When was the last time you told a friend they sucked and were a failure?
Never? Maybe only in jest?
When was the last time you said that to yourself?
I know I can be tough on myself for not reaching goals, getting sidetracked instead of getting something done, or any number of other reasons.
But I’d NEVER say those things to a friend.
I guess I’m not a friend of myself??
It certainly can feel like that.
It takes time to unlearn those habits.
It takes practice, but you can get better at noticing when this is happening. You can learn your patterns and make adjustments. Watch for your insights and write them down. Then to remind yourself, put them on sticky notes where you’ll see them (like on your monitor).
Next time you get sidetracked, don’t reach a goal, or any other reason you might be mean to yourself, take a step back and treat yourself the way you’d treat a good friend.
And take opportunities to celebrate your wins. That might be reaching a goal. It can also be celebrating that you did the work, showed up, and did the things, regardless of the result.
part of creating the productivity and results you want in your business (and
life) is creating habits that support you.
When someone is
creating a new habit I often see them jump right
Then they get
frustrated when it doesn’t get easier after a few days or it might even get
Then the new habit
Think of it this way, if you wanted to start lifting weights and decided the place to start was curling a 50-pound weight, you’d probably fail.
need to build your muscles to do that (and potentially talk with an expert to
find out if that’s a reasonable goal for you).
point is, you’re probably not going to be curling that 50-pound weight on the
first day of you lift weights.
this is how most of us approach creating habits.
We think the way to create a new habit is to start it
immediately, and if we do keep doing it, the practice will stick.
Then we get frustrated because it’s hard to keep up.
look at the habit of waking up at 6 am every day.
create it, you set the alarm for 6 am every day.
couple of days in, and it feels like there’s not enough coffee in the world to
keep you focused all day.
One of the rules for creating a new habit is to make
might you make getting up at 6 am every day easier for you? By going to bed at
10 pm every night. This way, you get 8 hours of sleep, and it makes getting up
at 6 am easier.
you make going to bed at 10 pm easier? By starting your bedtime routine at
you’re like me, you start creating this whole new routine that includes around
getting ready for bed at 9:30, going to bed at 10 pm, and setting the alarm for
you still might be frustrated because at 10 pm you’re NOT tired and so you lay
in bed tossing and turning for an hour or more before you fall asleep and when
the alarm goes off you’re still exhausted.
James Clear’s book Atomic Habits,
he talks about habit shaping, part of it is creating a new habit in phases.
habit is getting up at 6 am, you could start with just getting ready for bed at
9:30. Once you’ve mastered that (which might take a week or a month), you move
on to the next step.
Phase 1: Get ready for bed at 9:30 Phase 2: Get in bed at 10 pm and read, chat with your partner, or play on your phone. Phase 3: Get in bed at 10 pm and put the phone away. Phase 4: Go to bed at 10 pm. Phase 5: Set your alarm for 6 am.
notice I added a couple of steps between getting ready for bed and going to
bed. It goes back to asking yourself what
will make the next step easier.
What habits have you tried to create in the past that
are still on your mind?
might you create that habit in phases?
asking yourself what will make this step
I’d love to know what the phases of your new habit are! Share in the comments below.
Productivity for Solopreneurs: Insights to Getting Things Done #128
I’ve found that most
people have one in one form or another.
And sometimes we
assume that everyone puts together a to-do list the way we do.
I’ve found that
people are generally making one or two mistakes with their to-do lists and
we’re going to talk about that today.
Your to-do list is
on whatever piece of paper or notebook that happened to be near you when you
needed to write somethings down.
A side effect of
this to-do list method is you keep thinking about all the things you have to
do. Your mind is a constant stream of things to do.
This is because your
brain is super smart (really it is) and it knows that you might not find that
piece of paper or notebook when you’re at your desk ready to do that work.
What to do instead
Have ONE place you
write your to-do lists.
You’re not creating
your WHOLE planning and tracking system here, you’re starting with ONE small
tweak that will help you develop a habit that supports your future
You might start with
a smaller notebook that will easily fit in your purse or an app on your phone.
I’d suggest starting
with a notebook and seeing how that goes for a bit.
