Happy New Year!
It’s a new year and everyone hopes for a better year ahead. Some people have already implemented their new year’s resolutions to change and some have already given them up. Perhaps it’s time to really set some goals, make some plans and change some old habits. Let’s have a look at some tips and techniques that have proven to make change stick and get better results.
Develop Your Compelling Vision of the Future
Start by looking backward instead of forward. Imagine it’s January next year. Look back on your year and decide what you really achieved for the year. What things would you really be proud about in a year’s time? Visualise those successes and spend time imagining the feeling of achieving them all. How does it feel?
Create a Pictorial Plan
Get a clear view of all the things you would like to accomplish for the year ahead, both personal and business. Write down and make a “One Page Plan” and “One Page Picture” sheet of your goals for the year ahead. Get really clear and use both pictures and words of what you want. This might include setting goals in all areas of your life – health and fitness, relationships, wealth, business, travel, leisure, etc. (Get a free copy of a “One Page Planner” online).
Most people want to lose weight and get fitter in January – it’s the busy month for joining fitness centres. Perhaps it’s time to stop ignoring your health issues by distractions like work, TV or sleep. Have a think about making some long-term habit changes so that you can enjoy a longer and happier life.
Find the exercise or sport that you enjoy the most, get up earlier and move more every day. Measure your results and change your diet – consider eating less, eating different foods and most importantly having regular health checks. There are many fad diets going around but the simple trick is to eat less and eat mindfully. Get smaller plates and eat smaller portions. Stay away from the things you should not eat – put them away or hide them. Restricting access to food works.
The best proven tip I can give you about being wealthier is to start with the basics – read Scott Pape’s million copy sold book The Barefoot Investor. Give a copy to your kids and all your staff too. It contains the simplest techniques to get your money, debt and credit cards under control. It works and you will be amazed at the improvement in your finances and life.
The next tip is to focus every day on what you can do to make the most of your assets and improve your passive income. Choose to do the things that add the most value – your highest dollar value activities – sometimes they are a bit boring or a bit scary – but they will change your life for the better.
Analyse your personal and business income and expenses more often. Decide what changes need to be made then do them. Ring up and ask for a better deal, contact your customers and past customers more often, domino your debts and credit cards. Learn to Invest better and pay more attention to your super, savings and investments.
As a personal example, I have paid off $177k of credit card debt in the last 2 years by progressively rolling debts to 0% balance transfer cards and also negotiated a reduction in a commercial loan interest rate from 8.6% to 5.54% saving $38k per year in interest. Just pick up the phone and ask for a better deal! You can do it! Where your attention goes the money flows.
If you are working too hard, can’t take time to go on holiday or are under too much stress at work you are doing it wrong – STOP! Great ideas and books can change your life. Get some advice from a coach or mentor or read the right “life changing” book for you.
You can get some new ideas for your business by reading or listening to books – Check out the business book summary to see if that’s the book for you – try new phone apps – Blinkist (book summaries) or Audible (listen to recorded books).
If you want to change your life for the better try The Subtle Art… book by Mark Manson or Work Less, Make More by James Schramko. Mastering The Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish is great too.
If you want to change your habits, start by changing and decluttering your environment to create a supportive space – have a look at It’s All Too Much and other books by Peter Walsh or at home try The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. (Spark Joy!)
Now that you have improved your health, wealth and wisdom – it’s time to be happier.
If you are under too much stress at work aim for more focus and clarity about what you really want. Try the phone apps Headspace and Calm to reduce your stress levels.
Work out what would really make you less stressed or happier. More enjoyable experiences, better relationships, achieving tangible rewards, holidays or reducing your stressors. Create a bucket list!
Start with a happy, optimistic mindset. Look at all the good things in your life, find and celebrate any small wins and successes. What you focus on expands. Start with being grateful for what you have.
Plan ways to improve your relationships with the important people in your life. Fill up their “love bucket” by using the love languages. More praise, more appreciation, more recognition, touch and quality time with you. Work out ways that you can better celebrate key experiences with them, like their birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, weddings, births and sports successes. Be there, be mindful and be present (not on your mobile phone – consider having no phone events – first person to touch the phone pays the bill)!
Finally, set some goals about the things and experiences that would make you happier. Time with family and holidays, some special events and celebrations or something new and shiny – like a car, boat or caravan. Set your plan for the year and reward your efforts!
Life is short, enjoy every day and make the world a better place!
Best wishes for a great year from Dave Staughton!