Tag Archives | Habits

How Are You Spending Your Most Valuable Currency

The Passage of Time
Image by ToniVC via Flickr

Are you neglecting the things that matter?

Do you think you’re somehow different than the rest of us? That you have more hours in the day or can get more done miraculously if you just get organized enough?

Let me tell you right now, FORGET IT! There is only so much any one person can accomplish at one time. We’re told we can have and do it all, but that is a bold faced lie, a sales pitch of productivity system marketing.

Be honest. Where are you falling short?

Full disclosure: I am a chronic over-scheduler, over-committer and plate-overflower ( I just made that term up.) I know I am not alone in the disease to “DO MORE.” But when we try to squeeze in more we tend to neglect the things that matter most, health, family, enjoyment of life.

In some unfathomable twist of brain logic we tend to spend time on those things that don’t really matter in the long-term picture of our lives. Why do we do this? I don’t know. It’s a puzzle of the human psyche. Perhaps someone wiser than I can figure out that puzzle eventually.

Mini: Mission: My marching orders are to figure out what really matters, place a premium priority and focus on those aspects of my life and cut back or delete those that don’t.  I invite you, no; I implore you to join me.

Time is our most valuable currency, yet most of us squander it so easily. (Feel free to tweet that.)

What are the things that really matter to you?

Are you spending enough time on those things?

What are the things that really won’t matter 20 years from now?

Are you spending too much time on the things that really don’t matter that much?

Do you check your email first thing in the morning instead of taking time to exercise or eating breakfast with your family? I’m sure you’ll be glad of that when your health fails and your kids are gone.

Do you spend too much time on social media and information intake? Unless that’s your job, (and sometimes even if it is your job,) you’ll get better results if you spend your time actually producing “work.” Those things are tools.

And while we’re talking about social media…is Facebook really more important than reading with your kids or having an actual conversation with your husband?

We don’t like to think that we’re squandering our time; I know I sure don’t.

But our schedule and habits tell the real story… Take a look…if you dare.

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The Nitty-Gritty On Cementing Habits

 cement

Creating new habits or changing old ones is excruciatingly difficult at times, but if you’re sick and tired of “Starting Over,” Monday and falling off the wagon by Thursday you are not alone.

We are “creatures of habit,” ferociously clinging to familiar patterns no matter how poorly they serve us. It’s human nature. But if you are determined and motivated, I’ve got the quintessential tactics right here…

Give it time – Conventional wisdom says that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Be patient and stay committed until you’re over the hump.

Rinse and Repeat – Frequency and consistency are important. Do something every day until it’s embeded in your routine.

Slow and steady – Don’t change everything at once. Biting off too much is a sure recipe for failure. Cement one habit first, and then build on that. It gets easier over time.

Gentle nudges  – After the initial excitement has worn off, your commitment may wane. Give yourself nudges. Put notes where you will see them, set reminders on your phone or computer. Keep the momentum going.

Buddy up – Having a partner to motivate you and keep you on track is a huge boost to your chances of success. When you’re around people who are similarly committed, you’re more likely to stay on track.

Write it down – There is something very powerful about putting it in writing. A target seems more concrete, more real if it’s visible, in writing where you can see it. Notebook, journal, sticky note, even a marker on your mirror, wherever works.

Find a trigger – What will trigger you to remember your habit? For example, exercising every morning is the habit, placing your workout clothes and sneakers by your bed so you have to step over them might help.

Replace it – Fill the void. Replacing a bad habit with a better one is easier than cutting it altogether. Replace the cigarette with chewing gum or the afternoon candy bar with a walk or fruit or nuts.

Remove temptation – Why would you want to set yourself up for failure? Get rid of sugary snacks if sugar is your issue, don’t go to the bar if alcohol or cigarettes are your nemesis, block social media if it’s a distraction. Don’t sabotage yourself by putting temptation in your path.

Cut yourself a break – Nobody is perfect. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get right back on the wagon. Persistence pays off.

