I resolve to drop 20 pounds this year.
I resolve to get straight A's in all my classes (back when I was in high school/college).
I resolve to be a better person.
And on and on, you get the picture...The Dictionary.com meaning behind a resolution is - the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc. The main issue with this method of thinking is that you can resolve that you're going to work towards something in 2011, but without an actionable goal and an action plan, you won't get very far! Here are three reasons you should set goals instead of resolutions...
1. Goals put those resolutions into action. For example, the definition of a goal is the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end. It's more definitive than a resolution. Instead of just saying "In 2011, I'm going to lose 20 pounds", I should set goals for myself. Example: "By February 2011, I want to be down 5 pounds, exercising regularly 3 times a week and eating as least 5 servings of fruits & veggies a day." Yeah, it's a lot more to process, but breaking down my overall goal into small actionable steps makes the whole process easier to implement and work towards.
2. Resolutions are a one-time declaration. Goals are an ongoing process. Everyone always raves about New Year's resolutions, but rarely do you hear people taking about mid-summer resolutions, or just "this current week" resolutions. With goals, you set the expectation that they should be re-evaluated and assessed every once in a while, AND you can set them at any time. Who says January 1st should be the only time you have perspective on things in your life you want to change? Success is an ongoing process that, to me, never ends until you die. There's always something new to learn or something greater to achieve. So don't fix yourself so heavily on setting goals ONLY in the beginning of the year. Be flexible!
Any goals for 2011? Share them below! I always enjoy being inspired by you guys.