Special to the Tribune

How many of you are creating your New Year’s Resolutions right now?  

Before you do, think back to those you have created in the past.  Have they been realistic?  Have they been successful?  Have they lasted past the Super Bowl?  If any of those answers are “no,” you may want to rethink your strategy for preparing for 2017.

How about setting goals instead of resolutions?  When you think about it, resolutions are typically rigid statements, such as “I will lose 15 pounds,” “I will go to the gym five times a week,” or “I’ll stop eating sweets.”  If these are big changes, you can feel defeated early on when it’s difficult to stick with that statement.  

To set yourself up for greater success and longevity on your plans, how about setting goals instead? Goals can be undertaken with specific steps as building blocks over time that lead you to your desired goal. Along the way, you adjust to the change gradually, so the change does not seem as overwhelming or drastic and makes the goals more realistic and achievable.

Did you know that only the top three percent of society have written goals that are detailed with specific steps? Writing goals down already makes them more likely to be achieved and with specific steps toward your goals, you can enjoy a sense of accomplishment that keeps you motivated to continue on the path of moving toward your end goal.  

This means new habits and strategies that support your goals.

Here are seven tips for setting your goals, whether business, personal or both, for the New Year:

  • Create a positive environment for working on your goals, whether it’s putting on some favorite music, pouring a cup of tea or a glass of wine, sitting in your favorite chair…whatever works best for you.

  • Consider setting goals for all of the primary areas of your life. Sometimes we only set goals in the area where we want to make the biggest change and forget any focus on other areas of our life.

Experts recommend that some areas to consider for goal setting are career, health and fitness, finances and money, primary relationships/family, friends, education and personal growth. There may be other specific areas you want to include.

  • Keep it realistic and strive to keep from over analyzing...just let it flow.  These goals are for you and you want to set yourself up for success by creating goals that are attainable with some effort. If you achieve a goal before year’s end, you can add to it or simply maintain the new habit or behavior and continue working on others. Set goals from your mind and your heart versus over-thinking or what you think others want you to do.

  • Keep your future in mind, by thinking of what you would have in your ideal life.  Think about where you’d like to be in two, five, or even 10 years. Do your goals bring you closer to that life? If so, they’re good goals to stick with.  A visual image in your mind can also help you stick with your goals.

  • Create simple steps for each goal that will help you move toward your end goal with a plan and strategy for getting there.  Enjoy the sense of accomplishment along the way. You may be surprised what you learn along the way, along with achieving your goals.  Goal setting is one the most important things you can do to transform your life in the direction you are seeking.

  • Keep your goals visible and in the forefront of your mind. In whatever way works for you, post them in a key place in your home and/or keep them on your phone, tablet or laptop.

Keeping your goals top of mind will help you create small actions that eventually turn into new habits, as you focus on achieving the steps and end goals. Think of what specific habits you can maintain that will make bigger changes in your life if you incorporate them into your schedule.

  • Reward yourself with small “progress” awards as you achieve steps toward your goals. Change won’t happen immediately, but as you focus on creating what is most important to you, positive change will take place and it is more likely to be lasting.

You have the opportunity to create the best year of your life Are you ready to begin? It’s up to you!

Resources include: verywell.com/goal-setting-for-the-new-year-strategies-that-work-3144928 and huffingtonpost.com/lorrie-febus/7-goal-setting-tips-for-t_b_803420.html.

-Lindy Lutz Cash is the interim president/CEO of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce.

Ambassador of the Month

Name:  Jim Hunt 
Company:    United Brokers Group-Jim Hunt

Address    106 S. Kyrene Road, Suite 2, Chandler.
Phone 480-221-2883
Email    jim@huntazhomes.com
Website   huntazhomes.com

What type of business services or products do you provide? I offer residential real estate services for home buyers and sellers all over the Phoenix Metro Area. From Happy Valley to Lavene, San Tan Valley and Maricopa, I’m happy to travel anywhere to help a client; though Ahwatukee is the heart of my territory.

What are some exciting things happening in your business? The real estate market is hot right now. Homes are increasing in value and interest rates are looking great! It’s a perfect time to buy or sell a home, plus the new building market is booming.

What is your background and how did you come to be in this business? I’ve spent my life in the service industry. Starting my own company at 21 years old, I’ve been self-employed and client driven for over 30 years. While working in the insurance industry, I became interested in real estate and began working closely with partners in that field. Eventually, my passion for working directly with clients and providing direct service led me to launch into real estate full time.

What are your special interests?  People, community, service! I’m an avid volunteer and fundraiser for local organizations and causes; I love taking care of people and creating connections. My passion for creating unique and personal experiences shows in my work with clients, but also carries through to my hobbies in music, sports, and traveling with my family. 

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