Making decisions in our lives – whether it’s what to eat for lunch or where to find your next job – can seem overwhelming. Each decision carries with it a result and a chain of events that may dictate the course of our lives.
For those of us who consider every decision as life or death, day-to-day decisions can seem impossible!
To help you discover the finer points of decision-making, here are some valuable tips on how you can make decisions that you can live with every day:
1. Map out your decision. Start by evaluating the decision to be made. What are the details? By mapping out exactly what your decision will entail as far as consequences and results, you’ll be on your way to making an informed decision that you can live with.
2. Weigh pros and cons. This process is tried and true. Make a list and evaluate the pros in one column against the cons in another. Include short and long term consequences as well as positives and negatives.
Seeing the pros and cons before you on paper will make the matter at hand seem all the more evident as far as how you should make your decision. In your evaluation, give more weight to the pros and cons that carry more weight in your life.
* The quantity of pros or cons does not equal the quality.
For example, if one of your main priorities in life is to make more money, listing “make more money” on your pros column should count for more than one of the cons in the other column.
3. Become informed. Find out all of the related information you need to make your decision. Being better informed through research or talking to others will help you make a decision you can live with.
4. Consider your motives. While evaluating your list of pros and cons, consider what motives may be contributing to the points you added in both columns. Revise or weigh accordingly. For example, can the con on your list be attributed to your lifelong fear or is it merely situational?
* In the case of fears, perhaps facing your fears should be part of the decision. Facing the fear may be a pro as opposed to the fear being a con.
5. Give yourself a deadline. When faced with an important decision, we tend to delay making the ultimate choice. By giving yourself a deadline, you will have no other choice than to decide one way or another.
6. Look at the decision as part of the bigger picture. Is this a small or large decision in the course of your life? Decide which and evaluate accordingly. If it’s small, perhaps you’re spending too much time and consideration on it. If it’s larger, how will it fit in with the rest of your life goals?
* By examining the decision for what it is in the short and long-term, you will better understand how the decision affects the bigger picture.
7. Recognize the relativity. Many tough decisions can carry with them irrevocable consequences, but more often than not, there is always more time and more opportunity to make the decision again. Worrying needlessly about one decision is futile.
* Most decisions only determine your short-term circumstances in the relative present. In most cases your decision can be altered in the future when circumstances are different or you’re in a different stage of your life.
Following these tips can transform decision-making from a stressful process into a process that gives you more confidence and control in your life.
Embrace decisions as the good thing that it is, and the result will be a happier, more confident you!
One of the best ways to achieve your goals is to surround yourself with positive people. The energy these people have never seems to let them down, and they are achieving the great goals in life that they desire and dream about.
Positive people can help you stay on track and energize you toward your own goals. Many times these successful people share the same goals you have and are happy to pass on their wisdom and their techniques.
So how do you find these positive, like-minded people?
Here are 5 tips to help you find them, network with them, and glean valuable information and advice:
1. Smile. Although it may sound silly, smiling puts forth an image that instantly draws people towards you, especially other positive people. Having and showcasing a good perspective of life’s ups and downs makes other people want to be around you.??Positivism is often a difficult frame of mind to sustain all the time, and therefore, people are always looking for a way to be more optimistic.
* Staying positive is the building block of achieving your successes, as its opposite is futile. Smile and you’ll attract other positive people!
2. Communicate Positively. Although we all have rough days when nothing seems to be going right, the last thing you want do is complain and whine. No one likes a complainer, right?
For example, if someone were to ask you in a friendly manner, “how are you today?” don’t shoot back that “life stinks” or that you’re just “alive” or something to that effect. Instead, take a moment – and a breath – and then reply with optimism, even if you’re having a tough day. After all, positive people don’t waste their time or energy on complainers or negative people.
* Even if you’re not feeling all that positive, by remaining optimistic in your outlook you’ll still attract positive people to you.
3. Think Positively. Keeping a level head on your trek toward success is one key to obtaining your objectives. Thinking positively – even through disappointment – will enable you to find the good in every situation and attract the positive people who share this vision.
