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I am very excited to introduce today’s guest post from Bob Bessette. Bob’s blog is geared toward practical solutions, tips, and advice for your life and it can be found at Totally Unique Life.  You can connect with Bob on Twitter @BobBessette or if you liked this article then why not subscribe to his RSS Feed?

Huh? OPGA? What’s that?  I must confess that in a past life I worked for the US Air Force and acronyms were omnipresent.

So what in the world is an OPGA? Well, before I tell you, I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love the concept.  Making changes and setting goals in your life is honorable.  But I don’t need a day, or time of the year, to dictate when I should set my personal goals.

So what the heck is an OPGA?  It’s an acronym that I invented.  Yes, I invented it!  It stands for Ongoing Personal Growth Area.  It’s my version of the New Year’s resolution but these growth areas are not dependent on the time of the year.  You can add to, or adjust these OPGAs at any time.  I’d like to share with you five of my OPGAs.  It is my guess that you may have similar goals.

OPGA #1 – Improve my Public Speaking.

Never underestimate the power of the spoken word.  I started emphasizing this growth area toward the end of last year.  I did this by joining the international organization, Toastmasters.  If you want to spend time with a great group of like-minded people, who want to improve their communication skills, join Toastmasters.  I have never heard of anyone who regretted joining this dynamic organization.

OPGA #2 – Don’t sweat the small stuff.

I am a self-professed sensitive guy.  I think some of my best qualities are due to my sensitivity.  On the flip side, my sensitivity proclivity can lead to some consternation.  A goal of mine is to pick my battlesand try to concern myself with the important things and not the mundane, trivial, matters.  Let those run off my back, so to speak.

OPGA # 3 – Complete my degree.

This goal is right on track.  I am on my last class to finish up my 3rd degree this spring.  After that, I’m sure I’ll be thinking about my next one.  If you read my bio,  I have a quote in there that I try to live my life by: The Truly Educated Never Graduate.

OPGA # 4 – Control my caffeine intake.

Notice I said control my caffeine intake, not quit it.  I love good coffee.  So I have made it a point to purchase a personal coffeemaker for my office to add to my cubicle bliss.  In the recent past, I had been drinking free crappy coffee at work throughout the day because, well, it was free.  Just a few days ago I received my personal coffeemaker in the mail. This particular brand was recommended by Mike Crimmins, a coffee blogger. I have been using it for my first, and only, cup of the day.  I will be exploring the varied world of great coffees out there and brew them at my desk.  I tend to look at coffees like I look at wines.  There are so many quality coffees out there to explore and I plan on exploring them.

OPGA # 5 – Give of myself.

Late last year my daughter was in a play in high school.  My wife, who has been active painting and building theater sets for years, was involved in this production.  She asked me if I wanted to help out with building the sets.  Being an avid woodworker, I decided to go one day to help out.  I was hooked.  The feeling of satisfaction was overwhelming and I was even thanked by the director in the Playbill.  Being a self-professed theater geek, just seeing my name in any Playbill was a cool thing.  Currently, I am helping out with another set build for the subsequent show.  Giving of yourself, whether it be helping out your elderly parents, assisting with a high school production, or even giving blood, can be very gratifying.  Give it a try and I know you will concur.

I want to thank Jen Smith, the illustrious owner of this blog and first-class individual, for allowing me to guest-post on her must-read blog.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Jen and another tremendous individual, Nona Jordan, about the life-coaching profession.  It was basically my introduction to what life-coaching was all about. Both Jen and Nona answered all of my questions brilliantly and, as a result, I learned the importance of this honorable occupation.

I would truly be interested in what your OPGAs are and how you are going about attaining them.  Please let us all know in the comments.

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