I recently read somewhere that most people usually break their New Year’s resolutions within a month. How fitting for my first post on the blog to be exactly one month into 2017.

Like most people, I used to make New Year’s resolutions on how I was going to better myself. My New Year’s resolutions used to be things like “I will get back in shape” or “I will quit smoking.” While these were all good resolutions, I was never ever successful in keeping any of them.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally realized why I was never able to keep any of my New Year’s resolutions. The answer was simple. My resolutions were always too high level and I never defined the success criteria. In other words, I never gave myself a deadline or specified what I needed to do in order to be considered successful.

Once I started to give myself a deadline and specified exactly what I wanted to accomplish, I turned my resolutions into reachable goals. For example, I managed to lose 17lbs one year simply by turning “I will get back in shape” to “I will lose 10lbs in 6 months and go to the gym at least 3 times a week.”

By putting myself against the clock and defining the objectives, it forced me to come up with a plan to accomplish each goal. The beauty of planning is it gives me a chance to give my goal a reality check. If I cannot come up with a realistic plan to accomplish my goal, it means I set an unrealistic or unattainable goal and I would need to change it to one that I can achieve.

If you are like the old me and are having trouble sticking to your New Year’s resolutions and perhaps broken them already, then try setting goals instead – just remember to come up with the success criteria for each one. It was precisely this change in approach that allowed me to start being successful in what I was setting out to accomplish in my life.

If you have already set your goals but can use some extra motivation, try sharing your goals with friends and family. Doing so will help keep you accountable and remind you of the goals that you set for yourself.

Let me start by sharing my goals for 2017.

My 2017 Goals

1.  Get down to a healthy weight of 180 lbs by the end of 2017
I was 203 lbs at the start of 2017, which means I need to drop 23 lbs in 12 months. Just for the record, I blame it on sympathy weight gains – the weight a dad puts on when his wife is pregnant and continues to put on even after the baby arrives.

2.  Read 4 books this year
I have several good friends who read a book a month or even a book a week. While I would love to get to that level some day, I prefer to set a realistic goal for myself – especially since I only read one book all year last year.

3.  Add 2 investment properties to the portfolio
My goal is to diversify my income streams and plan to pick up 2 investment properties this year. Why 2 and not 1? I have been researching this topic for several months now and feel very confident that 2 investment properties in the right area and within my price range is very doable. I will be sure to share my progress with you.

4.  Grow Penny Wise Dollar Wiser
This site was only a mere thought just a couple months ago, but I set a goal in mid-November that I will launch this site by February 1st and here I am writing my first post. My goal for 2017 is to continue to build out Penny Wise Dollar Wiser, grow the user community, and share my experiences on trying to get on a path to financial freedom.

So what are your goals for 2017? Share them with me in the comment section below.

Hoping 2017 has been and continue to be a happy, healthy, and prosperous year for us all.