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12 Life Goals & Personal Development Plan
12 Life Changing, Motivational Goals for Goal Setters in 2011
Wow. Has another year really passed? Another year with its promises of renewed purpose and better times has happily skipped into view. Are you ready? Are you a goal setter or do you just kinda slip and slide your way through the year and breathe a sigh of relief when it's over -- like akin to Father Time, tired, bent over and all too eager to exit -- Stage Left
It's easy to set goals; the hard part is the follow through. Unfortunately, many goals go the way of New Year's Resolutions -- pledged . . . begun . . . forgotten. Let's face it, stuff happens and life just seems to get in the way of your career, personal and life goals.
12 Goals for 12 Months
So every year, you set your goals and every year, procrastination rules and; nothing gets done. Or, maybe your goal and resolution skills are top notch and you accomplish every project undertaken, yet still at year end, you feel something's amiss. Here's 12 goals you can adopt, one for every month, guaranteed to impart a change in your life and the lives of others. Feel free to improvise, the only rule is you have to accomplish one per month. And, if you one of these addresses a dire situation, such as a relative with an abuse problem, of course, you want to tackle that first.
January - Renewal and Contemplation
Take some time to consider where you are going, not just this year, but five, ten, 20 years down the road. Do you need to send two children through college in ten years? Or, do you want to get your Bachelor's or Master's degree. Do you want a promotion and raise? How about spiritually? Sure, you want to lose 20 pounds; what's your plan to maintain your weight throughout your lifetime?
Take some time to reflect on what you want to accomplish in the next 5, 10 and 20 years -- with family, financially, physically, spiritually, emotionally, professionally, etc. Now, write down what's stopping you and what obstacles you anticipate. Start putting these thoughts to pen and resolve to establish a plan so that in 30 years, you are not wondering where all the time went..
February - Love and Empathy
Of course, this is the month of love -- heartily endorsed by greeting card companies, candy companies and florists everywhere. But, forget about the commercialism and consider the sweet flavor.
Make this your month to volunteer. You don't have to make a huge time commitment. You have at least 28, twenty-four hour days. Can you spare at least one hour out of the month to help someone. Here's some ideas.
- Nursing Home. Some residents never have visitors. Call a nursing home and offer to adopt someone for a day. Then, go and spend time with them. Talk to them. If you can spare the money, find out what they enjoy or need and take them a small present. After your visit, write them a letter or short note to stay in touch and let them know you are thinking about them.
- Schools. Many schools have mentor programs for at-risk children. You will have to go through an initial orientation and background check. Then commit to an hour visit weekly or monthly at the school or their home to help them with their studies. Math and English tutors are in demand..
- Homeless shelter/domestic abuse centers. These always need clean clothes, toys, etc. Find out how you can provide donations.
- Libraries. Mentorship and reading program volunteers are needed.
- Join Big Brothers or Big Sisters. Again, you go through orientation, training and a background check. Then, you commit to quality time to an at risk young person.
- Churches. Most churches have a sick and shut in list. Find out if it's ok to contact them and go visit them. Some would welcome a visit from a fellow member.
- Veterans. Support a veteran through the Valentines for Vets program. Send a valentine, visit a veteran or volunteer at a VA medical facility. www.volunteer.va.gov
Make this your month to forgive. Of course, it's easier said than done. But envision how powerful you become when you master this concept.
Sister hurt your feelings . . . coworker applied another twist to that knife . . . Best friend proved he really wasn't.
Take back the POWER and move on. If you can't move past the hurt or betrayal, seek out support through counseling, but don't stay where you are wallowing in anger, thoughts of revenge or even denial. If it's too hard to forgive everyone, work on just one.
And, once you forgive, define how that relationship will continue. For example, if your relationship has proven toxic and cannot be healed -- currently -- you're recourse may be to move on. But, don't move on without forgiving that person first.
March - Cleansing
It's called Spring cleaning for a reason. Now's the time to dust and get rid of those cobwebs -- literally and figuratively. How about an inner cleansing to get ready for the summer and abstaining from alcohol or cigarettes or some other harmful addiction. If you make it a month, can't you make it two, three or a year? How about trying a modified fast for a day or week -- after you have received nutritional guidance, of course.
Consider -- if you always take lessons from the wrong book, you will always get the wrong results. Time to break free of unhealthy habits and thoughts. TIme to move forward.
And while you're eliminating the old, take in some new. Find one classic book, you have not read or just want to reread and do it this month.
