"Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page...on the first of January let every may straighten himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past."
- Henry Ward
How often do you see people who have succumbed to their current, sometimes ill-perceived, circumstances?
In extreme cases perhaps these people drink too much or take some other "home remedy" to self-medicate their feelings of inadequacy and/or hopelessness.
On a more conservative level, they may simply complain about being treated unfairly and/or feel deserving of something they think they've either earned or are entitled to.
When setting goals for future success, it's imperative that you begin the process with a clear healthy mindset. One that empowers you with the realization that you, and you alone, possess the ultimate tool to improve your situation - Freedom of Choice is this tool.
No doubt you've heard others speak about the power of choice. The fact remains that in virtually all scenarios, each of us has the personal freedom to choose how we will respond to any given situation.
Those who choose NOT to choose will remain a self-imposed victim of his or her unique circumstances. Those who DO take control of, and responsibility for, their own situations have the ability to effectively prepare, respond, and take actions necessary to improve their lives.
So as we step into each New Year, new month, new week or new day, "STEP OUT"!
Take ownership of the challenges in front of you - and make some winning choices (which may not be easy choices, but will be the right winning choices) that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
Remember these important words by Leonardo da Vinci as you consider the obstacles in front of you. Make your New Year's resolutions and conduct your goal setting with this in mind:
"Every obstacle yields to stern resolve."
- Leonardo da Vinci
GOAL SETTING QUICK START
Goal setting doesn't have to be a long drawn out process. While you should certainly take enough time to be thoughtful in your planning, the process itself is fairly simple.
Consider using the following "Quick Start" goal-setting process to start the year off with a clear vision of what is important to you and how you intend to achieve your New Year's resolutions.
Reflect On the Prior Year
Note your achievements of the past year - list all of the good things that happened in the last 12 months. List names of new friends and people who have come into your life. Be as detailed as possible, listing the simple to the significant.
List the things that you are grateful for including Health, Friends, Family, Employment, Financial, Emotional, Spiritual, etc.
Note: If you have a job and live in a safe, warm place - you can be grateful that you have it better than a whole lot of other folks in this world. It's a fact: Gratitude Improves Your Attitude.
Note your disappointments of the past year - list all the things that you did not like about the prior year. What caused you stress and unhappiness? Did you make choices that you wish you would have made differently? Did you associate with less than desirable people that limited your ability to achieve? Make the list as long as necessary - get it all on paper.
At the top of your list, write in big bold letters "Things I am resolved to never experience again!"
Create Your New Resolutions!
Determine what you want - not simply what you feel you need to do, but ask yourself specifically "What do I want?". Ask this question under each of the following "Life Categories": Health & Fitness, Family, Friends, Career, Financial, Emotional and Spiritual.
Why do you want it? - Get clear in your own mind why you want these things. Are these goals things that will serve you well? Will these goals help you to achieve a more fulfilling life?
If not, start over and get more clearly about what you really want for yourself and what your motivation or purpose is for wanting these things. You must understand why you want to achieve these goals, because the "purpose, is your ultimate motivation" to achieve your goal.
Every time you feel unmotivated, you will refer back to these statements and realize exactly why it is that you need to take another step toward achieving your goal. This really works if you apply it.
Create your M.A.P. - Master Action Plan!
Get specific! Write down the necessary action steps that you are committed to taking to achieve each goal. Ensure that you include at least 2 action steps that you can do "right now" that will get you on your way. Doing something now, or within the next 24 hours, will create instant momentum for you and you will be well on your way to achieving your goals.
Consider investing in a life management system such as FranklinCovey or Tony Robbin's - Time of Your Life system. Tools like these are extremely helpful in teaching you more about yourself and how to effective set goals and maximize your time.
In addition, you'll receive some wonderful tools (planner) that will assist you in connecting your everyday activities to your New Year's resolutions and life-long goals.
Sound good? Then do yourself a favor and print this article and schedule some time (now would be good) to completing the quick start process.
Avoid the "Someday Syndrome". Tomorrow never comes, and the road to someday always leads to nowhere.
Oh yes, almost forgot - remember that long list of disappointments you developed? Those things you said you are resolved to never experience again?
Make a point of destroying that list and celebrate your new goals and resolutions. (That "ugly" list isn't anything that one little match can't make quick work of.)
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
- Thomas Edison
Richard Gorham is the founder and President of Leadership-Tools, Inc. His web site, http://www.leadership-tools.com is dedicated to providing free tools and resources for today's aspiring leaders. Offering high-quality tools in the areas of Business Planning, Leadership Development, Customer Service, Sales Management and Team Building.