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December 27, 2011
Resolutions vs. Goals
Resolution: A resolve or determination

Goal: The result or achievement toward which effort is directed

Now that you’re ready to kick all your bad habits and fully enact all those New Year resolutions, I suspect all vices and temptations will be conquered by this time next week, right? Right?

There is a reason business managers don't sit around the conference table and ask their employees about their resolutions - 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. Take a random sampling of 100 people who resolved to lose weight in 2011, and 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 a single pound, wouldn't that qualify as "losing weight"?

Instead of making tired resolutions you have no real intent of keeping this year, I hope you set goals for 2012. Read the definitions at the start of this segment again. Instead of resolving to "lose weight", try setting a goal to lose a specific amount. Instead of resolving to "be a better person", try setting a goal to donate a certain number of hours to the local food bank, Habitat for Humanity, or any other charity of your choosing. Instead of resolving to "spend more time with family", try setting a goal to ban the TV for one night every week, and instead use the time to play board games. (This is extremely popular in my own household.)

Now let's turn this toward financial matters. I could have resolved to "make more money" this year, but instead I set a goal to increase my income by 25%. I could have resolved to "be a smarter investor", but instead I set a goal to purchase two properties (or notes) for my own portfolio every month. I could have resolved to "work smarter, not harder", but instead I 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 nobody (especially you) will hold you accountable for? Or will you set goals and put them in writing, knowing how disappointed you'll be if you fail to accomplish them out of sheer lack of commitment?

Resolutions are for everyone else. Successful people set goals. Goals provide direction. Direction provides focus. Focus provides effort. And effort provides execution.

Have a great week, and a FANTASTIC New Year!!!


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