Fresh Starts Happen When You Want Them


Okay so the calendar today reads December 10 and New Year’s Day is still a few weeks away. Typically the days leading up to a flip in the calendar are when most people think of making some major changes and starting fresh. Be it losing weight, changing a bad habit, getting a job, or any number of other goals, January 1st seems to be a day when the majority set out to put their new behaviours into action.

However, when you think about making some changes, think about that line, “there’s no better time than the present.” I suppose the reason that right now is the best time is simply because it’s now that you’re thinking of whatever you want to change so take the opportunity to get on that change while you see the value in going after your goal. If you put off making that decision until some point in the future, you might not feel the same compulsion later. So what are to do? Wait another year until another January 1 comes along?

As for needing some external stimulus for change – like flipping the calendar to a new year, there’s plenty of those moments. For starters, we all flip the calendar 12 times a year; that’s 12 times we could opt to start some new behaviour. There’s your birthday too, although that comes around once a year, you might just be motivated to change things up on this anniversary of your birth.

The thing about your birthday is that it’s very much like New Year’s Day in that it only comes around once a year. If you’d like more opportunities, consider that there are 365 days in a year, and every day you wake up could be the sign to hit the reset button on something you want to give up or something you want to start.

Now suppose it’s a new job you’re after. Whether with the same employer you work with now or a new one, a new job might be just what you want. If you plan on getting hired January 1st, 2019, you can’t put off applying for jobs until December 31 can you? No, of course not. You’d actually need to be doing an active job search now; researching, job applications, resume and cover lettering writing, interviews and networking meetings. Even so, how many employer’s are even open on New Year’s day and of those who are, how many are training the new person on January 1? Not many.

Of course, you might be telling yourself that January 1st is when you’re planning on starting the job search. Nothing wrong with that goal. Of course, between now and January 1st you may be missing some good job postings, and it would be a shame if the job you’d really love has a deadline that you miss when you’re kicking back waiting for the calendar to roll over. The people you’re competing with will thank you for that one!

Let me give you a small piece of warning and advice if I may. When you make the decision to change your present behaviour and start to seriously job search, it’s going to be a challenge to first make the change in behaviour and then sustain that momentum you start. Your body and mind are going to rebel and in both cases because the status quo is easier.

So if you have a job already, the extra work you have to put in outside of work hours with a job search might come across at times as too much extra pressure and extra work. If you’re unemployed you won’t have that problem, but when you’re out of work, the habits you’ve developed – possibly sleeping in late, having a nap mid-afternoon, watching too much television or playing video games etc., might get in the way of sticking with the job of finding a job.

So be ready for the kick-back; that want to fight change and just go on with things the way they are. It might take some real perseverance and stamina to sustain change. What will help is keeping your mind focused on why you started the change in the first place. In other words, if your goal has enough meaning to you, it’s easier to stay focused on it because you want it bad enough to fight past the barriers that stand in your way.

It’s when you don’t want something enough to fully commit to it that you’re likely to fail. So in other words, if other people keep telling you to get a job and you grudgingly agree to start looking for one, the chances of success are lower as you’re more likely to revert to your old habits when no one is looking. When YOU want to work more than you don’t, that’s when your odds on succeeding will rise. It’s not just about getting a job by the way, the same is true of any goal we talk about; changing eating habits, learning to drive, being more polite, expressing more gratitude, taking up a new hobby. Whatever you’re contemplating, it will come about sooner if you commit to it.

Finally, if you’ve been after your goal in the past and not had success; so you haven’t got interviews or job offers, think about going about your job search in a different way. Trying a new strategy may get you different – and better results.

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Self-Sabotage And The Job Search


Self-sabotage is intentionally undermining your own efforts to do something. You may find it surprising then to think that anyone would take steps to ruin their own chances at achieving their goals. It happens though; and often.

Despite ones best intentions, we’re not always as strong as we’d like to be. Consider the person who makes it a goal to lose weight. Their reason for wanting to lose the pounds could be a wish to feel better about themselves. In a moment of weakness however, that same person stands with the fridge open getting a piece of pie; something they expressly vowed not to eat as doing so runs counter to their weight loss goal. While they feel guilt in eating it, they enjoy the taste and texture of the food in the moment. Why? It was something that gave them immediate pleasure, even though it runs counter to their longer-term goal which will make them feel greater pleasure in their accomplishment.

