“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”

At the beginning of each new year, people begin thinking about making and keeping a new year’s resolution , only to discover within a short period of time that their good intentions fall by the wayside each and every year, “in one year and out the other”.

The top New Year’s resolutions rarely change from one year to the next, and in case you haven’t noticed yet, New Year’s resolution statistics are not on your side. Unrealistic resolutions are doomed to fail from the start, usually due to lack of motivation, not being specific enough, being too ambitious with a list of new year’s resolutions that are bad for your health, bringing on stress, anxiety, hopelessness and even depression.

Top New Years Resolutions:
1. Lose weight
2. Manage debt/save money
3. Get a better job
4. Spend more time with family
5. Quit smoking
6. Eat right/Get fit
7. Get a better education
8. Reduce stress
9. Going greener
10. Volunteer to help others

“Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.”

Goal Setting

Forget about new years resolutions and start focusing on goal setting. What is goal setting? Goals setting is a process that allows people to specify then work towards their own objectives, commonly referred to as life goals.
Whether it be personal goal setting or business goal setting, the importance of setting goals that are challenging, tangible, specific, realistic and have a time targeted completion date cannot be overemphasized.
Some people don’t know how to set goals or achieve a goal already set, so when they decide on setting a goal of one kind or another, each goal is quickly given up on until new years resolution conversations begin all over again.

How to Set Goals

What are your goals to set? Are they short term goals, long term goals, or both? Are they personal goals, career goals or vague life goals? Effective goals are very specific and measurable, involving goal setting motivation, while very vague goals such as “I want to lose weight” or, “I want to be the best person I can be” are not specific enough to help you in achieving goals in the short term or long term.

Goals give us direction, telling us what needs to be accomplished. Both long and short-term goals provide direction, but short-term goals appear to have the greatest motivational effects for change.

Finding your motivation through goal setting involves understanding why you want or need x,y,z in your life and what the goal means to you personally or professionally, thereby giving you the needed power and motivation to accomplish your goals once and for all.

S.M.A.R.T Goals

Writing goals down and tracking goals with goal setting software is advocated by many experts in the field of goal setting, being very specific with each and every goal you plan to accomplish. “Smart goals” stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound, which helps people learn how to write a top quality goal they can and will stick to.

Specific – your goal should answer the What, Where, Why and How questions, written as simply and clearly as possible. Use action words to explain WHAT are you going to do? WHY is this goal important? HOW are you going to do it, etc?

Measurable – If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Choose a goal with measurable progress so you can actually see the changes you are making, otherwise how will you know when you have reached your goal?

Attainable – an attainable, agreed upon, achievable goal involves realistic goals that consider your current situation, financial and personal resources, as well as time available to achieve success. Set your goal to challenge and “stretch” you slightly, but don’t go too far out of your reach setting unattainable goals, otherwise you’ll become discouraged and give up, again.

Realistic – a realistic goal is a goal you can control and achieve, requiring effort on your part, a positive mindset, positive action, determination and consistency that will enable you to achieve and accomplish goals you set. Each time you achieve a goal, enjoy the satisfaction that goes with goal achievement, rewarding yourself appropriately.

Time-bound – a time-bound goal includes realistic time-frames, using dates and times as measurement towards successful completion of each goal. Setting a time frame for goals set gives you a clear and precise target to work towards. Without a set time limit, your commitment is too vague, open-ended, lacking a sense of urgency to take action now to accomplish goals.

If you are one of many who jump on the new years resolution bandwagon, make a New Year’s resolution to NOT make new year’s resolutions ever again. Instead, set goals that are not only reasonable and realistic, but measurable and attainable so that your current goals and any new goals can be accomplished once and for all.



A Good Listener...Thanks to my friends Nader, linda, my sist and ........

A good listener is worth their weight in gold and one of the most important foundations in a relationship is for both partners to be good listeners.

So whether you are already in a relationship and are looking for a good listener to use as a role model or if you are looking for the love of your life and one of your criteria is someone who is a good listener, it is always good to be able to recognize a good listener. So the following are ten signs of a good listener:

You can tell the difference between someone who is fully in the moment with you versus someone who has their mind on something else is when you are talking to the unfocused person you will get an urge to rush through what you are saying versus when you are with a person who is totally focused on you, you will feel at home and that you have all the time in the world to say what you have to say. With a person who is totally focused on you, you will almost feel like sighing because you feel so supported and because you feel like you are truly the centre of their attention.

The listener will keep constant eye contact with you, only looking away on occasion to prevent staring or awkwardness.

A good listener will nod, smile and give you auditory feedback such as "Mm hum", "Yeah" "I see" or "No, really?" in a sincere and interested way to encourage you to continue and to indicate that they are listening.

As you are talking, they will encourage you to continue talking. For example they will say things like "That's really interesting" or "I find that interesting, please continue "or "I'd like to hear more."

