything that comes your way. Prioritize and make time for things you actually want to do. Want to go horseback riding, learn a new language, or take baking classes? WHAT’S STOPPING YOU? Weigh how much you want it with how much you’re willing to sacrifice and create an actionable plan with a timeline. I know we’re all busy with school, work and life but there’s breaks in between and, for many students, four whole months of summer! Stop making excuses and put yourself first for once. Doing what you really want will result in you learning more about yourself and becoming more self-assured. Even treating yourself materialistically, like buying a nice watch, pair of shoes, or a leather jacket and pampering yourself can make you feel like a million bucks.

4. Celebrate your successespicture4

Write it down, say it in your head, tell your mom, tell your friends, tell yourself in the mirror, shout it out, SCREAM IT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS: “I WROTE A TO-DO LIST TODAAYYY!!!!” A year ago, I gave my friends jars for Christmas to fill up with memories of good things that happened in 2013. At the end of the year, you read all the good memories and things that you have accomplished. It’s a great way to reminisce and keep track of all the little happy moments in your life. Your successes, big or small, deserve to be celebrated. Whether you passed a tough course, exercised for a whole month, got a new job, or didn’t fight with your partner, it’s a reason to celebrate and pat yourself on the back.

5. Take MORE selfiespictire5

That’s right, I said it. By taking more: silly, duck, tongue-out, innocent, creative, smiley, kissy face pictures of yourself, you will begin to notice your own beauty/handsomeness and appreciate others’ as well. An important step to becoming more confident is to learn to love yourself: personality, accomplishments, values, and looks.

6. Stop worrying about what others think of you

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This is the toughest one. I hear it all the time, and it’s one of those things that is so easy to say yet so hard to do. I constantly battle with myself because I do care about what others think of me. It’s hard not to when there’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram showing you what everyone else is up to, how much fun they’re having while you’re home in your pajamas eating ice cream and watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. The truth is that everyone puts their best face on social media, and if everyone recorded their boring days, we would be seeing a lot of vegetating, grocery shopping, doing homework, and refreshing Facebook. Instead of envying what others are doing, be grateful that you have time to laze around on a Sunday afternoon. Everyone is so busy worrying about themselves, they don’t care enough to spend their time judging you. And if they do waste their mental activity to think negatively about you, then they’re not worth being worried about.

7. Change your strutpic7

Keep your chin up, back straight, walk with a purpose, and look straight ahead. Don’t hide behind your hair or another person, walk as if you know exactly where you need to be even if you really don’t. By walking sure-footedly, like you own the place, you will feel more powerful and independent. It’s simple and it works. Just like smiling in the mirror will brighten your mood, walking with confidence will give you the courage to be more assertive.  Maybe even throw in a fun power song to get your mood up as you walk.

At the end of the day, confidence builds slowly and comes from, often quietly and consistently, getting shit done. Getting things done shows that you are a capable adult and you understand that, for example: the bills have to get paid, the work has to be completed, and that dentist appointment you’ve been dreading has to be scheduled. By doing the things you need to do, you will feel more self-assured doing them again and again, which will in turn, empower you to do more things. And doing things is how you will become more confident.

If you look at the leaders in this world you will see that although there are exceptional geniuses that are gifted like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, most CEOs and other higher-ups got to where they are by getting things done, day in and day out. With these tips, you can become more self-reliant and bold, ready to conquer everything tomorrow has to offer. Thank you for reading this article and remember that if you ever need help with confidence, public-speaking or leadership, ask us. We’re here to help.

All gifs are from giphy.com 

It’s Okay to Be Lost: 5 Ways to Act on it Right Now

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Being Lost Is Okay…- by Katrina Van

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Whether it’s an existential realization, a quarter-life depression, mid-life crisis, being stuck in a rut, or just not knowing what to do, we all feel lost sometimes. For some, it’s a few days of aimlessly walking about their day, unable to choose between job offers. Others are lost for months, struggling with their identity or path. Some of us live with it for years, like danisnotonfire from Youtube. We usually are able to function but once in a while, we’re struck with a horrible kind of uncertainty about the future and our purpose in life.

