Saying “I want to make a lot of money” isn’t good enough.

Here’s the thing, many people set broad goals in life and end up never accomplishing anything.

The biggest and most well-known examples of this are:

I want to make more money
I want to lose weight

The goal might be stated like this:

“My 2010 New Year’s Resolution is to make a lot of money.”

“I want to lose 20 pounds.”

“My goal is to read more books in 2010.”

In my opinion that’s too vague.

You need to have specific goals and hold yourself accountable if you truly want to achieve them.

Here’s a better way to state those goals.

  • “By March 15th, 2010 I’ll make an extra $2000 freelancing.”
  • “I’ll lose 20 pounds by June 15th.”
  • “My goal is to read at least 2 books per week in 2010.”

Go ahead and set big goals. The bigger your goals the better in my opinion! Shoot for the stars (within reason of course.) If you’re 58 and just now deciding that you want to be an astronaut, chances are this goal isn’t necessarily attainable.

And if you’re really  serious about the desired goal then you’ll also find a way to hold yourself accountable should you slip up and fall off the wagon.

By holding yourself accountable you’re even more likely to achieve your goals. Give yourself something to lose and you’ll work your hardest not to lose it.

Remember “swear jars?
Many families had a swear jar and every time someone swore they had to put some money into the jar. (losing money is always a powerful motivator)

Think of when you were a kid and how you got an allowance for good behavior or when your mom and dad said they would give you $20 bucks for every “A” you got on your report card.

This looks a lot like bribery, but it really isn’t, this was a way of helping you reach your goals by holding you accountable. By getting all “A’s” the potential payoff was big, but by not getting a’s you had much more to lose.

By setting measurable and distinct goals and holding yourself accountable you’ll be far more likely to succeed.

What are your goals this year?