In the spirit of embracing the new year, (and since we've had many resolution threads pop up)
A big part of why a lot of people regularly struggle with annual resolutions, or struggle with achieving their goals, is that they aren't clearly defining their goals or outlining a concrete plan of action to reach their objectives.
The end result is left up to chance and emotions
Setting 'smart' goals is applicable to virtually any situation, whether it's getting out of debt, spending more time with family, volunteering, weight loss, starting/running a business, writing a book, getting a degree, etc etc
Food for thought.