New Years Resolutions - Are They Goals Or Wishes?

The holidays are upon us. I don't know how it happened, do you? It seems like the year 2009 just began. And now it's nearly over.

For some - maybe even you - this realization can cause feelings of disappointment or hope. Disappointment if you haven't achieved the changes in your life that you set out to do as part of your 2009 New Years Resolutions. And hope that the year 2010 can be different, and that you can achieve the change that you want to make in your life.

If you are disappointed because you haven't achieved your goals this year, let me encourage you to get started today! There's still time. You might not be able to achieve all that you set out to do in January, but you can still take steps right now to achieve (or at least make serious progress on) at least one of your 2009 resolutions. I'll tell you how in a moment.

If you hope that 2010 can be different, let me encourage you to get a head start right now. No one says you have to wait until January 1. I give you permission to start today!

What New Year's Resolutions Are Right for You?

Here's an easy way to determine your New Year's Resolutions. First, start thinking of some of the things in your life that you already know you want to change, or that have troubled you for a while. Second, ask those who are close to you - your spouse, friends, co-workers, maybe even your boss - if they have any suggestions for you. If they're honest, I'll bet they'll have a suggestion or two for you.

Chances are, one or more of these goals will probably end up on your list:

· Get organized

· Get out of debt

· Lose weight

· Quit smoking

· Quit drinking

· More time with friends and family

· Enjoy life more

· Learn a new skill

· Get a better job (or maybe just any job)

Why Do Only a Few People Succeed in Making Change in Their Lives - And How Can You Be One of Them?

I think the difference between success and failure in achieving New Year's Resolutions is the difference between goals and wishes. A wish is something you hope for. A goal is something you plan for.

In my estimation, the vast majority of people are really just making wishes, not goals. And deep down, they expect to fail. Why else would so many people joke about not keeping their resolutions?

To be successful in achieving New Year's Resolutions, or change in any area of life, we need to set realistic goals, make step-by-step plans, and take action.

Again, many people fail because this process is foreign to them - it not a part of most people's life experience. Too many of us are content to largely just let life happen to us. We respond to what comes our way, but we don't knock ourselves out to try to make things better or be different.

8 Additional Ways to Increase Your Chance of Success

Identify resources or tools that can help. For most goals, "there's an app for that."

Enlist the support of a mentor or accountability partner

Set aside a specific time each day or week to work on your goal.

Virtualize your success - imagine what your life would be like, in vivid detail, when this goal is achieved. Begin to act now like you've already achieved it.

Be specific in setting your goal. Write it down.

Be realistic in your expectations and deadlines.

Keep track of your time invested and progress made. You must inspect what you expect.

Plan to reward yourself when the goal is accomplished. It doesn't have to be expensive or a big deal, but plan to reward yourself when you accomplish your goal.

A little thought and planning right now will help to propel you forward toward the successful achievement of your 2010 New Year's Resolutions. Why not get started in changing your life today?

Rich Avery writes about life change, life purpose, and work-life balance at

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