self-motivation http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/15995/all en-US How to Stick to Personal Deadlines http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stick-to-personal-deadlines <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-stick-to-personal-deadlines" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/clock-4986991-small.jpg" alt="clock" title="clock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a big difference between a deadline that your boss sets for you and one you set for yourself. Even if there's a little grumbling along the way, you'll work hard to meet a deadline that a manager imposes because you know that there are serious consequences to not getting your work done. But if you've set a personal deadline, it can be harder to stick to &mdash; there's just not the same type of consequence in place. You aren't going to fire yourself, so you can feel like pushing a deadline back a little won't be a problem. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tools-to-get-organized-family-style" target="_blank">Tools to Get Organized, Family Style</a>)</p> <p>But there are ways to make sure that you can stay on track to meet your personal deadlines. The process isn't always easy, but if the deadline you're shooting for is an important one, working to keep it makes sense.</p> <h2>Create an External Deadline</h2> <p>If we work better when someone else assigns our deadlines, why not find a way <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-get-back-on-track" target="_blank">to make your personal deadlines external</a>? Something as simple as tying your personal deadline to something bigger &mdash; something that you have to do for someone else &mdash; can help dramatically. For instance, if you're trying to get some repairs done around the house, you might consider inviting someone over for dinner the day after the deadline you've set. That way, since you don't want visitors to see problems in your house, you've got a hard deadline to complete those repairs.</p> <p>The same approach works for a variety of different tasks: planning to submit a project to a contest can help you focus on a deadline, as can scheduling a review or a critique with a professional. External deadlines are even more effective if you can connect them to consequences, like losing a fee paid for a critique if you aren't ready for it by the deadline.</p> <h2>Arrange for Accountability</h2> <p>We're all reluctant to look bad in front of other people. That unwillingness to embarrass ourselves makes it easier to arrange for accountability. Just mentioning a project to someone who is likely to ask about it in the future means that you have an incentive to keep working on it, so that you don't have to tell that individual that you forgot all about your grand plan.</p> <p>You can also arrange for more formal accountability. Tell a friend or a family member that you want them to keep asking you about your progress. Ask for a little nagging so that you keep moving towards that deadline. Don't ask anyone you know who will give you slack, though. You may find yourself pushing back a deadline with his or her permission.</p> <h2>Break Down That Deadline</h2> <p>Setting an ambitious goal is a good idea, but if you don't know how you're going to get there, your deadline may roll around with nothing accomplished.</p> <p>Break down the work you need to do <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-a-task-management-system" target="_blank">into the smallest pieces you can</a>. If a step will only take you a few minutes to complete, it's a lot harder to procrastinate. It may even take you more time to figure out a way to procrastinate than to cross that first step off your list.</p> <p>You can tie smaller steps into external deadlines or accountability of their own. If you're working on a project for the long haul, creating some small wins and met deadlines can help you build up some momentum.</p> <h2>Create a Habit of Work</h2> <p>Unless you're regularly tackling big projects of your own, it's likely that pursuing a particular deadline isn't part of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-accomplishing-more-in-a-day" target="_blank">your daily routine</a>. If you can make a habit of doing a little work towards a particular goal or deadline every day, it's going to be a lot easier to accomplish it.</p> <p>Sure, you may still need to carve some big blocks of time out of your schedule to do some of the work, but having the habit means that you're thinking about the next step you need to complete each day.</p> <h2>Work on One Deadline at a Time</h2> <p>All of these approaches can help you make good progress towards any deadline you set yourself. But don't push too hard. Trying to meet big, overlapping deadlines can mean that you're taking on too much to realistically accomplish. Make sure your deadlines are realistic.</p> <p><em>How do you stick to personal deadlines?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stick-to-personal-deadlines">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-6"> <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/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don&#039;t Want To! Secrets to Self-Motivation</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-boost-creativity">25 Ways to Boost Creativity</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/the-benefits-of-changing-your-routine">The Benefits of Changing Your Routine</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> Personal Development Productivity deadlines getting things done self-motivation Thu, 18 Apr 2013 10:24:34 +0000 Thursday Bram 973457 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Be a Better Human by Living Like a Vampire http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-be-a-better-human-by-living-like-a-vampire <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-be-a-better-human-by-living-like-a-vampire" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4240684047_3a0d099213_z.jpg" alt="pale woman" title="pale woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you were to make a quick list of &quot;what's hot&quot; in today's society, vampires would definitely rank in the top five. Today's vamps are sexier and more glamorous than their predecessors and they always seem to have plenty of money and eternal good looks at their disposal &mdash; looks that aren't vulnerable to aging or gravity, giving them obvious appeal to ordinary people with ordinary lives.