What is a Resolution?

I have been lost, not physically, but in essence I have been lost. And in true guy formula, have not asked for directions. Although I am not sure there are any “maps” that can put me on course, but I consider this some sort of therapy.

With this new year comes the traditional New Years Resolutions and I have read some of yours on my regular reads. I generally do not consider making New Years Resolution since they tend to be a ghost list of things that you would like to change, but do very little to actually change the thought process that keeps you where you are. However, yesterday, Jen asked me if I had any New Years Resolutions or if things were going to be just the same as last year. It struck me odd, since as I just mentioned that I don't do resolutions. Later that night, she read me an email from Ann Vertel (I have included it here) that basically said that a resolution is not a true resolution unless you attach a quantity to it. Really? No way… being a better person is a good enough resolution for me. Vague and unattainnable. It leaves me with no responsibilty on my part. Something that my generation has a problem with – responsibility. Ann Vertel is a motivational coach which we receive a daily email to help build Jen's Mary Kay business by changing your outlook and attitude.

“How Much, By When?”

Welcome to the New Year. Your year. Lots of people have made resolutions and set goals. Ugh!!!! It can seem like such a chore and often feels depressing or pointless. Let's make it simple.

First, let's look at a few examples of what a goal is not:

* make more money
* sell more product
* recruit more people
* work smarter
* really watch what I eat

You may be very resolute (thus the term resolution) about doing those things but don't fool yourself into thinking they are goals. Now see if you can identify the common thread in the following examples that are goals:

* put product on 30 faces by noon on the last day of this month
* present the marketing plan to 10 people by midnight on the 25th of this month
* speak to all my customers by close of business on the 15th of next month
* get contact information for 20 new people by 3 p.m. this Friday
* qualify for my car by midnight on June 30th

Unless your goal specifies “how much” and “by when” it is not a goal, it is a wish. A goal is quantifiable – it can be measured. You either achieve it or you don't, there's no gray area.

Set all your goals – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly – based on the mantra, “How Much, By When?” and you'll be able to determine, without any ambiguity, if you met your goal or not.

Granted, some people would prefer not to set “How Much, By When?” goals because it forces them to look at their business with logic and facts instead of wishful thinking. Without “How Much, By When?” goals it's much too easy to let yourself off the hook or to think you're on track when you're not. This year, set real goals and watch your dreams become reality.

Wishing you the most successful, powerful, and profitable New Year yet!

Fast Forward to this morning, I downloaded my Favorite Podcast Phedippidations which Episode 25 is titled “Revolutions and Resolutions” where Steve lists the Top 10 Resolutions of Americans. He tals about his thoughts WHY we have resolutions.

1) January 1 is a chronologically easy point in time (although, I beleive the solar cycle should start on an equinox)

2) It's an ever constant attempt to improve our lives and the lives of others

Improve our lives… yes, and the lives of others… what, those must be his opinions and observations? I thought resolutions were for us. And yes they are for us, but a better us results in a better world. Steve also rambles (inside joke) on that by improving our quality of life, we have more quality experiences which will help others. Oh, I get it… as Jerry Macguire said “Show ME the MONEY!”, oh wait… it was “Help me… help you. Help me, help you.” So by helping myself, I can help others.

So as Americans here is the Top 10 (in no particular order, I think)
1) Spend more time with Friends & Family
2) Become more physically fit
3) Lose Weight
4) Quit smoking
5) Enjoy Life more
6) Quit Drinking
7) Get Out of Debt
8) Learn Something New
9) Organization
10) Help others

And aren't they pretty good? Yeah, they are… but what do they lack? Quantification! Yup, that's right, they are vague and lack responsibility. The closest ones are Quit Drinking/Smoking which just says that you are going to quit smoking sometime in the year. It gives you no accountability to yourself on actually quiting and if you don't then you just more it to the next year. So Steve's rambling diatribe about resolution makes Ann's email make SENSE. I get IT now… I understand.

So, I am going to write out MY resolutions and quantify them. I will have what with a when and by how much. I will post them TODAY (ha ha, a goal!).

Also included in the Ann Vertel Message was a nice little exercise that incorporates your goals and your resolutions into one task and gets you ready for the 2006 Christmas Season (which is only 11 months away).

Happy New Year! This is YOUR year to shine! Take half an hour today to write your Christmas letter for 2006. That's right, write out next year's summary of the coming year. It's a fun way to set goals because you are looking at them as if they have already happened!

About planet3rry

I'm a husband, father and runner in the Knoxville area. I love the way that running makes me feel and how it has changed my thinking. I am always looking for the new PR whether in the 5k or the marathon