Read an Excerpt
* JANUARY 1 *
"Life is a big canvas.
Throw all the paint on it you can."
Forget about making New Year's resolutions. (Can you name two people who actually keep their resolutions?) Instead, paint the canvas of your life with hopes, dreamsand goals. Begin by listing your goals for this year. Where would you like to be a year from now? What do you want to accomplish by then? Find something to write on or in (a piece of paper, your daffy planner or journal, a notebook you use every day), go someplace quiet where you won't be interrupted, and start writing.
I'll list my goals for this year.
* JANUARY 2 *
"The more specific your goals are, the more likely you are to achieve themand to know when you've achieved them."
Judy Galbraith and Jim Delisle
Are you excited about your goals and eager to get started, or worried that you can't possibly succeed? If you're worried, maybe it's because your goals are too vague. Example: "I'll make new friends" sounds good, but it's not specific enough. Instead, you might try: "I'll join the hiking club because Joe belongs and I'd like to be his friend. Also, I enjoy hiking." Take time to review and, if necessary, revise your goals. Make each one as precise as you can.
I'll set specific goals.
* JANUARY 3 *
"The way to success:
First, have a clear goal, not a fuzzy one."
Norman Vincent Peale
A religious leader, lecturer, radio broadcaster, syndicated newspaper columnist, and author of The Power of Positive Thinking (among other books), Norman Vincent Peale knew all about goal setting and success. He went on to say: "Sharpen this goal until it becomes specific and clearly defined in your conscious mind. Hold it there until it seeps into your unconscious. Surround this goal constantly with positive thoughts and faith. Give it positive follow-through. That is the way success is achieved."
I'll think positively about my goals.
* JANUARY 4 *
"It seems obvious that the first rule
of life is to have a good time."
When you're listing your goals for the year, don't forget to include the fun stuffyour hobbies, interests, friends, and things you most enjoy. Don't think of these as rewards for reaching your "real" goals; make them goals all by themselvesthings you write down, plan for, and achieve. Would you like to go dancing every Saturday night? Add it to your list. Want to learn more about computer animation? Make it a goal.
I'll include enjoyment in my goals.
* JANUARY 5 *
"The reason most people never reach their
goals is that they don't define them,
or ever seriously consider them
as believable or achievable."
Ask your parents (or other adults you know) what their goals were when they were your age. Did they reach their goals? If they did, invite them to tell you about it. You may hear stories of hard work, dedication, planning, and luck. If they didn't reach their goals, try to find out why. Maybe their goals were vague or unrealistic; maybe they never really believed in them. A goal you don't believe in is nothing but a wish.
I'll believe in my goals.
And I'll believe I can reach them.
* JANUARY 6 *
"Rome was not built in one day."
This old saying appeared in a book that was printed in 1546. It was probably already a cliché, but it was true then and it's still true. If you haven't finished listing your goals for the year ... no problem. Goal setting is a process that lasts a lifetime. If you're just starting, go slowly. Don't set too many goals at once. Don't try to juggle too many at the same time. You might need to revise your goals as circumstances change. You might have to give up some goals along the way. Be flexible and don't get discouraged. Above all, don't give up!
I'll remind myself that
goal setting is a process.
* JANUARY 7 *
"The victory of success
is half won when one gains the habit
of setting goals and achieving them."
Research has shown that it takes two to three weeks to form a new habit. To make goal setting a habit, do it every day (weekends, too!) for 14 days and preferably 21. This will get you where you want to go and also make everyday life more meaningful. Og Mandino (author, salesman, and expert on human nature) went on to say: "Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams."
I'll make goal setting a habit.
* JANUARY 8 *
"Advice for life: 1. Love yourself.
2. Be yourself. 3. Always keep a journal."
Keeping a personal journal is like creating your own treasure map. As you write, you'll discover a wealth of information about yourself: your aspirations, your secret wishes, and your hopes and dreams. These are your truest treasures.
I'll start a journal or write
in my current journal.
* JANUARY 9 *
"When I look at the future,
it's so bright, it burns my eyes."
What does the future hold for you? Everything ... if you want it to. Dreams don't come true by accident; you have to make them happen. How? Work hard. Have hope. Be persistent. Keep faith. And above all, believe that the future is bright.
I'll imagine my future
in a positive light.
* JANUARY 10 *
"If a window of opportunity appears,
don't pull down the shade."
An opportunity might be anything at all. A chance to meet someone, go somewhere, learn something, or experience something new. A job offer, a mentorship, an invitation to join a club, take a class, give a speech, or climb a mountain ... you never know. Sometimes it's easier to say "No thanks" or "Maybe another time," especially if you're not sure you'll enjoy what's being offeredor there's no guarantee you'll succeed. Try putting aside your doubts and fears. If you need encouragement, talk to a good friend or a trusted adult.
I'll take advantage of an opportunity.
* JANUARY 11 *
"If you want a quality, act as if you
already had it. Try the `as if' technique."
If you want to be a person of charactersomeone with strong values and beliefsact like one. If you want to be honest, responsible, trustworthy, caring, positive, confident, fair, sincere, courageous, creative, or whatever, act as if you already are. If you want to be excited about school, put on an excited face and attitude. Then keep it up. This technique is amazingly powerful. Try it for a few days (or longer) and see how you feel. Pay attention to how other people treat you. Do you notice a difference?
I'll act like someone who's
(fill in the blank)
* JANUARY 12 *
"Good words are worth much,
and cost little."
What's the greatest gift you can give someone? A video game? Tickets to a concert? A new jacket? A million dollars? Presents are nice, but one of the best gifts you can givekind wordswon't cost you any money. Tell your mom you love her, give your brother a compliment, leave an anonymous note on a friend's locker saying "Have a great day!" or "Nice work in math!" If you've argued with someone, apologize so you'll both feel better. Tip: The more kind words you give, the more you'll receive.
I'll say a kind word to someone.