Taking Stock

By Bill Hodges

©2003 Hodges Seminars International

We tend to take it for granted that the new year always begins on Jan. 1. But this is not necessarily true. Many government employees begin their new fiscal year on Oct. 1 and corporations start their fiscal years at various times. Some people consider their birthdays as the beginning of their new year. I can remember a time when the television industry considered the introduction of the new car models and the advertising revenue that it brought, as the beginning of the new television season or year.

It really doesnít matter what date you consider the one that starts your year. What matters is that you are ready for it when it comes. To be ready for the new year, a review of what has happened to you in the past year is in order. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you do that review.

1. What have you learned over the past year that you can use to be healthier, happier and more productive in the year to come? More importantly, how do you plan to use that information to better your lot in life. Keep in mind that knowledge is only potential power. It becomes real power only when used. How will you use it?

2. Who are your current friends? The number of friends one has is not nearly as important as the quality of those friends. In choosing friends, you should heed Confucius who said, "Have no friends not equal to yourself." When you have one good friend, you should count yourself wealthy.

3. Has your financial position changed in the last year? True independence comes from a sense of financial security. Financial security does not just happen ó it must be planned. Do you have a plan, and is it succeeding for you? Donít hesitate to seek professional advice.

4. How is your physical condition? As you age, the pounds just seem to multiply. Exercise becomes more difficult because of new little aches and pains. But a good diet and exercise are your two most valuable allies in your quest to stay healthy. Do you have a diet and exercise plan?

5. Do you have a good mental attitude? A positive attitude is not something that just happens. You have to work at it. As the old song says, "You have to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and donít mess with Mister in-between." Read, watch or listen to something positive every day.

John Wayne said, "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. It comes into us at midnight very clean. Itís perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes weíve learned something from yesterday." If you have answered the above questions, youíve learned something. With that knowledge, you can set a course for a productive, happy and healthy tomorrow.

Bill Hodges is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and syndicated columnist. Hodges may be reached at Hodges Seminars International, P.O. Box 89033, Tampa, FL 33689-0400. Phone 813/641-0816.

Web site: http://www.BillHodges.com

Observer News Front Page