I'm willing to bet you will hear the word “resolution” to thepoint of exhaustion by the time the end of this month rolls around.But you won't hear me bashing the tradition. I've always been abeliever that setting a goal is the first step you take towardscompleting it. So you'll get nothing but smiles from me when asked,“What's your New Year's resolution?”

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For me, measuring true success in goal setting has always meantknowing where the finish line is, no matter what month. Irediscovered that a few months ago, literally, when I completed myfirst triathlon. The course — which consisted of a six-mile kayak,a 5.5 mile run, and an 18-mile bike ride — was an intimidatinghalf-day trek for someone who once winced at running a 5K charityrace.

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I immersed myself for several months in training and planningfor the big race. When the day finally came, I pushed my kayak intothe chilly, early-morning rapids of the Little Miami River, a bitnervous but ready for what faced me. Three hours and 11 minuteslater, I crossed the finish line on my bike and flopped to theground in exhaustion amidst cheering from complete strangers.

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It was a great feeling of accomplishment to set a goal andachieve it. When I found out how I measured up against everyoneelse, it didn't matter that I had placed 566th out of 1,150athletes — almost exactly right in the middle. I had accomplished aspecific goal — and was stronger mentally and physically forit.

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Of course, setting realistic, achievable goals is something weall must do professionally, too. By doing so, we give ourselves theopportunity to surprise and impress our peers and bosses — andmaybe ourselves, too. So what's your goal this year? Will youfinally earn your AIC or CPCU designation? Make the leap fromadjuster to supervisor? Take on a mentorship? Organize your desk?Whatever it is you decide to do, Claims will be here tohelp you realize your resolutions. That's our never-ending goal: tobe your number-one source of information on claim-relatedtopics.

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This issue is certainly a step in that direction. We look backon 2009 to discuss important claim-related verdicts and thepotential impact on claim departments with our legal year inreview. We also look forward to the future with our piece on thetop technology trends in store for 2010. Packaged in with a teemingissue are our annual Buyer's Guide and Calendar of Events.

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They're just a few more tools to help you reach 2009's finishline — and charge into 2010's starting gate.

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