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gimme goals

gimme contact
gimme goals
gimme a plan
gimme no hang ups!
lifestyle diet
marvelous miscellany
lifestyle exercise
exercise defeat
endurance training
strength training
tai chi
water aerobics
lifestyle sleep
lifestyle relaxation
relaxation breathing
relaxation techniques
lifestyle counseling
behavioral therapy
cognitive behavioral therapy
electroconvulsive therapy
group therapy
interpersonal therapy
lifestyle medications
lifestyle emotions & feelings
lifestyle quit smoking
relationships - making some changes
welcome to changes!
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this network of sites are non profit & personal

the emotional feelings network of sites is a not for profit personal network of sites offering information for self help purposes. In no way should the information within this site replace advice given to you by a medical or mental health professional. Please, take the time to notify your doctor of any changes you intend upon making concerning your diet, exercise, relaxation, sleep, counseling or medications.
the emotional feelings network of sites works on a navigational system designed for ultimate education and understanding of all topics. Upon educating and understanding the information within the network it will be the most beneficial experience for you to make changes or take action in your life for change. 
All underlined link words open up a new window instead of changing your present one, taking you to another site within the emotional feelings network of sites - or to another site referencing the underlined link word!
If you have any questions, comments, concerns or would like to communicate with me via e-mail by clicking here!

Are you able to accept some simple advice?
think about accepting just some simple advice...

 It's very important that you visit the: keeping in touch page!
Reason being: If you're here because you're searching for an answer to your feelings of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, feeling sick, or just general feelings of misery in your life - you need to find a volunteer opportunity that you feel comfortable with.
You can help yourself by helping others. You might not think so; but it's true. Find something you can do to help some worthy causes. "Keeping in Touch" will show you some important causes that need you!
Why not just click here now to get it over with! So even if you leave this site after finding some information concerning an emotion or feeling... you'll also leave with the seed of thought concerning volunteer work that might produce some results bringing you a sense of accomplishment & find yourself feeling better!

remembering september eleventh
forever free: remembering september eleventh
always & forever

I'm glad you're here! Everyone needs to take some "time out" to find out what's missing in their life...

Some people need to achieve or obtain whatever it is they've dreamed & hoped for throughout their whole lives... to end the continual reminders that play over in their minds about what they'd really like to be doing...

Some people need to realign their priorities, improve their relationships..... (click here if this describes you!)

Others need to change their diet after years of abusing food or using it to self medicate....

Yet some of us just plain need a whole new lifestyle!! The big makeover - the big Kahuna!!! Me included, I'm right here working my journey with you all!

Bottom line: we all have needs! We have to take the time to figure out how to prioritize our needs & fulfill them!


for a personal touch or to simply reach out to someone to make a connection! click here to send me an e-mail!

welcome! to changes!
after looking things over here at changes, try out "the layer down under," (part of the emotional feelings network of sites) & read a special "i just gotta say it" column concerning porn addiction by clicking here! Be sure to scroll down towards the bottom of the right hand column to find it!
Visiting the homepage of the entire network of sites is a great idea to get the complete concept of the emotional feelings network of sites!

click here to read my monthly column now~

click here!  Bob Woodruff: Turning Personal Injury Into Public Inquiry click here!
I was personally very touched by this inspiring story as I watched it on television last night (2/27/07); especially after I experienced a life altering injury which took me 2 years to recover from.
What I want to ask you is...
If you can't help out with the helmets, below for our military men, can you volunteer or help our returning soldiers who are recovering with extreme traumatic brain injury?
Here are some links!
Check them out, I know that my family will be searching for a way we can help! Remember, extreme or traumatic physical injuries affect mental health as well.

What is Operation Helmet?

Founded in 2003 by Dr. Robert H. Meaders whose grandson is an active duty Marine in Iraq, Operation Helmet is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing safer helmet pad upgrade kits to the troops in Iraq & Afghanistan. To date, more than 6,000 kits have been shipped to the troops in the field.

click on this bar to visit the website!
click here!
visit the website! our guys need your help!

How this site works best for you!
You'll notice that there are many underlined link words in each article within the website. The reason for this is that you have reached not only, "changes," the site that offers guidelines on making lifestyle changes," but part of the emotional feelings network of sites. There are many sites included within the network that'll be visited by clicking on these underlined link words.
The reason for this opportunity is very simple & yet you may be unnerved by all those underlined words! I've been in recovery from post traumatic stress disorder, depression & many other dysfunctional ventures & thru it all I've discovered that emotion & feeling work may be the missing link that many people miss when trying to find solutions to their problems.
Developing a sense of curiosity about why you feel the way you do, is essential in finding the solution you so desperately are searching for.
If you can't find what you came here looking for, visit the homepage for the emotional feelings network of sites by clicking above & read the options on the homepage for the networks index of sites. Try to be specific when looking for an emotion or feeling word & click on the site you need!
It's very simple & very interesting to follow your way thru the layers of your buried or stuffed emotions & feelings that have accumulated throughout the years!
when you've reached this point, or this website, you know you're making progress!!!! this part gets difficult because now is the time to look within & become emotionally honest with yourself!!!
Best of luck & if you're still stuck, send me an e-mail anytime, by clicking here & I'll be glad to send you an immediate personal response!



from the book: You Can Choose to be Happy by Dr. Stevens... (the complete book is available online to read for free... click the title above to go there now....)
" Making personal growth a priority can produce "miraculous" effects. Who'll be successful at this quest & who won't?
The persons who become the happiest & grow the most are those who also make truth & their own personal growth primary values.
They become fascinated with new growth experiences, even personally difficult ones, in order to keep reaching higher levels of development.
Each new stressful event can be seen as an opportunity for growth instead of a disaster. You can fail to reach a goal, but you can never fail to learn.


Find role models for your own personal growth. Another way to begin your quest for happiness is to find good role models, such as people who've reached higher levels of happiness. Finding people who started with problems similar to yours can be especially helpful.


If you're dealing with problems such as persistent depression or anxiety, you may be so focused on overcoming negative emotions that you resist focusing on goals like happiness & self-actualization. (click here if this describes you)
However, is it possible that part of your problem overcoming negative emotions may be that you focus too much on problems & on reacting to situations?
Does focusing on problems leave you stuck in quicksand? If so, focusing on positive goals & positive models may be your lifeline out of the quicksand.
In addition, happiness & self-actualization are closer than you think. You can achieve bits & pieces of happiness & self-actualization quickly.


first we need to determine our needs & goals to meet those needs....
what do I need in my life right now? make your list & prioritize it!

·         What do I want my life to be like 3 years from now?

·         How will I implement these goals?

·         Do I have a series of more realistic, short-term goals? What system will I use to monitor my progress?


How can personal goal setting be successful?

To be a successful goal setter for recovery from low self-esteem, you need to:



okay - now let's be realistic...
3 years from now? come on! we want immediate gratification, don't we? we want to see positive changes tomorrow - or later on today if that's possible!
guess what - it is....


How to set goals that will result in a lifestyle change

In order for successful goals to be set:


Irrational & confused thinking which sabotages goal setting

  • It won't take me long to accomplish these changes.

  • I can do it on my own & I don't need any social support group, teachers, or helpers to assist me.

  • All I need to do is to read this book to achieve the changes I need in my life.

  • All my problems will be gone once I change this behavior.

  • If I spend enough money, I'll be able to get somebody to do what I need to change my life.

  • I'm not in as bad a shape as I think I am.

  • Professionals are always out for money & they only want me to change my lifestyle in order to make money off me.

  • I can change easily & I don't need to do all these other things as long as I'm willing to go to a counselor at regular intervals during my life.

  • I'm healthy. All I am is a little nervous. Why do I need this recovery lifestyle program?

  • I don't have time to be bothered with all of these things.

  • Why worry? I haven't gotten sick yet!

  • All of these changes are too much to do overnight. I'll put this off until I'm older, when the need to change is more important.

  • All of these people who are encouraging recovery & a balanced lifestyle are fanatics. They don't really enjoy life, do they?

  • My family will never put up with these changes in my life.

  • I'll do a little now & a little later on & eventually get to the rest of it after that.

  • All of this requires too much thinking, too much work & effort & too much of me. Why aren't they helping me more? I pay them enough! They should be doing this for me!

  • It seems so big & impossible to achieve all these things for recovery.

  • I'm lost; where do I begin to change?


Tips for productive goal setting for achieving a recovery lifestyle

  • Set short-term goals that can be achieved on a weekly basis; you set yourself up for discouragement by setting only long-term goals.

  • Set goals at a realistic level of attainment, nothing unrealistic.

  • Set phasing-in goals, which are small increments of change accomplished over a period of time, until the complete change has been phased into existence; no overnight reformation.

  • Set a realistic time frame to account for the actual time needed to achieve target behavior changes.

  • Set goals that concentrate on behavior changes, not only on growth in self-esteem.

  • Set goals that you can live with; be honest with yourself.

  • Set goals that are you rather than somebody else; don't imitate other's goals.

  • Set only goals you want to achieve, nothing just to impress someone else.

  • Don't set yourself up for failure by overshooting the mark; avoid using absolute statements like "always'' or "never.''

  • Set up a system of evaluation to give you immediate feedback; use your support system.

  • Avoid goals that require other people to perform them; you must be your own agent of change in your life.


How Goals Unleash the Superhero Inside You! - By Jill Koenig

Within every human being, exists an infinite supply of creativity, strength & wonder.

You're capable of more than you know.

Let me tell you about a real life Superhero I know. His name is Mike Berkson.

Mike Berkson was born a few minutes after his twin brother David, on February 4th, 1989. Shortly after birth, Mike was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Doctors told his parents that he wouldn't be able to talk & he'd never be a student in a regular classroom.

By the time Mike was 3, he wasn't only talking up a storm but had a thirst for vocabulary. Mike sets BIG Goals. Mike excels in English & History, is creative in writing short stories & has ambitions in film making.

Mike lives in a Chicago suburb & now attends high school. He loves rap music, Seinfeld reruns, movies, girls & many other things most teenagers are interested in. Mike is unique in that he has to work around some obstacles in his day to day life that you & I will never be faced with.

Because he's confined to a wheelchair & has limited use of his arms & legs, he's paired with someone to help him thru the day so he can attend school & get the quality of education he deserves. For a few years, my friend Tim was fortunate enough to be paired with Mike & serve as Mike's aid & helper.

Ponder the things you do every day & imagine being physically unable to do them. Tim was responsible for taking notes for Mike, assisting him with eating, the bathroom, transportation & all the things that we do without thinking about.

As Tim & Mike grew closer & Tim became a member of Mike's family, Tim felt a yearning to share with the world Mike's awesome attitude & how Mike deals with prejudices, ignorance & inconveniences despite his circumstances.

Tim was so inspired by the Superhero within in Mike, that last year he set a goal to write a book about Mike & run 1,200 miles from Florida to Chicago to promote it.

Just one tiny problem... at the time, Tim could hardly run 30 minutes & in order to achieve his goals within 4 months, he would have write the book at blazing speed & get into the kind of physical condition to maintain a pace of running 40 miles per day for 31 straight days.

Impossible you might think? No. Remember I told you that you're more powerful than you think you are.

You see Tim had a unique source of motivation to fuel his goals. He had Mike. He had the examples from years of watching Mike display the traits of a real life Superhero. Tim had the inspiration of making a promise to an exceptional young man. Tim had the motivation of a purpose greater than himself.

Tim had the yearning to pursue a series of goals so much bigger than anything he had ever done before, that he just had to try. As a tribute to Mike, Tim had to push himself beyond anything he ever previously did, as Mike does every single day.

Some people in life believe you should only pursue goals you know you can achieve. Others believe the success lies in the growth that occurs from stretching beyond your previous wins & that all growth is success.

How do you define success?

I interviewed Tim recently on my radio show. Tim explains how he found an endurance coach & transformed himself from a couch potato into an ultra endurance champion. Tim didn't reach his goal of running 40 miles a day. You see, his plan was flawed. He made a lot of mistakes.

His schedule for the run was so tight, that he didn't allow himself any room for error, like weather, funding, or the hazards of running alongside traffic. His approach for raising money was limited. He had a skeleton crew of one to accompany him on the run.

He had to return home by a certain date, regardless of how far behind he was, so he had to drive the distances to catch up when he fell behind. Shortly after he started his journey, he realized he wouldn't be able to achieve the 1,200 miles & still make it home on time. But he kept running, anyways, he wanted to Keep On Keeping On. He'd rather continue stretching himself than consider quitting.

Why is Tim's journey considered a success by many? Because he dared to pursue it in the first place. Because he did finish his book about Mike in record time. Because he succeeded in transforming his body into an Ultra Endurance Machine for that time.

Because he DID succeed in running an average of 24 miles per day for a total of 700 miles. Because he didn't quit, even when he realized he couldn't reach every goal he set for himself.

Because he touched the heart of a young man who looked up to him. Because he inspired a lot of people to go beyond what they previously thought they could do.

Because for a moment in time, he tapped into the Superhero inside himself & unleashed more of his own potential.

Rising above circumstances like a champion inspires other people.

We must re-evaluate our perspective on what success really is.