</p> <p>Who wouldn't want that?</p> <p>But look closer, and you'll see that this fascination is based on more than just sex appeal. No, what really has us so smitten is that extra &quot;something&quot; that they all seem to possess, something that us mere mortals just haven't quite figured out.</p> <p>So, that got me to thinking&hellip;what is it that gives them that edge? And more importantly, how can you claim it as your own? Here are eight ways to be a better human by living like a vampire. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-fun-and-cheap-entertainment-ideas-from-the-vampire-diaries">25 Fun and&nbsp;Cheap Entertainment Ideas From&nbsp;&quot;The Vampire&nbsp;Diaries&quot;</a>)</p> <h2>1. Be Authentic</h2> <p>Open a self-help book and I'll bet money you find the word &quot;authentic&quot; in there at least once &mdash; and for good reason. But what exactly does it mean? How do you know if you're being authentic?</p> <p>In &quot;Vampire Diaries,&quot; Ian Somerhalder plays the vamp bad boy, Damon Salvatore, the difficult and somewhat impulsive brother of the more stable and level-headed Stefan (Paul Wesley). As difficult as he might be, Damon never apologizes for who he is nor does he pretend to be something he's not. &quot;This is me,&quot; his actions seem to say. &quot;Love it, leave it&hellip;I don't care which.&quot;</p> <p>He's fierce, he's outspoken, and quite often, he steps over the line, but no matter what the circumstances, you can count on Damon staying true to who he is.</p> <p>And that is what authenticity is all about.</p> <p>We spend a lot of time trying to be something we're not. Trying to keep up with the Joneses or fit in with a certain crowd when what we really need to do is embrace who we are. Yes, that means accepting the bad with the good and perhaps eating a little crow along the way, but if we can't embrace our truest selves, how can we ever expect to grow?</p> <h2>2. Be Fearless</h2> <p>Okay, I know what you're thinking:<em> It's easy for vampires to be fearless&hellip;they're vampires.</em> And your point is well taken &mdash; courage isn't nearly as hard to muster when you're stronger than all your opponents.</p> <p>But being fearless isn't just about standing your ground in the face of danger. It's also about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-step-out-of-your-comfort-zone-and-try-something-new">having the courage to try something new</a>. Being brave enough to walk the path less traveled. Having the audacity to be discontent with following the crowd and fitting in. <em>Fearless, </em>in its truest sense, is doing what your gut tells you to do and charging ahead, even when you're not sure how things will turn out.</p> <p>Now, the cool thing about courage is that the more you test it, the more you discover you possess it. The saying that we &quot;have nothing to fear but fear itself&quot; is very often true. We think we can't do something. We're <em>afraid </em>of what might happen if we try. But when we push past that fear and <em>act as if we're fearless</em>, we also very often discover that we are.</p> <h2>3. Be Indulgent</h2> <p>Vampires are, by their very nature, indulgent. They drink lots of blood, they have tons of sex, and they charm whomever they choose to charm to get whatever it is they want.</p> <p>But being indulgent doesn't always mean being willful and reckless.</p> <p>Being indulgent means seizing the moment, living in the now, and telling that judgmental inner voice to take a hike once in a while. We're great at doing what we're <em>supposed to do</em>, but we just don't know how to indulge what we want to do. But it's those wants that represent our deepest desires, and it's those desires that hold the answers to all those big questions about life. <em>Who are we? And why are we here?</em></p> <p>Indulge yourself and find out.</p> <h2>4. Be Adaptable</h2> <p>Watch any vampire saga or series and you'll find vamps who are hundreds, even thousands, of years old fitting in with today's society just as well as they did centuries before.</p> <p>Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard) of &quot;True Blood&quot; went from fighting in the ancient Viking wars to owning a gothy nightclub outside of Shreveport. The group of Originals in &quot;Vampire Diaries&quot; &mdash; Klaus (Joseph Morgan), Rebecca (Claire Holt), et al &mdash; are written as being older than dirt, yet they blend in with the folks of Mystic Falls as if they were born within the last few decades.</p> <p>Even the vampire legend itself has survived the test of time, morphing from the creepy demonic spin-off as it was first written to the deliciously wicked variety we enjoy today.</p> <p>The reason for this survival is that they know how to go with the flow. Today's vamp is trendy, tech-savvy, and much more discreet in their vampy activities. They've not only monitored the evolution of humans, they've strategically matched it. By doing so, their species continues to thrive.</p> <p>And it's this adaptability that we need to model because, as a species, we're terrible when it comes to change.