You Think It We Print It 
During his first attempt to get elected the now former United States president Barrack Obama spoke about change, he used the slogan "change we can believe in" and "yes we can". 
This time of year the newspapers are full of articles about change and New Year resolutions. We are told how to stop smoking, lose weight, change attitudes, improve our fitness, set goals etc. 
Did you set any goals in 2016, how did you do? 
Most days we do the same things at the same time and the same way, what time we get out of bed, what we eat for breakfast, get ready for work, how we travel home, what we do during the day if we are not working and what we do in the evenings. 
Because so much of what we do is routine, change becomes very difficult and can only be achieved with persistence and dedication over time. 
Quick fixes don't work. So if you intend to make some changes in 2017 here are some tips; 
• Set goals you can achieve, you would become demoralised if you take strive for a goal you cannot achieve and failing will affect your confidence. 
• Set out a realistic time frame to achieve your goal. 
• Break it down into individual steps. 
• Write your goal down and put it somewhere you and those who matter to you or care about you will see it. 
• Be specific, the more precise you are the easier it would be to achieve. 
• Write down a reward for yourself if you achieve your goal, e.g. if you stop smoking and save the money you would normally spend on cigarettes in a separate account treat yourself to something nice as a reminder of the benefits of achieving that goal. (A smoker who spends €10 per day will save €3650.00 in a year, that would get you lots of nice things). 
• If you are not succeeding do not be afraid to stop and change, if it's not working do not persist, re-evaluate your goals and start again. 
NB start from the beginning, not the end, if a goal takes six months to achieve and you start on day one, each stage is one day less, and one day near your goal, however if in your mind you begin at the end, (six months down the road) you would get frustrated and impatient and lose heart. 
Goal setting is incredibly empowering and it doesn't matter what the goal is, if you establish a track record of setting and achieving goals irrespective of what they are you will develop a mindset of succeeding which you can apply to bigger goals. 
So whether it's weight loss, smoking, fitness, money, relationships, career, whatever, develop a habit of setting and achieving goals. 
Warning - do not set too many, you have a finite amount of time, money, motivation, interest, if you set too many goals you won't achieve any and you will lose confidence, so be precise and if you're stuck for a method consider using the SMART process, i.e. setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Timed. 
Good luck, if you do set some goals and achieve them, I'd love to hear from you. 
Tagged as: January
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