A Different Approach to Choosing New Year’s Resolutions or any Goal

 In Better Life, Goals

It’s that time of year again.  Are you making any New Year’s resolutions?  If not, have you ever made a new goal or resolution any time of year?  If so, I’d like to ask, what was the purpose or reason for it?  What were you trying to change?  Common answers are “I wanted to lose weight, manage my money better, get more organized, be healthier,” etc.  But are these actually reasons for your goal?
If you have a goal for saving more money, to uncover the reason you could ask, “Why do I want to save more money?”  Maybe it’s because you want to buy something big, like a new car.  Then ask, “Why do I want a new car?”  Maybe it’s because your old car isn’t that reliable any more.  “Why do I want a more reliable car?”  Maybe you’re tired of worrying about getting stranded somewhere.
If we keep digging down into the “why” of any goal, we’ll likely find that the real reason is because we want a better life, and we think (or we’ve been told) that this change will make it better.  
If the ultimate purpose of a resolution or goal is to increase the quality of our life, how would our choice of goals be affected if we started with this purpose in mind?  Then we could look at all the different areas of our life and identify the one or two things we could do that would have the biggest impact.  Is it really saving more money or losing weight?  Maybe it is, but maybe it’s something we haven’t considered as a goal before.

One approach is to look at the different areas in the wheel of life and rate your satisfaction with and the importance of each one.  Are there a couple areas that could really use some help?  What changes could you make that would have the greatest impact on your life overall?  This exercise may help you identify one or two new goals for 2017.


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Tina Hallis, Ph.D. is Chief Positivity Officer of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping people and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures. She is certified in Positive Psychology, an authorized partner for Everything DiSC®, and a Professional Member of the National Speaker’s Association.

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