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Monday, February 7, 2011

Achieve Your Goals Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible!

By: Sahara Adair 


We can't ignore the fact that-like the leaves on the deciduous trees-2010 is almost over. It seems as if the year passed as fast as the season's first bag of Halloween candy will. Many started 2010 eager and optimistic, noting "this is the year." But setbacks and daily demands have a tendency to impede our progress. We may find ourselves holding a bag of empty promises, and wrappers. But there's still time to accomplish a few of the things we set out to this year.

Remember the goals or resolutions you wrote down way back when at the beginning of the year? Perhaps, like me, you didn't make any resolutions. But we all have goals, whether it's eating fewer French fries or moving halfway around the world. And those don't necessitate a certain day of the year to profess, or accomplish. I know, 3 ½ months doesn't seem like much time; but that just means we have to get serious. Quality over quantity, right. We have to decide what we are willing to attempt and, then, go for it.

I had a few goals I wanted to tackle in January but, more so, I wanted to find something that helped people accomplish their goals. Just claiming a goal isn't enough. I subjected myself, in the name of science, to a program called the 100 Day Challenge-offered twice per year, once in January and again ... in a few days, on September 22nd this year. With an Internet connection, the ability to part with a couple hundred bucks, and a strong commitment, the 100 Day Challenge provides daily lessons, motivational video clips, and support from program mentors and fellow challengers-for 100 days. It's a great value for those serious about seeing results.

What I got out of it:

* Solid guidelines on how to phrase a goal. Yes, it does matter.
* The importance of narrowing efforts to five goals at any one time.
* How to develop endless motivation for each goal.
* Tips on breaking goals into manageable pieces.
* Steps on devising an action plan.
* Lessons on everything from "the power of saying no" to "seizing the day."
* Motivation from peers.
* Cognitive exercises that kept me on track.
* Ways to maximize my efforts.

The results from my 100 Day Challenge:

I surpassed two of my (7) goals. And though I did not reach all of them, I progressed further with each goal than I would have on my own. Most importantly, I learned that I am my biggest obstacle. The challenge forced me to pay attention to my behavior and the actions I took or did not take.

There are a few limitations to the program. The lessons are insightful but very broad. I found program text on another non-partner sight-hard to say who wrote it first. And if you redeem your one-on-one consultation take it with a grain of salt shaker.

But the benefits outweigh the negatives. For instance, I had no idea how important phrasing the actual goal was, and after-action reviews or weekly assessments are priceless. As soon as I correct some confidence issues-uncovered during the experiment-I'll take the challenge again. Of course, improving confidence is a great goal in itself. Freelance Writer, Pilot, Traveler and Personal Development Student and Practitioner.
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