Execute your plans with precision
Planning is important to success in any organization. Follow this template for carrying out your plans effectively:
• Establish accountability. Before you implement any initiatives or changes, identify the elements that support your overall strategy. Make sure everyone knows how your ultimate objective fits into your long-term goals. This makes it possible for people to adapt and make changes as they work.
• Prioritize goals. Let people know what’s most important to accomplish. You don’t want them spending too much time working on something that doesn’t have much impact on the end result.
• Create lines of communication. If you have more than one or two people on your team, set up procedures for staying up to date about problems and progress. You probably don’t need to hear about every issue that comes up, but clearly let people know what questions and information they should bring to you and what they should share with each other. Establish a timetable to review progress on a regular basis.
• Document your efforts. Keep records of what you decide, what actions people take, what results you need, and so forth. Who’s responsible for different elements of your plan? How will you measure the success of your efforts? Put it all down in black and white to avoid misunderstandings.
• Follow up and evaluate. After completion, take a good look at how your team achieved its goal. Could you have saved time? Did someone do exceptional work that deserves to be rewarded?
While he was serving in the Navy during World War II, an unfortunate accident resulted in the death of several of Thomas Cannon’s shipmates. Because Cannon’s life was spared, he felt a duty and purpose to be in the service of others.
Over 33 years, Cannon gave away over $150,000. He made donations to people in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia; most of them had been profiled in the local newspaper.
He’d often mail $1,000 checks to the staff of the paper with instructions about who should receive the money.
His charity helped support a local group that volunteered in the elementary school, a woman who started a youth center in her low-income neighborhood, and an orphaned teen who was active in his community.
Cannon never owned a fancy house or drove a flashy car. His $20,000-a-year salary as a postal worker allowed him to provide the necessities for his wife and sons, while his generous spirit inspired him to help others who were not as fortunate.
Though his benevolence garnered him a certain number of accolades, Cannon made it clear that he didn’t want the bureaucracy of a foundation to carry on his work, nor to have his name commemorated in any way once he was no longer living.
Cannon suggested the best way to honor his memory would be for others to just “Help somebody.”
Health in the News
Can beet juice keep your brain young?
Beet juice may keep your brain young and fit, according to an article on the Runner’s World website. The article cites a study reported in the Journal of Gerontology:
Medical Sciences that found that a shot of beet juice an hour before exercise can have positive benefits to brains as they get older. In the study, 26 sedentary men with an average age of 65 participated in six weeks of exercise. Some took daily shots of beet juice; others received a
placebo. The participants walked on a treadmill three times a week for six weeks, building up to 50 minutes per session at increased effort. Comparing MRIs from before and after the trial, researchers found that the group that drank beet juice had significantly higher levels of “community consistency” within their brains.
The nitrate in beet juice, which converts to nitrite and then nitric oxide in the blood, has a strong positive affect on responsiveness in blood vessels, which in turn can increase the amount of oxygen reaching the brain and boost aspects of cognitive function.
Make sure drinking glasses are safe
Because digestion begins in the mouth, Take a look in your kitchen cabinet at your drinking glasses. Do you have decorative glasses for water, wine, beer, or whatever you drink during the day? They may be hazardous to your health.
The Medline Plus website reports that researchers at the University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom analyzed more than 70 new and used drinking glasses and found that seven out of 10 tested positive for lead or cadmium—both toxic metals. Lead was found in all colors and gold-leaf designs. Cadmium was found in the highest concentrations in red enamel.
Lead in children’s bodies can cause growth and developmental difficulties. Cadmium can cause cancer. Studies have also linked it to bone softening and kidney problems.
Keep deadly chemicals out of your body
The list of chemicals that can cause cancer is intimidating, and keeping them out of your food can seem like an impossible task. The Fox News website, though, offers these tips for keeping your food and water free of
• Buy a water filter. A good filter can remove many cancer-causing chemicals.
• Eat organic foods. You’ll cut your exposure to pesticides and other chemicals and support an industry that doesn’t pollute the environment.
• Bring your own mug. Foam cups from most coffee shops contain styrene, which gets pulled out when in contact with hot liquids. Take your own travel mug when you go out for coffee, tea, or other hot beverages.
Research by McGill University of Montreal found that by age 3, roughly 40 percent of children begin telling lies—even though they know it is wrong. The good news is that most tots aren’t great liars. Studies conducted in the United Kingdom, Japan, China, West Africa, and North America revealed that when pressed for more information, little ones will often betray their own deception with a smile or other facial expressions, or by uttering the truth. The bad news is that once these children turn 4 years old, 74 percent of them will engage in telling lies and become better at maintaining their falsehoods when questioned. Researchers believe that children under 4 take their cues on honesty from parental examples. As they grow older, their attitude toward truth telling versus lying is influenced by the consequences attached to the information. An older child may be willing to rat out or accuse a sibling, but won’t own his or her share of the blame in a misdeed.
What can parents do? Start addressing the situation when your children are young. Share stories that have a moral with little ones so they have an example that is easy to understand and remember. Use positive reinforcements to stress the importance of honesty when they are communicating and sharing information with you—even when that information isn’t good. Finally, be a role model for honesty in your household, because your children are watching everything you do.