Settings Goals vs. Making Resolutions

Settings Goals vs. Making Resolutions

At the start of every year, we are bombarded with information about what resolutions we need to make, how to change, how to be better, or how to be something other than ourselves. What a horrible way to begin a new year—feeling as if you already aren’t good enough.

Rather than start the year feeling less than, let’s aim to start 2022 feeling in control and as though we are entering with our best foot forward.

Instead of making resolutions, most of which fail, identify goals that you would like to accomplish in the upcoming year. The word resolution is defined as a “firm decision to do or not to do something.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t leave much room for adjustments or the need for pivoting toward something that might work better or be more effective. This is why I believe that goals are a much better approach.

The great thing about goals is that they build on themselves. Most, if not all, long-term goals are made up of smaller goals, which may be more achievable. For example, say you set the goal or intention of running a marathon this year. Most of us cannot just put on a pair of sneakers and run 26.2 miles (there are people who can, which always amazes me). The rest of us need to train and develop the stamina, muscles, and skill to accomplish this goal. We may start with running a mile and go from there, each week adding more distance to our runs. Some of us will work with a coach to help improve our form and efficiency. Each small step leads us to be able to accomplish the larger ones.

As we achieve smaller, more bite-sized goals, we also build confidence. Additionally, if we fail at a smaller goal, it doesn’t feel like we have lost everything. We have the opportunity to take a step back, reset and reevaluate, and then continue to push forward. Obstacles will always appear; working with the small pieces allows us to conquer them more easily.

Let’s be specific about what you need to do:

  1. Identify your long-term goal
  2. Break it down into smaller steps
  3. Highlight the first step
  4. Start the first step
  5. Reinforce each step
  6. Reevaluate as needed
  7. Ask for help when you need it

The beginning of the year is a great time to evaluate what you want and what you might want to achieve and accomplish. Set yourself up for success as you head into this new year. Identify what you want to do and get to it. Find ways to help yourself level up in ways that are meaningful to you and stay focused on what you can do. There’s no doubt you can accomplish what you put your mind to. Just break it down to ensure that it’s possible!

Authored by: Dr. Jennifer Hartstein