* Even if you don’t really subscribe to these positive thoughts at first, or you find positive thinking difficult, sooner or later making yourself think positively will create a pattern of positive thoughts in your brain.
We’ve all got energy within us and we have the choice to use it constructively or destructively. If you want to attract positive people to network, then you’ll notice they try to be upbeat and optimistic, even during difficult times.
4. Act Positively. It isn’t enough to smile, communicate, and think positively when pursuing your goal. You must also put forth actions to substantiate this positivism.
For example, perhaps you thought you could get a promotion in the past, but then sat idly by while someone else snatched it up. This time, transform those positive thoughts into action!
* Showing your boss and employees that you are proactive and positive will set you up for more successes.
5. Reach Out. Lastly, reach out to people at your work, in your circle of friends, or even to people on the street who seem to exemplify positivism. Ask them what it is that makes them continue to be positive and reach their objectives.
* Seeking out positive people will not only give you valuable information to help you reach your goals, but you will also become a successful person with your own network of positive friends and role models.
Being positive and exemplifying positivism attracts others. After all, like attracts like.
People enjoy being around others with similar attitudes and, by maintaining a positive mindset, you’ll surely lead yourself to those successful people you seek.
What is a goal? It is more than a wish for something better. In fact, it is a declaration of what needs to change in one’s life. As a declaration, goals are written down.
Why is it so important to write down goals? The first and most common sense reason is that we will forget them. Plenty of us have minds like steel sieves. Writing down our goals is like putting rocks in with all that sand. Rocks are too big to go through the sieve so they stay. Read more
There are a few things that are important to know concerning goal setting and goal achievement that you should keep in the back of your mind as you progress towards you desire results. Firstly, a goal is not about constant sacrifice alone. At some point in the process, you can (and should) take a breather and reward the progress you have already made.
Let’s talk about learning how to reward your self throughout the goal setting process.
There is nothing wrong with rewards. They are a pleasant gift for a job well done. The job is not the achievement of the goal, but making it through the milestone steps along the way that make the goal possible. If people waited until the end of the line to reward themselves, most probably would never make it.
Think of a marathon runner. During the race, he gets thirsty. There are stations set up along the course that allow him to fill up with water in order to replenish his strength and finish the marathon. Waiting until the end of the race to get something to drink is not practical and can be dangerous. It’s the same with your goals.
Going without the encouragement that rewards can bring during the goal seeking process is also not practical. Rewards can be anything that will incline you to strive to reach it. All rewards can be chosen ahead of time or as you go along. There’s no set way to compensate yourself.
Ask for help when coming up with rewards. Open the floor up to friends and family members for suggestions. Rewards can be things like spending money, taking a trip, having a celebration, or a few well deserved breaks in the goal process. Those close to you may come up with some good ones that you yourself never thought of before.
Write down a variety of rewards on small pieces of paper. Fold each piece in half and place them in a jar or a box. Everything on the slips of paper needs to be something that will motivate you to reach that reward point. When a milestone is reached, pull a slip of paper out of the jar. That is your reward.
A reward system keeps your focus on the goal. When you begin feeling the temptations that make you want to throw in the towel, look at that reward jar and believe that some good thing is on the way with each small step you reach.
Rewards work best when they are realistic. A trip to Paris is a great reward but if you can’t afford to do so, it won’t motivate you to continue working towards the goal. Choose goals within your realm of possibility, both physically and financially.
A reward system can work with goals in every area of your life. Just be sure the rewards are in line with the goals. You wouldn’t suggest an ice cream sundae as a reward for losing weight or give yourself a shopping spree for saving money over the past three consecutive months.
Rewards are meant to motivate you so you will continue to follow the course of your goals. Without them, you don’t have small triumphs to look forward to along the way and the probability of reaching your goals is lessened.
One thing that is inevitable when it comes to goals is obstacles. We all experience them at one time or another. Overcoming obstacles is the key if we want to see our goals through to the finish.
What are some of the typical obstacles when it comes to goal setting? First there’s fear. We suddenly get a chill when we think about starting our own business or training to run a marathon.
Next, there’s procrastination. Everybody knows what that is.
