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To-Do List Wisdom from Mindy Kaling

It’s graduation season, which leads to plenty of people thinking about their long-term goals, not just college students. Often when we reminisce on the goals we had at graduation we focus on all the things we haven’t done.

But are we being too hard on ourselves?

Mindy Kaling thinks so!

When speaking at the graduation ceremony at Dartmouth College Mindy’s final advice to the graduating class was to “let it go.”

We may have a dozen goals in our head when we graduate and some of them may happen and some might not. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed or strayed from your path, just that life often doesn’t go the way you planned.

In previous posts I’ve talked of the importance of evaluating your long-term goals. It’s okay to accept that a goal might no longer be what you want or that you need to put it on the back burner while you focus on more important things. A perfect example of this is a woman I interviewed, author Karen Rizzo, she continually put “Learn Italian” on her list and guess what – never happened.

When evaluating long-term goals there are a few things to take into consideration:

Priorities – What we think is a top priority and what we actually spend most of our time and energy on can be two very different things. Depending on where we are in life our biggest priority can be different things, focusing on family, career or even our health.

Does your top priority line up with your daily habits? Check out the book Essentialism for ways to do this better. Maybe you want to get a new job, but you haven’t been to a networking event in months. Or you’re trying to take a step back with work, but still find yourself emailing at 10pm! Make sure your actions line up with your priorities. If they don’t then it might be time to reassess.

Diminishing Returns – The law of diminishing returns is used to refer to a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested.

Essentially the more effort you put into something the less you get out of it. How annoying is that?

It’s good to remember though, when you feel like you’ve been pushing a goal or idea for too long – maybe it’s time to ease up a bit?

For example, how many times have you heard people say they found their romantic partner once they stopped looking? The same can be said for many other goals. I know a few people who have been stuck in the ‘research’ phase of writing a book, because they keep finding more and more information pulling them in different directions. At some point you just have to draw a line in the sand and start writing!

When it comes to your goals it’s as Mindy Kaling said –

“Don’t trust any one story of how to become successful.”

Find the path that works for you, it doesn’t have to look like what your 21-year-old self imagined.

 

What Shark Tank Can Teach You About Productivity

When it comes to the things we’d like to achieve, there’s no shortage of ideas. Think about what’s on your bucket list: learning a second language, traveling around the world or writing a book tops many lists.. It all sounds so exciting, but having lots of great ideas doesn’t guarantee any action.

So how do you make those ideas happen?

Before you get started, first you have to really sell the goal to yourself. You can’t expect to achieve something  if you’re not all in.

Imagine yourself explaining your goal to a panel of people, like on the show Shark Tank. Before appearing on a show like that you would prepare by doing research on your business, if you have a business partner you might delegate who will speak about what parts and finally you would come up with a plan for your business. You should do the exact same with your goals. Read more

The Stars Are Aligned For You to Get More Done Now

It’s the beginning of the new year and everyone is already fantasizing about their grand plans for 2017.

You’re in luck because this is the perfect time to get moving on your goals. Not to get too “woo woo” but Mercury Retrograde came to an end on January 8th.

So what does this mean? Well many people believe in avoiding making life-changing plans or decisions during the retrograde, because it’s a time when everything is in flux. They save all this for after the retrograde, when the chips have all fallen and you can make firm plans for the future.

Whether you believe in this theory or not, January is a great time to start planning your future. So how are you going to make this year different from all the other years?

The only way to break out of these patterns and start accomplishing our goals is to take responsibility for our role in that downfall. For example, your diet didn’t fail because a donut place opened across the street from your apartment. (Yum!) It failed because you chose to go there! (Multiple times…)

Bad habits are not just the actions we take, sometimes we can develop bad ‘thinking’ habits. So you might think failure is inevitable, which subconsciously causes you to act in a self-sabotaging manner. This ultimately allows you to prove that you were right about being a failure in the first place and continues the negative cycle. A self-fulfilling prophecy.

This year it’s important to take control and understand how you can break out of that cycle and your bad habits and get more done.

One way for you to get the most out of your day is to sign up for my webinar – “5 Habits That Are Killing Your Productivity & How to Optimize Your Time”.

It’s time to stop being ‘busy’ and time to start getting things done!

