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Want to Achieve All Your Goals and Dreams…in Half the Time?

Want to Achieve All Your Goals and Dreams…in Half the Time?


    We are all busy. Hopping or jumping or running around from task to project. Fitting everything in is a task only organisational gurus can manage to do. We are bred with a belief that we must work hard — that the only route to success is sweat and toil.

    But what if it didn’t have to be that way?

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    What if we could do half of the work and achieve all our goals and dreams in half the time?

    It’s easier than you think; it just involves a little bit of planning and a lot of common sense.

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    In Work

    Do you ever start out the day at work without planning what you want to achieve? I’m sure you have done it, but you know that you shouldn’t. You spend the day reacting to things that come your way rather than taking the lead. If you work in this manner — allowing your emails and the people around you to dictate your task list and your schedule — you will never be effective in work. You know that by setting the agenda ahead of time you are much more likely to get the important things done…and done more quickly. You should be in control of your work day.

    Of course there are times when you have to react and do work that was not previously scheduled. But if the work that you are putting aside is scheduled, you can reschedule for the following day and ensure that it will all get done.

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    In Life

    It is just as important to be clear about what you want to achieve in your personal life. If you know what you want (and have a clear picture of it in your head) it’s pretty obvious you are going to achieve it more quickly than if you let the ideas float around in your mind.

    Here is a list of what you need to do to get clear about what you want and how to start moving towards achieving it:

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    1. Spend time on your goals. Don’t just have a vague idea of what you want to achieve. Take some quiet time to identify what it is you want. Even if you are not 100% sure, start by taking some action. The only bad decision is indecision. You need to start walking down a road to see if it is the right road for you.
    2. Plan your time and prioritize what’s important. If you have lofty goals and dreams the easiest way to achieve them is to work towards them bit by bit. Ensure that everything that you do daily is helping you towards their attainment. Don’t waste your time doing things that aren’t going to help you fulfill your dreams. By having clear goals you can regularly check that the work you are busy with everyday is in alignment with them.
    3. Eliminate time-wasting activities. Life is too short to drink cheap wine — and it is also too short to waste time on aimless social media and browsing the Internet aimlessly. Get with it; there is work to be done, grand things to achieve and dreams to fulfill. I’ve heard some people say that Facebook is their way to relax, mindlessly moving from post to post, page to page. There are much more powerful ways to relax than that. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness — these are ways to relax the body and still the mind. Social media is not.

    Get clear about your goals, write them down and use them as a gauge to check if the work you do daily is supporting your bigger picture. When you start to do these things, you will find that your goals will begin to manifest more quickly than expected.

    (Photo credit: Businessman Winning a Race via Shutterstock)

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    Ciara Conlon

    Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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