The Perfect Day

KCBen

What would your perfect day look like? What would it need to include?

It’s fun to think about a perfect day, but of course, we realize, a perfect day isn’t really possible. Still, how great would it be if your day included most of these qualities you listed? Half? Some?  It would still be an incredible day, right?

I wonder how many of us aren’t even hitting one of these per day?  Why is that?  I’m guessing it’s because we didn’t make time for it and plan it into our day. Sure, conflicts come up and there can always be urgent tasks to finish, but planning some of what we love will brighten anyone’s day. Right?  Let’s remember to schedule blocks of time for some of the activities we enjoy doing along with all those pesky to-do items from our daily rat race.

We cannot have a great day if we don’t even know what it would look like, right? Let’s plan for it.

What does your day look like now? What do you need to start including?

I had the good fortune a few year’s back of asking David Blaine any one question I wanted, so I chose, “What is the most influential book you have ever read?” His answer to me? The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.  I did a quick search on iBooks and found it was a free book.  I downloaded it and began reading.  What a treasure trove of applicable life lessons.

Benjamin Franklin tried to live a perfect day and deduced that while it wasn’t possible, we can do much to improve our day.

Here is a peek at Ben’s schedule from 1750:

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I look at his day and I find some great advice that we can apply:

1) Begin Your Day With an Empowering Question: Franklin asks “What good shall I do this day?”  What questions are you asking yourself and are they empowering you? Create some great questions to help you get yourself moving in the direction you want.

2) Work is for Work: Franklin clearly establishes the need to focus and finish work while at work. He doesn’t bring anything home. Make the best use of your time when at work. Don’t bring work home. What a great philosophy. Make time for work and knock it out of the park, and when quitin’ time hits, well… enjoy yourself.

3) Make Time for Yourself: Franklin made time for himself each day. He balanced this in with his chores and work. He made time for himself. Too often I find if we don’t schedule what is meaningful it just doesn’t happen. To live without a schedule means leaving things to chance and that’s when we either don’t make time for things we enjoy, or we lose hours wandering the internet meaninglessly or watching way too much TV. Make time for yourself and balance it in your day.

4) Everything Has it’s Place: Rather than a huge spring cleaning, Franklin builds in time for organizing what he has. I will take the liberty to assume Franklin is somewhat of a minimalist and avoids clutter. Sure these could be chores around the house as well, but if so, it is not the all-encompassing chores many of us bury ourselves in each day.

5) Make Time for Reflection: I really like how Franklin ends his day in reflection, asking himself what good he has done. I think each of us needs to reflect at the end of the day and examine how we spent it. We should ask ourselves what we should keep doing, start doing, and stop doing. Reflection is key.

6) Rest is Important: For many, a good night’s sleep is negotiable, but not for Ben. he made it a priority and accounted for it. Rest is important to those who want to make the most of life. He didn’t over sleep. He kept to a schedule. He made sleep of equal importance in his day as all of his other activities.

7) Wake Early: We can see the Franklin woke up early and that this was important to him. When you look at his life it is amazing what all he accomplished. Waking early was clearly a key to his success.

Make your day great!

Kelly Croy is a professional speaker and artist.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

with his art and words. 

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.KellyCroy.com

1-800-831-4825

The Secret to a Successful Resolution: Fail Again and Again!

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The starting point of anything can be a little intimidating, especially if it’s your first time.

If it’s a race, you might compare yourself to other runners, question the course, or start predicting what could go wrong. If it’s a financial goal, your initial deposit may look so minuscule in comparison to the total amount needed that you begin to second guess even starting.

Goals, resolutions, and habits are what transform us and bring out the best in us, but they really don’t need to be complex and stressful. They need to be fun and engaging.

Run your race, not the guy’s next to you. Plan your financial portfolio, not your coworkers’. Create your plan and personalize your goals with your life.

A new year, a birthday, the start of the month, even the first day of the week can provide us with an opportunity to begin something new, begin something needed, and chart a new course. It’s nice to have those clean-slate moments on the calendar.  Embrace them. Use them to your advantage!  It’s also important to remember, any time is a good time to start something worthwhile.

Most people abandon a resolution because they mess up and ruin a ‘perfect run’ of the habit they wanted to create. Well, don’t worry. You’re going to mess up, miss a day, and make a mistake.  That’s part of the success formula.

