By now, if you’re like me, you’ve already tossed your traditional New Year’s Resolutions out the window, but you’re still looking forward to making some realistic goals for the New Year.

First, let’s take a look at Time Magazine’s most common New Year goals that are set and never met include:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Quit smoking
  3. Learn something new
  4. Eat healthier
  5. Get out of debt
  6. More time with family
  7. Travel new places
  8. Be less stressed
  9. Volunteer
  10. Drink less

Take a minute to take a good look at this list, and think about it for a while. These goals are too generic. And, more importantly, there is no plan behind them.

Take #1, Losing Weight, as an example. My goal is to lose 12 pounds this year.  Actually, I’m well on my way here. I plan to lose a pound a month – should be reasonable and obtainable. Here’s how I plan to change my behavior.

  1. Drink more water
  2. Stop snacking after 7 p.m.
  3. Stop keeping candy at home.
  4. Eat measured portions rather than whatever is on my plate.
  5. Don’t snack between meals.

So what do you see there? Be specific. Start with a detailed and measurable goal. Get excited when you accomplish it. Then celebrate it! But not with a half gallon of ice cream. Instead choose something that aligns with your goal. And make sure you make it meaningful. Something YOU truly want, not what you think you “should” do.

Whether you are making a personal or professional goal, just remember:
A goal without a plan is just a wish.

We all wish we could become a billionaire overnight. But we know we probably can’t

Take control of your year. Here’s to a fresh start in 2016!!