Saturday, January 1, 2011


New Year's Resolution: 36/365, originally uploaded by SashaW.
  • Dream: ambition--a cherished desire
  • Resolution: a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner
  • Goal: a projected state of affairs that a person or a system plans or intends to achieve

It all begins with a dream. I want to go to England. I want to study biology. I want to get married. I want to garden more. These cherished desires float around in our minds, go from frequent thoughts to irresistible daydreams, and stay with us for years. 

But dreams don't come true just because Disney says so.

Dreams come true because they solidify into resolutions, and we make the conscious decision to turn that unconscious thought into action. This is the stuff of the New Year. For the first week or two we complain less, eat healthier, spend more time with family, clean up the house, and keep things in perspective out of sheer willpower.

Then Life Happens.

And all of a sudden you look around and realize that your life is exactly the same as it’s been for the past five years and your resolutions lie in heaps of rubble ‘round your ears. Why? In short: resolutions simply don’t cut it. They are pie in the sky, just a little more practical than daydreams.

So what does cut it? Goals. The “projected state of affairs” is the key here. Goals are one step beyond resolutions in that they are fed by a system of small steps all leading to the same object.

   Dream: I would love to be a nicer person.
   Resolution: I will be a nicer person, starting right now!
   Goal: I aim to be a nicer person. I’ll start with three kind actions or words a day for the next two weeks.

You see the difference? The goal is the only one that can really survive January. It brings the pie out of the sky and sets it on the table, then makes you eat it in very manageable bites.

Don’t be a statistic! Did you know that, according to surveys, only 8 percent of Americans successfully achieve their New Year's resolutions and a whopping 45 percent fail by the end of January? Turn those resolutions into concrete goals and soar to success. 

-Statistic from here

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful advice! I have the same idea about these "resolutions." You may call them resolutions, but they're really wishes and hopes, which you use to form and power your GOALS for the New Year.
    I have high hopes for this year, and I plan to start small, and keep working one day at a time. Maybe stumbling, but keeping the end in sight. When added together, those small changes will equal a substantial change by the end of the year. (At least, that's what we hope.)

    ~Liz B


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