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Goals

Squirrel App

Squirrel Hits #1 on the Finance App Store

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Good news to share: Squirrel App has made it to #1 in the Finance category for the App Store! From the team here at Squirrel HQ we wanted to say thank you to everyone for the positive feedback and reviews.

We’re on the cusp of releasing a new version of the app in the coming weeks. Squirrel 2.0 will feature a fresh look and feel, with faster discovery and creation of Bucket List goals. We’re excited to share it with you, if you have downloaded Squirrel App you will be first to know when it’s available. We’re also excited to announce the next version of Squirrel will be available in 85+ countries!

Thanks for being part of this journey, we’re on track to helping more people get more outta life – one Bucket List at a time!

Happy Squirrellin,

The Team xo

Squirrel App

achieve-your-goals-in-2017

Keys to achieving your goals in 2017

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Hey Squirrellers. It’s Lachy from HQ here… As we approach a new year I wanted to share some thoughts on goal setting for 2017. I hope this post encourages and inspires you.

We’ve all at some point set a new years resolution, and then failed to follow though… and miserably to be honest. (Hands in the air?!) As the new year creeps in, we push aside the goal, let our expectations lower and try to move on. The good news is this doesn’t need to happen again for next year! No, the buck stops here – reader!

Here are three things I learnt from my wins and loses in 2016, that I believe we can apply to our new year and see great long-term success:

1. Break it up daily

One of the reasons we slip back into old habits and let ourselves down is rooted in the way we think about goals. We tend to approach goals on a long term macro view, but fail to recognise that it’s the daily micro wins that get us there. Imagine you had a productive day… Great! Now if you times that by 365, wouldn’t that lead you to the most productive year – ever? Duh.

It’s simple, but we do overcomplicate it. We’re funny like that, hey?! The key point is to break your goals into daily steps. Write down two-three tasks and commit to the small wins. Think of each calendar day as painting a brush stroke on the big wide and open canvas of your year.

Change this mindset and you will free yourself from being crushed by the weight of a big goal. Why burden yourself with tomorrow, or the whole year – when we’re called to live present in today? …Today matters.

I love what John C Maxwell says about today:
– Attitude: Today’s attitude gives me possibilities.
– Priorities: Today’s priorities give me focus.
– Health: Today’s health gives me strength.
– Family: Today’s family time gives me stability.
– Thinking: Today’s thinking gives me an advantage.
– Commitment: Today’s commitment gives me tenacity.
– Finances: Today’s financial decisions give me options.
– Faith: Today’s faith gives me peace.
– Relationships: Today’s relationships give me fulfillment.
– Generosity: Today’s generosity gives me significance.
– Values: Today’s values give me direction.
– Growth: Today’s growth gives me potential.

Divide and conquer your goals day by day!

Divide and conquer your goals day by day!

2. Consistency works

Jerry Seinfeld, notably one of our generations’ greatest comedian was interviewed on how he made his millions in comedy. He responded with the analogy of a goal chain… Where by setting daily goals and staying consistent to them was the key to success. For Jerry that meant writing jokes each day. Instead of focusing on how good the jokes were, he focused on not ‘breaking the chain’. Over time, day by day, his jokes got funnier and funnier because of consistency in his practice. See the pattern?

Top performers in every field of life have this in common: They show up every day to deliver. This sets high achievers apart from the rest, bogged down in a battle between procrastination, motivation and feeling overwhelmed. There’s huge power in consistency across all spheres of life that’s currently underrated.

Focus less on the workout, and more on working it out daily.

This mindset switch will free your from performance issues that can demotivate and wipe you out from a few bad days (which we all have!). Stay in the game, don’t give up… Consistency wins in the long-form.

3. Apply daily gratitude.

Gratitude is surely the secret sauce of it all… It can be frustrating sometimes when you don’t achieve a goal by your own set of perceptions or standards. In my own journey, i’ve learnt that gratitude is the antidote to this frustration. We can be so hard on ourselves so quickly! Fortunately, being grateful daily keeps us going and also improves our patience.

It’s recognising the good in each day, and encouraging ourselves to go the next… We can’t always “win” the day, but we can choose to give thanks, take hold of the good, and move forward with a smile.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was built daily

Gratitude lowers our stress (scientifically proven) and helps us refocus from striving in the short term. Practising daily gratitude reminds us that consistent steps forward are better than none at all. The dream is free, but it costs you something each day to walk it out.

Keep moving, don’t quit, and give thanks on the way. Happiness isn’t in the destination, it’s all throughout the whole journey. Make it count.


 

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+ Get ready for the next version of Squirrel app. It’s releasing internationally before Christmas! It’s nothing short of incredible, and will be your go-to app for achieving goals! #EXCITED

The Akrasia Effect: How to finally complete our goals

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Story time!

During the summer of 1830, a French author named Victor Hugo was facing an unbearable deadline. Hugo had made an agreement with a publisher twelve months earlier that he would write a new book ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’.

Twelve months passed, and yet Hugo had not written a single chapter. Instead, he spent his time entertaining guests, pursuing other projects and stalling his work as an author. Hugo’s publisher became so frustrated by his repeated procrastination that he set him a fearsome new deadline. He demanded Hugo finish the book by February of 1831, leaving him just under six months.

