New Year, New You: Step 1

September 17, 2008

Originally uploaded by jillyemm

March is fast approaching.  Do you know where your New Year resolutions are? Have you achieved any of them yet? If the answers are “yes”, congrats, you got my respect. Maybe you are only focusing on two out of 12 goals. No worries; that is still impressive. Now, if you’re anything like me, you don’t even know where that piece of paper is anymore.  That’s okay, too; who said you had to start self improvement on New Year’s Day?

Now is always the right time to focus on becoming the best you possible.  One of my first goals is to stop procrastinating.  If there are things that you want to change, dreams that you want to obtain, don’t wait till the end of the year to come up with a plan – let’s work on it together.  I believe that I can learn from those goal-achievement gurus and come up with a well-balanced plan. The plan is not yet made; I will wing it as I go along.  And, since we are all friends here, I would love to share my goals, my beginnings, my plans, and my journey.

The first step is a little soul-searching exercise. Get out a piece of paper, (better yet a new journal or a notebook) to keep track, and divide it in four sections by drawing one line down the middle lengthwise from top to bottom and another across the middle horizontally from one side to the other. The first section (top left quadrant) I want you to label Passions, the second your (top right) Talents, the third (bottom left) Values and the fourth (bottom right) Problems.

Now, when you have a minute, I want you to sit and fill out each section. Your goal is to write at least ten different items for each section, but write as many as you can think of or as many as will fit in the space allotted. Start with your passions: What are the things that you love to do? What are things that you would do for others for free? What are the hobbies that make you come alive? what activities make you lose track of time?

When you’re finished, move on to your talents: What are you a natural at? What have you practiced or studied? What do people ask you for help or advice on? What do others say that you are good at?

Next: What do you value? Who are the most important people in the world to you? What would you die to protect? When do you go against the popular majority? What convictions do you uphold? Where do you get your sense of morals? If you were going to die soon, what would you need to accomplish?

And, finally, let’s move on to your problems: What are the major stumbling blocks to attaining your dreams? What are the mistakes you keep repeating? What keeps you afraid, anxious, idle, depressed or angry?

This is fun right?!? Next, I want you to look at each section, and rank each item’s importance by number, “1” being the most important. When you’re finished with one section, move on to the next until you number all of them. Next, draw the table, four sections with the titles, on a new sheet of paper. Take the items ranked one through six, and rewrite them in order on your new table. When you are finished, pat yourself on the back; you have just completed step one. It should look something like this:

Passions

1. Blogging – about my life and sharing things I’ve learned
2. Making New Friends – gives me an opportunity to be myself
3. Talking to Kids – it would be number one on the list if I did not get sad afterward
4. Psychology – reading, learning or talking about psychology
5. Learning New Things – and figuring out a practical application of it in my life
6. Giving Advice – makes me feel useful

Talents
1. Encouragement – I’m good at seeing people’s true essences; it’s good
2. Customer Service -I’m great at calming down irate people
3. Writing – I’m a little rusty, but I am ready and equipped
4. Document Creation – a newly discovered one (I avoided office work)
5. Music Knowledge – tried to make it sound fancy; I just know a lot of songs
6. Finance – Money missing? I’m your man. I can write up a spending plan

Values

1.Freedom – to be my true self and gain acceptance and respect
2. Emotional Intelligence – principles or morals that enable harmony among people
3. Becoming a Parent – I want a successful pregnancy and to learn quality parenting
4. Family Pride – I desperately want my loved ones to be proud of me
5. Simple Living – I want everyone to live within their means, to enjoy life, not to be burdened by things
6. Education – Let this debt not be in vain, please let me earn a lambskin, AMEN

Problems

1. I lack confidence and tend to assume people think the worst of me.
2. I have no income.
3. I’m in debt.
4. My family is hurt by my absence.
5. I’m overweight.
6. My house is a mess.

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