The start of a new year is a great time to think about stuff you’d like to get done. If there’s something you’ve been putting off or something you’ve started by can’t seem to finish, why not make 2018 your year to say, “You’ll never believe what I did this year!”?
Doing interesting work that lifts your energy is a guaranteed happy-maker. And you’ll have a good story to tell this time next year!
Here are five tips to get something GREAT done in 2018.
Know why this is on your list
I’m a big believer in following an energy path and if you’ve been stalling on something for a long time, maybe you don’t really want to do it. Is this something you think you ought to do? Or something someone else wants you to do? Why is getting this done important to you?
You have a choice about how you spend your time. If the big thing on your list really clicks with you at a heart level, then surge forward. If it doesn’t, take it off your list and replace it with something that makes you grin.
Understand your habits and what motivates you
Everyone works in different ways and motivations can change throughout the course of your life. Just because someone else gets stuff done a certain way doesn’t mean that way will work for you.
- Do you work best in a group or do you prefer working on our own?
- Do you work well in a noisy setting or a quiet setting?
- Do you love or hate a schedule?
- Do you work best in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings?
- What’s the best reward you can get for your work?
When I write, I do it best on my own, in a quiet setting, with a schedule, in the morning, and my reward is figuring out the plot. But I know plenty of others who write really well typing away in a coffee shop every afternoon amidst the noise and hustle with a cup of coffee or slice of cake being the perfect reward.
My preferred exercise is running – on my own, in a quiet place, on a schedule, in the morning. It’s pretty similar to my successful writing habits! Many of my friends like exercising in a gym or in a class. I’ve tried that and I don’t stick with it. With running, the reward I get is being quiet and being outside so it’s no wonder a gym doesn’t really work for me.
Can you find commonality in a series of your current habits to figure out what motivates you best?
Be realistic about how much time you have
I’ve talked to many people who beat themselves up for not getting enough done but when we talk about how much free time they have it’s about 15 minutes a day! How can you possibly get stuff done with so little time? How do you spend your time over the course of a week, and how much of it is really “free” time?
Then look at your free time and decide if there’s something you can cut – like TV/Netflix – to steal back time. Making a change to how you spend your free time is changing a habit so it isn’t easy. AND if you have a big project in mind, you have more motivation to make a change.
Set up a rough plan and track your progress
Even if you don’t love a schedule it helps to rough out a plan to get new work done. This could be as loose as deciding to dedicate one hour, three mornings a week. Or deciding to devote a 2-hour block of time every other Saturday.
One of the big projects most people tell me they have “hanging” over them has to do with decluttering and while deciding to declutter your whole house is huge, deciding to declutter in parts is manageable. Let’s say you have a basement full of boxes you got from your parents or your kids. If you can devote 2 hours a Saturday over the course of a month, you’re more likely to get the boxes cleared than if you try to commit to an entire weekend to get the work done.
Tracking your progress is also fun. If you use a planner, track there. If you don’t, you can make yourself a poster and give yourself colorful check marks or post stickers to show yourself how much you’re getting done. A visual aid is a great reminder that you have important work in progress!
Make your “heart” work a priority
No matter what type of plan you set up, you can always override it, change your mind, or get distracted – unless you make your best work your top priority. And that’s something only you can do to stay on track.
What would you like to get done in 2018?
Sending your WARM wishes for these last days of December. Baby, it’s COLD outside today in Maine!
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