Best Ways to Better Brainstorming

Best Ways to Better Brainstorming

Best Ways to Better Brainstorming

We all need to brainstorm from time to time, but what are the best ways to get better at brainstorming? Are there methods that work better than others? Whenever you get stuck trying to come up with ideas, brainstorming is the way to go. I think some ways are better than others; here are some of my favorites.

Mind mapping

This is probably my favorite, since you get to write with colored pens and it’s more like playing than anything else. You can do this method online with an app, but I prefer the old-school way of using a big sheet of paper and pencils. I’ve written about Mind Mapping before in How to Come up With a Year’s Worth of Blog Content. And, since we just finished a #DigiBlogChat about Bullet Journaling (with Krystal Blais), the colored pencil idea is twice as attractive. I now have a bunch of Pilot sparkle pens in twelve different colors, for all you bullet journaling nerds (like me!). Also, if you’re an introvert, Mind Mapping is probably one of the easiest methods to do alone.

Collaborative brainstorming

Your friends or colleagues will come up with entirely different ideas than you do. So why not include them in your brainstorming? For instance, when I was first starting my business, I had my friends brainstorm with me. We all had coffee and snacks (on me, of course) at a little cafe. One person wrote down ideas, and another one checked for available website names. It was fun, and there were more ideas than I would ever have come up with myself.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/athree23-6195572/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4887880">athree23</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4887880">Pixabay</a>

Best Ways to Better Brainstorming | Image by athree23 from Pixabay

The S.C.A.M.P.E.R. technique

Here’s a fun one where you poke at your idea from different angles. It’s the third one in this list from The Guide to Mastering Online Brainstorming. SCAMPER is an acronym stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. For instance, if you choose Adapt you’d ask How could we adapt this thing to a different context?

I also love their Reverse Brainstorming method, where you come up with problems, rather than solutions. Sometimes it’s easier to think of problems, rather than solutions. This is especially true if your coworkers like to complain–it’s easier to do than think of positives, isn’t it?

Rapid ideation

The Rapid Ideation technique, also from The Guide to Mastering Online Brainstorming, is a method whereby you write down as many ideas as you can think of as quickly as possible. Think of it as a verbal speed chess game! Write them on sticky notes or an electronic document (Google docs would be a good way), and then have everyone vote. Maybe you could have prizes for the best ideas, too.

Do you have another way to better brainstorm?

What works best for you? Do you have a favorite? Leave me a comment, please!

 

Social Media and Productivity: Five Simple Ideas

How do you measure your own social media productivity? Is it a simple measure of how many items get checked off your to-do list, or is there something else you use to measure how well you’re doing? As a social media manager, here are some ideas I’ve developed over the years. I hope they spark some ideas of your own.

Group by platform and task

That is, usually I take one social media platform and work on that platform for all my accounts. So I’ll read through Twitter for all my accounts, for instance, before heading over to Facebook. I’ll check comments, reply, and post for the future on Facebook. Then head over to Instagram, interact with people, and plan some posts for the upcoming day or two. You might enjoy some other productivity tips here: 11 Ways Being Outdoors Can Improve Your Productivity. Yes, they’re different than the ones you’re reading now! (For instance, there are ewoks.)

Watch your language and hashtags

For Instagram, I usually schedule separately through the Meta scheduler. There, I can schedule for both Facebook and Instagram at the same time, but use different language for each. Although the boundaries between the different platforms are merging, there are still some benefits to using different language for each platform. I’ve written about this back in the day, and you might like Had Enough of the Boundaries Blurring Between Social Media Platforms? So, for instance, hashtags are minimal on Twitter (even though hashtags originated there), whereas on Instagram they are encouraged. If you use boatloads of hashtags on Twitter, your reach will drop.

Take breaks–even from social media and even from being online

Taking lots of breaks is key to staying sane. I like to take Sundays off, at the very least. Usually Saturdays, too. And this week, I also took Monday off! It was wonderful! In a Psychology Today article, Social Media Breaks and Why They Are Necessary, Kristen Fuller, M.D. talks about using apps to track your time on social media so you can scale back.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/veerasantinithi-6722948/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2880261">นิธิ วีระสันติ</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2880261">Pixabay</a>

Social Media and Productivity: Five Simple Ideas Image by นิธิ วีระสันติ from Pixabay

Plan for the next day

Maybe you do this already? Do you? I leave myself about 15 minutes each evening to go over what I need to get done the next day. Then each item gets prioritized according to how important it is. Leave lots of white space in your planner for those unexpected tasks which always seem to crop up out of nowhere.

