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The Goal Kicker - November 2009 Edition
November 16, 2009
Hi <>,

Special Thanks Giving Edition

With the month of Thanks Giving upon us, and the Christmas season and new year not that far away either, we thought we’d bring you a special edition of the Goal Kicker featuring some articles on how to make the most of this special time of year. In this edition you’ll find:

  • An article on “Why Gratitude is the Key”, an article by Jeff Staniforth
  • An article on “Reduce Thanks Giving Stress with Good Time Management”
  • An article on “Planning a Successful Thanks Giving with Mind Mapping”
  • An article on “The Power of Giving”, an article from Dream Manifesto
  • ToolBOX Talk – how to get the best out of the ”Healthy Family” checklist
So, I hope you enjoy this month’s edition of “The Goal Kicker” – and here’s to you and your family for the following festive months.

Yours truly,

Sam Sander
Achieve Goal Setting Success
Your Money and Finance
The Success Squid

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”Why Gratitude is the Key to Getting Anything You Want”, by Jeff Staniforth

This article appeared in “Affirmation For The Mind” newsletter. (Web site subscription). (c) Jeff Staniforth - All Rights reserved. And with Christmas just around the corner, we ALL should be grateful for something – so make your gratitude count!

Here’s the Article…

When it comes to worldly affairs, the saying, "Seeing is believing" reigns supreme.

When you *see* someone accomplish something, you start to *believe* in that person's ability. If a product delivers what it promises, you then believe that it works. When you see a "formula" yield positive results, you begin to believe in it.

Evidence is essential in order for people to believe. This has led to the saying, "I'll believe it when I see it." The proof is in the pudding.

But in spiritual affairs, the opposite is true. "Believing is seeing." If you believe first, you will see that thing that you believe in manifest itself in front of your very eyes. That's a testament to the awesome power of belief. This has led to another saying: "I'll see it when I believe it."

However, for most people, believing *is* the problem.

That's why most people who lack conviction when they recite affirmations, for instance, are missing the secret ingredient that's necessary to materialize their dreams.

If you've ever encountered some internal resistance when you first read or speak a positive affirmation, that's an indication that you do not really believe what you're saying. For example, how can you really believe the affirmation, "I am perfectly healthy in body, mind and spirit" when outer appearances point to the contrary (e.g., you're sick or in pain)?

An important part of believing is to feel "as if it has already happened." I have found that one of the best ways to evoke that feeling is to express *gratitude* after you recite an affirmation.

Just saying the words, "Thank you" after you state your affirmation reinforces the belief that the universe (or God, or your Creator, or whatever name you call the Supreme Being) has already set about the fulfillment of your desire. You may not see your affirmed desire fully manifested yet at the present time, but expressing thanks makes you believe that what you've asked for is already done. Thereafter, you have a sense of expectancy that what you desire will eventually come to fruition.

If there was ever a "formula" for manifesting desires, this is it. Ancient spiritual manuscripts, including the Bible, emphasize that a single-minded belief is essential in receiving what you ask for. They also warn against double-mindedness. Know with absolute and unwavering certainty that what you are affirming is already yours. "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." So believe that it's already done by simply saying "Thank you" or assuming an attitude of gratitude after affirming what you want.

I once heard a wonderful quotation from an anonymous author that says it profoundly: "We can start with who we are and what we have today, apply gratitude, then let it work it's magic. Say thank you, until you mean it. If you say it long enough, you will believe it. Today will shine the transforming light of gratitude on all the circumstances of my life."

TIP: An attitude of gratitude is absolutely essential in your practice of affirmations. There are also devices, available in Sculptor, like power symbols, associative trigger symbols, storytelling visuals, and other stimuli that effectively set an affirmation on fire -- and therefore makes it infinitely more capable of effecting the manifestation of your desires. When you experience Sculptor, you'll begin to realize it's like soaking yourself in 7 powerful technologies that have been synergistically combined to produce incredible results. You won't know the amazing value of Sculptor 3 until you experience it for yourself at the AffirmWare Website.

Join the millions of People Around the World Who Have Discovered the Power of Affirmations. Send for FREE subscription of "Affirmations For The Mind" Tips and Techniques Newsletter, the premier publication on self-improvement & personal growth. Each issue contains powerful sample affirmations that have been tested and proven to get results.

