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The Ultimate Lifehack Guide for Your New Year

The Ultimate Lifehack Guide for Your New Year

If you’re like most people, you likely started 2013 with a solid list of goals that you hoped to achieve over the course of the year. New Year’s resolutions tend to run the gamut from quitting smoking to writing novels, but though many people dive into these pursuits with the best of intentions, their enthusiasm and dedication tend to taper off after a few weeks: it’s estimated that approximately 80% of people abandon their resolutions by the end of January, and only a small fraction of the rest manage to stick to their New Year’s goals for the rest of the year.

ultimate lifehack guide 2

    This isn’t because we’re all a bunch of slovenly trolls with no self-discipline or drive to succeed, but rather that we may be lacking vital tools and resources to help us along on our journeys. Since most of us seem to fall off-course from our resolutions because we lack an effective guide to keep us focused, a little help might keep us all on track this year.

    Below is a list of effective resources and tips that can assist in pursuing any objective: no matter what plans you’ve made or goals you’re striving for, they are all reachable, and achievable, and this guide will help you attain them.

    1. Set a Realistic Goal
    2. Plan Properly
    3. Execute your Plan
    4. Follow Through Your New Year Resolution
    5. Time to Exercise
    6. Quit a Bad Habit
    7. Eat Better and Healthier
    8. Work Improvement
    9. Manage your Money Well
    10. Start your Own Business

    Set a Realistic Goal

    First things first, you need to set a clear and reachable goal no matter what your new year resolutions are. Here are several ways to set a realistic goal.

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    set goals

      How to Plan Properly

      You don’t need to have the perfect plan to achieve your goal but a well structured plan keeps you on the right path.

      plan

        How to Execute Your Plan

        By looking at how the others execute their plan, you may get some insights for your own.

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        execute plan

          How to Stick to Your New Year Resolutions

          By the first half of the year, many people have already failed to stick to their resolutions. Here’s how you can prevent yourself from failing or to learn from them.

          followpa

            Time to Exercise

            If you decide to lose weight or keep fit this year, these tactics show you to how to develop an efficient exercise habit.

            time to exercise

              Quit a Bad Habit

              A bad habit can be harmful to you. Worse still, they are usually harmful to those closest to you. It’s time to quit.

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              quit smoking
                • How to Quit a Bad Habit by Answering Four Power QuestionsMaybe you have even tried, but things haven’t worked out as you hoped. Unfortunately, the very idea of “quitting” can make things difficult for you: let’s discover why.
                • 7 Tips to Help You Quit Smoking: So, you’ve decided to quit smoking. That’s awesome, and you’ll undoubtedly notice that your health and overall sense of well-being will improve exponentially after you’ve quit, but the first few weeks going smoke-free will be hell on wheels.
                • 10 Bad Habits Worth Losing: It’s a good idea to put together a list of bad habits to remove from your life this year. Here are Zoe B’s top 10 bad habits to lose.
                • Breaking Bad Habits in 28 Days: How realistic is it to try and break any habit in 30 days? And where did this idea of habit-busting in under a month come from in the first place?

                Eat Better and Healthier

                Heathy eating is not simply a kind of lifestyle. It actually boosts your productivity and energy levels.

                eat better

                  Work Improvement

                  If you are struggling in your current working situations, it’s time to make some changes for your career growth.

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                  work improvement

                    Manage your Money Well

                    Money management is a problem for quite a few  people… here’s some advice.

                    manage money

                      Start your Own Business

                      It is easier to start a new business than what you can imagine. All you need is taking the action.

                      start a business

                        More by this author

                        Catherine Winter

                        Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                        1 The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness 2 How to Stop Being Passive and Start Getting What You Want 3 How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement 4 5 Less-Known Reasons Why Less is More 5 10 Smart Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

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                        Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                        The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

                        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.

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                        Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

                        1. 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.
                        2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
                        3. 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.
                        4. 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.

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                        3. Reading

                        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.

                        4. Friendliness

                        Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

                        5. Working

                        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.

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                        7. Exercise

                        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.

                        8. Sleeping

                        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.

                        Final Thoughts

                        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

                         

                        Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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