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When You Take Full Responsibility Of Your Life, You’ll Find Success

When You Take Full Responsibility Of Your Life, You’ll Find Success
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Have you ever fallen into a trap of blaming other people, circumstances, or even destiny, for the things that are not working out the way you planned? Don’t worry we all have. It’s easier to blame someone or something else than it is to take responsibility and actually work on improving ourselves. The work towards self-improvement isn’t easy, it requires a lot of time and dedication. It gets easier once we become aware of our own responsibility, and we do something about it. In order to truly become mindful and accountable, we first need do away with unhealthy beliefs.

Your thoughts are standing in the way of your success

It may seem a bit harsh, but it’s the way it is. If you think about it, you’ll probably find some evidence of this in your daily life. You may have a colleague at work that you don’t particularly like, for example. Your thoughts about this person are negative, and each time you see him or her, you repeat that thought process. As a result, each time you interact with this person, the outcome is always a negative one. It seems to confirm your beliefs about him. In fact, it is your thoughts presenting this person in a negative light.  By projecting negative feelings onto someone, you are expecting the worst, and usually, you get what you expect. If you’d observe this person interacting with someone else, you might be surprised at how different the outcome is. Changing our perspective changes the circumstances by which we know people. This may take some time to practice, but once you see the initial results, you will be eager to observe your thoughts and look for positive ones.

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Life doesn’t owe you anything

We have all been there – Our goals set and our hopes high, yet reality just doesn’t materialize it for us. Then we get frustrated at life because it was supposed to yield to us that career, money, car, house, or soul mate. Actually, it doesn’t work that way. The sooner we realize it, the sooner we get over the initial frustration and start really being proactive. Positive thinking and picturing a good outcome is the first step, but it will only get us so far. In order to actually achieve anything, some action is required. Dreaming big and thinking about our goals being achieved can, in fact, be counterproductive if not done properly.

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An NYU study has shown that people who had been imagining their biggest goals being achieved were having a lot less success when it came to actually working on those goals. During wishful thinking we imagine ourselves achieving goals we think are unattainable. When faced with doing the actions, we give up easily because we actually don’t believe it is possible. In order to master our goals, we have to successfully combine positive thinking and action. When imagining success, set smaller goals that are attainable then take action. The action part is the most difficult, especially if we’ve been passive for too long. If we become aware of the obstacles, our motivation increases, and we are more likely to take some action. Starting small will increase our sense of achievement and build our momentum making it easier to tackle bigger and bigger challenges. You won’t always win, and you won’t always get what you want, but if you keep the positive attitude and don’t give up, you will get where you wanted to be.

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Realizing that life doesn’t owe us anything and that it is our responsibility to make our dreams come true can at first make us frustrated, but soon we will discover that it was actually the point all along. There is no better reward than knowing you have achieved something without anyone’s help.

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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