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January 05, 2010
Resolutions or Goals?
Resolution: A resolve or determination

Goal: The result or achievement toward which effort is directed

There is a reason business managers don't sit around the conference table and ask their employees what their resolutions are - because there is no commitment behind resolutions. Think about it - how many times have you or someone you know talked about "losing weight", "being a better person", "spending more time with family", blah, blah, blah once the New Year starts? Please...spare me.

Resolutions should be banned. Seriously. If you give me any random sampling of 100 people who resolved to lose weight in 2009, I would bet any amount of money that 95 of them either stayed the same weight or gained some over the course of the year. Besides, resolutions are usually so generic in nature that if someone lost one ounce in 2009, wouldn't that qualify as "losing weight"?

I'm talking about setting goals for this year. Read the definitions at the top of this blog again. Instead of resolving to "lose weight", set a goal to lose a specific amount. Instead of resolving to "be a better person", set a goal to donate X amount of hours to the local food bank, Habitat for Humanity, etc. Instead of resolving to "spend more time with family", set a goal to visit every relative living within 200 miles of you by the end of the year.

Now let's turn this toward financial matters. I could resolve to "make more money" this year, but instead I will set a goal to increase my income by 25%. I could resolve to "be a smarter investor", but instead I will set a goal to purchase two properties every month. I could resolve to "work smarter, not harder", but instead will set a goal to always be available for my kids' parent/teacher conferences, orchestra performances, and homework needs. See where this is going?

What about you? Are you going to stick with resolutions that mean nothing and that nobody (especially you) will hold you accountable for? Or will you set goals and put them in writing, knowing how disappointed you'll be in yourself if you fail to accomplish them out of sheer lack of effort?

Resolutions are for everyone else. YOU set goals. Goals provide direction. Direction provides focus. Focus provides effort. And effort provides execution. Who's with me?!

Make it a great year.


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