Three Reasons Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work

From Eileen Bailey,
Your Guide to ADD / ADHD.

New Year's Resolutions, for many, these words bring up memories of previous failed attempts at setting and reaching goals. Setting resolutions to start the year off can be a wonderful thing. It shows your desire to improve yourself, your life and the lives of those closest to you. But reaching goals requires planning and follow through, two areas where adults with ADHD often struggle. Understanding the reasons why most New Year's Resolutions fail can help you work through your goals and increase your chances for success.

Reason 1

Goals are over-ambitious.

What type of goals do you normally set? Do you want to lose 50 pounds this year, organize your whole home, or learn a new sport? Maybe your expectations are not realistic.

Try to break down your goals into manageable chunks. For example, maybe instead of organizing your entire home, you want to set a more achievable goal of organizing one room in your home. You can set one goal per month, rather than setting a large goal for the entire year.

Or possibly you can reword your goals, instead of attempting to "lose 50 pounds" this year, reword your goals to "I will start eating healthy during the upcoming year." This way you can start to incorporate changes in your diet, such as switching to low-fat milk or eating more salads with your meals. Changing your habits in this way will allow more lasting change in your life.

Remember, the smaller the chunk, the easier the goal is to attain. Each time you achieve a goal you will be able to set one more small goal, creating a year long quest for improvement, one step at a time.

Reason 2

You are setting goals based on what you think you should want, not what you really want.

Recently, I visited a friend that had a calendar with a column for each of her children. On many days, she had written what each member of the family needed to do. This prevented rushing out the door because she remembered dance class at the last minute, and there was no staying up late to finish a school project because even that was broken down into steps on her calendar. I ended up thinking I should do the same thing in my house.

Although I attempted to follow in my friend's footsteps, I did not accomplish it. Why? When I first visited my friend, I was not thinking about how disorganized my life was. Although I can't say we all remember everything that needs to be done, we seem to manage okay. My goal was to be "as organized as my friend", even though my own system seemed to work alright for my family.

Setting goals because they work for someone else does not make them appropriate for you. Whenever you try to measure up to someone else's way of life, you are creating goals that are not reasonable. Instead, take a look at your own life and decide what area you would like to work on, just for you. Choose this area as a place to start your self-improvement.

Reason 3

Goals are not specific and do not have a plan of action.

Goals, without a specific plan on achieving the goal, are simply wishes. "I wish I was more organized" will not prompt you into action. "I plan on becoming more organized this year. First, I will create a calendar to easily show all the important dates. Once I complete that, I will organize my desk at home, throwing away any papers I no longer need."

The second goal not only prompts someone into action, it provides for a specific sequence of events to occur in order for the goal to be reached. Setting up a specific goal and listing all the steps that are required to reach that goal will help you take one step at a time toward your new self. You need only to concentrate and work on the first step until that is completed, then you can move to the second step.

By writing your goal and the process on paper, you change from wish to goal.

9 Reasons To Become an Evil Super Villain

Ten Reasons Not to Hit Your Kids

9 Reasons To Become an Evil Super Villain


1. You will have more friends

Peter Parker was a social outcast. Norman Osborne was the popular kid. Reed Richards was a dorky scientist. Victor Von doom was a rich socialite. Anyone else sensing a pattern here? Everyone wants to get a little piece of the evil. It is like Starburst.

2. You get to laugh maniacally

Good guys don’t get to do this. No one has ever heard Superman or Batman laughing like a maniac and no one ever will. Trust me, this is something everyone wants to do. It is strangely liberating. While you may pass chances to do this every once in a while during your civilian life, you will never get the quantity of opportunities that come with a career in villainy.

3. All of a sudden, you will have the budget for all kinds of toys

Super bad guys are never broke. Not only are they never broke but they always have more resources than the hero could ever hope for. Apparently the villain racket pays very well. It also seems to be recession-proof. I hear the tax breaks are good too.

