Goal Setting: Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself!

There are thousands of articles and books on how to set goals. But I believe that there is one thing that is missing from most if not all of the leading ideas on the topic… it’s the psychology of goal setting and the power of the words we have running through our heads when begin to consider what goals are worthy of our attention. For myself, this understanding of what is going on inside my head… that is… the conversation that makes up my internal dialogue…. Has been profound and life changing.

One day I was talking to a good friend about this who told me to stop ‘shoulding all over yourself’. She said, do you realize how often you say the word ‘should?’ This intrigued me.. and eager to understand more, I researched and soon realized that this was a bigger problem than I could have possibly imagined.

Everyone’s internal dialogue plays a major role in their daily lives… including the formation of goals. Here’s the problem. If your internal dialogue uses the word ‘should’… you probably are either setting no goals at all, or some, many or all the ones you do set will never be achieved.

In a book by Dr. Shad Helmstetter,  What to Say When You Talk to Yourself, he states that when we tell ourselves that we “should” be doing something, we’re implicitly reinforcing the idea that we’re not doing it.

So here’s what happens in your head: If you say to yourself, “I should do more 121’s”. Dr. Helmstetter suggests that the unspoken ending to that is  “…but I’m not”.

The word ‘Should’ also suggests outside influence… and in my reading I discovered that it goes back to our childhoods. Most parents, teachers.. Adults in general, raised us by using this word.

According to another expert, Dr. NOA KAGEYAMA: ““Shoulds” feel like a bit of a guilt trip, and when we feel our guilt buttons being pushed, we get resentful, willful, or discouraged. These are not emotional states conducive to continuing down the path of mastery.”

How do we work on fixing this? Well… here’s what I am doing:

First: Practice listening for the word ‘should’. Listen to your spoken words. Listen for it coming from others. Most importantly.. Listen for it in your internal dialogue.

Second: When you are ready to set some goals, write your goals down. But write them in the following way to erase the ‘should’: Instead of just writing ‘Do More 121’s’… write: I WILL do more 121’s Try the following positive words as a replacement: WILL, WANT, COULD, WOULD

Third: Once you have written them all down, review each one carefully and ask yourself it it is actually true.. Do you truly want to achieve this goal or is it something you feel your supposed to do? Are you setting this goal to please someone other than yourself?

If you are uncertain about whether you truly want this goal… maybe it doesn’t feel right for some reason…  stop and take a look at the benefits and/or consequences of achieving or failing at reaching the goal. Go deep and ask yourself “why” you want to achieve this particular goal.

If this goal is worthy of your attention, (notice I said YOUR attention) what you will find is that the benefits quite often become more important than the goal itself and quite often, they become the goal!

So… that’s it… happy goal setting and remember… don’t should all over yourself!

BNI Educational Moment – Contact Spheres – Get your ZOOM ON!


Contact Spheres are a critical component when a chapter starts to gain a lot of members. The Next Level is in this situation and before I give you a hot geeky tip on how you can carve out a little more time for another meeting, I want to review why contact spheres are important.  

Here is why contact spheres are important to The Next Level as we grow:

  • More people in the chapter might possible make it feel less intimate… that is more difficult to get to know so many people. A contact sphere brings back the intimacy of a smaller chapter.
  • Creates an environment for collaboration.
  • Helps you to hone your message for your fellow sphere members as you are talking to your customers.
  • More referrals: Trust me when I say that this is very true. Once our marketing sphere started meeting regularly… and we meet once a week, the number of referrals has skyrocketed.

In essence… if you imagine each ring of the Olympic Circles is a contact sphere, they all combine together to make a gold medal chapter.

Now… our chapter has done a remarkable job over the past few years to encourage a culture that includes healthy and thriving contact spheres.

So, what is the biggest objection people have about setting up another meeting on their calendars??
Yep…. TIME.

I happen to be a perfect example…  a 1 hour meeting in santa rosa or petaluma takes me on average 2 hours and 15 minutes because of the commute. It would be great if you all lived in sebastopol and were minutes away but that’s not how things worked out.

But… what if there was a way for you to meet from the comfort of your very own office? There is… and the Marketing Sphere is doing it weekly.

It’s called ZOOM and it’s free. You only get 45 minutes on the free version but hey… it’s free. The marketing sphere uses the premium version so that we can have more time.

Here’s how it works.

You have a computer with a webcam. Most webcams have a built in microphone that is more than sufficient for this type of call. Most newer laptops have a built in camera and microphone. At the time of your call… you click the link from the invitation sent to you via email and it opens up the Zoom program. You enjoy the interaction with your fellow sphere members and save yourself valuable time by not having to travel to a meeting place.

This Zoom thing opens up the possibility of belonging to more than one sphere, if it is appropriate. For example, maybe the insurance folks in the group might want to make their own sphere of insurance and then 1 or 2 of those members might want to be part of the financial sphere? Maybe? How about an attorney sphere? Automotive?

