Goals vs Resolutions



2014 is upon us, and many of us tend to gravitate towards two areas of our lives this time of year: our waste line and our bank accounts. Two of the more common resolutions made at New Year are to lose weight and pay off debt, but too often we set an impossible resolution and don’t set up an action plan. This is counterproductive to the best way to properly do a resolution. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have a resolution, but it’s more productive to call it a goal. 

Step One: Write It Down

I know that this is old fashioned, and most people (myself included) tend to keep their to-do list in their iPhone. It’s fine to do it this way, but make sure you give your goal a name. Every goal needs two criteria: a goal needs to be specific, and it needs a timeline. Don’t write down “I want to have the same weight that I did when I got married”. How many pounds and when do you want to lose it by? One of my goals this year was to get back down to my pre-marriage and child weight. So I need to lose 52 pounds, that’s one pound a week for 52 weeks. This follows my criteria: specificity (52 pounds) and a timeline (52 weeks). 

Step Two: Write a Plan of Action

When I made my goal of reaching my pre-marriage weight, I didn’t just put that number in my mind and then grab a bag of Doritos on my way to the bedroom to watch Hockey Night in Canada. I set up an appointment with a personal trainer and my family has a YMCA membership. Also, my college has a gym that I have access to with my student card included in my tuition. As Christians, too often we pray for something and then just go about our business waiting for something to happen. Saint Augustine said “Pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on you”. It’s great to have the intention of doing something great, but we need to take action and to be intentional about our goals.