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5 Steps to Help You Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

By this time in January, the majority of people have already dropped the ball on their New Year’s Resolutions. What seemed like such a great idea/plan on January 1 has already been abandoned – so how can you avoid the same outcome?

To help you have a better chance of sticking with your resolutions, you will need to dig a bit deeper into your motivation and also to show yourself that you mean business – because let’s face it, we can be hard on ourselves and also let ourselves slide on our commitments all too easily.

Step #1. Understand your Motivation

There are 2 types of motivation:

  • Intrinsic – this means your motivation comes from inside. For example, you prefer jogging, going to the gym, or shopping by yourself because you like how you feel afterwards.
  • Extrinsic – you’re pushed forward by actions outside your personal scope. In other words, you prefer working out with your friends, and work harder when there’s a reward system in place.

Once you figure out your motivation type is, then all you have to do is put yourself in situations that make you more excited to accomplish even more.

If you prefer more intrinsic rewards, then you know that your prefer jogging vs. going to the gym, so don’t sign up for that gym membership, it will not help you reach your goal. On the other hand if you have an opportunity to join a running group, you will have to decide if that really what you want, but it may help you to reach your running goals, so it is a much better fit for your long term success.

If an extrinsic motivator works better for you, then you would probably do alright purchasing that gym membership and keeping your eyes open to find other individuals who may want to have some friendly competition to help you all reach your fitness goals. Now, I know that these examples or centered around fitness, but the idea is the same no matter what goal you’re trying to achieve, if you understand your motivation, you will better be able to reach your goals.

Step #2. Actions speak louder than results

Deciding on a goal for the New Year, and setting resolutions may be easier said than done. And in the long run, it’s the steps you take to reach that goal that’s will ultimately determine if you will find success. One great way to help you stay on track is to break each step down into smaller goals, allowing you to know what you “should” be working on at any given time.

As you complete each step, reward yourself and feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. Positive reinforcement is crucial to help guide you as you push toward your goal and commit to your responsibilities. All too often, we look ahead and think about how much more we still have to do, but if you stop and look back, you will find that you have done more than you think you have. And giving yourself the time to appreciate what you have accomplished will help to keep you going as you move forward.

Step #3. Be Honest and Realistic With Yourself

This may be the hardest step of all for some people. The more realistic your resolutions, the more likely you’ll see them through. If your goal for the New Year is to blog more frequently, then start small. Instead of planning a daily commitment, plan to blog 3-5 days a week, then once that becomes a habit, decide if daily is the proper next step or determine if your current schedule works for you.

If you say you’re going to blog daily and then you miss a day – suddenly you have failed, but if you set a more realistic expectation, you will be able to see accomplishments rather than failures. As you start seeing what you’ve accomplished, you’ll be pumped to do even more.

Don’t get caught in the “all-or-nothing” trap. Doing something, even if it’s a small piece of what you’d originally planned, is much better and more productive than doing nothing at all. Or, stop and take a look at what you have already accomplished to remind you that even if you are not where you want to be, you are still moving in a positive direction.

If you think that you can work on several goals at the same time, you may be disappointed. Make a list of your goals/resolutions, then prioritize them, and go from there. Once you feel the first one’s in the bag, go for the second, and so on. Focusing on one goal at a time will channel your energy and efforts there, helping you reach your target faster.

Step #4. Have a Positive Mindset

Having a positive mindset is key when progressing towards your goals, but let’s be honest; every plan is bound for failure if you’re not careful. Be smart and anticipate these obstacles so that when they do appear, you’ll be prepared. There will always be obstacles, some you can anticipate and be prepared for, others will take you by surprise and you will have to find a way to get around or through whatever obstacle shows up.

By thinking about possible problems and solutions, you will be better prepared for those unexpected obstacles. For example, if you get worry about running out of what to blog about, you can set up Google News, and Google Trends alerts about what is happening in your area of expertise, ensuring you not only have content, but you stay on the cutting edge for your audience. If you hate creating images for your blog posts, find someone you can outsource the job too – or sign up for a graphics subscription and use images that fit your topic.

