Saturday, 2 January 2010
Happy New Year
New Year's Resolutions are a great way to set your intent for a positive, fulfilling year of growth and accomplishment. But, on the other hand, when the year ends, if you haven't completely fulfilled your resolutions, it can be frustrating.
This usually happens because New Year's resolutions are often too vague, and don't include practical steps that lead to a clearly defined goal.
So today, by all means, make your usual big-picture resolutions. But, in addition, I'm going to suggest you make some sub-resolutions.
Each of these sub-resolutions is designed to give you a long-term benefit (some of them even for a lifetime) with a minimum amount of time and effort. In fact, each of these sub-resolutions can be completed in anything from a few minutes to, at the very most, a few hours. And they're all either free or very cheap .For most of you, many of these items fall into the category of things you've "been meaning to do." Since chances are that you have already accomplished at least a few of the items on the list below, there's no reason why you can't take half a day this week and get at least six more of the items below done.
So, in the interest of the betterment of your future, the management of your life, and the fresh start of a new year, here are
THINGS YOU CAN DO IN ONE DAY TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE
1. Register your full name as a web domain if you haven't yet. You never know when you're going to want your personal website. If www.[yourname].com is already taken, don't worry - there are alternatives. For example, who owns jamesjoyce.com? Answer: A bar in Dublin beat the author's estate to it. But there are always other options, like hyphenating the name and getting james-joyce.net or james-joyce.org (check those sites now if you'd like), or choosing less common TLDs (or end letters) like .ws or .me.
For more information, homestead.com is a great site to register and design your own website.
2. Call your mobile phone provider. Ask if you can get a better calling plan based on your usage. This way you can afford to do the next item on this list.
3. Subscribe to a newspaper or magazine. Choose a topic that you don't know about - be it politics, fashion, culture, or technology- and sign up for the best periodical covering that topic. Rather than choosing the most popular magazine, select one that offers the most in-depth and interesting coverage, like Wired for technology or Foreign Affairs for politics or Mental Floss for culture. Yes, you could read it all online, but it's great to have a physical magazine to read when you're on the subway or on an aeroplane or waiting in line somewhere.
4. Get a passport if you don't have one. If yours has expired, get it renewed now. You never know when that great travel opportunity is going to occur, and you don't want to get stuck at home while your friends are at some great concert at the Acropolis in Greece.
5. Back it up. Most people don't take the time to do this, and regret it later. So copy your entire hard drive onto an external drive or USB stick immediately; if possible, download a program like Acronis True Image that will simplify the restoring process and regularly make backups (or for Mac owners, start using Time Machine or SuperDuper). Also backup your mobile phone, PDA, and any other personal-information-storing device.
6. While you're at it, make photocopies of your credit cards, passport, drivers license, birth certificate, and other important papers. If you keep a journal or anything similarly irreplaceable, photocopy that. Keep these in a safe deposit box, parent's house, locked file cabinet, or any other secure location, preferably outside your own house. They'll be invaluable in the event of theft, loss, fire, or any other unplanned incident.
7. Look through your refrigerator and cabinets. Read the labels on the food. Stop buying anything high in saturated fats, trans fats,cholesterol, and sodium. And start shopping healthier today.
8. Get business cards. Don't have a business? It doesn't matter. Sites like vistaprint.com will send you 250 free ones (though there's a shipping fee of under £6). Never hurts to look professional
9. Learn how you work: I'm often asked what books I found the most useful for learning Sales, NLP and Business. I will be posting my recommendations next.
10. This is not for everyone, but some of you--and you know who you are--definitely need to do this: Throw out all your socks. Every last one. Now go buy new pairs that actually match and don't have holes in them. You'll feel like a new man. Remember, get black socks. White socks are for athletic activities only. I don't want to catch any of you guys here wearing white socks in the boardroom!
11. Buy a suit. (Or a dress if you're a woman.) But don't just get any suit or dress. Get one that's slightly closer to the size you want to be this year, whether it be a little bigger or a little smaller than your current measurements. Try it on every Saturday morning as a reminder to yourself to get in shape this year; until, one day, it fits perfectly, and you wear it out and feel like a million pounds
12. Decide to actually become a millionaire.