Sunday, January 07, 2007

How To Keep Your Resolutions

Black, and covered with dust.  That's what the binder was, when I found it yesterday.  After carefully wiping the outside clean, I opened it up.

It was an old day planner: a full-sized "entrepreneur" model that Leslie and I had bought a few years ago.

I hadn't really expected to find anything inside, as I didn't think we'd ever used it.  But I kept being surprised by how much we'd put in there, including a "To Do" list of resolutions for how to better treat each other, the way we each preferred.  There was also a list of specific one-time things to do.

So I found myself wondering.  How many of these things had we managed to accomplish since then?  And how many habits had we successfully made of our ambitions?

Some of them we'd achieved easily: actions become habits for so long now that to see them listed as future goals was a little strange.  I kept thinking, haven't we always been that way?  Haven't we been doing these things forever?

But other goals weren't finished, or hadn't even been begun.  For example, there was an action item to watch a video that Leslie brought home from her store... and which we'd years ago forgotten about!

And I recalled something I told my students in the Organization lesson of Seven Days To Live Your Dreams:

Discipline is Memory

See, it doesn't matter how good your intentions are: If you don't remember it, you're not going to do it.

Sure, it's easy to "remember" your intentions in the abstract way; "Oh, yes, I remember I meant to do that today!"  Um, sure, okay.  Good that you remembered.

But much better if you remember it at the appropriate time.

In the case of the porn video we forgot to watch, the consequences of forgetting were negligible.  But for your resolutions and other important goals, forgetfulness is deadly!

During the early days, most of us remember our resolutions because our attention is focused on them.  But sooner or later, something will demand our attention.  And if we have not yet established solid habits...

Our Resolutions Will Fail!

Luckily, I have a system in place that keeps me moving forward, every day.  It's something I gradually developed over the last year, keeping the things I tried that worked, and filtering out the things that didn't.

But rather than tell you a bunch of details about what things I write where and on what kind of paper, I've decided to share with you the principles behind my system, so you can adapt them to fit your needs.

So, I've created a scoreboard I call the "Six Master Keys".  It's a simple, two-page checklist/quiz that lets you quickly determine whether you have all of the critical elements in place to achieve your goals -- or keep your resolutions.

I originally created this scoreboard strictly for full members of The Owners' Circle, my new self-improvement group.  That's because, starting this week, I'm giving those members one-on-one Ambition Ignition™ coaching sessions.  And I needed a way to quickly evaluate where someone is, where they need to go, and what's currently blocking them -- before getting on the phone with them.

So I created the Master Keys worksheets as a way to do that evaluation.  Right now, members of the Circle are filling out the worksheets and faxing them back to me to schedule their Ambition Ignition™ sessions.

But it occurred to me today that, even if you're not a member of the Circle, you could still use the Master Keys worksheets to quickly get an idea for yourself of how well you're doing at...

Creating Your Own System For Success

Of course, if you haven't been through Seven Days To Live Your Dreams, a few of the items in the checklist might not make quite as much sense to you.  For example, you might not know why it's so crucially important to pick just one primary goal, or to tie short bursts of work on a goal to things that you already do every day.

And you might not know how to eliminate the feelings that block you from even committing to a goal in the first place, or how to get past your beliefs that you just can't do something or can't have what you really want.

But that's okay.  Because just being able to go through the Master Keys will help you discover what it is you don't know.  So, instead of being generally unsure of what your problem is, after you fill out the Six Keys (which should take you about 17 minutes), you'll know exactly where you're stuck.

And once you know, you can look into either getting the training or coaching that you need, or you can even try doing your own research or experiments to figure out how to move forward.

But, just to make sure you keep moving forward, I'm going to also send you my new "Life In Every Moment" emails, three to five times a week.  As of this weekend, I've already sent out two of them: "As Good As It Gets", and "How Ratchets Control Your Life" -- and in the next day or two I should be sending out one called "Cut Your Life To Pieces".  Each of these messages is both a reminder of principles you already know, and new insights into how those principles affect your life on a day-to-day basis.

Of course, I can't send you the "Six Master Keys" or "Life In Every Moment" without your email address and permission!  So...

Send Me Your Address, And I'll Send You The Keys

A little later this week, I'll be releasing an expanded version of the "Six Master Keys".  The current version was made for Seven Days alumni, but the new version will include extra instructions and resources for people who weren't in those earlier workshops.

And when I release this new expanded version, I'll be emailing the link to everyone who's registered as a "Guest of the Circle" - i.e., a guest member of my new Owners' Circle self-improvement group.  Guest membership is free for as long as you want it; you just need to give me your name, email address, and biggest self-help challenge.  (Being clear and specific about your challenge(s) will help me make sure that my "Life In Every Moment" emails are as helpful and informative as possible for your personal concerns.)

But before you fill out the form below, please take a moment to add life "at" theownerscircle.com to your email program's "white list", "safe list", "contacts", or "address book", to make sure you receive your confirmation message.  A few people who registered during the last week lost their messages to spam filters because they didn't do this first.

When you click the "Let Me In" button, you'll be sent a confirmation email, with a link you'll need to click on to confirm your subscription.  Be sure to do that, or my newsletter service won't let me send you any email!  They are very strict about preventing spam, as am I.  Your address will never be sold, rented, traded, or otherwise shared with any other company, and you can easily unsubscribe from the list at any time.

Your First Name
Your Email
Your Biggest Self-Help Challenge

So, don't miss your chance to get your hands on the Six Master Keys.  If you are looking to improve your life, but aren't sure where or how to begin, these two worksheets will give you the master roadmap to find your focus... and live your dreams.

Yours in the Circle,

--PJE

P.S.  Don't forget my FREE January teleseminar on "How to Make Yourself Do Anything", in which you'll learn even more about how to apply the Master Keys!  Just sign up above, and I'll send you the secret call-in numbers and passcodes for Circle members only, just as soon as the arrangements are finished.  But hurry up, because dozens of lines are already spoken for, and there are only a few weeks left till the call!

P.P.S.  As of this writing, there are about six people who signed up as "Guests of the Circle" in the last week who apparently never got their confirmation messages or forgot to click on them.  If you signed up before Saturday morning, and you didn't receive either "As Good As It Gets" or "How Ratchets Control Your Life", please double-check your "spam", "junk", or "bulk" mail folders to make sure your confirmation message didn't get lost.  Also, make sure you've added life "at" theownerscircle.com to your "white list", "safe list", "address book" or "contacts" in your mail program or website, so that your newsletters won't get lost!

If you can't find the confirmation message in your spam folder(s), try signing up again after you've updated your white list or address book, and see if you get it this time.  If that still doesn't do the trick, you can reach me via feedback "at" dirtsimple.org, and I'll see if I can figure out what's going wrong at my newsletter service.  Thanks!