Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

You Made It. Now It’s Time to Work.

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First, congratulations. You made it. You wrote that book. Asked that girl or boy out. Got the promotion. Maybe landed your first head coaching position. Started a new business. I know you have worked hard to achieve that goal, congratulations. Enjoy this moment because now it is time to work if you really want to stay on top.

We spend so much time working toward a goal that we forget to plan for what life will be like after we achieve that dream. And too many times we end up not sustaining our success. It’s not our talent that changes. Our talent got us to the top, it is being ignorant of the work needed once we make it to the top that brings us back down.  Let’s look at how we can prepare for that work.

Evaluate Your Goals

Transitions are a great time to reflect and analyze your goals. This is not easy, though. Achieving a goal is a clear mark for you to reach, but what do you want to do now? Do you want to sell 100,000 copies of your music? Do you want to be CEO of the company? Do you want to win a state title? By articulating what your goals look like it will help with the next step.

Create New Habits

A clear goal allows you to create a new plan and with a new plan comes new habits. This doesn’t mean your whole life changes, but to stay successful after reaching your goal demands you to create habits to sustain that success. With new goals in mind, you can see what it will take to achieve those goals. The new habits you will need to set become clear. But, you and I know that creating new habits is hard. That is why the third idea is so important.

Find Your Motivation (understand your why)

Hopefully, you understood why you worked so hard to accomplish your goal, but in the days, weeks, even years it takes to achieve a goal you can lose sight of the deeper reasons you set out on this journey. Rewriting your goals will help. Goals bring back a focus to your why. But rewriting your goals may not be enough. And honestly, if you find it hard to set new goals connected to sustaining your success, you may have forgotten why you wanted to reach the goal in the first place. It happens. Success is hard work and you can get lost in the grind.
If you are finding it hard to set new goals, or unsure what to do know that you are at the top, there are a few things to help find your why.  First, enjoy the moment. Recharge. Success takes energy. You will find it easier to make the transition from reaching the goal to maintain that success when your energy level is back. Second, be honest with yourself. Evaluate (with your goals in mind) what you want to do next. Sometimes reaching a goal takes so much time that you have changed. If you decide to strive after another goal, that is awesome. But if you want to now take this dream to the next level, be honest, it’s now time to work. You will need to remember why you are doing this, set new goals to achieve, and create new habits to stay on top.


Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Jamey BowelhowerBio: Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six. He is currently an Instructional Coach and an adjunct professor for Central Community College, Nebraska. You can read his regular blog “It Is All Connected” by clicking here. And you can follow him on twitter at @jdog90

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Break Through The Wall
Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

Four Ways To Break Through the Wall

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Let’s be honest, at some point we all hit a wall. A Plateau. A Bad Day. Writer’s Block. Whatever you might call the moment when things stop working. It is a natural part of reaching for a goal. It’s just a part of life. How you handle that moment is crucial though.  If handled wrong the wall becomes too big to overcome, and we become frustrated, irritable, and maybe worst of all, we give up.

If we handle the moment well, the wall becomes a hurdle.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t take work or time to overcome, but we soon find ourselves back on track to achieving our goals. Here are a few ways to handle those moments when we hit a wall in our life.

Take a Break

We work hard. Life can get busy. Sometimes we hit the wall when we are tired, and that makes the wall bigger than it actually is. It is OK to take a break. Walk away from the wall for awhile. Part of this is being aware of your situation and self. To be honest enough to take a real break. I know this is difficult for us when we are striving to achieve a goal. But when you feel rested, you might discover that the wall was not that big in the first place.

Ask for Help

This option is also hard to do sometimes. Our pride gets in the way, but consider that great athletes have coaches, great writers have editors, and simply, CEOs have friends. We are people, not machines. Getting someone else’s perspective on a situation is a valuable asset in overcoming a “wall” moment. When working on a goal, our focus can actually blind us from seeing new opportunities or hurdles that trip us up. Life is a team sport, you don’t have to do it alone.

Try a New Approach

One way around a wall is a new approach. Asking for help can lead us to consider new approaches. But we can figure it out sometimes when we hit a wall, and we hit a wall, and we hit it again. If we keep doing the same thing and keep hitting a wall, it is time to change.  As a coach and teacher I am always evaluating the outcome of a lesson or practice plan. Track is the best example here. As a track coach I paid attention to my runners’ times for their events. If they didn’t improve their time after a few weeks, I knew I had to change their training. The same holds true in our pursuit of a goal. Hitting a wall, especially a couple of times, is a sign to try a new approach.