In the face of a new deadline, Hugo developed a plan to beat his procrastination. He told his servant to gather all his clothes from the chambers and lock them away in the basement, leaving him nothing but a old grey shawl to wear. Hugo knew he could never appear in public wearing the knitted shawl. His new hideous wardrobe choice forced him to stay indoors (and alone) to complete the deadline.

The plan worked. Hugo published Notre Dame two weeks early on January 14, 1831. Today, Victor Hugo is regarded as a leading figure in the history of French literature. His best novels include the well known Les Miserables that we still teach our kids about in schools. His work not only contributed to the Romantic Movement in France but also gained international fame for his efforts towards establishing the Third Republican and democracy in the country.

Here’s a selfie of the guy:

Victor Hugo in 1876. Seem’s at this point he finally put his clothes back on.

 

The Akrasia Effect

Many of us go through life with a growing array of undone tasks and incomplete goals. Our intentions begin good, though human impulse bears to succeed our best conventional mindsets. Just like Hugo, we being to derail from our goals and go against all rational thinking. But why?…

Ancient Greek philosophers developed a word to describe this very behaviour: Akrasia.
Today we still refer to Akrasia commonly, but through a new word: Procrastination.

Humans love to procrastinate, and we’ve been up to it for centuries. So where does it begin and why is it so strong to overcome? Why is it we (like Hugo Victor) can set a strong goal, and yet fall flat to complete it?

When you create a mental plan, there is a battle going on between your present self and your future self. This tension stems from what behavioural scientists call a ‘time inconsistency”. Simply, our brain loves to value immediate rewards over future rewards. Yep, that definitely sounds like us!

So when we set goals like learn a new language or lose 10kg we’re actually setting it for our future self. That’s why when the time comes to make a decision, our brain struggles to choose in the future self best interests. Research suggests that ability of ‘delayed gratification’ is a big predictor for success in life. Think about that for a moment…

 

New wardrobes

So how do we beat Akrasia? Just like Hugo, we need a plan… We need a new wardrobe. Here are three carefully chosen strategies used to beat procrastination and help you complete what you set out to do:

1. Get a commitment device.

Psychologists refer to what Hugo did with his clothes as a ‘commitment device’. This is a great a way to design your future actions and follow through with them. Commitment devices simply limit bad behaviours alternatives, in order to make good behaviours easier to opt in.

For example: You can deter a shopping addiction, just by intentionally leaving your credit cards at home.

Want to watch less TV? Remove it from the bedroom, or leave it unplugged as a default. Now if you want to watch some TV you have to reach over behind the cabinet to plug it in.

Want to read more? Charge your phone in the kitchen and place a pile of books next to your bed. All of a sudden when you crawl into bed each night you will find it easier to pick up a book instead of your phone.

Saving for a holiday overseas? Set up automatic payments the day of your income to a separate account. Now you’re saving without even thinking about it! Commitment devices are brilliant and worth falling in love with. Get a paper and pen and start thinking about how you can apply them to your current goals…

Courage, will-power and confidence in your abilities will carry you to greater heights...

Courage, will-power and confidence in your abilities will carry you to greater heights…

 

2. Get accountability.

Over and over again research has shown that setting a goal with another person significantly increases your likelihood to follow through to completion. When you think about it, we can’t be easily trusted to just our own self devices. We need accountability to others. Researchers found that it’s more than a science of goals, it’s a science of people. When we set goals that are known to others, we’re more likely to follow through out of simply avoiding social embarrassment or disapproval. Not a bad motivator when used appropriately?

Get together a few trusted and loved friends and share together your goals. Hold each other accountable either verbally or with a physical penalty (i.e $100 to a charity).

Don't be fooled into thinking that you have the capacity to achieve your best on your own. A training partner in the gym is a great asset because when you think you have reached your limit, there is someone who can push you to go further.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have the capacity to achieve your best on your own. Like you would at the gym, a training partner in life will help push you to go further…

 

3. Get going, get momentum.

The guilt of procrastination is never found in the work but of starting the work. It’s one thing to have a dream, but it’s truly rewarding when you hit the ground running towards it. Beginnings are simply beautiful. We must fall in love with starting and trying new things, breaking out and taking new ground. The problem is, it’s difficult. Our brain craves stability and comfortability, so we must make it easy on ourselves to begin.

John C Maxwell said it best, “If you’re always growing, you will always be out of your comfort zone”. Change is inevitable, but growth is optional. To get momentum you just need to get going! Don’t give your brain time to run through all the reasons why it won’t work, and start encouraging yourself as you begin to find ways it will work. The only guarantee of failure is when you stop trying. So get your Nikes on and just do it.

 

Bringing it back home

At Squirrel HQ we exist to help you tick off your bucket list goals. It’s what gets us out of bed each morning! Our vision is to help millions more get more out of life, and so we hope you will join us on that journey. It’s the reason behind why we built the Squirrel app – so if you haven’t tried it yet… Download it here! It’s free for iPhone, and we think you’ll love it.

I hope this post inspired you to tackle procrastination and step out successfully in achieving your life goals! If you enjoyed this, please share it with friends and share us your bucket lists from the app! Just squeak up to us over social media – we’d love to encourage you! Twitter  Facebook  Instagram

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A here’s our favourite quote for those who read to the end:

quote-maxwell