</p> <p>Oh, we say we want it, but when it comes right down to it, we'll stick our heads in the sand rather than face it.</p> <p>We have the tools and resources to create a virtual nirvana &mdash; a place where we can all be free to explore and enjoy all the mysteries that life has to offer. But to get there, we have to let go of the past. We have to give up on the &quot;this is the way we've always done it&quot; mindset. We have to be willing to change and learn to go with that Universal flow.</p> <h2>5. Be Determined</h2> <p>In SyFy's &quot;Being Human,&quot; Samuel Witwer plays Aidan Waite, a 200+ year-old vampire who's determined to live a life that's as &quot;normal&quot; as possible. He has to drink blood of course, and being another good example of authenticity, he embraces this part of himself fully. But he doesn't allow this single aspect to define who he is.</p> <p>By definition, vampires are expected to be brutal, cold-blooded killers and throughout the series, Aiden is given many reasons to give into this stereotype and give up on his humanity. But Aiden's commitment is unwavering. He knows what he wants and despite ridiculous odds, he's bound and determined to live as normal &mdash; and as human &mdash; as he possibly can.</p> <p>How many of us can say we have that same commitment?</p> <p>How often do we give up on a dream because the going gets tough &mdash; because we don't have the time, or the money, or the know-how? How many times have we given into frustration and that &quot;I can't&quot; mindset instead of forging ahead, come hell or high water?</p> <p>Knowing what you want is only half the battle, and nobody said that the road to get there would always be easy. But it's the challenges in our lives &mdash; and the way we respond to them &mdash; that build character and ultimately help us define who we really are.</p> <h2>6. Be Passionate</h2> <p>OK, I said that being indulgent wasn't always about being willful and reckless, but sometimes it is. Sometimes, giving in to our passions and desires is exactly what's needed to create those life-changing experiences that will define our future.</p> <p>One of the things that makes today's vampires so attractive is their absolute passion about whatever it is they happen to be doing, whether it's fighting their supernatural foes or dancing with abandonment at a house party.</p> <p>We, on the other hand, tend to live a much more conventional and conservative lifestyle. We'll happily trade passion and desire for security and predictability, because it offers us the safety net we believe we need to have to survive.</p> <p>But what would life be like if <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-your-passion">we threw in a little more passion</a>? What would your days look like if you couldn't wait to get out of bed and truly immerse yourself in whatever activities you had going on? The old phrase &quot;carpe diem&quot; is still around because it's still one of the best pieces of advice we can heed &mdash; seize the day and live a passionate life.</p> <h2>7. Be Bold</h2> <p>One of the things that enables vampires to be so indulgent is that they also tend to be quite bold. They're daring, brazen and certainly outspoken, a combination that makes them the epitome of the squeaky wheel. And you know what they say about the wheels that squeak loudest.</p> <p>This boldness in turn also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-and-give-honest-feedback">makes them honest, sometimes painfully so</a>. But painful or not, it's one of the traits that makes today's vamps so intoxicating, and it's a trait we'd do well to emulate. I'm not suggesting that we throw civility out the window, forget our manners, or forego basic courtesies, but wouldn't it be great if we all just said what we wanted to say?</p> <p>Being bold means speaking your mind, standing up for what you believe in, and having the moxie to say what you want. No more beating around the bush and no more head games. Now, just imagine what we could accomplish if we all just spoke the truth?</p> <h2>8. Be Optimistically Adventurous</h2> <p>This last trait encompasses some of the others I've already mentioned, but I think it's important enough to warrant its own space.</p> <p>Vampires are adventurous &mdash; and optimistically so &mdash; giving them the ability to move through life without second-guessing their decisions. This is partly due to their fearlessness and partly because of their indulgent nature, but it also has to do with their overall perception of the world around them.</p> <p>Failure is not an option, and even when it occurs to them that a particular plan or strategy might have a few flaws, they're still content to give it a whirl and see what happens. And no matter how gloomy the outlook might be, our toothy counterparts still fully believe they'll come out on top.</p> <p>This kind of adventurous optimism allows them to trust their gut and take those calculated risks, even when those risks don't look so good on paper.</p> <p>And that's an important trait to learn. Be sensible. Be rational. But be adventurous, too, and believe in the possibilities. Because sometimes, the best course of action won't be the one that makes sense or follows a traditional set of rules. Sometimes, the best path to walk is the one that sounds crazy in theory, but makes all the sense in the world in your heart.</p> <p><em>How are you living like a vampire?