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10 Lists to Keep If You Want to Be Successful

10 Lists to Keep If You Want to Be Successful

The human mind is truly incredible, and we should all strive towards creating a tenacious memory we can rely on. Many lucrative professions or hobbies require such a trait—actors, musicians, artists and entertainers in general do countless drills, just so the required information can be embedded in the memory with certainty. Clearly numerous doors that lead to a successful future are unlocked if one has a great memory. Although beneficial, it is not an essential ingredient within the success formula—what you lack in memory can always be compensated with diligence.

Keeping track of crucial elements in your life through list-making is still an unrivaled tactic for counterbalancing feeble recollection. By utilizing constant reminders, we can have significantly greater organization, we won’t be under the impression we have forgotten something, and we will have a clear insight into which task has a stamp of immediacy attached to it. Here are ten suggested lists that warrant implementation, in order to track achievements and nurture ambition.

1. List of Goals

369468-reach-for-the-stars

    “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

    —Zig Ziglar

    Goals and ambition is what drives us and motivates us, but we need to ask ourselves what is it that we want in order to feel truly accomplished. Your list of goals should consists of all the items that you deem are necessary to truly respect yourself. It can be financial stability, a place you can call your own, starting your family, being independent, etc. People have different criteria when it comes to goals, and this list in particular is ever-growing; it changes as you mature, but it always feels great when you cross something out of it. Without such a list, you lose direction of where your life is heading, and we all need some inner guidance to focus on—a good reason to get up in the morning.

    2. List of Tasks

    lucid-dream

      “Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.”

      —Theodore Isaac Rubin

      Tasks are actually milestones on the road to goal completion, and these lists have a tendency to become quite copious. New tasks emerge on a daily basis, regardless of whether you are an employee, a student, or a freelancer. Despite the fact that they are arduous, we always have some sense of achievement once the task is complete, or when a certain problem is solved. By avoiding to make such lists and lists of our daily tasks, they’ll simply pile up and eventually become a hindrance.

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      In the event you have larger tasks that need more than a day, a week or a month before they can be completed, then break those tasks into smaller daily assignments, and put them on the list as well. As long as you monitor larger tasks while completing minor daily milestones, you will have a greater grip on progression and continuous source of motivation. List and sticky notes are actually quite potent tools for increase in productivity, especially while we are working from home.

      Lastly, it is worth mentioning that you should also have a list of personal tasks, or tasks you do for the sake of self-fulfillment. These are related to your personal goals, and governing passions—writing a book, painting, crafting etc. These tasks will define you and offer a much greater sense of achievement, so give it your all to create something you can be proud of.

      3. List of Contacts

      contact_us

        “Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.”

        —Aristotle

        It would be delusional to assume you can make it all on your own; however, at the same time, a flawed partnership can result in disastrous outcome as well. It is extremely difficult to find compatible allies and contacts, since friends and family—in other words, people close to you—may not be the best choice for a business partner. If you want to enter into a partnership with someone, make sure the person shares the same vision. Tread lightly and try to ascertain your potential partner’s level of reliability.

        Throughout life, we come across skillful, capable and talented people, whose competence might be needed in the future, depending on your line of work of course. Do not be hesitant to offer a helping hand when they are in need, since you can gain a valuable contact. The point being: make a special list of all important contacts, like reliable programmers, handymen, lawyers, etc. Remember not to only reach out when you are in need. You need to maintain a healthy and natural relationship and be there for those people if they require your assistance. Truth be told, it can be arduous to forge strong friendship bonds, but having important acquaintances and becoming an important acquaintance is very much possible.

        Without such a list, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to possible future complications; moreover, make sure this list is well-kept since once you lose a contact like this one, it can be somewhat troublesome to recover such data. Just be sure you have recovery data tools at your disposal to mitigate the damage if something were to happen to your phone.

        4. List of Expenses

        coolest-money-tools

          “A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.”

