Why creatures of Habit are Champions in sports, business, life – Karen Post

5 convincing reasons rituals can put you on a winning track.


Rituals are one of the most important tools you can use to achieve balance, mental toughness and your goals. Repetition of habits creates an awareness of your values and what’s most meaningful. Disciplined patterns of thinking and acting can enhance your ability to respond to pressure, recover from mental and physical depletion and concentrate on your goals.

In Jame E. Loehr’s New York Times bestselling book, Stress for Success, Jim works with and interviews top Olympian athletes, business leaders and people with extreme pressure cooking careers. He noted they all follow daily routines or rituals, enabling their health, happiness and performance to go to a new, higher level.

Studies show that rituals:

  1. Help us shift gears to oscillate between stress and recovery.
  2. Increase personal control and facilitate living a life consistent with our deepest values.
  3. Bring order and structure to chaos and change.
  4. Stimulate past emotional states by activating sensory memory.
  5. Help us execute complex tasks with perfection—mentally, physically and emotionally.

I’ve always had rituals. You probably have some too. But I’ve recently created a list of them and consciously go through them daily. I’ve found in doing this my productivity has significantly risen and I’m feeling a lot less stressed and much more fulfilled.

Below is my daily list. I’ve thrown it in a chart and actually mark off the rituals as I do them everyday. And when I think about blowing a ritual  off, I ask myself, what would Michael Phelps, Madonna or whoever I admire do? The answer is they would do the ritual, and that’s why they have been so successful. When I have a big event to do,  give a presentation, speech or tennis match, I add other items that are specific to those situation. For instance, when I speak, I practice a number of times before the gig, and imagine a room with a standing ovation. For tennis, I perform mental and physical exercises before I walk on the court and talk to myself and tennis ball.

What are your rituals? Have you had any experiences that you can share?

21 Daily Rituals Monday Tues. Wed. Thurs. Friday Saturday Sunday
6:00 wake up
Read daily affirmations
Drink water/ ¼ juice or eat a handful of grapes to rev up sugar
Stretch/ 10 minutes of exercise if playing tennis that day, if not 45 minutes
5 minutes – meditate, clear mind/breathe
Make and eat breakfast, read WJS, watch Today Show, take vitamins
AM email check, AM Tweets
Shower, dress
7:30- Start work
10:30 mid-morning snack
12:30 lunch
Mid day stretch/breathe
4:00 afternoon snack
15 minute cat nap
4:15 Plan next day, at end of day
5:30 Harvest time tracking input
6:30-8 Monday/Wed., Evenings,     AM on Sat./Sunday. Always stretch, get in zone, play focused tennis min. of 1.5 hr
8:15 Dinner, journal food and fitness
Evening reading
Go to sleep by 11, dismiss any negative thoughts
Dream big


The Email Marketing Chronicles – The danger of “Do it yourself” Email Marketing

You have decided that you are going to try some new marketing, you have already gravitated from traditional marketing to SEO and SEM and even do a little PPC, but you want more, you want to try email marketing, you have been reading how great the response rates are, and it all makes sense, that many advertisements directly into the email box of thousands of people, the response rate should be exceptional.

At first sight it all really seems so simple, you found a legitimate company that has the email data that you are looking for, it is all double opt in and comes with the opt in information.  You are all set, so you take the data, which are about 25,000 records.  You have an email ad created and you are all set to go, you load the 25,000 records into the BCC field, type in a subject and push the button, and being that it’s just after five o’clock you call it a day and go home.

The next morning you come in to the office to find that you have no website and no email, you call your ISP (Internet Hosting Provider) and they tell you that they noticed an unusual amount of email has been sent, and you explain to them that you conducted an email marketing campaign but the data you used was all opt-in email.  They tell you that doesn’t matter that it is against their AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) for commercial emails to be sent out.  They agree to turn your hosting back on but require you to pay a fee of $500 and to agree to never do this again and that next time they will disconnect you permanently.

This may seem a little farfetched to you but this happens every day, and sometimes there is no second chance, sometimes the account is disconnected permanently on the first violation of the AUP depending on the level of tolerance of the particular ISP in question.

Even if this had not happened there are other issues that could have happened such as many ISP’s set the amount of email that can be sent at one time, some are at 100 at a time, others are at 25, and some have a daily limit, and once that limit is hit all outgoing email will be denied until the next day.

There is also the issue of the reputation of your IP address; see (http://www.techterms.com/definition/ipaddress) for definition of an IP and how it works. Sending out a lot of email, even opt in email will generate complaints; people forgot they opted in, email address changed and the person who received the email is no longer the person who opted in, etc.  Also the mail servers that process email from the domains that you are sending to will become suspicious when large amounts of email are coming from the same IP and will most likely block the email, both of these issues then get reported to “Blacklists”. Blacklists known as an RBL (Real Time Blacklists) are services that ISP’s and individual email users report spam, and suspicious activity to, most if not all major ISP’s subscribe to these blacklists and block any domain and IP that is listed on them.  Once you get on a blacklist it means many people will not be able to get to your website or receive your email.  Some of the major Blacklists are “The spamhaus Project” (http://www.spamhaus.org/)  Spamcop (www.spamcop.net) and it is very difficult to get off of one, and this can cause you major issues.  I once had a client that got on the Spamhaus list and it took them months and thousands of dollars in legal fees to finally get off.

The bottom line is you should not be using your server to send email, hire a professional email marketing company to do this.  It might cost you more, but that cost is miniscule compared to the cost of losing your hosting.

Hey Boss, shut up and listen

Have you ever worked for a company and spent a large part of your day frustrated by all the things that your boss did or didn’t do?  I remember working for a company and watched them make one mistake after the other and I listened to the customers and the other employees complain but I was powerless to do anything about it because management just wouldn’t listen to me, or they listened and I got the standard “I’ll take that into advisement, thanks for stopping by” and I knew damn well when I walked out of the door that it wasn’t ever going to go any further than that conversation.  Even as a paid consultant I have been to companies where I went around and talked to the low and mid level employees and the one thing that they all had in common is they all seemed to know what was wrong, and what needed to be done to fix it, but couldn’t get management to listen.

I always swore that when I owned my own company that I would listen to my employees, and I have. Low and mid level employees are usually on the front line, so to speak, of a business; sales and customer service reps deal with the customer every day, they know what the customer is happy about and they know what they are unhappy about, and they know what processes are working and which aren’t, they have first hand information and you should listen to them.

I have found that a good business owner or top brass at a company is one that listens to what his or her employees are saying because the bottom line is your employees know what is going on more than you do.  They are dealing with all the issues that a company has every day, you most likely are not, so don’t just nod your head and give them lip service telling them you will look into it, actually look into it.

I have found that those that use their employees as ear pieces tend to be well informed and tend to run a much better organization that those that do not.  I am not saying that you should let your employees make the decisions for you, not at all, what I am saying though is you should listen to what they have to say, they have information that you need, listen to them, and take that information and use it intelligently.  There is nothing worse than a company with a management team that does not know what is going on; listen to your employees, dissect the information and use it in a way that will make your company stronger and better.