How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

The secret to success….segmenting

If you want to get a goal done, and done right, then you need to learn the secret of breaking your goals up.

It’s not enough to break your goal up into 2 or three steps.

No, to really be successful, break those goals down into yearly, quarterly, and seasonal goals.

Here’s where most people miss it…they pick a goal like weight loss. That’s it. Come on, people, how can anyone lose weight like that? Actually, everyone. Because there is no accountability to a goal like that. “Um… yea, I think I lost some weight….my pants do feel a little bit looser”. Vague goals like that only serve to salve our conscience or set us up for failure, because for a goal to be attainable, it must be well defined.

You want your goal to be specific, attainable, and measurable.

Then, very clearly define your goal.

Break that goal down into actionable, daily and maybe even morning, afternoon, evening goals.

I’ve decided to start a time management workshop for all of my readers. I plan on hosting it some time in March, depending on the interest level. If  you think your life could be more strategized, subscribe here:

 

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How to break (or start) any bad habit in three weeks, max

Dislaimer: If you are suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or if you are suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, then you may find this advice incomplete for your needs. It’s my moral obligation to encourage you to get professional help for these things.

Okay, we’ve all read the reports from articles like “Psychology today” that tell us it takes exactly 21 days to form a new habit. But the truth is, very few people actually do anything for 21 days perfectly. So maybe you want to get in the habit of not biting your finger nails. Well, that is a poor habit to try this with, because that deals with not doing something moment by moment. Someone who bites their nails, or curses, or interrupts, will have to monitor their behavior moment by moment, and it may be very hard to track.  So this exercise I am going to give you must be applied to a habit that is trackable on a daily basis….and not on something that you can’t track unless you monitor it ALL Day.

Quick note: smoking is an addiction. My father hyperventilated when he tried to quit cold turkey and they called an ambulance. My husband cried in  a restaurant after going all day without a cigarette (I said I wouldn’t marry him unless he quit smoking). And I have personally witnessed loved ones act like living brain donors when they didn’t taper off cigarettes slowly. Please treat smoking like the physical addiction that it is. You can be treated medically to quit smoking.

But now, let’s talk about what this exercise will work on. If you

  • Want to start an exercise routine that you do each day
  • Want to get in the habit of journaling every day
  • Want to practice learning a foreign language every day
  • Want to learn how to master playing a musical instruments

than these are goals that you can do every day.  Just make sure you choose a goal that is:

a definite, specific goal:

Something that is measurable, not vague

an actual daily goal:

So, again, getting slim by the end of this year is not a measurable, daily goal

an achievable goal:

something that you can definitely achieve on each of these 21 days. If you make the goal too difficult, then you will most certainly not finish the 3 week time period; you’ll just…quit 😦

It’s more important to set a goal that you know you will reach. For example, with nail biting, set a goal of not biting your nails between 12 and 1 oclock each day (that’s a trackable daily goal), and then ask your friends to monitor your beahavior during your lunch break (believe me, other people will love being asked to hold you accountable for something). After 21 days, you should find that you are no longer biting your nails during lunch time. Then, go for supper time the next 21 day period. You don’t want to give yourself too many habits to form or break during each 21 day period.

Just in case you don’t know, 21 days is that length of time which has been medically proven to cause a habit to “stick”. In other words if you can do or not do something for 3 weeks straight, then you can develop or break any habit–in theory. The reality though, is, with a bad habit, you may need to reinforce the 21 day exercise after several months. That’s because, it’s easier to form a habit than to delete a long held habit

Are you enjoying these posts? If you are, hit the “like” button. Want some more “stick to it” juice? Sign up for my email series on time management. it’s a 12 part series that shows you how to get control of your time and life. (due to the incredible influx of spam, I now must verify all respondents. Will only call you if I’m not sure about your contact info.

 

The Rock Solid New Year’s Resolution

Here’s the only New Year’s resolution I have ever seen work, and I want to share it with  you….resolve to give yourself ONE FULL MONTH to come up with systems that actually work.

You don’t want to have a New Year filled with failure. But come on reader, don’t  you know, you set yourself up for that every single year? New Year’s resolutions are just things that you resolve to do in the New Year. They aren’t things you resolve to do perfectly every time. I wrote about this extensively in last year’s article.

This year, set yourself up for success. Give yourself ONE FULL YEAR to develop systems that work. Determine what your year end goal is, and then take one month (January) to break those year end goals down into smaller goals.

Wednesday, read my article on How To Start Your New Year right.