I could go on and on about the potential here… and rest assured: We understand that we do have some… um…. Technically challenged folks {pebcak image} but we can overcome that if you are willing to learn. Oh… and by the way, the entire marketing sphere has offered support to help you get started on Zoom.

See your Growth Coordinator to learn more about Zoom and how to get your contact sphere started!

Have a great week.

BNI Educational Moments – Avoid Awkward Introductions


Jon: Good morning Next Level. Jon Sooy here with Andy Springer from Asentiv. I almost called you Jerry Springer.

Andy: That’s okay, Juan.

Jon: That’s a completely different show. With Andy Springer, and you know I want to tell a quick story about something that happened a couple weeks ago. I was a good BNI boy and I stood up and I asked for a specific referral to a specific person in a specific company, because specific is terrific. And so I asked this specific, for this specific introduction, and three people came up to me and all three of them sort of had mediocre, tenuous, connections to this particular individual.

And so, I could tell they wanted to help me but they weren’t quite sure how they could possibly introduce me to this person, and that’s happened to me many times. And I was having a conversation with Andy and Zach Mesel from Wooden Spoon Technologies after the meeting, and got some great advice on it. And the master of scripting here, he’s a scriptionary, he basically gave a perfect example of how to do that when you don’t have a great connection to the person that you’re trying to introduce your fellow BNI member to. So what I thought we’d do here is we would role play, and I’ll pretend like I’m Steve Martin.

Andy: Do you have something you could do to make a prop or something?

Jon: Yeah, so I’m Steve Martin.

Andy: Yeah, nice prop.

Jon: And one of you in the audience there knows Steve Martin sort of tenuously, and Andy Springer stood up and asked for an introduction to Steve Martin. So, he’s going to show us what you should say, and then we’ll talk about it.

Andy: Okay. Hey Steve, it’s good to see you. Man, that was a fantastic show, I got to tell you.

Jon: I’m a wild and crazy guy.

Andy: You are wild and crazy. I got to tell you. So, I was in a meeting the other day and someone was talking about the kind of people they like to work with, the kind of people that bring them pleasure and profit and honestly I thought about you. I thought of how this could really help you Steve, in your business and where you’re trying to go with it. This gentleman was talking about these people he wants to work with. They’re funny. They love to do crazy and wild things and as he’s talking, he’s talking about you. And I’m like picture, ah, Steve, this would be fantastic for him.

So I just wanted you to know I was thinking about you and I thought if you were interested, I would like to introduce you to this person. I trust them. I know they won’t do anything to be, you know, crazy with you. They might be crazy with you, but I was just wondering what you might think about me going to them and letting them know you’d like to sit down with them. I would be glad to be in the meeting with you, if that helps, but you can tell me what’s going on for you with that.

Jon: Beautiful. So, I believe Steve would say yes to that, you know, because what you did there is you basically broke down, you broke it down and made it simple. You made the introduction about Steve. You didn’t make the introduction about you and your fear of trying to connect or failing at trying to connect to the fellow BNI member with this particular business owner. It’s simple. You’d basically just ask for permission. You’d say hey, you know what? Your name came up in a meeting the other day. This person brought you up and was talking about you. He sounds like he would really like to meet you. Can I connect you two? He had some really interesting things to say about you and your company.

Andy: Yeah. And here’s what I found. If I’m real clear about it was my experience and I’m just sharing, you are sharing and experience with this person that just happened to be something that triggered you about them. They love hearing that. People love to hear stories.

Jon: Sure.

Andy: So, if you can share that story and then let them know from the heart, I was thinking about you and I really thought this would be a help to you. It’s important that the presentations about them and their purposes, not my purposes.

Jon: Awesome. Cool.

Andy: Yeah. Thanks for asking.

Jon: Mr. Springer. Thank you very much for doing this. And now we’re going to say have a great week.

Andy: Alright.

Jon: So, on three, two, one we’ll say have a great week.

Andy: Okay.

Jon: Three, two, one….

Have a great week!

BNI Educational Moment – Keep Momentum With You Contact Spheres


Lorelle: Are you able to converse about contacts here with needles in your head. Okay.

Jon: So are you ready?

Lorelle: Yes I’m ready.

Jon: Good morning everyone. I’m here with Lorelle Saxena of The Saxena Clinic.

Lorelle: I’m so excited.

Jon: She just stuck needles in me. That actually didn’t hurt at all.

Lorelle: You received it very well.

Jon: I received it very well and I’m still receiving it very well.

A Few Moments Earlier…

Lorelle: Would you like some needles in your face?

Jon: You really want to put needles in my face?

Lorelle: I really want to put needles in your face.

Jon: I’m not sure how to take that but yeah sure go ahead. Let’s put a needle in my face.

Lorelle: Okay, alright. So this is just rubbing alcohol. We’ll do that first. And I’m going to do some in your ears. Okay. Let’s do one in the very top of your head too.

Jon: The top of my head?

