Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

Every year around this time I start thinking about resolutions—making them, breaking them and forsaking them. I often threaten to forgo making New Year’s resolutions altogether because they are so dang difficult to keep. But every year I cannot resist the urge to better myself and I make at least one or two. And come February, I find myself flailing. I fall off the diet wagon, find excuses not to exercise or pull out the credit card to pay for the latest must-have techie gadget and I feel…defeated. I have to admit to myself that, once again, I have failed to keep the resolutions I made at the beginning of the year. I beat myself up, pound my pillow and resolve to do better next year. And therein lies the problem. Why wait until next year? Why not next month, next week or better yet, the next day? Why not forgive the falling off of the wagon—be it exercise, food or some other vice—and get back on the horse and try again? (Clearly I failed in my attempt to stop mixing metaphors.) I think the problem with keeping resolutions stems from the word itself. It sounds so serious, has such gravitas, that to fail to keep a resolution is to fail as a human being…or so it seems.

So this year I am changing the game—or at least the name of the game—and, instead of making resolutions, I am setting goals. A goal is something you can accomplish little by little and that you are allowed to make mistakes at on the way to achieving. Goals are manageable and attainable and aren’t quite as loaded as resolutions. It may just be semantics, but for a dictionary diver like myself, words are everything and I have resolved, once and for all, to NOT make a single New Year’s resolution in 2009. Instead, I am going to set challenging, yet achievable, goals for myself and give myself permission to fall off the wagon every once in a while. After all, nobody’s perfect, not even a guru.

I’m off to work on my goals for 2009. I like to jot them down in my Icon Prism Journal Book so that I can track my progress. In fact, a journal is a top-notch gift for important clients, employees and even your friends. Even if they don’t go in for “journaling,” most people can use a spiral bound book to jot down appointments, write up project notes or just to doodle in while they pretend to listen in on their weekly conference calls. It’s a great way to start the New Year off with a bang.

As my dear friend Oprah so wisely said, “Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right.” Indeed, Miss Winfrey. Indeed.