I recently spent 90 minutes of a work day in a week when I only had 1.5 days for office tasks available calling companies and removing myself from their snail-mailing lists. Most of that time was spent on hold. When I hung up from the last one, I sighed deeply and almost declared it a waste of time.
It was not a waste of time. I only make it to the P.O. box about once every two weeks with my travel sked, so I always end up having to stand in line for the counter to collect a bundle. By the time I get done tossing the junk into the recycling bin, I only have enough mail for my size box.
So when I picked up the mail that time, I tore off the back covers of the catalogs so I could call and cancel the subscripts. Among the culprits were:
I also ditched an email address I had since the 90s; I'll share more about that next time. This is turning into a year of clearing out ... I'll have to keep an eye out for more of those dynamics and report back.
Now I submit to you fellow problem solvers out there around the world - the U.S. in particular - that the system of selling addresses via hidden terms in contracts is severely broken and needs repair. Who's up for the challenge? I'm not a fan of additional legislation because the government has too much control of our daily lives as it is, but something needs to change. Or perhaps there are already services who intercept your snail mail like Unroll.me does your spam email and I'm just not savvy.
I'm curious what solutions you have to offer.
I'm getting ready for another new beginning. And I'm excited about what's in store. Are you?
As each month starts I pull out my calendar and fill in my plans for the days ahead. I can't plan for everything, but I plan for what I know is coming to the best of my ability. Planning enables me to focus and be intentional about my priorities.
April 2017 was really busy because I traveled the first three weeks of the month. While I planned pretty well for my trips, there were things that came up that weren't on my schedule. But, guess what ... everything worked out for my great because of wisdom, problem-solving and support.
I'm thankful for new opportunities to travel, mentor, speak, teach, etc. but I'm reminded more than ever how important planning, preparing and prioritizing are. As my life gets busier and demands on my time increase, I have to be diligent about how I spend it.
This is true for everyone, of course, but crucial for me now that I've (and everyone else who has) launched out into greater realms of influence.
Here are some tips for those who have entered new seasons of more - more clients, activities, travel, opportunities and like:
If you're interested in having me teach a large-group session or speak at an event you can message me for booking inquiries at Zari Banks.
Photo of Sea-Tac International Airport by Zari Banks 2017
Do you have a movie-going ritual? I do. When I go to the movies, I always get a soda, popcorn and a hot dog. It doesn't matter what else I've already eaten that day or will later, I get those three things every time. Candy's optional for me, but those three items are not.
Movies for two usually costs me around $50 so when I go, I'm going to see a specific movie. When I lived in Arizona, my friend Bryan and I used to go to the movies and lunch most Mondays because any showing before 1 p.m. was $5. We'd go see anything - whether we thought it would be good or not because ... who cares about $5, right?
I'll tell you who cares about $5. People who've been laid off from jobs and have mortgages, private school and all those other living expenses to pay day in and day out. Homeless people care about $5. Single moms care about $5. I've been in all three of those categories, so please take this message to heart.
First, as a business woman, I don't really fuss over what companies charge for their products and services because I realize they've broken the financials down to value per minute (services) and per item. Overhead has to be paid for the business to exist and it has to be profitable to continue. I get that.
That's a benefit of access to multiple companies that offer similar products and services. Everyone can't afford my services, and that's ok. I service a higher-income bracket. But, my client base allows me to have fewer clients and be able to do a lot of pro bono work. The services I provide free of charge are important to me because I've been laid off, homeless and a single mom and have needed the expertise of a professional but couldn't afford it.
I went to the movies last Wednesday, and when I paid I was kinda grumbling about paying $6 for popcorn, $4 for a hot dog and $5 for a soda. The grumbling stopped when I considered the alternative - sitting through a movie without the items I've conditioned myself to consume. I'm not willing to do that.
Let's look at a couple of the many lessons I see here:
I'm going to continue spending $25 and up to go the movies, I'm sure, but what I want you think about is this: If you're in need of a professional mentor's expertise, but think you can't afford it, you're wrong. If you want something, you'll do what you need to do and pay what you need to pay to get it.
What do you want? Do you want to break through and overcome blocks to success? Do you want to work from home so you can home school? Do you want to improve your communication skills and negotiate a raise, benefits or a promotion? I can help. Contact me today.
Focusing on today is important. It keeps us from being overwhelmed, helps us to live in the present and allows us to win.
Think of all the hours we've spent (or for some, spend) contemplating things that are happening days, weeks or months from now. Or the conversations we've had when we've pretended to listen but were really previewing future events.
I've committed to stop doing such. And I admit that's a challenge for me because my brain moves quickly and I'm always planning ahead. Take this very post, for example. I'm writing it well in advance during an hour of my day that's scheduled for rest. There's nothing wrong with planning, everyone should plan parts of life. But you can't and shouldn't plan everything, and note to self: when you've planned to rest, rest. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
Let's take a closer look at the above reasons to focus on today:
Simple but not easy - like most things that create champions. Just keep at it. That's my plan. I'm going to practice 1 and 2 in an area at a time and let the wins stack up. Every biography of an extraordinary individual has a line that tells us they repeated a process too many times to count, and then it eventually paid off. The same can happen for you if you want it to be so.
