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New Years Resolutions and Time Management

One part of "The Cycle" is that you should keep a list of long-term projects and review it every few months. There are two specific times you should always review it: around budget time (this is where you record those great projects that are so big they'll require funding), and around New Years (the list usually inspires good New Years Resolutions).

The list has a couple "secret" functions. First, when your main todo list is growing out of control, it can be very useful to move some of the more audacious goals onto this list. Secondly, sometimes an idea is taking up brain-space and you just need to write it somewhere.

I'm told that the reward/pleasure system in the brain activates when you accomplish a goal. I'm also told that the exact same activation happens when you tell a friend an idea about a goal you'd like to accomplish. Thus, you don't feel the need to do the project any more if you've told someone about it. That's why I'd rather write it down on my list. It gets it out of the "front of my brain" so I can think about other things. Since I have more ideas than I could ever do, it also has the benefit of being an efficient "place where ideas go to die". However they are recorded so when I do my yearly peek at the list, if it still seems like a good idea I haven't lost it.

Every idea I have seems like the best idea ever when I have it. The test to see if it really is a good idea is if it still feels like a good idea months later.

A good place to store this list is anything private that is easy to access. You want to be able to whip it out and write something down any time. If it isn't accessible, I write the idea into my todo list for recording later. If you use a physical organizer having a page at the back of the notebook is a good place for this list. If you use a PDA or Smartphone, a "notes" page or similar is a good place.

We're almost to the end of the year. It is a good time to look at the list, add and delete things. Maybe there are items you'd like to discuss with your significant other, boss, mentor or coach.

Two years ago my new years resolution was to lose weight. I joined Weight Watchers and lost 40 pounds. I've kept 30 off, which was pretty much my goal. I'll be writing more about that in the coming months.

I haven't finalized my New Years Resolutions yet. However, if you'd like to post yours, feel free to write in the comments (even if you haven't finalized them, I'd love to hear your thoughts!)

Posted by Tom Limoncelli in Time Management

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I like to double my to do list. The one for the global one, it usually contains my long term goal and the other list is the specific one, it contains any specific action that I have to do to reach one part of my long term goal.

These lists have helped me much, the first list is the guidance and the second list the steps to follow to realize it. I usually review my specific list if i found my long term goal far from real at the time that I have set. I usually then try a new methods and re-begin the process for the twice. This list enables me to learn from every failure that I get and to know any effective methods to realize it.

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