How to Use Procrastination as Practice for Success

You might believe that success is about coming up with great ideas or doing the impossible, but most success is the result of doing the mundane. It’s doing the things that no one wants to do. Whether it’s losing weight, getting a better job, doing well in school, or saving a million dollars, the process is largely unenjoyable.

In most cases, you know what needs to be done. The challenge is getting yourself to do it.

Dealing effectively with procrastination is getting yourself to do things you don’t want to do. It’s great practice for learning how to become successful! If you can defeat your procrastination, you can accomplish just about anything.

Consider the normal process of procrastination:

1. You think about doing something. Isn’t that how you start a task? You think about doing it.

2. You notice how it feels. Every thought generates a feeling or emotion. When it feels good, we do the task. That’s why it’s so easy to get off the couch to get a bag of chips. It’s not as easy to leave the couch to go outside and paint the gutters.

3. If it feels bad, you avoid it. You have your own, consistent ways of deflecting the task. Do you know what you do when you’re procrastinating? Make a list of the things you do to avoid a task.

4. When the feeling of putting it off feels worse than the feeling of doing it, you finally take action. You will eventually pay your taxes, take out the trash, apply for a job, or work on your term paper.

This is a very common process. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well if you’re trying to get ahead or to prevent your life from descending into chaos.

Try an alternative method for dealing with unpleasant tasks:

1. When you feel bad about a task, get excited that you’re being given an opportunity to learn success skills. This is the moment that separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls. The least successful people are the worst procrastinators. Successful people do the hard things.

2. Take a minute. Just sit with your feelings and notice them. Sit with your discomfort. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Notice where you feel the disturbance. Is it in your head? Your chest? Stomach? Try to relax that area of your body and release the tension.

3. Spend five minutes doing the task you want to avoid. Anyone can handle just five minutes. Getting started is the hardest part, so become an expert on getting started! You’ll often find that you’ll continue beyond your five minute goal. Congratulate yourself for lasting at least five minutes.

4. Forgive yourself for failing. Somedays you win, others you lose. Working through discomfort and defeating procrastination is a challenging skill to learn. Just get back on the horse and vow to keep trying.

Procrastination is a very human habit. There’s little doubt that its origins were helpful. Poor decisions could be disastrous 100,000 years ago. Our brains had to be thoroughly convinced that an idea was worthy of execution before it would allow us to act.

Doing something today that’s unenjoyable doesn’t make a lot of logical sense if it can be put off until another time.

Decide for yourself that right now is that time. Use your urge to procrastinate as fuel for learning to be successful.

How to Present an Authentic Image That Works for You

Do you walk your talk? Is the image you portray to the world in line with the real you? Does your image work for you? People make assumptions about you based on your appearance, attitude, and the words you choose.

Do you talk about homeless children or your drinking exploits? Do you look like a stockbroker, a plumber, or a rap star?

Present yourself in a way that depicts your values. It’s disconcerting to people when they can’t quite figure you out.

* “This guy wants me invest my money with him, but he looks like he works in a factory.”

* “She says she’s all about helping the poor and the homeless, but she drives a $100,000 car and constantly talks about her extravagant spending habits.”

Maybe you have a friend that claims he’s an adventurous risk-taker, but has been stuck in the same low-paying job that he can’t stand for the last 10 years.

When the image you present to the world clearly isn’t accurate, it raises a lot of red flags, and others won’t trust you. When your image doesn’t fit the situation, it also causes concern.

What does the image you present say about you?

1. Be realistic regarding the situation. If you’re going to a job interview, it’s not really the right time to wear your ripped jeans or to curse like a sailor. That might be the image that makes you the most comfortable, but it’s creating challenges for you in certain situations.

* The right clothing, vocabulary, and attitude will vary with the situation. You don’t want to be viewed as a constantly changing chameleon, but there are things that just won’t work in certain situations.

* Consider the image that will work for you in a given situation and make the necessary adjustments. A certain image may be accurate, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate 24/7.

2. Know what matters to you. Your values are an important part of developing the image you present to the world. Are freedom and rejecting social norms part of your value system? Adventure? Money? Helping others?

3. Understand what it means when your true-self and your image are incongruent. It means that you’re trying to present yourself as something you’re not. You’re not happy with your reality, so you’re pretending to be something else.

4. Think about the image you want to present at work. Are you the creative guy with unique solutions? Or are you the dead-serious woman that meets every deadline, even if she has to work 12 hours on Saturday? What image will work in your work environment? Can you still look at yourself in the mirror each morning with that image?

