Self-Improvement Month

September is Self-Improvement Month

God has planted into each of us a seed of greatness. It is up to us to nurture that seed into productive fruit.
September is Self-Improvement Month, so what better time to either start, or to re-energize, your own personally directed self-improvement program.
I’d like to offer a few tips from my Self-Improvement program, The All New, & Improved, You.
Just as in building a house, the first step is in building a strong foundation for your program. This foundation needs to be built upon:
Faith- Being able to have a higher authority to turn to in times of need.
Family & friends- This also includes business associates and peers. It is important to have a strong, positive network that we can both share with, and also upon whose strengths we can draw.
Fitness- We need not look like models, or be a marathon runner, but we do need to take responsibility for our health. It will not only improve our quantity of life, but even more importantly, our quality of life.
Finance- In order to fully enjoy hope and happiness in our lives, we must learn to control our finances. Nothing is more detrimental to our health, our marriages, and our self-esteem than to be in a paycheck to paycheck life style.

Take an inventory of your life. Evaluate where you stand in each of the above four areas. Rate each on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). If you are less than a 6 on any of the areas, you need to give priority to working on those weaknesses..

Now it is time for you to decide how you can improve in each of the four areas. Imagine if your life was perfect, how each of the areas would look. Now set goals on how to achieve those improvements. You should have several goals under each area.

Following is a tip on how to set goals, utilizing the S.M.A.R.T. method.
Specific- Make your goal very specific. (ex. I will pay off my credit card)
Measurable- Make the goal measurable. (ex. By paying an extra $150 monthly)
Achievable – The goal must be within your control. (ex. By reducing my miscellaneous spending)
Realistic – The goal must be realistic (after preparing, and following my budget)
Timeline- The goal must have a deadline. (This credit card will be paid up on September 1, 2015)

So in the area of finance, one goal might read.
I will pay off my credit by paying an extra $150 monthly, by reducing my miscellaneous spending. I will do this by preparing, and following, a budget. This credit card will be paid up on September 1, 2015

I’d like to offer to you a suggestion for using September as your Self-Improvement Month. A calendar has been prepared to log in your successes.

Week 1: Check out as many books and tapes as you can on self-improvement from your libraries.
Week 2: Take a look at where you currently stand in relationship to faith, family, friends and your finances. Lists the pros and cons.
Week 3: Decide what you need to do in each of the four areas to feel successful. Don’t settle for just being good, go for being GREAT.
Week 4: Set both short range and long range goals in each of the 4 areas.
Then spend the rest of your life evaluating and striving to meet these goals.

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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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