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Newsletters: Volume 1 No. 6


Hello again and happy holidays! Very soon we will indeed find ourselves in the new millennium. Not only will many of us be making new resolutions, but perhaps for the only time in our lives, we will keep a resolution that enables us to say something like, "Not in this century. Not in this millennium!" Yes, 2001 is the official beginning of the New Millennium.

According to a new bulletin, which appeared in Science News, land life on this wonderful planet has now been dated to 2.6 billion years ago. [Perkins, 2000 #8] How long do you think resolutions have been around?

For resolutions to be meaningful, one must first make a plan. Most people fail at their resolutions, and then one day they no longer make them. No one likes to fail, so it's easy to understand why one might stop trying--but why do most fail in the first place? The answer is FUNDAMENTALS.

There are basic fundamentals involved in almost everything one undertakes--that is, if they are to excel and succeed. When a person decides to pursue a goal, they understand that making a plan is a critical element to succeeding. Any critical element can be thought of as a fundamental. When a person decides to make some change in their lives, this too requires a plan. Change is not unlike setting a goal. Indeed, change usually is the goal, or at least the outcome desired from the change is the goal. Here is the point. Someone that is overweight may set a weight loss goal. So, their resolution is to lose weight when the goal should be to achieve a certain body weight outcome. Additionally, like with all better goal-setting techniques, there is a need to crystallize the thinking and be very specific about the steps. In other words, divide the goal up into steps. This requires a plan.

Let's use another example for clarification purposes. I have two young boys at home, ages 2 and 7. My studio and library, together with a home office, give rise to spending many hours everyday with my sons. I love this and feel quite blessed that I have the opportunity. My oldest boy is home schooling and Dad teaches most of his classes. Okay--that's all well and good. My problem is that both of these boys want to be glued to my every move. Trying to write this newsletter has required chasing my oldest upstairs so that I can think about what I'm trying to write. Now the boys are not always willing to listen. They want to make deals. They want to do anything but what I ask. More often than not, I lose patience and raise my voice, even threaten them with the loss of privileges or something else. Now, my point isn't about the frustrations that every parent feels from time to time, it's more about myself. I do not like how I feel when I allow them to upset me. So, one of my resolutions for the New Year is to maintain a sense of balance within myself by altering the manner in which I manage the stimuli. To do this, I recognize that I must do more than just say something to myself.

In my instance, I began by reflecting on the patterns involved. As I noticed patterns, I made a plan to redefine the patterns. I discussed this with my wife and obtained her perspective. We made a plan. So, for example, when attempting to view the evening news, I first settle the boys down with a show they want to watch. Systematically redefining the old habituated patterns changes the outcome. Analyzing patterns is just one step that can enable proactive steps towards achieving a desired outcome.

Changing my own mind set is still another step. I have selected two of our InnerTalk programs for purposes of reinforcing my mind set. They are Patience and Positive Parenting. The mind becomes very habituated to old patterns. Changing those patterns is as important as setting very clear goals. My goal is to eliminate the distress and I have set a monthly standard by which I can measure my progress.

There are a few basic elements to making goals attainable. First, crystallize your thinking. Define your goal clearly. Write it down and remember, your goal must be believable. Second, observe those patterns that seem to undermine the realization of your goal. As you do, be sure to set your desire firmly behind achieving the change. Remember, achieving something you desire, setting goals for new levels of personal excellence, usually means going somewhere you have never been before. That all translates into "change" and change is something most people rather automatically resist. Third, write down the reasons you wish to succeed. Make these reasons powerful. Create a sort of tally sheet and in one column list all the benefits you will realize when your goal is attained. In another column list any fears you might have associated with the gains and changes that you can anticipate and are willing to make. Remember, if you're unwilling to move past the fear and make the changeČthe goal will ultimately be sabotaged by your own resistance. Fourth, write a paragraph on how you will feel when you have achieved your goal. Vividly imagine what the attainment of your goal means. Be sure to make this imagery emotionally powerful. Fifth, close your eyes and imagine a few experiences that may be yours when you have succeeded. Sixth, make a plan and divide your goal into realistically achievable segments. Seventh, do something everyday to modify those old self defeating, self limiting and or obstructing thought patterns, habituated behaviors and the like. Eighth, expand your focus and bring new rewards into your life as you achieve each step, no matter how small. Ninth, keep and review your written pages, fantasize about the success, allow yourself to fully feel just how good it will feel when you have actually achieved your goal. Make this process real. This form of visualization is more powerful than most can imagine. Tenth, grade yourself and never give up. Don't quit if you have a set back! Be like the Little Train, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."

Think about those things that would bring you more peace, more success, a higher sense of personal worth, and so forth--what would you like for the New Year?

We wish you the very best in everything and thank you for your continued patronage.

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