Are you a success if you play it safe your whole life & never dare anything unless you're guaranteed victory?

When you set BIG Goals, it's important to set many smaller goals that coincide with it. Even if you fail to reach your deadline for one Goal, you'll still succeed at many & you'll build your confidence to a much higher level. Give yourself empowering reasons for getting up when you feel down.

There's a Superhero inside YOU.

What Goals can you set that will inspire you to unleash it?

Keep On Keeping On.

Live Your Dreams


Personal Goal Setting
Find direction. Live your life your way.

How to Use Tool:

Goal setting is a powerful process for personal planning.

The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You'll also quickly spot the distractions that would otherwise lure you from your course.

More than this, properly-set goals can be incredibly motivating & as you get into the habit of setting & achieving goals, you'll find that your self-confidence builds fast.

Achieving More With Focus

Goal setting techniques are used by top-level athletes, successful business-people & achievers in all fields. They give you long-term vision & short-term motivation. They focus your acquisition of knowledge & help you to organize your time & your resources so that you can make the very most of your life.

By setting sharp, clearly defined goals, you can measure & take pride in the achievement of those goals. You can see forward progress in what might previously have seemed a long pointless grind. By setting goals, you'll also raise your self-confidence, as you recognize your ability &competence in achieving the goals that you've set.

Goals are set on a number of different levels:

1st you decide what you want to do with your life & what large-scale goals you want to achieve.

2nd, you break these down into the smaller & smaller targets that you must hit so that you reach your lifetime goals.

Finally, once you have your plan, you start working to achieve it.

Starting to Set Personal Goals

This section explains a simple technique for setting personal goals. It starts with your lifetime goals & then works thru a series of lower level plans culminating in a daily to-do list.

By setting up this structure of plans you can break even the biggest life goal down into a number of small tasks that you need to do each day to reach the lifetime goals.

(Don't forget: If you want to fast-track your goal setting & get the most from it, then either join our Design Your Life program or talk to one of our coaches.)

Your Lifetime Goal

The first step in setting personal goals is to consider what you want to achieve in your lifetime, as setting Lifetime goals gives you the overall perspective that shapes all other aspects of your decision making.

To give a broad, balanced coverage of all important areas in your life, try to set goals in some these categories (or in categories of your own, where these are important to you):

  • Artistic: Do you want to achieve any artistic goals? If so, what?
  • Attitude: Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? If so, set a goal to improve your behavior or find a solution to the problem.
  • Career: What level do you want to reach in your career?
  • Education: Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information & skills will you need to achieve other goals?
  • Family: Do you want to be a parent? If so, how are you going to be a good parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family?
  • Financial: How much do you want to earn by what stage?
  • Physical: Are there any athletic goals you want to achieve, or do you want good health deep into old age? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?
  • Pleasure: How do you want to enjoy yourself? - you should ensure that some of your life is for you!
  • Public Service: Do you want to make the world a better place by your existence? If so, how?

Once you have decided your goals in these categories, assign a priority to them from A to F.

Then review the goals & re-prioritize until you're satisfied that they reflect the shape of the life that you want to lead. Also ensure that the goals that you have set are the goals that you want to achieve, not what your parents, spouse, family, or employers want them to be.

SMART Goals:
A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic. While there are plenty of variants, SMART usually stands for:

  • S Specific
  • M Measurable
  • A Attainable
  • R Relevant
  • T Time-bound

For example, instead of having “to sail around the world” as a goal, it is more powerful to say “To have completed my trip around the world by December 31, 2015.” Obviously, this will only be attainable if a lot of preparation has been completed beforehand!


Starting to Achieve Your Lifetime Goals

Once you've set your lifetime goals, set a 25 year plan of smaller goals that you should complete if you're to reach your lifetime plan.

Then set a 5 year plan, 1 year plan, 6 month plan & 1 month plan of progressively smaller goals that you should reach to achieve your lifetime goals. Each of these should be based on the previous plan.

Then create a daily to-do list of things that you should do today to work towards your lifetime goals. At an early stage these goals may be to read books & gather information on the achievement of your goals. This will help you to improve the quality & realism of your goal setting.

Finally review your plans & make sure that they fit the way in which you want to live your life.

Staying on Course

Once you've decided your first set of plans, keep the process going by reviewing & updating your to-do list on a daily basis. Periodically review the longer term plans & modify them to reflect your changing priorities & experience.

An easy way of doing this is to use the goal-setting software like GoalPro 6 on a daily basis - we review GoalPro on the left-hand sidebar, alternatively you can download GoalPro from Success Studios web site. GoalPro uses a similar set of categories to ones we recommend - either use theirs, or adapt the software to use ours.

Goal Setting Tips

The following broad guidelines will help you to set effective goals:

  • State each goals as a positive statement: Express your goals positively - 'Execute this technique well' is a much better goal than 'Don't make this stupid mistake'
  • Be precise: Set a precise goal, putting in dates, times & amounts so that you can measure achievement. If you do this, you'll know exactly when you've achieved the goal & can take complete satisfaction from having achieved it.
  • Set priorities: When you have several goals, give each a priority. This helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals & helps to direct your attention to the most important ones.
  • Write goals down: this crystallizes them & gives them more force.
  • Keep operational goals small: Keep the low-level goals you're working towards small & achievable. If a goal is too large, then it can seem that you aren't making progress towards it. Keeping goals small & incremental gives more opportunities for reward. Derive today's goals from larger ones.
  • Set performance goals, not outcome goals: You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. There's nothing more dispiriting than failing to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control.

These could be bad business environments, poor judging, bad weather, injury, or just plain bad luck. If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals & draw satisfaction from them.

  • Set realistic goals: It's important to set goals that you can achieve. All sorts of people (parents, media, society) can set unrealistic goals for you. They'll often do this in ignorance of your own desires & ambitions.

Alternatively you may be naļve in setting very high goals.

You might not appreciate either the obstacles in the way, or understand quite how much skill you need to develop to achieve a particular level of performance.

  • Don't set goals too low: Just as it's important not to set goals unrealistically high, don't set them too low. People tend to do this where they're afraid of failure or where they're lazy!

You should set goals so that they're slightly out of your immediate grasp, but not so far that there's no hope of achieving them.

No one will put serious effort into achieving a goal that they believe is unrealistic.

However, remember that your belief that a goal is unrealistic may be incorrect. If this could be the case, you can to change this belief by using imagery effectively.

This is something we focus on in detail in our "Design Your Life" program, which not only helps you decide your goals, it then helps you set the vivid, compelling goals you need if you're to make the most of your goal setting.


Achieving Goals

When you've achieved a goal, take the time to enjoy the satisfaction of having done so. Absorb the implications of the goal achievement & observe the progress you have made towards other goals. If the goal was a significant one, reward yourself appropriately.

With the experience of having achieved this goal, review the rest of your goal plans:

  • If you achieved the goal too easily, make your next goals harder
  • If the goal took a dispiriting length of time to achieve, make the next goals a little easier

  • If you learned something that would lead you to change other goals, do so

  • If while achieving the goal you noticed a deficit in your skills, decide whether to set goals to fix this.

Failure to meet goals doesn't matter as long as you learn from it. Feed lessons learned back into your goal-setting program.

Remember too that your goals will change as you mature. Adjust them regularly to reflect this growth in your personality. If goals don't hold any attraction any longer, then let them go. Goal setting is your servant, not your master. It should bring you real pleasure, satisfaction & a sense of achievement.

Example: The best example of goal setting that you can have is to try setting your own goals. Set aside 2 hours to think thru your lifetime goals in each of the categories.

Then work back thru the 25-year plan, 5-year plan, 1-year plan, 6-month plan, a 1-month plan. Finally draw up a To Do List of jobs to do tomorrow to move towards your goals.

Tomorrow, do those jobs & start to use goal-setting routinely!

Key points:

Goal setting is an important method of:

  • Deciding what's important for you to achieve in your life

  • Separating what's important from what's irrelevant

  • Motivating yourself to achievement

  • Building your self-confidence based on measured achievement of goals

When you achieve goals, allow yourself to enjoy this achievement of goals & reward yourself appropriately. Draw lessons where appropriate & feed these back into future performance.

The following services & resources can help you set & achieve your goals more effectively:

  • Design Your Life: Design the life of your dreams & then set the goals you need to live the life you design, with "Design Your Life", Mind Tools life design & goal setting system. Click here to find out more.

  • Make Time for Success: This Mind Tools course contains more than 140 pages of time tested tips, techniques & skills that can help you work better & get the most that life has to offer.

You'll learn how to set realistic goals, generate a life plan & leverage all of the opportunities that life has to offer. Many of the lessons include workbook exercises so that you really understand how to put these invaluable skills to work in your life. Click here to learn more.

Goal Setting with Mind Tools Career Coaches: Our coaches specialize in helping you understand your deepest motivations, set clear & appropriate goals & then help you make success, the achievement of these goals, a habit. Our coaches speed you on your way to well-balanced, long-term success.

GoalPro 6: GoalPro provides dedicated software support helping you set personal goals & to monitor your achievement of them. GoalPro has a 28-day trial period so you can try it before you buy it.

MyGoals.com: MyGoals provides pre-defined goal plans that help you get started with goal setting quickly & effectively.


To-Do Lists

Remembering To Do All Essential Jobs, In The Right Order

How to Use Tool:

A 'To-Do List' is a list of all the tasks that you need to carry out. It consolidates all the jobs that you have to do into one place. You can then prioritize these tasks into order of importance. This allows you to tackle the most important ones first.

To-Do Lists are essential when you need to carry out a number of different tasks or different sorts of task, or when you've made a number of commitments. If you find that you're often caught out because you have forgotten to do something, then you need to keep a To-Do List.

Whilst To-Do Lists are very simple, they're also extremely powerful, both as a method of organizing yourself & as a way of reducing stress. Often problems may seem overwhelming or you may have a seemingly huge number of demands on your time. This may leave you feeling out of control & overburdened with work.

Preparing a To-Do List

The solution is often simple: Start by downloading our To Do list template (you'll need to have Adobe Reader installed - click here to get it free). Then write down the tasks that face you & if they're large, break them down into their component elements.

If these still seem large, break them down again. Do this until you've listed everything that you have To-Do.

Once you've done this, run thru these jobs allocating priorities from A (very important) to F (unimportant). If too many tasks have a high priority, run thru the list again & demote the less important ones.

Once you've done this, rewrite the list in priority order.

You'll then have a precise plan that you can use to eliminate the problems you face. You'll be able to tackle these in order of importance.

This allows you to separate important jobs from the many time-consuming trivial ones.

Using Your To-Do Lists

Different people use To-Do Lists in different ways in different situations: if you're in a sales-type role, a good way of motivating yourself is to keep your list relatively short & aim to complete it every day.

In an operational role, or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people, then it may be better to keep one list & 'chip away' at it.

It may be that you carry unimportant jobs from one To-Do List to the next. You may not be able to complete some very low priority jobs for several months.

Only worry about this if you need to - if you're running up against a deadline for them, raise their priority.

If you haven't used To-Do Lists before, try them now, as they're one of the keys to being really productive & efficient.

Key points:

Prioritized To-Do Lists are fundamentally important to efficient work. If you use To-Do Lists, you will ensure that:

  • You remember to carry out all necessary tasks
  • You tackle the most important jobs first & don't waste time on trivial tasks.
  • You don't get stressed by a large number of unimportant jobs.

To draw up a Prioritized To-Do List, download our template & use it to list all the tasks you must carry out.

Mark the importance of the task next to it, with a priority from A (very important) to F (unimportant). Redraft the list into this order of importance.

Now carry out the jobs at the top of the list first. These are the most important, most beneficial tasks to complete.


What are relationship goals?

In order for a relationship to be fruitful & satisfying those involved in it must set clear goals. Most people go into relationships with a vague idea of what they want out of it. When pressed, they often are unable to specify their goals for the relationship.

Goals can be stated or written, but they should be agreed upon by the partners at the beginning of the relationship. Goals sometimes are documented in a behavioral contract format & signed by both partners. The goals stated should be only those on which both partners agree & can claim ownership. The relationship goal contract should be kept in a safe place & reviewed annually.

During the annual review the goals can be modified & the objectives to be achieved for the next year can be identified. Relationship goals should be long range, but they should be general enough to give the partners latitude. Annual objectives based on these goals can be more specific & short term, motivating the partners to successfully achieving them within the year.

Relationship goals should be developed to cover key issues involved in the relationship, but they can cover any area of human behavior.


Steps to help decide on relationship goals

Step 1: Review Sections the suggested relationship goal issues together as they apply to your relationship

Step 2: Discuss the questions raised in each area with your partner. Really hash it out. This is your chance to ventilate.

Step 3: In your journal, list at least 5 goals for each of the areas. In writing down your goals, use the following guide:

Relationship goal characteristics:

(1) Are general in nature.

(2) Specify that each partner is responsible for ensuring the goal is reached.

(3) Have a flexible time frame for attainment up to 5 years or more from when the goal is written.

(4) Are reasonable with a realistic chance of being attained.

(5) Are written in clear, understandable language, easily understood by both partners.

(6) Are agreeable to each partner; each partner can commit to "ownership" of the goal.

