What's Your Goal?

I don't make New Year's resolutions.  To me, New Year's resolutions carry negative connotations and open the door for failure.  Everyone starts out strong on January 1st (or 2nd) and goes full steam.  Then, around mid-February, things just sort of peter out.  The gym is less exciting, the healthy fruits and veggies are less appetizing, and all those promises we made to ourselves back on December 31st just fall by the way side. 

Instead of resolutions, I prefer to set goals.  I know it doesn't sound like there's much of a difference but, trust me, there is.  It may be all psychological, but it's a difference nonetheless.  A resolution--at least, a New Year's resolution--usually involves giving up something or stopping a certain behavior and if you don't stop or give it up right on January 1, you've already failed.  How horrible is that!?  You FAILED on the very first day!  Who wants to carry that feeling around for the remaining 364 days of the year?  Not me.

Goals, on the other hand, are something to work towards one step at a time.  Goals are associated with positive words - aims, ambitions, achievements, destinations.  Meeting a goal is more of a process so one little slip up does not equal failure.  For example, if your goal is to eat healthier but you have a little bit of cake on your friend's birthday, so what!?  You haven't failed because the goal is still a work in progress.  (If you wanted, you could easily make up for it the next day by having fruit for dessert instead.)  Plus, having a clear, tangible goal paves the way for a much greater sense of achievement when you finally accomplish it.  You know you've done something.  Maybe not everyday was as focused as the other, but you stuck to it in the end. 

Resolutions may work for some people but for those of us who have a hard time being disciplined day after day, maybe setting goals is the better approach.  So what are your goals for 2011? 


  1. My goal is to read Russian literature in Russian. So far this year, I've been doing well on that front. Irina

  2. I set five goals on January 1st (and called them resolutions) and have already accomplished one; to climb to the top of Camelback! How is your 2011 goal going?


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