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I’m a very goal-oriented person, and it’s a trait I picked up when I was a kid. I was overweight, shy, and often went through a melancholy phase. Thankfully, I didn’t have to walk uphill both to and from school, as many people joke when describing their tough formative years. Instead, my parents dropped me off at school in the mornings, and I would often walk home or ride my bike. Buses only picked up kids who lived a mile or more from the school, and we were just inside that 1-mile mark. As it happened, a public library sat between my house and the school. In the winter, I’d often hang out there to warm up before continuing home. Of course, I did a lot of reading, too. During one of those midwinter visits to the library, a set of audiobooks caught my eye — “The Psychology of Winning: 10 Qualities of a Total Winner” by Denis Waitley. I eagerly grabbed the cassettes, checked them out, and took them home. As I listened to the tapes, it dawned on me for the very first time that I was in control of my attitude. I was in charge of my happiness, who I was, and who I could become. It was remarkable, and it blew my young mind. I could wake up in the morning and set my destiny. After I listened to the tapes, I started going down a path of self-improvement. I set goals and pushed myself. By the time I finished my freshman year of high school, I had dropped about 40 pounds. But it was about much more than losing weight. I also joined speech and debate to overcome my shyness and be more engaging. I learned that when I set goals and worked to complete them, I got the results I wanted. Right out of high school, I found an opportunity to sell things. I had developed the necessary skills and got good at it — so good, in fact, that it became my career. And it’s all because I changed my mindset and stopped letting life just happen; I took control.
Years later, this is still very much my mindset. I read and listen to audiobooks and podcasts as frequently as I can. I love to learn, and I’m constantly trying to improve myself as a person. I frequently set goals, and I live as deliberately as possible. I’ve learned that living intentionally leads to the greatest fulfillment in life, because you have a direction to focus your energy and a definite purpose for yourself. And that purpose can be anything! For some people, checking off a list, like a bucket list, is their version of living an intentional life. Others work more day to day. You have to find what’s most fulfilling and productive for you. Over the past few years, I’ve been following “Your Best Year Ever,” a program and book developed by Michael Hyatt. It’s about becoming focused on what you want to accomplish. My process is to look at the past year and consider what didn’t go well and what I could’ve done differently. I list those things and get them out of the way. Then I write down what did go well and the many great things that happened over the year. After I evaluate my year, I look to the year ahead. What can I do differently? What can I do so that when I look back on 2019, I’m happy Continued on page 3 ...
HOWTODRAWTHE BESTNEWHIRES INA RECORD-BREAKINGLABORMARKET
3 STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS
When was the last time you got a restful night’s sleep? For a lot of people, the answer is “I don’t know.” But we need a restful sleep in order to be our most productive during the day. The problem is that a lot of people have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, and solutions aren’t always easy to find. When you don’t get enough sleep, you end up facing a number of health issues, both mental and physical. One of the most common issues involves memory. Lack of sleep impairs your cognitive abilities, including memory and recall. It becomes difficult to remember everyday things, from your neighbor’s name to the location of the remote. In addition to cognitive impairment, poor sleep can also negatively affect your heart health. However, researchers say there is a way to get a better night’s sleep. The solution? According to a number of studies, including one published in 2017 in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal, the answer lies in pink noise. Pink noise is similar to the white noise that emits from a fan or the once- common TV static. Pink noise is often compared to a rushing brook or waterfall. And here’s an interesting bit of trivia: There is also such a thing as brown noise, which is more like the sound of waves crashing on a beach. Another study led Dr. Phyllis Zee, professor of neurology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, looked into the effects of pink noise. The study brought together several volunteers over the age of 60. Finding good employees has always been hard, but in the economic environment of 2019, it can feel downright impossible. At the end of 2018, U.S. unemployment was the lowest it had been since 1969. For months, unfilled jobs outweighed the number of people seeking employment. In a market where job seekers have the pick of the litter, employers face stiff competition when courting prospects. Here are three strategies to draw in top performers and keep them. 1. Pay more. Excellent benefits, fancy perks, and flexible hours are important items on any job seeker’s checklist, but virtually every prospect’s top priority is adequate pay. Workers today have unprecedented bargaining power, and yet, according to ADP, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees boosted wages only a little over 3 percent last year, an amount quickly swallowed up by inflation and increasingly steep living costs. There’s just no way around it - to attract top-tier talent, competitive compensation is paramount, especially in 2019. 2. Give new hires the chance to grow. The best employees constantly hunger for new growth and development opportunities. Show prospective hires the potential heights they can reach at your organization. First, your business has to have a growth mindset that promotes loyal employees
and empowers them to step into exciting new roles. Then you need to present prospective employees with challenging, rewarding projects and responsibilities and show examples of how those who’ve come before them have succeeded. Annual reviews and raises are a start, but you should also explain how a job at your business will improve your prospect’s skills, career, and life. 3. Get them in the door. If you already offer a legitimately competitive salary, an expansive benefits package, and a good work environment with opportunities for growth, the only challenge left is to get on your ideal candidate’s radar. One of the best ways to do this is to implement an employee referral program. Ask your team if they know anyone who’d fit the empty role. If you end up hiring their prospect and they stay on the team for, say, six months, then reward the referrer. Cash, PTO, and other benefits will encourage your loyal employees to bring in their skilled friends.
ABETTERWAY TOGETARESTFULNIGHT’S SLEEP THE REMARKABLE PROPERTIES OF PINK NOISE
The participants were split into two groups. One group slept while listening to pink noise, and the other did not.
