The first D is DECIDE. Mr. Anthony Robbins, the author of the bestselling book, Awakening the Giant Within, said, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” Thus if you want to have a more prosperous, more blessed, more meaningful, more abundant, healthier, more peaceful and more loving 2017, you need to make a decision to achieve so. In other words, if you want to have a better 2017, you need to decide to change your strategies from your usual; you need to decide to change your stories that you create about and in yourself; you need to decide to change your state or your conditions in life.
If an individual decides for this 2017 to save more, to exercise more, to eat healthier foods more, to spend more judiciously, and to invest more wisely, among others, then this year’s destiny is going to brighter and rosier. In comparison, if a person decides to spend more than he earns, and borrows more money from individuals and institutions more than he can pay, maxes out his credit cards, among others, then his year which surely be riddled with debts and financial difficulties. Some people may decide not to change. But remember that even if the person decides not to change, he has already opted to make a decision. And his decision is not change his life and just opts for a status quo.
Thus, making a decision is the start of making a new year’s resolution. We are all responsible for our life, for our future. What lays ahead lies on our hands, on the choices and decisions we make. We will either make or break a better future based on the personal elections and selections that we make.
The second D is DESIGN YOUR GOALS. Mr. Anthony Robbins said it so aptly, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” We may just think about the things that we want to do this year 2017. We might have simply shared our thoughts and feelings about our plans. But to design and create our goals requires writing them down. Because according to Jack Canfield, another motivational speaker who authors the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul, he emphasized that “one of the best ways to get clarity and specificity on your goals is to write them out in detail –as if you were writing specifications for a work order. Think of it as a request to God or to the Universal Mind. Include every possible detail”.
So write down your goals. Try to subdivide them according to the different dimensions of the human person, namely, physical, mental, social, psychoemotional, environmental, occupational/financial and spiritual. In other words, have goals in each of the dimension. For instance, for your financial goal, you may want to decide to earn passive incomes through investment in the stock market. Or for your social goal, you may want to decide to reconcile with one of your siblings whom you had conflict in the last two years. Or lastly, for your spiritual goal, you may want to go to the adoration chapel one hour a week to be in solitude and quietude with your God.
The third D is DO IT. Goals are simply goals. They need to be acted out. They need to be realized in actuality. They need to be brought out into reality. Otherwise they continue to be just pure goals and dreams. Because according to Jack Canfield, “…when you take action, you trigger all kinds of things that will inevitably carry you to success.” Many successful people are action oriented. They are determined and they delay gratification. They are internally motivated. They push themselves to do what are necessary to reach their dreams rather than waiting for external rewards or better circumstances to arrive.
There will be failures and disappointments that may come on the way to achieving their goals, but the successful people interpret them as essential part of the entire process that they have to deal with. They see the larger picture of things rather than focus on the issues and problems are hand. They remain positive that amidst all these trials, difficulties, and challenges, they can victoriously achieve their goals through perseverance, faith, hard work and a strong commitment.
The last D is DISCERN and DIALOGUE. To discern means to reflect and analyze regularly. As we are so absorbed in fulfilling our goals, we may not have time to analyze whether the decisions, choices, and paths that we are taking still would lead us to the goals that we want in life. In as much as we want to earn more money and create more wealth, for instance, we may have lost our compassion and love for others. We may not be aware anymore that we may be using people for the sake of profits. We may not be cognizant that we are spending less time with our families and loved ones because we are running after opportunities that bring us more money and wealth.
Or for a simpler example, analyze why you cannot sustain a physical goal of diet and exercise. Is it because of procrastination? Is it because you are crammed and loaded with work? Is it because you are coping with stress? Just to give up your New Year resolution of losing pounds and getting a fitter body without analyzing and reflecting may not be a sound move. Through discernment and reflection, we can easily reconfigure our strategies and try other alternatives that will effectively provide the better road to reach out goals.
Like the best music orchestra which has pauses and rests in its symphony, it is also very significant to pause and to discern. To reflect and to quiet down so we can review the posture of our spirit. In the larger sets of things, it is our soul’s and spirit’s condition that matters most, that we need to significantly care about. It is the spiritual aspect of our life that provides the better perspective of our other human dimensions. In other words, if you have a meaningful and loving relationship with your God, then you will not abuse your body for it is the temple of God. You will be more disciplined with your food intake and will provide you with better motivation to exercise. If you love God, you will not abuse people for the sake of the bottom line. You will be more judicious and prudent with your dealings with other people. If you love God, you will release yourself from all motions that bind you and that make you sick such as anger, hatred, and deep frustrations.
And the best way to forge a more loving and meaningful way with your God is to DIALOGUE with Him. Find time to be quiet and to pause and rest. People call this as recollection, retreat, solitude, quietude,or prayer, but what is essential is to have this dialogue with your God. Have this precious moment. It is with this experience that you will also listen to the inner voice within you. You can hear I yourself, your inner voice much better. And through that, you will know exactly your priorities in life are. And you will be more loving, more caring and more humane.
So, I wish you all A MORE BLESSED AND ABUNDANT 2017.
Doc Ron Motilla is a licensed psychologist, and at the same time a certified specialist in clinical psychology. He received his PhD in clinical psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University. He teaches psychology courses, both in the undergraduate and graduate levels, at Miriam College and is also currently the head of the Integrated Lifestyle and Wellness (ILAW) Center of the same school. Doc Ron Motilla is a founding member of the Psychological Empowerment to Resources and Aspirations (PERA), Inc and is also one of the most sought after motivational speakers in the field of psychology.
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