Being lost is okay. Not doing anything about it is not.

Doubting yourself and worrying about the future is a natural reaction to the ever changing world, but don’t let being lost define you and become part of your comfort zone. The first step to “finding” yourself is recognizing something huge.

There will never be a final version of you.

You’re a constant work in progress: the sum of your ongoing actions and experiences. Getting out of your comfort zone will help you gain more understanding of what you value, like, and don’t like as well as meet new people and encounter new opportunities. To help you get started, here are some tips on how to get out of your comfort zone:

1. Say “Yes!” (not just the dress)

Sure, I’d love to go out for coffee. I can edit your paper, no problem. Hot yoga? I’ll be there. Saying yes to new experiences will create new opportunities and connections with other people. Trying new things and talking to new friends will help you identify what you do and don’t like, as well as what kinds of people you like to surround yourself with.

2. Travel. Anywhere. Just get Away.

A different country, city, town, or park with new people, places, cultures, and things is a bottomless well of creativity. Whether it’s an overnight business trip, a week long get-away, visiting family, or moving completely, changing scenery will alter your perspective. Sometimes getting lost intentionally will help you get unlost.

3. Try Giving up Dislikes from your Past.

That interesting-looking delicacy you threw up when you were 8 might taste differently now. Your sworn aversion to anything green might have been a one second decision that made you lose out on clothes you would’ve bought if they were white. Just because you hated Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows, doesn`t mean you shouldn`t watch Pirates of the Caribbean or Sweeney Todd. But it`s not about the tastes, colours, and movie stars, it`s about realizing that you will change over time along with your thoughts and opinions. And that`s okay.

4. “Only After” vs. “Only Before”—Shock your Routine.

Try brushing your teeth only after you`ve had breakfast. Call your friend before they call you. Open your laptop after you`ve talked to each of your family members. Pour your milk only before your cereal. These little changes can significantly impact your daily routine and provide new ways of thinking outside the box, especially if you’re stuck in a rut.

5. Trust your Blink.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink, he writes: “There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis”. Sometimes we get stuck thinking about all the possibilities and outcomes that will come out of making a decision like which jobs to apply for or what to major in. Go make a quick decision without thinking too much about it and see where it takes you. You may surprise yourself. Sometimes, your gut instinct is right.

Everyone tries new things at their own pace, so take your time exploring life outside your comfort zone. This will help you understand where you are in life right now and straighten out your priorities. Not knowing how your life will pan out is not a gaping hole of oblivion, rather it should be like Barney Stinson (from How I Met Your Mother) says,

 “Challenge Accepted!”

It’s okay to be lost, every leader has been there, and the best leaders know when to ask for help. Just make sure your actions don’t constantly re-enforce your uncertainty. Remember that everything eventually passes, including the struggle you’re going through right now. If you need help, just ask us.

Visit us at http://www.raeallan.com

12 Years of Hustle to understand the Gravity of my OSCAR PICKS!!

Oscars 2013 Daniel Day-Lewis Jennifer Lawrence Anne Hathaway Christoph Waltz

It would take 12 Years of Hustle to understand the Gravity of this year’s OSCAR PREDICTIONS!!

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Here they are, hopefully to help you win your Oscar pools. In giving you my 1st pick, 2nd pick, %’s and brief commentary with maybe a dark horse or upset pick. My normal article would have had much more to say, but sadly, the time did not #FitInMyLife, haha. Some real craziness this year especially in the tightest 3-way Best Picture race I have ever seen. Please comment, debate, share your picks and I’ll share more, telling you why you are right or way wrong. Remember, it’s not about who YOU think should win or was best, but who the academy will vote for. Here goes…

BEST PICTURE:

