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New Year’s Resolutions?

Or should that be New Year’s Goals?

Happy New Year 2023!

Every year, as the New Year comes around, people tend to get into that frame of mind where they think about what they’ve achieved that year, and what they haven’t achieved that year, and what they would like to achieve in the coming year.

And then they make ill-fated, destined-to-fail ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. Why not ‘New Year’s Goals’?

Okay, so what are we dealing with?

Some definitions for you… A ‘resolution’ is a firm decision to do or not to do something. A ‘goal’ is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

So that’s what the words mean, but what do they really mean in real terms for real people in the real world?

Well, if you make ‘a firm decision’ to lose weight, for example, then you might start exercising. Or eating more healthily. Or drinking more water. Or sleeping more regularly. Or any combination of these. And, indeed, you would probably begin to lose weight as a result of your well-intentioned efforts. So you might carry on until maybe you get bored of it. Or you get fed up with it. Or you don’t have time. Or you simply forget.

Or whatever, you get the gist.

Technically, by this point, you made your resolution and you kept to it – you made ‘a firm decision’ to lose weight and you more than likely did actually lose some weight. But how much weight did you lose? Who cares?! That wasn’t part of the deal, was it?

However, if you make a goal to, for example, lose ten kilos (yes, we’re using the metric system, kids!), then that is a very different scenario altogether! Now you have a ‘desired result’. Something concrete to aim for. And so you need to plan a little. How do you go about losing ten kilos? Is it better to exercise or change your diet? How long does it typically take to lose ten kilos? And you’ll have to keep some sort of record of what you need to do and how you’re getting on.

And you will eventually lose ten kilos (if you stick to the plan, that is!).

You see, New Year’s Resolutions are, by definition, destined to fail. According to Bloomberg, gym memberships more than double in January, but ‘Fall Off the Wagon Day’ usually comes around sometime in mid-February. But when you set yourself realistic goals (and they must be realistic!), you are much more likely to follow through with them. And you can break those goals down into smaller, more manageable goals: exercise for ten minutes a day in week one, and then make it fifteen in week two. Whatever – I’m no fitness expert – but you get the idea.

The point is, don’t make resolutions, they get you nowhere.

Set yourself goals. And write them down, it makes them real. And tell people about them, it makes you more accountable. And that’s it.

I think.

There’s probably more.

Is there more?


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