Learn

The last approach may be the most important, learn. When we move into a new area of life or step closer to a goal, we are entering new territory. And we might not have the knowledge or skills for this step forward. My first novel has been out for six months. Sales started out well, in fact, I sold a couple of hundred copies. But now sales are almost to a stop. I have hit a wall.  This wall is because of my lack of knowledge about promoting a book. It will take some time, but I am learning about different ways to self-promote and hiring an agency to promote a book.  This wall was created because I had not gained the knowledge needed to promote a book well.

Hitting a wall is a part of striving for a goal. It is part of life. Using one of these strategies should help you get through the moment and back on track.


True leader, Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Hamey Bowelhower

Bio: Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six. He is currently an Instructional Coach and an adjunct professor for Central Community College, Nebraska. You can read his regular blog “It Is All Connected” by clicking here. And you can follow him on twitter at @jdog90

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Any Success Starts With You
Attitude Adjustment, Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

Any Success Starts With You

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Let’s be brutally honest for a minute. No excuses. No whining.

Here is the truth; any success you have in this life starts with you. 

How much work are you willing to put in to your goals? Patrick Allmond has a post about working on the weekends called “Want Success Faster? Treat Your Weekends Like Your Weekdays”.  Have you read it? I wonder how many people agreed with the idea, but then give the excuse that they deserve the weekend to relax?

Here is the truth; any success you have in this life starts with you.

Afraid of what might happen if you make a change? Do it anyway. Remember jumping off the diving board for the first time? How many times did you jump off the board that day? You overcame the fear to discover the joy of doing something you wanted to do. What joy are you missing today because of fear?

Or are you too comfortable? You talk about a goal.  You think about a goal. You might even take a few steps toward achieving that goal. But life is comfortable, things are good. Reaching for something better may disrupt your life. Comfort = Fear. You are right, it will disrupt your life. And no, I can’t guarantee you will succeed, or tell you how long it will take. What I do know is that striving for our goals adds depth and joy to our lives.

So, it is time to be honest.  No excuses. No whining.

Here is the truth; any true long-term life success starts with you.

Let’s get to work.

True leader, Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Hamey Bowelhower

Bio: Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six. He is currently an Instructional Coach and as adjunct professor for Central Community College, Nebraska. You can read his regular blog “It Is All Connected” by clicking here. And you can follow him on twitter at @jdog90

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Changing Jobs - Be Prepared for these pitfalls
Generating Wealth, Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

Upcoming Job Transition? Don’t Mess Up These Three Areas

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On average, we will change jobs 11 times by the time we turn 50 according to the United States Department of Labor. Much of the job-hopping is early in our lives, but even in our forties we change jobs twice.  Going through a job transition can be difficult. There are three areas to plan for during a job transition, Money, Time, and Stress. Every job transition is unique, so the goal of this article is to highlight ideas for you to consider to make your transition as positive as possible.

Plan for the increase (or the decrease) in salary

Everyone knows they should have a budget. I have a budget, but in real life my budget is a guideline, some months are worse than others. When dealing with a job change a budget has to be more than a guideline. If you are in the situation of trying to find a new position, your finances will be stressed. Planning ahead, six months at least, can help prepare you for that transition.

What if you are getting promoted or have found a higher paying position?  You might think Money doesn’t factor in, but it does. If you don’t plan for the increase in pay, you will find yourself wasting money when you could be using that money to benefit your financial goals. Can a debt be paid off sooner? You can save for a future purchase. Having an increase in salary can benefit more than just your monthly take home pay; don’t waste the opportunity.

Factor in the changes to your time/schedule

Every day has exactly the same amount of time; it is our life that is hard to balance in those 24 hours. The two main areas that take up our time are job and family. A job transition will challenge this balance.

Again, you might think having a promotion or moving to a better position has no affect on this dynamic, but it does, especially at the beginning of your new position. There is always a learning curve with a new position. It takes time to get into the groove of a new job. Also, new positions create new expectations to your routine. It might be something as simple as what time you are expected to begin your workday. This changes your routine. Being aware of the time commitment at the beginning of your new position and the other time factors of your job will help in dealing with balancing the rest of your life outside of work.

