Is it Better to Make Resolutions or Set Goals? – Post 421

Welcome to Feb. Well, we’re a month into the New Year, how are you doing so far?  How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Are you still on track?

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Probably not. Most of us get off track within the first few months of the year. We just keep on marching forward in life, day after day, traffic jam after traffic jam, cubicle after cubicle. Life is moving faster and faster, month by month, year by year but we’re really not getting anywhere.

Why do most of us fail at keeping our New Year’s resolutions and what simple change can we make that will help us achieve what we want to accomplish in the future?

Well that is what we are going to discuss on today’s episode of the ProsperityRx Podcast. So lets get on with the show.

Every December and January we RESOLVE to change our path. To get healthier. To become fit. To get out of debt. To save money. To do something different yet within the first month or two we fail to change.

December is a month attached with lots of emotions. As the holidays close in we get caught up in an emotional roller coaster. We’re in a giving mood but realize, no matter how prepared we thought we were, our finances aren’t in line with emotional aspect of giving. Family dynamics during the holidays test our emotions. And then the hustle and bustle of the season combined with all the special foods and holiday treats, we find ourselves not making the best choices when it comes to our health and what we eat.

On top of that, after the holidays have past and we start facing a New Year we reflect on the failures of the past year and we tend to make resolutions for the New Year that are overly ambitious and destined to fail.

As the New Year starts we are a bit apprehensive because we really don’t know what the New Year will bring and at the same time we realize that we have set the same resolutions in the past and have failed to succeed in completing the resolution, many times year after year.

It’s important to set some intentions for positive change in our life for the New Year, to hit the refresh button, so we need to take a different look at how we set those intentions for this New Year.

By definition, resolutions are more do-or-die which makes them more intimidating and more likely to fail. The definition of resolution is “a firm decision to do or not do something” or “the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.” A resolution tends to be ridged and inflexible. More conducive to failure.

Nearly 90 percent of those optimistically life-altering plans fail. And, that’s never good for our ego. It makes us question ourselves. It makes us want to avoid making future commitments to ourselves. It makes us not just quit our plans to make ourselves better, but it can actually turn us in the wrong direction. The “I want to eat salad for lunch everyday diet,” doesn’t just derail into a simple tuna sandwich and a bag of chips. Our frustration instead leads us to a box of donuts, with a side of fries.

Meanwhile a goal by definition is “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result; the destination of a journey.”

Just by these definitions alone, a goal sounds more attainable. Instead of setting a “firm” resolution that requires a very specific result we need to set a goal which is a part of a journey and enjoy the road to reaching a better place in our life.

While resolutions seem set in stone, goals are more malleable. Achieving a goal is an entirely different process than achieving a resolution.

For example if we set a resolution to eat healthier we become more obsessed with the result. If we cheat we feel like we failed completely. Do it enough time and we lose our resolve. Meanwhile if we set a goal to eat healthy, if we slipped up, it didn’t ruin our intention. We can start over tomorrow and continue to work toward eating healthier. We hadn’t broken an ultimate or overarching rule.

If we set a resolution, every day will be a battle to uphold that resolution but if we set a goal every day will be a journey toward that goal, with ups and downs, good days and bad days. By the end of the year we will be able to look back on our year and think about the progress we made toward our goal and be proud of the work we put in instead of evaluating whether we did or did not uphold our resolution.

Ultimately a resolution is a pass/ fail grade while a goal is graded on an A-F scale.

If we don’t reach the goal we have at least made progress and we can continue that progress into the next year.

Setting ourselves up for success in the New Year is one of the most crucial aspects of goal-setting. Bettering ourselves involves challenging ourselves, but we also don’t want to force ourselves to do anything we simply cannot achieve.

When setting goals, it’s important to consider how we’ll achieve it. Consider the steps we can realistically take to get there, breaking them down into baby steps that we can accomplish along the way, giving us little wins that keep us motivated.

Setting goals that aim too high are bound to fail, setting goals too low can also be similarly bound for failure. When we set goal and then break them down into baby steps, our minds perceive them as easy to achieve. And as we progress along the way, we feel a sense of reward.

Here are a few tips to help us with our goal setting.

