Taming the monkeys: Part V and thinking SMART

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In my last post on taming the monkeys and “… what ‘not’ to do,’ I stress the importance of keeping our a.m. routines simple to avoid becoming overwhelmed. I also promised to touch on our evening routines. So why is an evening routine important? It prepares us for a successful tomorrow. Key focus areas in the p.m. might include: 1) spend time with family, 2) work on a task and/or goal; 3) review the day and 4) prep/plan for the following day. In addition, working SMARTer, not harder, is vital to success in every endeavor (in my opinion). And a second equally important component—or glue—holds it all together. But first, how do we work SMARTer? Create plans/goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based (Trackable). Over the past month and a half, I’ve discovered myriad planning tools, but here’s a good place to start: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm. More planning tips and the glue that holds it all together next time.

What does your evening routine look like?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part IV and what ‘not’ to do

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In my post, “Taming the monkeys, Part III… ,” I began sharing insights on planning, plus a link to time-management thought leader Ben Hardy. Several of his articles tout the importance of planning because, according to another Ben (Franklin), If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. First thing’s first: plan a morning (and evening—more on that later) routine that sets you up for success. As Hardy says: You make or break your life before 8 a.m. Bonus material: here’s what not to do: change too many things at one time. Keep it simple, or you’ll become overwhelmed. Hardy, himself, swears by these straightforward steps: wake up, drink water, take a cold (optional) shower, get dressed, meditate/pray, visualize/set goals, create/work. Personally, I skip the cold shower and incorporate yoga stretches into my mornings. But allow Google to be your friend as you plan a customized routine. For more ideas, visit https://21dayhero.com/morning-routines-guide/ and https://www.scienceofpeople.com/morning-routine/. Coming up: think SMART.

What three things comprise your morning routine?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Taming the monkeys: Part III and the definition of ‘planning’ according to me

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My recent post, “Taming the monkeys with practical tips…,” came to fruition when my new friend, KM, asked me: What would it take for you to feel unstuck? My response: “I really don’t know.” It turns out the process of planning offered half the solution [see “Taming the monkeys: Part II…”]. First, what is planning and what does it constitute? To me, it’s a way to organize my thoughts into action. In other words, putting the monkey mind to good use. But where to begin? KM threw out a name: Benjamin Hardy—a time-management guru already on my radar—and an expert on planning for success by incorporating X tasks into our morning routines before 8 a.m. Check out his website at  http://benjaminhardy.com for inspiration and strategies for rapid life improvement, including a.m. habits of the [rich and] successful. But beware: I learned the hard way what not to do. That’s up next (plus more planning sites to check out).

Describe your a.m. routine with one word.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Wanting and doing are two different things

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ID-10098825The saying, “It’s not about having the time, it’s about making the time,” is not a new idea. As I focus on the concept of balance this year and what it means for my life as far as work, play, fitness, relationship with self and others, as well as the pursuit of my dreams, I’m reminded that if I want to do something, it takes more than desire; it requires deliberate planning. When I don’t set aside time to tackle the task at hand, something else is bound to be more appealing or easier or convenient. Just like I make a regular commitment to practice the yoga, which can fill up 2½ hours of my day including the commute, I must pencil in time for the other priorities in my life—whether it’s journaling, deepening my connections with family and friends or decluttering and decrapifying my home and my life (see https://miscellany14.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/the-40-bags-in-40-days-challenge/). If it’s important enough, I will make the time.

What will you make time for today?

[Image credit Stuart Miles and FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

Slow, lasting change

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Slow_lasting change

[Image credit: patrisyu]

There are many types of change we cannot control in our lives; e.g., we lose a loved one or get laid off from our jobs. These are sometimes sudden and unexpected changes. But the kind of change that is slow and lasting, in my opinion, is the kind that oftentimes requires baby steps before coming to fruition—like when we make changes to our eating habits, in relationships or careers—change that requires planning and deliberation if we desire a lifelong makeover. The other day in yoga, the instructor shared how Bikram yoga is more than fitness; it’s also about mental, emotional and spiritual transformation. This is the kind of change that takes place when we practice at life daily, even when we have a “bad” practice—a setback of any kind. As long as we continue to put one foot in front of the other, change is bound to happen. The kind of change that lasts.

What type of slow change has been lasting in your life?