          —Jonathan Swift

          This may be a quite mundane piece of advice, yet it is very often neglected. As we all know, there are two types of expenses: those that are necessary, (bills, taxes, food) and those expenditures used for indulging some personal cravings. There is a degree of restraint that the majority of us lack in order to approach the matter with a satisfying level of prudence. To say it bluntly, we treat our wants like our needs, and necessities and primary obligations are pushed in the background. Of course, this may sound a bit exaggerated, but the truth is the pressure of a consumer’s culture eventually becomes overwhelming, resulting in a purchase we shouldn’t be able to afford at the time. This kind of behavior can be avoided by utilizing lists, and turning them into an omnipresent reminder of what is truly important.

          By making lists of all the monthly expenses we are obligated to pay, we’ll have a clear overview with how much resources are there at our disposal. On the other hand, without this list filled with meticulous calculations, we are prone to believing that we have more freedom to engage in a shopping spree, ultimately causing our bills to pile up; thus, we end up a step closer to a financial suicide. Handling finances properly, or the fact that we prioritize the costs of living, is a responsibility that signifies maturity. Success is commonly measured by the amount of wealth and without adequate spending tactics, you prevent its accumulation.

          5. List of Useful Tools

          Useful-Apps

            “If you’re the type of person who has to fulfill your dreams, you’ve got to be resourceful to make sure you can do it.”

            —Vin Diesel

            Today’s society vastly depends on the use of technology—we exchange information, conduct calculations, measure time, etc. This level of reliability also suggests liability. If something were to happen to our cell phone or personal computer, it would be a sizable setback that could harm our capabilities severely. As mentioned, losing contacts can truly be troublesome. It is even worse however, to have your life’s work lost and compromised.

            Useful tools are not only limited to recovering damage; they also encompass tools that make your job easier. With efficiency and a greater level of competence, you are a step closer toward success. Using the right apps and tools can make up for our lack of skills in a particular area, or simply help us manage our work in a more timely manner. Keeping a list of useful tools will come in handy whenever you are faced with more common problems, like finding a good restaurant for a business dinner, driving through unfamiliar terrain, task management, learning, and there are even tools capable of helping you recover stolen property.

            Even though the list is not as crucial as the ones mentioned so far, it is undeniable that having it can save you a lot of time if the need for it ever arises. The Internet is a vast sea of both useful and useless tools, and by filtering out those that are irrelevant, you won’t have to conduct countless searches when you are in need of adequate tools for problem solving.

            6. List of Self Improvements

            meditation

              “The minute that you’re not learning I believe you’re dead.”

              —Jack Nicholson

              Reasonable to assume this one is unavoidable, and it always deserves to be mentioned. It is safe to assume we are all aware of our shortcomings; if not all of them at least some of them. Think about yourself, make a list of all the things you would like to improve or change, then consider how to implement those changes. Despite the fact that those who are close to you do not pressure you into changing or improving, you should always make constant endeavours to do so, for your own sake.

              The list of improvements should consist of physical changes, changes spiritual in nature, abandoning bad habits etc. No one expects you to change entirely in a short time period, but making a decision to change one thing on a yearly basis is a viable resolution, quite easy to execute. The list is there simply to remind you which improvement to prioritize, and build up your confidence after each completion. Refusing to change can either result in lack of confidence and depression, or becoming an overconfident and self-absorbed person that no one will tolerate for long; both of these traits are contradictory to your quest for a successful future.

              7. List of Creative Ideas

              motorsport_idea

                “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

                —Waldo Emerson

                Throughout history, people who made the most significant impact on the world were those with a revolutionary way of thinking, those who dared to challenge the established order and alter the status quo. For an idea to be classified as creative, it needs to be new, it needs to make sense, and it needs to have some sort of use. For example, creating something to help the disabled communicate online, or simply type—that way, people who have lost their limbs could blog or become creative writers, and show the world a piece of their mind. Thus a keyboard in a form of braces could enable them to type using their tongue; however I am not an engineer, so I do not know whether something like this is possible.

