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Monthly Musings: Use Goal-Setting to Make this New Decade the Best Ever

Dear Friend,
Happy New Year! Not only did we cross into 2020, leaving 2019 in the past, but this is the brink of a new decade; an opportunity for you to reinvent yourself and create a mission statement to propel you into your best future. Ordinary resolutions tend to last only weeks or merely months, whereas a true life transformation requires lifestyle goals and wholehearted changes. Start small and see big results over time.
Read this month’s musings to learn how I create goals around the aspects of my life that are most important to me — and more importantly, how I keep myself on track over the months, years, and decades. Every day we get to choose how we show up, where we show up and why we show up. Align yourself with your higher self to achieve your dreams in the 2020’s.
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
~Rabindranath Tagore
New Year Paradigm Shift: Use Goal-Setting to Make this New Decade the Best Ever
Many moons ago in 1991 after reading Steven Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” – I was inspired to write a mission statement.  While New Year’s resolutions are popular, most fall away in a matter of days or weeks. Habits are one of the most difficult aspects in one’s life to change and merely making resolutions is an ineffective way to make a major paradigm shift.
The tendency of resolutions is to make an often-huge shift in a short time frame. Again, the success rate of this type of strategy is most likely not achievable. So, what is the solution?
After I read Covey’s masterpiece – my inspiration was to develop a strong mission statement of my life and then each year review and reflect where I was in the overall performance of my life’s mission. Here is what I wrote in April of 1991:
4/15/91 “My Mission Statement”
My mission statement is to achieve a balanced life that is in total communication and unity with the essence of nature. In my pursuit of this mission, I am deeply and sincerely committed to achieving the following standards of effectiveness and excellence in my below mentioned self-chosen roles:
Individual: As a responsible individual I am committed to becoming a person of uncompromising integrity, a person that can be totally trusted, a strong believer in God and His universe, a sensitive person that respects others and their belief systems, one who is balanced, interesting, principle-centered, and committed to a perpetual learning philosophy.
Parent: As a father and a family member to be an example to my children in the dedicated effort to fulfill this mission statement. To be supportive of them in the pursuit of their worthwhile goals and aspirations and to discourage and deter them in the pursuit of un-worthwhile followings and habits. To be a participant in the development of a strongly founded love-based support system within the family that encourages independent and inter-dependent living for all the members of the family.
Career: In my career to be a compassionate advisor that is knowledgeable and one that goes the extra mile. To continue to improve my skills so as to provide the most qualitative service and products that are current and evolving. To seek financial independence and to use this material resource to help achieve prosperity in all the people that I touch in my lifetime and to be a trusted and committed member of my team.
Health: To be cognizant of my health by regularly exercising physically to allow my body to develop the strength and energy required in the fulfillment of my mission statement. To develop good all-around empowering social skills like reading, music, sports, theater, cuisine, travel, and culture. To continue diligently to master new levels of consciousness through my regular well-established routine of consistent meditation.
Relationship: To be a supportive, sharing, challenging, compassionate, and loving committed partner in a meaningful relationship with my lover. To be sensitive to the issue that she, as I, needs to grow in her own mission statement and commit to developing a joint mission statement that is synergistic and synthesizes the individual mission statements. To be sensitive to the truth that for a relationship to survive we must continue to grow and evolve to ensure consistent happiness.
Community Member: As a member of planet earth, to continue to share my knowledge generously, to be a true friend to my fellow men/women, a student of other cultures and values, a responsible and loyal citizen, a broad thinker, a contemplative person with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, a proactive participant in all aspects supporting a better world–one that respects nature, environment, the self-worth of human beings, peace, love and the unity of mankind.
Evaluator: to continue to challenge and evaluate my progress and this mission statement. To continually refine, fine-tune, and synthesize this mission statement so that it continues to provide the direction and inspiration it is designed to do.
New additions to the Mission Statement 4 years after Tariq’s death – November 99
LEARN TO TRUST LIFE (Since one does not know what lies in store for oneself. How could I ever have prepared for the loss of my child? My mission statement does not deal with that possibility). Life is a mystery and that may be a good thing!
