We’re an impatient society. We want it all, and we want it now. After all, this is the era of “It’s there in 30 minutes or it’s free!” and next-day Amazon deliveries. Why should we wait and take our goals a step at a time?

Because that’s really the only way to achieve them. In fact, taking a little longer to achieve your heart’s desires may be better for you in the long run:
  • It gives you time to adjust to changes along the way.
  • It lets you overcome obstacles and develop new skills that you may need once you’re on the top of the mountain.
  • It allows you to evaluate whether the goal you’re aiming for is really what you want.
Achieving large goals in a single fell swoop usually only happens on TV or in the movies; the rest of us have to take the not-so-short cut. In fact, trying to tackle a big goal all at once can actually discourage you, as perfectionism, fear of failure, lack of confidence, and other negative emotions can arise if you try to change too much at once.
 
Here’s how to break your big goal down into manageable chunks:
  • Set your first milestone only as far ahead as your headlights shine. Right now, you may not be able to see the entire path from where you are now to where you want to be. Instead of trying to map out your whole plan, just map out the next step. For instance, if you want to go back to school to finish your degree, you know one thing for sure: You’ll need to find out how to apply to school. Make that your first goal, and set a reasonable deadline. Don’t worry about the rest of the steps (getting transcripts, taking an entrance exam, applying for financial aid) until you’ve tackled that first step.
  • Work in chunks you’re comfortable with. Many of us are very comfortable planning about three months in advance; this is the length of an academic quarter in school and a financial quarter in business. Figure out what you need to accomplish in the next three months, and map out steps for doing so. At the end of the quarter, review your accomplishments and map out the next quarter.
  • Base your daily list on your longer-term goals. Break down daily activities based on your quarterly or monthly goals. Each activity on your list should be something you can accomplish today that moves you forward to your bigger goals. That way everything rolls up together, and you’re not wasting your time on unimportant tasks.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you achieve any goal, no matter how large? The same way – one step at a time.
 
 
 

Most of us spend our lives in avoidance of pain. It’s not surprising; researchers have shown that the drive to escape pain is greater than the drive to experience pleasure. All things being equal, if we’re not hurting bad enough, we’re not going to be very motivated to seek out change.

The good news is that we can use this human quirk to our advantage. If the good parts of achieving our goals aren’t enough to get us motivated, maybe the bad things that will come from NOT achieving our goal will get us moving. It’s the carrot-versus-the-stick debate, and let’s face it: Sometimes we need the stick.
 
Put bluntly, if you increase the pain associated with the status quo to a high enough level, you’ll be motivated to change. In fact, the higher the pain, the greater the motivation. For instance, think of:
  • The businessman who won’t quit working on the weekends until his wife threatens to divorce him.
  • The overweight mom who won’t lose weight until she’s diagnosed with diabetes and told that she may die and leave her small children motherless if she doesn’t lose 100 lbs.
  • The employee who can’t seem to arrive at work before 9:30 until he’s threatened with being fired.
Pain can be the ultimate motivator. But there are ways to kick it into high gear before you’re being threatened with termination or death. Here’s how to ramp up the pain quotient:
  • Focus on the negative. We’re all told to focus on the positive, but sometimes it’s the focus on the bad that will get us going. Dave Ramsey, the personal finance guru, suggests that people post a list of their debts on their refrigerator. The constant in-your-face nature keeps you motivated and moving forward.
  • Extrapolate. Again, psychologists and counselors will recommend that you don’t extrapolate your worries. Well, if you’re trying to motivate yourself, worry away! Think about yourself living as a bag lady if you don’t bring in four new clients this week. Picture your kids growing up in day care if you don’t find a new job. Paint a vivid picture of what you’re trying to avoid and remind yourself of the horrible alternative.
  • Find a negative role model. Just as you can find role models to inspire you to great things, you can find negative role models who have dropped to the depths of despair (VH1’s “Behind the Music” is especially helpful for this!). People DO die of diabetes. People DO get fired. Find a few folks who have experienced your greatest fear and remind yourself that it can happen.
Of course, it’s a lot more fun to imagine yourself in a string bikini and paste a picture of Cindy Crawford on your fridge. But if that’s not working, you might have to go to the other extreme and post your bikini “before” shot in a public spot. Do what you have to in order to reach your goal.
You know you want to declutter your house, find a new job, or lose weight. But somehow, you’re not getting around to it. The first place to start is with your goal. Sometimes procrastination occurs because your goal simply isn’t clear enough. To have an effective, motivating goal, you need to know precisely what you’re heading for.
 
