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Set Goals, Not Resolutions

By Boera Bisieri
Published February 12, 2019

Instead of  ‘avoid junk food’, say ‘Take one packet of chips in two weeks’; this will help you look at your goal positively.We are already 43 days into 2019, the year for which you set up resolutions of what you want to do. Sorry; did you set up New Year’s Resolutions or New Year’s Goals? I know the two sound quite the same but the difference lies in the mindset of approaching them.

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A Resolution is a statement of what you want to change, a strong decision to do or not to do something, but without a plan on how to change. For instance, ‘I want to lose weight’ is a common New Year resolution on many people’s lists. Resolutions do not pick a specific idea but an abstraction.

According to Art Markman, a psychologist, only 8% of people achieve their resolutions each year. Most resolutions fail because they are vague hence people are not attached to them. When it comes to resolutions, we often concentrate on what we do not want rather than what we want.

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Boera Bisieri, r, and Sheila Waswa are accountability partners who operate on Goals and support and keep each other  in check.Goals, on the other hand, are specific statement of what you want to achieve by a certain date. Goals direct your focus and attention; they provide specific directions to follow so you can achieve your desired results. For instance, instead of ‘I want lose weight’, a goal will say; ‘I will work out three days a week, 30 minutes a day every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday’. This ensures you adjust your calendar and create time for work out. It keeps you focused and persistent.

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Instead of resolutions, I suggest you:

  • Set goals
    Dedicate time to set achievable goals that are just a little beyond your reach but not too far beyond.
  • Pen down your goals
    People are more likely to achieve their goals if they write them down. According to an article in the Forbes magazine, a study by Gail Mathews at Dominican University showed that those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write them down

Children play on a weekend at Milele Mall in Ngong Hills.

  • Frame your goals in a positive tone
    Write what you want to do, not what you do not want to do. For instance instead of ‘avoid junk food’, say ‘Take one packet of chips in two weeks’; this will help you look at your goal positively.
  • Get an accountability partner
    Find someone to keep you in check and support you in the process.

Setting goals does not guarantee you will attain 100% of your desired outcome, but when you set effective goals, they help you perform up to your full potential.

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