Lifeticking / Goal setting tips

Reflecting on a year that’s been? Journal those thoughts

December 31st, 2016 by Shane Maloney No Comments

Hi Lifetickers,

It’s hard to not reflect on the year that’s been come the end of December. In many ways a calendar year provides a neat bookend to a period of time in life that is just long enough to take some major steps in life and short enough to work towards them. I find myself in a reflective mood at this time of year and it serves as a great prologue to planning for the year ahead. What did I achieve? What made me happy? What made me content? What would I do differently? What unexpected things happened? How do I feel about my life and where it is heading?

Of course, being Christmas time also means family have the chance to get together to celebrate (and sometimes aggravate). What constantly brings laughter and smiles to our faces are Dad’s recollections of our various sayings as kids. As we get older we appreciate them more and I’m amazed at Dad’s ability to recall them even after 40 years. One in particular that seems to have everyone erupt in laughter is my question to Dad when I was three years old about his cowboy exploits (an occupation otherwise known as Stockman in Australia). I was obsessed with cowboys/stockmen and my story book at the time depicted some cowboys mustering cattle in amongst the dust whilst wearing their bandanas across their mouths. My innocent question to Dad: “Did you wear a tissue in the dirt time?” still has my siblings in stitches every time they hear it.

And so it got me thinking as to how to capture these gems. Whilst I like to use Lifetick as a journal from time to time, I realised journal trackers (previously known as journal categories) serve as a great way to capture additional things that need their own special categories like “Dad’s family stories”.

Since then I have been adding a few other trackers to better “chronicle” my life and some easy ones include “Travel” which is obviously dates and places of my global meandering. Then of course there’s a whole ‘nother tracker called “Travel stories” and thats where it really gets interesting. The thing I like about journal trackers is I don’t have to laboriously add everything at once, but rather just enter them as they come to mind. For “Dad’s family stories” I simply enter the story and back date to when it most likely first took place. Not an exact science, but something that captures the record never to be lost. Of course, future family gatherings will no doubt benefit from my diligent record keeping, so I can only hope I have some stories recorded of the siblings that induce equal amounts of laughter.

May you enjoy your own time of reflection and we wish you the very best for the year ahead.

 

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Another year approaches its end. What does that mean for you?

October 31st, 2016 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on Another year approaches its end. What does that mean for you?

Hi Lifetickers,

Here we are on the verge of November and just like that another year has whizzed by at seemingly great pace. The questions is: what kind of year has it been for you? Why am I asking this with two full months to go? Very simple. Whatever you have or haven’t done, two months gives you enough time to make one last big push for your 2016 goals. So that is my challenge for you. Think of it like this:

  1. Is there something that you really wanted to achieve this year and through life’s daily struggles it just gently slipped back into oblivion?
  2. If you sat down and reviewed that goal, what do you think you could achieve with 61 days left? Is it some of it? Is it all of it?
  3. How do you think you feel come New Year, if rather than the millions of others who are thinking about New Year’s Resolutions from a standing still position, you’ve already gotten a huge head start and gained some crucial momentum?
  4. What has stopped you achieving your goals this year? Is there a blocker? A barrier? An attitude? Is it apathy? Is it motivation? How do you think you might overcome this to get going again?
  5. What’s the easiest thing you can achieve today? What’s the easiest thing you can achieve in the next three days? What’s the easiest thing you can achieve this week? Seriously, do all of them.

Most importantly though, it is very easy to forget that every single day is a great day to start working toward your future. Just one step in the right direction can sometimes be enough to get the second step happening and then the third and before you know it you are walking. Then you can start to run.

If you’ve read this far, I’d say you’re either bored and surfing the net or you are actually trying to get inspired. So if it’s the latter, then here’s what you need to do right now. Do not click any other link. Go straight to your goal and update it. Make sure it’s revised according to your new needs and schedule. Then start working on the first task RIGHT NOW. Do not make an excuse. Do not postpone. Do not procrastinate. Just do that task. As soon as I publish this post (and tweet about it) I will do exactly the same.