5. Think about the image you want to present outside of work. Can people figure out who you are within 10 minutes of meeting you? Do you like the way the world views you? Does it work for you? Is it an accurate depiction of you?

Find the middle ground. You might be a casual person, but that doesn’t mean you can wear gym shorts and sneakers everywhere. There are other ways to present yourself as someone that isn’t stuffy and overly formal. Be honest about who you are, but don’t shoot yourself in the foot in the process.

When your true-self and your image match, it puts people at ease. You’re more likeable when you’re congruent. Think about the most likeable people you know. You know exactly who they are within a short time.

Think about how you present yourself to the world. Are you making your life easier or more challenging?

How to Make the Most of Your Bedtime

There’s more to a productive bedtime than brushing your teeth and putting on your pajamas. Most people waste the time between dinner and retiring for the evening. Learning to make the most of this time can be the difference between having a great day and a poor one.

It can also determine whether or not your achieve your goals.

You might be tired from work and just feel like lying on the couch and watching televisions. But that is the perfect recipe to ensure that you continue living this same day over and over.

Using the time before you retire for the evening can make a huge difference in your life.

Consider these tips to make the most of your evenings and get more from your life:

1. Avoid eating after dinner. There’s a ton of evidence that snacking after dinner increases the odds of being overweight and having health issues. You’ll sleep better and feel better in the morning if you avoid eating between dinner and breakfast.

2. Review your goals. You can even do this in bed before you fall asleep. Spend a few minutes reviewing your goals to keep them fresh in your mind. Ever notice how you forget your New Year’s Eve resolutions after a couple of weeks? That can’t happen if you review your goals each evening.

3. Read something that enhances your life. We’re not talking about Harry Potter 17. This is something that will help with your career, relationships, hobbies, or an intellectual pursuit. Avoid going to sleep before you’ve learned something new that day. What have you learned today?

4. Avoid drinking before bed. Try to avoid any liquids within two hours of your bedtime. You’ll just increase the likelihood of needing to get up in the middle of the night. A full night of interrupted sleep has no substitutes.

5. Plan for the following day. Plan what you’re going to do the next day. Jot down a quick list of your most important tasks. You won’t spend the first hour of the workday wondering what you should do first.

6. Practice a skill. It’s amazing what you can accomplish over time with just a few minutes each evening. You might take 15 minutes to master a few guitar chords, work on your pull-ups, train your dog to stay, learn three new words in French, or master drawing with pastels.

7. Meditate. Meditation can be a great way to wind down for the evening. It quiets the mind and provides a healthier perspective on life. Grab a book at the library and learn how to meditate effectively.

8. Take a walk. Non-strenuous exercise can improve your sleep. Getting a little exercise doesn’t hurt either. Enjoy the solitude of walking alone or take someone along. It can be a great family activity right after dinner. Chat with a few neighbors along the way.

These are just a few possible suggestions for making the most of your evening. Try brainstorming a few more. Use the evening to tie up loose ends and to prepare for the following day.

You can accomplish a lot at night as long as you are consistent and patient.

Avoid falling into a routine that does little to enhance your life. Get started tonight with an intentional routine that will move your life in a positive and fulfilling direction.

How to Enjoy Retirement Even if You Have a Type A Personality

Preparing for retirement is a major transition for anyone, and it can be especially challenging if you have a Type A personality. You may find that your competitive drive and outgoing nature can work against you unless you channel those qualities in a positive direction.

After all, when you’re used to managing others and having your identity tied up in your career, it can be disconcerting to discover that you’re no longer in charge.

Try these tips for how to adjust your expectations and enjoy your new freedom.

Adjusting Your Pace:

1. Delay new commitments. It can be tempting to rush into new ventures now that you have so much free time. On the other hand, you’ll probably make sounder decisions if you give yourself time to shift your priorities and weigh your options.

2. Practice relaxing. Lying in a hammock can be stressful for some individuals. Find relaxation practices that work for you, whether that means daily meditation or a demanding hobby.

3. Exit gradually. See if your employer is interested in phased retirement. Some professionals prefer to cut back on their hours and responsibilities before leaving the workplace permanently.

Redirecting Your Energies:

1. Volunteer your services. Use your time to support worthy causes. You may want to take on a leadership position that enables you to keep using your skills or experiment with new roles like tutoring children or growing vegetables.

