Resolutions or Goals?

How many times have you uttered the words “My new year’s resolution is…”? The end of the calendar year is still very much seen as out with the old and in with the new. New Year’s resolutions are well intended so gym memberships increase as do detox products.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of resolutions. I do however, believe that goals are crucial. So what is the difference between a resolution and a goal? Well, in my view, a resolution is a short term promise without much substance. It is full of good intentions which typically does not equate to a long term commitment. Resolutions tend to be short term fixes without lasting results. Goals are a very different story. They can also be seen as a promise to yourself, yet much more focused and objective with what you want to achieve in mind.

Do you use maps in a foreign city or country? Most people do. It helps you find your way around and not get lost. Goals are the same. They are a series of maps that help you plan where to get to in life. Goals are targets that motivate us to keep going and get on with our day. Having a goal enables you to focus your energy on devising ways on how to achieve it.

How to set Goals

1. Create categories so that your goals touch on several areas of your life to ensure a balanced lifestyle. These can be career, relationships, health, creativity, recreation, finance, etc.

2. Before you start setting personal objectives, take a step back and try to get an overall picture of what you want from life. Be honest and allow yourself to dream. A good way to capture this is a vision board. It can be done in a note book, power point, a large canvas, whatever works for you. Use images and words that capture the essence of what you want.

3. Start small with bite size goals. These do not have to be life changing. They can be things you can achieve in a day or a week. Once you accomplish these you will gain confidence to go for the larger ones.

4. Write your goals down and be precise as this will be your life road map.

5. Refer to your goals regularly so you can see results of your achievements. Visualise yourself completing the goals that have not yet been reached.

When you are setting goals remember that they should be believable and achievable. You must have the physical and mental ability to reach them. For example, there is no chance of me becoming a prima ballerina so setting myself this goal wouldn’t be much use. For this reason, goals must be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound.

Goals provide purpose and direction as well as help bridge the gap of where you are now and where you want to be. In other words, be all you Aim to Be!

These are just a few tips on personal goal setting. How do you set your goals? Have you set your 2011 goals?

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Written by Ana Antunes da Silva.

Image provided by Flickr user Smil.

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