Wishes, Goals, Resolutions

For the last blog of 2017, what else could we talk about but the inevitable, upcoming, New Year’s Resolutions!  The year is new and so are our hopes and dreams for the future!  But something seems different this year…

Whenever this discussion has come up around here lately, we’ve noticed that more and more people are throwing out the negative numbers: “Only 20% of people make resolutions because they know they don’t work.”  “You know, 80% of people don’t keep their new year’s resolutions; what’s the point?” It’s not that these numbers are wrong, but the problem is most of what passes for a “resolution” is actually just wishful thinking.  Let’s look at the terms:

  • A wish is a stated hope that things will be different in the future. You can wish to win the lottery or to have magic powers just as you can wish to lose weight, bike more and work less.
  • A resolution is a stated course to act differently in the future. When you resolve, you commit to do something different, which is specific and active.*

Many people end up failing in keeping resolutions is because they actually just made unrealistic and non-specific goals. Ah-ha, a third term:

  • A goal is something you keep in front of you every day; it should be realistic, measurable, and timely in order to be effective.

Now, goals and resolutions go hand-in-hand, as setting goals is what helps a person in maintaining their resolution.  Isn’t this sounding drastically different than the wishful hoping of your basic new year’s resolution?  It is!  And if you are serious about not being part of the 80%… read on!

“Resolutions are supposed to be long-term and are supposed to be something you keep instead of something to complete. Making resolutions, such as exercising every day or running a marathon by June, are actually goals. It tells you what you have to do and when do you have to do it. For example, it tells you that you are supposed to exercise every day or run in an upcoming marathon, etc.**  Now, these goals aren’t bad, but they could be better.  We’re all pretty familiar with the SMART goals analogy by now, but let’s look once more: an ideal goal is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Adding SMART goals to a resolution is where the magic happens!  So… (Resolution) I resolve to live a healthier 2018, (SMART Goal) by exercising for 3 days a week for a month and drinking 8 full glasses of water per day.

You’ll notice the goals are short-term and specific, so that when this goal is completed, another goal can be set. You may need to exercise 4 days a week after that first month.  You’ll also notice that the resolution is more vague, and can be kept for a longer period of time. It is to be achieved using a variety of different goals to get there.

This is why resolutions are big and fun and lofty.  They take work and shape your year into what you want it to be!  You want 2018 to be healthy and happy and you will be spending time at the gym, staying hydrated, and relaxing on your off days.  2018 resolution complete!

Remember, it is best to make short-term and easy goals that help maintain the overall resolution.  If your resolution has the words “more” or “less” in it, than get specific, make a few SMART goals to help you achieve that resolution, and you’ll know exactly how you are going to act differently tomorrow to achieve that goal!  Now, go out there and make 2018 exactly what you want it to be!

Happy New Year,

From PAL