41           12 Years a Slave

40           Gravity

19           American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

The Wolf of Wall Street

Nebraska

Philomena

Her

This is the first time I will admit that it’s a complete toss-up between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, although it’s still possible for American Hustle to sneak through too. There are so many reasons. American Hustle won at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), 12 Years a Slave won at the Golden Globes (GG) and the BAFTA’s, while Gravity won the Directors Guild Award (DGA). Incredibly, the Producers Guild Award (PGA), which is one of my favourite indicators had a TIE for a first time in history! Both 12 Years a Slave and Gravity were announced as winners. This category also has a unique voting system where 2nd and 3rd place votes counts when there is no majority. So who do you think voters will vote for with their other votes if the top two are not first? Yup, you guessed it, BOTH of them! Gravity has few actors and 12 Years has many actors and actors make up the largest proportion of the academy. Gravity has the sweep factor, but some will say, it will win enough Oscars so we should spread the love around. 12 Years has the emotional impact and epic quality that academy voters love. Finally, everywhere I research is splitting the vote, so no one really knows for sure, but it’s pretty damn exciting. Therefore, my gut says that we will see a rare split between best director and picture and 12 Years a Slave squeaks in. Then again, predicting splits rarely works for me….ah well. Just suck it up and pick one of them.

BEST DIRECTOR:

95           Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”

5              Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”

David O. Russell, “American Hustle”

Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”

This is one of the few locks for tonight. Alfonso Cuaron has won most pre-cursor awards and people love his mastery of technical and artistic storytelling. (George Lucas could learn a thing or two from him). The only way Steve McQueen could pull off a huge upset is if 12 Years a Slave has hidden momentum only to be revealed tonight.

BEST ACTOR:

70           Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

20           Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”

10           Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”

Christian Bale, “American Hustle”

McConaughey has all the momentum and the key wins in the SAG, GG and Critics choice. This combined with his other great works this year make him the best pick. Chiwetel has a role of a lifetime that cannot be ignored and Leo is adored and loved by academy voters plus he’s been nominated 5 times.

BEST ACTRESS:

85           Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”

10           Amy Adams, “American Hustle”

5              Judi Dench, “Philomena”

Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”

Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

Another solid lock for the evening. Cate has overcome everything, winning every pre-cursor and avoiding any Woody Allen aftermath. Amy Adams could steal because of her 5th nomination and no win and Judi Dench could do the same because of her age and never winning Best Actress before.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

100         Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”

Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”

Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”

This is the 3rd and most secure lock of the entire evening. Jared has won every pre-cursor, was in a transformative role, was in a movie that is getting a lot of love and his personal story is compelling. If you had a million dollars, you can bet on his 1:40 odds and win a nice 25k.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

65           Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”

35           Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”

Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”

June Squibb, “Nebraska”

Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”

Some would say this is a close race, but I beg differ. It’s certainly closer than all of the other acting categories by comparison. As much we all love Jennifer Lawrence, including the academy, having her win two years in a row and be only 23 years of age, would be quite an anomaly. Lupita has won many of the important pre-cursors including the most important SAG. Nevertheless, Jennifer cannot be ignored because she beat our Lupita for the BAFTA and she is so darn adorable.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:  

60           “Her”

40           “American Hustle”

“Dallas Buyers Club”

“Blue Jasmine”

“Nebraska”

The movie Her is perfectly suited to win having such an original story having won the GG, BAFTA and all-important Writers Guild Award (WGA). But Oscar loves David Russell and American Hustle had some great momentum building and then slowed down. It seems to be the one that might get shut out of most of the awards, so this is a great spot for an upset.  It’s not enough for me to call it though. Woody Allen, despite his creative talent, is definitely losing favour in Hollywood.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

80           “12 Years a Slave”

20           “Philomena”

“Before Midnight”

“Captain Phillips”

“The Wolf of Wall Street”

The only reason Philomena has a shot is because Harvey Weinstein is a pompous, arrogant dude who has to bulldog his way by influencing voters.  12 Years a Slave is an epic story and should win.

