Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Goals for the New Year

            Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when the rising generation learns to set and achieve goals. They need to understand that setting goals is like using a road map. No one would set out across the United States without knowing where they wanted to end their journey. The same is true with goals: we must know where we want to end up.

            Many, many people set goals for the New Year or make New Year’s resolutions. Few of them succeed in meeting their goals in a satisfactory manner. This site gives some tips to help us achieve our goals. The author of the article says there are two main things that we need to understand about goal setting: “First, it’s a game of psychology. You just need to know how your brain plays tricks on you. Second, there are strategy and techniques that will help you. Most people abandon their goals because they mess up the psychology and they don’t know the effective strategies and techniques.” With that understanding, here are seven tips for reaching goals successfully.

1. Be grateful for your progress so far. [The author says that this is “the keystone habit for achieving goals. If we are not grateful, we feel guilty, lose confidence, procrastinate, and move slower.] Gratitude fixes all this. Just take it easy on yourself.
If you create a daily habit just for a few minutes to express gratitude for the progress you achieved so far, you will gain huge confidence.

The trick is powerful because you can’t be grateful and feel negative emotions at the same time. After you do this, you will see two things will happen: (1) You will start to see progress with your goals; (2) You will want to set and achieve more goals because it feels great and you start building more confidence. [It is easy to see why this key is #1!]

2. If you set fewer goals, you will achieve more in the long term. … If you have like 20 goals, you will dilute your energy between all goals and achieve none of them. Ideally, you will have a maximum of 3 goals per quarter….

3. You don’t need a detailed plan; you only need to know the next actionable step. …I don’t need to know the whole picture, the whole plan. I just need to know the next actionable step. … This is a key technique if you want to learn how to achieve your goals. I ask myself: “What is the next action that I can perform to advance this goal?” I may come up with 2-3 steps, but I need only one. I write it down. I do this for each goal….

4. If you find a goal buddy, you will increase your success by 10x and learn how to achieve your goals. This is so powerful. If you have an accountability partner, which we call “a goal buddy”, your progress will skyrocket. … Your partner will hold you accountable for your progress.

5. You absolutely need to review your goals once per week. Let’s combine two powerful concepts with a third one. You have the goal buddy and you want to have one actionable task each week. So, why not do a weekly review call with your buddy? … If you don’t have a goal buddy yet, you would still want to do the weekly review! It’s just as valuable, just a little bit harder.

6. Revise, delete or change every quarter. In 3 months’ time, you will know more about your goals than you do right now. And when you have more experience and information, you might want to change things around. That’s why it’s useful to sit down each quarter, take some time (like 2-3 hours) and think deeply about the goals and answer questions like “Why is this goal important for me?” … You don’t need to know how you are going to achieve the whole goal, but you absolutely need to know why it is important to you.

7. Start with your goals now. … Take a sheet of paper and create a list of small tasks that you will complete this week… Start now.

            The above tips are good for adults, youth, and children. If you are working with children, you might like this site. It has a “six-step guide to helping your kids set and reach their goals this year.” Here are the six steps.

1. Confront unrealistic goals. … Encourage your kids to choose goals that are realistic. Whatever the goal your child sets, be sure that your child came up with the goal. If you want your child to follow through, the goal has to have meaning to your child.

2. Choose just-out-of-reach goals. Everyone enjoys feeling successful after meeting a goal…. Encourage your kids to choose goals that are attainable but also just out of reach. In doing so, they learn to push themselves to meet a new challenge versus hiding out in the comfort zone.

3. Set specific goals. A good goal is a specific goal…. Ask your child to brainstorm more specific goals that can actually be measured (“I want to score two baskets each game,” for example).

4. Break it down. One of the reasons that goals and resolutions can be so hard to keep is that often they feel huge and it’s hard to know where to begin. Teach your kids to break their goals into smaller, manageable steps….

5. Set up checkpoints. … It’s important to encourage your child to establish his own checkpoint system. Some kids like to review their goals every week, while others prefer longer periods of time to work on the steps. For kids to learn to set and meet their own goals, they need to develop systems that actually work for them.

6. Make it a family plan. When families make goal setting a family effort, they learn to support each other. This fosters a family environment based on cooperation instead of one grounded in competition. It also reinforces the fact that although all people are individuals with their own unique interests, we can all work together and provide support and help when needed. It also adds some family fun to the process of learning to set and meet goals! [The family could be the “goal buddy” spoken of by the previous author.]

            The purpose of setting goals is to become better, whether it is better at basketball or better at writing novels. I use goal setting to help me accomplish little and big tasks that otherwise get set to the side. For example, I have a large goal to make a quilt for each of my grandchildren. With seventeen of them, the task could become overwhelming. So, I set a goal to do so many each year. Last year I set a goal to make three quilts. I cut, sewed, and quilted each quilt one at a time, but I was able to reach my medium goal of completing three quilts last year. My large goal is about 50 percent complete and will take several more years. However, I have the satisfaction of meeting the smaller goals on a regular basis.

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