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The pressure of making resolutions makes us set unrealistic expectations, year after year. For some bizarre reason, they’re often extravagant and totally unattainable. The desire is huge so the resolutions need to be matched in boldness and impact. Or at least that appears to be the norm and it’s been my experience thus far.

I sat down with my son to list our individual goals for 2020 in January and while I wanted to have goals to focus on, I felt trepidation at not being able to fulfill them – to fail before I even started the year, as has been the case pretty much every year I have ever made them – written or mentally noted.

We’re told to have SMART (Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Time Specific) goals. It certainly goes a long way in making them more achievable – I love the intentional double meaning for the acronym too. But I’m going to play devils advocate here and say they look amazing on paper but reality is rarely as succinct.

Hats off to all who are passionate about goal setting and use it vigilantly – I secretly hate and envy you in equal measure. And likewise to those who are resolute and have an unflinching drive to achieve them.

Is there really a difference or is just word play? Goal setting initiates motivation and momentum but it also brings up the killer voices that shutdown your every move to progress. New Years resolutions are more bold and almost dare you to include that WOW factor.

Goal setting seems to be much more mellow and flexible and understanding – as goals can shift and allow you room to make changes along the way or to expand on them according to circumstances that arise that are essentially out of your control.

There is no doubt that goal setting/New Years resolutions are beneficial. The attraction of resolutions for me has always been the excitement of making a fresh start to a brand new year.

The key is in the mindset and the desire for progress, no matter how small. So what am I really trying to say? Do what works for you. Whether it’s goal setting, New Years resolutions or living off the cuff day to day, celebrate your achievements no matter how great or small and keep moving forward. Be grateful for every iota of progress and never lose hope (my namesake in Arabic, just had to slot that in!) Having said that, I have made a promise to myself that I will make a list of SMART goals for 2020 and will do my best not to feel defeated if they don’t come to fruition.

Are you a serial New Years Resolutionist or proactive goal-setter or a wing-it-as-it-happens like me? And has it been working for you or against you?

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