The secret to successful resolutions is what you do after you had a setback. You just start again. It really is that simple, but so many fail because they refuse to begin again.

Fail, fail, fail, your way to success. Edison’s 10,000 lightbulb filament failures, and Disney’s 300 failed attempts to find a financial backer, combined with every person who’s ever lost weight, quit an addiction, destroyed debt, or ran a race will remind of us that setbacks will occur and we must persist. Failure is a key ingredient.

When you fail give yourself a opportunity to adjust, make corrections, and set a new course. Perhaps you need to consult someone who has had some success in this area, but don’t wait. Keep failing. Keep collecting data. Keep trying. Never wait until you have the equipment, money or time, because you never will. Just start.

Start!

Many people, myself included, find great value in writing goals and resolutions down and keeping a journal of the progress. Maybe you will too. Try it.  There is no wrong way to begin anything.

I am firmly convinced that if you make 364 attempts at anything, by the 365th you’re going to be pretty darn good at it and see some major accomplishments.

Good luck.

Kelly Croy is a professional speaker and artist.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

with his art and words. 

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825

Nothing More Important Than The Return

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Nothing is more important than the return.  Nothing.

There is a wonderful Japanese proverb that captures the importance of ‘the return’ quite simply: “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

Going for a run is easily accomplished. Waking up the next day sore and tired and choosing to run again is a bit more of a challenge. The return. 

Sitting down and pounding the first several hundred words to a novel is simple. Sitting down day after day until it’s finished is a rarity. The return. 

Dieting for one day is fairly easy. Maintaing the diet long enough to see the results you want is an effort. The return. 

Returning is the key to success. The more often you return the better the results, and the more quickly they’ll be obtained.

Starting is essential. Start small. But returning regularly is the key. Focus on the return. It will pay off.

Returning also sends a message, “I’m serious about what I want to accomplish.” It lets everyone know you have just stepped away from dabbling and hobbies. It also sends a message to others about your character and mindset. People who return are the leaders, the visionaries, the few who accomplish much.

Making a return at any task or goal builds momentum and carries over to other ventures.

Where do you need to return?

It won’t be easy to return, especially if it’s been awhile, but it will be worth it.

Nothing is more important than the return.  Nothing.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and keynote speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825

Six Questions to Ask When Setting a Goal

10Questions

What Makes a Good Goal? 

Some people seem to achieve goals regularly and are continually climbing their way toward a better life. Still, others fail repeatedly and seem stuck in a rut.

A good goal is structured and planned in a way to be more likely achieved.

Achieving goals isn’t a matter of chance, there is a methodology anyone can apply to get better results.

Here Are Six Questions to Ask Yourself When Setting Goals:

1. Can I measure it?

Your goals need to be precise and positively worded. You goals need to be set just above your comfort level and just below your frustration level.  Don’t set a goal like, “I want to lose weight.”  Be specific, “I want to lose five pounds by Steve’s wedding.” Your precision has something to measure and a due date. Focus on what you want, and use words to compel you toward the desired result.

It may be obvious, but a good goal is something you cannot currently do. You might dismiss a goal because you think it is too easy, but if you can’t do it, then it is a good goal.

2. Is it the correct size?

You goal needs to be big enough to matter, but small enough to be completed in a reasonable time.  It’s better to set three five pound weight loss goals than to set one goal of fifteen pounds. By losing the first five and meeting your goal you set off emotions and brain chemistry like dominos.  You begin programming your brain for success.  Think bite-sized goals and bust them out. Big goals are resolutions; they’re the meals. Goals are the individual bites of that big meal.

You cannot measure your goal against someone else’s goal.  If you want to run a 5K in under 30 minutes and your friend is training for a marathon, you still need to be proud of your goal.

3. When will I finish?

You need to set a deadline for your goal.  I use a countdown time app on my iPhone or type it into my calendar.  I can see how many days, hours, and minutes until my next 5K or word count on my book.  Goals need deadlines.  Without them, they will remain dreams.  Set a target completion date.

