Ann Smith

Ann Smith

Happy New Year friends and warmest wishes for a healthy, safe, good and prosperous year! Despite a few challenges, and we already know what some of them will be, we will have an opportunity to make a difference in in the lives of our family, friends and in our communities. As a good friend and mentor once told me, we all have an opportunity to leave our mark, so make it one you can be proud of. Believe! Use your talents and opportunities and develop a plan now for a successful year.

Some years ago, I became acquainted with the book — “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” written by Stephen Covey. The book was first published in August of 1989 and has stood the test of time in its effectiveness. I found it very helpful in my professional and in my personal life. It helps me get myself motivated. If you’re like me and need some extra encouragement from time to time, I highly recommend this book or one like it. The habits identified in Covey’s book are habits of effectiveness. Have you taken the time to make a plan for what you would like to accomplish next year? My plan for year 2022 is set and I plan to accomplish it using two of the seven habits from the book. Begin with the end in mind and seek first to understand.

Develop a plan and work to move the plan forward — then complete each step identified on a daily or weekly basis. Review progress at least monthly. What is the end goal? Of course, the main end goal is success, but that may not be the only goal your plan will accomplish. Seek first to understand and listen twice as much as I speak- learn from my friends, mentors and teachers when they share their experiences. Concentrate on the task at hand before moving on to the next step. Skipping even one step can make a difference in the plan’s success. You may of course need to update your plan as you move forward, but if you put the time and energy into developing a plan you believe can be successful abandoning it altogether is probably not a good idea. Maintain a positive attitude, that can be hard if you don’t see immediate success, but never give up.

BELIEVE- Always keep a sense of humor — more good advice from several friends. I laugh at myself a lot and enjoy my friends who laugh with me, at least most of the time…

I encourage you to never stop BELIEVING in yourself and your abilities. Find and read a book like “7 Habits,” and let it be one of several books you read in the coming year. Talk with someone who inspires you. Take advantage of the many classes offered at different venues across the county and area. As Paul wrote in Philippians 4 13 ‘‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. BELIEVE in yourself and have faith in what will come. I can’t wait to see and hear about your accomplishments in the coming year!

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