Bernice Ross at INMAN reminds us that a new year is a time for cleaning out your closet in Omaha. What would it be like if you were free of the old stuff from 2015 that’s holding you back? You know what I mean — that laundry list of “I shoulds,” the lead generation you should be doing, the unfinished projects, the old files that need to be cleared out and the email subscriptions you no longer read.
One of the greatest gifts that you can give yourself at the beginning of a new year is to remove all that old 2015 stuff and start 2016 with the cleanest slate possible.
· Eliminate tolerations – she describes tolerations as tiny paper cuts. They are often minor, but the cumulative effect of not dealing with them results in serious pain and loss of productivity. A light bulb that needs replacement, a messy desk, no place for leads and a record of follow-up, pencils that need sharpening, a revised email list of contacts, email that should get an “unsubscribe.” I am sure you can think of many things that feel like paper cuts and need to be dealt with once.
· Learn to say “no.” – This ability to say no will save you hours of stress and negative thoughts. You make plans and yet agree to do something that interferes with those plans. Then you beat yourself up for being a wuss and that leads to negative self-worth. Just say no! No need to offer an excuse. The army’s mantra is “No excuse, drill sergeant.” Being able to say no is freeing.
· Eliminate debt now – Every month another paper cut arrives in the mail: It is the credit card bill. You can’t easily eliminate monthly insurance, electric, and water bills, but you can begin paying down credit cards or paying them in full each month. You can make it a goal to be debt free. You can’t imagine the stress that gets released from your body. You actually feel taller.
· Get clear on your values and priorities in life – What nine things are your priorities in your life. I might suggest Family, Spouse, Exercise, Health, Food, Meditation, Work, Finances, and Hobby in no particular order. Your goal is to seek a balance in all those areas. Becoming a workaholic, for example, puts stress on the other areas and could end in divorce, ulcers, weight gain or depression. When presented with choices, you can ask if this will fit in with the balance you are seeking. Or you can make goals for each area that fit or enhance that priority. Some think nine is too many. A friend has managed to reduce the nine to five. We’ll stick to nine. For us nine is a magic number.
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