Plan to not do everything

If you love to get things done, this one might be the most difficult for you! It is for me. A couple or maybe a few of those things are not going to happen. And if you can decide ahead of time which are low priority, your life will be better. So maybe in terms of social media productivity, you’ll only check LinkedIn once a week. Or maybe you’ll choose to ignore TikTok. Or what the heck–both! What not go for broke?

What things do you leave off your to-do list?

Is there anything you don’t do, that maybe other people do? Leave me a comment! And thanks for reading.

Worst Social Media Practices (and how to avoid them)

What is the worst social media practice, you might ask? Because I’m a social media manager, I get to see a lot of websites and social media accounts. There are a few that stand out for all the wrong reasons. Here are just a few. The good news is that most of them are easy fixes. Some may require that you hire a developer to fix your website, but they will help your business!

No e-commerce is one of the worst social media practices

Recently, I saw a social media account with a website in the profile. The website had buttons for e-commerce, but none of them worked. So there was no way to buy anything online. There’s still a pandemic (and even if there wasn’t a pandemic, people want to go online and have things delivered if possible), and people are still busy and tired.

Fix: If you can set up a way for people to buy from you, please make it easy. Don’t make potential customers memorize a secret password, call you, and make an appointment during the one hour a week you’re actually open. (Unless you’re a practical joker, and don’t have any intention of ever selling anything! In that case, two thumbs up!)

Here are some of the worst social media practices. Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/fotorech-5554393/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2635043">Daniel Reche</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=2635043">Pixabay</a>

Worst Social Media Practices (and how to avoid them). Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

No profile picture

When you have no profile picture, it looks like no one is home. This is one of the worst social media practices there is. Now that everyone has a camera in their pocket, it’s more critical than ever to have a decent photo. See what Social Champ says in their article The Importance of Social Media Images. “In one study, they discovered that content paired with an image attracted 94% more views on average than content without visuals.”

Fix: This is an easy one to fix. If you don’t have a profile picture please take one. Even a picture of your cat or your puppy is better than nothing. Seriously, though. Get a picture. Even if it’s a crummy picture, it’s better than having nothing. By the way, I’ve talked about the importance of improvising before. You might like How to MacGyver Your Social Media.

Posting sporadically

People may go to your website, where you say you have every platform under the sun. But when you go to any of those platforms, your last post was in 2018. Has this happened to your brand?

Fix: Why not schedule out at least a few posts, but spread them out a bit? Put out one post per month, at the very least, so we know the account is still alive? Please.

Magical thinking is — you guessed it! — one of the worst social media practices

Some people think that social media is magic. But the truth is that it’s a lot of hard work! I’ve written about Magical Thinking before. You might like Magical Thinking and Social Media.

Fix: Sometimes one person tells two people tells four people, and so on. But usually that doesn’t happen. Be realistic about what social media can do and you’ll be happier.

Ugly pictures

By ugly, what I mean is that sometimes the pictures are spammy with big, red SALE splotches all over them, or out of focus, or you can’t even tell what something is.

Fix: It’s 2022, and images are more important than ever. Don’t post an image of a flyer that looks like it’s from 1998, unless your shop is all about the 90s.

Immediately spamming with private messages

This happens on Twitter, and not so much on other platforms, although recently I had someone try to sell me something on Facebook in a private message.

Fix: Don’t do this until you have a relationship with someone. Even then, tread carefully. You risk being blocked or reported, plus losing that person as a follower.

 

What You Need to Know about the Metaverse

First of all, what the heck is a metaverse (or is it the metaverse?)? And why do I need to know about it? Once I start explaining it, you’ll understand a little better and maybe even realize that you’re soaking in it right now! During the pandemic, we all moved into virtual reality, at least a little bit. Except for a few people who didn’t want to give up their tin foil hats, that is. I’m joking about the tin foil hats.

First, how about a definition?