BEST ANIMATED FILM:

90           “Frozen”

10           “The Wind Rises”

“Despicable Me 2″

“Ernest & Celestine”

“The Croods”

All other competitors will be frozen out so just let it go.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: 

50           “The Great Beauty”

40           “The Broken Circle Breakdown”

10           “The Hunt”

“Omar”

“The Missing Picture”

Another very close race between our top two, but The Great Beauty won both the GG and BAFTA.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM: 

45           “The Act of Killing”

40           “20 Feet from Stardom”

15           “The Square”

“Cutie & the Boxer”

“Dirty Wars”

Another very tough one to call.  I’m going with The Act of Killing but 20 feet from stardom could easily take this one. I put The Square in because it did win the DGA.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

85           “Gravity”

10           “Philomena”

5              “Her”

“The Book Thief”

“Saving Mr. Banks”

Another lock for Gravity. Harvey Weinstein can try all he wants, but I hope he doesn’t pull off an upset for Philomena.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:

85           “Let It Go”, Frozen

10           “Ordinary Love”, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

5              “Happy”, Despicable Me 2

“The Moon Song”, Her

Some say that Mandela’s death would be a timely reminder and opportunity for an upset, so we can’t ignore that. However, which song above can you sing, right now? Exactly! Whether you are a parent or not, the choice is no contest. So let it go.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

90           “Gravity”

10           “Inside Llewyn Davis”

“Nebraska”

“Prisoners”

“The Grandmaster”

Another one of the few locks. You cannot watch Gravity without thinking about the cinematography.

BEST FILM EDITING:

55           “Captain Phillips”

45           “Gravity”

“12 Years a Slave”

“American Hustle”

“Dallas Buyers Club”

Very close race too! When in doubt, go with the A.C.E. winner. That would be Captain Phillips and not the front-runner. That said, the beautiful long takes that Gravity is famous will be both a bonus and a detriment to its Oscar chances.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

55           “The Great Gatsby”

35           “Gravity”

10           “12 Years a Slave”

“Her”

“American Hustle”

Another closer race than it seems. Great Gatsby has fantastic sets and is a front-runner, but Gravity has momentum and sweep factor potential.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

45           “American Hustle”

40           “The Great Gatsby”

15           “12 Years a Slave”

“The Grandmaster”

“The Invisible Woman”

Most people are picking Great Gatsby for this one. However, here is my first predicted upset. The momentum of American Hustle plus how incredibly sexy Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence looked might be enough to sway voters to get nostalgic about the 70’s. Okay, maybe I’m being swayed. Safe bet is Gatsby, but take a risk on American Hustle and maybe win your Oscar pool.

BEST MAKEUP & HAIR:

100         “Dallas Buyers Club”

“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”

“The Lone Ranger

I don’t think anyone wants to allow Jackass or the Lone Ranger to call itself an “Academy Award winning movie.”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

99           “Gravity”

1              “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

“Iron Man 3″

“The Lone Ranger”

“Star Trek Into Darkness”

Um…yeah, well the dragon was pretty cool in The Hobbit, so I’m biased. But it’s Gravity all the way.

BEST SOUND EDITING: 

75           “Gravity”

24           “Captain Phillips”

1              “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

“All is Lost”

“Lone Survivor”

Gravity all the way. Captain Phillips has a good chance to upset, but doubtful. I gave The Hobbit a 1% shot because of my personal bias and love for that movie.

BEST SOUND MIXING: 

80           “Gravity”

15           “Inside Llewyn Davis”

5              “Captain Phillips”

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

“Lone Survivor”

Historically these 2 categories of Sound Editing and Sound Mixing have gone hand-in-hand 95% of the time, except in the last few years. That said, the sound and especially the silence of space make Gravity a much stronger pick in this category.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT:

60           “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved my Life”

20           “Facing Fear”

15           “Cave Digger”

5              “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”

“Karama Has No Walls”

A 109 year old piano playing holocaust survivor? Okay, good choice.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT:

60           “Get a Horse!”

25           “Mr. Hublot”

10           “Room on the Bloom”

5              “Feral!”

