There is no break from the deluge of New Year's resolution experts and self-described goal-setting strategists on television and radio at this time of year, many of whom are repeating the same advice that careens from blog to article to motivational speech. I've heard it all before - reward yourself, make it specific, SMART goals, and so on. If you close your eyes, everyone begins to sound the same.
What I'm not hearing or seeing is some of the most essential information - all research-driven - that will really alter your chances of success, and I'm not sure why it isn't being disseminated more widely. Perhaps it's because so many urban legends like the "Harvard Study of 1950" (written goals versus unwritten goals leading to money and success), have become so ingrained that people actually believe these bromides without looking a little deeper. Maybe it's because the Law of Attraction sounds easier; want it, believe it, write it down and you'll get whatever you want! Poof!
The point of this column is to open a few eyes to the less-known and poorly understood factors that can help you make or break the coming year if you want to set and achieve goals that will change your life. With so many people struggling with record levels of "vital exhaustion" and recession-related woes, it makes some sense to come into the 21st century of goal setting advice, with much of it flowing from the world of Positive Psychology - the science of happiness - and where it intersects with the science of goal accomplishment, which I have studied for years.
Here's what everyone should know to make their New Year's resolutions something other than another set of wishes and dreams that go nowhere, and that might remove incentives to ever try again:
For more information about how to accomplish goals and use the science of Positive Psychology to be more successful, see my latest book, "Creating Your Best Life" (Sterling 2009, paperback 2011), which is now available in multiple languages and on the Nook.