I know that a lot of folks made resolutions at the beginning of the year. So, here we are about six weeks into the new year and most of those resolutions have been broken or forgotten already. A few years ago, I stopped making resolutions. Resolutions seemed useless and frivolous to me. They were like bad promises that I dont think I ever really intended to keep. Then, I read an article that changed the way I looked at New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t remember the title of the article but the gist of it was to not make resolutions. Rather, the author suggested that one should set a few realistic, achievable goals for the year. That made so much more sense to me. I understand goals much better than I have every understood resolutions and I believed that I could actually achieve them. See, goals are something that you work toward whereas, it seemed to me, resolutions were something that needed to happen immediately. When I set a goal, I immediately create a plan to reach it. Sometimes those plans are very detailed and comprehensive and sometimes not. I try to set goals in different areas of my life. For example, I might make a goal in the areas of health, career, finance, relationships or personal development. Sometimes it is a simple as trying a new hobby or taking a trip to a certain place. It could be a personal acheivement like finishing a project or taking a class. A couple of years ago, I decided to locate and develop a closer relationship with some relatives who live far away and to whom I hadn’t communicated for a while. The important thing is to not just make up goals in your head and leave them there. You have got to write down your goal, timeframe it and figure out what steps you need to take to achieve your goal. Give yourself enough flexibility to recognize and take advantage of opportunities as they come to you throughout the year. Get your support network of friends and family on board to help coach you when you need it. Periodically check your progress, say monthly or biweekly, to help keep yourself on track. Lastly, make sure you congratulate yourself and celebrate successful steps toward your goal. If something doesnt work like you think it should, don’t give up. Try a different approach. Again, that is where your support network can be helpful. The good thing about setting goals rather than making resolutions is that you can set goals for yourself at any time. I have set three simple goals for myself this year in the areas of career, finance, and personal development. I have a plan and have made some progress. I will let you know how it goes. If you have given up on your resolutions or if you just want to try goal setting instead, let me know how it goes for you.