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Good Morning – Going Further with Gratitude

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” – Quote on the importance of “gratitude” by Johannes A. Gaertner Good morning! Yvette included this thoughtful note … Continue reading

Embrace chance, change and challenge

Why not go out on a limb? That’s where all the fruit is”—Will Rogers

Good morning! Take a moment to think about the times in your life when you felt
the most esteemed, proud, excited, and fulfilled. What happened to create those
feelings? Were you going through your day on auto-pilot and just doing the
same-old, same-old? Or was something different?

I am going to take a wild guess that something was different. I am going to
guess that when you felt that way, it was because you had reached further,
discovered something new, challenged yourself, or taken a chance. And you
surprised yourself by learning that chance, change and challenge can be good
things. Feelings of esteem, pride, excitement, and fulfillment are derived from
an “I CAN” attitude. An “I CAN” attitude leads to an “I DO” world.

Your Turn:
Today’s quote reminds us that to reach life’s fruit, we have to go out on a limb
and get it. We can sit and wait for it to come to us, but it could be a very
long wait and there is no guarantee that we would ever get “fed.” What area of
your life is calling for you to meet it halfway? What are you going to do about

Today’s Affirmation:
I embrace chance, change, and challenge.

Reflection Questions:
Over the past year, where have you been “waiting” instead of “reaching”?
When have you felt the most esteemed and proud of yourself?
Which of the areas on your list are you ready to reach for to renew these
fulfilled feelings?


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Creating A Goal Map

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Identifying goals
and priorities is vital to a successfully balanced life. Once when presenting a
keynote in Washington at the state mental health conference, I asked a room of
professionals the following question and gave them 30 seconds to respond.


What are the three
driving motivators (priorities) for this season of your life? Amazingly, only
several of the 300 hundred attendees were able to complete the task.


Most people have been
asked to set goals at one point or another. In a newly
released survey of 1012 Americans, only 45% of Americans now say they write up
New Year’s Resolutions down from 88% of Americans who did so in the past. Fear
of setting goals too high, fear of commitment, and not knowing what
course to chart are just a few reasons people shudder at the concept of goals.


"If you do not change
directions, you may end up where you are heading," write Lao-Tsu.


To change directions
deliberately, we need goals. I define goals as: The process of deliberately
setting our sight, attention and intention on a destination, and staying true to
the process until we arrive.


Imagine leaving Los
Angeles with instructions to go to New York. Obviously, it would be easier to
accomplish this with a map. Without a map, the trip would be nearly impossible,
or require much more time and effort than the simple process of purchasing a
map. Goals work the same way. Clearly defined goals identify a starting point
and the most efficient path to a desired point.


When goals are
recorded and then set aside, this is as useful as putting a map in your glove
box, yet expecting to know which road to take without ever looking at it. Goals
need to be consulted regularly, just like a map, and if you get off course, you
need to re-evaluate and make a new plan. To design a goal map, first identify an
area of your life where you seek advancement. Use that area to work through the
goal process that follows. For this example, I’ll use the goal of starting a
part-time business for extra income.


Here are the basic
steps to create a goal map:


Identify the exact goal
In one sentence, clarify the goal you are aiming to accomplish as specifically
as possible. Example: To open a part-time tax business that brings in $300 a
month in extra income (gross).

Identify a completion date
My business will be established in eighteen months.

Identify the evolution of the goal.
major points and steps happen during this time period?

A. The
basics of establishing a business, permits, licensing, updating certification,

B. The
marketing and announcement of the business.

C. The
grand opening of the business. Using this evolution assign each major step a

Fill in the blanks.

Now take an in-depth look at what is needed to get to point A, from point A to
point B, etc. Write these steps down in specific detail and assign each a date.

The basic
template construction of your goal is complete. Type this up, print it out, and
keep a copy in your planner. Check your progress against this goal regularly. If
you get off track, don’t give up, just sit down and retrace your steps,
adjusting the plan as necessary. Remember, if you were driving and got lost, you
wouldn’t likely just abandon your car and walk home. Instead you would get out a
map, or ask for help, to find out how to get back toward the destination you are
pursuing. Do the same thing with your goals and you will take steps toward
making them a reality in the year to come.

Goals should be
exciting enough to compel us forward to take action. When seeking a balance and
fulfilled year, one strategy is to identify the areas in your life that are most
important right now. For example, career, finance, family, friends,
spirituality, health, philanthropy… what areas are most important to you
at this
season of your life?
Remember, we cannot fix everything all at once
so it is important to prioritize and choose just a few areas to work with –
three at most. That doesn’t mean you will ignore or neglect the other areas, but
it does mean that you will focus

on the selected areas by following a specific plan of action.


Your Weekly
What areas of
life are calling you to create goals? Create a goal plan using these steps. Keep
your goals in a place where you will see them often. Each day, take a step
forward toward at least one of your goals. Careful planning matched by action
equals goals transformed to reality.


When Times Get Tough

Count your

When an obstacle or situation brings us down it can be easy to count the many
things wrong with our situation. Switch perspective. Find something positive to
focus on. Can’t find something? Create it. Like attracts like. Count how many
things are wrong with your life and surely the list will multiply. Count the
positives and they will multiply instead.


Take a break:
When we are
tired (either emotionally or physically) discipline is an uphill battle likely
to leave us frustrated. Instead of feeling guilty for going off track (which
ultimately leads to staying off track)  Give yourself a one-day "Goal Break."
Forget the guilt and enjoy the time off. Then come back fresh the next day. What
is better–putting goals off for another year or a day?


Get a cheerleader:
community of like-minded positive women can be the tipping point toward success
during challenging times! Check out our new

Make Today Matter Life System
an ongoing, positive, action and accountability community.


What’s On Your List?

Resolutions, Goals
and Plans for 2009

Set a Little

What is one "little
goal" you could set that would make a big difference? Here are a few on my list

1. Give careful thought to the name I give a computer file before saving it to
make it easier to find later

2. Never click "submit" for any new service without first writing down all my
details, including user name and password in the internet section of my notebook
… Often a small change requiring very little time can yield a big difference!

Your Challenge:

Set one Little Resolution for the year ahead.

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