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Resolutions vs. Goals

Posted 01.01.2016, by kristin
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Happy New Year!

Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? 

This year my first grade daughter came home from school with a sheet detailing her New Year’s resolutions.  She wrote down several harmless things for her resolutions that made me smile.  Apparently, she wants to learn how to “cartwheel” and “skate” (with a backwards ‘s’) in 2016.  Although I had no objection to my daughter’s ideas, the school project got me thinking.

            Is it too early to teach our children to start making New Year’s resolutions?  And should we teach them to make New Year’s resolutions at all?  Wouldn’t it be better to try to establish New Year’s Goals every year?

            To clarify the difference between a resolution and a goal, I did a little research.  When I googled the definition of Resolution, I found: “A firm decision to do or not to do something.” On the other hand, the definition of Goal was, “The result or achievement toward which effort is directed.”  If we take this one step further and define resolution in the manner that the typical American adult uses every year, I would argue the definition of resolution as we know it is something like:  “a wish or desire that one would like to obtain with no structured plan to achieve it.”

            Instead of resolutions, where we make statements that are upheld only by a thin thread of conviction, I think we should strive to achieve New Year’s Goals instead.  By doing this, we can force ourselves not only to determine what we want to achieve but also to plan the way in which we will work towards our goals.  If we teach our family members the same principles, we can help our kids reach new heights during their childhood years as well as establish the life-long skills to set goals in the future. 

            So this means that this year, my daughter and I will be spending some time at the ice rink learning to skate together.  And I guess that one of my goals for 2016 will have to be to learn to fall gracefully.





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