This is the time of year when we decide to change our lives for the better. However, it doesn't have to be a lonely effort.
Research confirms that we are much more effective when we have support.
Experiments have shown that dieters who operate on a "buddy" system lose more weight and are more successful at keeping it off. The success of AA and other "12-step" programs is based partly on having someone to call on for moral support night or day. And psychology experiments confirmed that having even one person who shares your views gives you increased determination and
Whether you are starting a new business, a new diet, a novel or any other undertaking, how can you get the support you need from friends and family?
Here are five ways:
1. Be clear about how you feel about your new venture. If family members or others treat it as something of a joke, sit down with them and tell them how much it means to you and that you'd appreciate it if they'd treat it with respect.
2. Ask for support-and be specific. What kind of support do you need? Would it help if your spouse took the kids out for an afternoon every week to give you study time? Could your kids take on some chores to give you more free time? Could a colleague teach you some new computer skills? Decide what you need and ask for it.
3. Involve others in your new effort. Share your dreams and progress with your family and friends.
4. Respect other people's passions. If you want respect for what you're doing, show other people the same consideration. If you respect their priorities and interests, they're more likely to respect yours.
5. If your friends don't respect your efforts, get new friends. This may sound harsh, but as we change, sometimes we need to find new friends who share our current interests. In classes and special-interest groups you'll find like-minded people.
The motto behind the workshops I teach is, "The best way to predict the future
is to create it."
That was said by Alan Kay and he was talking about technology, but the same applies to our lives. Decide what you want, and go
for it, step-by-step.
I hope this column will help you. If you have
questions or suggestions for column topics, please send them to me via e-mail, at
[email protected]
Editor's note: Jurgen Wolff is the editor and publisher of "Brainstorm," the creativity newsletter, and teaches the "Create Your Future" workshop. For a free copy of Brainstorm, e-mail your mailing address to [email protected]
(c) Jurgen Wolff 1999

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