From friends and colleagues who want to quit smoking to people I know in drug rehab, one thing has been constant in their quest to achieve their goal, that is their personal commitment. Personal commitment or convincing one's self that this is what you really want is not easy. It is very difficult to lose weight, stop smoking or change a habit we have been doing for years. You can only be successful when you have accepted that you want this change more that keeping the habit you wish to change.

In Self Improvement, you must first convince yourself that whatever change you wish to make is most important to you. My personal experience is in Management, particularly in the Chemical/Pharmaceutical Industry. Here you have people with Doctorates or experience in specialty or even top secret areas. Try convincing one of these experts in their field that they could learn more about Time Management or Strategic Goal Planning or any other corporate target programs. Only when they recognize that they really could help themselves by listening to such a program do they even begin to open up to new ideas.

My area is Productivity and Making Employess Effective. I concentrate on Time Management, Goal Planning and Implementation as well as Management Strategies for Maintaining Successful Policies and Procedures. My goal in this article is to get you, assuming you are undertaking a self-improvement project, to first focus on you. Only you can convince yourself that you are going to do it.

I recently had a minor heart attack. For years I promised my family that I would reduce stress and manage my time better. I never found time to eat right; never found time to exercise; never found time to be examined properly by a physician. So what happened to me before my 45th birthday?
Now, of course, I am most focussed on my health. I could not be very successful at what I do for a living if I am no longer living!

Allow me to quote Robert Louis Stvenson, " That man is a success who has lived all, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled the niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to expressit; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had!" and the good book, " will pass this way but once...".

I recommend that you take your time in convincing yourself that you wish to change. There are several sources and books. I suggest you read, " The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People " by Steven Covey; " The Effective Executive ", by Peter F. Drucker; "Reengineering the Corporation : by Michael Hammer & James Champy. The first book is more for personal improvement and the second and third for business. These books have helped guide me in my self improvement efforts and I hope they can help you.

Please feel free to contact my e-mail address if you have any questions or comments. I have helped several friends make great changes in their lives and I am making one in mine right now. I hope to be writing more articles in the months to come.

Author's Bio: Over 25 years in the Chemical/Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry from Technician to General Manager. Currently a Management Consultant.