Don't Still Be A Loser This Time Next Year.

Make resolutions or not -- just don't pretend like you want to achieve success when you're not acting like it. This time of year you're feeling the pressure to examine your life and challenge yourself to improve in the months ahead.

You're going to think about making resolutions to make more money, lose more weight, or improve a bad habit that always seems to be getting in the way.

Sometimes these resolutions are easy to make.

The problems that have been staring you in the face for the past few months become obvious things you need to fix.

Then there are times when making resolutions are a little harder. Things are going well enough that you don't want to do anything differently -- for fear that you might have to put the pieces back together later.

The worst possible situation you can put yourself in is to pretend like you're making steps to improve your life.

Replacing goals with words is pretending.

A few years ago it became trendy to replace clear goals you want to accomplish in the year ahead with choosing three words to focus on throughout the year. Words like tenacity, focus, serendipity, courage, creativity, determination, and persistence.

Good words. Words of action and honor. But -- just words. Not goals. Not resolutions. Not achievements. Not success. Not making a difference. Just words.

A lot to feel good about. And talk about. And think about. But completely lacking when it comes to crossing the finish line.

I know. I tried it for a few years.

Here's the crux of the matter -- if all your goals are philosophical, then choose three words over clear goals. If all your goals are meta-physical then choose three words over clear goals. If you are already where you want to be financially, physically, and mentally, then choose three words over clear goals.

It you want next year to look radically different than this year, you need crystal clear goals. Goals with dollar signs and deadlines. Goals with milestones and metrics.

Philosophy is the fire that burns deep within your soul. But that fuel is wasted if there isn't a finish line. Ask yourself hard questions. Where do you want to be? What do you want to do?

Don't replace success with what is trendy.

Look yourself in the mirror and challenge yourself with clear goals that are scary. And then -- if you want to choose three words to help you achieve those goals , it might just make you more of a badass.

But replacing goals with three words is just a recipe for staying stuck. Which is really just a nice way of saying "you will still be a loser this time next year."

Start winning. Push yourself.