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Goals Instead of Resolutions

Why Setting Goals Brings Results

Today is 11 January 2012. Many people resolved to improve an area of there life over the New Year's holiday. Here is a short list of common resolutions people make:

1. Education

2. Exercise

3. Get Organized

4. Lose Weight

5. Quit Smoking

6. Self Improvement

7. Spend More Time with Family

8. Volunteer for a Charity or Organization

All of these resolutions are great. My question is how are you doing on your resolutions? Millions of people make a resolution to lose weight each New Year's Day. Unfortunately by March, many of these resolutions never make any lasting impact on people. The diet industry knows this is human nature and that is why most diet plans fail. I have written other blog posts about how to permanently lose weight without dieting so ask me for those articles.

Now that I have suggested that resolutions are not very effective, may I suggest a different approach?

SET GOALS ! Goals require thought and most people will write down specific actions when setting goals similar to these statements:

I have a goal to complete my education by 2014. My action plan is to meet with an advisor from State University and map out a path to finish my degree.

I have a goal to exercise more. My action plan lists what days I will do a set of exercises. I will walk at least 30 minutes a day even if it means doing 3 ten minute walks sometime during the day.

I have a goal of reading more books to improve my reading skills and learn about disciplines that I am interested in. I will set aside a minimum of 30 minutes a night to read about Ancient History or Becoming a Better Artist or Making Better Music.

So you can see the difference right away between a resolution and a goal with an action plan because resolutions have no direction. Goals are concrete and can have timelines for when you want to achieve the end result. If you get off your schedule due to life events happening, which they will, you can easily get back on track.

So good luck achieving your goals! I really like reading about people that have come from humble beginnings and have gone on to make a lasting impact on society!

By the way, I have gone back to college and completed my degree, exercise on a daily basis, lost the weight, quit smoking and work on self improvement every day. Am I perfect? Far from it, however I am being refined like the Bible says the goldsmiths and silversmiths were when making metals.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Hi Daniel,
    I generally don't declare any New Year's resolutions. I choose goals that I know I can accomplish and I take the necessary actions to get there. Some goals are short term and others are long term.
    Most of my goals are business and health related goals which I need to achieve for this year.

  • Treisha

    You're indeed right!
    Most people fail because they don't have a milestone target that they need to reach in a time constrained environment.
    Making these goals can help motivate a person  in achieving results.
    Sleep well it helps!

    • Motivation is the key to many of life’s activities Treisha! A good night’s sleep also is in order for everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Astro Gremlin

    Daniel, the difference between resolutions and goals includes the definition of success and failure.  If I resolve to reduce my caloric intake to x calories every day, and one day my resolve weakens, I may be tempted to conclude I have failed.  Well, I have.  That day.  A resolution is about me.  But goals are outside me.  They remain, even when I waiver or slow.  The next day, even though I "broke" my resolution, the goal and its guidelines are intact.  Yes, they still demand resolve over time.  But if if stay on track on the majority of days, I am still progressing toward my goal.  A goal forgives short term failures.  A resolution can be broken in a day.  A goal doesn't break.  It waits patiently in the distance.  Though I may fall, as all do, I have not failed. I will forgive myself, pick myself up, and proceed forward.  2012 offers 366 chances to succeed!

    • Great share Astro Gremlin! Hope your 366 days are all successful! Reviewing my goals everyday is a priority for me so I will take action that day.