Lorelle: Yeah. This point is called Bai Hui. It translates to 100 convergences because all of your meridians converge there. It should make you feel very calm. Do you feel calm.

Jon: Yes.

Lorelle: You look calm.

Jon: I am calm.

Lorelle: You look very…

Jon: I’m calm.com.

Lorelle: Look you can hardly see the needles in there.

Jon: No you can’t, have to see them up close.

Lorelle: There’s a little thing like a little, yeah. Okay.

Jon: So I was talking with Chris Pennock yesterday about this next year coming up and one of the things that he thought we really needed to focus on was our Contact Spheres because our Contact Spheres are going really really well right now.

Lorelle: Yes they are.

Jon: Pretty much across the board.

Lorelle: That’s great.

Jon: And so I thought we should talk about what is a Contact Sphere compared to what’s a Power Partner.

Lorelle:` Okay.

Jon: And maybe you talk a little bit about what’s happening in your Contact Sphere and how it works.

Lorelle: We have an awesome contact sphere. Cherri Pedrioli is doing a wonderful job coordinating the health and wellness team within the chapter and also coordinating health and wellness professionals from all over the county, particularly in complementary medicine but really across the board. Getting together a lot of open minded health professionals who are very referral oriented and ready to work with one another in a collegial and noncompetitive way which I think if really the basis of contact spheres.

Jon: So there’s a couple of things there. I mean first of all it seems to work, and Chris Pennock, of Calendar Robinson Insurance brought this up yesterday, it seems to work really well, the contact spheres, if somebody takes charge. If there is somebody who is kind of leading it, sort of an informal but leader of the group and that’s kind of what’s happened in our marketing sphere. David Comfort has done a fantastic job of making sure we’re all corralled and online when our meeting comes up.

Lorelle: Yeah, yeah he’s awesome.

Jon: And then the other point he said there was it doesn’t have to be limited to just BNI.

Lorelle: No not at all. It’s a big world

Jon: No, you can reach out. And so the idea of a contact sphere is that you’ve got people in professions that are complementary but not competing. So in your contact sphere you’ve got chiropractor, you’ve got energy healing person. So that seems to be the two different things that are making things really pop right now for our group.

Lorelle: Right.

Jon: So what do you think we got to do to keep the momentum?

Lorelle: That’s really, I think it’s really, I think just keeping in mind, keeping that momentum is really important. I think it’s really easy for… it would be really easy for me to say oh Cherri’s got this or Scott Patton is just going to keep sending me people and first of all not pick up my part of that project and also to kind of, it’s really easy to rest and think I can just coast. But really every single person in a contact sphere needs to be pulling their weight for the contact sphere to be productive. So momentum is really, I think Mike (3.57 sp) has a really good thing about this and relates to bike riding. Momentum is really a lot harder to get up to than to maintain. So it’s really important for us all to remember to maintain our momentum right now.

Jon: I like the analogy it’s like an airplane. It takes a lot of fuel to get off the ground, but once it’s up it soars.

Lorelle: Right exactly. So we just got to stay up there. Stay at altitude.

Jon: Let’s stay up there where the needles are.

Lorelle: Right up here.

Jon: Thank you very much.

Lorelle: Thank you Jon, that was so fun. Am I going to be famous now? How long until I’m famous?

Jon: At least 15 minutes. Are you ready?

Lorelle: Yes.

Jon: 3…2…1 Have a great week!

Lorelle: Yay. That was so fun.

BNI Educational Moments – Muscle Memory and Perseverance


Jon: Here with Tim Armstrong…. One of the hardest working guys I know. A few weeks ago Tim and I were talking about all the new members we have and what advice we would give to the nubes. Tim’s answer?

Tim: Muscle Memory. Keep showing up, buy into the BNI methodologies and BNI will work for you. Give it time and just like Bruce Lee, you will build Muscle Memory.

Jon: Perseverance. So… today we have some little known facts about some famous people who persevered. So… you out there in Next Level Land… shout out the answers if you know them!

Tim: Dismissed from drama school with a note that read she is wasting her time, she is too shy to put her best foot forward. ~ Lucille Ball

Jon: Turned down by the Deca recording company that said we don’t like their sound and guitar music is on the way out ~ The Beatles

Tim: A failed soldier, farmer and real estate agent at 38 years old he went to work for his father as a handyman ~
Ulysses S Grant

Jon: Cut from the high school Basketball team he went home and locked himself in his room and cried. ~ Michael Jordan

Tim: A teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything and he should go into a field that he might succeed by virtue of his pleasant personality ~ Thomas Edison

Jon: Fired from a newspaper because he lacked imagination and had no original ideas ~ Walt Disney

Tim: His Fiancé died, he failed in business twice, he had a nervous breakdown and he was defeated in 8 elections ~
Abraham Lincoln

If you have never failed you have never lived. Perseverance it is the fuel to succeed in BNI and in life…

Have a great week!