April - Showers
It's raining dreams. And, now's your time to work on yours. Do you want to take a cruise during the holidays? Or do you want to channel the inner salsa dancer; take some lessons or grab or friend and hit the dance floor. Have you always wanted to take piano lessons, go for it. This is your month to start building your dream.
Want to lose 5 lbs and get ready for swimsuit season and that June vacation. Get started now . . . no not tomorrow . . . Now!
May - Flowers and Memorials
Give 'em their flowers before they pass on. Sit down, grab a pen and paper and start writing. Write that letter to your Mom or brother, favorite teacher, fireman, etc.
Tell them how they have positively impacted your life and thank them. Or invite them out for lunch and tell them in person!
June - Lazy Days of Summer
Make some me time. Go on vacation. "But, I don't have the time, money, know where to go." Excuses, excuses. There are zillions of choices including cheap, but fun trips. Check out Megabus or Amtrak for low cost fares. Even if you just pack those jeans and top, comfy pjs and a good book and check into a hotel downtown. Or organize a girl friend or guy trip away. Or, plan and actually spend one day doing only things you love to do whether with family or alone.
July - Happy Birthday
Pack up a box of goodies, get a name and address from a local church, neighbor or friend and send it to a deserving serviceman overseas. Any of them are deserving.
August - Help Out
Pay It Forward. Do something for someone. Give someone your seat on the bus, even if you really don't want to stand. If your husband always walks the dog on rainy days, walk him/her for him.
How about offering to drive that neighbor who has been making daily trips to hospital and is overwrought with worry or fixing a meal for their family.
Pay for the person's coffee ahead in line at Starbucks. Do something sincere to help someone you do not like (hard . . . but you can do it.) Champion the cause of someone who is scared, overwhelmed or misinformed.
September - Month of Labor
Know someone who is unemployed and losing hope. Do something to help. Pass on info on that job you heard about through the grapevine. Give them the name and phone number of the hiring manager of someone in their area of expertise.
Do you own a business; can you afford to hire someone on a contract basis to help out for a week or a month? Or can you offer an unpaid internship to someone trying to get experience for their resume.
How about donating a new or gently used blouse or shirt to the local program that helps provide business clothing for interviews to the needy..
If you are unemployed, make a list of five business ideas -- something you enjoy or would enjoy doing, something you have the skills for currently, or something you can quickly acquire the skills needed to operate. Get some resources and contact your local Small Business Administration for guidance and any funding options.
Make a list of ten people you can call or approach. Ask them if they have heard of any job openings and who you should contact.
October - Scared of the Dark
This is the month to address your fears. Are you unable to talk coherently when you have to address others in public? Why not join an organization such as Toastmasters? Are you petrified by the thought of losing all your 401K in another stock market plunge? Instead of waiting for your statement and bemoaning your plummeting balance, why not invest some time in learning all your can about financial management and the stock market?
Frightened your child, spouse, brother, friend has a substance abuse or gambling problem.. Seek advice from a professional; find out if there are any support groups. Just do something!. Legitimate problems don't go awaty; worries are transitory and often amount to nada. But problems, such as the mysterious lump, mole or pain, aren't likely to just fade away. Make that doctor's appointment and keep it. Do what you must to address your fears.
The elections of 2012 are but a year away. Pledge to vote with your head and heart and expand your mind by studying the local and national candidates. Instead of blinding following the crowd or the mob, use your intelligence and knowledge to cast your vote.
November - Giving Thanks
Give thanks -- in what ever way you feel is appropriate. Maybe, this is your year to bury the hatchet and invite that rebel relative out for a conciliatory lunch or dinner. Maybe you want to volunteer at a homeless shelter, or invite a lonely neighbor over for turkey, talk and thanks. Send another box of goodies to that serviceman or better yet, convince your friends, neighbors, coworkers, church, etc. to sponsor an entire division or troop.
December - Party Like It's 1999
Throw a party. Yep, it's time to celebrate. You've achieved your goals and helped others. Call it a goal party, holiday bash, whatever you want. You deserve to celebrate your year of helping yourself and helping others. Get ready to repeat these goals for 2012 or make your own resolutions. Check out this article if you are looking for more information on how to track your personl, career and life goals.
JUST DO IT!
- Skim through this article again.
- Get a calendar and write down a few keywords on each monthly page to keep you on task. Don't like these goals? Feel free to tweak and use your own.
- Engage a support team if needed -- friend, family, coworker.
- Don't turn the pages of the calendar unless you have completed your goal for the month.