Goals vs resolutions. Understanding that distinction is key, especially this time of year. So many people – myself included – have or still do make resolutions at the beginning of every year, but they rarely stick to them.
Let’s just be real. Resolutions don’t work. However, they don’t work for reasons other than what you might think. Today, we’re going to discuss the difference between goals and resolutions and how one leads to success and the other simply leads to frustration.
Goals vs Resolutions
First things first. What is a goal and what is a resolution? Does that seem like a silly question? On the surface, maybe. Most of us use these terms interchangeably, but they’re actually very different. And they lead to very different results.
What is a Resolution?
Let’s talk about resolutions first since so many of us make them. Resolutions might seem like goals at first. You resolve to do a thing. You set something in your mind that you want to accomplish. It’s a goal, right? Unfortunately, not really.
If you look at the word resolution, you can see that it comes from the word resolve. When we resolve to do something, we’ve made a decision. We want to accomplish a thing. However, resolve without action is nothing more than a wish. That’s where most of us get hung up.
What is a Goal?
A goal is something definable. It’s a destination. It’s what comes after resolving to do something. Goals are clear, definable outcomes that we can achieve if we take action. Unlike resolutions, goals are not just wishes, they’re the endpoint. So naturally, that means they have a starting point.
What it boils down to is that resolutions are wishes and goals are what we work toward after we decided to take action.
Goals vs Resolutions – Are They Even Necessary?
I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of resolutions, especially because they always seem to surface around New Year’s. Resolutions put us in the mindset of waiting. And waiting never gets anything done.
I am, however, an absolutely huge fan of goals. Goals are something we can work toward to improve some aspect of our lives, whether it be mental or physical health, our business, or something else. And the best part is that we don’t, and shouldn’t, wait until the new year to start working toward them.
In this journey we call life, I find resolutions to be unnecessary and even counterproductive. On the other hand, goals are how we continually improve ourselves, always pushing to be the best version of ourselves we can possibly be.
Making Goals Work
By now, I think we’ve established that goals are the way to go. Resolve to accomplish your goals, but don’t make resolutions. It’s a fine distinction but it’s there. Before I wrap it up, I want to leave you with some way to make your goals work. They’re actually very easy to implement.
Make Goals Actionable
Remember, goals are actionable, but resolutions aren’t. If you want to get into better shape, don’t make “getting into shape” your goal. Decide the best way to do that. Start with a goal like drinking more water, walking every day, and other things that you can take action to accomplish immediately.
Make Goals Small
Make your goals small. Let’s stick with the overall goal of getting into shape. You want actionable goals that are also small. For example, drinking more water is easy to do and helps your body. Walking every day is an easy-to-do first step to getting more physical activity.
Be Ready to Put in the Work
This is perhaps the biggest tip of all for making your goals work for you. You have to put in the work. Resolutions are just wishes and dreams until you start putting forth effort. That’s when you get into goal territory.
If you want to achieve something, realize that you’ll have to work for it. It won’t just come to you. Be ready to focus and put out the effort required to get to your goal.
Goals vs Resolutions – The Brass Tacks
When it comes to goals vs resolutions, the brass tacks of the matter are this. Goals work if you work them. Resolutions never do.
If you have something you want to accomplish, don’t make a resolution, take action. Goals will always get you where you want to go if you take the steps to get there, and that’s a fantastic feeling.