The same is true when it comes to looking for work. Getting a job may be your goal, which has several benefits such as: you’ll feel better being productive, you’ll have purpose, you’ll have some much-need income and overall, you’re self-esteem and self-image will improve. With all those reasons for getting a job, you feel positive about putting in the effort to go for it!

However, in no time at all, you find yourself willfully distracted; watching television because you want the entertainment but not deriving the pleasure it normally brings you because there’s this persistent nagging sense that you should be job searching. You’re not fooling anyone, let alone yourself; you’re sabotaging your own efforts to find employment.

Realizing a goal takes discipline. The thing is, your thoughts can be ever so fragile when you aren’t doing what you feel you really should be. Indulging in that piece of pie or watching that hour show instead of looking for a job can make you believe you lack commitment, you’re weak and nothing short of a failure. It’s so easy at times like these to heap on the negative, which can have the unfortunate impact of sending you right back to the fridge for more pie or watching television for the rest of the day because these are the things you’ve come to feel good about in the past. So  why not give in and at least enjoy them guilt-free?

Even though this behaviour is counter-productive to your long-term goals, don’t beat yourself up unnecessarily.  It’s not easy to stay 100% committed to the new discipline it takes to changing behaviour. Behaviour is after all a set of thoughts and actions you typically think and do. Altering those thoughts and altering what’s really your normal way of going about things isn’t something you are likely to succeed at just because you come to some decision – even a good one – overnight. Example: the infamous New Year’s resolutions people make and don’t follow through on year after year.

An athlete knows that to ultimately meet their goal of the best performance they are capable of giving, it’s going to take discipline and practice. When a big race is in their future, they plan for it month’s or years in advance in the case of the Olympics. Sports teams play exhibition games prior to the start of their seasons to appreciate what it’s going to take. Success doesn’t happen just because they put their mind to things; it takes discipline, effort, commitment and follow-through. Ask them if they have setbacks, days when they just don’t put in the effort and they’ll tell you those moments happen. Why? They’ll say they are human; and so are you.

Committing to a goal such as job searching is a positive thing. Expect there will be ups and downs, hopeful expectations and yes, some let-downs. You’ll have days where you feel good about what you’ve done, steps you’ve taken in the right direction, and you’ll experience moments of doubt, frustration and disappointment. These are no reasons for not getting going though; for not starting. After all, that end goal you have of gaining employment means a lot to you and how you see yourself.

Now depending how long you’ve been in your current routine, and how much or little that current routine mirrors the activities and time-management it’s going to take to find your next job, it can be a minor or major shift in your daily activities to be successful. So think about that. A complete alteration in how you’re spending your time is likely going to mean you’ll have more moments where you’ll want to revert to those past behaviours that you now see as counter-productive to achieving your new goal. If you’re already pretty disciplined with your time and doing some job searching daily, you’ll have fewer moments where you are distracted.

Self-sabotage isn’t really hard to understand when you see it as momentarily engaging in things you find preferable in a given moment. Discipline takes time to acquire. Give yourself credit for small steps in the right direction; just coming to the decision on what you want is one of them. If you falter – and you likely will – get on with it again. If it was important enough to you that you set this new goal, it’s likely just as important enough to you to keep going.

Breaking Down What Needs To Be Done


Yesterday I stood before 13 people on the final day of a career exploration workshop. It was the culmination of a process where those attending had been first assessing who they are as individuals and then looking at potential jobs and careers that might be appropriate matches based on what they learned of themselves.

One of the last exercises I had them work on was to list barriers each of them faced that stood between where they are today and where they want to be in the future. This by the way is an excellent exercise for anyone – possibly yourself – and as they discovered, having an experienced Employment Counsellor lead that discussion can be extremely helpful in clarifying exactly what barriers could be.

Now once you have identified the things which impede your progress towards the attainment of your employment goal, you might imagine coming up with the solutions would be relatively easy. For example, if you lack grade 12 the solution would appear to be go back to school and get it. If you don’t have a resume the solution would appear to be to make one.

The fallacy with the above solutions however is that each involves a number of steps before the person is given their diploma or walks away with a new resume. So while the end result is known, the process itself is still unclear; and not all those in attendance would have the knowledge or ability as to how to get into school, or where to go to get help making that resume. So the solutions are still too big for them and likely they will go without being acted on.

