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Making Your New Year's Resolutions Stick!

January 2008
Making Your New Year's Resolutions Stick!

The gym I work out at is about to get very, very, busy, at least for the next couple of weeks. The reason for it is that many people will make a New Year’s resolution to either lose weight or exercise more, and join the gym. Then after a couple of weeks, they will go back to their same old habits. This happens every year. It is great for the gym, because many people will pay an annual membership and will only use it for a short time.

Why does this happen? Why do so many people make resolutions and then be unable to stick to them? There are many reasons for this, but I believe the main reason why most people can’t make their resolutions stick is because the resolutions are not well enough defined.

This year, instead of having resolutions, set some goals instead. What I have done for several years that works for me is that I have four main categories. I create a master goals list, annual goals, monthly goals, and a daily activity tracking. Many of the people in our company have also done this and have seen tremendous results. Try this for yourself and see how it works for you.

First, Create a Master Goals List: Your master goals list is a list of all the things you would like to have, do, accomplish, or be. The sky is the limit here! Include all areas of your life including, financial, health, spiritual, family, personal, and business or career. It helps to have very specific goals with a time deadline. Instead of a very loose goal like “I will lose weight,” use “I will lose 5 pounds by the end of this year.”

Second, Create an Annual Goals List: This is all your goals you would like to accomplish over the next year. Did you notice that I skipped the 3-years or 5-years list? I find that having an annual list is more effective for me to narrow my focus down. Identify all the things you would like to have, do, accomplish, or be in the next year. Once again, be very specific. For example: “I will save at least $5,000 for my retirement by the end of this year.”

Third, Create a Monthly Goals List: This will narrow your focus down to just what is the most important in the coming month. If you are in sales and you have a goal to make $60,000 this year, make your monthly goal be $5,000.

Finally, Create a Daily 1-31 sheet: This will be a list of all the daily activities you need to do to make your goals a reality. You can list your exercise goals, reading goals, business goals, etc. There are several ways you can use a 1-31 list. First list the things you should be doing either daily or several times a week. Then, create small boxes from 1-31 for the days of the month. You can either check off an activity you complete on a day or you can put a numerical value based on the number of times you did a particular activity within the day. Here is a sample of a 1-31 sheet.

I would recommend you put your master goals, annual goals, monthly goals, and your 1-31 sheet in a place where you can see it every day—perhaps in your bathroom where you can see it each morning before you start the day. Try this for at least 30 days. You will be amazed to see how much clarity you have and how fast you can achieve your goals.

Here is an Interesting Story for You!

Everybody knows that Japanese people in general love eating fresh fish. Fish have been rare in the Japanese waters for decades. That being so, and to feed its population, the Japanese fishing companies built larger boats and went fishing far away from the coast. As far as the boats went, it took more time to bring the fish back and what was worse, the fish were not that fresh. The population did not approve of the taste of those fish.

In order to solve the problem, the fishing companies installed freezers in their boats. The fishermen froze their catch on the high seas. The freezers allowed them to go a far distance with their boats and they could stay out fishing for a long time. The Japanese population noticed the difference between fresh and frozen fish. Of course, they did not appreciate those frozen fish as well.

Then, the fishing companies installed tanks in the boats. They threw their catch inside the tanks. After a period of time, and because of a lack of space inside the tanks, the fish did not struggle any more. The fish arrived alive, but unfortunately, the Japanese could still notice a difference in taste. The fish being practically paralyzed for days did not have the same fresh taste. The Japanese consumers would rather the fish taste fresh than taste as the apathetic fish did.


How did the fishermen bring to Japan the taste of fresh fish?

If you were a consultant for a fishing company, what would you recommend?

* * * Before reading the answer, read what follows:

When people achieve their targets, such as finding a love, successfully starting a new business, paying for all their debts, whatever, they may lose their passion. They may think they do not need hard work any more; then, they relax. They seem to have the same problem as lottery winners, heirs, people who never grow, or even housewives being bored with their lives: they initiate searching for problems. For these problems, including the Japanese fish case, the solution is very easy to find.


To preserve the taste of fresh fish, the Japanese fishing companies kept the tanks in their boats, BUT they put a small shark inside each tank! The shark ate some fish but most of them arrived at the coast “very alive” and fresh. This happened because the fish felt themselves challenged in the tanks.

Therefore, and as a rule in your life, INSTEAD OF AVOIDING challenges, jump into them. Enjoy the game. If your challenges are really big and you have lots of them, do not give up: reinvigorate yourself! Look for more strength of mind, more knowledge, and more assistance. If you reach your targets, impose new bigger targets. Once you achieve your own personal or family needs; go to your group, society, or even humanity needs, and help. Create your own personal success but do not feel comfortable with this situation. You have tools, skills, and dexterity to make the difference.

"Put a shark inside your tank and see how far you can really go".

Here’s to wishing all of you a very happy and prosperous New Year!

By Rajesh Jyotishi

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