Things To Eliminate in the Coming Year and Tips for Successful Resolutions
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Dan’s Topic: Some Things to Eliminate in the Coming Year
I’m not a big “New Year’s Resolutions” guy, so in keeping with the Exupery quotation I’ve discussed in previous shows and use to guide me on our simplicity journey, I thought I’d give resolutions a little twist. If you recall, Exupery said, “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing left to add, but nothing left to take away.” So let’s resolve to remove some things that add no positive value in our lives. Only you know what applies to you and what’s right for you, but here are some suggestions for consideration…
Stop wasting opportunities:
- Opportunities to grow are all around us
- Grow by Learning…Education is a great way to invest in yourself
- Take a class (online or in the real world)…lots of places offer Adult Education classes
- Or teach yourself! Check your local library to see if they have how-to or self help books
- Other Great Resources:
- Also check http://www.khanacademy.org for classes
- I watch CreativeLIVE.com for free courses given live by experts. After the live class is over the classes are available for purchase.
- Screencastsonline.com has great tutorials for Mac and iOS-based platforms. Run by Don McAllister
- Lynda.com has all sorts of courses, from business, photography, videography…the gamut of software for Mac, PC and others (you can also get 7 days free unlimited access here)
- Izzyvideo.com for video tutorials
- If you’re a podcaster, Cliff Ravenscraft’s classes are great! Find them at PodcastAnswerman.com and use discount code SIMPLE for up to $500 savings on Podcasting A to Z!
- I have or had paid memberships in all of these and see them as an investment in me and our businesses
- Grow by Experiences such as
- Getting active in your children’s school or after school activities
- Mentor someone in your chosen profession or a student studying for your profession
- If you belong to a church, see if your church needs help with something you’re skilled at
Stop letting what you already have go unused:
- The first thing that comes to mind is Experience and Expertise and that ties in with the opportunities to grow we just mentioned
- Look around and see if you are using technology to your advantage
- If you’re not sure how to use some of your tech, there are tons of free How-To tutorials on YouTube to help out.
Stop “holding on”…some stuff is just not necessary any more:
- If you have unnecessary “stuff” you can donate it, sell it, give it away to a friend or post it on freecycle.org (complete listing for all countries where Freecycle operates at SimpleLifeTogether.com/freecycle
- But there’s probably more than “stuff” you need to get rid of…
- Bad habits
- Same old routines- If they’re not working for you it’s time to let them go
- Work situation: If you’re ready for a change than check out Dan Miller’s 48 Days Podcast
Stop Letting Others Dictate How You Use Your Time:
- DVR your shows or “cut the cord” and watch online on sites like iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, in the US.
- Outside the US, just Google TV Steaming sites to find those available in your area, such as the BBC’s iPlayer.
- Don’t forget to check your local network sites to see what streams they offer, too.
- Another way to control your own time is to:
- Choose Podcasts over radio. Podcasts allow for time shifting your favorite content. You can listen to podcasts as your walk, run, work, commute, travel, do chores…whenever you want?
- Break free of the 10 to 20 minutes per hour devoted to advertising on commercial broadcasting stations.
- iTunes University has free college-level classes, tying into the education suggestion mention earlier.
- Podcasts are free and loaded with motivating, encouraging and informative content
- Remember, each and every one of us have 24 hours in our day, 168 hrs in our week. Every minute is precious…make a concerted effort to control more of your time.
Stop Living in the Past
- Past failures..we’ve all had them
- Riding on the coattails of past successes…”resting on your laurels”
- Don’t keep focusing on “roads not taken”…respect your choices and if you made bad choices or mistakes, then work to rectify them, but you can’t undo your past
- Don’t let past inaction hold you back or wallow in regret for all the “coulda, woulda, shouldas”…we’ve all been guilty of that so just suck it up and press on!
The next one is: Stop Undervaluing Yourself
- You have skills, experiences and a lot to offer…you just need to start
- Take action!
- Stop making excuses
- Produce rather than consume…that’s what my recent Facebook Fast was all about and it was during that fast that this podcast was produced. So, strive to be more of a producer and less of a consumer.
And Finally…Stop Letting Drama Have a Stage in Your Life
- Rumors and gossip are like a cancer…cut them out of your life
- Bad relationships don’t get better by themselves
- Don’t be held back by opinions others have of you and…
- Don’t rush to judgement of other people
- So how do you cut drama out of your life? I came up with a acronym you can use…
- Just DEAL with it! DEAL stands for Don’t place blame, Elevate yourself above the situation, Allow for apologies, amends or Agree to disagree, Let it go!
Vanessa’s Topic: Tips for Successful Resolutions
Well, with the New Year quickly approaching, many of you (including me) are probably thinking about things that you would like to improve on…habits you’d like to quit…or good habits you’d like to start! So…of course I thought it would be fitting to share some tips on how to make your resolutions a success. Keep in mind you can use them any time of the year and for practically any type of goal or project you are working on.