Let’s take the first example of identifying a lack of grade 12 as a barrier and wanting to obtain the diploma. “Where do I start?” is a logical and common question people ask. As an adult, you may have to first contact an adult education school in your community and check on their admission requirements. In the neighbourhood I work in, such schools have a mandatory information session of an hour in length, so getting the date and time to attend is a first step. You also need to bring proof of your identity and citizenship.

At the conclusion of the information session, each person meets individually with a school official who goes about the process of enrolling them in classes. After enrollment, it’s a matter of paying school registration fees, student fees and getting a schedule of when you start. The next step is actually attending school courses you’ve selected and if needed, enrolling for additional classes once you complete the first ones you signed up for until you have the required credits to graduate.

You’ll notice if you look at those steps that some are extremely short and can be completed in a matter of moments such as the phone call to find out when the next information session is being held. Attending that information session might take an hour out of your day, while attending school itself could take weeks, months or I suppose more than a year depending on several factors.

My point is that “getting my grade 12” isn’t a single step; its several steps of varying lengths when you break it down. The act of breaking down your goal into smaller, manageable pieces may make the goal seem like a lot of little things to do, but each step is clearer, and with that clarity comes the realization that yes, you can do this, you are then empowered to do so.

It’s the same with saying, “I’m out of work so my goal is to get a job”. Getting a job isn’t as easy as just deciding to get one. While the overall statement is commendable, the steps required to get one need clarifying. Just ask someone what they have to do in order to get a job and you’ll quickly discover their comprehension of what it will take to gain employment. While some have a very good idea of all the things they need to do, others might say, “Just apply.”

As most of us know, getting a job means much more. I believe that while most people have the best of intentions when they set out to eliminate their barriers, they break down most often in their ability to do so because of the planning required. Now, an Employment Counsellor or Coach can be most helpful in asking the right questions of you which will allow you to determine together what to do.

So getting your grade 12 could mean 5 or 6 smaller, individual steps. Getting a job might mean fixing up the resume, targeting it to a specific job, knowing yourself well enough to know what you want in the first place, practicing your interviewing skills by attending an interview workshop, sending the application, following up on the application, writing the cover letters, thank you letters, etc. Lots of steps and every one of them necessary and vital.

If you have the skills to break down your tasks into smaller, manageable pieces, you’ll also find building on completing each step will increase your confidence and build momentum. When you eventually cross off all the steps, you’ll find you’ve eliminated one of your barriers. Some folks can do these things simultaneously, working on reducing several barriers at once. If you can, great! However, even if you work on one thing and one thing only, that’s progress!

 

 

 

 

A New Hope (And No It’s Not Star Wars)


Hope; it’s what looking forward to flipping over the calendar at the end of December every year is all about really isn’t it? I mean, it’s a new slate, a fresh start, new beginnings with raised expectations that you won’t screw this one up; that things will be better than they were the previous year.

Throughout the year we all have those moments when things start fresh. We may start reading a new book, start work on a new painting, a renovation, maybe a new job; why I can recall in public school just being excited when I wrote for the first time in a new workbook and vowed that my printing and writing would be neater and with fewer mistakes to rub out with an eraser.

However a new year is when everybody we know gets a do-over all at the same time. I think to be honest this what we really celebrate; the chance we all have to put things right and get our act together and we’re supported by all of those we come into contact with because just like us, that’s what others are trying to do too.

Now for things to be better, we have to acknowledge first what didn’t, or isn’t going so well at the present time. For many of us that’s ridiculously easy to do of course because so many of us are continually facing problems and challenges. If you’re going to look at 2017 as the year you get hired by a good company doing a job you enjoy and making a decent wage doing it, no doubt you are pretty much well aware of the fact you are currently unemployed or unhappy in your current job. This is an easy one; not to fix of course but to understand.

On the other hand, there are some things in our lives that we want to set straight, deal with or put behind us; and if it was as easy as flipping the calendar to January 2017 we’d all be doing it. I’m talking about the things we want the new year to bring us that require us to first acknowledge and articulate what we currently have but want to change which we don’t want to think about or talk about. If we keep saying to ourselves and others, “I don’t want to think or talk about ______”, it’s not likely that a new year will bring the results we want – certainly not in any lasting measure.

So let’s say it’s a goal to be a better person. As good as that is, it’s rather vague isn’t it? I mean, better in what way(s)? Before we can decide how to be better it would be appropriate and necessary to examine closely and honestly the kind of person we are right now and have been throughout the year; knowing how we are at present and how we’d like to be can lead us to identify the distance between the two. How we go about enacting the change we want to bring about the desired end results is the next step but too many people make it the first step.

