Are your goals exciting

With fall upon us, now is the perfect time to think about your future and begin to design the kind of life you'd like to be living. Unfortunately, too many people leave their lives to chance and happenstance, not taking the time to write down their goals and create plans to achieve them. This can be a huge mistake. Not having written goals would be like going on vacation without a destination, something most people would never consider doing. Yet, those same people will leave their futures in the hands of circumstance. Having written goals will change your life. Spend some time thinking about what you'd like your life to be like.

For the sake of this exercise, let's set goals you'd like to have accomplished one year from now. Of course, you can set shorter and longer goals as well. What would you like for your relationships? How about your health, career, and finances? How about your mind and emotions?

What would you like to experience? What would you like to do, be, or have? Invest some time now to identify these things and write them down. This will greatly increase the likelihood of your accomplishing them.

If you want to know more about this, there are lots of books, including mine, to help you. That's not really the topic of this story, however, I'm asking you now to revisit your goals, particularly your short-term ones. Do they make you want to jump out of bed each day eager to get going? Recently, I was feeling "less than great." I was even bordering on becoming depressed, something I rarely experience. I felt unmotivated, and wound up being pretty sick for several weeks. Upon closer examination, and because I agree with Socrates that, "An unexamined life is not worth living," I realized one of the things that I had done was to reset some of my short-term goals to be "more realistic." What I had noticed about myself was that in the interest of being realistic, I had lowered my expectations. While this may seem like a reasonable thing to do, in reality, it left me totally uninspired and feeling pretty unmotivated about my goals. For example, if you have a goal of making enough money to "pay the bills" how exciting is that? Is that going to make you jump out of bed in the morning saying, "oh wow, I can't wait to get going, so I can make money and pay the bills!" I doubt it. When I understood what I was doing, I immediately set new goals. I set goals that were way beyond my reach. Goals that were huge enough to really get my juices going. Now, when I think about my new, bigger goals, I get excited just imaging what it would feel like reaching them and what my life would be like having accomplished them. Now, let's start setting some new goals for the coming year. Following is a simple exercise to help you become clear about your goals and begin creating the life you've always wanted. 1. Write what you do want. Be specific. List everything you want to do, be, have, and share for the upcoming year and beyond. Rather than writing "be thinner," for example, write "I feel & look great weighing 175 pounds." Instead of writing, "More money," be specific. How much more per month? 2. Write each goal in the form of a positive affirmation, in the present tense (I am, I have, etc). Set goals in the key areas of your life - spirituality, health, relationships, social, career, things, and money. 3. Next to each one, write why you want this and how you will feel when you have accomplished it. 4. Write at least one small action you can take right now to move toward your goal. Each day, read your list of goals, concentrating on the feelings associated with having them. The more you can feel the feelings your goal will produce, the faster you can draw it to you. Your sub-conscious mind does not know the difference between that which is real and that which is vividly imagined. Fake it until you make it. After you reread your goals, seeing yourself as having achieved them, and are feeling the good feelings associated with having them, ask yourself, "What is the next action I can take to move toward this?" Do this daily and watch your life change.

3 steps to daily success using motivational and inspirational quotes to achieve your goals

Changing our day-to-day behaviors may be easier than previously imagined. By meditating on and repeating motivational and inspirational quotes, we are better prepared to change our thought patterns, behaviors and in turn, change our lives. Here's how it's done. If we believe something to be easy, we find little, if any struggle in accomplishing it. However, if we imagine something to be difficult to accomplish, then our struggle becomes more apparent. In fact, if we imagine that it is difficult to change a specific behavior, then we will always find experiences that will justify that belief. Take this for example.

We wake up one morning and decide that: "This is the day I start losing weight. When things get difficult, I will not reach for junk food, but instead I will focus on something else to keep my mind occupied. It'll be tough at first, but I'm going to give it a try." If you continue with this thought pattern and belief, don't be surprised to find yourself struggling more often than not. Why? If we look at this example closely we find a couple of thought patterns and beliefs already in place. We have determined to do something good for ourselves, but we do ourselves a disservice by choosing certain negative thought patterns, beliefs and words that go along with it. We have said, "When things get difficult...." (This is already assuming that there will be difficult moments! Strike one!) "It'll be tough at first..." (This is already assuming it will be difficult at first! Strike two!) "...but I'm going to give it a try." (Remember the movie "The Karate Kid"..."There is no "try", there is only "do". Strike three!) Now there are hundreds of products out there that will assist people in losing weight. Some, if not all of them, may work for various people at various stages of their goal. But for many people who have convinced themselves that losing weight is difficult, some products may fall short when our thought patterns are stronger than our desire to change. Here is something that I've done to change a behavior I no longer desired. I recently lost 20lbs in about 12 weeks. I didn't like the way I looked, felt or even thought for that matter. I needed to change and take some action towards it. First, I realized that I had to change my way of thinking about losing weight. My old thought patterns were no longer working for me. My thoughts were like little tiny pictures that I projected in my mind of how heavy I was. I no longer wanted these pictures or thought patterns a part of my life. I had to choose a thought pattern and belief that would be easier to think about. I chose this thought, "Losing weight is easier than I thought." Perhaps not the most ideal for everyone but it worked for me. Secondly, I chose a word I wanted to focus on for that day, week or month to help me in accomplishing my goal (Start with just a day, or just an hour for that matter. Keep it simple.) The word I chose needed to be in relation to the change I want to make. For example, I chose the word "FOCUS", as I felt that that's what I needed to think about most of time; focusing more on losing weight than gaining it. Choose any word as long as it relates to your situation. (Attitude, Energy, Action, Believe...) Following that, I scoured the Internet for motivational and inspirational quotes that resonated within me that related to that specific word I chose. Quotes that I could remember, especially ones that really spoke to what I wanted to accomplish. But here's the most important part. I needed quotes that were powerful enough to change my thought patterns the moment I read them. Quotes that REALLY spoke to me when I my eyes fell upon them. Quotes that forced me to pause and think for a moment. Quotes that had that extra "edge" where my mind said, "Yes. This is one." These are all signs of a quote that held power for me. I "focused" in on the following quotes. "All that we are is the result of what we have thought." Buddha "The only way to discover the limits of the possible, is to go beyond them into them impossible." Arthur C. Clarke "It's not what you achieve in the end that matters, it's who you become in the process." Author Unknown In fact, I found dozens of quotes that I resorted to from time to time, but these three I always came back to. They spoke of who I was, what I wanted to accomplish and who I wanted to become as I worked towards my goal. I wrote them down. I carried these quotes with me constantly. I read them and meditated on them whenever I had the opportunity to. At work, home or at the gym (yup, I finally got myself to exercise, primarily by focusing on Arthur C. Clarke's quote!), I focused on these three powerful quotes to help me FOCUS on what I wanted. Because I changed my thought patterns, over time, I can honestly say I am 20 lbs lighter and a whole lot happier. I can honestly say I am 20 lbs lighter and a whole lot happier. Yes, I'll be the first to admit that accomplishing the goal involved more than just thinking but it all began with my thoughts. The thoughts then permeated into my actions. (Now I need to FOCUS on maintaining that weight, so for me a whole new thought pattern begins.) Here are the three steps again: 1. Decided to change your way of thinking about a behavior, making it easier for you to think about it. Phrase it in a simple way. 2. Choose a word to focus on to change that behavior for a period of time. 3. Find a minimum of three motivational or inspirational quotes related to that specific word that are powerful enough to change your current thought patterns the moment you read them. Meditate on them and repeat them, silently or out loud, every chance you get. Be patient. Stick with it. Give it some time. Why do you think companies offer a 30-day money back guarantee? They know that if you do something for 30 days it becomes a habit and you no longer need to return it! (Learned something, huh?) Give it time. The first step to what you want to accomplish is changing your mind and the thought patterns and beliefs associated with your behavior. Thoughts are the precursor to action, meaning that thoughts occur before any action takes place. That's what needs to be changed first. Your thoughts. It worked for me and I hope this inspires and motivates you to achieve your goal. Think positive. Ray Schiel http:// cafepress. com/positivethinkin

