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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?

What’s Happening in 2016

sylvester-1097596_6402015 was a very exciting year for me. In January my book Listful Thinking came out!  I got to meet so many interesting new people at book signings and at Book Expo America plus I got to meet some of you — the readers of this blog!  What an incredible opportunity.

In 2015 I also created my first online course, Take Back Your Inbox: Stop Drowning in Unread Messages, Respond Quicker and Finally Achieve Inbox Zero. I designed the course to help you feel less overwhelmed by your email. Something I struggled with big time but found some smart solutions to fix!

I also took some exciting vacations to Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico and San Francisco — with a visit to the Google headquarters!

I have a lot of exciting plans in mind for ListProducer.com in 2016. I made a video to share them with you. Hopefully this is the start of a new trend and I’ll be sharing more videos this year!

Click here to watch it.

Getting to Your Forgotten To-Dos

ShineonWe all have that one thing at the bottom of our list. The thing that keeps popping up over and over again and getting copied from list to list. My friend Karen Rizzo, author of “Things to Bring, S#!t to Do.” – an autobiography in lists, had ‘learn Italian’ written on the bottom of her list for years. Other people have different goals like learning a musical instrument or running a marathon.

Well now it’s crunch time.

The first thing you have to think about is – Do I actually want this? It’s fun to dream about learning a new language, but the reality is  — it takes a lot of time and work. Do you have that free time? It’s okay to let it go if you don’t. We can’t do everything.

Read more

3 Items for Your To-Don’t List

Stop_sign_at_sunsetSome mornings when I wake up – I start running through all the things I need to do that day in my head. Even though I already have my to-do list written from the night before. Does this happen to you? But I’ll tell you what I don’t do – I don’t think of things that I need to STOP doing. And I would bet you don’t either. But maybe we should…

The New Year is coming up and you might already be thinking about your resolutions, which I think are a waste of time if they aren’t super targeted. Maybe you want to stop obsessively checking your emails, or drinking less soda. Why not start with some simple things so you’ll be in good shape when the New Year rolls around? Read more

Make These Changes and Be Happier

Brett Blumenthal

I’m a creature of habit — in grade school I would hate having to move desks! It seems like such a small thing but I remember having such an issue with this.  But sometimes change is good and can present you with opportunities you wouldn’t necessarily come across (like sitting next to a cute boy in class!)

I’m fortunate enough to be acquainted with author and health expert Brett Blumenthal — she’s shared a list of small changes that will give big returns in the happiness department! Read more