Monday, January 14, 2013

Purrsonal Stories: Goals v. Resolutions

 

Why do goals seem easier to accomplish than resolutions?

For me, I’m not sure. I often create goals. Reading goals ... I want to read at least 52 books this year. Writing goals ... I mentioned those in my IWSG post. Editing goals ... ditto, to some extent, although I’ll likely do some editing work for clients and critique partners. Goals I can do. I have yearly goals and monthly goals, which I then break down to to-do lists. I cross off each item as I accomplish it. What I don’t finish one month gets moved to the next in the hope I will have them all done by the end of the year.

Resolutions never seem to work for me. A big one is usually to eat better and exercise more with the hopes of losing some weight. I can start out well, but then after a week or two or even a month, it all falls apart. I revert back to my old habits. Too many holidays with chocolate.

But maybe that’s the problem with resolutions. They are vaguer than goals. Eat better. Exercise. That doesn’t say much. Maybe it would be better to set goals. Like exercise for fifteen minutes a weekday the first month. Make a to-do list and cross things off. I’ll have to consider it.

I do have one resolution this year: Put myself out there more (i.e. be more social). I’m a quiet person, have some social anxiety, and tend toward being shy. I’m more than happy to answer people’s questions, but I have a tendency not to say much else. Or when I do say stuff, I tend to stumble over my words and get flustered. I’ll have to put myself out there more as it is. I’ve been elected to be the vice president of my writer’s club (Valley Writers). At the end of this month, I’ll be on a panel about blogging at the 2013 Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. I suppose I’ll have to find a way to overcome my fears and be more social ... and fast.

Are you a goal maker or do you find resolutions easier?

31 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's cool you'll be on a panel!
You're right that resolutions tend to be vague. You have to know exactly what you want if you hope to achieve it.

Christine Rains said...

I find goals easier than resolutions too. I want to eat better and exercise, but I've already ruined that one. You'll do great on the panel!

Julie Flanders said...

I felt like you were describing me when you said you stumble over words or get flustered! I have the same resolution to be more social so I hope we can both succeed with this.

Congratulations on the panel and the VP position, yay! :)

Kyra Lennon said...

Ooh being on a panel will be awesome! You'll do great!

I agree about goals and resolutions, and I think you're definitely right about resolutions being more vague than goals.

Laura said...

I'm exactly the same, I've been trying to be a bit more social but I'm finding it really hard! I'm really shy, and get anxious talking with people I don't know.
I find goals easier, but only because I tend to make them short term, whereas resolutions are long term for me.

M.J. Fifield said...

I am a goal maker. I love to write To Do lists and then cross stuff off when it's done. I think you're right about goals being easier than resolutions because they tend to be more specific.

The description of yourself at the end applies to me too. Best of luck with the panel. It sounds like a very cool opportunity.

Heather H. said...

Resolutions never seem to work for me, either. I think it may be because I plan goals day-by-day, whereas resolutions take the whole year into account. With how unpredictable life can be, it's far easier to keep up with goals in that case, since you don't risk something down the road changing your plans!

Al Diaz said...

I think you have just answered my question about why resolutions never work. :)

M said...

Goals. It's just as you say: you need quantifiable goals. Don't say, "Eat better." Say, "Fast food only once a month." And don't say, "Be less shy" because that doesn't have any metric to measure by. Say, "Introduce myself to five new people at the conference." Though I'm sure you'll find yourself meeting a lot more than five! Good luck!

Elise Fallson said...

Congratulations on being elected VP of your Writer's club! That's awesome and I so wish I could attend the conference. Hope you'll be able to blog a bit about it afterwards.

For me, goals are easier to accomplish because when I write down my goals, I also write the steps needed to achieve them. I never do that with resolutions that tend to be more like things I wish to do for the new year.

DL Hammons said...

I'm another one who responds better to goals than resolutions. Things that are measurable...that works for me! :)

nutschell said...

You'll do well on the panel, for sure! I'm more of a goal person, myself. :)

Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Patricia Lynne said...