Keep that focus

One of the things most critical to home business success is defining one's goals. We are continually reminded to write them on paper, giving ourselves a deadline to meet them, so that we can remain focused on our ultimate dreams. We need to keep them in front of us at all times in order to maintain the motivation often needed to get us over the rough spots in our businesses. Wallace Wattles, in his 1910 classic, "The Science of Getting Rich," states: "You must form a clear and definite mental picture of what you want. You cannot transmit an idea unless you have it yourself....That clear mental picture you must have continually in mind....The more clear and definite you make your picture then, and the more you dwell upon it, bringing out all its delightful details, the stronger your desire will be." Does this mean that you must spend hours contemplating your ultimate goal? Of course not. It simply means that you need to know just exactly what it is that you want and want it so badly that it will stay in your thoughts. I've personally taken this advice very much to heart. Regardless of what your goals are, it's possible for you to use this same method to maintain your own focus. Let me explain. My ultimate goal is for my husband and I to be able to retire to the area in which I grew up, the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I have a very definite image of what life will be like for us there, and each day I set aside a few minutes to simply close my eyes and dwell on the mental picture of some of the things we'll be able to enjoy - walking along the beach at sunset, feeling the warmth of the sand on my bare feet (I can practically smell the salt air when I do this) shopping in an unhurried atmosphere in the quaint downtown section of Ocean Springs, Mississippi - only a few minutes' drive from the exciting casino action of the neighboring town of Biloxi reconnecting with friends and family and being able to enjoy reunions that I often missed due to living a long distance away dining at local restaurants that serve the delicious seafood the area is famous for I could go on and on, but you get the (mental) picture! Carrying this one step further, I've gathered together some pictures, postcards, and other memorabilia that reflect the overall atmosphere of the area. These items hang on my wall in my office, right in front of me, so that I can have a constant reminder of exactly what it is that I am working toward. I'm amazed at the effectiveness of these simple techniques! You can apply these same methods regardless of what your goals are. Even if what you're working for can't be quite so clearly defined in words and pictures, you can still benefit from these exercises. During those few minutes each day that you set aside to form your mental "picture," imagine the feelings that you will have when you have reached your own personal goals. Create an affirmation statement, using your computer and some attractive stationery to print it out. Frame this and place it in your own personal work area so that you will have a constant reminder of what exactly it is that you want to accomplish. Focus, focus, focus....and your dreams WILL come true!

Penalty shoot outs how to be sure of scoring

The cup final whistle blows. It’s one each. Extra time is played but nobody scores. The referee signals a penalty shoot-out. Now 5 men from each side have to step up and put the ball into the net just once. It’s something they can do in their sleep but at least one of them is going to miss. How is it possible that hugely talented and highly-paid stars can miss the vital shot that will bring them glory? This is a dilemma that men and women have experienced for centuries.

When writing about the pressures of winning an archery contest, the 3rd century BC Taoist writer Chuang-Tzu said that, when we focus on the prize and not the job, we lose the edge to our skill. He said: “An archer shooting for a clay vessel shoots effortlessly, his skill unimpeded. If the prize is changed to an ornament, his hands begin to shake. If it is changed to gold, he squints as if he were going blind. His abilities do not deteriorate, but his belief in them does, as he allows the supposed value of an external reward to cloud his vision.” Of course, football stars and champion archers aren’t the only ones affected by the prizes of winning. It’s well-known that the most vulnerable moment in any business negotiation is just before the end, when, perhaps after a long and difficult process, one side sees the prize of an agreement within their reach and relaxes their guard by mentally throwing themselves over the finishing line. As an Indian proverb puts it: “Beware the tiger at the end of the fight.” That’s the moment when, appearing to walk away but sensing his opponent relax, the tiger turns round and makes his strike. In a negotiation, one of the cleverest ploys that an experienced negotiator can use is the Salami trick. This is when an important concession is refused during the negotiation, but conceded at the end, bit by bit, because the less experienced negotiator relaxes his or her guard. It’s like a salami sausage being given away one slice at a time, until before you know where you are, the whole sausage is gone. The reason why we fail at the last moment in all these tests is because we become distracted. In short, we lose focus. When we focus on the task at hand, all our attention is directed on it. We let go of haunting memories from the past and tempting thoughts about the future. We open ourselves to what is happening here and now. The word “focus” comes directly from the Latin word “focus” meaning a hearth or fire. In pre-electricity days, the fire was in the center of the home. Those lucky enough to have an open fire in their homes today know that moment when on a winter’s evening you can just stare into a roaring log fire or onto the glowing embers and lose yourself in your dreams. In actual fact, there are two kinds of focus: hard and soft. Hard focus is the same as concentration or tunnel vision when all you are aware of is what’s in front of you, like a 100-metre athlete looking down his track to the exclusion of everything else. There are two ways to get into a state of hard focus. One is to be physically still. The other is to remove all the distractions. Once you blot out everything around you, hard focus is what’s left. Soft focus has a different quality. It’s also known as single-minded immersion, zero-point arousal, and free-flow thinking. Instead of focusing your thoughts onto your objective in a laser-like way, you expand your awareness in a dream-like way to include your whole environment. You tune in to time and place. You even become aware of yourself in a disassociated way. A good soft focus exercise is to imagine yourself as a blue feather floating on the wind. There is no destination, no time, no obstacles. You are aware of yourself and enlarge into the sense of freedom and possibilities. It’s that moment when time stands still and has no more meaning, when hours pass like minutes and minutes like hours. It’s what Daniel Coleman calls “flow”: a state of forgetfulness, the opposite of rumination and worry. Instead of being lost in nervous pre-occupation, people in flow are so absorbed in the task at hand that they lose all self-consciousness, dropping the small pre-occupations – health, bills, even doing well – of daily life. And that’s the secret of focus: doing the job for the sake of it, not for what it leads to. In their book “Thank God It’s Monday”, Charles Cameron and Suzanne Ellusor describe seeing a Zen monk sweeping snow from the steps of a temple in the middle of a snowstorm. The more it snowed, the more he swept. The monk did not expect to clear the steps of snow or beat the storm. He didn’t expect anything. The simplicity of his actions was enough to make it worth doing, process rather than end result, being rather than completion. This is what they call “zenning” and it’s at the heart of all success. There are really only two ways you can fail in any venture. One is to give up. The other is to try too hard. If you’re at the last hurdle, the final straight, or about to take the final shot in a tied game, you simply have to learn to slow down, let go and trust in yourself. That’s when you’ll discover all the energies opening up to you and success will surely be yours.