  1. Never shoot for sameness. It makes sense that trying to remain the same can lead to failure, because there is nothing more natural than change. Expect to change. Strive for improvement.
  2. Make it public. Sharing our goal holds us accountable to achieving that goal. Tell our friends and family. Tell our coworkers. And be vocal about our intentions and progress.
  3. Make it focused. Being a better boss, becoming rich, or losing weight are hard to quantify unless we get focused and specific with our words. We should define each step toward our goal, and stay focused only on the next step.
  4. Make it scalable. While we can all hope to find a Genie to grant us wishes, the truth about achieving any change is that small actions eventually create large results. Don’t be discouraged by small change. Applaud it. It’s part of the process. Weight is lost pound by pound. Money is made dollar by dollar. Books are written one word after the other.
  5. Give it consequences—both good and bad. We all hold ourselves more accountable when consequences are present. Set consequences—plan something that stings a little when we fail, and celebrates when we succeed. While many goals focus on quitting negative habits, others should focus on adding rewarding habits. For example, it’s great to say we want to quit smoking or quit eating French fries. But, if we quit something negative, we should also add a goals to do something we enjoy—like having a date night with our spouse.
  6. Seek support. There are few more powerful things in life than knowing someone is cheering for our success. When we set a goal, seek out a person who will support our decision and be our champion. And, even if we’re not chasing the same goal, to become a cheerleader for their goals as well.
  7. Manage expectations. There’s a reason we didn’t achieve all our goals in the past. We can probably list many of them—we got busy, distracted, stressed, and so on. Know that while we’re trying to create change, a lot of our life demands won’t change. We’ll still be just as busy. We’ll still find distractions. And, we need to manage our expectations when setbacks happen. Don’t throw in the towel.
  8. Start Doing. Advice can come in many ways. Yes, there are psychological, physiological, and social elements included with any intended change we want to make this year. But, ironically, when we achieve our goal, our friends, family members, and coworkers will summarize our achievements in one simple sentence. They’ll say, “You did it!” So, possibly the best advice I can give anyone is this, “Start doing.”

We also have to consider why we are setting the goal in the first place. If we’re not doing it for us, what are we doing it for? Having a really big why increases our chance of success.

While a resolution to do something specific in the New Year feels like it must be completed by December 31st. Let’s be real, we are fallible creatures. Life is hard and sometimes it gets the best of us. Sometimes, the outcomes in our own lives are out of our own control. Since so many things in life are out of our own control, why are we so hard on ourselves when we don’t meet a resolution by the arbitrary deadline of December 31st?

It’s better to set a goal, so we can evaluate our progress and adjust along the way rather than write off a failed resolution and give up on it. Life is hard enough without the added pressure from ourselves. A goal can be a symbolic finish line that we’re working toward, whether the finish line is December 31st, or a metaphorical point we aim to reach for over the rest of our life. When life gets the best of us and circumstances happen that are out of our control, with goals we can reevaluate and adjust, eliminating the feeling of failure that we experience when we “break” our resolutions.

We should all absolutely aspire to our goals and light fires under our asses to achieve them, but at the end of the day, and the end of the year, it’s important to show ourselves some love for everything we’ve already made happen in our life. To celebrate our successes.

Change is inevitable. It’s going to happen. And, that means we should all focus on setting goals to make the best changes possible. Best wishes in 2019!

I hope you enjoyed this episode of the ProsperityRx Podcast. If you did find value please subscribe and feel free to share it with others.

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You’re not alone. People at every point on the financial spectrum experience the same feelings of frustration and stress that can come from not having complete control of your finances.

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Once we began following our own spending plan we were shocked to see all the ways money was wasted and how quickly we could start paying off our debts. By getting control of every dollar we finally were able to get out of debt and start building for our future.

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Instead of wondering where your hard earned money went learn how to create a spending plan and gain control of your finances.

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Define Your Dream and have a Burning Desire to Achieve It – Post 420

“Do you want to fail or do you want to succeed?”

Until You Know Why, the How Doesn’t Matter. Define Your Dream and have a Burning Desire to Achieve It!

That’s the first step. That’s always been the first step. It is still the first step.