4. How will I keep myself accountable?

Goals need to be written.  I would start by keeping a journal and check back often. You need to lineup what resources you have at your disposal and that includes people that can keep you accountable.  Some people I know have found success ‘checking in’ on social media sites like twitter and Facebook.  Posting pictures and short entires of their progress.  Find creative ways to keep yourself accountable.

5. Does it interest me?

You aren’t going to finish anything unless you feel strongly about it.  Create some leverage and ask yourself what would happen if you don’t complete it, and what would happen if you did.  Inspire yourself. Remind yourself why you want this. Get into it.

6. What will it cost?

A good goal is one that will improve your life and those around you.

When setting a goal you must look ahead and see how it will impact those around you. All goals cost something whether it be time or money.

Will this goal help your family? Will it negatively impact your finances? Will it improve or hinder your relationship with your family?

This is, after all, your goal. You cannot rely on the actions of others to achieve your goal. You cannot rely on your finances. (I know some who allow themselves to buy things and call it a goal.  That’s not a goal, that’s a want.)  Be prepared to invest time in achieving your goal, but know what the costs are and use good judgement.

What questions do you believe are important to ask when setting goals? Leave a comment.

Escaping the Gravitational Pull of Stress

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Escape velocity is described as the speed an object needs to be traveling in order break free of a planet’s gravitational force. On Earth, escape velocity is seven miles a second, or 25,000 miles an hour.  That’s fast. The good news is, that once an object reaches escape velocity it no longer requires further propulsion. If the object fails to reach this speed, consequently, it is pulled back.

For a long time the science community believed escape velocity was unobtainable. That nothing would ever leave Earth’s atmosphere. Now, you and I benefit from the thousands of man-made satellites orbiting our earth. They allow us to communicate, prepare for weather, direct our course and more.  Escape velocity achieved. Benefits obtained.

Right now you are sitting with a cold-blooded killer with a similar hold on you. Stress.

It’s real. It’s dangerous. It’s been identified as the number one killer of all Americans. At times, stress has a gravitational pull on our lives that is seemingly unescapable. Flares of panic. Pangs of anxiety. Stress drives some to madness, addiction, and others, sadly, even worse.

If you are having difficulty escaping your stress you are damaging both mind and body, your relationship, and your employment, but fortunately there is much we can do to obtain the ever-so-needed escape velocity over our stress and move forward with our lives.

The key to our overcoming the consequences of stress, however, is the identical solution of a rocket seeking to escape the planet’s strong gravitational pull.  Both require an incredible amount of explosive commitment to achieving the result. We are talking sheer brute force and power.  We can’t try; we must commit. We can dabble at it. We must go all in. Buckle-up buttercup, it’s time for liftoff.

Here are 12 stress-busting tips to help you achieve escape velocity:

1) Know in your heart and mind that “this too shall pass.” Faith and affirmation are your bodyguards.

2) Commit to some intense aerobic physical activity. Workout kids! Get the body moving.

3) Confide in a close friend or journal. Get it out of your system. Don’t bottle it up.

4) Prayer. Best anti-anxiety drug ever made. Find a private place to quiet yourself. Tell the Big Guy what’s on your mind. Then listen.

5) Laugh. It’s time for some ‘Three Stooges’ or some great comedy. Laughter is awesome medicine.

6) Face your fear. Go ahead and describe the worse-case scenario. Look your enemy in the eye. It will instantly shrink before your eyes.

7) To the War Room! Start developing a plan of attack if your worse fears were to come true. You will find comfort.  You’ll also find that there is always a solution. When one door closes, another opens.

8) Fellowship. Surround yourself with family, activities, and others. You need your tribe. Your tribe needs you.

9) Get away! Ever notice your problems shrink as you drive out of town? Put some miles between you and the location of your worry. (You will have to come back. Hawaii is not an option.)

10) Music. I have my stress-busting playlist ready.  How about you?

11) Comparison. You have stress. So does everyone.  Pick up a newspaper or go to CNN. Seeing the problems of the world tends to shrink our own. Can’t find anyone with a bigger problem? Turn to the obituaries. Oh, and count your blessings.

12) The Size of the Hero Depends on The Size of the Problem. Wanna be a hero? Conquer BIG problems. No one ever got a medal for tying their shoe.

In order to reach escape velocity you’ll need to apply all of these with passion and intensity. Doing one of them won’t work.

