Here we are on a new year ALREADY? Will someone please tell me what happened to 2008? I mean, I still remember writing checks for October! As I get older it seems to me that life really kicks into high gear and I become awash in activity and things-to-do without really even trying. So, what’s a person to do? Simple.
- Learn to set your internal clock! This is an easy exercise that I’ve been using for years to guide me on what needs to be done and when. During this time of year as our calendar scrolls over once more, I take time out of each week to have a mini-conference with myself to determine what it is I want from 2009. I never expect Life to hand me anything. I know that if I want something out of Life, I’m going to have to pursue it and pursue it with intense passion.
- My list of targets for 2009 will be a short one. Why? Because if I pursue each target with intense passion, it is required to be a short list! I need energy left over to handle all the day-to-day life experiences too. For me, setting my sights on targets for 2009 is very easy. Why? Because I usually know exactly what I want out of life and I just readjust my viewpoint each year to move me closer to them. By setting and resetting my internal clock (targets) on an annual basis I am assured of hitting them more often than missing them. But for some folks they don’t have this sense of “knowing” and need a bit of help. This is where your eulogy comes into play. If you’ve been to my seminar or read any of my books, you know how important it is to know exactly what you want out of life. So, now is the time for you to spend some effort working out your eulogy. This means that you focus on the end of your life rather than on where you are right now. Why focus on the end? Because when you die, you’re done! Right? So, if you start establishing a pattern of goal setting with the end in mind, it will alter the way you go about establishing your annual targets to reach the end. Even if you’ve done this exercise before, now is the time that you pull out that old eulogy and make sure that it still says what you want it to say.
For me, mine changes almost semi-annually! I constantly have to readjust it because I usually accomplish more than I wrote down! First, write up the speech you want your best friend to make at your funeral. It will list all the things you have accomplished in the past tense. This is important. If everything is listed in past tense this allows your brain to relax. The emotional and physical barriers that have been erected against your success will be inconsequential to your mind because...you’re DEAD! This removes a tremendous burden from your mental creativity. The normal tapes that run through your head keeping you from doing things are dissolved and you can now spend your energy coming up with ideas of what you really want to do rather than fighting yourself and justifying all the reasons why you could never become a black-belt Aikido master at age 38.
- Second, you’ve finished up with your eulogy and you’re ready to move onto this year’s targets. Okay, slow down before you start working on the to-do list. Put your pen aside and think. Yes, think. (Take a deep breath, too, that helps the process) We don’t spend enough time doing this in our lives, but this is the critical time when you MUST do it. Think about the question: What do I really want? Seriously, what is it that YOU want? Not your husband, wife, children, family, friends, society...you get the idea. What do you want? Once you have that firmly in your mind, then you grab your pencil and start listing the things YOU want to do this year, not because you SHOULD do them, not because it would make you a better person if you did them, list the things, honestly, that YOU want to do.
- Third, after you’ve made your list (mine rarely has more than 5 things to do a year, actually for 2009 I wrote down only three things.) Prioritize the passion you have for each one. This will determine if you’ve really listed things YOU want to do rather than things that you have been guilted into doing. If you find you don’t have an intense desire to do an item on your list, remove it at once! That item is not owned by YOU. Lastly, post this list where you can see it every day. Research has been done on goal setting and the people who practice it. Successful people review their goals daily. This is not an extensive review. This is not spending hours a week working on a life plan. This is spending 15 seconds a day READING your list. By reading them daily you will determine very quickly if they really are your goals or someone else’s. If your passion for these accomplishments ever loses energy, then you know that it wasn’t really yours to begin with. If that is the case, then sit down and start again. Write a new list. Sure, go ahead, throw away the old list, but then make sure you create a NEW one.
Successful people have one very characteristic trait. They never give up. They may wander a bit, get distracted, or go off on a weird path and have to retrace their steps, but they never stop walking! Make sure you do the same. Keep walking your way to your success and remember to constantly set that internal clock to what YOU want!