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Have You Started Planning for a Successful 2010? Here’s How!

Have You Started Planning for a Successful 2010? Here’s How!

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    The New Year is fast approaching. Do you have a plan for your business? Do you know what you’re going to do for 2010 to make your business grow and see your income dreams realized? If not, use these guidelines to plan ahead, so you can make 2010 your year of success!

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    1. Look back and analyze.
    First, take some time to look back on 2009 and analyze your business activities. What worked? What didn’t work? Look back and only take the activities that generated the top 20% of your income into 2010 with you. That way you’ll put the bulk of your efforts in the next year into the most profitable activities and make the most of your time and energy.

    Analyze how you spent your time. Did you use your time as efficiently as possible? If not, consider outsourcing and put plans in place now to get your outsourcing team in place.

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    Look at how you spent your money. Did you spend thousands on expensive products and workshops that didn’t give you a personally effective return on your investment or did you invest in things with a solid ROI, where you actually saw your business grow as a result? Did you find yourself choosing several inexpensive options or a few more expensive items that might have been higher in quality? Start looking at how and where you spent and look at the return you saw on everything you spent.

    2. Do a “now” check.
    Take some time to think about how you feel about your business now. Are you frustrated? Excited? Discouraged? Encouraged? Gauge how you feel and think about where those feelings are coming from. Has your enthusiasm waned? If so, why?

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    Sometimes when people start businesses, the initial stages are so exciting and they’re thrilled with any results. But when time passes and the business doesn’t grow the way they thought, or they realize how much effort a successful business takes, enthusiasm can decrease. If that’s happened to you, don’t despair! What you really need is a solid plan, the tools to implement that plan, and the support to help you get there. That brings me to….

    3. Look ahead and get your plan in place.
    Now that you know where you’ve been and where you are now, it’s time to get a plan in place for the future. You’ve analyzed how you spent your time and money in the previous year, and you have a clear picture of where you are now.

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    Before you can create a solid plan, you need to figure out where you want to be at the end of this coming year. This is a lot like travel: once you know where you’re going, you can figure out how to get there. Once you know what your goals are, you can determine the best strategies for getting there. If you’re struggling with your goals and your roadmap, find a pro who can help you get things clarified and cleared up so you can make your business a success in 2010, without hesitation!

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    Last Updated on June 18, 2019

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

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

    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 Making 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

    Reference

    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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