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Can you believe that the first month of the year is almost gone? Many people created new years resolutions and some have already fallen of track. Some are still going strong and that’s awesome! The thing about resolutions is that when most of us make them and fall off track, it’s not because we stink at life or because we have absolutely no willpower. It happens usually because we don’t put things in place to make those resolutions happen. If we put something minimal in place, it doesn’t account for the unexpected. So, when the unexpected happens, (translation: life) we get derailed and often times get discouraged in our fight to get back.

You walk in to your office and you sit down. You receive an email from Jim, and then Terry, and then Maria and before you know it, you look up and its already 12:15. It’s easy to get distracted and fall off track.

Well, there are some things you can do to stay productive, focused and on the rails:

1. WRITE IT IN YOUR CALENDAR – Schedule it just like anything else and leave nothing to chance. Be sure add in some buffer time. (Add in an extra 15 mins of prep and miscellaneous time if you plan on working out for 30 mins). You might also want to try scheduling your moments of relaxation. That way you are not totally worn out.

2. USE A TIMER – Set a timer for whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish. Now, its not likely that you will get everything done in one sitting. So, learn what your time of focus is and use that. If it’s 60 minutes, then set the timer for that. Do nothing else during this time (well, except if a fire erupts, then you can give yourself permission to move to a location where there is no threat of combustion)

3. TELL OTHER PEOPLE – A Do Not Disturb sign is cool. But, what you are doing may not always be at your desk or a sit down activity. So, tell other people what you are up to and when you are up to it. This will give them a heads up about what you committed to at that time. They may even begin to ask you, “Hey, so how did that exercise/report/writing go today?” This helps you be accountable also.

4. TRY DOING IT A NEW WAY – Part of the issue with many things is that they become repetitive and we lose our drive. Some people are just fine with a routine. But, studies show that just a little difference can inject some dopamine.  (Yes, the good “dope”)  I’m not talking about RADICAL changes and I’m not talking about changing EVERY time. I’m talking about simple things. Sit in a different chair. Try starting at number 2 instead of number one. Try switching the browser. Try going home a different way. Try adding cranberries instead of raisins. Use the treadmill in the corner instead of the middle. That keeps the “learning channel” open and keeps us making decisions. Now some people will disagree with this and argue for routine. That’s fine. Change is difficult. I get that. Again, I’m not suggesting making drastic changes EVERYTIME. Keep your routine going. Add a little spice every so often.

5. DO IT NOW – I’m going to get to it tomorrow. I’ll quit soon. I’m waiting for my refund check to come in first. Delaying the plan. Your snooze button thrives on this concept. Honestly, how much more rested do you feel 9 minutes later? Get up and go. You’ll add 9 minutes to your day. Now, I’m not suggesting that as soon as think of exercise to do it right then. I’m saying that whatever it is that needs to be done, be deliberate about your actions. Get in action on it immediately. That action might consist of putting it on your calendar. It might consist of putting a reminder in place. It might consist of telling someone else. Whatever it is, get a plan around how you want to approach it immediately. Once you have acted and have a plan, then you can deal with it when the time that you have set comes. And when it comes, ACT!!

Here’s the most important thing. If you DO happen to fall off the rails, simply get back up and get back on them. Mourn for a second if you need to. But, get back in action. Success doesn’t need you to be perfect, just persistent!

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