61 days to go. Don’t waste them. Good luck.

 

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Finding Ways to Fit Your Study Goals into Day-to-Day Life

October 13th, 2016 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on Finding Ways to Fit Your Study Goals into Day-to-Day Life

Hi Lifetickers,

Today we have a guest post for you courtesy of David Recine of Magoosh. Focused on study goals and how we can incorporate them into life, it offers some practical tips and sound advice to ensure ongoing success. Enjoy! 

Setting study goals can be challenging, especially if you aren’t a full-time student.

To find time for your study goals in day-to-day life, you have to strike a careful balance. If you devote too little time to your studies, you’ll lose sight of your goals as other responsibilities crop up. But if you set overambitious study goals, you can easily miss those goals and get discouraged.

If you are setting your own study goals in your spare time, think of these goals as a garden in the courtyard of your life. Plants in a garden need the right amount of water and sunlight– not too much and not too little. Similarly, your study goals need the exact right amount of your time and energy.

First and foremost, you should set a realistic study schedule. Your study schedule should be realistic in two ways. You’ll need to have time for both your studies and the other parts of your day-to-day life. And you’ll need to set aside enough time so that your learning can progress.

To ensure you have sufficient time for both life and study, most people should set aside no more than three hours per weekday, on average. And as you take stock in your life, you may find that you have less than three hours per day. This can be especially true if you have both a full time job and a family.

So three hours per day is the maximum you should probably devote to your study goals. If you are exceptionally busy, you may also need to think of the minimum amount of time you can put in. Your minimum daily time for study depends on what your goals are. If your goal is to master a second language, many experts recommend a minimum of one hour of study per day; this applies to other skill-building study goals as well. If your goal is to pass a standardized test, how much time you put in per day depends a lot on when you need to take the test. If you have a month of study time before an exam, 2-4 hours per weekday and 5-6 hours over the weekend is a realistic minimum; you can see an example of this schedule in a typical 1 month GRE prep plan.

Once you’ve chosen a study schedule that seems realistic, make sure you can also be flexible. Life happens. You will have days when unexpected things come up and you need to cancel or shorten a study session. For language learning and other skill-studies, try to give yourself one or two hours per day. That way if you have a day where you can’t do your minimum one hour of study, you can make up for lost time the next day. For rigorous, multidisciplinary academic studies such as test prep or self-paced online courses, be prepared to stretch your study plan out for a longer period. That one-month,  2-4 hour a day GRE study schedule I linked to could become a two-month, 1-2 hour a day plan. Self-paced courses through schools such as Udemy or Western Governors University can be similarly stretched if need be.

The pace of your life will ebb and flow. You’ll be more busy with your day-to-day life at times, less busy at others. The time you put in for your study goals will need to ebb and flow with the rest of your life. The trick is to make sure that flow of study never comes to a complete stop… until you reach your goal.

About David Recine
David is a test prep expert at Magoosh. He has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has been teaching K-12, University, and adult education classes since 2007 and has worked with students from every continent.

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My tv antennae is broken. Life just got so much better.

August 30th, 2016 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on My tv antennae is broken. Life just got so much better.

Hi Lifetickers,

Close to a year ago, my tv antennae (or coaxial cable) failed to deliver a signal. At first I was mildly perturbed, but then I thought “I might just hold off on getting this repaired”. I was curious as to how long I could go without tv. It turns out, the answer was and is quite some time. Disclaimer: the Internet still offers many options for tv viewing. However, what’s interesting is how much easier it is to do more purposeful activity when the temptation is removed.

When it comes to goal setting, there are many simple daily events and routines that keep us from doing less than we’d hoped or aimed for. Sometimes, opportunities come along (like a signal-less tv) that should be jumped on because they make our goals slightly more achievable by removing the temptation to do less. In this instance, I didn’t have to actually actively do something to make it happen. However, there will be opportunities we can look for ourselves to remove small temptations that lead us to better habits. Every little bit helps so why not make the most of the little things.

