I know what you’re thinking. The holidays are here. Before we know it, the ball will drop and the arrival of 2016 will kill off all our hopes of accomplishing our biggest goals for 2015.
But there’s still time! Don’t roll over your resolutions for this year just because it’s almost next year. Take these simple steps to clear your desk—and your conscience—and make 2015 a real success.
1. Make a List
Write down all of your unmet milestones and goals for this year, then choose your top two or three. Focus on reasonable goals that depend almost or entirely on you, rather than outside factors or people. Then make a list of every actionable item you can do to meet those goals and get to work.
2. Tell the World
Enlist your pals and family and social media crew to keep you honest. Tell your mentor what you’re trying to accomplish. Tell your supportive family member, or your best friend, or your Twitter feed. Go public with your goals and the world will help hold you accountable for meeting them.
3. Make a Plan
Like Macaulay Culkin prepping his turf for the great burglar invasion of 1990, you need a battle strategy. There's about one month left in the year, which is more than enough time, but it's going to fly. Divide your actionable tasks among the weeks and make sure you don’t let any weeks slip by.
4. Cut out the Excess Noise
This one is like a pair of noise-cancelling headphones for your schedule! Find 3-5 places in your routine where you are wasting time: on Facebook, or loitering by the coffee machine, or playing Candy Crush on the commute home. For the next eight weeks, put that dawdle time into superdrive and chip away at your goal list instead. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can get done.
5. Find Time to Exercise
The best way to increase your energy, stamina, and focus is to exercise. The endorphins will juice you up, and so will the confidence boost of having hit the gym. You’ll make better progress on your goals and get fit in the process.
6. Worst Things First
Save the easiest, simplest tasks for last when you’re in your final sprint. Start every morning by tackling the hardest task first, while you’re freshest and your motivation is at a daily peak. Things will only get easier as you work.
7. Clock it
Set yourself a timer and don’t get up from what you’re doing until it goes off. You’ll need the breaks, so make sure to make the best of those as well. Check out the free Pomodoro app to help with this.
8. Create a "ta-da list"
You’ve heard of a to-do list, but how about a daily ta-da list? Look over everything you’ve done that day and revel in your productivity. It will help you clear the last few hurdles and stay motivated to get those goals met before the new year.
9. Designate the Holiday as a Reward
I know it feels like one big overstuffed calendar of distractions, parties, tempting buffets, and open bars. But use all this festivity to your advantage! Build holiday treats and fun into your schedule as a reward for crossing tasks of your list.
One month isn’t much, but it’s enough. Now, shouldn’t you be making that goal list instead of reading articles online?
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