(7) Guarantee respect for the rights of each partner.

(8) Ensure the health of the relationship.

(9) Are oriented to each partner's growth in the relationship.

Step 4: Once you have 5 goals for the first area, develop goals under the next area until you exhaust all of the topical areas.

Step 5: You should have over 20 goals identified after Step 4. Record these goals in your journal.

Step 6: Both of you should sign the relationship goal contract & keep it safe for your annual goal review. At that time, evaluate your progress in reaching your long term goals. Revise your goals if needed & set up short term objectives to continue working toward the long range goals.

Step 7: If you & your partner still have difficulty setting goals, review this Goal Setting Chapter with an objective, professional helper.



On a positive note:

  • I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on & it'll be better tomorrow. 

  • I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these 3 things:

* a rainy day

* lost luggage 

* tangled Christmas tree lights.

  • I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

  • I've learned that making a "living" isn't the same as making a "life".

  • I've learned that life sometimes gives you a 2nd chance.

  • I've learned that you shouldn't go thru life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. 

  • I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it'll elude you. But if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, your work & doing the best you can, happiness will find you.

  • I've learned that whenever I decide something w/an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

  • I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. 

  • I've learned that everyday you should reach out & touch someone. People love that human touch, holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. 

  • I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

  • I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, But, people will never forget how you made them feel.

  • I've learned that you should pass this along to someone you care about. I just did. Sometimes you just need a little something to make you smile.


short term goals

Hi All!
It's me, your friend, kathleen.... I've been in recovery for some time now, about 5 years & it's time for me to put the pedal to the metal & make some goals. Where do you start?
How do you know you're ready?
I thought I was ready about a year ago, but I wasn't. I think I am now, but I'm still not sure. What happens if you start making goals, but you find you can't achieve them? Does that make you get all depressed again?
These are questions I have about goals... Do you have any?
Hang in there fellow sojourners!

long term goals


Self Help for Setting Goals - 3 Steps for Lasting Success - By Peter H. Thomas

Success, whether it's about personal happiness or career achievement, usually begins with setting goals. Unfortunately, self-help goals quickly set are often left unmet. So what goal-setting strategies move goals from creation to reality?

Setting goals is fairly easy. Setting goals that actually come to pass is harder & requires forethought. After setting a goal, one of the greatest challenges is integrating it into daily life, making sure it aligns with what you really value in life - a crucial step to seeing a goals thru.

Here are 3 useful steps & proven strategies for setting goals & making them stick.

Goals: Write them Down

Putting pen to paper makes the goal-setting process concrete. Write them down & create action steps to make them happen. These action steps may be daily to-do lists & reminders that should always be planned out the day before for the following day.

Now you have something that you can hold in your hand & refer to as a reminder & a motivator. Not only are you creating your own accountability system, writing down your goals & action steps will help you clarify your objectives & remain focused on them. And it provides you another tool important to your self-help goals - visualization.

Prioritize your Goals

As you set your goals
& focus on them, reflect upon your life & remember your values - the past you've led & the future you envision. What moments have been rewarding?

Or disappointing?

What has remained important over time & what's most important to you now? Who are the people who you care about the most?

Of all the things that you have now, which could you give up? Which items, experiences & relationships could you not live without?

According to the self-help program Life Manual, the best goals - whether they're related to work, family, academic achievement or personal life - are the ones that align themselves with a person's core values.

Michael R. Ellison, CEO of TRIVITA, Inc., agrees. Since incorporating values-based goal-setting tools in the workplace, the workplace has changed. "Now, the discussions at our meetings concern not only the care of customers, but also the specific values & goals that impacted each member of our team personally."

Set goals that parallel & honor your priorities - the things that you value. Explore everything that you have now or have had in the past, to discover why you valued it & how you can continue to value it.

Share your Goals

Goal setting doesn't take place in a vacuum. Successful goals are usually visualized - & carried out - thru feedback from trusted friends, family members & co-workers. Listen to feedback from others. Are you making goals that are really aligned with your values & priorities?

People in your home, work & community are also there to provide support, motivation & applaud your accomplishments. They can also give you a friendly reminder when you slide off track. Sharing your goals with people you trust also makes you more accountable to your goals.

Additional Resource:

Learn more about the benefits of goal setting & values -based life planning with a free PDF or audio download at the LifeManual
web site.


How Goal Setting Unleashes Your Potential - By Jim Meisenheimer

Braxton Bilbrey is a 7 year-old boy. He lives in Glendale, Arizona. He read about a 9 year-old boy who swam from Alcatraz Island to the city of San Francisco.

I imagine he started thinking if he can do it so can I!

So, he established a goal to swim the 1.4 miles of chilly waters from Alcatraz to the city. According to the article I read his mother wasn't too happy about the idea.

She apparently changed her mind when she realized how committed Braxton was to his goal.

He achieved his goal & completed the swim in 47 minutes.

He was motivated by his clearly defined goal.

He says his next goal is to swim the English Channel.

I'm confident he'll achieve this very ambitious goal.

A few observations:

First, Braxton is only 7 years old drawing inspiration from reading magazine articles. Maybe there's a lesson here for all of us.

Second, if a 7 year-old boy can set & achieve an extraordinary goal like this, shouldn't that accomplishment motivate you to become what you're capable of becoming?

Third, wouldn't every selling day be a better one if began your day with a specific & written sales goal?

On a different but related subject I started rereading Og Mandino's classic book, "The Greatest Salesman In The World."

The following quotes are from this phenomenal book.

"Failure is man's inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be."

Stupidity, in my humble opinion, isn't setting goals in the first place.

Success comes when you "combine what you learn with the experience you acquire." It's imperative you keep the wheel of learning in motion.

If you want to learn more about how to become a great salesperson you might want to get a copy of this priceless book for your personal library.

When you're determined to succeed it's impossible for you to fail!

Goal setting really does work, though sometimes in mysterious way, to help you unleash the potential within you.

Action step: Start every day with written sales goals.


5 Simple Steps for Achieving Your Goals - By Jill Koenig

Every goal you aspire to achieve can be broken down into 5 simple steps.

There's a formula for success that works over &
over & over. The bigger a goal seems, the longer it takes to achieve, the more complicated we can make it & the more likely we are to become distracted.

If you aren't making consistent progress, if you aren't
succeeding in reaching your goal, break it down into this simple process.

Here is my simple 5 step Goal Strategy I use to reach my goals every time:

1) Decide exactly what you want (write it down)

2) Affirm WHY you want it (the bigger the reason the more
internal motivation you're giving yourself
) (write them on

3) Define the actions you'll need to take to achieve it (on paper)

4) Schedule the actions (in your calendar)

5) Do It! (Follow thru & carry out your plan)

It helps if you find images or photos that represent your goal & put them in places you'll see often (bathroom mirror, briefcase, in your car, on your screensaver, on the refrigerator)

If your goal is a long term goal, break it into smaller goals.

Schedule at least one thing to do each day (A Goal A Day). Doing one goal each day will add up & you'll create enough momentum to carry you thru!

Define your top 10 goals for the year
Define your top 10 goals for the month
Define your top 10 goals for the week

One last thing¦ rewrite your top 10 list weekly, daily if you can.

Before I begin any goal I "plug it in" to this easy 5 step process. When I do this, I remind myself that even the biggest goal can become simple. You should be able to break down every goal so it can fit on one sheet of paper. If you're struggling with a goal, or have gotten off track, begin anew by doing this exercise.

Live Your Dreams!


Goalsetting For Success - 12 Winning goal smart Strategies - By Olga Graham-Try

There's a lot of goalsetting for success guidance being offered on the net today. However, it never cease to amaze me the extent of the over-strenuous emphasis on the term 'failure' or 'failing' by many so-called 'personal development' advocates. I've encountered numerous such dubious approaches, some of which I perceive downright disempowering to individuals who are desperate to bring much needed positive change into their lives.

Statements often run along the lines of 'Do you want to quit being a loser?', or 'Are you failing...?', or 'Do x y z or you'll continue to fail'.

True commitment to any individual's personal development shouldn't be centred around perceived past or present 'failings' but should instead focus on the positive aspects of the individual's potential, as well as being borne out of a genuine desire to promote his or her personal growth & the positive changes s/he can bring into his or her life.

As I see it, the only 'failing' being done is on the part of some of these irresponsible people, whose only motive would appear to be the promotion of their products &/or services. It sounds harsh but so is preying on someone's vulnerability.

Look at it this way. Whether implicitly or explicitly, if a person is told from the outset that s/he is a failure or is failing, this can only serve to reinforce any negative view s/he already hold about him or herself. That seed is already there but it's now being given further reinforcement to sprout. Don't underestimate the power of this kind of suggestion.

To give you an example of what I mean, let's say you're walking across a slippery surface; your goal is to successfully make it to the other side.

You're confident about achieving this & you're doing just fine until someone point out that you should take care not to fall!
What do you suppose happens?

You fall of course. In that split second your focus shifted from a predetermined, positive outcome, to - (for want of a better word), 'failing'. Why?

Because a seed of doubt was planted questioning your ability to complete that task successfully. That's the power of negative suggestions or negative thinking.

As you can clearly see from the example above, negative thoughts, ideas or suggestions don't necessarily have to come from you to be detrimental. When you're feeling vulnerable or experiencing a loss of faith or belief in yourself, the last thing you want & need is someone telling you, you've 'failed because....'.

So be mindful of what's being suggested to you since you might just internalize it - inadvertently making it your reality.

Regardless of what anyone tells you, there's no magical formula external to your own self when you're goalsetting for success. Your potential for personal growth & your many successes lies within you & no one else.

The extent of any appropriate outside guidance you receive is merely to point you in the direction that'll help you explore all your available options. You then choose the path that is right for you to successfully achieve your personal goal setting objectives.

In a nutshell, goalsetting for success rests with you & you alone in much the same way that non-achievement of your goals will do too. You're in the driving seat, so it's you who decide.

So what is the formula to goalsetting for success? It's really quite simple with the right quality of guidance. Goalsetting for success is a process that involve several stages you must work thru to achieve your personal goal objective. I refer to these as the 12 winning goal smart strategies for your personal goal setting success.

Development of your self-awareness & self-knowledge is one of the crucial components underpinning your successful & smart goal-setting & is your passport to achievement.

It's therefore imperative that you work thru the 12 stages, which are as follows:

1. Assessing your personal values to find what it is you really want

2. Clarifying with yourself that your wants are yours & yours alone

3. Prioritizing your wants in order of importance

4. Writing your smart goals

5. Drawing on your personal resources - strengths, past achievements

6. Identifying any challenges, barriers or blocks to you achieving your goal

7. Identifying your development areas - i.e. skills, further learning

8. Writing your personal goal smart action plan

9. Taking action - carrying out tasks to achieve your goal objectives

10. Reviewing & evaluating your progress with your smart goals

11. Rewarding yourself for your personal goals achievement

12. Building further on your achievement by expanding on
your goals

Here's an elaboration of point number one above & what it involves.

Stage 1: Establishing What You Want

It's not always easy knowing what it is you want when you're embarking on an activity goal setting process. Yet, if you don't know what you want, it becomes difficult to even begin the task of setting your goals. Here's an exercise to help you with prioritizing your personal values.

When you're goalsetting for success, it's crucial that you take time to think about your personal code, since this is what will govern the value you place on very many things in life as well as how you conduct yourself.

For instance, your personal code will influence the weight you put on such things as honor, sense of justice, fairness, truth, marriage, family, career, or even your health.

Consider what it is you value the most, or what's important in your life right now. For instance, if the area in which you want to set your goals is your health area you might consider, 'mental well-being, physical fitness, or even stress reduction, weight loss or healthy eating as important personal values for you. Remember, these must be your own. You simply can't choose values that belong to someone else.

By that I mean, if one of your personal values is weight loss, it can't be dictated by the fact that your partner would prefer you better slim or because you want to lose weight to please him or her. Your value will translate into your goal & it must be 100% yours & what you want!

This is one of the key goalsetting for success secrets.

Once you're clear about your important values in your 'health' area & about what it is you want, simply make a list of 10 of the things you want to achieve.

To get you started, here's an example list but do compile your own list as it relates to you:

1. Good health
2. Emotional & mental well-being
3. Healthy eating
4. Exercise
5. Inner beauty
6. Body image
7. Peace of mind
8. Skin care
9. Rest/Sleep
10. Happiness

Take your time writing & re-writing your list. Once you're satisfied with your top 10 values, rank them in order of importance. Your top 4 values will now form the foundation of your immediate priority goals.

And there you have it - success! You've now completed stage one of your goalsetting for success activity.

You can access the remainder of this personal goal setting for success guidance plus a free 5 part course covering all the stages outlined above, as well as the goals forms & worksheets you'll need, by visiting the link below.

Overall, the personal goal setting course contains a great deal of information & is designed to help you throughout the entire activity goal setting process. Do put it to good use by taking decisive steps in setting & achieving your personal & health goals.


Manifesting Set Dates for Goals - By Susan James

As we begin to teach ourselves how to mold & use the energy in front of our face on purpose for the design of our lives, quite often comes the question:

What about setting dates for end result desires or intentions?

