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January 05, 2009
Dissolution of Resolutions
I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. Or maybe I should say I don't give them as much thought as most people. Why? Well, because like me, most people seem to have the same resolutions year after year. Lose weight. Get in shape. Get in touch with old friends. Be a better person...blah blah blah.

I don't mean to be condescending, but most resolutions have no specificity. Lose weight...if I lose one pound by the end of 2009, does that mean I was successful? Get in shape...does that mean intentionally forgetting something in the bedroom each morning so I have to climb the stairs a second time? I think you get my point.

Maybe we should try to shed the term 'resolutions' and replace it with 'goals'. After all, goals are typically very specific, not general statements. That way, it's very easy to determine whether we were successful in a given year achieving what we set out to.

Lose (20,30,50) pounds. Be able to bench press (150, 200) pounds. Run a mile in (eight, ten) minutes. Touch base with (five, ten) friends I've lost contact with. Volunteer (five, ten) hours per week to a local food bank, homeless shelter, whatever. With specific goals comes specific quantifying of our success.

We can do the same with our financial resolutions (goals) in the coming year. Do you want to save more of your income, or are you prepared to specify how much of your income you plan to save this year? Do you resolve to retire before age 65, or do you want to specify that you want to retire by the time you turn 61?

I'm not going to use this blog to lay out my goals for 2009, but I do want to get you all thinking about your own goals for 2009 and for your life. For general resolutions, it's easy to generally ignore them. With specific goals, you constantly know where the bar is and whether or not you're going to fall above or below it.

Challenge yourself this year. Be specific about what you plan to do physically, emotionally, financially, etc. Come January 1st, 2010, you can be satisfied you achieved your goals for 2009 and can set a whole new agenda for 2010. And I'm betting it won't be to just lose weight, get in shape, blah blah blah.

Make it a great year.


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