The beginning of a new year is a natural time to take a look at your life and make a list of goals. You might make a list of your top 10 goals for next year. People often set lofty goals for themselves. What is on your list of things to accomplish during the next year? Common goals include: eliminating debt, losing weight, going back to school, spending more time with your family and friends, or becoming more successful.
My suggestion? Turn your goals on their head! Let’s consider the goal of eliminating debt. Wow! If you have a mortgage, car loans, credit card debt, old student loans, etc., you will no doubt throw up your hands in a few weeks because it may take decades to accomplish your goal. However, can you resolve that today you will only spend the cash in your pocket or not spend more than a certain amount of money? Yes, you can! If you want to improve your health, is it likely that you can completely change your diet and stick to it. No, probably not. However, you could resolve that you will not eat any fast food today. Did you achieve your goal? How about tomorrow? Could you do that? Yes, you can! You can also sign up for and attend the first class toward that degree you never finished. That is much easier to carry out than trying to plan how you will complete all ten classes that are required to finish that degree. Is your goal to spend more time with your friends and family? Start by organizing a Facebook group of your nuclear and extended family members. Then post to it once a week. Of course, being successful is an amorphous goal. More than a decade ago I wrote my first article about being successful: “The Personal Pinnacle of Success: Defining Success and Climbing the Mountain on Your Own Terms”. What you define as “being successful” will change, change, and change again over the course of your life. Also, you may experience success in one area of your life, but feel you have neglected others. In my experience, even the most “successful” people feel that he or she needs to be more successful in one way or another. Again, instead of planning out your entire life, ask yourself what you can do today to make yourself feel more successful.
You can choose how to think, feel, and behave today. While you cannot control the actions of others, the economy, or a host of other things, you can make a difference for yourself today and each day. If you make a change, and continue that change for a few weeks, the change will become a habit. Then, decide to make another change. The progression of changes that you make in your life will be slow, but they are much more likely to be successful. What will you choose to change about you think, feel, or behave today? I’d love to hear not only about your choices, but your successes as well! As always, I challenge you to Seek THE Positive! Happy New Year!!
Susan C. Rempel, Ph.D.
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