overcoming challenges http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8269/all en-US How to Be Fearless and Do What You Want http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-fearless-and-do-what-you-want <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-be-fearless-and-do-what-you-want" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-5028294-small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="210" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Before I started freelancing full time, I worked a regular job in a regular office. It wasn't a bad job as jobs go, but it definitely wasn't the way I wanted to spend the rest of my life.</p> <p>I had dreams of being a writer and had even enjoyed some success moonlighting as a freelance copywriter part-time. But doing it part-time was easy. I still had the security and steady paycheck that my regular job offered and if a writing job fell through or someone decided not to pay, it was no big deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-life-consider-the-worst-case-scenario" target="_blank">How to Get a Life: Consider the Worst Case Scenario</a>)</p> <p>The problem was, I didn't want that regular job anymore. I wanted to write full-time, and no matter how hard I tried to ignore that fact, the reality was seriously weighing me down. I needed to make a choice. And it scared the hell out of me. Thankfully, I had friends and family who convinced me to just close my eyes and take the leap, and I'm now so glad that I did.</p> <p>But it also made me realize just how much &quot;life&quot; I had been missing because I was too afraid to let go of my safety net. Being fearless is having the confidence to believe that you can really succeed.</p> <p>Of course, just telling you to be fearless is easy &mdash; it's the actual doing that poses the challenge. Here's how to do it.</p> <h2>Take Baby Steps</h2> <p>Becoming fearless is like adopting any other trait or skill &mdash; it takes practice. And the more you succeed, the easier being fearless will become.</p> <p>Use this logic to your advantage by taking small steps. That is, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-out-there-the-power-of-vulnerability" target="_blank">exercise your fearless muscle</a> in small ways that push the envelope just a little, but not too much.</p> <p>If speaking in front of large groups is your weakness, for example, then make it a point to offer a suggestion at your next staff meeting or volunteer to speak at your kid's school on career day. It's not a huge move, but it does force you to step ever so slightly outside your comfort zone, and it gives you a solid success that you can build upon.</p> <h2>Exercise</h2> <p>Yes, really&nbsp;&mdash; exercise and stay fit. It's much easier to summon up some boldness when you feel strong and capable. Not so easy, on the other hand, when your body is sluggish or weak.</p> <p>As within, so without.</p> <p>Start (subject to your doctor's consent, of course) with 10 minutes of yoga in the morning or take a walk in the evening before you call it a day. Start a regimen of push-ups or sit-ups, and then relish the definition that develops in your abs and your arms.</p> <p>Encourage yourself to move faster, jump higher, and stretch farther, and give yourself major props for how much more fit you've become.</p> <p>And then use that strength to fuel your fearlessness.</p> <h2>Dress the Part</h2> <p>There is a reason that the experts tell you to wear a &quot;power suit&quot; or a red tie to an important meeting&nbsp;&mdash; certain clothing conveys success and power, to you as well as to those around you.</p> <p>Now, that doesn't mean that you always need to dress to the nines to find your fearless self. It does suggest that you pay a little more attention to the general state of your wardrobe. It's much easier to speak your mind, stand your ground, and charge forward if you're not tugging at your sweat pants or looking down at your scuffed shoes.</p> <p>Ironically, the more timid we feel, the more timid we tend to dress, if for no other reason than to ensure we don't draw any unnecessary attention. But being fearless means you don't mind being &quot;seen&quot; and that's a much easier pill to swallow if you're feeling good about the way you look.</p> <p>For me, it's a pair of black, strapless heels that make me feel invincible. They're comfortable, they're sexy, and I even got them on sale. I like them so much, in fact, that I have actually bought clothes for the sole purpose of showing off those shoes.</p> <p>Your &quot;power pieces&quot; might be something totally different, but the point is to have them and wear them often. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have, as the saying goes. In this case, dress for the bold and fearless person you want to become.</p> <h2>Rehearse</h2> <p>One of the things I love about writing is that I get to think about what I want to say before I actually say it, allowing me the opportunity to convey my thoughts in the most powerful and polished way.</p> <p>Life, of course, doesn't always provide us with prep time, so we're frequently forced to think on our feet and in some cases, to do so under emotional stress.</p> <p>But just because you don't have all the details doesn't mean you can't do a little future casting and play out the possibilities.