Monday, December 27, 2010 at 4:02PM
T-Minus 4 days until we all get a fresh start. I know that there will be a ton of articles and blog posts about making the most out of the new year and how to change it up but I wanted to offer some real tips that are small enough to be actionable and hopefully effective. Here are 5 little bits of brain fodder for you to chew over this week as you get ready for all the parties and champagne toasts this weekend.
1. Take stock of your changed post holiday inventory/resources. What I mean here is you probably did some spending and are planning to do some more come this weekend. Make sure you are logging into your accounts to and that your organizing your new gear. This will make next week easier to deal with after all the haze of going from party to party has passed. This week is still a work week so try to make it count. If you are on vacation take the extra time to shovel out the drive way and get organized. I know for me, once the New Year hits, it's full steam ahead.
2. Forget the resolutions. How many resolutions have you made that just get slowly forgotten about a few weeks into January. So, this year don't make any resolutions. Try to think of the things you want to change in your life. Then work on the the lifestyle actions you will need to put into play to get there. If it's be healthier then make the first thing you do in 2011 is go grocery shopping with a new and improved grocery list. Work on your scheduling and how you manage your time to make room for the gym and proper meals. Saying I want to lose 10lbs. is great and so is going to the gym but you need to have the rest of your life organized around your goals otherwise it just seems like work. The same goes for money. Saying you want to save more is great but what are you doing to get there. What small changes are you making in your life that will make it seem easier to save then you think it will be. Budgeting, placing goals in plain site, and automating are all great tools.
3. Maybe it's time for some new friends, or at least some new reading material. I've heard that your friends are a reflection of you. I know that can seem pretty stoic but it's proven itself true to me on more than one occasion. We all want to be successful right?! I know I do, so I make a point to make sure I'm meeting people who are successful regardless the industry because you never know where your next lesson or inspiration will come from. The same goes for reading material and especially for those claiming to be non-readers. We are consuming media on all kinds of fronts these days - I mean I hope someone is reading this blog right now :) I'm not saying you all need to rush out and get inspirational, self help kind of texts even though they do serve as great starting places. What I am saying is introduce one or two helpful consumption sessions a week. If finances are your goal spend some time here, or with the Financial Samurai, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, the Wealth Pilgrim, heck just Google search Yakezie and any one of those bloggers is a wealth of information. If it's fitness you're into then go look for some personal health writers, a GQ, or even Men's Fitness magazines will do the trick. You need to immerse yourself, or at least start to, to give your goal some real traction and an actual shot.
4. Make the investment. Seriously. Take a few dollars from grandma's envelope and go get yourself a day calendar or my favorite a Moleskine (it's the best $10 you'll ever spend). Go get some Post-It's and start writing, sticking and planning. I know you've probably read this a million times but, whatever your favorite flavor of keeping track of stuff is - just do it! Premeditating makes big and small tasks a lot easier to manage and even execute because in the planning process you're already starting to think of how to tackle the steps.
5. Show up. Showing up is like 60% of your ongoing success (percentage I just made up because I feel it gets the point across). If you want to lose wait and you don't make it to the gym, odds are you aren't reaching that goal. The same with managing finances. If you don't show up to update that budget or take that few minutes to inquire about better rates at the bank, or even just set up a new account to pay bills out of will you ever get there? No!! So when you wake up in the morning and you are staring your "un-resolutions" in the face just remember that it all starts with showing up. Yes you need to have the right attitude and be positive and look towards action oriented lists but none of that matters if you don't show up. There are tons of people every year who have the best intentions at the start of the New Year that never really even get close. They were positive, they meant well, but they never showed up. It's time to separate yourself from the rest of the crowd of well wishers and be proud of accomplishing what you intended to this year.
I hope you will take my New Year's Un-Resolution tips in stride this week and really try to position yourself for success this upcoming year. I know that's what I'm doing this week. For now I'm going back through all the files on my desk to see what I have stored away, like a squirrel getting ready for winter, that I can actually throw away. For me my goal is to start from a fresh space and a fresh outlook. No more wishing why other people found success faster than I did and wondering what it would be like if I was at their level. My biggest un-resolution this year is to surpass a friend of mine not because I'm jealous or resentful but because I know I can do it and I've been dragging my feet. Yup, I'm being totally honest and I'm letting all of you know my intentions. I hope I count on all of you to hold me accountable and for your continued support!