As the year draws to an end, we all start itching to make our New Year's Resolutions. We dream of how the next year will transform our lives - how we will lose weight and get healthy, be happier, and accomplish our goals. The sad part about New Year's Resolutions is that they are very seldom followed through. By the time December rolls around next year and we start planning for 2019, we'll realize that 2018 flew by and we didn't accomplish all we intended.
If you follow this advice, however, you'll be sure to keep your motivation throughout the year and follow through with whatever goals you set as you watch the ball drop on December 31!
Too often our lives are cluttered with meaningless materialistic items, be it clothes or knick-knacks, shoes or furniture. Having too much in your life physically can be a deterrent to maximizing your growth potential (therefore minimizing your goal reaching capabilities), but clutter can also be of the emotional variety. Keeping people in your life that cloud your head with negative thoughts and don't support your aspirations is a sure fire way to ensure you don't reach the goals you set. In order to start the year off fresh, simplify your life by cutting out things you don't need as well as reevaluating your relationships and making sure they are healthy and supportive.
Ensure you are putting effort into reaching your goals, which means putting in the time and energy into the tasks it will take to reach the goals you set for yourself. Don't spend your time doing unproductive things, like worrying about the past or fearing failure; put effort forth in rearing the relationships to nurture your life, and consciously striving to be the most productive you can be. Sometimes that means turning off the television and reading a book, or getting up a little early to make sure the house work is done so you can go to work without worrying about what you need to do when you get home. Putting effort into the little moments of your day will make a huge difference in the long run.
3. Create Priorities
At one time or another you've probably found yourself procrastinating. It could be for something small, like going grocery shopping, or something big like a work proposal, but either way procrastinating is an easy way to create stress in your life that will inhibit you from reaching your goals. The best way to optimize productivity is to priorities what needs to get done, when. Something I like to do is organize my tasks into four different categories: urgent - something that is both timely and very important, important but not urgent - things that are significant and need to get done but there are no major consequences if it doesn't get done right away, urgent but not important - things that need to get done right away (like taking the trash out when it's full) but doesn't really affect anything if it doesn't get done right away, and not urgent not important - things that can be put on the back burner or ideas that are good but can be kept for a rainy day.
4. Eliminate distractions
It's all too easy to sit in front of the computer and get lost on Facebook, or sit in front of a television and get lost in a show. But sometimes our biggest distractions can come in the form of the ones we love! Our spouses and children will always want our attention, but sometimes the best thing you can do is block off some time for yourself, to get projects done or just think about the direction your life is going in. You'll be surprised how much more you'll get done when you block out any distractions!
5. Adjust your inner voice
You are your own harshest critic, and when you start thinking negatively about yourself it can leak into other areas of your life: your job, your relationships, but most of all it can create a mindset of failure. Whenever you have a negative thought about yourself you need to reevaluate and focus on something positive. Better yet, focus on the end goal to keep you motivated, but don't be too harsh on yourself if you don't reach your goals exactly the way you want to!
Don't wait until January 1, start your New Year's Resolutions now! Don't treat your goals like a fad that will be easily forgotten and revised. Commit now and by the time New Year's rolls around you'll be an old pro, ready to take 2018 by the horns!