The idea is to know that there will be hurdles, but know that you have the tools to help you get over those hurdles. Your willpower will only get you so far, a positive mindset will take you much further in helping you reach your goals.

Step #5. Be Accountable to Someone Else

Accountability means you’re taking responsibility for the choices you’re making. This is huge. And, when you have children, you have to be accountable, they don’t let you off the hook, but when you are working on your own goals, having an accountability partner is so helpful. You can decide if you want to check in daily or weekly, I don’t recommend going any longer than weekly if at all possible.

You can enlist the help of a friend or find someone who is in a Facebook Group you are already a part of, or join a Facebook group that offers accountability as part of the membership. One I can highly recommend is Laptop Lifestyle YOUniversity, this group offers accountability and so much more. You can try to be your own accountability partner, but often, we are too hard or too soft on ourselves to be truly effective.

Of course, keeping your New Year’s resolution can seem scary at first, but any attempt at change is often scary. Hopefully these 5 steps will help you reach your goals, and stay committed to your New Year’s resolutions all year long. You may even find that once you accomplish your first resolution, it’s not only beneficial to your life and business, it’s also empowering!

4 People Who Would Love to Get a Bullet Journal as a Gift

Many people choose to start bullet journaling because of the unique combination of being a planner, a calendar and journal.
For example, it can help you to de-stress because everything is in one place, no need to go looking around anymore.
Others start journaling because they believe they can learn more about their life through various tracking methods.
While some people buy a journal for themselves, a bullet journal is a very thoughtful gift for
someone special in your life. Here’s just a few people that may love a bullet journal
as a gift.

#1 New Parents

Bringing a new child into the world is one of the most life-altering experiences
that a person can go through, and a bullet journal can help them keep track of all those
new doctor appointments, and also record those special moments, while still
keeping their work life up to date.

Regardless of whether this is the person’s first child or fifth, the act of creating
a life and being responsible for raising that child successfully to
adulthood can be overwheling, having a place to write down all those questions and track all those milestones
is priceless. A bullet journal can also be a great place to write down all the emotions
that go along with being a parent. And a bullet journal can be shared with their children
when they are older.

I like this bullet journal for the new parents, since the pen stays with the journal:

 

#2 High School and College Students

High school and college years are some of the most formative years of their lives. They are
transitioning into adults. Each person has a unique journey to adulthood and a bullet journal
can help them keep up with classes and their social life all in one place.

More than that, the stress and drama associated with the transition into adulthood can stir
many emotions. Teens and young adults may be able to use their journal to explore their feelings
and to gain great insight about who they are and what they stand for.

This is my recommendation for students.

This bullet journal set includes stencils and pens to get those creative juices flowing.

#3 Seniors and Retirees

The analog design of the bullet journal appeals to many seniors, who feel that
this is when their life is truly beginning. Retiring is a new and exciting chapter for many
people, filled with experiences of being a grandparent, of traveling to new
places and meeting new people along the way. Bullet journals can also be great for keeping
track of the seemingly endless number of doctor appointments that seem to be a part of the
aging process.

Many older adults also understand that younger generations may want to learn more about
their life at some point. A bullet journal can be used to preserve thoughts and even to
share memories from many years or decades ago. These volumes can even be handed down from
generation to generation so that their experiences become a part of family history.

Since the older folks on your gift list may not need more instructions, try this:

 

#4 Online Business Owners

The reason many online business owners like the bullet journaling system is that they already spend
so much of their time online, it is nice to be able to work offline sometimes. Bullet journaling is
a great way to keep track of all the moving parts of an online business, and to keep up with their
personal life too. The ability to completely customize a bullet journal makes it appeal to many people.

Show them that you support their business efforts:

When you give a bullet journal to a friend or relative, you are showing them that you care and are trying
to be supportive. A bullet journal is a place for them to plan, dream and track.

