December 7, 2021


It’s been two and a half months since many of us made New Year’s resolutions and I’d bet that most of us are continuing right where we left off last year. Too often, by the arrival of spring, our plans have turned to shrugs and sighs. Maybe next year. To break this cycle, we need to change how we look at our goals. Discipline is overrated, and the real key to following through is having the right motivation and metrics.

The first challenge is to be very clear about our goals. A worthy goal has something important underneath it. This underlying purpose is the key to our motivation, and we need to ask ourselves why to understand it. Once we know the why, then we can determine how best to measure our progress.

A common resolution might be “I will go to the gym at least 4 days per week.” That very specific goal might be enough for a month, but what happens when we’re tired or facing a work deadline? The same barriers that held us back last year still apply.

To overcome our inertia, we have to be really clear about why it matters. Why go to the gym? To get better at a sport? To look better in a swimsuit? To live longer? Your personal answer to that question is the purpose of your resolution and the source of your motivation. Imagine how you will feel as you reach your deeper goal. Focus on that. Feed on it. Every step forward is a step closer to your reward.

To stay excited about your progress, you have to be able to see it, and that means identifying the right metrics to track your success. This is where you set specific and measureable goals. These goals must be realistic, else you will get frustrated and quit. They should also be challenging enough to make you work. There is an art to picking goals, but if you know what motivates you then you can pick a metric that helps you gauge progress in that direction.

If you are resolving to do something to please somebody else, be warned. We all need consistent encouragement to keep us working hard and it’s just not possible for somebody else to provide that positive reinforcement every day. Other people have their own problems and goals to distract them, so your validation has to come from within.

If you are determined to pursue a goal without the needed intrinsic motivation, there is still hope. You can manufacture your self-motivation by turning your goals into a game. Set up prizes and conditional rewards. Each time you reach a goal, and only when you reach that goal, you get a special treat. You might not like the gym, but if you like your prizes, then you can find the motivation you need. This concept of gamification is everywhere these days, because it really works.

Discipline is like a battery. We can increase our capacity, but if we draw on it too much, we’ll eventually run out of juice. I guarantee that the high performing people you most admire did not reach their success through sheer discipline. They found their motivation and a positive goal toward which they wanted to work. So, don’t try to shame yourself away from bad behavior. Instead, turn your intentions into reality by focusing on what you really want and reaping the rewards of progress. Pursuing a New Year’s resolution goes much better when it’s fun!

Call me at 847-317-0077, email me at, or tweet me at @benreinberg or @alliancecgc if you can submit us a property to acquire and/or would like to invest with us. For further information on investing with Alliance, please click here.

My Best,


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