It’s that time of year again where people create resolutions and possibly aims to change habits, start new habits or simply shoot for some desired goal. I believe when you create resolutions; you create a challenge likely to fail. There’s nothing against challenging yourself in the upcoming year but it’s the stigma that comes along with resolutions. I’m going to eat healthier, read more, become more spiritual, spend more time with my family, finish school, and so many more. Resolutions are challenges that often result in failure. My recommendation is to STOP with resolutions and BEGIN with goals.

Just the stigma of removing resolution from your conversation and using words like “challenge” and “goals” will likely create a completely different mindset to help you drive to success. Every year I create professional and personal challenges for myself. I believe it’s our job as human beings to better ourselves each year. Just like a sales representative may have sales goals, I have goals. It’s my job to do everything in my power to accomplish those goals no matter the difficulty. I began making goals for myself in 2013. Just as if a business holds strategic meetings preparing for the new year, I hold my own strategic meetings where I think about what was accomplished the year before and what do I want to accomplish in the coming years. I consider the following years and how it may relate to the New Year.

In 2013, my goals were much simpler as I was experimenting with the concept of creating goals that take significant work to accomplish. However, in 2014, I had very difficult goals I knew would be challenging for me to accomplish. I accomplished 8 out of 9 goals I listed and was very satisfied with my results. In 2015, the list was much shorter because one of my goals was to complete my MBA in one year. To do this, I would have to double up on all my classes. I stayed focus and accomplished my goals.

As you look to 2016, I encourage you to throw out the concept of resolutions and create goals for the year. Whether it’s personal or professional, consider the challenges and what you’re able to accomplish. Put constraints in place and ask yourself what you would do if you get off track. Perhaps your not passionate about losing weight but you are passionate about having fun. How can you lose weight and have fun? Make a game out of it. Create your own point system.

If you want to talk about marketing, this is marketing yourself. If you want to talk about business strategy, there’s no better strategy than enhancing your skills and making you a better professional. Set goals, not resolutions. Here’s to a great 2016.