Entries with tag goal setting .

4 Tactics for Improving Punctuality

If you're chronically tardy, then you're probably a bit like the Artful Dodger, mastering ways to sneak past your boss as you roll in late to the office once again.  However, all that sneaking around can be stressful, and it's even more so once your boss, coworkers, spouse, or friends bring your poor punctuality to your attention.  To stop being late, check out our suggestions below:

1. Be Brutally Honest with Yourself.  We tend to underestimate the amount of time certain activities take.  Rather than focusing on the one time you were able to shower and get dressed in just 5 minutes, pay attention to how long things take on a regular basis.  To make this easier, you may want to track the minutes you spend each day doing various activities for an entire week.

2. Prioritize Punctuality.  If being on time is important to you, you'll find a way to do it.  After all, how often do you show up late to job interviews?  Rather than telling yourself that it won't be a big deal if you sneak in late to the office one more day, remind yourself why punctuality is your priority.

3. Set a Timer.  If you've previously determined that it takes you 20 minutes to get ready in the morning, set a timer for that length of time each time you get ready.  By being able to very quickly see how much time you have left on the timer, you won't waste precious minutes by sifting through multiple outfits, for example.

4. Avoid Overcommitment.  If you're frequently late because you're trying to cram as much as possible in your day, it's time to reevaluate your schedule.  Rather than trying to fill your day with as many tasks as possible, we suggest you look over your to-do list and cut out those things that aren't truly important or necessary.

Stuck in a Rut? Get Inspired with 3 Amazing Reinvention Stories

Have you been feeling meh about life lately?  Do you wish your life was different but don't feel too motivated to do anything about it?  If so, read on to get inspired.  We have 3 amazing stories of reinvention to get you out of your rut:

1. J.K. Rowling

Unless you've been living under a rock, we're sure you're familiar with the Harry Potter series.  However, did you also know the author, J.K. Rowling, experienced significant personal and professional struggles before publishing her first book?  Although Rowling conceived the idea for the Potter books in 1990, she got divorced, experienced depression, and went on welfare before finishing her first book in 1995.  Then, it was rejected by several publishers before being accepted.  Today, she is the world's richest author with a net worth just under $1 billion.

2. Jo Farkas

In her mid-60s, clinical psychologist Jo Farkas decided she wanted to pursue her passion for the arts so she auditioned for a lead role in the musical “Kudzu.”  She got the part and over the next 20 years, went on to have a very successful acting career.  You may have seen her in such films as “My Best Friend's Wedding” and “Meatballs 4.”  She's also appeared on the TV shows, “Weeds” and “Ellen,” proving that no matter how old you are, you're never too old to reinvent yourself!

3. John Corcoran

Unlike the other people we've profiled, John Corcoran isn't a celebrity, but his reinvention is no less inspiring.  Although he was a college graduate and had even been a teacher for years, he was ashamed that he could only read at an elementary school level.  Corcoran had resigned himself to this until the age of 48 when he overheard two women talking about how proud they were that their older brother was learning to read.  Not long afterward, Corcoran walked into a reading clinic.  Within two years, he was reading at a 12th grade level.  Since then, he's written poetry, authored books, and established a tutoring foundation to help others learn to read.

Feeling inspired to reinvent yourself now?  Check out our post, Reinvent Yourself at Any Age.

4 Easy Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life

All too often, it seems like the actions that would most improve our lives are time-consuming or require lots of discipline.  Not so with this list.  Check out our suggestions for some very simple things you can do to quickly improve your life:

  1. Keep a Gratitude List.  Each morning spend 5 minutes writing down 5 things you appreciate about your life.  Once you've completed the list, reread each item and say, “thank you,” silently to yourself.  This activity will help you to begin each day in a happier frame of mind.

  2. Save Automatically.  If saving money isn't your thing, we're going to make it simple for you.  Set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a savings account to occur after every paycheck.  That's it!  By putting money aside for a rainy day, you'll feel more confident about your ability to save for big-ticket items, as well as feel prepared should an unexpected emergency arise.

