The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.



) -- Here's a question from one of our readers:

Q:Noah, I'm excited to usher in the New Year as it is always a time when I can clean my slate and begin anew. This year is no different. I'm creating a list of goals, sharpening my priorities and determining where my focus is most needed. As the New Year approaches, I'd actually like to fulfill some of my resolutions. How would you advise me in achieving my goals? Thanks!

A: This question speaks to a collective need to see positive forward movement in our lives, now! Formulating year end resolutions provides a valuable opportunity for ego observation and self-reflection.

Here are some tips regarding this process:

1. Do you want to change? Or do you WANT to want to change?

When one tries to change something in their lives based on other people's values, or societal norms, it rarely works.

EXAMPLE: If your lover is encouraging you to lose 15 pounds, and you could care less about the extra weight, that "resolution" will not be successful.

Actualized change usually morphs from honest self-assessment and the prioritizing of ones' own desires.

2. Be careful what you ask for, you may just get it!

Don't make changes unless you are ready to deal with the consequences.

EXAMPLE: Yes, getting that raise you're pining for may certainly have its perks, but it also leaves you wide open to new pressures and unfamiliar responsibilities. In your efforts to get your boss/company to see you as a capable candidate for forward movement, make sure you're absolutely ready to accept that additional role.

3. The need to create a New Year's resolution is usually based on faulty logic. Realize that change does not come with the snap of a finger, as the clock strikes midnight on the 31st. This is magical thinking.

Instead demand of yourself a careful analysis on what you value and want to change in the upcoming year. Remember that we are constantly evolving throughout the year.

As a result, do not let a manufactured timeline dictate when change should occur.

Thanks for the question and to everybody a truly Happy New Year!

On a side note: Let's say a little prayer for my New York Giants this Sunday night as they battle for the division title against the Dallas Cowboys.

Have a profitable and peaceful week,