Make Goals, Not Resolutions


I really hate hearing about new year “resolutions.”  In fact, I find this term to be about as annoying as “irregardless.”

Oddly enough, I have a favorable view when people tell me about “goals” for the new year.  Before you start telling me that the difference is merely semantics, let’s take a closer look at each one.

For many people, resolutions might be some form of the following (note: the items listed below were once my own resolutions, so I’m as guilty as the next person):

  • Lose “X amount” of pounds
  • Eat healthier
  • Make more money
  • Find a new job

Now, tell me if you see a difference between the resolutions stated above, and the tweaked equivalents below:

  • Lose 10 pounds by eating healthier, working hard at the gym, and learning the most effective techniques for weight loss
  • Find a position and company that will support my need for professional growth, while increasing my immediate and future income potential.

See the difference?  That’s because a resolution is a form of hope, while the second list is full of goals that are complete with some semblance of a plan.  A goal is something specific, a resolution is a wish.

I would always fall into the age old trap of making a resolution only to see it fizzle by the end of January.  Why? Because until recently, I didn’t realize my own disconnect between hoping for change...and actually acting for it.

So what are my goals for the new year?  Well, I’m glad you asked!  Here are a few that I’ve carefully thought out:

  • Continue learning by reading at least 1 hour, and writing 30 minutes every single day.
  • Overhead Press 200 pounds.
  • Break the 400 pound barrier on conventional deadlifts with great form.
  • Book trips home for the rest of the year within the next two months.  This strategy will help myself get home more often (and not leave it up in the air).

While I do have a few others, I hope you’ll agree that these goals are all tangible and something I can easily - or in the case of the Overhead Press, not so easily – accomplish.

Instead of looking for hope or change this year, figure out something tangible.  Then, formulate your own plan and get after it.  As Dan John once said, make sure your goal remains, in fact, your goal. 

The pathway to realizing your goals is often very simple…but sticking to it?  That’s the hard part.