2. Take classes. Increase your knowledge by taking courses online or auditing classes at your local university. Lifelong learning can help you to stay mentally sharp, and may even reduce your risk of dementia.

3. Create an encore career. Maybe you’ll decide that you want to continue working after all. Embarking on a second career can be an opportunity to explore new interests while adding to your income.

4. Reconnect with family. Retirement can also give you a chance to catch up with loved ones if you used to spend a lot of hours at the office. Plan a family reunion or one-on-one time with your adult children.

5. Start downsizing. It may take longer than you think to sort through the possessions you’ve accumulated over the years. Weeding through your garage and closets now may spare your children the necessity of doing it for you someday. Plus, you could uncover items that can be sold or donated.

6. Travel. Now’s the time to visit the places you’ve been dreaming about. Shop around for good deals so you can see the countries where your ancestors came from or go skiing in the Alps. If you’re unsure where to start, browse online for ideas or ask friends and family for their recommendations.

7. Exercise regularly. Physical activity is invigorating. Buy a gym membership or take up a sport that will encourage you to spend more time outdoors.

Other Tips:

1. Consider your spouse. If you’re married, retirement will be a big adjustment for your spouse too. Beware of the tendency to start bossing them around now that you no longer have employees reporting to you at work. Give each other some solitude on a regular basis so you can enjoy the extra hours you spend together.

2. Extend your network. Social interactions may be what you’ll miss the most when you retire. Make new contacts by volunteering, joining groups, and throwing parties.

3. Try counseling. Talk with a professional if retirement seems overwhelming. A little support could change how you think about the later stages of your life.

Your retirement years can be happy and fulfilling if you devote your considerable energies to rethinking your purpose and staying engaged. As a Type A personality, you may find happiness learning to relax more or creating new challenges for yourself.

How to Embrace the Single Life

You were in a relationship, perhaps one that you thought would last the rest of your life, but now you’re not. You might be sad, angry, or even relieved that it’s over. Now, you have the rest of your life to look forward to.

There are plenty of things you can do when you’re single that are harder, or even impossible, to do when you’re in a relationship.

Take advantage of your new, single status:

1. This is a great time to spend some time with yourself. You can’t know yourself until you spend a fair amount of time alone with yourself. Relationships require a lot time and take up a lot of mental space.

2. Appreciate the new-found freedom. Relationships restrict your freedom in many ways, and not just socially. You don’t always get to choose what you’re going to watch on TV or what you’re having for dinner. Weekend and holiday plans also have to include the wishes of your partner.

* You can have everything your way for a change. Take advantage of your single status by making all of the decisions without having to consult with anyone else.

* Make a list of everything you want to do now that you’re single. Create a list that will get you excited, then vow to start doing a few of them. See if you can do everything on your list.

3. Pick up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try. You have more free time now. Find an enjoyable way to spend it. Now is the perfect time to try something you’ve been thinking about for years. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to prune bonsai trees or to play the violin. Now is your time.

4. Reconnect with your friends. We often lose track of friends and family while we’re in a relationship. Pick up the phone and let everyone know you’re available to socialize. Take the initiative by inviting a friend out to lunch and catch up. They’ll be glad to hear from you, and you’ll enjoy the company.

5. Let go of the past. It takes time to get over a failed relationship, but there’s no reason to drag it out longer than necessary. Look forward to the future and leave the past in the past.

6. Take your time before dating again. There’s no rush. Enjoy the benefits of being single before jumping into another relationship. You’re the only one that will know when the time is right.

7. Spend time doing things your partner hated. This might mean going to the local high school football game or watching a foreign film at the little theater on the other side of town. You can do all of the things you avoided doing because your partner couldn’t stand them.

8. Volunteer. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself after a breakup. One way to help yourself move on is to work with those less fortunate than you. Look around for a cause that stirs your heart and get involved.

Remember that you’re a complete person, even if you don’t have a partner at the moment. Being single doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There’s so much you can do now that you couldn’t before. You can spend more time with your friends and family without feeling guilty. You have more free time and more control over how you spend it.

Take advantage of being single. Have fun and find yourself again. Another relationship will come along when you’re ready.

Essential Health Tips for Desk Workers

Working at a desk may look safe, but it can take a toll on your physical and mental health. While the occupational hazards in an office are different from those at a construction site or hospital, it’s still wise to take some precautions.

A growing number of studies have raised concerns about the effects of sitting for long periods, which can include increased risk of heart conditions, diabetes, certain cancers, and weight gain. That’s especially troubling considering that the average American spends more than 10 hours a day sitting.