“The metaverse (a portmanteau of “meta-” and “universe”) is a hypothesized iteration of the internet, supporting persistent online 3-D virtual environment through conventional personal computing, as well as virtual and augmented reality headsets. Metaverses, in some limited form, are already present on platforms like VRChat or video games like Second Life.~ Wikipedia

Virtual reality has become a way of life for many

With the pandemic, gaming online has taken on a whole different meaning. Since it often wasn’t safe to meet face to face, people and especially kids moved online. It’s a space parallel to the real world where people can meet, talk, and play. I’m italicizing real world because to many, virtual reality is just as real as the physical world. For kids, moving online and into the virtual world isn’t even something they need to think about. They’re already there. Beyond just being online, though, the metaverse is 3D, mostly through headsets, as set out in the Wiki definition above.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/evgenit-4930349/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4006343">Evgeni Tcherkasski</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=4006343">Pixabay</a>

How much do you need to know about the Metaverse? Image by Evgeni Tcherkasski from Pixabay

Collaboration is key in the metaverse

In the metaverse, social interaction and collaboration are the new currencies. If we, as social media managers, wanted people to be more social, in the metaverse, you almost wouldn’t survive without being social. There’s still the chance to lurk, as there is on social media platforms, but for real success, you must work with others. I find it similar to online groups where you might have joined initially to learn something or to move forward with a hobby. But after awhile, you might stay on the platform because you enjoy talking with the people online, so you stay. By the way, I’ve talked about social media managers and some fake holidays they might like. You might like it, too!

Mark Zuckerberg’s branding of the Facebook environment

While I don’t always agree with Facebook’s handling of anything these days, using the term meta was a stroke of genius. Whoever came up with the concept of using meta as an umbrella term for the Facebook and Instagram arenas, knew what they were doing. Since the meta umbrella term for Facebook/Instagram, everyone’s interest in the metaverse has become keener.

A few downsides to the Metaverse

On the other hand, there are also some negatives to big tech and the metaverse, as outlined in this New York Times article: Everybody Into the Metaverse! Virtual Reality Beckons Big Tech. For one thing, the headsets are cumbersome and sometimes make people dizzy or sick. And who remembers the big failure of Google Glass? Also, in many parts of the world (the parts where there is money to be made selling lots of ads), privacy concerns could keep the momentum of the metaverse from moving forward.

 

Could Tiny Habits Help You Achieve Your Goals?

Recently, I listened to a podcast about Tiny Habits on Guy Kawasaki’s podcast. In the podcast, Guy Kawasaki interviewed BJ Fogg, author of Tiny Habits. The gist of this productivity hack is that you anchor a tiny habit to another habit. The new habit needs to be very, very, VERY easy to accomplish. As in, 30 seconds or less. Here are some takeaways, and how I’ll be trying out this new idea.

It’s super easy

Really. If there’s something you tried for your new year’s resolution last year that failed, this is much more apt to succeed. Seriously–it’s so easy that anyone can do it. For me, personally, I want to start doing squats again, since it’s been many moons since I’ve been to the gym. It just doesn’t feel safe with all those people sweating and exhaling. But I can do this at home, so yay! I’ve talked about New Year’s Resolutions before, in case you’d like to read about them: Simplify Those New Year’s Resolutions So They Don’t Make You Crazy.

The anchor can be any habit

For me, I tied my tiny new habit to brushing my teeth. BJ Fogg says the anchor needs to be specific, though. So, as I put my toothbrush in the cleaner thingie, I then do two squats. That’s pretty easy, right? You could also anchor your tiny habit to finishing a cup of coffee, feeding your cat, or anything you do regularly. But make it as specific as possible. So, for instance, not just feeding your cat, but putting the bowl on the floor in front of your cat. Or opening the can of cat food.

Don’t do more

You can do more, of course, if you really want to, but–and here’s the key–you don’t have to. The habit doesn’t build on itself with you doing a Squat Marathon or anything equally silly. You just do the two squats, or whatever tiny habit you chose to do. It’s pretty easy to succeed. Don’t get stuck thinking you have to constantly up the ante. You get credit if you just do two squats (or whatever).

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/langll-822640/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1828079">Lorri Lang</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1828079">Pixabay</a>

Tiny Habits Could Help You Achieve Your Goals. Image by Lorri Lang from Pixabay

Less effort and less motivation

If you run out of steam with the new habits you want to acquire, then tiny steps is a good way to go. You need barely any effort and even less motivation. Also, BJ Fogg considers celebration a part of the mix. Whenever you have a small win, you get to celebrate! By the way, if you’re looking for motivation to write, you might like this: how to find motivation to write.

