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Newsletter Dated: 1/1/2009 6:42:40 PM
Subject: Happiness Tips from Tina: Four Steps to Success
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Happiness Tip: Four Steps to Success
Happy New Year! Hope dawns with every new year. As the sun turns from its farthest point at solstice, and the promise of a fresh start is in the air, we become inspired to make New Year’s Resolutions, to make a fresh start, to let go of disappointments and try again.
In my private counseling practice, clients often tell me, “I want to be happy!” We then set about making it a reality. As a psychotherapist, I know that Your habits, your relationships, your environment, and especially what you think about them determine more about how happy you are than your genes do; because I’ve watched so many people figure out how to meet their goals and create their own happiness. You can improve any part of your life you wish: your relationship with yourself, your relationships with others, your work life, your home life, and even your health. The following steps will help you reach any goal you set for yourself.
Four Steps to Success
(1) Choose the goal.
(2) Break it down into small, non-intimidating steps.
(3) Do something. (If you can’t get yourself to do it, you haven’t made the steps small or easy enough—go back to step 2.)
(4) Celebrate what you’ve done (yes, every little step).
For example, suppose you’re interested in bringing more physical activity and music into your life, and choose a folk-dancing class. Break the goal down into manageable steps: (1) Call around to find out what classes are available; (2) choose a class to attend; (3) enroll in the class; (4) go to the first class meeting; (5) evaluate the class as to whether it’s a good one for your purposes.
Those steps may seem simplistic, but that’s the idea. Make it as easy as possible to do each step. That way you won’t be discouraged by “I can’t” before you start.
Breaking your goal down into the smallest possible steps makes it easier to accomplish the next phase: Do something. Many of us know how to set goals, but not how to achieve them, so we’ve “proved” to ourselves over and over that we’re failures. That’s not true at all. The failure lies in not having completed the rest of the Four Steps to Success.
You’ve just made the third step to your goal as simple as possible, so there are no reasons not to take it. Go ahead, and focus on the third step only: Do something.
After you’ve taken the third step, celebrate. Recognition of what you’ve accomplished is important. It also helps to celebrate each step you take toward your goal as you take it. This way you won’t run out of energy before you achieve success, and you’ll keep encouraging yourself as you proceed.
Your celebration can be just looking into your mirror and saying, “Congratulations, you’ve just made the first (second, third) step toward achieving your goal” Or your celebration can be more elaborate, such as toasting your accomplishment with a friend or two. It can even be a major party. The important thing is that you do something to make sure you notice you’ve had some success, however small. It is this celebration that will give you the courage and confidence to go on all the way in achieving your goal.
As you achieve your goal, go back to the Four Steps and choose a new goal; then follow the steps through again. Repeat this until you’ve created or achieved what you want.
(C) 2009 Tina B. Tessina
adapted from:"The Ten Smartest Decisions a Woman Can Make After Forty" (Renaissance) ISBN# 1-58063-181-9
If you want more, here are some related articles you can download from my website at http://tinatessina.com/monthly_column.html
Getting Out of Your Way
How to Stretch Time
Into Every Life
It’s a Dirty Job
Make New Friends, Keep Good Friends
The Meaning of Life
Motivation And How to Create It (Good Boss/Bad Boss)
No Two Miracles Alike
Patterns of Change
The Power of Purpose
Resolving Inner Anarchy
These Decisions Can Increase Your Happiness
Weaving The Web
Winning The War Within
You Are a Gift
You Be The Judge
Your Heart’s Desire
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Wishing you joy,
Tina B. Tessina, PhD
Re: The Courage to Hope
I so enjoy your emails. Always thoughtful, clear and chock full of sane advise and thoughts.
I have a book coming out next year called, Don't Miss Your Life! An Uncommon
Guide to Living with Freedom, Laughter and Grace. We beat some of the same drums, ey?!
Peace and grins,
Thanks, Charlene! I’m always delighted when a fellow writer enjoys my work.
My friend shared this email with me and I greatly appreciate it. Please add me to your email list of recipients for all of your communications. I am currently reading It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction. It 'hits the nail on the head' more than once! In addition, one of the first things a therapist said to me when I went for counseling regarding a failed marriage: "expectations are premeditated resentments". I will never forget this and this email of yours reminded me of that. Great reading.
Thank you, Nancy. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that someone is helped by my books or newsletters.
Thank You Tina ;) Kim
My pleasure, Kim!
Dear Tina, This is the first of your newsletter I have opened. Life is so very busy.; I found it very wise and forwarded it to my sons and Matt's former girlfriend, Melanie. I will reread it for myself. Our minister spoke about hope last Sunday. Love, Joan
Thanks, Joan – I’m glad you found it worthy of forwarding. That’s a wonderful complement.
I just love getting your newsletters. Thank you so very much. They *always* give me hope.
Your deeply wise views are stated in a modern and very accessible way. (pardon the odd analogy but...) Kind of like the opposite of a loose driftnet in the deep ocean (that goes on killing and killing), the amazing body of work you are creating will live on long after you are gone, repeatedly helping thousands of people to climb the ladder of personal growth towards
self-actualization. Lots of love! - Randy
Thank you, Randy – you made me smile, and I love the analogy.
Happy Holidays to you Tina. Your newsletters are so inspiring and helping so many people.
I hope you had happy holidays, too Madelyn. Your responses always inspire me.