The Secret Of Success (and why ‘to do’ lists DON’T work)

So, it’s getting to that time of year again. There’s magic in the air. Hope for the future. And a looming list of New Year’s resolutions which will no doubt be adhered to for a few days before being disregarded completely. If you’re anything like me your list probably goes something like this. Lose weight. Pay off debt. Save. Stop drinking/smoking/insert your devil here. All of which should be done in conjunction with winning the Nobel Peace Prize whilst writing a best selling novel when singing an aria in Italian with the aroma of homemade cuisine wafting gently through your D.I.Y jobs completed home (learn a new skill.) Sound familiar?
I personally gave up making New Year’s resolutions a few years ago when I realised that I am more of a ‘no time like the present’ kinda gal, and also that I’d had more or less the same list for the whole of my life. I am a lover of organisation though and didn’t leave myself cold turkey – no pun intended and also I’m a vegetarian.
I became a fan of ‘to do’ lists instead. I loved the feeling of satisfaction gained from working through my list and ticking off tasks with a confident sweep of my pen. I soon realised that as a result of this I was either consciously or subconsciously adding minor jobs that would result in more ticks but was actually doing little to get me closer to my life goals. I doubt that Shakespeare did his greatest work nestled between the Sainsburys shop and clearing out the cupboard under the sink.
The sense of achievement from seeing progress was a great motivator however and so I simply reversed the formula. So now, at the END of every day I write down 3 things that I did or which happened during the day which made me HAPPY. Like goes to like and when you finish the day on a positive note you are more likely to start a new day singing from the same sheet. Try it, it really works. Success breeds success and although I originally said when I started the exercise that I would write down 3 things, I often end up exceeding this. Law of Attraction states that the more you give thanks, the more you will have to give thanks for. What we focus on we attract. What we think, we become.
So back to those New Year’s resolutions. After the somewhat hedonistic attitude we all adopt to greater or lesser degrees during the festive season, to take away all of your vices in one go is a recipe for disaster. When you forbid yourself from anything you inevitably succumb at some point and ‘relapse’ and binge. January can be a tough enough month with the Christmas comedown, debt, cold etc. You really don’t need to add to the misery by not sticking to your resolutions. Focusing on your shortcomings will attract more of the same! Ditto your achievements.
Why not try a different approach?Make a list of all of the WONDERFUL things that happened in 2014. Put it somewhere safe. I bet your list has doubled by this time next year…now that’s what I call a HAPPY NEW YEAR!





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