</p> <p>This concept of conscious planning is the reason that schools host regular fire drills and that self-defense courses coach you to &quot;think&quot; about what you'd do if you were attacked. The more prepared you are for the experience, the more likely you are to get through it.</p> <p>And you can do the same thing whenever you know you'll need a little extra fearlessness in advance.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-your-best-interview-advice" target="_blank">Walk yourself through the situation</a> and plan out a general response for each possibility. If it's a conversation you need to have, play it out in your head. Not just what you'll say, but also how he/she/they might react when you do. Imagine yourself facing the most likely scenarios and decide on the best way to deal with each of them.</p> <p>What you'll find is that if and when the situation does manifest, you'll feel much more prepared to face it. You'll know what to say and what to do to handle it with the grace and poise of your most fearless self.</p> <h2>Pretend</h2> <p><a href="http://www.ziglar.com/">Zig Ziglar</a> used to say that it was &quot;easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting,&quot; and that certainly applies here.</p> <p>Give yourself time to over think a situation, and you'll likely &quot;think&quot; yourself right out of action, finding an abundance of reasons that you &quot;can't&quot; or &quot;shouldn't&quot; do whatever it is you want to do. It's not the right time, you don't have enough money, you're not experienced enough, or you don't have the credentials or support to succeed.</p> <p>So, pretend that you do.</p> <p>If all else fails and you're just not feeling it, fake it. Pretend that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-thrive-in-uncertainty" target="_blank">you know exactly how to proceed</a> and have all the confidence in the world. Imagine that you can't fail and then decide how you'd behave if that were really true. What would you do? What would you say? What would be your next move if fearless was your middle name?</p> <p><em>Are you fearless? Have you always been fearless or did you push yourself to become fearless? Don't be shy, tell us all about it in comments!</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/how-to-be-fearless-and-do-what-you-want">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/how-to-do-things-that-scare-you">How to Do Things That Scare You</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/9-techniques-that-can-help-you-conquer-any-fear">9 Techniques That Can Help You Conquer Any Fear</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-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</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/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about">Big List of Things to be Happy About</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/want-to-be-more-attractive-work-these-5-magic-words-and-phrases-into-your-vocabulary">Want to Be More Attractive? Work These 5 Magic Words (and Phrases) Into Your Vocabulary</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development confidence fear overcoming challenges Tue, 09 Jul 2013 09:36:47 +0000 Kate Luther 980305 at http://www.wisebread.com Big List of Things to be Happy About http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_with_bear.jpg" alt="Happy man with a teddy bear" title="Happy man with a teddy bear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm writing this post from the Caribbean island of Grenada, where I'm house-sitting for three months. Sounds pretty good, huh? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/housesit-on-your-next-vacation">Housesit on Your Next Vacation</a>)</p> <p>Well, I've just been dealt a heavy blow. My &ldquo;partner&rdquo; &mdash; who was supposed to join me here shortly &mdash; announced that he's been sleeping with another woman, and....drum roll, please....she's pregnant.</p> <p>So my plans of spending the next three months in romantic coupled bliss on a tropical island are out the window. And to make matters worse, I'm really sick &mdash; an illness so incapacitating that I can only sit up for bouts of 10 minutes before having to lie down again. Being sick like this is a very scary way to be when you're alone &mdash; and a stark reminder of that aloneness.</p> <p>And, ironically, I've agreed to write a post on things to be happy about.</p> <p>It's time to reframe my experience. It would be stating the obvious to point out that I'm nursing my wounds (physical and emotional) on a Caribbean island, where I have almost no overhead expenses. This is something to be happy about. There are some engaging and friendly locals who live and work on the property, lending me a sense of companionship and security. And heck &mdash; I've found a way to travel the world full-time in a financially sustainable way; something I've been doing for the last five years.</p> <p>To say &ldquo;things could be worse&rdquo; is an understatement.</p> <h2>Don't Wallow &mdash; Reframe&nbsp;Your Thinking</h2> <p>When times are tough, it's difficult to see the forest for the trees. Everything becomes dire and full of despair.