Choosing the best development goals

One of the best contributions we can make to ourselves and our family is to become better people. To attain this, we need development goals. These development goals will determine who you will become next year, in ten years, and for life. Development goals are a way of developing new skills, raising our awareness, broadening our understanding and maturing of our body, mind and soul. Our personal commitment to growth is the driving force behind the setting of development goals. Through development goals you will be able to identify your weaknesses, your short-comings, and character defects and how you are going to improve them. There is no denying that the world we life in is becoming increasingly sophisticated. There is a global market place with fierce competition. We need to be able to add new skills on an ongoing basis.

We need to become flexible, able to adapt to new ideas and challenges. In order to succeed we need to embrace change and accept the challenges that it brings. Desirable skills are moving from traditional technical abilities to personal abilities, which is where the principles of personal development and success come in. The ability to set and achieve goals, coupled with discipline and perseverance will be required to succeed in the future. Even the relationships we have are becoming more demanding.

This is because our relationships have become more complex. We all struggle with a variety of problems from day one. Whether it is in our relationships, businesses, finances, or health, we all have problems. One solution is to raise our level of awareness, to grow beyond our present situation, and have a definite goal of what we want to achieve in all these factors. Set your own goals. This will pave the way to a successful personal growth plan. Do you have a detailed set of goals for your life? There are a lot of people in certain businesses that are continually challenging themselves with motivation, success and personal development or else they just will not last. If your friends and family tell you to take the easy road, do not listen to them. If you have already set your goal, continue on. Know that you are in a select group for very few people have ever made that first step forward.

People have a tendency to continue doing the same things over and over again. There is always that thought that everything is good enough. In the end, things will become redundant. We have to keep growing with the changing world and continue developing to become better than we already are. This is the role that our goals will play. It is very important to remember that goals are not static. As our circumstances change, without doubt our goals will also need to change. It is important to remember that when your circumstances change, review and, when necessary, adapt your goals. The first rule of development goals is to complete the goals you set for yourself.

It s time to check your vision

Have you been having trouble achieving a specific goal? Are you allowing other less important things to get in the way of accomplishing what you really want? Then this is the time to do a VISION check. Just as it is important to get our eyes checked regularly to assure that we will be able to see clearly, it is equally as important to do a VISION check to be certain that our goal is on track. Vivid Picture Have you created a vivid picture in your imagination as to what your completed goal will look, feel, and sound? Have you added lots of sensory detail, paying particular attention to what emotions you will experience when you have achieved your goal? Many people omit this step or they make a half-hearted attempt at it. As a result, their completed goal is not real to them so it becomes very easy to get distracted by day-to-day events. This step takes time and thought which is why many people don’t do it. However, if you don’t have a clear picture in your mind as to what you are trying to accomplish, how will you ever attain it? Developing a clear, vivid picture is critical if you want to achieve your goal. Inspired Are you inspired by your goal? Does thinking about it make you smile? If not, then go back to your vivid picture and change it until you are excited about it. Goals take effort. They often require that we change and do things that may be a stretch for us. If the goal isn’t something you really want in the first place, then why bother trying to achieve it? When you come up with a goal, don’t limit yourself by what you think you can accomplish. Decide what you truly want. Many people have achieved enormous success in their lives because they had big goals. When you are inspired enough by your dream, you will find a way to make it a reality. Sustained Belief Do you have a sustained belief that you will achieve your goal? If you really don’t expect to accomplish your goal, then you probably won’t. Sometimes it takes extraordinary courage to believe, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, that we will be successful. Things go wrong. Problems come up. It is easy to get discouraged. That is the time is when you most need to have sustained belief. You can get through the difficult times if you believe you can. People rise to the level of their own beliefs. When you believe you will be successful, then you will achieve success. Identify Do you identify with your goal now even though you have not yet achieved it? We must begin to identify with the person we want to become. Once or twice each day, play the picture of your completed goal in your mind. Live your goal in your imagination and experience all of the wonderful emotions that go with it. As you continue to do this, you will find that your thoughts and behaviors become more aligned with the person you will be when you achieve your goal. Observant Are you observant as to what actions that are taking you closer to your goal and those that are moving you further away? When we create an action plan for our goal, some of the ideas included in it will work and others won’t. After you take a specific action, observe the result. If it is positive, then continue to do it. If you don’t get the result you expected then modify it and try again. By being observant about what is working and what isn’t, you can adjust your strategy as needed so you will continue to move closer to your goal. Never Give Up Attitude Have you adopted a never give up attitude? Have you made a decision that you will not quit no matter how long it takes to achieve your goal? If you don’t have this attitude you might find that obstacles overwhelm you. They might be too difficult to overcome and there is a strong likelihood that you will quit before achieving what you want. However, when you adopt a never give up attitude, there is a power and conviction within you that will carry you through until you reach success. So if your VISION is fuzzy, don’t worry. By making a few adjustments, you will be able to clearly see your goal to completion and experience all the joy and satisfaction that are part of the package.

Achieving your goals by using one word

One of my favorite techniques for achieving goals is to use the word 'anyway' as often as necessary. If you don't feel like doing something or start doubting whether the activity has any value, do it 'anyway' and then see what the results are later after you have completed the activity. Some results can be seen or felt almost immediately. You reluctantly go for a walk but feel great as soon as you get home. Other results may take a week or so. You start eating less and feel slimmer in two or three days' time. A few days ago I started eating less before going to sleep instead of having a large evening meal. Today I had my reward. I was walking past a local farm when the farmer took a long look at me and then patted his stomach saying: "You are losing it!" He is no lightweight himself but I took his encouragement in the spirit in which it was meant and replied: "Thanks; that will encourage me for the next six months" You can always stop doing whatever activity you think is a waste of time at a later date but if you stop too early you will never know whether it would have worked or not. Another example is the key task of keeping your room tidy. You decide to tidy up your room and plan to move 5 less used items out of the room every day. After a day or so, you may feel your plan is making no difference whatever - your room still looks a complete mess. Keep following your plan anyway. After a week you will probably see a difference and this fairly quick result will encourage you to keep going with your plan until your room is a model of tidiness. Try it out and see what happens. I tried this plan yesterday and not only moved 5 books out of the room but created a database to record where I put them plus a database for my internet courses (the numerous ones I have not yet read). On top of that I changed a light bulb that had been out of action for several days! However, my room still looked a mess! I tried the plan again today and immediately benefited from the side effects of tidying up. I discovered several videos I could use again and found where I had put my video of 'The Hulk'. Another result was that the left side of my room was now looking almost tidy! However, the main benefit of carrying out any plan is not the results produced. It is the character produced. Our self-esteem and confidence rise every time we carry out a plan however small it is. As Marlon Sanders, the great internet guru, would say: "If a thing ain't done, it ain't done." Unfinished products are useless. No money can be made from them and no one can benefit from them. It is vitally important that we complete what we begin even if we lose interest and start having doubts. We need to finish our projects anyway. We will then start believing that we can achieve anything. At the time of writing this, Ellen MacArthur, the great yachtswoman, is sailing round the world on her own. She has just passed the Canary Isles and is two hours ahead of her nearest competitor. She is fulfilling a giant plan but what preceded it was the fulfilment of many smaller plans like learning how to tie a useful knot and how to take part in sailing competitions. At least one of these yacht races was so stressful that she was in tears for much of the voyage. But she kept going anyway. Carrying out her plans built her confidence and will power to a point where sailing round the world in record time became a real possibility. Lloyd Scott has just finished cycling across Australia from Perth to Sydney on a penny farthing bike to raise money for leukaemia research. He is, not surprisingly, rather sore even though he has probably prepared by cycling shorter distances on his penny farthing. Doubtless, there were many days when he felt like giving up but he kept on cycling anyway. He celebrated by swimming in the sea at Bondai Beach. The more we make use of the word 'anyway', the more we will achieve our goals and celebrate reaching them. If we keep on using this amazing word, celebration will become a way of life for us.