Decluttering your house is too broad; to make it motivating, try breaking it down more specifically. Measurable is helpful, too. Getting rid of 50 books, clearing out all clothes that the kids haven’t worn in six months, reducing the number of DVDs the family has so they all fit on a single shelf… these are motivating goals! They give you something to aim for.
 
Another common problem with goals is not setting a deadline. Which is more likely to get your rear in gear: Losing weight in order to attend your high school reunion in three months, or losing weight… someday? Even self-imposed deadlines can be effective, so don’t set a goal without setting a deadline.
 
Many goal-setters set a goal that is too ambitious (“Be debt-free by next month”) or not enough of a stretch (“Ask one person about job openings at her company this month.”). The best goals lie somewhere in the middle. They’re large enough to require some serious effort, but realistic enough that you have a good chance of achieving them.
 
Effective goals need to be reviewed regularly, too. Just writing them down on an index card on January 1 and sticking them in the back of your Day Planner isn’t going to get you very far; some experts recommend re-reading your goals – OUT LOUD – at least once in the morning and once at night. You might also try posting them throughout your home: On the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator, on the dashboard of your car. This leaves no doubt about what you’re aiming for, and also serves as a constant reminder. (It’s harder to reach in the freezer for the Ben & Jerry’s when there’s a picture of a bikini-clad you stuck on the door!).
 
Maybe the most important thing to evaluate your goal for, though, is to make sure it’s really yours, and really what you want. Sometimes we set goals because they sound good, we think we should want them, or someone else told us it was a good thing to aim for. Forget all that! If your heart isn’t in it, no wonder you’re not working towards it and are watching reruns of “Lost” instead. Find something you can truly put your efforts into – learning Japanese, drawing pictures of famous people on your Etch-A-Sketch, feeding pets that were abandoned in natural disasters – and work on that. You get one go-round in this life, so you may as well spend it where it matters to you. 

A lot offolks these days are using the iPad when traveling especially entrepreneurs like myself. A great tool that I use to transfer files that I need when I'm on the road from my computer to my iPad is called File View To Go

The great thing about File View To Go is you don't need any cables to connectyour iPad to your computer in order for it to work. It can all be done through wifi on your home network. Some of the features of File View To Go include:

  • Upload files to your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch from any computer connected in the same network
  • Save attachments from the email application
  • Read PDF files, word documents, excel spreadsheets, and text files
  • View photos and images in JPG, PNG and GIF formats
  • Upload multiple files at once!
  • Works over Wifi – no cables needed
  • View your files even when you are offline
  • No software required besides a web browser (Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome)
  • Option to add files using the USB cable and iTunes
  • Works on Mac, Windows and Linux

The iPhone version is only $1.99 and the iPad version is $2.99 and both are available through the iTunes App Store. Check it out and if you decide to purchase it, let me know how you like it!

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate of File View To Go so I don't get any commission if you choose to purchase their product. 😉

 

After purchasing an iPad, the last thing I wanted to do was to spend MORE money on add-ons and accessories. I figured I could do without the bells and whistles, and only purchase what I absolutely needed.

 
Well, it turned out that I “absolutely needed” an iPad case! Just as you wouldn't carry your laptop on a business trip without some sort of carrying case to keep it safe and portable, you don't want to be running around with a $800 piece of equipment loose and susceptible to bangs, scratches, drops, and other hazards. Here's why you need a case for your iPad:
 
Protection from scratches
 
Even if you keep really, really good care of your car, parking it in the corner of the lot, putting it in the garage at night, and waxing it once a month, it's still going to show wear and tear over time. Here's the scrape where the neighbor kid ran into you on his skateboard. Here's where a runaway shopping cart slammed into your door. And here's where your daughter decided black marker would be a great addition to your white paint job.
 
