What are you up to this year?

Editor's note: The Coaches Corner column appears regularly on the DrBicuspid.com advice and opinion page, Second Opinion

My first resolution for the New Year was to declare death to aphorisms. I will not use aphorisms because they are the province of a lazy mind -- now that's an aphorism, which makes me laugh.

I laugh at myself a lot. Maybe that would be something for us to concentrate on in the New Year: Humor. Life is better with laughter. (I hope that isn't an aphorism.)

Seriously though: the very first goal I have for this year is that I will write my goals down. I will not make believe that saying "I will do something" will make it happen. There are limits to will power, and we encounter these limits every day. You have to respect your goals, and the only real way to do this is by writing them down -- and in proper sentences.

By the way, a goal isn't necessarily captured in one sentence. Unpack it! Let it breathe! And after you have given it life, make it the right size. For example: I like to read, and it would be easy for me to promise myself in writing that I will read a book per week next year. I know in my heart that is too much, so I have to make my goal realistic.

With this advice in mind, here are my suggestions for a productive, mindful 2010:

  • Read on a regular basis. It helps to make a list of titles you've always wanted to read, and give yourself a goal! I like history, but perhaps politics, mysteries, fiction, or memoirs are your cup of tea. (Oh come on, you have to like something!)
  • Do something that gives back. Name the activity and the organization that you will join. Senior citizen centers need volunteers, as do homeless shelters. 4H Clubs beautify our communities, and of course, animals need our attention too.
  • Attend to your body. Lose/gain weight, build muscle mass, exercise your heart muscle. Perhaps you should join a gym, or take boxing or dance lessons, or go completely outside of this physical box and learn how to paint, sculpt, or knit.
  • Regularly express appreciation to the people in your life. This is easier said than done, but the rewards of this activity are enormous if it is done on regularly.
  • Get smart with money. Save/spend as is appropriate. Start a retirement account -- or if you've already got one fund it, even if it is only partially.
  • Think of other people regularly. This is really two steps: (1) work hard at being less self-centered and (2) think of appropriate and helpful ways to focus your attention on those around you.

Write these items down and practice them. Talk about what you are doing with friends. That will make you accountable, which is what we all need.

Happy New Year, and I wish you well!

Alan Goldstein, D.M.D., F A.C.D., is a member of the Dental Coaches Association, an organization of dentists and professional coaches who are committed to bringing professional coaching to the dental profession. Learn more by visiting www.dentalcoachesassociation.org.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2010 DrBicuspid.com

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