Power of a dream

I recently spoke to a Youth Leadership Group, and I was deeply inspired listening to the dreams that the teenagers had for the future. While I was presenting, I felt the group of teenagers begin to realize that it is ok to dream and be proud of what you have done in your life and where you want to go in life. As adults, we need to realize that the power of a dream will enable you to achieve whatever your ultimate "WHY" in life is. By the age 25, most people lose all of their dreams and fall into a rut. From the age 25-65, people generally go back and forth to work and say to themselves," I wish...if only I could have...if only I knew then what I know now," and numerous other lamentations as to why they do not feel fulfilled in life. The key in life to feeling fulfilled is to simply listen to your inner spirit and make your daily work in life something that you love to do and will help you achieve your DREAMS! The key word in that sentence is DREAMS! Too many people when asked, "Where do you see yourself 2-5 years from now" give the answer, "Just let me make it to this weekend." The underlying reason that they don’t know where they are going to be is because they have no dreams. This can be extremely frightening! Each of the teenagers that I spoke to this week has dreams for their life and where they see themselves in the future. As a professional speaker and business coach, my ultimate outcome is to empower people to find their WHY in life -- to catapult them to attain their dreams in life. I also spoke to the group about how important it is to be around a mastermind team, which will push you on and let you know it is awesome you have a dream. As an overall population, over 95% of adults have no mastermind team but they have group of so-called friends, who will tell every reason why they should never try to win and to just accept their life. You need to stop right now and take a personal inventory of your life and ask yourself three life-changing questions: 1) WHAT is my WHY in LIFE!!! (Why I am getting up each and every day?) 2) WHO is my Mastermind Team? 3) WHERE do I see myself 2-5 years from now? When you answer these questions you need to be honest with yourself and tell yourself the truth because the truth shall set you FREE! The key to living a fulfilled life is waking up each day with a driving desire to achieve your "WHY”. The key to winning in life is to be part of a winning team and realize life decisions are challenging but very beneficial. Bring your Dreams back to life! Find your WHY & FLY! John Di Lemme FindYourWhy. com

How to stay motivated and stick to your goals

Dear Friend, I would like to start by sharing a small excerpt from an incredibly riveting book, which reveals how powerful the human spirit is, even when opposed by extreme elements. This quote, which illustrates how intense desire can help us forge through unbelievable obstacles, comes from Into Thin Air... When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn't slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin his long, dangerous descent from 29,028 feet, twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly toward the top. No one had noticed that the sky had begun to fill with clouds. Six hours later and 3,000 feet lower, in 70-knot winds and blinding snow, Krakauer collapsed in his tent, freezing, hallucinating from exhaustion and hypoxia, but safe. The following morning, he learned that six of his fellow climbers hadn't made it back to their camp and were desperately struggling for their lives. When the storm finally passed, five of them would be dead, and the sixth so horribly frostbitten that his right hand would have to be amputated. I've often wondered what must go through a person's head during such a challenging event. In fact, I even wonder whether a person in this type of tragic circumstance feels like giving up altogether. Or, is this even a choice, given their internal desire? What's inside people like this that drives them to continue on? What propels them to dig so deep into their souls they simply cannot (or will not) see failure as an option? What's inside people like this that drives them to continue on? What propels them to dig so deep into their souls they simply cannot (or will not) see failure as an option? What is the internal driving force that motivates them to reach their ultimate goals? Over the years, I've come to realize my strengths and weaknesses. Thankfully, one of my primary strengths is the drive, determination, and perseverance I have to continuously outdo myself. To become a better, smarter person. A better Father. Brother. Son. Husband. And on the top of my list is my desire for improved health and physical appearance. For some reason, I adopted this mindset from a very early age—right after my parents divorced. Was it vanity? I don't think so. Pride is more like it. As I've continued to try to better myself as a person, I've always striven to learn more and more about the mental aspects of motivation. Motivation is, in some ways, like the match to a fire. It's akin to the spark in a car engine cylinder. I've studied its uses and drawbacks in both ordinary and extraordinarily successful people for years. So by now, I'd like to think I know a great deal about human mental performance. But like all things in life, we remain students for as long as we are open to learning. If there's one thing I've learned for sure, though: motivation almost never lasts, whereas inspiration can serve as a long-term guide to your ultimate goal. Nonetheless, I've also become aware of the fact that without motivation, there would be no action or the slightest movement in the direction toward any particular set of goals. So, as you can plainly see, motivation is as important as inspiration. We just need to understand how to use it more thoughtfully. But what happens when, after starting a new diet, workout program, or transformation quest, our motivation wanes? ...what happens when, for some unknown reason, we're not noticing the type of progress we were expecting? Or worse, we stop seeing any progress at all? How do we reignite the fire? These are all excellent questions. Ones I've worked hard to answer. So please allow me to share with you the most powerful strategies I've used to keep myself (and others) on the right path... regardless of the situations encountered along the way—to help you reach your goals of a new, healthier, stronger, more muscular body. Increase Your Confidence Sometimes the accomplishment of our goals might seem so overwhelming, the immediate temptation is to give up before we even start—which diminishes our self-confidence even further. Success Strategy #1: MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS. This way, you will never, at any time, lack a sense of accomplishment, and more powerfully, you will be building your confidence with each and every step. You see, we can't gain confidence until we begin to take action, which in effect builds our confidence. Yet, we don't want to take action until our confidence levels are raised sufficiently, and we feel certain about our new endeavor. See the dilemma here? I know this sounds crazy…but, what if I told you that you can gain your confidence, little-by-little, by taking action on your transformation goals and measuring your progress, one step at a time. You see, ultimately, our level of confidence is increased only when we do something tangible that can be measured for progress. Take, for example, the intimidating obstacle of viewing your entire transformation goal as needing to be achieved in a giant, single step. That's paralyzing, isn't it? That's why, to gain your confidence, you must break your transformation goal down into measurable increments or steps. Something on a weekly basis works great. For example, if you wanted to lose 12% bodyfat within 12 weeks, then you could realistically set your increments for 1% of bodyfat reduction per week. This way, you don't have to focus on the whole transformation goal at any given time, nor do you notice all that you have not yet accomplished to date. Instead you can focus on the smaller, manageable steps ahead, and celebrate each accomplishment along the way. This gives you a tremendous sense of control, forward motion, and achievement. And builds your confidence, each step of the way. I promise, by the time you are nearing the end of your first couple of weeks of your transformation program, despite the ups and downs in progress, you will begin to feel more confident. You will stretch your "comfort zone" and do something more than you originally thought you were capable of doing. You will be utterly determined to advance one more step, and another, and so on, and make the effort to complete your transformation program and build your very best body. Suddenly, as the fear dissipates, you will discover your newfound confidence. And best of all, you will have achieved what you once thought was impossible—one step at a time. As the late Eleanor Roosevelt said, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." When you do, notice how your confidence soars, every time! Success Strategy #1: MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS. The path to the transformation success you desire, which appears to be out of reach, is accomplished only through measuring your progress, one step at a time. This way, you will never, at any time, lack a sense of accomplishment, and more powerfully, you will be building your confidence with each and every step. Set SMART Goals Goals come from having a clear vision of what you want. Knowing that you want to build your very best body is a great start, but you need something more than that—a statement so compelling it literally pulls you, like a magnet, in the direction of its achievement. So you say you're not certain how to set effective goals? Well, don't worry, everyone starts off this way...merely stating they want to get into better shape or have a slimmer waist. And these statements might be as good as it gets for them. But to really set effective transformation goals and ensure you'll reach them, you're going to have to learn what I call the SMART technique in goal setting to pave your way to sure success. Success Strategy #2: TRANSFORM YOUR FITNESS GOALS Using the S. M.A. R.T. technique will ensure you've set an effective and commanding goal and compel you to achieve it. Not only will this technique enable you to set the most effective commanding goals, it will help focus your efforts on exactly what you want to achieve. S. M.A. R.T. stands for: (S)pecific—you must be specific about what you want to achieve, creating your goal in the present tense…that means using "I am (in the process of…)" to start your goal statement. (M)easurable—how do you measure "better shape" or a "slimmer waist?" You can't. Therefore, you must ensure your progress can be measured by scaling your goal to a specific number (e. g., 10% bodyfat, a 33-inch waist, or a size 6). (A)ction-oriented—you must be able to create an action list of things you must do to achieve success (this is similar to a to-do list, only it pertains directly to the achievement of your goal). (R)ealistic—make certain your goal is realistic, that it stretches you but is something you can achieve, given your expectations and timeframe. (T)ime-conscience—this is where we harness the power of a deadline. Nothing becomes important to us unless we set a deadline on it. A date forces us to give it priority and set positive pressure on us to achieve it. Success Strategy #2: TRANSFORM YOUR FITNESS GOALS. Using the S. M.A. R.T. technique will ensure you've set an effective and commanding goal—and will not only clarify your path to success but will compel you to achieve it. Find Your Source of Motivation (through Inspiration!) So you need a little source of motivation in your life—something to get you out of bed in the morning and carry you through the day—something to feverishly motivate you through to the end to meet your transformation goals? Well, what if I told you there is a direct relationship between motivation and inspiration, and sources of each of these are all around you, all of the time. Success Strategy #3: FIND AN INSPIRATION Discover your source for inspiration, someone who has turned their body and life from ordinary to extraordinary. You see, motivation is something we feel, deep inside, that compels us to move toward our goals—it's usually a quick burst, in the moment so to speak, and can fade in an instant as well. On the other hand, inspiration is more enduring. Inspiration is derived from sources all around us—personal heroes who energize and inspire you because of the level of success they have achieved, for example. These sources of inspiration can be used to motivate us daily and keep us on track because they too had to break through the same barriers, persevere through similar shortcomings, and overcome equal challenges. One way to continually "see" what you want to become is to find a picture of someone's physique you would most like to emulate (probably in your favorite fitness magazine), cut it out, and hang it someplace where you're likely to see it over and over again throughout the day. You might even jot down your reasons for wanting to achieve this goal. This process allows you to physically see the body you want to achieve—pointing your subconscious toward the realization of your future body. This constant source of inspiration is a reminder of who you want to become and where you are going. They can lift you to a higher place by allowing you to reveal an inner strength that goes beyond results and goals. Success Strategy #3: FIND AN INSPIRATION. Discover your source for inspiration, someone who has turned their body and life from ordinary to extraordinary. The personal trials our heroes, friends, and other individuals have endured to reach their transformation success can provide us with a powerful source of inspiration and lessons for our own quest for improvement. Some Final Thoughts... Remember, no path to building a better body is a straight line. Life doesn't work that way. But I've often noted that we move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts, and we can overcome those barriers if we decide to face them head-on and transform their power. If this is true, then only by committing to turning these obstacles into powerful success strategies will you begin to create lasting results in your body and achieve your transformation goals. So the next time you're trekking up Mount Everest, or more likely, you're working out to achieve a new, better body... tap into your source of inspiration using these simple guidelines and strategies. I guarantee you can't go wrong following this approach—I've seen it work for many, many others in their quest to build better bodies and improve their lives.