</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/8-ways-to-be-a-better-human-by-living-like-a-vampire">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-5"> <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/7-basic-ways-to-become-your-own-life-coach">7 Basic Ways to Become Your Own Life Coach</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/how-to-stick-to-personal-deadlines">How to Stick to Personal Deadlines</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-easy-ways-to-make-your-life-more-interesting">25 Easy Ways to Make Your Life More Interesting</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/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don&#039;t Want To! Secrets to Self-Motivation</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-simple-ways-to-get-your-life-together">10 Simple Ways to Get Your Life Together</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development self help self-motivation vampires Fri, 29 Mar 2013 10:24:30 +0000 Kate Luther 971466 at http://www.wisebread.com The 1% Rule and Other Ways to Make Goals Manageable http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-rule-and-other-ways-to-make-goals-manageable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-1-rule-and-other-ways-to-make-goals-manageable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/8443342362_4724180678_z.jpg" alt="thinking small" title=" thinking small" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="159" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Goals. They're the things that motivate us to wake up a little early every morning and stay up a little late at night. They give us something to look forward to.</p> <p>Do you have big goals? Do you get overwhelmed by the sheer size of them or wonder how you'll achieve them?</p> <p>If so, here are five effective ways to achieve your big goals. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don't Want To! Secrets of Self-Motivation</a>)</p> <h2>1. Write Your Goals Down</h2> <p>The very first thing you should do is to write down what you want to accomplish and why you want to accomplish it. How else can you get clarity on what you want to do?</p> <p>After you write down your goals, put them in a place where you'll see them every single day. For example, your bathroom mirror. That way, you'll see them at least twice a day &mdash; when you wake up to get ready for the day and before you go to bed at night.</p> <p>How does this help?</p> <p>Looking at your goals every single day will keep them at the forefront of your mind. This, in turn, will motivate you to take action on them. You'll look for things to do that'll bring you closer to achieving your goals, and you'll look for ways to do better than the day before.</p> <h2>2. Focus</h2> <p>After you figure out what goals you want to achieve and have written them down, you've got to dedicate time to achieve them. For many of us, this is easier said than done. We all lead busy lives, often with a job to go to in the daytime and a family to take care of at night.</p> <p>So how do you have time for your goals?</p> <p>The answer to that question is this &mdash; you need to learn how to manage your time better.</p> <p>One thing you can do is decide what you will give up so that you free up time to pursue your goals. This is where knowing why you want to accomplish a goal becomes important.</p> <p>For instance, a big time-waster for many people is TV. Sure, we may need to unwind in front of the TV for a short while after a long day at work. But if you can get into the habit of cutting down on your time watching TV and thinking more and more about your goals, you'll give yourself the time to work on your worthwhile projects.</p> <h2>3. The 1% Rule</h2> <p>&quot;A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.&quot; &ndash; Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu</p> <p>Did you know that if you improve just 1% everyday, in 71 days you'll be twice as good? Yep, it's true. And since I'm a nerd, here's the math behind it. Go ahead and plug this formula into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/excel-the-most-underrated-software-you-already-own">Microsoft Excel</a>: =(1*(1.01)^71)</p> <p>The answer comes out to a little bit over 2.</p> <p>How does this apply to your goals? Let's say you're trying to exercise more.</p> <p>This means that if you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walk-walk-walk-walk-walk">start by walking</a> one mile today, tomorrow you should walk just a little more than a mile. The day after that, you'll walk a little bit more. Keep this up, and little by little, in 71 days you'll have doubled your capacity, working up to two miles.</p> <p>Remember &mdash; inch by inch, everything's a cinch.</p> <h2>4. Persevere</h2> <p>Here's a harsh dose of reality &mdash; whenever you try to do something that others haven't been able to do, or something that's out of the ordinary, you'll most likely get criticism or a lack of support, or people will flat out tell you it's not possible.</p> <p>If you hear this, you've got to do everything you can to ignore those voices.</p> <p>Sure, you'll probably fail a few times and face setbacks on the way to achieving what you want to achieve. Don't get discouraged.</p> <p>Many people remember Michael Jordan for the six championships that he won with the Chicago Bulls. But check out this quote that describes his journey to success: &quot;I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot &mdash; and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why....I succeed.&quot;</p> <p>And here's another one from Thomas Edison: &quot;I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.&quot;</p> <p>So here's the moral of the story: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-one-favorite-frugal-living-tip">Have an unshakeable mindset</a>. Find a way. Keep searching, and keep working.</p> <h2>5. Create Milestones and Celebrate Small Victories</h2> <p>Lastly, it's important to appreciate the journey you're on. Think of achieving your goals as a marathon.</p> <p>Celebrating after you reach certain milestones will allow you to pause for awhile and reflect on your current success. Reflecting on your current success will then motivate you to keep pressing on to do even more, and to do it even better.