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Make Goals not Resolutions

Raise your hand if you can’t believe that 2022 is almost over. As we get ready to ring in the New Year together, we inevitably think of two things: What happened to us this year, and What we wan’t to happen next year. The changes we make often become New Year’s Resolutions, but those resolutions aren’t exactly sustainable. It’s like saying, “I want to go on vacation,” and then never setting aside the money to fund said vacation. It’s a dream with no clear avenue of achievement. That’s why I’m sharing this updated post of mine from 2020. It’s an effective reminder to make goals, not resolutions.

2020’s Post

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution. They don’t work for me. To me, a resolution is like saying, “We should hang out sometime.” The idea is there but the intent of follow through is not. Instead I’m making goals. Goals for me as a person, goals for me as a wife and mother, goals for this blog and myself as a writer. Having a goal before me gives me something to actually strive for.

I need to make sure I’ve taken the single step I need to take in order to complete my goal

For example, a personal goal I’ve made is to do a 30 day workout challenge this month. On the first day of January I began a 30 day Jumping Jack Challenge and at the end of this month I want to be able to say that I stuck to and completed that challenge. Maybe next month I’ll pick up a new challenge and maybe I won’t. I can’t focus on next month in that aspect, I’m needing to focus on today of this month to make sure I’ve taken the single step I need to take in order to complete my goal.

I guess to me, making a resolution is just a step in making a goal. I know a lot of people make NYRs to workout more or be healthier in some aspect, and that is excellent! Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s a great thing to strive for, but how are you going to do it? The whole point of a resolution is to make a change, so how are you going to change? At the end of the week, the month, the year, what do you want your life to look like? That is your goal. Be resolute in attaining that goal.

It doesn’t have to be big, it just needs to be done by you.

Did you make a New Year Resolution? Have you made them in the past and failed at them? Turn them into goals instead. They say to write down your resolution, make sure you write down what you want the end goal to look like and then write down steps to obtain it. If you’ve already fallen away from the change you swore you were going to make, then take a deep breathe, and restart from step one.

They say it takes Twenty-One days for something to become a habit. Fill those twenty-one days with steps you can easily check off. Do you want to expand your borders in some way? Start step one in your comfort zone and little by little add something or change something that pushes at your normal boundaries. It doesn’t have to be big, it just needs to be done by you.

Adding on in 2022

I still stand by this, obviously, however I think I’d better edit my statement. Resolutions by themselves do not work for me, but goals do.

I may not be doing a Jumping Jack Challenge this year, but I am continuing my workout journey. In those terms, I’ve already started writing out my plans and intentions for the next year in three-month increments. Kind of like I said, I can’t think of the next month, or in this case, the next quarter, like that. I don’t know where I will be in even a month’s time. However, if I have at least a clear plan to follow then I can continue taking the steps to my overall resolution: to be healthier and able to defend myself if need be.

Oh yeah. In case you don’t know, working out for me isn’t just about looking good. It’s about being able to defend myself and others if I’m ever in that situation. Both my short-term and long-term goals are a reflection of my those ultimate goals.

Where to Start?

There are two ways I can think of to give you a starting place.

Number One is to think about this year and where you want to be next year. This can apply to anything: Your mentality, your job, where you live, your hobbies, your body, your empathy…literally anywhere in your life. Whatever the change is, make that your Ultimate Goal. Then, break that goal down.

Number Two would be your pipe dream. What is your pipe dream? Mine is to publish a book. Your pipe dream becomes your Ultimate Goal.

The Breakdown.

I suggest first breaking down that Ultimate Goal on a slightly bigger scale. If your Ultimate Goal can be achieved in 12 months, then break it down into Sub-Goals that are six months. After that, break down your six month goals into three month goals, and your three month goals into one month goals. If this seems like a lot then remember that you are essentially making a checklist that will get you to your Ultimate Goal.

If your Ultimate Goal is going to take longer than a year, and that is perfectly okay if it is, then break it down accordingly. Remember, at its base, resolutions and the goals they back up are supposed to be life changing not temporary. To make something life changing, it has to be sustainable.

Resolutions by themselves are temporary. Achievable goals are sustainable.

So Basically…

If you don’t have a way to back up your New Year’s Resolution and make it attainable then don’t make it. If you make a resolution without goals, you’re just participating in an empty tradition, wishful thinking.

Learn from your past resolutions. Are you making a resolution to get in shape again? Ask yourself, Why did it fail last time? Did you pay for that gym membership and never made it past January or February? If you want to be serious about it, and also not lose money, then figure out why you stopped going and make change that somehow.

If you’re going to make a New Year’s Resolution then make sure that resolution is just one step in a plan of achievable goals. That’s why you should make goals, not resolutions.

Will You be Making a New Year’s Resolution this weekend?

How are you going to back it up and make it achievable? What are your ultimate goal and your break-down goals?

Even if you make a New Year’s Resolution in the moment, you can take the time later and make it into an attainable goal!

Happy Friday!!!

I hope your New Year’s weekend is safe and fun!

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