You might ask: what have I gained since the box has been out of action? Well, firstly “watching tv for the sake of it” is completely gone and not even contemplated. Secondly, I am more conscious of what I do in the evenings. Is it more time with loved ones, more time reading, more time studying, more time in the garden or more time doing physical activity. All of these for me amount to a better outcome then sitting passively in front of the tv. But there will always be a time for downtime and that is part of our recharge, so we needn’t become too austere. At least now though, I can seek out programs I want to watch through the Internet and have a specific time to enjoy them rather than simply becoming entirely inactive and soaking up whatever is on offer.

Why not have a think about the temptations in your life that could be easily removed. Even removing one could lead to better outcomes for your goals and sense of being. Every day is a new opportunity to be more of who we want to be in life. Removing the temptations that prevent that is half the battle.

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The “Moral Support” approach to goal setting

April 30th, 2016 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on The “Moral Support” approach to goal setting

Hi Lifetickers,

Goal setting and achieving can be a lonely, lengthy and tiresome duty. Often we fail along the way or we lose inspiration and abandon hope of ever reaching our target. Other times, we can simply keep extending the deadline and so it drags on and on slowly losing its lustre. This of course, comes with the territory. If goals were easy they wouldn’t be goals, so we must at all times find ways to motivate and inspire ourselves to keep on keeping on.

One proven method is to enlist moral support. Whether it’s your spouse, partner, friend, mentor, sibling or coach, a “supporter” is someone who can help keep you accountable throughout the journey.  A supporter should be someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses. Someone who knows how to encourage and not discourage, is empathetic and finally, wants to see you succeed.

Your relationship should be an honest one. There is no point having a supporter if they can’t say to you “Gee Shane, you’ve been a little slack the last month. What can we do to turn it around?” But equally, if criticism is warranted then you want it to be constructive.

If you think your goal setting could benefit from a genuine supporter or two, then you also need to think about what commitment you want from them. Here are some things to consider:

  1. How often should they check in with you and your goals? e.g. weekly, monthly. Remember, you don’t want to place too big a burden on them?
  2. What are you looking for from them? e.g. Words of encouragement, analysis of performance, gentle reminders, discussion on overcoming stumbling blocks. Make sure you discuss this with your potential supporter so they are clear on your expectations before they commit.
  3. How long should they be expected to support you? e.g. a month, a year, for the duration of the goal itself. This is also important. Anyone can commit to a chat about something, but six months might be more than they can live up to.
  4. What’s in it for them? e.g. you’ll do something for them, payment or simply nothing because this is the kind of thing you do for each other. Again, be sure to be open about whatever the expectation is so your supporter knows exactly what the role is all about.

Finally, the good news is that Lifetick allows you to have supporters for your goals. All they need is a free Lifetick account and you can add them as a supporter. You can add as many as you like and it means they can check on the goal(s) you share with them and offer comments of support through the application itself.

So why wait? What are you struggling with right now? Think of who might be a great supporter for that goal and ask them. You never know what value they can provide. They too might need support in some areas in their own life!

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The “Brain dump” approach to goal setting

January 14th, 2016 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on The “Brain dump” approach to goal setting

Hi Lifetickers,

As mentioned in our recent post, we wanted to share with you a variety of approaches to setting your goals in Lifetick.  What I’ve found is that there is never a perfect way and quite often I personally will oscillate between extremes. Nevertheless, I think this can be a positive because it means your mind is finding ways to make it work which is the priority! Alternatively, it can mean we are finding ways to procrastinate or avoid facing the task of actually completing the tasks themselves!

