It’s December. All bets are off. You did the best you could in 2014 to reach your goals and now it’s time to start winding down. The holidays are upon us and it’s against our nature and our culture to start something new now. Now is a time to relax and reflect.
And I am a-ok with that.
Before you know it, the New Year will be upon us. And you’ll be convinced this year is the year you can stick with your resolutions. And maybe you’re right. I hope you’re right. I want you to be right. And you can be right… if you take the right steps before the New Year rolls around
So here are 7 simple and easy steps you can take before the year is done to set yourself up for a successful and spectacular 2015.
- Read “The Magic Of Believing” by Claude M. Bristol and “Do the Work” by Stephen Pressfield
These two books have changed my life.
Reading them is one of the first things I suggest people do when they’re looking to make big changes in their life. While some of the subject matter is dated in Bristol’s book, the substance of both is timeless.
The lovely Phyllis Diller often talked about Bristo’s book. It was suggested to me years ago by the hilarious comedian Gary Gulman. It’s wonderful. And the methods are simple. And it will inspire you.
Pressfield’s book will make you understand why you’re constantly dragging your feet on certain projects and why it’s so important to overcome that resistance. Re-reading this book is the only form of procrastination I allow myself when I’m really feeling stuck because I know after I finish (and sometimes within minutes of starting), I’ll immediately be inspired to keep pushing myself and keep creating as much as humanly possible.
So read them. Then re-read them. Then highlight and underline your favorite parts. And then use the methods outlined in them to help you achieve your goals.
- Join audible.com
The last thing you need is another monthly bill. I hear you. I get it. I share a Netflix account with 5 other people and a dog. I hear you. But an Audible subscription is worth every penny.
First of all, you get a free audiobook every month with your subscription. So you’re basically paying for a new book every month. So it’s not like you’re throwing your money away.
Secondly, you get discounts on all the books in their library. Big discounts. Discounts that are significant and totally worth the price of admission.
Thirdly, you’re going to find that your free time is so much better used listening to books than listening to the latest repetitive Taylor Swift song that seems to be playing on all the stations at the same time which makes you want to hurt everyone around you.
Ahem. Excuse me.
Listening to audiobooks while I run, lift weights, or even sit in traffic makes a huge difference in my productivity. I am constantly bettering my mind and giving myself constant ideas, inspirations, and affirmations. So when it comes time to actually work on my goals, I’m like one of those toy cars where you’ve wound the wheels up really tight before you finally put it on the ground and watch it zip off at lightning speeds! (Toys aren’t only for kids, guys. Geez louise.)
- Watch Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk
Behavioral Expert Amy Cuddy had a fantastic Ted Talk on how our body language can inform not only our own mind but the minds of those around us. It’s a really fantastic and informative talk with some great tips on easy strategies for building your own confidence – even if you’re just tricking yourself and others into thinking you’re confident. Spoiler alert: That can work.
When you’re more confident, you take bigger risks and believe that you can follow through to create a better reality for yourself. And when you believe you can achieve something, you can. Simple as that.
- Follow Michael Hyatt
There are a lot of productivity guru’s out there. Michael certainly isn’t the only one. But I’ve got a soft spot for his prolific and positive nature. He’s constantly putting so many good ideas out in so many easy to process forms. He wants you to achieve your goals and is always writing, speaking, podcasting, and presenting on various ways you can get closer to that achievement.
He’s like the social media nerdy grandpa I never had.
If you’re in the entertainment industry, these are two social networking sites you may not have heard of that are extremely helpful for finding like-minded collaborators and connecting with people within your industry you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. It only takes a minute to set up an account and you’ll be immediately able to connect and access fascinating blogs, discussions, and projects that are going on all around the world.
Plus, let’s face it, Facebook is boring. This is a much more fun (and productive) way to kill time at your day job.
- Learn Evernote
My adopted grandpa Michael Hyatt turned me onto this one (I’m going to start calling him that until he specifically asks me to stop…). I had tried learning Evernote before but didn’t see the value in it. And that’s largely because I didn’t take the time to learn why people would need it. To me, it seemed like just another productivity app that was trying to replace what already existed for free on my phone.
But after some research and some practice, I quickly learned it can be so much more than that.
As a highly organized and productive person, I have come to love Evernote. I drank the punch. I pay the monthly subscription to be a premium subscriber. Well, technically Visa pays that subscription and I say “Thank you” then run and hide when they bill me… but never mind technicalities.
My basic point is this, the more you use Evernote, the more you will love it and depend on it for everything. I keep gift ideas, workouts, recordings of my shows, to do lists, emails and contacts all organized in my Evernote. I can access it from anywhere and it updates from everywhere. I love it. Let yourself be a little slow at first and get over that learning curve. It will make a huge difference for your productivity and goals in the next year.
- Find a Friend
Nothing worthwhile can be achieved easily or alone. At least that’s what I believe. You will need help. It’s a blessing and beautiful thing to ask for help. Showing a little vulnerability in admitting that you cannot do something on your own shows great strength, not weakness.
So enlist a buddy. Some people call it an “accountability buddy.” It’s good if you have a close friend you really trust with something like this who has similar goals so you two can keep each other on track. It’s helpful if you already have a strong, honest relationship foundation so you can really push each other in the ways that you need to.
I also suggest enlisting a coach or consultant. A little investment in your own goals and organization can go a really long way. A goals coach will keep you on track because that’s their only job. You’re paying them to keep you accountable. Unlike a friend, they don’t want to let you off the hook if you’re not living up to your potential. They want you to succeed and will do what it takes to help you get there.
And unlike a friend, your relationship is one-sided. It’s all about you. You can focus on what you need to work on and how you can be the best you possible. That’s not a selfish thing- I think it’s very smart. If you really feel uncomfortable with focusing on you, just remember to pay it forward as you achieve so much in your personal life. You’ll be more pleasant and more present to help others and inspire them to achieve in their own life. So really, by being “selfish,” you’re being self-less.
Whoa. I’ll bet your mind is blown.
My website (http://brianahansen.com) has information on personal achievement and goal consulting. Check it out if you’re interested
Doing all of these things won’t take you more than a weekend. And you’ll be shocked at how inspired and ready you feel to achieve new heights in 2015.
Maybe you’ll even be one of the select few who’s actually able to say “I stuck with my New Years Resolution all friggin’ year.”
You’re daggum friggin’ right you did. And good on you for doing it.