Remember Wimpey’s favorite saying in the Popeye cartoon? “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” You put off what you could do today because there is always tomorrow. Unfortunately, you know that tomorrow never comes if you are a procrastinator.
Don’t forget to add the dying ember syndrome to the list of obstacles in the way of reaching your goals. You just lose interest in the goal. It could be because you have changed your mind about its worth or because too may nay-sayers have finally taken their toll.
Lastly, there is negative self-talk. You may not even realize that you are doing it. Every time you look at the goal sheet or visual boards, your mind conjures up thoughts of failure, doom and gloom, and crowds of people saying, “I told you so.”
Now that we’ve identified a few of the obstacles, let’s go back and look at how to overcome each of them.
1. First is the fear factor. Not the reality show, but our own reality. Fear can initially get you going because you don’t want to fail, but it won’t keep us going.
Courage has been defined by many as pushing forward in spite of fear. Post huge signs with COURAGE written on them all over the house and at work. Soon, the fear will disappear and courage will be met by a growing determination to reach your goal.
2. Procrastination requires effort to overcome. Enlist the aid of family members and trusted friends who will keep you honest but not rag on you if you slip up along the way. Support lets a goal setter know that good people are behind them through it all.
3. What do you do when the thrill is gone? Diagnose the problem. Is it that you have truly lost interest or is someone pushing you towards that end?
Sometimes we do lose interest, but don’t give up on the entire goal. Maybe a new direction on the same goal is in order. If you had decided to pursue a law degree to combat crime, consider teaching instead of going into the courtroom.
4. Negative self-talk deserves to be squashed. It requires effort on our part to notice when we are thinking in this way and to say out loud, if necessary, a positive thought to counter it. Write positive responses down on a piece of paper if you have to.
Overcoming obstacles to your goals is not easy, but well worth it when you reach the goal. As you work to combat failure, you also learn a thing or two about yourself and your resiliency.
Almost all of us have goals in life we’d like to reach, but many of us fail to see them through because we lack the knowledge to get started in making them reality. In this article we will discuss how to take action towards getting those goals out of your head and into the world of reality.
Read on to find step-by-step instructions to help you create goals and the actions needed to complete them. By following this plan, you’ll be more apt to succeed at meeting your goals in life, no matter what they may be.
1. Write it down. Many dreams are forgotten because we neglect to put it on paper. One day we’ll say, “Oh, yeah, I wanted to do that when I was young.” No one says that you have to pursue all of the goals that are listed on the paper, but if you do choose to work towards it, you’ll remember what it was in the first place. One effective way to do this is to make your list of goals within a journal because you will be writing other lists that pertain to these goals as you work towards their completion.
2. Make a decision about the goals you’ve written down. Each goal has possibilities and difficulties. Begin a list of the pros and cons of each goal you wrote down in step one. This will help you narrow down your choices. Those with too many cons may need to be omitted from your list or at least moved to another list for now.
3. Are these goals for me? Now that we have narrowed the list to the possible goals, how do you feel about each one? Take the time to list your feelings about the goals left on the list. Be sure to list positive thoughts as well as any misgivings you may have. Being a lawyer can be a worthy goal, but if you have small children at home, this may not be the right time to pursue it. Or, there may be other ways you can help with law enforcement besides becoming an attorney.
4. Create a plan for the goals. This goes for every goal even if it won’t be pursued right now. Five years down the road, you may want to think about selling your home or moving to another state. When it comes time to look at this goal, you will already have a plan for achieving it. The plan can be for a long term or short term goal. If plans for different goals mesh together, more than one goal can be pursued at a time.
Tip: It might be wise, especially if this is the first time working with goal planning, to focus on one or two goals right now and revisit the others at a later time.
5. Divide the plan into manageable steps. It is easy to become overwhelmed when thinking about the completed goal. Starting a business is a commitment both of finances and time. Realize, everything doesn’t have to be done all at one time. Steps or milestones, allow for smaller goals to be achieved on the way to the bigger one.
6. Get going. The hardest part is over. You have taken the time to put a plan in place and pursue the dream that has lain dormant for years. Start with step one and work your way forward.
