Top Ten Motivators
Setting goals is the easy part -- but sticking with them over the long run can be a major challenge! Some people think that motivation requires will-power and dedication. Actually, staying motivated is all about setting up an environment that is conducive to you accomplishing your goals. Here are ten "tricks" for giving your goals staying power past January 31st:
BREAK YOUR GOALS DOWN
Do you know why 90% of us don't keep our New Year's resolutions? Because our goals are too big and too vague. Instead of telling yourself that you want to "get organized," try breaking that goal down into something smaller and more concrete. "Clean out all clothes that haven't been worn in a year" or "move all of the sports equipment to the garage" gives you a solid place to start -- then you can move on to another small goal that will take you one step closer to "getting organized."
PUT IN 15 MINUTES A DAY
Some people think that you have to commit hours of uninterrupted effort if you want to accomplish a goal. But the greatest advances are often the sum total of a series of SMALL EFFORTS -- a drawer here, a cabinet there, maybe a closet. Once you have set your goals for the year, commit to spending 15 minutes each day doing something that will move you closer to accomplishing that goal. You will be amazed at how quickly you progress!
PAINT YOURSELF IN A CORNER
The worst deadline you can set for accomplishing a goal is "over the next year" -- too vague, to broad, and too much room for slacking. Sometimes it's best to paint yourself into a corner if you want to get a project done. If your goal is to clean out the guest bedroom closet, invite company over! Make a COMMITMENT to someone else -- just knowing that other people are counting on you is often just the little "push" you need to get moving.
WORK WITH A "BUDDY"
This rule doesn't just apply at the gym! Do you have a friend who can help out with some of your organizing projects? Two people will get more done in shorter period of time -- and you will be less inclined to keep a bunch of junk you don't need! Just remember that you will be expected to reciprocate when your friend gets ready to clean out! And if you can't recruit any free help, consider bringing in a Professional Organizer -- someone who can be objective about your clutter.
TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY ABOUT YOUR PLANS
The best way to make yourself accountable for accomplishing your goals is to tell other people about your plans. The minute you spread the word that you are working on a project, people become interested in your progress. "Hey, how are you doing getting that garage in order?" Every time you hear those words, one of two things will happen. Either you will feel inspired to dig back in and get to work -- or you will feel lousy because you haven't made any progress. Option A gets you moving, while Option B tells you that something is out of alignment and you need to RE-EVALUATE your goals. Either one is a step in the right direction.
PUT IT DOWN ON PAPER
You've heard it a million times -- if you write a goal down, it is more likely to come to fruition. There is something about the act of putting your thoughts (any thoughts) on paper that makes you more committed to the outcome. You have invested time and energy writing your goals down -- what a waste if you didn't actually go through with them! And it is wonderfully therapeutic to cross an item off of your list once you complete it!
REVIEW YOUR GOALS REGULARLY
The best thing about writing your goals down is that you have something physical to hold in your hand and refer back to when you need a boost. But reviewing your goals doesn't just mean skimming the page and counting up how many things you haven't done yet. You must also ask yourself some questions about each goal -- why haven't I made more progress on this goal? What's getting in my way? Is this goal still important to me? If your priorities have changed, drop it from your list. You have enough important things to do -- you don't need to sweat over not accomplishing an unimportant task.
DEVELOP A "MANTRA"
Repetition is the mother of success, so you need to remind yourself of your goals everyday. Pick your most important goal this year, and turn it into a one-sentence "mantra." Your mantra should be in the form of an affirmation -- a statement phrased as though you have already accomplished your goal ("I am the master of my time" or "I live in a clutter-free environment.") Repeat this mantra first thing when you get up, last thing before you go to bed, when you are driving in the car, as you take a shower. Post sticky notes with your mantra on it around your home and office. Pretty soon, this will become your natural way of thinking -- keeping you going when you run into a roadblock.
ENJOY YOUR SUCCESSES
When was the last time you really acknowledged the fact that you accomplished an important goal? Too often, we simply charge into the next task on our list without really appreciating our achievements. Next time, spend a few minutes reflecting on what you have accomplished -- remembering the time and effort you invested and savoring the feeling of completion. This will refresh and renew your enthusiasm to continue on with your next goal. Without that moment of pause, you will eventually burn yourself out and lose all sense of motivation.
PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK
Do you reward yourself for a job well done? Lets go one step further -- do you plan ahead of time what reward you will give yourself when you complete a task on your list? There is a lot of wisdom in the old idea of a "carrot and stick." As you plan out your goals for the next year, attach a REWARD to each. It could be as simple as a walk around the block, or as grand as a two-week vacation -- just make sure that your reward is commensurate with the amount of work you will have to do to reach that goal. And be consistent about rewarding yourself for every accomplishment, no matter how small. You deserve it!
Ramona Creel is a Professional Organizer and the founder of OnlineOrganizing.com -- offering "a world of organizing solutions!" Visit http://www.onlineorganizing.com for organizing products, free tips, a speakers bureau -- and even get a referral for a Professional Organizer near you. And if you are interested in becoming a Professional Organizer, we have all the tools you need to succeed. If you would like to reprint this article, please send in an e-mail request to email@example.com
Does it ever feel like there is never enough time in the day? Are you always rushing? Do you feel stressed at the end of the day? Do you believe that you are not accomplishing what you hoped? Better time management may be the answer.
The Rule of Three
It's amazing how many sayings there are in our culture about the number three. Think about it: "Good things (or bad) come in threes;" "Third time's the charm." A rule of thumb in speaking is, no more than three major points in a speech. (That was three examples, wasn't it?) And then there are all of the mystical references to powerful threesomes. My purpose today is to look purely at the practical application of this "rule of three," and see how we can use it to become more effective managers of our lives and priorities.
How to Make More Time For Your Life
Do you wish you could work less and play more? Are you so stuck in the rut you can't see a way out? Have you ever said I wish I had more time for me?
Balancing Your Work, Family and Social Life
Balancing Your Work, Family and Social LifeBy Gene Griessman, PhD Many of us have an image of personal balance as a set of scales in perfect balance every day. But that's an unrealistic goal. You are in for a lot of frustration if you try to allocate within every day a predetermined portion of time for work, family and your social life. An illness may upset all your plans. A business project may demand peaks of intense work, followed by valleys of slow time. Balance requires continual adjustments, like an acrobat on a high wire who constantly shifts his weight to the right and to the left. By focusing on four main areas of your life ? emotional/spiritual needs, relationships, intellectual needs and physical needs ? at work and away from work, you can begin to walk the high wire safely. Here, drawn from my conversations with many high successful Americans, are ten ideas for balancing all aspects of your life:1. Make an appointment with yourself. Banish from your mind the idea that everyone takes precedence over you. Don't use your organizer or calendar just for appointments with others. Give yourself some prime time. Regularly do something you enjoy. It will recharge your batteries. Once you've put yourself on your calendar, guard those appointments. Kay Koplovitz founder of the USA cable television network, which is on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. Koplovitz ran the daily operations of the network for 21 years. For more than two decades, there was always some potential claim on her time. Therefore she vigilantly protected a scheduled tennis match just as she would a business appointment.2. Care for your body. Having a high energy level is a trait held by many highly successful people. No matter what your present level of energy, you can increase it by following these steps:Eat. Don't skip meals. Your physical and mental energy depend upon nourishment. Irregular eating patterns can cause a frayed temper, depression, lack of creativity and a nervous stomach.Exercise. Over and over again, highly successful people mention the benefit of exercise routines. Johnetta Cole, president of Bennett College for Women and former president of Spelman College, does a four-mile walk each morning. She calls it her mobile meditation. The benefits of exercise are mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. If you are healthier and have more stamina, you can work better and longer.Rest. A psychologist who has studied creative people reports that they rest often and sleep a lot.3. Cut some slack. You do not have to do everything. Just the right things. Publisher Steve Forbes taught me a lesson: "Don't be a slave to your in-box. Just because there's something there doesn't mean you have to do it." As a result, every evening, I extract from my long list to-do list just a few "musts" for the following day. If, but three o'clock the next day, I've crossed off all the "musts," I know that everything else I do that day will be icing on the cake. It is a great psychological plus for me.There is nothing wrong with pushing yourself hard, disciplining yourself todo what needs to be done when you hold yourself to the highest standards. That builds up stamina and turns you into a pro. At time, though, you must forgive yourself. You will never become 100 percent efficient, nor should you expect to be. After something does not work, ask yourself, "Did I do my best? If you did, accept the outcome. All you can do is all you can do.4. Blur