I’ll be hosting two sessions of the webinar. One on Wednesday and one Thursday at 8pm Eastern. Pick a day that works for your schedule and sign up by clicking this link.

I’ll walk you through ways to rethink how you plan out your day so you can cut down on procrastination, make more attainable goals and have time to do the stuff you really want to do.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How to make simple changes to your everyday routine to get more done
  • Discover how you’re really spending your time and find out how to optimize it so you’re not “busy” all the time.  
  • Start building momentum towards the things you want most by creating a time-management system that works for you.
  • Feel in control of your life and your goals instead of feeling stuck.
  • Learn the quickest ways to be more efficient for free without spending tons of time

I look forward to talking to you and showing you how to get more done this year! Join me!

Why You Didn’t Get Everything Done Last Year and How to Change That

The new year brings with it hope for the future but also a little guilt as well. Guilt because we look back at the previous year and think “oh I didn’t get to do as much as I set out to do.”

It happens and it’s disappointing.  And nothing reminds us more of this than looking at that unfulfilled bucket list.  Or starting yet another day with the best of intentions only to get sucked into your old roommate’s vacation photos on Facebook and then getting nothing done. We all promise ourselves that next year will be different.

However that’s quite statistically unlikely, given that only 8% of people achieve their resolutions!

So how do you break out of the vicious cycle? It’s all starts with how you make these goals. Here’ are the steps you need to finally cross off some of the most difficult tasks on your list!

Imagine next year’s Christmas letter – Every year people will send out Christmas letters detailingall the exciting trips they’ve been on t and all their new jobs/houses/kids/etc.  Whether or not you regularly write one of these, productivity guru and author Laura Vanderkam explains in her TED talk about  time management how you can use them to focus your goals. Laura suggests you imagine what you would write on next year’s letter today.  That vision includes the 3-5 key things that would have to happen for it to be a successful year. Once you have picked those things you have goals for the next year – now you just need an action plan.

Prioritize – Once you’ve picked your goals you don’t need to roar ahead, all guns blazing trying to achieve everything at once. Write out the steps you will need to take to achieve each goal and create a priority list of what is more urgent. Things that need to be started on right away, like training for a marathon, take top priority. You will need to start carving out time in your calendar for training and book your place in the race. Less important things like cleaning out the garage can wait until a later date (but this doesn’t mean you should ignore them altogether!) For an easy way to figure out how to prioritize your new goals, sign up for the FREE PDF I created for you called “Prioritize Like a Pro.”

Find the why – I wrote recently about a talk Julie Morgenstern gave, where she explained how she always used to hoard cookbooks.  And she couldn’t throw them away until she understood why she kept them. The reason — she kept them because they represented the mother she wanted to be. (Isn’t that heartbreaking?)  Similarly you can’t successfully do-over your goals from last year until you understand why you failed. Perhaps they were too big, or you didn’t give yourself enough time to do any of them or any research that would have helped. Sometimes you have to realize that maybe you won’t ever do it and toss the goal all together. We’re not all perfect, sometimes you have to let go of those goals you’ve never quite gotten around to and be OK with it. I, for instance will never learn to speak French. That’s one goal checked off by default!

What are some of your goals for 2017?

Why You’re Really Not Getting Anything Done

If you are anything like me (and if you’re reading this blog you probably are) then when you first start a new project or set a new goal you throw yourself in headfirst.

We can all get caught up in the moment. Sometimes I’ll even spend more money than I should buying ‘essential’ items that I think I need to finish my project.

Sound familiar?

We’ve all felt that compulsion to buy $200 sneakers the second we decided we need to get back in shape.

However as time goes on, the excitement fades and our brand new sneakers sit in the closet collecting dust. Just like in relationships our passion for our projects can fall into a rut or get stalled before they even start.

So how do you keep the spark alive? Here are some of the ways to pick up where you left off and actually follow through on those projects:

Go back to the drawing board – I’m not saying you should start over, but sometimes it can be beneficial to take a look back. What were your initial plans – if there were any – for this project? Perhaps they were very ambitious or didn’t have enough scope. Altering your initial ‘blueprints’ can help to breathe some life back into your project! Ask a friend to sit down with you and go through the bullet points. You might have a change of heart or find some motivation this way. Read more