Hoping to see you in a stress free orbit soon.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and keynote speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825

You’re Blowing It!

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You’re Blowing it!

It’s not procrastination. That sounds too sophisticated.

You’re not stalling. That’s just too nice.

You’re blowing it! You are about to miss a once in a lifetime opportunity because you are more interested in reading your Twitter Feed or updating your current Facebook status.

Life is short and we all have goals and dreams. We work toward them or we don’t. When we don’t achieve our dreams we make excuses and cover up our inaction with niceties. We act like we will eventually get there and that everything is going to be fine.

Well, what if you’re wrong? Live your life without regrets and get your dreams on the production line.

You need help? Great. We can do that. We can find you the resources you need. (And you won’t.) We’ll locate any needed backers. (You don’t really need that either.) And we will guide you around every other excuse you are prepared to make. (And you will.) But, we cannot tell you what your dream is, and ask you to get started.  That little bit of magic is the fuel for the entire dream.

Throw perfection out the window and aim for progress. Dream big but when creating settle for completion. You can always work on a part two later. ‘Finished’ is a beautiful word.

Look in the mirror. Are you blowing it or are you getting started?

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and keynote speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825

Write it Down.

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We write down the groceries we need, gifts to buy at the mall, doctors’ appointments, to-do lists, recipes, directions, car maintenance appointments,  and other things we deem important.

We compose emails, texts, Twitter posts, blogs, and we update our Facebook status with regularity.

Yet, most people choose not to write down their goals, their resolutions, or what they want to accomplish for the year, yet alone their life. They fail to design a plan, or even make a list of where they’d like to go, what they’d they like to have, who they’d like to help, or the person they’d like to become, and then they’re frequently disappointed when life doesn’t deliver their dreams and wishes.

Writing down our goals and resolutions matters. Follow the recipe to create the dish, arrive at the location, assemble the product, complete the course. It really is that simple.

My goals, resolutions, and plans are always updated in a small portable journal.  I take it nearly everywhere I go. There are no scrap pieces of paper in my life, no post-it notes, no napkin designs; I write everything in my journal. If I want to change direction, need a little motivation, or can’t remember where I was on a project, I know where to find it.

I also begin each day with an index card that serves as my to-do list.  It works in conjunction with my journal. Neither are difficult, nor take up much time. They work well for me, but perhaps not you, and that’s fine. All I wish to accomplish is to emphasize the importance of writing down your goals and resolutions. That’s it.

Just jot them down after some thought and review them periodically as the very minimum to make some awesome accomplishments.  Or, start a journal, and design the life you want to live.

Then of course there is the most cited Harvard Study of all time about writing down your goals. It states that the 3% of the graduates who took the time to write down what they wanted, accomplished more than the other 97% combined.

My personal testimony: Writing down my goals and resolutions has created incredible results in my life. Without question it is the single most important tool in my arsenal.

For those that don’t know where to begin, I encourage you to begin simply. There is no right or wrong method. If you workout every day your body is going to change, regardless if you know what you’re doing or not. The better the plan, the better the results. The same is true for writing down and maintaining your goals in life. Some is better than none.

For those that say they don’t have time to write down their goals, please know that our time here is short and we need to spend it on what matters most. Take a few minutes to design the life you want and aim yourself in that direction.

Write it down.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825

One more… One less…

One finger

Run one more mile.

Eat one less donut.

Call your mom one more time each month.

Stay off Facebook one entire day.

Write one more page.

Buy one less extra.

It all comes down to one more or one less to make a significant difference.  Use some consistency each day, each week, each month, and you will really see progress.

Resolutions don’t have to be huge they need to be consistent. Simple actions compounded can create some dramatic changes.

Imagine weighing twelve pounds less than you do right now this time next year. All it would take is a pound a month and some consistency. The same principles can be applied to your finances, projects, goals, and dreams.

Good luck.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and keynote speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825


This is the year I resolve to…

Resolve quotes

The new year offers each of us an opportunity to renew and refresh our lives. It can provide us with an opportunity to look forward and plan new adventures, new goals, and imagine new possibilities. It allows us to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and imagine a new life.

Yes, we can do this at any time in the year, it doesn’t have to be the first of January, but when the calendar turns to a new year there is a genuine feeling of renewal; it is like hitting the reset button on a computer game, or buying a new car.

