As this year ends and a new year begins, we all begin to think of what we want to accomplish for the year. We begin to make New Year’s resolutions and try our best to stick with them. Sometimes we resolve to accomplish the same task each year: lose weight, improve ourselves, quit smoking, better financial decisions, the list goes on. Unfortunately, it is estimated about 50% of persons fail their resolutions after 3 months and 60% after 6 months. That’s because it’s easy to set objectives but difficult to achieve them. However, I’ll share a few tips that have helped me accomplish my New Year’s goals.
Difference Between a Goal and a Resolution (Ecclesiastes 11:4)
Did you notice that I said I will share what helped me accomplish my “goals” instead of New Year’s “Resolutions”? According to Samluce.com, there is a major difference between a goal and a resolution that can affect your chances of success,
A goal is something you keep in front of you every day. A resolution is something you wish could happen to you. The biggest difference between a goal and a resolution is active behavior versus passive behavior.
In other words, a goal is something that we are intentional about. We plan and take active steps to progress towards getting what we want. On the other hand, when we make a resolution, we are making a wish list of what we hope to achieve. I love the way Ecclesiastes 11:4 clearly puts this in perspective,
One who watches the wind will not sow, and the one who looks at the clouds will not reap. (Christian Standard Bible)
If we wait for everything to be perfect, we will never make progress. I compare this to the times in the past where I made the same New Year’s resolution repeatedly: to exercise more and eat healthier. As soon as the opportunity would present itself, I would create some excuse as to why I couldn’t exercise that day.
One of my go-to excuses for not going outside to exercise was, “it looks like it’s going to rain.” My excuses were almost identical to what Ecclesiastes 11:4 warned against. However, if I had made losing weight an active goal, I would still have made the effort to go outside and exercise until the weather forced me back inside. And if that happened, I would have found ways to exercise indoors instead of quitting.
What Happened to Last Year’s Resolutions?
What about you? Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year? Did you succeed? If not, why not try something different this year? Instead of making resolutions for the upcoming year 2019, make some goals you want to reach instead. There are a couple of reasons why resolutions may not work well for you. If they do, great. Keep doing what you’re doing. But if they don’t, try this instead.
We’re so used to breaking our resolutions, that we start to think it is ok to try a little and then give up. I’ve found that it’s a mindset thing. As mentioned earlier, a goal is something we believe we can reach. That makes us work a little harder and not give up on the end goal. Let me show you the easiest way you can succeed at setting goals for the new year.
Make Specific Goals
Resolutions tend to be vague. Think of the examples I listed earlier: lose weight, stop smoking or make more money. None of those resolutions are very specific. You should examine each goal carefully and ask yourself questions.
For example, how much weight do you want to lose and in what time frame? When do you want to quit smoking and how are you going to get there? What does it mean to you to be in shape? How much money do you want to have in the bank and what do you want to save it up for?
Do you see the difference between a goal and a resolution yet?
Goals allow you to be a lot more specific and effective. You can set attainable goals with a deadline and milestones or mini goals along the way. That’s what makes a goal a smart goal. A year is too long of a time frame for a single goal. And that’s what we make resolutions for, isn’t it? We make them on January 1st and we make them for the entire year.
There are two problems there. Early in January, we feel like we have lots of time to get our act together. A couple of cookies or slices of pizza in January won’t hurt if we have until December 31st to lose the weight. This is exactly what I experienced. After a week of eating healthy, I caved and broke my health routine because I felt I had more time to “start next week Monday.” (more excuses I told myself 😔)
Then time starts to get away from us and that’s when the 2nd problem arises. Losing 20 pounds over the course of a year seemed doable. But if you haven’t made any progress in October and have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas ahead of you, it now seems like an impossible goal to reach. That usually results in giving up on your resolutions all together.
So, what should you do instead? It’s fine to make a goal or call it a resolution if you’d like at the beginning of the year. Just don’t stop there. Be more specific. What’s the goal you’d like to reach? Put down a number or describe what your end goal looks like. When do you want to reach your goal by? It could be December 31st, but it doesn’t have to be.
Setting and Reaching Your Goals Course
Setting specific goals with timelines will go a long way in helping you reach your goals. In other posts, these will be explained even further. But for now, you can sign up for my free 5-day email course. This simple guide will help you set specific goals and show you how to attain them.
You can use this course to help you set and reach spiritual goals, but the methods can also help you reach any goal you have in mind. In it, I break down why setting spiritual goals are important, how to break goals down into steps and tasks, the importance of setting a deadline for each goal and how having an accountability partner will help you reach your goals.
You can sign up here or by clicking the link below!
The Importance of Setting Goals
Whether you resolve each year to be healthier, more spiritual or to quit a bad habit, setting any type of goal is important. Now that you know the difference between a resolution and goal, use this information to help you to take action in this upcoming year. Make 2019 the year you not only set the specific goal that will make your life better but also reach it!