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A few months ago, we did a Chasing Excellence on picking one word to define your new year, instead of a lofty new year’s resolution.

I’ve picked my word for the year, and it is — relentless.

So let’s dive into what it means to be relentless.

Do you keep pushing yourself harder, when other people give up?

Do you know exactly who you are?

What about pressure… Are you intimidated by it, or do you thrive on it?

All of these things make you driven…. They make you successful. They also make you relentless.

I’ll bet you don’t like taking no for an answer, or if the answer is no, you can usually find a different way to solve the problem. You’re driven by coming up with solutions, rather than just complaining about problems.

This defines me, and how I live my life, and it’s why I chose the word relentless as my one word resolution.

Have you picked yours yet? If not, it’s not too late… And of course, pick a word that resonates with you, your value system, your work ethic and your family.


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Bringing Your A Game

Whatever you think about him, most people agree Tom Brady always brings his A-game.

So what does that mean if you’re not a famous quarterback, married to a super model? How do you make sure you’re always bringing your A-game?

First of all, it’s important to establish what your goals are. Where do you want to be by this time next year at work? What kind of husband or wife do you want to be to your spouse, or what kind of parent do you want to be for your kid?

Once you decide what you want to be, it’s time to set out to deliver on those goals.

Tom Brady wants to win more Super Bowls than any player in history, and he sets out to do that every single day.

Think about the specific steps you need to take to accomplish your goal. If you want to be a more attentive spouse, what actions can you take today when you wake up to get there, and be specific.

Want to grow your business in a certain vertical? Take concrete steps every day to move ball forward.

Figure out what your triggers are to remind yourself to keep moving ahead, and put them on a post it note, or the lock screen on your phone. In my case, I got my trigger words tattooed on my arm.

Have you ever heard the saying “get out of bed in the morning with so much intention that the devil says “damn, he’s up?”

Live that way every single day, and make intentional steps towards your goals, and that’s how you can bring your A-game.

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New year, new scams

It’s a new near, and with it comes new ways for scammers to try and get your money.

First, robocalls. Have you noticed spam calls seemed to increase dramatically last year? Some of them are obvious phishing schemes, but many of them are very clever, so if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

You can always look up businesses and phone numbers online at the Better Business Bureau, and look for reviews of any companies that want to do business with you.

If you’re tired of getting robocalls all together, make sure you put all of your numbers on the national do not call registry, and check out apps like HiYa, which can alert you to scam calls before you answer.

Did you know the Post Office has a service you can sign up for that will send you pictures of the mail you’ll be getting that day? It’s super convenient, but it’s also a way for people to scam you.

With some basic information about you, scammers can sign up to get emails for your address, and watch to see what credit cards may be coming to your house. Then that day, they swing by, steal your mail, and you’ve got a fraud situation on your hands.

The postal service says the best way to protect yourself is for you to go sign up for this service before a scammer does.. It’s called “Informed Delivery” and you can find it on the USPS website.

Finally, new email phishing scams are hitting online shoppers hard. The scam works like this — you get an email that looks to be from Amazon or other online retailers confirming a purchase. Except you never bought the item. So ironically, you click on the link to make sure you’re not getting scammed, and that’s when you get scammed…

These sites can download malicious software onto your computer, or try to extort money from you to keep your information private.

If you’re concerned that a purchase was made in error on your account, go straight to amazon.com and check your order history… Don’t just click on the link.

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Choosing a one word resolution

Did you start this year off by making new year’s resolutions? Like most people, they were probably about quitting smoking, losing weight, spending more time with family, or improving some quality about yourself and your life.

But did you know that 9 out of 10 people will fail in keeping their resolutions? 50% of people don’t even make it to the end of January…

I say that not to depress you, but to offer you an alternative.

The bestselling author and motivational speaker Jon Gordon - someone I look to for inspiration - is challenging his followers to pick one word to define their year, and not specific or complicated resolutions that you might not keep.

His words over the past several years - Purpose, Surrender, Serve, Pray, rise, forgive, still and connected.

Those mean different things to different people, but the idea is pick a guiding principle that you want to live by that year, and stick to it. Maybe you’ll lose weight, maybe you wont, but if you live your life with purpose, or you live to serve - that’s something you can do every single day.

Gordon says most years, he doesn’t choose the word - it chooses him… Something in his journey leading into the new year becomes obvious to him, and that’s how he arrives at the word.

So think back on 2018, and look forward to 2019 — what one word will you choose to guide you through this year?

I’d love to hear the word you picked in the comments below, and as soon as I pick mine, I’ll make sure to share it with all of you.

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