self-improvement http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12434/all en-US 10 Ways to Stop Being Impatient and Live a More Satisfied Life http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-stop-being-impatient-and-live-a-more-satisfied-life <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-stop-being-impatient-and-live-a-more-satisfied-life" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-159290053.jpg" alt="man waiting" title="man waiting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you recognize this scenario?</p> <p>You're running late for work on a Monday morning; you've been stuck in traffic with a steady stream of emails coming in; and now you find yourself mired in a long, glacially-slow line at the grocery store? Scenes like these are all too common in modern life and they test the outermost limits of our patience. Fortunately, even in a world that's as rushed and demanding as ours, you can still cultivate the virtue of patience over time. Here are 10 simple techniques that will help you increase your patience and find your Zen. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/banish-stress-easy-ways-to-get-calm-now-and-forever?ref=seealso">Easy Ways to Banish Stress</a>)</p> <h2>1. Meditate Daily</h2> <p>There's mounting evidence that practicing meditation provides a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/16/eight-meditation-brain-benefits_n_3903855.html">broad range of benefits</a>. If you practice meditation regularly over time, you'll reap the rewards of an inner calmness that won't be easily shaken by minor mishaps in daily life. Best of all, you can start meditating today for free with no special equipment.</p> <h2>2. Unpack Huge Tasks</h2> <p>Find a way to break down your larger goals into smaller and more manageable tasks that feed your mood with a sense of steady accomplishment. For example, if you want to lose weight, you can celebrate a small victory with each workout you complete or every healthy meal you eat. When you remember that little wins add up to big successes, you won't get as impatient with yourself for losing a battle every now and then. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-steps-to-achieving-all-your-goals?ref=seealso">How to Achieve All Your Goals</a>)</p> <h2>3. Focus on What You Can Control</h2> <p>When you feel like you're about to boil over, try putting that feeling into words. If one of the words that comes to mind is &quot;should&quot; or &quot;ought to,&quot; you may be demanding too much from the situation or placing the blame on someone else. Rather than test your patience by defining situations with &quot;should&quot; or &quot;ought to,&quot; try building patience by thinking in terms of &quot;could.&quot; Consider the other possibilities you <em>could</em> pursue in an effort to solve the problem or work through a challenge. In other words, focus on the things you can control rather than on the things or people you can't.</p> <h2>4. Don't React &mdash; Distract</h2> <p>Sometimes the best way to deal with frustrating situations is to focus on something other than your brewing irritation. Play a game of mental scavenger hunt using your surroundings. For example, if you're bumper-to-bumper in a traffic jam, rearrange the letters and numbers of the license plates around you to make funny words or phrases (this game also helps distract irritable kids). If you're stuck in a long line at the grocery store, discretely review the food selections of the person in front of you. Can you tell what's on their dinner menu? What could you make with the same ingredients?</p> <h2>5. Eat Slowly</h2> <p>Charles Courtemanche is an economist whose research shows that <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/inspiration-motivation/how-be-patient-00100000098380/">eating slowly</a> is a way to reduce impulsive behavior, thereby making you a more patient person. To reap the most rewards, practice eating slowly with a simple, healthy meal you prepare yourself. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-and-easy-dinners-plus-5-delicious-desserts?ref=seealso">25 Simple and Easy Meals</a>)</p> <h2>6. Sleep Tight</h2> <p>Not getting enough good quality sleep keeps us on edge and makes us more susceptible to losing our cool. Fortify your patience by giving yourself the advantage of a good night's rest that is built around at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep.</p> <h2>7. Practice Gratitude</h2> <p>Since <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/science-shows-that-saying-thanks-can-improve-your-health-and-happiness">gratitude can improve our health</a>, practice thankfulness to counter negative moods and impatience. The next time something isn't going your way, try to recall and be thankful for all the times things have gone right in the past. You might even find yourself being grateful for the opportunity to meet the challenge at hand!</p> <h2>8. Find a Slow Hobby</h2> <p>Exercise your patience muscles with hobbies that build results over time. Knitting, painting, sculpture, and bonsai are relatively inexpensive ways to explore your creative side and build patience and mindfulness. As a bonus, practicing these crafts will likely result in beautiful object or two. You might even make a family heirloom in the process of becoming more patient.</p> <p>Need to de-stress now and don't have a slow hobby at the ready? Try these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 inexpensive ways to relieve stress</a> and live in the moment.</p> <h2>9. Know When to Hold 'Em</h2> <p>It's easier to live with feelings of discomfort if you can convince yourself that it's for a good cause. When you get impatient, reconnect yourself with the motives that put you in the situation. If you think those motives are worthy enough, then try embracing the discomfort as a small price to pay for a larger reward.</p> <h2>10. Know When to Fold 'Em</h2> <p>When possible, draw a clear boundary around chaotic situations and decide when it's time to call it quits. Knowing where the finish line is (or what your limits are, if no finish line presents itself) can help you better deal with challenges. It also gives you some control over perceived losses &mdash; you can feel satisfied in conceding defeat when you're certain that you've given it your very best shot. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-know-when-to-persevere-and-when-to-quit?ref=seealso">How to Know When to Quit</a>)</p> <p>Cultivating patience is a process &mdash; one that isn't reinforced very often by our hectic world and 24/7/365 lifestyles. But even though patience may be hard to come by these days, it's certainly worth pursuing. And the rewards couldn't be sweeter: less stress, fewer sleepless nights, better health, and an attitude of peace that will be a natural draw to the curious frazzled people around you.</p> <p><em>How do you cope with frustrating situations that challenge your patience? How do you teach patience to your children?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-stop-being-impatient-and-live-a-more-satisfied-life">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andbreathe-become-more-patient-in-9-easy-steps">And...Breathe: Become More Patient in 9 Easy Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-break-bad-habits">How to Break Bad Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reverse-bucket-list-look-back-before-looking-forward">Reverse Bucket List: Look Back Before Looking Forward</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-be-nice-that-will-cost-you-barely-anything">13 Ways To Be Nice That Will Cost You Barely Anything</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Personal Development patience self-improvement waiting Wed, 26 Mar 2014 09:48:20 +0000 Kentin Waits 1132809 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/meditation-4958740-small.jpg" alt="meditating" title="meditating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is an old adage that says &quot;if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.&quot;</p> <p>In other words, change is good.</p> <p>Of course, implementing real change in our lives isn't always easy. We are a culture of habit &mdash; equating the familiar with the warm and fuzzy concepts of safety and security, even if the &quot;familiar&quot; isn't necessarily good for us. As a result, we resist change as long as we can, all the while talking about it, wishing for it, and promising to do it tomorrow. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today" target="_blank">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>The solution is to find a way to introduce change gently, to incorporate it into our daily lives in a way that makes it as minimally invasive as possible, so that by the time we realize we've made a major change, it's already become a comfortable habit that we've learned to embrace instead of dread.