That's a mixed bag containing several variables. Example: If something is already a fixed date: i.e., a Madonna Concert. Madonna & her own energy & machine around her put forth deliberate energy when she decided to do a summer tour. Places & venues & folks around the world connected into the dates set. I as an individual, didn't have to do the energy work on that end.

I did have to do some energy work on my end to have as an end result going to the concert in a particular month. And I did it without ordering the tickets myself or trying to get into Ticketron. I just wrote down very clearly what I wanted & paid attention to what showed up.

If however, we're setting a date around a lifestyle change, or we want to change jobs & have a new job, or have a certain amount of income, or sell a certain amount of widgets by a certain date, this is when it gets a tad tricky.

If we're under pressure to meet a deadline, even a self imposed one, then all of our creative energy goes into thinking of the date & how we'll pull things off by a certain date. We lose our focus & miss opportunities of what would have helped us to that end date & we end up constricting the flow out of holding on to a date. Therefore, no ease in flow & a good chance we won't meet our goal by the date we set.

We're trying to do both pieces of the work, with less than impeccable energy to do it with. We're pushing for the date to be satisfied & we are wanting whatever to show up to help that date materialize for us.

So we miss hitting the date, because that's what we were focused on & no real creative energy went into what would bring that date fulfilled. On top of that, if we had some pressure around that date, that shows up as a lower energy format due to worry. We become concerned over not hitting the intended date, again closing us off to flow & momentum to bringing us what we choose by such & such a date.

What about bills that need paid & maybe we don't have the money? Those are important dates that are already set. We see them in our invoices. We have to have the money by a certain date.

This is quite often where we begin to teach ourselves & see in evidence how this *user friendly physics * stuff works.

The date has already been set on one end of the equation. It's a known, just like the Madonna concert dates, which were almost impossible to acquire. If we begin to add *worry & concern* over not having the money for our bills, or not getting the tickets on time & by a certain date, then where is our focus? It's on the date, or not & not having the money & what that may mean. It sends us into a downward spiral.

I know these things. And why do I know? I've been there & now I've taught myself not to *be in that place* anymore.

You & I have control. We simply make a choice to take that control & use it. How? We begin to teach ourselves the mechanics of how the Universe runs & we use it on purpose. 


Great Goals Make You Stretch! - By Fran Briggs

I began enhancing my personal energy level 3 months shy of my 40th birthday & after 2 years of struggling with clinically-diagnosed depression.

During this same period, I was challenged immensely by the debilitating effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & being rendered permanently partially disabled as the result of being involved in 2 car accidents in 6 days (neither of which was I at fault).

I recall an incredible sense of emptiness & a daunting feeling of being completely overwhelmed; especially when trying to figure out which pills went with what ills. Unable to return to the vocation I loved, I received disability payments & simply existed. Most of my time was spent in bed where I eventually became 48 pounds "over-fat."

When dreams & reasons for living are wiped out by the greatest, of the least unexpected, most people priorities typically change. My priorities? Well, they just disappeared. I was defeated physically, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually & knocking on "Financially's" door.

Making the bed wasn't a priority; it simply went unmade. And when it came down to paying the bills, many went unpaid. One day I was moved enough to actually cultivate the emotion of being "fed up!" During this awakening, I made the decision to reclaim complete responsibility for my life. And I did.

Today, 37 months post accidents, I'm 51 pounds lighter, at least 52 times brighter. Following my "awakening" I set goals to become an author, speaker, consultant, educator, private investigator & small business woman. As a personal energy consultant who promotes & practices life-altering change, my philosophy is that of a guerilla's - not a guru's. My approach is innovative, strategic, fun, proven & desired-results focused.

I figure, if I overcame all of my physical, spiritual & psychological ailments, discovered how to run faster; jump higher; throw farther; look younger, stay up longer - manifest twice as much energy than I did when I was a "starting" NCAA athlete half my age - anyone can do the "undoable," too! Whatever it may be.

When clients & friends counter & say, "Maybe it worked for you, Fran, but it won't necessarily work for me." I simply say: "Look, I have a central nervous system & so do you; I'm a child of God & you are too!" They typically smile then sheepishly roll up their sleeves.

Miracles happen when you audaciously remind one of the Divine.

Paramount to enhancing my personal energy level was to identify, outline & write down my Physical Goals. Returning to playing competitive softball, being the team's starting "short stop" & winning the league championship were my top 3 goals. I promised myself I would return to play softball at a competitive level if it killed me. It almost did! By season's end, I had accomplished all 3 of these goals.

Playing both Tournament softball & in several leagues simultaneously is quite challenging - even in the so-called recreational leagues.

It requires an incredible amount of stamina, strength, focus, concentration, capital & energy. The first week on the practice field followed a 5 year absence of anything that even remotely resembled exercise. It left me limping around with a blue, pain-alleviating ointment. I had soreness in muscles I never even knew existed!

As I continued practicing, competing & following a disciplined conditioning program, something just short of magical happened. My personality sparked with a resurgence of charisma, confidence & boldness. My muscles grew stronger, my energy increased, the fat melted off my body & activity not only became easier, but quite enjoyable... I was living my best life as I had designed.

Great goals make you stretch. They can take you well beyond anything you could possibly imagine! The most important part of setting great goals isn't the goals themselves, but the person one becomes in the stretch!


1 Step To Achieving Your Goals - By Wayne Perkins

In Jack Canfield &Mark Victor Hansen's original "Chicken Soup for the Soul," I'm reminded of the short story titled "Another Check Mark On the List."

This is a story about a 15-year-old boy named John who, on one rainy day, when it was too wet outside to play, he decided to write a list of goals.

John continued writing until he had 127 goals. These goals included exploring the Nile River, climbing high mountain peaks around the world & learning 3 foreign languages. He also wanted to be featured in a Rose Bowl Parade & play several musical instruments.

Of the 127 goals that he listed over 60 years ago, John has achieved 108. If he lives to become 75 years old he'll achieve 109 (he listed "live to see the 21st Century"). How did John achieve all of these goals? He wrote them down.

Step 1: Write It Down
Write it down, write it down & write it down!

Have you ever got to a point where you were going to write down a New Year's Resolution or some other goal you thought you wanted, only to find yourself procrastinate. One year later, did you need to achieve the same New Year's Resolution or goal? Why does this happen?

It happens because of that little voice inside of you that says, "I'm not good enough or worthy enough to be in possession of the benefits derived from achieving my goal." "I've been programmed for failure."

I recently read a motivational quote that said:

"If you can't write it down, you can't do it."

Let's think about that for a minute. Every day you may be compiling lists of things to do to run your household, perform your job, or plan your business trip or vacation. How many times do you really write down, exactly what you want out of life? How many long term or short-term goals do you write down?

Now when thinking about what you want to achieve focus your attention on specific words & ideas relating to your goals. Give those words & ideas your complete attention as you write them down.

Did you ever write a letter, business report or term paper & at times find your fingers flying across the keyboard?

Since written words are symbols of objects, ideas or feelings, could the physical process of entering these words onto a page actually create a subconscious connection?

I believe it does. When you use language to communicate on paper, you need to process the information on a subconscious level.

The help you're getting while creating your list of goals is coming straight from your powerful subconscious mind. Why not take advantage of the power of your mind in achieving your goals?

Write your goals down in your day planner, write them down & hang them on your walls. Write your goals on sticky notes & place them on your bathroom mirror or on your windows.

Every time you write your goals down, your body is moving towards them. The goals are getting clearer & clearer. The roadmap you create by writing goals down is projected straight to your subconscious mind & is being acted upon.

A now popular syndicated cartoonist wrote down 15 times a day, every day the following sentence. "I want to be a syndicated cartoonist." He did this every single day, even when he didn't feel like a syndicated cartoonist. Now, Scott Adams, the creator of the "Dilbert Cartoon" is a full-time, syndicated cartoonist, known the world over. Scott "wrote it down."

One way to state that goal in a more positive & immediate context is to say, "I am a syndicated cartoonist."

Act as if you already are in possession of the goal. It takes a lot of pressure off you during your daily activities when you feel the new role. You then become comfortable with it.

Write your goals down everywhere. As you write them down think about John, the 15-year-old goal achiever from the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" story. Now that John is in his seventies, what advice would John have for you when you ask him, "What is the most important thing I can do to achieve my goals?"

Listen to John whisper in your ear these 3 words.

"Write it down."


Driving to your Goals - By Lyman Dale Reed, Jr.

Every time you get in your car to go anywhere, you're working on achieving a goal. There is somewhere you want to be, so you take action to get there. The 3 major things that get you where you want to go when driving are a specific destination, directions for getting there & a way to track your progress. You must also have these 3 things to achieve any goal.

Specific Destination

Before even getting into your car, you must know where you are going. Unless you have a specific destination, you’re just moving the car & wasting gas. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with this; some people enjoy just driving around & looking at the scenery. But if you want to get somewhere, you must know where you're going.

When setting your goals, you must know exactly what it is that you want. Get a clear picture of it in your mind. If it’s a new job, picture yourself in that job. If it’s more money, visualize that monthly bank statement. Imagine what you will feel like when you reach whatever it is you are striving for. Write it down, like you would write down the address of a house you are visiting for the first time.


If this is a destination you’ve been to before, you don’t need directions. It’s automatic, like tying your shoes or chewing your food. But what if it’s somewhere you’ve never been before? How do you get there?

You ask. You ask someone who’s been there before. You pull out a map. You check the Internet. The directions may not be perfect & often they aren’t. “It’s either the 2nd or 3rd light, I can’t remember which,” is something often heard when getting driving directions. But you get the best directions you can.

Goal setting is the same. You get in touch with others who already have what you want. You read books, you listen to tapes, you attend seminars. You get as much information as possible that will assist you in reaching your goal.

Tracking Your Progress

You know where you're going & you’ve got your directions, so now it’s time to take some action! You hop in the car & you’re off!

But wait! It wasn’t the 2nd or 3rd light, it was the 4th!

So what do you do when you realize you're off course? You check your map, you pull into the nearest gas station, or you make a phone call. You try to get back on track. But you don’t give up!

You don’t turn around at the first closed road & go back home, saying “I didn’t really want to get there anyway.” If this were to happen, you’d never get anywhere you hadn’t been before & your life would be pretty limited. Even if you have to head all the way back home, you start again. Eventually, you get to that destination & isn’t it even more exciting when you get there after a difficult journey!

You may get sidetracked on your journey. If you get hungry, you stop for a bite. If you need to use the restroom, you stop to take care of that. But do you stay stopped? Do you sit in the restroom all day, wondering why you aren’t where you want to be? No, you do what you need to do & continue on.

Don’t quit on your goals, either. There may be setbacks, dead ends, even car accidents. But don’t forget that you’ll never get there if you don’t keep taking action & moving towards your destination.

When that prospect says no, it’s not a failure; it’s another mile under your belt. When nothing seems to happen for a long period of time, you’re just getting closer to that next landmark. If you’re not sure what to do next, don’t be too embarrassed to stop & ask for those directions!


Goal setting - it's not just about being SMART - By Julie Plenty

How many of us make the most common new year resolutions? (lose weight, make more money, give up smoking,make a career change for e.g.) & never stick to them?

We start out with the best intentions but at the end of the year, things remain resolutely the same. Then we go thru the whole process all over again & with the same (non) result!

What we need to realize is that so many of our resolutions are merely wishlists. I use to make "resolutions" – make a career change, move to a bigger & better place etc. At the end of the year I was disappointed to find that I was still in the same place & in the same job. This wasn't surprising as I hadn't done anything towards it. I thought that saying it to myself was enough!

However, without actively & consistently doing something towards achieving my resolutions, I was always doomed to disappointment. What I didn't know then, but know now, is how to set & achieve goals.

The dictionary definition of a goal is "the object of a person's ambition or effort: a destination: an aim".

Achieving a goal is dependent upon commitment & action. Merely saying it isn't a goal. We have to learn what's involved in setting goals & enhance our personal goal setting abilities.

As you consider setting goals - you need to look behind the goal. Who are you setting it for? What do you really want to achieve? Some of our goals may unconsciously be set to satisfy someone else or clash with hidden negative beliefs about our own abilities. So we may set a goal for getting a new job or aiming for promotion, but are subconsciously doing so to:

If this is the case then it may be why our goals are so often unfulfilled. They're not crafted with our true desires in mind & self-sabotage is often the result.

The terms "goal setting" & "motivation" often go together. So often I've heard people say that they need to "get motivated" to do something. And so often this is a sign that they don't really want to do it (whatever it is). If they did then they wouldn't be talking about having self-motivation as if it was something they had to struggle to feel.

Motivation is desire - doing something because you really want to do so. You can use all of the best goal setting strategies available, but if the desire to achieve it isn't there, then:

(i) you're less likely to achieve this goal;
(ii) you feel a sense of emptiness about it if you do.

So when it comes to setting goals, you need to look behind & beyond the goal. To help yourself in doing this, ask yourself the following questions:

(i) Who am I setting this goal for?
(ii) Why do I want to achieve this goal?
(iii) Does working towards this goal make me feel excited?
(iv) What obstacles / challenges will I encounter?
(v) How will I deal with them?

