Monthly Archives: December 2007

Why Do 90% of New Years Resolutions Fail?

Hello and welcome to my last post of 2007. Thank you for joining me thus far and I wish you a great 2008.

Most of you may be thinking about the upcoming year, and asking yourself how you can improve upon this one about to expire. That is usually when five minutes of soul-searching results in a fantastic idea or two of how to quickly and dramatically change your life – starting January 1st. No pressure there, right?

Some of you may wait until you are half-blitzed at a New Years Eve party to announce the ‘new you’ to your world of peers, and smile sheepishly as they tell you congratulations and promise to support your new leaf-turning venture.

Perhaps you look at the cigarette in your hand and say “this is the last one” or perhaps you feel the emptiness in your wallet and promise to budget better. Maybe you vow to tell your boss where he can shove his overtime policy, or maybe you tell yourself that this is the last time you will be single at a party.

My point is that we have all been through it enough to realize that 90% of resolutions at this time of year fail. The problem is that many of us accept that statistic and use it to comfort our lack of success. Status quo sure is comfortable at times eh?

If you want to know why 90% of resolutions fail, if you want to understand how your mind and motivation work, if you want to understand goal-setting a little better, then please read this little booklet I have prepared. There is no cost of course, and it is ready to be downloaded right now. It is short enough to read in 10 minutes, and includes copy-ready sheets to improve your ability to set goals and achieve them. Just in time right?

Here is the link:

In case you are curious…I do not set New Years resolutions any more. I set goals all year round. Some big, some small. I enjoy that I have a way to keep track of my successes and future challenges to overcome. It is very empowering and fuels my entrepreneurial fire. I truly believe 2008 will be better for me than 2007, but it will not be because of any goal I set December 31st. It will be because of goals I previously set at various times in the last few years.

Download the booklet now, before you set any new goals. I promise it will help.

All the best to you and yours in 2008!

Communication – Not English

Recently I was talking to a new immigrant to Toronto who admitted that she usually does not speak to people that are in the service industry, during day to day transactions. I was surprised by this admission and of course wanted details, because, although English is her second language, she and I spoke easily together. She is not a beginner by far, and has already studied and worked in Toronto where English is the common tongue. She said and I quote “That’s what I love about (multicultural) Toronto – no one has to talk to each other.”

I do not share her view or reasoning on this, but to be fair, let me explain a bit further.

What she is really saying is that many people here have accents and varying levels of English, and it is quite common to meet someone who does not have a great command of English, but still we all are able to buy our groceries, get a taxi ride, go to the corner store and eat a great meal. She feels she fits in nicely and does not want to rock the boat. She doesn’t have to stress herself out in speaking unnecessary English and all is forgiven if she makes a mistake.

I agree that people should not stress out about a mistake here or there, as the important thing overall is being understood. But I also had another message to give her.

Here is what I told her. It’s not about accents or level of language proficiency. It’s about human-to-human communication skill. The person who is comfortable smiling, chatting, reading other people’s emotions and body language etc. is in a much better position to be happier and more successful in this or any other city. Those with excellent communication skills transcend language. I will say that again. Those with excellent (interpersonal) communication skills transcend language. They are charming, witty, memorable, viewed as friendly, confident, attractive and a positive influence on another person’s (perhaps boring) day.

Think about your actions the next time you are buying something or have an everyday errand to run. Do you want people to be kind and friendly to you? Are you being kind and friendly to them, regardless?

On a final note, I would like those of you living in a city that celebrates the Christmas season (regardless of religious background or beliefs) to notice how the majority of people tend to be a bit kinder and friendlier to each other during this season (not including Boxing Day shoppers, of course! Ha ha…). Why is that?

To steal a line from a famous Christmas carol – “If everyday could be like Christmas, what a wonderful world it would be!”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

The Best Delivery Folks Carry Phones

Today I got a call at 8:11am, which as far as I know is NOT during business hours. Needless to say I did not make it to the phone on time. There was no message left.

At 7:30pm I got a call from Purolator Couriers letting me know that that was them, and can they try again tomorrow. Now I don’t mind that they will try again tomorrow, but the question I have is – why didn’t the delivery person leave a message, or leave a phone number for me to call back? Who knows, we could have arranged to get the package delivered 15 minutes later, or on the way back past my location.

