Self-Improvement Month: Your attic level

Self-Improvement month

The Attic Level

(taken from my book The All New, and Improved, You)

Two weeks ago we took a look at building a strong foundation consisting of faith, family & friends and finance for our self-improvement. Last week we looked at our Living Level consisting of Physical, Psychological and Personality Development. This week we look at what I call our Attic Level.  Those of you that have had attics, know how we very often store things there that we seldom use.  But when we do need these items, we are very glad we saved them.

In my book, I show these items to be accomplishment and actualization.

We will first look at accomplishment.  I describe it as the external achievement of short-range goals.  Short range goals are important because they give us those spurts of self-gratification that will encourage us to strive toward our longer range goals of self-actualization.  The greatest obstacle to accomplishment is procrastination.  I remember Lee Iacocca in his book discussing the tragic loss of production because executives procrastinate so long to make a decision, that decision is now obsolete.   The greatest key to accomplishment is setting goals.  In setting goals, I use the S.M.A.R.T. method.

Specific:  Be very clear in expressing the description of the goal.

Measurable:  A goal must be able to be measured to judge progress.

Achievable:  A goal can be difficult, but must be possible to achieve.

Realistic:  Be clear why you want to accomplish the goal.

Time Line:  We must set deadlines, so we won’t procrastinate.

All you need is the plan, the road map,

and the courage to press on to your destination.  by Earl Nightingale

The second part of this week’s Attic Level is actualization.  While accomplishments are the external achievements, actualization is the internal achievements.  All of the micro-achievements accomplished over the short range unite through synergy to create a confident, highly achieving individual who uses daily challenges to grow more improved.  There are two people who will try to keep you from achieving self-actualization; You, and Others.  Eliminate every negative thought from your mind, and refuse to allow other negative people rob you of your goal of self-improvement.  Sometimes we mistakenly think we have to change our life, our location, in order to be successful.  But self-actualization is within each of us.  Following is another one of my blogs I hope you will enjoy.

Ability is what you’re capable of doing.

Motivation determines what you do.

I challenge you this week to find five ways you can improve your life in each of the following areas.



Email me at  and tell me how you’ve improved your life this month.

My book, “The All New, and Improved, You” has many more self improvement ideas.

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About Jerry Haynes

OK, where do I start. I was born…., no that line has already been taken.Call me…, oops so has that one. Well, I won’t attempt to spout musical prose, and just be myself. I grew up in the small cotton mill town of Fries, VA. My parents were hardworking members of the middle class. They never earned more than a little over minimum wage, but I can never remember lacking for anything. After graduating from Fries High School in 1969, I started to VA Tech. After two years of partying (1st), going to movies (2nd), and studying, well, much further down the list, VA Tech decided I need a two year break to get my priorities straight. With a number 8 in the draft lottery, I knew that even if the Hokies didn’t want me, Uncle Sam did. I joined the US Navy. I got my priorities straight. I’m proud to be a Viet Nam veteran, but feel guilty I never got deployed. I graduated from Tech in 1977 with a BS in Civil Engineering. For the next 35 years I would work in both the private and public sectors. My first job took me to Tazewell County, Virginia where I soon joined the Jaycees. This ignited my passion for individual development. This passion still burns today.

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