Every morning during the study, the participants took a memory test. Those who slept with the aid of pink noise scored 30 percent better on the test than those who had an ordinary night’s sleep. This is one test you can try at home. There are many pink-noise generators and apps available online, including Noisli, which you can find at Noisli.com/ pink-noise-generator-for-relaxation . You can also search “pink noise” on Google, where you can find many sites you can use to help lull you into a great night of ZZZ’s.
STRATEGIES TOKEEPMOTIVATED ANDSTAYONTARGET IN2019
Focus on Your Mind, Body, and Soul Think positive thoughts! When you teach yourself to think optimistically, you act in a beneficial way and your positivity grows. Just as you should focus on keeping your mind positive, you should do the same for your body with nutritional food choices and exercise. After all, your body converts food into energy, which is used to process your thoughts and keep you moving. Keep an Eye on Outside Influences Avoid people who don’t contribute to your life in a healthy and helpful way. We all know someone who misdirects our focus, energy, and time. Instead, surround yourself with people who are motivated and have a positive outlook. Energy is often shared, and when your peers are motivated, it’s easier for you to be, too. Be Goal-Oriented and Intentional You should always have goals in place and be mindful of them, but you don’t need to be rigid in setting or maintaining those ambitions. When striving for a specific outcome, having flexibility allows you to adapt to changing circumstances. At the same time, when you work through your goals, you want to do it with purpose. Don’t do anything that gets you off track and wastes your time and energy. Recognize Your Personal Responsibility Your goals, actions, and results are yours, and you should own them. If something goes awry and you lose focus, don’t come up with an excuse to cover it up. Recognize the issue, learn from it, and examine your mistake
without dwelling too much on guilt or blame. Then continue to push forward toward your goals.
Exceed Your Limitations Here’s something you should do every single day: Take steps outside of your comfort zone. After each accomplished goal, set the bar higher for the next. This adds to your ambitions, helps propel you forward, and leaves you better than you were yesterday. Let Your Failures Be Your Guide When you are afraid of failure, it’s hard to achieve much. Use the time after missteps to reflect and understand what went wrong. Understand why the endeavor failed. They’re learning experiences, and they should be embraced. Take what you glean from your failures and apply them to your future goals, transforming your undertakings into successful ambitions.
CHICKEN CHOP SUEY
2 large or 4 medium chicken thighs 3 pounds bok choy, cut into 3–4-inch ribbons 4 tablespoons vegetable oil 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
• • • •
2 teaspoons sugar
with the results? How can I challenge myself? How can I be a better father, husband, employee, manager, or friend? These are just a few of the questions I ask as I think about the goals I want to accomplish. Then, beyond that, I make a point to consistently think about those goals. I ponder my aims every day and take a close look at what I’m doing as I work toward those achievements. Sometimes I need to correct course or reevaluate a goal, and that’s okay. What do you want to accomplish this month, this year, or over the next few years? When it comes to setting goals and working toward them, the possibilities are endless. We are each in charge of what happens to us; we just have to make it happen! Here’s to a happy new year! –Ja y Willi s
2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 4 tablespoons water 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. In large pot, boil three cups of water. Add chicken and reduce to simmer, cooking for 30 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool. Once cooled, remove skin and bones, chop, and set aside. Reserve the cooking liquid. 2. In a large skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil. Once simmering, add bok choy and cook for 1 minute, stirring throughout. Add half of reserved cooking liquid, cover skillet, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy to a plate. 3. Add remaining cooking liquid and chicken to the pan, maintaining high heat. Heat chicken, then add oyster sauce, sugar, cornstarch-and-water mixture, sesame oil, and bok choy. Season to taste, toss together, and serve over rice. Inspired by The New York Times
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Will This Be Your Greatest Year Ever?
3 Essential Strategies to Court New Hires in 2019 A Better Way for Better Sleep
Stay on Target in 2019 Chicken Chop Suey
Happy Year of the Pig!
NEWYEAR’SMENAGERIE LEGEND OF THE CHINESE ZODIAC
You have probably heard of the Chinese zodiac and the 12 animals that represent each year: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Maybe you already know which animal claims your birth year, and you’re ahead of the game if you know that we’ll be celebrating the Year of the Pig in 2019. But do you know how these specific animals earned such a high honor? According to legend, when the celestial Jade Emperor created a way to measure time, he invited the animals in his kingdom to earn a spot on the zodiac by winning a race. Cat and Rat, who were best friends back then, were both eager to participate. Wanting to be well-rested, Cat took a nap before the race. But when the time for the race came, Rat, who was determined to win, sneaked away without waking his friend. Rat’s cunning didn’t stop there. When the race reached a raging river, Rat secretly climbed on the back of Ox, who was in the lead. When they reached the other side, Rat jumped off, crossing the finish line before Ox and claiming the first year of the zodiac for his own. The other animals finished the race in the order they appear in the zodiac, each taking a place influenced by their unique traits.
Now, you might be wondering how Dragon came in fifth place. Unlike their monstrous brothers in Western mythology, Chinese dragons are wise, helpful creatures. During the race, Dragon saw a village suffering from a terrible drought, so he stopped to help make rain so the farmers’ crops could grow. Even with the delay, he still finished well before most of the other animals. And what about poor Cat? When he woke up to discover he’d missed the race and would be left out of the zodiac, he was enraged. He declared vengeance on Rat, and to this day, cats still hold their grudge against rats. Was there really a celestial race that named each year in the Chinese calendar? Probably not. After all, cats hadn’t been introduced in China when the zodiac calendar was first put into use! But it’s an exciting story and one that’s always fun to tell on the Chinese New Year.
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