The humble to-do list is a powerful success tool. It doesn’t matter whether you create and keep a digital list using an app or use a pen and paper. What is important is that you create and use your lists every day to help you get and stay organized. The following tips will ensure that your to-do lists are an effective tool in your organizational toolbox.
The ideal length of a to-do list is ten items or less. You’ve probably created lists in the past that have seemed endless. Instead of helping you feel organized and successful, you probably ended the day with most of the items still unchecked and felt like a failure.
By keeping your list purposely short, you are more likely to cross off every item and end the day feeling successful.
Don’t add your work tasks to your personal to-do list. Maintain separate lists.
Once you’ve listed everything you need to accomplish, number the items in order of priority. Do the most important items first, and you’ll feel the greatest sense of achievement.
If there are any items on your list that aren’t important then mark them as such. That way you won’t need to feel guilty if you don’t cross them off.
Wherever possible, set a time limit for every item on the list. Not just how long it will take but when it is due. That way you can identify tasks that need to be completed before lunch or before picking up the kids from school.
A to-do list should be a working document. Once written it should be revisited throughout the day. You can check off those items you’ve completed and reprioritize or schedule those that remain.
You can also cross items off that are no longer important or necessary. It will also give you the opportunity to add any additional tasks that crop up during the day.
How often have you made a to-do list at the beginning of the day and then totally ignored it? It is probably because you left the house without it at the start of the day!
To make sure that your list is where you need it, you could use your favorite app. Better still you could keep your daily to-do list in your daily or weekly spread in your planner or bullet journal. That way, it will be with you wherever you go, and you’ll get the satisfaction of marking off the items as you complete them. You’ll also have a visual record of your achievement.
Are you the type of person that counts their blessings? If so, this means that you have learned what it’s like to be grateful for certain things in your life. These can be physical items like owning your home, or they can be on a more personal level, by being grateful for someone in your life.
Having abundance and gratitude in your life is a form of wealth. If you are surrounded by people who love and respect you, you will instantly feel treasured in return.
The concept of being grateful for what you have can be difficult for some people to understand. Instead of focusing on what they have, many people find it easier to constantly think about what they don’t have.
Think about this for a moment. Do you really have to be wealthy to feel as though you are? Will having a million dollars in the bank automatically make you happy? The answer to both of these questions is no. Money doesn’t buy you happiness, and you don’t need material wealth to feel wealthy.
Having abundance and gratitude in your life is a form of wealth. If you are surrounded by people who love and respect you, you will instantly feel treasured in return.
Being grateful for your life consists of understanding what you have gone through to get to where you are today. This includes your struggles and fears as well as your successes and failures. After all, who doesn’t learn from making a mistake? These are the moments that you want to relish and enjoy.
Get into the habit of counting your blessings. This also includes telling friends, family, and co-workers that you are thankful for them! It’s not always easy to speak those kinds of words out loud, but when you do they can have a greater impact and reach than you ever thought possible.
What does gratitude have to do with goals? Spending time focusing on the good, positive elements of your life helps you to reprogram your brain to be more positive. Your positive outlook helps improve productivity, and voila, one more tool to help you achieve your goals.
People love stories. We are wired for it. Think about the last time you heard a great story. Did it engage you? Do you remember the main point or punch line? Storytelling is a great tool for influencing.
If you are looking to get your point across, do you think it would be more effective with a laundry list of facts, or with a story? All things being equal, the story is going to win out. It’s pretty obvious; we connect through stories.
Storytelling can go a long way in helping you to achieve your goals. When you relay situations in a factual way, you wire your brain for success.
So, what do you do?
Get out a piece of paper, or even your journal. Pick a goal to focus on and write out a story from your point of view. The story takes place at the end of the year, and you have successfully achieved your goal. Don’t forget to include details on how you made it happen, how you feel, and what you are grateful for.
Write a story for each goal, or only one for your most important goal. Pull it out and read your story each time you review your goals. Transport yourself to that place of achievement and work to make your goal a reality.
We set goals because we want to be successful. We have dreams and desires that we are working hard to achieve. And while hard work is necessary to make dreams a reality, working too hard can undermine your success.
So, what do you do to replenish your spirit? Hopefully, you easily come up with a few answers to this question. If not, start to think about what activities you like to participate in when you are not working. What makes you laugh or feel relaxed?
Just like with affirmations, the key is to participate in a soul rejuvenating activity on a regular basis, and in fact, I highly recommend finding something you can do daily. Even if you are only spending 10-15 minutes on the activity, these small doses of fun go a long way.
