It's time to set our New Year's Resolutions!

It's often this time of year that we decide to make changes to our lives that we hope will lead to good, positive changes.  However, it's also very well known that in the following few weeks we'll lose motivation and interest in our eager changes and once again revert to our old, bad habits.

So how do we keep ourselves motivated to actually keep and complete our goals?

Let me share with you a couple of can't-miss ideas that will help you keep your goals in-reach and obtainable for our New Year's Resolutions.... or any goals we want to set for ourselves.

Keep Your New Year's Resolutions UMAA!!

 

If I said I wanted to lose weight, stop smoking or get fit you'd probably say that sounds like your average New Year's Resolution.  And you'd be right.  Complete with the average effort and average results you'd get with that kind of goal.

What I'd like you to do this time with your goal is to make it an ultra-specific, measurable and accountable goal. Let me explain....

Ultra-Specific

Rather than simply say that "weight loss" or "building a better relationship" is your goal, let's set some specifics and boundaries that we will work within to create those goals.

"Weight loss" is not a specific goal.  If I simply said weight loss and I fasted for a day I could lose weight.  Did that help me set that goal?  Yes, but... I'd also want to add more to that goal.  So let's set a number and a date to that goal so we have something to work towards.

"Weight loss" becomes 25 pounds by April 1st.  "Start a business" is now "I will have my first customer by January 10th, I will complete their project one week later".  So on and so forth.

Measurable

These days it is easier than ever to track progress of anything you wish to accomplish.  Whether it be in an app or a physical book, a calendar or whatever there are means to track and measure your progress to your goals.

For instance, if you wish to track your running workouts this year, simply start using a free app like Strava or mapmyrun and record those miles there.  You'll get instant feedback on your daily run, time spent running, what days you've ran and how far you've run.  I mean, what's not to like about that??

Want to shed a few pounds?  Record your daily weight in your own private book so you know what number you're at and where you're going.

Want to start saving money?  Record money in, money spent.  Track those pennies!

Building a YouTube or email list?  What are your numbers today, yesterday and where you want to be tomorrow.  Measure, measure measure.

Accountable

There's nothing quite like making goals with no accountability built in.  Did you tell your coworkers you're quitting smoking?  Make sure they all know it and make sure you surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed in your goals.

Let's say you're doing some kind of 30, 60 or 100 day challenge.  Put a message on Facebook and record a daily message about your progress.  After a while your friends will start to rely on that update and you'll feel pressure to succeed not only for you but for them as well.

Actionable

I don't think there's anything wrong with making big, world changing goals but you need to create a list of actionable steps to help you achieve those goals.  Breaking goals down into small, achievable steps is a surefire way to build your way to achieving the "impossible".

In fact, I'd go as far as to say you should break your goals down into small, 10 minute chunks of goal setting, so that they're so small you can't help but accomplish that small goal.  You'll also find that simply finishing a few 10 minute goals will help you snowball goal achieving and productivity and give you the motivation to carry out and complete those big dreamy goals in no time.

I hope this helps you conquer your New Year's Resolutions for this year and for many years to come!

Lately I've become obsessed with finding ways to save money where and when I can.  No, I'm not going to suggest things like downgrading your cappuccino to a regular coffee, but (hopefully) offer a few suggestions that could help you save money fast and (relatively) easily.

how-to-save-big-money-this-year

Buy Used or Seek Out Deals.

I've committed most of my personal shopping to first checking used listings like Kijiji, eBay and Craigslist before considering new.  Most of the time I've been more than satisfied with my results and acquisitions. For example, I recently started indoor cycling training and was recommended to get a heart rate monitor (more about why in another post, I promise). I was also half interested in a new cycling computer. Brand new the heart rate monitor was $50. I found a listing on eBay for a heart rate monitor, bike computer and other parts and I won the auction for $100.  I turned around and sold the extra accessories and broke even on the same price the heart rate monitor would have set me back, and I had a new computer as well!

Now, there are some things I wouldn't necessarily shop for used, but there are other options available.  Discount clothing stores offer top brands at close out pricing as example.  Buying food in bulk or buying grocery store brands will help you save a couple bucks every week and that will help you in the long run.

Another thing I've come across is deals websites and forums, where members share deals they've come across at chain stores and whatnot.  Sometimes finding deals like online-only or clearance deals can help you save serious coin.  I bought a drill recently for $120 that was regularly $350.  Information about that I found through an online deals forum.

Save (At Least) 10% Of Everything You Bring In

According to information from cheatsheet.com and a 2013 Federal Reserve report,

31 percent of respondents reported having no retirement savings or pension, including 19 percent of those ages 55 to 64, and 25 percent didn’t know how they will pay their expenses in retirement.

What does that mean?  For many people they're simply living one or two paycheques from being in serious trouble!

So it's no wonder that I recommend you start putting money away in a long-term savings account.  Here in Canada we can put away money in a Tax-Free Savings Account that we can earn interest on and not have to pay taxes on either.  But there are other options out there as well.

Saving money is no easy feat, but I encourage you to start putting pennies aside as soon as you can.  Maybe (like me) you have a few savings accounts for different reasons.

First, I have an RRSP or a retirement account.  This would be considered my never-touch savings account because it will be decades before I see that pay out.  Next, I have a long-term high interest savings account that generates interest for me.  This account I very rarely pull money out of but it's there if I need to.  Finally, I have a savings account set up to save for large purchases I have planned over the next several months.  Things like new bike gear or trips get lumped (and spent) from this account.

