Why I don’t make resolutions but I have life goals

goals text

The Filling Glass has been a new chapter in my life and I have written about how I much I have learned in the last six months about me, myself and my life; lots of food for thought, a new sense of definition, and now, a vision of the new life that I want to lead.

I have learned that I have to pursue things that make me happy, things that excite me, give me vitality and verve for living. There is no point in ‘a life half lived’ *flashback – to Strictly Ballroom, that Baz Luhrmann classic, for my sins!*. A life with something held back. A life full of regrets and unfollowed dreams.

The perspective I come from is not one of unbridled success, but rather that of the unproven. Someone searching for achievement, who until recently felt that they had not done much so far in life, but who has now renewed their desire and passion to make ‘it’ happen in their life.

New Year is typically the time for resolutions, but I feel that these are fixed upon specific things that we want to be different; lose weight, give something up, try to gain something that is missing, without looking at the background or purpose behind it.

I prefer to concentrate on my ongoing pursuit of happiness and reasons for living. This sounds very grand, but it doesn’t have to be, in effect it is simply my life goals. I see them as steps on my path, rather than the end of the game.

We have to resist the temptation to want or expect our goals to be things ‘completed’ by next week. You cannot achieve everything all at once, and in fact that would probably not be very satisfactory, after all the pleasure is in the journey as well as the arrival.

Goals are useful for longer-term guidance but I don’t forget the smaller, bitesize building blocks of these goals to make us be able to focus on specific actions and allow them to be achievable. Moulding my journey using this principle has allowed me to take baby steps towards that life I want to lead.

It can be scary to write things down formally – that critical voice again rears its head to say; you can’t do that, you won’t succeed, that sounds insignificant. I think most of us all have those negative thoughts, but we can delete them, they don’t have to win.

No one can stop you except yourself, and no one can achieve for you, only you can. You can either live the life you want or not. But nothing will happen if you don’t try. So go ahead, make your plans, visualise your dream life and then make it happen. In my experience, when you believe in yourself and your dreams, so will others.

I know that I may never achieve all of my desires in life; things may change, events may happen, I may need to adjust them or adopt different goals. Resolutions are too much of a flash-in-the-pan, but goals will continue to positively guide my direction and purpose.

In trying to achieve what I want, I will be happy, my glass will be overflowing, every day of the life that I have.

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh that annoying little critical voice! Gets on my nerves sometimes. I think you’re right about being the only one who can sabotage my dreams being me and I’m also trying to make this year a time when I live the life I want to and deserve. So here’s to having a fab 2016 and I wish you light, love and laughs!

    1. Yes, that voice really does get on my nerves too, one day I’m hoping to banish it for good! Sabotage is a really good word for what we do to ourselves. Hope you have a fab 2016. Thanks for reading. xx

  2. I think that life goals are eminently sensible and a far better way of looking at New Year’s resolutions. I wish you all the best for 2016 and hope you continue to enjoy your writing. 🙂

    1. Thanks Teika! I am still fleshing them out but the beauty of life goals is that can constantly evolve :-). I’m loving the writing, I am very inspired this year. xx

  3. maddy@writingbubble says:

    I love this way of viewing things and I think it’s great to focus on what underlines our aims rather than just the aims themselves. And ‘Nothing will happen if you don’t try’ is absolutely true and a reason we should kick self-doubt to the curb and just crack on with whatever it is we’re scared we might fail at! Hmm, I think I may have just talked myself into an exciting new goal for this year (so far I haven’t set any goals or resolutions!) Thanks so much for linking to #whatImWriting, I’m really glad to have you as part of our community.

    1. Haha! I love that I have just given you inspiration for a goal – I look forward to hearing more about it ;-). Go get ’em girl! xxx

  4. I really enjoyed this. It’s a great way of looking at things. I’m feeling very positive since reading it!

    1. I love that I have made you feel positive, it made me feel that way writing it too. Thanks for reading xx

  5. A really useful post. I like the way you break down what’s useful about goal-setting, as well as what can be restrictive about it. And I completely agree that it’s about the journey – although I keep having to remind myself when I get impatient!

    1. I know – impatience to get things done (or ticked off!) is a bit of a niggle for me – (though you should meet my husband; he is the world most impatient person and will do something the second it appears on ‘the list’, can’t sit still at all!). Thanks for reading xx

  6. Great post. I’ve never really been one for resolutions, but equally I rarely have the guts to step back and really think about what I want out of life and how I might achieve it. As you say though there really is nothing to lose – and potentially so much to be won by aiming high and just going for it! Good luck, and happy new year xx

    1. Thanks Sophie. I agree, for me it’s actually quite hard to really define what I want to achieve and how to do so. This is my foremost reason for not having resolutions – they are more about what you ought to do, not what would be right for me as an individual. Happy new year to you too xx

  7. Rachael says:

    I thought I had commented but I must have only done so in my head! I am with you on the goals, and how our expectations of trying to meet them quickly can set us back…. I started thinking seriously about pursuing what makes me happy a long time ago, and the vision for my current work started to come to me in about 2010/11…. It wasn’t until 2014 then I actually realised my ‘dream’, which has evolved once again but a friend commented recently that I have achieved all the things I said wanted to do when my son (now almost 5) was just 6 months old… Seems like a long time and it’s still a journey but like you said, things happen and we adjust… We can get to where we’re supposed to be in the end if we can let go of our inner critics…! 🙂

  8. Nicola Young says:

    I normally write goals, but I haven’t done it this year either. I feel a bit lost on the writing front, because the process takes so long that I don’t know what a realistic target is anymore. So I’ve set myself the task of just getting on with it, as well as my copywriting and taking things as they come. You’re right about taking in to account your happiness, because you don’t want to set yourself up for a fall and end up feeling miserable because you failed.

    1. Yes it’s a horrid to feel that you’ve failed, although I can see my perspective altering to view the not trying as a failure of sorts. I hope you find your way become a bit clearer…my goals are really to carry on what I am doing, getting better at it and to gain a clearer view of where I am going, so I understand where you are at. The post might have sounded like I had a better picture of my life plan than I actually do! Thanks for reading. X

  9. Emily Organ says:

    The best approach. I think we’re encouraged to make these short term resolutions by the gym companies and diet companies who probably make most of their money each January. That may sound cynical but I completely agree that each ‘resolution’ actually needs to be a building block which is part of a wider plan. And while we shouldn’t be dragged into the idea that we have to change ourselves, self improvement and working towards an achievement is something we can all do long term. I hope 2016 goes well for you.

    1. Thanks Emily. You have really summarised my feelings on this well – resolutions are short sighted and ‘goals’ as I have described are much more looking to the long term. I don’t think you are cynical, I agree our world is heavily commercialised and controlled by marketing. I hope you have a great 2016 too. X

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