the boundaries. Some very successful people achieve balance by setting aside times or days for family, recreation, hobbies or the like. They create boundaries around certain activities and protect them. Other individuals who are just as successful do just the opposite. They blur the boundaries. Says consultant Alan Weiss, "I work out of my home. In the afternoon, I might be watching my kids play at the pool or be out with my wife. On Saturday, or at ten o'clock on a weeknight, I might be working. I do things when the spirit moves me, and when they're appropriate."Some jobs don't lend themselves to this strategy. But blurring the boundaries is possible more often than you may think. One way is to involve people you care about in what you do. For example, many companies encourage employees to bring their spouses to conferences and annual meetings. It's a good idea. If people who mean a great deal to you understand what you do, they can share more fully in your successes and failures. They also are more likely to be a good sounding board for your ideas. 5. Take a break. Many therapists believe that taking a break from a work routine can have major benefits for mental and physical health. Professional speaker and executive coach Barbara Pagano practices a kind of quick charge, by scheduling a day every few months with no agenda. For her, that means staying in her pajamas, unplugging the phone, watching old movie or reading a novel in bed. For that one day, nothing happens, except what she decides from hour to hour. Adds singer and composer Billy Joel, "There are times when you need to let the field lie fallow." Joel is describing what farmers often do: let a plot rest so the soil can replenish itself.6. Take the road less traveled. Occasionally, get off the expressway and take a side road, literally and figuratively. That road may take you to the library or to the golf course. Do something out of the ordinary to avoid the well-worn grooves of your life. Try a new route to work, a different radio station or a different cereal. Break out of your old mold occasionally, with a new way to dress or a different hobby. The road less traveled can be a reward after a demanding event, a carrot that you reward your self with or it can be a good way to loosen up before a big event. Bobby Dodd, the legendary football coach at Georgia Tech, knew the power of this concept. While other coaches were putting their teams through brutal twice-a-day practices, Dodd's team did their drills and practices, but then took time to relax, play touch football and enjoy the bowl sites. Did the idea work? In six straight championships games!7. Be still. Susan Taylor, editorial director of Essence, sees to it that she has quiet time every morning. She regards it as a time for centering ? for being still and listening. She keeps a paper and pen with her to jot down ideas that come to her. The way you use solitary time should match your values, beliefs and temperament. Some individuals devote a regular time each day to visualize themselves attaining their goals and dreams. Others read, pray, meditate, do yoga or just contemplate a sunrise or sunset. Whatever form it takes, time spent alone can have an enormous payoff. Achievers talk about an inner strength they find and how it helps them put competing demands into perspective. They feel more confident about their choices and more self-reliant. They discover a sense of balance, a centeredness.8. Be a peacetime patriot. Joe Posner has achieved wealth and recognition selling life insurance. Several years ago, Posner helped form an organization in his hometown of Rochester, NY to prepare underprivileged children for school and life and, he hopes, break the poverty cycle. You may find some equally worthy way to give something back through your church, hospital, civic club, alumni association or by doing some pro bono work. Or you may help individuals privately, even anonymously. There are powerful rewards for balancing personal interests with the needs of the common good. One of the most wonderful is the sheer joy that can come from giving. Another reward is the better world that you help create.9. Do what you love to do. As a boy, Aaron Copeland spent hours listening to his sister practice the piano because he loved music. By following that love, he became America's most famous composer of classical must. When I asked him years later if he had even been disappointed by that choice Copeland replied, "My life has been enchanting." What a word to sum up a life. By itself, loving what you do does not ensure success. You need to be good at what you love. But if you love what you do, the time you spend becoming competent is less likely to be drudgery.10. Focus on strategy. As important as it is, how to save time for balancing your life is not the ultimate question. That question is, "What am I saving time for?" Strategy has to do with being successful ? but successful at what? If others pay your salary, being strategic generally means convincing them that you are spending your time in a way that benefits them. If there is a dispute over how you should use your time, either convince the people who can reward or punish you that your idea about using time is appropriate, or look for another job. The "what for?" question should also be asked about the life you live. It is truly a comprehensive question and gets at the question of wholeness. So what makes for a successful balance life? I can think of no better definition than the one given by Ralph Waldo Emerson: To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because I have lived. This is to have succeeded.
