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Words to Avoid in Your Marketing, Being More Productive, and More Tips for January

Plus how to conquer the need for immediate gratification.

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RESOLUTIONSStick With Healthy People

We don’t often quote the rapper Pitbull in our columns, but there is a line in his song “Options” that has more than a little wisdom: “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” Similarly, if one of your goals in 2020 is to get a little healthier, keep in mind that association with other healthy people is usually the strongest and most direct path of change, according to Stanford’s famous Longevity Project, which itself turns 99 this year.

PRODUCTIVITY Set Clear Goals

According to a study cited in INC magazine, 63 percent of employees reported that they wasted time at work because they weren’t aware of what work was a priority. As a leader, make sure staff knows what your key goals are this year: Is it to reach new customers, take really good care of your VIPs, hit aggressive new sales targets? No one should have any doubts.

MARKETINGBefore & After

It’s hard to argue with the before and after format, especially when the after shots are as good as those on the website of Dutille’s Jewelry Design Studio in Lebanon, NH. Visit dutilles.com/custom-design to see what we mean.

SELF-IMPROVEMENTWait 10 Minutes

When it’s difficult to deny yourself that cigarette, donut, or new coat, tell yourself to instead wait just 10 minutes before you give in. This “mini” delay in gratification will help you build more self-control over time, says Kelly McGonigal in her book The Willpower Instinct. “Ten minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but with more practice, 10 minutes can turn into 20, 30, or 60 minutes, and soon you might be able to put off gratification for as long as you want.”

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PLANNINGYou Can’t Have It All

A thought for the new year: According to the business writer Greg McKeown, questions such as, “How can I fit everything I want to do into my schedule?” are fundamentally dishonest; they’re based on the false premise that trade-offs are avoidable. The honest question, he says, is, “What is it I really want?” That thought sounds depressing. But it’s actually liberating: Knowing you can’t possibly have everything, or get everything done, spares you the anxiety of trying to figure out how you could.

MARKETINGTotally Avoid these Bad Words

For years we’ve been crusading against weasel words — those phrases and sentence-fillers that, according to marketer Seth Godin, make it easy for people to ignore your marketing message. The words on Godin’s list include: actually, totally, absolutely, completely, continually, constantly, literally, really, unfortunately, ironically, incredibly, hopefully and finally.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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Wilkerson Testimonials

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