While recently working with a good friend of mine in Kansas City – with whom I shared my mission statement in the first month of a new decade – I was inspired to share it with my friends and readership. The key is to start with the roles you CHOOSE that are important to you. While we are all individuals we live in a broader world with family, work and community. As I have developed in later life the community piece has taken more of my focus.
Indeed – while I always served on nonprofit Boards and contributed time, talent and treasure to good causes this aspect of my mission statement became more prominent in my life after I lost Tariq and founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation. For the last 25 years, I have volunteered in excess of 25 hours a week to the work of TKF which with the grace of the Universe continues to thrive to serve our children and youth. This has been a very fulfilling and rewarding experience now having given over 1000 presentations to students teaching nonviolence, empathy, compassion, forgiveness and most importantly peacemaking and peacebuilding. Receiving countless letters from students on the impact of my work has been one of the most satisfying blessings in my life and has provided me with true meaning and purpose.
While we cannot change the world – it is possible to change a few who in turn will change others inspired by your work. I share this personal experience with you to inspire you to look at your life’s mission and to be cognizant that true joy and happiness derives from helping others. While self-care and individual success are important, giving of your time, talent and treasure to worthwhile causes are where meaning and purpose live. One of my favorite Albert Schweitzer quotes is pictured to the right here.
There are many worthwhile causes in every community and we face several global challenges in the divided and disturbing times we live in where our most fundamental pillars of family and community life are being threatened at a level I have personally not experienced for several decades. We are in a scary downward spiral.
As you reflect on your life’s mission let us all make a serious commitment this new decade to reverse this dangerous trend and turn our communities and the world to a positive upward spiral – this I believe is possible through service of others.
Wishing all an inspiring empowering joyful and purposeful decade ahead!
Peace and many blessings.
Azim Khamisa
How Do You Re-Invent Yourself?
I strongly believe in the CANEI philosophy – Constant And Never-Ending Improvement. This concept was introduced after World War II in Japan called Kaizen by W. Edwards Deming – which transformed Japan form being a copy-cat society to the behemoth it has become today. This is a method based on the process involved and the continuous, slow process of change.
I strongly practice this concept that I am better today than I was yesterday, and I will be better tomorrow than I am today. It all starts with developing a strong mission statement that can provide you with the inspiration and guidance to continually reinvent yourself.
Step 1. Small Steps: Identify something you want to improve or achieve and find one small way to improve it each day.
Step 2. Focus on Small Rewards:Measure what you are doing and track your progress. Eliminate variability and distractions. Focus on one aspect or goal at a time.
Step 3. Observe & Record: Focus on the goal and where you are in relation to achieving the goal, always move forward even when you notice you might have fallen behind.
Step 4. Innovate: Find faster and better ways to improve. The more you work towards your goal and witness the small progress, the more insight you will have to be even better at the process.
There is much wisdom in the Kaizen philosophy from Wikipedia:
Kaizen is a concept referring to business activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. Kaizen (改善) is the Sino-Japanese word for “improvement.” It translates as “good change.”
Finally – I remind you to look at your life broadly rather than from year to year. I personally find that living daily with a growth-mindset manifests miracles and transformation in us and others!
Recent Podcasts, Videos & Links
Through my work with TKF, I am honored to have received the Human Dignity Award at this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award Ceremony Breakfast here in San Diego.
Workshops, Keynotes, Seminars & More!
January 17 – January 18, 2020
Mela (Middle East Leadership Academy)
Master Class in the Dead Sea, Jordan
March 2nd- March 7th, 2020
IVAT Conference, Honolulu Hawai’i
Forgiveness Workshop
April 13th – April 14th, 2020
Through workshops, keynote speeches and consulting, Azim carries the message that peace can be restored, no matter what has gone before. His simple 3-step process of forgiveness and his 4-step process of redemption (self-forgiveness) untangle the mystery behind atonement and sets people free to enjoy a life full of richness and meaning. In the end audiences are inspired with a life-changing story of redemption, forgiveness and personal power through purpose-driven action. Read Full Bio Here.
Azim’s best-selling book, Secrets to the Bulletproof Spirit has been the focus of many keynotes and seminars. Order a copy here to get the insight to bounce back from life’s hardest hits.
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