“Possessions”

Get a Horse is the big front-runner, but those who don’t like Mickey Mouse may go for Mr. Hublot.  These smaller categories are harder to predict and easier to have upsets. Given how crazy this year is, especially best picture, you may win your pools way down here in these categories.

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT:

40           “The Voorman Problem”

30           “Helium”

25           “Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)”

5              “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)”

“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)”

Any one of the top 4 could win. But I’m going with the stats, odds and what most people are picking.

Summary: There you have it. So who gets the most Oscar love?

Gravity                                                 6

12 Years a Slave                                3

Dallas Buyers Club                           3

Frozen                                                  2

American Hustle                               1

Captain Phillips                                  1

Her                                                         1

Blue Jasmine                                      1

Biggest losers: Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska get zero. American Hustle for all it’s glory, momentum and how much I love it and Amy Adams, only gets 1 small Oscar.

So now….who is gonna be BEST DRESSED?!  I say Jared Leto!  Okay Jennifer Lawrence too.

7 Types of Procrastinators and How to Stop

Keepcalmstopprocrastinating

The following is a guest blog from one of our new interns at Raeallan, Katrina Van.

How to Stop Procrastinating

Keepcalmstopprocrastinating

Have you ever felt that sinking feeling in your stomach while realizing that assignment that you should have started a week ago is due tomorrow? You start to panic, trying to calculate how much sleep you’re going to get, figuring out how to stay up past 2:00am, and profusely cursing yourself over and over again: “Why did I procrastinate? I knew this was going to happen. Never again!” Good news, you’re not alone, “in North America, over 70% of students exhibit this behaviour.” The most common reason why most of us have done it is that we are scared of failure. We’re paralyzed by the idea of trying our best and doing a terrible job, resulting in disappointing others and ourselves. So instead, we avoid it for as long as possible so that if it doesn’t meet certain expectations, we can just blame it on the short amount of time we had to complete it in. It’s an addicting cycle of denial, excuses, self-hatred, cramming, and relief. But don’t be fooled, not every procrastinator is the same; your studying habits reflect how you choose to procrastinate.

So what kind of studier are you? Keep in mind you can be a combination of different types. Here are some tips and tricks to help you stop procrastinating and start studying for the upcoming midterms.

1.       The Shush-er

WHO: These people hate noise when they’re working and they are not afraid to “shhh” anyone eating, talking, walking, or chewing their gum too loudly. When it’s silent, they can work for hours on end and everyone else in the vicinity is secretly thankful for the Shush-er, because without them, chaos would ensue.

DO: You’re usually the go-getter so you already know what to do and what places to go, you know what works and what doesn’t. Use earplugs and help the rest of us, please!

2.       The Free Spirit

WHO: These ones excel in either some kind of art or skill that makes them rely on their creativity and inspiration to do well in school. Their emotions and mental state drive their work, so multiple choice questions may not be their strong point.

DO: Change your environment to experience more and get inspired by your surroundings and other people. This is especially important if you get stuck or the idea or thought is not going to come to you where you are. You have to make yourself available to take it and run. To study for multiple choice: know the definitions, understand the concepts and organization of each chapter. That way, you will have a clear map of theories to apply.

3.       The Bullsh!tter

WHO: We all know one. They can talk their way out of anything through diversion, flattery, excuses, vague facts, and lies. Usually excel at multiple-choice questions, essays, and making you do things you didn’t want to do. Not the best at True/False questions.

DO: Stop making assumptions about what you know and don’t know and start learning the content thoroughly. It won’t always be this easy.

4.        The Drummer

WHO: These people can’t work in complete silence; they need some white noise whether it’s music in their headphones, the murmurs of a coffee shop, or the TV playing downstairs. The problem is that those things can turn into distractions very quickly if they lose focus.

DO: If you’re in a place with distractions, put your headphones on but don’t turn on the music. That way you have white noise without potential distractions. If there’s people over at your house, study in the basement. Make sure to keep yourself in check or else you’ll be reading the same sentence over and over again 10 times while listening to Macklemore.

