Monday, January 05, 2015

Resolutions Versus Goals: The Difference

Resolutions Not The Same As Goals 

These terms are often confused, and many think that making a resolution is the same as setting a goal. Worse - these resolutions are often made without a clear understanding how to make them work effectively, and precisely what they are an undertaking to do. So when they fail ... it firms up any belief that we might have or secretly suspect, that "Goals/Resolutions don't work".

People work.

Goals and resolutions both, are just methods used to facilitate a desired outcome. One in the longer term (future) and one that happens right now!

So goals and resolutions are not the same thing. But how do they differ?

To make a resolution is to decide right now to do something or stop doing something. It takes no planning - any consideration is already done.

Setting goals effectively requires planning, determining the ecology of the goal - so that you achieving one goal doesn't cost you in other ways you didn't expect.

Goals should ideally be part of a comprehensive plan to improve all areas of life so that they are compatible and not counter productive.

That means attention to detail on:
  • What you want to set as a goal and achieve
  • Time frame in which to do it 
  • That it is reasonable and has some capacity to be achievable
  • That you have the resources available to achieve the goal
  • That you have a way to know when you have achieved the goal and 
  • HOW you will go about achieving the goal - the steps needed. 

By contrast a resolution we can decide to do right now.

It is a determination to stop doing something we are doing now. Or start doing something we are not doing now.

Resolutions work hand-in-hand with goals.

Here's an example. We may have a goal to makeover our home in a new design. But we don't have the money to do everything at once so we may work on the goal and in the process resolve to:
  • Get rid of old boxes from the garage that have been there since the last move. 
  • Throw out or give away clothing that is in the closet that does not fit any more. 
  • Ensure that everything we keep has a place for it to be stored easily and make that space for it.
By following through on these resolutions that we can do right now, we are also working toward making our goal happen. 

Another example might be to set a goal to lose weight.  That's not going to happen all at once and will need some planning and goals set to formulate a way for this to be achieved. 

But in the meantime we can resolve to: 
  • Stop buying packets of snack food at the supermarket (reduce temptation at home)
  • Have three meals a day
  • Keep some nuts or carrot sticks in the refrigerator in case you feel like a snack
  • Cook meals 
  • Not buy takeaway dinners 
  • Buy vegetables and fixings for making meals from scratch. 
  • Learn how to cook 3 new recipes to empower us to have healthy meals (if we have not been cooking until now)

Resolutions - Make Them Easy To Be Good At! 

Resolutions don't have to be hard. Make them easy things that you can see work and get practice at achieving the things you promise yourself when you resolved to do that thing, (or to stop doing that thing).

Small Changes Big Impact 

It is amazing how much progress we can make to improving our life just by starting with a resolve to tidy up all those easy things that are just minor annoyances in life or subtle changes in our habits that have been stopping us from having our life be the way we would prefer.

Sure there may be big things too. A resolution carried out gives us confidence in our ability to do what we say we will do. That's important to maintain our credibility with others but perhaps even MORE important that we know we can rely on our word to ourselves.

So - what's the easy thing you can resolve to do today that will make a difference to your success this year?

Related articles on Goals

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