What just happened here? I woke up this morning and realized something...March is here. Wowza! Can someone say slow down a little, Father Time?
I'm both excited and overwhelmed. On the one hand, a fast-paced year means I'll be tackling some of those projects I've held off on until this magical time of productivity. The other hand, however, holds some serious weight...pressure also known as big time goals. This year I've set specific goals for each quarter. We'll be launching StraightUpEve's official website this month. In April, Mystikaly.com will reopen its cyber doors. And in May, KaSonndra Leigh Books will resume its eagerly, long-awaited publishing schedule.
Behind the scenes, the Leigh household is also undergoing a major reno. I'm finally going to be able to sit in my office-library, the one that has the desk made of clear blue glass. Lost Immortals fans take note. And since I'm planning to be a full-time entrepreneur by the 3rd quarter of this year then creating a comfy working space is a must.
Phew! What a schedule, right? How does someone tackling such a long list avoid the overwhelm monster?
The answer to that question brings me to the subject of this month's edition of the Life Survival Checklist. Instead of talking about what I'm reading, writing, loving, etc. I want to share a few tips on how to go about organizing goals and to introduce a few accountability measures to help you make the most out of your new year.
As a single mom who worked forty hours while taking care of a house and establishing a start-up publishing business over the past five years, I've learned the art of productivity through trial and error. Helping others make the most out of their overwhelmingly busy lives and feeling your best while doing so is the main reason I started Live Well...Be Fabulous back in 2014.
Let's get started!
1. Check your list of goals from the previous year.
Say what? You don't have one? Well, think of some of the things you set out to/wanted to/failed to accomplish and list those instead. As you all know, I'm not an advocate of New Year's Resolutions. Sure, I have that boost of energy associated with the first part of the year that affects so many folks. And yes, I make a list of goals. However, I like to be realistic. Circumstances sometimes change throughout the year, and I wind up amending my goals to fit a new opportunity. The important thing is that you have some kind of "written" list of at least 3-5 things you'd like to accomplish this year. Revisit and read this list everyday. Twice a day. if possible. No kidding. Your subconscious mind will start to do amazing things if you follow this advice. I promise.
2. Be realistic.
Don't set a bunch of resolutions and wind up starting a ton of things that you can't finish. I like to make a list of 3-5 small quarterly goals and 2 large yearly ones. Most times, I wind up re-evaluating and changing them by month three. This is why I don't make resolutions. When I resolve to do something my mind creates a stubborn little mental trigger that says you're not going to do anything because you're trying to do too much. Overwhelm sets in before you're even able to take one step toward that shiny new gym let alone actually going inside and working out. The point of this bullet? Don't set yourself up for failure.
3. Start an accountability group and harness the power of friends.
I have folks who cheer me along. Friends who steal me away from the computer so I can check back in to reality. I recently joined Stylecollective, a gorgeous group of bloggers who all support and encourage each other throughout our various social networks. Surround yourself with both like-minded and personality types that are the opposite of your own. The balance does amazing things for your networking, productivity, and overall well-being. Trust me on this one. Being an INFJ (those reclusive, yet seemingly extroverted types that make up only 1% of our population) I struggle with this bullet point more than all the others combined. While 2016 was the year of yes, 2017 is the year of the no-comfort zone. Embrace this spirit and prepare to fly.
4. Step Outside the Box (Aka no comfort zones allowed)
Choose new ways to approach your goals. If you didn't quite hit any of your targets then sit down and take a moment to look at and meditate on the big picture. For example, I wasn't able to launch the membership site within the timeframe I had originally set. So one day, I sat down and listed the things I did and weighed those against the things the experts in the subscription business had suggested to do. Guess what? Taking a break and going back to take an objective look at my actions told me everything. I had only put half the effort into my pre-launch...I stayed safely within my comfort zone and failed. If you don't know what steps you need to take to avoid venturing too far back in to the comfort zone then consult an expert. Both Pinterest and Google are filled with great free advice. Choose one or two gurus that fall into the area of expertise you need the most help in, follow the advice they offer and then take a leap of faith.
5. Be aggressive
I know this one seems like it's contradictory to the advice that was given in bullet point number two, but there's a fine line between realism and procrastination. I come up on that line every day. I've learned how to recognize that line and deal with the necessary decisions to help me cross it. Refer to bullets number 3 and 4 when you need an energy boost. In my humble opinion, aggression becomes another word for passion when used correctly. And desire moves mountains. Millionaires all over the world swear by that statement because it's true. However, don't cross the line and venture in to the land of the annoyingly pushy, either. If you're selling a product then learn the difference between constructive value-added promo and spam. We all get those aggressive sales emails that sadly force us to unsubscribe from the sender. Please don't be that person. If you have a fitness coach/online personality you can't get enough of then don't spam their account with twenty comments per day. Use common sense with this one.
There you have it. The five magical pieces of advice I've used to boost my productivity and crush my goals. I hope you find all kinds of passionate success in your journey this year. And please come back and tell me about it when you do!
**Want more inspirational tips and life survival hacks? Then grab a cup of coffee and come visit us over at LiveWellBeFabulous.com where we talk about how to be an enigma and design a life you love!**