Goals vs. Resolutions

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In light of the new year, I’ve decided to give some thought to resolutions. Honestly, I’ve never been a big fan of them. Why? Because I’ve seen my mother, aunts, and friends all make grand ones like ‘lose 50 pounds in two months’ and ‘get straight A’s this term’ only to lose their momentum and fail, then become grouches and lose their self-esteem. Heck, I couldn’t even keep a resolution to vacuum once a week. But what if, instead of making all these resolutions, we made goals.

Goals are something we make throughout the year anyway, and the word is nowhere near as daunting (and is mush more satisfying) as resolution. Resolution makes me think of something that is resolved, completed, can’t be worked on or modified. Goal, on the other hand, makes me think of something that’s always changing, something that can easily be reworked as needed. Goals are easier to come by, in my opinion, because there is always something we want to work at, always something or some place we want to grasp. Because of this they are much simpler to keep in mind, and what’s more, much simpler to break down into even tinier goals.

Say there is a window you are trying to reach. The view is lovely, grassy knolls and all that, sun shining through, and say you would like to reach this window. But there is a problem. The window is a good ways off from where you’re standing for one, and two, there’s no way across. Just you, a black void, and your window. What to do. Well, for starters, what is your window leading to? Without being able to define your window, you can’t know how far it is and you certainly can’t know how to get there.

So step one is covered. Great. But now we need to figure out how to get there. Knowing what your after is great and all, but without a plan of action it’s still just a daydream. And so step two will be building a bridge to that window. Now look down into that black void. Scary, isn’t it? All that turmoil, confusion, utterly directionless. Wouldn’t want to fall into that, am I right? So don’t. Think up the first plank in your bridge. A concrete action that will keep you above and untouched by that void. No rushing now. Stay on that plank for as long as you have to. Get it good and solid, you might have go back to it later. Now do the same thing over and over, thinking up your next action, staying with it until it’s a solid foundation, repeat. Keep going without looking back, unless it’s to revel in how far you’ve come, and even then don’t look back for too long or you’ll lose sight of where you’re going and fall into the void.

Step three. Step through your window. You’ve done it. Congratulate yourself; throw a party. Now you can look back for as long as you want, taking in the joy from all your new skills and experiences. Now you can sit and laze about knowing that, yes, if you “put your mind to it, you can do it”. And best of all, nothing has been ‘resolved’. You can keep going through new windows, revisit old ones to change them up, go back to all those bridges you built to refresh a foundation or two, you can change and grow as mush as you like. And this all goes back to my distaste for the word resolution. A word that insinuates “the end”. With goals, however, you insinuate “what next”?

So ask yourself, what next. Never settle for the end, instead keep searching out your next goal, your next window. Keep building those bridges, skills and experiences. Allow me to echo last week’s post: keep moving.

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