Resolutions, Dreams & Goals: The Difference

“Training is having a goal, being intentional in your actions, your effort has purpose and your energy has focus” – James Clay, to every athlete he has ever and will ever coach.

Firstly, fuck resolutions.

Image result for no resolutions


There, I said it. All this “new year, new me” bullshit, I can’t stand it. I didn’t want to say anything before, I wanted you to have an idea of the changes you were going to make and the first day of the year does serve a purpose in prompting people to have a look at their lives and highlight the things they want to see differently in twelve months time. However, if you waited for a specific day in the calendar before making that change for no other reason than the date, well that tells me a lot about how much those changes mean to you. If they were important, if they burned in your soul and you were wholly committed to them, you’d have given up chocolate on December 28th or gone for a run on December 31st. Don’t confuse a resolution with anything other than a vague wish to do something for a while and be different at the end of it.

It’s quite possible your resolutions tie in to your dreams. Dreams are wonderful, magical things…you can do anything in dreams, be anyone, achieve the impossible. It’s no coincidence that “dreams” means both those vague hopes you have for the future and the often crazy sub-conscious musings of the brain when you’re asleep. Both are intangible, uncontrollable and most times nonsense.

Here’s some examples of dreams:

  • I won the lottery and was given the cheque by a leprechaun who turned in to Terry Wogan but I woke up just before he signed it
  • I want to get fitter
  • I’m driving in my car and the brakes don’t work and I realise I don’t know how to drive and I’m going to die
  • I want to lose weight
  • I can fly, but it turns out I’ve gone to work without putting my trousers on again.
  • I want to eat more healthily

Dreams. Vague thoughts and ideas with no basis in reality.

So that leaves us with goals. I LOVE goals. Goals don’t need a calendar to determine a start date. Goals aren’t vague or imaginary. Goals can start right now, are real and will get you to were you want to be.

Goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. That’s right folks, it’s acronym time!

smart-goals(There are other versions of this acronym, but my blog my rules!)

Let’s take another look at some of those dreams turned in to goals:

  • I want to get fitter = I want to complete a half marathon in 4 months time/I want to take three minutes off my parkrun in my 50th run/I want to be able to cycle to work every day when the clocks change
  • I want to lose weight = I want to lose 14lbs in 8 weeks/I want to be under 90kg before my birthday/I want to be a size 12 for that wedding in June (it’s worth mentioning here that I have an issue with weight and scales, but that’s a post for another day!)
  • I want to eat more healthily = I will eat 5 portions of fruit and veg for 5 days out of every week/I will commit to “no meat Monday” for a year/I will only eat Cadbury’s Mini Eggs 5 times this easter

With one simple exercise on paper we’ve defined what we want to achieve to create the future we desire. With clearly defined goals we can start to break down the steps needed to get us there (more on that in a blog post coming your way soon…)

So, I ask you dear reader, now the dust has settled on a few weeks of bank holidays and endless prosecco and we are back to something approaching normality, now you’ve made some vague resolutions and tried them on for size, what are your goals?

Image result for goals

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