Happy New Year!

The beginning of the year is a great time to set new intentions, whether it be prioritizing things that are important to you or setting new goals. Reflecting on the previous year and making adjustments for an improved 2019 is a great thing to do, for our personal aspirations and our family goals.

As an avid learner, I am always searching for the best ways to reach both my personal and professional goals, and help clients do the same. There is a wealth of information shared in books, blogs, podcasts, and YouTube videos. As we determine what is most important to accomplish in 2019, I wanted to share some tips that have helped me.

♦  Minimize to maximize: Everything is not equally important. If you have things that are really important to you, narrow them down to the 3 or 4 most important and guard your time to accomplish them. This will mean saying no to many things, but when you are saying no to something, you are saying “Yes” to yourself or your family.

♦  Break down the smaller steps to achieve your goal: Create the steps needed to reach your goal and then develop a set of 30-day, 60-day and 90-day targets of where you want to be and monitor your progress. This will help you say no to things that become a distraction, will help you be more realistic about how much time you have for your top goals versus other things you are doing, and help you prioritize your daily “to do” list.

Like the training schedule for a marathon, you don’t go and run 26 miles, you focus on how many miles you need to run that week to keep progressing toward your goal.

♦  Willpower doesn’t work: Change the environment: This goes for so many things. We need to remove hurdles or create an environment to be successful. From creating music playlists that get us in the mindset for a certain task (I have separate ones for writing, running, and for analytic work) to setting our workout clothes in the bathroom the night before or always having a packed gym bag in our car, removing hurdles or creating a way to get in the zone can help you be more successful at achieving what is important to you.

I met an entrepreneur who spoke recently about the importance of managing your personal finances and she said she had a money playlist she used whenever she paid bills. Someone asked about what she did when it was hard to pay bills and money was tight and she responded, “that’s when I really need the playlist”. Figure out what you need.

♦  Automate, Delegate, or Stop Doing: Automate as much as you can. Bill paying and saving and investing are great things to automate. Some people even automate grocery delivery, though we do not have delivery services where I live.Regularly review the list of things you are doing, delegate or outsource where possible and for things that don’t help you achieve what is important, consider not doing them. Time is not a renewable resource. Guard it.

♦  Accountability: Create a system to help hold you accountable. This could be joining a group with similar goals, like Weight Watchers or a Mastermind Group, using an accountability app, or checking in with a friend. There is a reason FitBit and online goal trackers are so popular. When you make a goal public and add a social or competitive twist to it, it can be more fun and can increase your success.

♦  Rest: One of the best books I read in 2018 was Peak Performance: Elevate your game, avoid burnout and thrive with the new science of success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. We are not human doings, we are human beings. Those that achieve things beyond what they thought possible include rest as an active thing they are doing. They make time for it and prioritize it.

I’d love to hear back from you on the books, podcasts and videos that help you stay motivated and focused, and learn new ways to enjoy life, reduce distractions, and accomplish more. Here are some of my favorites from 2018.

  1. Peak Performance: Elevate your game, avoid burnout and thrive with the new science of success by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness.
  2. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg Keown
  3. Subscribe to Bob Glazer’s Friday Forward www.fridayfwd.com and listen to his “Outperform” Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. He shares great insights and interviews so many interesting and inspirational people and authors.
  4. Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Hal focuses on creating a routine for success. Check out his Podcast “Achieve Your Goals” on iTunes or Stitcher
  5. Atomic Habits by James Clear. See a video discussing topics from the book 1% Better Every Day.
  6. The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks
  7. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink
  8. The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
  9. The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan
  10.  Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success by Benjamin Hardy

Best Wishes for an amazing 2019!