4. Hot chicks dig evil guys

You never see an evil villain with a busted ass woman. Sure, they may be dirty, rotten, and out to steal your empire, but you can always kill them if they get out of hand. Studies show that breasts of women who hang out with evil guys are an average of two cups bigger than the nice dudes chicks. Studies don’t ever lie.

5. You will be safe from everyday accidents

Evil villains are never killed in car accidents. It just doesn’t happen. You won’t slip in the shower, get smashed by a falling piano, or die of food poisoning. The only way you can be killed is in an explosion created by the hero by exposing the one flaw in your plan that no one could ever possibly foresee. Even then…

6. You don’t have to worry about anyone killing you

Evil Villains simply can not be killed. People may think you are dead but you will secretly be lounging in an easy chair on your secret desert island hideout planning your next caper. The only way you can be taken out is by another villain eviler than yourself who will subsequently take over your identity and continue upon your path of world domination.

7. You can kill anyone you want

You won’t go to jail. For some strange reason, cops never come to bust Evil villains at their homes even when the evidence is overwhelming. You could kill Superman on a live video feed in front of the entire planet and not one cop would try to arrest you. They can’t even arrest you for the stash of plutonium you have in your shed. It is in the charter when you join the union.

8. You get to dress how you want

You never have to wear a suit and tie again. You can even dress in the most outrageous outfits while demanding the world bow to your demands and no one will even make the slightest of snide comment. This could have something to do with the fact that you can kill anyone you want and can’t be killed back. Remember, no one ever made fun of Magnetos helmet…

9. No matter how weak you are, you will be more than a match for any hero facing you

“But zero, Batman would kick my ass in two shakes of a stripper’s ass…” None of that matters. The sheer newness of your evil plot will confuse the hell out of any good guy. As long as you aren’t doing something that has been done to death (ie goblin themed villains) you should have no problem getting your plans off the ground.

3 reasons most budgets don’t work and how to fix t...

Five reasons NOT to use Linux

Five reasons NOT to use Linux

Five reasons NOT to use Linux

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

I love Linux. I use it on my servers, I use it on my desktops, and I use it on my entertainment center, where it powers my HDTV TiVo and my D-Link DSM-320 media player, which turns my network into a media library with terabytes of storage. Heck, I even run Linux on my Linksys WRT54G Wi-Fi access points, which hook the whole shebang together.

But, Linux isn't for everyone. Seriously. Here are my top five reasons why you shouldn't move to Linux . . .

Reason number one: Linux is too complicated

Even with the KDE and GNOME graphical windowing interfaces, it's possible -- not likely, but possible -- that you'll need to use a command line now and again, or edit a configuration file.

Compare that with Windows where, it's possible -- not likely, but possible -- that you'll need to use a command line now and again, or edit the Windows registry, where, as they like to tell you, one wrong move could destroy your system forever.

Reason number two: Linux is a pain to set up

It's true. After all, with modern Linuxes like Xandros Desktop or SimplyMEPIS, you need to put in a CD or DVD, press the enter button, give your computer a name, and enter a password for the administrator account.

Gosh, that's hard.

On the other hand, with Windows, all you have to do is put in a CD or DVD, do all the above, and then immediately download all the available patches. After all, Symantec has found that an unpatched Windows PC connected to the Internet will last only a few hours before being compromised.

Unpatched Linux systems? Oh, they last months, but what's the fun of that?

Reason number three: Linux doesn't have enough applications

Really now. I mean, most Linux systems only come with secure Web browsers, like Firefox; e-mail clients, like Evolution; IM clients, like GAIM; office suites, like 2.0; Web page editors, like Nvu; and on, and on, and...

Microsoft, on the other hand, gives you Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, the most popular Web browser and e-mail client around -- even though they do have a few little, teeny-weeny problems. Of course, Windows also has an IM-client, Windows Messenger, which, come to think of it, has also had some problems.

And, Microsoft also has Microsoft Office, which -- oh wait, you don't get that with the operating system, do you? You also don't get a Web page editor either, do you?

