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Are You Setting Yourself Up for Failure in 2011?

The Road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions

Hope abounds. Aspirations are high. The opportunity for a clean slate breeds refreshment. It’s the dawn of a New Year. You are going to make major strides this year. You are going to take your business to the next level. You are going to be even more productive than you were in 2010. And, you are going to get into those damn skinny jeans!

2011 is going to be your year, and you’ve got your New Year’s resolutions on paper to prove it!

Oh please! Gimme a break! Save yourself the heartache and frustration. Your enthusiasm is endearing, but the truth will serve you much better.

The Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Despite your resolve to see your resolutions through in 2011, studies show that only 75 percent of you will maintain your resolutions – for a week. And after six months, only 46 percent of you will be on track.  The truth is New Year’s resolutions are easy to make and easy to break. If you are going to make any lasting change in your business and in your life in 2011, you need a whole lot more than stinkin’ resolutions.

You Don’t Need Resolutions. You Need Goals – On Steroids!

There are a multitude of reasons why resolutions end up in the pool of failed aspirations. But the primary cause of resolutions gone bad is that they merely state your intention to achieve something.

And, the problem with putting your intentions down on paper is that intentions are concepts of the mind. Intentions are thoughts and hopes. As such, there is a big gap between intention and action.

Let’s say one of your New Year’s resolutions is to make your online business more profitable in 2011. This kind of New Year’s resolution is doomed to failure because it lacks specificity, detail, and a deadline. With this kind of New Year’s resolution you can’t get any traction. You are running on ice without cleats! Ouch.

Creating Kick-A$$ Goals

To increase the likelihood that you’ll create lasting change in your business and your life in 2011, you need ironclad kick-a$$ goals! The following is a formula I’ve created for developing kick-a$$ goals:

Step One: Write down 3-5 goals you want to achieve in the next year.

Step Two: Start each goal with the word “I” followed by an action verb. For example: I earn, I weigh, I live…

Step Three: State your goal as though you’ve already achieved it.

For example, write down: I earn $7,000.00 each month in my online business by March 1, 2011.  Writing your goals this way helps your mind accept your goal as truth. It serves as both a motivator and encourager for your subconscious mind.

Step Four: For each goal, identify and write down all of the obstacles you may face in trying to achieve this goal. Then, brainstorm potential solutions to each problem.

Step Five: For each goal, identify the skills and knowledge you need to reach your goal.

Step Six: For each goal, identify key people, events, and resources that you should engage with to help you carry out your goal. Also, brainstorm the things YOU can do to earn the help of these people, events, and resources. Be a go-giver!

Step Seven: Deconstruct your goal. Write down each and every step you must take to achieve this goal. Start from the very beginning and recognize that no step is too small. Then, give each step a deadline for completion.

For example, if your goal is to lose 5 pounds your first step might be to empty all junk food from your home by January 5, 2011. Step two may be to create a healthy meal plan each week and follow it for one month by January 7, 2011. Step three might be to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes every day for one month by January 10, 2011, and so on.

Step Eight: Apply the SMART principle to each goal you set.

SMART is a mnemonic device developed to help you set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely goals. Use these principles as a checklist for each of your goals. Be sure your goals are detailed, and that you can measure your rate of success. Review your plan for reaching each goal, and ask yourself if your goal is reasonable. Most importantly, give your goal a deadline before it self-destructs.

Lather, rinse and repeat this method every time you set goals you desire to achieve.

Critical Keys to Kicking-A$$ in 2011

Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Create goals that you can reach if you push yourself. Don’t set ten enormous goals that create anxiety or self-doubt. It is better to create five manageable goals and reach them, than to set ten unmanageable goals and reach one. The former builds your self-confidence and the latter tears it down. Personally, I aim to set and reach three goals at any given time.

Maintain a positive mindset, and practice being present and fully engaged. Seeing your goals through to the finish takes determination, discipline, and dedication. Be kind to yourself in the process and you will accomplish much more than if you are being overly critical of yourself. Give all of your time, attention, and energy to whatever you must do day by day. Intense focus creates incredible results.

Lastly, prioritize your goals. Decide which one goal will create the biggest positive impact on your life and begin with that one. Organize your goals in the same fashion from most important to less important.

