Tag Archives: Success Against the Odds

Writing Your Way to a Better Life!

If there was just one chapter in my book that anyone could apply right now that I feel would have the most profound effect to better my readers’ lives, it would be Principle 3 – Ink It!  Many people have big ideas and dreams, but hey just can’t seem to get the ball rolling.  Many can tell me what they want, but they don’t have it written down, or they don’t have the steps and details needed to make it happen.

Thought – an electrical pulse ricocheting around in the brain. The average person has 3,000 thoughts per day.  With so many sparks flying around, it is literally impossible to organize your ideas and put them in their proper order without prioritizing them or developing a plan. Consequently, the likelihood of becoming successful without written goals and plans is about as good as figuring out the next winning lotto numbers. 

When you write something down, regardless if it is you’re to do list or goals, something almost magical happens.  First, you showed enough interest in what you were thinking or dreaming about to write it down.  Then you actually took the first step; you took action by picking up that pen and writing words; you committed your thoughts to paper.  Without even realizing it, you took a big leap toward achieving your goals.  This is the amazing process by which thoughts become reality.  At the very instant you wrote your goal, your idea transformed into action to take place in the near future.

There are so many examples of people who, through goal-setting, have achieved all great accomplishments.  There is one story that I find so compelling that I thought I would share it with you.  It’s about a high school dropout whose family was so poor that they once lived out of a Volkswagen campervan.  At nineteen, he packed what few belongings he had and moved on, in pursuit of his dreams.  This young man wrote a $10,000,000 dollar postdated check to himself and kept it in his wallet.  It became tattered from him pulling it out and looking at it every day; sometimes hours on end.  Fifteen years later, and after banking tens of millions of dollars along the way, world famous comedian and actor Jim Carrey, deposited a $20,000,000 check for his performance in The Cable Guy.  He was the first actor to reach the twenty-million dollar watermark.

Goals, and a plan on how to achieve them, are like a birth certificate to your new lease on life.  When you write them down, they become something tangible something real that you can feel in your heart.  It’s a fresh new beginning that touches your senses.  You can imagine it, read it, touch it and see the paper it’s written on.  But most of all – with a plan, you can live it.

People are afraid to dream big and aim high.  Most people feel like there is a barrier preventing them from living their dreams, making them content with the life they know.  Fear is the strongest of all emotions.  If you find yourself in this situation, I want you to write this down right next to your goals and plans:  Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Not having goals and a plan to achieve them is like dialing a random phone number; you get whoever answers and not much else.

In researching my book “Success Against The Odds”, I came across a very interesting statistic.  The Harvard MBA Program interviewed students from the 1979 class and asked if they had a clear set of written goals and plans on how to achieve them.  Only 3% said yes. 13% said they had goals, though not in writing.  A whopping 84% had no specific goals at all.  Now here is the amazing part:  The 3% who had clear written goals were earning, on an average, ten times as much as the other 97% put together.

There is so much more in life that can be achieved if you just write down your goals and plans on how to achieve them.  You can live the relationship you’ve dreamed of, your children can do better in school, you can lose weight, quit smoking, live healthier and take the vacation you always wanted – all this and more – if you just write your plan down and follow it.  The pen is a very powerful instrument!


Unclutter Your Cluttered Life

In this fast paced world we live in, it is so easy to get caught up in this rat race we call life.  No one knows this better than Vonda White, President of Collegiate Risk Management and Author of Success Against the Odds.   We are all moving 100 miles per minute, and between work, school, kids, friends, email, Facebook, voicemails, housework,  etc. it is easy –and inevitable – to become cluttered and out of control.

So how do we take the clutter out of our life?  Some would say, get rid of all of your unnecessary belongings and eliminate possessions that have accumulated over the years.    However, clutter comes in two forms, physical and mental clutter.   Just as we need to organize our belongings, we also need to organize our life.    It is important to be mindful of what clutters our life and what we can do to fix it.

Getting rid of mental clutter can be accomplished the same way as getting rid of physical clutter.  You must first figure out what is important to you.  Once you have accomplished that goal, you can begin to set aside the other things that are taking up your time and energy, and focus on what is important.

How do we organize our lives, and begin to unclutter ourselves?

Make a List of Priorities

Knowing what is important to you is the first step in organizing your life.  Take the time to make a list of what is most important to you, in order of priority.   Life will be a little neater when you gather your priorities in a list that you can physically see.

Rework your Calendar

If you have too much scheduled on your calendar, it wouldn’t hurt to unclutter your Success Planner by rescheduling things that can be done at a later date.   For example, rescheduling a pedicure to free up some time for other things won’t hurt you.   Don’t stress about something you can easily change?

Take a Time-Out

Time to ourselves is sometimes the thing we need to get back on track.  A little breather can be very refreshing.   Taking a step back and a deep breath can put some sanity back in your life when things are hectic around you.

Recognize Time Wasters

Make a list of the things that waste time in your routine.   While talking on your cell phone, IM’ing with your friends, posting on Facebook or checking Facebook status’s or Tweeting are a great form of entertainment, allowing these things to take over your life can be detrimental to your calendar and wreak havoc on your state of mind.   Set aside a certain time of day to get your social media fix.  Remember your priorities on your list.  If you are checking your Facebook while you are in a work meeting or your daughters play, you may not be focused on your priorities at hand and clutter will begin to take over your life.  Set your automatic messages on your phone to alert persons IM’ing you that you will get back to them, and set aside a time of day to do so.  Don’t allow time wasters to overtake your day.

At the end of the day, there are only so many hours to accomplish all of our daily tasks.  Find out what is important to you and focus on your priorities.   Learn to say “No” to things that clutter your schedule and see how balance and serenity will enter into the world around you.

College Students Should Make Exercise A Habit

Having exercise as a habit means never thinking twice about working out!

Recently the Founder and CEO of Collegiate Risk Management, Vonda White gave advice to Pretty Hard Work on how to get motivated to work out. Working out is very important for being healthy and succeeding in college… so here’s the scoop on exercise motivation.

First off — Here’s some insight on Ms. White. Vonda not only started the successful student health insurance company, Collegiate Risk Management in 1996, she has also become a success coach and author. Her book, Success Against the Odds and Success Planner have helped others turn their dreams into reality. She strives to inspire and help others achieve their goals through her effective goal-getter process. Learn more here!

In the article on Pretty Hard Work, Vonda explains how the best way to get motivated to work out is by making it a daily habit. You want to stop saying that you “should” work out and just start doing it one day. It only takes 21 days to have a new positive habit, after all! So decide right now when, where and how you will work out regularly.

Try looking at exercise like school — you have a set schedule on when and where your classes are that you can’t change. If you skip class, you’ll miss valuable information that may hurt your grade or even worse… your future. Therefore slacking off isn’t even an option — You work hard and finish strong with positive results!

Don’t waste another minute of wishing you were fit. See below how to get motivated and make exercise a habit!

So… what motivates you to work out?