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2 Killer Tips You Should Master When Setting Goals For The New Year

2 Killer Tips You Should Master When Setting Goals For The New Year

As another year is coming to its end, we couldn’t help but seeing the year to come as a chance for a new beginning, a blank slate on which we can write new stories, and hopefully, ones with happy endings. Sometimes, however, we are so desperate to start over, erase the past year, and reach some idealistic, out-of-our-reach goals, that we get frustrated and disappointed if we fail. We want to meet so many great, life-changing goals that we don’t stop to think what is really important. We only focus on the outcome that we believe will make us happy and fulfilled, but what is more important is the journey itself and what we learn about ourselves in the process.

Before setting goals, take a good look at what you’ve learned in the previous year

The most important thing we should all focus on is to work on ourselves, and to constantly ask ourselves how we can be better, happier people. Getting a bigger salary, buying a new car, or starting a romantic relationship may be good things, but may not make you as happy as you think. Before setting goals that you feel are necessary for making you a happier person, you need to look deep down and embrace what you have learned about yourself in the previous year, both positive and negative. You need to dig deep and see what you need to improve so as to achieve personal growth.

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Before setting your goals, you need to rethink whether you are making them for the right reasons. If you are unhappy at work, getting a bigger salary is not going to make you feel better in a longer run. You need to reflect on why you feel miserable at your job, and what you can do to change that. Only when you take a good look at situations that made you feel bad, you will know what aspects of your life you should change and only then you can set the right goals.

Cherish all the experiences, good and bad, and celebrate how far you’ve come

When you reflect on how far you’ve come, you can see what you are capable of, and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Realizing that makes it possible for you to see where you can improve and thus make new goals that you feel confident you will achieve.

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When stopping to think about the past year and all the experience you’ve had, it’s easy to focus on how you may have failed to meet the goals you planned. When you do that, however, you miss out on seeing the lessons these “failures” can teach. Failures make us learn something and realize what we can do to make our lives better. So, when you reflect on your journey, don’t run away from failures, rather look at them as something positive, as something that made you who you are now, something that made you stronger.

There were definitely situations thought the past year when you had to make a leap and step out of your comfort zone, so make sure to give yourself the credit you deserve. Reward yourself for being so brave to do things you wouldn’t dream of doing before since that’s a huge step forward in your life and should be celebrated.

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For the year to come, don’t base your goals on the negative emotions you have now, base them on the positive feelings you want to have when you achieve them. Above all, set yourself up for success! Don’t set some big goal you want be able to achieve and then feel bad – set smaller goals that will eventually lead to a bigger life change.  Once you check off your list one small goal at a time, you will gain a sense of completion. Crossing smaller items off the list promotes positive energy, and that in the end will help you to become a happier, better person.

Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

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Ana Erkic

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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