I suppose it’s also essential to ask yourself, “What’s my motivation for wanting a change in 2017?” Are you looking for more money, security, travel, a lasting relationship, perhaps ending a relationship? Goals for the new year can include endings as well as beginnings and not just in personal relationships. You could decide to finish 2017 no longer employed in your present job; break your addiction to social media and your cell phone, or your relationship with a creditor by getting out of debt.

A new year is like everybody received a brand spanking shiny new lottery card. There’s hope with every one issued and produced; a few will be major winners, some reveal happiness and give us reason to smile and for others there will be disappointment and a dream unfulfilled. However, unlike a lottery card, the result isn’t predetermined. When you scratch the lottery card, there are a fixed number of winners and losers. In life, I think we could all find 2017 brings us improvement, fulfillment and happiness – it’s within our control whether we have a good one or not.

I’ve a suggestion to put before you and that is in addition to the big one; the really significant thing you are hoping 2017 brings your way. Set yourself up for success with some relatively small or minor hopes too. If you hope to lose 50 pounds; a fairly big hope for many, maybe start with an obtainable yet small goal like replacing your white bread with some 100% whole grain bread, or forgoing the bread entirely for the first two weeks when you’re out shopping. Not a big deal; chances of success are pretty good and you can certainly mark whether you hit the goal or not.

If it’s a better you, maybe something tangible like, “being better means being friendlier and friendliness starts with a smile” becomes your motto and you set out to smile consciously at everyone you meet for the first few seconds. Unnatural as it might be now, you’re hoping to build new patterns of behaviour that you can carry on with over the long-term.

So what’s important enough to you that you’d like to work on to bring yourself the gift of hope realized in 2017? Share it if you will here with us.

What Do You Want?


What do you want to experience in your life that you currently aren’t? More money? Power? Flexibility? Job satisfaction? A stronger intimate relationship with someone? Knowing what you want can help you realize it. Not knowing what you want can seed frustration, anger, regret and confusion.

So let’s say you’ve identified that you want more income. Having decided on more income you can then move on to looking at your options; taking on a secondary job, applying for better paying jobs, investing your funds to grow them faster etc. The choices are yours to make but they all have one thing in common as they all seek to increase your overall wealth.

When it comes to relationships and wanting a deeper, more fulfilling one, you can opt to put yourself in more situations where you’ll meet more people, you can risk telling someone how you feel, or you can send out the word that you’re on the market and / or join some dating sites. Already in a relationship? You can invest more of your conscious energy in making that relationship stronger.

Now as for your career, again I ask, “What do you want?” Some people are very happy in their life just moving from job to job, doing different things, gaining a wealth of experiences, and of course being paid to do those jobs. For others, this idea of floating along and not having some overall master plan is not satisfying at all. No, some people are happier identifying what it is they want early and then taking the courses and gaining the experiences that will ultimately put them in a position to take advantage of things and realize their long-term goals.

You know I’m guessing the people in your workplace that everyone can easily identify as the go-getters. They volunteer for committees, they move with the right people, they climb the corporate ladder with speed and purpose. It’s like they’ve got a career path all laid out and are acting the plan. Well good for them you say to yourself; and you either mean it sincerely or you say it wishing it was you on that path instead of them.

Of course what we want career-wise has a lot to do with the factors we experience. If we are in our late 50’s vs. our early 30’s, we might not want to invest much time and energy aspiring to reach the top if we’re not close to it. After all, it might be we just want to play out the string, get paid for our work and then retire early enough to enjoy life without having the stress of putting in the extra hours required to impress the higher-ups and get that plum job which we might have under different circumstances reached out for.

Where we live can play a big factor too. Maybe we’re just not into a long commute, we don’t want to arrive early and work late; we’re content with how things are and to make a big corporate leap would mean moving from our cozy urban dwelling into the heat of the city; all dusty, busy and noisy. No thanks.

What do you want? It keeps coming back to these four words. What you want is very personal; there’s no right or wrong answer, but there is a personal answer. It requires some thought doesn’t it? I mean, what do YOU want?

Some people think that just wanting something is akin to dreaming. Write it down they say and it’s a goal. Plan to make it happen by developing some written steps that have some kind of timeframes attached and you’ve got a workable map that will lead you to the goal you’ve described. But there are a lot of people who have their goal in mind and they still make it happen without the benefit of writing it down and mapping out the steps.