So without further ado, let’s begin with what is perhaps the most common approach which I affectionately refer to as the “Brain Dump” approach. It begins with what is a fury of excitement and activity. This of course is a highly favourable disposition and mode of operation. Why? Because it means people are throwing all those loose ideas and long held dreams and aspirations into Lifetick in a blaze of glory. The key to this is to see it through. The more you put in the more a picture will begin to form and the more you will understand just how big this can be. Initially, this will be extremely appealing and will lead you to understand all the things that are important to you. In your exuberance, it’s likely you will:

  • Set quite a number of goals
  • Set aggressive timeframes for achievement
  • Put email reminders on all your tasks and
  • Log in each day and refine and add tasks and journal notes

Now this is a great start, but there are some risks. Very few people can actually sustain motivation and activity in this way.  Here’s where it gets troublesome:

  • There are just too many goals to manage and it seems overwhelming
  • In your earnestness to achieve, you are now getting a deluge of task reminders which then compounds if/when you miss due dates
  • You realise achieving goals is hard and start to have doubts about it all
  • You start to question which goals are actually important to you and finally
  • Your initial excitement starts to wane.

However, being aware of potential pitfalls will help you transition into a more sustainable way of working diligently (at a pace that suits you) to achieve your goals. The initial exuberance can now be converted into something more aligned to you and your way of working. It’s ok to face our limitations. It’s only when this happens that we know where they are and what it will take to extend them. So, how do we make this transition? Here are some tips:

  1. Review all your goals. If you have some doubts or misgivings, maybe push the due dates out or convert some to Dreams. This will immediately take the pressure off.
  2. Focus on your timelines for your remaining goals. How aggressive were they? Can you perhaps extend their due dates to give you more time?
  3. Make sure your tasks are granular. This will make each task easier to tick off as complete and give you a small sense of achievement and progress. Never underestimate these small wins.
  4. Review your reminders. Not every task need a reminder. Think about when you want a reminder for each task. Some only need a reminder on the day, whereas others that take some effort might need a reminder a week before. Mixing up the reminders has the added benefit of creating diversity which ensures your brain doesn’t go into auto-pilot when receiving them. This means you are more likely to pay attention to the reminder because you have to think for an extra few seconds about when the task is due and what needs to happen before then.
  5. Add a note in your journal every time you log in. Sometimes when reviewing goals there are no actions to do, e.g. tasks to complete. Rather than feel you have logged in for nothing, add a short journal note every time you log in. This will 1) give you an action to do, 2) crystallise your thoughts because you are taking time to write them down and 3) build a great habit – journaling.

The most important thing about goals is they are not set and forget. They are likely to change and evolve and therefore, this should be embraced. The more time you spend thinking about them and working toward them, the more you will come to understand what is actually important to you. Sometimes, some things we thought were really important just aren’t. Likewise, other pursuits become even more important to us the more we think and work toward achieving them. I love the Brain Dump approach because it really clears the head and gets it all out there. But like everything in life, it is something that needs constant refining, revisiting and reimagining. So don’t lose heart if it isn’t perfect from day one. It’s not meant to be!

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…and we’re back!

December 30th, 2015 by Shane Maloney Comments Off on …and we’re back!

Hi Lifetickers,

You may have been wondering why we’ve been silent for so long. Well, I think it’s two fold. Sometimes it’s difficult finding something original to say. Presenting a perspective that’s new and fresh is important to your readers. Anything less is an injustice, insult or sheer waste of people’s precious time. Secondly, work and life can get in the way, thus limiting the time it takes to actually develop those fresh thoughts. Nevertheless, we’ve had a chance to withdraw from the online chatter for awhile now and are looking forward to sharing some new ideas and approaches with you. As always, we remain true to our topic – goal setting and achieving.

Having conceived Lifetick over eight years ago and since used it to tick off many of my own goals along the way all the while corresponding with many hundreds of users, it is nice to be able to reflect and share what I guess amounts to a large body of knowledge. Of course goal setting is always different for everyone, but what doesn’t change is the effort it takes.

