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5 Tips for Making the Second Half of 2013 Awesome

5 Tips for Making the Second Half of 2013 Awesome

July is here, which starts the second half of 2013. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering where the last six months went so quickly. New Year’s Resolutions might well be a hazy memory from days gone by, but it’s not too late to take back control of 2013 and make it a truly awesome year.

1. Set Some Goals

Goals might not sound that awesome, but they are a great way of sticking to your priorities. With just under six months to go until 2014, now is the time to take those ‘someday’ goals and turn them into ‘today’ goals. Whenever you create goals in any context, it’s important to make sure they’re SMART: specific, measurable, achievable (and attractive), realistic and timed.

For example, “Read more” is a goal, but it’s not a very helpful goal. “Read 10 new books by the end of December 2013”, on the other hand, is smart. It’s specific (all the details are there), measurable (when you put down the 10th book, you’ve met your goal), achievable and attractive (if you enjoy reading books), realistic (10 books in five months is two books per month) and timed (it has a deadline).

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Six months might seem like a long time, but remember how fast the first half of this year went. Set no more than two or three goals for the next few months to give yourself the best chance of fulfilling them.

2. Try something new, just for fun

What is life for if not for its rich experiences? Many of us include new hobbies or activities in our annual plans. Yet, as the year progresses, we often get stuck in ruts and routines.

Make the second half of 2013 awesome by shaking things up. Try out that dance class you’ve been eyeing up, join a book club, or make a commitment to take a walk somewhere different each month. The exact activity you choose doesn’t matter as much as choosing something that will encourage you to break your current weekly routine and introduce variety into your life.

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3. Educate yourself

As well as shaking up your weekly routine, taking time out to learn a new skill can also help unleash your creativity and open up a wealth of new possibilities.

Many of us have new skills we’d like to try, such as learning a new language, rekindling childhood hobbies, or taking classes in a new skill we’ve always wanted to learn. The most common reason for not doing this is a lack of time, so try limiting activities like TV and Facebook and give yourself the gift of education instead.

If you’re stuck for ideas, take a look at evening courses offered by your local community college: you never know what might catch your eye.

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4. Start keeping a journal

Journaling has a number of benefits. Not only will it help you plan your next five to six months and stay more conscious of what’s really important to you, but it’s a great way of keeping a record of everything you do.

The act of journaling in itself can help keep us focused on our intention to make the second half of 2013 awesome. Reading back over previous journaling notes can also reveal things to us about ourselves that we didn’t previously realize.

Through journaling, we have space and time to explore our goals, ambitions and desires, both for the remainder of this year and beyond. We have a private space to express our deepest hopes, fears and dreams, and an opportunity to reflect on any obstacles that might get in the way of an awesome 2013.

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5. Focus on what’s working

Perhaps the first half of 2013 felt like your best six months yet, perhaps you feel like the next five months are a chance for 2013 to redeem itself. Whatever the case, taking time each day to focus on what’s working right now will help you develop a deeper appreciation for all the good things that are happening for you this year.

One way of doing this is to keep a gratitude log, writing down five to ten things you appreciate or feel grateful for at the end of each day.

Sometimes, we don’t truly appreciate everything we’ve done and experienced until we have a chance to reflect back on how the last few months have gone. Without a written record of our day-to-day or week-to-week experiences, we tend to dwell on the more memorable challenges of the past, rather than things that went well or things we felt proud of.

What are your tips for making the second half of 2013 awesome? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Hannah Braime

Hannah is a coach who believes the world is a richer place when we have the courage to be fully self-expressed.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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