What goal setting activities are important

Goal setting activities are crucial when you are deciding what you want your life to become many years from now. Two of the benefits you will receive as a result of defining and setting major goals in life are peace of mind and focus. Here are some of the goal setting activities that are of importance. 1. Use your mind and talents fully. Maximize what has been given you. If you are aware that you are capable of things that other people are not, make it work to your advantage. 2. Have more purpose and direction in life. Believe it or not, there are many people who only discover what they want in life in later years. Think of all the time that was wasted. It is important to have specific goals early on in life to be able to have more time to work on them and bring them into reality. 3. Make better decisions. Do not be hasty in whatever endeavors you encounter in life. Not all things have to be decided on instantly. Think fully before making any decision that you might regret later on. 4. Be more organized and effective. Take note that not all people who are always rushing things and on the go are the most effective people. There are other considerations in life that have to be neatly planned to have an effective result. Sit down for a moment and make a schedule or plan. 5. Do more for yourself and others. Too much and too less of giving and taking is not always good. There are times when we have to balance these factors. Know which one needs your attention more, yourself or others? Although it is not always a problem, you have to have equal time set for both. 6. Have greater confidence and self-worth. One of the greatest threats that can pull you down is lack of self-confidence and self-worth. If you do not have that belief in yourself, why should others put their faith in you? Other people that are lacking in talent and resources can get through by oozing self-confidence to help them pursue their goals. 7. Feel more fulfilled. Be happy with the simple things that you have attained in a day. Do not set aside small victories as something that are worthless. All achievements should make you feel proud. Pat yourself on the back once in awhile when achieving these seemingly insignificant victories. 8. Be more enthusiastic and motivated. Face each day as a day different from the last. Try to make each day a work of art, a masterpiece. 9. Accomplish uncommon projects. Nothing can compare with the feeling when you have done something that few others have. Try to be successful in things that other people are shying away from. 10. Always want more. Do not be satisfied with what you have. Try to get more out of life. Once you have completed one goal, be sure to replace it with something else. Goal setting achievements are a life-long process. You have all the time in the world to do what you want. This way you will always reap the benefits of what your goal settings has provided.

The universe s basic training

I remember Air Force Basic Training. My Training Instructor not only wanted to teach me the military way, but he also wanted to break me down so that he could rebuild me according to the needs of the military. These are two of the underlying premises of your first few weeks, or months, of your time in the military. Actually, I enjoyed it, but then Air Force Basic is only between six and eight weeks. The other branches have much more extensive training programs that can last for months. However, the idea here is that, I have been thinking about various challenges presented to myself, and others, over the years and comparing these challenges to the state of the individual at the end of the challenge.