                Whenever a new idea comes to your mind write it down, then browse the web to see if you indeed have stumbled upon something ground-breaking. Once your list has grown, then you need to start pondering on the subject to see whether it holds closer scrutiny. Ask for a second opinion and see what you would need to realize your idea. In a majority of cases, this is how successful people are created. Rest assured that it is very possible that people won’t be impressed with your creativity as much as you are, but do not allow yourself to be discouraged—after all, perseverance has a crucial role in a career as well. Monitoring your thoughts incites productive thinking and hones your focus; it keeps our mind occupied. Letting your good ideas slide is only a wasted potential that will put your progress in a halt.

                8. List of Future Plans

                clock

                  “The future is uncertain but the end is always near.”

                  ―Jim Morrison

                  We have all heard statements like “Tomorrow is a mystery,” “Live for today,” and “You can’t affect the future.” Personally, I heavily disagree with such a point of view. Although I do agree that, in particular circumstances, making plans for the future is doing Sisyphus work, not planning it at all seems utterly mortifying. I also believe that everyone makes some sort of plan; the problem is this fear of uncertainty that thwarts our will to act.

                  To make your resolve more adamant, compile a list of your future plans, see what you need in order to make them come true. This one is very similar to the first list—the one with goals; the difference is, it does not have to involve your personal future. Rather, it is list of upcoming important events, important changes in law, or upcoming trends, useful software, etc. It will keep you well-informed and prepared, since staying updated and relevant are essential virtues for lucrative businessmen.

                  9. List of Contingency Plans

                  emergency-checklist

                    “You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That’s a part of it.”

                    —Denzel Washington

                    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, meaning there is nothing you can do without consequences. Every attempt to be more successful usually has a set of barriers attached to it, or risks. Even though risks are inevitable, being prepared for the aftermath is always a good and necessary thing. When you plan your business incentives, or when you plan to invest in something, make sure you compose a thorough pros and cons list, as well as a list of possible negative scenarios. In the event that positive aspects outweigh the negative ones, you can be more encouraged to proceed further.

                    Make an effort to be constantly prepared for the backlash of major initiatives, and contain the possible damage. The lack of contingency implies recklessness, and it was adamantly made clear how this approach contradicts advancement. Make leaps of faith only when you have no other options to explore.

                    10. Bucket List

                    bucket-list-riw-bucket

                      “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and for deeds left undone.”

                      —Harriet Beecher Stowe

                      Finally, learn to live for the sake of experiencing what life has to offer. It is invigorating, to say the least, and it keeps your regrets at minimum. One of the reasons why we want to be successful is to actually fulfil our dreams or complete our bucket list, to look back on our life during old age with a warm smile rather than a frown. Feel free to put even the impossible things on your bucket list, and find the next best thing using your creativity. Whenever you reach a rough patch in your life, take a look at you bucket list and see what is the most plausible thing to do in order to restore your will power and keep going.

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                      Djordje Todorovic

                      Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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                      Last Updated on March 21, 2019

                      11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                      11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits

                      Most gurus talk about habits in a way that doesn’t help you:

                      You need to push yourself more. You can’t be lazy. You need to wake up at 5 am. You need more motivation. You can never fail…blah blah “insert more gibberish here.”

                      But let me share with you the unconventional truths I found out:

                      To build and change habits, you don’t need motivation or wake up at 5 am. Heck, you can fail multiple times, be lazy, have no motivation and still pull it off with ease.

                      It’s quite simple and easy to do, especially with the following list I’m going to show to you. But remember, Jim Rohn used to say,

                      “What is simple and easy to do is also simple and easy not to do.”

                      The important things to remember when changing your habits are both simple and easy, just don’t think that they don’t make any difference because they do.

                      In fact, they are the only things that make a difference.

                      Let’s see what those small things are, shall we?

                      1. Start Small

                      The biggest mistake I see people doing with habits is by going big. You don’t go big…ever. You start small with your habits.

                      Want to grow a book reading habit? Don’t start reading a book a day. Start with 10 pages a day.