</p> <p>And as with so much else in life these days, there's an app for that. Several in fact, and I've listed some of my favorites here. Use them to introduce some small changes into your day and let the momentum carry you on to bigger and better things.</p> <h2>1. Simply Being</h2> <p>If mindset is truly the key to success, <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fsimply-being-guided-meditation%252Fid347418999%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">then this little app</a> will help you open that door. Choose how long you want to meditate &mdash; 5, 10, 15, or 20 minutes &mdash; and then start your day with a guided meditation. You can also choose to add nature sounds and/or music to your meditation, as well as listen to just the music without the voiceover. Available for <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fsimply-being-guided-meditation%252Fid347418999%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iPhone, iPad</a>, Blackberry, Windows, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004VSIEL4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004VSIEL4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20" target="_blank">Android devices</a>.</p> <h2>2. Duolingo</h2> <p>I've mentioned this app before, but I'm mentioning it again because <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fduolingo-learn-spanish-french%252Fid570060128%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">it's definitely one you should have</a> in your arsenal of mobile tools. Duolingo is a free app that gives you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-learn-a-language" target="_blank">language lessons</a> and in exchange, you help to translate the World Wide Web (when you're ready of course). Currently they offer French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Italian. I'm learning the first three simultaneously (which is a challenge) and absolutely love this app. Each lesson takes 8 to 10 minutes tops, making it easy to work into your schedule. The unique interactive interface almost guarantees that you remember what you've learned. The app is available for <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fduolingo-learn-spanish-french%252Fid570060128%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iPhone</a> and <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.duolingo" target="_blank">Android</a> devices, or you can use the web-based interface if you prefer to expand your horizons from your PC.</p> <h2>3. Workout Trainer</h2> <p>Okay, how many of you had &quot;work out&quot; or &quot;get in shape&quot; on your list of resolutions this year? And now, how many years has that resolution been on your list?</p> <p>The problem with working out is that it's addictive...but you have to actually do it before the addiction kicks in, and getting over that starting hump isn't always easy.</p> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fworkout-trainer%252Fid395686735%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Enter the Workout Trainer</a>. This is by far the best workout app I've found to date. There is a pro version, but the free version offers more than enough to get you up and moving on a regular basis. Choose from a variety of workouts, add your favorite music, and you're ready to go. No equipment is needed, detailed instructional videos for each move are included, and you can connect with their workout community or share your progress via email and social media platforms. Available for <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fworkout-trainer%252Fid395686735%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iPhone, iPad</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007QV1H7G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007QV1H7G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20" target="_blank">Android devices</a>.</p> <h2>4. Nike+</h2> <p>The <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fnike%252B-running%252Fid387771637%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Nike+ app</a> uses the GPS on your phone (no extra devices or plugins required) to track your workout and show your progress. I've started walking in the morning, taking my dog along with me as part of his leash training. It's a simple app, but effective, and I get excited when I hear the computerized voice tell me that I've reached my goal or when I see that I've knocked two minutes off my time. (Of course, that's probably because my 90-lb dog is pulling me faster than he did the day before.) You can &quot;friend&quot; other Nike+ users and see how you measure up, which is good for those of us who have a competitive nature. And did I mention it's free? <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fnike%252B-running%252Fid387771637%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Click for iOS</a> or <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nike.plusgps" target="_blank">Android here</a>.</p> <h2>5. YOGAmazing</h2> <p>It's not always easy to make it to the yoga studio on a regular basis or, as in my case, to even find a yoga studio that's nearby. <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fyogamazing-yoga-video-app%252Fid323302717%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">YOGAmazing is the solution</a> to that problem, and you won't need a player or a studio to make it happen. The app includes 50 yoga sessions designed to increase your flexibility and bring a little body-mind-spirit balance. Each session is 25 minutes long, and you can favorite the ones you like best for easy recall. Available for <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Fyogamazing-yoga-video-app%252Fid323302717%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">iPhone, iPad</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0062AC5C8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0062AC5C8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=best-apps-20" target="_blank">Android</a>.</p> <h2>6. Office Yoga</h2> <p>Can't get away for a full yoga session? Then use this app to do some <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Foffice-yoga%252Fid326458639%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">beneficial poses at the office</a>. The app includes 75 sessions, organized both by time of day as well as situation, so you'll find stretches you can do while on the phone as well as more invigorating exercises designed for your walk to lunch. Available for iPhone and iPad.</p> <h2>7. Lumosity</h2> <p>I'm sure you've seen commercials for this app by now, but I'm going to list it anyway, just in case.</p> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Flumosity-mobile%252Fid577232024%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Lumosity is a wonderful collection</a> of brain games designed to test your mental acuity and give your gray matter a serious workout. There is a more comprehensive web-based version, but the app offers a free trial that includes five sessions of three games each and a pro version of the app for $9.99 per year. Even though the app version isn't as robust as the web-based version, it's still well worth the 10 bucks.</p> <p>Use it daily to improve your memory, increase your observation skills, and just generally make yourself smarter.</p> <h2>8. Lifetick</h2> <p>Want to get more in touch with the &quot;real you?&quot; <a href="http://lifetick.com/index.html" target="_blank">Lifetick offers a goal setting app</a> that doesn't just track your progress, it also helps you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-with-storytelling" target="_blank">establish your core values</a>, i.e., what's really important to you. The result is that your goals become more personalized, and by using the SMART goal-setting method, you can track your way to success. There's also a journal feature and status widgets to help keep you inspired and on track. There's a free version available, and it's $20 a year for the pro version. You can also create a bucket list for your long-term future and you can share your goals with other members for extra motivation. Available for iPhone and Android devices.</p> <h2>9. Lift</h2> <p>If <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-changes-or-small-changes" target="_blank">you want to start small</a>, this is the app for you. <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Flift-goal-tracking%252Fid530911645%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Lift allows you to choose simple habits</a> you'd like to implement &mdash; from flossing your teeth to going to bed before midnight &mdash; and then you can &quot;check in&quot; every time you perform that task.