Making Your Goals A Reality

February 14, 2011 § 5 Comments

A few weeks ago, my friend, Elizabeth, was abuzz with excitement about how 2011 would be a year of significant change including her return to school next fall and starting a marketing-related business.

But where to start?

I’d read recently that while you go through a book from front to back to find out the ending, authoring a success story occurs with the goal in mind and working back.

So, I told Elizabeth that she needs to determine what her ultimate achievement is to be and then visualize the steps required to make it happen.

Organizational consultant and author Stephen Covey, in his book, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, describes this as beginning with the end in mind (Habit 2).

  • Habit 2 is based on the principle that all things are created twice – a mental or first creation and a physical or second creation.
  • Most endeavours that fail, fail with the first creation.

The highway to success is littered with the wreckage of countless abandoned dreams. How many of us have had ideas we didn’t pursue because we didn’t dare to go to that next step?

Perhaps we were fearful of failure or simply just comfortable. Maybe other priorities got in the way.

I know Elizabeth will succeed. She’s a driven individual, passionate about her company idea and has a good business sense. Returning to school part-time will be a key to her success.

When you’re starting a company, there are all kinds of considerations, beginning with a business plan. Then there are factors such whether to be home-based or located in an office space. Should you hire staff or just bring on associates as needed? Even choosing a corporate name can be a challenge. Should your own name be attached to it or do you select something unique?

Having operated a successful business, I share Elizabeth’s excitement. There’s nothing quite like taking an idea and nurturing it into reality. In a sense, it’s like producing a child and watching it grow.

Earlier, I described reading to the end of a book to see how the story turns out. My personal goal involves writing books – the first based on a story I penned for the Grande Prairie Public Library writing competition last year – and others to be developed from the content Wendy and I produce for this blog.

So, in a sense, I’m already on my way with Book Number One. I’ve set next Christmas as a target for being on bookshelves.

But, considering Covey’s end in mind guidance, there are many steps to go. The story needs to be fleshed out further. I need to determine whether it’s a kids’ book or something for older audiences. Should it be done in a series? Will I find a publisher or self publish? Perhaps it will be an e-book. If I print, how many copies do I want to publish? What about an illustrator?


I enjoy these kinds of questions. They mean I see opportunities that I’m passionate about, that I have a purpose and before long, I will have steps in place to reach my goal. When I started my business, I remember colleagues at my former workplace telling me how lucky I was.

It was good fortune to be making a quarter of my former salary with a fledgling company? Hmmm. Yeah, right! Joking aside, I do know what they meant. They wished they’d had the motivation to try something new, to follow a dream.

I never want to be left saying, woulda, coulda, shoulda, to have regrets. Admittedly, it does take strong resolve to follow through on a goal, especially something that is significantly life-altering.

American comedian/author/educator Bill Cosby offers this advice: “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”

So, as we reach month 2 of 2011, what are your goals for the year? How will you get there?


The Freedom in Letting Go

January 3, 2010 § 7 Comments

I used to think it was about letting go.  That when people left us, we had to let them go. They were gone.  They were lost.  Maybe they died, maybe they simply fell out of our lives.  My biggest challenge used to be letting go.

Before I moved to Calgary and after my brother died, I lived in his condo for a year.  I was holding on.  I was holding on so tightly.  Had it not been for my mother’s somewhat more than gentle push to get out of Millet, I would’ve stayed.  I would’ve held on.  Because I thought that if I held on tightly enough, it would mean that I wouldn’t ever forget him.  It would mean that I’d never actually have to lose him. And then maybe I wouldn’t have to miss him as much.

A voice inside my head kept telling me that I had to let go.  I had to move on with my life.  In fact that’s what we tend to hear from others trying to offer support, trying to breath some life back into us.  And maybe it is about letting go, at least to an extent.  I couldn’t hold onto what life was.  It couldn’t be the same, no matter how tightly I grasped at what I could.  When I left Millet, I hadn’t let go yet.  My parents and I kept his condo for a good six months, I went back almost every weekend and hung on.

I can’t pinpoint the exact time I began to let go, but I do remember the first time I was able to look at his picture and feel him smiling at me and be able to smile back, not from a place of sorrow, but from a place of happy memory.  I felt like he was telling me that I was okay.  I was through the woods.  I was headed uphill back to what life used to be like.

Today, I picked up his pocket watch.  It stopped ticking a long time ago, and I’ve never bothered to replace the battery.  As I thumbed the texture on the casing, examined the still hands, I realized something.  It is not the ticking of the hands that made the pocket watch a pocket watch.  I’ve carried it with me on occasion even without the ticking hands.  And just as the pocket watch remains what it is, so to does Wayne.  My brother is still my brother.  And I can bring him with me whenever I need to.  It’s not about holding on anymore.  I had to learn to let him go to get to the place that I found he is still here, though he may not tick, he can still exist as whatever I need him to be.

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