2012 is only two days away. Amazing! I have begun the process of thinking about my New Year's goals, just as I always do around this time of the year. I've been looking back. Recognizing what I accomplished in 2011 as well as analyzing the areas that need more work. Dreaming about new possibilities...
It's a fresh start. A new year. Another chance to change...to become better. Hope is kindled again and dreams seem within our grasp. But how do we keep our dreams alive as time passes and the reality of the "every day" sets in? How do we motivate ourselves to stay focused and continue achieving?
One obvious way is to have goals. One of my favorite sayings that I remind myself of often is by Napoleon Hill, an American author who wrote about how to achieve personal success. He said, "A goal is a dream with a deadline." Hill interviewed many successful men and women of his time, including great minds such as Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Theodore Roosevelt. From his research, Napoleon Hill wrote The Law of Success, a set of lessons that outline key principles for achieving success in one's life, of which one of the first is to a have a "definite chief aim" (or a clear, overall purpose in life). In other words, you need to have GOALS.
Goals are very powerful. They are the means by which ideas and dreams can be realized. They help to bring about consistency of purpose, and ultimately the success or change we desire. Of course, each and every day we must CHOOSE to apply these goals in our lives. That's why daily choices are so important!
It has been shown time and again that one of the best ways to stay motivated and focused, to make the right choices each day, is to surround yourself with positive people and a positive support system. I believe this is a major key to achieving the goals you have set in place. Find someone who has the same goals as you do, and work together to accomplish them. Encourage each other. Help each other. Come up with ideas together and keep each other accountable. Remember, two are better than one...if one falls, the other can help him up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)!
Yesterday, Susan shared a great post on goal-setting. I love that she pointed out that we can't wait for everything to be perfect before we decide to start on our goals. It will never happen if we do! Don't let perfectionism stand in the way of your success (because believe me, it will). Instead, just begin right away to take those small steps in the right direction. If you take some steps backwards, then just take a deep breath and start again. Don't give up!
I really like the idea of having a motto or a key word that you choose as your "purpose" for the year. FlyLady has a new motto every year, and this year's is "perfectionism is shelved in 2012." Another blog I ran across picks one word each year that defines what the blogger wants to focus on for that year. You can see this post HERE. It motivated me to pick a key word for myself for 2012.
My word for this year is CHOICES. I want to remind myself each day to make the right choice. I want to really think about the choices that are before me. The small choices. The big choices. The choice to not be afraid. To be positive. The choice to follow God. The choice to be loving. To be a servant. I want to remember that what I choose in the moment is so important to my future and the future of those around me. What will I choose?
I encourage you to pick a word or a phrase that defines your overall purpose for this upcoming year. Then set clear, specific goals with deadlines. Finally, find a good support group...and CHOOSE SUCCESS!
Check out these free printables on goal-setting below!