Resolutions versus Goals

To Do List: Slay 2024! Resolutions versus Goals

How to slay 2024 by turning your dreams into reality through goal setting.

Do you have New Year’s Resolutions or Goals?

This was the first question asked during a leadership training I attended this week hosted by Clearly Driven. I bet you are asking yourself, “What is the difference?” and “Why are you writing about this on the Pole Kisses Blog?”  I am excited to talk to you about resolutions versus goals, and how they can help you on your health and wellness journey this year.

What is a Resolution?

Resolutions are described in a number of different ways. Generally speaking, it is a promise to yourself or others. “In 2024 I resolve to do XYZ!” Here are some popular resolutions people often have at the New Year. Do any sound familiar?

  • I will lose weight.
  • I am going to get a beach body by summer.
  • I am going to stop drinking coffee.
  • I am going to stop eating chocolate and eat more fruits and veggies.
  • I am going to be happier in 2024.

Side note: I would argue that if you have a body, and you go the beach, then you have a beach body. Also, chocolate comes from a plant. Moving on…

What is a Goal?

The Oxford Dictionary describes a goal as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result” or “the destination of the journey.”

Fun fact, I have a master’s degree in human resource management, as well as a certified professional designation from SHRM.  As a previous HR Generalist, I can tell you, my colleagues in the field love talking about goal setting. HR folks might love clever acronyms even more, such as SMART, which was then expanded to SMARTER by even smarter people. The smart people figured out that a goal has to be well defined to be successful. The goal has to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time limited. You should then Evaluate and Readjust your goal periodically to make sure it is still effective.

Do you Notice a Difference?

Resolutions are lofty ideas.  I do have a standing resolution, which is “accept change gracefully.”  However, this statement is more of a frame of mind than a goal.  It is vague and can’t be measured. What does “accept change gracefully” even mean? 

In 2023, my life underwent significant and unexpected changes. Only my closest friends and family are aware of the full extent of these transformations, as I tend to keep my personal matters private and protect the privacy of others. Consequently, my broader social circle may assume that my life has remained relatively calm. Little do they know about the intense emotional struggles I faced privately. Despite experiencing epic meltdowns behind closed doors, which may have traumatized my dog, I consciously embraced and navigated through those emotions instead of avoiding them. Does this intentional approach qualify as gracefully accepting change?

The essence of my message is that the phrase “accept change gracefully” does not offer practical guidance for navigating life’s complexities. To turn your 2024 aspirations into reality, it’s crucial to be more specific by clearly defining your intentions and setting concise, well-defined goals. Simply put, achieving your dreams requires a more detailed and intentional approach than broad and lofty resolutions.

Turning Dreams into Reality!

Resolutions can be an excellent tool to start your transformation.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your health, wellness, and curb a coffee addiction. However, we need to turn those dreams into concrete action in order to be successful. 

Let’s break down my resolution of “accepting change gracefully” into attainable goals. I can start by asking myself questions. How do I learn to accept change gracefully? What does accepting change gracefully mean? What skills do I need to obtain to better manage change? There are lots of books about change management in the business world. Maybe those skills could apply in my personal life? Who do I know that seems to be really Zen all the time? Do they have any tips?  Thinking about all of these questions, here are some goals I can put in place to help me accept change gracefully:

I will accomplish the following goals by March 31st after which I will evaluate and then readjust:

Let’s also take a look at our previous list of resolutions and make them into SMART goals:

  • I am going to attend pole dance and bungee fitness classes no less than 3 times per week at Pole Kisses for the next 90 days.
  • I am going to improve my diet by hiring a dietary coach and enrolling in a meal plan service suggested by the dietician by January 31st. I will reevaluate the program on April 1st.
  • I am going to withdrawal $20 from my bank every Monday for my weekly Starbucks allotment. I will not use my credit card to purchase Starbucks, nor withdrawal extra cash when I run out.
  • I am going to contact The Healing Center this week and enroll in counseling. I will attend counseling as recommended by the therapist. I am also going to take The Science of Well-Being | Yale Online free class, which I will finish by April 1st.

Do it NOW!

Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t put it off another week. Get out a pad of paper. Write down some of your resolutions, turn them into real concrete goals, and then hold yourself accountable. Type your goals and hang them on your mirror or next to your computer. Tell your friends about your goals. Put posts on social media. Do whatever it takes. Then, reward yourself!  Schedule yourself a massage or a trip to the beach. You can and will succeed this year!

About the Author: Beth Flory, MHRM, SHRM-CP, is the co-owner of Pole Kisses, Bungee and Aerial Fitness in North Las Vegas and Executive Director of S.A.F.E. House in Henderson, NV.

For questions or comments, please EMAIL ME! I would love to hear your feedback. 

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