Strategies for success in the Vail Valley |

Strategies for success in the Vail Valley

Dream big! Live big! Go big!

This is for all of you in the Vail Valley who on New Year’s Eve will commit to stop smoking, lose weight, stop drinking, start a workout routine, change jobs, get closer to your family, become a better spouse, forge deeper friendships, make more money, read more, learn more love more, or strengthen your faith.

I love people who dream big, live big, and go big. And for those who are successful, know that they started with small steps on their way to going big. For example, if you are someone who resolved in 2009 to start working out again but historically believed that a good workout was filling your bath tub, opening the drain, and then fighting the current, you may want to keep reading.

Some people confuse resolutions for goals. Resolutions without commitment will end up being nothing more than broken promises to yourself. How many of us year in and year out start with the very best of intentions to live up to the resolutions we make only to fall short just a few days, or weeks, or months later.

You know how it goes: You resolve to lose weight or live a healthier lifestyle on New Year’s Eve and then on Jan. 18 some dirty dog brings in donuts or bagels for the office and one jelly donut or a bagel with cream cheese later we promise ourselves that we will try harder next year. Don’t let that deter you, do not wait for another New Year’s Day. You can restart your commitment that very same day!

Instead of making new year’s resolutions, commit to defining your goals for the year. First, identify what your desired outcome would look like on Dec. 31, 2009. Now you have your long range goal.

Next, identify what success looks like on June 30, 2009. Now you have your mid-range goal. Finally, understand and be realistic about what the near term wins will look like between January and June. This will give you your near-term milestones to help measure your success.

We have to have near-term, mid-range, and long-term goals. If we only look at the long range goal it will seem overwhelming. You can make radical changes in small steps.

For example, if you feel like you want to stop drinking alcohol or maybe just drink a little bit less, take country singer Tim McGraw’s advice ” “Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers, and maybe I’ll remember my next 30 years.”

If your goal is to lose 37 pounds, don’t commit to losing 37 pounds in January and February, commit to losing 37 pounds over 12 months. Do you know that is only 1.62 ounces per day? You can make radical changes in small, bite-size steps. Hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes get all the media attention but termites do more damage each year.

Goals should be “SMART” ” Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Be as specific as you can when planning your goals. Define what success looks like at intervals along the way so you can measure progress. Make sure that the milestones you set stretch you but don’t break you so they are attainable.

Goals need to be realistic so you will not get frustrated along the way. Goals should be timely. Which one would give you the most sense of accomplishment at this time of your life?

Make the commitment, stick with the commitment, share your goals with your friends and loved ones so they can help hold you accountable, look for a good life coach, personal trainer, business mentor, spiritual coach, or support group, and I promise you that this time next year, you will celebrate the achievement of your goals. Dream

Big! Live Big! Go Big!

Here’s hoping your 2009 will be everything you want it to be. Cheers and be safe!

Send me your 2009 New Year’s Resolutions and Goals at and I will do my best to give you some hope and inspiration along the way.

To contact Michael Norton, e-mail

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