Add job-related stress to the mixture, and you can see how the consequences can start to add up.

Learn what steps you can take to counteract the downside of your desk job. Start with these ideas for protecting your health and wellbeing.

Tips for Protecting Your Physical Health:

1. Adjust your posture. Slouching can cut off your circulation and make your lower back ache. Try drawing your shoulder blades down and back to open up your chest. A lumbar support pillow may help too.

2. Take frequent breaks. Studies show that moving around about every half hour reduces the negative effects of sitting. In fact, it may be even more effective than regular exercise. Make it a habit to stretch or walk around your office for a few minutes.

3. Align your wrists. Typing with bent wrist could lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Rest them occasionally and ensure your workstation is set up ergonomically.

4. Rest your eyes. If your eyes are dry, and your vision is blurred, you may be staring at the computer screen too long. Look away occasionally and do eye exercises like blinking or staring at something in the distance.

5. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps to maintain your body temperature, metabolism, and heart health. Aim for 8 glasses a day.

6. Bring snacks. It’s easier to resist the vending machines when you have a supply of wholesome foods. Good choices include nuts, baby carrots, and hummus.

7. Pack your lunch. Save money and calories by bringing your lunch to work. You can prepare it the night ahead if you tend to run out of time in the morning.

Tips for Protecting Your Mental Health:

1. Make friends. Work buddies increase job satisfaction. Get to know your coworkers and look for common interests. Share stories about your personal life and encourage them to do the same.

2. Connect in person. Face-to-face contact also contributes to stronger relationships. Try dropping by someone’s office instead of sending an email.

3. Wake up early. Do you barely see the sun because you’re inside all day? Rising an hour earlier could enhance your mood and give you more time to work out and eat a hearty breakfast.

4. Use your vacation days. Letting your vacation days go to waste undermines your health and productivity, so time off is beneficial for you and your employer. Even just planning a vacation can lift your spirits, so make a list of your favorite destinations and start researching them.

5. Decorate your space. A cluttered desk can be a source of stress. Find an organizing system that works for you, and put files you rarely use out of sight. While you’re at it, add in a few personal touches and a pretty plant.

6. Focus on helping others. Any job is more meaningful and gratifying if you keep the purpose in mind. When you’re having a rough day, think about the people who benefit from your efforts.

You can stay healthy without giving up your pay check. Adopt some simple habits that will protect your wellbeing, even if you spend many hours a day behind a desk.

Destroy Insecurity and Take on the World

Insecurity is perhaps the biggest roadblock to achieving your goals. If you lack confidence and certainty in yourself and your skills, you’ll never leave the starting line.

Insecurity is the result of poor mental habits and giving too much power to others. With work, you can be a highly confident and secure person!

What causes insecurity? Babies aren’t insecure, so it must be something you’ve learned over the course of your lifetime. How do we become insecure and how to we maintain insecurity into adulthood?

There are several causes of insecurity:

1. A lack of self-esteem. If you view yourself negatively and believe that you’re incapable, you’re going to feel insecure. The amount of self-esteem you have is ultimately up to you. No one else can decide it for you. However, they can influence your self-esteem if you let them.

2. Relying on others to make you feel good. Approval from others is nice, but when you need it to feel confident and secure, your feelings of self-worth are out of your control. This creates a strong need for approval and gives too much power to everyone around you.

3. Unreasonable expectations. The people that are held up in our society are especially beautiful, wealthy, or both. These are the people that we see in the movies. These are the people in the magazines. It’s easy to forget that they’re a very tiny portion of the population. Avoid comparing yourself to others.

4. Insults and criticisms from the past. These negative comments may have come from parents, teachers, peers, or anyone else from your past. Children are especially sensitive to criticism and may have a hard time moving past negative comments.

Few people feel as secure as they would like. Your feelings about yourself and the world rarely change without work and focus. Make the decision to let go of your unreasonable expectations and your past hurts. The future is waiting for you.

Use these strategies to feel more secure in yourself and meet the world on your own terms:

1. Approve of yourself. You can give yourself as much approval as you choose! Notice every time you’re hoping for approval from someone else and stop yourself. Give yourself a compliment and practice self-acceptance. With time, your interest in receiving approval from others will dissipate.

2. Only compare yourself to yourself. Are you in better shape than you were last month? Is your financial situation improving? Are you experiencing gains in your social life or your ability to play the piano? Seek improvement over your past. Avoid worrying about what everyone else is doing.

