Psychological Self-Help

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30
o
I will read a book on discipline emphasizing positive
reinforcement.
o
I will think of what Bobby did well or that was nice before
criticizing him.
o
I will keep a diary describing when and why I get mad--and my
memories of childhood in which I felt angry or I saw anger in
my parents (or caretaker). 
Don't let all these goals overwhelm you. But I want you to get the
point: you need daily and weekly sub-goals. You may even need
hourly sub-goals. You will probably try to change only two or three
parts of your problem (that's what you are tentatively deciding in this
step--although the method you chose to use will also determine your
goals). And, you will need only one or two methods to change each
part (steps 5 and 6). However, there are many possible changes you
could focus on within each of the five parts of your problem, and you
may chose to change rapidly or slowly, and you must chose a self-help
method from among 20-30 possible methods. These many choices,
whether you think about them or not, determine your goals (and your
success) in any self-help project. As you accumulate wisdom and
become more aware of the situation and the decisions you are making
(or neglecting) every moment, you may gain more control over your
life. 
But before finalizing your goals, please ask yourself: Are these
goals in line with my real priorities in life? Do these goals reflect what I
value most, what I think my life should be devoted to? Or, am I just
being shortsighted or selfish or spending my time on some change that
is to please others or of little significance to my life or to the world?
These are difficult but crucial questions, don't overlook this step. As
Covey, Merrill & Merrill (1994) ask, "How many people on their
deathbed wish they'd spent more time in the office?" These authors
also express the same idea in another way: select your goals carefully
because you might reach them, only to discover that you have been
climbing a long time up a ladder on the wrong wall! In addition to
Covey, Merrill & Merrill's book, perhaps chapter 3 and a book by Dahl
& Sykes (1988) will help you find the right direction to go .
What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to
shake the tree?
-Logan Pearsall Smith
Goals are dreams with deadlines. 
It is far better to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, though
checkered with failure, than to take rank with those poor souls, who
neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the gray
twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat..
-Author unknown
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