It is most interesting to note that, like Basic Training, you are either strengthen and ready for your mission, or you're washed out or pushed back to the beginning to re-experience your training. --- Challenges --- I have been hit with many challenges throughout my life; however, the one thing I can say, now that I made it out the other end, is that I am much better for it. Of course, life continues to throw odd little challenges every day; however, I have come to realize that it is my responsibility for creating the circumstances for the challenges and my choice as to whether I want to deal with them. Any time that you remain quiet and still, challenges will rarely appear. This, because, you're not moving and your space in life is stagnant. However, true challenges only occur once you decide to move forward. When you move, you create an imbalance that must be rebalanced, thus creating friction. Once you gain some momentum, the friction becomes inconsequential and balance returns to accommodate your new state of forward movement. --- Education --- Every time you move toward a goal, the Universe acknowledges your movement and immediately establishes a path of travel. It literally defines the future events and situations based on your current decisions and actions. However, this path can be seen as the curriculum necessary to prepare you for the ultimate objective. Indeed, the Universe won't tell you whether you should pursue this path; however, it will throw lessons in the way to ensure that you learn what is necessary for your ultimate chosen objective. --- Re-Invention --- We are always ready to hold on to who we are and what we have. It is a safety zone and a way to keep things comfortable and easy for ourselves. But, sometimes this safety zone can stifle us and eventually kill our will. The difficulty in handling challenges is in our ability to adapt and adjust to the circumstance and to a new view of ourselves. In every challenge comes an opportunity for growth and change. This growth is a way to prepare us for our future and to open new doors for experience and further growth. Once you learn to embrace this growth and your new self, you will be able to move forward in life with ease. --- What's next? --- Challenges provide us with an environment of change. They make us stronger. They force us to use our creativity to devise new ways of doing things. They help us to grow and be better than we were before. Learn to adapt as challenges present themselves. Don't allow the challenge to define you. But, as you move through the circumstance and conquer the challenge, identify the important issues of benefit for yourself and incorporate those lessons into your life. Accept, adapt, and become a newer and better person for every new lesson. Once you look back on your life, you'll find that you're not only a better person, but you also made it to your objective!

Under their thumb

Some of my clients have come to me feeling like their worlds were not under their own control. They felt as though everyone else ran their lives and had some aspect of control in everything that they did. I asked them to note some specific situations in which they felt this way and how they felt "out of control" of the situation. It's interesting to note that in every circumstance, there was some aspect of "guilt" or "second-guessing" involved. Indeed, these are the purest signs of self-relinquished control. There are many ways that people can feel "loss of control" in their lives.

We can lose control through frustration and burn-out, living in a rut, stagnation, illness, change, and trauma. However, one of the most common is unconsciously giving up control to others. This is an unconscious act involving two or more parties where party "A" literally hands over the reins to party "B". At one time, "parental voices" controlled and molded our lives. These are the voices and rules provided by authority, family, and friends from whom our core belief systems evolved. However, some external influences and people can re-engage that basic instinct for seeking parental acceptance simply by imposing doubt into your world. By accepting the guilt or self-doubt imposed by others, you begin to live in someone else's "context". You surrender your own belief systems and adopt those of the other party. In doing so, you begin to live by the rules and controls of the other person. One of the more common areas in which this occurs is in a professional or group setting where power and control are part of the environment. Many politically savvy individuals ("A") will take control of others ("B") simply by learning their ways, gaining their trust, and then embedding doubt or a feeling of non-acceptance. In this way, "A" is now subconsciously seen as the parental figure and "B" requires acceptance from "A". "A" is now in control of "B". Over time, "B" grows to feel animosity towards "A", but is usually unsure why except for the fact that "B" doesn't like the way that "A" treats them. Once you fall into this situation, it is difficult to break free. You have to go through and undo the web of emotions and doubt that now clouds your thinking. However, you have to realize that it's not so much how "A" treats you as it is how you feel about your view of their treatment. By separating your ego and emotions from the situation, you are better able to break free from the reins of self-relinquished control. But, it's not so much that they have explicit control over you as it is that you are merely seeking their acceptance. It's an interesting situation to observe! The best way to prevent such situations from occurring is to go through your own psyche and find out which "parental voices" are still present and dislodge them. You need to replace the old, worn out parental triggers with your own rules for your evolving belief systems. Of course, we usually just leave these voices where they are out of comfort and because they seem to work. However, these are triggers that can be tripped to cause us to fall into this loss-of-control scenario. I recall one young man who, once he finished college, simply hung out in a local pub. He could not figure out what to do with his life. His parents had passed on, he had no other relatives around, so he just "waited" for anyone and anything that tripped his triggers. Because of this, he ended up in trouble from time to time because he was easily misled by people who gave him what he wanted --- acceptance and direction. After much work and planning, he began to move forward in his life and is slowly becoming a success in his own right. But, as you can see, these types of situations are very common and can occur just about anytime to anyone. I've also seen such issues occur with abused women, corporations, and myriad other inter-personal situations. People tend to sit and wait for acceptance and guidance from others because they relinquished control. Live your own life by replacing these triggers with your own rules for living. You will never obtain acceptance from everyone as the rest of the world is out seeking acceptance as well. It's a never-ending cycle! Learn to accept yourself as, in the long run, you are the only person who has a stake in your own decisions and endeavors for a self-fulfilling life.

Why is it important to set goals

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. Please advise me where and how it is used. Having a goal enables you to focus your energies on devising ways to achieve it. When someone makes a decision and begins focusing on achieving a specific goal (and even better in a specific period of time), the powerful subconscious mind goes to work and begins playing with ideas and developing strategies of various ways to bring about the successful completion of the goal. When you set yourself a goal both your conscious and subconscious start working on it and begin to develop an action plan. You will find you begin asking yourself questions about what needs to be done to enable you to reach your goal.

You may find yourselves coming up with amazing ideas and solutions to problems or obstacles that have been in the way of achieving your goal. Solutions and ideas that you are surprised you ever thought of may start popping into your mind. Our subconscious is an extremely powerful tool. The more often you remind yourself of your goal, the more your mind will work on ways for you to achieve it. Some people find answers come to them when they are asleep and dreaming. Have you ever noticed that there is no correlation between being wealthy and having a high IQ or a university degree?

If there were, every doctor and university graduate would be wealthy, and as statistics show, most of them end up in the same situation as 95% of the population. The main thing that the majority of independently wealthy people have in common is that they have set goals for themselves and achieved them. They invest time in reading and learning about wealth creation and are happy to learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences, as well as their own. They set goals, and realise that they will be far better able to achieve them if they familiarise themselves with the ways in which other people acted and the things that others have done to succeed. Wealthy people create wealth by carefully utilising the income that they have available to them to their best advantage. They know that working harder and longer hours is not the way to achieve financial freedom, instead they have to utilise what they have, and make it grow.

Setting Goals. When you begin to work out your goals you need to make them as specific as possible. A vague idea or generalization like “I want to buy investment properties and become wealthy” is not enough. You need to be much more detailed. “I want to own my first investment property within six months. I will save for the legal and bank fees, and borrow 100% of the value of the property. I will find an extremely well priced, three bedroom brick veneer house that is close to schools and shopping centres.

It will be either brand new or less than ten years old. It will be structurally sound, and require a minimal amount of maintenance. I will find a good agent to manage it, who has a lot of experience and will find me a good tenant.” This is a specific goal, and you could add a lot more to it. Because your goal is specific your mind immediately begins to ask questions such as “How much money will I need for the fees and charges? How much does that relate to if I break it down on a weekly basis? Will I have to look at my current expenses to see where I need to cut back so as to make up the difference for the amount I need to save?” Specific goals help you to create specific, realistic action plans and as the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. You will find that if you write down your goals on a piece of paper, and put it in a prominent position, so that you will read it often, your subconscious as well as your conscious mind will start asking questions and coming up with answers, and you will find that you have already begun to take the necessary steps to achieving your goal. It is helpful to have a series of goals, ranging from daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, ten yearly and thirty to forty yearly. You can always refine and change your goals as time goes on and situations change. You may find that it is easier to start at the 40-year mark, and then work backwards. Try to work out what steps would be needed to achieve your 40-year goal, and spread them out over the different time spans, to what you would need to achieve to end up with the final result. Try to make your goals realistic and achievable. Do not set a goal that is too hard. Set lots of small, easily achievable goals and work step by step to achieve your road to success. Stay positive. Believe in yourself and your abilities to succeed, even if other people patronise you or try to put you off, or tell you there is no point. Setting and achieving goals help you to create a stronger character. It is always helpful to remember that our brain cannot entertain both positive and negative thoughts at the same time. If you stay positive you will dispel negative thought patterns. Even if you come across little obstacles that get in the way of your goals, don’t give up. Focus on finding a solution, rather than focussing on the problem – utilise a positive response. Focussing on finding solutions enables you to put your brain to work, to find ways around things. If you just see an obstacle as a problem and just accept that life has dealt you a blow, and let it stop you in your tracks, then you will never learn and grow. Remember that children learn to walk by falling over. Focus on the long-term achievements that you want to fulfil, and it will be easier to overcome your problems.

