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David Dyson leads seminar about reaching resolutions

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Zach Henson

Assistant News Editor

David Dyson, founder of the Life Leaders Institute, led a seminar to help students achieve their goals and resolutions by stepping out of their comfort zones.

The seminar, hosted by the Life Leaders student interest group Thursday night, focused on planning an achievable resolution and seeing it through to completion.

Dyson has been leading seminars since 1992 and condensed his usually all-day workshop into an hour-long program for Troy students.

“You will increase chances, or increase probability, of doing your best,” Dyson said in his opening remarks. “That is a guarantee.”

Participants were given packets upon their arrival containing templates to be completed during the seminar.

Dyson began by sharing his “7 Best Practices to Lead Your Life,” a collection of strategies he has found to assist in “thinking, planning, preparing, and persisting as your best-self.” He then overviewed the “7 Areas of Life.”

In the first activity, Dyson encouraged students to think of goals they would like to achieve and place them in one of the seven areas of life on the template. He then asked the participants to choose one of those goals to be an “achievable resolution.”

Dyson walked everyone through planning their resolutions by writing out the purpose, desired results and potential strategies.

According to Dyson, 50 percent of those who set resolutions quit within one month which is why he encourages participants to write about their resolutions.

“The writing-down process and reviewing it every day is to help internalize (a goal) and get leverage on yourself,” he said. “If you want to be better than you were back in mid-November, you have to get leverage on yourself.”

According to Dyson, getting “leverage” can be done by consistently reviewing your resolution, finding an accountability partner and pinpointing motivations.

He recounted a story of a woman who had tried for five years to stop smoking, but had failed every time. When they met, the woman told Dyson that she wanted to live long enough to see her grandchildren graduate.

He told her to put a picture of her grandchildren on her mirror and ask herself daily, “Which do I love more — my grandkids or my cigarettes?”

By finding her motivation, the woman was able to make a choice to continue in her resolution and realize what would happen if she did not quit smoking.

After finding their motivations, participants were encouraged to begin making the time investment to accomplish their goals.

Bobby Sheppard, a freshman nursing major from Prattville and principal officer of the Life Leaders student interest group, shared his resolution of competing in gymnastics in the 2020 Olympics.

“Instead of sitting on my cell phone on Instagram, I can use that time to start training,” he said. “I’ll watch TV for 15 minutes and then I’ll realize how much time I’m spending.

“I’ll get down on the floor, do 100 pushups, get back up and my show’s back on.”

Dyson said time management is important in achieving a goal.

“Use your time well, and you can put more meaning into it,” Dyson said.

The end of the seminar was marked by several students sharing their new resolutions. Many participants wanted to improve their health; others voiced financial or sports related goals.

Josh Mumpower, a freshman computer science major from Hoover and the chair of the Life Leaders student interest group, shared his resolution for Life Leaders in Troy.

“Our student retention rate, as freshmen, is 62 percent,” Mumpower said. “What I want to do, personally, through the organization that I’m chair of, is make that student retention rate at least go to three-fourths.

“I want to see 75 percent of students that are coming in as first-year freshmen actually make it to their sophomore year.”

Mumpower said he believes Dyson’s teachings really work.

“The possibilities are limitless,” he said.

For more information about Dyson and Life Leaders Institute, visit lifeleadersinstitute.org or drdavid.blog.

For information about the Life Leaders student interest group, contact Josh Mumpower at jmumpower@troy.edu.