The Power of Habits: Intro to the 2 Week Crunch to 2018 Series

Are you creating better habits?

There are 2 weeks left in 2017 and people are starting to reflect on the choices they made over the course of the year- some good, some not so great. But have you noticed that it is rare to hear anyone speak in terms of habits? The truth of the matter is we all make decisions that impact us immediately. The question is do we take charge of the habits we have that impact the long term goals we want to accomplish?

This article is focused on the power of habits- creating or replacing- and how we can go into 2018 better prepared and ready to crush our bad habits once and for all.

First, let’s dive into the power of creating habits. Think of the time you were in 2nd grade and you were learning how to write letters. Day in and day out you had to continuously mark away in your book, and if you had a teacher who was a perfectionist, you couldn’t leave your desk until you reached their standard of perfection. This task was one of the first examples of your creating a habit. Now you write your name with no hesitation, and even developed a style for your signature. Through time you have mastered manuscript and cursive and can even show someone else the basics if need be. One of the best skilled you learned as a child that could not have happened without learning the detrimental skill of repetition. Your habit taught you that through repetition you are able to master skills small or large.

What Does this have to do with my business?

The power of habit is one of the most important lessons you can ever learn. In creating habits, we are creating our reality. The things we dedicate our mind to we establish as priority and those things become a part of our everyday lives.

In the context of business, if we made it a habit to reach out to 5 new people everyday, that would  increase in sales naturally. Think about it. At 5 new people per day, that is 140 new leads in a month. At a 1% close rate, you are looking at 1-2 new clients a month. On a high ticketed item or service, this could be huge! And that is the worst case scenario. Best case scenario is that we close a large amount of these leads and increase our sales tremendously.

Point is, through the act of repetition, we are able to create opportunities and that is what this series is all about: our ability to bring more success to ourselves and those around us through habit.

The next entry is about the habit of hesitation and how it can help discard one of the most disliked habits of them all.

What are some bad habits you are trying to get rid of in 2018 and beyond?

Leave a comment below.

IFTTT App Review | The 30 Day Accountability Challenge

The 30 Day Accountability Challenge Day 5! Yay! Almost one week down! 

If this is your first article of the series, let me tell you what you can expect in the next 30 days. I am bringing you a review each day on some of the most useful apps found in the App Store (Sorry Android Users! I will do my next 30 Day Challenge just for you guys:))

I handpicked these apps for the small business owner (or the brand) that wants to set themselves up for success this year. Each app will be reviewed on 4 metrics and given a final score out of 100%. Those four metrics are:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Functionality
  3. Specs
  4. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

First up in the series are productivity apps. Today’s app is the IFTTT (If this then that) app. 

 

IFTTT App

The IFTTT app is a free app where you can set up triggers for tasks to happen succinctly. In other words, you can automate a ton of processes by setting up “applets” that automatically respond to one another. One of the best rated applications on the App store and very popular among the digital age entrepreneur.

Now the deets…

  1. Ease of use

Signing up for the IFTTT app is as easy as pie. All you need is an email address and create a password. Next you are prompted to do the tutorial (which I always recommend so you can understand the lay of the land) and then you are brought to the home page. Here you will find some applets that were compiled by the IFTTT team (some are simply amazing) and you can see what each applet requires. You will have to allow access to the accounts you have in the applet, but IFTTT makes it easy to connect your accounts (especially if you have the apps for the accounts on your phone already).

2. Functionality

Being able to set up triggers for your account is the best feeling in the world. Well, not the best, but a really close second. The applets are seamless in their connectivity and you can literally set most of them and forget them. One warning- make sure you are checking your applets every so often because things do happen and some applets require you to update your account info. IFTTT also allows you to set up your own applets so if there is something that is not offered in their presets, you can certainly create it. Just be sure the apps you want to trigger are ones that are compatible with IFTTT.

3. Specs

So many features, I will just limit this list to the Top 5

  • 65 Supported apps and counting
  • iOS Calendar & App store Applets
  • Smart home capability
  • See all applet collections in app
  • VoiceOver capabilities
  1. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

There are currently 65 apps that the IFTTT app supports and that constantly increases. The most popular ones are the social media sites Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and a long list of others. There is also a website version that has a lot more applet collections to choose from and a more thorough interface that explains the applets in more detail.

 

Overall grade: 89.99%

 

IFTTT is such a great app. The downfall of this great app is the restriction of setting up applets for certain functions. What I mean is, I have become a spoiled user who wants the app to be a personal assistant instead of an app with triggers. After writing that, I realize I may have to increase the final grade. The only issue I have had with this app so far is spending too much time setting up applets because I have found joy automating my digital life (lol).

Small Business Application

The biggest issue small business owners run into is time leverage. We are constantly spending hours on top of hours performing tasks as different departments. The IFTTT app allows us to set up automation and gain some of that time back. Digital efforts are really important in running your business, that is why IFTTT comes in handy. The power of automation will prove to be a time saver and a huge reward.

Thanks for toughing it out with me! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s app and be sure to comment with your experiences with IFTTT or any other scheduling app.

