Goals, not resolutions

January 2, 2014

So here we are, facing another bleak, dreary January. I really hate January. One of the reasons I hate January is New Year’s resolutions. Why do we spend time at the dawn of each new year coming up with a list of things wrong with us?

So here we are, facing another bleak, dreary January. I really hate January. One of the reasons I hate January is New Year’s resolutions. Why do we spend time at the dawn of each new year coming up with a list of things wrong with us?

Lose weight. Eat more healthfully. Quit smoking. Exercise more. Spend more time with our kids. Spend more time with our parents. Spend more time with our extended family. Watch less TV. Read more. Cook dinner more often.

Need I continue?

Rather than resolutions, I suggest we come up with goals. A resolution sounds so…resolute. Defined. Stand-alone. Weighty. Like a declaration. It should be written in capital letters: RESOLUTION.

Goal, on the other hand, is by its very nature a work in progress. Progress, not perfection, is what you’re looking for. A goal allows room for mistakes and recalibrating.

Maybe that’s why so many gyms are crowded in early January and empty by mid-February. Once you miss a day or two at the gym, pick up fast food, or sneak a smoke, you’re no longer resolute. You might as well write FAIL on your forehead in Sharpie.

Resolutions vs. goals reminds me of a very powerful little statement my friend Nell shared with me: Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. Think about that for a second. It means that every day you get a new opportunity to <insert goal here>. Isn’t that fabulous?ODT