This Week in PCM : Retraining Your Algorithm

09152016-retraining-the-algorithm

Algorithm – a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.

I have hired a virtual assistant to handle my social media accounts because I admit that this has become overwhelming. I have so many and even with HootSuite, scheduling my own social media has been cumbersome. However, now I am free. There are two benefits in handing over my social media accounts to a professional. One benefit is direct while the other is indirect. Freedom is the direct benefit. Knowledge is the indirect benefit.

Yesterday I had our first weekly follow-up meeting with my virtual assistant. She said that we had to retrain my Facebook business page’s algorithm because I was posting too much. She recommended only posting 2-3 times a day on my Facebook business page else the social media platform would think that I am spamming. Her using the phrase ‘retaining my algorithm’ has gotten me thinking about how to apply this thinking in my personal and professional lives.

‘Retraining the algorithm’ means taking positive action steps towards reshaping your personal and professional lives. Here are my four steps towards retraining your algorithm:

  • Admit what is not working and stop doing it
  • Write down what you want to accomplish with action steps
  • Take action
  • Measure the action

Admit what is not working and stop doing it

First and foremost, be honest. Admit what is not working and stop doing it! You are digging a deeper hole for yourself taxing your energy, emotions and spirit. Using myself as an example, my planning my own social media accounts has drained me. Once I hire the virtual assistant, I am free to pursue other business activities.

Write down what you want to accomplish with action steps

Write down what you want to accomplish. You cannot only hope and fantasize that what’s not working. Devising an action plan is a must because it creates a framework towards getting things done. Moreover, this action plan holds you accountable because you have crafted it yourself. You are taking ownership with an action plan.

Take action!

You must active instead of passive. There are so many people who write action plans yet take no action. Do not be one of them! You must implement your action plan. Remember, every day you take action you are putting the things that haven’t worked for you farther away in your rearview mirror.

Measure the action

Of course, you have to measure your progress. This trips a lot of people up. They have the action plan and are taking action; however, they don’t know how well they are doing or how to build upon the progress that they are currently making. This is where creating metrics come in. It is crucial that you know how well (or bad) you are doing. Measurements give me a tangible way to create a baseline and evaluate yourself. A baseline is essential because it’s a standard. Anything above the baseline is good and anything below it is bad. The baseline also lends towards continuous improvement because you can create additional metrics on becoming better.

These four steps will help you ‘retrain your algorithm’ for greater personal and professional success.

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5 Ways to Convert Your Dream into Reality

01182016 Dreams to reality

 

What is your dream?

Whatever it is, everyone has one. It seems intangible like it will never happen but you hold close to you because your dream makes you feel like you are alive. When life gets mundane, it is the one thing that keep you going. Having a dream is commendable but it would great when you convert this dream into reality. Here are 5 ways to do just that:

Believe that you can accomplish it.

Believing that you can bring this into fruition is the first step. Don’t keep your dream inside. That’s irresponsible especially since you have the tools to actually bring it to reality. Currently, you are doing something different than your dreams. Now you can take baby steps towards shifting towards your dream.

Break down your big dream into smaller dreams

Oftentimes your dream is so big, it paralyzes you. Instead break down your very big dream into smaller dreams. I recommend creating a milestone list for your dream’s journey. For example, your big dream is home ownership and it takes 2 years. Break it down into smaller steps. Use the mortgage loan qualification process as a milestone list. It will guide you through the home buying process. More importantly, commit to writing it down keeping a dream journal if necessary to stay on track. Having a journal lets you not only keep track of your progress. It also chronicles your transformation.

Drop the deadweight in your personal and professional lives

Friends hold you back. The mistake that people make is that friends are temporary. There are 7 billion people on this earth. Certainly you can find some new people to support you.

Start shifting your behavior to support your new dream.

Bad habits are very hard to change. You can’t own a home if you’re buying the latest virtual reality gear over putting that money away in the bank. Write down your daily routine for one week. Look at your time wasters. If any of them are counterproductive, write down ways to eliminate them.

Detach yourself from the end result.

Be flexible. You may arrive at your goal quicker than expected. The result may even be different than your original dream. I have an example of this:

In late 2005, I decided I was sick of working temporary jobs and wanted to realize and be an economist. I majored in it during undergraduate and I needed to work in my major. It was dream. It was one thing to major in economics but working as an economist validated my dream. I applied for Cleveland State University’s Masters of Arts in Economics program. Initially I thought I would earn my MA degree in 2007 then start working as an economist. However, the Commerce department hired me as an economist in May 2006 and I only spent one semester at Cleveland State University. That experience taught me to be flexible.  Although I hadn’t completed my MA in Economics (yet), I had realized my dream of being an economist.

