Resolutions vs Goals

Goal: the end toward which effort is directed

Resolution: something that is resolved

(Both definitions from the Merriam-Webster dictionary)

I don’t know about you but, for me, resolutions and goals are 2 very different things. For that reason I haven’t set new year’s resolutions for a long time. Resolutions are often made up of lofty hopes for making a sudden and big change in your life or, if nothing else, making some wanted/needed course corrections. They are rigid – as in “this is what I am going to do now, no matter what”. And there isn’t always a lot of planning that goes with the decision for change – just a tendency to jump in head first. Unfortunately, if you don’t measure up to the required result it can lead to disappointment and feeling like you’ve failed for yet another year. Gyms rely on January 1st resolutions and some have even given it a name, “gympocalypse”. Each January they fill up with scores of new year’s “resolutors” but, by February those numbers have dwindled down to the usual membership that had been going all year. 

Goals, on the other hand, are less rigid and involve intention setting, planning, preparing, and taking realistic actions towards a desired result. They can, and should be, broken down into bite-sized pieces – smaller goals that give you more of a chance of reaching your larger goal. All this gives you small successes that will eventually lead to larger ones. Celebrate each step! You may also find that you need to adjust your goals a little in order to keep going in the right direction. 

Each year I set goals for different areas of my life. Some of them are small and some not-so-much. I set objectives for everything from purging closets and drawers (a regular January activity for me) to new intentions for what I want to do with my creative and artistic side. I look at what I want the end result to be in any one area, decide on how realistic my desires are and then figure out how to get the outcomes I hope for. I may not make it all the way to some of my goals but I’ll get a lot farther than never trying at all! 

I’ve already started my creative goal for 2020. I want to draw from classic fairy tales from around the world and I’ve been researching all I can. Luckily my local library is full of books and anthologies on the subject and I’ve purchased a couple I can even make notes in. Reading all these stories and their origins has been fun and inspiring. And the beautiful illustrations from artists all over the globe – Russia, Great Britain, Scandinavia, the United States and more – are often magical! I’ve already begun deciding which stories I want to illustrate and will probably do more but you get the idea. 

So how about you? Do you have any goals you would like to work towards in the new year? Maybe you want to start a more healthy lifestyle, go in a new direction creatively, get your budget under control, or just find ways to relax more in the midst of your hectic life? Whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish start with small, attainable steps.Get a “goal buddy” to be accountable to. Celebrate the milestones (both big AND small) along the way. While you do want to keep your end goal in mind, always stay focused on each step you need to take and you will arrive right where you want to be!

Wishing you a year of bright colors!

Jan <3


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