Set Goals Instead of Making Resolutions

It’s mid-January and I won’t deny that I am a but late to this resolution thing. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about it, a lot! And, it’s not that I haven’t set my 2015 resolutions. Except to say that I haven’t; I’m making a change and shifting for resolutions to goals.

A New Year’s resolution is a tradition where a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement or something slightly nice, such as being more active or opening doors for people beginning from New Year’s Day. To me, resolutions are empty promises you do not have to hold yourself accountable for.

Resolutions are weak; there is nothing that holds you accountable to fulfilling a resolution. But goals… Goals should have strategies and milestones to help you achieve success, which makes them so much stronger than resolutions.

Part of achieving success this year, success that will be measured against my goals, I will make a plan. This plan, based on my goals, will have targets and outcomes with strategies to meet these. Each week I will have weekly goals that will be set to meet my goals (these are below) and to conquer assignments as they arise.

I am a huge fan of ‘To Do’ lists; I find it so satisfying to cross things out as I get through them. The new, 2015 version of my ‘To Do’ list will start Sunday night or early Monday morning and will have my weekly goals, strategies (my ‘To Do’s) to reach these goals, and any other tasks that come up that I have to get through.

What about my goals? My goals for 2015 are broad, but they are important in all aspects of my life.

For my PhD:
– To finish my Comprehensive Oral Exam by the end of Q2
– To set a research scope by the end of August, so I can begin in-field, in-class research in September

Running:
– 2:40 or Sub in the 1k, 4:08 or sub in the 1500, 15:35 or sub for the 5000.
– To keep working at the 800 and get as close to 2:00 to maintain my speed
– To slowly increase my mileage in preparation for my marathon; one 30k long, east run by the end of 2015

General:
– To foster my voracious reading habit despite having started school again; read 35 books by the end of 2015
– To stay true to my values, kindness, hard work, integrity. And to keep working at the value of patience; I will practice counting to 10 before I react.
– To get even better at judging how long it takes to do tasks and get places
– To post on this blog at least twice a week, even if it’s super short, as long as it is inspiring and motivating

If you never tell anyone your goals how will they know if you have succeeded?

I wrote my goals out for 2 reasons, i) it will help me strategize how I will accomplish my goals (plans, strategies and timelines), and ii) when you make them public you have a duty to report on them and make them a reality.