Not every breakthrough requires months of planning and a drum roll. Your typical day presents many chances for little leaps of progress. And sometimes those are the most satisfying of all.
1) Become a Company Leader
Don't try to do everything. Pick your three strongest assets and overdeliver, says Karl Speak, coauthor of Be Your Own Brand: Achieve More of What You Want by Being More of Who You Are. Of course, those assets will be in line with the boss's wishes and the company's goals, so you'll become a brand that's promoted. Grab any chance to enter competitions or attend industry conferences. When you win an award, remember to thank not only your boss but also the underlings who toiled to make you look so good.
2) Break 90 in Golf
You're not bad--look at those pars on your card! It's the 7s and 8s that wreck your day. To avoid water, bunkers, and out-of-bounds play (that's stroke and distance, pal), always tee the ball up on the same side as the hazard. That makes it easier to aim away from trouble, says Steve Johnson, director of instruction at Hank Haney Golf in Lewisville, Texas. Playing smart--not heroically--means you'll hit more greens. "The longest putt is better than the shortest bunker shot," he says. Bonus: This strategy will save you a handful of shots without any tinkering with your swing (a way bigger project).
Read more: 6 Secrets To A Better Golf Game
3) Remember Where You Left Stuff
Simply change the way you think of your keys, or your phone, or your sunglasses. Imagine the item as a grenade that will explode wherever you place it. Anything linked with vivid action and emotion (like that flowery bra your girlfriend wore in 10th grade) is easy to recall. This tip comes from a two-time winner of the USA Memory Championship. Some guy named, uh . . . shoot . . . oh, Ron White!
4) Run Effortlessly
Instead of counting seconds, count heartbeats. Presetting a time goal, like a 7-minute mile, can undermine your training program because you may push yourself when you shouldn't be pushing. "Instead, let how your body feels be your guide. If you train this way, you'll end up achieving the improvements you desire," says Dave Smith, head cross-country coach at Oklahoma State University. With this as your norm, push it once a week by running at 90 percent of your maximum heart rate. (To find your max, subtract your age from 220.) Sandwich 15 minutes of this hard labor between 15 minutes of running at a relaxed pace, and you'll soon be running faster with less exertion.
5) Connect With Your Teenage Son
The teen psyche seeks safety behind a powerful force field that shields it from criticism and embarrassment. To break through, you have to earn respect using fairness and love, says Tom Sturges, author of Grow the Tree You Got: And 99 Other Ideas for Raising Amazing Adolescents and Teenagers. One way is to "unequivocally own up to a mistake in front of your kid," Sturges says.
"You're teaching him how to fess up, minimizing future battles. And he'll also see that you're a fair guy." And here's a trick to use when you're upset with your son: Put a quarter on the table and say, "I love you the size of this room. I'm upset with you the size of this quarter. Can we just talk about the quarter?" You're showing respect by not attacking or trying to change him. But keep the quarter. Bribery doesn't work!
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