Well, still, with Windows you get so many more choices of software, don't you? Like Lotus 1-2... oh really? I didn't know that. Or, WordPerfect... oh, pretty much dead too.

Still, so long as you want to run Microsoft programs at Microsoft prices, Windows is the operating system for you!

Reason number 4: Linux isn't secureIf

Microsoft says so, it has to be true! So what, if you can scarcely go a week without reading about yet another major Windows security problem in our sister publication,'s security section! Who would you rather believe -- Microsoft, or your own eyes?

Reason number 5: Linux is more expensive

Are you calling Microsoft a liar? Those nasty Linux companies, like Red Hat or Novell/SUSE charge you a fee for support. Others, like Linspire sell you the product. How dare they, when you can download free, fully-functional versions of almost all the Linux distributions.

Your computer, on the other hand, almost certainly came with Windows pre-installed! For free!

Oh wait, it's not free? Windows' actually makes up a large percentage of your PC's price?

Hmmm. Well, still, it's already on there, and it has everything you need.

Right? Of course, right!

Except, of course, you might still want to buy an anti-viral program (Norton Anti-Virus: $40), anti-spyware software (McAfee Anti-Spyware: $25); and a full-featured firewall (Zone Alarm Pro: $35). But, hey, who needs those when you have a secure operating system like Windows!

And so...

When you really think about it, you can see why there are lots of reasons not to use Linux.

There just aren't any good ones.
50 Reasons why LORD OF THE RINGS Sucks

2 Reasons Not To Rank Schools

3 reasons most budgets don’t work and how to fix them

3 reasons most budgets don’t work and how to fix them (a.k.a. How to create a budget that works)

Let’s face it, budgeting can be a pain. Most people get too discouraged trying to get a budget to work. They spend hours trying to figure out how much to budget in each category and may even track every penny spent during the month only to find out that reality didn’t match what was budgeted. In these instances budgeting just seems like a futile theoretical exercise. There’s no follow up or reconciliation to tie one month’s budget to the next. Add to this the emotional issues that budgeting can trigger and your chances of maintaining a budget dive bomb. Many people who get to this point just give up and quit.

Why most budgets don’t work

There are three major problems with a common budget:

They don’t reflect reality.
They don’t connect from one month to the next.
They don’t track the surplus money left over after all the categories are filled.

1. Most budgets don’t reflect reality

Budgeting is an exercise in being wrong. Every time you sit down and write out all your categories and how much you think you’re going to spend, you’ll be wrong. Being wrong month after month quickly can get discouraging and many people give up. What’s the point in trying to predict how much you’ll spend each month if you know you’ll be wrong.

So you overspent. Ok, at least you know you overspent and that could be helpful in planning next month but where did that overspent money come from? How are you going to reconcile the difference?

Unfortunately there’s no way around being wrong. There’s really no solution besides developing obsessive tendancies and even then…good luck. You must first accept that you’ll be wrong…every month. My wife and I have never been right even though we’ve had an established budget for years. Accept it.

Now I’m NOT saying you won’t start getting really close. In fact, in many categories you will be right. But so far I’ve never been 100% right. Don’t get discouraged if you’re just starting out because for the first few months you’ll be REALLY wrong. It took us about 3-4 months until we started getting into our budget groove.

One way to get your budget closer to reality is to allocate every dollar of your income. If you have money left over after addressing your needs, allocate it. I don’t care where; put it in a “fun” category or direct it towards meeting a financial goal. Don’t just say “oh, I have leftover money. I must be doing really good at budgeting.” If you don’t allocate everything you will end up wasting that which is left over and your budget will be broken from month to month.

Another way to close the reality gap is to be realistic about what your needs are. Things like shelter, clothing, and food are not optional. Many people have unrealistic expectations about what they will spend on these categories. I’m certainly an advocate of being thrifty and looking for good deals but you can only take it so far. If you refuse to face how much you really need to spend in these categories to survive without eating ramen every night, your budget will not be an effective tool.