Time Management: Set Yourself Up For Success
Any habit of mind or body that interferes with taking decisive action contributes to your tendency to procrastinate. Think about your good habits and the environment that leads you to be most productive. Consider your preferred working hours, your optimum concentration periods, and the ways you have been successful in the past. You can begin to build on your good points first by recognizing them and giving yourself credit for them. Then, enhance the skills and techniques you already have with those presented here and beat the specter of procrastination once and for all.
Four Steps To Make Your Day Dynamic!
There are two ways to start your day. The first is to dive in; tackling whatever is in front of you. You might check your emails. This is an interesting beginning as it is always possible something fun and new came in since you last looked.
What is ?Life Balance? and How Can You Attain It?
We all face decisions that involve doing things that affect competing priorities. We all have three different lives or worlds that compete for our attention, energy and activity. These are our personal lives, our work related lives and our family lives. Our personal lives consist of our health, our inner private likes and dislikes, our inner beliefs, and our spiritual feelings. Our work related lives consist of what we do to earn an income to provide resources to live and prosper. Our family lives consist of our relatives and friends and our relationships with each person.
Isn?t It Time For You?
Does it seem like there is never enough time in the day? Why is there plenty of time for everyone and everything but ourselves? The fact is that you only get one shot at this life so it is important to spend it doing something you love. The good news is that you have a choice, you can continue to go on being overwhelmed letting time and life slip away, or you can make the time and start living the life you really want. Yes, this is easier said than done, so here are ten strategies, some old and some new, to help you gain control over your time.
A Fatal Mistake that Can Cost You Your Business ? And More
Whether you're a new business owner or if you have been running your business for several years, one of the biggest challenges you face at one point in time or another is overwhelm and imbalance.
Creative Leadership; Inspirational Power ( Part 2 )
Time management is absolute crucial nowadays where business decisions have to be taken often at the speed of light, leaders have to find spare time to prioritize their actions.
24 Time Management Tips
Where does your time go? We all know we are busy, yet we feel behind and don't get to do the things we really want to do.
The Ultimate Time Management Tips: 5 Steps To Reaching Your Goals With Minimum Work
Would you like to know how to get 10 times more done in a day than most people do in a week, with less work?
Linking Purpose To Everyday Behaviors
How do you know what's the best use of your time right now?
Increasing Your ROI
All requests are not equal; all customers or clients are not equal; all to-do-list tasks are not equal; all work responsibilities are not equal. You can do fifty things today and get little, if any, return on your investment for having done them. Or you can do one or two things which have a large return.
Prioritize with Two Questions
"Because there will always be something more to do, we need to consciously choose what we are doing."
More Precious Than Gold
In this world there is something more precious than gold. Diamonds? No. Platinum? No. Some other precious metal? No.
Put a Couple of Elephants on Your Plate
How do you eat two elephants? The same way you would eat one; one bite at a time. Monstrous tasks often appear to be complex and overwhelming. That's why it's so very important to isolate the parts from the whole. Break your elephant-sized project into several smaller tasks. Identify one area and cut it down to size. Lather, rinse, and eat. The key is to begin! It doesn't matter if you have or elephants on your agenda. Put one of them on your plate today. Target one part, and start!
Pacing Yourself Through Change
OK...let's assume that you're truly motivated to change. Great. But how do you stay that way? That's a very important question, because most people fail to change not because they don't want to, but because they can't sustain their motivating drive throughout the process. Here are a few things to think about, to do, and to watch out for.
Time Management - Honor Your Time and Energy
Your time and energy are the two most precious gifts that you have. Evaluate each month where you are placing your time and energy. Here are some ways that I have used to help me honor where I place my time and energy:
Isn't it amazing that some people can produce huge results in the same 24 hours that we all have? Whether or not we realize it, we victimize ourselves by not appropriately deciding what to do with our time. Instead, we let our time decide what to do with us!
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