Taking action towards a goal does not have to seem overwhelming if you take time to decide which goals are worth going after, planning the steps necessary to get to the desired result, and simply get going with those steps. Before any goal can get off the ground, it needs a direction to go.
Once you have the direction it’s just a matter of checking things off your list until they are complete. Take things one step at a time and you’ll reach the finish line before you know it.
If you talk to any number of people about the pattern of setting goals through writing them down, the normal response you’ll get is, “only nerdy people write things down that they’d like to achieve.” But if truth be told, some of the most successful people on this planet achieve their goals through written committment. Goal setting is a powerful and effective tool to get what you want out of life no matter what type of person you are.
Here are some of the more common myths and their truths when it comes to the issue of goal setting.
Fantasy #1: Goals do not have to be written down to be effective.
Reality: Goals can be as fleeting as our breath on a cold morning if we don’t make them permanent. Writing them down gives them weight in our life. It is something that we want to do and will do with the right planning. Starting a business is a worthy goal, but no successful business would work if all of their plans were left to the ether and not to the paper.
Myth #2: Long term goals are too hard to achieve.
Reality: Long term goals require a series of steps to achieve. The things that make a long term goal manageable are the small goals we meet along the way. A person who wants to totally wipe out their $50,000 worth of debt will not do it in one fell swoop. It takes time and that time can be broken down into steps. For instance, creating a five-year plan with each year wiping out $10,000 in debt, versus waiting until the entire amount has been saved.
Myth #3: Goals are achieved faster when we work alone.
Reality: A support system is not only encouraged, but necessary for achieving goals. Take weight loss for instance. People trying to lose weight are more successful when they have a friend or family member to hold them accountable with them than someone who goes it alone. Without support, setbacks can be permanent and obstacles can seem insurmountable.
Myth #4: Goals are not meant to be altered in any shape or form.
Reality: It is wise to review your goals every few months. Maybe something in your life has changed and the goal needs to be amended in order to continue. Life happens and rigid goals can lead to failure. The path we map out for a goal can require an alternate route at times but all roads are leading to the same destination; to our ultimate goal.
Myth #5: Goals can only be started at the beginning of the year.
Reality: We have all fallen into that New Year’s resolution trap. If we don’t get going on the first day of the year, all hope is lost. If that were the case, there have been a lot of broken dreams and unhappy people. Goals can begin today. All it takes is an idea and the willingness to create a plan for achievement.
No matter what misconceptions you might have heard in the past, toss all preconceived notions out the window right now. Begin goal setting with a clean slate and see how much more you can accomplish.
How important is your attitude for experiencing and embracing a happy and successful life?
Your attitude can become the glass wall that allows you to see your dreams, but blocks your path from reaching them – or it can become your life’s rocket engine that pushes you down the path of success…
Only you can decide…
Charles Swindoll made an important discovery about attitude that we could easily learn from..
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.
Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company … a church … a home.
The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude … I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our Attitudes.
…the life lessons…
1. Attitude is more important than money, success & fame because it is about having the right approach to life.
2. You cannot control how people will act towards – buy you can control how you respond.
3. You attitude towards life will determine where you end up in life – either on a path of continual happiness, or a road of dispair, misery & failure…your attitude is the vehicle that will take you.
We have always been told never to dwell on the past because looking back, keeps us locked in a never ending frustration cycle that only reminds us of our hurts, failures, disappointments and heartbreaks.
But, the thing is, there is a real difference between living in the past and glancing back in hindsight with an effort to resolve issues that may threaten your healthy future.
What is it about the past? It is a time that is finished forever. The reading of this sentence will be in the past in the next few seconds. But it is not the immediate past that haunts our thoughts and tries to keep us from moving on into the future. Read more
One of the quickest and easiest ways to enhance the quality of your life is through the process of absorption – also called life learning.
When was the last time you picked up a book or magazine? If it was in school, then you are way overdue for new material. Your brains may be starving for new information, new ideas and concepts because we all need fresh insight from time to time, to uncover better paths for experiencing the life we want. Read more