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The Ultimate Lifehack Guide for Your New Year

The Ultimate Lifehack Guide for Your New Year
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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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                        Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                        The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                        The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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                        No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

                        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.”[1]

                        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.

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                        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!

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                        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.

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                        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.

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                        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

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                        Reference

                        [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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