Pick only 1 – 2 resolutions.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably got a few things you’d like to improve upon, but don’t tackle everything all at once! Pick the things that are nagging or affecting your life the most.
Be realistic about your resolution or goal.
For example…having more money may be a goal of yours. Winning the lottery vs. saving a little money each month are two very different ways to have more money. The later idea is probably a little bit more realistic. Or take your fitness goals…running a marathon and tackling a 5 or 10K are distinctly different goals. If you’ve been running for years then a marathon may be reasonable and attainable. But if you’re new to running or haven’t run in years…then a marathon is probably not a good idea…and maybe a little bit dangerous. Or you want to lose 40 lbs in a month…probably not realistic…nor is it a good idea. So try to be realistic.
Be specific about your goal.
Choose “I want to lose 20 lbs in 6 months” vs. “I want to lose weight” or…“I want to organize one room per month” vs. “I want to organize my entire house”. The more specific you are the better chance you have at accomplishing your goal.
Tackle your goals in small chunks.
Break your goals down into small, manageable chunks. Lets say for example you want to save enough money for a family vacation. Maybe that’ll cost $2000. Well, maybe you could divide that amount by the time you have before you go on the trip (lets say…9 months). Which comes out to $222/month. From there you can figure out ways to cut spending month by month rather than all in one shot.
- Maybe you want to quit eating fast food. Maybe you can start the first month with eating fast food only 3-5 times/week…then only 3-5 times per month…then only 1-2 times per month.
- Or maybe you’re working on an organizing project…let’s say the kitchen. Try to just tackle one drawer or cabinet per day with the goal of getting it done in a month. Then you can work on the next room in the house.
- It’s so much easier when you tackle a goal a little bit at a time.
Tell folks about your goals.
There is something to be said about positive peer pressure. Tell those you trust and who you know will help you stay on track. I’m amazed at how much that will motivate me. I’ve posted things on Facebook about training for a marathon or starting a juice fast…and I’ve been amazed at how some people will track or ask me about my progress. They’re actually interested in my success….or maybe they’re interested in my success so that they feel motivated to do the same thing? Whatever the case, positive peer pressure can be a motivator.
Get a buddy who can work with you who’s trying to achieve the same goal.
Get a fitness buddy, organizing partner, or quitting buddy to help you with your goals. It’s a lot easier to turn off your 4 am alarm to go to the gym when it’s just you. But if you know you’re supposed to meet your workout buddy…it’s a little bit harder to not show up…you don’t want to face the disappointment. Funny thing is, the journey to achieving your goal is usually a lot more fun when you’re working on it together!
Use your calendar to help you stay accountable. I recommend this to my clients all the time. If you want to work on a project or to develop a new habit first break it down into steps and then put it on your calendar. For example:
- You want to run 3 times a week…well, plug it in on your calendar.
- Maybe you want to have more date nights…plug in the dates you would like to go out so you can start planning ahead.
- Use your calendar to track your progress and review your goals. You could set up a recurring appointment for the 1st of each month to evaluate how much weight you’ve lost, money you’ve saved, how many drawers or cabinets you organized, how many times you were able to go out, how many miles you ran, etc.
Write down your goals and keep a log.
Monitor your fitness, organizing, quitting, or financial goals by simply writing them down and then tracking them. I do this for my fitness. I have a separate workout calendar on my google calendar that lists my workouts for each week. Then I have a separate calendar that I keep where I track what I actually did. Sometimes I finished it….sometimes I didn’t. But is was great to see the record of what I’ve done. I’ve also done this with my marathon training. I printed out my training schedule and then I would write down the mileage I completed for each day I ran and then I would add up the mileage for the week. We also have Withings wifi scale that keeps track of our weight, body fat and BMI numbers. Now I keep track of my fitness by using a couple of apps. More on that in a second….
Expect setbacks…but don’t get discouraged. Jump back on the wagon!!!
Use apps to help maintain your goals. I pulled these from Mashable.com:
- My Fitness Pal calorie counter
- Fitness Buddy (virtual personal trainer) I also heard about this by a fellow podcaster…John Buekenas from Let’s Reverse Obesity
- Livestrong MyQuit Coach (to help quit smoking)
- Astrid (manage your to-do lists and set up reminders)
- Mint.com (to help manage your personal finances and spending)
I’ve got a client who’s goal is to organize her office. Once it’s organized she’s going to get herself a new iMac. She already has the money set aside, but she made a promise not to spend it until she’s organized that office! Now that’s a great way to reward yourself for accomplishing a goal!
The “Thing” Segment:
Dan: Clipboard managers that remember your history for cutting and pasting as you work
- For Mac: Flycut
- For PC:
Vanessa: Using “Canned Statements” in Gmail
- Saves lots of time by letting you store text, images, etc, that you use repeatedly in emails
- Can consist of a single word, phrase, or multiple pages and even include images!
- Note: Available in Gmail, but you may have to activate it in the “labs” function of your settings
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