Personal Development Plan

How My Husband And I Rekindled Our Passion, Pretending To Be Strangers

The plan: meet me at the Avalon Hotel and assume an alternate identity.

How To Stay Motivated And Reach Your Goals

Whether you’re finding it hard to get out and exercise, drag yourself to work or you’ve been procrastinating about completing that assignment that should have been finished long ago, we’ve all been there. Sometimes it’s hard to find motivation if you lose sight of what it is you’re striving for, so here are some simple tips that should help you to find your motivation again and reach that goal.

  • Set a goal of what you want to accomplish in the end and visualise it in your mind in complete detail. If you want to lose ten kilos then visualise yourself weighing less and looking great or if you want to finish writing that book, visualise it sitting on the shelf at the bookstore, your name written on the cover. Having a clear view of what you want to achieve will help you to stay motivated.
  • Make a list of the reasons why you want to achieve you goal. Is it for money? For health reasons or for your own personal satisfaction? Having a goal is all well and good but if you don’t know why you’re working towards that goal, then it’s kind of pointless. You must be doing it for a reason.
  • When you’ve decided what your end goal is, break it down into smaller targets so it doesn’t seem so overwhelming. Chipping away at your goal over time and taking realistic steps towards it will keep you more motivated than if you were just aiming for the end goal. If you’re losing weight, aim for losing 1 kilo a week or if you’re writing a book, aim to write a chapter a week. Reaching those smaller milestones will inspire you to keep going and don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach them.
  • Have a flexible plan of how you’re going to achieve your goal. You should have a general idea of how you’re going to work towards your goal, but if things don’t go to plan, don’t give up – simply try another tactic. You need to be prepared for speed bumps along the way and then have the determination to overcome them.
  • Tell people about your goal who can support you along the way, so if you find that you’re struggling to reach those smaller milestones you’ll have people around you who can encourage to keep going. Having someone else to remind you why you’re working towards your goal can be much more satisfying than hearing it from yourself. Also if you’ve announced to your friends that you’re planning on achieving something, it’s more likely that you’ll try your hardest to make it happen, almost for fear of failing.
  • If you find your motivation is lagging perhaps try and think about role models that have succeeded in the past, but not without hard work. Compare what they had to endure to your situation and sometimes this can make yours seems so much more achievable. People who have fought in a war or those who have fought serious illnesses are an inspiration to most, so consider their hard fight to yours.

And if those tips weren’t enough, read these inspirational quotes that are sure to keep you heading on your path to success.

I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others have thrown at him.” – David Brinkley

If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

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Scrap Those Resolutions: 4 ‘Better You’ Goals for 2014

With it being halfway through January, most of us have already made our New Year’s resolutions – and promptly started to neglect them. So rather than sweating over the guilt from breaking our own half-hearted promises to look like Lara Bingle by March, why not use this year to improve yourself in a less predictable fashion. Here are my top suggestions for self development – no diet required.

Read more
From making you more empathetic to staving off Alzheimer’s disease, regular reading does wonders for your brain and state of mind. Studies have shown that reading can be therapeutic by assisting in the reduction of stress, while improving your mood; so rather than trying to switch off after a big day by watching telly, curl up with a good book – evidence suggests you’ll sleep better for it too. And it’s not all rest and relaxation, despite being a super soothing pastime, your brain is actually hard at work. Reading improves your memory, expands your vocabulary and builds your analytical skills – all while you’re chilling out. So for a brain boosting resolution, get between the covers.

Learn to cook
For me, learning to cook not only established my independence once I had moved out, but also became a creative outlet. Learning new dishes expands your knowledge of cultures and tastes, but is also a great way of gaining an understanding of nutrition and health. Nurturing yourself and the people around you with home cooking is a wonderful way to bring people together, but also expand your skills. Currently I’m loving When French Women Cook, a gastro-memoir by Madeleine Kamman.

Create a savings plan
Savings is an essential element of a working life. Whether it’s about putting pennies aside for a dream holiday, or starting your own nest egg, savings can make a huge difference. As a general rule, putting ten per cent of every paycheck aside is a perfect start; it’s too little to feel you’re depriving yourself of your hard earned funds, but enough to build upon. It’s a fact of life that there will be unexpected costs, having savings works as a security net to save you from hitting the credit cards too hard if things do go belly up, and are a brilliant motivator to help you achieve your goals. Try setting up an automatic transfer every time you get paid, then before you know it you’ll have a reserve.

Learn a language
Besides being somewhat sexy and exotic, a new language can give you an all-round better brain. Studying a language means you’re better able to understand the subtle nuances of words that can sway our feelings. This means you’ll be able to make more rational choices and, as studies have shown, build more sophisticated decision-making skills. Bilingual people have been shown to be superior at multitasking and focusing too, so odds are you’ll be better and more effective at work (and play). You’ll have a sharpened grasp of your first language too and significantly reduce your likelihood of dementia. Organised and sexy? Can’t wait.

What new goals have you set for yourself this year?

Kate Jones blogs about writing and pop culture at Calvicle Capitalism.

7 New Year’s Resolutions You Should Keep

Exercise more! Eat healthier! These might be the most common New Year’s resolutions, but who really sticks to them?

Dr. Mary Casey, author of How to Deal with Master Manipulators says: “The reason we make resolutions in the first place is to be happier, more creative, more aware of our direction in life, and improve our sense of wellbeing. December and January are the perfect months for detoxing our emotions by reassessing our relationships and living decisions we make daily.” Dr. Casey’s 7 New Year’s resolutions for 2012: 1. Prioritise your happiness and health It’s important to decide for your health and happiness as number one. As simple as it sounds, if you don’t have these, you are not in a position to contribute to others or yourself. Everything stems from here. 2. Spend more time with the right people Rather than resolving to spend more time with everyone – which can be exhausting – spend time with people who are naturally positive and uplifting, and who are going in the direction you want to go in. You’ll find these people have an energising effect on you. 3. Deal with toxic relationships You can identify the relationships by the way they make you feel. People who are controlling, overly emotional, or in blame put everyone else in a negative state. Stand your ground, set your boundaries and make it clear to them what behaviour you won’t accept – even with family. You may need to disengage altogether from particularly toxic people. Your health will thank you for it. 4. Reassess your happiness at work This is must for those in negative work culture that’s leaving them feeling overworked, uncertain of their future, anxious or stressed. It’s important to know that as an employee you can address the issue with your manager. If you know you can’t, it may be time to look for a healthier work environment. 5. Review your daily routine It takes courage to admit there are decisions we ourselves make that deflate us emotionally – from accepting a job with a long work commute, to running around too much, to not giving ourselves enough ‘down’ time every day, to spending too much and putting ourselves in financial stress. By resolving to develop a strategy to solve them, you can be in an entirely different place by the end of 2012. And you’ll be glad for it. 6. Don’t let any negative emotions control you Negative emotions – however small – can overwhelm anything positive. Resolve to develop awareness of when you’re feeling upset or frustrated before it spoils your day. Examine your part in this. What can you do personally to make yourself feel better? Each time you begin to feel down, take a walk in the park or go out in the sun to help centre you. Nature and movement nurture positive emotions. 7. Strengthen your relationships Deep and meaningful relationships, not just with your life partner but with all those close to you, are important for a fulfilling life. Make a list of all the factors you need for a meaningful relationship, identify what you do not want, and stick to your guns. You can also find deep fulfilment and connection in philanthropic or charitable work, so try getting involved in a community group, nursing home or the like, and volunteer some of your time. Do you keep New Year’s resolutions? What are yours for 2012?

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