It’s got to be yours! – “Shoulds” do not lead to success. Guilt is not a good habit motivator. Create good habits that you want. You decide, you do the work, you benefit.

Developing better habits can be difficult and frustrating, but it is possible. Be smart and stick with it.

You can do it!

Any habit tactics to share?

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Find the Reason…Find the Change…

looking

Everything we do, we do for a reason. We may not consciously be aware of that reason in the moment… or we may not want to see it, but make no mistake the reason is there.

I’ve gradually come to realize that if I really want to know how to make my life better I need to first take a little closer look at those reasons, the motivations behind my behaviors and habits.
What makes me tick? Why do I behave in a certain way… especially around certain people or in certain situations?

To be honest, some of my behaviors are quite puzzling to me. As I’m sure, some of yours are to you. But nothing intrigues me more than a good puzzle, especially a challenge that peaks my curiosity about the inner workings of the mind.

For instance:

Why do I instinctively deflect compliments?
Why do I always need to be right?
Why do I wear delayed gratification like a badge of accomplishment?

And so many more confounding personal and professional behaviors…

It’s a valuable undertaking don’t you think to get to know ourselves better? How can we hope to grow or make positive changes if we don’t first understand why we do what we do?

Your Mini-Mission: Look for the Reason

When you find the reason…then you will find the path to change. (Feel free to Tweet that!)

Your thoughts? Do you know why you do what you do? Leave a comment or share on our Facebook page.

Just joining us… Find all of the Mini-Missions here…

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A Simple Trick to Remember To Return Things…

remember

We have so many things to remember. Returning things is simply not at the top of the priority list. We may be ashamed to say that…but it’s true.

The thing about that is…these things eventually pile up…weigh on our minds…accrue fines…make other people really annoyed…

So in the name of Happy Returning everywhere, I’ll share what I’ve found works for me…and I hope what will work for you as well.

It’s pretty simple really…

The key to remembering something…is to make it so that you don’t have to actually remember it…

Process, habit, system, trigger, whatever you call it. Make it automatic so that you don’t have to think about it. The mind is a very fickle task master, so don’t rely on it any more than you must.

So here’s my secret to returning library books on time, as well as Tupperware dishes to my mom, bottle returns, store returns, etc.

I have two words for you. SIMPLE and CONSISTENT

That’s all you need to remember for this secret to work.

  • My library books go in my “Library Book Bag” which hangs on the coat closet door.
  •  Mom’s dishes go in a bag that I put on the front seat of my car…I drop them off when I’m out and about and if they’re still there after a week or so, then I know I haven’t seen my mother and I need to touch base with her anyway.
  •  When the bag of bottle returns is full, it goes in the back of my car for the next grocery trip.
  •  Store returns go in a re-usable shopping bag that sits by the door to the garage…every time I head out to my car I pause and consider if I’m going anywhere near one of the stores.

I do this same thing with anything that needs to be delivered or returned. It needs to be in plain sight and in a place that makes sense for what I have to do with it.

Otherwise it gets lost in the shuffle…Out of sight…out of mind.

 

Your thoughts?

Are you good at returning things? …Or not? Do you have any tricks that work?

I’m curious? Please feel free to leave a comment or share on our Facebook page!

 

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If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It!

tbroke 

I constantly hear people apologizing for their perceived lack of doing things the “right” way.

Why? Just because some expert – myself included – tells you the “best way” to do something, doesn’t mean it’s best for you…

Let’s See…

Can you find things when you need them?

Are your bills paid on time?

Does your family eat relatively healthy most of the time?

Does everybody get where they need to go…on time?

Do you complete projects you start?

Are people pleased with your work?

 

I’m constantly thinking about better, more efficient ways to operate – new technology, new ideas, new products are everywhere – but are they necessarily better?

Sure, there might be better solutions, but if it’s working…

If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it!

Do you have things you do in “not the best way” that seem to be working for you nonetheless?

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