Yet another way of helping your budget reflect reality is to make sure you have a way of dealing with the difference between your budget and actual spending. And that leads us into our second problem.

2. Most budgets don’t connect one month to the next

Quicken is a great example of why this problem exists. Quicken’s budgeting feature seems great. It allows you to easily enter budget amounts and will even pre-populate projected amounts for you. At the end of the month you can run a nice neat report telling you how much you over or under-spent. There’s just one problem. There are no tools for helping you deal with the difference (if there are, please let me know about them). You just enter in the next month’s budget amounts using the exact same process and projections as the month before. This makes for a nice, neat, pretty budget sheet but not a very useful one.

Many people think a budget is a static document. You fill out one template reflecting all your categories and how much you should spend each month and use the exact same sheet from month to month. That’s not a budget. It’s a dead document. A real budget is a living document or series of documents. It changes from month to month and should be a reflection of reality, not a theoretical exercise.

The fact is, your expenses change from month to month. Car registrations sneak up on you. Unexpected birthdays pop up. Unexpected expenses happen. And you can’t always just take your yearly expenses and divide by 12. If your car registration is coming up in 3 months and you haven’t saved anything for it, dividing by 12 will only leave you with a quarter of what you need to pay it. The unique expenses for every month need to be dealt with individually, not just from a nice clean Quicken projection.

For a budget to work, you must link one month’s budget to the next.

Is there too much money left over? Great. Where does it go? Should we pay off debt, save for retirement, save for a vacation, or just blow it and buy that new toy? I’m not against throwing caution to the wind as long as it’s done conciously and not by default.

Is there too little money to cover all our spending? Where did it come from? Will we be spending less on groceries, lowering our savings contribution, or going into more debt?

3. Most budgets don’t track the surplus money left over after all the categories are filled

For a budget to work, you must allocate ALL of your income to categories. As Dave Ramsey puts it, you must “spend your whole month on paper” before you spend it in real life. Other analogies that come to mind are Stephen Covey’s concept of the spiritual creation before the physical creation and David Allen’s idea of writing down EVERYTHING that is on your mind so you can get it out of your head and on paper.

Stephen Covey Comparison

Let’s look at the Covey analogy. Covey says that you should “begin with the end in mind.” One way of doing so is to create what you’re trying to achieve spiritually first, and then physically. A builder doesn’t build without a blue print. You should have a good idea of where you want to go either on paper or in your mind before you set out. Doing so makes your efforts more effective.

When it comes to finances, by writing ALL YOUR PLANNED SPENDING down on paper first (spiritual creation), your chances of actually following your plan significantly increase (physical creation). You’ll also be much more likely to achieve your larger financial goals (physical creation).

David Allen GTD Comparison

Now let’s consider David Allen’s idea of capturing everything on paper. He teaches that you should get anything and everything down on paper that occupies your mind. Doing so frees up “mental RAM” and allows you to spend your time more effectively rather than eating up endless mental cycles on the same issues, questions, and to-dos.

Similarly, by writing down how you are going to spend every dollar, you free yourself from mental worry and guilt and allow yourself to think about much more enjoyable things. Combine this with using cash for those categories that tend to be out of control and you can literally eliminate financial worry and anxiety. Every dollar you spend will be focused and controlled with very little effort.

No matter how you want to look at it, you need to allocate EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR ON PAPER for a budget to be of maximum effect. Why? Doing so forces you to really think about where you want your money to go and insures you use each dollar to it’s fullest. You’ll probably notice that when you don’t allocate every dollar, your left over dollars usually end up spending themselves. You end up with nothing to show for it, not even the concious realization that you had fun wasting that money.

Spend frivolously and feel good about it

By saying that you need to allocate every single dollar, I’m not saying you can’t have fun with your money or spend frivolously. Go ahead and conciously decide to have fun or even waste the leftover money. Allocate it as “fun” money to be spent however you want, whenever you want. By doing so you may enjoy spending that money even more. You’ll be able to do so with confidence and no guilt that you should be spending it elsewhere.