If you are looking for something to do, try to find an activity that helps you express your creativity. Or perhaps learn to do something new. Last but not least, connect with family and friends. Nourishing your relationships also nourishes your soul.
Also, don’t forget to designate time for rest. You need that time off too! Don’t forget to turn off electronics during that time!
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brownn
Everyone talks about goal setting in January, but by February, you don’t see much regarding goals posted at all! So for the next six weeks, I’ll be posting a weekly blog post to help you find success this year. Subscribe here to have the blog posts sent directly to your inbox!
Affirmations are sayings or phrases that you repeat to yourself, so they become part of you. You can either say these statements out loud during meditation or throughout your day. Alternatively, you can write out that repetitive statement. The more you engage your senses when using affirmations, the faster your processes them.
This type of positive self-reinforcement works, but it takes about 30 days for them to start sinking in. So, don’t give up after a few days. Once they begin working, continue with them daily for even better results.
Some people like to use the same set of mantras each day while others will use one success mantra and change it every day for the 30-day period. What affirmation(s) that you use isn’t important. The key is being consistent.
You will find plenty of resources online if you are stuck trying to come up with mantras to use. Simply do a search on affirmations or success mantras. Then decide on a time frame that works for you. Daily is best, but as long as you are consistent, you can be successful using affirmations every other day or even weekly. Space out your practice any more than that, though, and you probably will lose the effectiveness. You want to train your brain, and that requires frequent affirmations and repetition.
Here are some of my favorite affirmations:
Look forward to my next tip in a week. Tips can be sent directly to your inbox, or you can come back here to read them.Success tips in your inbox!
Here’s an interesting exercise for you. Head out to do your errands, drive to work, or get to school and make it a point to make someone else’s day today. It could be something as simple as giving someone a big smile, have a meaningful conversation with a person who’s feeling a little lost or lonely, or it could be buying lunch for the homeless person on the corner. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something today to make someone else’s day.
How does that make sure feel? It’s a pretty good feeling, isn’t it? It seems that a big key to our own happiness lies in making people around us happy and helping others. When you start to think about it, it makes sense, doesn’t it? We are social creatures who have to work together to truly thrive. It is only logical then that helping those around us has an internal rewards system built in. In other words, our happiness goes up as we improve the lives of those around us.
You can see that a great strategy to increase our own happiness is to cheer up those around us. Not only will it help make you feel better and happier, you’ll be able to share that big smile on your face which can make someone else’s day as well. While it can be hard to do this kind of stuff when you’re feeling sad, those are the times you need to force yourself to do it the most. Simply performing a selfless act increases the happiness you feel and instills a feeling of pride for helping someone else.
As with many of the other strategies we’ve been discussing, the key to making this work is to make it a habit. If it becomes an ingrained part of your daily routine, you’ll automatically go out of your way to help others even when (and especially when) you may not feel like it. Give yourself that little extra boost, infuse your with happiness and go out of your way for the benefit of someone else.
To get your habit started, think of a few different things you can do to make someone’s day. It doesn’t have to be anything big or complicated. Instead, focus on small acts of kindness that you can do every single day. Bless your loved ones and complete strangers who look like they could use a little cheering up with this kindness. Help someone unload groceries, fix a meal for a neighbor who just had a new baby, or bring your spouse coffee in bed when he or she is having a hard time. Each of these small acts of kindness will start to make a huge difference in the world around you and improve your sense of happiness and joy.
“Don’t sweat the small stuff” they say. Think about it, it’s easy to get caught up in all the little things that cause stress and ruins our day. Frankly, it’s not worth wasting energy on things that happen on a daily basis that we don’t like. Sure, we could get upset over the fact that someone else took the last good parking spot, or that the grocery store is out of our favorite brand of cereal. Alternatively, we can choose to not make a big deal out of it and use that small, fairly insignificant stuff to practice seeing the positive side of things. Having to park further away means we get to exercise a little and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine for a couple of minutes while we stroll into the office. Not being able to find our favorite cereal means we get a chance to try something new that we may like even better.
There are often two sides to any situation and we have a choice in how we look at it. Make it a point to look on the bright side and watch your happiness improve. Then take it a step further and start to really pay attention to all the good stuff around you. Stop and smell the roses, if you will.
