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The 12 Days of Giveaways: Wrap-up

The 12 Days of Giveaways: Wrap-up

    It has been a great few weeks of giveaways here at Lifehack.org, where we hooked-up our readers with the finest productivity gear that we could get our hands on. We gave away a bunch of stuff, and in the process of doing so got to hear some excellent comments from our very-savvy readership. Some were funny, thoughtful, and even inspiring; we truly appreciate our readership and we were happy to help you guys out over the holidays.

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    On Lifehack.org we had about 395 comments over the 12 Days and on our Facebook fan page about 240. We also gave away well over $1,000 worth of prizes (not including the shipping and handling that some of the companies picked up the tab on!). It was awesome to see all of our readers participating and we hope that in 2012 we can bring you more giveaways that help you get your work down faster and better.

    But, wait a minute, it’s not over… We still have to choose our last winner who will receive the JetPens Paper Productivity Starter Pack! Brian Damitz, in a very hybrid input fashion, answered the question, “What are the 3 things you’ve written down as goals for 2012 — and did you use a pen, pencil or device to capture them?”

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    My top three goals for 2012:
    1) Finish my Eagle Scout project (My plan is written on blank paper in blue fountain pen)
    2) Get a job as an Apple Genius in May/June (I have my tech notes in a notebook, some handwritten, some clipped in)
    3) Get certified as a Google Apps Trainer (My notes are in Google Docs and double as presentation material)The funny thing is, our family gives office supplies for Christmas a lot. We have an affinity for good writing materials.
    (To be honest, I lost my last pencil, which is unusual for me, and I’ve felt so unproductive since.)

    Thanks a lot, Brian. Hopefully your new JetPens Paper Productivity Starter Pack will help you realize all of your goals this year.

    Also, we had a commenter from the Jetpens giveaway that was truly in the holiday spirit by giving up his entry to help the needy Moleskine users out there:

    Instead of entering the contest today I have decided to step back and let one of the Moleskine users win (hopefully) so they can be introduced to a better writing experience. The Maruman notebook has beautiful paper that is a dream to write on. Good luck. It seems that Moleskine has either dropped the quality of their paper in the past couple of years or I just started using nicer paper. Either way there are so many better options for the same or similar price.

    We don’t have anything for you, Bornagainscholar, other than a sincere thanks for looking out for you fellow Lifehack readers. So, thanks!

    And that’s it folks. Once again, we at Lifehack would like to thank all of our readers for entering and participating as well as the companies (links below) that helped make these giveaways possible. Without you guys this wouldn’t have been nearly as successful or fun. Thanks!

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    Stay tuned for more giveaways in 2012.

    (Image credit: Winter landscape with snow via Shutterstock)

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    How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps

    How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them in 7 Simple Steps

    Where do you want to be 5 years from now, 10 years from now, or even this time next year? These places are your goal destinations and although you might know that you don’t want to be standing still in the same place as you are now, it’s not always easy to identify what your real goals are.

    Many people think that setting a goal destination is having a dream that is there in the far distant future but will never be attained. This proves to be a self-fulfilling prophesy because of two things:

    Firstly, that the goal isn’t specifically defined enough in the first place; and secondly, it remains a remote dream waiting for action which is never taken.

    Defining your goal destination is something that you need to take some time to think carefully about. The following steps on how to plan your life goals should get you started on a journey to your destination:

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    1. Make a list of your goal destinations

    Goal destinations are the things that are important to you. Another word for them would be ambitions, but ambitions sound like something which outside of your grasp, whereas goal destinations are certainly achievable if you are willing to put in the effort working towards them.

    So what do you really want to do with your life? What are the main things that you would like to accomplish with your life? What is it that you would really regret not doing if you suddenly found you had a limited amount of time left on the earth?

    Each of these things is a goal. Define each goal destination in one sentence.

    If any of these goals is a stepping stone to another one of the goals, take it off this list as it isn’t a goal destination.

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    2. Think about the time frame to have the goal accomplished

    This is where the 5 year, 10 year, next year plan comes into it.

    Some goals will have a “shelf life” because of age, health, finance, etc, whereas others will be up to you as to when you would like to achieve them by.

    3. Write down your goals clearly

    Write each goal destination at the top of a new piece of paper.

    For each goal, write down what is it that you need and don’t have now that will allow you achieve that goal. This could be some kind of education, career change, finance, a new skill, etc. Any “stepping stone” goals you removed will fit into this exercise. If any of these smaller “goals” have sub-goals, go through the same process with these so that you have precise action points to work with.

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    4. Write down what you need to do for each goal

    Under each item listed, write down the things that you will need to do in order to complete each of the steps required to complete the goal. 

    These items will become a check-list. They are a tangible way of checking how you are progressing towards reaching your goal destinations. A record of your success!

    5. Write down your timeframe with specific and realistic dates

    Using the time frames you created, on each goal destination sheet write down the year in which you will complete the goal by.

    For any goal which has no fixed completion date, think about when you would like to have accomplished it by and use that as your destination date.

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    Work within the time frames for each goal destination, make a note of realistic dates by which you will complete each of the small steps.

    6. Schedule your to-dos

    Now take an overview of all your goal destinations and make a schedule of what you need to do this week, this month, this year – in order to progress along the road towards your goal destinations.

    Write these action points on a schedule so that you have definite dates on which to do things.

    7. Review your progress

    At the end of the year, review what you have done this year, mark things off the check-lists for each goal destination and write up the schedule with the action points you need for the next year.

    Although it may take you several years to, for example, get the promotion you desire because you first need to get the MBA which means getting a job with more money to allow you to finance a part-time degree course, you will ultimately be successful in achieving your goal destination because you have planned out not only what you want, but how to get it, and have been pro-active towards achieving it.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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