</p> <p><em>How do you stay on track toward reaching your goals?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darren-wu">Darren Wu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-rule-and-other-ways-to-make-goals-manageable">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-your-big-new-years-resolutions-are-pointless">Why Your Big New Year&#039;s Resolutions Are Pointless</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/the-benefits-of-changing-your-routine">The Benefits of Changing Your Routine</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/my-one-favorite-frugal-living-tip">My One Favorite Frugal Living Tip</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/how-to-stick-to-personal-deadlines">How to Stick to Personal Deadlines</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development achieving goals finish something hard self-motivation Tue, 12 Feb 2013 10:36:41 +0000 Darren Wu 961638 at http://www.wisebread.com Just Start: How Doing Anything Can Help You Accomplish Everything http://www.wisebread.com/just-start-how-doing-anything-can-help-you-accomplish-everything <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/just-start-how-doing-anything-can-help-you-accomplish-everything" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5288241419_b44c00c824_z.jpg" alt="ready to start" title="ready to start" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was sitting in my desk rubbing my wrinkled forehead. I had a deadline to meet, but the only thing my brain was doing was cycling back through the same ideas. It was an extremely frustrating feeling.</p> <p>So what should you do when you get stuck? Well, perhaps if you're asking &quot;what&quot; should you do, you're asking the wrong question.</p> <p>My suggestion &mdash; do something. Do anything. Just start. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don't Want To! Secrets of Self-Motivation</a>)</p> <h3>1. Do <em>Something</em><em>,</em> and Allow Progress to Motivate You</h3> <p>Do you want to know what I did after rubbing my wrinkled forehead and feeling a growing amount of frustration? I went and fixed a broken light in the kitchen. It had nothing to do with my work project. However, when I sat back down, my mind started thinking about the problem in a fresh way, and the words effortlessly flowed into my finger tips.</p> <p>How in the world did fixing a light help me accomplish more and reach a deadline?</p> <p>I did something.</p> <p>Doing something, even if it's not your main task, can give you confidence and provide a subtle reminder that you can accomplish tasks. Doing something is psychologically powerful. It is always the best solution when you're getting nowhere during a frustrating part of your day.</p> <h3>2. Try Starting Anything as an Indicator of What Needs to Be Done</h3> <p>Have you ever glanced down at the 12 items on your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/actually-get-things-done-creating-a-reasonable-to-do-list">to-do list</a> and felt stuck? What should you do first? If you're like me, you spend far too much time trying to decide what to do. This is the curse we perfectionists carry.</p> <p>Slowly, I've started spending more time doing and less time predicting what should be done. I suggest you just start with any item on the list (if there isn't clearly something you should be working on).</p> <p>You know what happens? Within moments of starting a task, you'll know if that's the logical thing to be doing. Perhaps you'll quickly find that one of the other tasks needs to be completed first. Still, you should remember that it was only by starting that you were able to make progress. Otherwise, you might still be stuck trying to figure out what to do.</p> <p>Starting something is always the best indicator of what really needs to get done.</p> <p>Interestingly, even if you start and finish the &quot;wrong&quot; job, you'll often still have the momentum needed to catch up with other tasks.</p> <h3>3. Finish the Task If Possible, But Know When to Move Along</h3> <p>Sometimes <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fallacy-of-multitasking">multitasking</a> just means we're doing a little bit of everything and ultimately accomplishing very little.</p> <p>Instead, when you start a project, complete it before moving along to another job. Two completed projects is better than ten barely started jobs. There are exceptions, of course: when you get stuck, when you're at a point where you need something else to complete the job, or when something more demanding comes up. Still, as a general rule, start and finish before moving along.</p> <p>In addition, here are three quick tips for forcing yourself to get started.</p> <p><strong>Tackle Your Hardest Jobs Early in the Day</strong></p> <p>If you don't, those tasks are going to hang over you and may even subconsciously force you to slow down, so you'll be avoiding those jobs.</p> <p><strong>Use the Clock as an Ally</strong></p> <p>Limit the amount of time you'll give yourself to decide what to do next and the amount of time you'll limit yourself to work on a project when you get stuck.</p> <p><strong>Save Some Tasks With Quick and Easy Payoffs</strong></p> <p>When you do get stuck, you'll need to have things you can do quickly to get the momentum moving again.</p> <p><em>What do you do to motivate yourself to get started on tasks?</em></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/just-start-how-doing-anything-can-help-you-accomplish-everything">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-9"> <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/my-personal-productivity-ruleswhat-are-yours">My Personal Productivity Rules...What Are Yours?