Forget Those Resolutions (you probably already have)!

January 23, 2017

As I write this, we are almost three weeks into the new year.  Gym attendance has slowed, a few more drinks are being consumed, and chocolate has creeped back into our diets.  Sound like you??

As we all know, resolutions are terrible ways to actually change behaviors.  What might work better? 

Set a goal.  A specific goal that can be measured in its achievement.

When I work with clients, I really like them to try and identify the goals they are working to achieving.  Saving money in itself is never very exciting but going on an amazing trip to Italy with your loved ones is far more compelling.  These are the types of goals that when we think about them create emotion.  And we know emotion is more compelling to create and sustain action.

Once you set a goal, are there other ways to also help you achieve it?

There are two that I feel strongly about:

  1. Make your goal public
  2. Create Accountability for yourself

Last year, I set a goal to complete an Ironman Triathlon.  That was a pretty big goal!  For the first couple months, I didn’t want to tell anyone that I was going to do this for fear that I might not follow through.  But then I realized that going public would be the best way to make sure I accomplished my goal.  I not only told everyone I knew, but I turned it into a fundraiser with a goal of raising $70,300 for the 12 Oaks Foundation.  I had made my goal very public and I was now accountable to people who were donating based on my efforts.  The end result was that I finished the Ironman Triathlon.  And while I didn’t raise the full amount of my goal, I did raise a little over $20,000.

So what are some ways that you can keep yourself accountable to your goals?  Depending on what it is, a coach (financial or otherwise) is a great start.  Another tool is to use an online tool such as  With this program, you define your goal and create something that you will have to do or pay if you do not accomplish your goal.  There are similar tools out there but it helps to make the goal public and put some accountability to it.  Imaging having to give money to a charity that you really do not like if you didn’t accomplish your goal.  That is good incentive!

Hmmm – What is my goal for this year??  I’m not telling yet.  What is yours??