People I meet are often fascinated by Lifetick and the ideas underpinning it. Some see it as a silver bullet to all their worldly needs, others a handy tool. One good friend thinks of it as nothing more than a glorified pen and paper and enjoys telling me so. Regardless of these very diverse opinions, the reality is the same for all – if you want to achieve something great, then your success is largely a measure of your effort and commitment to that outcome. Will Lifetick help you? That depends on you. Here’s why.

Lifetick is what I call an “aspirational product”. It’s not mission critical, it’s not checking your calories burned or steps taken every second of every day. It is something more though. And by being something more it requires more. More from you. You have to find a reason to make Lifetick a part of your life. You have to find a way to make checking in each day or week a habit and an important part of your life. What will that reason be? Again, it’s different for everyone. But here’s the catch…

If you don’t find that reason then your usage of Lifetick, your focus on achieving important things in life, your commitment to excellence, your belief of who you wanted to be when the New Year comes round will slip away. And indeed it does. I know because I have the wonder of “usage statistics” at my disposal and they tell a very brutal story. As they say “Don’t become a statistic!” This is very true for Lifetick.

So you must be wondering why all the tough talk? Well, I’m interested in helping people achieve their goals, not drift off into fantasy. And the best way I know how to do that is to first set expectations. Over the coming months I will give you every possible tip I know to give you the best chance to achieve. But right now, the most important thing you can do is make a commitment to yourself. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be achievable. Start small and grow from there. One step then the next. That is how all journey’s begin and end.

If this is your first time to Lifetick, then welcome. If you are someone like me who has been using it for many years, then I’m very happy that we are still here together. I wish each and every one of you the very best for 2016. I wonder what our conversation will look like in 12 months time?

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One sentence a day…

October 26th, 2009 by Shane Maloney 3 Comments

Hi Lifetickers,

The correlation between journal keeping and success is universally well known. There is no shortage of statesmen and women who can attribute in part their ongoing motivation to succeed to the daily habit of maintaining a journal. Allowing time each day to collect one’s thoughts and put them into words not only serves as an effective check of one’s activities, progress, purpose and direction, it can also lead our minds to a deeper level of introspection of how we carried ourselves that day. Be they interactions with loved ones, colleagues or a random person on the street, when keeping a journal it is hard not to reflect on whether the world was a better place for having us in it today, which of course is a healthy thing to do.

But how do we make this happen? Journal keeping (like most things that require daily commitment) sounds good in practice, but can be a drag for most of us. Personally, I suffer from a severe case of inconsistency and therefore good intentions last a week at best. Nevertheless, there is always hope. I recently committed to a technique that I believe is already proving effective in getting my journal entries made on a more frequent basis. Quite simply, it is – Write one sentence per day.

When you think about it, one sentence a day is not hard at all. In fact, it is ridiculously easy. But is it useful? I would argue a heartfelt “yes”. Why? Because it is not the content that matters, but the act. We can’t all aspire to be Oscar Wilde, able to produce a worthy quote at will, but that doesn’t matter. Simply logging in and making the entry itself is the action that develops the necessary discipline and focus that can greatly benefit us. Furthermore, once you’ve logged it, it is almost impossible not to write more… and there of course is the complete benefit. But, if one begins with the very modest and honest objective of only writing one sentence, then it will ensure the goal remains achievable on a day-by-day basis and that is the key.

We are starting to notice in our stats a great rise in journal category usage in Lifetick. For those of you who are yet to try this functionality, it is most useful in recording daily activities you would like to measure or report on. For example, gym visits, calories eaten, books you’ve read and much more. Totally customisable, you can read more in the help tips when you edit the categories themselves in the journal.

Add a note

Finally, we would like to sign off today with the announcement of some new features:

  • Task notes (frequently requested) allow you to capture extra information on your goals
  • Fortnightly (every other week) recurring tasks
  • Interface improvements
    (including larger task and full screen reports windows)

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Lifetick as GTD?

