By: Roshanda Pratt
I hate resolutions. I feel like a broken record because I think I said the same thing last year. Honestly, the reason why I hate them is because I stink at them. You may know what I mean. You decide on the cusp of the New Year you will break a nasty habit like nail biting (which I am still working on) and then crash and burn by July. Experts say if you make it pass the end of this month you have a greater chance of keeping your resolution. Dictionary.com defines resolution as “a resolve or determination; the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc., the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.”
For several years now, I have boycotted the dreaded resolution. Instead, I have opted to make goals. Well, aren’t they the same thing? No, not really. Dictionary.com defines a goal as the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
Personally, I have found that my good intentions of resolving to do this or resolving to do that had a lot of well-meaning determination but very little aim. Instead, I have decided to make goals to work toward. I try to make small changes every day that add up to real change. I try to make specific goals, since experts say they see more attainable than vague goals.
Here’s how it works: Most often by November, I know the goals I want to achieve in the New Year. Within the first week of the New Year, I sit down at my computer (before I used to write it out), and name all the things I want to accomplish in the upcoming year. The list will include family, personal, spiritual and professional items. It will also include goals that I may have come close to or did not fully happen from the previous year. I strongly believe that if a goal is attainable, you should not drop it just because the year has ended. Instead, you should keep putting it on the list until it happens. Then when it does happen, I put a check and the date. This also serves as encouragement to me through the year.
Putting it in list form keeps me focused on one thing at a time and holds me accountable to myself, as well as those who see my list. I actually post my list near the bed. I can see it first thing in the morning to continuously remind me of my expectations.
Some of the things on my 2013 Goal List include: getting passports for my husband, younger daughter and son, running a 5k, getting a Mac computer, giving more, and taking a few courses of study.
Whether you set goals or resolution I wish you much success on your journey to a better you in 2013. Remember these words by Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Happy New Year!