Evernote App Review | The 30 Day Accountability Challenge

The 30 Day Accountability Challenge Day 2:

Another day, another review! In case this is your first day following this series, let me tell you what you can expect in the next 30 days. I am bringing you a review each day on some of the most useful apps found in the App Store (Sorry Android Users! I will do my next 30 Day Challenge just for you guys:))

I handpicked these apps for the small business owner (or the brand) that wants to set themselves up for success this year. Each app will be reviewed on 4 metrics and given a final score out of 100%. Those four metrics are:

  1. Ease of use
  2. Functionality
  3. Specs
  4. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

The first group is “Productivity Apps for Business” which is why the Evernote app was an obvious choice 😉

 

Evernote App

The Evernote app is a free app that allows users to create a multitude of notes with their dynamic functions. Once you sign up for Evernote you will see all of the different functions within your ability to create notes- everything from adding images, links, voice memos and even write (scribble) in the body of the note. If you already use the desktop version, the mobile app is pretty close function wise.

Now the deets…

  1. Ease of use

The Evernote app was simple to set up and synchronizes with my account I already set up through the desktop version. If you do not have an Evernote account, it is easy to create one through the application. The menu is located at the bottom of the screen and all of the guess work is taken out of figuring out what each icon means (a problem I usually run into when I first download an app) because Evernote has kindly labeled each one. Setting up your notes is easy as well, as the big bright green plus gives you direction on where to start and Evernote uses universal icons so you can recognize formatting options. 

2. Functionality

The Evernote app has a similar function as the Blogo app I reviewed yesterday- a distraction free interface. The one thing that makes Evernote great is the ability to organize your notes into “notebooks.” While inside of your note, you will see which “notebook” you are currently writing in right above the body of your writing.

3. Specs

So many features, I will just limit this list to the Top 5.

  • Instant synchronization across devices
  • Pass-code lock for more privacy
  • Ability to collaborate
  • Search within images and give quick feedback
  • Set reminders and to-do’s

 

  1. Integration with other Apps, Websites, Etc

This version of Evernote is free and comes with 60MB of storage (which resets every month thankfully) and includes “work chat,” a messaging function. There are no fancy integrations for any version of this app, but you can have multiple devices connected at once (2 to be exact for the free version and unlimited with the paid). The paid versions of Evernote  allow you to stay in sync on all of your devices, more functionality with the search option, offline access, clipping web pages, and more room to upload. The Plus account is priced at $3.99/month (or $34.99/year) and the Premium account is $7.99/month (or $69.99/year).  

 

Overall grade: 79.99%

 

We all write notes for something. The Evernote app is changing the way we collect information by making it simplier to access all our thoughts in one place, digitally. For me, the mobile app is good, but not as great as the desktop version. The cool part of the mobile app is your accessibility to all of your notes and the other apps Evernote has created to streamline all your note taking processes. Overall, the sync feature is the best feature of this app, and that is not saying much. If you want the REAL Evernote experience, my suggestion is to get the desktop version.

Small Business Application

Evernote in a business application can have a few different functions. One is communicating large data with your team through the collaboration of notes, another is using the application for research notes since you are able to clip pages from the internet. Evernote is an amazing app that makes organizing thoughts easy and clear. As a small business owner, you can use this app for its primary function of note taking and collaboration. The seamless synchronization makes it a leader in the productivity apps department.

Thanks for toughing it out with me! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s app and be sure to comment with your experiences with Evernote or any other note taking app.

 

Goals are meant to be crushed 2017 Donut Socialite Blog

How to Set Goals and Crush Them 2017

Goals are meant to be crushed 2017 Donut Socialite Blog

Goals are meant to be Crushed

You have been here before. You make New Year’s resolutions, you constantly set out goals for yourself, and you fall short. Isn’t that frustrating? Well, you can kiss those days goodbye because today we are going to break the habit of failure FOR GOOD.

Are My Goals Too Big?

There are so many people who honestly think that they need to scale down their goals in order to accomplish them because the goal is just “too big.” Well, we are going to challenge that idea. Dream big. Make HUGE goals. But learn how to manage the responsibility of a HUGE goal. That is where this guide comes in.

Building the Foundation for your Goals

You will need  to get the grounding together in order to crush your goals – of any size- this year. Meaning, you will need some essentials in order to get this ball rolling. Here we have broken down the process into the main categories that we will focus on to actually get things done this year.

Organize Icon Donut Socialite

Organization & Planning

Get the thoughts out your head and into action

Motivation icon Donut Socialite Blog Image

Motivation & Accountability

Gather up the nerve to get your goals done 2017

Results icon Donut Socialite Blog Image Vector

Execution & Results

Doing action items that matter and see results.

organizing donut socialite blog

1. Organizing

You have an idea of what your goals are. Great! The next step is to organize your thoughts and start planning.

A great tool that we have found super useful to help organize thoughts, ideas, and especially goals is the app mindmeister. This app allows you to do some serious mind mapping and sync across your phone and desktop/laptop when you are conjuring up your concepts. It is available to both Apple and Android users and has a great user friendly website.