”Reduce Thanks Giving Stress with Good Time Management”

Events such as Thanks Giving and Christmas are great family occasions, but all that planning and organization can be stressful too! Here are some time management tips to get you through this exciting but hectic time of year. And you can learn more about how to manage your time by reading this FREE ebook – “The Time Management Secrets that will Set You Free”.

Here’s the Article…

Good and effective time management can be achieved by anyone at any time, but there are some useful techniques you can apply to make it easier for you. Here are the key ones:

1. Get Organized

Getting organised is the key to successful time management and the key to a successful Thanks Giving celebration. And the key is to getting organized is to have a plan, prepared well in advance of the day if you can. Plan who to invite, where to hold the celebrations, what to eat, and so on, so that you know in your own mind – and on paper – exactly how the celebrations are going to pan out. Of course, make sure you allow for the inevitable hiccup by making your plan flexible enough to accommodate changes along the way.

As you get closer to the day, create one big master list of things left to do. You can use this list to delegate tasks to other family members, prioritize your tasks and include when they need to be completed.

Try to complete as many activities as possible before the actual day, so that when the time comes you can concentrate on the last minute items on your list.

2. Prioritize

Being able to set priorities is the key to making the most of your time. And for time critical events such as a family Thanks Giving celebration, I find the best technique to use to prioritize the days activities is to use the Must Do Should Do Nice to do approach.

This approach assumes that everything has a level of importance as follows.

Priority 1: Must Do. These activities just must be done if your Thanks Giving celebration is going to have any hope at all of getting off the ground. Things like picking up Granny from the airport and shopping for the key groceries. These are your highest priority activities and you must be able to find time to do them.

Priority 2: Should Do. These activities should be done to, but the day won’t fall apart if these activities don’t get done. Does it really matter if you don’t get the white table cloth cleaned and have to use the red one?

Priority 3: Nice to Do. These are the least important activities that really no-one will notice if they don’t get done.

You could also use the terminology high, medium and low priority in the same way..

And once you have set priorities against your items, then make sure that they are completed in order of priority.

3. Don’t forget the time killers

Manage interruptions on the day. You may not be able to avoid them altogether, but you can manage interruptions by for example scanning phone calls and only answering the important ones. You can always call the other’s back when it’s more convenient for you.

You can also help yourself get things done by working with your natural energy cycle. If you’re not a morning person, then making that tricky centerpiece dessert first up is probably a bad move. Wait until you are in your groove and use your low energy cycles for doing mundane tasks.

You can also try to boost your energy levels through a short burst of high energy exercise to get the blood flowing, and make sure you have a good healthy breakfast to start the day too.

But whatever you do, remember that Thanks Giving is about family and friends, and not whether everything at the celebration dinner is perfect. So don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy the day for what it is supposed to be about – thanks.

”Planning a Successful Thanks Giving with Mind Mapping”

Mind Mapping is a useful planning tool with a variety of uses, and you can use it to plan your Thanks Giving and festive celebrations with ease and efficiency. And you can find out more about how to do a Mind Map by signing up for this FREE e-training course on Mind Mapping.

Here’s the Article…

Planning a celebration or special event is an exciting thing for anyone, but without suitable planning tools, your best intentions could turn into disaster. Successful and timely execution of a plan is vital to any special event, and proper planning is indispensable.

Planning your special event will involve identifying all the tasks and activities that need to be undertaken, the resources required and the timeframe to complete the different tasks. Your plan also needs to allow you to separate the most important from the least important tasks, and how to deal with any unexpected situations or contingencies. All this calls for an intricate plotting of facts, figures and details, so you don’t miss anything important.

And this is where Mind Mapping can help you greatly. It can be a highly useful tool for planning even the most complex of celebrations or events.

To make a mind map, start off with the main idea, such as Thanks Giving celebration, in the centre of the page. Then draw lines extending out from this central idea with all the sub-topics such as invite list, menu, location, and so on. Just keep filling in your mind map, writing down all your thoughts and plans under the relevant sub-topic, and adding new ones when needed.

You can then start to link ideas throughout your map. You may link menu planning with your guest list, using it to identify who is bringing what dish or perhaps linking allergies and dislikes of particular guests back to your menu.

Your mind map can include as much detail as necessary to allow you to have a one-view snapshot of your planned celebration. At a glance you’ll be able to see the interconnections between all the activities and how the celebration sequence of events will take place. Include sub-topics for shopping lists, venue preparations, timings for activities, and more.

Sub-topics flowing from these secondary topics will be linked like branches of a tree to the main trunk. Just exploring your ideas for the celebration and putting them down in a single word will automatically create different levels of thinking.

