I sat there exhausted and tired. Bags under my bloodshot eyes, hand clutching a pen with a single piece of paper in front of me. It was the morning of December 30th 3am, I had been sitting at my desk for 4 hours. Despite being tired and exhausted, I was both gripped and fueled by excitement. It was an excitement for the future, coupled with ambition for tomorrow and a drive to accomplish.

It was at 3 am that morning that I finally completed my list of goals and resolutions, which would become a road map for the New Year.

I’m sure many of you already have an idea in your mind, a statement or witty retaliation, to the inevitable question “what is your New Years resolution?”. For myself 2016 was a year of tremendous life change, as many of you bared witness to. One of the factors I attribute to this change was the linking of my resolutions to my goals. By doing this you can create changes that last, achieve your goals, and flourish in daily happiness.

Firstly, what defines a goal, and what defines a resolution?

A goal pertains to a specific achievement, for example “I want to get a degree” , “I want to do a triathlon” these are goals. Whereas a permanent change you want to implement in your life is a resolution. A resolution is something you do every day without a specific achievement to be reached, for example “I want to be more healthy”, or “I want to be more decisive”.

The downfalls of each…….

Goals are great motivators, and you’re able to make a concrete end point that you can race towards with as much vigor as you can muster.

However the downside of goals is that you put a lot of happiness on the achievement of the goal. For instance “I want to lose 10lbs” you may or may not reach that goal, but your journey towards achievement is less enjoyable (yes it is possible to enjoy losing weight!). This is because you have set your satisfaction and happiness on the achievement of the goal not on the process that you undertake towards achieving the goal.

Once the goal is achieved you experience happiness. But what is in place that will allow you to maintain that weight loss? Even worse if you are not able to achieve the goal you will feel a certain sense of disappointment and unhappiness.

Resolutions- These are great because they get us more process oriented, which has the effect of creating daily happiness as we work at improving ourselves.

The downfall of resolutions is that they don’t foster the same drive in us as goals do. For example the resolution “I want to be more musical”, perhaps you initially thought of learning a new instrument, but after a few months or weeks you settle for listening to a few new bands on Spotify.

We have no end point or finish line to race towards. With no finish line, we have no sense of completion.

Now that you know the difference between goals and resolutions, how do you go about linking the two?

Last year when I created my goals and linked them with resolutions I found that I had increased daily happiness because I was process oriented towards resolutions, which allowed for long lasting change. The goals then allowed me to have the satisfaction of completion as well as an increased drive and direction.

Here is an example of a goal linked to a resolution.

Goal: I want to lose 25lbs

Resolution: I will no longer eat process foods, I will cut out alcohol, I will exercise daily, I will eat all natural food

They are both linked together. The goal gives you a sense of completion as well as an increased drive to get to the finish line. The resolutions will create a sense of enjoyment towards the process of eating better and exercising more, and will help to create long lasting changes and habits.

Your challenge for 2017 is to combine goals with resolutions. You’ll be surprised how much further this will take you on your journey to create the year you want.

Best of luck and Happy New Years from CB Connections!!