Resolutions? Try Goals

Blog Post 25 Goal Setting

Photo courtesy of Paxon Woelber and

Ah, the New Year has passed.  2015 has pounced, and now, it’s time to put a bunch of resolutions into place, right?  My joke has always been that I resolve to have no resolutions.  Why?

I break them.

All of the time.

Instead, I prefer to set goals.  To me, goals signal an endpoint.  Resolutions only reflect something to add or give up like, “I’m giving up sugar in my tea” or “I’m going to get into shape this year.”  A goal statement might be, “I’m giving up sugar in my tea by the end of 2015.”  I think that looking at goals rather than resolutions makes them more achievable because goals tend to be concrete while resolutions can be vague.

What are some of my goals?

  • I’m going to at least stay at 1/4 teaspoon of sugar in my hot tea.
  • I’d like to run a half marathon but will plan on doing two sprint triathlons this year if the half doesn’t pan out.
  • I’m going to indie publish two novels this year.

So you want to set goals.  How do you do so and then accomplish them?

  • Be realistic. Set goals that are out of your comfort zone but still doable. If you’re a couch potato and want to get into shape, I highly recommend against setting a goal of running an Iron Man triathlon at the end of the year. You might be able to do it, but going from practically sedentary to the level of fitness required for an Iron Man increases your risk of injury. Set a more realistic goal of completing an Olympic-distance triathlon, which will allow you to get into the good habit of exercise without the higher risk of injury. Then, if you accomplish that, it may be feasible to consider an Iron Man.
  • Set interim goals. I’ve felt the desire to reduce the amount of sugar in my hot tea to nothing or almost nothing. When I decided on this goal, I was at a full teaspoon per cup of tea. I told myself, “I’ll reduce from a full teaspoon to a half teaspoon. Then, when I feel the desire, I’ll go to a quarter teaspoon.” I did that. I went down to half a teaspoon and stayed at that level for several months. In November, I cut back to a quarter teaspoon, a level that was my goal.
  • Lay out your steps. Reaching many goals requires a process. I’ve learned how involved the process is to produce a novel. You have to go through your work one last time. Draft the text for the back of the book. Come up with a good tag line and a title that rocks. Then get the cover designed. The steps go on and on. Laying out a game plan to bring each book from manuscript to full production takes careful planning. Achieving any goal is the same way, though the amount of steps may vary.
  • Reward yourself. When you hit that goal, figure out a way to reward yourself. If it’s small, if it’s big, acknowledging that you hit it is huge because boosts your confidence. You reached the goal. Take a moment to enjoy it.

Greet 2015 with a smile as you set not resolutions but goals.  Be realistic in those goals.  Lay out how to approach them and set interim deadlines if need be.  And when you achieve it?  Celebrate!

Question:  What is a goal you’ve set for 2015, and how do you plan to achieve it?

This post does not mention any products.  Therefore, I am not receiving any compensation for writing this post.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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