Your to-do list is
in ONE place, but it’s a list of EVERYTHING that you need to do.
This is actually a
good problem to have because it means that you’re writing things down
(physically or digitally) and you know what needs to be done.
What to do instead
Create a list of only what needs to be completed today or this
week. The other things can be done in the coming weeks.
This allows you to
set your priorities once a week and then you won’t have to decide on a daily or
moment-to-moment basis what your priorities are.
things tie to your goals for the month, but again, it’s about doing one small
tweak so that you start creating the habits that support your future habits and
Now, you might be
wondering why I’m not suggesting that you start with creating a
planning/tracking system right off the bat.
My question for you
is: have you tried jumping right into a planning system or goal tracking system
before? Yes? How did that go?
What I find with my
clients is they have a list of things they’ve tried (and planners in the closet
with maybe a month filled out) and then
something popped up, they got busy, or there was some other disruption.
The new system took a lot of time and effort to keep up with because the habits around it hadn’t developed yet. So, it all fell apart.
Instead, look at the
small steps you can take or one habit you can develop that will make a
difference. When that step is completed or that habit developed, then you can
add something else.
If you want to know a couple of small tweaks that will make a big difference for you, reach out to schedule a complimentary session with me. You can do that by commenting or filling out the Contact Me form on my website here: http://www.oneinsightcloser.com/contact-me
PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #122
The last couple weeks I think I’ve done a pretty good job of being kind to myself and honoring my desire to slow down.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about you can read last week’s note by clicking here.
This week the tide is turning.
My inner voice is telling me it’s time to start moving out of my cozy cocoon a bit and move closer to the groove that I had in early December.
Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m not taking care of my self or jumping into DO-ALL-THE-THINGS mode. I know myself well enough to know that’s NOT going to work for me.
This will be a slower process. And my new groove might look different than it did last year.
One of the things that fell by the wayside the last few weeks was my morning routine.
It wasn’t perfect, but it did mostly work for me. I say mostly because toward the end of the year I was thinking about how to tweak it to support me more.
Since that morning routine has mostly disappeared, this is a great time for me to think about what I want my new routine to look like, implement it, and tweak it as much as necessary.
Did the holidays change your morning routine?
Maybe January came and something you were doing EVERY morning fell by the wayside or was replaced by something else?
Or maybe you had some resolutions and changed A BUNCH of things at once and ALL those changes aren’t sticking (according to some studies right about now is when most people are abandoning their New Year Resolutions, although some studies put it at the second week of February).
If you’re trying to make a lot of other changes in your life or business right now, maybe pick one thing to add or remove from your morning routine.
If your morning routine has devolved into something that’s just not working at all (mine worked very well for taking it easy, but it’s not working so well for getting into my office when I want to in the morning), then it might be time for an overhaul.
This is a great time to take a step back and look at how your morning routine is working for you and decide what, if anything, needs to change with it.
And if you want a second pair of eyes or someone to help you with what changes you might want to make, reach out (add a comment below) and we can get something on the calendar.
Last week I did a Q&A in my Facebook group. You can find that here. You’ll only be able to see it if you’re IN the group. So, it’s the perfect time to join us!
One of the questions that was asked was this:
How do you keep up with bookkeeping when EVERY tax season you promise you’ll do better next year and next year comes and you’res till scrambling to update the bookkeeping?
And I’ll admit it, this was a problem for me this year too!
In the Q&A I shared a strategy I learned from the book Profit First by Mike Michalowixz that I’m implementing this month. And last week I challenged the Productivity for Women Entrepreneurs group to implement it.
The book suggests you only do your bookkeeping twice a month (and not whenever you have time).
Staying on top of your bookkeeping is one of those things that you can do now, or you can take a really long time to do later. Believe me, experience has taught me that staying on top if it is worth my time. AND saves me time (and sanity) later.
So, join me for Wednesday LIVE with Evie at 1pm CDT tomorrow for things that will save you time later.
I’ll share a bit more about why Profit First suggests doing your bookkeeping only twice a month and other tasks that will save you time (and sanity) later.
What are things you do that save you time later? Or what is taking you forever that you wish you could save time on? Comment below and tell me.