Goals vs. Resolutions

Goals Vs. ResolutionsHappy New Year! Now that all of the Holidays are over, it is time to get back to life as usual.  Question: when the New Year rings in, should we just go back to doing what we have always done or embark upon the ceremonial new beginning?

I believe there is something innate in humans that recognize the need for a fresh start.   Growing up, we would make a long list of resolutions.  As of late, I have forgone resolutions and opted for goals instead.  Looking around in the digital space, it appears that more and more people are doing the same. What’s the difference you ask? Let’s ask Webster to find out. 

According to Webster dictionary, the definition of resolution and goal are as follows:

Resolution:  1. Firm determination. 2. An act of resolving to do something.  3. A course of action determined or decided on.

Goal:  1. the objective toward which an endeavor is directed.  2. The finish line of a race.

When I reflect back on my resolutions, they typically were bad habits that I was going to eliminate them magically on January 1st of each year.   I resolved with my sheer will to stop.  Resolutions mostly come from a negative perspective and reflect BACKWARD on what needs to STOP or change.   

Example:  I resolved to stop eating sweets.

As soon as you tell your mind that you are going to stop an activity, it desires it even more.  Statistics tells us that most resolutions are broken by the second week of January.  By the end of the month, 80% of resolutions are broken.  We have such high hopes and fall short the majority of the time.  The results:  nothing changes, another year the remains the same.  

Now let’s contrast that with goals.  Goals cause us to reflect forward from the point of where we are now.  No need to look at the bad habits, but think about what we want to accomplish.  We are looking FORWARD to what we want to be, do, or have this year.

Example:  I will lose 15lbs by April 1st by reducing sweets and sugary drinks and replace them with fruits and vegetables.  I will exercise for 30 minutes three times a week.   

In this example, we painted a picture of the desired results, the expected outcome.  Our mind will cooperate with us to bring it to past.  Achieving a goal is process.  Goals are not based on sheer will, but are accomplished through persistence and determination.  We may stumble but we do not have to feel guilty.  Even if you fall short on January 4th, you can get back up and try again.  You have you eyes on the end of the year.  If you do not reach the goal at the end of the year, but continued to persist, chances are you will still have made some improvements.   You adjust and keep building. 

“Success is the realization of a worthy ideal.” Earl Nightingale

Do you see the difference?  Which one motivates you?  Leave a comment below and let me know.  While you are there, share with your friends or tweeps!  

Samirian HillSamirian Hill, The MoneyWise Teacher, is the Founder and President of BudgetWise Financial Solutions, where they teach women professionals and business owners to manage money wisely through individual consultations, seminars and workshops.  She enjoys reading, cooking, and golfing.  www.budgetwisefinancial.com

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