For instance, if your goal is to lose weight, ask yourself what are the additional benefits that losing weight will give you. Will it improve your current relationships or give you the confidence to develop future ones & go for things that you didn't consider possible before?

It's very important to be excited by the possibilities that working towards & achieving this goal will bring. It's this excitement which will give you the fuel to keep going when you encounter obstacles or challenges.

Once you've gone thru the above process of defining & refining why you're setting these particular goals & you feel the desire & excitement about it, then it's time to start goal setting.

If you're new to goal setting (& even if you're not). The following strategy is very effective.

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Action - oriented
R = Realistic
T = Time based

Specific: Goals must be specific. Wishy washy assertions get you nowhere. To say "I want more money by the end of the year" is meaningless. How much more money? Which year are you referring to?

Measurable: How will you know when you've achieved it? This relates back to how specific you've been initially.

Action: Incredibly important. The world rewards action. So begin to take action towards it. For e.g. if you want more money can start to look at cutting out unnecessary expenditure.

Realistic: If you want to be a millionaire by the end of the year, but the money in your bank account is in double figures, short of winning the lottery, you're unlikely to achieve this. If so, look at increasing the amount of time you give yourself to achieve this goal.

Time-based: When do you hope to achieve this goal? A month? 3 months, 6 months, a year, 5 years?

The key to setting goals is to set the bar high & think big but give yourself enough time to do things incrementally.

Write your goals down (or draw, paint them etc). It helps to make them real where you can see them, rather than swirling about endlessly in your head, where they have no outlet. This will also help to keep you on track.

The phrasing of goals is also very important. Phrase them in the present, so you can act as if they're already happening. This programs your brain to start working towards it. Use "I am...." instead of "I will...". The latter refers to some indeterminate time in the future - which may never happen. The former keeps you firmly focused in the here & now, whilst keeping the future in sight.

Also remember that just because a goal is written down, doesn't mean that it's set in stone! You're always free to change & modify your goals as your circumstances change.

Many people are afraid to set goals because they're afraid of what happens if they "fail" to achieve them. They believe that it impacts negatively on their own self-esteem.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

One of the most positive aspects of goal setting is what not achieving a goal teaches you. If you don't achieve a goal there can be any number of reasons why - some of which are beyond your control. However examining why it wasn't achieved will yield valuable insights into your beliefs, attitudes & emotions.

Setting & achieving goals isn't about the end result. Ultimately it's about what you learn about yourself along the way about who you are & what you truly want from life.


7 Steps to Reaching your Goals
Dr. Phil
Successfully executing any personal strategic plan for change requires that as you develop your plan, you effectively incorporate these 7 steps for attaining each & every goal.

Express your goal in terms of specific events or behaviors. For a dream to become a goal, it has to be specifically defined in terms of operations, meaning what will be done.
When a goal is broken down into steps, it can be managed & pursued much more directly. "Being happy," i.e., is neither an event nor a behavior. When you set out to identify a goal, define what you want in clear & specific terms.

Express your goal in terms that can be measured. How else will you be able to determine your level of progress, or even know when you have successfully arrived where you wanted to be? I.e., how much money do you aspire to make?

3. Assign a time line to your goal.
Once you have determined precisely what it is you want, you must decide on a time frame for having it. The deadline you've created fosters a sense of urgency or purpose, which in turn will serve as an important motivator & prevent inertia or procrastination.

4. Choose a goal you can control.
Unlike dreams, which allow you to fantasize about events over which you have no control, goals have to do with aspects of your existence that you control & can therefore manipulate. In identifying your goal, strive for what you can create, not for what you can't.

5. Plan & program a strategy that will get you to your goal.
Pursuing a goal seriously requires that you realistically assess the obstacles & resources involved & that you create a strategy for navigating that reality. Willpower is unreliable, fickle fuel because it's based on your emotions.
Your environment, your schedule & your accountability must be programmed in such a way that all 3 support you - long after an emotional high is gone. Life is full of temptations & opportunities to fail. Those temptations & opportunities compete with your more constructive & task-oriented behavior. Without programming, you'll find it much harder to stay the course.

6. Define your goal in terms of steps.
Major life changes don't just happen; they happen one step at a time. Steady progress, through well-chosen, realistic, interval steps, produces results in the end. Know what those steps are before you set out.

7. Create accountability for your progress toward your goal.
Without accountability, people are apt to con themselves. If you know precisely what you want, when you want it - & there are real consequences for not doing the assigned work - you're much more likely to continue in your pursuit of your goal.
Find someone in your circle of family or friends to whom you can be accountable. Make periodic reports on your progress.

source: Dr. Phil's Website

The most direct route to success is setting goals, developing a plan of action & taking action for success.

along the way & thru the years some of us may have forgotten the importance of these values:

so remember them as you begin to determine your goals...
You can review all of these values by clicking on the underlined link words above & traveling over to the different websites within the emotional feelings network of sites!
I highly recommend it. If you've forgotten these particular values & you'll know it if you have, because you can't think of any acts of kindness you've performed recently, your won't be able to think of any examples of tolerance you've modeled for your children lately, well you get the point!
If you're a parent, these particular values must be taught to your children & the best way to do this is to model the behavior for them & then... explain how they can implement them into their lives!
Look on your goal as a kind of destination, a place in the distance you're trying to reach. Break your larger goals into smaller daily goals. Each little victory will add up & help you move  toward your major goal.


Around the Corner I have a Friend

Here's a reminder that all relationships need goals & especially a specific goal on how to keep the relationship alive & vibrant.

Read this one slowly....

  • Around the corner I have a friend

  • In this great city that has no end,

  • Yet the days go by & weeks rush on,

  • And before I know it, a year is gone

  • And I never see my old friend's face,

  • For life is a swift & terrible race,

  • He knows I like him just as well,

  • As in the days when I rang his bell,

  • And he rang mine..

  • We were much younger then,

  • And now we're busy, tired men..

  • Tired of playing a foolish game,

  • Tired of trying to make a name..

  • "Tomorrow" I say "I will call

  • Just to show that I'm thinking of him."

  • But tomorrow comes & tomorrow goes,

  • And distance between us grows & grows..

  •  Around the corner! - yet miles away,

  • "Here's a telegram sir-"

  • "Jim died today."

  • And that's what we get & deserve in the end..

  • Around the corner, a vanished friend..

  • If you love someone, tell them..

  • Remember always to say what you mean..

  • Never be afraid to express yourself..

  • Take this opportunity to tell someone

  • What they mean to you..

  • Seize the day & have no regrets.

  • Most importantly, stay close to your

  • Friends & family, for they have helped

  • Make you the person that you are today

  • & are what it's all about anyway..

  • Pass this along to your friends. Let it make a difference in your day.

  • The difference between expressing love & having regrets is that the regrets may stay around forever..

Setting Goals: Real vs. Ideal - By Terry R. Hartley, PhD

Failing to attain goals is among the heaviest blows to self-concept, the totality of your thoughts & feelings about yourself. To actually attain goals depends largely on an important concept in adolescent development.

It’s called delay of gratification. When you’re trying to achieve something, you’re much more likely to accomplish your goal by making a realistic plan, then following it, rather than trying to snatch up the object of your desire in one gluttonous move.

Unfortunately, a great many people never come to understand this concept. They spend their entire lives seeking instant gratification.

Credit card companies understand this human frailty all too well. Don’t wait until you can afford it; purchase anything that strikes your fancy — now!

Automobile & furniture manufacturers have caught on — buy now, no interest or payments for 90 days, or 6 months, or a year. The desire for instant gratification keeps divorce courts in hyperdrive. Fall in lust, marry a schmuck, fall out of lust, divorce the schmuck, fall in lust with the next schmuck & on & on. So what’s going on here?

When you met the schmuck, you were meeting Prince Charming or Princess Pureheart. How did yesterday’s royalty become today’s royal pain?

The answer to questions like this is straightforward: when you want something & you’re unwilling to delay gratification, you idealize that something.

In other words, you view that object as more perfect than it actually is. And you do that whether it’s a potential mate, a vehicle, or a set of dining room furniture.

You don’t take time to see the real object, only the false, ideal one — the one with no flaws. So you grab onto it as though it’s the most precious object in the universe.

Then … comes … BUYER’S REMORSE!

When the payments come due on the furniture or vehicle, it has lost its luster. It's used furniture or a used vehicle. Its monetary value has plunged & besides, you’re probably tired of it anyway. That’s a minor happenstance when compared to affairs of the heart.

How many men have married Princess Pureheart only to find themselves wed to a bed hopper or a substance abuser?

How many women have wed Prince Charming to later discover he’s a spouse abuser, or a lazy bag of bones who offers nothing in the form of monetary support?

Truth is, those ne’er-do-wells were that way from the beginning; you just failed to take the time or effort to see the real them. After all, you needed instant gratification.

Self-aware people always question the need for instant gratification. They weigh things out. It’s important to state your real goals, itemize immediate problems related to that goal, prioritize your most urgent needs, inventory your resources & focus your energy & resources.

I can’t tell you how many people have thanked me for teaching them those 5 principles & how to apply them in first achieving a few modest goals, then moving on to tackle more difficult ones. Success at achieving any goal fortifies your self-concept, which, in turn, will lead you to ever greater achievement.

Although this is only a brief overview of the 5 principles of setting & achieving goals, you’d be amazed at how significantly they can improve your life.

Mutual support goals

How will we nurture our support for one another?

  • How will we communicate with one another?

  • How "interdependent" will we be on one another?

  • How will we nurture our mutual intimacy in the relationship?

  • How "open" a relationship will we have?

  • How long do we intend our relationship to last?

  • How will we nurture our relationship over the years to come?

  • What "extreme'' measures do we agree to take if our relationship should become "sick?"

  • How will we ensure that each other's rights are respected in this relationship?

  • How will we help one another "grow" in this relationship?

  • How can we ensure "fun" in our relationship?

  • How will we include others in our relationship without losing our support for one another?

Problem solving goals

  • How will we approach problems in our relationship?

  • What problem solving model will we use?

  • How are we going to handle differences of opinion?

  • How will we handle irritation with one another?

  • How are we going to fight?

  • How are we going to handle fights & bring them to a healthy resolution?

  • What latitude of freedom are we going to give one another to pursue a fight in our relationship?

    • check out the "fairness page" to read about how to fight fairly!

  • At what point will we seek help for ourselves if our fighting gets out of hand?

  • How will we encourage one another to become good problem solvers?

  • Will we agree to disagree?

  • What arrangements will we make to ensure that each of us ends up a "winner" after a fight?

  • How can we ensure that after we fight & solve problems, we can still have "fun" together?

Individual growth in the relationship goals

  • How can we ensure mutual growth in this relationship?

  • How open are we to taking joint & individual responsibility for our relationship's needs?

  • How can we ensure that our individual don't get lost in this relationship?

  • How open are we to being assertive in our relationship?

  • How can we use our unique, individual personalities to help each other & our relationship to grow?

  • What steps will we take if one or both of us begins to feel stifled or stunted?

  • What steps will we take to prevent "burnout" in our relationship?

  • What steps are we willing to take if one or both of us has need for mental health assistance?

  • How are we going to promote each other's physical health?

  • What steps can we take to handle jealousy, a sense of competition, or resentment toward one another?

  • What means will we take to ensure mutual growth in this relationship?

  • How can we help one another have "fun?"

  • How can individual growth result in growth for the relationship?

this is my goal.. how do i do that?

Structural goals

  • How are we going to make time to do all the things we want to do?

  • How are we going to arrange our schedules so that we can pursue our unique, individual interests?

  • How free are we to pursue our distinct interests & friends?

  • How committed are we to developing & following daily, weekly, monthly & yearly schedules to meet all of our needs?

  • How committed are we to setting up long range relationship goals & short range objectives to reach those goals?

  • How committed are we to setting up times in which we can nourish one another & keep our relationship on track?

  • How committed are we to schedule "fun" time into our days, weeks, months & years?

  • How can we structure ways to get the "required" relationship maintenance tasks done & still have time for "fun?"

  • How can we delegate the maintenance tasks so that neither of us feels "put upon?"

  • What place will religion, hobbies, sports & outside interests have in our relationship?

Financial goals

  • What career goals do each of us have?

  • How will we handle the need to be either transient or settled in our careers?

  • What are we willing to do to promote each other's career?

  • What "social" role are we willing to play in regard to each other's career?

  • How much additional training & continuing education are we willing to support?

  • What type of house do we need? How would we furnish it? What type of neighborhood do we want?

  • What kind of cars do we need?

  • What additional properties do we need?

  • How will we handle our finances?

  • How committed are we to following a budget?

  • Who will pay the bills?

  • How will we handle the need to shop & purchase necessities? Luxuries?

  • What can we agree on in terms of credit purchases & the use of credit cards?

  • What are our agreements in terms of insurance, savings, investments, retirement, medical coverage & financial security?

Family goals

  • What role will our in-laws & relatives have in our lives?

  • Will we have children? When? How many?

  • Why do we want children? Is adoption a viable alternative?

  • How will we fit children into our married life without losing what we have?

  • How will we discipline the children? What model of parenting will we follow?

  • How will our children be educated?

