There are only two things I’ve been able to do consistently up until this year: eat sugar and watch television. Manic Impressives are not consistent creatures by nature. We have bursts of activity fueled by imagination, then periods of downtime. But to achieve our dreams, we must learn how to be consistent, no matter what.
We need to build the skills that plodders, people who work from routine and do a little bit each day toward a goal, come by naturally. We are leapers (not lepers, dummy, LEAPERS) and tend to work in bursts, when we are at the top of our manic cycles.
Why We Need To Be Consistent
It’s easy to work with great enthusiasm and energy when we are in the manic phase. Things are easy when we’re inspired or excited. But we still need to perform when these conditions aren’t at play.
We Manics often get distracted from our main purpose. Shiny things and new ideas throw us off track. But this leads to sporadic efforts, which usually means lots of things started and not many finished.
This year I did things differently. I managed to do a little each week because I set a specific goal with regular deadlines. I know, I know, we hate deadlines. We like unfettered freedom to do things our own special way. But without deadlines we end up puttering.
So this year I made a commitment to post to this blog every week. Every Thursday by midnight. This kept me focused and got me to work even when I didn’t feel like it.
51 weeks in a row I fulfilled this promise to myself. If you’re reading this it means I made it to 52. All because of one little phrase: Continue reading How to Be Consistent – No Matter What →
It’s crunch time for you Christmas shoppers. Just two days left to get the perfect gift for that special someone on your list. I hope you do as well as my grandmother did when I was 14. Because that was the year she gave me the best Christmas present ever.
It started out as more of a protest than a Christmas present. Grandma came to our house for dinner in February with one of her famous cakes. She baked it from scratch as she always did, without that cheatin Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines mix. Grandma was a purist and took pride in her desserts.
After dinner she started to dish it out and was shocked when I declined a piece. To her horror I announced that I had given up dessert for Lent, a practice encouraged by my Sunday School teacher to earn brownie points in Heaven.
I tried to convince her that it was my own decision, but she was having none of that. She was convinced there was a conspiracy at play. Another attempt by my overly strict parents to to deny us both the pleasure of her baking.
While the rest of the family enjoyed her cake, Grandma sat in stony silence. What kind of family would do such a thing to a child? I was clearly the victim of the worst type of parental abuse. Continue reading The Best Christmas Present Ever →
We’re almost there. The end of 2016. Most of us have about a week of productive time left before the avalanche of the holidays comes crashing down on us. While you still have a moment to catch your breath, here are 5 things you should do before the end of the year.
1) Spend Everything In Your FSA Account
Flexible spending accounts (FSA) are a fact of life for many of us. If you have money in an account that won’t roll over to 2017, figure out which items are eligible and spend it all now.
Most plans have specific rules on what you can buy with FSA money. Most plans also have loopholes. If you have a prescription, you can use FSA funds to buy over-the-counter remedies and stock up on Alka-Seltzer, Depends and Preparation H.
Your doctor can also write a letter stating you need that BowflexTreadclimber for an existing medical condition (like a spare tire or a double chin). Since this is how I bought my treadmill two years ago (really!), I figure you can get away with it too.
My plan even allows me to use FSA money for dance lessons (if I’m recovering from traumatic brain injury). No reason this can’t be fun, so spend that FSA money before the 31st! Continue reading 5 Things You Should Do Before The End Of The Year →
A major tragedy hit the Bay Area last Friday night. A fire broke out in a warehouse with 36 people trapped inside. Known as the Ghost Ship, this building was home to a collective of young artists and musicians who’d built a community to support the arts. Sadly, this was a preventable tragedy and there will be plenty of blame to go around. But while this community mourns its loss, it’s time for you to count your blessings.
Major events like this cause us to check ourselves, and be grateful that we aren’t the folks suffering the loss. But the idea to count your blessings has far-reaching benefits beyond the momentary display of empathy for others.
Successful people make a practice of looking back each year to acknowledge where they’ve done well. They feel gratitude and give thanks. But they don’t do this because they’re touchy-feely types trying to game their way into Heaven. They do it because when you count your blessings, you receive more blessings.
Yeah, that’s right. The more grateful you are, the more you’ll have to be grateful for. There are two ways to see this:
1) The more you focus on the good things in your life, the more good things you’ll see. This will put your mind in receive mode for good ideas and opportunities. Next thing you know you’re coming up with all kinds of good ideas, and your confidence and positivity will attract people to you. They will tell you YES.
2) Sometimes we get so focused on what we’re not achieving, we get down on ourselves. We don’t see what’s right with things, and while we’re bemoaning our poor fortune, good fortune passes us by. Because when a pissy attitude leaks out, it will repel people from you. They will tell you NO.
It’s Like That Febreze Commercial
Continue reading Time To Count Your Blessings →
No I’m not out of my mind. Yes, like you, I hate that stores display Halloween gear in September, Thanksgiving stuff before Halloween, and Christmas crap before Thanksgiving. Hate it. But I’m not trying to rush things here, so please hear me out. Before you start heading headlong into that final dash towards the holidays, it is time to start planning 2017 now.
You know how it goes. Your best intentions end in a flurry of last-minute impulse buying, sappy holiday movies, and binge-eating sugary baked goods. That’s all okay.
You deserve all that. A nice celebration with family and friends and a break from work. But to get the New Year started like a sprinter out the gate, you need to do your planning and goal setting now.
The next three weeks will be hectic, but it’s important to schedule time to slow down and review the past year. What went well. What you accomplished. What you struggled through. What you learned.
This is a crucial process to your success next year. So we’re going to start now by giving 2016 it’s due. Continue reading Start Planning 2017 Now →