Until you know why you’re on the Financial Peace journey, or building a business, or really anything else you want to accomplish in life, until you know why, the how doesn’t matter. You have to take the time to ask, “OK, what do I want to accomplish from this journey?” You have to decide.

You aren’t going to make it. If you don’t know why the how doesn’t matter.

At the end of 2011, 3 weeks before Christmas I lost my pharmacy position. Long story short, they were replacing those of us that had been there quite a while with new grads that they were paying 20 grand less than I made before. After a year of ny finding temporary or part time work I decided to get involved in my first side gig business outside of pharmacy. I had three goals that compelled me. Number one, I wanted to save my home, the dream home that I built with my own blood sweat and tears, I wanted to save it from being sold or foreclosed on while I was underemployed. Number two, my Malibu was on its last leg and I needed a new car. Number three, I needed to finish paying for my youngest son’s private school tuition. That’s why I got started in this business. Now my goals of course have changed since then because I was able to accomplished all three of those with the help of this business. But those were the first goals.

In my consulting and personal development business I teach people that when they first get in business to focus on the real reasons they want their business to succeed. Likewise, my good friend and business mentor, Dale Calvert asked me to go and sit down with my spouse and come up with 20 really good reasons I wanted success in my business and then out of those 20 he asked that we decide on our top 3 reasons then focus on those. He said you have to decide, “OK, what do we really want to accomplish from this business?”

Until you have that and it is inside of you, you will not make it. You will fail. Those principles apply to anything you want to accomplish in life. In this episode I apply these principles to the financial peace journey and show you how to define those dreams and then ignite that burning desire to accomplish them.

 

 

To learn more about creating extra income for yourself by creating your own business like I did visit http://AIMHighForSuccess.com

Do you want to fail or do you want to succeed? – Post 419

Do you want to fail or do you want to succeed? In this podcast we are going to talk about defining your dreams. Until you know why the how doesn’t matter.

 

Until you know why you’re doing ANYTHING, the how doesn’t matter. You have to take the time to ask, Why do I want to become debt free? What can I do or become if I’m debt free? What do I want to accomplish in life? You have to decide.

You’ve got this!

Now is the best time to start taking control of your money! I’ll be covering many topics to teach and encourage saving and debt freedom. Be sure to subscribe to this blog at ProsperityRx.com to learn how to save money, make a budget, pay off your debt, reduce your taxes and invest for your future.

And if you found value in the information that I’m providing please like and share this with others.

Also if you want to learn more about how to create extra income by starting a home business that requires no startup capital, no pyramid that requires a monthly auto shipment that cost you money every month instead of creating money, and no selling of lotions, or potions or pills, or quick magic diet aids that melt away inches in minutes or other such scam promotions visit http://AIMHighForSuccess.com.

Aim at nothing, you will hit it – Post 389

Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.”AIManimation2

I know I have spoken often of the necessity of having goals, or targets to shoot for in
life but it hasn’t always been something that I have done. For the majority of my life, and I am sure it is true for most of you as well, for the majority of my life I have just cruised along. Sure I have had dreams along the way and I have actually set short term goals and met them but for most of my life I never really set a life target to reach.

The sad thing about that is, now that I am in the later half of my 50’s I spend a lot of time looking at where I could have been at this point in my life had I just made some definite life goals in the past. I could have done and could have been so much more than I am right now.

Don’t get me wrong. Compared to most of the folks that I know I have accomplished more in my life than I ever could have imagined back when I was 18 or 22 years old. I thank God and my wife for that. Even though for the majority of my life I just kind of coasted through, there have been several points in my life where together we set some targets, some short term goals, and together we did what was necessary to hit them.

When I reflect on life now I can’t help to look at some of the folks around me and where they are and the regrets they have. Something I don’t want to be doing when I am in my 70’s, 80’s or 90’s.

tvOne gentleman I know is now in his late 70’s. He is so beat down by a life of coasting that he spends his days now in regret. For the most part he spends his day numbing his mind watching endless game-shows and 70’s and 80’s sitcom reruns on TV. When I sit with him he is always telling me stories about when he was young and had his business and the things he did. Even though he wasn’t making a killing back then he was excited about his life.