</p> <p>The app tracks your progress and other users can give you kudos for your follow through to add to your feeling of satisfaction. <a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=146261&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0&amp;tmpid=1826&amp;RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fapp%252Flift-goal-tracking%252Fid530911645%253Fmt%253D8%2526uo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30" target="_blank">Available for iPhone</a> right now, but the website promises a web version is on the way &mdash; you can sign up for future updates to know when new versions are released.</p> <h2>10. Instinct</h2> <p>This <a href="http://getinstinct.com/" target="_blank">last one is currently web-based only</a>, but the creators say they're working on a mobile version, and it's just so darn cool, I felt like this list wouldn't be complete without it. Instinct is the new (and fun) way to learn guitar. It uses the built-in microphone on your computer to listen to the notes you play and correct you as you go. It can teach you both songs and riffs, and it also has a tuner to help you find that perfect pitch for each string. It's free and offers a range of lessons to suit both beginners and advanced players.</p> <p>Incidentally, I regularly tweet about my adventure with change and love to cheer others for doing the same, so follow me on <a href="http://twitter.com/happygokate" target="_blank">Twitter</a> if you'd like to expand your support network, and we'll evolve together.</p> <p><em>So, there's my list...do you have a favorite app or resource that helps you be all that you can be?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-apps-that-pay-you-to-exercise">5 Apps That Pay You To Exercise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-too-7-amazing-things-people-have-accomplished-in-under-a-year">You Can Too: 7 Amazing Things People Have Accomplished in Under a Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today">25 Small New Year’s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-youre-not-as-happy-as-youd-like-to-be">6 Reasons You&#039;re Not as Happy as You&#039;d Like to Be</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-accomplishing-more-in-a-day">Tips for Accomplishing More in a Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity apps goal setting motivation online tools self-improvement Fri, 24 May 2013 10:24:32 +0000 Kate Luther 974240 at http://www.wisebread.com Reverse Bucket List: Look Back Before Looking Forward http://www.wisebread.com/reverse-bucket-list-look-back-before-looking-forward <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/reverse-bucket-list-look-back-before-looking-forward" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/freedom_1.jpg" alt="Person with hands in the air" title="Person with hands in the air" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everybody has a bucket list &mdash; a random list of things we'd like to do, be, or have before we &ldquo;kick the bucket.&rdquo; Some people make do with rough mental compilations, while others prefer their bucket lists typed, formatted, and prominently displayed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed">Goal Setting,&nbsp;Defined and Deconstructed</a>)</p> <p>But what of the bucket list? Where is the context? How satisfied will we feel about our lives today if we're constantly studying a list of things we <em>haven't</em> done? Where do we even <em>begin </em>with a list like this, instigated no less by a big clock in the sky counting us down towards an unknown &ldquo;bucket date?&rdquo;</p> <p>I get panicky just thinking about it.</p> <p>Although a bucket list can be motivational, I believe that in and of itself it can be more crippling than empowering. In order for a bucket list to reach its true potential, I think we should first start with a Reverse Bucket List.</p> <h2>What's a Reverse Bucket List?</h2> <p>In order to gauge where we're going, it's always good to know where we've come from. Creating a context of our journey thus far is imperative to understanding why we want the things we want, and ultimately, how to get them.</p> <p>A Reverse Bucket List is a list of things that we think are &ldquo;bucket list worthy,&rdquo; but that we've already done. It's a creative way of reflecting on your life thus far and taking note of the some of the experiences that really sang to you.</p> <p>Not only is it fun, but you might be surprised by what you've already done in your life. (Conversely, you may realize you need to get out of the house more.)</p> <p>Either way, it's all good.</p> <h2>Reverse Bucket List Exercise</h2> <p>You may want to structure the exercise of making your Reverse Bucket List using the method for devising <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">100 ways to change your life</a>.</p> <p>By doing it as a fast-paced brainstorming exercise, you may be surprised at what makes its way on to your Reverse Bucket List. There are no right or wrong answers &mdash; only your own answers. It's your life, and your reverse bucket list; write down as many things as you can, without worrying about <i>what </i>you're actually writing. We'll get to that later.</p> <p>Here are a few general ideas to get your reflective juices flowing:</p> <ul> <li>Achievements or awards you've received</li> <li><a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2008/04/conquering-fears-the-swim/">Fears you've conquered</a></li> <li>Careers you've had</li> <li>Friends you've made and people you've met</li> <li>Places you've traveled to</li> <li>Anything that's worthy of a story you tell other people</li> <li>Goals and milestones you reached</li> <li>Childhood dreams (no matter how silly in retrospect) you achieved</li> <li>Bizarre or fun things that have happened to you or that you've done&nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>What to Do With Your List</h2> <p>This isn't a pesky to-do list or a vision board that requires prominent display as a reminder of what you need to do or where you're going.</p> <p>Instead, it's more in the act of <em>constructing</em> and initially reviewing your Reverse Bucket List that you will see the benefits.</p> <p>Once you've finished writing out your Reverse Bucket List, read through it. What do you think? Do you notice any themes? Are there any gaps? How does reading this list make you feel?</p> <p>Regardless of whether you feel there's too little or too much on your Reverse Bucket List, you might discover some of the things on it are surprising, even illuminating. And they might lead you to your next step.</p> <h2>The Next Step</h2> <p>Using the observations you made above, now is a great time to project your Reverse Bucket List forward. To reverse the Reverse Bucket List, as it were.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">Here are some exercises you can do from here:</p> <ul> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/vision-boards-dream-big-play-with-pictures-and-watch-your-life-change">Dream Big, Play With Pictures, and Watch Your Life Change</a></li> <li><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-for-answers-in-life-heres-your-key">Looking for Answers in Life? Here's Your Key</a>&nbsp;</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reverse-bucket-list-look-back-before-looking-forward">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-stop-being-impatient-and-live-a-more-satisfied-life">10 Ways to Stop Being Impatient and Live a More Satisfied Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-ways-you-are-causing-road-rage">16 Ways You Are Causing Road Rage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today">25 Small New Year’s Resolutions You Can Start Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/execution-not-ideas-is-key-duh">Execution, Not Ideas, is Key. Duh!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development bucket list personal development self-improvement Mon, 23 Jan 2012 11:36:11 +0000 Nora Dunn 872708 at http://www.wisebread.com Productivity Tips to Carry You Through 2012 http://www.wisebread.com/productivity-tips-to-carry-you-through-2012 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/productivity-tips-to-carry-you-through-2012" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_in_office.jpg" alt="Woman in office" title="Woman in office" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="150" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The start of a new year is a good time to take a review of the best productivity tips we have shared with you. These tips help maximize your efficiency at work so you're getting more done in less time. Read on to find out what our best picks for productivity tips are so you can use them to have an even more efficient 2012!