                      Want to become a writer? Don’t start writing 10,000 words a day. Start with 300 words.

                      Want to lose weight? Don’t stop eating ice cream. Eat one less ball of it.

                      Whatever it is, you need to start small. Starting big always leads to failure. It has to, because it’s not sustainable.

                      Start small. How small? The amount needs to be in your comfort zone. So if you think that reading 20 pages of a book is a bit too much, start with 10 or 5.

                      It needs to appear easy and be easy to do.

                      Do less today to do more in a year.

                      2. Stay Small

                      There is a notion of Kaizen which means continuous improvement. They use this notion in habits where they tell you to start with reading 1 page of a book a day and then gradually increase the amount you do over time.

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                      But the problem with this approach is the end line — where the “improvement” stops.

                      If I go from reading 1 page of a book a day and gradually reach 75 and 100, when do I stop? When I reach 1 book a day? That is just absurd.

                      When you start a habit, stay at it in the intensity you have decided. Don’t push yourself for more.

                      I started reading 20 pages of a book a day. It’s been more than 2 years now and I’ve read 101 books in that period. There is no way I will increase the number in the future.

                      Why?

                      Because reading 40 to 50 books a year is enough.

                      The same thing applies to every other habit out there.

                      Pick a (small) number and stay at it.

                      3. Bad Days Are 100 Percent Occurrence

                      No matter how great you are, you will have bad days where you won’t do your habit. Period.

                      There is no way of going around this. So it’s better to prepare yourself for when that happens instead of thinking that it won’t ever happen.

                      What I do when I miss a day of my habit(s) is that I try to bounce back the next day while trying to do habits for both of those days.

                      Example for that is if I read 20 pages of a book a day and I miss a day, the next day I will have to read 40 pages of a book. If I miss writing 500 words, the next day I need to write 1000.

                      This is a really important point we will discuss later on rewards and punishments.

                      This is how I prepare for the bad days when I skip my habit(s) and it’s a model you should take as well.

                      4. Those Who Track It, Hack It

                      When you track an activity, you can objectively tell what you did in the past days, weeks, months, and years. If you don’t track, you will for sure forget everything you did.

                      There are many different ways you can track your activities today, from Habitica to a simple Excel sheet that I use, to even a Whatsapp Tracker.

                      Peter Drucker said,

                      “What you track is what you do.”

                      So track it to do it — it really helps.

                      But tracking is accompanied by one more easy activity — measuring.

                      5. Measure Once, Do Twice

                      Peter Drucker also said,

                      “What you measure is what you improve.”

                      So alongside my tracker, I have numbers with which I measure doses of daily activities:

                      For reading, it’s 20 pages.
                      For writing, it’s 500 words.
                      For the gym, it’s 1 (I went) or 0 (didn’t go).
                      For budgeting, it’s writing down the incomes and expenses.

                      Tracking and measuring go hand in hand, they take less than 20 seconds a day but they create so much momentum that it’s unbelievable.

                      6. All Days Make a Difference

                      Will one day in the gym make you fit? It won’t.

                      Will two? They won’t.

                      Will three? They won’t.

                      Which means that a single gym session won’t make you fit. But after 100 gym sessions, you will look and feel fit.

                      What happened? Which one made you fit?

                      The answer to this (Sorites paradox)[1] is that no single gym session made you fit, they all did.

                      No single day makes a difference, but when combined, they all do. So trust the process and keep on going (small).

                      7. They Are Never Fully Automated

                      Gurus tell you that habits become automatic. And yes, some of them do, like showering a certain way of brushing your teeth.

                      But some habits don’t become automatic, they become a lifestyle.

                      What I mean by that is that you won’t automatically “wake up” in the gym and wonder how you got there.

                      It will just become a part of your lifestyle.

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                      The difference is that you do the first one automatically, without conscious thought, while the other is a part of how you live your life.

                      It’s not automatic, but it’s a decision you don’t ponder on or think about — you simply do it.

