Achieving Your Personal Goals with Joyful Persistence & Passion

The beginning of a new year is always so exciting!   It’s like a clean slate on which you can paint any picture you’d like.

Many of us will make new resolutions in 2009.  More common ones include:  spending more time with family, getting out of debt, going back to school, losing weight, changing jobs, quitting smoking, organizing our homes or offices or simply enjoying life more fully.  Perhaps these are all too familiar to you; even daunting to think about.  However, this day is a new day and this is a new year in which to make your mark.

Dream big!  Write down all the things you desire to achieve this year.  Be brave and courageous in placing your intentions out there.  If you desire to live in a posh condo on Lake Shore Drive, put it down.  If you’d like to make $1,000,000.00 this year, put it down.  Dream about flying off to an exotic location for your vacation this year?  Put it down.  Not into writing?  Make a vision board by cutting out pictures from magazines with the people, places, things, ideas in which you’d like to invest your energy.  You can even do both!!

Now take the big, broad picture and narrow it down into specifics.  If you want to earn more money, how much?  If you want to go back to school, where would you most like to attend?  If you want to pay off your debt, which ones and by when?  You can reach your destination faster and more efficiently if you are specific.
Invest energy into imaging what it would be like if you had already achieved your goals.

Allow yourself to become emotionally attached to your dream.  What would it be like to drive that high-performance car, heading home to your beautiful condo, where your loving partner is waiting for your arrival?  Can you smell the ocean breezes as you lay on the beach awaiting your fruity drink to be hand delivered to you?  How would it feel working that ideal job with positive, outgoing people surrounding you?   These day dreaming sessions will help to solidify your goals in your mind and continually fuel your passion towards achieving them.

As you begin to envision your dream, you may notice road blocks coming up in your thoughts.  Perhaps things like “it can never happen” or “I’m not good enough for that”.  Let yourself notice these patterns and acknowledge them so that you can work through your negative thinking.  It is these thoughts that may be blocking your dreams from becoming a reality.  Replace them veraciously with their counterpart:  “it CAN happen”; “it CAN be my reality”; “I AM good and deserving of good things”.

Design practical strategies that will ensure you are working on your goals daily.  Take your main goal and branch it out into smaller and smaller practical steps.  This will ensure you are forging ahead each day.  Be careful in doing this so that you don’t set your expectations too high or too low.

It is best for you to challenge yourself a little yet allow yourself room for success.  For example, if you desire to pay off your debts put all your spare change in a jar each night and watch it grow.  Getting healthier?  Replace at least one of your snacks with fruits, veggies or nuts.

Be brave enough to create the life of your dreams.  You have everything in you right now to achieve it!  Make 2009 your best year yet!

About the Author

Carrie Ann Cherup, MA, LCPC, is a licensed clinical professional counselor and clinical director of the Hope Enrichment Center in Oak Lawn, IL.

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