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A New Year’s Resolution Worksheet

A New Year’s Resolution Worksheet

    Most people, most years. have given up on their resolutions by about mid-January. In order to give you a better chance, I’m offering the following techniques below in worksheet format.

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    These techniques will help with any goal — from losing weight to pursuing a promotion to starting your own business. By having a worksheet like this to reference throughout the year, you’re going to have a better shot to stay on track and make your mark in the year that has just arrived.

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    Now, remember: this is a worksheet and not an article (per se). So you have to…you know…do the work.

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    Your New Year’s Resolution Worksheet

    1. First, write out your resolution here. Make it as specific as you can (i.e., “lose ten pounds by May 31” instead of “get in shape this year”). Just writing your goal down makes it more likely you will achieve it. Congratulations!
    2. Write down the payoff for achieving this that appeals to your values and emotions. For example, if you want to quit smoking, your compelling reason might be “I want to be healthy enough to dance with my 9 year old daughter when she gets married in about 20 years.”
    3. How will you remind yourself of this reason? (Perhaps a picture of your daughter, or a woman in a wedding dress, in your office.)
    4. Let’s anticipate trouble and head it off. What is the “payoff” from not changing? For example, smokers get a certain number of social breaks with their smoking buddies everyday. Or perhaps you put off a project that feels “difficult” or “overwhelming.”
    5. How can you get that payoff another way? Maybe you take a walk with a friend, or get a coffee, instead of having a smoke.
    6. What are the actions you need to take to realize your goal? Attach deadlines if appropriate. (Did you just freak out? If so, look back to question #2 for moral support!)
    7. What is the next step you can take towards your goal? When will you have this completed by? (Did you freak out again? Look back to question #2 for moral support as often as you need.)
    8. Who do you have to be to make this goal? What kind of person?
    9. How will you create accountability for realizing your goal? (Check all that apply.)
    • I will check in with a friend (please note who and how often).
    • I will create a chart / schedule (please note where & how often you will use it).
    • I will create a reminder on my calendar / PDA / computer.
    • I will tell lots of friends and acquaintances (Who or how many? By when?).

    My hope is that you use these techniques to create a rewarding career and personal life this year. Please feel free to pass along to friends or colleagues who may benefit from them. Good luck on your 2012 new year’s resolutions and goals!

    (Photo credit: Businessman Checking on Checklist Boxes via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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