Be aware of friendship changes… and stress

The other two factors play a role in your stress level. If you plan ahead with for those, it will help keep your stress in check.  But there are other factors that can affect your stress you might not have considered.

One of the great aspects of life is our friendships. A job transition will change these relationships. A promotion may make you the supervisor of your friends. Changing a position will mean developing new relationships, but also it will make sustaining relationships with coworkers from your other position difficult. Your social circle will change with your job.

Our jobs or careers usually reflect our personal goals.  Many times changing a job means we are moving toward achieving our goals. This gives us a boost to handle different challenges because we are accomplishing our dreams. Sometimes, though, a job transition reflects a hurdle to our goals. Or challenges us to reconsider our dreams. This can be a difficult time of self-reflection. A job transition can be a time to evaluate our personal goals.

Preparing for a job transition is important. Each transition is unique, but keeping in mind time, money, and stress will help you make the move easier.


True leader, Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Hamey Bowelhower
Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Jamey Boelhower

Who is Jamey Boelhower

Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six, TIS, coach, and teacher for Sandy Creek high school in Nebraska. He is also an adjunct professor for CCC Hastings. You can read his regular blog “It Is All Connected” by clicking here. And you can follow him on twitter at @jdog90

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Three Reasons To Read More Books Today
Attitude Adjustment, Personal Development, Staying Healthy

Three Reasons Why You Need To Pick Up a New Book Today

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The November 14, 2014, Inc. article, “22 Top CEOs Reveal Their Favorite Books,” shares CEO’s favorite books, but it reinforces an idea that English teachers have been saying for years, to succeed you need to read.

As an English teacher for the last 15 years I have found that reading is important for three reasons.

  1. Expands Your Horizons
  2. In our fast paced culture, where most information comes in small chunks and from people who think just like us, getting a fresh perspective is a challenge. Books provide that challenge because the content cannot be consumed in seconds. Reading takes time, time to think and feel. Even if the book is from an author we like, the story or idea is developed so that we can digest it deeply. Sometimes the idea challenges our thinking, other times it confirms our views but that gives us confidence that we are on the right track.

  3. Reduces Stress
  4. I have already mentioned the idea that books make us slow down, and slowing down helps reduce our stress. There is a joy to reading that we lose when we succumb to the hectic pace of life. Do you remember reading something and you just had to share what you just read? I have laughed out loud. I have cried because of a book. Going through these emotions, or connecting with a friend over a book brings us back to our selves, thus reducing the stress our faced-paced life can inflict on us.

  5. Spurs Action
  6. This benefit has been hinted at, too. Reading leads us to action. Yes, sometimes it is the simple action of contacting a friend to talk about the book, but many times the action enriches our lives. Books generate new ideas. Books give us courage to change aspects of our life or work and lead us to live a better life than before.

So, have you read any good books lately? Share your reading list with us in the comment section.

 

True leader, Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Hamey Bowelhower
Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Jamey Boelhower

Bio: Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six, TIS, coach, and teacher for Sandy Creek high school in Nebraska. He is also an adjunct professor for CCC Hastings. You can read his regular blog “It Is All Connected” by clicking here. And you can follow him on twitter at @jdog90

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How to start living a stress-free life
Attitude Adjustment, Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

How To Start Living a Stress Free Life

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Life is Stressful

Another traffic jam. Deadlines approaching. Son has a band concert tonight. Life feels out of whack, too much to do but not enough time. Everyone has times where life feels overwhelming. We become stressed out. But there are two simple, but difficult steps to gaining control of your life: making a list and making a decision.

Step One: Prioritize

I am not going to profess to be an expert at this step. There are a many theories on how to prioritize your life, but I’m going to keep this simple. You will need a writing utensil and a couple of pieces of paper. At the top of the first page write the word “Now.” Take a few minutes and brainstorm everything that is important to you now. It can be people, jobs, material things, and goals that you want to achieve in the near future. Try not to judge anything you write down, just write it.

On the other paper write the words, “Long Term Goals” or even “Bucket List” and repeat the brainstorming step.

Now, take a break. Grab a coffee or even come back to the list the next day because my advice becomes difficult. For both lists rank the items from most important, number 1, to least important (the last number will be decided by your lists).

