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mindful minute

We are freed and imprisoned by our thoughts


Written by Mark Fontaine

Begin with the end in mind.  Visualize the outcome.  Create a clear mental picture.  Resist the temptation to fall into the popular multi-tasking mentality that confuses frenetic activity with accomplishment.

Your life is a work of art.  The key is to start with an empty canvas.  It is important to approach goal setting with a beginners mind.

When you choose to improve your life, you also improve the lives of those around you.  

There is a price for greatness and that is control over your thinking—each and every thought.  Be mindful that you can’t afford the luxury of a negative thought. 

S = Specific

M = Measurable

A = Attainable

R = Realistic

T = Timely


What are you going to do?  Why is this important to do at this time? How are you going to do it?  Be sure the goals you set are very specific, clear and easy to understand. Instead of setting a goal to lose weight or be healthier, set a specific goal to lose 2 inches off your waist or to walk 5 miles in an hour.


If you can measure it, you can manage it.  You can see the change occur.

Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement. This will spur you forward.


If your goals are too far out of reach, you probably won’t commit to pursuing them. You may start with the best of intentions, but the knowledge that it’s too much for you will undermine your efforts.

A goal needs to stretch you and it will need a real commitment from you. If you aim to learn how to speak French in one week, you know that isn’t achievable. Set a goal to master 500 words that first week.  When you’ve achieved that, aim to learn a further 500.  Your first success will motivate a second.

 Fix your gaze on the journey.  If you focus on the destination, it will slip through your grasp.


A realistic goal may push your skills, knowledge and resources, but it shouldn’t break you.  Focusing on process goals as opposed to outcome goals can break the task into “do-able” pieces.  For instance, it may be more realistic to set a sub-goal of eating a salad for lunch each day for two weeks, rather than losing 2 inches off your waist over the next 90 days.  You can then choose to work towards reducing the amount of poor food choices gradually in the most realistic manner for you.

Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort. Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren’t very competent.


Are you going to be finished this week, month or in 90 days?  An end point gives you a clear target to work toward.  Without a set time, the commitment is too vague.  Nothing happens because there’s no urgency.


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