SMART Goals for the New Year!

Your success is in your hands, set your goals, make them happen, live the life you have always dreamed of.
— Bob Banach

It’s that time of year again for many people: time to make resolutions and set goals for the upcoming year! It’s a given that we all have many goals that we would like to accomplish: todays, next weeks, this years and in our lifetime! These goals exist in each different area of our life; we have goals for our career, family, health, education, etc.

But what exactly is a goal? It’s something you would like to achieve; a desired result.  For example, exercising 5 days per week for 1hr each day is a goal.  Wanting a new deep blue pearl Nissan GT-R is not a goal, it’s a reward for a goal achieved (saving up enough money and/or lowering your debt, etc). Goal setting is all about deciding what is important, what is not important and maximizing the satisfaction in your life. They give you direction and keep you focused on where you want to end up.

If it is to be, it is up to me!
— William H. Johnsen

Accomplishing goals takes focus. Too many goals or too big of goals may bury you. But too few, or too small of goals will not challenge you. What is the perfect mix for you to insure your success?

Goals should have expected outcomes states as simply and clearly as possible. A great framework tool for setting goals was shared with me several years ago: SMART goals.

Specific: goals should have expected outcomes states as simply and clearly as possible. A few examples could be: Run a marathon in less than 4 hours. Earn $10K more. Pass 4 college courses with an ‘A’ Grade. Get waist size down to 36 inches. 2K new customers.

Measurable: include how you will know if you have met your goal. Know your starting point and your end point. Know what your goals are for the year, then break it down to quarterly and monthly.

Achievable: goals should have outcomes that are realistic given your current situation, resources, and available time. You need to be realistic with your goals. Losing 10lbs per week is not realistic; losing 2lbs is. Make the goal challenging and something that you are passionate about.

Relevant: goals that help you on your journey toward meeting larger, ultimate life outcomes. A few examples could be: Exercising 5 days/week for 1hr each day is relevant. 100 new subscribers per month is relevant.

Timely: goals should include realistic timeframes for achievement. Each goal needs an exact date that you plan on accomplishing the goal by. Track your progress; write down results, take pictures, take notes on a set schedule.

I normally set my goals in late October or early November each year instead of January. Two goals that I set earlier this year are:
- Take an intermediate SQL course & an intro to Illustrator CS6 (passing both with an above 80% average).
- Write one blog post each week; I’ve got a list of tips, FAQs, how-tos and more!

What are some things you hope to achieve in the next few weeks or months? What are some things you hope to achieve this year?

Our Values

Intercon is all about education and we educate continually. We have a wonderful education grid which is designed for anyone within the company to advance at a pace that is reasonable but challenging.  We also have regular staff meetings to encourage you on your journey of personal and professional growth. 

We believe having fun at work matters and try to laugh often.  We also plan fun activities all year around.

Flexibility means you work all types of shifts and to us being flexible means when you ask for a day off you get it.  It also means to us that you get every second weekend off.  It also means that if you choose to pick up extra shifts, we do not discourage that.

By design we work everyday on building a culture of respect.  Part of our personal development includes sessions designed to increase self-respect and respect for others.  To the best of our ability we act and behave respectfully toward all.

Our organization teaches integrity and we use that word in the context of if I say I will do it, I do it.  I do what I say I will do.

By educating, having fun, being flexible, respectful and teaching people to do what they say they will do we are in the position and have the organizational capacity to create innovative solutions for our clients.

We live by the above values of education, fun, flexibility, respect, integrity and innovation and use these three guiding principles to make these decisions:

Principles.PNG

Lifelong Learning

Intercon Messaging’s highest priority is education.  Education is first on our list of values, also included is innovation, fun, flexibility, respect and Integrity. I either read the quote or heard it somewhere but really started to understand that: “If people knew better they would do better”.  From that day forward I started looking for ways to help people know what they needed to know to be the best they could possibly be in their workplace and in their life.  That quote was the continuation of a journey to teach personal and professional development in our workplace.  Intercon encourages lifelong learning. 

