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Why You Shouldn’t Make Resolutions For The New Year

It’s almost January 31st.

New Year’s Eve and the time when many of us choose to make resolutions about how we want to change or improve in the New Year. The problem with resolutions lies in the word itself: resolve. It possesses a negative connotation that makes us think about things we really don’t want to do or feel we must or should do.

This year, set intentions or goals instead or making resolutions. If you set intentions or goals that relate to things you want to do, feel passionate about or that are aligned with your internal sense of purpose, you are more likely to achieve those goals.

Setting goals and intentions is important.

What would happen if you never set a goal or an intention, or if you never had any aspirations (or resolutions)?  You would never achieve your dreams or change much at all. You would never move forward.  You would never grow. You would never achieve or accomplish much of anything. You would not fulfill your potential or live your life fully.

Our goals and intentions give us something to move towards – something quantifiable. And the New Year provides the perfect time to turn over a new leaf, begin again, think about what we want to change or accomplish, how we want to grow, to set up new targets so we can reach our full potential and live our lives fully.

That’s why it’s important to have New Year’s intentions. I prefer not to “resolve” to do something, though. When we resolve to do something, it usually means we don’t really want to change or take on that activity; we just know we should. In these cases, it isn’t long before we stop doing whatever we said we would and, therefore, fail to meet our goal.

I prefer to focus on New Year’s goals or intentions that combine my passion and my purpose.

Or ones that at least focus on one or the other. A goal about which you feel passionate will be easy for you to pursue. It likely also fits into your inner sense of purpose, and that makes you want to take action towards achieving it. When you combine your passion and your purpose you feel inspired and tend to take action easily—almost effortlessly. You feel energized and excited; you want to do what it takes to accomplish your goal. That’s why you achieve results.

To achieve your goals in the New Year you need to spend time actually setting them. Sounds silly, right? However, many people never bother to think seriously about their goals, write them down and create a timeline for when they want to accomplish them. If you don’t do this exercise, your results likely won’t be stellar in 2013.

As you begin to think about what you want to accomplish in the New Year, you will probably discover you have two types of goals:

  1. Goals you feel passionate about or that you feel support your purpose
  2. Goals you know you must or should achieve to reach your other goals

It’s important to realize that the first type of goal is dependent upon the second type of goal in many cases. Yet, it’s easier to accomplish the first type of goal. Why?

When you simply know you must or should do something, you may not have that same energy or excitement about the tasks at hand. Realize the second type of goals supports the first type of goal; this will help you feel just as passionate about the second type of goal as the first.

Here’s how to set goals for 2013 and actually achieve them:

  1. Make a list of your goals for 2013 by priority.
  2. For each goal, create a time table for exactly when you want to achieve it.
  3. Describe what the achievement of each goal will look and feel like in great detail.
  4. Make a mark by the goals you feel less passionate about.
  5. Get a 2013 calendar and mark on it the dates you plan to achieve your goals.
  6. For each goal, write down three action steps you need to take to achieve it.
  7. Mark all the items from #6 on your calendar.
  8. Highlight on your calendar the action steps for the goals you noted in #4; make these a priority.

Vague goals produce vague results. Be very specific. Set clear time frames for when you want to accomplish your goals and create clear action steps for how you will do so.

With clearly defined goals backed up with well-defined time lines and action steps and supported by passion and purpose, you will achieve inspired results in the coming year or any time.

Nina Amir is a contributing blogger for JenningsWire, a blogging community created by Annie Jennings.