</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Self-Motivate-20965409">RELATED:&nbsp;How to Self-Motivate in 5 Steps</a></p> <h3>Doodle During Meetings to Help Retain More Information</h3> <p>Scientific research has shown that humans can pay attention to one thing for up to 20 minutes. After that period, it gets harder and harder to focus on it. If you feel your attention span has reached its limit, perhaps you should take a notepad out to doodle. A study in the <em>Applied Cognitive Psychology Journal</em> <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/acp.1561/abstract">tested the doodling theory</a> on a group of participants. Half were instructed to listen to a phone call that recited a list of names of people and places, and the other half were told to doodle when listening to the message. Those who doodled were able to remember 29 percent more than those who didn't. <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/minding-the-body/201110/do-doodle-mindbody-wellness">Psychology Today says</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>In the study, the phone message was intentionally designed to be boring. One possibility is that doodling distracted participants from their boredom. Yet it demanded less concentration than drifting off into a daydream, so the doodlers may actually have been more focused than non-doodlers. </p></blockquote> <h3>Make a Do-Not-Do List</h3> <p>If you're like me, you may constantly find yourself <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Easy--Do-List-Tips-10385775">tackling never-ending to-do lists</a>. I think one of the worst drawbacks of a to-do list is that it becomes entrenched in your mind &mdash; you're always thinking about what you have left to do, and that can take a toll on you. For example, sometimes I can't help thinking about it when I'm in bed, and that leaves me restless.</p> <p>The solution to reducing the stress of a to-do list is to counter it with a do-not-do list. Russell Bishop, a life coach, gave some <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/russell-bishop/workarounds-stress-relief_b_819336.html">great advice on Huffington Post</a>: at the end of each day or workweek, not only should you cross out the items you have accomplished, but you should also mark that you're not going to do the remaining tasks for the rest of the night or weekend. Writing it off on your list will help to give your mind a mental break from the to-do list. This is such a savvy, yet simple tip &mdash; do you have more ideas on how to better manage a to-do list?</p> <h3>Leave a Text Instead of a Voicemail Message</h3> <p>I recently heard a unique voicemail message I thought was a great idea. Her voicemail said the best way to reach her is to &quot;leave a text instead of a voicemail message&quot; because she barely checks her voicemail messages. For those of you who are super texters, this is a great way to keep track of missed calls.</p> <p>Another awesome alternative is the function on Google Voice that gives you <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHuai7-jVlY">transcripts of your voicemail messages</a>.</p> <h3>Use Nature to Beat Work Fatigue</h3> <p>Although it's recommended to take a short walk to unwind from work, what you're surrounded by during your walk actually matters a lot. For example, if you're walking through a busy street filled with flashing lights and loud noises, the stroll won't really be an effective time-out.</p> <p>University of Michigan researchers found that subjects who strolled through a nature setting saw a 20% improvement in attention and focus tests. However, participants who took a brief walk in a busy city did not see any cognitive benefits. Even spending time in a quiet room with a picture depicting nature was more effective than a city stroll.</p> <h3>Schedule Emails to Be Sent Later With Boomerang</h3> <p><a href="http://www.boomeranggmail.com/">Boomerang</a> is a Firefox and Chrome plug-in that will let you schedule your emails to be sent at a later time and date, anywhere from a minute later to years later. You can install one for Gmail or for Outlook. The tool even lets you take out emails from your inbox and resend them back to you at a later time when you actually need them. For example, if your friend sent you an email today, but you're not going to have any time to respond until the weekend, you can use Boomerang to remove the email from your inbox and resend it to you on Saturday.</p> <p>I just downloaded the plug-in for my Gmail account, and I love it! I wrote an email late last night that I scheduled to be sent at 9 a.m. today, which went off without a hitch. I even had time to look over it before it was sent.</p> <p>I can imagine this feature coming in really handy on Friday when I'm writing work emails, because people are more likely to forget to reply as they usually put off replying to Friday emails until after the weekend. Using Boomerang to schedule those emails for Monday mornings may cut down on the hassle of sending follow-up emails.</p> <h3>Be Specific When Setting Goals</h3> <p>Whether it be saving more or deciding to lose weight, achieving goals can be quite hard for most people. It's easy to set them and pledge to yourself that you're turning over a leaf. And then when you find yourself making excuses to skip the gym or indulging in something you can't afford, you're wondering how your plan got derailed. I came across this neat tip that'll help you better achieve goals in an email from Ramit Sethi's blog <a href="http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/">I Will Teach You to Be Rich</a>. Ramit says:</p> <blockquote><p>&quot;'When it comes to self-persuasion, vague goals are death. For example, people have really vague goals &mdash; 'I want to get a six-pack' &mdash; which is an excuse to do nothing, since the path to a six-pack is unclear. It would be better to say 'I want to go to the gym two times this week.' Once you accomplish that minor goal, you can escalate it: 'I want to run on the treadmill for 10 minutes without stopping . . . now 15 minutes . . . now 30 . . . ' and finally, once you get to an advanced level, you can set more ambitious, vague goals like a six-pack.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p>Whenever you're making goals, try applying this concept to them. For example, if you're trying to save money, write down some concrete and specific steps you can take, such as shave $200 off your monthly rent by getting a roommate or moving to a smaller apartment, or saving $24 a week by bringing lunch to work three times a week.</p> <h3>Organize Your Workdays by Theme</h3> <p>I really don't know how Jack Dorsey does it. He's currently managing two fast-growing tech companies &mdash; Twitter and Square. He apparently spends eight hours at each firm every day and he says the only way to juggle two companies is to &quot;be very disciplined.&quot; He also themes his 16-hour days. Here's what his schedule is like, <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/13/technology/dorsey_techonomy/index.htm">according to CNN</a>:</p> <p><strong>Monday</strong>: Management meetings and &quot;running the company&quot; work<br /> <strong>Tuesday</strong>: Product development<br /> <strong>Wednesday</strong>: Marketing, communications, and growth<br /> <strong>Thursday</strong>: Developers and partnerships<br /> <strong>Friday</strong>: The company and its culture<br /> <strong>Saturday</strong>: Hiking<br /> <strong>Sunday</strong>: Reflection, feedback, and strategy</p> <p>I actually think Jack's &quot;theme your days&quot; idea is a good one, and I think I'm going to start implementing a slight variation of that strategy at work. However, I don't think I'll plan my weekends out. I like to be as spontaneous as possible on Saturdays and Sundays!</p> <h3>Don't Drink More Caffeine Than Necessary</h3> <p>If you intake more coffee than your usual amount, it might make you more stressed if you're already feeling some tension, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Bristol. Stick to your regular cup of joe, and if you think the taste of coffee will calm you down, try opting for a decaf coffee instead.</p> <h3>Stop Spammy Calls</h3> <p>Spam calls can be a frustrating waste of time. Get rid of those pesky calls with these tips:</p> <p><strong>Do Not Call Registry</strong></p> <p>This is probably the best piece of advice for putting an end to those telemarketing calls. Once I registered my cell phone number with the <a href="https://www.donotcall.gov/register/reg.aspx">Do Not Call registry</a>, which is managed by the Federal Communications Commission, I stopped received telemarketing calls. Let me tell you, silence is truly golden! If the calls still persist, you can even file a complaint with <a href="http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm">the FCC online</a>.