“What’s the secret, girl?” Ben said after overhearing Grace discussing with her elder brother about investing her savings of January to May over the phone.
Grace had a new year resolution and she did great at realizing it. In fact most of her friends in her circle wonder how she got to realize hers since they all shared theirs with one another on the eve of new year.
“What secret?” Grace replied in a tone that seemed as if she wanted to burst into laughter.
Ben: “Your money! How did you save such an amount to even invest. If I am not mistaking, you were talking to your brother about investing and I know for you to talk about investing, you must have nothing less than N80,000.”
Grace: “Oh dear! You forgot the new year resolution we all shared on the 31st of December last year?”
Ben: “Oh yeah! I do remember. You said you were going to save #at least N90,000 by May and invest it.”
Grace: “Very well. That’s it. I actually did that. In fact, I saved N103,000. But it was not that easy, dear. Discipline helped me. You know very well how I don’t always easily get my eyes off anything I love and I know my money can afford.”
Ben: “Wow! Yeah. I do. Why are the rest calling us birds of same feathers?” (They chuckled) “But that amount? That’s amazing. But how did you do it? Because you know I also shared my new year resolution that I will reduce this extravagant spending nature and save at least N200,000 this year so I can start a grocery store. But even as I speak to you, I haven’t saved up to N50,000 and it’s June already and the annoying fact is that, I haven’t been spending my money on necessary things. The N48,000 I have been able to save was in January when the new year resolution thing was still ringing in my head every hour.”
Grace: “Wow! If you had kept up with it, you would have saved more. You see, what I did was that; after that day, I decided to write all those new year resolutions I shared, in a book. I got a separate book for it. After doing that, I set a date for each of them so I can have a deadline as well. I also broke them down into to-do list for every day, week and month to see that by the deadline, I must have realized each of the new year resolution. By doing that, I turned my ‘new year resolution’ into goals which makes it easier for me to achieve them. I won’t say I have been perfectly consistent but God’s grace got me to be consistent, which is why I have saved such an amount, and helping me with other goals.”
Ben: “Terrific! But you should have shared this strategy with us. It would have really been helpful especially for someone like me.”
Grace: “I didn’t because I didn’t want you guys to think I am trying to impose my strategies on you because the last time when we were talking about relationship, and I gave my take, you all agreed that my analogies on relationship are different and I was trying to make you all agree with it. So you see why I kept mute on it?”
Ben: “Oh. Yeah. But it doesn’t matter now. Please I will need you to put me through on how to realize my new year resolution.”
The scenario we see above, is of two individuals who made new year resolutions in the financial area of their lives. But we see one; Grace, realizing hers while the other; Ben, finding it hard to. What obviously helped Grace was the fact that she turned her “new year resolutions” to “goals,” which made it more achievable while Ben didn’t.
Let’s Look at some basic differences between NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS and GOALS
- New year resolutions are firm decisions to make a change in your life on something you don’t like; to do or not to do something. While Goals are very specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bounded statement of what you want to achieve by a certain date through a process/stepwisely, which is mostly written.
- New Year Resolutions are made without approach (without strategies and steps to achieving them) which if unachieved instantly, get the person discouraged. While Goals provide strategies and direction to follow in order to achieve the desired result.
- New Year Resolutions involves intention setting and taking actions which barely provide desired result because it doesn’t involve planning, and preparing. While Goals involve intention, setting, planning, preparing, and taking specific and relevant/realistic actions.
- New Year Resolutions are not time bounded. They are just spoken to be achieved “at just anytime.” While Goals are time bounded. They have specific time to be achieved.
- New Year Resolutions don’t often direct your focus; You are just concerned with keeping them so you won’t forget them easily as the year falls. And you can hardly stay persistent when faced with adversity. While Goals direct your focus and attention. They help you remain consistent, persistent and optimistic in the face of adversity.
Personally, I own this blog today because I set a goal to start blogging on the 28th of June, 2019; which I did achieve it. Aside this, I have set goals in different areas of my life and I often see myself realizing them. I have been off new year resolutions since the very moment I learnt and realised they are only statements that fade with the fall of the harmattan season; if you don’t achieve it within the month of January and February, you will barely remember you have a resolution to realize.
Studies have shown that only 8% out of 100% of people who make resolution every year realize their resolutions, “That’s really low.” This means the remaining 92% go through the rest of the year as though they never had resolutions. It will interest you to know that New Year Resolutions are just like spoken dreams. They are just spoken without strategies on how to achieve them.
Denzel Washington said, “Remember, dreams without goals are just dreams.” This only means that to achieve or realize whatever dream you have either in your spiritual life, work, finances, health, fitness, academics, you will need to set goals else, they will only keep being dreams.
The question is, How can you turn these resolutions to goals?
Here is how:
- First, we know that resolutions are dreams (intentions, changes or visions we want to achieve) but only spoken. Hence, get a Notepad, write out your resolutions with each under the heading of that area of your life; Financial, Spiritual, Work, Fitness, Health, Recreation, Relationship etc.
- Next, make all those resolutions specific and measurable; you should be precise about what you want in those areas e.g: Under FITNESS, if you want to loose weight, then what’s the amount of weight you want to shed off? Under FINANCES, If you want to save money, how much do you want to save or the least amount you want to save? Rewrite those resolutions which are now specific and measurable. And of cause, these resolutions must be relevant to your life because you wouldn’t want to waste your effort on things irrelevant to your life.
- After that, give each resolution, specific date to be achieved within the year with the fact that it’s very practically attainable on that date, in mind. Personally, I love using notable dates in my life like my birthday, any of my loved one birthday, the day I published my first book etc because it motivates me more to achieve it so I can celebrate two accomplishment at the same time.
- Strategize how you can achieve each of these resolutions; what resources do you need? How can you plan your time (time management)? What do you need to avoid and eliminate from your life that can derail you from achieving your resolutions? What attitudes do you need to develop to be able to effectively achieve your resolutions?
- Further, create a daily, weekly and monthly to-do list for every of your resolution. With that, you have built steps for yourself to “walk” not just hard but smartly, as you monitor your progress on achieving your resolutions.
When you carryout these five above steps, then you should congratulate yourself because you have turned your “New Year Resolutions” to “Goals.” But it doesn’t end there. Sometimes people just write goals and feel it’s just determination they need to achieve it. Well the sad news is, only determination can’t get your goals achieved.
So what do you need?
The answer is written in Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (NIV) That’s it. You need to let God know about your goals and how you intend to achieve them. When you do that, God gives you the grace you need to achieve them. Last year, when I set my goal on “starting a blog by June 28th 2019,” I prayed and committed it to God and he graced and favoured me with a web developer who only had me pay for the domain name. He also designed an app for the blog without any penny. It’s only obvious that God connected me to him because I committed my plans to him. A friend always tell me that, “God will not interfere in anything I am doing If I don’t ask him to.” And indeed, this is true.
Here are other scriptures on Goals
- Isaiah 32:8
- Proverbs 21:5
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Philippians 4:13