12/31/2012 08:40 am ET Updated Mar 02, 2013

Is Your New Year's Resolution a Thought or a Commitment?

How do you plan to approach the New Year? With all the good intentions of reinventing some part of your life and a huge commitment that in the back of your mind you just know you'll have a hard time sticking with? Admit it, it's how every year starts out, right?

If you are really ready to make that leap and become more fit, find that new career path, get into a good relationship, do some great volunteer work, whatever your passion is to pursue, then set realistic goals so that you can feel good about achieving them, and the milestones along the way.

Firstly -- DON'T start on January 1st or the first Monday -- start NOW, or on Wednesday. Make it YOUR day, not everyone else's and then you'll feel a greater sense of control and ownership of your direction. Try it!

Whether we want to or need to, these little or big reinventions are incredible journeys and you want to map yours out, just like you would if you were going on a vacation to somewhere new and interesting. A few fundamental steps are involved so write them down, especially because in weeks or months from now, when you're having a down day or feeling challenged with your goals, reading your game plan will remind you and reinforce the reason and spirit with which you set out to do it.

  • Pick your destination -- where do you want to end up?
  • Do some research -- what's involved, what more do you need to know, will this require some education, courses, reading, meetings with others?
  • What do you do with your current life -- what gives? What stays in place? What has to be reorganized to make this work?
  • Who's involved and how will these new plans affect them? How will they be involved?
  • What financial planning needs to be considered?
  • Who else do you need to engage in your process for support, guidance, mentoring, and inspiration?
  • What are the first five things you'll need to do to get on the path?
  • What's your personal measurement of success in this journey? How will you know you're on the
  • right path and pleased with your reinvention?

Whatever your passion, wherever this next adventure takes you, prepare yourself with a roadmap to get there -- this is not work -- this is your journey, so enjoy every step of it and own it with a sense of excitement.

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." -- Lao Tzu

"Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey." -- Alex Noble

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Enjoy and Happy Reinventing!

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