Bonus: Don’t fear being first.

As a dreamer, you will be the first to do something. Don’t fear, do it anyway. The fear of the unknown can’t zap your dream. On my journey, I have been the first person: 1) with an economics degree, 2) intern with the Washington Center on Internship at my college, 3) earn my MBA, 4) travel to a foreign country and not be in the Army, 5) earn my PMP certification, 6) live in Washington, DC and 7) make over $100,000. At some point, you will be first when pursuing your dream. Do it anyway!

This Week in Positive Change Management : What You Need to Leave Behind before the New Year

12092015 Out with the Old, In with the New

The New Year is right around the corner and everybody to do better than before. This, of course, means dropping those bad habits and unproductive routines. We cannot sabotage ourselves here in December before the New Year even gets started.

Negative mindset and people

Resolve to let these people them go! Why are you letting people steal your joy? Don’t bring this baggage into the New Year. Dropping these ne’er do wells liberates you to take more time for yourself. You cannot bring the would’ve, should’ve and could’ve in the New Year.

You must also erase the negative mindset. That’s why I have written it now. It takes time to distance yourself from negativity. You cannot just flip a switch on New Year’s Eve and poof be gone! You need to shift your mindset from doubt to doing. It takes time to move past it; but, eradicating negativity is something that you need to leave behind.

Physical and mental clutter

Stress wears you down. Your body and immune system break down. You are way too fabulous to look ancient before your time. Don’t’ mess up your pretty over stress. Remove yourself from stressful situations. If your work environment stresses you out, then hire a resume writer to revise yours. The resume writer is probably offering discount Christmas rates so you’ll get more bang for your buck revamping yours. Right now everyone has Christmas on their brains. You are getting a head start on the job market by putting your brand out there now in December.

Mental clutter obstructs your thought process. You cannot be productive and think clearly. Removing the mental clutter gives your brain new space to think new thoughts. Buy a composition notebook and write down all of your thoughts. No matter how random, jot them down. This is called the brain dump. You are dumping all of your thoughts on a piece of paper that gives your brain more space to generate new ones. Mental clutter slows you down from having better thoughts. Better thoughts = better life.

Incomplete tasks

You cannot go into the New Year with things left undone. It is essential that you complete as many tasks as possible. Finishing them liberates your time for other things when the New Year comes. Currently, I am completing 2 Udemy courses because I want to liberate my time. One of these two classes I stopped taking in January. I was supposed to finish this business analysis course before my February consulting date and it never happened. My gig ended in August and I still hadn’t finished that class. Completing it frees up my time to do something else.  You will see a very big change in energy when you finish something because you won’t have to do it again.

Leaving these three things behind guarantees a more productive end to December and a beginning of the New Year.

Keeping the Momentum Going until You Win

Oftentimes people stop working as hard once the momentum starts accelerating. You gain some traction and all of a sudden, you think that the ‘machine can runs itself.’ That’s the biggest mistake you can ever make because this is the exact when you should be working overtime. You want to continue the good fortune that you’re currently experiencing. Below I offer the why and the how to keep the momentum going.

Why Keep the Momentum Going?

You’re not done yet. You don’t celebrate wins when you’re only 60%-70% there. You haven’t fulfilled your goal yet.

Remember how hard it was to get started

Paradigm shifts consume time and energy. You are changing your mind and routine. Imagine if you stop in the middle. You’ll have to summon up the same amount of strength and fortitude to restart. Keep going because you won’t have the same enthusiasm doing it over again.

Don’t Look Like a Quitter

Stopping in the middle makes you look like a quitter. Who wants to be around one? People avoid quitters like the plague. Quitting midstream makes you look uncommitted.

How to Keep the Momentum Going

Remember that once you’re done, you don’t have to do it ever again. For example, part of the joy of completing your degree is knowing that you’re done. Yes, trade war stories at the alumni gala but you’re glad the ‘battle of earning your degree’ is over.

Remember why you’ve started

You want to have a better future. You’ve made a decision to change your current circumstances because you don’t want to live your old life anymore. Following through until end is an important reason to keep the momentum going.

Insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different result.

You don’t want to be in the same place as you’ve started. Don’t get stuck in the mud.  Remember how immobilizing mediocrity was until you started doing something different. By keeping the momentum going you are accomplishing two things simultaneously: distancing yourself from your old self and getting closer to who you want to become.

Decide to stay unstuck by keeping the momentum going right now. Your future self will thank you for it.