Friday, 6 January 2006

Newsletter Issue 108, January 2006


Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 108, January 2006
Hi guys,
How many times have you resolved to get onto certain things and not got there? If that sounds like you, read Oh No, It's Resolution Time Again below.
If you are constantly modifying tables, how about creating your own style template? Read on in Adding A Table Style in Word
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Oh No, It's Resolution Time Again

If you have business goals, do you find it strange how we can slack about for the whole year, and then - lo-and-behold - at New Year we suddenly decide to mend our ways/turn over a new leaf/stop procrastinating? (of course, then we generally slack about for the rest of the year just so that we can make the same resolution again on the next tick of the annual clock).
If we think about why our resolutions fail, we can work our way around our problem behaviours. Often our goals are simply too hard to achieve or are set with too short a time-frame. We also tend to be too hard on ourselves, thinking that a small backslide means we have failed totally and we should abandon what progress we have made. And, like how NOT to eat an elephant, with all new tasks and projects, we don't PLAN what we are going to do, in small, easy-to-complete bites.
Well, how about - horrific thought, isn't it - actually doing something about our resolutions? A little bit of planning for what needs to be done for the coming year can actually make it easy to keep at least some of our goals. Try some of these for size:
  1. January: Strategic Plan. Review it, and create a task reminder in Outlook to check progress next year
  2. February: Mission / Vision Statements. Check they are still consistent with your strategic plan. Create a task reminder in Outlook to check them again next year
  3. March: SWOT Analysis. Look to your organisation's future. List your strengths and weaknesses, analyse your market and research opportunities and threats
  4. April/May: Business Plan. Update it and put a task reminder in Outlook to check progress each month. If you don't have a Business Plan, actually write one - incorporating your SWOT analysis. If you don't know how to write a Business Plan, do a course, get some books out of the library and get some mentoring to help you complete it
  5. June: Budget. Set up your budgets for the year, run them past your accountant. Be realistic and ensure they fit with your business plan. Create a task reminder in Outlook for next year
  6. July/August: Procedures & Policies. Have your staff review them - have NEW staff review them. Update your master policy list. Does it cover all eventualities? Test: if a key staff member walked out tomorrow, could you hire someone new and have a smooth transition? If not, get your organisation's knowledge down on paper where it can stay with you, not walk out the door. Create a task reminder in Outlook for next year
  7. September: Invest in Yourself. Go and learn something new. There is no better way to grow your business than to pick up some new ideas from someone fresh
  8. October: Give Something Back. If you aren't already involved in a sponsorship or some kind of volunteer programme, have a think about what might suit your organisation. You can use the link for PR, or keep it quiet - whatever suits you best. Think about a charity, sports group, school or voluntary group. Volunteer for one of the Chamber of Commerce's committees or join Rotary
  9. November: Team-Building. Take your people somewhere to show them your appreciation of their efforts this calendar year. Spending quality time with the people who actively support and achieve your goals pays great dividends. Create a task reminder in Outlook for next year
  10. December: Review the Resolutions. See what you managed to achieve and how close each item was to completion. Celebrate your achievements; analyse why others didn't work, and LEARN from your past mistakes. And, create a task reminder in Outlook for next year!
OK. All ready for 2006 now? Perhaps this article should have been called "ten tips to getting a better business"!

Adding A Table Style in Word

Do you find that the available table styles in Microsoft Word's AutoFormat feature are never exactly what you need?
There may be one style that you use often, yet even with that style, you find yourself modifying it each time you use it. For example, suppose every time you choose the Table Contemporary style, you need to change the header row colour to light green, the text alignment to centre, and the font colour in the last row to red.
However, there is a way to modify Word's table style in the AutoFormat Gallery in Word, and save the style just the way you want it. Just follow these steps:
  1. Put your cursor in the table that will include the modified style.
  2. Go to the Table menu. Select Table AutoFormat.
  3. Click the "New" button
  4. Under Properties, in the Name field, enter the name your would like to show for your modified style
  5. Under Properties, in the Style Based On drop-down box, select "Table Contemporary"
  6. Under Formatting, in the Apply Formatting To drop-down box, select Header Row. Click the Fill icon and select light green. Click the Align button and select Centre
  7. Return to the Apply Formatting To drop-down box and select Last Row. Click the Font Colour icon and select red
  8. Tick the Add To Template tickbox, then click OK
  9. Click Apply.
The new style has been (a) applied to your current table and (b) has now been added to the AutoFormat Gallery.
(NB: your modified table style name will only appear as an AutoFormat Gallery list option when you have a document open based on the original document's template).

Cure for Yo-Yo Dieting?

The Times reported in early December that "Scientists believe that they have discovered a cure to yo-yo dieting, the nightmare that afflicts 85 per cent of dieters, who lose weight only to put it straight back on again."
Almost everybody can lose weight for a while; as long as calories consumed are fewer than calories expended. However, some overweight people never get control of their weight and go through decades of yo-yo dieting, damaging their health through the fluctuations.
Research from a team from at New York's Columbia University led by Michael Rosenbaum explains that “Obesity is a very unusual condition because the body fights against the cure. With most conditions, as you recover you get better off. But with obesity, as you lose weight the body says it doesn’t like it. That puts you in an abnormal status, and the weight loss can’t be sustained.”
The team has discovered a way of stopping the process through injections of the naturally-occurring hormone leptin, which can persuade the body that it does not need to eat more to conserve its fat levels. In experiments on volunteers who had recently lost weight, twice-daily injections of leptin prevented the physiological response that would have encouraged them to put it back on again.
These responses have nothing to do with greed, or lack of willpower. They probably derive from early human history, when periods of famine alternated with successful hunts that produced a feast. Leptin is produced by fat cells, and its role is to signal to the brain about the level of fat stores in the body. A deficiency of leptin implies that fat stores are running low, encouraging eating to repair the deficit.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;
  • IMP, Interface Messaging Processor. The minicomputers which connected each node on the very first network sections of the internet - ARPAnet - which were UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UCSB, and University of Utah.
  • ARPAnet, Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, the US Department of Defense group who commissioned the internet as "ARPAnet" for networking research.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
This time we look at all you can do in MS Office programmes with Alt & Home;
  • Word "Browse a document while working within it" Alt & Ctrl & Home
  • IE "Display the first page to be printed or go to your Home page" Alt & Home
  • Outlook "Go to the first day of the current week when using general keys for moving around in day/week/month view" Alt & Home
  • Word "Go to start of row or row in a table" Alt & Home
  • Word "Start of Row" Alt & Shift & Home

Hot Linx
If you want a short glossary of "Geek" terms, check out the US' Public Broadcasting Company's page at http://www.pbs.org/opb/nerds2.0.1/geek_glossary/?GXHC_GX_jst=8258c07950ea6164
If you want a list of Kiwi movies, then the International Movie Database has a pretty good list at http://us.imdb.com/List?countries=New%20Zealand&&tv=off&&nav=/Sections/Countries/NewZealand/include-movies&&heading=8;Movie;New%20Zealand
For a country or area summary of politics, stats and news, check out the BBC's summary finder at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/country_profiles/default.stm?GXHC_GX_jst=8258c07850ea6165
If you are wanting to get NZ house sale stats, then check out the Real Estate Institute numbers at http://www.reinz.co.nz/reportingapp/default.aspx?RFOPTION=Report&RFCODE=R100

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here