Start with the end in mind (Stephen Covey).  Before you go, you need to know where you are going.  Have a picture in your mind of the end result you are moving toward–a goal.  If you go shopping without knowing what you want you are subject to impulsively buy whatever you see that’s appealing at the moment.  What is appealing could be simply the result of a good marketing display.  Before leaving the house decide what amount of money you are willing to spend on the outing and what types of things you are willing to buy.  Even if you don’t have a specific shopping list, at least have a general idea of what you would consider an acceptable purchase and an amount that would be within your personal budget.  The same applies to life itself.  If you don’t have a goal and a mental list of what you are willing and not willing to spend your valuable life on (in advance) you will be subject to impulse decisions as well as  the influence of others (some will be for your good and others will be for your downfall).  Be very clear on your own personal values and plans for your life.  Be willing to stand firm when others (or sometimes yourself in a weak moment) tempt you into getting off the path you desire for yourself.  Getting off your own path and moving down the wrong path can create circumstances that sometimes takes years to unwind.  Every day, when you get up, one of the first things to do is to decide what your goal is for that day.  Keep that goal in mind and be willing to resist diversions from your plan.  If you do not decide how you want to spend your time (and your life) someone else will decide for you.  Just as there are hundreds of hands out for your money, there are also hundreds of hands out to grab your time!


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