</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/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day">How to Wake Up Fast and Attack the Day</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-productive-things-to-do-on-a-rainy-day">25 Productive Things to Do on a Rainy Day</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/10-smart-things-to-do-during-your-commute-even-if-you-drive">10 Smart Things to Do During Your Commute (Even If You Drive!)</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/why-you-need-a-time-budget-and-how-to-create-it">Why You Need a Time Budget — and How to Create It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity get things done self-motivation time management Tue, 17 Jul 2012 10:24:11 +0000 Craig Ford 942701 at http://www.wisebread.com The Benefits of Changing Your Routine http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-changing-your-routine <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-benefits-of-changing-your-routine" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3082680492_2d117e8e1e_z.jpg" alt="riding bike" title="riding bike" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For the past two years, I&rsquo;ve been in a rut.</p> <p>I haven&rsquo;t had the motivation to exercise, or eat well, or push myself harder to achieve my goals.</p> <p>Eventually, that sad routine put me in a place where I was very unhappy with myself, so recently I decided I needed to get out of the funk.</p> <p>It wasn&rsquo;t easy to make conscious decisions to cut back on drinking, wake up earlier, hit the gym several times a week (and actually work out), and eat healthier &mdash; but I did it. Changing my routine was the answer to having better days and being happier overall.</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re in a similar situation &mdash; where you just can&rsquo;t seem to get it together &mdash; consider these benefits that I&rsquo;ve experienced that will hopefully motivate you to make a change, too. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don't Want to! Secrets to Self-Motivation</a>)</p> <h2>Increased Energy</h2> <p>A simple change like altering my diet to include healthier foods and eliminating the pizza and burgers has made a big difference. I wake up earlier without feeling run down. In fact, I felt so energetic this morning that I went for a mile and a half run at 7 a.m., which is totally out of character. I&rsquo;m noticing that I have more stamina to make it through the workday too, whereas before I would experience fatigue in the late afternoons, especially if my lunch was heavy.</p> <h2>Increased Productivity</h2> <p>Because of the level of increased energy I have, I&rsquo;m more motivated during the day and really getting things done. I&rsquo;m completing projects ahead of time instead of waiting until the last minute, which leads to more time that I can spend cultivating new clients for my small business. Another benefit to increased productivity is that I can relax easier at night because I don&rsquo;t have a million things on my mind that I should have done but didn&rsquo;t.</p> <h2>Increased Creativity</h2> <p>When I&rsquo;m in a slump, my head is not where it needs to be &mdash; and that&rsquo;s detrimental to my creative profession. But the increased productivity and energy have a direct correlation to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-less-creativity-can-make-you-more-creative">increased creativity</a>. My mind is more open now because I&rsquo;m not thinking about being sad and concentrating on the shoulda-coulda-wouldas of my life. Rather, I&rsquo;m changing my routine so that the positive aspects of my life &mdash; along with my creativity &mdash; can flourish.</p> <h2>Feelings of Happiness</h2> <p>I&rsquo;m a longtime sufferer of depression, for which I take medication. The meds help, of course, but I also took some time recently to think about the reasons why I feel depressed. Is it because of situations that happen to me or because of situations I created? After a bit of soul searching, I realized that I&rsquo;m unhappy about several things over which I have ultimate control &mdash; like my weight, for instance. I&rsquo;ve always been a thin guy, but I&rsquo;ve put on some pounds over the past few years. I stopped going to events to which I was invited, and many times I refuse to take photos because I feel fat. That&rsquo;s not the person I want to be. I want to be that happy, outgoing guy that I once was. After identifying one of the reasons that contributed to my feelings of worthlessness, I put the plan in motion to change. As a result I&rsquo;m increasingly happier because I&rsquo;m taking steps toward self-improvement I can be proud of.</p> <h2>Enjoying New Experiences</h2> <p>When I was in the same old routine of working from home and living like a shut-in, I missed out on a lot of activities and events. As I just mentioned, I didn&rsquo;t want to go out because I didn&rsquo;t feel good about myself. But now that I&rsquo;m starting to feel better about myself because I changed my routine, I&rsquo;m participating in more activities and meeting new people, all of which are pleasurable.</p> <h2>Being More Enjoyable to Be Around</h2> <p>If I didn&rsquo;t want to be around myself before I changed my routine, I&rsquo;m sure nobody else did either. Who wants to hang out with someone who&rsquo;s depressed and whining about things that they can totally change? Definitely not me. So it stands to reason that when I&rsquo;m in a pleasant mood, the people around me will enjoy my company much more.