This is the time of year when people think about goals for the upcoming year. But many people don’t actually set goals; they make statements called New Year’s Resolutions. A resolution is an expression of will or intent. The person making the resolution has made a decision to do (or not do) something during the coming year. However, a resolution is not a goal; rather it is a means to achieve a goal.

Examples may include:

  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Stop smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Spend less
  • Save more
  • Get organized

These are good resolutions. (Although, to make them better it’s important to be more specific and add a “By When” date.) The goal is actually the “Why” for making the resolution. For example:

  • Build closer relationships with family and friends
  • Live longer and spend less money on the habit
  • Live longer and have more energy
  • Get out of debt
  • Create wealth
  • Become more effective and efficient

Highly Productive People take these goals a step further by making them visual. They find a way to bring their goals to life by creating visual reminders of the end result they’re hoping to achieve.

One person told me about a specific vehicle he wanted to purchase. He knew the make, model, color, everything. Eventually, he decided to share his goal with a local car dealer and had his picture taken standing by his dream vehicle. That picture sits on his desk in his office and serves as a daily visual reminder of his goal.

If you have made some New Year Resolutions, follow these three steps to make what you really want more vivid:

  1. Write “Why” you are making the resolution. What is it that you really want?
  2. Determine how you can make that “Why” (or your goal) visual.
  3. Make it visual and display it prominently so you will see it every day until you have achieved it!

Be bold and share your visual goal! Once you do that, there is no turning back.

Here’s some further reading on goal setting to help set you up for success in 2014: