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Setting goals or making resolutions?

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Did you make New Year's resolutions for 2008? Are you still on track? If you are, you are better off than most people who make a resolution. 

If you've already broken your resolution don't lose hope. There are many reasons behind failed resolutions. Most people claim that a lack of discipline, time and ability are the reasons their resolutions go unmet. However, the lack of preparation, understanding and follow-through are other contributing factors. 

Your reason for setting your resolution or goal should satisfy a need or want in your life. The more crucial and important it is for your life, the more likely you are to reach it. 

Shallow goals and resolutions will evaporate soon after a minor setback because they were not set on a solid foundation. After you make the goals it is important also to put under each goal a plan and timeline to accomplish the goals. 

I also like to put them into different pillars of my life: Job, Spiritual, Health, Family, Social, and Developmental. Then I place 1-3 goals in each category depending on which I feel needs most improvement. The following are a few examples of goals. Job: win wing quarterly award; Health: run 1.5 miles in 11:00; Social: dine monthly with different friends; Development: complete PME, learn to surf or a foreign language. 

It is important to audit yourself along the way. At the half-way point examine your progress and make any adjustments to your plans in order to insure you are successful. Keeping a record or journal of what has worked and what hasn't makes your audit much easier. It is important to be honest with yourself about your progress. Look at your accomplishments and decipher why you were successful and apply the same strategy to the weaker parts of your plan. 

Goals can be set at any time. Whatever you want to improve in your life should not be put off for a certain time of the year. The principles of success are the same no matter when you set your goals and it is up to you whether you accomplish them or not. I challenge you to set your goals for 2008 and you might be surprised of the results and your vector.