Many people dismiss the idea of making a resolution. They believe resolutions are a waste of time. And for many it is, because they approach it the wrong way. I see it quite differently. To me resolutions are a part of my life plan. They provide me with direction and purpose.

Should you create a list of resolutions? No question about it. Absolutely! Just make it a “resolution” not something less. A resolution by definition means unwavering. It all comes down to word choice.

For most, it’s not a resolution, it’s a wish. Here are the things I’d like to have happen, but I don’t really want to put anything into it.

A resolution is far different. Here is what I resolve to accomplish. I won’t let anything stand in my way. This is the person I am committed to becoming.

What if I fail? Oh, you will fail, and plenty of times. The person who made a wish quits, and the person who made a resolution tries again. On the same date the following year, everyone that made a resolution is in many ways better off, and those that made wishes are at the same place, or sadly more often worse.

The consistency and discipline needed to

improve in one area, say dieting, carries over to others, say spending less. Making improvements in one area benefit many.

So, yes, make a resolution. You will be more productive and feel better about yourself. You might just inspire someone else too.

Resolutions can be as simple as, “This is the year I will…

• lose those extra pounds and get into better shape.

• finish writing my book.

• enter that 5K.

• save more money.

• get a quote on that remodeling project.

• grow closer spiritually through prayer.

• payoff that loan.

• regulate my time online better.

• give more charitably.

• create something that never existed before.

Resolutions aren’t dumb, nor are they a waste of time.

I hope you make one, share it, and if not actually achieve it, come closer than you ever have in your life.

Good luck.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825

Would Steve Jobs Consider You a Bozo?

The world is filled with admirers of Steve Jobs, and rightfully so. The man was an incredible visionary, innovator, speaker, businessman, leader, and communicator. His impact has left little untouched.  One overlooked talent though, was his use of simple language to convey his passion for a product or service. How many times did we hear him say, “insanely great, phenomenal, awesome, revolutionary, amazing, and of course magical?

His word choice was in sync with his passion for minimalism in design and the simple elegance of his presentation. Uncomplicated. Straightforward. Direct. Powerful. The advertisements, stores, packaging, and even his dress embodied this motif.

He chose simple words, but words powerful in their connotations. They were chosen with care. They were delivered with passion. They told a story.

My favorite term Jobs used was when he called someone or their idea a Bozo.

Bozo was a term Steve would use to describe someone that just didn’t get it. A bozo to him was someone that was more interested in the bureaucracy of business rather than innovation. A bozo was someone that was ineffective and someone that wasn’t authentic. A bozo was someone who focused on what wasn’t important. Basically a bozo was anyone Steve didn’t respect.

I recently read an article though about his use of the term bozo at NeXt. According to NeXt employees, you could go from bozo to genius in months if you eventually got it and performed. (Better yet, outperformed.) And I am sure you could probably drop back down again too.

Many think Steve burned bridges, but I don’t think that is the case at all.  Sure, he was competitive and occasionally became upset, but I still remember the shock I had, and later conceded to the brilliance of his move, when he partnered Apple with Microsoft. When you consider all of the deals he made with the record industry, artists, television companies, and publishers, you realize he built far more bridges than he ever burned.

Steve Jobs had standards, incredibly high ones, for himself, his staff, and the corporations he created.  The results speak for themselves. Bozos either don’t have standards or they break them.  Bozos lack vision or don’t follow it. Bozos place business over delivering a quality service or product.

Don’t want Steve Jobs to think you are a bozo? Do the following:

  • Be original. Don’t steal the work others. Create. Don’t copy. March to the beat of your own drum.
  • Set high standards and hold others to high standards.
  • Be prouder of what you didn’t do, than what you did.
  • Have a vision. Focus on it and chase it down.
  • Understand and emphasize the relationship between product/service and the client.
  • Know the story behind why you do what you do.
  • Do what you love.
  • Give more than you take.

These are just my observations of a man I never met, but a man who impacted my life more than most of those whom I have.

I will work hard not to be a bozo.

Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker.

He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation

including corporations, schools, churches, conferences,

and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired.

Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.

www.kellycroy.com

1-800-831-4825