If you need help focusing on today, read the book I Say So: Speaking My Way to Success. If you need one-on-one help, an accountability partner or strategy specific to your situation, book a mentoring package or schedule a call today.
The brain is amazing. When a to-do list is created, as we're writing, the brain sends signals to relevant parts that state, "These things need to get done." This happens because you have visual and kinetic focus on the listed tasks. If you're like me, you have visual, auditory AND kinetic focus because I say the tasks aloud as I write them. The more parts of you that are involved in something, the more memory you'll have of that thing.
ACTION STEPS FOR SUCCESS:
I started running last night. For 15 minutes. I have to start somewhere since I hibernate during the cold months. I always begin my re-acclimation with walking first and then I get so bored with the slow pace that I have to run. So I walked three days and on the fourth I was ready for my first run of the year. Congrats, Me!
I'm using the MapMyRunTrainer app that has a couch-to-5K training plan. It starts with one day running every four days with 15 minutes of 3/2 run walks. I didn't follow that, of course. I wouldn't be Zari if I didn't adapt everything to fit me. I ran the whole 15 minutes and didn't rest the next day as the program suggested. I ran again today. And it felt so good. After the first 10 anyway. But I know myself, what I can handle and how to listen to my body. I know I can run (jog) 15 minutes without stopping even though I haven't run in four months.
I'm taking this as extreme encouragement for a wonderful running season ahead. I started earlier this year than ever since moving from a hot desert to a cold desert. Which either means I've adapted to 55 degrees being tolerable weather or spring is coming three months earlier this year. I'm hoping for the latter. Call me cutie, but I love 100 degrees.
Back to adapting things to fit me. That's what life is all about, right? We have to collect information, resources and strategies and then adapt them so they fit our lifestyles for maximum effectiveness. There are times when following instructions to a T matter. I've learned this ... the hard way. But as individuals, we have the right and necessity to mold things to what we need to be successful. This excludes being mean and nasty and breaking the law, claro que si.
For example, look below at the feedback I received from a client. I gave her an assessment and plan with strategies and it was up to her to implement in a way that worked for her need and family. I provided the outline for her just as the running app did for me, but she did the work to get the results she wanted and so do I. I want to get up to my normal run of 60 minutes 3-4 times a week, and while their plan is good it's slower than what I want as a 19-year runner.
If you need a plan for communication breakthrough, or anything else, schedule a call or book a package. I'll provide an outline and then you will get the results you want.
Clients book mentors and coaches because they want to start winning in an area of life they've previously been struggling - or to put it bluntly failing - in. They want the prize of abundant life.
Abundant life is your right. You should want it. There's wrong with wanting awesomeness on a regular basis. Matter of fact there's more wrong with average, mediocrity and status quo than working toward excellence and fulfillment. You have too much brain power (aka potential) to settle for less than.
There are roughly 5 weeks remaining in 2015. As you prepare for 2016, I challenge you to spend time journaling the following:
This is what's happening in my life right now. Then list the good, bad and ok.
This is what I need/want to happen in my life in 2016. Again make a list of goals. I recommend including a date, too, because if you have a written plan with a timeline, you have 90% chance of achieving what you've planned.
And if you need even more accountability than writing goals with a date, schedule a call today. I can have a supernatural solution for you in 15 minutes or less.
Your race is yours to win. Start now.
Learn to schedule enjoyment just as you do work requirements and you'll have a positive work-life balance.
I'm here to help. Schedule a call or book a mentoring package today.
As a certified master teacher and instructional coach, I spent countless hours every week planning and preparing for lessons, curriculum delivery and presentations. I never went before my students, or the teachers I coached, unprepared.
As a professional mentor I offer my mentees the same excellent service. I don't meet with them - whether by phone, Skype or in person -- without planning and preparation.
Can you imagine a teacher or presenter standing before the students or audience, and announcing, "This wasn't on my schedule, so give me a few minutes and I'll come up with something to share."
I often have pre-clients email me their telephone numbers with a message to call them. That's not how a professional mentor operates. In order for me to provide my best service to each client, I must have time to plan and prepare for our interaction. That includes setting an agenda for our call so that no one's time or money are wasted. Additionally, I have a daily schedule that I must adhere to for maximum efficiency in my own life and career.
A mentor is not your friend. You may be friends in life, but when the mentor-mentee relationship is in effect (on the clock) the former is imparting wisdom gained into the latter and therefore proper protocol must be enacted. In order to receive from a mentor, a mentee has to understand the relational dynamics.
I would love to be your mentor and help you dig deep to discover your authentic self. If you're willing and able to learn to do well, you'll reap the benefits of a fruitful life, career and family. Schedule a call with me today!