© By Cynthia Brian
(Excerpt from the book, Be the Star You Are!® for TEENS with permission
Winston Churchill wrote, “It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead. The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.” I believe in the importance of having goals and more importantly of writing them down. When we fail to plan we plan to fail and if we don’t know where we are going, we’ll never get there.
Every January, people make resolutions to lose weight, earn more money, sleep more hours, travel to distant lands, and spend more time with loved ones. By the beginning of April, most of those great intentions have been long forgotten in the fast paced existence we call life. Although statistics indicate that it only takes thirty days to drop an old habit or learn a new one, most of us just don’t stick with our plans long enough to reap any benefits.
Clients of all ages come to me for help in conceiving and achieving their aspirations. Although I have no magic wand, I can offer a few tips that may assist you in setting goals, reaching for the stars, and living your dreams.
Focus on the positives in your life instead of the negatives. Make a list of everything big and small that you accomplished in the last twelve months. Forget about what you did not do. Let it go.
Acknowledge your strengths, and pat yourself on the back. Learn to congratulate yourself and celebrate. You’ll be astonished at how much you did achieve!
Eliminate the excuses from your vocabulary. People say to me that they want to write a book or audition for a movie but “don’t have the time, don’t know how, don’t know if I have the skills, don’t think I could do it!” There is only one now, so just do it, or quit talking about it.
Create a plan of action by breaking down your goals into small, realistic steps. For example, don’t say “I am going to lose twenty-five pounds this year,” instead say “I will be healthier this year with a goal of losing two pounds per month and I’ll weigh 130 pounds by December 1.” Those two pounds per month sound doable, while twenty-five pounds feels like a stretch. By the inch it’s a cinch.
Decide how much time you can give to your dreams and stick to it. Again, start small. Allocate one hour a week, or three hours a month or perhaps an uninterrupted weekend. Tackle each obstacle as it arises without letting a monster into your psyche.
Make a list of everyone who can help you achieve your goals and share your ideas. This is especially important if achieving your dreams impacts the time you spend with friends, family, or co-workers. Don’t under estimate the people that love you. Engage them. When you let them know what you are striving for, they are more willing to help you get there. Ask for help from your parents first.
Get organized. This needs to be in capital letters, so here it is again. get organized. That means organize your workspace, your home life, your backpack, your locker, your closet, your purse, your wallet, your car, and your schedules. If you operate in clutter and chaos, it will be challenging to create anything new in your life.
Be a list maker. Create a master to-do list. Better yet, create a chart with daily, weekly, and monthly goals. This allows you to see what you have accomplished and what you need to do to get to the next agenda.
Plan ahead. Interruptions and unexpected emergencies will arise. Allow yourself the space and time you need.
Be specific. Many teens say they want better grades. But what does “better grades,” mean? Do you want to just pass or do you want an “A”? Would receiving a “B” or “C” be acceptable? Other kids have told me they want to be accepted. Again, what does that mean? How do you want to achieve that goal? Will you join a club? Do you want to be part of a social group? Or, are you looking for others to compliment your fashion style? What kind of friend are you looking for? I have often said that my dream home would be on water and I daily envision myself living on a lake. We had a tremendous rainfall, our creeks overflowed and our gardens and driveway flooded. When I looked out in the morning I was living on a rushing river and a lake, but it wasn’t exactly what I truly wanted. I wasn’t specific enough! Be clear. Be very specific.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Remember to pamper yourself, step back, and re-evaluate your progress as you go along. Your goal is to celebrate the accomplishments, not chide yourself for the setbacks.
Keep your eye on the prize. Focus on how you will feel when you have reached your dream. It’s a process, and to make dreams come true, you have to dream big in the first place.
You will have doubts and you will have down days. No one is 100 percent on track all the time. Work towards your strengths, not your weaknesses. The result will be more balance, more purpose, and most of all, more happiness. People achieve what they think they have the ability to achieve. Hard work, sacrifice, and commitment deserve applause. Create s.m.a.r.t. goals and watch your successful habits soar.
By rewarding yourself for your successes and keeping your goals realistic, doable, accountable, and specific, you’ll find yourself creating the future you have always wanted.
“You are the star of your own performance. Create s.m.a.r.t. goals and turn your passions into profits.” Cynthia Brian
Cynthia Brian is available as a coach, consultant and speaker. For more information call 925-377-STAR or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Causes Cynthia Brian Supports
Be the Star You Are! 501 c3 charity empowering women, families, and youth through improved literacy, positive media, and life skills.