Being a wonderful father or mother, son or daughter, husband or wife, an individual living out a mission or calling versus working a job or having a profession, and becoming physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually fit, ensues through self-improvement. Growth and personal development are lifelong pursuits, which is why the persistent, relentless, courageous, and faithful individuals ascend higher than most. Winners are competing against themselves, while choosing to live without limitations, ceilings, or borders. Be boundless by embracing your true authentic self that produces real freedom and fulfillment. Remember, your opinion matters most and must guide your journey, not other people’s opinions about you. Be brave enough to believe in yourself and in the power of pursuing your dreams.
“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do” (Andrew Carnegie). We must raise the bar high and do what we should do on a daily consistent basis whether we feel like it or not. Positive character development and reformation is absolutely possible and within your control. Decide to be, do, and give your best.
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment” (Oprah Winfrey). Each day for the next 30 days read that list of character traits and continue adding to it. Be truthful to yourself, while diligently striving to develop the best of you. You deserve the best and your family deserves your best, therefore you owe it to yourself to become the best version of yourself, starting right now.
Prioritize what you want in major categories of your life. This includes relationships, parenting, education, spirituality, mindset, personal-growth, health, work, finances, and giving back to society and the world. List a minimum of five things you desire to achieve in each category during the upcoming one to five years. Following is an example of my desires. Make your goals relative to meeting your unique desires, needs, expectations, and standards set for yourself. Remember, this is about what you can do, not someone else, and not trying to change anyone, except you. Relationships can be many….
|Spouse||Say I love you upon awakening and departure, or more.||Perpetually date her as though we are first meeting.||Hug her daily and kiss her each night before bed, or more often.||Be fully present and engaged while listening.||Authentically care about and encourage her dreams.|
|Child||Say I love you and hug him two times daily, or more.||Read to him for 20 minutes daily, or more.||Together, play a game he enjoys twice weekly, or more.||Go someplace new once monthly, or more.||Ask and support what he is passionate about consistently.|
|Friend||Genuinely listen, love, and laugh.||Ask if he is upholding his moral codes?||Tell him I appreciate him.||Go on an adventure together.||Ask, “How can I help?”|
|Parenting||Teach the difference between right and wrong.||Show consistent unconditional love and acceptance.||Maintain boundaries backed with high standards or expectations, values, and principles.||Know his friends.||Tell him that he can come to me about anything at any time. Maintain trust and open communication.|
|Education||Write and publish a book to help people make positive life-producing choices.||Learn two new words, daily.||Step outside my comfort zone daily.||Read daily for at least 30 minutes.||Teach others what you learn through writing, speaking, and blogging.|
|Spiritual||Pray with a thankful heart throughout the day.||Live joyfully by being peaceful and grateful.||Engage with like-minded people offering hope and encouragement.||Read the Bible, devotionals or inspirational books daily.||Go off in nature for 20 plus minutes while meditating on its’ beauty at least twice weekly.|
|Mindset||Write for at least 10 minutes each day in a gratitude journal.||Self-reflect upon what is learned and done daily.||Listen to positive and inspiring podcasts, books or videos daily.||Read about uplifting stories of triumph daily.||Desire an abundance of health, wealth, love, and joy in the lives of everyone that comes my way.|
|Personal-growth||Be vulnerable by sharing life victories to help others.||Do what makes you uncomfortable, daily.||Read and write for 20 minutes or more, daily.||Read your goals and look at your vision boards three times daily.||Persevere by never, never, never, never, giving in or giving up on your passionate dreams.|
|Health||Exercise five times weekly, or more.||Eat mostly foods that are natural without synthetic fillers.||Be mindful of your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, and principles.||Ceaselessly, love and totally accept yourself, daily.||Know your triggers and maintain the rituals that minimize stressors and tempters, while maximizing the best version of yourself.|
|Work||Show empathy.||Help frequently.||Enhance my current skill-sets and knowledge.||Add more value by learning new skills.||Mentor and role model for others.|
|Finances||Pay yourself at least 10% first, no matter what.||Do not borrow money, except for your mortgage and education.||Focus on income as being the outcome.||Patiently be in it for the long term, while building assets and minimizing liabilities.||Think of ways to add more value to many.|
|Giving||Give free seminars and speaking events about enhancing quality of life.||Share my time generously with my family and friends.||Share monetary resources with causes I believe in.||Teach about health techniques to prevent pain and suffering, while maximizing energy and joy.||Give or create in yourself the tools necessary to offer more to your family and the world.|
“Strong reasons make strong actions” (William Shakespeare). Next, make a list of as many reasons why you want to accomplish those aims. The more whys in each category can make something on your list that was once number one priority, change to number three or four, while number two or five moves into the first place slot. Whichever target in each category has the most reasons why it is important and purpose-driven for you to achieve that objective, make it your number one priority and develop a single-minded focus on accomplishing those specific goals first. You can still do the others, just put more conscious effort into your primary focus.
How likely or unlikely are you to you swap a bad habit for a good habit in the next month? Stop saying “I can’t… (fill in the blank), stop smoking” because that is linking your identity with that deadly ritual and preventing victory over the long term. Giving something bad or of lesser value for something good, great, exceptional, lifesaving and invaluable is a deal worth creating and doing. Best of all, there is enormous upside with minimal if any downside, while becoming a winner. Never short change yourself by sacrificing a thing now, for a much worthier and greater purpose that reaps impressive returns and results later.
“Things don’t change, but by and by our wishes change” (Marcel Proust). Opportunities to grow and accomplish more manifest as our desires change. You can achieve whatever goals you truly and adamantly yearn for. Challenge yourself more in order to overcome average, because you are extraordinary.
“The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want” (Ben Stein). Whether you want to have a better attitude, more money, extraordinary relationships, reignite and spark your marriage to new boundless levels, lose 10, 20, 50 or 100 plus pounds, eat healthy, exercise routinely, create an abundance of energy, develop a character transformation, become a remarkable parent, change careers, create a business, generate hope in people or do anything in life desired, it is within reach. Change happens naturally, although growth and progress are intentional.
“Trust yourself, then you will know how to live” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe). We become better human beings by doing things that force us to break through fear and live outside the box where limitations do not exist. People must drive outside their confining boxes or realities of life, therefore engineering a new highway in order to make the unknown known.
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order to learn how to do it” (Pablo Picasso). Stay thirsty and hungry for continual improvement. Each day be vulnerable and grow by doing something that scares you outside your comfort or security zone. Additionally, writing goals and tasks on paper invigorates a person with purpose and fresh energy to take on the day. Life is about progress, loving, growth, and giving.
Furthermore, “An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered” (G. K. Chesterton). We all have limited amounts of willpower and may submit to temptation, especially when insidious triggers creep up. Get rid of all highly probable harmful paraphernalia, such as ashtrays, lighters, magazines, DVDs, CDs, movies, empty nutrient high-caloric foods and beverages, cigarettes, alcohol bottles, needles, credit cards, pictures, signage, etcetera, which are reminders and tempters toward regressing back into poor habits of thinking, imagining and behaving. Be grateful as you learn and grow, enjoying your adventure toward becoming the wonderfully improved you, today.