Achievable Resolutions

To Plan, Decide, and Act to Achieve, Improve, Solve, Change, Transform

I developed this 7-Step Method to help my seminar students who often set the same “New Year Resolution” year after year. Both they and I have done better identifying priorities and taking action.

7 Steps to Set a Resolution that increase your chance of success:

If you answer these seven questions as an outline for your plan, you will boost likelihood of success. You will better internalize the results you seek and why you should follow through, plus have a plan that helps you invest enough time to give you a chance to succeed. Research—mine and others—suggests over 50% of people quit on resolutions, most within one month.

  1. Mission (Purpose)
  2. Vision & Goals (Desired Results)
  3. Solutions (Strategy that could work if implemented)
  4. Motivation (Results if you succeed, if you quit, why you should persevere)
  5. Choice (Decision on if the resolution results are worth the time and resources)
  6. Systems and Structures for Success (Create automatic actions for success)
  7. Assessment and Accountability (Integrity and feedback)

Main reasons for failing:

  1. Lose focus on the result, benefit, and commitment felt at the time of setting the resolution. There is science behind the benefit of writing your resolution result and plan plus reading regularly to remember and internalize.
  2. Never truly get started because they do not plan for the hours and times to invest, which includes appointments with self and others, plus identifying what to reduce to make time for the new priorities. If you need 5-10 hours per week to get something done and do not plan for or implement that time commitment, most fail and often never know why. This often requires new habits or at least re-defining balance for awhile. An Olympic athlete or a working professional going back to school at night for a few years usually chooses to invest more time in the bigger goal and less time in less important activities like excessive tv, social media, or hanging out (note: “excessive” because some of those can be good unless it gets excessive and shifts from good renewal to excessive escapism). The average person spends over 20 hours weekly watching tv—the dedicated Olympian or parent going to school to make a better life makes better choices—at least until the resolution is completed.

Stories of Succeeding using this Method:

Writing books. Col. Stretch Dunn (USA Retired, 1943-2017) and I wrote two books, Professionalism Under Stress and Patriotism in Action, on time and budget using my 7 Step Method. We used the plan template to outline what we wanted to do, why, and how, then decided together and signed the accountability partner agreement. If you want to keep a promise, ask a West Point graduate trained in doing “the harder right” to be your partner😊. If you have a big enough “why” and internalize the importance to you and others you value, plus outline a plan with potential to succeed, then persist, you can do most anything.

Graduating school. I finished my doctoral dissertation and graduated a year faster than most in my class mainly because I realized early on I needed to invest more hours in the main thing that final year–research and writing on my dissertation. Like most students, I felt motivated and busy though an honest assessment of how I was spending my time motivated me to make changes in time priorities that made the difference.

Stopping bad habits. A grandmother attended my weekend workshop. She confessed, she had tried to quit smoking for years. Question 4 helped her finally succeed: Motivation. She wanted to live to see her grandchildren graduate school. I suggested she post a photo of her grandchildren on her mirror and ask daily, which is most important: “my grandchildren or my cigarettes?” She grinned at the suggestion, paused, thought, agreed, then she quit smoking. She internalized her big “why” and that made the difference.

This and more content are provided for you in the planbook. To see or print a complimentary copy of the planbook you can use to outline your goals for the 7 Areas of Life, plus plan an achievable resolution:

http://lifeleadersinstitute.org/publications-and-presentations/7-steps-to-set-and-achieve-a-resolution/

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Posted in Best-Self Leadership, Earning Empowerment, Freedom to Flourish, Master Your Goliaths, Motivation, Plan for School & Life, Positive Actions, Professionalism Under Stress, Resolutions, The 7 Areas of Life | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Courage to Dream

Courage

Many of us hold back, sometimes unconsciously, on pursuing dreams–because of fear. We sometimes dwell on possible negative outcomes like failure or embarrassment.

Seminar students often say, they stay in their “comfort zones” too much because of “what people might think” if they tried something special. They also admit they hesitate instinctively when seeking goals outside their comfort zones.

When that happens, we need a bigger vision, a “why” to expand thinking, actions, and expectations. When we expand expectations of ourselves, that expanded vision becomes part of our new comfort zone, which our instincts will strive to fulfill.

Fear of embarrassment is a self-induced barrier. We sometimes let the fear of what people will think if we try and fail hold us back. But, the truth often is, they likely admire us more if they see our courage to try and persist through adversity. 

