To Resolve or Not to Resolve

Published December 27, 2010 by LS Murphy

It is that time of year again. The time when most people sit down, take a good look at themselves, and resolve to make changes.

List of Most Common Resolutions

1) To Lose Weight (Diet and Exercise)

2) Get a Better Job

3) Quit Smoking and/or Drinking

4) Save Money

5) Get a Degree

(From USA.gov)

They aren’t always the most positive resolutions, but they have the same destination: to make a major change in your life.

On January 9, 2004, I decided to stop the resolution madness. I set goals for myself, to be reviewed and revised every three months or so.  What’s the difference?

I went to Dictionary.com for formal definitions.

For our purpose, RESOLUTION means:

A Resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.

OR

The act of resolving or determining upon an action or courseof action, method, procedure, etc.

GOAL means: the result or achievement toward which effort is directed;aim; end.

Big difference when you think about it. If you just say “I’m going to lose 50 pounds this year”, it isn’t the same as setting out with a goal to lose that weight. I could tell you, “I’m going to write thirty short stories this year”, but that doesn’t mean much without a plan on HOW to do that. If I set it as a goal and review and revise every three months or so, I can see PROGRESS.

In 2004, I started out with ten goals. The last two or three were always easy so I would feel like I did accomplish something. It worked. I’ve stayed motivated and positive. Yes, my goals have changed. Sometimes they change every three months. And that’s okay. Who knows what I will want in three months?

Regardless of whether you call them “resolutions” or “goals”, WRITE THEM DOWN. Keep looking at them. Keep reminding yourself why you wanted these things. Review them, revise them if need be. But don’t just say, “I want to” and forget to actually DO it.

Happy 2011.

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