</p> <p><strong>Keep It Private</strong></p> <p>Be wary of giving out your phone number and try to limit it to friends. Be very careful about entering in your phone number when you're participating in contests or signing up for promotions.</p> <p><strong>Straight to Voicemail</strong></p> <p>If you're getting too many telemarketing calls, you can save yourself the hassle of dealing with them each time by letting an unknown number go straight to voicemail. You can then check your voicemail messages at the end of the day to see who you should really call back.</p> <h3>Stay Optimistic</h3> <p>People who have a positive view about their willpower and believe they have an unlimited amount of it are able to work longer without a decrease in performance quality versus those who believe they have a limited amount, Stanford University researchers found. The</p> <p>And remember, being happy doesn't have to cost you anything! Check out these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Increase-My-Happiness-20753887">feel-good tips</a> on how to have a happier life for free.</p> <h3>Write Down Your Big Wins</h3> <p>Time passes so quickly, doesn't it? Before you know it, it's performance evaluation time again. Here's a tip for you: write down your big wins as they happen over the year. It doesn't matter if it's in Excel, Google Docs, or a plain notebook, start keeping track of your accomplishments. That way when you're pushing a raise, you'll be able to easily whip out the detailed facts and be able to make a stronger case of why you deserve one. After all, memories can fail, and it's easy to forget certain achievements over the course of a year.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> This year, you can be more efficient, happier, and less stressed. From work to the weekend, make 2012 your best year yet with these suggestions. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a style="border:none;" href="http://www.savvysugar.com"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Organize-Your-Email-Inbox-20945323">How to Organize Your Inbox Into a To-Do List in 5 Easy Steps</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Productive-Monday-5679691">5&nbsp;Little Tips to Help Kick-Start Your Work&nbsp;Week</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Tips-Handling-Personal-Finances-18910245">6 Personal Finance Tips for Forgetful People<br /> </a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/productivity-tips-to-carry-you-through-2012">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effort-vs-results-the-difference-between-trying-and-getting-it-done">Effort vs. Results: The Difference Between Trying and Getting It Done</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fallacy-of-multitasking">The Fallacy of Multitasking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/excel-the-most-underrated-software-you-already-own">Excel: The Most Underrated Software You Already Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-areas-where-you-can-eliminate-distractions">6 Areas Where You Can Eliminate Distractions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity Technology efficiency New Year self-improvement Wed, 04 Jan 2012 10:48:10 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 853907 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Small New Year’s Resolutions You Can Start Today http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/jump_for_joy.jpg" alt="Girls jumping for joy" title="Girls jumping for joy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every year, we make the same mistake &mdash; making New Year&rsquo;s resolutions we know we won&rsquo;t keep.</p> <p>Losing weight. Quitting smoking. Getting out of debt. Those are some of the <a href="http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2040218_2040220_2040221,00.html">top commonly broken resolutions</a>. Why? Because they require a long-term commitment to achieve, but we want instant gratification. When we don&rsquo;t see results, we give up.</p> <p>This year, make resolutions you can reasonably keep &mdash; short-term goals that give you the satisfaction you want right away. Here are 25 ideas to get you started today. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-your-new-years-resolutions">5 Ways to Keep Your New Year's Resolutions</a>)</p> <h3>1. Read More Books</h3> <p>This is on my list every year because I don&rsquo;t read nearly enough books. I read a lot &mdash; online news, blogs, magazines, the backs of cereal boxes &mdash; but I don&rsquo;t schedule enough time to sit down and get lost in a good book. To make this your resolution, set an achievable goal for the amount of books you&rsquo;d like to read next year, starting today. If you read zero books this year, even one book will be a step up. If you read two books this year, make it three next year. The point is to make the amount manageable, so you can feel good about yourself when you reach your goal.</p> <h3>2. Buy Fewer Daily Deals</h3> <p>Every morning I wake up, slide open my iPhone, and tap on the apps for Groupon and LivingSocial. Too many times I end up purchasing the deal(s) of the day. On my desk at this moment, there are no less than 10 unredeemed daily deals. I&rsquo;m very good about using them &mdash; so they&rsquo;re in no danger of expiring &mdash; but 10 is admittedly too many. I know I&rsquo;m not the only one with this problem. When you see today&rsquo;s daily deal that you &quot;have&quot; to have, just say no. You don&rsquo;t have to have it; there will be another deal that comes along soon enough.</p> <h3>3. Keep an Organized Desk</h3> <p>Throw away the papers you no longer need. Separate utensils and supplies into their own containers. Untangle your electronics cords. Suck the crumbs out of your keyboard. Dust and sanitize the surfaces. Organization is contagious. Start here, and who knows where it could lead.</p> <h3>4. Spend at Least 20 Minutes Walking</h3> <p>Me and cardio do not get along, but I want to lose a little weight. Instead of running &mdash; which I give up quickly because I hate it with a passion &mdash; I started walking 20 minutes a day. If you live in a city, you can add some steps to your routine by getting off public transportation sooner than you normally might and walking the rest of the way. Of course, it&rsquo;s cold this time of year, so you might not be down with walking outside more than you have to. If you have a gym membership, hop on the treadmill and turn on the TV while you walk the pounds off. It helps the time fly.&nbsp;</p> <h3>5. Watch Less TV</h3> <p>If you normally put on the TV as soon as you get home, wait an hour and do something productive instead. During the week I try to TiVo my favorite shows while spending after-work hours continuing projects, seeing a film, or spending quality time with my friends. Then on Sundays, when I would normally watch reruns of whatever&rsquo;s on, I play the shows I actually want to see. This cuts down on the total amount of TV I&rsquo;m consuming, keeps me entertained on Sundays (while everybody else is watching football), and helps me get more things done that I need to do.</p> <h3>6. Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses</h3> <p>If you think about it, there&rsquo;s probably at least one expense you can trim from your budget. Mine is Netflix. I don&rsquo;t plan to renew my subscription when it expires in a few days. Maybe you can get even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained">get rid of your cable plan</a>, which will save you a decent amount. Think about it. How will you reclaim some of your hard-earned cash?</p> <h3>7. Be More Eco-Conscious</h3> <p>If you don&rsquo;t already have recycling bins, go get some. They&rsquo;re very inexpensive; IKEA has some nice ones. Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Use less water. Pile on the blankets instead of turning on the heat (or invest in a <a href="http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=126837">heated blanket</a> &mdash; I love mine!) when it&rsquo;s cold out. Don&rsquo;t run the dishwasher or washing machine unless they&rsquo;re full. Buy eco-friendly products when possible. In general, try to create less waste and reduce your carbon footprint.</p> <h3>8. Remove Clutter From Your Computer</h3> <p>Put your docs and photos in the proper folders, uninstall unwanted programs, dump any items that aren&rsquo;t serving you any purpose in the trash. You&rsquo;ll clear the path and save yourself time looking for what you need. Your computer might even run faster, too.