There are many different reasons why you may give the gift of a bullet journal to someone
special as a gift. Journaling can be an enriching experience for all ages, but the
gift of a bullet journal could also tell that person that you find them fascinating and that you
know that they have many things to track and share across the pages of their journal.

3 Tips to Use a Bullet Journal to Organize Your Business

As you already know, I love bullet journaling. I have my own course, Bullet Journaling for Online Business Owners that teaches you the basics of setting up your own bullet journal.

In the course, I showed you that a bullet journal can help you make lists for the future, track various aspects of your business, manage your finances, and this will ultimately reduce your stress level. The bullet journal is so completely customizable that you can let it help you organize your entire life.

Everything you need to plan is in this single journal, so there is no trying to look around for the right one or having Post-it notes lying around all over the place. It becomes a personalized planner that you create based on your own needs. Read More →

Focus On What’s Important To You

Having a good reason to be confident, brave, and courageous can be a huge help.

As I have mentioned before, I am a huge tennis fan, and today was an exceptional day in the sport for the wrong reasons. During a Grand Slam Championship match the umpire took exception to being called a thief (for previously awarding a point to the other player) and this time gave a whole game to other player.

The 2 participants in this tennis match were Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. The person that was in trouble was Serena. The trouble all began when she was given a warning about on court coaching, which is not allowed during the Grand Slam tournaments. Serena was most upset that she would be perceived as cheating, not that she was being reprimanded. Read More →

How Do You Define Time Management?

We all hear about time management, and we are told it is important. It is also said that a person who does not respect time does not respect his or her own self and that may be a bit harsh, but also holds a grain of truth. Time management is so important that today’s parents often teach the values of it to their children so that they can grow up to be better individuals. Learning time management skills at an early age can help children better reach their goals as they mature. But don’t worry if you didn’t start as a child its not too late to try to take control of your busy schedule.

How would one define time management actually? Is it about making a timetable and abiding by it? Or is it about allotting a specific time to do your daily tasks? Or is it about separating time for work, play, food and everything else that a human needs to do? Read More →

Do You Struggle With Time Management?

Time management, the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about.  Brendon Buchard has a great video that talks about what is really behind our lack of “time management.”

As you can see he talks about needing to know what your big goals are to be able to effectively “manage” your time.  Start by knowing your big yearly goal(s), then make sure at the start of each month you sit down and plan what your goals are and how you will meet those goals.  This is so powerful, just a few minutes at the start of each month can really change your life.

He also touches on making sure to schedule time for you, for your family, for the relationships in your life.  As we get busier and busier, it can be all too easy to let the fun drift right out of our life, so I agree with Brendon that it is so important to make sure you schedule time for what is important in your life and then worry about the deadlines you need to meet in your business.

If you have not read his book “The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive” I strongly encourage you to get a copy and start reading today.

And if you would like learn more about Goal Setting, this post may be helpful.

How to Organize Your Home Office to be Family Friendly

One of the reasons you chose to work from home was to spend more time with your family, am I right? Perhaps you were working outside the home and began to resent those lost hours to the point you were getting jealous and angry. You are not alone. Many people find a work-at-home situation soothes the stress they were feeling and is the ideal solution for their family life.

Creating an organized family friendly home office is one of the tasks you have in front of you. It is a delicate balance to try to achieve. On the one hand, you need to get your work done. On the other hand, you want to enjoy your family. Is there a way to do both? Yes, here are a few options to spark your creativity.

Create a cozy family nook

Nothing says relax like a big comfy sofa or nice oversized loveseat. It also serves as a ‘magnet’ to draw the kids together in one cozy area away from your desk. Have blankets and pillows handy for short naps or cuddling. Invite the family in after school to relax and catch up on their day. For pre-school children, keep a box of toys and books handy to keep them busy while you wrap up loose ends. If your home office isn’t large enough for a sofa or loveseat, throw down a rug with a couple bean bag chairs or nice, big, oversized pillows. The object here is to have an inviting place to welcome your family into your surroundings, but still separated from your work area.