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0cm">To a point, I think it's healthy to explore these darker moments, because they lead to incredible growth experiences. But to linger in the depression &mdash; to wallow in self-loathing and doubt &mdash; is a dangerous road to go down. And you usually end up pushing away the people who are trying to help you in the process.</p> <p>Instead, wallow &mdash; but only for a while. Then, reframe. After a period of self-care and nurturing kindness, it's time to pull yourself off of what can be a slippery slope towards bad habits and depression. Consider how you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/feeling-stuck-100-ways-to-change-your-life">change your life</a> if you're feeling stuck. Cut out some pictures and dream big with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vision-boards-dream-big-play-with-pictures-and-watch-your-life-change">vision board</a>. And surround yourself with people who love you and can support you. Don't push them away, as is often the knee-jerk response. It's in getting each other through dark moments in life that friendships deepen.</p> <p>Here's a random list of things to be happy about. Don't allow a potential lack of some of these items in your life to get you down; instead do what I did in coming up with this list &mdash; look at the world around you through a baby's eyes. You'll be amazed at what you observe, and how simple the root of happiness can be.</p> <h2>Things to Be Happy About</h2> <ol> <li>The sound of an ice cream truck.</li> <li>Sun showers.</li> <li>Birds chirping.</li> <li>Gentle ocean waves.</li> <li>That whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger.</li> <li>The smell of freshly baked bread.</li> <li>Colorful flowers.</li> <li>Being inside when it's raining. Especially in bed, where you can snuggle up and enjoy the fact that you're dry.</li> <li>Being outside in a hot and refreshing rain, when you don't care about getting wet.</li> <li>The sound of children laughing.</li> <li>Fresh, delicious food.</li> <li>Electricity.</li> <li>Clean water.</li> <li>The sound of trees rustling in the wind.</li> <li>The feeling you get when somebody smiles at you.</li> <li>A mother's hug.</li> <li>Cookies, still warm out of the oven.</li> <li>A parent saying &ldquo;I'm proud of you.&rdquo;</li> <li>Landing a new job.</li> <li>Waking up to a fresh snow &mdash; and knowing it's Saturday so you don't have to shovel!</li> <li>Laughing so hard you cry.</li> <li>The feeling of comfort when a pet snuggles up to you after a long hard day.</li> <li>Epic sunsets.</li> <li>The excitement of going somewhere new.</li> <li>A great cup of coffee or tea (especially on a cold morning).</li> <li>Getting absorbed in a really good book.</li> <li>Cooking a meal that is so good it surprises even you.</li> <li>Hosting a party that goes off like a charm.</li> <li>Warm clothing in cold weather.</li> <li>Cool clothing in warm weather.</li> <li>Freedom of rights.</li> <li>A mug of frothy hot chocolate after coming in from the cold.</li> <li>Music that makes you want to dance.</li> <li>The thrill of new love.</li> <li>Sleeping in.</li> </ol> <p>To round out the list, here are a few things the Twitter and Facebook users I asked like to be happy about:</p> <ol> <li value="36">How about being alive! The sun, the wind, the moon. Coffee, gelato, pineapple. Kissing, hugging, crying.</li> <li>Being healthy enough to travel.</li> <li>Smoke-free bars, clubs, and restaurants.</li> <li>Mismatched wool socks and sandals!</li> <li>Good friends and fond memories.</li> <li>Double rainbows and changing fall colors.</li> <li>Bubble wrap and being able to be you.</li> <li>The word &quot;bellybutton.&quot; I dunno...it just always makes me laugh saying it.</li> <li>Being in the present moment.</li> <li>Spandex, kittens, rude people falling down, salmon with dill, celebrity nipple slips, Wolf Blitzer lawn gnomes, Darth Vader Pez dispensers, the Dali Llama, puppy kisses, and the fact that they are filming season two of <em>Game of Thrones</em>.</li> <li>Puppies first opening their eyes and looking in wonder at their world.</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">Friends coming to visit</a>.</li> <li>That you are young and your knees and hips still work!</li> <li>You're still alive, nothing is broken, and you aren't in jail...so anything is possible.</li> </ol> <p>There. I don't know about you, but I actually feel a bit better. It's nice to reframe a tragedy (or tragic frame of mind) into something you just might eventually be able to be happy about.</p> <p><em>This is a working list. Got anything to add? </em></p> <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/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about">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/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-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/9-reasons-alone-time-is-good-for-your-soul">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</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/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today">11 Things Scientists Say Will Boost Your Happiness Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development happiness mental health overcoming challenges Fri, 28 Oct 2011 10:36:17 +0000 Nora Dunn 764326 at http://www.wisebread.com How Anticipating the Worst Can Help You Succeed http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-anticipating-the-worst-can-help-you-succeed <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/how-anticipating-the-worst-can-help-you-succeed-elaine-pofeldt" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/how-anticipating-the-wors...