Why will so few companies commit to a small window of time, like morning 9-12 or afternoon 2-6? Why is it that the majority of North American companies (any company, not just those in the business of package delivery) say “9-5” or “sometime tomorrow” as their delivery time? Many people waste a day waiting for the delivery, or even take time off work. Many delivery personnel deal with angry customers or have to back-track the next day, which costs the company more money.

The reason I am told is that the majority of delivery personnel are contract workers, and are given a number of things to deliver in a day, and it is up to them to work out a route. So if they ring you once and you do not answer – they keep on truckin’. What do they really care? They get more money by making another trip the next day.

Like you I have had different things delivered, like furniture, telephone or cable upgrades, large appliances etc. and as I recall the most hassle-free deliveries have been the ones where the delivery people carry a phone and call ahead to say they are on their way, or even better, call to arrange a delivery time. If their companies have such a policy in place then I say KUDOS to them for understanding efficiency and customer satisfaction. If it is actually the delivery personnel who have had enough of the industry’s lack of time management and have decided to carry a phone for their own stress-relief, than I say to them “Well done, and thank you!”

Bookend Your Voice Messages

This means leave your (full) name and number clearly at the beginning and ending of your messages.

Sometimes we are in a hurry and forget the little things that really help communication. Or we are just simply used to speaking quickly as our natural voice. And sometimes we forget that cell phones and the like cut out at inopportune times, leaving the listener with an incomplete message. This happened to me recently when someone left me a voice message that was very quietly spoken, and unfortunately, with an incomplete phone number. If that person would have ‘bookended’ her message to me, there would have been 2 chances for me to hear her name and number. So here is today’s lesson:

Speak at a medium volume, medium speed when recording your voice messages, both on your own machine or when leaving a message on someone else’s. And say your name and number at the beginning and end. Being an excellent communicator is about taking responsibility to assist your listeners as well as being a clear speaker.

Use EFT for Fear of Public Speaking, etc.

Have you heard of EFT? Emotional Freedom Techniques. This is a non-invasive form of self-therapy to activate pressure points (chi or qi points in Asian medicine) that hold negative emotional build-up and disrupt your body’s natural energy flow. The theory is that if you can release these negative emotions or scars from previous times, you will be in better health, and manage phobias better too.
Why believe me? Don’t. Research it yourself and make your own decision. It is the same principle as accu-pressure. Here is the website:
You can also find videos on Youtube if you search ‘EFT’.

What do I think?  I know a few people who are trying this and they say it is very helpful for insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder. I used it to relieve back pain and laziness. I used it on a couple of my clients too. One person felt better about her back pain. Another reduced her anxiety over her upcoming public speaking at work. She went from an 8/10 fear to a 5/10 in 2 minutes.

I am interested in EFT, although I am not sure I believe all the testimonials. Some people claim to rid themselves of disease, help babies who are teething, and even unclog toilets! (Yuck!)
For now I am going to continue to explore it, research it, and use it on myself and clients. I like market research. Then I may decide to get officially certified in Advanced EFT techniques. Check out their website for a free video, manual, newsletter, etc.
By the way I am not affiliated with them and receive no kickbacks. I just think this could be really useful for public speaking and presentations, and overall improvement in our emotional health.

Banker-Buddy Follow up

Some people are curious about what prompted my last blog re: communicating with the bank. There were 2 prompts: The first one is that I used to work at a financial institution doing Customer Service and Collections, so I know how important money is to people. I also know that I would favour the nicer, friendlier people first! Oh yes, I said it. Despite what you may hope, we would always help out the cooperative person or give them a break. Relationship is everything. Communication skills are super-important in building relationship.

The other prompt is that I had a great relationship with a banker, and he helped me get a good line of credit, great interest rates, and took a chance on me when I told him of my entrepreneurial aspirations. He helped me a lot. However this week when I went into my bank to set up a new account I found out that he recently moved departments. Guess what? I got bounced around for 2 days and between 4 people before I (maybe) got settled into a new account manager. Now I did my best to establish and build rapport, but I guess I won’t know 100% until the next visit. I am looking forward to it!