In 2011 several of our people had the opportunity to attend courses and conferences away from the office.  They had the opportunity to learn via webinars, conference calls and in house at staff meetings. We have 2 staff meetings each time so that information is available to all members of our team.  We also had Elizabeth Manuel, a happiness expert come for 2 days so all staff had the opportunity to participate in Elizabeth’s very fun, interactive and meaningful happiness seminar.  There are strategies and choices each of us can do and make to fundamentally increase our level of happiness.  Probably one of the easiest is to say Thank you.  Thank you for today, thank you for all the people in my life, thank you for the privileges and opportunities of living in the greatest province in the greatest country in the world.  It is impossible to be unhappy if you are sitting and thinking about ten reasons to say Thank you.  Chips are down?  Times are tough?  Find some things to be thankful for then it is easier for the tough to get going again!

For Intercon we will continue to provide opportunities and motivation for our people to progress on their own personal and professional journeys of lifelong learning and continuous improvement.

Characteristics of lifelong learners are: 

  • They seek out formal and informal settings. They learn both in & out of a class setting.
  • A desire to set a better example and be the best they can be.
  • Goal setter; a lifelong learner has the ability to establish visions and directions and set goals to achieve these visions and directions.
  • Change agents; Learning requires change. They embrace change by being willing to adapt, try new things, explore new ideas and change to grow more as a person
  • Is a mentor for their peers
  • Are teachers themselves
  • Like to feel challenged in their work and personal life
  • Are insatiable knowledge seekers; curious – they wonder about how the world works and how to do things
  • Never think of themselves as the ultimate expert in anything; always keep a beginner’s mindset
  • Self-Awareness - they realize when they are actually learning and when they need to work a little more on an assignment
  • Honesty - this goes with self-aware, because effective learners won't skip over work just because it is hard, or tell themselves that they know it better than they really do
  • Expand their horizons through travel and/or learning about different places and cultures
  • Expand their network and meet new people in theirs and other fields
  • Ability to Be Self-Directed - they are able to motivate themselves and do the work without anyone telling them to do it
  • Don’t simply just take in information - they analyze, synthesize and or apply what they’ve learned
  • Willingness to Risk Mistakes - when you make a mistake, you learn a lot about why that didn't work and also about how to correct the mistake and do better next time

At Intercon we believe that if you grow your people, your people will grow your organization.

You know you're a Valley Girl when... (flashback part 1)

The other day, my computer was down for a few hours to do some upgrades and I found myself rather lost! So I figured it was time to start cleaning up my personal employee folder on the network. After a few minutes, I decided that I need to do this more often! Not because there was tons of junk in it, but some of the old documents brought back a flood of fantastic memories!

One of the first documents I found was from our Christmas party in 2007. Gloria Tonne and I made mini posters and hung them up all around the lounge. They are a collection of memories from around the office, meetings, conferences, health and wellness trips and group get-togethers. Each memory begins with the phrase “You know you’re a Valley Girl when….” So I thought I’d share a few of our old memories (we had close to 80 originally) before I start working on making a new list!

You know you’re a Valley Girl when…

…when you run on “Valcom time”

…when you know what “Valcom” is

…you answer to: a. Crazy Canadian

                            b. One of Pat’s girls

                            c. Valley Girl

…you’ve been inside the Pink Room

 …you have been hot-tubbing with you’re co-workers

…you have worn the birthday sombrero or the foam cowboy hat

…your luggage gets lost before leaving the airport

…it’s not about the destination, it’s about the trip!

…hanging ‘unusual’ objects to your car antenna or roof rack is a pre-requisite for a good team-building experience

…you buy a second-hand pizza from a random stranger for $20

…when you wear scarves, toques, ascots, robes and your co-workers name tag to the hotel sauna, just for the reaction

…coffee is FREEDOM in a cup!

…you are the first to volunteer for examples in seminars

…you make or create your own hats and accessories

…you know what “Road Gold” is

…you put everyone else to bed!

