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Eight week self-improvement

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As the New Year approaches, it is a time of Autumn Harvest and a closure of the last quarter of 2011. As winter approaches, it provides the opportunity to review and contemplate our relationships and our interactions. This is a season of ‘bringing together loose ends’ in our lives. It is a time to start looking objectively so that in January we can implement new resolutions.

Here is a Eight Week Self-Improvement Program to guide introspection of your communication skills with yourself and with others. The goal is to enhance your quality of life.

Honesty is the quality to focus on for week one.

Watch your emotions as though you are in the audience watching a movie of your feelings and resulting behavior. The first step in change is awareness of the truth and acknowledgement of things as they are. Realize we have all done the best we could in any situation based on our awareness at the time. Foster the ability to feel and express the entire range of human emotions. The goal is to learn ways to take personal responsibility for your own actions/reactions and to control them, rather than being controlled by them.

Compassion is the focus for week two.

Make a list of your best qualities and a list of the qualities you admire in your loved ones. Write these two lists in the form of affirmations as in these examples: I am funny. I am easy going. My mate is kindhearted. The goal is to establish a positive foundation in your core concept of self and others.

Vigilance is the focus for week three.

Draw a circle and list all your best qualities inside this circle. When you find yourself outside the circular boundary of your better self, pull your focus back into your higher qualities. Be vigilant so that other emotions do not take over and cause you to express yourself in a hurtful manner.   The goal is to stop negative thoughts, attitudes and influences whether they come from inside of you or outside in your environment.

Gratitude is the focus for week four.

Count your blessings. Look for the good in all people and in all situations. The goal is to have a grateful attitude, seek the lesson in your encounters, then move forward to better interactions.

Mindfulness is the focus for week five.

Be mindful of what is happening at the moment and be totally present. Put your full attention on what you are doing so your thoughts will not be wandering to other things. Become aware of everything you see, feel, smell and touch. Increase your sensitivity to your enjoyment of these sensory experiences. The goal is to enhance all your senses and to listen more effectively.

Kindness is the focus for week six.

Concentrate on saying things in kinder voice tones. The goal is to be uplifting in your communication skills and express respect for yourself and others with your words.

Flexibility is the focus for week seven.

Allow change because it is necessary for growth and progress to take place. Be open-minded to recognize any stubbornness, stereotyping and outgrown thought patterns. The goal is to accept a more efficient way of conducting your life activities.  

Goal Setting is the focus for week eight.

Focus on the ideal situation you would like to attain in your life in three areas including personal growth, social relations and career or attainment goals. Establish a Self-improvement Plan consisting of nine goals. Set a short term goal in each of these three areas of your life to accomplish in one month. These are to be a part of a longer term self-improvement plan. Set another goal in each of the three life areas to accomplish in six months.Finally set another goal in each of the three life areas to accomplish in three years. Take action to work your goal plan day by day and be patient with your progress.

Patrice Joy Masterson, MA is a Healthy Living Consultant. She offers personalized and group integrative programs at the Harmonizing Health Retreat in Bedford, KY. For more information call 938-631-5581 or go online to http://www.harmonizinghealthretreat.com.