If you are more of a pen to paper type person, we still advise mind mapping. It will help you figure out what ideas you are serious about right now and tie ideas together so you can have a more focused goal for the year.

When you are getting your ideas on paper (or screen), be sure you are asking yourself these questions:

  1. How long does this goal take realistically?
  2. Will I need to learn new information to accomplish this goal?
  3. Do I know anyone who has already accomplished this goal?
  4. Have I had this goal in the past? What can I learn from my past mistakes?
  5. What ideas tie into one another? Can I accomplish multiple goals with one action?

Once you have a clear understanding of these questions and have your focused goals written down, you can start planning for how to get these goals accomplished. You next step is planning

organizing donut socialite blog

2. Planning

Now that you have narrowed down your goals to focused ideas and concepts, it is time to get your plan on! Planning can be an excruciating process, but I have found some really cool ways to make it less painful. One of those ways is to use tools that help you stay focused on the road ahead.

My favorite tool is the website/ app Evernote. If you have not been introduced to Evernote, let me be the first to let you know it has been a heaven send.

If you have been using Evernote and you are familiar with some of the awesomeness, but have not found a rhythm with the platform, don’t worry, all hope is not lost.

For both instances, I have done a video on some of the best features I have found on Evernote that have helped me get stuff done. Seriously. You can check out that video here.

I used to be overwhelmed by how much I could do on Evernote when I was introduced to it back in 2013, but now I don’t know what I would do without it. So with that being said, I fully suggest that anyone who is trying to crush their goals use Evernote to do so.

Here is a screenshot of how I use my Evernote account to plan out a goal:
Evernote Screen Shot Donut Socialite

A little basic at first sight, I know. But let me explain how this works. The way I plan out a goal is to take the end result I want and plan backwards. Meaning, if I wanted to lose 12 pounds in 3 months, I would break it down into how many pounds I would have to lose each month to accomplish the goal. Then I would take it a step further and see how many pounds that equals in a week.

From here I can determine so much more about what I have to do in order to get the goal done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. This way I can plan effectively to crush my goal and set some hard deadlines.

 

Don’t worry, some goals require less research or extra work to plan. The major take away is to reverse engineer your goals so you can see the timeline and workload required to get the job done.

Oh! Before we move on let me share this little gem.

Another app that I use to save time in the long run is “Remember the Milk.” This app allows me to set up reminders in my phone for all of the day to day tasks I need to get done for my goals. “Remember the Milk” has been a major helper in planning for my goals.

 

Here is a screenshot of what the app looks like:
Remember the Milk Application Donut Socialite

 

 

Now that we have covered Planning, we are ready for the next step; Motivation and Accountability. The things that are going to really help you get stuff done in 2017

 

motivation and accountability icon Donut Socialite blog images 2017

3. Motivation & Accountability

So now we have learned how to take our ideas and make them into focused goals, plan out our goals, and start to execute our goals, but the most important piece (in my opinion) is being able to keep the momentum after all of the initial work. The best way I have found (that has literally changed the way I operate in all aspects especially my goal crushing) is having an accountability partner.

An accountability partner is someone who will hold you to your word when you set out to crush your goals. This person is also very honest about what they see in your habits.

I have a quick checklist of what traits my accountability partner has to possess in order to be my accountability partner. If you need more details on this, check out my article on “How to Pick the Right Accountability Partner.”

  1. The person has to be determined to reach their goals
  2. The person has to be honest & transparent
  3. The person has to be able to accept criticism
  4. The person has to be trustworthy

Conversely, I have to be these traits to my accountability partner as well. Remember, it should always be a mutually beneficial relationship.

After you speak with your accountability partner you will be surprised at how big a difference it makes when you can share your small victories with someone who is listening critically. The best benefit of having an accountability partner is having someone who can help you organize your thoughts and processes for achieving your goals.

Right now I have a weekly checkin with my accountability partner. Try it out on a weekly basis and see if you need more checkins.

In addition to having an accountability partner, it is important that you set your self up for success by staying motivated.

Keep yourself around motivating people, environments and situations so you can make sure you are constantly reminded of you goals. If you are looking for some motivation on social media, I have found the most motivating pages you can follow.

It is also a good practice to let your friends and family know that you are seriously pursuing your goals and get morale support. Sometimes our closest friends and family don’t know that we have a masterplan so it is always good to give them the heads up.

 

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4. Execution & Results

Congrats! You are now equipped with the tools to successfully CRUSH your goals in 2017! We now have turned our ideas into concrete goals, taken those goals and broke them down into actionable items by planning. We have recruited an accountability partner to help us stay on track and we have changed our environment to keep ourselves focused. Now we have to continue to execute and make it happen everyday so that 2017 can be the best year yet!

Just remember, you are well worth the results of  your labor!

Still Need Help?

 

After your first deadline if you still need some guidance, feel free to reach out. We are here to help. In the meantime, check out our free “Evernote Guide for the Super Goal Oriented.” You will find a ton of value in some of the tools we have mastered in Evernote.


Get The Free Guide