Goals or Resolutions?

I’ve made a list, a list entirely too long to tackle in one month (and possibly one year!), of all of things I want to achieve, explore, accomplish, etc. They range from abiding by the “one minute rule” (a.k.a. if you have something you need to do that can be done in less than one minute, do it!) to honing in on what my purpose in life is. That’s a pretty big range!

As I’ve contemplated over what I want Project: Best Kim to be for the last couple of days, I’ve decided that I am going to set goals for myself each month. The goals don’t necessarily have to be related or bound together by a particular theme, but rather, at the beginning of the month, I’m going to identify what I want and need (and am ready) to work on for the next 30 days and that will be my focus. Instead of planning out a year long journey, I’m going to take this one month at a time (which as a Type A crazy person, does go somewhat against my control freak nature).


One point I’ve been ruminating over, however, is whether to call what I’m working on goals or resolutions. Does it matter? Well, I finished The Happiness Project yesterday, and Gretchen Rubin discussed how she liked/preferred/argues that having resolutions is more long term and lasting than setting a goal. Goals, she says, are an absolute thing you accomplish. You set the goal to run a half marathon. You train, eat right, then run the half marathon. Check! Goal met and done. Resolutions, on the other hand, are not as concrete. You can have a resolution to run each day; you can still run the half marathon, but that does not end your resolution to continue running. You keep your resolutions, long term; they are ongoing and something you continually work to meet.

I pondered the idea of goal versus resolution more than I should have on my way to work today. Ultimately I decided that I’m going to set goals for concrete “things” I want to accomplish – connect with a community non-profit or run a half marathon. I’m going to have resolutions for ongoing changes I want to make in my life – being more patient in social situations and not overreacting to every small challenge I encounter. I guess to me, it makes sense that resolutions are those ongoing changes or adjustments that I want to make, but know won’t happen in just 3o days. That instead I need to make a more long term commitment to changing my habits and attitude to really make progress. Resolutions take time.

That’s where I am at! Now I need to just fine tune my infinite list of what I want to work on and pick just four or five to tackle in October.

What do you think? Do you like the ideas of goals or resolutions?



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