Goal Setting: Make Goals, Not Resolutions

5

January 2, 2012 by Darlene McC

This should sound familiar: sometime between Dec 16th and Jan 5th(ish) you or someone you love, after reflecting back on the previous year, their life, their waist, or whatever else they’re musing about, will declare for all to hear “My New Years resolution is ____”.  According to usa.gov the most common resolutions are (this is a condensed list):

  • Drink less
  • Eat better
  • Get a better: education, job, whatever
  • Get fit/lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Save money

But lets fast forward on that same friend (or ourselves) 2 or 3 weeks.  They blew into the New Year, without a plan, proclaiming their new found willpower to the free world…and then fell on their face.  We’ve all done it.  I can remember as a teen having a list of half a dozen resolutions that were going to make me a better person magically at midnight.  I’d wiggle on them, then I’d wobble, then I’d ungracefully fall flat on my face in a catastrophic failure of all six at the same time.  Next year I’d come around to the same and, sure enough, do a rinse and repeat.

Sound familiar?  Why do we do that to ourselves?  Well, because the word “resolution”, when mumbled (or shouted) in the New Years sense, has been watered down.  It’s not concrete (with the exception of Quit Smoking – that’s cut and dry and you should do it).  The phrase “Eat Better” or “Save Money” isn’t specific and doesn’t have a timeline.  How will you know when you’ve achieved it?  And there’s no wiggle room for the natural progress that takes place while working toward a goal.

Here’s my personal development challenge to the world:

Make Goals, Not Resolution

And not just any goals: SMART goals.  What the hell does that mean?  Well, SMART is a mnemonic for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound.  And again: what does that mean?

  • Specific – What are you doing? (losing weight?  saving money?  here’s your resolution overlap, and where resolutions stop and fall short)
  • Measurable – How much money?  How many pounds?  How many drinks a week are too many?
  • Attainable – Can you do it?  You’re not going to lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks (at least most people wont).  But you could lose 20 lbs in 20 weeks if you work hard.  Set yourself up for success.
  • Relevant – You have to care enough.  That’s straight up.
  • Time-Bound – If you don’t give yourself a due date there’s no pressure to achieve.  When!?!

Another thing about goals: you work toward them.  Resolutions are black and white: either you do it or you fail.  A goal is something you strive to achieve.  You make a plan, and if there are setbacks you adjust the plan.  And goals can be broken down into smaller micro-goals.  [For example: You want to lose 20 lbs in 20 weeks; then you’d better be losing 1 lb a week.  Which means creating a 3,500 cal deficit every week (there are 3,500 calories of in a lb of fat).  That’s a 500 calorie shortage per day micro goal.  Plus workouts, of course!]

Do yourself 2 favors: when reflecting back on yourself over the last year and looking at your current life give yourself a break.  You’re great, you’re beautiful.  The other: look forward to the year with it’s fullest potential and set yourself SMART goals to reach that potential.  Break those goals into half step goals.  Then half of each of those goals.  Break them down to the smallest micro goals as you need them to be to succeed.

Then, tell resolutions to bug off.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Goal Setting: Make Goals, Not Resolutions

  1. […] so we’ve talked about goals – and specifically why they’re more useful than resolutions for actually improving your […]

  2. […] It’s two months into 2012: check yourself.  How’re you doing on those goals you spent the first weeks of the year mapping out?  (if you didn’t bother, go back and do it punk ass!) […]

  3. […] next year.  Maybe lose some weight; maybe go back to school or save some money.  They should be SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-specific).  But how do you get there? […]

  4. Mom says:

    Read the goals not resolutions and I thought you were talking directly to me.

  5. […] 2013 is just around the corner. If you’ve read UA for a little while you may know we believe resolutions are useless. Real change comes in setting attainable goals and making a plan to obtain […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Instagram

It's important to look back. So you can see your progress. So you understand your process. So you can check in on what you've learned. . . A year ago I was preparing to go to Thailand to study with @luna_alignment_yoga and @talswissa - I had no idea what I was in for. All I knew was I was called to go. At the time I felt so broken and exhausted. I couldn't have guessed the great adventure that was waiting for me... yes, the trip, but also the deep exploration of myself! . . This is one of my favorite selfies, taken the last morning there. My cat had died overnight (4 days before I could make it home), I'd been crying for days, I'd barely slept, but I also felt stronger than I ever have before! Every time I see this picture I'm reminded of my own beauty and resiliency. Even though my heart hurt. Even though I was so tired, I KNEW it was all going to be ok. . . What in your life reminds you that you are strong and beautiful? Share in the comments! . . #strongandbeautiful #bighair #curlyhair #kohphagan #thailand #islandlove #islandlife #selflove #selfcare #internalstrength
In fad diets and infomercials about "personal improvement" I see claims all the time about "the secret" to weight loss, success, and happiness. . . Want to know the REAL "secrets"? There are 2, and I'll give them to you for free: . 1) believe change is possible. If you've been telling yourself the same old story all along (that you aren't good enough, that diets don't work, that you're unattractive, whatever!) Guess what? You're right! Because you're building your reality. But if you change what you believe - and I mean REALLY change it, not just platitudes and bullshit, then your actions will change with you. . . 2) Consistency is what counts. When clients and students try to tell me that something doesn't work, 9 times out of 10 it's because they were inconsistent. That inconsistency comes from misalignment beliefs that we then work on together. (The other time is typically a deeper problem one or both of us didn't realize exhibited yet.) . . . Moral of the story: examine your beliefs and change your mindset to change your life! I believe in you. . Questions? Post them in the comments. . With me? Post 🙌 in the comments. . #lifegoals #selfdevelopment #selfcare #growth #belief #foundationalbeliefs #ibelieveinyou #wisdomwednesday #ww #wisdomwednes #wisdom
Whether you woke up feeling like a rock star, or you feel like this morning was forged in hell, I'm here to tell you: you've got this! . . . I've spent the last year partly absent from Insta because I felt like I had nothing worth posting. I was struggling- with fatigue, with burn out, with my self image. Some of it I'm still working on; but one of the most important things of learned is that we each make our own reality. The stories I tell myself about myself build my actions and therefore my future. . . . If you woke up struggling today, it's time to rewrite the script! You're beautiful. You've got this. Take 5 deep breaths, release the bullshit, and start building some wins for yourself. . . I believe in you. . #mondaymotivation #naturalbeauty #mm #loveyourmug #realtalk
The view from GW this afternoon. #letitsnow . . #equinox #teameqx #greenwichaveeqx
Just a reminder. . . #clearmindopenheart
When the Universe gives you what you needed, say "Thank You!" . . 2018 was a really challenging year. Personally. Professionally. Spiritually. One of the most important things I learned along the way was to stop questioning when I get what I need. Instead I express gratitude! . . Time and again I'd be presented with exactly the growth opportunity or essential thing I NEEDED to survive...and I'd question it! I'd doubt if it was the right choice or if I could pull it off 🤦‍♀️ - until it became so obvious that my doubts were foolish. I was right where I needed to be. . . For #transfomationtuesday share in the comments some gratitude for times you were given exactly what you needed! 💓💓 . . #dropthedoubt #motivation #anothergrowthopportunity #growandchange #gratitude #universalguidance #modernspirituality #thankyou #saythankyou
%d bloggers like this: