The difference between resolutions and goals (DW#312)

Most people talk about making resolutions at the new year, while some of us focus on setting goals.

What is the difference between the two and is one better than the other to bring about change and growth?

Let us take the example of health and fitness as this tends to be the number one domain of goal setting and resolution-making in January.

If you want to drop 25 pounds, it is a goal. A measurable achievement. Goals have a definite and precise endpoint. You will know when you have achieved your goal. (On a side note, when you do, it is important to take time to pat yourself on the back and celebrate!).

If on the other hand, you intend to work out 5 days a week and cut out processed foods, it is a resolution or a habit-goal. A resolution is a promise to yourself, a habit that you want to adopt, and it is more open-ended than a specific goal. It is a way to bring about a permanent change in lifestyle rather than simply a one-off event.

People who successfully make changes in their lives use both goals and resolutions (habit-goals) to do this.

For example, in order to improve physical health and fitness, you could set a goal to drop 15 pounds in the next 6 months. And then make resolutions as a way to do achieve this goal:

1)    I will walk 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week at 7:30 am.

2)    I will be sugar-free on weekdays.

Do you see how habits and goals work together to bring about positive changes in our lives?

Habit goals or action steps encourage us to plan and act upon the steps needs to achieve our goals.

And specific goals act as milestones and give us the motivation to keep the habits going.

So let us take our goals and list actions and habits that need to be adopted to achieve those goals.

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