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Posts Tagged ‘Goal setting’

Start Small with Your Resolutions for 2010

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009


The start of a New Year is always special. There is a feeling of renewal as we look to a new year, a new beginning and there is a sense of excitement for making changes or adopting new habits. However, do you ever find yourself making New Year’s resolutions only to abandon them? If you do, you are not alone.

 

I want you to be successful at one goal, only one goal this year—and that is accomplishing one small goal you know you can accomplish. I say start small so you can build the confidence and strength to do more. It’s all about taking what I call “baby steps.” Start small, keep at it, and stay consistent until you’re ready pick up the pace.

 

I also suggest that you work on your goal on a weekly basis. For instance, if you are setting a goal to reduce your sugar intake, set a goal to reduce the number of sugar-rich drinks you consume during the week. If you are in the habit of drinking soda pop everyday or several times a week, decide at the beginning of the week how many drinks you will reduce in your diet. If you go too fast and eliminate all your drinks, you may just fail at it because you are not emotionally, mentally or physically prepared to do so. So start small. Make a promise and keep it…make a promise and keep it. And soon you will enlarge your strength, confidence and capabilities to discipline yourself to achieve other goals.

 

Many years ago, I went on a sugar fast with a group of students. You can’t believe how difficult it was at first but as we achieved small victories, our will power and passion for achieving our goal became stronger and stronger. We actually found strength in saying “no” to sugar because we felt an inner strength, a strength that inspired us to grow our confidence and abilities to grow our character, our sense of who we wanted to be.

 

As you set your small goal, you may want to enlist the help of someone close to you. It’s important to have some support, encouragement and a system of accountability. You might even invite this person to set a small goal that you can encourage them on. Work together and create synergy to help each other.

 

I wish you well on your journey in 2010. You have the potential for greatness in you! Go for it! Start small. Make a promise and keep it.

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How to Succeed with Your New Year’s Resolution

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

The beginning of a new year is an exciting time—it’s a time for reflection and a time for looking forward. As many of you are making New Year’s resolutions, I would like to share some thoughts for how you can best succeed with achieving them. Far too many of us know that it’s easy making resolutions but it’s far more challenging not breaking them.

My first advice is to start small. Choose something small you can start doing now that will help you achieve a bigger goal or resolution. For example, if your goal is to get healthy or lose weight think of some thing you can promise to keep. You can decide to wake up a little earlier to organize your day to allow some exercise or decide to drink more water during the day and cut out unhealthy drinks. The main thing is to make a promise to yourself and keep it. When you make a promise and keep it you will find yourself grow in self-assurance and confidence. The more successful you are with making and keeping promises to yourself, the more you will be able to make and keep promises to others.

Again, start small and create a private victory. You can build on this with other small promises and enlarge your victory until you establish healthy habits for your life. Make a promise and keep it.

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How to keep your New Years Resolutions

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Each week we will be asking Dr. Covey to comment on common questions.
This week we ask about New Years Resolutions.

Do you feel like you fall into the same trap every year—make a resolution, keep it for awhile, break it, feel guilty, and so on? Or do you feel like it’s easy to just set the same goals every year—those last 20 pounds, more patience with my kids, improve productivity at work—yet never really pushing yourself? End this revolution. This week we ask Dr. Covey about how to reach your new years resolutions.

Q: Dr. Covey, why are New Years Resolutions important?

A: The start of a new year is often accompanied by a renewed energy around self-improvement and goal-setting in the form of resolutions. People often ask me this question and my reply is that I don’t think they ARE that important unless driven by a deep personal sense of mission. People often make resolutions, break them, and allow this to become their habit pattern until the process itself eventually becomes rather meaningless. Until people think really deeply about what is truly most important to them, this rather discouraging pattern is likely to continue.

Most people are “urgency addicted” and spend half their time doing things that are not important, that are urgent—things pressing, proximate, popular, and pleasant, but not really important.

This is why I feel strongly that people should take time to reflect and to think deeply about what is important to them. I suggest that people take time to decided what they really want to accomplish and why. Ask yourself what you mission is. Then make sure that your resolutions fit that mission. Can you see the difference between this process and the “quick fix” of coming up with ten resolutions and doing none of them?

For example, lets look at losing weight. If you are losing weight because you want fit into a certain size or you want others to like you more you are more likely to fail because the driving force of the goal isn’t coming from inside you. Your driving force comes from others. But, if one of your missions is to be a healthy person, you will look at your weight (if needed) as well as the health of your mind, your emotions and your spirit you are more likely to create meaningful goals and reach them. We call this, inside looking out, not outside looking in. Your goals are driven from within you and not influenced by others.

Q: How do I change so that I’m focused on the important things?

A: There are two forces that cause people to think seriously. One is the force of circumstance. They experience some kind of a crisis, emergency or major setback that causes them to really think seriously. The other is the force of conscience. The more people can spend time educating and obeying their conscience, the stronger their conscience becomes until they become driven by it. And if they’ll allow this to happen, it will drive them to ask and better understand the answers to the deeper questions of life. They’ll reflect on what is really important to them and think through the kinds of practices or disciplines that must be exercised in order to accomplish that which is most important.

Q: Can you recommend some things that people might consider when sitting down and setting goals for themselves?

A: There are a couple of things I have found that help people develop enough internal stamina and discipline to make great things happen. They start small—make and keep a promise, or set a small goal and accomplish it. The more they do this, the larger the promises become and the higher the significance of the goals. Little by little their sense of personal honor becomes greater than their moods, and they are more a function of their commitments then they are the different conditions of their life. When that begins to happen, they literally become the creative force of their own life. They move from small things to slightly larger things—have small “wins” and then bigger and bigger “wins”—until they begin to experience a level of exhilaration and excitement that makes them feel like they can accomplish just about anything.

Q: Looking ahead, what words of encouragement would you offer someone who might get stuck in the process?

A: Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the process itself…it is gradual. Ask yourself the simple question—what is most important to you in life? Making a list of values that you want to live by is, in and of itself, a small “win.” As I mentioned earlier, acknowledging these small victories gives you confidence that you are on the right path and allows you to take a deeper look at what your goals and purposes are. As you move forward, you are encouraged to go, even more specifically, into action planning and setting deadline dates by which you want to accomplish those things.

I would also add this…it is human nature to have moments of doubt and discouragement, but do not give into them. Know that, in spite of weaknesses, you have the potential within you to live a life of greatness.


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