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6 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Reach Your Biggest Goals in 2017

6 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Reach Your Biggest Goals in 2017

Picture this.

You’re sitting on the patio of a beautiful restaurant watching the fireworks of the year’s end with all of your closest friends.

You’re smiling because you’ve achieved all of the biggest goals you set for yourself in 2017 and you’re excited to share this moment with the people you love as you cheer on another great year to come.

That would feel pretty good, right?

Although many of us feel that the above situation is a pipe dream locked away for only the most productive people to achieve, it doesn’t have to be this way.

By following different proven methods of productive goal-setting, you can achieve your biggest goals too, whether they’re losing more weight, starting your business, meeting that special someone, or writing that book you’ve always wanted to write.

It sounds impossible, but it’s not. I promise you.

Here’s how you can make 2017 your best year yet.

1. Imagine Yourself Already Having Achieved Your Goals

Sounds counterintuitive, right?

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Say you want to start a business, but you don’t know how (really, you don’t even know where to begin). Instead of procrastinating in despair, try this.

Take 5 minutes right now to think about how good it would feel to be running your own business.

What would that look like for you? Would you be working from the comfort of your own home, from the coffee shop down the block, or maybe before boarding a plane that will take you jet-setting around the world?

No matter what business you want to start, focus on how amazing it would feel to finally set the blocks in motion and be living the life you want. Make sure you keep it personalized to yourself (and remember, it doesn’t have to be realistic — yet).

2. Set Your Goals in Reverse

Now that you know what your ideal life would look like, pull out a piece of paper to complete the picture.

At the beginning, write down the desired result of your biggest goal. If you want to make money from home, write that. If you want to be a published author, jot that down.

Now it’s time to make your goal more tangible.

What are the steps you could ideally take to reach that goal? If you want to start a business to make money, how would you generate money?

For instance, you could create a webinar to generate sales for your business, but you’d need an email list before you could do that. And before that, you’d need clients, a website, a name, and an idea for your business.

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Don’t think too complicated now. This exercise is just intended to generate a simple way path to your goals, no matter how far away they seem now.

3. Break Your Goals Into Bite-Sized Pieces

You already planned out how to achieve your goals in reverse. But let’s face it — it’s hard to reach your biggest goals. We all know this.

However, if you break them down into little bite-sized pieces first, then it’ll be much easier for you to make progress towards them every week.

As we’ve all heard, it’s easier to eat an elephant if you do it one bite at a time.

The same is true for your goals. If you try and take it all on at once, it’s going to make things way harder than they need to be for you.

But if you just do one small thing today towards your biggest goal, that progress will add up faster than you think.

4. Become Distraction-Proof

Now that you’ve made a roadmap to reach your goals, you need to concentrate on the roadblocks stopping you from reaching the destination of your ideal life.

Ask: What’s blocking you from achieving your desired results?

If it’s constant interruptions, consider ways you could fight against that.

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For instance, if you’re trying to do focused work on your laptop, you could disconnect completely from the internet or install an internet-blocker like Freedom.

Or if you’re having trouble working from home, you could go into a quiet study area at your local library to escape the distractions all around you.

If you can find a way to circumvent distraction, it’ll be much easier to start achieving your biggest goals today.

5. Work in Focused Sprints Every day

Most of the work we do these days is shallow and unfocused.

That’s why I love Cal Newport’s new book Deep Work. In it, he shares a method where we can all achieve the desired results we want in our lives.

The solution is finding time in your day to do focused work. Unlike shallow work, this form of “deep” work can help us make progress towards something substantial that’s related to our personal or professional lives.

If you can fit a focused burst of 25 minutes into your morning, try that. If not, fit it into your afternoon. Whenever you can find a time, these 25-minute Pomodoro’s can do wonders to help you reach your goals instead of just checking your Facebook notifications or replying to yet another email on the list with no real benefit.

6. Constantly Review and Access Your Goals

Goal-setting is not just for the end or the start of the year.

Many of us make the error of only setting goals when we see the new year approaching. Then, shortly after it, we fail to follow through on those goals we set for ourselves.

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Soon into the year, many of our goals are forgotten, abandoned, and left unfinished only to be ticked onto our lists for the next year to come.

The problem is that we should be setting new goals constantly — either to reach new goals or to make adjustments to our old ones — because our lives aren’t stagnant. Like our environments, they’re constantly changing, so we should be adapting along with them.

Don’t be afraid to delete any goals that no longer mean anything to you. Above all, always be changing, modifying, and adapting.

If you can develop a model of consistency when it comes to reviewing and accessing your goals, you’ll be way ahead of the rest.

How to Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever

Take a moment to think about the biggest goals you want to achieve in 2017. Maybe they’re goals you didn’t achieve or didn’t have time for last year.

Think about how you would feel by accomplishing even one of them. And imagine how great it would feel to be sharing champagne and celebrating with your closest friends after achieving your biggest goals for 2017.

I know it feels impossible, but your goals are achievable.

By following these six simple strategies, next year you won’t be looking back at 2017 in despair. Instead, you won’t be able to do anything but smile.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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