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5 Reasons Your New Years Resolution is Destined to Fail

5 Reasons Your New Years Resolution is Destined to Fail

It’s that time of the year again, and you’re scribbling down potential New Years resolutions on a cocktail napkin at your company’s holiday party.

You’re excited for the change: you can just see yourself in that bikini/car/house/condo in Fiji. What better time to finally hammer down on your goals than New Years?

It’s a definite and concrete point in time for change, and although you know the date is arbitrary, it just feels different—2012 will roll over to 2013, which might as well be a new decade as far as you’re concerned, and you’re going to party it up on December 31st so that you can have one last smoke or chocolate cake before the new you emerges on January 1st.

This all sounds great in theory, but unfortunately, it’s likely that you’ve already failed before you even began. Here are five reasons why your New Year’s resolution was destined to fail right from the start.

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1. You’re Not Emotionally Invested in Your Resolution

When you say that you want to do something but you don’t feel it down in your bones, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.To succeed, you need to want something so much that you’re willing to do almost anything to achieve it.

With all change, there comes a time when the going is going to get tough, and if you don’t have enough emotional intensity behind your resolution, your resolve will easily wear down. When that happens, it’s only a matter of time until your new resolution is but a distant memory.

2. You’re Not Willing To Raise Your Standards

Some people get up every day at 5AM and go running. Others exercise every day after work, and there are those who make it to the gym 3 or 4 times a week. All of these people have different standards for the dedication they give to their health and body.

The state of anything in your life is a direct reflection of the standards you hold yourself to: anyone can literally see your standards by looking at your body—whether you smoke, have ambition, work out, etc.

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If you want to quit smoking, then you have to hold your health at a higher standard. If you want to lose weight, you have to hold the appearance of your body at a higher standard, and you must hold to this standard with everything you have.

3. You’re Refuse To Burn Your Boats

If you decide that you want to stop smoking, but you keep ashtrays in your house (just in case), you’re not willing to burn your boats—your whole heart isn’t into the attempt, and you’re going to fail the first time your willpower is challenged. If you really want to resolve to do something, put yourself in a situation where you can’t go back at all, or at least not without great difficulty.

Burn your boats and believe that you’re going to find a way or make a way to stick to this.

4. You Don’t Have Strong Enough Reasons To Stick With Your Resolution

Internal motivations are always stronger than external motivations, and internal motivations that are backed by a strong emotional desire are always stronger than internal motivations backed by a weak emotional desire.

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Make sure that your reasons aren’t external, and that they align with your values and beliefs. Then, back those reasons with strong emotions to increase your chances of success. If doing so just isn’t possible, maybe this particular resolution isn’t what you truly want.

5. You’re Married To The Belief of Who You Are Now

Do you find yourself saying to people, “that’s just who I am” whenever you talk about a weakness of yours? Maybe you’ve always been “big-boned” or “temperamental” or “distracted”. You may wish to resolve to be more organized, but you believe that you’re a “naturally disorganized” person.

You can’t resolve to make a chance that goes against your beliefs about your “self”: those beliefs are limitations, and you haven’t believed in them since birth. You can either choose to believe something else, or choose to hold on to that belief. If you choose the latter, don’t try to make a resolution that contradicts it since you will inevitably fail.

Rethink Your Resolutions

Now, how resolute are you really? Take a look at your resolutions and find where your weak spots are—be honest and true to yourself.

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If you really want change, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of only wishing for something. It’s true that when you fail, you won’t be disappointed, but it also means that you’ll never make progress. Progress is growth and growth is life, so aim for some personal growth this year and make 2012 the best year yet.

Featured photo credit:  Fortune teller with her crystal ball via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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