It’s that time of year again – it’s time to set new goals! 

Some of you might be discouraged because you set lofty goals in years past that you never seemed to commit to. Or perhaps you had a difficult time in the year prior, and you’re afraid of getting your hopes up.

Today, I challenge you to get your hopes up! Don’t give up before the miracle happens, or you might miss the chance to see it take place! 

Don’t Give Up!

Take it from me. It’s easy to throw in the towel when you are faced with one obstacle after another, especially when you have every right to quit. But as long as you are breathing, you have the chance to create a better experience for your present, your future, and even for others around you!

In 1990, I failed on my second attempt to pass the New York bar exam. I overcame a rough past and had worked so hard to get into and out of law school! And here I was, unable to pass the most important part of the journey! 

I felt so stupid and humiliated. I was ashamed and absolutely discouraged. But something inside – something I choose to call God – rose up and decided to keep trying. 

I was also surrounded by people who encouraged, inspired, and motivated me to not give up before the miracle. I was able to listen to stories of repeated failures that ended in success – as long as that person kept charging forward. And each time I set a small goal and success, I not only felt better about myself, but I also felt compelled to keep going. 

Setting a Goal is an Esteemable Act!

This is why I am so passionate about Esteemable Acts – small steps of courage that build your self-esteem and keep the trajectory of your life climbing up the mountain. Before you know it, you will have reached the TOP! 

Let’s set some goals today, and we will start by keeping things simple. If you break down your master plan into smaller manageable pieces, you can take baby steps to success. 

It all starts with a few simple questions. The answers to these questions inspire a vision that will motivate you to keep working towards your goals!

First, ask yourself, “If I could, what is one thing that I would like to do this year?”

  1. Is there a place you’d like to visit? 
  2. Is there someone you’d like to see this year?
  3. Is there a bad habit you are finally ready to break? (e.g. smoking, drinking, using drugs, being mediocre, drinking too much soda, getting into debt, interrupting people when they talk)
  4. Is there a new habit you’d like to put into practice? (e.g. exercising more regularly, watching less television, being kinder to your partner, being grateful) 
  5. Is there someone you’d like to meet this year?
  6. Is there a new skill you’d like to learn? (e.g. learn to dance, learn to sing, learn more about technology, explore your faith more)
  7. Is there something you’d like to buy? (e.g. a new computer, a new house, a new car, a new outfit, quite possibly, a Persian cat)
  8. Is there something you really want to do? (e.g. reduce debt, get involved in a charity, dance more, make new friends, get involved in your community) 

Start Setting Goals!

There you have it! Start with a few questions, and then break your goals down into smaller pieces. That way, your BIG dream doesn’t seem so insurmountable. 

And please – don’t give up BEFORE you reach the other side of the mountain. The view is beautiful from there! 

Francine D. Ward

Book Francine at your next event! She’d love to share her story with you and yours! 


Francine D. Ward headshot

Francine D. Ward
Attorney-At-Law, Author, Speaker

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