Decide before you’re in the heat of the moment

Like using cash, allocating all your funds allows you to make more concious decisions about where your money should go. Instead of waiting until you’re standing at the register, you can decide where your money will go while your looking at the big picture. Your decisions will be more rational and less emotional. You will also be able to direct your money towards meeting your larger, longer term goals. Instead of pittling money away, save for that new car or piece of furniture. Or for real financial peace, pay off debt.

Harness the power of focus

Allocating every dollar allows you to harness the power of focus. Take your plumbing, for example. Water by itself isn’t very useful in a puddle or lake. But give water the contraints and focus of a pipe and all of a sudden it can be used for your toilet or sink. Focus water through a hose and you can water your lawn or put out a fire. The constraint actually makes the water more powerful and useful. Similarly constraining your money by allocating every dollar makes your money more useful and powerful. Your ability to save and reach your goals will be increased.

See if you can identify with this personal example. Before we got our financial acts together, every time we recieved a bonus, raise, gift, or other unexpected income the money would just seem to slip through the cracks. Most people tend to expand their lifestyle to meet their income. In contrast, imagine if you were able to focus and direct every extra dollar. Every time you got a bonus, heck, every time you saved $5 on your phone bill, you would be able to easily redirect that money to another purpose. Your power and ability to aggressively meet your financial goals would increase dramatically. Without an effective budget, what is the point of trying to save a few dollars when they disappear anyway. But with an effective budget every dollar counts and is directed exactly where you want it.

Another benefit of allocating every dollar is that your budget will reflect reality more closely. If you have money left over after allocating your needs, that extra money almost always WILL be spent one way or another. If your budget doesn’t reflect that, it doesn’t reflect reality enough to be effective. To eliminate financial stress and a sense of being out of control once and for all you MUST KNOW where your money is being spent. You must TELL IT WHERE TO GO rather than letting it decide.

Using a Zero-Based Budget

A critical tool to help solve these basic budget blunders is the zero-based budget. Now if you’re expecting something flashy, you’ll be disappointed. A zero-based budget simply means that you allocate every dollar of your income so that your income minus your expenses equals “zero.” It’s as simple as that. No special forms or fancy software are necessary. Using a zero-based budget forces you to allocate every dollar and will help your budget more closely reflect reality.

Always track and DEAL WITH the difference between “budgeted” and “actual”
Make sure you follow up at the end of every month and write down what the difference is in each category between what you budgeted and what you actually spent. You then need to deal with that difference. Don’t just look at it and say “oh, there’s a difference. Good to know.” You must either reallocate the money on paper or carry the difference over to your next month’s budget.

For example, if you spent $5 more on your phone bill than you thought (a common occurance since the phone bill tends to be quite variable), you must spend $5 less in another category. One option is to see if you spent $5 less than you thought in another category that month. If so, simply adjust your allocations on paper. If there is no unspent money in your categories then you need to carry that $5 over to the next month and allocate $5 less in a category for your next month’s budget.

Implement a “grease” category
To deal with small instances of overspending, I always budget a “grease” (a.k.a. “blow,” “cushion,” “RealityBites”) category of about $100 that gives me a cushion in dealing with such instances. Since you know you’re going to be wrong (see above) you might as well plan for it. This account acts like the “grease” that keeps the financial gears turning. It picks up my slack. And if I have extra “grease” money left over at the end of the month, it directly gets realocated for something else the next month (often something fun as a little reward).

