January 2, 2013
By: Eric Cohen
Every January people make resolutions, and come February, most of them have gone by the wayside. The New Year is the perfect time to reflect and to aspire to a better year. So why don't resolutions work better, or at all?
The main problem with resolutions is they tend to be vague. "I want to lose weight". "I resolve to be a better parent". "I want to spend more time with my family". These are all resolutions you've probably heard and even made yourself. But what do they mean?
"I want to lose weight". Who doesn't? But as a resolution it's too ambiguous. To turn it into a goal, it needs a few additions. First, set a number. Do you want to lose 10 pounds or 100? Both of those fall into the resolution described, but there's a big difference. Next, set a time frame. For 10 pounds, maybe 2 or 3 months will do. For 100 pounds, you'll most likely need all year or more. Hitting the gym? You may add some healthy muscle, so where does that fit in? The more specific your goal, the more likely you'll attain it.
A goal might sound like this "I want to lose 10 pounds of fat by March 1st". Now compare this to "I want to lose weight". When the cupcake at your kids birthday party is calling you, the vague "I want to lose weight" resolution will probably go flying out the window. On the other hand if you have a goal of losing 10 pounds by March 1st. You can probably hold out and reach for the carrots & celery and leave the cupcakes to the kids.
How about the vague "I want to spend more time with my family" resolution. It's well intentioned for sure, but for working parents, hard to do. Turn it into a goal and see what happens. Put a number on it. "I want to eat dinner as a family two nights a week". That's measurable, you did, or you didn't. And there's a time frame, two dinners each week.
With goals, think of something that inspires you and motivates you, and tie that to the goal. How about when you lose the 10 pounds by March 1st, you'll buy yourself the new pair of shoes you've been coveting?
Changing your resolution to a goal can have a profound effect on you and your family. Chuck the resolution and set a goal and enjoy 2013 by achieving what you never thought you could.
If you have a goal for 2013, please share it below.