Resolutions and goals are closely related, and while there are some differences, those differences occur more in the creation and planning phases and less when implementing either. This would indicate that the same skills and abilities that help implement goals would also help reach resolutions.

Comparing Resolutions and Goals

A goal is something we are working towards that has certain properties, often called the SMART properties; SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Actual, Relevant, and Timely. A resolution is a change in action or the result of a change in action; good resolutions share a number characteristics of goals, namely being Specific, Measurable, and Timely. Where the two differ is how each relates to my overall purpose in life. Let me give some examples to clarify what I mean.

Assume that one of my life goals is to through-hike the Appalachian Trail, which is about 2200 miles long. This goal requires that I become physically fit. So I set a goal to reach a specific level of fitness by the end of the year. Then I put together a plan, create milestones, and implement my plan. This is how I reach my goal. Now, let us say that another person wants to reach a level of fitness, but not as part of a life goal but as a way of looking attractive to members of the opposite sex. This is a resolution, since the purpose of getting fit is not part of an overall life goal. However, the planning, creation of milestones, and implementation of the plan are basically identical in both cases.

Helpful Personal Characteristic

What personality characteristics can we use to achieve our goals and resolutions? Given that both goals and resolutions are carried out in the same fashion, it is not surprising that a characteristic that helps with one helps with the other.

Determination works well for both; obstacles will always arise, and a determined person is more likely to overcome those obstacles. A good attitude, focused on the desired result, will help keep a person on track. Confidence in yourself will give you the belief you need to take on the challenges of reaching your goal or resolution. Working with others, creating relationships that provide strength and resources can provide dramatic help. The ability and willingness to plan helps create a path towards success. And this list is not exhaustive, by any means.

The point I am trying to make is not to list all the characteristics that can help you achieve your goals and realize your resolutions, but to show that the personality traits that help in one area also help in the other. Experience success in achieving resolutions, and you have greatly improved your chances of successfully reaching your goals; similarly, hitting goals will improve your ability to realize resolutions.

A Quick Overview of the Goal/Resolution Process

Putting together a plan of achievement is done in essentially the same fashion, regardless of whether you are working on a goal or a resolution, since the structures of the two are so similar.

First, clearly specify what you are working towards; as the Simpleology course states, "See your target." The clearer your vision of your target, the more likely you are to reach it. Understand what has to change to move from where you are now to where you want to be at the end of the process.

Second, create a plan, a sequence of actions and results, that will make those changes real. Make each step as simple as possible, creating multiple steps along the way as necessary. One idea which might be helpful here is the concept of a micro-resolution, which is a small resolution that will move you towards your goal.

Third, create a set of rewards along the path. These both inspire you to reach the particular milestone and allow you to track the progress towards your goal. I firmly believe in rewards along the way; putting all the reward at the end of the process puts too much strain on the intermediate steps.

Fourth, focus on the current step, not the distance to final result. Many people become discouraged when they see all the work that has to be done to reach a goal or resolution; it is more effective to focus on the current step, since that is what you are working on.

Fifth, track your progress, particularly with an accountability partner. By reporting your efforts, achievements, and successes to another person, you are more likely to keep going when times get tough.

Keeping The Faith

Regardless of whether you are working on your goals or your resolutions, you need to work your plan. And believe that you can do it. Because you can.

Author's Bio: 

John Steely has been teaching mathematics, study skills, and habits of success for over 25 years. The material of this article was based upon the Law of Attraction Explained course offered on his website.