Since Mind Map is a simple but powerful device that uses the parallel processing capabilities of you brain, each task can be approached in the most imaginative and yet effective manner. As Mind Map uses associations and links, it will be possible to gain new perspectives.

Mind Mapping can be an excellent tool for capturing the intricate details of event planning, while providing the big picture of synchronization among the various elements. It is a useful tool for many aspects of life, and I highly recommend that you learn this mind blowing technique.

”The Power of Giving”, from Dream Manifesto

Making your dreams come true is a way of tapping into the unlimited and infinite source of your being. Discover your strengths, gifts and potential that are always with you, each moment, waiting to be illuminated with this Free Ebook from Dream Manifesto!

Here’s the Article…

Probably the biggest gift you will ever receive is the huge investment your parents made in you. But they are not the only ones who gave to you. During the course of your life you have received many things from other people – teachers, relatives, strangers. Schools and hospitals were built with the hard work and tax dollars of those who preceded you. In fact, virtually everything you use in your life has been made by someone else.

The peace that you enjoy has been delivered by the sacrifice of others. When you think about it, you know countless people who have made a difference in your life – some negative, some positive. Why not make a decision to have a positive impact on the lives of others, even if they are strangers?

Consider the following statistics:

  • One out of every four people in the world is hungry.
  • One billion people in the world do not have enough clean water.
  • At least 200 million people are suffering the horror of war, imprisonment, and/or torture.
  • Every few seconds a child dies from a preventable disease.
  • One-seventh of the world’s population is illiterate.
  • In the US, the world’s richest country, 3 million people are homeless each year.
There are also great needs within your own community. In the face of such need and desperation, you have two choices. You can decide to help others and change lives, or you can decide to do nothing and lose the benefits of giving. But remember, when people come together to tackle a difficult situation, they receive far more than they can ever imagine.

The Benefits of Giving

What are those benefits of giving? Here are some of the things you can gain by making giving a greater part of your life:

  • new relationships
  • a feeling of security
  • jobs
  • good health
  • a sense of empowerment, pride, and accomplishment
  • happiness
  • peace and love
The paradox is that when you give expecting a reward, you won’t receive one. When you give with joy, selflessness, and love, you benefit greatly. The attitude you bring to your giving will reflect the benefits you gain. Parents share their shelter, food, and love with their children simply because they love them, and not because they seek their love.

Ultimately, the rewards are tremendous. Yet if you give money, time, or anything else with an expectation of a return on investment, you defeat the purpose of giving. This can be a negative lesson: you gave and you didn’t feel any better. This lack of “emotional reward” can lead to not wanting to give. Then you lose, as do those you could be helping.


Psychologists who study them know that babies (like all human beings) crave interaction with other humans. In fact, babies who are not nurtured by their parents or other caregivers wither emotionally from lack of bonding. Many of them never recover.

We believe that this is also true of adults. Without stimulating interaction with others, their souls shrink. Really, it’s only through connecting with other human beings that you learn about the world, about yourself, and even about your destiny. After all, other people are a mirror in which you can see yourself. This interconnection enables you to reach your full potential and to strengthen your soul.

The Trappist monk Thomas Merton once wrote, “Souls are like athletes who need opponents worthy of them if they are to be tried and extended and pushed to the full use of their powers.” That’s an insightful analogy, for just as your muscles weaken without physical exercise, so does your soul weaken without its special kinds of exercise. A great exercise for your soul is the practice of giving. As with physical exercise, the more you do it, the easier it is, and the stronger you will become.

Giving can also reduce your fears. That’s because giving promotes social connections, and these connections provide you with greater personal security.

Do you live in fear of economic disaster? Do you worry about caring for your parents or getting your children through college? Do you worry about losing your good health? Do you fear that crime, war, or terrorist attacks will disrupt the economy and your security? These are legitimate concerns that many people share. We live in difficult and uncertain times, but are these fears real?

Research shows that people who watch a lot of news on television overestimate the threats to their well-being. Why?

Because television focuses on news that makes the world seem like a more dangerous place than it actually is. Afraid of the world that is portrayed on TV, people “cocoon,” staying in their homes with close family, and do not build bonds with their neighbors. Thus they become more vulnerable.

The best way to confront your fears is to begin the process of making a difference. The root causes of “dangers” are often the result of social problems that have been ignored. But you can make a commitment to do what you can to eliminate the conditions that cause the potential crises. By facing your fears and working to change their root causes, you overcome them.