Learning vision from leaders

One of the key reasons why a vision is successful is in the attitude of the leader of it to allow others part ownership in it. Our western philosophy of ownership can be quite selfish. I am not talking of negating our responsibility to lead the vision, but would question the way some visionaries are unable to let go areas that would grow better under someone else’s care. The Japanese have several traditions. One is binding the feet of babies in order to keep them small in later life. Bonsai is a process of miniaturizing the root system of plants and trees so as to allow the characteristics of a full-grown tree but in a stunted form. Vision must fully mature unstunted. If we consider these principles in the same way we handle vision, we can see that restriction of the natural growth points of vision will result in a dwarf version of what could have been. There are several factors that will stunt vision and none more so than unnecessary restrictions on the root system. The root system of any vision is similar and without due awareness and care, we result in a stranglehold that will reduce the life flow needed for natural growth. Vision is not “for me alone” In making the switch from leading charitable organization dependent on donations from the public sector, to a small business whose objectives are to make and distribute wealth, has provided some challenges. My core values for living are to provide resources and skills to those who are not in a position to pay for them. I live my life as close as possible to these values. When I started my practice I made a decision to give away at least ten percent of my teaching resources, finances and skills to benefit others. My site is loaded with tools for coaches to develop their practices without charge. I have another website designed for supporting fellow coaches and I coach at least three individuals without charge at any given month. Saint? No! I have a commitment to the betterment of those around me. My vision is my responsibility, but it must touch others in a way that improves their quality of life and challenges them to do likewise, otherwise I am not seeing the results of the purpose of my vision. Currently I am designing a website for developing leaders and training coaches. If all you see is yourself, you missed the plot A mirror reflects the image it sees and so does vision. What we put into vision will return to the visionary. Living life self-centered is living life at its poorest form. As you have worked through the different aspects of vision, you will become aware of the sovereignty and power that vision has within it. One learns to understand that the vision owns you, not vice-versa. This means our future is in part way determined by the momentum that vision generates. This is in no way drudgery or chain around our ankle; on the contrary it brings a synergy and empowerment unlike any other purpose. As we identify the true nature of vision, we will view all other activities through this newfound perspective.

60 minutes to clear goals

I think that most people would agree that the people who have goals are more successful than those who do not have any. I often talk about leadership and management. Leadership is about doing the right things while management is about doing things right. Often when we study time management, we study efficiency (doing things right) and make the assumption that we have the effectiveness (leadership) solved. The first step in any time management system should be to work on goals and as such, I use the following 60 Minute Goal Setting Exercise. Step 1: at the top of a blank piece of paper write down “values” and then spend 10 to 15 minutes writing down everything that you value. There is a great website: stevepavlina. com/ that has a list of several hundred values to start your mind thinking in the right direction. After the time is up, stop doing this and move to Step 2. Step 2: at the top of a blank piece of paper write down “lifetime goals”. This is where you can dream; for example, what places would you like to visit; what experiences would you like to have; what would you like to accomplish within your lifetime. This might include traveling to Australia; getting a university degree; living in an X square foot house, etc. There are no rules to this brainstorming – simply make a list. I have done this goal setting exercise many times and I tend to use the same list of lifetime goals and add to the list each time I do the exercise. Step 3: at the top of a blank piece of paper write down what you would do if you had six months to live. This part of the exercise really came home to me this week when one of my close friends died at 36 years old. Some of us may have only six months to live; however, we may not know it yet. List everything that you would do if you had only six months to live. Part of the purpose of this exercise that I found works well for me is that it brings the truly important into focus. Often I find things that I would do if I had only six months to live that are not listed on my life time goals. Step 4: at the top of a blank piece of paper write down your goals for this year. After doing the first three steps, you will find this step much easier than the others. These are the goals to focus on NOW. This total exercise will only take an hour. An hour spent clarifying your goals can save you hundreds of hours.

Four tips for managing your life

Good news: from getting organized to maximizing your time, there are some easy ways to stay focused and achieve your goals. • What Areas Need the Most Work? Watching a reality TV show may be more entertaining than cleaning the green film off the shower stall but it won't keep your home from becoming a biohazard. Establishing and sticking to priorities will help you spend less time worrying about what needs to be done and more time accomplishing your goals. Consider using Sunday evenings, when you normally mourn the end of the weekend, to go over weekly goals and priorities. This is a great way to stay focused on what you want to accomplish without getting ahead of yourself. • Cut Out the Junk. If you're like many Americans, you keep possessions well beyond their usefulness.

When neighbors begin mistaking your garage for abstract art, you have a problem. Consider selling old appliances, clothing and furniture that add clutter to your life; to avoid the hassle of a yard sale, use Web sites such as eBay and Craigslist to sell secondhand goods. One day you may even be able to park your car in the garage. • Get the Right Equipment.

Sometimes you just need the right tools to maximize your results. A good option is Microsoft Works Suite 2006, with something for everyone in the family. Works Suite includes six of Microsoft's most popular home software programs. You can keep a detailed list of your priorities in Microsoft Word 2002; organize upcoming projects and stay on schedule with Microsoft Works 8; and create, manage and track your budget using Microsoft Money 2006 Standard. In addition, the program includes Digital Image Standard 2006, software to help you organize, enhance and share digital photos. Encarta Encyclopedia Standard 2006 comes in handy for research; and Streets & Trips Essentials 2006 helps plan, chart and navigate that road trip you always said you would take. Visit http:// microsoft. com/works for more information.

• Give Someone Else a Spot. Pledging to be more active in your community is an important goal. Instead of shying away from volunteer opportunities, make a point to reserve one day a month for charities or functions. Nonprofit organizations are flexible when it comes to working with volunteers.

None of these tips will take effect if you don't implement them into your daily routine. It only takes a couple days of procrastination before you're smothered by daily tasks and confused about what to do next. You will change your habits only by being proactive and setting constant reminders. Remember, Rome was not built in a day. By being patient with your progress and approaching your goals sooner than later, you may have some great accomplishments to celebrate.

3 tricks for 06

2005 disappeared at a speed that quantum physics is yet unable to explain. Thank goodness I had a goal to achieve! Let me start by saying I don't do new years resolutions. I do however like to set goals that are practical, measurable, and achievable. I share them with others so I feel a sense of commitment. Last year I established a goal to run at least 5km (3 miles) every other day. I had just gotten back in to running after a "brief" 25 year absence and thought this would be a good challenge.