Step Two: Courage

We all go through seasons in our life. Our “Now” list will change. So will our long-term goals. We do need to readjust, keep that in mind as I discuss the hardest step in this process.

We only have time and energy to spend on the top five things on the “Now” list. We can only accomplish a long-term goal by moving it to the “Now” list.

To eliminate most of the stress in your life, have the courage to make decisions based on fulfilling the top 5 things you have on your “Now” list. Again, it’s simple but very difficult to do because we want to do it all, to have it all. But our emotional life becomes a burden when we don’t live up to what we say is important to us.

The harsh reality is that we only have so much time and energy. Too many of us spend these limited resources on people, projects, or things that didn’t even make our list, let alone were in the top five. It will be difficult, but if you keep the top five things on your “Now” list in mind as you make your decisions, you will find your stress level is down, and your joy is increased.


 

True leader, Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Hamey Bowelhower
Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Jamey Boelhower

Bio: Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six, TIS, coach, and teacher for Sandy Creek high school in Nebraska. He is also an adjunct professor for CCC Hastings. You can read his regular blog “It Is All Connected” by clicking here. And you can follow him on twitter at @jdog90

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Great Leaders
Leadership Lessons

Three Rarely Talked About Attributes of a True Leader

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It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a T-ball coach. Life presents us with leadership opportunities. I have been in education for 15 years. I’ve been a head coach for football, basketball, and track. However, the one role that has taught me the most about leadership is being a father of six. Fatherhood has taught me three important lessons on what it means to be a true leader.

The most important lesson about leadership is quality time.

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People want to know they matter to you. Time is the greatest indicator of value we have to give. But what I’ve learned is that quality matters more than quantity.

At this moment I am a teacher and football coach. I spend two hours at home during the workweek that I can give to my family. I have more time on the weekends, but I have work responsibilities, too. There is no way I can give time to every child, every night. I don’t even try.

I DO make sure my children have my full attention – no cell phone. I make the conversation about what is going on in their life. Or with my younger kids, I let them choose the book to read before bed, and I make sure I tell them, in some form that I love them.

You might not want to start a staff meeting with the words, “I love you, guys.” But you can tell people they matter to your organization by turning off your phone before you engage in conversation. Ask questions about life outside the office. It is not easy to give time to everyone, but it is worth giving people quality time as a leader because people want to know they matter.

The next lesson is developing the right routine.

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This lesson is not about steps that make things run smoothly. It is about connecting to the purpose of the routines we establish, whether it is having a monthly meeting or doing tackling stations every practice.

Here is an example; people are always amazed that our family is always on time. We have a morning routine that allows us to be on time. My wife and I get up an hour before our kids. We wake our kids with enough time for them to have breakfast and get ready for the day. When we have a rough morning, instead of yelling at the kids, we reinforce that we need to be on time. It doesn’t always make the morning easier, just that the kids do understand why, and we stay on schedule.

In leadership positions we create routines, but many times we don’t communicate to others why we are doing it. Sometimes we even create routines because others have done it that way. Spend a little time investigating the routines you have. Can you express why they are there? Are there things you want to improve? Implementing a new routine, with a clear understanding of why, will help in that area. One aspect of being a true leader is achieving outcomes; connect how you achieve those outcomes with the why.

The last lesson, and maybe the hardest, is to take care of yourself.

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We all know we should eat right, exercise, and drink more water. This is hard to do in the simple busyness of life. Add a leadership role to the schedule, and now it seems to be impossible. But it has to be done.

This summer I went to see my doctor because I was just not feeling right. I knew it wasn’t the flu or allergies. It was a blood pressure reading of 165/120. Hypertension. Easily fixed with medication and improving my eating and exercise. This is where being a dad really made an impact. When I got home my little girls all wanted to know if I was OK. All I could think of was how I needed to be here in good health to see my kids grow up.

We can’t be great leaders if we are not at our best.

Being at our best means taking care of ourselves; especially for the people we have the honor of leading.


True leader, Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Hamey Bowelhower
Husband, Father, Coach & Professor Jamey Bowelhower
Bio: Jamey Boelhower is a husband and a father of six, TIS, coach, and teacher for Sandy Creek high school in Nebraska. He is also an adjunct professor for CCC Hastings. You can read his regular blog “It Is All Connected” by clicking here. And you can follow him on twitter at @jdog90

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