</p> <h3>9. Add More Culture to Your Life</h3> <p>Support the local theater, visit a new museum exhibit, find a restaurant that&rsquo;s showcasing a indie musician. Just get out of the house to learn, do, or see something new.</p> <h3>10. Volunteer Your Time</h3> <p>There are umpteen ways you can give back to your community and the world &mdash; but the best way is with your time. Maybe the local shelter needs you to serve food. Or perhaps your neighborhood Red Cross chapter could use some help in its facility. Check around. Opportunities to volunteer are virtually endless. And who knows &ndash; you might make some new friends along the way.</p> <h3>11. Cut Back on Sugar and Empty Calories</h3> <p>When your sweet tooth starts acting up, satiate it with fruit instead. Cuties &mdash; yes, those easy-to-peel oranges the kids on TV are talking about &mdash; are an excellent and healthy alternative to chocolate and other fattening snacks.</p> <h3>12. Log Off Facebook More Often</h3> <p>Damn that Mark Zukerberg! He invented the biggest time waster in history &mdash; and made a billion dollars from it. Take your life back &mdash; for at least an hour a day (we don&rsquo;t need to get too crazy here) &mdash; by logging off Facebook for an hour. Your friends will probably think you're dead, but you&rsquo;ll be back to posting LOLCats in no time.</p> <h3>13. Go to Bed Earlier</h3> <p>This is a hard one. I have trouble sleeping, let alone going to bed early, but it&rsquo;s worth a try. Whatever your &ldquo;normal&rdquo; bedtime is, try to bump it up an hour or two. Besides, who couldn&rsquo;t use a little more sleep?</p> <h3>14. Make at Least One Cookbook Meal a Week</h3> <p>I have a whole row of cookbooks that I never crack open because it&rsquo;s much easier for me to find a recipe online while I&rsquo;m working. What&rsquo;s the point of having them then, right? Dust one off, crack it open, and find something delicious to make for dinner &mdash; the old-fashioned way.</p> <h3>15. Clean Out Your Closet</h3> <p>Toss anything you haven&rsquo;t worn in a year. Get rid of beat-up shoes. Donate unwanted accessories. And for goodness sake, fold up your shirts, sock, and underwear. You&rsquo;re a grownup.</p> <h3>16. Call Your Grandparents More Often</h3> <p>They&rsquo;re not getting any younger. Pick up the phone and make their day.</p> <h3>17. Gossip Less</h3> <p>One of my favorite quotes is from the movie <em>Steel Magnolias</em>: &ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t have anything nice to say, come sit by me.&rdquo; But this year, starting today, I&rsquo;m going to bite my tongue more often. Sometimes, very, VERY hard.</p> <h3>18. Drink More Water</h3> <p>I have a friend who had to have $4,000 worth of dental work done because his primary source of liquid sustenance was <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda">soda</a>. Do you want your teeth to rot and fall out of your face? Then drink more water.</p> <h3>19. Start a Journal</h3> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s online or in a book, chronicle a year in your life. You never know what might come of it. Stranger things have happened than someone having their journal published for the world to read. You might be more interesting than you think.</p> <h3>20. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake</h3> <p>This is another biggie for me. I love to kick back with a glass or two (or seven) of wine, but too much of a good thing can turn bad very quickly. Ideally, I&rsquo;d like to cut out alcohol from Sunday to Thursday. Maybe we can be each other&rsquo;s no-drinking-during-the-week buddies. We can support each other via Facebook &mdash; until you log off like I told you to earlier.</p> <h3>21. Embark on a Journey of Spiritual Enlightenment</h3> <p>Oprah&rsquo;s not around anymore to make you feel bad about your lack of moral judgment (at least not on a daily basis), but who the heck needs her attitude anyway? The best way to find spiritual enlightenment is any way you want. Research religion, spirituality, and theology. Brush up on your deities. Go to church even. Spirituality is personal journey that you create. Can I have my own talk show now?</p> <h3>22. Turn Your Devices Off at Bedtime</h3> <p>How can you get to bed earlier if your phone is ringing, your friends are pinging, and your computer is dinging? Turn your electronics off when you get into bed so you&rsquo;re not tempted to stay awake buying Groupons or checking texts. If anybody needs to get a hold of you after midnight on a weekday, they only want one of two things &mdash; a) a booty call, or b) to tell you that somebody died. With regards to the former, you&rsquo;re better off missing that message. And the latter, well, they&rsquo;ll still be dead when you wake up.</p> <h3>23. Do Something Nice for Your Neighbors</h3> <p>Whether you like them or not, you have to live near them &mdash; at least for the time being. Extend a hand by baking up a batch of cookies, shoveling their sidewalk, offering to carpool their kids, or inviting them offer for a night of board games to get to know each other better. A little kindness goes a long way. Especially when you want to borrow their riding lawnmower.</p> <h3>24. Learn a New Skill</h3> <p>This was on Time magazine&rsquo;s list of commonly broken resolutions, but I think it&rsquo;s because those who resolve to learn a new skill choose something unreasonable. If you want to learn a new skill, choose one that you can actually accomplish &mdash; a skill that&rsquo;s challenging but not unachievable. And, yes, there are new skills that you can totally learn today. You know your own strengths and weaknesses, so choose wisely. You don&rsquo;t want to set yourself up for disappointment.</p> <h3>25. Schedule More &ldquo;You&rdquo; Time</h3> <p>Ah, yes. That coveted time where you get to do whatever you want, even if it&rsquo;s breaking one of these resolutions. What are you working so hard for if you can&rsquo;t kick your feet up and pat yourself on the pack for all the check marks on your list?</p> <p>There are you have it &mdash; 25 New Year&rsquo;s resolutions you can start today. Will you choose one or more of these, or do you have something on your mind that&rsquo;s not on this list? Let me know in the comments below.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-small-new-year-s-resolutions-you-can-start-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/an-organized-year-a-month-by-month-guide">An Organized Year: A Month-by-Month Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-good-habits-that-may-actually-be-hurting-you">6 &quot;Good&quot; Habits That May Actually Be Hurting You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Personal Development Productivity 25 changes new year's resolutions self-improvement Mon, 26 Dec 2011 11:36:34 +0000 Mikey Rox 826730 at http://www.wisebread.com Effort vs. Results: The Difference Between Trying and Getting It Done http://www.wisebread.com/effort-vs-results-the-difference-between-trying-and-getting-it-done <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/effort-vs-results-the-difference-between-trying-and-getting-it-done" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_pushing_rock.jpg" alt="Man trying to push a rock" title="Man trying to push a rock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's great to see an employee giving his or her best on a project, but it's all for naught if you aren't getting the right results.</p> <p>Effort is one of those things that a lot of young people are confused by &mdash; how can they be faulted if they didn't get the results that were expected of them when they put in 110% of their effort? Welcome to the real world, kids...a world where effort is all well and good, but it will always play a back seat to results.</p> <p>I had a boss once who gave me a glowing review &mdash; she went on and on about what a great job I had done. But as part of the review process she had to pick from three &quot;grades&quot; to give me: very good, average, and below average.</p> <p>It was a little bit of a shock when she said she was giving me the middle grade. She had a good reason &mdash; as a team, we hadn't met the goals we'd set for ourselves. The effort was there &mdash; we just weren't getting results. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed">Goal Setting, Defined and Deconstructed</a>)</p> <h2>How to Get Great Results</h2> <p>In an ideal world, everything you do is aimed at achieving the goals you've set out for yourself or your company set out for you. Here is a step-by-step guide to making sure you aren't wasting time with things that won't help you accomplish your goals.