A New Year’s resolution is too often a good intention that goes in one year and out the other. To change habits we often need inspiration and action – or “inspir-action.” Here are action steps to build habits that continually move us out of wallowing, beyond following, to leading:

• This is the perfect time of year to harness the magnetic power of imagery and visualization. Describe what your ideal life would look like if things were going extremely well three to five years from now. Outline your perfect job. Envision your ideal family life. See yourself helping to build whatever communities you’re now part of. Visualize a strong and secure financial situation. Imagine your preferred social circle. Feel an even stronger connection to your philosophical or spiritual beliefs. See your optimum health or physical condition. Include your spouse or “significant other” as a joint exercise; two visualizations are probably better than one.

• When faced with a crisis or very negative change, recall or even list times in the past when you overcame problems as bad as or worse than this one. What can you draw from those experiences? Can they at least help you keep this problem in perspective?

• Unless you’re trying to influence them, spend as little time as possible with pessimists who continually complain and dwell on all that’s wrong. Seek out optimistic people who focus on finding solutions and moving forward.

• Develop or join a network of colleagues interested in personal growth. This can be a powerful source of learning from others’ experiences. It’s also a great way for you to reflect on your own experiences and articulate your improvement plans.

• Find a personal coach or counselor to guide your personal development. He or she can be a sounding board, gather feedback from those you work with, prod you to reach your goals, provide advice, and encourage you.

• Catch and stop yourself from saying things like, “I am too old to change,” “That’s just the way I am,” or “There’s nothing I can do.” Identify those habits or characteristics you’d most like to change. Now develop a series of positive affirmations as if it’s already happening. For example, “I am ….,” “I love to …..,” or “I can …..” Post your affirmative statements built around your visualization where you’ll see them every day. You could use them as screensavers, or put Post-It-Notes in your work space, bathroom mirror, car, wallet, purse, briefcase, or day planner.

Do You See What I See: Nuances of Growing @ the Speed of Change Reviews

These “inspir-actional” steps are excerpted from Growing @ the Speed of Change. Besides feeding (and sometimes bruising) my ego, the reviews for Growing @ the Speed of Change are incredibly fascinating to me. After laboring over it for hundreds of hours, it’s extremely interesting to see what key points readers are taking from the book. Sometimes a reader will find some message or meaning from a passage I didn’t intend to put there. Other readers will completely skip, miss, or not care about what I intended to be the key point of a section or chapter.

Click here to review the reviews for Growing @ the Speed of Change. If you’ve read the book, please send me your thoughts on the key messages, ideas, or implementation tips and techniques that most stood out or were most helpful to you. My e-mail is Jim.Clemmer@Clemmer.net.