Saturday, January 28, 2012

Resolution or Goal? What’s in a word?

Here it is the end of another January, another new beginning slowly changing into the path of the future, and many who made those ubiquitous New Year’s resolutions already carry the guilt of a broken commitment. Individuals have made these types of pledges for centuries, perhaps as far back as ancient Babylonia. Made with optimism and perhaps the help of a glass or two of champagne, resolutions often fail when faced with day-to-day challenges. Once broken resolutions are seldom renewed until the next New Year, perhaps because of the sense of failure attached when commitment fails. They’ve become something of a joke about ambitions doomed to failure, a tradition tied to the New Year about changing, in the resolver’s viewpoint, a   less perfect aspect of their life.

Taking time to reassess life, examine the past, its achievements, and failures, seems a good idea while planning for future desires and aspirations. Self-examination is a part of the mental growth cycle that leads to knowledge of inner self. It’s an important process. That’s why I don’t make resolutions, I form goals. A broken resolution is often met with shrugged shoulders and a laugh when asked about its success, yet maybe a lingering sense of “I couldn’t do it” follows with accompanying excuses.

What’s the difference? Isn’t the definition of a resolution a commitment to a goal? Yes, but it’s about words. They have power. To me, resolution seems carved in stone and means from this moment on I will achieve this goal. If I fail, I’ve broken my pledge, my will power has failed. A goal is a challenge not yet achieved. If I have a goal, it is something I am working toward, a standard that can be set down when necessary and taken up when I’m ready to move forward with renewed energy. Goals can change, be redefined and adapted. For me, this is a more achievable alternative. This I can achieve. It’s all in the wording.


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

And in the words. Well expressed. Achievable goals will walk you through.

Big Mike said...

It's one of the reasons I never make resolutions any more. Oh, I keep them alright, but I'm often not happy with the final result. Seems there's a reason we err and make mistakes. It's part of the bigger plan (g).

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year, (2008 and 2009)

Rhobin said...

Never thought about the results not being what you expected, Mike. Good point.

Rhobin said...

Thanks, Julie.