I’m serious. There’s value in noticing all the positive things around you. The little things around you will put a smile on your face if you take the time to notice them. Make it a habit to spend some of your downtime this week savoring the small stuff. Notice how your cup of coffee smells, how it warms your hands on a cool morning, and how it tastes. Pay attention to the birds outside your window and notice how watching them and their antics around the birdfeeder makes you smile. Appreciate the next hug you receive. In other words, savor the small things that make you happy. It may not be much, but it all adds up to a very happy life. Just take the time to notice.
Over the coming weeks, practice noticing and savoring the small stuff. Don’t let a small stress bring you down. Instead, make it a goal to find something positive about everything that happens to you throughout the day. Pay particular attention to all the little things that make you smile and acknowledge them. It won’t take long before you feel this simple little exercise making a big difference in your overall outlook on life.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, join the 30 day happiness challenge. The next email will contain links to previous articles so you can get caught up!Join the challenge here!
Are you a glass half full or half empty person? This is a great example to illustrate that there are often two sides to any story and that you have a choice in how you view things. And that choice, in turn, determines how happy you feel. Happiness then becomes a choice you make every single day.
You can choose to see the glass as half empty, focus on the fact that you’re almost done drinking that nice glass of ice tea. With that attitude, you’re more likely to feel a little depressed about your tea. If on the other hand, you focus on the fact that the glass is still half full and you have plenty of yummy, ice cold tea to sip on, your mood improves and you’re increasing your happiness.
When you look at it that way, happiness really is a conscious choice you make, at least to a point. From what I’ve been reading 40% off your happiness is directly affected by how you think and how you choose to feel. And that’s what the next 30 days are all about. Over the coming days, I will post here on the blog daily with tips, advice, and strategies to help you make a conscious decision to be happier. Ready to join me?
To make sure you don’t miss a post and get a little inspiration and motivation from me via email, sign up for the 30 Day Happiness Challenge.
Happiness is a choice.Join the challenge here!
Yes, I might be crazy but we are entering what can be a difficult time of year. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s we have more obligations and more on our to-do list than at any other time of the year. So, I created this happiness challenge to help us focus on happiness and perhaps even the beauty of this season rather than all of the chores.
Happiness is a choice, and a choice we make every single day, so I want to challenge you to make it a habit. Beginning on November 21, 2016, I want to inspire and encourage you to make a choice each morning to be happier.
It takes time and daily conscious decisions to change habits and how we approach life. That’s where the challenge comes into play. The idea is that you have a daily reminder via email each day to help you remember to make that choice. Of course, there will also be plenty of helpful content on the topic of happiness in the form of a new daily blog post. By the end of the challenge, I hope you will have formed new habits, new ways of thinking, and new ways to look at each situation as it arises. With a little shift in thinking and perception, you can craft a happier, more fulfilling life for yourself. I sincerely hope this challenge will help you get there.Join the challenge here!
I have found that self care is one of the first things I give up when I am stressed and overworked. If you are not thinking “bad idea,” you should be!
We must nurture our spirit, mind, and body to remain compassionate and effective healers. Losing that edge doesn’t cause us to give bad care, but it does make us seem insensitive and detached. Of course, this perception will ultimately affect compliance and the robustness of our care.
Today, I want to move beyond the big picture self care items you are thinking about (exercise, healthy eating, etc.) to two simple, quick techniques you can use to improve your day-to-day practice of self care.
Name an item that immediately anchors you to a calm feeling. This can be an object, a photo, a quote, etc. I would encourage you to incorporate this item into your workspace and to create a ritual around it. If you have multiple work areas, perhaps there are multiple anchors you can integrate into those spaces.
As you go through your day, look to this anchor to provide a calming sensation when it is needed. Focus for a few seconds and allow your spirit to be soothed. Let tranquility replace the other feeling(s) you have at that time. This breath of fresh air will help you overcome adversity when you need it most.
The afternoon tends to be the toughest time of the day for me, and incorporating this practice has really helped to refresh my mood and reenergize my spirit.
Pick your favorite beverage and take a few minutes to do nothing but drink that beverage. (I know you are busy, so set a timer if it helps.)
When I say do nothing else, I really mean it. Be mindful of how the beverage feels in your hand. Pay attention to the aroma. Notice how it feels in your mouth.
It will be tempting to multi-task, but don’t. Make self-renewal your only task for these few moments. You’ll be surprised that it only takes a couple of minutes to feel restored.
In the comment section, please share the self care routines that are part of your day. I’d love to hear from you!