</p> <h2>How and What to Change</h2> <p>Changing your routine doesn&rsquo;t have to include the changes that I&rsquo;m making. Mine are rather serious lifestyle decisions, but if all you need is a small change, by all means, do it your way. There are lots of changes you can make &mdash; taking another route to work, altering your reading habits, switching the time of day you go to the gym, establishing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget">date nights</a> to enhance your relationship &mdash; the list is endless, really. The most important part of changing your routine is that it somehow makes your life better so you can reap at least a few of the benefits I&rsquo;ve listed.</p> <p><em>Your turn. I&rsquo;d love to hear about recent changes you&rsquo;ve made to your routine and the benefits you&rsquo;ve experienced. Let me know in the comments below.</em></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/the-benefits-of-changing-your-routine">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/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">But I Don&#039;t Want To! Secrets to Self-Motivation</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/how-to-stick-to-personal-deadlines">How to Stick to Personal Deadlines</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <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> <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/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity change your life routines self-motivation Mon, 16 Jul 2012 10:36:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 941459 at http://www.wisebread.com But I Don't Want To! Secrets to Self-Motivation http://www.wisebread.com/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/507237104_4735021f6d_z.jpg" alt="woman dislikes grocery shopping" title="woman dislikes grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I sat down to write this piece, I thought the &ldquo;slant&rdquo; was pretty obvious. There are, after all, only a few things that truly motivate us to move in one direction or another: fear, money, love, and hate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-get-motivated-today">25 Ways to Get Motivated Today</a>)</p> <p>The key to self-motivating, then, is to find a way to apply those triggers on a day-to-day basis, thereby &ldquo;tricking&rdquo; ourselves into getting things done. Unfortunately, this kind of self-manipulation will only produce limited results because when you get right down to it, you&rsquo;re either motivated to do something or you&rsquo;re not. Some of us thrive on setting goals and then seeing what we can accomplish, while others don&rsquo;t feel that thrill at all. Maybe you just haven&rsquo;t found your passion yet, or maybe there&rsquo;s not enough fear or money to get you moving. Whatever it is, the &ldquo;fire&rdquo; has yet to be lit, and only you can be the one to answer why.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s when I realized that my original slant for this article isn&rsquo;t really the slant you need. I mean, we all know how to bite the bullet and get something done when we have to. But what about when those powerful prompts simply don&rsquo;t exist? Or worse, what happens when you have to overcome those motivators in order to move in a different and conceivably better direction?</p> <p>Truth be told, it&rsquo;s much easier to motivate us to fail or settle than it is to motivate us to succeed. We&rsquo;ll stay in unsatisfying jobs, for example, because we need the money and we have bills that must be paid. We&rsquo;ll stay in equally unsatisfying relationships, too, because we&rsquo;re simply too afraid to leave and venture out on our own.</p> <p>As a result, much of what we don&rsquo;t accomplish isn&rsquo;t because we&rsquo;re not motivated; it&rsquo;s because we&rsquo;re being motivated in a different direction Therein lies the real question &mdash; <em>how can you overcome those traditional motivators to steer your life down a better path?</em></p> <p>Well, in true Wise Bread fashion, I&rsquo;ve come up with a short list of hacks to help you get out of your own way. Here they are, in no particular order.</p> <h2>Eat That Frog</h2> <p>This is something that I picked up from Simple Truths, and it&rsquo;s become my mantra for getting things done. Eat that frog simply means to tackle the worst job first (eating the frog), and then the rest of the day is, well, cake.</p> <p>For my daughter, that means doing her math homework. For me, it means cleaning out my office. But once we&rsquo;ve done those horrible, distasteful jobs, everything else on our to-do list looks much more appealing.</p> <p>For this philosophy to work, you have to be willing to rip off the band aid and jump in. You know that it&rsquo;s going to sting a little, but you also know that the pain is temporary, and once it&rsquo;s done, it&rsquo;s done. The same is true with those things in life that we don&rsquo;t want to do. Maybe they&rsquo;re painful and unpleasant, but if we can just plow through them, we&rsquo;ll ultimately be glad we did. And everything else that follows will seem simple in comparison to choking down that frog.</p> <h2>Face Your FEAR</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve seen a number of different acronyms for the word FEAR over the years, but there are a few that I think were created specifically with self-motivation in mind, and they work together seamlessly to hold you back and minimize your growth.</p> <p>The first is <em>Frantic Effort to Avoid Reality</em>. Let&rsquo;s face it &mdash; we&rsquo;re creatures of habit. We don&rsquo;t like change, and we&rsquo;ll resist and struggle desperately to stay within our bubble, even when we might actually want or need whatever results the change might bring.</p> <p>As part of our Frantic Effort, we <em>Find Excuses And Reasons</em> that we can&rsquo;t do whatever it is we need to do. These excuses and reasons help us justify putting the thing off indefinitely, while we create <em>False Expectations About Reality</em>. This is where we really excel.