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How To Move A Mountain

How To Move A Mountain


    We are heading into the time of year when we evaluate how we did with our goals during the past year and plan our new goals for the year to come. We reflect and look ahead all within a short span of time. When we do this, many of us will be disappointed because we have fallen short of our goals.

    Why is this?

    Is it because we didn’t do enough to make our goals a reality? Is it because we didn’t have a system in place to keep track of our progress?

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    Actually, the problem is that sometimes our goals are so big that they are like mountains — they end up being too overwhelming. These are the goals that we usually never achieve no matter how worthwhile they are.

    Here are some common examples to consider:

    The Lose Weight Mountain

    For a lot of people, losing weight is such a mountain. Many will make losing weight as one of their main New Year’s resolutions. Some will even join a gym and go with “full gusto” even if they haven’t exercised in years.

    Of course, many will end up quitting once February or March rolls around.

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    Many will go for those “lose weight fast” programs or go on extreme diets. These folks expect to lose a significant amount of weight within two weeks. Of course, results don’t happen like this. In the end, these desperate actions are abandoned and the person is left at where they originally began.

    The Make Money Mountain

    Another common mountain is to make money — fast. People still get suckered in easily by signing up to various “get rich quick” schemes as they are lured in by the reports of others who claim to be living the high life within weeks of starting. The tough economic times certainly have made many people even more gullible to such scams.

    Unfortunately, these people end up poorer after coughing up the initial funds to get into such moneymaking schemes. Quite often, friends are lost in the process as well if they were pressured to buy all sorts of supplements or other products as part of these systems — all designed to make money.

    Mountains: Chinese Proverb

    So just how do you move a mountain then?

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    Well, this brings us to an ancient Chinese proverb:

    “The man who moved a mountain was the one who began carrying away small stones.”

    The trick with very ambitious goals like losing weight or making lots of money is to take things in small steps slowly but on a regular basis, much like carrying away those small stones a bit at a time. When giant goals are broken down into small steps that can be handled easily, the results of all those small steps turn into giant goals being achieved over time.

    Once you realize that big goals are achieved bit by bit, you won’t be as gullible to buy into the claims of losing weight or making money quickly. Instead, you will take on logical, proven programs to get healthy or financially wealthy.

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    You will “carry away small stones” by exercising regularly at paces that are suitable for you and gradually increase intensity when you can handle it. You will slowly build your financial wealth with wise investing, saving or building of viable businesses over time.

    Conclusion

    So if you have ambitious goals, don’t make the mistake of trying to do everything at once hoping that you will succeed. It doesn’t work like that. If you have already abandoned such big goals, maybe revisit them — but with a new strategy.

    Don’t expect to rush through big goals. Instead, just start working towards them a little at a time but on a steady, regular basis so you still have forward momentum. Then in the future, you will be able to proudly look back and see what a big mountain you have moved.

    Feel free to share what big mountains you have moved in the past and which ones you plan to move in the future.

    (Photo credit: Alpamayo Peak in Cordilleras Mountain by Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on March 23, 2021

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

    The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

    You need more than time management. You need energy management

    1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

    How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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    I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

    I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

    2. Determine your “peak hours”

    Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

    Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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    My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

    In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

    Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

    3. Block those high-energy hours

    Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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    Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

    If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

    That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

    There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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    Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

    Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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