“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” – Edith Lovejoy Pierce
A brand new year is coming, festive songs are in the air and everyone is gearing up for the new year ahead!Advertising
I’m really psyched up for the upcoming year because there are so many exciting things I have planned for next year.
How about you? How do you feel about the new year? How do you want it to be? What kind of experiences do you want to create? What memories do you want to build? What impact do you want to have for yourself and others?Advertising
With every upcoming year, I’m always sure it will supersede all previous years to become the best year ever. One reason is because I set goals – Goals which I know will improve the quality and fulfillment of my life. I’m a huge fan of goal setting. The best way to determine how your next year to be is to set goals AND act on them. As Zig Ziglar said, “You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.”
For this same reason, I recommend you to think about what you want for yourself in the year 2013 and set them as goals. Here is a list to kickstart your thinking process. Of course, goal setting isn’t restricted to just the start of the year – you can refer to it anytime of the year. There’s never a ‘best’ time to set goals – it’s all the time!Advertising
- Stop procrastinating
- Spend more time with your family
- Widen your social circle – Meet new people!
- Become more organized
- Exercise more and keep fit
- Lose weight: Achieve your ideal weight
- Eat more healthily
- Wake up early every day
- Be on time
- Express gratitude to people who have made a difference in your life
- Do volunteer work
- Do more kind deeds
- Further your education
- Learn a new language
- Cultivate at least one new skill that will enable you to perform even better at work (presentation skills, public speaking, effective writing, etc)
- Be emotionally generous
- Drop caffeine
- Reconnect with old friends
- Make at least 5 positive, like-minded friends and foster strong relationships with them
- Take your family out on a vacation
- Revamp your room into your personal, inspirational haven
- Run a marathon
- Don’t bad mouth other people
- Stop complaining
- Be a more positive person
- Be your real self
- Read more books
- Read one meaningful self-help article a day
- Visit the holiday destination of your dreams
- Deliver your best performance at work ever
- Double your business revenue (for business owners)
- Get a career switch to a better career
- Or better still, pursue a career of your true passion
- Earn a million dollars
- Earn a billion dollars (for those who have achieved #34)
- Find your soulmate
- Move out and get your own apartment
- Get out of debt (if you are in debt)
- Save more money
- Help other people achieve their dreams
- Get rid of clutter
- Take up a class in something of your interest (dancing, singing, roller blading, ice skating, swimming, photography, web design, rock climbing, piano, guitar, yoga, pilates, etc)
- Drink more water
- Reduce your alcohol intake or quit drinking altogether (for people who drink)
- Quit smoking (for smokers)
- Learn to see the positive side of everything
- Turn every challenge into an opportunity
- Let go of any past baggage
- Meditate daily
- Go on a Vipassana Meditation Retreat
- Write a book
- Visit a new place you have never been to
- Stop beating yourself up when bad things happen
- Love yourself more
- Start your life handbook and use it document everything it takes to live your best life
- Limit your mass media exposure – Stop watching television or reading newspapers (remove negative stimuli from your environment)
- Take time out to rest and rejuvenate every week
- Live every moment to the fullest!
Note: Success in resolutions is almost always in line with cultivating habits. Be sure to read how to successfully cultivate a habit in 21 days, an all-time readers’ favorite article.
58 Noteworthy Resolutions For Anytime in the Year | Personal ExcellenceAdvertising
Last Updated on July 21, 2021
The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.
Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”
A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.
Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.
In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.
Table of Contents
From Creating Reminders to Building Habits
A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.
For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.
This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.
The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.
That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.
Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!
The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.
Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.
But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?
The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.
The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders
A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.
For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.
But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)
If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.
For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself) can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.
These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.
For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.
How to Make a Reminder Works for You
Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.
Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.
Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.
My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.
Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.
I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.
More on Building Habits
- 16 Everyday Habits of Highly Productive People
- How Long Does It Take to Break a Habit? Science Will Tell You
- How to Break Bad Habits: I Broke 3 Bad Habits in Less Than 2 Months
- How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com
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