Last Updated Jun 2, 2011 3:02 PM EDT
You have to love this time of year. It's where every so-called expert with a keyboard goes on and on about how important it is to set resolutions. Are we to believe this is the only time of year it makes sense to think about our future? And are we to believe that if we don't have resolutions we are destined for a one-way ticket to Loserville?
Ask the first people you see today what their New Year's resolutions are for 2010. You'll hear a lot of generic double-talk nonsense that makes the "I want world peace" speech by Miss Universe sound coherent. Why?
Everyone feels obligated to have resolutions. Can you imagine the look of disgust and superiority if you answered, "Actually, I don't have any New Year's resolutions"? Well, I don't have to imagine because that's exactly how I answer the question. The immediate reply, "What do you mean you don't have any New Year's resolutions?!" It's like I've stolen a box of Girl Scout Cookies.
Let's be honest. You don't like New Year's resolutions because you know you won't stick to them, but you feel moral/social pressure to have at least a few. Well, I'm telling you to stop feeling obligated! You don't have to have any if you don't want.
In fact, I think you'd be better off if you didn't have New Year's resolutions. Yes, I said it. You would be better off. Whenever your motivation is external (e.g., social obligation) and not internal (e.g., I really would like to improve...), the odds are stacked against you.
But what if you really want to make some positive changes in your life? Instead of coming up with a list of surface-level resolutions that sound good, let's dig deeper and come up with a handful of very personal and highly motivating things that will inspire you to take action.
How can you quickly determine your most important goals for 2010? Answer this question:
Imagine it is 365 days from today; What must have happened for you to fee wildly successful financially, professionally, personally, socially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
That's it! Answer that question honestly and you will have your road-map for 2010. You'll know precisely where you need to end up for you to feel thrilled with your progress.
New Year's resolutions are ephemeral because you won't be invested in the outcome. When setting resolutions are a "to-do" list item, it's no wonder most people give up (or forget) after a week.
Your answer to this question is powerful and motivating because it hits you at your core. It reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry and Elaine are trying to rent a car . . .
Paraphrasing Seinfeld, "Anyone can set goals, but it's achieving them that's the most important part." And, of course, that's true, but first focus on digging deep and getting a handful that really light your candle.
Next week we'll talk about how to take your answers to that question and do something very special with them.
Worried about waiting a week? Don't. 90% of the people giving you a hard time about not having New Year's resolutions will have forgotten them by next week while you're just digging in...
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