Then of course there are those who have no goal in mind other than seeing how life unfolds. If opportunities arise with respect to their career, they’ll think about them at the time rather than plan now to stand at that crossroads. To be honest, in some fields there are new jobs that didn’t exist even a short time ago, so how could anyone have planned to make the move to the jobs that didn’t exist? So there are many people who are content to find something they enjoy doing and just plan to continue doing it until they no longer enjoy it; then and only then do they look around and say, “Okay so what are my options?”

When you’re in school, good advice is to keep all your doors open down the road by getting all the education you can; the degree over the diploma so to speak. It can open more doors down the road; doors you don’t even know exist. But what about post school? What actions can you take to keep your doors open?

Take advantage of learning opportunities your employer presents. Network positively and often. If you get the chance, take the lead at work on some project so you both learn and stretch a little while getting known to those you don’t normally interact with. Keep looking every so often at other job postings just so see what’s trending. Could be a perfect job comes up and you find your next move.

What do you want?

Get Out Of Your Way!


A lot of people are working hard to get ahead; whatever ‘get ahead’ means to the individual concerned. They have a goal, want something of better quality, bigger, more expensive, or they want time for example. All these people are as I say, working hard to eventually realize whatever it is they are striving to get. If and when they do get it, many will be content while others will want more yet again.

Wanting to get ahead isn’t a dirty thing; in fact, having goals to aspire to is a healthy enterprise to engage in. Goals keep us focused on what’s important to us and keep us from being distracted along the way to realizing our dreams. Yes, even the pursuit of more income isn’t necessarily a bad thing; after all wealth provides us with the means to live life more comfortably, to see things and see people that we may have become geographically distanced from. Wealth can also be used to make the lives of those around us better too, so don’t beat down the person seeking to accumulate wealth.

One of the things successful people do is to correctly identify the barriers to success for them as individuals, and then act in ways to eliminate those same barriers. When barriers are eliminated, progress happens. If you are the kind of person who has had the same dreams or goals for what seems like forever and you are no closer today to those goals of yours, it’s likely that you haven’t yet identified your own barriers or you have failed to act in ways that will put those barriers behind you.

The odd thing I have found is that when I listen to some people talk about their barriers, they tend to deflect the responsibility they have for holding onto those same barriers. Allow me to explain via an example. I know a fellow who has wanted a certain career for decades. It’s his life-long dream he says, and the irony is that from the day I met him, he’s been wanting the same dream but he’s no closer to it.

The big barrier he always laments is the cost of the education required to obtain the certification in order to work in the field. The problem I’ve explained isn’t the actual cost of the education at all but rather his reluctance to incur the financial costs of going to school and getting the education and the certificate that comes with it.

What he sees as debt, I see as a personal investment in himself. He is in fact, his own worst barrier to achieving his goal. Intellectually he knows what it requires to eliminate the barrier however, he’s just standing in his own way and for whatever reason will not assume the cost; which is costing him the realization of his goal.

Another example? Suppose you have a criminal record. That record is prohibiting employers from giving you a chance and hiring you. Your lack of success in the job search for meaningful employment is costing you much more everyday than the actual crime itself. With that criminal record, you’re losing out on a decent job that would increase your self-esteem, self-worth and financial income.

The solution is to take the steps necessary to obtain a criminal pardon, yet because the process takes years and several hundreds of dollars, it seems insurmountable. It’s just so frustrating a process, why even bother? The consequence of this thinking however is that 5 years down the road when the pardon would have been received had you acted today, you’ll still be lamenting the criminal record hanging over your head and the lost jobs you really want.

Look, the solution isn’t overly complicated but it does take resolve. You have to get out of your own way; take responsibility for making your own dreams and goals a reality. If you are sincerely oblivious to your barriers or the possible solutions to your barriers, find out. That gives you knowledge, and knowledge is power.

Armed with the knowledge of what needs to be done to work on and eliminate your personal barriers, the next step is to put plans into action that will result in the elimination of those barriers. The process of acting is empowering. When you actually act, you act with resolve and confidence. You can speak with your head up when people question what you are doing and explain how what you are doing right now is part of a larger plan you have for yourself.

Too many good people fail to act. They have dreams of course as do we all, but those dreams torment them as they stand as reminders of what will never be but could have been – had they only acted.