3. Let go of the past. Think of the times you’ve been unkind or critical toward others. Does it seem reasonable for someone from your childhood to still feel wounded by the comments you made so many years ago? Your comments weren’t relevant, and neither were the comments anyone made to you. Forgive everyone from your past and enjoy today.

Feeling secure is about removing the power you allow others to have over you. You don’t need the approval of others. You don’t need to compare yourself to others. The past doesn’t have to define you today.

Identify the challenges that are creating feelings of insecurity in your life and face them head-on. You can be more accepting of yourself and trust yourself more than you do today.

As an added bonus, the better you feel about yourself, the better you’ll feel about others too. Refuse to allow insecurity to tarnish your future. Make the decision today to trust and love yourself more.

Create Your Own Life Philosophy and Live it

Maybe you’ve been living the American dream. You have an attractive spouse, a nice house and car, two kids, and a membership at the country club, yet you’re strangely dissatisfied.

Maybe the American dream isn’t your dream. How can one version of how to live life appeal to everyone? You’re an individual, right?

It’s likely that you’ve never given the idea of a life philosophy much thought. It doesn’t get mentioned in school. Your parents probably never broached the subject.

It’s a personal decision. If you don’t decide for yourself, you’re stuck with the default version that everyone else is chasing. Rather than chasing after the standard version of success, it might be time to create your own.

At the very least, you’ll be more excited when you get out of bed each morning.

Create a life philosophy that makes happiness and fulfillment a possibility:

1. Educate yourself. Rather than starting completely from scratch, take a look at some of the more popular philosophies from the past to the present. You might find something that resonates with you. Feel free to tweak and experiment with what you find.

* The internet and local library are both good resources. There are people that spend their entire lives on this very topic. Learn from them.

2. Ask yourself how you got to this point. You already have a set of beliefs regarding what is valuable in life. How did you reach that point? Who taught those beliefs to you? Did you pick them up from your friends? Movies? Teachers? Books? How was your current philosophy constructed?

3. Determine what you want your life to be about. Will your life be about money and success? Altruism? Adventure? Family? Personal development? Will it be based on a religion? What matters to you?

* What do you think is most important? Can you be happy with that decision? For example, you might believe that family should be the most important thing, but what if you don’t have a family? Or maybe you don’t even want a family to begin with.

* Many philosophers argue that there is no inherent meaning to life, which is just a fancy way of saying that you can choose the meaning of life for yourself and be just as correct as anyone else.

4. Start at the end. Imagine that you’ve lived a long life and you’re reaching the end. What kind of life do you want to look back on? What sorts of things do you want to have learned, achieved, and experienced? How do you want to be remembered? With the end in mind, how do you need to live today to reach that ideal ending?

5. Give it a try. Once you’ve found a way of looking at the world that appeals to you, take it for a test-ride. See if it suits you. Have patience while you’re on this journey. It may take time to become completely satisfied with new viewpoint.

6. Find like-minded people and discuss. While this is a personal journey, that doesn’t mean it has to be solitary. Bounce ideas off of others. You might gain an insight that makes all the difference. Be open and share your ideas.

Be playful with the process of developing a new way of approaching life. The best philosophy will bring you a sense of peace and purpose. If you’re feeling a bit disenchanted with life, change your perspective. You can choose for yourself what is most important in life. Create a game that you can win and enjoy along the way.

Are You Currently Too Fragile to be Successful?

Success isn’t easy. There is a lot of discomfort that must be overcome to change your life in a dramatic way. Most people are too mentally fragile to deal with discomfort. Our natural instincts are to retreat to places of comfort.

What’s more comfortable than watching your favorite movie from the comfort of your couch while eating your favorite snack? But it’s a trap.

Are you strong enough at this moment to move toward success? Consider these questions:

1. Are you able to make decisions? You’re thinking, “Of course, I choose to eat a grilled cheese for lunch over a cheeseburger.” But, we’re talking about big decisions here. Choosing a career, a life partner, a marketing plan for your small business, an investment strategy, a lifestyle, or long-term goals require the ability to make decisions and stick with them.

* Without decisions, your life is on the fast track to nowhere. Unsuccessful people struggle to make up their minds. They don’t want to make a mistake, so they do nothing. You have to be brave enough to risk making a mistake and just decide.

