When face-to-face with one's self … there is no cop-out. -Edward Kennedy “Duke" Ellington
You've decided to set some personal goals, but you're not sure where to start. Well, the first step is to look within.
How well do you know yourself? A serious evaluation of your life is critical to getting what you want. If you need to get to Pittsburgh by Friday and you want to plan your trip, you've got to know where you're starting from. So, if you want to reach your new goals, you have to know where you are now.
What achievements are you most proud of? What makes you happy?
Without dwelling on failures, mistakes or past ill feelings, quickly list your life's important accomplishments. Think about the places you've been, the relationships you've had, the education you've received. Consider your achievements related to work.
How well-educated are you in the things you would like to know? How much effort do you put into each aspect of your life?
What are your best and worst points? How do you choose your friends, your home, your job and your hobbies? How do you treat your friends, family and strangers? How deep is your personal spirituality? You have hundreds and hundreds of special traits, but how well-developed is each of them? Which of your traits are the worst? What have you accomplished over the past 20 years? How about the past 10, or 5, or 2 years? What have you accomplished in even the past 12 months? In the past month? The past week? Today? Who have you hurt? Who deserves better than you've given them? And, most important, how close are you now to where you hoped you'd be when you looked ahead a year ago, 5 years ago, or even as a child?
A serious self-evaluation may take weeks to complete. And you should be prepared to cry a little as you make this assessment of your life. You're human, and humans are far from perfect. Sometimes you don't even achieve the minor goals you set for yourself, and it can hurt to see exactly where you are now. So dig down for every bit of serenity you have when making this evaluation, and always keep in mind that you are on a fact-finding - not a fault-finding - mission. Whether your strengths balance your weaknesses is not important. What you want is a written record of who and what you are in as much detail as possible - a blueprint of your inner house that you can use as a basis for improvement.
You should review your analysis periodically to chart your progress. And the time and emotion you spend preparing it will be nothing compared to the value you will receive from it.
Now, write a report based on your self-evaluation and include in that report everything you ever did that you thought you couldn't do. Put a star next to the most important accomplishments of your life. This is absolutely essential! It will provide you with enormous inspiration when you are faced with a problem you don't think you can conquer. These are not only real-life success stories, they are YOUR success stories, proof positive that there's more in you than you might think. Reviewing these experiences will keep your inner motor revving. Keep this report with your personal analysis. It will be a vital document as you move forward in reaching your personal goals.
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