Sunday, December 30, 2007

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Friday, December 28, 2007

7 Reasons Why Your New Year's Resolution Won't Work

7 Reasons Why Your New Year's Resolution Won't Work
By R J Licata

With New Year's Day bearing down on us, I thought it would be appropriate to touch on the common tradition of setting resolutions for the coming year. I have no idea what the success rate is for resolutions but as someone who's tried to set them myself, I'd guess it's less than 20%. In light of that, I took it upon myself to list seven reasons why your New Year's Resolution won't work.

1. It's Too Hard

I've written on this subject before with regards to goal setting. A solid goal is one that challenges you, yet is achievable. Setting a goal that's too difficult puts you in a position where failure is likely and frustration is certain. Instead, what I suggest is that you set your resolution in stages so you reach an accomplishment before the overall go is realized.

Beware of setting a resolution that is so overly difficult or unlikely you'll find yourself thinking it failed before you've started. The damaging effects of this are broad, because it messes with your psyche, and impacts future undertakings. For instance, if you're striving to lose weight this year, don't set your goal at 100 lbs., set it at 10 lbs. per month. This way you'll seem less daunted by the size of the resolution.

Setting a goal that you know, deep down, is beyond your realistic abilities is just as harmful, if not more so, than not setting any goal at all. Be honest with yourself, but don't take the easy way out either. It's a fine line to walk, but if you monitor your progress and adjust accordingly you should have no problem.

2. It's Too Easy

Similarly to Number 1, deciding on a resolution that is too easy does you little good. Sure, it will probably boost your confidence in achieving goals that you set for yourself, but if you fail to test yourself a little you'll still not know what it takes to overcome a challenging goal. The best teacher is experience.

If you're serious about improving yourself, which is the reason for resolutions in the first place, then take the opportunity to do so. Don't cheat yourself for the sake of achieving a meaningless goal. Decide on something that will require you to step just outside your comfort zone and go after it. The pleasure of success will be well worth it.

3. You Know You Won't Do It

Have you ever heard someone who just started a diet say something like "well I just started dieting again, but I probably won't stick with it. It never works for me"? How can they ever expect their resolution to work? Setting a goal that you know you have no intention of realizing isn't only senseless, it's a waste of time.

Don't bother deciding on a resolution just because everyone around you seems to be. If there really is something that you want to improve, then decide you want to and go for it. Otherwise don't lie to yourself. It accomplishes nothing.

4. It's Not Really What You Want

Sometimes the thing that seems like the right thing to do, might not be. For instance, if you make a good living doing whatever it is you do, even though you never finished college, you might feel like the right thing to do is finish school. And perhaps it is. But for someone who has little free time and doesn't really want to finish school anyway, it's an unproductive goal to set for yourself.

If you were to set a New Year's Resolution to do something that you don't want anyway, simply because it seems like the thing you should do, there is no way you'll ever make yourself do it. If you're going to make the effort to set a goal for the new year, make sure that it's something you really want. Otherwise, even if you do end up being successful, it won't mean a whole lot to you.

5. You Have No Support

Trying to do anything without support from your friends, family, coworkers, or anyone else is very difficult. It takes a group effort to help you be successful. Whether it be a spouse helping you to eat healthy by reducing the amount of sweets in the house, or a coworker offering assistance on the new project you're working on, having someone else respect your desires and do what they can to help is a big part of achieving success.

Even if they aren't actively helping you, just by understanding that you need the time or money to put in your best effort, they are supporting your cause. In my opinion, anything that doesn't detract from you achieving your goal can be considered support.

If you want to be successful in your New Year's Resolution, you must have the support (in some form) of those who are close to you.

6. Changing Circumstances

Life is unpredictable. Stuff happens. We can't always control what might interfere with our plans. Sometimes setting a goal is the right thing to do at the time, but when circumstances change, so might our priorities. When priorities change, all bets are off.

Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot we can do when this happens, except try to adjust. One option might be to modify the resolution to better fit the new circumstances. Another option is to put the goal temporarily on hold, until things are back to normal. And a third option is to scrap the idea altogether, because it no longer applies. Which method you use depends on your particular situation.

