Friday, January 14, 2022

Goal Setting Fridays - If Resolutions Aren't Goals, What Good Are They?

Welcome to Goal Setting Fridays!

Why Friday?
So you can ruminate over the weekend & get a fresh start on Monday!

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Last week, we started this series with
The Power of the Gentle Start.

In last week’s post, I made this declamatory statement:

Resolutions aren’t Goals!

Every January 1st, we start claiming our New Year’s Resolutions:

I’m going to eat better!
I’m going to lose weight!
I’m going to write more!
I’m going to be happy!

And within a few weeks, or days, or even, let’s be honest, hours, we fall back to eating junk, packing on pounds, and ignoring our writing journal. And with that, the idea of being “happy” starts to feel very far away.

Why? Because we (unintentionally!) set ourselves up for failure!

We gave ourselves healthy, positive Resolutions, but as I stated already:

Resolutions aren’t Goals!

In this context, a Resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something.

So, that sounds good, right? But think about the the word “Decision”:

A Decision happens in the moment, in the “now".
So how do you carry that Decision from the “now” into the longterm?
How do you find the strength to make that same Decision day after day?

It’s one thing to make that positive choice in the rush of New Year’s celebrations, but what happens in a few days when you’re tired, and hungry, and your old habits just seem so comfortable and safe?

Resolutions can be turned into Goals, and we’ll talk about that next week, but first let’s ask this:

If Resolutions aren’t Goals, what good are they?

On the surface, Resolutions are amazing! They speak to the great passion we all have to create a better life for ourselves.

But the moment we call them Resolutions, we fall back into the bad habits of January-past:

Make it - Break it - Feel bad - Give up until next New Year’s.

But, what if we could transform the way we think about Resolutions?

Instead of Resolutions, what if we called them our
New Year’s Aspirations?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Aspiration” as “a strong desire to achieve something high or great.

Right away, we see a change. A Resolution was a “decision”, but an Aspiration is a “desire.”

Desires aren’t limited to a single action. Desires flow through us constantly, pushing us forward from moment to moment.

Read down a little bit in the dictionary, and you'll also find this interesting definition: “the act of breathing and especially of breathing in”.

Now, we all know this is a medical definition of the word, but think of it in our context:

Our Aspirations are literally driven by the act of breathing,
which is an act of life!

This month, I suggest you spend some time thinking about your New Year’s Aspirations!

At this stage, don’t think about how you’ll achieve them or whether or not they’re practical.

Just breathe - in and out - in and out.

First, write a list of all the areas in your life:

  • Family
  • Profession
  • Spirituality
  • Creativity
  • Volunteering
  • Community
  • Health
  • Education
  • Add your own areas that make sense to you!

If you’re like me, you’ll do this on a large sheet of paper with lots of coloured markers!
I have friends who do this on apps on their phone, or on a fresh Word Doc.
Find the way that works best for you.

After creating your list, start to dream big!

What are your Aspirations, your desires, for your family, your profession, your spirituality?
Write them out. Be specific, and be bold!
Don’t be afraid to write too many answers!
This is dreaming, brainstorming!
Write down all your ideas!

And when you think you’ve written enough, step away for a few hours or even a few days.
Take time to breathe in and breathe out.

Then, come back to your list, and add a few more.
Don’t take anything away at this stage.
Dare to dream a little bigger!
Add a few things that will stretch your comfort zone and really excite you.

Spend some time looking at your list, thinking about the things you’ve written, and if you’re like me, praying over those desires for your life.

Next week, we’ll talk about how to turn those Aspirations into Goals.

But for this week, just breathe and dream…

What are some of your New Year’s Aspirations?


Unknown said...

Our son had a severe head injury 41 years ago...he recovered the best he could but passed away 38 years ago. I am trying to finish a book about it that I satrted as a Diary of his injury and recovery. I was 36 when he was injured...I am now 76, still trying to finish it. Life got in the way for years, dealing with his injury and death, working, etc. My goal for 2022 is to have it published by Mother's Day this year. Since our son passed awy, my husband also passed away five years ago. To say my mind has been in turmoil is an understatement but I am determined! My sister helps people self publish books, edits, proofreads, and the whole process and puts it on Amazon. Please pray that God will give me the strength and grace to make this happen. Thank you! My prayers for you as you do this blog! -Patricia Taylor

Allison Lynn said...

What an admirable and beautiful goal for 2022! Joining you in prayer, Patricia! Please keep in touch and let me know how it all goes. Blessings...