New Year’s resolution No. 1 – to be organized and productive in 2020
It doesn’t really matter when we choose to start a new habit, routine or behaviour, but, historically, the start of a new year prompts greater reflection for the year to come. Sadly, many of us don’t stick to the resolutions that we set out for ourselves.
As a productivity coach, I work with people who are motivated, and help them to achieve the results that they are looking for. Over the years I have noticed, and studies confirm this, that the more clearly you articulate what you want to accomplish, the more likely you are to do so.
You will have likely heard of SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-sensitive. By setting out your goals, and tracking them, helps you to be clear about what you exactly want to do, and when you will do it by.
Be specific, then cut back
Define, and set small, repeatable actions. If you think of the larger picture, it can seem overwhelming, so think about what you want to accomplish, and then shrink it to manageable, almost tiny, actions. If you’re consistent, you’ll get there.
The ABCs of change
When I observe clients who, repeatedly, get stuck, I help them to work through a program that I developed called the ABC’s of Behaviour Change. Being aware of what’s getting in your way is the first step to removing the blocks.
Accept – There is a truth behind any change that has to be acknowledged and accepted. If you don’t buy into the idea of change, nothing is likely to happen.
Believe – Not only do you have to accept the idea, but you must believe that it’s important enough and that you are worth it.
Cultivate – When you create a supportive environment, which includes having positive people around you, you’re more likely to stay on track.
Defend – When you start to change behaviours, you may have to set new boundaries and say ‘no’ to prior activities and commitments. Find ways to do this with grace, and you’ll pave your way to success.
Engage – Whenever you successfully complete a task, take the time to check in with yourself to see how it feels. This deep introspection will help you to be motivated to complete the next task.
Forgive – If you happen to miss a commitment, don’t beat yourself up. Revisit the ABC’s of behaviour change to figure out what went wrong. Learn, adjust and try again.
Tools for change
Top resolutions include better eating, losing weight, exercising more and getting organized. You will also benefit from using the right tools. Staples Canada has a huge variety of stylish and innovative products to help you to meet your goals, including planners and calendars, as well as water bottles to keep you hydrated, and tech tools, such as headphones to keep you focused. The FitBit Charge 3 helps to track your sleep and exercise. If you’re interested in improving your diet, check out a new line of plant-based foods by President’s Choice.
Turn stash into cash
If you’re looking to purge and to get rid of things, invest time and energy to free up space by selling them online. If you’re looking to maximize your reach, list them on ebay.ca. At ebay.ca/sell you’ll find helpful tips about what buyers are looking for, as well as shipping information and more. Take clear pictures, write a simple, descriptive headline, then list it.
If you’re specific about what you want more of, or less of, this year, you’ll be well on your way to getting it.