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/how-anticipating-the-worst-can-help-you-succeed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004166951XSmall.jpg" alt="Little chickens" title="Little chickens" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>No one would recommend a Chicken Little approach to running a business. Successful entrepreneurs don&rsquo;t generally spend all of their time obsessing about what might go wrong. But there&rsquo;s a fine line between maintaining healthy optimism about your business&rsquo;s future and wearing blinders that prevent you from seeing challenges down the road.</p> <p>One of the most positive steps you can take to ensure that your business grows is looking ahead to potential challenges, say experts. If you plan ahead, you can act now to prevent them or come up with a rational plan to deal with them if they do happen. It&rsquo;ll give you a real edge against the competition. &ldquo;Most businesses don&rsquo;t spend any time on risk assessment,&rdquo; says Nat Wasserstein, who helps companies that need turnarounds as a crisis manager at Lindenwood Associates, based in New York City and Upper Nyack, N.Y. Here&rsquo;s how to analyze your business&rsquo;s risks &mdash; and come up with a plan to address them &mdash; in just one afternoon.</p> <h3>Let Your Imagination Run Wild</h3> <p>Power up the coffee maker, sit down with your senior team, and, on a whiteboard, jot down any disasters you can imagine disrupting your business &mdash; from a freak storm destroying your office to an embezzler raiding your bank account. &ldquo;As insane as they may sound, just put them down,&rdquo; advises Wasserstein. Once you get the more unlikely scenarios out of the way, you&rsquo;ll be primed to move on to more realistic possibilities. Those might include losing a big customer, having a critical supplier go bankrupt, or losing a safety certification because of an unanticipated quality control issue.</p> <h3>Figure Out the Odds</h3> <p>Many entrepreneurs find that the 80-20 rule applies when it comes to potential risks, says Wasserstein. You&rsquo;re likely to find that one or two scenarios make up 80% of the risk the business faces. For instance, you might find that the problem most likely to disrupt your business is losing a big customer. Ask your senior team to help you estimate the odds that such a problem will happen. If all agree that the odds are pretty high &mdash; say 25% or more &mdash; you&rsquo;ll know where to direct your preventive efforts, says Wasserstein.</p> <h3>Encourage Debate</h3> <p>What if you <em>don&rsquo;t</em> believe that a problem is a risk, but someone on your team does? Make your case to that person about why it isn&rsquo;t a likely possibility and ask him to poke holes in your argument, advises Lawrence Polsky, managing partner of PeopleNRG, whose Princeton, N.J. consultancy has developed a Worst Case Scenario Tool to help clients plan ahead for potential challenges. Be prepared to revise your opinion. &ldquo;Often you don&rsquo;t know you have wishful thinking,&rdquo; he says.</p> <h3>Create a Plan</h3> <p>After you&rsquo;ve identified your major risks, come up with a creative strategy for reducing them with your team, advises Wasserstein. For instance, say you know you&rsquo;ll have to lay off employees if you lose a client who contributes $500,000 a year in revenue. You may need to do more to retain that customer. Think about what missteps might cause you to lose the client and how you can prevent them from happening. For instance, says Wasserstein, you might ask: &ldquo;If he wants deliveries in seven days and you&rsquo;ve been delivering in eight to 10, what can you do to make sure you&rsquo;re always under seven days?&rdquo;</p> <p>Once you have a plan in place, commit it to paper so your team knows who is responsible for each step, says Wasserstein. Then make sure your managers act on the plan. That way, instead of laying awake nights worrying about &ldquo;what ifs?&rdquo; you&rsquo;ll be able to be able to free your mind to dream up growth strategies.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elaine-pofeldt">Elaine Pofeldt</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/how-anticipating-the-worst-can-help-you-succeed">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/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</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-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</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/no-money-for-a-week-here-s-what-to-do">No Money for a Week? Here’s What to Do.