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User Manual

  1. Clarify what we want. ​Deciding what we want, big or small, long term or immediate, seems to be what must happen before anything else. Though that may seem obvious, I rarely see people practicing it. I believe the extent of our success is limited by the clarity of our desires. Be ready to repeat this step many times. As our clarity increases, so does our ability to act. 

  2. Clarify why we want it. As we contemplate why we want it, we better understand what truly matters to us. Sometimes, by asking why we want what we want, we realize we want something else altogether. Sometimes our answer to this second step becomes our answer to the first step. Knowing our deeper why helps keep us motivated. It's a word-potion to help us along our journey. 

  3. Plan how we will get it. Don't worry about making the plan perfect. We will almost certainly change this plan many times before we accomplish our goal. If you're struggling with this, decide how much time you will spend coming up with a plan then set a timer on your phone (1 minute, 3, 5, etc) and write out any plan you can come up with. Force it out if need be. Improve it as you go. 

  4. Schedule the plan. Decide when you are going to do the various things in your plan. What days of the week or month. What times. Then label and set alarms on your phone to go off when you are supposed to do that part of your plan. Scheduling things in our calendar works too, though we seem more likely to ignore our calendars. A ringing or vibrating phone is harder to ignore. Consider putting a big poster board on your bedroom door with your schedule written on it. 

  5. Follow through - test your plan. Try to do what you scheduled. 

  6. Review our results and modify our approach until we succeed. Most of the time doing a review at the end of each day or week will be best. Make a video, audio recording, or journal entry with your answers to questions like ... "Did I follow through?" "How easy or difficult was it?" "Do I still want it?" "Is there some other project or area of my life that I think is more important for me to work on?" "Is there anything I can do differently to achieve what I want faster and easier?" And anything else you'd like to talk about. 

  7. Celebrate. When you succeed, celebrate! If we don't celebrate, our mind has a way of jumping immediately to the next project without appreciating the end of this one. Do something to celebrate and/or commemorate what you've accomplished. Do something fun with friends and family and talk about the ups and downs of your journey. Make your own "diploma" and hang it on your wall. Or, if possible, take a picture of your accomplishment, print it out, and add it to a photo album titled "Accomplishments", or a title you like more. 

  8. Maintain. Make a plan that will help ensure you maintain what you've accomplished. Schedule the maintenance activities as you did your plan in step four - set alarms, calendar reminders, etc. Review step two over time to help remember why this is/was important to you. 

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