August 31st, 2009 by Shane Maloney 4 Comments

Hi Lifetickers,

A question we often get at Meridian 86 is “Do we personally use Lifetick for GTD (i.e. Getting things done)?” Whilst I’m happy to answer this question specifically, I think the nature of the question itself is more to do with how effective Lifetick actually is in this space, but first things first. Here’s my response to the original question: Yes, then no and now yes again. I shall explain.

Lifetick was always intended as a goal setting application. Its entire design is around a philosophy of value driven activity and as such is eminently suited (we hope) to the achievement of goals be they short or long term. Therefore, we felt empowered to strip away a lot of the items people take for granted in a typical GTD app including due times, not just dates and subsequent reminders at various times throughout the day. Given the saturation of the GTD market, we have intentionally stayed away from what we believe is not at the core of our offering. We’d rather be a fantastic goal setting app, than a poor GTD app.

Having said all that, we are cognisant of that fact that many of our users find Lifetick to be an effective GTD tool, myself included. To elaborate on the question posed at the outset, I have used Lifetick quite successfully in the past to keep on top of my “To do” list. It did actually work reasonably well for me, but I stopped for one simple reason – aesthetics. I didn’t like the fact that my goals were interspersed and cluttered with daily chores etc. Therefore, I switched to a native iPhone app. Incidentally it was not working well for me at all, so I’ve only just gone back to using Lifetick. In the period that I stopped using Lifetick for GTD we’ve added a function which made it easier for me to go back to using it and that is the ability to delete completed goals. Now I have the freedom to remove the banal tasks from the history of my great achievements so to speak.

The way I do it is to group GTD into time periods. Therefore, one goal would be “August GTD”. Then whatever random tasks I had could be associated under that “goal”. Everything from buying a father’s day present, to dropping off dry cleaning, to fixing the broken door could be put in this time based goal. In terms of core values, I called one “Organisation” because let’s face it – anyone like us who wants to organise themselves to the point where they use software to do it probably values an organised life. This also means you can plan tasks into the future by adding new monthly GTD goals concurrently.

Quite simply, goals in Lifetick could also be projects. When it comes to your work, a client’s project could be organised under a specific goal, because no doubt you have a deadline for the overall project and that is what you would work towards in Lifetick with the due dates you set for the goal and its tasks. Maybe for random things you have a goal called “Office – Sep 09” or “Errands – Sep 09”.

I think one of the aspects that can make Lifetick effective in the GTD space is its ability to simplify things. I believe humans by our very nature tend to over complicate things. It is our insatiable demand for features that ultimately leads an application to its destruction – a victim of its own success if you like. By reducing the to dos to uncluttered lists and layout, we are often in a better position to bother recording them in the first instance. After all, it is the act of “recording” that plays a significant role in getting to the “doing”. Observations of my own life lead me to believe that I can and will make an excuse out of anything. Therefore, no matter how amazing an application is, there will always be something about it that prohibits me from getting to the work itself. By overcoming this self-imposed limitation, I am actually one step closer to achieving something in my day. This of course is rooted in the concept of BE-DO-HAVE which we have written about in a previous post.

Nevertheless, we hope you have found this to be somewhat relevant and informative for your use of Lifetick and would welcome any comments that can add to or alter our opinion on the topic. We are happy to leave it open to our users to determine whether Lifetick is their preferred tool to get the day to day stuff done in an efficient manner.

Have a great week one and all.

P.S. We have recently added SSL security to our service… You can access it via these links: https://www.lifetick.com/app/ or on the iPhone at: https://www.lifetick.com/iPhone/

Please remember to update your bookmarks!
(Ensure you include the www in the address or you might get a security error.)

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New Year’s Resolutions? …forget about them

January 1st, 2009 by Shane Maloney 4 Comments

Hi Lifetickers and welcome to 2009.

We wanted to say a big thank you for your support during our first year of operation and we look forward to expanding the product even more in 2009. Obviously, the new year brings with it a swag of resolutions, mostly useless and doomed, but nevertheless, that won’t stop us from adding our two cents worth to the ever expanding opinion on achieving more in life.

