Have you set your New Year resolutions? Already given up on them? Forget resolutions. Instead, learn how to set goals that you will make a commitment to.

Goals are important. However, more important than setting goals is making sure the goals you set are your own. Health and fitness are hot topics. The social emphasis on fitness, along with a constant barrage of media ideals for beauty, has created an environment where everyone believes fitness and nutrition have to be one of their priorities. There is no doubt there are valid reasons that health & fitness should be a priority. Savings and responsible spending should also be objectives. Kindness and giving back to your community should be as well. However, these ideals will NOT be everyone’s goals.

There can be a big difference between what you say your goals are and where your true priorities exist. Determining the difference is quite simple: Your ACTUAL goals are reflected in how you ACTUALLY spend your time and your money. Therefore, instead of making New Year’s resolutions based on what you think you should be doing, do the far more useful exercise of evaluating yourself honestly. How do you spend your time? How do you allocate your income and your savings? How does the time and money spent reflect your actual goals? This analysis will show you, in black and white, what is truly important to you.

For example, as a former accountant, I know how to budget and precisely what my financial objectives should be. I know how to manage investments and how much of my income should be set aside as emergency savings, for retirement, college savings and so on. However, I rarely meet the appropriate savings objectives. Instead, I allocate a great majority of our household income to the comfort of our home and to making memories via travel and entertainment for my family.

When I evaluate my time, I see that, although I want to give back to my community and impact the life of others, I spend the vast majority of the hours of my day providing for the comfort of my immediate family and ensuring my own fitness and the proper nutrition of my family.

Therefore, despite the fact that I am interested in financial and social responsibility, these ideals clearly fall beneath the objectives of providing for the comfort of my immediate family and their fitness and nutrition. Right, wrong or indifferent, and whether I want to say it in my out loud voice, these are my true priorities.

Once you understand your actual goals, you have a choice: You can embrace those priorities and make a commitment to invest in those objectives. Or, you may discern you want to change. Change is not easy, but it is possible. Make a plan and make a COMMITMENT to that plan.

There is a difference between being interested in something and being committed. If you are interested, you make efforts only when it is convenient for you to do so. If you are committed to an objective, you do not accept excuses. You accept only results. When you are committed, you will choose to sacrifice what you want now for what you want most.

Being honest with yourself and the world at large can be difficult. However, being dishonest will create feelings of guilt, shame and failure. The cognitive battle that will ensue when you are not true to yourself decreases self confidence. Therefore, there is really nothing more important than honest goals that are your own. Do not apologize and do not feel pressured to take on another person’s goals. You are the one that looks in the mirror every day. You determine your own self worth. Life is about being your own best you and only you know what that is.