Instead of committing to lose weight this year or write that book, simply commit to do the work. Five days a week you are going to write, who cares whether a book comes of it or not. Five days a week you’ll walk two miles, or you’ll cut your carbs down to whatever. If you want to be more grateful this year, then break that down into something you can do, and commit to that. Every Thursday you’ll write somebody a thank-you card.
Do you want to be more professional? Commit to shaving every day (Please. Especially if you are in your twenties, because while you think it looks novel and unique, it actually looks like an identity crisis and it’s costing you) and sending your clothes to the dry cleaner once a month. And add to that finish the work you’re supposed to finish. Want to find romance? Commit to asking a girl out once a week (talk to Henry Cloud if you think that’s too much) or, if you’re a girl, put yourself on a dating site on the internet and say yes when you get asked out. Don’t commit to an idea, commit to a tangible act you can check off of a list.
Goals are very helpful, and writing them down is even more helpful. But once you set a secret goal, break it down into actionable steps, and make your commitment to take those steps, to DO those things. Goals don’t accomplish anything, it’s all in the work.