Did you make any New Year’s resolutions yet? Are you sick of reading about them? (hope not!)
I’m not one much for making resolutions at the beginning of every New Year. No, I’m more of a goal setter. Sort of.
Resolutions or goals, what’s the difference?
Words have power and since cancer, for me they seem to hold even more.
Or maybe it’s just that I’m more tuned into words partly due to all the labeling that tends to go on in cancer land. As I’ve written about quite a few times, I’m not one who likes many of the cancer labels which often get so loosely handed out.
Labels belong on soup cans, not people.
But back to the resolution vs. goal setting differences…
To me a resolution feels far too demanding. If one resolves to do something, well, it better get done or else, right?
A resolution is a proclamation to yourself and sometimes the world, (by the way, telling the world can be a big mistake IMO), that you fully intend to achieve something quite specific.
As we all know, many of the resolutions we hear being made at this time of year are about improving ourselves, especially the way we look. Tons (pun intended) of people want to lose weight, exercise more or eat less. Of course we all say we want to do these things to make ourselves healthier, but deep down, we really want to look better too.
Another one of the most popular resolutions is deciding once and for all to get organized. Boy, I can relate. I’ve made this resolution more than a few times!
The problem with resolutions like these is that they imply we are flawed, which of course we are, but I think it goes deeper than this. Many times I think we convince ourselves that if we can just stick to our resolutions and follow through with them, we’ll be better and yes, happier people.
Resolution success equals happiness success.
That’s a lot of pressure and it’s not quite that easy is it?
Then mid-February (or whenever) rolls around and we find ourselves falling short yet once again of sticking to our resolutions. We often tend to be pretty hard on ourselves. Self-judgment often leads to feelings of failure and maybe even lower, self-worth.
Yes, it can be a vicious cycle this making and breaking of resolutions.
And even if we manage to keep our resolutions, we might discover that lo and behold, we aren’t in fact any happier than we were before.
One way or the other, New Year’s resolutions often result in disappointment.
Goals can be clearly defined or sort of general, whichever works best for you. Goals are things to shoot for. With goals a person can feel good, or at least better, if even a little progress toward achieving them is made. Goals don’t have to be an all or nothing sort of deal. With goal setting, little steps count.
And goals don’t require perfection. Who needs that anyway?
That’s a whole lot less pressure.
Of course some might say I’m making it too easy to not be accountable to myself. I’m giving myself an easy out, an excuse to fail.
This may or may not be true. And guess what? I don’t care.
I’m still sticking with goal setting instead of resolution making.