2012 Will Be A Big Year

2012 can be the best year yet! How are you going to set your goals? If you followed along for the last couple of weeks, you should have completed a good review and reflection of 2011. Now you need to take those thoughts and turn them into action in 2012.

Setting goals can take many forms. I would like to share with you three tips that can help you.

1. Think Big. Goals need to be big. You will be amazed at what you can achieve with the right plan, and a big goal. Dr. David Schwartz said this the best, “Believe Big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success. Remember this, too! Big ideas and big plans are often easier — certainly no more difficult — than small ideas and small plans.”

2. Set Targets. Most of the time people will tell you to set target dates. Some people are not helped by target dates. Target dates can sometimes pass, and if you did not meet your objective you can feel depressed, and with the lack of action to get back on track, you may give up your action.

So if target dates work for you, use them. But if they don’t, find another method to stay on track. For example you can use a counter. If you want to read 20 books this year, put a sticky note with your remaining count of books in front of you. You can put it on your desk, or wherever you can see it everyday. Another option is to find a picture of what achieving the goal will mean to you. Keep it in front of you, and make it a part of your reflection process.

Don’t get hung up on target dates.  Spend more time on defining your big goals, and the actions required to achieve them, which is tip #3.

3. Take Action. Everyday. Plan your work, and work your plan. If your goal was to chop down by hand a large tree in your yard, and everyday you went outside and took two swings with your axe, what would happen? At some point in time, that tree would fall. The same is true with those big goals. Take some action everyday, and you will achieve them.

I hope those three simple tips can help you get off to a great start this year. It will be a great year!

Was 2011 a Great Year? (Part 2)

Last week we started looking at a year end reflection process based on the book, Today Matters, by John C. Maxwell. The book examines twelve areas of life that can be used to allow you to make every day count towards your success.

This week let’s finish the review and learn about the last six areas of focus.

Finances: Finance issues are a great source of stress for many. O. Donald Olson has said, “The average American is busy buying things he doesn’t want with money he doesn’t have to impress people he doesn’t like.” Money won’t make you happy, but money gives you options. What financial issues created stressful situations for you in 2011? What are your financial goals for 2012?

Faith: Your faith can provide you values which you can embrace. Is your strength stronger now than it was last year? What can you do to explore and deepen your faith in 2012?

Relationships: Life’s greatest experiences involve other people. Enjoyment from life comes from interactions and relationships with others. Reflect on the past year. Have you given time to your most important relationships? Are you carrying around emotional baggage that is weighing you down? What goal do you have in regards to relationships in 2012?

Generosity: Giving has nothing to do with your level of income. There are many ways to give. Being generous will turn your focus outward. It adds value to others, and giving is always returned in some form at some time. How generous were you in 2011? What is your goal for giving in 2012?

Values: Your values are important because they are the underlying current that provides you direction. Too many people lose touch with their values and end up heading down the wrong path. Do you have a list of the values you hold dear? How have you lived those values in 2011? What is your goal to reflect your values in your actions in 2012?

Growth: Most people never become who they want to be. Everyone has the potential to grow. Growth is not automatic. Growth is not based solely on gaining information. Growth is not only about experience. Growth happens through intentional planning and action. Did you meet your growth goals in 2011? What is your goal for 2012? How can you stretch yourself to reach a higher capability?

For me, 2011 was mixed. Some of my goals were achieved. In some areas I made great progress, but in other areas I did not have make my planned impact. But without reflection or goals, 2011 would not have been the great year it was. Overall, my 2011 was a great year. My 2012 will be even better.

Set your plan now to complete your reflection on 2011. Challenge yourself to set goals that will allow you to become the person you want to become.


Was 2011 a Great Year? (Part 1)

2011 is coming to a close, and we should prepare to reflect and set our goals for 2012. What process do you use to set your goals? If you don’t yet have a method, you are with the majority of people. Let’s look at one format that might be able to help you.

In Today Matters, by John C. Maxwell, John looks at twelve areas of life that he uses to drive his life long goals. He uses these areas to make every day count. If we use these same categories for a year end review, it will help us define our plan for next year.

This week let’s review the first six areas of focus.

Attitude: How is your attitude? Do you face each day positively? Your attitude at the beginning of a task will affect the outcome more than anything else. What goal can you set for 2012 that will allow you to be more positive and start each day with a good attitude?

Priorities: Setting priorities makes sure we work on the most important things. Take a few minutes to write a list of your achievements for 2011. List the activities that you spent time on. Review the list and reflect on how you set your priorities. Do you see balance in all the areas of your life? How can you improve your daily, weekly, and monthly method for setting priorities?

Health: Many of us fail to think of our health in the bigger picture of our life. Most of us control diet and exercise through short term goals. Reflect on how your current state of health affects what you do, how you are perceived, and your potential for the future. How would you compare your health today with yourself one year ago? What goal do you need to set for 2012?

Family: Family is the backbone of our daily life. Irregardless of your personal situation, your immediate family, your extended family, and your family values is what provides you with stability. Reflect on your current family situation. Are you giving as much as you are receiving? What can you do in 2012 to strengthen your family and provide more stability for yourself?

Thinking: Thinking and reflection is a practice that provides an advantage. Taking time to reflect and think about your actions and how they affect your success and failure will allow you to grow, every day. How consistent are you in taking time for yourself to think every day? How can you improve your reflection process to think bigger in 2012?

Commitment: In today’s fast paced world filled with opportunities and activities, it can become easy to over commit. If you provide focus and commitment to a goal, you will be successful. As other people quit and move on, your commitment provides you a path that ends in success. What activities in 2011 did you not finish? How did you lose your commitment? What activities or goals in 2012 will get your full commitment?

That is the first six. Check back next week for a continuation of this list that will help you get off to a great start in 2012.

Being Trustworthy

The law of solid ground, from John Maxwell’s book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, states “Trust is the foundation of leadership“. So if you are developing yourself as a leader, what are you doing to become more trustworthy?

Trust is gained by being consistent, being competent, and being positively connected with others.Trust is given to you by others. It is not developed within yourself. Who do you trust? Take a moment to make a list of some of the reasons you trust them.

To make yourself more trustworthy, you need to develop your character. Your character will display to others the traits that will make you trustworthy.

1. Consistency: Your decisions and actions are driven by your values. Knowing your values and following your values will make you more consistent.

2. Competency: Without developing the required skills, people will find it difficult to trust you. Would you have surgery performed by someone that has not developed the proper skills? In the same manner, people rarely follow people that have not developed their leadership skills.

3. Connection: Trust is all about how people see you. Putting other people first, and creating a positive relationship will enable the connection you need for trust.

Today, think about who you are. Practice becoming the person you want to be, and people will identify you as being trustworthy.