To Succeed in 2009, Do These 2 Things

successandfreedom thumb To Succeed in 2009, Do These 2 ThingsHere we are on the threshold of in a brand new year!

In a few hours (literally) we’ll be saying It’s goodbye to  2008 and welcome in 2009.

I’ll leave predictions and portents to the pundits. Whatever 2008 brought for you, 2009, as with any new year, brings new hope. This time of year also brings that now predictable question –

“ So, what’s your New Year’s Resolution?”

To which your response could be:

“To make more money…”

“To grow your business…”

“To lose the Christmas weight…” or just “ lose weight”

“To spend more time with my family…”

Or how about “My New Year’s Resolution is “to go to the gym” or to “do more reading…”

Some people have been known to cross their fingers when saying their resolutions. Because most know they’ve as much chance of making them real as finding a snowflake in summer.

If you want business and personal success here’s the first order of business:

1. Throw out your resolutions.

Yes, you read correctly. Resolutions are great for chit-chat (usually about making new ones and how many were subsequently broken) however they rarely become reality. In fact, by February or March of 2009 most of the resolutions made in January will have already fallen by the wayside, as life crowds in and takes over and people get distracted.  Hence the near empty gyms and lower attendance at Weight Watchers by Spring.

If you read books by and about successful people (a must-do if you want to be successful) you’ll find nary a mention of “resolutions.” Why is this?

Because successful people set goals instead. So your second item of business is simple:

2. Set yourself goals instead

Whatever it is you want to achieve, whatever you desire –  setting goals is one of the surest (and most powerful) ways to achieve it – or something better.

A goal is specific. The more specific the better. Why? Because being specific helps you zero in and clarify exactly what it is you intend to achieve.  A goal is also time-bound and measureable. And  since what gets measured gets done you are more likely to achieve it.

“I will make more money” isn’t a goal. It’s closer to wishful thinking, even though it’s a good idea.


“ I will earn an additional $20,000 more than I do today by December 29th, 2009 is a goal.

Likewise “I will lose weight” isn’t a goal.

“I will lose 7lbs by April 15th 2009 is a goal.

While “I will grow my business” is vague and unfocused…

“I will land 2 new clients each worth $30,000 by 6pm, January 30th 2010” is a specific goal.

“I will spend more quality time with my spouse” is a great idea, since if you don’t the divorce court looms.

“I will spend Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings with my spouse  every week starting January 10th 2009…” is a goal.

There are many excellent books on setting and tracking your goals. One book I highly recommend is  “The Power of FocusHow to hit your business personal and financial targets with absolute certainty by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen created the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, so their names may already be familiar to you.

As I set and wrote down my business and personal goals for 2009 over the last few days I felt a sense of power and of purpose. I stopped making resolutions long ago when I discovered how ineffectual they are.

The very act of writing down your goals sets you up to achieve them. You’re focused.  You begin to attract the resources, people and experiences you need for success. You act with purpose and you’re in control –  because setting goals and a plan to achieve them prepares you for overcoming obstacles.  Which means circumstances are far  less likely to overwhelm you.  And it feels so good to tick off your goals as “Achieved!”

Want success in 2009?

  1. Ditch the New Year Resolutions.  They serve only to tell you you need to do something and they almost beg to be broken. Leave them for talk shows and the like.
  2. Set specific and measurable goals and set yourself up for business and personal success.

To your success! And to a very Happy and Successful New Year!

You may also be interested in a couple of my guest posts:

Release the awesome power of setting goals

Accelerate achievement and success with creative visualization

As always you’re welcome to leave a comment.

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  1. KissMyBlackAds January 2, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Smart post!

  2. Nicky January 1, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    @Anthony Kershaw: Thanks for visiting and for the compliment. Yes, I love Thesis – and I see you do too. Always happy to meet fellow Thesis users… there are quite a few of us about ;)

  3. Anthony Kershaw January 1, 2009 at 8:43 pm #

    Great site, Nicky. Chris’ Twitter post led me here. I see you like Thesis. Me, too! I’ll take pleasure in exploring your site.

    Cheers, Anthony

  4. Nicky January 1, 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    @Stephen – thanks for commenting! “I suspect a reason we fail to do so is because it demands that we be completely clear about whether we achieve goals or not, and lurking in the emotional background is the all too familiar “fear of failure.”

    You are spot on. If we’re asked “did we achieve the goal or not” the answer is either “yes” or “no” and because we don’t want to risk saying “no” it feels safer to remain fuzzy. The thing is, as soon as you set measures they actually help you because then you can work on the plan for achieving the goal. And I agree, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if we don’t achieve every goal…like you say knowing we’ve achieved some and looking at new goals and what got in the way are so much more important.
    I will check out your blog ;)

    @Deb @ Shirley – Yes! I get a sense of purpose when I set goals that I never got when I used to make resolutions years ago. They give me direction – I knew I was working towards an expected result.

    @Lord Matt – You’re welcome!I look at a resolution like a nudge that something needs doing. A goal helps you achieve success.

  5. Lord Matt January 1, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    It makes a lot of sense. A resolution is a realisation but a goal is a metric by witch you can measure your success. Thanks for the great reminder Nicky.

  6. Shirley January 1, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    Yes, goals are key; resolutions are meant to be broken. Btw, anyone looking for a workout buddy. lol.

    Yeh, goals are specific items that will be achieved whereas resolutions are these general ideas.
    Resolution: I want to make my blog more popular.
    Goal: I want to increase traffic rank to sub 50K Alexa.

    With a goal, you actually get somewhere.

  7. --Deb January 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    I’ve never done New Year’s resolutions (or, not since I was a kid, anyway) because I’ve never once succeeded in any of them … nor has anyone I know. I like the idea of setting goals instead, though … it gives you something to work TOWARD!

  8. Stephen Rothman January 1, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    Hi Nicky,

    discovered your blog via a comment you left on Chris Brogan’s blog about leaving comments. So now I’m leaving a comment :-) on yours.

    Good advice about goals. I work in advertising and it’s amazing to me how many of my client’s fail to define clear business goals on a given initiative. It is simple common sense, both in business, and in our personal lives. I suspect a reason we fail to do so is because it demands that we be completely clear about whether we achieve goals or not, and lurking in the emotional background is the all too familiar “fear of failure.”

    But I also think it’s important to not knock oneself over the head when we don’t achieve all our goals. Indeed, we probably won’t achieve all of them. The important thing is that we know if we have or we haven’t. Only then can we identify the things that got in the way for a better chance at success the next time.

    Like you, I also blog about social media at

  9. Nicky January 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    Thank you Greg! It’s hard to argue with quantitiative goals. Everyone can understand them. And once they are set, they become very powerful drivers for achievement. For marketers, those goals need to drive the strategy. A very Happy New Year To You!

  10. Greg December 31, 2008 at 8:24 am #

    Everyone loves to think strategy, but too many people lose track of the essential component of quantitative goals. You never let us lose sight of the fundamentals of marketing. Thanks Nicky! Happy New Year!

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