</p> <h3>Identify and Analyze the Problem</h3> <p>You have to know exactly what problem you're addressing. This could be really straightforward stuff like &quot;sell more widgets&quot; or &quot;increase our customer base.&quot; For most people, it will be some variation of those two &quot;problems.&quot; And if that's too vague for your everyday workload, then it's better to break it off by projects.</p> <p>That means things like &quot;increase sales for X model&quot; or &quot;lower the bounce rate on our site.&quot; Whatever problems your company is facing, make sure you're aware of what they are, because without this part you won't be able to...</p> <h3>Set a Goal</h3> <p>This is the guiding light for any organization, and it should be for you too. Know what your company's goals are, and tie everything you do to those goals. You should be crystal clear on what they are &mdash; otherwise the things you do won' t have any greater meaning, and you'll waste time on stuff that doesn't matter.</p> <p>Some companies publish goals in common areas like the kitchen and lounges &mdash; you should do the same. Write <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-in-new-years-resolutions-for-achieving-life-goals">your own goals</a> on a little note and stick it next to your monitor or in a drawer you open every day. Seeing this all the time will remind of of what you're trying to do. Which will be easier once you...</p> <h3>Develop a Plan</h3> <p>How do you tackle the goal you've set for yourself? That's the purpose of your plan. It's the roadmap you'll follow when you get lost in the weeds a month later and aren't sure where to go. Since this will be your guide, spend plenty of time on it. If you trust the plan it'll be easier to follow up down the line.</p> <p>And like any good plan, make sure you...</p> <h3>Measure It</h3> <p>&quot;What you measure is what gets accomplished.&quot; Those were the words of famed CEO Gordon Bethune. He was famous for turning around Continental Airlines back in the 90s, and this was one of his credos. He was relentless about measuring and rewarding the very things he was trying to change.</p> <p>If you're tracking exactly how many widgets are sold on a real-time basis, you'll be able make adjustments on the fly. And you will have to change, which is why you should...</p> <h3>Fail Fast</h3> <p>Don't underestimate <a href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/the-importance-of-failing-fast/">the importance of failing fast</a>. People like to think they don't have to fail, but failure is part of achieving results. The sooner you find out if your plan isn't working and can move on to the next idea, the better. Failing fast means you'll find what works sooner and start achieving results quicker.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effort-vs-results-the-difference-between-trying-and-getting-it-done">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-19"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/productivity-tips-to-carry-you-through-2012">Productivity Tips to Carry You Through 2012</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-it-done-how-to-measure-your-goals">Get It Done: How to Measure Your Goals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-your-coworkers-think-youre-a-slacker">6 Reasons Your Coworkers Think You&#039;re a Slacker</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternatives-to-nagging">15 Alternatives to Nagging</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Productivity achieving goals getting results self-improvement Mon, 17 Oct 2011 10:36:17 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 734364 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Have a Better Day http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-have-a-better-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-have-a-better-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/try_me.jpg" alt="Bad day" title="Bad day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Yesterday was a great day.</p> <p>The weather was warm, the sun was shining, and my hair actually did something semi-normal. I checked several things off my to-do list, I tried a new recipe (and it worked!), and I managed to clean out my closet to boot. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/finding-new-recipes-without-paying-for-new-cookbooks">Finding New Recipes Without Paying for New Cookbooks</a>)</p> <p>All in all, I'd give it two thumbs up.</p> <p>Of course, not every day ranks quite so well. Despite our best efforts, sometimes things just won't go our way, and the more we push, the more the Universe seems to push back.</p> <p>This tug-of-war is often the beginning of an ugly little cycle that can cause us to spiral down into a black hole of anger, despair, and frustration.</p> <p>And the angrier we get, the more things seem to go wrong.</p> <p>The reason for this cycle is simple: That negativity you're generating can only breed more negativity, meaning that it's almost impossible to accomplish anything good when we're busy raging against the woes of the world.</p> <p>As a result, that bad mood of yours makes you more likely to start an argument, stub your toe, break a dish, and lose your keys. And until you shake that negative energy, you're probably going to see more of the same.</p> <p>Fortunately, days like this don't have to be a total loss. Here are four ways to turn things around and have a better day.</p> <h2>Retreat</h2> <p>When my kids act up, I give them a time out. Time to sit and think, time to catch their breath, and time to relax and reboot. And on most occasions, this strategy works. So, why wouldn't it work for grown-ups too?</p> <p>Taking a time out gives you the opportunity to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-for-answers-in-life-heres-your-key">rethink your current state of mind</a>. Okay, so things aren't going your way, but is it really the end of the world? Is this really how you want to spend your entire day? Is there something more positive you could be focusing on instead?</p> <p>A brief retreat is often all we need to stop the cycle and gain some new perspective. Take a walk, take a nap, or simply shut your office door. Remove yourself from the company of others and relish your quiet time alone. You may not resurface as optimist of the year, but it will give you time to collect your thoughts and calm your mind, two key components to getting through the rest of the day.</p> <h2>Release</h2> <p>If you find yourself lashing out at everyone who crosses your path, it might be time to get that anger out of your system. For some, this could mean having a good cry or calling your best friend to vent. For others, it might mean going to gym and unleashing on a punching bag.</p> <p>Whatever your vice, just remember to keep it under control. Getting things off your chest can be therapeutic as long as you don't let it get out of hand. There's a fine line between letting off some steam and working yourself into a frenzy, and if you're not careful, you'll end up in a worse mood than when you started.</p> <h2>Fake It</h2> <p>Zig Ziglar once wrote &quot;You can't feel your way into a new way of acting, but you can act your way into a new way of feeling,&quot; and in many cases, this mentality actually works.</p> <p>Forcing yourself to act as if things are great can often leave you feeling much better, even though your circumstances haven't really changed. As William James said, &quot;We don't sing because we're happy...we're happy because we sing.&quot; Fake a positive outlook long enough, and you'll often find that you're no longer faking.</p> <h2>Flip It</h2> <p>If you're wondering how in the world you're going to pretend that your bad mood doesn't exist, this is a good place to start.</p> <p>Years ago, my husband and I found ourselves in a bit of a financial pickle. A series of unforeseen events had ravaged our savings. We were suddenly living payday to payday, and those checks were stretched very thin.</p> <p>Needless to say, the stress was enormous, and my initial instinct was to wallow in my own despair. We had worked hard to get to where we were and then BAM! Just like that, we were back to square one. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair at all. And I wanted someone to do something about it.</p> <p>Of course, then I realized that I was that someone. As unfair as the circumstances might've been, they were still circumstances that needed to be dealt with, and I essentially had two choices: I could moan and groan about the unfairness of life, or I could find a way to make things better.