What percentage of the time will you succeed if you do not try? 

Consider the people you admire–they likely have tried, failed, and kept trying to fulfill ideas in which they believe, even if others could see their flaws and failures. You likely admire their courage. Success stories usually include recollections of desire and dedication–not successes at goals requiring little effort or risk.

Follow the example of those you admire. Allow yourself to try and sometimes fall short as you give yourself more chances to succeed as well as grow capacity in courage and commitment.

Just do your best, learn and improve from failures and successes, and enjoy the freedom that comes with courage.

May you PLAN and LEAD your LIFE and share with others. –David

Source: adapted from an excerpt in Suggestions for Successful Living: Positive Ideas for the 7 Areas of Life by Dr. David Dyson (1994). Author web site: www.DrDavidDyson.com

Posted in Best-Self Leadership, Grit, Master Your Goliaths, Plan for School & Life, Positive Actions, Positive Words to Plan Your Life, Professionalism Under Stress, Resolutions | Leave a comment

Read a summary of Independence Day to internalize a deeper commemoration

As we celebrate Independence Day, remember appreciation of Veterans and families, including those since 1776, and share with others the national history that:

America’s Veterans Day was born in Birmingham and Advanced in Alabama.

To share more with a teacher or another patriot, they can read about how Veterans Day started and the summary of Independence Day by reading online or getting the book:

Get the book Patriotism in Action with a guide about patriotic holidays and traditions

The United States celebrates annually the Declaration of
Independence as a free nation on July 4, 1776. We recognize
that day as the official time American Democracy was born.

Read more highlights about Independence Day

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Break the Anger Addiction

“TWO THINGS A MAN SHOULD NEVER BE ANGRY AT: WHAT HE CAN HELP AND WHAT HE CANNOT HELP.”

-THOMAS FULLER-

Many people seem to be addicted to anger.

The addiction often means a person will first focus on complaining, venting frustration, and creating drama…instead of focusing on a solution to the problem with a reasonable level of confidence that most problems can be solved or, at least, situations improved.

When a challenge arises, do you focus first on the solution or feel negative feelings that you have another problem?

Two examples

When working with Veterans Making Comebacks (from homelessness using caused by responses), I learned many got there because of mindsets that led to addictions, sometimes including drugs or alcohol, though almost always including a tendency to feel bad or negative at life’s circumstances. Many who assessed themselves as addicted to stimulants often also admitted some form of tendency toward anger. Some responded to their bad feelings by escaping into drinking or fighting with family (arguments mostly) of fighting with fists (often a bars with other angry men)–or numerous other ways to avoid their situations mentally.

Most I met who faced PTSD, moral injury, or pains associated with re-entry into civilian life either ended up stronger emotionally or they stayed in a state of “broke down,” at least for awhile. One of the determinants of the path taken is the choice or propensity to “think solutions” or “focus on failure.”

Another fresh example is, I tried to help a man fix a problem logging into an account using his computer. Technical support kept trying to help me help him though for the first four tries their system kept declining the newly set password. So, four times I advised we needed to edit the previous password by at least one number or letter to try again. Each time, instead of answer the request, he created visible signs of anger, repeatedly asked how many times had he “given them a new password,” and even spoke, “this stuff can give me a heart attack.” The obvious answer is to just help with the solution. Complaints or heart attacks don’t help. This man has formed a pattern–it is more comfortable to “melt down” than “stand up” with a little “courage” and “cool wits.”

Here’s a simple strategy to help: add this sentence to your Life Plan or Life Constitution–When faced with problems or stress, I… [fill in the sentence as your best-self would.] Read it out loud daily for as long as you need to replace old patterns of anger “acting out” with instinctive responses that focus on making situations better instead of worse.

You can do this if you become aware of your vision for yourself and your actual behavior and use the difference to motivate you to better thoughts and actions.

Posted in Master Your Goliaths, Positive Quotations, Veterans Making Comebacks | Leave a comment

Greatest Use of Life

WilliamJames

“The greatest use of life

is for something that will outlast it.”

– William James –

William James, philosopher and psychologist also trained as a physician, was the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. More.

Posted in Best-Self Leadership, Freedom to Flourish, Motivation, Plan for School & Life, Positive Quotations | Tagged | Leave a comment