How Do You Take Your Coffee?

When you meet my grandpa, and he thinks he might like you as a person he asks, “How do you take your coffee?” The key answer is black. If you take your coffee black, he chuckles and goes “I knew I liked you for a reason.” This isn’t him being difficult, it’s him appreciating simple things in life and identifying if you can appreciate something so simple as a hot cup of black coffee.

Think of how many elaborate coffees you can get when you go to Starbucks. They’re a nice treat, but like so many things in life, should be treated like a treat. We live in a world of over indulgence. Overly dramatic in so many ways. We want instant access to everything, and have to get the newest and best. I’m guilty of it. I recently purchased the new iPhone. My iPhone before the last was 3 years old and I used it until I broke it. Before my current one though, my iPhone was less than a year old before buying out my contract and trading it in for the new 11 Pro Max. Guilty as charged. I know when I’m over the top, and still enjoy the simple things.

It’s all about Balance.

Whether in your career, life, home, balance the elaborate with the simple, balance hectic schedules with relaxation.

One of the things I always envisioned with running my own business, was this chic and elaborate home office. Bright white marble and rose gold accents, perfectly organized and not a paper clip out of place. The only time my desk looks remotely organized is when I’m filming or about to do a photo shoot. It’s a hot mess the rest of the time. Organized, but a mess. Contradictory, but true. I also never did marble and rose gold.

I also wanted to get up every morning and do hair and makeup, put on my business attire and slay the day like a pristine lady boss. This didn’t work because I for one don’t wear makeup more than 2-3 times a year, yet alone daily. I put my hair in a bun most days. And I’m going to get dressed to stay at my home office? Until i started having events to go to, I didn’t waste the time to get done up and sit at home.

What does this have to do with the price of eggs in China or whether I drink my coffee black or with 2 pump skinny white mocha frappechino no foam, yada yada yada … I wanted to look the part before becoming the part. I wanted to be elaborate and intricate. I spent more time fantasizing about what my image would one day be, than I did actually planning my business. I lost sight of why I was pursuing this career, and ultimately slowed down any progress by forgetting to enjoy the simplicity of defining and tackling a goal.

I drink my coffee black, I track my calories, I track my goals, I use schedule blocks to tackle my biggest hurdles. There’s simple items to keep you aligned, and they’re simple! You don’t have to take a 10 step course on goal tracking to know what is needed to accomplish a goal.

KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid or Keep it Stupidly Simple. So simple anyone can pick up and take over where you left off without a synopsis on how to understand what you did.

We’ll look at this in a few quick and simple ways.

Establish a goal that ignites your passion to success. Pick this ONE goal. Not a grocery list of hopes and dreams, one definable, measurable and timely (applicable to where you are – don’t give yourself a marathon to run before you’ve tackled your first 5K).

What makes a goal a goal and not a dream?

Defining it!

“Someday I’ll be successful” isn’t defined in any way.

When is someday?

What is successful to you?

Pick ONE goal, define your success criteria, what will it mean to be successful at this goal? And give yourself a due date.

Now how do you simplify that goal into daily actions? What can you do today to help you get closer to your goal? Can you break it down into smaller bite size goals?

I.E. Becoming a Teacher by June 2024. That’s a defined goal, but how do you get there between today and the end date? You start breaking down your action items.

Over 4 years you need to take 8 semesters of courses, totaling 128 credits. That an average 16 per semester. You need to start by enrolling. Where do you enroll? Do you have what it takes to be accepted today? Or do you need to make other changes?

What is your first step? What can you do today? – Maybe that’s just research today. And give yourself a goal to pick your top two schools by next Monday?

Next Monday you start your applications. Give yourself a little time, a solid 2-3 hours uninterrupted to put in quality detail to your applications.

Send them in and start researching further…do you have a specific area of education you want to be in? Do you want to do elementary, high school, special ed, etc…

Between now and acceptance, don’t just wait, research daily, give yourself weekly goals. Maybe even find one or two more you want to apply to! Even when you feel like you’re in a waiting limbo, you can be productive towards your goals. Now might be the perfect opportunity to get a part time role at a local school to start working with kids. Define a few ‘backlog’ items you can do at any time during the duration of goal path. These are the non-critical path items that don’t directly impact anything else in your path to success but are still benefits to get you to the end.

You have 2-3 weeks of solid goals outlined, now look at the months. What can you do this month? What courses do you need your first semester?

Breaking down the goal helps keep you focused and accountable. (Go ahead and download my Time-block tracker – It’s super simple & I like to highlight my blocks to easily distinguish one activity from the next)

After a good goal path is established through to completion, you need to track to it.

Tracking to your goal doesn’t mean beating yourself up if you miss a date, or fall behind. It simply means you can identify when you are falling behind so you can create a makeup plan! Take the tracker and check off everything you accomplish. Define your tasks so you can check them off with 100% accuracy. (Read today is vague, did you read? Sure, was it 1 page or 3 chapters? Your tasks should be more along the lines of “Read Chapter 6 and summarize key points in my journal” that way when you say you did it, you know exactly what you accomplished.)

If you miss something, no harm in falling off course. Life is giant game of snakes and ladders, sometimes you need to jump off the snake and find your nearest ladder. No harm, no foul, keep moving and stay motivated.

When you fall off course or things don’t seem to be going quite right, it’s important to have an escape plan. Escape plans can be predetermined when you set your goal. This helps in so many way you wouldn’t always imagine. When you have an escape plan predetermined for when you fall off track on your goals, it eliminates a huge chunk of time getting back on track. It does this by preparing yourself for the challenge, diminishing stress (you already know what to do, why stress it?!) and creating a defined loop hole with an estimated timeframe – just shift your goal accordingly and continue paving the way.

Check back for Part 2 – Sour Milk – Creating Your Escape Plan