If you get stuck, there’s help

Not only can you get the book, BJ Fogg has coaches to help you refine your goal. So if the idea doesn’t sound that simple to you, you can contact BJ Fogg and find a coach.

 

Filtering the Social Media Firehose So You Don’t Go Insane

Recently I was listening to a podcast (Thought Row Podcast), which featured Terri Nakamura talking about harnessing the power of social media. She mentioned filtering Twitter by creating conversations with people, responding to those who reach out to her personally. It’s very similar to the way that I use Twitter. I think we all need to filter our social media accounts. If we listened or read every single message that came across our screens we’d surely go insane. So here are some of the ways that I filter what I read, not just from Twitter, but from Facebook and Instagram, too.

Twitter lists, lists, and lists

On Twitter, lists are my saviour. I’ve noticed lately that people aren’t as excited about them any more. I wonder why?! To me, they’re one of the best things about Twitter! In fact, I’ve written about this feature: Twitter Lists for the Power User. It was written and updated a few times, by the way. Of course, responding to those who mention you is another great way to filter. There are people on Twitter with whom I’ve had conversations spanning years and maybe over a decade now. So if you do nothing else, respond to your notifications and you should be in pretty good shape.

Facebook groups

On Facebook, groups are a terrific way to filter. I use just a few of them and ignore the rest. Those that my friends run, or groups where I can discuss my interests are my favorites. History, social media, and knitting are some of my interests. There are also some nifty ways to filter out what you see in your news feed. Why not check out this post from Facebook, err Meta, itself? You can also filter by type of post. For instance, I like to watch videos on Facebook, so I’ll often only watch those. Or you could filter on status updates.

Filter Instagram using hashtags or close friends

On Instagram, I usually look at what my closest friends are doing first. However, I’ve noticed that this feature doesn’t always work. So I might be filtering social media by hashtag, which also works. In my area, the hashtag I like is #SantaCruzMountains. When I’m posting for clients in San Francisco, I use #SFBay, #SF, and #SanFrancisco. There are many others, since you can have up to 30 hashtags. I’ve written about hashtags before: How to Discover a Wealth of Friends with Social Media Hashtags.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/pexels-2286921/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1838653">Pexels</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1838653">Pixabay</a>

Filtering the Social Media Firehose So You Don’t Go Insane. Image by Pexels from Pixabay

How do you filter?

If you have some other way of filtering your social media, I’d love to hear it. Probably everyone would love to hear it. It’s so exhausting to always be hit by so much stuff, isn’t it? Short of leaving the online world, there has to be a better way to make sense of it.

Five Best Reasons Joining Twitter Chats is a Very Good Idea

Five Best Reasons Joining Twitter Chats is a Very Good Idea

Five Best Reasons Joining Twitter Chats is a Very Good Idea

I’ve heard a few negatives about joining Twitter chats in the past. One person I know called them self-indulgent, and there can be that element to some of them. Others call them spammy. But I must disagree with those assessments. Twitter chats are not only a fun way to pass the time online, but they open the doorway to other people’s worlds. Let me explain.

Make new friends by becoming a regular on a chat

After having been on #DigiBlogChat for so many years, I’ve made a lot of friends. I’ve met people in real life, traveled with people I’ve met through this (and other chats), and more. It’s like an online networking group, but one you can attend in your sweatpants or pajamas! Back in the day, when #BigDataChat ended, Larry Mount reached out to me and #DigiBlogChat was born. Here’s some background for you: History of #DigiBlogChat.

Create new business because you have friends on a chat

As a result of being on Twitter chats, I’ve become business associates with some, bought products and services from others, and gotten tons of great recommendations for reading, videos to watch, and so on. People are always telling me things I didn’t know I didn’t know! And I didn’t know I needed to know them, either!

By the way, if you want to join #DigiBlogChat, here you go: How to Join #DigiBlogChat Twitter Chat.

Be an armchair traveler

Use a chat to travel to other parts of the world. During #DigiBlogChat, people join from all over the world, and you can then feel more comfortable asking them what their state or country is like. During a chat, we often open up by talking about the weather. Now that used to be an ordinary conversation, but since climate change, asking about the weather can often surprise or even shock you!

