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De Parte del Maestro

By Josh Flores

What’s your top 10 for ’09?
¡Feliz año nuevo mi gente! It’s good to be here for another year and see the opportunities that lie ahead. 

This year, rather than making resolutions, I am making a top-ten list of the things that I want to accomplish. Unlike resolutions, which can often get lost in our day-to-day rush, a top-ten list is a set of specific goals that can be simple to complex. 

What makes a goal better than a resolution, is that it is more measureable and concrete. In addition, you can be accomplishing multiple goals at one time and when you see progress it is great to keep you motivated, to continue pushing towards the rest of your goals.

Making your list
This first step is going to require you to take a look at yourself from the outside.  In other words, you need to observe and think about the things you want to improve about yourself.  This does not have to be anything extremely drastic—the simpler the goal the more likely you are to achieve it. 

The second step is focused on others rather than yourself.  What I mean by that is you need to look at your relationships with people, or lack thereof, and determine if you need to make things right with people close to you.  It could also mean developing new and meaningful relationships with people. 

The last step I recommend is looking at your footprint on the World.  What’s your footprint on the World? 

Simply stated, if you were gone today, it is what people would say about you tomorrow. Have you done good in this World?  Is there more that you want to do?  What is stopping you? 

This is going to require you to do some introspection-the detailed mental examination of your own feelings, thoughts, and motives.  In simple terms, what you need to think about is would you like the things that people would be saying about you tomorrow?  If not, what can you do to make sure that you would like what is said.

Keep it simple
One of the problems I have observed with making resolutions is that they are often unrealistic, that ultimately end in failure.  I am not trying to discourage you from setting big goals for yourself, but I am suggesting that all of your goals don’t need to be difficult.  I actually feel that the small goals we set for ourselves are often the ones that can have the biggest impact both on our growth and the world around you. 

One way to set simple goals is to think about the things that you find bring you the most stress on a daily basis.  It could be a class you are having difficulty with, a task that you have to complete, something you have wanted to express to someone, or just something that you have wanted to do, but just haven’t gotten done. 

Just Do It
The key is to ‘just do it.’  So often we spend so much time thinking about how we are going to do something that we, in the end, find the task too bothersome or complicated and then do nothing.  The reality is: if we apply some common sense to almost any challenge, the solution is often simple. 

Having trouble in a class?  Study, do your homework, ask the teacher for help, get tutoring.  Just like that, your grade can go from a ‘D’ to a ‘B’. 

Wanted to tell somebody something?  Contact the person, set up a time to meet up, think about what you want to say, meet with them and tell them how you feel.  Just like that, you can mend a broken relationship with a family member or friend. 

Have something you have wanted to do?  No more excuses, make the time and just get it done.

Give yourself time
The bigger goals are usually the ones that are going to require more time and effort so it is important that you give yourself a period of time that will allow you to accomplish the goals, without spreading yourself too thin.  Let’s say you want to reduce your weight; think about what you are going to do to make that happen. Chart your progress after a few weeks and then do some math to determine a realistic timeline for you to reach your goal. 

Let’s say you want to make the honor roll or Dean’s list; think about what classes are your strongest and weakest, focus on your weak areas in the classes that you find most challenging; it could be low scores on tests or quizzes; talk to the teacher about how to better prepare and make it happen.  If you are in high school, you have ten weeks to establish a routine and reach your goal and if you are in college then you probably have sixteen weeks.

Opportunities are everywhere
I am very hopeful for this year; hopeful that the opportunity for change is not missed.  I hope that you are able to make 2009 a productive year.  If you apply just some of the things that I have written about, I am confident that you will be on your way to one of the best years ever. 

Remember, the opportunity to help others is all around you; I challenge you to make one of your top ten this: ‘I will commit ten random acts of kindness each week.  Do that and you will not only make 2009 a great year, you will be helping make the world a better place, but one small step at a time.   ¡Hasta la próxima vez!

I would love to hear from you about my column; please send me feedback or let me know if there is something you would like me to write about.  You can e-mail me at [email protected]. ¡Gracias por tu apoyo!





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