♣.March 18, 2012

As proverbial as goal making may seem, this is one of the key ways to bring balance to your life, and help you find clarity and happiness. Rather than begin with “goal setting” you need to begin with “goal making.” You need to sit down, stop thinking about everything except for the following, “what you need to do,” “what you want to do,” “what needs improvement/amelioration” and “what needs to end/stop.” People argue that you need to set a time and place for doing so. I have found that this may, for some of us, provide an opportunity to set back at a later date this very important task. Therefore, what I suggest, based on my and others experiences’, to make time within the next two to three days if you have any immediate tasks or responsibilities that need to be met. If not then I would begin right after you read this post.

The first thing, regardless of priority and order, jot down what you need to change in your life (ameliorating, improving and eliminating). Think of habits, diets, attitude, actions, interactions that need some changing. From that, move on to other parts of your life that also need a shape-up. For instance, clearing out that closet you avoid opening. I must note that this is probably the more horrendous of all tasks and parts of this goal-achieving journey. That is, taking a good look at yourself, and your life and finding the wrongs or the areas that need improvement is difficult. However, I promise you that being honest with yourself and truly looking at yourself inclear light will make a huge difference in bringing balance, clarity and happiness to your life. Following this arduous task, jot down things on a different sheet of paper, Word document or what have you, the activities and things you would like to do and would like to have in your life. Again, this includes everything from the realistic to the unrealistic and, the now and later. If you still need more direction, think of three core parts of your life: personal, work, health. Having finished goal-making, we move onto goal setting.

Goal setting is key and a lot more people than not, who have failed to achieve their goals, find that the lack of goal setting was one of the main reasons for their failure. This I have found to be true, and so have others that I know. This provides, focus to your life; a clear direction and allows you to maintain control over yourself and the unexpected circumstances that may hit your way. It is a simple but critical process that I cannot stress enough about, and by doing this, I can assure you that your chances of achieving your goals will increase!

From the two lists that you have created begin looking at your first list, and write out by each of the goals you’ve listed, one of three numbers (1, 2, 3). Each of these numbers will represent one of three different years. As you probably have figured out, those three years will be ones that you determine. However, I would recommend having one of the three years be 2013, because after all, you want your hard-work and dedication to pay off sooner than later. Based on my and others experiences, using a one year, three or five year and then a ten year division works best. However, as I, others, and probably you as well have noted, some of your goals won’t fit perfectly within those three set years, and that is okay. You will assign a date/year accordingly for that specific goal that comes before that three or five year marker. However, the reason why I follow this division is because it provides me control, direction and vision in my life. I have a clear path of what I want to do and when I want to do it, and do not let impediments in my life or unfortunate circumstance misdirect me down a very negative road.

Having decided your three year markers, go back to both your lists and start assigning a year to each of those goals! Remember, be realistic. there is nothing worse, than setting too high or too low of expectations and goals for yourself. I would know, and so would others. Also, in assigning these years, think of things that are more immediate concerns such as health related issues, laziness or re-gaining control of yourself and of your work. These are more important than making that trip down to Bali. Really. However, that is not to say that you need to punish yourself and bar yourself from loving yourself and not living. After all, this goal-achieving journey is one in which you are trying to remove yourself from the humdrum of sleeping to work and working to sleep. Remember, and please take note, that this is a mechanism to inspire you to work harder, dream bigger, and live better. I assure you that this will provide focus, enlighten you to discovering your path in life and bring both excitement and fear of the possibilities and opportunities in store waiting for you.

After attributing years to your goals, I would recommend re-writing these goals by grouping them in the same year and under similar categories. Once this is accomplished, I cannot underscore enough how important it is to write both in the affirmative and in the present. For instance, one of my goals for the year of 2012 is running the half-marathon in New York City. Do not write : “I will run the half-marathon in New York City in 2012.” Instead, DO WRITE : “ I run the half-marathon in New York City in 2012.” Do not write out your goals in one or two words, but rather in full-length sentences, in the affirmative, in the present and with its specific year. This may seem proverbial and almost ridiculous, but I cannot tell you enough how this small change has increased the amount of goals I and my friends achieved.

Having accomplished this task, I recommend then that you begin creating a schedule for yourself in order to incorporate the activities you want to add or subtract from your life. Again, keep in mind that it is important to find balance in being realistic while not being too easy on yourself. As far as different kinds of goals, this page will serve to help you tackle them. However, strictly for activity-based goals I recommend a scedhule, keep the things you need, want and love in, and kick the rest out!

I hope for the moment, that this helps you. As I am currently in a transitioning process I cannot put up a photograph of what my goal sheet looks like. However, when I can access it, I promise you that I will. If you have any further comments, questions, or incquiries, please feel free to comment below and I am more than happy to answer them!

General Naps Lulu!

♣.March 16, 2012

This page is dedicated to aligning or re-aligning your life! That is, making goals, sticking to it, and pushing through the trials and tribulations that may and most likely will arise in achieving them. I hope to provide my insights, assistance, and experiences to help you formulate goals and supersede the impediments that may come in the way. I also intend for this page to assist with other problems that may disallow you from having harmony and balance in your life. I am young and still have a lot to learn, as we all do, however unlike others, I have successfully achieved what I’ve set my mind on, even when “plan-A” failed.  These guidelines are applicable to almost any endeavor. To gain your confidence and trust, I’ll share a bit of myself before I begin to divulge my recipe to success, which I will do, periodically and in sequences.

