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It is January – the time of the year when everyone has their new year’s resolutions (which they, of course, are obligated to share with us). The problem with resolutions is they always seem to set very rigid expectations that are often impossible to achieve. For example, many people have a resolution to lose a certain amount of weight, or to exercise a certain amount of times a week.
While these might be good objectives for some people, I think setting resolutions like these sets us up for failure. Instead,
I think it is much more beneficial to set a goal of living in a healthier way, or taking care of your body.
Yes, I realize goals like this are extremely broad and allow for a lot of flexibility. That is exactly the point! We are dynamic people, and we need dynamic goals.
A resolution of exercising a certain amount of times per week may be a perfectly reasonable and healthy goal in January, but by August it could be the last thing you need.
By setting resolutions with little to no flexibility, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Treat yourself with the grace you would treat others; realize circumstances change and we can’t always expect ourselves or others to accomplish a static resolution when life is full of changes.
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This year, just like last year, I won’t be making any resolutions. Instead, I have goals for myself.
It may seem like I am playing semantics here, but I think it is important to differentiate between goals and resolutions. Of course resolutions aren’t inherently too limiting, nor do goals always allow for the flexibility I have been addressing. However, I do think by reminding ourselves our goals aren’t resolutions, we reinforce the desired flexibility. We need to remember these goals are flexible, and while we can and should work hard at achieving them, at the same time, we must not forget the end goal may change.
So how should you go about creating a goal flexible enough to achieve it over the course of a year?
First of all, ask yourself if not achieving this goal will leave you disappointed in yourself. If so, this probably isn’t a goal you want to set.
Second, ask yourself if this goal is flexible enough to change with you throughout the year. Will you be able to pursue other things while still making progress toward this goal? Be sure you’re able to accomplish your goal while still allowing freedom in other areas of your life.
Having a resolution or goal that restricts other activities and interests is never healthy.
I hope this year you think twice before following the trend and setting unrealistic resolutions for yourself. By setting a goal you are able to accomplish while still allowing other areas of your life to thrive, you’ll have more success and be happier all around.
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