</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/big-list-of-things-to-be-happy-about">Big List of Things to be Happy About</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/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center business planning emergency plan overcoming challenges small business Thu, 07 Jan 2010 13:22:45 +0000 Elaine Pofeldt 408424 at http://www.wisebread.com Stick With It (Even Though its Christmas) http://www.wisebread.com/stick-with-it-even-though-its-christmas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stick-with-it-even-though-its-christmas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/320223121_c8196a2615_m.jpg" alt="Staring is Difficult" title="Staring is Difficult" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="161" height="240" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;I&#39;ve saved so much this year and paid off some of my debt. I wanted to keep that up through Christmas but Mom would love that painting...it&#39;s just this once.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I know I&#39;ve been eating so well and losing weight, but it&#39;s a holiday party and those desserts look excellent...it&#39;s just this once.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I said I wouldn&#39;t spend money on myself this Christmas, but these are such good sales. Just this once, I&#39;ll buy myself a present.&quot;</p> <p>So many of us find ourselves making statements like this to ourselves during the holiday season. We know our goals and we&#39;re usually faithful to them, but we give ourselves special leeway over the holidays. Unfortunately, these decisions can come back to haunt us later. Too many holiday desserts and we&#39;ve undone the weight loss we achieved over the rest of the year. Too many extravagant gifts or presents for ourselves and we find our credit card debt up and our financial work undone. if the problem gets too bad over the holidays, we also lose motivation for continuing in our discipline for the rest of the year. What&#39;s the point, if we&#39;re going to ruin it all in a month?</p> <p>The problem is that this season is special. We see it everywhere we go and we experience it when we make plans that are outside our normal routines and see people we don&#39;t usually see. Because we see its specialness, though, we have trouble bringing our everyday habits (even if they&#39;re deeply ingrained) into this time. Our usual routines support our habits, but this season is extraordinary and so our habits go unsupported. Since we need that support to continue in habits that require discipline, we tend to let those slide during the holidays.</p> <p>Instead of depending on our normal routines to ingrain our habits enough that they carry through this season, we should develop new routines. These should support our habits even when some of our other routines disappear. One good routine is to have a set of questions we ask ourselves whenever we feel tempted or whenever we hear the words &quot;just this once&quot; float through our minds. Each of us will have questions that motivate us or help us reach our goals, but the ones listed below have helped many people </p> <ul> <li>Is it really just this once? If I let myself do it once, will I feel like I can do it whenever I want? Will &quot;just this once&quot; break my habit entirely? </li> <li>If I look back on this in a month or two, what will I think of my decision to break my habit? </li> <li>If I had known this was coming, would I have planned to do it or to avoid it?</li> <li>How will I feel about myself if I break this habit, even if I really only do it once?</li> <li>How much does this decision influence my ultimate goals?</li> <li>Is this really an either/or situation? Is there any way I can do something special and still maintain my good habit?</li> </ul> <p>After you choose the questions that work for you, you&#39;ll want to incorporate them into your standard routine. Start by noticing what tempts you. What do you want to do, just once, just because it&#39;s almost Christmas and this season is special? The human mind works in such a way that thinking about a situation ahead of time will help us notice when it actually arrives. Because we can have the justifying &quot;just this once&quot; conversations and not even notice it, it&#39;s important that we prepare ourselves to notice.</p> <p>When you do notice yourself being tempted, make sure to ask yourself the appointed questions. If you&#39;re afraid you won&#39;t remember them, write them down and take a trip to the bathroom when you&#39;re tempted. Pull out your note and ask away. If you can keep them in your head, take a little walk and think for a minute when you want something &quot;just this once.&quot;</p> <p>Asking the questions makes us stop and think, and thinking about a decision before we make it is often the difference between a good habit that is upheld and one that is broken. We CAN continue to have good habits during the holidays, and with a plan like this, we WILL. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stick-with-it-even-though-its-christmas">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/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</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-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</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/quickly-removing-scratches-from-cds-and-dvds">Quickly Remove Scratches From CDs and DVDs</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/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips endurance just this once overcoming challenges stick with it Wed, 05 Dec 2007 19:15:47 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1468 at http://www.wisebread.com