Monday, January 2, 2012

Resolve to make goals, not resolutions

(With a tip-o'-the-cap to the great Bill Watterson)

It's that time of year again.  Everyone is making resolutions to organize the clutter, finally stick to a budget, or accomplish "the big one": losing weight.  Making changes to improve your life is fantastic, but oh, the pressure!  You can't pick up a magazine or newspaper without orders to join a boot camp or try new budgeting software.

I think changes to improve your mental, physical and spiritual health are wonderful, but who decided that come January first, we have to be completely different people from the year before?  Would it be so horrific to stay your same, wonderful self for 2012?

It makes sense to me that the new year cleans the slate and allows us to start fresh in areas we feel need work, but why make "resolutions"?  They're vague and give you no plan to achieve your goals.

Take weight loss.  "I resolve to lose 15 pounds in 2012."  But how are you going to lose 15 pounds?  Are you going to exercise? Eat less?  Take a daily walk?

Doesn't it make more sense to set achievable health goals and know that weight loss will be an added benefit?  Instead of resolving to lose weight (a fuzzy notion at best) try these specific health goals on for size:

"I am going to take a walk everyday with the dog."
"I'm going to do Zumba twice per week."
"I'm going eat vegetables with lunch and dinner."
"I'm going to eat out only three days a week instead of five."

Small, measurable, specific goals that give you a task to perform are the way to go.  In fact, you can start with one in January and add a second goal in February, and so on.  That way when March rolls around and most people's New Year's resolutions are a long-forgotten dream, you'll still be going strong!

So tell me: what specific New Year's Goals are you going to make?


  1. Be able to swim 2 miles in a single gym session! Which I am working at by going 3x/week. I'm nearly to one mile now (would have been already if it weren't for the blisters). Fins or no fins, I'll get my two miles!

  2. I made 12 "objectives" for 2012; very specific Things To Be Done. Healthwise, I am going to complete a half marathon (first one) as well as enter a new running event that I did not do last year. Of course, this requires me to continue moving, which shouldn't be a problem - I can't believe how much I love running. :)

  3. I love your goals Allison and Adrasteia! Keep up the great work!