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Back By Popular Demand

This column was created to assist you in getting motivated and achieving your goals to create the life you deserve. Through the years I have asked you to e-mail your concerns, desires, and needs. I want you to consider me your Personal Life Coach/Psychotherapist/Family Counselor. Many of you e-mailed me and expressed disappointment that I did not use January of 2004 to write about the goal-setting formula that I have used in prior years.

I will have to admit that I was pleased and surprised that so many of you said that you were looking forward to a refresher on “picking your words”. For the last two years I have advocated you to choose a word to incorporate throughout the entire year in order to make long-term lifestyle changes. If you think about what you need to enhance your life, your relationships, health, or career, what word would be symbolize the change you need to make? I had no idea that this had become a “column tradition and that you were anticipating a formal refresher course.”

In the past, I have personally picked a word that symbolized something that I either wanted to alter in my life, or something I wanted to add to my life. Readers e-mailed me over the last two years and reported that they had chosen a word or concept that contributed to their well-being. Some examples of these words were:
• Moderation
• Balance
• Spirituality
• Assertiveness
• Integrity
• Communication
• Family Values
• Exercise
• Rest
• Relaxation
• Play
• Creativity
• Boundaries

These readers reported that they reflected on their words and found lots of different ways to use it to create lifestyle changes. Many readers commented that they had cut it out last year to send it to a loved one.

So, back by popular demand, here’s the formula for identifying your personal word.

• Pick a word that reflects a change you want to make in the year 2004.
• Tell others about it, and elicit what their words would be if they were to choose a life-altering word.
• Write it out, so you can focus on it visually and place it in pivotal spots where you will see it regularly so it can influence you consciously and unconsciously.
• Think about ways to integrate the word into your behavior.
• Encourage others to pick a word and hold each other accountable for the word all year long.
• Watch for the changes, and acknowledge them.

January is the time that people make resolutions to change, yet statistically they will relapse into old behaviors by the third week and sabotage their plans for goal-setting. This is such a predictable pattern that many people will boast that they are not setting any goals because it is a setup for failure. Although this mindset is negative, it is also clearly realistic, as demonstrated by the scores of people who fail at their resolutions.

Goal-setting can be tough if you don’t have the right mindset and the right formula. The “pick a word” strategy is different, because it assists you in changing your mindset. When you alter your mindset you are better able to make the needed changes in your life.

My New Year’s resolution is to challenge you each year to adopt a healthier mindset that opens the door to creating the life you deserve. Now that you have the formula, I will be anxiously awaiting to hear how your word affects your life.

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