Confessions of a Recovering Know-It-All:Turns Out, There’s a Place for Resolutions and Goals in Your Life
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Alright, confession time, DreamChaser. I am not a fan of resolutions. I would go so far as to say hate, except that I intentionally avoid using that super negative word. With all the goal getting and dream planning and embracing personal growth, this seems the opposite of all that I believe. Nevertheless, it is true. I think my disdain, not hate, for resolutions is two fold. One, resolutions seem so dramatic, an over-the-top-declaration. The other is after this declaration, rarely have I had good follow through. For these reasons, I have always preferred and subscribed to the idea of goals with specific steps to take over resolutions. You can have your resolutions, I’ll stick with my goals, thank you very much.
This leads me to my next confession. Turns out, I have had it all wrong about resolutions. Phew, it is a bitter pill to swallow for a recovering know-it-all to admit they were wrong. Just kidding...it wasn’t hard or bitter; growing your mindset is part of becoming better. You see, since I had written off the idea of resolutions as not my cup of tea, I never dove into exploring more behind the idea of them. I just embraced goals and moved on, which isn’t a bad thing other than closing the door to new ideas that might improve this process. I had a this or that mentality, either resolutions or goals, and I chose goals. Ever hear that the teacher appears when the student is ready? That was what happened to me recently to open my mind to how to use resolutions AND goals in my life
I was listening to “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, because, well, it seemed like a good book to bring more joy and happiness into my 2020 personal growth book list. The idea behind her book and personal happiness project was to spend one year taking intentional action to bring more happiness into her life by focusing on specific areas each month. She made a list of resolutions and goals to map out her plan of action to keep on track.
I honestly didn’t think much about the fact that she had resolutions AND goals until the end of the book where she actually talks about her take on what makes them different. My mindset shift happened with Rubin’s explanation that resolutions serve the purpose of being things that we will strive to bring into our lives but do not have a final destination, like your big vision, whereas a goal has a finite end point with specific steps and milestones along the way. Resolutions and goals, in fact, go together, versus one or the other. Your goals are often pit stops on the journey of your resolutions.
An example may help clear this up. A popular New Year’s resolution is to become healthier. If you think of it, becoming healthier is something that never has an end, right? Even if you have goals to hit like losing a certain amount of weight or training for a 5K, your quest will continue with eating well and exercising even after you hit that initial goal. That’s how resolutions and goals work together. Your resolutions are your big vision, and goals are your steps on your path to get there.
Here is my plan for fitting resolutions into my goal getting and dream chasing strategy. Resolutions will serve as my vision, the big things I want in my life that will not change, like becoming my healthiest self and continuing to be a lifelong learner. Under each resolution, I will align goals that contribute to that vision, like exercising 30 minutes per day and reading 2 books per month. Goals can be further broken down into smaller steps, if needed. Doesn’t that just fit together nicely?!? Seriously, my mind was blown with this revelation, and now I’m like, dude, resolutions...where have you been all my life? (As resolutions throw their hands up in the air and are like, really? Really?!?)
Here are 5 key takeaways I don’t want you to miss in this confession…
I’m ready for some serious goal-slaying in 2021...who’s with me?
Let’s Shine On together!
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Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.