I never held much stock in resolutions either and I think you make a good point. They are vague whereas goals are more defined. I can keep goals too.

Good luck on putting yourself out there. I'm really shy too, so I know how scary it can be. ^^;;

Cathy Keaton said...

I don't even think of resolutions as being goals. They aren't specific enough until they become goals. Plus, I make goals all the time, so the new year doesn't have to be anything different from the usual.

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

If putting yourself out there includes guest posting, you are more than welcome to take over my blog for a day and talk about anything.

You should check out this blog: http://bookworm8921.blogspot.com/ It has so many similarities to yours that I thought I was actually on your blog.

Trisha said...

I totally agree with you on fitness - making a weekly goal is more effective than having that overall vague resolution. That's why I have a weekly goal of doing a body balance class per week, walking 20 mins back to my car after work each weekday, and...well, last year I did a Saturday/Sunday walk, but this year I'm letting myself off the hook with that one. :)

And I had to start eating better for my cholesterol, but I call it "my medicine". I decided on a carrot, two pieces of fruit, a handful of sugar snap peas/snow peas and some capsicum (bell pepper) per day. I've stuck to it...some of the time. haha

Trisha said...

Oh, and I also eat other stuff as well as that stuff. But I am ensuring (or trying to) that I at least eat that as well as whatever else.

Camille Picott said...

I am definitely a goal person. I didn't even bother with any resolutions this year because I have goals coming out of my ears. :) Good luck putting yourself out there . It was tough for me when I first started public speaking, but it does get easier! And sometimes it's even fun!

Hannah Kincade said...

I'm a goal person. I work better when I have an end result or reward.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Congrats on being Vice-Pres and on a panel!!! That's awesome.
Some advice from another shy person (except when microphone is in front of me, then I go "ham") . . .when in conversations, ask questions. Get the other person talking. That works really well for me.

Unfortunately when I get uncomfortably shy, I either mumble and run, or I say something totally obnoxious and scare people away - just yesterday I told a couple of people at my church about my fifth grade teacher's use of goat eyeballs for a science opener . . .they backed away quickly.

Anyway . . . asking questions, that's all I've got for the shyness killer.

Emilyann Girdner said...

I am so with you Cherie! And I think you narrowed the comparison down so well. I live be checklists because they are so tailored and specific. Resolutions have never been something I've attempted with much seriousness, and maybe that is because of their vague nature. Great points with this post.

Also, congrats on making VP and good luck at your conference. That is so exciting! :)

Tammy Theriault said...

i think for me, a goal is easier because when i think of resolutions, it's giving myself the one year deadline...and hey, it just may take longer!

Jamie Gibbs said...

I'm with you there - specific goals are much better than vague, half assed resolutions. Use the SMART method I posted in January's IWSG to make your goals specific :)

Jamie

Lynda R Young said...

Yep, the vagueness of resolutions makes them harder to achieve. Goals are so much better. I still make resolutions though. I like that 'fresh start' kinda feeling.

Sherry Ellis said...

Goals are definitely easier. You can make them more specific!

Michelle said...

I set goals... rarely hit them.. but they're there.
great post.
xx

Samantha May said...

1. Love the new look of the blog!

2. I make goals instead of resolutions for that very reason. Resolutions are way too vague.

3. I get nervous speaking in front of people too. I'm in a public speaking class this semester so hopefully that helps me!

Cher Green said...

Congrats on your new positions. Goals are much easier to accomplish, if you break them down into tasks. :) If not, they aren't much different than the resolutions.

Good luck in 2013.

Aubrie said...

Putting yourself out there is a GREAT goal!

Rachel Morgan said...

I think you're right: resolutions are usually a bit more 'vague' than goals. Goals are usually easier to stick to! (Although my work goals so far for this year have NOT been achieved!)

Rachel Morgan said...

PS - That's really cool about the panel! I once did a presentation for a local writers' group on blogging. I was terrified! (Especially when I got there and realized that one of the new guys was someone who had given us a professional development session at school a few months earlier on HOW we should do a presentation!) But I think it went kinda well...