As I am always looking for sources of inspiration I learned about the happiness project. This is one of the blogs I thought was thought provoking.

“For my Happiness Project, I always talk in terms of my “resolutions” – my resolution to “Quit nagging” or “Sing in the morning” or “Make time for projects.”
I’d noticed idly that a lot of people talk instead in terms of “goals.” I’d never thought much about this distinction, but yesterday, it struck me that this difference was, in fact, significant.
You hit a goal, you achieve a goal. You keep a resolution.
I think that some objectives are better characterized as resolutions, others, as goals.
“Run in a marathon” or “Become fluent in Spanish” is a good goal. It’s specific. It’s easy to tell when it has been achieved. Once you’ve done it, you’ve done it!
“Eat more vegetables” or “Stop gossiping,” or “Exercise” is better cast as a resolution. You won’t wake up one morning and find that you’ve achieved it. It’s something that you have to resolve to do, every day, forever. You’ll never be done with it.
Having goals is terrific for happiness. The First Splendid Truth says that to think about happiness, we need to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth. Striving toward a goal gives a tremendous sense of growth.
But it can be easy to get discouraged when you’re trying to hit a goal. What if it takes longer than you expected? What if it’s harder than you expected? And what happens once you’ve reached your goal? Say you’ve run the marathon. What now – do you stop exercising? Do you set a new goal?
With resolutions, the expectations are different. Each day, I try to live up to my resolutions. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail, but every day is a clean slate and a fresh opportunity. I never expect to be done with my resolutions, so I don’t get discouraged when they stay challenging. Which they do.
For example, one of my recent resolutions was “No more fake food.” Have I achieved this goal? Well, maybe — I haven’t had any fake food since I made that resolution. But practically not a day goes by when I don’t fight the temptation. How many times has my hand hovered above a Glenny’s 100-Calorie Brownie? “No more fake food” is a resolution, not a goal.

This is an excert from Gretchen Rubin daily blog at

My take on it that – you need to have both goals and resolutions, or the way I see resolution is a commitment for something bigger, it’s the mission. My commitment is to help people, it is not a measurable goal. To move forward towards that commitment, I have to set goals. For example : meeting x people, have a group coaching. I can measure those activities, knowing they are in alignment with my long term resolution. For years, I did not have goals, but I know today that goals are important and working towards those goals and doing the best to achieve them, is very important to our self esteem and to our commitments.

I would love to hear from you what you think about that, and if and how you distinguish those two aspect of life.

Love, Relli

Advertisements