Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Tag: Productivity (Page 1 of 2)

How to Fight Distraction and Make Your Goals Happen

There’s such highly charged collective energy around positive change at the New Year.  We’re all eager to get healthy habits in place, set exciting goals, and make our dreams come true.  Anything seems possible.

But how do you stay accountable a few weeks later when that starry-eyed energy wears off, you’re faced with the day-to-day drudgery of making your goals happen, and distractions tempt you at every turn?

According to U.S. News, by the second week of February, 80% of us have failed on our resolutions.

For me though, it’s not about impetuous resolutions made in response to holiday indulgences.  I put considerable thought and energy into creating an annual strategy for my life and my tiny business.  I’m dead serious when I set those goals even if I’m simultaneously naive and overly enthusiastic.

Here’s the hitch for me. It’s easy for me to be accountable to others.  It’s a million times more difficult to be accountable to myself — to my own dreams and aspirations.  The fact that I no longer work for anyone else and thus don’t have to do anything, makes it all the more harder for me.

In a recent heart-to-heart, these words mysteriously slipped out:  “I don’t want to be accountable to myself.”  Where was that coming from, especially for someone who demonstrated a high level of responsibility for most of her life?

This illustrates to me how our fears and resistance run deep.  If we want to make our goals happen, we need a mix of the right tools, the inside story on willpower, and the courage to look deeply within at the sources of our own self-defeating patterns.

Today, I’d like to share some of the ways I plan to stay accountable this year, hopefully all year long, not just in January or part of February.  I’ll also offer a few questions to help you look at deeper issues that might be holding you back from changing bad habits or achieving your dream. In my next post, I’ll focus on 10 things you need to know about willpower.

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My 16 Zen Work Habits

Plum Blossoms - Zen Work Habits

“The single most important change you can make in your working habits is to switch to creative work first, reactive work second. This means blocking off a large chunk of time every day for creative work on your own priorities, with the phone and e-mail off.” – Mark McGuinness

Your success or failure in work and life depends upon your daily habits.  It’s that simple!

If you allow bad habits to rule your life, it will be difficult and maybe even impossible to manifest your dreams.

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9 Quick Tricks for Overcoming Inertia

Mountain Stream

I could write blog posts for Always Well Within all day long.  But, I sometimes suffer from inertia when it comes to longer projects.  A burst of wild creativity gets me going at the start. In fact, I feel unstoppable for a while.  But gradually, inertia sets in when it comes to carefully coloring inside the lines.

The sensation of pushing a boulder up a hill can be unnerving when you have a deadline to meet, a promise to keep, or your livelihood depends on getting the work done. Inertia happily feeds the demon of self-judgment, stirs up the ogre of worry, and gives voice to the devil of self doubt.  Whatever you do, don’t give these monsters free rein!

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Limits: The Key to a Thriving Life

School of Fish

Trying to do too much, functioning on automatic, and/or acting out of obligation only leads to a joyless, burned out state.  You might be able to work 60 hours a week for a while, but in the end you will only damage yourself.  And, when the time comes to part with this life, you may very well be wondering, “Why did I waste my precious, limited time on the unnecessary, unimportant, or mundane?”

If you feel like your life is out of control, off track, or just “too” much, maybe it’s time to pause and consider where you can set limits.  A periodic bout of limit setting can bring improvement even when life seems to be moving swimmingly well.

The Wisdom of Limitation

Setting limits is required to live in a conscious and sane way.  Consider all the possible benefits that can come when you take the reins and become the director of your life:

  • The opportunity to focus on the activities that bring you meaning, satisfaction, and joy.
  • Receiving the greatest benefit and return on investment for your energy and time.
  • The ability to do more in less time.
  • The feeling of being in control instead of reacting to what comes down the pike.
  • More energy and less stress.
  • More time for whatever is most important to you from special work projects to relationships to leisure activities.

Three Essential Questions for Designing a Reasonable Life

How do you focus on the important and let go of the rest?  Try out these three essential questions to help you set realistic limits and design a more reasonable life.

1.  What’s Your Actual Capacity?

Some people thrive on activity while others are introverts who need introspective time.  Some are robust and others have to contend with less than stellar health.  Be honest about your capacity instead of allowing others to determine the number of hours you work, interact, play, or rest each week.

2.  What Are Your Goals and Priorities?

What is it that you truly wish to accomplish today, this month, this year, this life?  The key to setting effective limits is to have a clear vision of your priorities and goals.  Then, align your choices with your vision and set distractions aside.  Focus only on your most important goals – not more than three – rather than a long list of possibilities that may paralyze you with confusion or doubt.

3.  What Could You Limit?

Review your life for non-essential, time-wasting tasks and energy draining activities that detract from your happiness.  Explore the following arenas, ask what’s really necessary, and begin hacking away.

  • Possessions
  • Clothes
  • Work Projects
  • Social Activities
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Number of Clients
  • Healthcare Appointments
  • Blogging
  • Negative Thoughts
  • Thinking Too Much
  • Energy Drains
  • Perfectionism
  • Giving More Than 100%
  • Obligations
  • Time Wasters
  • Clutter
  • Reading – Blogs, Newspapers, Books
  • T.V.
  • Everything – Is a vacation or sabbatical in order?

What did I miss?

Setting My Limits

I’m setting limits myself.  It seems everywhere I turn I see or hear a message advising me to do just this.  My April I-Ching Report spoke of the freedom that comes for establishing limits.  Then, my April horoscope spelled it out beyond doubt:

“Limit distractions so you can shine your torch on your innermost desires.

Most importantly,  I feel this in the core of my being.  So, with this in mind, I’m taking a break this week.  You won’t see me online!

Could your life use a limit review?  Are there areas where you are taking on too much? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

Image:  99of9

Stay on Track with Daily Non-Negotiables

Is it hard for you to stay on track in these speedy times brimming with non-stop demands and endless distractions?

I completely understand because I face the exact same challenge.  That’s why I was delighted to discover the idea of “daily non-negotiables”.   Setting daily non-negotiables gives me the momentum I need to stay focused and accomplish my highest priorities.

Author Charlotte Rains Dixon shows writers how to keep moving toward their goals in her article What Are Your Writing Non-Negotiables?  However, non-negotiables can be created to enhance any aspect of your life:  work, health, creativity, fitness, housecleaning, relaxation, relationships, and others.

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Mindfulness Saves a Lot of Hassle

If you would like to reduce the many hassles that come from absent-mindedness, you might enjoy the tips in my current post at the What Meditation Really Is Blog.

Here’s the introduction:

“When was the last time you missed a turnoff, misplaced your cell phone, lost your car keys or overlooked an important detail at work?

If you counted the number of times these small errors of mindlessness occur in a single day, you might be taken aback.  In fact, a great deal of time, energy, and money can be lost through these simple mishaps of mis-attention.

Mindfulness is not just an esoteric practice for monks ensconced in Himalayan caves.  It actually has a very powerful and practical application at work and in daily life.  It can increase your effectiveness and productivity, bring more presence into your interactions, and foster more joy in your family life.”

Please continue reading at The What Meditation Really Is Blog.

Image: Public Domain Pictures (dot) Net

If you liked this article, please share the link with others using the share button below.  Thanks so much for your support! Sandra

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