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Small Goals add up to Big Results

Mandy 2015 Achievements

Two weeks ago I was interviewed by a colleague.  This was a change for me.  As a writer, I’m typically the one questioning others.

As I answered each question about a program or group I’m involved with, her face lit up with astonishment.  “I cannot believe you’ve accomplished all that in a year’s time,” she commented.  I shook my head like it was no big deal.  After our meeting I paused to think about her words.

What had I done this past year?
-I completed a leadership program.
-I started graduate school, after a 15-year break from my undergraduate studies.
-I wrote a children’s book, which is now being illustrated.
-I formed my own networking group that meets monthly on the UWF campus.
-I gave six speeches to meet a goal in my Toastmasters group.
-I appeared on local television three times.
-I helped several groups I care about gain media coverage for their charitable efforts.
-I co-authored an end-of-life-care story with a distinguished university professor.
-I won two different writing contests.
-I had several published articles and editorials that I had pitched on my own terms.
-I celebrated 13 years of marriage and the birthdays of my eight year old and three year old.

Wow, when I laid it all out there like that, I had achieved a great deal! How did I manage all of those tasks?  The answer is focus, time without distractions, research, positive peer groups, and self-determination.

I focus on a single aspiration.  The goal may change hourly or daily but I keep my razor sharp focus in view.  I write down what I hope to accomplish and keep it nearby as a daily important reminder.

Time without Distractions
I force myself to work during set periods without any distractions.  I often write in the wee hours of the night while my two kids are sleeping.  I spend lunch breaks and weekends to complete graduate school assignments.  I set aside time so I can be successful.

I do my homework. I research before I set a meeting, ask a question, and prepare a speech.  I ensure the words I use and others say are relative and important.  I seek credible sources and don’t just believe the first story or trend I hear.

Positive Peer Groups
I am energized by others’ success.  I enjoy belonging to several dynamic groups that each work toward a goal.  If I don’t feel the vigor in one crowd, then I leave and start my own network.  I regularly seek mentors who I can learn from to enhance my skills.

If peers are not available to be my cheerleaders, then I act as my own # 1 fan.  I push myself to get up, do more and keep going.  I find inner strength to continue working toward my purpose.

Failures have come and gone in 2015 as well.  I went for several opportunities that I did not receive.  I did not perform as well on certain projects as I did in others.  Yet I find my silver lining.  I turned a disappointing outcome into a way to meet a goal, like making my fourth Toastmasters speech on “how to deal with disappointment.”

All the small things I do add up to big results.  The outcome will be a long list of accomplishments after repeated, consistent methods.  I look forward to increasing my efforts in 2016.

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