…when you travel in packs and everyone drives their own vehicle wherever you are going

…April Fools ’05 is still on your short list of best pranks ever!

…when you have slept on the grey couch

…you work hard – but play harder!

…you remember Hypno-Marty

…you’ve taken your mom to Mama-Mia!

…you have called a hotel, tow truck, ambulance, realtor, vet and tribal council within the last 15min

…you are on a first name basis with STARS dispatch

…you understand what it means to take ownership

…you know what your stand, stoop, and definition of success is!

…the PIT will always be the PIT (it’s said with fondness!)

…you’ve taken 4 time management courses and still can’t find the time to use it!

…you secretly hope that Troy’s famous perogies will be at the potluck

…you’ve received a tear-jerker card from KV right at the perfect time

…you’ve been surrounded by RCMP officers on your way into the building and have to put your arms up and say “I just work here!”

…you’ve given yourself your job title and written your own job description

…you thrive in emergencies

…you have been volunteered to help people you don’t know, to do things you’ve never done before

…you NEVER sit at the same table with the same people twice

…you have gone to the Russian Tea House

…you’ve toured hotels just because you can

…you know who Wayne, Doreen, Helen and Floyd are

…you know who “He who must not be named” really is

…after your shift you still hear phones, radios and alarms everywhere you go

…Do. Dump. Delegate

…you know what Mumu night was and wish you had been there.

 

I hope at least of few of these have brought a smile to your face today...they make me smile everytime I read them.!

 

We do not remember days; we remember moments. - Cesare Pavese

 

Doing Whatever it Takes

I just finished reading John Izzo Ph.D.’s new book “Stepping Up; How Taking Personal Responsibility Changes Everything”.  WOW!!!  Great stuff. 

As a graduate of 21st Century Leadership the idea of “Stepping Up” is not new to me.  In fact I live a privileged life and have had the opportunity to participate in 21st Century Leadership 4 times.  Slow learner yes - but this is the stuff that contributes to emotional intelligence (EQ).  EQ is learned at a different place in the brain and requires fundamentally changing your behavior.  We all know how easy that is, so repeating 21st Century leadership 3 times gave me the opportunity to keep “Stepping Up”, to keep practicing “Ownership” or “Stepping Up” language (I, we). 

In my office we call it ratcheting it up, notching it up, or the opportunity to take your performance to the next level.  It is a continual never-ending opportunity to live your life at your highest level.  With a little feedback and encouragement from my friends, I strive to keep raising the bar in our workplace.

When we first start working, we get paid by the hour…or if like me you grew up on the farm, you had to work to live. You had to haul and chop wood to keep warm, haul and melt snow so you could drink (bathing was optional) and grow a garden so you could eat.  Regardless, my first job away from home was wiping tables in the residence where I lived.  I got paid by the hour.  Soon I got paid a salary, then salary + bonus. Unbeknownst to me at the time I had a built-in mindset that I would do whatever it took to get the job done.  This might have been the result of growing up on the farm or the guidance of my Grandmother www.drmaryjackson.com who was a rural doctor in Alberta. She taught me many of my first business lessons.  The point is hourly pay soon turned into “do what it takes to get the job done” pay!

Having the mindset I would do whatever it took to get the job done helped me get a bigger pay check and that certainly helped to increase my savings.  I already knew about pay myself first, so was well on my way to having a nest egg built up.  The “Do Whatever it Takes Mindset”, or as John calls it the “Stepping Up” behavior, I grew up with was certainly instrumental in helping us buy our business in 1996. 

Today with the help of many dedicated employees (who are growing with me in the mindset of “Doing Whatever it Takes to Get the Job Done”), we are enjoying providing service to our clients, many of who were clients when we bought the business in 1996.  Thank you to our lifetime clients, our soon to be lifetime clients, and our wonderful, “Do Whatever it Takes to Get it Done”, “Stepping Up” crew”!

I highly recommend the book “Stepping Up” by John Izzo, Ph.D. and will be bringing several copies to the office for our reading enjoyment.

I congratulate the Intercon Crew who are continually “Stepping Up”.