4. Take action
Another big difference between a resolution and a goal? Action. Sure, you might make a New Year’s resolution to be nicer to your spouse or to lose 25 pounds. But action is what separates the resolution crowd from the goal-setters and go-getters.
“So many people say they are starting next week, next month or next year, and they repeat the same thought process as time continues to pass them by,” Bible says.
He remembers back to his first semester as a doctoral student when a friend said he wanted to earn a doctorate too. Every few months or so, the friend would admit he still needed to start. “I finished my doctorate, and now it’s three years later and he is still talking about doing it without having taken any action steps toward it,” Bible says.
5. Ignore the naysayers
No one’s going to criticize you for that vague resolution to be nicer to your spouse. But your goal to start a podcast this year, earn a graduate degree or pivot to a new career may invite the Debbie Downers in your life to weigh in. Like it or not, goal setting attracts detractors. Bible says it’s important to tune them out. “They do not have to understand your goals or your why. You do. And that is what matters,” he says.
Often, the critics around us attack our goals from a place of their own insecurities, Bible says. “When one says, ‘Well, you cannot do that,’ what they are actually saying is, ‘I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do that, so neither could/should you.’”
While we can’t really do anything to control other people’s responses to our goals, we can control whom we share our goals with. Bible urges discretion and selection. “Pick positive people who have your back — people who will hold you accountable to achieving what you set out to do,” he says.
That takes discipline too.
While the second Friday in January is widely known as Quitters’ Day — the day most people will have given up on their New Year’s resolutions — do you see now how different goals are? In fact, how about ditching the resolutions (because, let’s be honest, you already have anyway) and shifting into a goal-setting mindset for good? Know your why, get SMART, take action, visualize success and tune out the negative chatter.
And this time next year, you can have a discussion about how you crushed accomplishing your goals instead of setting resolutions.