Create a Homework or Busy Area

Put a coffee table or small kitchen table and some good lighting in your office separate from your desk to make a homework spot for your school age kids. Use the same idea for your pre-school children and include lots of art supplies so your young children can ‘work’ while you do. If room isn’t available for a table, get out those old TV tables you have stored and put them to good use, then fold them and store them away again until needed. These can be great items to find at your local thirftstore or neighborhood garage sale.

You get the idea, find a way to create a seperate space for your family in your office, so that they can enjoy your company without causing you stress.

Have Healthy Snacks On Hand

Snacks and beverages are especially important when kids arrive home from school. Children are hungry after a long day, and hunger creates unhappiness. Rather than leave your office to fix them something in the kitchen, have a small supply of snacks and drinks ready in your office space. Consider having a small refrigerator to make it more convenient to have healthy snacks in arms reach. Make it fun by serving snacks picnic style so your kids will know they can relax and enjoy their food in your company.

Create a Clear Set of Office Rules

office rules file folderHaving a family friendly office does not mean there are no rules involved. There will be times when you will need your office to yourself, and this needs to be made clear from the beginning. If you have a set schedule, you can post your hours on the door for all to see. You may want to have a ‘Welcome’ mat to put outside the door when everyone can come in, relax and visit. Save work that doesn’t need a lot of concentration for those ‘family times.’ Be clear about the rules and arrange your work time so you can enjoy your office and family both.

Hopefully, isolating yourself in your office and making it totally off-limits to your family is not what you had in mind when you decided to work at home. So make sure you take the time to create a home office that is, at least at times, open for visiting. Take time to enjoy the reason you decided to work from home – your family!

If you have any great tips that you use to make your home office more organized and family friendly, please share in the comments below.

Being Organized Saves You Time and Money

We all want to be able to organize our schedules and have the commitment to maintain them on a day-to-day basis, but how?

Organization is beneficial for everyone and can be easily adapted to suit individual needs. And believe it or not, being organized in your life and business actually saves you time and money.  Time is money. Piggy bank with watches

A Place For Everything

If you keep things organized, you don’t need to spend time looking for them when needed. This is especially handy when you need to locate important yet rarely used items, such as insurance policies or tax time information. And it also keeps you from looking unprepared in front of your clients and colleagues.

The key to keeping things organized is to come up with a place to keep something and stick to it. This really is the key – sticking with it. Read More →

7 Reasons Why You May Be Disorganized

Disorganization can literally cost you money – but even worse it robs you of your most precious resource – time.  The stress that disorganization can cause a person is enormous. Things are often not done on time, you are always late everywhere, and you probably never know where to start and aren’t even ready to start when it’s time to start.

All of this stress caused by disorganization can also affect your health. It’s just not good on any front to live in chronic disorganization aka chronic stress. If you consider yourself disorganized, here are seven reasons why.

1) You Don’t Have a System

Too many people feel that a system must be rigid, that is not true, systems can be flexible and can and should be tailored to your individual needs.  But a lack of systems will keep you disorganized.  If you’ve ever had a job that already had organization and systems in place, it is likely you managed to maintain that organization at least for that job. Everything had a place, and everything had a reason, and there was a set system to do what needed to be done. That’s what you have to set up for your business and your life if you want to be successful long term without stress. Read More →

Organizing and Streamlining Your Digital Files

Computers are designed to store digital files in an organized and efficient manner. However, we humans have the amazing ability to get things disorganized too quickly sometimes.  How many times have you been looking for a particular document – and just give up and recreate it or download it again – if that’s an option. With digital files one of the most common problem is that you didn’t start organizing at the start and now your files are all over the place.  Another common problem is not understanding the technology.  

Don’t Overcomplicate Your Filing System

As you add files to your computer for your business, you want to make sure to label them with a name that will make them easy to identify and easy to find also.  If you have both personal and business items the first folders I would create would be to keep these all separate.  It’s also important to not go overboard with the creation of folders and sub-folders. Too many folders and subfolders just become more digital clutter.

Create folders in a way that is easy for you to navigate and understand. Read More →