Why I Set Goals Instead of Resolutions.
And what in the heck is the difference?
As we approach the new year, many people start talking about setting their New Year’s Resolutions.
I used to set New Year’s Resolutions too.
I’d brainstorm about all the different things I wanted to change about myself or my life and come up with a short list of resolutions.
And when I’d come up short, I’d feel like a failure.
Now, this may not be how all people feel. I have perfectionistic tendencies. This is defined as a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards, accompanied by overly critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.
Yep. That’s me.
Which is why resolutions were a problem for me.
So I decided to start setting goals instead.
You might be asking yourself what in the heck the difference is between the two. So I thought that it might be best to share the definitions of each of them.
As you can see the words are very similar. In fact, they share some synonyms (aim, plan, intention). But this is one of the things that I love about language…I see a nuance between them that actually affects how I tend to think about each word.
Resolution is a firm decision to do or not to do something whereas a goal is an aim or desired result.
I interpret this in that a goal is fluid, not the pass/fail or black/white that I see in the term resolution.
It gives me room to change and tweak my goals as I move forward.
It also means that if I am moving forward and actually progressing toward the goal, there is still something to celebrate.
Where with a resolution I either achieved it or I didn’t.
I understand that this can be seen as semantics.
But this reframing helped me to recognize those things that I did achieve instead of beating myself up over not hitting the “exact” result.
To share a few examples from my own 2018 goals:
- Grow blog to “x” number of followers. As a resolution, I would have failed because I didn’t achieve that number. Truth be told. I wasn’t even close. As a goal, I acknowledge how much I did grow by, assess what I might have done differently and factor that into a future goal.
- Read 10 novels. This one I actually substantially surpassed. In no small part due to the fact that as part of my #thisis40 year of monthly challenges, one was a reading challenge. However, if I’d only managed to read 9, that still would have been aiming toward the goal instead of failing at the resolution.
- Visit 3 Countries. I actually accomplished this goal as well. Aruba, England, and Scotland. But life is fluid. Things come up. Raising three teens keeps me on my toes. There was always a possibility that this might not have been doable as I was setting this goal at the end of 2017. But it was my aim.
Over to you.
Now that you see how I differentiate between the two words, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
Do you see a difference between a goal and a resolution?
I’m just getting starting on brainstorming on what goals I’d like to aim toward for 2019.
How about you?
Do you plan to set any goals for 2019?
Feel free to share them if you’d like!
Let your light shine!