Get ideas for your blog, vlog, or podcast

As you’re tweeting, something someone else says may spark an idea. Write down anything that comes up and you can use it as the basis for an article. For example, today on #DigiBlogChat someone said something that made me realize that animals in marketing would be a good idea for a possible blog post and chat topic! Totes ma goats! And I liked this article I found about 10 Advertising Animals that will really get your goat!

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/jamesoladujoye-3409212/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1702648">jamesoladujoye</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1702648">Pixabay</a>

Joining Twitter Chats is a Very Good Idea! Image by jamesoladujoye from Pixabay

Use ideas for content marketing

Do as Jim Katzaman does and use the content of a Twitter chat for your own blog posts. You can also get ideas during a chat itself, simply by listening to the chat participants. What do they respond to? What makes them upset? What type of content makes everyone laugh? Take any one of those topics and run with it!

Are Longer or Shorter Blog Posts Better?

Although I subscribe to the idea that shorter blog posts are better, we’ve all heard that longer is better when it comes to blog posts and to articles in general. But what if you’ve said all there is to say in just a few shortish paragraphs? Should you keep on writing? For me, shorter is better. Of course, that’s generally speaking–there are always exceptions.

Strunk and White

As someone who grew up on Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, I’ve always heard that it’s better to use a smaller, more concise word when it’s available. Have you heard that, too? On the other hand, according to SEO experts, longer blog posts get more attention on the internet. That line of thinking can sometimes lead to bloated writing, with lots of filler. If you’re unfamiliar with The Elements of Style, Strunk “concentrated on the cultivation of good writing and composition; the original 1918 edition exhorted writers to “omit needless words,” use the active voice, and employ parallelism appropriately.” (Quoted from Wikipedia.)

A combination of shorter and longer posts

For me, I tend to focus on blog posts that are around 500 words. Some people will only publish longer posts, while others focus on images in their blog posts, with very few words at all. For example, Matt Mullenweg, founder and creator of WordPress, writes fairly short blog posts, although sometimes there are podcasts or videos embedded.

What’s the best length, though?

The best length really depends (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you?). For interaction, shorter is better. To attract those doing research or for SEO purposes, 1,000 words or more is a good length. Those that write “how-to” articles tend to write longer articles, upwards of 1500 words. I like interaction, so keep my articles around 500. In the olden days, 350 words was a good length, but that has grown. It also depends on your audience, or, if you have no audience, then the audience you want to attract.

Are Longer or Shorter Blog Posts Better?

Are Longer or Shorter Blog Posts Better? Image by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Daily writing to exercise that writing muscle

To get to a longer post, you’ve really got to write a little or a lot every day. Friend Randy Clark recommends writing 500 words a day. By the way, if you get stuck writing, you might like 6 Ways to Never Run out of Blog Post Ideas, by Randy. You might also like this post: How to Quickly and Easily Unleash Your Blogging Creativity, by moi.

Do you have an ideal length?

Do you just keep writing until you run out of steam, or time? Or do you write to a certain length, or is there something else that drives the amount you write and publish? I really do want to know! Let me know in the comments. Or by carrier pigeon. Or send a post card! Personally, I think that it’s important to write no matter the length of your article.

 

When is the Best Time to Take a Social Media Break?

When is the Best Time to Take a Social Media Break?

Wait. There’s a best time for a Social Media break?

Recently, nearly everyone has been on vacation of one sort or another. We’ve had Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day in succession. People tend to add on more vacation days to make these holidays into longer breaks so they can have a week or two off work. Because there aren’t as many people online it’s a good time to take a break! What are some other good times for a social media break? Or do we have to be on 24/7?

Everyone talks about the best time to post–how about the best time not to post?

Nobody tells you the best time to do nothing. Personally, I think we need to honor the seasons. Look at the trees, all losing their leaves and taking a break. We ought to take a cue from nature and shut down sometimes. Healthline has a terrific article about taking a break around elections: Why now may be the best time to take a break from social media. If elections and/or the Pandemic give you more stress, then the times leading up to and immediately after elections could be particularly beneficial. (In other news, taking a break when nearly everyone is asleep is also a good idea.)