</p> <p>We have a knack for making mountains out of molehills, and then allowing those seemingly impossible set of circumstances to influence our decision on how to move forward. The truth is often much less dramatic than we make it out to be in our minds, but we&rsquo;ll allow these False Expectations to keep us from something to the point that <em>Failure (is) Expected And Received</em>.</p> <p>Now, what&rsquo;s really interesting about this scenario is that when we do fail &mdash; or fail to try &mdash; we&rsquo;ll say it was out of our hands. We knew this was going to happen and there was nothing we could do to avoid it.</p> <p>The funny thing is though, our success never stood a chance against our FEAR, and we could have saved ourselves a great amount of worry and stress by just announcing to the world that we weren&rsquo;t even going to attempt this particular step in our evolution.</p> <p>But then, where&rsquo;s the fun in that, right?</p> <p>So before you work yourself into a frenzy, see if you can face your fear instead. What is it that you&rsquo;re really afraid of? Are there truly absolutely awful things that could occur, or are you just setting up those False Expectations?</p> <h2>Break It Down</h2> <p>Sometimes it's not fear or disdain that holds us back but rather, the feeling of being overwhelmed. And using my office again as an example, I can say with certainty that this sensation is almost guaranteed to induce procrastination.</p> <p>For whatever reason, my office seems to be the place that acts as a catch-all for things that don&rsquo;t yet have a place to go. As a result, I have piles of books and boxes and bags that accumulate mysteriously in the corners, and if I don&rsquo;t stay on top of it, those piles can grow rather quickly.</p> <p>Cleaning out my office, then, can sometimes be exhausting before I even get started. I won&rsquo;t deny walking in on occasions only to look around and walk right back out. The key to success in these instances is to find a way to remove that feeling of &ldquo;impossibleness&rdquo; and the best way to do that is to break the job down.</p> <p>Maybe I clean one pile a day or start by simply cleaning off my desk. Whatever it is that I decide, I do that job and then I move onto something else entirely. Knowing that there&rsquo;s a light at the end of the tunnel makes it easier to tackle the mess, and seeing that one clean area also serves as an inspiration to keep going until its all done.</p> <p>Now, facing a big job isn&rsquo;t the only thing that can cause you to feel overwhelmed. It can also happen when you&rsquo;ve stepped too far outside your comfort zone. Yes, pushing the envelope and expanding your horizons is a good thing. But push too far too fast, and you lose your ability to reason and analyze. This causes you to feel besieged by confusion, and you&rsquo;ll end up walking away from the project or opportunity almost every time.</p> <p>The solution is to get around that feeling of being &ldquo;lost&rdquo; by applying the same milestone strategy to navigating your unchartered territory. Figure out what knowledge you would need to regain your comfort level, and then <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/actually-get-things-done-creating-a-reasonable-to-do-list">break it down into digestible chunks</a>, just like they did when you were in school. You wouldn&rsquo;t try to master complex physics equations on the first day, for example. Instead you&rsquo;d start with a basic introduction into your new area of study. The same is true here, and applying this small-steps method will allow you to move forward with confidence.</p> <h2>Reconsider Your Path</h2> <p>All these self-motivating techniques aside, there is one final suggestion that perhaps should be applied before you try any of the others. Here it is &mdash; if you find that you&rsquo;re frequently not motivated to do the things that need to be done, maybe you should be examining the things you&rsquo;re supposed to be doing, and then <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">consider doing something else on a regular basis</a> instead.</p> <p>We spend a lot of time just going through the motions, believing that we have no choice in the matter and must resign ourselves to the task(s) at hand. If this is how you talk yourself into making your bed each morning, then that&rsquo;s probably a good strategy but if it&rsquo;s how you talk yourself into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day">getting <em>out of bed</em> everyday</a>, then you should probably dig a little deeper.</p> <p>Life should offer at least some excitement and adventure along the way &mdash; enough in fact, that we don&rsquo;t mind so much about all those little things that make up the mundane part of our existence. If you&rsquo;re finding that the mundane drastically overwhelms the adventure, then no amount of motivation will make you see it differently.</p> <p>The solution, then, is to find something that doesn&rsquo;t require so much motivation to get it done&hellip;something that lights that fire and gets you excited without any extra effort on your part.</p> <p>Do that, and you won&rsquo;t need to worry about self-motivation&hellip;and this article will have done its job.</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/but-i-dont-want-to-secrets-to-self-motivation">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/how-to-stick-to-personal-deadlines">How to Stick to Personal Deadlines</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-changing-your-routine">The Benefits of Changing Your Routine</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-boost-creativity">25 Ways to Boost Creativity</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity getting things done goals self-motivation Thu, 07 Jun 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Kate Luther 933072 at http://www.wisebread.com