  • How will we rear the children in regard to religion? Moral values & responsibilities?

  • How will we conduct family life with our children?

  • How will we function as role models of responsible parenting?

  • How will we prepare ourselves for emergencies or crises relating to children?

  • What style of family life do we want for our "new" family?

  • How can we ensure that having a family will result in "fun" for us all?

  • How can we ensure that having a family will result in the growth of our mutual love?

  • Will one of us stay home full time? If not, what child care facility do we agree on? When will outside child care begin?

How to Reach Your Goals

Experts describe strategies for setting goals - & making sure you achieve them.

We all have goals. What are yours?

  • To lose 20 pounds?
  • Get in shape?
  • Buy a new house?
  • Make more money?

Having a goal is the easy part. Reaching it? Well, that's something else entirely. If you're frustrated because you feel like you keep coming up short when it comes to realizing your dreams, maybe it's time to try a different approach.

When setting a goal, ask yourself first of all if your goals are realistic & if you're really ready to make the changes in your life necessary to reach those goals.

"Most people don't take into consideration whether they're ready to do what it takes to achieve their goals," says Steven Rosenberg, PhD. Rosenberg is a behavior therapist, the team psychotherapist for the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team & author of I Hope the Hell I WIN! Turning Hope into Reality…How Winners Win!

If you're going thru a stressful time at work, i.e., this may not be the best time to start a weight loss program; maybe you'd do better to wait a few months & start on, say, your birthday.

Be realistic as well, says Rosenberg. You can't lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks, or even a month. Set an achievable objective, such as 1 to 2 pounds a week; by the end of the year, you'll have lost the 40 pounds.

Be Committed

"Goals that get reached are those that are firm, well-defined & to which the individual is truly & completely committed," says Susan Schachterle, director of the Denver-based Ahimsa Group, which provides consulting & coaching services to individuals & organizations worldwide.

"Without that commitment, trying to reach goals is like grabbing Jell-O - you think maybe you have it, but there's really nothing to hang on to."

Schachterle suggests that you check your commitment. Ask yourself why you want to achieve that particular goal.

  • What will that do for you?
  • Why is it important?
  • What will your life be like when you have reached it?
  • How will achieving your goal change things for you?

"If you're having trouble making a strong commitment," says Schachterle, "make sure it's the right goal & the right time for you."

Trying To Do Too Much?

New Research Says Multitasking Actually Slows You Down. Here's How To Be More Productive - & Less Crazed

By Alexis Jetter

Lisa Maxwell, 31, a fitness trainer & mother of 3 from Cookeville, Tennessee, considers herself a master multitasker. She routinely answers her children's homework questions while running on a treadmill & she drills her kids on spelling from a list she reads while driving them to school.

Of course, there is the occasional mess-up: Last summer, she was cooking, cleaning & helping her kids with their science projects when she noticed the house smelled funny.

"We had guests coming, so I'd sprayed what I thought was room deodorizer," she says with a rueful laugh. "I'd done half the house before I realized it was Pledge."

Most of us can relate. In fact, multitasking-starting one task before finishing another, a kind of warp-speed juggling-feels like the only way to power through our to-do list these days.

Like the subtitle of psychiatrist Edward Hallowell's new book, Crazy Busy, we are "Overstretched, Overbooked & About to Snap." But are we really getting more done? And at what cost?

If you're reading this while doing something else, stop for a second. Because new studies are proving that the old adage is true: You really can't do two things at once-at least not well.

And the research also shows something most of us would never suspect: If you multitask relentlessly, you can jeopardize your health in ways both large & small.

The idea of multitasking comes from computers, which appear to perform many functions at the same time. But the analogy is misleading. Most computers flip back & forth between tasks - & your brain operates in much the same way.

It's literally impossible to pay conscious attention to more than one thing at once, notes Dr. Hallowell, a former Harvard Medical School instructor. So "you end up paying conscious attention to several tasks in rapid succession: making macaroni & cheese, unloading the dryer, feeding the dog," he explains.

But switching between tasks wastes precious time because the brain is compelled to restart & refocus. "Each time you have this alternation, there's a period in which you'll make no progress on either task," says David Meyer, Ph.D., director of the Brain, Cognition & Action Lab at the University of Michigan.

"It's mental dead time." The result: It takes longer to finish any one chore & you don't do it nearly as well as you would had you given it your full attention.

Good stress, bad stress

Multitasking, almost by definition, involves stress-which means the brain signals the body to begin the rapid-fire release of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol.

Of course, stress isn't always a bad thing. You need your brain's stress response to help you perform well under pressure, says Esther Sternberg, M.D., author of The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health & Emotions & a leading researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health.

It's what gets you out of danger or past that deadline. But if you multitask continually, Dr. Sternberg warns, "your brain & your body don't have time to recover from that rush of cortisol.

And that can make you sick."

Here's why: Cortisol is also the body's most potent anti-inflammatory drug. And if too much of it is pumped out continuously, "your immune cells aren't going to be able to fight infection when they need to," explains Dr. Sternberg.

Cortisol overload, she adds, can contribute to serious medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease & stroke.

And that's not all: Over time, say experts, stress can kill neurons in precisely the area of the brain that multitaskers rely on: the prefrontal cortex, which helps you switch between tasks & stores key memories.

Finally, the stress of multitasking may also impair your ability to concentrate. "We've so trained ourselves to be ready for interruption that we're not paying attention to anything," Dr. Hallowell maintains.

"The two things that people think they have these days-but don't-are attention deficit disorder (ADD) & Alzheimer's disease. They're just overloaded from a severe case of modern life."

Cell-phone peril

Dr. Hallowell's description would seem to apply to Michelle Silverman, who has turned multitasking into an extreme sport. Every weekday morning, Silverman, 33, a lawyer & new mother from central New Jersey, gets into her Volvo sedan, veers onto the highway & pulls out her cell phone, BlackBerry & breast pump.

As she slides into traffic, Silverman punches out e-mail messages & holds a conference call with clients, while simultaneously affixing the pump to her right breast & plugging it into her car adaptor. "I know I'm not alone," says Silverman, referring to her behind-the-wheel high-wire act.

"Why else would they make breast pumps with car adaptors?"

Yet multitasking behind the wheel is a very risky business. Last year, researchers at the University of Utah reported that attempting to navigate traffic while talking on a cell phone increases the chance of an accident 500% - making it at least as great a risk as driving drunk.

While talking on a cell phone, the drivers in the study failed to notice even life-or-death cues such as red lights up ahead. And drivers who used a hands-free phone fared no better. That's because the problem isn't physical dexterity - it's focus.

In the human mind, what you're thinking about takes precedence over what you're actually seeing or doing.

A distraction is to blame for nearly 80% of all traffic accidents, according to another recent study, this one sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

And cell phones were the main culprit. (However, talking to a passenger while driving isn't nearly as risky, the Utah study's authors say, because passengers are likely to notice a change in the roadway & stop talking or call the driver's attention to it.)

So much for driving & cell phoning. But reality check: Is it ever OK to multitask? Actually, yes - when one of the tasks is so routine, you don't need to concentrate on it at all.

Mind over matter

The control center of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, can handle just one new thing at a time, explains Jordan Grafman, Ph.D., chief of the cognitive neuroscience section of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke.

But as tasks become more familiar, their operating instructions move deeper into the brain. There, the basal ganglia-islands of nuclei responsible for movement-handle activities that require almost no thought.

So, for example, "when you're walking & talking," says Grafman, "the basal ganglia does the walking, while the frontal cortex does the talking."

Another way to look at it: You can combine tasks that use different sensory channels in your brain. It's tough to send an e-mail & carry on a phone conversation (not that many of us don't try).

But it's pretty easy to fold clothes while listening to the weather report on the radio-unless, that is, a winter storm warning is announced. As you visualize the coming storm, your mental imagery & actual eye movements will struggle for dominance - & your mind will always win. Soon you'll begin putting mismatched socks together.

Young vs. old

By now you may be wondering:

Aren't there exceptions to these rules? For example, aren't young people, with their agile minds, better equipped to multitask than the rest of us?

"I'm not comfortable unless I have seven windows open on my desktop," declares Hillary Miller, 26, a playwright & teacher in Brooklyn. Online, she'll read a script, check e-mail, scan a newspaper & shop for leather-free handbags - pretty much at the same time.

But Miller admits she's not really concentrating on anything: "I have no focus. It's just a compulsion."

Young people can switch more quickly between tasks, confirms Jordan Grafman, because they've grown up with the new technology & trained themselves to use it.

"But," he adds, "that makes them even more prone to sacrifice quality." Says David Meyer: "The brain is wired in ways that impose limitations. Nobody-no kid, CEO, or world-class athlete-can overcome that."

Turn off, reboot

So how do you get more done without multitasking-or at least without multitasking to excess?

Preparation is one answer. Reflecting on the day ahead helps prime the mind, enabling it to rehearse the tasks it has performed before, says Grafman. Prioritize what must get done & then make a schedule rather than a to-do list, advises Dr. Hallowell.

Discipline is also part of the mix. When you're working, he says, train yourself to deflect distractions, whether it's the ding of the e-mail in your in-box (check it when you're done, or turn off the sound), the start of a favorite TV show (record it for later), or the ring of the phone (let the answering machine pick up).

Most important, spend some part of each day clearing your mind. Meditate, take a walk, exercise, stare into space. The key is to wipe the mental slate clean, giving those overtaxed neurons a chance to recoup.

This can yield unexpected benefits: As Dutch researchers recently reported in the journal Science, the unconscious mind is often a better problem-solver than the focused one.

Dr. Sternberg suggests you think about the original multitasking model: the computer. Trying to do too many things at once is like sending e-mail spam to your brain. When that onslaught freezes the computer, the only fix is to turn it off and reboot. Dr. Sternberg believes you should show the same compassion for your human hard drive. "You're pushing your brain beyond its capacity," she says. "You wouldn't do that to your car or your computer. But you do it to yourself all the time. Stop and take a break."

The Joy Of Unitasking: One Woman's Story
By Jenny Allen

Yesterday, watching the news while using the elliptical machine at the gym, I tried to speed up my pace by...turning up the volume on the TV. I do it all the time. I also regularly forget to unplug my headset before walking away, treating my fellow gymgoers to the spectacle of my jerking to a sudden, yanked stop.

I never laughed when people used to joke about President Gerald Ford not being able to walk & chew gum at the same time, because I didn't really find it that funny. I actually can walk & chew gum at the same time.

But, truly, I understand why others might find it taxing. When it comes to multitasking, I am more competent only by a hair & sometimes not even that.

More than once, I've found myself standing in my bedroom closet holding, say, a screwdriver & a cup of coffee, as clueless as a sleepwalker about what I am doing there. And I can't answer the phone while writing an e-mail without sending the message to the wrong person-or calling the person on the phone by the name of the person I'm e-mailing.

Obviously, I'm especially unsuited for multitasking; but I would argue that, while most of us are doing it, none of us is doing it very well.

If you're playing a family board game while making cookies for your block's bake sale, are you really playing a board game with your family, or driving everyone crazy by jumping up to check the oven every 5 minutes?

Why have women signed on to do so many things at once? We don't, after all, expect men to multitask. A man lying on the sofa reading the newspaper is busy. A woman lying on the sofa reading the newspaper is underemployed & interruptible - a signal her family picks up because she herself sends it out.

We seem to consider ourselves unworthy unless we make ourselves available to our family & others all of the time - & there's no way to do that without cramming every minute with 2 or 3 chores.

Consider the opening scene of a movie (I'm making up the scene, but we've all watched similar ones): A woman drives a car full of noisy children to school while soothing her harried boss on the phone while cooing at the baby who's spit up in his car seat.

This scene is not the premise of the movie that follows, which is always about something else-extraterrestrials visiting the woman's suburb or her husband's affair with his 20-year-old assistant or whatever.

This scene is there to show us life as usual before everything goes kerblooey-Mom having a normal American day in contrast to the chaos soon to befall her. But entire movies have been built around the premise of Dad having this same day (because Mom died, or went to visit her sister). And these movies are considered hilarious. Dad wiping up baby spit while talking to the boss on the phone-how sidesplitting!

Of course, we women do not do ourselves any favors: "How do you do so much!" we compliment each other. And: "I wish I could juggle as many balls as you!" I think we should stop giving each other points for wearing ourselves to a nubbin, stop comparing ourselves unfavorably to frantic acquaintances who cannot sit still, even for a moment. Let them careen along at hyperspeed while we stay in the slow lane. Maybe, when they get tired enough, they will join us. We'll have them over for a night of our kind of multitasking: doing our nails, say, while watching something really dumb on television. Better yet, just watching something dumb on television. We'll call it unitasking and invite others to join our new club.

The Simple Steps To Reaching Your Goals - By Carol Halsey

I'm sure this isn't the first time you've heard about goal setting. The reason you keep hearing about it is because it really is important to your life. A good definition of goals is that they're dreams with deadlines. Yes, you can make your dreams come true. How do you want your life to be 10 years from now? How about 5 years, next year, or even 6 months from now.

The only difference between setting goals for your business or career & setting personal goals is the subject matter. With commitment & persistence & setting goals, your life can be any way you want it.

