Habit Forming

The Constant Reminder

I’m old school, I wear a watch. If you’re like me, you probably look at your watch dozens of times a day. I have a suggestion.

As we all seek to make changes and form new habits in the coming year, If you wear a watch, put a small dot on the face as a reminder of the change you intend to make.

If you don’t wear a watch, put a sticky dot on your phone. Or, wear a reminder bracelet, write on your hand, create a screensaver, or leave an object out as a way to stay on track for a few weeks until a new habit takes hold.

Habit Forming

Your Life as a Book

Have you ever thought of your life as a book or movie? Maybe you should. It’s a chance to look back and celebrate all that was good and look ahead to create what you want.

What brings out the best in you? What would you like to improve upon?

What is something you did that you were afraid to, but did it anyway? What would you try if you knew you could not fail?

Travel Guide
Where was your favorite vacation destination? Where have you always wanted to go?

Children’s Book
What is your happiest childhood memory? What can you do now to be that happy again?

Who is the love of your life? What makes them special?

Career / Business
What was a smart career or business move you made? What is your dream job? What type of business would you start if you could?

Who have you always admired? Why? What would they do if they were in your shoes right now?

When were you in your best shape? How did you do it? What would you like to look and feel like in the future?

What was one of your soundest investments? How much would you like to earn or have saved up?

Memoir / Autobiography
Write out the highlights of your life so far, and the ones to come.

Your Life as a Book

The Fourth Quarter

In case you didn’t notice, we are entering the fourth and final quarter of 2014. Many people start the year strong, some get going in the middle, and others race to the finish line with a flourish. So you could be anywhere in your quest for success (and happiness) at this point in the year, but the key is to have a sense of urgency in October because many people cruise in late November and all through December due to the holiday season. If we are to “win” the year this could be the quarter to do it in . . . or not. 

For me, the fall and early winter will be critical and I’m looking forward to racing toward the new year and crossing the finish line in first place (I’m really only competeing against myself by trying to best my previous accomplishments, but it’s enough to push myself to go the extra mile.)

When I moved to Maui in my very early twenties I realized how easy a year could slip by with nothing really getting done. It’s Maui, right? There were no seasons (it’s always summer), people who visit came and went, but each group was on vacation so it felt like I was on vacation, too. The people who lived there were l-a-i-d back and many had no ambition beyond making the rent and staying there another month. I wanted to combine living for today with planning for tomorrow. 
So back in 1985 I first devised a points-based system for setting goals and receieving rewards for reaching milestones. I’ve used this same system since that time with excellent results. Keeping track (knowing exactly how well you are doing), competition (against yourself or others), and having something to shoot for (the more points the better the prize), can be the motivator many of us need to win. 
The Fourth Quarter

The Time is Now

Think back to New Year’s Eve. What did you say you would do in 2014? How’s that working for you? I’ll be honest, for me, I’m not getting it done. I know I could be doing better. With the half-way mark of the year coming up (the first of July) I know I need to pick up the pace.

I just completed my second novel, which is great, but my business book is behind schedule. I don’t know about you, but a hard deadline is a good motivator for me which is why I am giving myself until the end of the summer to polish up the manuscript for my fiction and finish my new non-fiction title. By putting it out there like that, it creates a sense of urgency and an added incentive to succeed.

In addition, I created a Pinterest page with my top ten things to do by the end of the year. Is there some way you can make a public statement about your intentions for the second half of 2014 and have someone hold you accountable? If so, what are you waiting for, do it.

MY PINTEREST PAGE WITH MY SECOND HALF GOALS http://www.pinterest.com/leesilber/ 
The Time is Now

Numbers Don’t Lie

Excuses are usually emotional and not logical (or rational). What if we just did the math? To lose weight it’s a pretty simple formula–burn more calories than we take in by eating less (and healthier) and exercing more. To write a book we divide how many pages we think it should be by the days we have until our deadline. Now we have a number to work with–a page or two a day from June to December is a big book. It’s the same with making or saving money. Math is the key to not only having a clear understanding of what we need to do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to achieve a financial goal, it makes it more real.
Ah, but we are creative, emotional people and math is difficult and boring. Okay, I agree to a degree. Our dreams should be visual, emotional, and personal (why we really want what we want and how it will feel to have it.) How we get there can also be innovative and creative. That said, it’s still a numbers game. Time is a number and that is what we are dealing with. If we honestly look at how we spend our time, I bet we could all find the time to do what we have to with subtraction (eliminating some time wasters) and addition (making more time for working on our goals.) So, the formula for success is in the numbers. 
If we have a tangible target on a map we can pick and plot the fastest way to get there. If we want to go somewhere 60 miles away (by car) and drive an average of 60 miles per hour to get there, it should take us an hour. Sure, there may be bumps in the road, detours, and traffic, but we speed up when we can to compensate. For the second half of this year we should map out where we want to go and put the pedal to the metal to get there by the end of the year because time flies.  
GREAT VIDEO ABOUT SETTING GOALS FROM ZIG ZIGLAR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae-VJ_lauCw
Numbers Don’t Lie

How To Plan Your Year in Ten Minutes (Really)

Isn’t it true that anything is more interesting than what you are supposed to be working on right now? (You are reading this, so . . . ) Don’t worry, reading this article is not a waste of your time. In fact, it will help you save time and find focus. 
Here are ten quick and easy ways to plan your year in under ten minutes. Many of these ideas take advantage of technology that didn’t even exist a few years back. Skim through this list and pick the one tip or technique that works best for you.
Set Goals With Social Media. Pin pictures of your goals for the year on Pinterest with captions to match. Announce your intentions on Facebook or Instagram and ask others for their support, encouragement, and help.
The Backwards Bucket List. Making a list of the things you want to do before you die seems morbid, but it is motivating. Try doing it with your non-writing hand for ten minutes to see what you come up with by tapping into the other side of your brain. 
The Magic of Movies. Type a key word into Google’s image search to find photos of your top goal for the year then drop them into iPhoto and create a slideshow with background music and titles. (You can also make a slideshow with your successes from the past or current accomplishments as you go through the year.)
Mark Your Calendar. Create more milestones on your calendar (like your HALF birthday) as targets to complete tasks, and celebrate like crazy when you reach it. Paste green dots on your calendar to indicate a day you did something related to your goal and a red dot when you miss the mark.   
Theme Song. In sports, teams use a mantra to rally around before a season. Create your own theme for the year and keep it where you’ll see it. You could use also a song, quote, or poem that captures your vision.   
Selfies For Success. Take a picture of yourself living your dream. If you pine for a certain kind of car, boat, or home, find one in your area and take your photo next to, or in front of it—breaking in is illegal, of course.
The Power of Post-It Notes. Write your goal on a stack of sticky notes and put them all over your home or office. Make some of them hard to find so you’ll forget and discover them later. Or, write the steps to achieve a goal on stickies and put them on a timeline on the wall and pull them off as you accomplish each one.
It’s In The Cards. Make business cards on your computer with your key goal for the year stated on each and print out a stack to pass out to people to ask them to help you keep your promise . . . to yourself. 
Take a Multimedia Approach. Interview yourself about your plans for the year and record it using your tablet, phone, camera, or computer. You can post your video clip on YouTube or keep it to yourself.  
What Would Jimmy Buffett Do? Whom do you most admire? Find a photo of them and use it as your screen saver or put it on the wall and ask yourself what they would do next. Spend ten minutes researching and reading about how they achieved their goals.
CONTACT LEE WITH YOUR COMMENTS leesilber@leesilber.com
How To Plan Your Year in Ten Minutes (Really)