The key difference between resolutions and goals is that resolutions are the things that you want to change in your life, whereas goals are the steps that you take to achieve your resolutions.
Resolutions and goals are related to each other, as goals are the building blocks of your resolutions. Resolutions are the directions on which you focus, while goals are the specific steps that take you there. For example, you can set losing weight as a resolution and have several goals to achieve it. Without goals, resolutions cannot be achieved. If you set specific, achievable goals and check with them daily, you will easily make your resolution a reality.
What are Resolutions?
A resolution is an aim to alter something in your life. It is a promise to yourself. Resolutions are typically open-ended. They are also difficult to track and achieve. They have no dates or specifications, so people find it hard to stick to them. At the same time, resolutions are general and difficult to measure. They are just statements without any action; for example, I’m going to be more productive this year.
Resolutions are long-term, and they cannot be achieved without goals. It is important not to set too vague resolutions; due to lack of commitment, about 70% of them fail to achieve them. This is why it is important to be clear about what you want to change when you set a resolution. Resolutions should be approach-oriented. To have approach-oriented resolutions, you need to be clear about what habit you want to add or remove from your life. If you want to achieve them, the resolutions should be timely, relevant, and important to you. Otherwise, you will lose motivation and commitment or change the resolutions to more important ones.
What are Goals?
A goal is an expected result that a person wants to achieve. It is a target that can make you obtain or maintain something or avoid something. They are specific and measurable targets. You can also set time frames for goals. Goals have exact endpoints because you will know when you have achieved a goal. There are short-term as well as long-term goals. Short-term goals are the things that you want to do in the near future (for example – buy a new refrigerator), and long-term goals are the things that you want to do further in the future (for example – save for retirement).
You can have various types of goals in your life, like career goals, relationship goals, health goals, and financial goals. All these goals are personal. You can set your personal goals according to SMART (S- specific, M-meaningful, A- achievable, R-realistic, T-trackable). You have to set easier goals so that they are achievable. Have goals that are challenging yet not out of your reach. Do not pay much attention to what others think, have things that are meaningful and important to you. And finally, remember to stick to your goal by constantly writing and talking about it.
Setting goals is important for you because they give a sense of direction. It helps to have a clear path and set expectations. It motivates you and gives you control over your future.
What is the Difference Between Resolutions and Goals?
The key difference between resolutions and goals is that resolutions are the things that you want to change in your life, whereas goals are the steps that you take to achieve your resolutions. Moreover, resolutions tend to be vague and big, whereas goals tend to be specific and future-focused.
Below is a summary of the difference between resolutions and goals in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Resolutions vs Goals
A resolution is an aim to alter something in your life. Resolutions are long-term, vague, and big. Therefore, they are less manageable and attainable. A goal is an expected result that a person wants to achieve. Goals are specific, personal, and more manageable and attainable. To achieve your resolutions, you should have specific goals, and by achieving goals, you will finally make your resolutions come true. So, this is the summary of the difference between resolutions and goals.
1. “New year resolutions – colorful sticky cards with written goals for 2021” By Marco Verch Professional Photography (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
2. “SMART goals structure” By U3187248 – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia