Has “Bah, Humbug,” been your mantra? Even Scrooge was able to change, and he didn’t even have a calendar to help himself, but you have this remarkable tool at your fingertips. If your goal is to get off the naughty list, here is how your calendar helps get you on the “nice” list. First make the goal: no more naughty; you’re going to be nice.

This first goal works with all first goals in anything. Most of us keep directional in our businesses professional goals and this propels business productivity and excellence. Maybe we are working on having better meetings, without wasting time. Possibly your goal is to be a better manager to your employees.

Your goal may be to raise the bar across all aspects of your business by providing educational opportunities for them. Can it be that you’re taking each department and assigning someone to find the best course to keep your team members up-to-date and marketable? All of these things actions can move you over to the nice list.

Advice from every person in the universe.

Deciding on a course of action, regardless what that action may entail, everyone is going to have an opinion. Many times advice will be conflicting. Read and hear all of the comments, if you choose to, then decide what is best for you. What will work for you in this area?

Even right this very moment I am going back and forth. Should I give this or that advice? Wait, this advice only works if you also do this and this. And, that advice only works if you do that and that. So, even the persons trying to give the very best advice may have many extra steps and conditions that have given them the results they are explaining to you. Ask and get the details, if you really plan to effect a change. You will needs these particulars in order to enter the details on your calendar.

Which advice should I give? What advice should I take?

One part of the advice I will give, tells you how to move step by step through changing the deep-down habits. Sometimes that change can be agonizing — and a lot of work. Those on the naughty list, generally don’t like to do the work that it takes to have a meaningful change in their lives.

The easier path is to just have people “think” that you are on the nice list, while not actually having to do the work. This process is listed and carried-out in the “manipulations operations department,” which still appears on the naughty list. However, even manipulation can be effective. An upgrade to the manipulations department, but still gets on the naughty list, is planing generous gift offerings without actually meaning it.

How to decipher whether advice should be considered — let alone taken. To listen — or not to listen — that is the question.

The best way I have found, to know if you should actually listen to someone’s advice — or not to listen — is to ask a question of yourself. The question is: Does this person have my personal best interest at heart? There is such a vast amount of information out there nowadays that we are on information overload. You must quickly decide if that article should even be read, or if that person should be listened to — or is it a waste of precious time.

Then then there are the people around you who, likewise have your best-self at heart — but they have erroneous information.

My well-meaning mom, who has a very high IQ and is usually sane — once mentioned to me that if I would stick a gold star on my forehead when I was upset, it would cheer me up. Usually being condescendingly funny, ironic, or doing something strategically, “a little off” is what cheers me up.

Okay, so I bought the gold starts and stuck them in my desk — so what? I took mom’s advice, and after a very difficult confrontation, I stuck a gold star on my forehead — I was in the right after all. I left for lunch and had forgotten about the star stuck on my head.

Everywhere I went people I knew would say, “hey, you’ve become a star.” I wondered if I was getting a promotion. When I got back to the office, everyone on my team had a gold star on their forehead. Okay, that cheered me up. And it cheered everyone up. Because I laughed right out loud — the whole team laughed and I zoomed over to the nice list for quite a while.

If every piece of advice you receive comes from a source that gets you into hot water — these folks may be working from the “naughty list chronicles.”

If a news source sends you off for hours into zones that are better to stay away from — like all your social media — these people maybe don’t have your best interest at heart.

How to use your calendar to get yourself placed on the “nice list.”

To make a permanent change from the naughty list to the nice list, you will have to use a calendar. To “pretend to be nice” you have to use the same modus-operandi (m.o.). This is because you are going to have to watch yourself and really think — everyday. You will have to practice that everyday as well.

  • Make your plan, add the steps to your calendar, then work your plan.

Maybe your plan is to be more thoughtful, or kind. In this instance you would think about how you could put this information to use and for whom. You would write specifics on your calendar, such as the name of the person you’re targeting, and what action you will take.

  • Those actions that require extra steps, you’ll have to add these steps to your calendar. You’ll have to do something.

If you are going to write an actual note to someone, you will have to have the note paper. If you’re sending a plant to someone — you have to know where to order the plant, and you have to order it. However, most of the things that you’ll add to your calendar, are things that you’ll just need to reminded about. So easy-peasy, just write it down and do it.

  • Determine if you are changing specifics about yourself or your business — or just a general type of change.

The more specific you are the easier it will be to make an actual  change in yourself. Usually, if you practice something long enough — even if you don’t believe in it — you’ll still become that thing that you practiced. So, if you want to actually be and stay awful, or have “awful” as part of your personality — you’ll have to remember to act lousy a few days a week. You could put this on your calendar, as well. Kind of like the Grinch. “Monday, solve world hunger, tell no one.”

  • Spend a few minutes each day reading over your calendar and what you really want to accomplish.

Follow your calendar with exactness in order to really effect a change. For a fun experiment for yourself, keep track of when the actual change occurs in you. The signal of actual change may be that you think of something nice — all by yourself –before your calendar tells you to do it.

Of course you can just wait until the holidays and see what’s in your stocking — something nice — or a lump of coal. Then you will know if you have made a personal change. You’ll actually know for sure if you have made it to the “nice” list.

Updated April 2020