The new year brings us a fresh start, a "do-over" card, to try and do things better, make a difference and reach for higher goals. My goal last year was to start an online blog and site dedicated to assistive technology. I feel good about the goals I reached, but I am already looking at what I could have done better, where I got lazy and how to improve in this coming year.
I see parent advocates, dedicated teachers and specialists everyday in my work and I know that at this time of year, we all begin to ask ourselves, "Okay, what am I going to do better this year?" Once you have been able to answer that question, the next one is, "How am I going to stick to this resolution and accomplish it?"
Let me give you a few ideas based on reading and on my own strategies, which have helped me. Maybe they will help you too...
1. See your end goal each day as a done deal. This is important. You need to affirm daily in your mind that you have already accomplished the thing you intend to do. Be thankful that it has been accomplished. Imagine how it feels and what it looks like when that goal is accomplished. Just spend a couple of minutes everyday letting that child-like imagination take over and dream a little bit. Having the faith to see a thing done and being thankful for it are huge pieces in this step.
2. Break the goal down. If I look at the big picture of a goal I have, it can be overwhelming. I have to break it down into "baby steps" so I can take it in bits and pieces. If I begin to accomplish each piece and those pieces lead to the whole, then eventually I will get there. The key is to plan out the steps and devise your strategy which will lead you to success.
3. Stay committed. If you have a goal and have thought out the steps to accomplish it, you are already much closer to success than a lot of people. If you have the passion and energy to see and imagine your end result as completed, then there really is only one thing left to do...commit to do one thing a day (even if it is a little piece of a step) to work on your strategy/plan and not give up until the goal is reached. Stay committed and keep your focus. 99% of the folks who fail, do so because they don't follow through and stay committed to finish. They get preoccupied and distracted and pretty soon the vision is dead and they are back to the same old routine and they have lost the vision. Don't do that! You can achieve your goal if you stick with it. As I have read great authors and teachers of success principles, the standard opinion is that achievement of your goal is 90% attitude, thought and committment and about 10% actual action.
There are more elements to these strategies, enough of them that people have written books on them - and I suppose I could too - but I think the simple strategies above will really help you get started. One of My favorite writers and speakers is Jack Canfield, the author of the Chicken Soup series. He has written "The Success Principles" and has been an inspiration to me. If you can latch onto an author or speaker who is inspirational to you, you can use their writings or CD's to spur you on when your determination grows thin.
Whether you are looking to raise funds for a new program, see new levels of learning with your child or class, push for greater services, achieve greater success in your own career or take on a more personal self-help challenge, I would encourage you to try out the 3 steps above. I know I plan to use them as I spend some time this week setting new goals and planning out my year to come.
All the best in 2009!
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