Goals vs. Resolutions

Goals vs. Resolution List Needs to Include Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Let’s talk about Goals vs. Resolutions.

So, why are goals better than resolutions? As we approach the new year, many of us are committing to making some differences. Whether they are health-related or financial, plans to be more “present” or aspirations to reach out more often to family and friends. Everyone has something they’d like to approve upon in 2023. But why are goals better than resolutions?

making a list of new year's goals vs. resolutions

Discussing Goals vs. Resolutions

First of all, what is the difference between a “goal” and a “resolution”?  A goal is a desired result that you wish to achieve. Goals are targets that someone wants to reach. In addition, goals have an end-point of where you ideally see yourself after a certain period of time.

Resolution actually has numerous differing definitions. The most common definitions are:

  • A formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization.
  • A decision or determination; a resolve: to make a firm resolution to do something.
  • The act of determining an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.

In most cases, resolution refers to a decision that was made to keep. New Year’s Resolutions can be especially difficult – if not impossible – to keep.

Just by definition alone, a goal sounds more obtainable. Instead of setting an “explicit” resolution that requires solving, set a goal, which is a part of a “quest” and enjoy the road to bettering your life.

goals versus resolutions

Resolutions are more inflexible which makes them harder to keep

While resolutions seem unbending, goals are more flexible. Reaching a goal is an entirely different process than meeting a resolution.

Here’s an example. What if you set a resolution to eat healthier during the next year? This can lead to a vicious cycle of being obsessed about eating choices and the feeling of failure if you slip up.

Meanwhile, a more attainable solution is deciding to instead just TRY to eat healthy. If you slip up and have some McDonald’s french fries, it doesn’t ruin your intention.You can still work towards your goal of eating well tomorrow because you haven’t broken an ultimate and overarching rule.

It’s About the Journey, Not the Destination

Of course, we’ve all heard this…and yes, it’s a little cliche. But there’s so much truth to it – especially when it comes to making goals for the new year.  If you make a resolution, every day will be a struggle to uphold that resolution. But if you set a goal, every day will be a journey toward that goal. You can have ups and downs, good days and bad days.

The bottom line is that making a resolution is like taking a class with a pass/fail policy. Where having a goal is like a class with an A-F grading scale. Plenty of time to make up your grade before the term is over – one bad “quiz” doesn’t mean you fail the class.

goals and resolutions

Judging Your Success Doesn’t Have to Follow the Calendar Year

We are all human. And humans inevitably fall short sometimes. It is pretty unreasonable to think that you will achieve all your goals or keep all your resolutions during a finite amount of time. Give yourself a break, and don’t set yourself up for failure.

If you need more support in making your goals a reality, please give us a call at 912.319.5552 or email us at [email protected]. The therapists at Waters Edge Counseling would love to help you make 2023 the best year yet.