5.       The IDGAF (I Don’t Give A F**k)

WHO: These people have no motivation for school and genuinely don’t care anymore. Whether it’s the cause of difficult family circumstances, a bad breakup, or a series of unfortunate events, these people are completely, and utterly, D-O-N-E.

DO: E-mail your professor, some of them will understand. Tell your friends and classmates that you’re going through a rough time and ask for their notes or advice on how to study. Every class and professor is different, your friends know what’s going on and they can help you figure it out. Realize that the world is not going to stop just to wait for you. Sometimes life sucks and there’s not much you can do about it. Just remember that how you face hardships defines who you are.

6.       The Trickster

WHO: “For every chapter I read today, I will have two cookies.” “If I don’t do any readings today, I won’t watch that new episode of Parks & Recreation.” “For every paragraph I read, I can have a gummy bear.” They know how to trick themselves into taking action.

DO: Be careful in how you motivate yourself. There’s a difference between making a deal and rewarding yourself. One is destructive while the other is beneficial. When you make a deal with yourself but don’t do any readings, you might start to pity yourself because you feel cheated out of the reward when you didn’t do anything. Rewarding yourself is different because there is no expectation for you to receive it; it’s a prize for a job well done.

7.       The Zombie

WHO: You see them on Monday and they look perfectly fine and dandy. On Tuesday, they say they’ll write that 20% paper later. It’s due on Friday. By Wednesday, they’ve realized how much they have to do and how little time they have but they continue procrastinating because they’re on a roll. A procrasti-roll. On Thursday, they’re talking about quitting school and moving to Denmark. Friday comes and who do you see roaming the halls, dazed and confused? The Zombie, who stayed up all night to finish that paper. Warning: approach at own risk. These people are not stable.

DO: You have to admit you have a problem. This is not healthy. Soon, one all-nighter is not going to be enough to complete everything you have to do. Train yourself to stop simply thinking about doing it, and actually start doing it. It’s all about getting rid of bad habits and bringing in new ones.

Now combine all those tips into a melting pot of productivity and ace those midterms!

In the end, the key trick to being productive is to begin. Avoid worrying about how much you have to do, getting tired from all the worrying, then procrastinating but still thinking about your responsibilities. Instead, stop thinking about it and start doing. Uh-uh! Not another thought. (Unlessit’s for a nice comment down below, but then, focus!) Just START!

Watch this video on How to Stop Procrastinating for more insight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL83GqBxAic

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Katrina is a 2nd year Business Management student at Ryerson University majoring in Marketing and minoring in Professional Communication. She is passionate about transforming the marketing industry into one that celebrates differences, empowers, and influences people for good. She loves to learn new skills and take up challenges, especially in social media, research, and digital tools, as the marketing world is ever-changing. She loves to combine digital art with marketing and hopes to inspire creativity in others as well. When she is not working, Katrina is blogging, training her puppy Hazel, and reading everything from fiction to business to well-being. You can find her LinkedIn here: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/katrina-van/5a/84b/601

References: http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4318009.aspx

How to Hustle For A Life vs. Hustle for life

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Today is my birthday. Here is some raw honesty for you — I think I am at best exactly at the halfway point of my life, if not beyond it. Meaning… I truly don’t believe I will get past 84 years of age. But the time is right now to change all of that. I’ll share with you some of the how and why.

I decided to spend the entire birthday mostly off social media, especially Facebook, even though I am huge extrovert and a social beast by nature. It was hard, because ironically I spent much of this ‘special’ day alone. I had a birthday party last night so all is good. However, I remember that last year I had the same problem, where I spent almost the entire birthday alone. My wife was at work, the kids were at school/daycare and then that evening I had to go teach a class. Ultimately, it made me realize that I tend to spend too much time on social networks to feed my affection for connection.

I recently started a journey called #FitInMyLife, as a means to do more things that are healthy and fit in my life. This was prompted by a very personal and brutally honest post I did on Facebook called “WTF is Wrong with Me?

