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Take a Personal Inventory to Determine Needed Improvements

Line of red Christmas ornaments with the year 2011 displayed
It's that time again. Time to take a personal inventory.

It’s that time of year again when we take a personal inventory to determine what improvements we need to make in our life. Millions of people will resolve to change their lives for the better, starting today. Sadly, research indicates it won’t last for most people.

Author Oscar Wilde once wrote, “A New Year’s Resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.” It seems statistics prove him right: only 75 percent of those who make a resolution make it past the first week, 71 percent make it past the second week, 64 percent make it past a month, and only 46 percent hang on past six months. These statistics aren’t very encouraging, and are the primary reason I have one single word for New Year’s Resolutions — worthless.

You see, I’m not much interested in things that don’t work and are universally unsuccessful. I’ve made dozens of New Year’s Resolutions over the years, and have seen many, many people do the same. I’m not certain I’ve ever seen someone truly change their long-term behavior because of a New Year’s Resolution, or any other goal driven by a calendar instead of true resolve.

I am a big believer in goals, and I realize that those people who set goals today are clearly more likely to realize those goals than those who do not. But a goal driven by a calendar has little chance of driving a change in lifestyle. The goals that will enhance your life and make 2011 the best year ever will be those driven by true resolve.

It is my hope that the resolutions you make today are based on a passion and commitment to change your life, and not a calendar. It is my hope that you set specific goals to help you realize your vision, and that you write down those specific goals. It is my hope that you have a positive support system around you, and that you disregard the haters who try to drag you down. It is my hope that you have identified the potential obstacles, and that you have a plan to overcome those obstacles. And more than anything, it is my prayer that God blesses you with everything you need for a great 2011.

Happy New Year!

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