If education is your barrier, go back to school. If a driver’s licence is your barrier, get over your fear of driving and get your licence because your need for the licence has to outweigh your fears. If your barrier is being fired from your last job, get another one or volunteer so this job becomes your last job. Whatever your barriers, there are solutions.

It’s far too convenient and easy to look at things and claim your lack of success is because of the actions of others, your past, your limitations etc. Take ownership for your future and responsibility for making it happen; in short, get out of your own way!

January 20: Recommitting To That Resolution


Well 2016 is well under way and by now all the New Year’s party hats and noisemakers have been thrown out or neatly tucked away somewhere to be pulled out in 11 ½ months’ time. And with those celebratory items gone, the question I’ve got is, “So how are you making out with that resolution you made for the New Year?”

Okay for you who are still reading (because some who have broken their resolutions already after 20 days don’t like to be reminded and have clicked close on this piece), let’s revisit both your goal and what’s caused you to go astray.

Now your goal is a personal one, and while I don’t know what it was (or still is), there is one thing I’m fairly certain of, and that is that it was (and likely still is) important enough that you want to realize something you don’t currently have. Now this could be a healthier lifestyle, a loss of weight, a new job or personal relationship, learning how to use technology better, being a more generous or forgiving person, or any number of other possibilities.

By their nature, resolutions are generally statements of what we intend to do with a clean slate. When they were made on the very edge of 2015, 2016 was shiny and new, unsoiled; a pristine 365 days of new sunrises and endless possibilities. The prospect of kissing 2015 goodbye and with it all your problems, bad habits, gluttonous or sedentary lifestyle or stressors is something we can all embrace; our once-a-year shared opportunity to re-invent ourselves for the better.

So why if we want to bring about such change do we generally fail so quickly and then feel so bad about it? Is our willpower and commitment so tenuous that after only a scant 20 days into the year we’ve given up? Do we put so much pressure on ourselves that as soon as we slide back even once, we chuck the whole resolution thing into the waste bin?  Sometimes when we fail or feel ourselves failing, it’s a good idea to remind ourselves why we wanted to make that resolution in the first place. And make no mistake; even if you didn’t make a formal declaration or resolution as the clock wound down in 2015, it’s likely you thought about changing something or gaining something in 2016 even if you kept those thoughts private.

Remind yourself first of all that habits – good or bad – are called habits for a reason. Habits are the things we usually do in certain situations. Habits by nature are hard things to change, and just because we revert to our old habits from time to time, if we want to change them it make take time and a renewed commitment. Small things are habitually easy to change than big ones too. So if the habit you want to change is getting away from eating potato chips every night while watching television, you may more likely to succeed if you resolve to eat celery sticks and cherry tomatoes twice a week instead of trying to commit to a complete ban on chips altogether if that’s been your habit. The first night you find yourself depressed for a lack of willpower as you put the chips in your mouth shouldn’t lead to chucking the whole, ‘eat healthier’ plan in other words. Only then have you truly lost.

One danger you can have is a very broad goal with no defined plan to bring about the result you want. So a resolution that went, “I want a job in 2016” might not pan out because your psyche can always justify inaction by whispering, “you’ve got 345 more days to make it happen. Why rush things?” You can almost hear the hiss of temptation to revert to doing nothing to bring about change in the words.

Yes, you’re far more likely to get a job if you do a few things to build momentum by breaking down that broad goal of finding employment into smaller pieces. Maybe it goes, “By the end of January I’m going to determine exactly what job I’m after by doing some research. Based on this, by mid-February I plan on having a resume completed that is targeted to a specific opening for a job I want and by the end of February I plan on having attended two community workshops on interview skills. Knowing that March is the prime hiring period for the entire year, that’s when I kick the job search into full gear and apply, apply, apply!

I could launch into SMART goals here (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) but I’ll just mention them without the details. Lots of articles exist on the subject so look them up if you want more details.

If you’ve stumbled already or given up even, give yourself a break; you’re human and you’re allowed to. However, if you really would like to be successful; if that resolution you made isn’t flippant but had and still carries importance to you, there’s still time to make it happen. You may have several false starts, and with each one you inch closer to bringing about the necessary change to realize your goal. Pick yourself up, dust your ego off, smile, and get going. No better day to get going than today; unless of course you don’t get going today. Then tomorrow will do nicely.