Friday, February 1, 2013

Embrace Change


Set clear specific goals to achieve and go towards them
Some things were brought with us from last year. The attitudes, behaviours, unfinished businesses, mindsets, and misgivings from 2012 were also brought into 2013. It is now the second month of 2013. This is a new year. We need to think anew, discard what we don’t need, and wear new clothes. We need to leave behind the troubles of yesteryear. We need to begin the New Year on a right footing.

Every year the goals I set for myself are bigger than the last. Whether I achieve them or not is not the issue. The issue is to challenge myself to do better than the last time, to do things in a totally different way from the previous approach I had taken, and to find different new ways of doing the same things, but with a better result. I need to move on in life.

Instead of lettings last year’s wounds hold me down I will stand up and walk towards the goals I had set for myself. I have to aspire to a greater purpose in life instead of dwelling in the past of my life. What is the cost I’m paying for keeping things the way they are?

I had decided to come up with a personal master plan. In the master plan there are seven areas that I need to work on. The areas of focus are in reality the categories under which I will plot in very specific goals that I want to achieve in the next two years. A two-year plan is important because some goals take longer to accomplish and others take a shorter time to achieve.  

The categories are in order of importance: (1) Financial goals—includes income, savings and investments, debt reduction, and credits; (2) career and business goals—includes new projects, partnerships, expansion, new products/services, sales, new ventures, and relationships; (3) free time/family time—includes vacations, trips, sports, reunions, special events: number of weeks off; (4) health/appearance goals—includes plans to lose/gain weight, exercise, nutritional habits, medical, sports, martial arts; (5) relationship goals—includes broad areas such as family, mentors, business alliance, staff, and civic duties or community outreach groups; (6) personal growth or areas that I need to work on such as education, spiritual growth, therapy, and training in skills needed to improve my life; (7) making a difference by giving my time and resources, especially through charitable giving, church tithes, and mentoring.

In each of these categories I have plotted specific goals that are achievable. I also plotted in the reasons to achieve these goals. The reasons are usually in the second column if I am plotting the goals in a table. The third column is then for the date in which a certain goal is achieved.

I have followed this type of master plan for a number of years.  I have seen a lot of changes in my life as a result of this personal development method. I have achieved a number of personal goals and made different amends to my life. I also have gained new grounds and established a level of competency in some areas of my life. The important thing is to be very clear and specific about the goals that I want to accomplish.

An example of a goal that I accomplished in recent times is the area of health and appearance goals. For 26 years I was a smoker, using at least 50 cigarettes a day. About five months ago I stopped smoking. I surprised myself with the decision to just stop the one thing I thought I would never give up. I tried to quit many times, especially as a New Year resolution, but never succeed. I wrote it as a goal that I will give up smoking. When I finally stopped smoking I knew it was time to do so.

I am sharing this one aspect of my life to illustrate the point that if you set your goals to improve in the seven areas of life I mentioned above you also can gain new grounds in your life. I learnt these from the writings of personal development experts like Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hanson, Brian Tracey, David Allen, and others.  That’s the other thing: make reading an important habit to help you plot your journey to where you want to go or to be what you want to be. If it means spending money on buying books that will help me, I will, without any hesitancy, take my wallet out to buy the books of useful to me.

An important goal is in the area of finance and financial literacy. It is one area that many people need to work on, including myself. We live in a society that operates on money. We need money to live a happy and comfortable life. Without money we have a miserable life. One of the habits that had caught up with us is the life of borrowing money to survive in the city. This is an enslaving habit like smoking. We need to break away from it in order to find some financial freedom. Another is the habit of living beyond what we earn. Many of us are financially illiterate when it comes to money management. The challenge is to increase the opportunities of earning so as to meet the financial demands of living in a fast changing society.

Embrace change is what I am ranting on about. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future,” says John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States.

In Jack Canfield’s words: “When you embrace change wholeheartedly as an inevitable part of life, looking for ways to use new changes to make your life richer, easier, and more fulfilling, your life will work much better. You will experience change as an opportunity for growth and new experiences.”

I am already looking forward to the changes that 2013 will bring to us.

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