I started really turning my life around with the healthy eating and fitness plan. I got a personal trainer, worked out 3 times a week, starting doing more cooking every night and shopping for more food a few times per week. Most recently, I started doing Hot Yoga twice a week. The results have been great and my mind is slowly shifting in the right direction. Now I believe I can and will get past 84 years of age. Yet this is also not the point of my post.

You see, #FitInMyLife became more than just health. As I spent almost an extra 10 hours a week doing this, I was losing time and energy on all the other things I was used to doing. I reflected on how precious our time is. I realized there were so many things I wanted to #FitInMyLife – family time, friends, travel, culture, business, career, etc. I’ve been hustling all my life to fit all these things and for the most part, I am tired of hustling for life. I want to start hustling for a life.

Leadership for me these days is about learning, evolving, growing and changing for the better to make positive impact on myself, others and the world. But it starts with me. I have spent 43 years learning. I am a “learn by doing” type of a learner. Now I want to take my life to the next level.  A big part of this journey is focus and eliminating activities that do not help you achieve your vision (a la 4-hour workweek). Here are some things I have observed to help you Hustle For A Life.

1) Create business systems that generate revenue while you sleep

I thought I had solved my biggest problem when I left the corporate world. I was like okay no more ‘working for the man, because now I am the man’. The attitude was based on the idea that maybe I shouldn’t spend my life hustling for another company, making them millions of dollars while I work long, crazy-ass hours, stressed and giving up on the things I truly value in my life.

“and it’s not about money and popularity. Although, some money would be nice.” – Jeff Bebe, Almost Famous

I spent almost a decade exchanging my work, sweat and expertise for pay, benefits and ‘security’. Nevertheless, I knew that the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying had nothing to do with my title nor how successful I was for a company. Thus, I became an entrepreneur with the idea that the world was my oyster; I could grow my business beyond anything the corporate world could pay me.

Big problem….I am still exchanging time, sweat and expertise for pay and entrepreneurial benefits (like freedom, flexibility and control). I am still hustling for the next keynote, the next workshop, the next gig. While I am proud of some of the successes I have had, after 7 years, I am getting tired of this kind of hustle.

When my new GMAT book finally came out a few weeks ago, I realized that the crazy amount of work I put into it – about 5 months and 1000+ hours, that I often regretted or doubted – was actually going to pay off WAY more than I realized. Aside from promoting my book from time to time, it was actually going to earn revenue for me in the next 3-5 years. Then the next book ‘revision’ would require less time and this would also continue to earn revenue while I sleep for more years to come.

So….THE BEST way to Hustle For A Life is to create business systems that generate money while you sleep. There are many ways to do this, the book being the best example. But even better, anyone can do this! Why? How? Because we all have expertise, experience and stories, we all have supporting connections and we all have desire to live the life that we truly want. So isn’t it worth it to invest in this type of endeavour? Isn’t the life you want to live worth investing in now? If not you, then who? If not now, then when?

2) Reduce the amount of TV you watch

I grew up as a TV junkie. That is why I know every theme song to TV shows from the 70’s, 80’s and some 90’s. I watch about 20-30 hours of TV per week. Even when I started my career, after dinner, it was my way to relax. But did I really need to watch from 7pm to midnight?! Even now on Social Media, everyone is talking about that latest episode of Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Bachelor, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and heck even the Kardashians. I get it, TV shows are fun, many of them are even high quality and sure don’t you deserve a break? We all do, which is why I do watch TV via my PVR – shows like The Daily Show or Big Bang Theory, etc. I also referenced TV in our older post called “5 Ways to Waste Your Summer.” However, let us look at the numbers. If you watch 20 hours of TV per week on average, over 10 years that works out to 10,400 hours or 433.3 DAYS. If you cut your TV amount by half, you will gain 217 DAYS (that’s 24 hour days) of your life in the next 10 years. We’re not talking your whole life just the next 10 years. What can you do with all that extra time? See point #1. If you hustle for a life, then you can go back to watching whatever you want as much as you want.