When you actually sit down & start identifying goals, you'll probably end up with a long list. Decide what's most important to you in your business & personal lives. All goals don't have equal value. Some will be more meaningful to you. These are the goals to start on. Keep your list of the remaining goals to get back to later. Trying to do too much at the same time can be self-defeating.

Once you have selected the goals to start on, give each goal a deadline. Short term goals, such as completing a project, will be completed in 6 months or less. Medium term goals, such as increasing a customer base, or revenue, will be a yearly target. Your goal for career advancement could be in this time frame. Long term goals can run for several years, such as where do you want your business to be in 5 years, or building your nest egg to retire in 5, 10 or 20 years.

Write your goals down, as this increases commitment. Make your deadline for each goal realistic & reachable. There's no right or wrong on how long you determine it will take to reach a goal. It'll be different for each person & each goal. Whatever's comfortable for you is what counts.

Okay, you've done this. Now, how do you get started? By identifying what you must do to accomplish your goals. Look at each one individually. Under each goal, write down the tasks to be undertaken to reach that goal. You may not think of everything to the smallest detail, but you'll come up with the major tasks. Give each one of these tasks a deadline.

On short term goals, your deadlines will most likely be daily, weekly & monthly. On long term goals, deadlines are more like 6 months, 1st year, 18 months, 2nd year. You can break these down even further. If you know what you want to accomplish the first 6 months of a long term goal, what can you do this month, next month, etc. to get there. Include these tasks & their deadlines in your calendar & schedule the time needed to work on them.

Once this is done with all your goals, you've made a contract with yourself & the commitment to take action. This is your road map to get you where you want to go. Each day, ask yourself if what you're doing is helping you get there.

If the answer is no, be sure you know why you're doing it at all.

If all this seems difficult or overwhelming, start with just one goal. Make it easy & short term. Once you've accomplished this, go on to another goal.

Remember that life is a journey to be enjoyed. Be kind to yourself. You'll find by setting goals & identifying what you need to do to get there, will cut down on a lot of stress in your life. At the same time, you'll be making those dreams a reality.

Here are a few good quotes to inspire you.

Happiness, wealth & success are by-products of goal setting, they can't be the goal themselves. - Denis Waitley

If you don't know where you're going, you'll probably end up somewhere else. - Laurence J. Peter

People have more options than they think they do. But most people spend more time planning their vacations than thinking about what they want to do with their lives. - Bob McDonald

What you do every day should contribute to giving your life meaning. If it doesn't, why are you doing it? - Don Hutcheson

©2002 Carol Halsey

The Art of Saying 'No'

Another reason many people don't reach their goals is that they just can't say no - to everyone else. "Many of us, especially women, put other things & people first," says Susan Newman, PhD, a social psychologist at Rutgers University & author of The Book of NO: 250 Ways to Say It - and Mean It and Stop People-Pleasing Forever.

We're unable to refuse when asked for our time, our talent, our expertise, or merely our presence.

"Saying yes is a habit we're not even aware of," says Newman. "Think 'no' before you think 'yes' (not the other way around). By adding the word 'no' to your vocabulary, you open up vistas of time, not only to work toward a goal but also to think about how to reach it," Newman says. "In short, you put boundaries in place & establish priorities in the correct order [for you]."

If you haven't mastered the art of saying "no" & you think that's derailing your efforts to reach your goals, Newman suggests taking these steps:

  • Make a list of how many times a day you say 'yes.' "You'll be startled," says Newman.

  • Pay attention to how you parcel out your time. "For most of us, it just disappears. … Who's monopolizing the time you could otherwise spend on reaching your goals?"

  • Set priorities. Who has first dibs on you & your time?

  • Look at your limitations. When do you start to lose your stamina? "Don't keep pushing until you run out of steam & collapse altogether," Newman advises.

  • Let go of control. You don't have to do it all yourself. "If you're doing everything else, there's no time for you to get back to your goal."

Be Specific

There are 2 tricks to properly setting your goals, says University of Alabama at Birmingham clinical psychologist Joshua Klapow, PhD. Klapow is co-author of Stop Telling Me What-Tell Me How: The Simple Answer to Better Health.

First, turn goals into specific behaviors, says Klapow.

"To say that you're going to exercise doesn't tell you which exercise to do, for how long & how frequently. If you don't know what to do, you're less likely to do the behavior.

Be specific. Saying that you plan to walk 5 minutes a day & increase the time by one minute each week until you're walking 30 minutes per day - is better than just saying that you plan to exercise."

Klapow's 2nd tip is to make sure you're successful at reaching your goals right from the start.

"Resolutions need to be things you can actually do," he says. "This is important because you're more likely to repeat the behaviors in which you're successful.

Set short & long-term target goals & make the short-term goals easy to reach."

At this time of year, when many of us are making New Year's resolutions, Klapow reminds us that resolutions are basically a set of new behaviors. Because the behaviors are new & not learned habits, we have a tendency to slip back into our old behavior patterns.

"The best way to keep track of what you're doing every day," says Klapow, "is to get a calendar & write down every time you perform your new habit. Don't leave it up to your mind because your mind can play tricks on you. Three days without performing your new habit is your sign that you may be slipping."

The Benefits of Intuition

Using your intuition can also help you reach your goals, says Lynn A. Robinson, MEd, author of Real Prosperity: Using the Power of Intuition to Create Financial and Spiritual Abundance. Robinson offers 3 tips for achieving a specific goal:

  • Stay focused on the positive. Pay attention to what's working, not what isn't. Perhaps a friend called to cheer you up, or your child got off to school this morning without a major tantrum, or you had a really nice lunch with a colleague. "Find those precious slivers of appreciation in each day."

  • Take small steps. There's a 2 part trick of working toward a goal:

    • No. 1, just begin

    • No. 2, start small.

  • Take a first step toward what you feel excited about & then take another one & then another one. "Remain centered in the present."

  • Make your intuition your ally. Intuition is "quick & ready insight" & it's one of the most helpful tools to use when faced with any kind of decision making. It's also a skill that can be developed. The more you practice it the better you get at it.

How does your intuition speak to you?

Do you receive information in words, feelings, a flash of insight, a body sensation?

Do you just know?

"Intuition is the secret weapon of many successful people who describe it as knowing something directly without going thru a long analytical process," says Robinson.

Getting your friends & family involved can also help you reach your goals, says Sandra Beckwith, leader of "Finding the Courage to Change" workshops.

"You need someone who'll reject your usual excuses - 'I can't afford it,' 'I don't know how,' etc. - & help you see that there's a way around every obstacle," says Beckwith. "He or she can brainstorm with you. … This allows you to see a situation from a different perspective, thru fresh eyes."

Actually seeing your goal written down can also help you keep it in the forefront of your mind, adds Newman. "Tape reminders all over the house so your goal will always be in front of you - literally."

Be Positive

Visualization & mindfulness (including approaches such as meditation & hypnosis) are also ways to help you achieve your goals.

Mindfulness trainer Maya Talisman Frost explains that goal-setting is only one aspect of getting what you want. "It's the intention that gets us where we want to go," says Frost.

Goals tend to be arbitrary & number-oriented, says Frost, such as the number of pounds lost, amount of money earned, number of hours spent in the gym & so on.

Intentions, on the other hand, are "big-picture" statements about what fulfills you.

Yes, your goal is to lose 20 pounds in 6 months, but what's your intention?

How about, "I feel strong, healthy, fit, confident, attractive & sexy," says Frost. "The number on the scale isn't what matters most - it's how you feel each day."

Positive thinking is often more effective than negative thinking when it comes to changing health behaviors. For example, people quit smoking more readily when the positive aspects of health are emphasized, rather than the negative side.

"Intentions allow us to picture ourselves - & how we'll feel - when we are successful," says Frost. "There's no room for failure in the picture. We focus on the positive & powerful feelings we'll have."

Picturing Success

The most effective way to change our beliefs is to create a mental story of success, Frost says. We need to picture ourselves as we want to be & we need to talk about it. Her basic formula: See it. Say it. Hear it.

  • See yourself in the circumstances you desire. Picture it perfectly.

  • Craft a one-sentence story that you'd like to be true & say it in the present tense, as though you're describing your life right now.

  • Keep repeating yourself. Demand to hear that same story every night before you go to sleep.

"When it comes to achieving your goals, being positive is so important," agrees Rosenberg. "When you see in your mind's eye what you want to achieve, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Published Dec. 19, 2005.

The secret to achieving your goals - By Jack Zavada

Have you been frustrated at achieving your goals? Have too many defeats & disappointments caused you to give up?

Then you should know that a very simple secret can make the difference between success & failure. This proven method has worked for thousands of years. It's so simple it sounds like a cliche, but the truth is that every human achievement uses this principle:

Mile by mile, life's a trial. Yard by yard, life is hard. But inch by inch, life's a cinch!

That little poem has been attributed to everyone from Lao Tzu to Napoleon Hill. Regardless of who came up with it, this truth can help you dust off your old, unachieved goals or give you the courage to start working on new ones.

When we're young, we come out of high school or college with lots of noble, high-minded goals. But it doesn't take long to get knocked down. And after being knocked down time & time again, we develop the attitude of: "What's the use? Why even try?"

Too much, too soon

Often the problem in achieving your goals isn't with the size of your goals but how you try to achieve them. Ours is an instant gratification culture. We want everything right now. We don't want to wait. And something that will take years? Forget about it!

But the most worthwhile things in life do take time. A college education takes at least 4 years - longer if you go part-time. Starting & running a successful business takes time also. As the author of 4 published novels, I can tell you that I wrote each one of them one word, one paragraph, one page at a time. At the beginning, it seemed an impossible task to produce a 300-page manuscript. But when I grasped that I didn't have to do it all at once, in one sitting, it became a matter of setting a daily, achievable quota, then sticking to it.

Still feel burned?

Setbacks can be hard to take if you don't have someone to help you up, dust you off & encourage you to try again. Sometimes the pain of a setback is so intense that you swear you'll never go thru it again. But the ability to come back from rejection goes hand-in-hand with breaking your goals down into small, doable tasks.

You may have thought that you'd broken your goal down into small enough chunks, but maybe you need to go even smaller - & master that - before you can achieve. Almost any task can be broken down into smaller steps.

Help is available

If trying to achieve your goals has turned into a frustrating, torturous experience, then you need to find someone who has already done what you're trying to do. If you can't find a book or web site on the subject, sometimes you can track down a person you can ask. You can send an email, letter, or perhaps even talk with the person on the phone. If they'll meet you in person, even better.

You'll be surprised how kind & gracious people can be when you ask for help in achieving your goals. They remember the hurts & letdowns in their own struggle. They see themselves in you & are pleased to give you a hand. Don't be afraid to ask for advice.

Tiny enough yet?

Achieving your goals should feel exhilarating. It should make you eager to get up in the morning. If it doesn't, you need to break your goals down into even tinier parts. You're still trying to do things by yards instead of inches. But every achievement, no matter how small, gives you confidence to tackle the next goal. And when you look back on how far you've come, you'll realize that achieving your goals isn't only possible - it's inevitable!

How To Achieve Any Goal - By Anna Johnson

To achieve any goal, all you need to do is commit yourself to achieving it.

Sounds simple... but what that really means is committing yourself to doing every single thing that's necessary to achieve that goal.

And that's where it can be challenging...

You may tell yourself that you're "committed" to getting a new job... or to start a business... or to become wealthy... or to get a book published...

But have you really committed yourself to doing ALL the little - & big tasks - that are necessary to achieve that goal?

Are you committed to making ALL the necessary sacrifices?

That's what commitment to a goal is really about.

So... how do you commit yourself then?

You'll hear people talk about visualization, affirmations, positive self-talk & other techniques designed to "re-program" your mind so that you're COMPELLED to fulfill your commitment. You'll also hear many people claim that these techniques don't work!

Well, it doesn't matter "what works" - what matters is "what works for YOU".

And what works for you is... WHAT HAS WORKED FOR YOU BEFORE.

You see, you've already committed to achieving goals in the past... & you've achieved those goals.

So why not do what you did then in order to commit yourself now?

For example, if you're starting a new hobby, you might recall that when you embraced other hobbies in the past you did specific things that helped you learn a lot about the hobby & develop key skills in a relatively short period of time.

It might have been purchasing books & magazines related to the hobby, visiting relevant websites &/or joining groups of like-minded people to discuss & take part in the hobby.

Not only are these activities enjoyable & valuable in themselves, but they also form your Commitment Ritual, which essentially enables you to fully commit to & stick with, the new hobby.

Another example - when I decided to become a competitive runner a few years ago (as opposed to just running for fitness) I read a lot of books & magazines about running, I joined a running club, I kept a training diary, I joined an online running forum, I competed in races & I visualized a lot, among other things.

That's how I committed myself to running.

In fact, everything I did was part of a "COMMITMENT RITUAL" that got me hooked on running - & not just willing, but EAGER - to get up & train at 6am every morning - rain, hail or shine!

And, now, having had my kids, I'm going thru the same ritual to get back into competitive running again.

Now you might have a different Commitment Ritual. In fact, you might have different Commitment Rituals for different kinds of goals. But the point is - you have at least one Commitment Ritual.