Giving is a key part of this process because giving reduces self-centeredness. It can make you more connected to others, and this connection will reduce fear and isolation. Author Robert Putnam’s massive research project, which culminated in the book Bowling Alone, clearly demonstrates the benefits to staying connected with others – for security, health, happiness, and even income.

Have you ever heard of a job opportunity through a personal connection? Have you ever had neighbors help you out during a difficult situation? Has a friend ever cared for your child when you were exhausted? These are just a few of the benefits that occur when you are connected with other people. The list is endless.

Living to Your Potential

Rumi, a 13th-century Persian mystic, told of a man who walked past a beggar and asked, “Why, God, do you not do something for these people?” God replied, “I did do something. I made you.”

When Rumi wrote these words, he was addressing our ability to choose what we do, our ability to reach our potential.

Most people use only a tiny portion of their potential, and many never find their true gift or calling in life. They never find a worthwhile cause to support, a cause that really means something to them and makes a difference in their lives.

But when you give to others, or give of yourself to meaningful causes, things change. You expect more of yourself. You discover new feelings of self-worth. Indeed, you begin to tap into your true gifts and talents. And when you do that, you are more likely to achieve your full potential, as you help yourself and others.

Until 1997, Azim was a professional accountant. In 1993 he also became head of his community’s social welfare board, where he volunteered 20 to 25 hours a week. This work led to an invitation to develop a budget for Focus, a humanitarian agency. He accepted the invitation and went to spend several weeks with Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

While in Pakistan, Azim saw many things that shook his soul. One in particular was his visit to an Afghan refugee camp, where he heard stories about how the refugees lived through war after war. Fleeing from Afghanistan with only the clothes they wore, a few of them had even seen their fathers being killed in front of their eyes. Some worked 14 hours a day, making only a dollar a day. Azim met Afghan children who were the same age as his own children. It made him think, “What if my children were in this predicament?” He had heard the statement that we are all interconnected, but for the first time he actually felt what this statement meant. As he was riding back to his hotel in a cab, he sobbed like a baby.

That night he could not sleep. He tossed and turned, asking himself how he could really help these people. Finally he realized that he would not be able to make a big impact as a professional accountant because he was not passionate about accounting. In this night of grief and pain, he made a decision to pursue his gift of inspirational speaking and writing.

That day in the Afghan refugee camp was a life-altering experience for Azim.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, “To find yourself, lose yourself in the service of others.” Azim believes that by losing himself in his voluntary work during that trip, he found himself and got closer to achieving his full potential.

Finding Meaning, Fulfillment, and Happiness

All people want to achieve meaning, fulfillment, and happiness. However, thousands of years of human history confirm that these things come not from being self-centered, but rather from making a difference and giving happiness to others. Mother Teresa is a famous example. She found fulfillment when she helped change the expression on dying people’s faces from distress and fear to calmness and serenity. By giving herself to others, she made their undeniable pain a little easier to bear.

The Sufi Nasruddin (a Sufi is a Muslim spiritualist and wise person) tells the story of a person who is drowning. People shouted at the man, “Give us your hand so we can save you!” But the man was hesitant. Finally someone said to the man, “Take my hand,” and the man took it. This man was more familiar with taking than giving. He almost died as a result.

If you find yourself feeling unhappy, try making someone else happy and see what happens. If you are feeling empty and unfulfilled, try doing some meaningful and worthwhile work and see how you feel.

The catch is that you must do this work with passion and enthusiasm. If you are not passionate, it is hard to produce good work. You are less likely to feel fulfilled and happy or to believe your work is meaningful. In the end, you will lose energy for the work, leaving you with poor results.

There is a story of an elderly carpenter who was ready to retire. The carpenter told his employer of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife, as well as his extended family. The employer was sorry to see his employee go and asked if he would build just one more house as a personal favor to him. The carpenter reluctantly agreed. He did sloppy work and he used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, the employer came to inspect the house. Then he handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said. “It is my retirement gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked. If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with all people. Every person builds his or her own house, his or her own life, a step at a time, often half-heart-edly. Then with a shock they realize they have to live in the house they have built. If they could do it over, they’d do it differently. But they cannot go back.

You are the carpenter; your life is your building project. When you treat others in the way you wish to be treated, you are building with love and care. Always do your best because the choices you make today build your future.

A Rich Life

“A rich life,” writes philosopher and theologian Cornel West, “consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it.” Every one of us can have a rich life if we choose.