                      It will become easy at a certain point, but they will never become fully automated.

                      8. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

                      Marshall Goldsmith has a great book with the same title to it. The phrase means that sometimes, you will need to ditch certain habits to make room for other ones which will bring you to the next step.

                      Don’t be afraid to evolve your habits when you sense that they don’t bring you where you want to go.

                      When I started reading, it was about reading business and tactic books. But two years into it, I switched to philosophy books which don’t teach me anything “applicable,” but instead teach me how to think.

                      The most important ability of the 21st century is the ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn. The strongest tree is the willow tree – not because it has the strongest root or biggest trunk, but because it is flexible enough to endure and sustain anything.

                      Be like a willow, adapting to the new ways of doing things.

                      9. Set a Goal and Then Forget It

                      The most successful of us know what they want to achieve, but they don’t focus on it.

                      Sounds paradoxical? You’re right, it does. But here is the logic behind it.

                      You need to have a goal of doing something – “I want to become a healthy individual” – and then, you need to reverse engineer how to get there with your habits- “I will go to the gym four times a week.”

                      But once you have your goal, you need to “forget” about it and only focus on the process. Because you are working on the process of becoming healthy and it’s always in the making. You will only be as healthy as you take care of your body.

                      So you have a goal which isn’t static but keeps on moving.

                      If you went to the gym 150 times year and you hit your goal, what would you do then? You would stop going to the gym.

                      This is why goal-oriented people experience yo-yo effect[2] and why process-oriented people don’t.

                      The difference between process-oriented and goal-oriented people is that the first focus on daily actions while others only focus on the reward at the finish line.

                      Set a goal but then forget about it and reap massive awards.

                      10. Punish Yourself

                      Last two sections are pure Pavlovian – you need to punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. You are the only person who decides what is good and what is bad for you, but when you do, you need to rigorously follow that.

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                      I’ve told you in point #3 about bad days and how after one occurs, I do double the work on the next day. That is one of my forms of punishments.

                      It’s the need to tell your brain that certain behaviors are unacceptable and that they lead to bad outcomes. That’s what punishments are for.

                      You want to tell your brain that there are real consequences to missing your daily habits.[3]

                      No favorite food to eat or favorite show to watch or going to the cinema for a new Marvel movie- none, zero, zilch.

                      The brain will remember these bad feelings and will try to avoid the behaviors that led to them as much as possible.

                      But don’t forget the other side of the same coin.

                      11. Reward Yourself

                      When you follow and execute on your plan, reward yourself. It’s how the brain knows that you did something good.

                      Whenever I finish one of my habits for the day, I open my tracker (who am I kidding, I always keep it open on my desktop) and fill it with a number. As soon as I finish reading 20 pages of a book a day (or a bit more), I open the tracker and write the number down.

                      The cell becomes green and gives me an instant boost of endorphin – a great success for the day. Then, it becomes all about not breaking the chain and having as many green fields as possible.

                      After 100 days, I crunch some numbers and see how I did.

                      If I have less than 10 cheat days, I reward myself with a great meal in a restaurant. You can create your own rewards and they can be daily, weekly, monthly or any arbitrary time table that you create.

                      Primoz Bozic, a productivity coach, has gold, silver, and bronze medals as his reward system.[4]

                      If you’re having problems creating a system which works for you, contact me via email and we can discuss specifics.

                      In the End, It Matters

                      What you do matters not only to you but to the people around you.

                      When you increase the quality of your life, you indirectly increase the quality of life of people around you. And sometimes, that is all the “motivation” we need to start.

                      And that’s the best quote for the end of this article:

                      “Motivation gets you started, but habits keep you going.”

                      Keep going.

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                      More Resources to Help You Build Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Sorites paradox
                      [2] Muscle Zone: What causes yo-yo effect and how to avoid it?
                      [3] Growth Habits: 5 Missteps That Cause You To Quit Building A Habit
                      [4] Primoz Bozic: The Lean Review: How to Plan Your 2019 in 20 Minutes

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