Resolutions, Goals and Opinions, Oh My!

There’s been a lot of talk about resolutions this month — to make them or not, whether they work or not, etc. I’ve often wondered… what’s the difference between a resolution and a goal? Why do resolutions seem so difficult, while goals seem achievable? I’ve heard people say a resolution is a hope while a goal is a plan. OK, I get that, but still, goals are no picnic either.

I know a goal has more chance of succeeding if it’s a SMART one. That is: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. It’s a helpful process — and one I highly recommend. Just look at your goals. Are they specific enough—have you written them so that you’ll be able to measure if you have actually achieved them? Have you put time constraints around them (e.g., by the end of the year, in the next ninety days, etc.)? Are they attainable or pie-in-the-sky?

A few weeks ago, I put out a little survey to find out about other’s goals. These are a sampling of the one’s that weren’t SMART, because they would be difficult to measure, but felt inspired—like they were truly “from the heart”:

  • To understand what people are saying to me
  • To say YES to my calling—To move boldly into my “second act”
  • To play with and enjoy my kids
  • To celebrate milestones
  • To be a more loving wife
  • To be happy
  • To do what I love
  • To spend more time on the relationships that matter most!
  • To keep in better touch with friends, old and new

These were closer to SMART goals (I assume their timing is twelve months, since that’s how I asked the question):

  • To teach my blind puppy to walk down the stairs (saving my back)
  • To win a ‘best of festival’ award
  • To relocate from San Diego to Milwaukee (Yes, you read it right!)
  • To travel to Italy
  • To produce and assistant-direct a feature length film
  • To land a major role
  • To purchase my first investment property
  • To publish a book (by hook or by crook)

When it comes to goal setting, my advice is to combine the two approaches. Are you goals specific and measureable? But do they also hold promise, possibility, and positivity? Do they speak to your heart as well as your ambition?

In a nutshell: Don’t be so smart that you miss the chance to be inspired — and don’t get so inspirational that you miss an opportunity to actually achieve them.

Speaking of Goals… One of mine is to find out more about YOU! Would you be willing to take this super-short survey? I thank you so much in advance!

Take the Survey Now

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