plural noun: resolutions
1. a firm decision to do or not to do something.
2. the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.
As you set out this New Year pursuing all the newness it has before you, I challenge you to something new in 2019 when it comes to setting those resolutions… don’t set them, set GOALS instead!
You see, resolutions tend to leave no room for failure, they can be hard and fast and black and white.
In fact the definition for resolution says “a firm decision to do or not do something. The action of solving a problem, dispute or contentious matter. It makes it seem as though if you don’t master that resolution on the first da/first try and maintain it, you’ve failed. Or that if you don’t solve or figure it out the day you set out on pursuing it, you’ve already dropped the ball on mastering it.
This is why if you’re a gym goer you may notice the gym is busier during the months of January and February, but by March and April the crowds have dissipated. Or you can’t seem to get a table at the local healthy restaurant without an hour wait but by Spring, you can walk right in.
It seems as though people start off with the best intentions but once they slip up or struggle, they give up entirely. They also seem to jump in head first to their resolution rather than easing into it. Resolutions seem to have the fine print of ALL OR NOTHING attached to them.
In 2019 I encourage you, not to throw your resolutions out the window, but simply turn them into goals.
Goals are much more attainable if you set action items to them. Set small goals that help lead you to those bigger “resolution” type goals. Goals allow room for error because if you miss one goal, there’s another one set almost as a safety net to catch you when you fall and help you to keep going. When you reach a goal, it makes you feel accomplished which propels you onto the next one.
Let’s say you set your resolution in 2019 “To Get Healthy!”
This is a common one and a great one, but also the most likely to get dumped after just a couple months. Turn this resolution into a goal. Set little goals with due dates attached that are easily accomplished as you work up to the bigger goal.
1. 2 weeks: go walking 3 days a week
2. Drink ½ gallon of water 5 days a week
3. Park far away from the store and take the stairs whenever available.
These are small goals that should be manageable. Sit down and map out a whole plan (2 week goals, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 2 months, and so on) that all encompass actions to reach the big picture.
Just like anything in life, if you fall, get back up and try again.
If one of your goals turned out to be too lofty or you bit off more than you could chew, that’s ok. Go back to the drawing board and adjust. Reset those goals that paint a new trajectory to your finish line. Nothing in life is accomplished without some sort of challenge, bump in the road, or hiccup. Remember to focus on progress over perfection and you’ll be sure to look back on 2019 with some goals reached, lessons learned, and feeling a bit more accomplished than defeated!