Perfect for the start of a new year – start where you are.
Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Resolution: a firm decision to do or not do something.
Some people set goals, some people set resolutions for the new year, and some people do both. For me, the connotation of “resolution” is different from goal – or at least it can be. For me a resolution is a “New Year’s Resolution,” something set for what you want to do in the new year (or even stop doing in the new year). A goal, on the other hand, can be a longer-range activity. Perhaps there is no real difference or my interpretation is wrong. At any rate, I have personally found it more helpful to set goals rather than resolutions.
To set my goals (long term and short term), I consider different areas of my life:
- Soul or Spirituality
I also consider both long-term and short-term goals. I don’t like to look too far ahead so I might set five-year goals, three-year goals, and one-year goals. Those can all typically be broken down into smaller goals, which will be easier to work into monthly goal lists, as well as weekly goal lists.
Once goals are broken down like that, it is easy (or easier) to see what steps can be taken daily to move closer to achieving goals.
Things to remember when setting goals:
- Make sure you have goals that will make you stretch. If they are all immediately do-able, you won’t feel you’ve really achieved anything once you’re done.
- Make sure that you are fairly reasonable. For example, if you are 40 and out of shape, the goal “Become an NFL running back” isn’t really something you can expect to accomplish.
- Keep your goals where you can see them regularly. It can help keep you motivated.
- Review weekly or at least monthly to see any progress you’ve made, and also to determine where you need to refocus.
- Reward yourself for achievements, even if it is a small reward.
- Set goals that motivate you – if you aren’t motivated by them, you won’t work hard to achieve them or even follow through on them.
- Have someone hold you accountable – basically, TELL someone what your goals are and have them check with you periodically.
- Keep your goals written down. Just the act of writing them down reinforces your goals.