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Originally written by Jeff Sherman for St George Health and Wellness Magazine.

You are experiencing true desires to change. You want to be a better person, a better friend. You recognize the need to balance your life. You are thinking of family and prosperity, health and fitness, spirituality and depth.

Begin anew in 2017

The following exercise will assist you in identifying areas of your life in need of change. As you complete the steps, avoid falling victim to the common disillusionment of comparison. In this exercise do not get distracted by those things that force you to feel inadequate or discouraged. Rather, find the strength within. You will identify core elements to change that I refer to as the ™Quadrants of Accountability.


Plan a time for solace and thought. Perhaps it will be an early morning before the family arises as the furnace begins to warm the home. It may be an enlightened lunch break or a late evening when all is silent again.

You will need 30 minutes, paper, and a pen.

Step 1: Draw a circle about the size of a quarter in the center of the page. Handwrite your name in the center. Next, draw four lines about 3 inches long (legs outward from the circle like a spider, only spiders have eight legs).

Line one: Write  “Character” at the far end of the leg. List 5 values that currently make up your character. What strengths do you truly exemplify in your daily life? Write 5 additional character traits that you wish to add to your tool belt.

Line two: Write “Opportunity” at the far end of the next leg. List 5 opportunities currently presented in your life. This list may include specific opportunities related to work, community, investment, fitness, spirituality, service, travel, etc.

Line three: Write “Relationships” at the far end of another leg. By name, list 5 or more relationships you cherish. Next, identify 5 or more names of those persons with whom you seek to improve relations. 

Line four: Write “Education” at the end of the remaining leg. List the education you have acquired. Include formal education and additional seminars, conferences, certifications, or topics of purposeful study. Now list ideas relating to expanding your current knowledge. What might that look like? What do you aspire to learn next?

Now underline one item under each of the ™Quadrants of Accountability. Select from each quadrant that idea that stands out to you as very important at this juncture. It may be something that is part of your personal make up now. Or, it may be something you seek forthcoming. You can visit this page again in the future. For now, underline only one item from each quadrant.

Step 2: Once you have isolated and underlined four poignant terms, flip the paper over and write the following question on a piece of paper:

What must I do to become a better person? Write the immediate thoughts you have. Don’t fix them nor over-think them. Don’t change them. Just write your thoughts.

How do I become a better friend? Again, write only that which quickly comes to mind.

Directing all attention to your family, ask As I become a better person and a better friend, what can I change to be a better part of my family?

How do I create a healthy balance in my life?

Strength is found within. Like you, I am working on it. I invite you to write and think about the answers to these four questions. They have assisted me in finding joy. Going forward, it is key that you not rationalize the thoughts of inspiration that come to you in this exercise.

Now the magic. Using the four items you underlined on the chart, Identify the correlation between items in step one and the answers to the questions you have completed in step two. Note that the very items you underlined will help you resolve to improve your areas of refinement.

The solutions to our concerns and issues in life are all around us. We are enveloped by them. Listen to your thoughts. You have written the very cues that will redirect your 2017. Yes prosperity will increase. More importantly, your feelings of adequacy and fulfillment will heighten and in the wake you will see positive change in your life. Begin with a secluded space, 30 minutes, and a pen.

Thank you, readers, for the support and success you have provided me. It is the gratitude we share that properly sets us up for prosperity. In gratitude, we discover the things that matter most in our lives.

This time it is different, you are experiencing true desires to change.

Additional articles you might enjoy:

Inspire Greatness

Romance and Chivalry

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