I was successful. I averaged 6.18km (3.8 miles) per run over 182 outings last year. A resulting benefit - I dropped 39 unneeded pounds. I feel great, not just physically but mentally knowing I exceeded my goal. What did it take? Some good running shoes, a heart rate monitor to make sure my 50 year old ticker didn't stop ticking - that would sort of defeat the whole purpose, a supportive and encouraging wife, and lastly, the tenacity to run in sometimes challenging conditions - every second day. So what about 2006? What about you? Have you set your goals? Congratulations if you already have! You get extra kudos if you have committed them to paper. You get the first place big blue rosette if you have also shared them with others. If you haven't established your 2006 goals, get at it! I offer three tricks to setting your goals. 1. Make them personal. Set your goals for you, not someone else. 2. Make them practical. They can be personal or work related, or both. 3. Share them with others. This helps you commit to your success. Actually there is no magic to this exercise. Just ask yourself, "What do I really want to accomplish in 2006 before it turns into 2007?" I work with sales professionals; their livelihoods depend on their ability to generate sales. I still can't believe the number of talented folks I speak with who have not taken the time to write down their goals, nor have they mapped out their supporting strategies to achieve their goals. I shutter to think how much more successful they would be if they set tangible goals, developed a plan to reach those goals, and shared their goals with their sales manager, a peer or their partner - or all three! I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Victor Hansen a few years ago at a sales conference in Hawaii. Mark is co-creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul book series and is truly an inspirational and humorous speaker. Mark spoke about goal setting and I want to share one memorable suggestion he made. Mark had left small cards on the tables for us to complete. He asked us to write down one goal, the time frame for completion and then he asked us to have two or three others sign the card, not to agree or pass judgement on your goal, simply to acknowledge it. I have embraced this simple concept ever since, it really helps! My last recommendation is to keep your goals visible. They do you no good tucked away in a binder or shoved in a drawer. Post them in your office, carry them on a small card in your wallet or purse, and put a copy on your closet door to look at every morning when you get dressed, or consider putting it on your computers screen saver. Subliminal reminders work. And don't forget to track your progress. I found keeping my running log updated every second day was all I needed. Plan to have a great year. I wish you success in exceeding your 2006 goals!

Develop your soul goals

Occasionally when I talk with people about goals they seem to interpret the intention of goals as being to get more things. Naturally things are important but there is so much more to goal setting that I wish to share with you. Of course it is important to have goals for new things ... Perhaps your dream home by the ocean ... Maybe a nice shiny new car to get you around in style ... or even a new iPod to listen to your Goals Magic CD's on :) It's great to set goals for new things, but not for the things themselves, rather what they will make of you to get them. But there is another type of goal which I want to challenge you to think about and begin to set. It's soul goals! Now I know you are wondering ... what are soul goals and how do they apply to me and my life? Great question, so come with me and discover why you will soon be applying them in your life. Soul goals are those goals that are larger than you! They are goals that impact on other people and on the world around you. They are goals that you invest your heart and soul into without any expectation of return. Soul goals are what gives life its passion, purpose & meaning! Think of Martin Luther King Jnr ... his whole life was dedicated to the pursuit of his soul goals! In the end he gave his life for his soul goals. It takes a mighty goal and a might man to give your life to. What about Mother Theresa? She passionately pursued her soul goals of taking care of those who were not empowered to look after themselves. Now I'm not suggesting that you will want to pursue grand goals that have a profound impact on the world around you ... rather, that you look deep inside yourself and find something that you have a passion to contribute to the world. What is it that you feel a sense of desire to do something about? What cause can you see yourself adding value to? What community, national or global projects are calling you to them and resonating with you? All of us need soul goals that we can invest our hearts, our minds and our souls into. We all need to feel a connection with something larger than ourselves. Its inherent in our souls to want to give without expectation of return. As you search for your soul goals now, open your mind and heart to the infinite possibilities to match your unique skills, wisdom, specialized knowledge, compassion, assets, contacts, networks, creativity, and genius to. As you read these words knowing what you know about your incredible untapped capacity you can find a way to apply it in some way for the greater good. Seek out your soul goals! Set your soul goals! Share your soul goals! Pursue your soul goals! Grow your soul goals! Encourage others to adopt soul goals! Here is a noble thought ... for every five goals I set for me I have one soul goal to help thee! Soul goals are paying back your debt of gratitude for the good fortune you have to be able to pursue your personal or business goals. So add a little soul into your goals!

How to improve your life every day

Growing Towards Excellence. Would you like to become a better person? If I did a survey asking people this question, I'm sure I would receive 100% response YES! Let me ask you a question: "Who started today deciding on one thing they were going to be aware of and work on today to make them a better person?" I asked this question recently to a room full of people and only one person said YES! Many of us have desires and aspirations that we would like to see fulfilled in our lives, but are not actively taking action to make those things happen. It can be difficult to relate what happens in the present to the results we would like to see in the future. However the future is prepared for today, by the choices we make and the way we invest our time and energy. Most people want to be the best they can be, but get discouraged because it seems such a huge mountain to get there. We live close to Burnaby Mountain, and often take the dogs for a walk there. There’s a really pleasant trail near the bottom, shaded by trees, along the bank of a stream However when it is time to walk home up the steep hill the prospect seems daunting. I can never walk up it without pausing for a break somewhere. At the steepest part of the hill every step seems a huge effort, and I eventually stop to get my breath. When I look back however, it is amazing to realize how far I’ve come. My whole perspective changes! The process of walking is automatic normally. When we walk, our mind focuses on other things unless the going gets tough. We make progress but it is not a conscious process. That is because walking has become a natural habit for us. This is also true of life and the skills we learn. The mechanics of driving a vehicle become second nature, as the skills become so well practiced and familiar that we do not conscious think through each action. It becomes almost instinctive, as natural to us as breathing. To consistently grow towards becoming better in our lives we need to create new habits that will move us there. At first implementing a new behaviour, thought pattern, or action into our lifestyle is a very conscious act. It’s like walking up the steepest part of the mountain. However that is only in the beginning stages. It only takes thirty days to form a new habit. Then, that positive habit in our life becomes more a natural part of us. It moves to the more subconscious part of our life. Pat Riley said “Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” To move towards more excellence in your life, the journey starts and will continue to be one small step at a time. One small step a day is far more effective than to make a resolution to take a huge jump forward, and then not make any progress for a while. Gradual - it is a process, and not seeing the results immediately can be discouraging. One helpful thing to do is to set small landmarks with some motivating reward when they are achieved. It is good to have the attitude and habit of always striving to do better in every area of life all the time. However I would also suggest a focus on one main thing at a time, and as that becomes habitual in your life, select another area of focus. Always - it needs to be every day; a small discipline at first that becomes a positive habit. I would suggest developing as part of your morning routine a time and place when you deliberately pause and reflect on the new lifestyle habit you are presently working on. During that time consider your specific goals for that day. What arte you specifically going to do or how will you change a thinking pattern to reinforce your growth in that area. Set a goal for the day. It is helpful to read or carry with you a short sentence or quote that will motivate and remind you of your goal during the day. Perhaps a Post it note in the car, or kitchen as a way of re-focusing during the day, it needs to be a daily conscious act, otherwise days missed turn into weeks, discouragement sets in and it becomes easy to give up. When a new habit is formed and is part of your lifestyle when you look back you will be amazed at the changes you see. To take even just a couple of minutes set aside at the beginning of your day is a very powerful key and works well. We all need frequent encouragement and motivation. It also is an excellent way to start your day positively, and will set the tone for the day.

The importance of commiting to your goals

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.)

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