Unlike most people that I’ve come to know of, meet and read about, and akin to what others characterize me as, I am an “anomaly.” That is, I don’t strive in life as well as in both my academic and professional careers to be content with doing the job and moving on. I strive for the best. Why? Well simply because of two things, both of which follow logically from the other. The first is personal; I intended on getting X-grades attending X-law school, having X-kind of life and doing X-kind of things. The second- if I am going to sit in a classroom/work for someone, I might as well make the most of it, learn the most of it and do my best. Whose to say that I can judge my capacities until fully dedicating my time and effort to each task and assignment? Further, whose to say that my opinions on any topic are worth anything if I do not take the time and effort to study it and go beyond “classroom” expectations. And even more importantly, how can my decisions in the workplace and in the field be valid and, equally consequential, be the more appropriate choice, had I not studied and done my best in school. Equally, how can I be an active member of my community and the world without knowing the consequences my actions impact on others? After all, it is the people we meet and the interactions with individuals that play a significant role in shaping our world-view.

If the aforesaid did not sell you on my decision to do the best and be the best I can possibly be, simply ask yourself (if you are a student) why bother sit in a classroom and pay or get paid, by scholarship, half-ass an assignment and either do one of the two things, 1. be satisfied or 2. complain about it? You are not worth the time, money and effort provided by the institution you are in and your time is better spent doing something else. That is, if you prefer doing anything but schoolwork and are not forced to get a degree of some kind, use the time to do what you love best. However, if you are forced to get a degree because of some kind of familial responsibility, well, realize the significance of what your expected to receive and just simply do it. Stop complaining and intentionally distracting yourself and DO IT. Put your effort down and do your best if you are student enrolled in a degree seeking program. You are foremost a student and therefore are expected to apply yourself and do your best. From experience, I know more people than not can achieve much better grades and can do much better than they have and currently do. I know who you are and so do you.  I should note that this is not a slight against individuals who can’t attain perfect grades, if you’ve hit your yielding point but committed yourself to your work, that is beautiful, excellent and there is no need for feeling sorry for yourself or less of a person. For those of us that are professionals, the same applies. It is incorrect to say that “dedication and hard work can go a long way.” Rather, “dedication and hard work does go a long way.” We might hold an employment that, regardless if temporary or permanent, we may dislike, loath or abhor. However, slacking off or not putting forth your best does not assist you regardless of its permanence status. According to both my experiences and those of others (mentors and friends), doing your best opens new possibilities and allows you greater mobility and choices in careers, work environments, salary negotiations and also, life.

As I said earlier, friends and family characterize me as ” an anomaly,” as I’ve stuck to my goals and surpassed the impediments thrown in my way regardless of my state of health, well-being and mind because I understood that what I was doing at the time, if sacrificed, would hurt me. As you probably figured, I am not a risk taker. I find that doing everything you can to increase your chances in attaining what you set out for is necessary, and I’ve learn, over the course of several years, that this is key. However, let it not go unsaid that there is a fine line between “not-taking a chance” and having confidence in yourself without the “extra” effort. Understanding this fine line and when to and not cross it takes time and experience, which I will discuss in a later post. Before I begin with today’s topic, I hope that I have thus far instilled some confidence in you on my advice. If not then the following I am sure will.

When I was a young adult, prior to starting my undergraduate career, I had a moment of clarity and was enlightened on the direction I wanted to go to in my life, my career and my academic studies. I read, researched and learned what I needed and what was the path that I needed to take to attain what I had set out to achieve. Lest I say that it was a very big and high ambition from where I started. Attending a well-recognized and top-ranked university, semester after semester I maintained a 4.0 cumulative grade point average while balancing volunteer, athletic and internship activities and work. One would think that after the first 4.0 you would have figured out all the kinks or most of them. However, with every semester that passed, new and different impediments arose; a different way to study or approach a topic, a terrible professor who did not teach the class, managing a greater workload with work and other responsibilities and a great decline of health both related and un-related to high stress levels. However, over the course of those four years I learned what I proverbially call “my recipe to success,” different strategies and techniques used to power through and conquer what I endeavored to achieve. I have hit some obstacles related to greater goals of mine and am currently working through them successfully and hope to share my success story with you and assist you in your goal(s) attaining journey.

For this page I would like to begin in some chronological order. Sure, we are not in January where new year resolutions are omnipresent, however spring is around the corner and why not start fresh? Hence, the topic for tomorrow is “Goal Making.”

Goal making, as we all know, is something that may sound trite. There are things we would like to do, there are other things that we have to do and there are those things that we dream and long for. However, if there is anything that I learned, organization and goal making go hand-in-hand and are necessary! Yes, as ridiculous as it may sound to write “I will do so and so…” it cannot be underscored how much more likely you are to stick with your ambitions and have them materialize! Now it is no longer the question of where to begin but when to begin.

Tomorrow guys we will begin.