I love the idea of making a contract with yourself. Halfway through the presentation I was trying to figure out how to work it into my classroom.
It's easy to set goals; following through on them is a completely different thing. Goals can be little, limit the number of snoozes in the morning, or big, run the Boston Marathon. Whatever the goal may be you are more likely to get there if you right it out. I like to set goals for myself and checkpoints along the way. There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment you feel when checking something off your list.
The hard part for me is the little problems that come up along the way. Habit #4 is to "view problems as challenges." It's easy to throw in the towel and give up when a problem comes along. When I face a problem and battle with giving up or pushing through I think of this poem, a favorite of my grandfather.
Isn't it strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me,
are builders for eternity?
Each is given a list of rules;
a shapeless mass; a bag of tools.
And each must fashion, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.
-R. Lee Sharpe
What a great mental image! Those "problems" along the way are really helping us get closer to our goal. The hard part is remembering that in the moment . . .