Any holiday week or weekend

The week between Christmas and New Year’s is an excellent time to take a break. Fewer people are online, although it’s an incredibly busy time for merchants and small businesses who do much of their main business during this time. Of course delivery drivers wouldn’t want to take this time off, either. But for most of us, it’s a great time to rest and recover. Simply add a few days on either side of a holiday, and voila! If you’re up for cooking, you might like some of these Japanese recipes a bunch of us tried for Thanksgiving. You could cook them on your social media holiday. Don’t worry–they’re good any time of year!

The Fourth of July week

Historically, the 4th of July is when a lot of people take vacation, and taking a social media break in the summer is a good idea. School is already out for most kids, the weather is warm, and there’s not a lot going on online. It’s a great time to focus on the best chili recipes, to argue about what condiments belong on a hot dog, and to test comfy hammocks.

Take a cue from nature and take a social media break! Image by Pexels from Pixabay

If you’re tired

Sometimes, social media can be overwhelming. If you feel that the well has gone dry and you’re all out of energy, it’s a good time. You might want to take some time to plan for the next year or few months. By the way, have you read this post about Slow Social Media? It’s related, and you might like it. If you’re stuck, friend Randy Clark also has great ideas about what to write about: 6 Ways to Never Run Out of Blog Post Ideas. (He advises people to get 6-8 weeks ahead of their blog.)

Before you’re sick

Of course, taking time off when you’re sick is mandatory. But how about taking some time for yourself before you’re sick? Doesn’t that sound like a good idea, too? How about calling in well for once? As Kristen Fuller, M.D., says in Social Media Breaks and Why They Are Necessary, it’s good to schedule social media-free days: “Maybe it is every Sunday or maybe it is the entire weekend where you actively decided not to check or engage in your social media accounts.” I couldn’t agree more.

Simplify Those New Year’s Resolutions So They Don’t Make You Crazy

 

Every year we all have the best of intentions, starting the new year off right and going all in on those resolutions. Then, around mid-January, reality sets in and we give up. At least that’s how it often goes for me. How about you? I often like to use analogies about new year’s resolutions (among other things), and this time is no different. This year, I’d like to simplify my resolutions so they don’t make me crazy. By the way, I’ve written about resolutions before: 100 Best Questions That Will Guide Your Social Media resolutions. You might like it!

First idea: pack a suitcase, then remove half

When you pack a suitcase, do you often find that you squish too much in there? Do you end up having to sit on your suitcase to get the zipper closed like I do? When I haven’t traveled for awhile, I tend to forget about this trick: I put everything in the suitcase and then take out half. The zipper closes easily and you don’t have to call your bestie to help you get the zipper closed. So why not put down all your crazy, ambitious resolutions and then divide them in half? As Randy Clark says in his 7 New Year’s Resolution Mistakes: “Don’t make too many resolutions at one time.”

There are different ways to divide resolutions in half

For instance, you could simply use the same resolutions but not quite as ambitious. Instead of losing 100 pounds, how about 50 pounds? (Don’t we all have a weight-loss resolution?) Instead of running ten miles a day, how about five?

Or…you could just tear that list of resolutions in half!

Literally just tear the sheet of paper in half (this analogy is better with actual paper). Remove half of the resolutions. And maybe you’ll breathe a sigh of relief at having less to do!

Second Idea: Baby Steps!

Baby steps are the way you get to the bigger resolutions. If you want to exercise for an hour, start with 15 minutes. Or maybe even 5 minutes. Be easy on yourself. After all, if these are your New Year’s Resolutions, it’s January, and winter. There’s snow outside and it’s cold. I’ve written about baby steps before, and you might like How to Get out of a Dismal Social Media Rut.

Step up those baby steps

Start with five minutes, then work up to ten and then 15. Don’t start with an hour of exercise, or whatever it is you’re planning to do. My friend Bridget Willard has a hilarious example of using Baby Steps to set up your Twitter account, and you can see it here: A Beginner’s Guide to Setting up Your Twitter Account.

Third Idea: Look at last year’s resolutions

Which were you able to commit to and accomplish? If there weren’t any, consider maybe scrapping the idea of resolutions altogether! Seriously, why torture yourself? Consider starting something later in the year, say around February 15th, when the snow isn’t so deep! Simplify those resolutions (that can be one of your resolutions!).

 

 

 

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