It’s a familiar story that starts on New Year’s Eve.

You think of a resolution to improve your life for the new year. We’ve all been there before whether it was to lose weight, get control of your finances, and a list of other tasks.

But why don’t they always work?

Let me be honest with you.

Setting the goal or resolution is the easy part. Making the change happen though is easier said than done.

I wanted this year to be different.

That’s why I looked into hundreds of methods for improving yourself for 2018 and selected some of the best methods out there so that you could make 2018 the year that you get a better life.

1) Remove distractions

Let me ask you something how many times each day does a distraction or setback prevent you from being productive?

Spend a few minutes and write out a list of your distractions.

While many of us feel productive checking our emails and responding to it can actually destroy your productivity in the day.

Once you have your list of distractions write down how much time they take up in your day.

Be honest with yourself.

You may be surprised to know that on average we spend about 4 hours each day checking our work email. For most people, that’s half of your workday.

Instead of checking your email throughout the day try to wait until the end of the day to take care of your email.

If the email is important the Thunder will get ahold of you in another method.

2) Create good habits

I know what you’re thinking this one is easier said than done. But let’s break down so that we can be successful.

Be consistent.

A habit is something that you repeat over and over again no matter what. I’ve been guilty of doing this after a long day of work I like to unwind and watch videos on Facebook or start binge-watching episodes on Netflix.

There’s no harm in that right?

While watching some TV isn’t harmful there are different tasks that you can do that can help you accomplish your goals.

What If instead, we reviewed what we wanted to accomplish for the next day? After you write down their goals for the next day review the goals that you accomplished for that day.

Ask yourself these questions. What work today? What didn’t work? Keep doing the things that work well try it out new things to take care of the goals that didn’t work.

3) Focus your goals

Earlier I said that setting goals were one of the easiest things to do. What I want to do is help you focus those goals so that you have a clear picture of how to make them happen. There are five main areas of your life that most of our goals fall under:

Financial, physical, emotional, mental, and personal projects.

Write down your goals and be specific. “I want to save more money this year.” isn’t specific enough. Instead, say “I want to save $1000 in my bank account by June so that we can pay off our Florida summer home.”

By being specific on the amount, reason, and a deadline, we’ve created a goal that allows us to track our progress.

Your next step should be writing down the excuses or reasons why you can’t accomplish a goal.

After writing down the excuses try to find ways of overcoming those excuses, almost like creating an audit of your current lifestyle and habits.

4) Start saying No

We’ve all been there before.

A friend or co-worker asks us to help them with a task or favor and we end up saying yes. I understand how hard it is to say no because of the guilt of not being a helpful team member or friend.

This might sound mean, but you need to start saying no. How many times have you said yes to a co-worker at the detriment of your own work? You’re not alone.

But what can you do?

Be honest with your friends and coworkers.

If you have a project that needs to be done just tell them so. “I would love to help you but I have this deadline to finish. If I have time later, I can stop by” can be one example of what you can say.

Once you get used to saying no, you’ll find that you have more time for finishing your own goals and tasks.

5) Block out time in your schedule

How often do you use the calendar on your smartphone or computer to schedule appointments?

By blocking out chunks of your time for specific tasks you can stay focused on the task at hand and avoid distractions.

If you need to schedule medians then try to group them up back to back. Meetings tend to be more productive when you have uninterrupted time and you can spend the rest of the time focusing on other tasks.

Conclusion

2018 is the year You take back your life and focus on completing your goals.

I hope that you enjoyed this article as much as I did.

How will you make your year more productive?

I encourage you to let me know in the comments below and share this article with your friends and family so that they can be productive this year as well.