It’s your ATTITUDE, not your APTITUDE that determines your ALTIDUDE!

This featured article by Dixie Sanner, Dorothy’s co-author of 16 Professional Organizers Tell All.

Your attitude has a lot to do with your success at setting and reaching your goals. There are people who often feel like victims. You know them. You’ve heard their tale of woe: “Nothing good ever happens to me. I have the worst luck in the world. I can’t help what happens in my life.” Whine! Whine! Whine!

They claim they have no control or influence over what happens to them. They’re always reacting to what goes on around them. It will be difficult for these people to achieve their goals because deep down they don’t feel they can. They are their own worst enemies!

Whether you think you can or you can't - you're right!

On the other hand, those people who believe they can make a difference in their environment and that they can control at least some of the things that happen to them have a much better chance of setting realistic goals and reaching them.

A positive persistent attitude about your goals will help you keep going when a bump in the road sets you back. It will keep you from giving up. If your desire to accomplish your goal is not deep, and you really don’t believe in it, more than likely you’ll never see it happen.

One way to get excited and motivated is to make a written list of the benefits you’ll receive from achieving the goal. Keep this list in front of you – to keep you going. Add to it as you think of new benefits. Goals give you a sense of direction, a purpose in life.

Achieving goals boosts your self esteem and helps you feel more control over your environment. People who work toward goals are more contented with life and are less stressed. Set big goals, little goals, short-term and long-range goals. Remember, there are consequences to every action, or inaction. This is another reason why thinking things through and planning are so important.

“Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” These are very wise words from Henry Ford and history shows us what he thought. Along with a positive attitude, you may need to develop new habits to replace some not-so effective ones in order to reach your goals.

Habits are something we can control. Webster’s Dictionary defines a habit as “a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition or physiologic exposure that shows itself in regularity or increased facility of performance” or “an acquired mode of behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary.”

In other words, habits are learned. And anything that is learned can be unlearned. Many people who study habits agree that it takes about 21 days to form a habit.

First you’ll need to identify the habit you want to change and analyze it. Write it down. When do you do it? What exactly is it you do? Why do you do it? Then write what new behavior you’d like to see replace this ineffective habit.

Once you’re committed to changing your behavior, start doing it. Try to develop a routine around the new habit. In some cases, you may want to change your surroundings to give your habit a stronger start and a better chance to grow.

Once you’ve started this new behavior, you’ll need to practice it persistently until it is firmly in place. Saying to yourself, “I’ve been good for two weeks, digressing just this once won’t matter,” will really set you back. Every time you break the pattern, you’ll need to start over. And the more times you start over, the harder it is to change.

Now that you have a positive attitude and know how to develop healthier habits, let’s take a look at how to start setting goals. . . .

Dixie Sanner is a professional speaker, seminar leader, organizer and coach helping people organize their lives at work.  She has run a successful organizing business, SOS (Sanner Organizing Solutions) for five years in the greater Washington DC metro area.  Dixie can be reached through her website at http://sos4order.com/

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