Goal Setting & New Year's Resolutions
I'm always amused at this time of year, just after New Year's Day. All of the hype around "resolutions". It's impossible to get on any of the equipment at the gym with all the would-be resolutioners vowing to "get in better shape" this year. Of course I only have to put up with the extra traffic for about 3 weeks. Before the new year logs a month, the "resolve" has worn off of most of them and the bulging gym has returned to its normal size, with the regulars that have long before committed to a lifestyle of exercise and diet.

Resolutions are silly. They're nothing more than goals without any real substance. I get a chuckle out of resolutions claiming to get in better shape, improve financial condition, smoke or drink less. When do you know if you're in better shape, when your financial condition is improved, or if you're smoking or drinking less? You don't know. That's the problem. If you're going to waste time and breath on making resolutions, do it right and set goals that you can measure. There's no better feeling than being able to say you succeeded in reaching a goal or goals.

For instance, rather than saying you're going to get in better shape, set a performance goal to go to the gym for an hour a day, three times a week. Rather than saying you're going to improve your financial condition, set an outcome goal to reduce your credit card debt by 50% by the end of the year, increase your income by 20%, or save 10% more from each paycheck. Rather than saying you're going to smoke less, set a limiting goal to purchase no more than 1 pack of cigarettes per month.

Resolution setting is goal setting. Everyone does it one time a year. Successful and happy people have learned to master it and practice it all year long. We encourage you to think about following their lead. Here's to a happy new year and a new commitment to mastering the art of goal setting in 2010.

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If you're serious about goal setting, you're going to need tools to aid in designing, refining, and following your plan. We've developed a tool we call the GoalTender but there are many others available on the web and we encourage you to research several articles and tools before investing your money. What works for one person may not work for you.

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