Resolutions, Goals, and Wishes – Oh My!

It’s the first full week in January – how are you doing on your resolutions? When I used to do resolutions, I was lucky if I remembered I had made them two weeks out. Accomplishing them was never likely. They were more in the neighborhood of wishes, things I’d like to do, things that were probably good for me. But true resolutions – not so much. I know now that part of the problem was that I never wrote anything down. They were just lovely ideas floating away on the breeze.

One Word

Eventually, I learned the idea of a one-word resolution or the idea of deciding that this was the Year of ___ (fill in the blank). The idea of this version of resolutions is to give yourself clarity and focus. Not a word like ‘book’ hoping you’ll get around to willing a book into existence. More like ‘writing’ as a focus of your time and energy for the coming year. This year I picked Movement as my one word. I want this to be a year of moving toward some things, ¬†making progress – of moving. I’ve found such a word helpful in the past.


But what has been most helpful to me over the past couple of years has been the idea of quarterly goals. As someone who works with people on strategic planning, I know one of the challenges is to help people imagine a future out in the distance. In our work world, we need to have big ideas we are working toward and then we work on the details. But I have found the idea of quarterly goals with specific steps to work on in the shorter term to be very helpful for me personally. (It’s not magic though. I still struggle with consistency.)

This January, I have three goal areas for the quarter that I want to see movement in – health, writing practice, and my business. The details in the health category are a continuation from last year so I’ll share a few details on that one.

I want to move more. Now that I work from home, I don’t have to walk from the parking lot to the office. I don’t get up and go have lunch in the Texas Union or walk across campus to a meeting. I have to be intentional about moving throughout the day. So under the heading Healthy, I have included 10,000 steps/4 miles each day. Last year, I had the same goal. 365 days x 4 miles = 1460 miles. I only got to 1,039 miles, but I know I wouldn’t have managed that without the bigger goal. In other words, while I didn’t achieve the 1460 goal, I did get up and move more than I would have otherwise. That helped me with the bigger idea of being healthy.

Staying on Track

This year I’d like to come closer to the final total, but the real purpose is movement. The number is something to help keep me on track, it’s a way that works for me to keep myself accountable. It’s why I like a pedometer. Keeping track helps me stay on track.

What works for you? How will you begin? If there are changes you want to make this year what actions will you write down and keep track of? Whether you call them resolutions or goals, what will you do to keep them from just being wishes?

Good luck! and Happy New Year!

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