You know the drill … “New Year, New Me.” For more years than I’d like to admit, this was my mentality each and every January. I’d create a long list of the resolutions I was determined to stick to (mainly ones involving less junk food, more exercise, and unrealistic expectations.) Like somehow by creating these resolutions I’d magically morph into someone I wasn’t.
I’d get a few weeks into the year before realizing I had broken most, if not all, of my resolutions, and I’d give up just like that. Sound familiar? All this changed last year when I was introduced to a new way of thinking, and I ditched my new year’s resolutions forever.
I first heard about the Cultivate What Matters Goal Setting System from watching a YouTube video. It piqued my curiosity, so I looked into it even more. Soon I was watching every video and reading every blog post I could get my hands on to learn more. It seemed like a system I could use and actually stick to, and boy was it ever!
Resolutions vs Goals
The definition of a resolution is “a firm decision to do or not do something.” I WILL run a 10K this year. I WILL wake up at 5 a.m. every morning starting tomorrow. I WILL NOT drink soft drinks anymore. The problem with resolutions is they are too broad. It seems almost impossible to stick to or get to your final destination. When something isn’t specific enough to be tracked or measured on a daily or weekly basis, it is easier to quickly lose sight of the big picture and give up.
By contrast, the definition of a goal is “the result of achievement towards which an effort is directed.” While goals and resolutions are definitely intertwined, goals are more specific and trackable.
My new method of thinking now involves goals instead of resolutions. Using the CWM goal-setting system has taught me to set smaller more achievable goals that I can easily work on each day, week, or month. This may be all in my head, but experiencing that small sense of
sense of accomplishment gives me the motivation to keep moving forward and working towards the big picture.
Now, instead of saying I WILL run a 10K, I would break it down into smaller goals (similar to following a training plan.) Waking up at 5 a.m. tomorrow would never work for me. However, aiming to wake up 15-minute earlier in intervals for a week at a time until I slowly build my way to 5 a.m. is something I can do!
Cutting out soda cold turkey might send my body into shock (this is just an example because I really don’t drink soda much). If you need help with this though, try cutting it down from one soda a day to one drink every OTHER day. Then when you reach that goal cut back a little more. Before you know it, you will look back and notice you have made so much progress without even realizing it.
Give It a Try
If you find you have already lost sight or given up on some of your 2021 resolutions, try changing them into goals. Start by making a list of overarching categories that you hope to achieve by the end of the year and then break them down into smaller goals that can be measured on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Don’t be afraid to START SMALL! Trust me! It will feel so much better to check off small steps of progress than failing at a larger unachievable target.