So... the question is:

Which tried & true Commitment Ritual can you use now to achieve your current goal?

Why is it important to set goals?- By Debra Lohrere

Having a goal enables you to focus your energies on devising ways to achieve it. When someone makes a decision & begins focusing on achieving a specific goal (& even better in a specific period of time), the powerful subconscious mind goes to work & begins playing with ideas & developing strategies of various ways to bring about the successful completion of the goal.

When you set yourself a goal both your conscious &
subconscious start working on it & begin to develop an action plan. You'll 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 & solutions to problems or obstacles that have been in the way of achieving your goal.

Solutions & 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're asleep & dreaming.

Have you ever noticed that there's no correlation between being wealthy & having a high IQ or a university degree? If there were, every doctor & university graduate would be wealthy & 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 & achieved them. They invest time in reading & learning about wealth creation & are happy to learn from other people’s mistakes & experiences, as well as their own.

They set goals & realize that they'll be far better able to achieve them if they familiarize themselves with the ways in which other people acted & the things that others have done to succeed.

Wealthy people create wealth by carefully utilizing the income that they have available to them to their best advantage. They know that working harder & longer hours isn't the way to achieve financial freedom, instead they have to utilize what they have & 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 & become wealthy” isn't enough. You need to be much more detailed. “I want to own my first investment property within 6 months.

I'll save for the legal & bank fees & borrow 100% of the value of the property.

I'll find an extremely well priced, 3 bedroom brick veneer house that is close to schools & shopping centres.

It'll be either brand new or less than 10 years old.

It'll be structurally sound & require a minimal amount of maintenance.

I'll find a good agent to manage it, who has a lot of experience & will find me a good tenant.”

This is a specific goal & 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 & 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 & as the old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

You'll find that if you write down your goals on a piece of paper & put it in a prominent position, so that you'll read it often, your subconscious as well as your conscious mind will start asking questions & coming up with answers & you'll find that you have already begun to take the necessary steps to achieving your goal.

It's helpful to have a series of goals, ranging from daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, 10 yearly & 30 to 40 yearly. You can always refine & change your goals as time goes on & situations change.

You may find that it's easier to start at the 40-year mark & then work backwards. Try to work out what steps would be needed to achieve your 40-year goal & spread them out over the different time spans, to what you'd need to achieve to end up with the final result.

Try to make your goals realistic & achievable. Don't set a goal that's too hard. Set lots of small, easily achievable goals & work step by step to achieve your road to success. Stay positive. Believe in yourself & your abilities to succeed, even if other people patronize you or try to put you off, or tell you there's no point.

Setting & achieving goals help you to create a stronger character. It's always helpful to remember that our brain can't entertain both positive & negative thoughts at the same time.

If you stay positive you'll 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 – utilize 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 & just accept that life has dealt you a blow & let it stop you in your tracks, then you'll never learn & grow.

Remember that children learn to walk by falling over. (keeping on that thought, read the "i just gotta say it" column on the homepage for october!) Focus on the long-term achievements that you want to fulfil & it'll be easier to overcome your problems.

The Power of Goal Setting - By Amy Biddle

Goal setting is a tool to use to have more fun in life.

Life is perfect as it is. It's perfectly itself, whole & complete, lacking nothing.

That may seem like a funny way to begin an essay on goal setting. "If my life is fine the way it is," you may think, "why bother with setting goals?"

This question betrays a rather desperate attitude toward goal setting, don't you think? It assumes that setting goals is something you do to escape a maze, as if you're a mouse who won't get fed until you figure your way out of the maze. Naturally, when you attach that much tension & anxiety to it, goal setting sounds like a real drag.

When you start from the realization that life is already perfect, goal setting becomes something else entirely.

Our minds are problem-solving machines; so much so that, even when there are no problems, our minds have a tendency to create them. That would be fine, except that some of us create problems of such drama & intensity; we literally scare ourselves to death with stress-related illnesses.

It's as if we put ourselves on a thrill ride at an amusement park - remote control in hand. We get sick & then forget how to stop the ride. We even forget that we're the only ones that can stop it! But I digress…

Goal setting isn't drudgery. It's a better way to keep life interesting; better than creating the drama we otherwise create. Setting & meeting goals is a way to enjoy the adrenaline rush of going into new territory, the thrill of risk, without making ourselves sick & miserable.

Goal setting is even more than healthy amusement, though. It's a way to practice loving our lives & ourselves. We make a commitment & we keep that commitment, no matter what & no matter how long it takes.

An author I know was writing her first book & she faced doubts about whether she’d ever find a publisher for it. Jim, who’d met plenty of creative goals, told her something that put those doubts to rest & re-focused her efforts.

He said, "Whenever I’m working on something, the important thing is not to abandon myself during the process. It's not about how anyone else responds to it." The writer realized that she was the one to determine whether her book got published, even if she had to print copies of her manuscript for her closest friends. Her job was to make it the best book it could be. Of course, she found a wonderful publisher.

So how do you determine what goals to set for yourself? Should you build something, plan a trip, or begin a family? Only you can determine that. It's helpful to spend some time each day just with yourself, even if it's just a few minutes. When you take a break from being inundated with other people's goals, you can hear the still small voice within that reveals your deepest longings.

If you're like a lot of people, there's one particular goal you’ve been avoiding all of your life. It doesn't matter why. Just know this: The power to accomplish it awaits only your commitment. If you try to substitute other goals, those goals you think someone else would approve of, you won't have access to all of your power. But if you set the goal you really want, you'll find the power to work miracles.

Keep Those Goals In Perspective - By Terry L. Sumerlin

Do you want to build a business, change a relationship, improve your health or quit a bad habit?

Do you want to earn a million dollars or be debt free?

I can’t promise you any of these things, but I can promise this: You stand a better opportunity for achievement in these areas if you set goals & if the goals are compatible with all your other goals.

You’ve probably heard others make the same observations. What we sometimes fail to point out is that we must also be very realistic about where we are in life, right now, relative to our goals.

For instance, to get out of debt we must face up to how far in debt we really are. What's the specific amount?

The same is true with respect to the necessary skills, training & attitudes for the achievement of other worthwhile objectives. Where are we & where do we want to be?

Also, what is our unique individual perspective on such matters?

The following 2 stories illustrate these vital principles.

J.B’s elderly customer had his roots in San Antonio. I mean he really had his roots here.

When something was said about Austin (about 75 miles away), his comment was, “You know, I need to get up there one of these days. I hear it’s a real nice place.”

One day, after I told a customer about the elderly gentleman, he shared another story. “Back when I had my gas station this elderly lady, a longtime customer, brought her yellow Studebaker – Lark in for service. She said that she wanted the works - gas, oil, belts, hoses, rotate the tires, grease the wheel bearings, everything. She was going on a road trip.”

Thinking she was going at least several hundred miles, he asked, “Where you headed?”

“Oh, I’m going down to LaVernia,” she replied.

Knowing that her destination was only about 30 miles away, he couldn’t resist teasing his sweet friend. With tongue in check he replied, “My goodness, for a trip like that I think I’d go out to the airport & get on a plane.” For a long time it was a standing joke between them.

But, the principles these 2 stories illustrate are no laughing matter. They involve the uniqueness of goals & of those who set them.

BARBER-OSOPHY: The distance to a specific goal & the difficulty of achieving the goal, often depends on who has the goal.

Copyright 2006, Sumerlin Enterprises.

Permission is granted for you to copy this article for distribution as long as the above attribution & contact information is included. Please reference or include a link to

Terry L. Sumerlin, owner of J.B.'s Barber Shop in San Antonio, Texas, appears nationally as "The Barber-osopher.” A humorous keynote speaker & motivational speaker, he inspires & engages his audiences with funny anecdotes & thought-provoking stories.

Goal-A-Phobic - By Hershey Wier

Journaling time today was a bit out of the ordinary. I knew something was up when I felt an urge to use write in my journal using bold red ink. I honestly had no idea why I felt an inclination to use red. I never use red. My journal is filled mostly with inks of a soft pink, violet or green.

But today - red. Hmmmm.... When I journal, I usually let my mind go & write whatever comes to mind, regardless of whether it makes sense. Usually it's a few thoughts about something in the past, or something I need to get done in future.

But today, we got right down to business. It was as if my hand were on auto-pilot & my central processing unit was barking out orders. The first line went "GOAL SETTING & GOAL GETTING MUST BE OUR MAIN GOAL." The rich, red letters mesmerized my eyes. Something clicked. A dialogue was forthcoming. A dialogue between my task oriented self & my procrastination oriented self.

"Task" was trying to get some cooperation. "Procrastination" was up to its usual antics. The dialogue went something like this...

Procrastination: But what do you mean we need to do some goal setting? We've done a lot of stuff lately?! I need a break!

Task: Yes, we've done "stuff." How much of that stuff relates to our life goals? For example, that big proposal we keep talking about. If we're to get anywhere with it, we've got to start.

Procrastination: Oh, come on. The proposal can wait. I'll get that done in no time. You take a break & let me handle things. Before I get to that proposal though, I need to find where I've put a ton of my papers, files, addresses I need in order to get started. Yikes, I need to do all sorts of stuff. And before I can get to that, my desk needs to get cleared off. Oh yeah & the kitchen sure could use a cleaning & I need to pick out this year's Christmas cards &...

Task: The household stuff will wait & you know you have no plans to attack the kitchen anyway. It's an excuse. And, your desk is fine. We did a quick once-over yesterday. How much clearer does it have to get? We need to at least start. Any other excuses?

Procrastination: Well, I need to block out a big chunk of time. That will be impossible. You know how busy we are these days.

Task: Block out an hour.

Procrastination: We need more than an hour & we don't have it.

Task: Start out with an hour. Block it out on your calendar.

Procrastination: But...

Task: Now.

Procrastination: Alright. There. Saturday morning, 9:00 am. Happy?

Task: Not yet. What's the task we're going to work on.

Procrastination: The project proposal.

Task: Get specific. That proposal will take at least 12 hours to complete. What task are we going to accomplish on Saturday morning from 9:00 am to 10:00 am?

Procrastination: I'll figure that out on Saturday at 9:00 am.

Task: We'll eat up the hour just brainstorming. Since I've already got your attention, why don't we just put down a roadmap right now. Say you're going to keep that Saturday morning block open every week. We estimate 12 hours for the project, so that's about 3 months. Let's get a goal down for each of those Saturday morning appointments... What...? What?! What's wrong...?! You're shaking! Sweating...! A volcano about to...!

Procrastination: AAAAARRRRGHHHHH!!! Okay, okay, I confess! You win! I... I'm... I'm...GOAL-A-PHOBIC! Yes, yes, it's true! I'm quick to come up with the grand plan, but i... im... imp... IMPTAYSUN! I can't bear it... I'm allergic to it! I can't even say it right.

Task: "Implementation." Now, now, take a deep breath. Don't get so down on yourself. Some of our projects have gone off magnificently. We've accomplished a lot together. It's just certain projects that you seem to get stuck on - like this proposal.

Procrastination: Well, face it. There's not a chance that proposal will get accepted. It's just wishful thinking. I don't want to go thru all of that work & then have to go thru the rejection. And the marketing part of it - who's going to get that done? Not to mention the money we'll need to get it off the ground.

Task: Fear. That's fear talking. You know we've done our research & I choose to believe for the best outcome. We'll never know unless we start. And, we'll never start unless you stop speaking from fear. Now let's start getting that roadmap together. The goals need to be specific, written, engaging, attainable & time-bound.

Procrastination: That's a lot to remember.

Task: They make up the acronym S-W-E-A-T.

Procrastination: Ugh.

Task: That's...

Specific. If the goal is too broad, we'll lose track.

Written, so that we can express in focused terms what needs to get done & we can keep it in front of us.

Engaging, so that we're motivated, interested in the project. There may be some steps that don't thrill us, but the overall project must come from the heart.

Attainable, so that we have peace with knowing that with a plan & some work, this project can become a successful reality.

Time-bound: You get what you measure. A goal is a dream with a deadline. Enough said. Let's go.


it's e-mail from you all .... you who visit my sites that keeps me encouraged to work these sites & motivated to continue to update them....  
take some time to think about the fact that i began with one website, a few years ago....
i was depressed, anxious, dissociating regularly....   i found the counselor that could diagnose me with ptsd......   & i realized that my recovery depended on me helping myself thru helping others....  click here to send me an e-mail & say hello!

thanks for visiting changes! hope to see you back soon in support of those positive healthy changes you are wanting to make!

the following web links are provided for your convenience in visiting the source sites for the information on this page:
web md

help the red cross help hurricane victims!

Click here to visit the Red Cross page that allows you to access your local chapter of the Red Cross by entering your zip code in the specified box, to see how you can help in your area.

thanks for visiting changes!
this website is part of the emotional feelings network of sites...
for more emotions, feelings & important info
this is simply an informational website concerning emotions & feelings. it does not advise anyone to perform methods -treatments - practice described within, endorse methods described anywhere within or advise any visitor with medical or psychological treatment that should be considered only thru a medical doctor, medical professional, or mental health professional.  in no way are we a medical professional or mental health professional.