And when you’re ready, sign up for my time management newsletter.

Why you Procrastinate

 

 

The Main reason you procrastinate is:

You don’t really want to do it

or, you don’t want to do it bad bad enough to do what it takes

Okay, this is obvious; I even spoke about it in last month’s post: People don’t procrastinate doing things that they really want to do, and we all get that. But what are the reasons for this? Let’s get specific:

You are scared

Yes, that’s the main reason people procrastinate. Fear. To be sure, some people procrastinate out of apathy. Or maybe, they aren’t really procrastinating. Some people just act like they are going to do something someday, when they really have no intention of doing it. But what I’d like to talk about in this particular post is those of us who really WOULD like to see something through, and we know that it’s what we want. But for some reason, we hold back.

Why would we do that? Why would we not charge forward to that thing that we know we want?

I think the answer is very simple: we go where our sweet spot is. If we felt good about doing it, we would. But sometimes, even though in our hearts, we know we would love to see something accomplished, there is something holding us back. And usually, for most of us, it’s fear. Fear of, of what? Well maybe the fear is:

  • Of not completing the task
  • Of not doing a good enough job
  • Of receiving criticism
  • Of the unknown
  • Of the opinion of others
  • Of people
  • Of pressure
  • Of commitment
  • Of doing the task
  • Something else involved in the process of doing it

I realize that there are many ways and reasons of procrastinating and that fear is just one of them. Still, it’s too big of a reason not to devote a post to.

Now, if none of these seem to be the reason, yet for some reason,  you feel fear when proceeding with your New Year’s resolution or any task, hang on—

Next week, I’ll be talking about a hidden fear that avoids detection, and how to move forward.

“The Slacker”|Personality Thursday

 

'It's almost five o'clock. Barstow should start showing some initiative any moment now.'

Hi all. It’s personality Thursday and again, and today, I’d like to talk about “The Slacker”.

I can’t really call the Slacker a specific personality type, because so many different types and sub-types can exhibit this behavior.

In fact, even type A, “driven” personalities are subject to procrastination from time to time.

The information you are receiving today can help you with all but the most resistant slackers, whether they are going through a slump, suffering a depressing situation, or just seem really lazy in general

Lighting the fire under the slacker.

Isn’t that what we all want to do? Don’t we secretly want to give every person who is slacking “the boot”? Whether that means firing them from our lives or lifting their backside three feet in the air with our unending pressure on them.

I know I certainly have felt this way.

And though there are so many different variables, situations and people types out there to weigh and measure, in the end, I find that this one question seems to bring all inactivity on their part to the forefront of the conversation.

In my personal opinion, this has proven to be the most effective way to get the slacker to wake up, own it, and get it in gear.

Here’s the Question:

“So, Slacker,”(uh…no..don’t call them that, no matter how much you’d love to. Just insert their name).

Uh hem. Let’s try again.

“Okay Mr. Lazy-pants-don’t-give-a- flip …” (oops…sorry. As you can see, I’m agitated, like you, even thinking about their nonsense).

“So, Sam, you’ve been saying you’d take out the trash since noon today. I do realize that you have quite a lot on your plate. There are three episodes left for you to watch of your favorite movie. There’s a fried chicken and a two liter of coke you haven’t killed yet, and your best friend is still waiting for you to come over and play pool with him. It doesn’t look like you’ll be able to take the trash out today and that’s fine.”

Nah, just kidding, but I do feel better after thinking it anyway.

Gee, I’m really struggling with “the nudge”, and sarcasm comes so easily in these “try to be tactful” sessions

Sheesh.

Okay.

ONce More.

“Sam, you told me this morning that you would take out the trash as soon as you got a round to it. Here you go…”

Then you hand him one of these

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That’s all it takes!

Now, what do you do if you are in a situation where the other person is, for instance, your boss. And they have been saying that you could have a day off real soon?

Well, one of the things that I have found to be effective, 100% of the time, is to appeal to their fairness.

“Good morning Mr. Wilson. How are you today?”

“Just fine, just fine, Johnson. What’s on your mind?”

“Well, Mr. Wilson, you’ve been promising me a Thursday off for 6 weeks now. I think I’ve been pretty patient and I was just wondering what you think is a fair amount of time to keep me waiting”

Whew! Was that bold or what? But I swear it works.

You just need to remember to save this for one of those “over-the-top, they already know they’re being unreasonable” types of situations (though it may work in a milder situation too).

Anyway, just remember to be respectful. Try it and let me know how it works for you.