Next time you receive a pay cheque pay yourself first.  Then start taking off the regular monthly expenses that you incur.

Pay Off Debt

If you want to seriously save money this year the bet thing to do is to work yourself out of debt as soon as possible.

Why?

Think about this: all the savings accounts I recommended above are earning you a percentage of interest smaller than the ones you're paying the credit card companies.  If you're carrying a debt you're throwing away money you could be (otherwise) saving or investing.

If you have more than one credit card pick one with the higher interest, call the company and put it on hold so that you can make payments only but not put anything on the card.  Start paying down that balance!

I know those are only a handful of ways to save money but thinking about saving for your future is the first step.  It's kind of like spending money, once you start you can't stop!

Have any suggestions, hints or tips of your own?  Leave a comment below and I might even add it to this post! 

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I just had the chance to get a hands on look at the brand new Samsung Gear VR Headset powered by Oculus... and it's going to be something else!

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On tackling fears.  Or what is there to be afraid of, really?

To many people, fear is a natural part of life.

No, not tackling fears like the typical, well-known and talked about fears like claustrophobia and hypochondria, but the fears that keep you from going after the job you know would make you ecstatically happy, the relationship that will make every other relationship jealous, or the leap of faith that what you believe in will happen if you just try.

tackling-fear-public-speaking

Our own self-esteem issues can keep us from taking steps that could help us make the big step from being a paralegal to a lawyer, or an online writer from penning a book or novel.  Or, approach that person you always see at the coffee shop but haven't made any move towards.

We are often our own worst enemy. Negative self talk keeps us in our comfort zone. The fence that surrounds our comfort zone is our fears. Some fences are bigger than others, but fences nonetheless.

Find Books To Overcome Fears On Amazon.com

Do you know why some people are able to create wonderful products or services, or become role models for others through their own actions?  It's because they decided that they would overcome their own fears, no matter what they are because they could see that the other side was worth fighting for.

If you asked the top performers in any field if they feared something, undoubtedly they would say yes.  But, they did and achieved anyway.  The juice is worth the squeeze, so to speak.

I'm reminded of a great Mark Twain quote to illustrate the mind of someone who is tackling fears:

"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened."

Fear is the killer of hopes, dreams, miracles, and the good life.  And nearly 100% of fears are for naught; don't turn out to be the old man who knows many fears that never came to be.

Tackling Fears:

When you're thinking about tackling fears, what things in your own life come to mind?  Take the time to think about what would make you happy, and what is holding you back from adding that happiness or excitement into your life?

Ask yourself:

Is it a promotion in the field you are presently in, or something totally different?

Will it require you to go back to school?

Is it marriage?

Start with a written list of exactly what you are looking for exactly what it is that's getting in your way to achieving those big dreams and goals.

Life can be just what happens to you; living is those purposeful steps you make to make your passion happen.

Think about what you are afraid of. Do this when you are alone and can think without interruption. Be honest about your feelings.

Why are you afraid of that?

Where do those feelings come from?

What is the worst that could happen to me if I faced this fear head on?

Will you die, or will you come out knowing that you faced a fear that will forever change your life?

I'm just coming off a nice, relaxing weekend hanging around with family and friends, but now I'm ready to start maximizing output once again.  How have you spent your down time and what are you doing to unplug? ...continue reading "Utilizing Down Time aka Recharge Mode To Crush Productivity"

My most feared action is wasting my time on this earth.

You know, the minutes, hours and days that slip by without any thought to the time that actually disappears without ever getting it back.

Even the thought of it makes me want to be sick, unfortunately for too long I fell into a spell of being unproductive.  So I decided to get conscious and take positive action towards beating that feeling once and for all.

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One Foot, One Shoe.  Become a Productivity Master. Simple Steps To Crush Procrastination And Get Things Done! is the resulting action of my conscious saying enough is enough.

But beating procrastination isn't as easy as simply saying no.   Procrastination likes to continually challenge every individual on the planet as the easy escape to doing, seeing and becoming a person of greater importance or influence.  So why do some get ahead while others fail?

Productivity is the result of focused, repeatable actions that are simple to do but also simple to avoid doing.  The difference is that those who succeed and are effective in their goal completion have pushed past that barrier to create the kinds of things that others sit on the couch and wish they could create.

The reality is that every individual is capable of being so much more than currently putting forward.  I know that I have only started seeing the light of what kinds of things are possible with my life and my immediate family and close friend's lives.  And I hope that this book will help you achieve the little steps that help you build a giant snowball of effective output and productivity, and crush procrastination once and for all.

Available now exclusively on the Amazon Kindle platform.  

I'm very proud of all my accomplishments in the past, and I decided to take a new path over the past few weeks.  Productivity hacks have always fascinated me and I'm very excited to share some of my secrets in my new Udemy course: Become a Productivity Master!

...continue reading "Productivity Hacks: Become a Productivity Master on Udemy!"

I'm really excited to offer my next book for sale!  One Foot, One Shoe. Simple Steps To Crush Procrastination And Get Things Done is available exclusively on the Amazon Kindle.

...continue reading "One Foot, One Shoe Crush Procrastination Now Available!"