If you are wealthy but unable to share your wealth or give of your possessions and knowledge, you are not really rich. Conversely, if you are not wealthy but give of your self, your time, and your knowledge, you are indeed quite rich – and you will receive far more than you can ever imagine.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is always enough for the needy but never enough for the greedy.” Have you ever noticed how the needy frequently find a way to be grateful for the very little they have, while the greedy never seem to have enough?

If you are worth billions of dollars and have no people or causes to give your money to, what do you do with your money? How many houses can you live in? How many cars can you drive? How many meals can you eat? And even if you indulge in all of these things to excess, what do you do with the rest of your money?

There is a story of a wealthy businessman who never gave anything to anyone. A tenacious fundraiser approached the man to ask for a gift to a charitable cause, but the man refused to contribute. After much persuasion, the fundraiser eventually asked the wealthy man to pick up some good dirt from his garden and hand it to him as his gift. Wanting to get rid of the fundraiser and knowing the dirt was free, the man picked it up and gave it to the fundraiser, who then left.

A few days later, the wealthy man, who was now curious, asked the fundraiser why he had asked for the dirt. The fundraiser explained, “I wanted you to taste the beauty of giving, even though it is only dirt you were giving. Once you taste the beauty of giving something small, you will eventually give something big.”

Of course, it would have helped if the miserly man from our story understood that the more you give, the more you receive. This may sound like a paradox – but it’s true. The more you give of yourself, the more you find of yourself. When you make a positive difference in the lives of others, you make a positive difference in your own life. Giving is a “win-win” proposition.

Author Earl Nightingale tells a story of a man who went to his empty fireplace and said, “Give me heat and I’ll give you the wood.” But giving does not work that way. In fact, giving functions under the universal law of cause and effect. You need to work for the wood before you get the heat. In other words, our rewards will always match and follow our service or, in the words of the Bible, You will always reap what you sow.

“When all is said and done,” says author Og Mandino, “success without happiness is the worst kind of failure.”

How can you find that happiness? It all comes back to giving. If you want to have happiness, you need to give happiness. If you want wealth, you need to give wealth. If you want love, you need to give love. For it is only in giving that you receive. Giving enriches your life with meaning, fulfillment, and happiness. It allows you to unleash your potential and create breakthroughs. In fact, it is a privilege to give. So give of your time, your knowledge, your wisdom, your wealth, and your love – and experience the power and beauty of giving.

ToolBOX Talk – how to get the best out of the ‘Healthy Family’ checklist

The ToolBOX on the website contains FREE forms, templates and worksheets for all your goal setting needs.

In the ToolBOX you’ll find the “Family Health” checklist, and with the American “Thanks Giving” rapidly approaching I thought it would be helpful for all of us to reflect on our family and the health of out family units.

Now the “Family Health” checklist isn’t about whether your vaccinations are up to date or not, it’s about how well your family Unit is functioning. The checklist has been adapted from research by the Family Strengths Research Project in Australia, which identified the key strengths that characterised happy and healthy families.

These key strengths are:

  • Communication - Families benefit from open two-way communication that is loving, understanding and patient.
  • Sharing Activities - Happy families share activities together.
  • Togetherness - Children need to be involved in some of the decision making if they are to feel like a worthwhile family member. Happy families share a feeling of togetherness.
  • Support - Happy families support and encourage each other.
  • Affection - Happy families show their affection for each other in a variety of ways.
  • Affection - Families are made up of different individuals with different needs and, sometimes, different values and beliefs. Happy families are able to show acceptance of these individual .differences.
  • Commitment - Happy families have a genuine commitment to each other.
  • Resilience - Happy families show their resilience.
So the checklist asks you a series of questions that tests your family in each of these strengths. When going through this checklist, the important thing is to be honest – maybe do it as a family activity to get everyone’s point of view. You may be surprised what answers you get!

And of course, if you identify any gaps in your happy family checklist then as a family, make a commitment to filling these gaps.

So go ahead, do the family health checklist and make your family your number one priority this month.

For more information on family goals, refer to the “”Self-Growth Goals” page of the website, under the “Popular Goals” tab on the NavBar.

Have you got a better goal setting tool that you’d like to share with the world? Well, send it in and we’ll add it to the ToolBOX – kudos to you of course!

Well, that’s all for now!

We would love to get your feedback on “The Goal Kicker”– what do you like? What don’t you like? - so we can make it even better.

Catch you next edition!

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