Resolutions, No...Goals, YES!

January 2, 2013
By: Eric Cohen
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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.

Have your say


1) Kim said:
I will be present to my daughter by spending at least 10 minutes each evening before bed reviewing her day, reading books, and just talking.
3 years, 11 months ago
2) eric said:
Nice one Kim!
3 years, 11 months ago
3) sara said:
My goal is to eat 3 servings of veggies a day and limit desserts to once a week. I started a food log to track this.
3 years, 11 months ago
4) elise said:
I will not text or be on the computer when my son wants me to listen to him practice the piano. He has asked me"Mom!, no electronics!"
3 years, 11 months ago
5) vincenza said:
90 day challenge of no fast food restaurants! I am going to crock pot some meals and my goal is to order more wholesome food from a family owned restaurant or pick something up from Earthfare on nights when I would normally go through the drive thru. I am also incorporating meatless monday and friday into our family diet.
3 years, 11 months ago
6) Laura said:
My goal is to DIY something every day (I have so many ideas that never get done!). I'm not counting the meals I cook because I do that every day already... I'm shooting for extras, like tomorrow I'm going to make my own sauer kraut and hopefully salsa to make up for skipping today. And I want to make my own lip balm and lotions and maybe start building little projects. And if I don't have an idea for a particular day, I'll work at one of my knitting projects that are always laying around unfinished. And what's got to go to make room for that? Online time. I think I can, I think I can... I'll have my daughter help with anything she can do, so that will be bonus time with her too.
3 years, 11 months ago
7) Reta Kellley said:
I want to continue my remodeling project by making new curtains for every room in our house.
3 years, 11 months ago
8) Jennifer Schorr said:
My goal is to have planned one-on-one time with each of my kids and my husband each month. We do lots of family things together, but I think that doing things individually with them is just as important. It doesn't have to be anything big, perhaps taking each child for ice cream separately one month, and to have a date night once a month with my husband - even just going for a long walk without any of the kids. Just some little things so I can really talk to each family member one-on-one. :)
3 years, 11 months ago
9) Mary said:
My goal is to set a workout routine. Now I just have to do it. I got this.
3 years, 10 months ago
10) cher said:
Having trouble getting started, I've found the best site, They allow you to create and publicize your goal helping you to stay motivated on track! I love it.
3 years, 10 months ago