3) Consider reducing the Cancer of Commuting

So many of my friends commute. They come home tired, they are stressed during the commute, and they resolve doing it because of the trade-off for a something like a nice house.  I get the need and value of a nice house and a big yard. However, think about the numbers again. If you commute daily around 45 minutes (some do much longer) each way, over 10 years you will spend 156.25 DAYS commuting. Again, I reiterate that’s 24-hour days. If you cut that to 15 minutes, you will gain 104.2 DAYS over the next 10 years. If you have my commute of 8 seconds, well then you gain almost 150 days. Aside from reducing stress, lessening havoc on the environment, reducing fatigue too often when you get home, and having time to take on an extra-curricular on a weeknight, what can you do with all that time? See point #1. If you hustle for a life, then you can have the big home and spacious backyard and never have to commute again.

4) Take a Hard Look at Other Time Wasters

Everyone knows that I am one of the biggest culprit with this one, especially these days with Social Media. Back in University, I was called “The Procraster Master” because of my subtle skill of procrastination, which I turned into an art form. I left everything to the last minute. In fact, I was often amazed at what I could get done in such a short period of time when I truly focused. Imagine if I could put that same focus in my daily routine.

The average person spend 22.4 hours per week on Social Media. I am sure my number is much higher, maybe over 30+ hours. If we all can reduce our usage by 10 hours per week, we again gain 217 DAYS in the next 10 years.

The other big time waster is that ‘in-between’ phase of every single task, meeting or plan we have. If I finish a task with 40 minutes before my next meeting, I will likely waste that time.  Alternatively, if I have 90 minutes to do something that takes only 70 minutes, I will ‘create space’ and just do it in the 90 minutes. If we log our time during the week, I’m sure we’d find at least 5-10 hours of waste that can be controlled. Let’s say 5 hours and we end up gaining 108 DAYS in the next 10 years.  What can you do with all that extra time? See point #1. If you hustle for a life and eliminate waste, you can spend more time doing the things you love.

5) Try Integration (and/or Automation)

I miss my friends. I miss my kids sometimes too. I miss doing fun things. I miss travelling. It’s hard to fit it all in my life. However, we can use integration as a way to do two (or three!) things at once. For example

- Laundry with the kids. We make it a game. The learn responsibility, they have fun, we spend time together and I get it done

- Bath time and grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa live on the west coast. They miss their grandkids and we miss talking with them. But the kids need to have a bath, so we bring the iPad and Skype all together. It’s funny, enjoyable and most of the time it works. On days it doesn’t, we spend dinner talking with them like a family around the table.

- Lunch gatherings. Every time I go to Vancouver, I have an open lunch to invite my contacts to connect. It’s a great way to see 5-10 (or more!) different people all within a few hours.

- Baby-paloozas. Instead of going to the play-land or the beach with one set of parent friends and their kids, why not invite a few sets? Last summer we went camping with 4 families and it was a great way to spend time together, catch-up, and bond with more than one family.

- Travel together. We went out east and got grandparents to join us. I once went to Cuba and coordinated with friends to come along.

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There are so many more ways to integrate. You can also automate your business and work by outsourcing, such as housekeeping,  accounting, assistants, etc. But that only works if you have the money. Overall, integration probably saves another 4 hours per week. That’s a gain of 87 DAYS over the next 10 years. What can you do with all that extra time? See point #1. If you hustle for a life and integrate, you can spend more time with your kids, family, friends and travelling. You can also have more money to pay for automation.

So where does this leave us? If you add it all up, we can create 733 DAYS — that’s 24-hour days people — in our next 10 years. That’s 2 YEARS of time in the next 10. What can you do with all that extra time? Here’s an idea: Create business systems that generate revenue while you sleep! So invest the time that’s worth investing and live the life you dream of. You can hustle FOR A life instead of hustling for life. Otherwise you might just hustle yourself out of a life
.