Putting it all together
I realize that I’ve skipped over many specifics. Implementing some of these concepts may seem a bit confusing at first. If so, no worries. I’ll be addressing specifics in future posts. For now, let me summarize the steps you can take today:

1. Implement a zero-based budget. Stay tuned for examples and templates.
2. Allocate every dollar of income to a category. When you subtract your budgeted expenses from your income, it should equal $0.
3. Be sure to budget a “grease” category to deal with minor inaccuracies.
4. Be realistic about how much you are going to spend on necessities. Most people under-allocate in the categories of food, clothing, and transportation.
5. Know that your spending won’t exactly match what you budgeted. If you are just starting, you may be WAY off. That’s ok. Do a little, learn a lot. It WILL get better. If you’re married, be easy on your spouse.
6. Calculate the difference between “budgeted” and “actual” spending and either adjust the current month’s allocations or deal with the difference in next month’s budget. I realize there are some BIG procedural holes and questions here that I’m skimming over for now. Stay tuned.

10 Reasons Why You Should Smile More Often

Top 20 Reasons Why Chocolate Is Better Than Sex

2 Reasons Not To Rank Schools

2 Reasons Not To Rank Schools

From Robert Kennedy

It's Not About Ranks! It's About Fit!

Ranking Private Schools Is Impossible

One of the questions I am asked most frequently goes something like this: "I'm moving to (name your city) next summer. Can you recommend the top schools in that area?" My standard reply suggests that the writer engage an educational consultant to assess the writer's specific requirements and make appropriate recommendations. I also send along a link to that state or city, as the case may be, so that the writer can get some idea of the diversity of private schools in that area.
I don't think that I am copping out by not ranking private schools. Instead I firmly believe that you can't rank them. Here's why.

Reason #1: Rankings Are Much Less Important Than The Fit

Why are there no rankings on this site? Frankly, because it is an impossible task. Believe me, I have given it much thought, but always come back to my own personal experience twenty years ago when we were looking for schools for our two daughters. It came down to one thing: the right fit. Rankings are but one clue to whether a school is right for your child. Let me explain.

My Experience With Choosing A School

Our eldest daughter was very competitive. She was also very strong, even gifted, academically. The other daughter shrank from competition. She also was gifted academically but found some subjects more difficult than others. Both read voraciously. We managed to get eldest daughter into a competitive school which met her needs. But it was a process somewhat akin to Russian roulette. We were lucky in that the school turned out to be a good fit. Having learned our lesson with daughter number one, we engaged the late Hugh Silk to recommend schools for daughter number two. He came up with several choices, any one of which was a pretty good fit. And Hugh did it efficiently and with a minimum amount of worry and stress for us.

Get Professional Advice

That's why I shall continue to recommend hiring an educational consultant. If you have a legal problem, you hire an attorney. If you have a health issue, you go to a doctor. If you need advice on schools, go to an educational consultant. These professionals know their stuff. They interview you and your child and make appropriate recommendations based on that knowledge and their own wide knowledge of the schools which might be a good fit.

Reason #2: Each Private School Is Unique

Back to ranking. To mean anything, ranking has to compare apples to apples, oranges to oranges. The whole point of private education is that each school has its own distinctive personality. It also has its own take on the educational process. The nearest I have been able to come to ranking schools is to categorize them according to their particular specialty - girls' schools, boys' schools, arts schools, sports schools, Jewish schools, Catholic schools, and so on. But those are not rankings, they are merely groupings. When I start delving into the category to try to compare schools within that category, it's an impossible task. They are all quite different. What folks really are asking is for somebody to compare intangibles. I maintain that it simply cannot be done.

It's easy enough to rank schools by tangible characteristics such as the size of their endowment, the size of their campus, the size of their student body and so on. I suppose you could even rank them according to where their graduates go upon graduation. But again, it's a terribly subjective sort of analysis.

I suppose the best analogy is buying a home. A 3500 square foot home will shelter you adequately no matter where it is located. But we all know that the watchword in real estate is always 'location, location, location'. With schools, the watchword has to be 'fit, fit, fit'.

It's All About 'Fit'
Once you concern yourself with 'fit', you understand why rankings are relatively unimportant in the school choice process.

Back to School in Six Easy Steps

8 Reasons Eminem's Popularity is a Disaster for Women