“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.”
I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful new year. The number eight is associated with new beginnings throughout history. My prayer is that this would be a year of new beginnings and new opportunities for all of you.
During January, I have been working on goals for the year. Accordingly to author Brian Tracey, only 3 percent of Americans set effective goals and shockingly only 1 percent review them during the year. I want to encourage you to sit down and take some time to set some goals for 2008 if you have not already done so. Here are some things I have learned in my research and reading.
In 1970, sociologist Dr. Edward Banfield of Harvard University wrote a book entitled The Heavenly City. His goal was to find out how and why some people became successful. He was surprised to find that it wasn’t family background, education, intelligence, influential contacts or some other concrete factor. He found that is was an attitude of the mind that he called ‘long term perspective’. He said that men and women who were the most successful in life and the most likely to move up economically were those who took the future into consideration with every decision they made in the present. He found that the longer the period of time a person took into consideration while planning and acting, the more likely it was that he would achieve greatly during his career.
The essential key to success in setting priorities is having long term perspective. You can tell how important something is today by measuring its potential future impact on your life. A key thing to understand is that setting goals and priorities is a sacrifice. But the sacrifice is well worth it and can help make life so much easier and enjoyable.
We are constantly hearing about the possibility of recession and the downfall of the economy in the news. We need to take some responsibility for our own actions that contribute to this. “Economists say that the inability to delay gratification-that is, the natural tendency of individuals to spend everything they earn plus a little more, and the mind-set of doing what is fun, easy and enjoyable-is the primary cause of economic and personal failure in life. On the other hand, disciplining yourself to do what is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem and personal satisfaction” (Brian Tracey).
The hardest part of accomplishing your goals is actually setting them. You could possibly fail to reach them after you set them, but you are certain to miss them if you never set them. When you do work on them, be sure to (1) set clear, measurable goals and objective; (2) determine your top priorities; (3) overcome procrastination and get yourself going; (4) organize every aspect of your work; (5) concentrate single-mindedly on one thing at a time; (6) focus whole heartedly on the most important.
So setting priorities begins with you deciding what you want most in life and then organizing your time and activities so that everything you do is the most valuable use of your time in achieving those objectives. With your larger, long-term priorities in order, you can more easily decide upon your short term priorities. Start with a pad of paper and a pen and write down all that needs to be accomplished. You can do it and I know it will help you because it has certainly helped me accomplish more in life.
On another note, be sure to look for Mr. Adams’ new book release, Images of America: Tyrone due to come out Feb. 4. I am working with Barnes & Noble to have a Tyrone Day at their Logan Towne Center location on Saturday, March 15 and have Mr. Adams do a book signing that day. Be sure to look for more information to come.
Keep bundled up, look out for your neighbors, and remember that spring is just around the corner.
Mayor of Tyrone