Some of the biggest changes take years to accomplish (ending a dysfunctional relationship), or months (de-cluttering and organizing), or weeks (adding more fruits/vegetables to our diets), or days (reading a book). Whatever is important enough to you to change, is worth the effort if it makes you feel better. It can take a smoker 15 attempts before he quits.
In 2011 I got clutter-free and organized. It required a new mind-set to get rid of things that I considered important to pass on to my children, but which they informed me were unimportant. Important were the memories and the photos. I threw out until I was left with only that which I use. Everything I was left with has a place - it required bookcases, decorative boxes and storage containers, files and a routine. It felt good - it cleared the clutter from my mind.
In 2012 I have set up financial goals that will have me debt-free in 3 years instead of 5. Everything is automatically paid so I don't have to continually make the decision. I've bought a kick-ass blender that is helping me make healthier choices, and I've vowed to cross the street each day to go to the club and use the treadmill.
I think goals are good. I think lists are good. I know motivation is necessary. Motivation increases when we see progress, so the closer I get to my goals the more motivated I get. It's a wonderful circle. :o)
Now I need to cross the street .....