Everyone is busy making a list of things they want to accomplish in the New Year. After all, it's a clean slate; the past is the past and our future is so bright "you gotta wear shades." All kidding aside, the possibilities that await in the New Year are endless. There's no better time to think about setting goals for 2020.
I prefer to call resolutions, "goals," because I believe keeping a positive attitude is essential. Goals are different than resolutions. A resolution is a "firm decision to do or not to do something." A goal is the "object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result."
A goal is less rigid. We plan the steps we will take to complete the goal and we set a deadline for completing these steps. Resolutions are more black and white. You either "do or not. There is no try."
I have also found that when I set goals, rather than make resolutions, the success rate is higher. I feel more in control and more motivated to accomplish the goal, instead of giving up at the first sign of failure, like I have with resolutions.
For example, a few years ago I made a resolution to lose weight (surprise, surprise). I think I lost two pounds in the first week, one in the second, and then totally caved when I attended a birthday party, where they served my favorite cake. All it took was a whiff of its deliciousness and my willpower flew out the window.
Last year, I decided to take a different approach. Instead of vowing to lose weight, I made the goal to eat healthier. As I became motivated to try more nutritious recipes, the weight came off easily. I took sugar, dairy, and meat out of my diet and tried to stick to a plant-based diet menu. I also started working out at the gym so I could firm up my muscles a little, because losing the weight gave me more energy. The result was that I lost 30 pounds in six months. I am now at a healthy weight and feel like my goal has been accomplished, which motivates me even more to set other goals I may have been intimidated by in the past.
Want to quit smoking? Or maybe you want to exercise more. Perhaps you have a problem with self-esteem. Don't simple "vow" to change. Do something to become actively engaged in the process. Pick one goal at a time and get yourself a notebook to keep your notes in. Write in bold letters at the top: My GOAL for 2020. Research what worked for other people, list the steps it will take you to get there, pick a deadline, and then follow through. Ask someone close to you to act as a coach to help you through the tough times.
If you find yourself floundering as you work to accomplish your goal, don't worry. Simply adjust your timeline. Goals are long-term, whereas resolutions tend to be short-term. Think about why you are setting the goal in the first place. You will be surprised at how easy it is to stay on track.