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How To Use Your Blog To Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever!

How To Use Your Blog To Make 2008 Your Best Year Ever!

    Introspection, and self-actualization are two thought processes that are very unique to the human species. You may be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to discover your potential is to somehow keep track of your progress as well as your thoughts in various instances of life.
    The reason that blogging happens to be the perfect medium for recording such ideas is that it’s much more than just a journal. Blogging offers some invaluable bonuses that writing in private does not provide.

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    It’s been just over a year since I’ve started blogging, and the benefits that have come from this experience can only be summed up as priceless. Blogging has been a wonderful way to share and explore a topic that I am very much passionate about.

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    Bonuses of Blogging

    1. Track progress. Your blog’s archives serve as a time machine into the chronicles of thought that you have etched onto the internet at some point in time. This is an excellent way to see how you differ between now and then. You’ll easily see the things that have helped you to make progress in your life, and repeat this action to multiply your positive results.
    2. Get feedback. The audience that your blog attracts will inevitably comment on your writing, thoughts and ideas. They’ll ask you thought provoking questions, as well as offer meaningful advice and constructive criticisms. All wonderful tools to further improve your own life.
    3. Share knowledge. You have a gift. You are now in possession of a life, a brain, and your experiences. By sharing your knowledge with the world, you are helping people shave time off their learning curves, avoid detrimental mistakes, and make life altering decisions. That’s a lot of power to have.
    4. Meet like-minded people. Birds of a feather flock together, and your cast of hawks will surely make their way to you. Through almost magnetic means, blogging has the possibility to connect people in marvelous ways. Once you meet like-minded people, the possibilities of your journey in life being connected are endless.
    5. Running Resume. Your blog is serious business. It has the power to completely sway someone’s opinion about you. It fulfills the needs of lurkers everywhere who Google you to see what kind of person you are. Show them your best. (If you’re looking for work this is extremely important.)
    6. Family Links. Not only can the whole family get involved in blogging, but you’ll also be leaving a trace for generations to come. Your great-grandchildren may just be curious about what lifestyle you led, and they’ll have your archives to answer their questions, and possibly guide them through life.
    7. Creative pastime. Instead of absorbing heaps of knowledge from the TV or mindless internet browsing, you will have a focused outlet to express your creativity. You’ll be passing time with more purpose than you did before, and you’ll find it to be a great way to escape boredom.
    8. Stay sharp. When you have a blog, you will notice that you’re constantly on the look out for article ideas, no matter where you are. This is a great skill to develop because it helps you to become more observant, and therefore more interesting in other facets of life.
    9. Make money. While most people will not make a decent amount of money via their blog, there are some that have gotten rich, and even more that make a full-time income blogging. This allows you to have a ‘job’ that can be performed anywhere in the world with a laptop and internet connection.
    10. Develop writing skills. Practice is the only way to improve on the art of writing. Writing blog posts provides a very fun and engaging medium in which to practice.

    How To Start Blogging

    If you haven’t started blogging yet, or would like to give it a shot, I would recommend going directly to the source. WordPress.org provides an excellent platform that is easy to set up, and has a large library of blogging tips within their codex. Or, if you don’t want to be bothered with hosting and installing software yourself, try their hosted service at WordPress.com.

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    Once you’re set up, feel free to look at lifehack.org’s very own 101 Steps to Becoming a Better Blogger, as well as Darren Rowse’s Problogger for additional tips. You should be able to get started within a few hours.

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    Can you think of other ways that blogging can make 2008 your best year ever?

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    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.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    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.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning 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. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    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? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    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. And 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, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    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. But if you erect a wall, 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 say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But 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 guys, 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.”
    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, simply tell them: “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.
    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 — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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