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Make 2012 Your Best Year Ever!

by Derek

Five, Four, Three, Two, One, Happy New Year!!  The ball dropped and put an end to 2011, giving us all a fresh start in 2012. Millions of people closed their eyes and promised themselves that this year would be different. “This year I will lose that spare 20 pounds I’ve been carrying around.” “This year, I’ll work hard and get that promotion at work.” “This year, I’ll focus to improve myself and read more. No more wasting my time in front of the television.”

Today, the date is January 4, and most of those resolutions have already been forgotten. Why is it that so many people make promises to themselves, and then they give up so easily? Well, life is busy, work can be hectic, and bad habits are not easy to break! Unless we truly focus on our new goals, they are simply not going to happen.

Goals, Goals, Goals

Give Yourself a Chance

It’s only the 4th day of January, but even if you’ve already blown your New Year’s Resolution, don’t give up! I’m going to give you the tools to hit your goals and fulfill all of your dreams!

First of all, most of us are not auditory learners. If someone tells you their name, how long does it take before you forget it? About 2 seconds? But, what if you see someone’s name on their name tag? Chances are, you’re going to remember their name for at least a few minutes, if not for the whole evening!

Since many of us are educationally stimulated by either a visual image or a hands-on project, don’t just tell yourself your goal, write them down and paint yourself a picture for your “why”!

Write Your Goals Down and Look At Them Every Day

I don’t know exactly what it is, but something happens when you write your goals down on a piece of paper. Seeing your goals down on paper makes them so much more real and finite (I actually post mine on my website for everyone to see). If you want to improve your odds on these goals, tell someone about them (preferably someone you trust). This will give you even more incentive to accomplishing those aspirations.

Paint a Picture of Those Dreams

Now, I suppose you could literally paint a picture of your dreams, but that’s not really what I mean. Hopefully you have goals written down on paper, but you’ll never hit these goals unless you have a reason why. Once you know the reason, find a representation of that reason and make a collage. For instance, maybe you want to increase your revenue by $10,000 this year so you can afford that boat you’ve been drooling over for the past 10 years. Find a picture of that boat and post it where you can see it. Make sure you always keep your “why” in front of you. If you don’t, your goals will naturally dissolve, and you’ll have no incentive to bring them back to life.

To illustrate this with an example, many of you may know that my wife and I are planning on paying off our house in 4 years. Just recently though, when I asked my wife why we were doing this, she really couldn’t come up with a reason why (obviously, this plan was my idea). Since we are a team, if my wife really doesn’t have a reason why, she’s not going to be all gung-ho about paying off the house. Distractions such as manicures, trinkets, and new clothes will become a stumbling block in achieving our goal. Does that make sense? Always have a reason why!

Do you have goals for 2012? Do you have a reason why?

photo by:  lululemon athletica

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog January 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

Of course i have 2012 goals – there’s no point in not. Though I havent gotten them ALL On the same paper, i’ve got them all written down somewhere – and i’m not forgetting them!

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Derek January 4, 2012 at 10:30 am

I’m glad you have goals. It’s also good that you’ve written them down! Just make sure that you look at them frequently so that you’re always pressing toward their completion.

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Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents January 4, 2012 at 9:07 am

I haven’t specifically laid out my goals yet, but plan to soon.

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Derek January 4, 2012 at 10:31 am

I say write them down and tape them up on your Master Bath mirror. Make it a daily reminder, and you’ll most likely achieve them!

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krantcents January 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

having a compelling reason to make it happen is a good first step. Monitor your goals frequently such as daily/weekly/monthly and adjust your efforts to reach your goal.

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Derek January 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Good advice krantcents! By revisiting your goals often, there is a much better chance that you’ll hit them.

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shanendoah@The Dog Ate My Wallet January 4, 2012 at 5:16 pm

What does self-satisfaction look like? Maybe I need a picture of a cat…

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Derek January 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Haha! Nice one. Make sure your goals are measurable though. If you can’t find a picture to represent it, chances are that it’s not measurable.

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Dr. Dean January 4, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Good post, Derek. It’s easy to lose focus and then not meet goals.

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Derek January 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm

It sure is! Especially when life happens. But, if you continually keep your goals in front of you, there are much better odds of success.

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maria@moneyprinciple January 5, 2012 at 12:56 pm

You know that I have started learning to dream my goals but…I also started a vision book last year. I was supposed to look like Julia Roberts on January, 1st but it all went wrong. Probably, I am not visual enough for this to work for me.

Jokeing aside, though, having a vision book where I put pictures of what I want (and other kinds of visualisation) is very powerful.

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Derek January 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Haha! Good one Maria. Yes, pictures are powerful! Put them everywhere you can (I put them in my office at work)! ;)

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Jackie @ freeismylife January 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I have goals around losing weight and being a better mom and making money blogging – you know – your standard yearly goals. But I plan to concentrate first on walking more than 5000 steps per day and work up to the rest later ;)

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Derek January 6, 2012 at 2:29 am

5,000 steps is a pretty awesome goal! I went a stretch of 3 months with a goal of 6,000 steps. Some days it’s a sinch, but others is really tough, espeically if you’re a blogger like me. Sometimes I wouldn’t even have 1,000 steps in a day! Pretty sad huh?

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Roger the Amateur Financier January 9, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Yes, I do have goals. There’s quite a variety, from cutting down my credit card debt to building up my blog to getting a job after I graduate from grad school (with the implied goal of graduating from grad school first, of course). My best reason why comes down to wanting to provide a better life for my fiancee and help get us in a better position to start having kids together.

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Kay Lynn January 11, 2012 at 4:37 am

Roger, finishing grad school should get you in position to earn more and start accomplishing all your financial goals. Once you’re done with school, I’m sure you’ll have more time to blog as well.

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Roger the Amateur Financier January 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Thanks, Kay, it’s always nice to get encouragement, particularly when it seems so hard to get through everything.

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