2. Are you able to deal with adversity? Adversity abounds on the road to accomplishing anything significant. The vast majority of the rest of the world doesn’t care, and they’re not going to help. There will even be a few people in your way. Are you strong enough to deal with adversity?

* Failure is another type of adversity. Do you work through failure or use it as an excuse to quit? Overcoming failure is key to success. The odds of being successful without experiencing failure are slim.

3. Can you handle criticism? Plenty of people want to hold you back. It’s the easiest way for them to feel better about themselves. You lose 15 lbs, and someone asks you if you’re sick. You make a few dollars, and someone tells you you’re just going to waste it or that you’re being greedy.

* Listen to average people and you’ll be average.

* Some criticism is constructive. Use it. The rest is harmful. Ignore it.

4. Are you persistent? Some things take a long time to accomplish. Earning and saving $5 millions will take most people many years. Losing 100 lbs takes time. Can you eat another chicken breast and a salad again tonight instead of ordering a pizza? Are you tough enough to persist? Fragile people aren’t persistent.

5. Are you able to change your perception of yourself? If you’re used to being financially challenged or overweight, are you strong enough to change your perception of yourself to that of someone wealthy or fit? Changing your perceptions is uncomfortable, but doable.

6. Are you able to be flexible? Can you change course when the situation calls for it? Or would you rather stick to what you know? How much change can you handle before you crumble? It’s not easy to take a new approach, especially if you have to start from scratch.

7. Can you make mistakes and still have confidence in yourself? Can you maintain faith in yourself after you’ve made a few mistakes and misjudgements? How much do you trust yourself? How unshakeable is that trust? Think of the most successful people you know. Their self-confidence is rock solid.

Are you too fragile to succeed? Discomfort is part of success, but be grateful. That discomfort limits the amount of competition you’ll face. Learn to handle feeling uncomfortable, and your success will skyrocket. Are you tough enough to succeed?

Apply the Lessons of Last Year to the New Year

Consider how many mistakes you make each year. Now, imagine if you could learn from them and avoid repeating them. It’s not just your mistakes. It’s also all the things you tried that didn’t work, and the things you saw other people try that didn’t work.

You also did a few things that worked out. You might want to apply all of this knowledge you gained to this coming year.

After doing this for several years, your life would be pretty spectacular!

Since you’re learning so much each year, why not put it to good use? Unfortunately, we don’t change our behaviors very much from year to year. Commit to making this year different.

Apply the lessons of the past to the future:

1. Take a few days to review the last year. What did you learn, both positive and negative? What mistakes did you make? What were your biggest wins?

* Do you see a pattern to any of your mistakes? Can you see that many of your challenges are caused by committing the same mistakes year after year?

* Now, consider your friends and family. What challenges did they face? What were their successes? What can you learn from them?

* Take the best and the worst from your past and learn from them. Make use of that information to enhance your life.

2. Find alternatives to your least effective actions. Maybe you procrastinate too much or consistently show up to work late. What are the changes you want to make in the coming year?

3. Identify those behaviors that support your success. Perhaps you made your spouse feel loved and lost 25 pounds. Those are behaviors that you might want to repeat.

4. Create new habits. Choose habits that will counteract your less-effective behaviors and ensure your positive behaviors occur more frequently. Using our examples:

* Procrastination: Take immediate action when you know something needs to be done. Remind yourself of the pain procrastination has caused in the past and imagine how amazing it will feel to complete the task.

* Late to work: Place your alarm on the other side of the room so you’re forced to get out of bed. Choose your clothes the night before. Commit to leaving the house in plenty of time.

* Spouse: Spend 15 minutes each day doing something nice for your spouse. Remind yourself of what you love about them.

* Lost 15 lbs: Continue making healthy food choices and working out three times each week.

5. Monitor yourself. If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly slip back into your old patterns of behavior. Change is challenging, and you can expect to face a lot of internal resistance. Avoid being too hard on yourself when you slip. Just vow to redouble your efforts going forward!

6. Celebrate your successes. When you apply what you’ve learned from last year, you can expect some great things to happen. Appreciate them and be proud of yourself. This is the best way to ensure good things keep happening. Reinforce your behavior by feeling good about yourself.

You’ve faced some tough times in the past. Take advantage of those challenges! You’ve had some good times, too. Repeat them in the future. Your past is the key to your future. Take what you’ve learned and leverage that experience going forward. It would be a shame to repeat your mistakes in the future.

You can have the best year of your life, but not if you fail to learn from your past experiences. Your results have lessons to teach. Are you paying attention?