Hell’s Got Nothing on You in 2011 – You’ve Kicked Intentions to the Curb

By now you should have a very detailed plan of action for reaching your goals in 2011. Take this plan and build your daily to-do lists around the action steps you’ve set forth. Revisit your goals frequently and cross off the steps you’ve completed as you go. When you do this, you will experience a sense of accomplishment that builds on itself and creates self-motivation.

Remember to be flexible. Life will throw unexpected curveballs your way. You may find yourself derailed at point or another. It’s okay. Just get back to your plan, make adjustments, and keep moving. If you create SMART goals, a plan for achievement, and take action every single day you will be well on your way to making 2011 your best year yet!

So tell me. What’s your biggest baddest goal for 2011? Leave a comment and let me know!

P.S. If you subscribe to any of the resources on my site, I’ve got a subscriber-only goodie coming your way in 2011. If you haven’t subscribed yet, NOW is the time! :)

Check these out:

How to Uncover Your Purpose In Life: Find Your Sweet Spot! – FREE E-COURSE

How To Become A Young, Sassy, & Smart Female Entrepreneur – Online

The 7 Secrets of Success in Online Entrepreneurship for Women

Access to upcoming release of a Girls Guide to a Kick-A$$ Online Biz

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10 Responses to “Are You Setting Yourself Up for Failure in 2011?”

  1. Sibyl - alternaview January 27, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Great post and great site. I have been looking around and you have some really good information available. I totally agree with what you said here and appreciate the distinction you made between intentions and goals. It is so true that we need to set ourselves for success and that means we can’t just sit around and dream. Taking action really does matter. Love that formula. Thanks for passing it along.

  2. Jon January 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    S.M.A.R.T. goals are heavily emphasized in the corporate 9-5 working world (ick) but they are definitely built on sound principle. Your posts are thorough; thanks for the value.

    In terms of a big, bad goal for 2011 it is to create a JV community project around a niche site coaching program (I know, not SMART or detailed but I’m not here to pitch my idea). Wish me (us) luck!

    • Keep It Real! January 25, 2011 at 7:55 am #

      Heya Jon!

      Well first let me start by wishing you (all) good luck! It is so exciting to work on something
      that focuses on building community. I hope you’ll share some of your journey with us along
      the way.

      As for the SMART mnemonic – yes it is an icky corporate played out framework. But like you
      said, it’s build on sound principle, which is exactly why I used it. One of the things that people
      really overlook in setting goals, growing a business, or taking on any new endeavor is the

      Why? Because that are boring. Unfortunately they are critical. It’s when you do the fundamentals
      with excellence that you truly excel. Look at any phenomenal athlete, and ask them how
      they became the greatest, they’ll tell you it’s because they rocked the basics.

      Thanks for your feedback Jon! Great post on your site this week btw.

  3. Christina Crowe January 1, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Alright, I’m just about now ready to make my new year resolution goals. I’m aiming for 3 – 2 I have a pretty good idea what they are, but I’m going to compile a list anyway and pick out the 3 most crucial.

    I’ll be using this awesome article as a guide. :)

    By the way, where’s the tweet button? Come on girl! No social media buttons? You should have at least 2!

    Sigh… I guess I’ll have to manually tweet it. ;)


    • Keep It Real! January 1, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

      I’m so glad. You’ll have to keep me posted on your progress.

      I totally have a tweet button, but thanks for mentioning
      that it’s missing. When I did my upgrade it must have gotten

  4. Christina Crowe December 31, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Hey girl!

    I love the image – “My new year resolution – Stick to resolutions!” That’s something many of us fail to do, unfortunately. ;)

    That said, I agree with you 100%. In order to improve your life, you not only have to want to accomplish something, but you have to take action.

    Which is why I’m going to tack the following powerful statement to my wall – “As such, there is a big gap between intention and action.”

    By the way, I love your idea to state your goals in present tense. I’ll be going over my new year resolutions tomorrow, so I’ll definitely look at this article in more detail. Can’t wait to get planning!


    • Keep It Real! January 1, 2011 at 10:57 am #

      Thanks Christina!
      I’m glad you’ve found the suggestions here useful. It’s taken me a number of years to figure out how to
      set goals that I actually see through to the finish, and I can say with all honesty this strategy has yielded
      the most satisfying results I’ve ever had. I hope you’ll find the same to be true.

      Happy New Year!

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