“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 10, 2020
The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness
Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.
Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.
The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.
Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.
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Program Your Own Algorithms
Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.
Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.
By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.
How to Form a Ritual
I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.
Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:
- Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
- Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
- Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
- Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.
Ways to Use a Ritual
Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:
1. Waking Up
Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.
2. Web Usage
How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.
How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.
Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.
One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.
6. Going to the gym
If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.
Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.
Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.
8. Weekly Reviews
The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.
We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.
More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination
- What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)
- How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators
- 5 Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Each of Them)
Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com