Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

Resolutions Redux

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

Yesterday I wrote about the “fast-food” nature of New Year’s resolutions. Fast food solves a hunger problem, but it sure isn’t good for you…


Lawrence Cheok has a different view of New Year’s resolutions that he shares at Dumb Little Man. Read his views here. (Lawrence regularly writes A Long Long Road — I recommend it.)

Resolutions don’t have to be the fast food of your personal development menu. Check out Lawrence’s suggestions, and then (if I may be so bold), instead of applying them to “resolutions”, apply them to all of your goals throughout the year. January 1st is not the only day for setting new goals.Your approach to goals and life’s benchmarks is exactly that — yours. No matter how you do it, you should still be employing a handful of fundamentals:

  • Write your goals down (somewhere you’ll see them throughout the day).
  • Make your goals specific.
  • Set a specific time frame — a deadline.
  • Break down big goals into small, manageable steps.
  • List the reasons “why” — attach as much emotion as you can to each of your goals.

If January 1 seems like a good time to jump start your life, then by all means go for it. Once you experience success, you’ll be using the same ideas and enjoying the same excitement throughout the year.

Happy New Year?

Saturday, January 5th, 2008


It’s a little late to be wishing everyone a “Happy New Year!”, isn’t it? It depends on your point of view.

Each New Year brings New Year’s resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are a staple of society. Goals are set, lists are written, and gyms are packed with people determined to meet new goals in the New Year. Congratulations! Right?

Not so fast. Usually by the third week of January, the gyms are less crowded (mine is for sure). Writing a list becomes too time consuming for many (I’m busy!), and goals are either forgotten or written off as unachievable.

What happened?

What happens is that people lose their enthusiasm. The excitement generated when initially setting a new goal is lost in the day-to-day effort required to meet the goal. Without the excitement and enthusiasm, achieving the goal suddenly seems “hard” or “stupid”.

New Year’s resolutions are a quick fix. Like most quick fixes, they are prone to failure. Fast failure.

January 5th may seem to be a bit early to be making this observation, and hopefully, it is. Hopefully, those that chose to make resolutions are still excited about seeing them through.

And therein lies the key — excitement! Goals aren’t “work” — goals are exciting! Goals reflect what’s important to us. If it’s important to you, how can it not be exciting?

When you really, truly want something, you’ll take great steps to get it. Look over that list of resolutions — are you still excited today like you were on the day you “resolved”? If you are, keep seeing the goal in your hands! See yourself achieving it; feel the sense of accomplishment; feel the pride and joy associated with the success. Feel it — you’re allowed!

If some of the excitement has worn off, take a step back and reevaluate. Is the goal still important to you? Does it need to be tweaked? Changing your mind is not a sign of weakness — it’s a sign of maturity!

Achieving a goal is not a once-a-year event. If you’re big on “resolutions”, then resolve to make new ones every day, week or month. You don’t need a new calendar as an excuse.

Goal setting, planning, and success are life long processes. Making a habit of setting and achieving your goals will make your life fuller and happier than any one-time resolution ever will.

Two Approaches — One Goal

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Love what you do? Or “do” whatever it takes to make a living?

Everyone is familiar with the idea of doing what you love. The thinking goes something like this: “do what you love, and the money will take care of itself.” Wouldn’t it be great to wake up every morning and think “I get to go to work today!” Steve Pavlina recently suggested we do just that.

Steve is a personal development god in my book — check out his thoughts here.

Life wouldn’t be much fun if we all looked at things the same way; someone has to see things differently, right? Penelope Trunk thinks the whole idea of doing what you love is silly. Here’s what she had to say.

At the end of the day, the “answer” is a personal one and probably falls somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. Certainly work is easier if we enjoy it. Unfortunately, what we enjoy won’t always pay the bills. The bigger picture insists that we look at this issue from more than one or two points of view.

Yes, I want to enjoy my work and pay my bills. But absent this utopian existence, why not pay my bills while looking for things I love? My first responsibility in life is to me — if I don’t take care of me I can’t do much for others.

One of the basic necessities of taking care of me involves supporting myself. Do that (and a handful of other basics) first, and I’m well on my way to opening up possibilites and opportunities down the road. The keys are passion and enthusiasm.

If you aren’t thrilled with your current job or career choice, get excited about looking for other opportunities. Don’t limit yourself to what pays the most — chase the things you’re passionate about.

Have fun! Make the search a process you enjoy.