Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Countdown to a New Year

As January 1st looms in the not so distant future, many are already plotting and planning their new resolutions for 2007. We all want to create commanding goals that have the power to propel you past every obstacle so below are ten steps to make sure that you’ll be unstoppable.

1. Know Your Purpose -- Above all, for a goal to have motivating power, it must be meaningful to you. Write out a Purpose Statement for your goal. Know what’s in it for you. What will it contribute to your life? In addition to what you expect to gain from the outcome, think about how the pursuit itself will benefit you. What skills will your goal call on you to stretch or acquire?

2. Map Your Route -- It’s become a cliché because it’s true: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Know the mileposts between you and your goal and have a detailed plan for reaching the first one. As you near the first milepost, begin to develop details of your plan for reaching the next one. The lure of the next milepost will whet your eagerness to keep going and fire your enthusiasm for wrapping up the current one.

3. Keep Your Focus -- Be one-pointed in pursuing each step of your goal. Energy flowing in a focused channel can create a Grand Canyon. Without focus, it creates a swamp. Mentally review tomorrow’s steps before you fall asleep at night; repeat them as you start each day.

4. Create Momentum – Utilize Newton’s First Law: A body in motion tends to stay in motion. Get moving on your goal as soon and as often as you possibly can. Don’t wait until you think you have ‘enough’ information or time. Begin where you are, with what you have and what you know. The road will open to you as you go.

5. Ask Questions -- Ask yourself questions about your goal constantly. Ask if there’s a straighter path. Ask how else you can look at it or what else you need to do or know. Your mind will automatically produce or lead you to answers. Ask kids how they would approach the step you’re focused on, or people wholly outside your field. Explaining your question to them will help you understand better what you’re seeking, and their answers may trigger new ways to look at your situation.

6. Read Goal-Related Material Daily -- Capitalize on the fact that you live in the information age. Every day find at least one more nugget of data about your goal. Seek out the top-notch experts in your field, study what they say and do, and apply what you learn.

7. Have an Idea Catcher Handy -- Good ideas pop up suddenly and evaporate as quickly as they come. Be prepared to catch them. Record enough details to let yourself recapture the idea later. A single word or two that seems significant at the moment may look nonsensical later. Set aside time every day to transfer all the ideas you have collected into one central file. Not only will that keep good ideas from getting lost, but it will program your mind to continue producing and elaborating on them.

8. Talk It Up -- Ruthlessly guard your self-talk. Delete every doubt instantly. Choose to believe you can achieve your aim whether the way is apparent or not. Learn to craft affirmations and use them continuously. Mastering your mindset is the one essential to achieving your goal.

9. Ramp It Up -- Use the Power of Two to invigorate yourself. Stay at a task for 2 minutes longer. Add 2 more ideas to your file. Make 2 more contacts. Ask 2 more questions. Increase the quality of your focus by 2%. Do routine tasks 2% faster. Every day find something you can improve by a factor of 2. It’s just enough of a challenge to give you the winning edge.

10. Empower Your Goal with Gratitude – To keep your enthusiasm high, consciously practice gratitude for your goal, for the fact that you have it, for all it is doing to give purpose to your life, for the ways it is nourishing your personal growth, for all it is teaching you and allowing you to explore.

Gratitude empowers your vision and provides you with the humility you need to stay open. It adds passion to your will to achieve, keeps you operating from your heart and gives meaning to the smallest task. By all means, give thanks, and travel in its joy.

But let's also evaluate not only what we want to accomplish next year but what we have acheived this past year. It's a ten day countdown to the New Year and each day we will celebrate with a new question. I look forward to reading your response. See below our first question. All the best!

What did I learn in 2006?


  1. I am going to print this out so that I can respond properly. This is very inspirational! By the way, in 2006 I learned that anything is possible with FAITH.

  2. nikki woods6:01 PM

    I thought it would be cute to post my responses from last year followed by that of this year.

    I think the most important thing I learned this year is that I can do anything and be successful at it when I really focus. As long as it's in keeping with God's will. Sometimes, I may be too scared, or too stressed or too lazy and just not done it - but I proved this year that I CAN do it. I also learned that I have a huge capacity to love that continues to grow. I don't tap into it nearly often enough but it is one of my goals for 2006. Tapping into Love brings forth a bunch of other great stuff like forgiveness, and courage. I also learned that I still have a lot to learn. And a long road of growth ahead of me. But now I know I can do it, from a position of love.

    This year I learned that sometimes it is better to focus on the small picture instead of always looking at the big picture. Said another way, sometimes you have to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other instead of how the finish line will look when you cross it. Depending on where you are in life, looking at the final outcome can be overwhelming if you have a long way to go to get there. This year has been one of extremes - highs and lows - and sometimes during the low periods trying to figure out how to turn things around can be way too daunting of a task. It is then, I put one foot in front of the other, focusing on the task at hand until I can take on larger projects. Before this year - I thought to think "small" if you will was a weakness that if you thought small then you'd be small. But this year, I learned that's simply not true. Big things are made up of small steps. Just keep moving forward an the little becomes large.

  3. I learned that I'm not alone in this world. People do care about me and wish me well. I learned that it's never to late to chase dreams. A good friend,Nikki, taught me that if I have faith in myself and God all things are possible.

  4. Great post, Nikki! I learned to live and let live. Love and let love.

  5. Anonymous12:22 PM

    Good stuff! Thanks for sharing.