Friday, December 24, 2010

My Resolution? Not To Have Any...

 So a few weeks ago when I posted about ways to Turn Your Hobbies Into Hustles, I mentioned that I wasn't making any resolutions for 2011 and that I would explain my reasoning later. Well, here it is. I know this time of year is usually chock full of end-of-year countdowns and calls for action in 2011 and I think that's perfectly fine. However, this year, I'm challenging myself to stray away from making "resolutions" and instead to set myself up with actionable goals in 2011 that I can truly be held accountable for. At the top of the year, I'm used to setting myself up with a hefty list of resolutions. They normally go a little something like this:
I resolve to drop 20 pounds this year.
I resolve to get straight A's in all my classes (back when I was in high school/college).
I resolve to be a better person.
And on and on, you get the picture...
The Dictionary.com meaning behind a resolution is - the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc. The main issue with this method of thinking is that you can resolve that you're going to work towards something in 2011, but without an actionable goal and an action plan, you won't get very far! Here are three reasons you should set goals instead of resolutions...

1.  Goals put those resolutions into action. For example, the definition of a goal is the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end. It's more definitive than a resolution. Instead of just saying "In 2011, I'm going to lose 20 pounds", I should set goals for myself. Example: "By February 2011, I want to be down 5 pounds, exercising regularly 3 times a week and eating as least 5 servings of fruits & veggies a day." Yeah, it's a lot more to process, but breaking down my overall goal into small actionable steps makes the whole process easier to implement and work towards.

2. Resolutions are a one-time declaration. Goals are an ongoing process. Everyone always raves about New Year's resolutions, but rarely do you hear people taking about mid-summer resolutions, or just "this current week" resolutions. With goals, you set the expectation that they should be re-evaluated and assessed every once in a while, AND you can set them at any time. Who says January 1st should be the only time you have perspective on things in your life you want to change? Success is an ongoing process that, to me, never ends until you die. There's always something new to learn or something greater to achieve. So don't fix yourself so heavily on setting goals ONLY in the beginning of the year. Be flexible!

3. Goals help you track your progress. This time next year, I want to be able to say I've accomplished something. With subjective resolutions like "I want to be a better person" or "I want to be organized", it will be very hard for me to actually measure what I've been able to accomplish. The smaller and more specific you make your goals/plans for the year, the easier it will be for you to track how well you've done. Try this. If you've already got your "resolutions" mapped out for the year, instead of taking them as-is, break each one down into at least three actionable goals and give yourself a deadline for each one. I guarantee by this time next year, you'll thank me! Enjoy your holiday and many blessings for the New Year.

Any goals for 2011? Share them below! I always enjoy being inspired by you guys.
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  1. i got you mail! NBOTW is definately still running! your TWA look rad!! xxx

  2. @natural-belle Aww thanks for responding love! And thanks for the compliment ;) Enjoy the holiday!

  3. This is exactly how I feel! I realize that at some point it's probably a semantic difference, but I think that the meanings are pretty distinct in practice. I guess one of my goals is my ongoing effort to not be so judgmental. I've also got a lot of hopes for my blog--post 4x a week on Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun, maybe start selling sponsor ads, stuff like that.

    This was an awesome post--I'll probably link to it next week when I address my New Year's Resolution angst :)

  4. @Sophi So glad to see you enjoyed the post! I too have a few goals with my blog as well. Posting more frequently is definitely one of them. Can't wait to see your post next week!