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13 Steps To Stick To the Life Changes You Want To Make

13 Steps To Stick To the Life Changes You Want To Make

This is it. The year you’re going to stick to life changes. You set your resolutions and intentions for the year and you’re well on your way to accomplishing them. But you’re starting to feel the pressure or you’re just waiting for the doom of that first slip up. Well, here are 10 ways to stick to the life changes you want to make.

1. Determine why you want to stick to these life changes.

Understanding why you do something is the key to sorting out how to do it. If you feel like your motivation is waning, it’s probably because you’re not clear on why you’re doing it. When you determine why you want to do something, decisions will flow and you’ll have a clear picture of the outcome. Set aside some time to consider your why and don’t settle for the first reason that pops up. The deeper you go, the more committed you will be to the work of sticking to the life changes you want to make.

2. Make a plan of mini-plans.

Once you’re clear on why you want stick to those life changes, you’ll be ready to make a plan. Plus, you’ll have a clear idea of how to focus your energy to best support why you want to stick to your life changes. Use this new found motivation to plan out your process step-by-step. You can start by brainstorming everything you will need to do and then list them out, week by week. When you break down your big life changes into smaller goals the pressure will ease and you won’t be so overwhelmed by the big looming change you need to make.

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3. Set attainable and measurable goals.

One of the most common reasons you don’t stick to your life changes is because you’re not setting attainable goals that you can track. Setting attainable goals isn’t about selling yourself short and tracking isn’t about filling spreadsheets and graphs. You can accomplish most anything you set your mind to with concrete steps that you can complete. So, dream big, but make sure your week by week goals are attainable within that time frame and are actionable rather than conceptual.

4. Set deadlines and stick to them.

Set mini deadlines in your plan to stick to your life changes. Start from the final date that you want to have accomplished your life changes and work backwards from there. Ask yourself what you need to do each week to get yourself to that final destination.

5. Focus on the action rather than the goal.

To stick to your life changes, you need to focus on action. Don’t get stuck setting mini goals that rely on gaining rather than accomplishing. Gaining relies on outward forces, while accomplishing focuses on actions that you can achieve by your own volition. You need to address the how, not the what.

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6. Give yourself rewards and praise.

Are you waiting for your life changes to be a reality before you give yourself a reward? Huge mistake. Each step you take towards sticking to your life changes is a mini victory and deserves to be treated as such. A great, and free, way to reward yourself is through praise. Give yourself a fist pump, do a victory dance, or simply say sweet somethings of encouragement along your path to success. Bundle these mini steps into bigger strides and treat yourself with a greater reward for each set. This will make the road to that ultimate reward that much more pleasurable, not to mention motivating.

7. Track your progress.

One of the greatest forms of praise is to validate the progress you make by tracking the baby steps you take each day. Set up a neat chart or checklist that you can post on your desktop or bulletin board to be reminded of how stellar you are at sticking to your life changes. On your off days, look back at this progress for motivation and recognition.

8. Be present.

Sticking to life changes is a big commitment and becomes overwhelming very quickly. To ease the burden of change, be present. Focus on one task at a time and let yourself enjoy the process as much as you would the destination. When you feel stress and worry building in your head, bring awareness back to your breath so that you can have the most impact with each action you take.

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9. Identify what’s holding you back.

A lot of people are afraid of success. Counter intuitive, yes, but true. Face your fears and challenges, don’t ignore them. Identify what’s holding you back, then make a list of ways you can overcome those challenges. It may be fear, it may be lack of support from your family, or it may be that you haven’t identified your why. Whatever it is, don’t let it hold you back just for lack of awareness.

10. Visualize your progress.

Visualizing your success keeps you motivated and focused. Take it a step further by visualizing your progress. Imagine yourself doing the work it takes to stick to life changes. This practice mentally prepares you for the effort it takes to stick to life changes and helps surface any challenges or even tools you may have overlooked.

11. Have fun.

Sticking to life changes doesn’t have to be boring. Incorporate some fun into your tasks to make the journey worthwhile. Use a playlist of your favorite songs, go outside, be silly. Channel your inner eight-year-old to find creative ways to make your action plan, action-packed.

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12. Let your goal evolve.

You learn and grow every day, so why shouldn’t your goals also evolve with you? The life changes you set out to make may take drastic turns or slight transitions. You’re not failing when you let your goal evolve, you’re growing and setting yourself up for greater success. Sticking to life changes isn’t about checking off a list, it’s about embodying your desires and dreams.

13. Remember it’s not all or nothing.

The journey is as much an accomplishment as the destination. Treated as such, you won’t need to stick to life changes because you’ll be living them day to day.

Want more proof of that sticking to life changes is all about the journey? Learn how successful people like Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Steve Jobs stuck to their life changes. 10 Things Successful People Do

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Last Updated on November 19, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No for a Less Stressful Life

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments—you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time. That’s why the art of saying no can be a game changer for productivity.

Requests for your time are coming in all the time—from family members, friends, children, coworkers, etc. To stay productive, minimize stress, and avoid wasting time, you have to learn the gentle art of saying no—an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger, or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

However, it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to stop people pleasing and master the gentle art of saying no.

1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it.

Be honest when you tell them that: “I just can’t right now. My plate is overloaded as it is.” They’ll sympathize as they likely have a lot going on as well, and they’ll respect your openness, honesty, and attention to self-care.

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which, for many of us, is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

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For example, if my wife asks me to pick up the kids from school a couple of extra days a week, I’ll likely try to make time for it as my family is my highest priority. However, if a coworker asks for help on some extra projects, I know that will mean less time with my wife and kids, so I will be more likely to say no. 

However, for others, work is their priority, and helping on extra projects could mean the chance for a promotion or raise. It’s all about knowing your long-term goals and what you’ll need to say yes and no to in order to get there. 

You can learn more about how to set your priorities here.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word[1].

Sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry, but…” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important when you learn to say no, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm and unapologetic about guarding your time.

When you say no, realize that you have nothing to feel bad about. You have every right to ensure you have time for the things that are important to you. 

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. However, if you erect a wall or set boundaries, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss—they’re our boss, right? And if we start saying no, then we look like we can’t handle the work—at least, that’s the common reasoning[2].

In fact, it’s the opposite—explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

“Look, everyone, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects, and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

This, of course, takes a great deal of awareness that you’ll likely only have after having worked in one place or been friends with someone for a while. However, once you get the hang of it, it can be incredibly useful.

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8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, try saying no this way:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands. If you need to continue saying no, here are some other ways to do so[3]:

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Saying no the healthy way

    10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

    This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

    Simply say so—you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization—but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true, as people can sense insincerity.

    The Bottom Line

    Saying no isn’t an easy thing to do, but once you master it, you’ll find that you’re less stressed and more focused on the things that really matter to you. There’s no need to feel guilty about organizing your personal life and mental health in a way that feels good to you.

    Remember that when you learn to say no, isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of your time, energy, and sanity. Once you learn how to say no in a good way, people will respect your willingness to practice self-care and prioritization. 

    More Tips for a Less Stressful Life

    Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

    Reference

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