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Being Proactive

by David DeFord

Have you noticed how a plastic grocery bag acts by the side of the road? The wind from passing cars tosses it into the air according to the direction the car is traveling. The bag has no control; it travels by the external force of the air currents. It ends up where the wind determines.

We need not be subject to the winds of external forces. We have the freedom to choose our destinations. Don't we?

Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. We often allow ourselves to be swept along by life, rather than proactively choosing our paths. We need to passionately pursue what we want.

How can we take control of our lives and live our dreams?

Know Where You Want to Go
Zig Ziglar says that if you don't know where you want to go, you'll surely get there. The first step we take in planning any vacation is to decide where we want to go, or what we want to do.
Where do you want to go in life? What do you want to do, have, and be? Do you want to lose your extra pounds? How about becoming debt free? What earnings or sales goals have you set?
Success is a choice. Failure is usually the result of not choosing.

Write Down What You Choose to Accomplish
If you are serious about proactively pursuing your goals, write them down. Carry the list with you every day. By doing so, you will have frequent reminders of your future achievements.

Know Why You Want to Get There
Without a compelling reason, we have difficulty motivating ourselves when opposition comes.
Daily visualize accomplishing your goal. Involve your senses. How will you feel? How will you look? Can you smell and taste it? What will your achievement position you to do next?
Inter-relate your goals. For instance, ponder how accomplishing your sales goal will help you realize your earnings goals. How do these goals relate to your goal of ridding debt?

Plan and Take Active Steps to Get You There
The likelihood of reaching our desires is very low if we aren’t proactive. To become debt-free, we must change our spending habits, pay off our smallest debt, and then add what we were paying on the first one to the next.
Waiting for debts to dissolve will never get us there-only passionate pursuit will.
Create milestones or short-term goals that will show your progress.

Periodically Assess Your Progress
Periodically evaluate whether your positive actions are paying off. Decide whether you need to persist in your plan or if it needs modifications.
Air pilots and mariners constantly check their bearings and make course corrections as needed.
Marathoners calculate their minutes per mile at each mile marker to assess where they stand against their desired finish time. If their split times need improvement, they adjust their speed. So, we must check our progress, and decide to adjust our plans or persist.

Celebrate Your Victories
When should we celebrate? We should reward ourselves upon successful completion of every milestone.
How should we celebrate? First, we must choose rewards well in advance. By doing so, we enhance our motivation toward accomplishment.
Our rewards should compliment our goals. For instance, an ice cream feast would not be a wise reward for hitting our weekly weight-loss goal. Nor is an expensive vacation or purchase good rewards for hitting our debt reduction goal.
Rather, choose rewards that compliment your goal, such as buying new, smaller clothes upon losing weight, or a fun family activity for successful debt reduction.
Or, simply tell someone.

The plastic grocery bag has no will. It doesn't know where it's going, and it will end up where the wind puts it.
You, however, have desires, will, and self-determination. Choose where you want to go and proactively get there.
I would like to hear about your successes and how you achieved them. Email me at ddeford@ordinarypeoplecanwin.com

Related Quotes:
"Hoping and dreaming of a better world are not enough if we are unwilling to work; but when we work towards our dreams, wonderful things can happen."
Lloyd Newell

"Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day. Goals tend to tap the deeper resources and draw the best out of life."
Harvey Mackay

"When you develop a game plan to get what you want, you will develop a belief that you can get it."
Zig Ziglar

"If you don't have a plan (goals) for what you want, then you will probably find yourself buying into someone else's plan and later find out that wasn't the direction you wanted to go. You've got to be the architect of your life."
Jim Rohn

"By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be."
Mark Victor Hansen

"Begin with the end in mind."
Stephen Covey

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First published in 1938, this personal development classic helped spawn the motivational genre. The principles still apply. While the title subject is about gaining wealth, the book, in fact, has more to do with taking control of your thoughts, and therefore your life.
-- David DeFord

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