Firstly, most of you are on the right path because you chose to sign up to an online goal setting app – in our case Lifetick – and you did it during the calendar year, which means that you didn’t need the motivation of a new year to pull the proverbial finger out. Therefore, this would suggest one of two things happened in your life in the last 12 months: inspiration or desperation. Regardless of which, if you are using the product consistently then you will be achieving more, so congratulations on that.

A second key point that should not be underestimated is the financial investment some of you have made for the full version of Lifetick. This is important because people feel more committed toward something and value it higher if they have had to pay for it. This is for two reasons: cynically we presume that something free isn’t worth anything and more interestingly, by investing in something we feel the need to get our money’s worth out of it.

But the reality is, none of this will really get you over the line in terms of getting more out of life. In fact, if you are relying on a new year’s resolution to make for a better life then you are sadly deluded. Sure you can pay for an online goal setting app to make yourself feel better, but how many times in life do we buy a bicycle or pay for a gym membership only to see it rust or go to waste. It is a classic case of HAVE-DO-BE. If I just HAVE this then I’ll DO more and I’ll BE happy. Where we need to be focused in our endeavours is the complete opposite: BE-DO-HAVE.

What is BE-DO-HAVE? Firstly, it’s a philosophy. A way of life. If I BE this person and I DO these things then I will HAVE abundance. Effectively, it is putting the horse in front of the cart where it belongs. It is easy to make excuses for ourselves, but if we haven’t got the wiring correct at the outset, then surely, we are doomed to fail.

Therefore, what advice can be given based on this? I’ll break it down to a small list:

  1. Re-wire your brain. BE-DO-HAVE. Take responsibility for where you are in life and use that as your starting point. Doesn’t matter if it’s a long way back, at least your compass will be correct.
  2. Sit down and think about what you want to be different in your life. Write these things down.
  3. Apply the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting methodology. If something doesn’t add up then scrap it. Ever noticed how many NY resolutions are vague and therefore don’t fit the S.M.A.R.T. methodology? You can forget about achieving a single one of your resolutions if they are in any way, shape or form vague.
  4. Cast your eye over your goals. If you are having doubts about one, scrap it. Isn’t that giving up? No. The reality is that goal setting really helps work out what we REALLY want in life. The truth is that most things in life we don’t REALLY want. Sure, they’d be nice to have if there was no effort involved, but life is not like that. Otherwise, we’d all win the lotto. Make your list count. If you really want something, it will be a goal.
  5. Now the hard part. Daily inspiration. Find it any way you can. This is what will make or break you. Some ideas:
    a) Read a famous quote every morning when you get out of bed e.g. What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
    b) Put pictures and reminders of your heroes on your walls, computer screen, as bookmarks, on notepaper.
    c) Get in rhythm. Listen to music that inspires you. Make a compilation of the songs that make you feel better about yourself and keep you motivated when you need it.
    d) Use an affirmation. Not for all, but some swear by them. Worth trying.
    e) Share your dreams with someone you can trust. No, not a random on the Internet. Someone who will take them seriously and believe in you. You should ask this person to follow up with you every one to two weeks to check your progress. If he (or she) is a true friend, he will care and it won’t be an effort for him.
    f) Start a good habit, by breaking a bad habit. If you can start one good habit then you can start a hundred. Find the easiest one and give it 21 days. Prove to yourself you have it within you.
    g) Read biographies of inspirational people every 2-3 months. You’ll soon feel the effects of their lives wear off on yours.
  6. Finally, let go. That’s right. Let it happen. Find time each day to pray, meditate, contemplate or just be still. Whatever it is that works for you. Life is about balance, so if you’re too busy achieving you may not be enjoying the fruits of your labour. Find your own balance.

Tools like Lifetick will certainly help you with organisation, reminders and motivation here and there, but your drive will come from within. Find a way to tap into that. It is different for everyone, so beware those who promise the world with their wares.

Good luck and we wish you a successful 2009. We hope to serve you well throughout.

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