</p> <p>I chose the latter and found myself a part-time job. It wasn't long before things started looking up again, and we had a little breathing room in our finances. We also learned a hard but valuable lesson about money management and planning for our future &mdash; a lesson we might not have learned otherwise.</p> <p>In addition, this part-time gig turned out to be more lucrative than I would have ever imagined and was effectively my first step toward leaving the corporate world and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-deal-what-to-expect-when-starting-your-own-business">venturing out on my own</a>.</p> <p>It wasn't easy, of course, and I can't say that I was ever thrilled about working two jobs at that point in my life, but knowing I was taking control of the situation was a feeling I wouldn't soon forget.</p> <p>That experience taught me how to say &quot;It is what it is&quot; and move forward, something I find very useful when things aren't going my way. Yes, the circumstances might still suck, but if I can find a way to flip the situation and turn it into something positive, I know I'll get past whatever obstacle might be standing in my way.</p> <p><em>Do you have a tip that works for you? If so, share it in the comment section below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-have-a-better-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-mobile-apps-to-inspire-positive-thinking">7 Mobile Apps to Inspire Positive Thinking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-unbelievable-visualization-board-success-stories">3 Unbelievable Visualization Board Success Stories</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reverse-bucket-list-look-back-before-looking-forward">Reverse Bucket List: Look Back Before Looking Forward</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-stop-being-impatient-and-live-a-more-satisfied-life">10 Ways to Stop Being Impatient and Live a More Satisfied Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development happy positive thinking self-improvement Mon, 28 Feb 2011 12:01:08 +0000 Kate Luther 496247 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get a Life: Consider the Worst Case Scenario http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-life-consider-the-worst-case-scenario <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-a-life-consider-the-worst-case-scenario" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Jump.jpg" alt="get a life" title="Joy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is something that drives everything we do.</p> <p>Some actions are driven by love. Others motivated by hate. Money can get most of us moving. Some act based on their religious beliefs.</p> <p><em>The Purpose Driven Life</em> reminds us that <strong>some are motivated by FEAR</strong>. And I believe it. As a minister, I've had the opportunity to peer into the psychological depths of many people. I've seen their raw emotions. When the masks are removed, fear controls much of what we do. Fear poisons us until we are too paralyzed to act.</p> <p><strong>You are paralyzed by fear when &hellip;</strong></p> <ul> <li>You won't pursue a small business idea because you're afraid that it might not succeed.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Despite the encouragement of co-workers, you're afraid to apply for a new management position.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When you close your eyes, you dream about traveling the world, but you're afraid of what others will say.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You've always wanted to try out for the next dramatic production, but you're afraid you won't get the part.</li> </ul> <p>In life, we are often afraid to do truly courageous things because of what <em>might</em> happen.</p> <ul> <li>It might not go according to plan.</li> <li>I might not make money.</li> <li>I might lose my job.</li> <li>I might not get the job.</li> <li>My friends might not support me.</li> </ul> <p>Today, let's learn one simple life hack that will allow you to really, truly, <strong>start living life</strong>.</p> <p><strong>When making an important decision, ask yourself, <em>&quot;What is the worst case scenario?&quot;</em></strong></p> <p>Now, I'm not talking about psychological mumbo-jumbo where you try to convince yourself you can do things that you really can't. Nor am I talking about apocalyptic bad news where the worst case scenario is that aliens from another planet might come and eat you for dinner. Literally and logically, what is the worst case scenario that is likely to result from your actions?</p> <h2>Start Living Life Homework</h2> <ol> <li>Get a pen and paper and write one of your life goals or something you've always wanted to do at the top of the paper.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Then write this subtitle, <em>What's the worst case scenario?</em>, and list all the things that could possibly go wrong if you pursue that goal.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Write a number from 1 to 10 beside each listed item. Write a '1' if the worst case scenario is not really likely at all to happen. Write a '10' if it is almost certain to happen.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Now imagine that everything ranked 3 and up actually did happen. Would you regret your decision? Would you do it again?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If your answer is yes, then do it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If your answer is no, start making whatever changes or adjustments are necessary so that you can soften the blow of a worst case scenario.</li> </ol> <p><strong>Case Study #1: Can mommy afford to stay home?</strong></p> <p>Sally and her husband, Greg, have a 6-month-old baby, and Sally really wants to stay home with junior. The problem is that they are afraid they won't be able to pay the bills if Sally stays home. If they were able to cut their spending and Sally could earn an extra $300-$500 per month, they would be fine. They have a reasonable financial cushion of $5,000 savings, but they are paralyzed by fear and afraid to do what they really want to do.</p> <p><em>What's the worst case scenario?</em></p> <p>Sally might not find a way to work from home. She might not like staying at home. The family might not be able to cut enough expenses.</p> <p>So? If she stays home for six months and doesn't find something she can do from home, then she can just go get another job.</p> <p><strong>Cast Study #2: Start your own small business.</strong></p> <p>Tom has been slowly developing a computer software program. The program is selling well and providing a reasonable profit. He'd love to quit his full-time job and focus on building the business, but he's afraid. What if business doesn't pick up?</p> <p>So, what's the worst case scenario? The business doesn't pick up and Tom is forced to go back to work and finding a part-time job.</p> <h2>Fear As Positive Motivation</h2> <p>For those who face this kind of fear, perhaps you can use your fear to your advantage. Take that fear and use it to help distance yourself from the perceived risk. Increase your emergency funds savings. Spend an extra three months working full-time and part-time to give more cushioning. Jumping off a cliff is very different from jumping off a curb. The less risk, the more likely you are to succeed.</p> <p>Still, far too many people are driven by fear and let the world pass them by while they watch from the sideline.</p> <p><strong>Throwing caution to the wind is not the advice here.</strong> Typically, those who are the most fearful are those who are most cautious. They don't need to be encouraged to retreat further into their shells, but to take a risk to do what they love. If the worst case scenario is truly frightful, then don't do what you're considering. So, if the worst case scenario means your best alternative is declaring bankruptcy in two months and you'll lose your family in the process &mdash; don't do it. But many times, even if the worst did happen, we'd still be glad we took the risk.</p> <p><strong><em>Do you think this is good advice or just likely to cause a bunch of people to crash and burn? Is there anything you've been wanting to do, but you know it's just fear that is holding you back?</em></strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-life-consider-the-worst-case-scenario">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-can-do-today-to-be-happy">10 Things You Can Do Today to Be Happy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">25 Ways to Be a Better Person Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development fear happiness risk management self-improvement Thu, 02 Sep 2010 13:00:12 +0000 Craig Ford 223345 at http://www.wisebread.com