Monday Mornings with Madison



January is here.  Business plans are fresh.  New budgets are in place.  The economy is slowly picking up and optimism about 2011 is growing.  Businesses are poised for a surge in sales.  Most likely, you have set goals and made resolutions to do more… do better… do, do, do.  This happens every year.

Yet, by June (and sometimes a lot sooner than that), plans are thwarted and resolutions have been discarded like pages torn from a calendar.  Why?  Simply, things get in the way.  You lose momentum.  You lose focus.  You become overwhelmed trying to do too much.  You get sidetracked with minutia.  Life is full of obstacles – big and small – that vie to keep you from your goals, and businesses from theirs. 

If it happens every year, then is there a solution?  Perhaps.  There are some practical things you can do to stay focused on accomplishing goals.

1.  Be Practical – Don’t bog yourself down with too much.  While it is good to set lofty goals, it can also be overwhelming if it is just not doable, A good way to ensure you don’t get overloaded or lose focus is to be selective in the goals you set for yourself or your work.  Believe it or not, three to five big goals is a good target.   If any one goal is large, break it down into smaller tasks.  Do as the old adage says and “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.”  Focus on getting the first small task done.  After that is done, focus on getting the next small task done.  Sometimes by even accomplishing some small preparatory tasks, we gain faith in ourselves for the bigger tasks to come.

2.  Be Cheerful – As the Raggae song says, “Don’t worry.  Be happy.”  When confronted with a problem or obstacle to your goal, face it cheerfully…. Or rather, choose to face it cheerfully.  It is a choice.  That automatically reduces the size of the problem.  The urge to slide into despondency will be strong.  Resist.  Stand firm in your cheerful disposition.  Don’t let negative thoughts take your plans hostage.  Think of the energy and vibrancy that came from being cheerful in the past.  Let that propel you toward a good attitude again.

3.  Be Determined – Cultivate determination within yourself.  When an impending obstacle starts to generate fear or loathing (you know, that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach), use visualization to release the fear.  See yourself “breathing out” the fear and “breathing in” resolve.  Tell yourself out loud “I will not be dissuaded.  I will not waver.  I will stand firm.”  Your desire and will have to be stronger than the obstacles, fears or doubts.  Visualize your inner fortitude solidifying into a granite that cannot be broken. 

4.  Be Inspired – Inspiration is a critical factor in perseverance.  Read inspirational stories.  One great site for inspirational stories is  Hear inspirational music.  Listen to inspirational speakers on DVD or CD such as Tony Alessandra, Carol Grace Anderson, Jack Canfield, Stephen Lundin, Les Brown, Ken Blanchard, Pat Riley, and others.  Their messages will help you know you are not alone and remind you that within the human spirit lies the capacity to solve problems. Arm yourself with as much inspiration in the form of books, music and people as possible. In your daily life, surround yourself with inspirational people.  Remove yourself from discouraging influences.  Stay away from the naysayers who will drain your energy and cloud your judgment.  When a doubting thought comes, ask yourself if this thought really has any basis in reality, or if it is full of suppositions and maybes.  If it is not factual, cast that doubt from your mind.

Chances are that in the year ahead, you will face some challenges to achieving personal and business goals and keeping resolutions.  A good way to think about these challenges is to see them merely as tests to see how strong your will is. When you strive to achieve a goal and things don’t go your way, don’t give up. Change what needs to be changed and keep going.


“Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.” Les Brown

© 2011 – 2012, Written by Keren Peters-Atkinson, CMO, Madison Commercial Real Estate Services. All rights reserved.

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