Every once in a while, a good listener will parrot back what you say to indicate they are paying attention and that they are right in your story with you.

A good listener will only finish your sentence when the timing is right, not to try to rush you through your story or to help you out when you are at a loss of words, but to show that they are on the same wave length as you.

A good listener knows that the art of being a good listener (whether that is because they just intuitively know or because they are actually aware of the rule) will listen approximately 80% of the time during the course of the conversation and spend only 20% of the conversation talking.

There is nothing more annoying than to open a conversation with someone and they change the topic on you in the middle of what you are trying to express. This often happens when the person gives you an example about themselves to show that they understand what you are saying but then they keep going with their example or take the opportunity while the attention is on themselves to switch topics. A good listener if they feel the need to use an example to back up what you were saying will keep it short and will return the conversation back to what you were talking about.
A good listener will ask you thoughtful questions that will lead you into opening up into further detail about your topic of discussion. For example, they may say something like " So you work in the Marketing Department, tell me about some of the duties that you are in charge of or what specifically are in you charge of or what aspects of your job do you love?"

When a good listener feeds back how you are feeling, their description of the feeling or emotion will actually match how you are feeling. If they are off, they are dedicated to finding out how you are truly feeling versus throwing out a bunch of descriptions of how you are feeling in hopes of eventually guessing the correct feeling or emotion.

If you recognize a good listener in your life, tell them you how much you appreciate them. If you are still looking for a good listener to come into you life, it is both worth the search and the wait, because not only will they create a wonderful communication foundation for your relationship, they will always make you feel special and supported in expressing yourself.


A Good or A Bad listener....

Did you ever get the feeling that a piece of wood gives you more listening attention than a human being? You are desperately trying to talk to someone about something rather important, and you see their eyes watching the people walk by around you. Sometimes they even start talking to someone else! This is NOT a sign of a good listener! And it doesn't stop there. Sometimes they'll even tell you that they "have to go" or completely change the subject

In fact, people like the one I described above aren't just bad listeners, but they can actually elevate your stress and frustration levels way beyond what you originally felt. You get very offended by people like this, because it's as if what you are talking about isn't important or 'not a good enough story' for their particular liking. I have come across this all too often in friendships, and it is very upsetting. It can really hurt your feelings. So how can we decipher whether they are the shallow folk I mentioned above, or an actual 'good listener'?

Eye contact. If they are actually looking at you, it usually means that they are listening and taking it all in. That is a good sign. However, often times we cannot see the person we are talking to. We are conversing either on-line, or on the telephone. So how do we know then? The best way to tell is by their communication back to you. If you are explaining a situation to them and they ask important questions and reciprocate things back to you, that is an actual conversation and another very good sign. And, the 'follow-up'. If they bring it up to you the next time, you talk to them, and remember most of it, that is a very good listener. More importantly, it is someone who actually cares enough about you to remember the things you said to them.

There are a lot of rude people out there, and careless ones at that. I have even been in such distress that I have poured my feelings out to the wrong people, and they've hung up on me, and even fallen asleep on me. -That is a low-blow.

So, unfortunately, the best way to know if you have a good listener on your hands is to make sure they don't match any of the criteria I mentioned as a bad listener. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are bad people for their ignorance, but if they can't even listen and help out a friend in despair, are they really a good friend at all, or just an acquaintance?

Your words are worth listening to. Some people out there make up problems for themselves and just complain so people hear them. To those, it is okay to drift a little. But if you're actually talking to someone looking for a friend to listen, as I normally am, everything you say is golden and someone should actually be listening.


Description of a Bad Listener

You might find around you that some people are simply not very good at listening. This can create a myriad of problems and make your life and relationship with them extremely difficult and not want or feel comfortable talking to them anymore

There are essentially three types of bad listeners. They are self-absorbed individuals, unfocused individuals, and rules driven individuals.
Self-absorbed people will always place their own priorities above everyone else’s. They are quite often stubborn and opinionated people. They are also quite eager to get everyone else to agree with them, and thus are not the best at listening to or expressing interest in other people’s opinions. Self-absorbed people are the type who seem to know everything and thus do not have the desire or the will to listen to what anyone else has to say about something.
Then there are the unfocused individuals. These people tend to be quite messy and disorganized. They are often forgetful, and hardly ever finish the projects they start on. In order to get through life, these individuals are in dire need of structure and some direction – and it must come from others. Since they cannot stay focused on anything for an extended duration, this prevents them from fully understanding what they are being told in a conversation. It also prevents them from taking action once they are told to do something.

Finally, there are the rules driven individuals. Such individuals may be able to listen, but they are overly cautious about everything. It is almost as if they are listening a little too well, because they wind up focusing on the minor, small details, and are thus unable to see the big picture. This means that they are only listening to a small part of what is being said to them.