At some point after starting a family he decided to choose the “safe life.” He began working for, what was at that time one of the most successful companies in Chicago. Now don’t get me wrong, he made a good salary during that time and he provided well for his family. They took vacations, the kids all went to private schools, he provided well for them. However by the time the last kid was out of school he found himself out of work because that big fortune 50 company was starting to go through some very hard times and began replacing their older, loyal workforce with younger folks that were willing to do the same jobs at nearly minimum wage.

Sound familiar? How many times have we heard that story in recent years?

He spent 20 or so years working on someone else’s goals. Someone else’s dreams. When he lost that job he lost the only life he had known for so long. He had coasted through life. He was a puppet with puppeteer controlling his strings. He never made any goals to create other sources of income just in case things changed on his career path along the way.

My life wasn’t much different.

When I was in high school I had no idea what I wanted to do after I got out. The world at the time was telling us to follow the 40 year plan. To go to college and get a degree. Then find a job in a fortune 500 company and put in 40 years then retire on a pension. A pension that as we know now would only pay 40 to 60 percent of what you were making while working. 40 to 60 percent of an income that you were barely making ends meet on while you were working. Anyway I digress.

For me I was fortunate enough to have a job at a fortune 50 company before I even graduated high school. I was set, so I thought. A few years into that job I lost my job during a corporate realignment and downsize.

At that time unemployment was sky high. Without a college degree no one was hiring. I still had no idea what type of “degree” path to follow so instead I decided to go into business for myself. I set a short term goal for the first time in my life and I stuck with that goal. I got my Health, Life, Property and Casualty insurance licenses so I could sell those products. I got my Series 6 and 63 securities license to sell mutual funds and variable annuities and variable insurance products. Then I went into the financial services business.

I stayed in the business for a few years but I failed miserably. I didn’t know it then but I do now, had I set additional goals and found a mentor to show me the ends and outs of that business I believe I would have succeeded but I didn’t so I didn’t succeed. Without a goal to work toward I failed.

That’s when I decided that maybe everyone was right and I needed to go back to school and pursue the 40 year plan. I researched the best paying fields and what the educational requirements were to get into those fields and decided the on field that had the biggest potential for financial success that could be achieved in the shortest amount of time possible, I had young kids after all and I didn’t want to be in school their entire young life, so I chose pharmacy. If I really worked hard and took the highest load of classes possible I could get out in 5, 6 years tops. So once again I set a goal to become a pharmacist. This time I researched it. I sought out the advice of others in the field. I set goals. I put a plan in writing and I achieved it.

Once I reached that goal and after being introduced to Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, my wife and I set a second goal. To become debt free. We laid out a plan which included picking up as many extra shifts as possible to follow Dave’s Debt Snowball. As we were pursuing that goal we revised it a few times to include private education for the kids and to build a dream home. We stuck to it and we were successful. We accomplished all the goals we set out for us.

We then set one more goal, to fully fund our retirement so we would have a secure future. There was one thing wrong with that goal however just like the others. It depended too much on my pharmacy career. We never made any goals outside of me working in pharmacy. No goals to develop other sources of income just in case.

Don’t get me wrong, pharmacy has done well for my family. However, just like that other gentleman I mentioned before we never made career goals beyond becoming a pharmacist. I just coasted along in my job. And as I have mentioned in the past posts, in 2011, three weeks before Christmas, I was replaced in my pharmacy manager position with a new graduate that held a higher degree than me and was willing to work for 20 grand less than I had been making. I found myself unemployed.

I hadn’t made any career goals. I aimed at nothing and achieved it. Because my credentials were outdated it took me two years to find another job in the pharmacy field. Fortunately someone was willing to look at the year of experience that I had as being equivalent to those higher degrees and they hired me.

So what is the point to all this rambling on?

The point is, is it is not too late. Yeah I’m in the latter half of my 50’s and I have wasted a lot of my life but there are still a lot of years ahead of me. I can either sit here and lick my wounds about what woulda-coulda-shoulda happened in my life like the gentleman I was telling you about or I can set some new goals, develop a plan of action and start down that path. And that is exactly what I am doing and no matter what your age is you should do it also.