  3. Clean for 5 Minutes a Day.  It's not uncommon to let cleaning go by the wayside when we get busy.  However, if you commit to cleaning for just 5 minutes each day, you'll find that you can easily make the time for it, your home will stay neater, and frequently, you'll be inclined to work beyond 5 minutes because you're in a groove.

  4. Quit Complaining.  When we complain, we're fueling negativity.  Instead, try to go cold turkey on complaints.  For extra credit, consider taking the Complaint Free Challenge designed by Will Bowen.  The challenge consists of wearing a rubber bracelet on your wrist and not criticizing, complaining, or gossiping for 21 consecutive days.  If you find yourself doing so, move the bracelet to your other wrist and begin again from day 1.  While this may sound easy, Bowen reports that he moved his bracelet so often, he broke 3 of them before going 21 days without a complaint. However, by choosing to stop thinking negatively, you'll experience greater happiness and success in your life.

5 Smart Strategies to Prevent Burnout

With the ability to respond to emails and texts around the clock, it's now easier than ever for our work lives to consume our personal lives.  When this occurs, we often pay a price—burnout.  To avoid experiencing this common condition, we've identified some strategies to prevent burnout:

  1. Exercise.  According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exercise is a fantastic way to prevent burnout.  After studying individuals who engaged in 4 weeks of regular exercise, the NIH reported, “Cardiovascular exercise was found to increase well-being and decrease psychological distress, perceived stress, and emotional exhaustion.  Resistance training was noticeably effective in increasing well-being and personal accomplishment and to reduce perceived stress.”

  2. Say “No” More Often.  Burnout and perfectionism are closely linked.  For that reason, it's important for perfectionists to realize that they don't need to do everything.  Become more comfortable saying “no” to time-consuming, undesirable requests.

  3. Meditate.  The higher up the corporate ladder you are, the more likely it is you have a stressful job that comes with a high risk of burnout.  To avoid that scenario, take a page from these CEOs' playbooks and practice meditating.  Doing so will help you feel more balanced and centered.

  4. Schedule Time for Yourself.  The only person who can create time in your busy schedule for relaxation is YOU.  Rather than writing personal time off as unimportant, give yourself a full day each week to relax and recharge.  Taking this time for yourself will give your mood a boost, making it easier for you to avoid burnout.

  5. Ask for Help.  Many people fear asking for help.  They worry that if they do so, they risk looking weak or incompetent.  However, consider this a case where your worst fears are likely to be unfounded.  Typically when someone approaches us for help, we're happy to offer it and don't think poorly of the requester.  Assume that other people are viewing you with a similarly generous spirit.

4 Ways to Experience More Joy

If you feel you could benefit from experiencing more joy in your life (and really, who among us couldn't??), we have some tips to help you feel happy, happy, happy (!!!) more often:

  1. Choose Gratitude.  By and large, people who maintain a gratitude practice report feeling happier than those who don't.  To make gratitude part of your regular outlook, we suggest you create a gratitude journal and write down 5 items you're grateful for in your journal every day.  Putting your thoughts on paper will prevent you from rushing through the exercise, allowing you to receive greater benefit.

  2. Imagine Happiness.  Research shows that by repeatedly imagining an activity, we actually change the neural structure of our brain.  To take advantage of this, spend time imagining yourself happy.  For instance, you might envision your day ahead as one where you have a pleasant drive to work, enjoyable interactions with your coworkers, a fun evening with friends after leaving the office, etc.  By imagining happy experiences, you're creating changes in your brain that will predispose you to create more joy in your daily activities, reports Experience Life magazine.

  3. Laugh.  It's not for nothing that laughter has been called the best medicine.  Research shows that laughter reduces stress, boosts immunity, and combats depression.  To experience more joy in your life, seek out opportunities to laugh, whether that means going to a comedy club, watching a sitcom you enjoy, or spending time with your funniest friend.

  4. Think Positively.  Sometimes it seems like our thoughts choose us, however, that isn't the case.  We choose what we think about, and research shows that optimists (those who choose positive thoughts) lead happier, healthier, longer lives than pessimists.  To lead a more joyful life, aim to see the good in others, look for things to appreciate, and imagine your life growing better and better.  In short, make an effort to see the glass as half-full—the more you practice viewing things from this perspective, the more joy you'll experience.