Face it; accidents happen, and unless you want to keep your iPad wrapped in tissue paper and locked in your office, you're going to expose it to some less than savory circumstances. That's why you want to invest in a sturdy case to protect it from the computing equivalents of your sedan.
 
Easy Portability
 
Let's say you skip the case. So where are you going to store your wireless keyboard, your power cord, and your notebook? Even a simple neoprene sleeve will allow you to keep everything together, and some portfolio-style cases come with keyboards built right in. And if you're storing your iPad in a larger tote bag or briefcase, the case or cover will make it easier to store and locate.
 
Easy Use
 
I use my iPad with a wireless keyboard, and I love having the case that flips open to create a stand. I can plop down my keyboard, flip open my iPad, and I've got a versatile, light mobile computing workplace. The same would be true if I wanted to watch a movie or read an e-book; the case allows me to use my iPad the way I want to.
 
Now that you know why you need an iPad case, let's look at the types available:
  •  Hard and soft shells

Shell cases are typically made of plastic, rubber, or metal, and act as a sheath around your iPad. They leave the screen exposed, so you'll want to make sure you apply a screen protector in addition to your shell. The main difference is that the hard shells are hard and slick, and the soft shells are rubbery and provide a bit more “grip.” They come in a huge variety of colors and styles, some with logos and cartoon characters. Which you choose is a matter of how you plan to use it, and personal preference.

  • Portfolio

Portfolio cases flip open to reveal your iPad. They are popular because they offer an added layer of protection for your screen. People also like portfolios that allow you to set them up as a landscape or portrait easel, so you view the screen in your selected orientation. Portfolios are typically made of real or imitation leather, and range widely in price.

  • All-in-one

An all-in-one case is great if you are using your iPad for a lot of word processing or email, as I do. The wireless keyboard is already integrated in the case, so it's one less thing to keep track of. These are also typically made from leather, but new styles are emerging all the time.

  • Sleeves

Sleeves are simply carrying cases that keep your iPad safe while in transit. Usually made of a neoprene or slightly cushiony material, the cases typically zip shut and provide safe transport on their own, or tucked inside a larger bag.

 
Whether you're an on-the-go word processing Knicks fan, or a video-watching Paul Frank lover, you'll find a case to fit your taste and needs. The choices are limitless, so you are almost guaranteed to find a case that won't cramp your personal style.
 
 

 

 
As the iPad has become an integral part of our computing world, the number of accessories seems to explode daily. From extra-long-life battery packs to carrying cases, you can bling out, power up, connect and protect. But before you jump overboard, here's an overview of what's available, and what you need NOW:
 
Screen Protection
Your iPad is an investment, so it makes sense to protect it. For protection, at a minimum you'll want a screen protector. These nearly invisible self-adhesive, clear plastic sheets cling to your iPad screen, protecting it from scratches without disturbing your view. At a cost as low as $4, there's no reason to skip this critical protection level. Keeping your iPad in pristine condition is also important in case you ever want to resell it.
 
Case Protection
If you've got your screen covered, you may be wondering why you need a case protector. Well, just as you wouldn't want dents or dings on the body of your car, you don't want your gorgeous iPad scratched up, either! And with the huge selection of cases, you can choose a portfolio, an easel-style, one that includes a keyboard, and dozens of choices in different colors and materials. Prices range from $15 to $100 or more. Even if you don't want to keep your iPad in a fancy holder, you still may want to buy a simple neoprene carrying sleeve to keep it safe as you're toting it around.
 
Power Support
The iPad has a great battery life, but if you plan on using it as your main mobile computing device, you might want to beef up your power supply by adding a car charger, which is available for as little as $4, or an external battery, which can range from $40 and up.
 
Special Interest Add-Ons
Photography fiends, grab a camera adapter and cable kit so you can download images from your digital camera to your iPad. Music lovers, you might want to scoop up an external speaker, or a set of earphones, as the iPad doesn't come with them. Don't forget about a wireless keyboard so you can crank out your next best-seller on the road! Whatever your interest, there's probably an accessory to match.
 
As the iPad continues to make its way into the mainstream, more and more accessories will become available. Keep checking out the latest and greatest, and you'll soon find they've made one just for you.