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7 Ways to Get What You Want in 2016

7 Ways to Get What You Want in 2016

Are you ready to get what you want in 2016? If so, it’s a good idea to do more than choose a New Year’s resolution. In fact, British psychologist Richard Wiseman discovered in his study that 88% of New Year’s resolutions are broken.

Rather than announcing your resolution at a New Year’s Eve party and then quickly breaking it, here are some ways to actually get what you want in 2016 and make it the best year ever.

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1. Decide what you truly want

First of all, what is it you truly want? Consider something you desire, and then think about the work required to get it. Do you really want what you say you do, or would you rather not put in the effort to get it? Be honest with yourself. If you really want something, it’s time to work toward getting it. If you’re not sure what you truly want, get this free workbook. It has thought-provoking questions to help you discover your passion and the mark you want to make on the world.

2. Set very specific goals and write them down

Multiple studies have shown that writing down your goals is beneficial. Set your long-term goals very specifically. To learn how to rephrase a vague New Year’s resolution into a specific, measurable goal, read this article for a great example. After you’ve set your long-term goals, break them down into smaller goals, and figure out exactly what you need to do every single day to stay on course to achieve them. Breaking down your long-term goals into small daily goals helps make them less intimidating, and gives you an objective measure of whether or not you’re on track to achieve them.

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3. Find your why

As you set your goals, find your why. Your why is your purpose. It’s a personal reason you really want to achieve the goal. Having a strong why will help get you through the days you feel unmotivated toward your goal. In his TED Talk “Start With Why,” Simon Sinek describes how finding your why inspires action. What is your very meaningful reason you want to achieve your goal?

4. Make space in your schedule to work on your goals

To achieve your goals and get what you want, you must make space in your life to make your goals a priority. Assess how you’re currently spending your time. Are your days packed with unimportant tasks? Start replacing something unimportant with working toward your goal, even if it’s just a few minutes per day to start. Too many people live their lives in the daily grind, going through the motions, and leave no time in their days for what truly matters to them. Make 2016 the year you make room in your schedule to work on getting what you really want.

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5. Work on your mindset

If you’re like millions of people, your mindset holds you back from getting what you truly want. Start reframing your negative thoughts of “I could never do that” to “I don’t know how to do that right now, but with the right support system in place, I’ll be able to learn and achieve my goal.” Pay attention to your self-talk. Is it negative? Be kind to yourself and treat yourself as a friend would, with encouragement and positivity. Not sure how to be your own friend? Check out this article50 Small Things You Can Do Every Day to Really Love Yourself. 

6. Conquer your fear

As George Addair said, “Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” It’s essential to learn to conquer your fear to get what you want. Many fears will likely arise when you’re working toward a big goal. As you get out of your comfort zone and take action toward what you want, here are some of the fears that may be roadblocks for you:

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  • Fear of standing out
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of success
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of not being ready
  • Fear of not being smart enough
  • Fear of choosing a path you don’t like

It’s important to not let these fears sabotage your success. When you are overwhelmed with fear, focus on taking tiny baby steps toward your goal. Sometimes, our big goals can seem so huge and far away, and accomplishing them looks pretty impossible. When that happens to you, work on focusing on the small action step for that day only instead of thinking about your massively overwhelming goal. Keep moving forward, one step at a time, and you will make huge amounts of progress toward your goals over the weeks and months.

7. Surround yourself with people doing what you want to do

This is quite possibly my favorite lifehack of all time. The people you surround yourself with make a huge difference in how you live your life. Spend time with people who encourage, inspire, and challenge you to be your best and to achieve your big goals.

It’s time to make 2016 the year you finally get what you want. You’ve got this!

Featured photo credit: Near the top of Ptarmigan Peak. Chugach Mountains, Alaska/Paxson Woelber via flickr.com

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

Feeling Stuck in Life? How to Never Get Stuck Again How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life Don’t like your job? Here are some solutions. How People Make Decisions That Are Bad For Them How to Have a Successful Career and a Fulfilling Personal Life

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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