An example of this would be if you made a resolution to save a certain amount of money each month, but then lost your job. Suddenly your priorities have changed, and if your new job pays significantly less than your old one, saving money might no longer be an option. In this case you'd probably have to choose option two and put the resolution on hold until you were back on your feet. Or, if it were feasible you could always adjust the plan to save a more affordable amount each month.

The point is, things change, and sometimes you might have to change your plans also.

7. You're Unprepared

If you're serious about accomplishing anything you've got to line your ducks up first. You've got to plan for success if you want to realize it. Preparing for success requires both mental and physical acceptance of what you're going to achieve. It's easy to just say you're going to do something, but unless you're truly ready for it, it won't happen.

Let's say your New Year's Resolution is to work out on a regular basis. How can you expect to stick with a training program if you haven't first done your homework. Things like what to look for in a gym, what types of exercises you should be doing to accomplish your goals, and how you should adjust your diet to help your workout routine should all be looked into prior to starting a program. If you don't do the necessary research you'll be setting yourself up for frustration, which can quickly lead to a collapse of your plans.

A basic requirement for starting anything new is that you be prepared for what is to come, what might end up coming, and how you'll react if/when obstacles come about. Plan ahead and anticipate and you'll be on your way.

The idea of New Year's Resolutions is a good one. They are a worthy cause, but they are also rarely followed through on. Because of this, people tend to go into them with low expectations. It doesn't have to be that way though. Avoiding these seven obstacles will keep you on the track to success.

Above all, stay positive in your quest to changing your life for the better. Believing in yourself is more than half the battle.

RJ Licata is an internet entrepreneur who spends a great deal of time working on his own personal development. His blog - Personal Development for Everyone examines the many areas of self improvement that we find ourselves struggling with on a daily basis.

RJ's experience stems from reading a great deal of books and listening to many accomplished speakers. Most importantly, he plans to continue learning right alongside his readers.

For more articles like this one, check out RJ's Personal Development Blog!

RJ's Blog -

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

How To Make Money With Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs can either be a way to put a little extra cash in your pocket or, hopefully, become a full time job. However, it's not like you can put up a bunch of affiliate links and expect to start making a mint. If you want to make a full time job's worth of money off affiliate marketing, you have to work at it full time. The great thing about affiliate marketing is that it works 24/7—but this doesn't mean you should also put in several hours a day of your own time.

The affiliate marketers who have had the most outstanding success are normally those who have more than one site working at once. It's much harder to make a decent amount of money if you have one affiliate site at a time. Experienced affiliate marketers will have a number of different sites running at once, all with different types of affiliate links. What this means is that each affiliate site will need separate SEO: new content in the form of blogs, forums, articles, and other techniques.

A key to a successful affiliate marketing program is to make the affiliate site a useful resource. Just posting a bunch of links is not going to impress many web surfers. They'll leave and likely never come back. The trick to any web business is to keep people on site—this is true for the affiliate partner and it's true for affiliate marketers. An affiliate site shouldn't necessarily scream, "affiliate site." Instead, it can be a trusted resource on a particular topic.

Useful content is the best way to make this possible. Take a site that has a number of links to sports-related businesses (apparel, equipment, tickets, books, etc.). The affiliate marketer can then set up a forum that talks about different sports teams, strategy, and so on—potentially, this forum could bring in sports fans from across the country. Blogging is another great medium for affiliate marketing. On the same site, the blogger could write reviews of new equipment or write in depth trade talk about a variety of sports. These are just a few ideas but they show how affiliate marketing can—and should—be a serious, long-term proposition.

What it comes down to is that affiliate marketing is no different than running the host site. Both are about running a business, even if an affiliate marketer has no direct product or service to sell. An affiliate marketer should set up a site that is useful and informative—a destination that people will come back to again and again. In some cases, an affiliate site might even be more informative than the partner's website.

Only until these issues are covered can an affiliate marketer hope to make a good amount of money with affiliate marketing. Sure, you could put up links and hope for the best, but you should think about investing some time into the site if you really hope to turn a respectable profit.

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