Adding Value to Our Lives

— Written By and last updated by
en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

It’s that time of year when we might feel pressure to start making resolutions. Most of us already realize that by February, we will have forgotten our new declarations, so why bother in the first place?

If we dig deeper into why we set new goals, we often find that we are looking for a quality or virtue that improves or adds values to our lives. We might be yearning for financial freedom or security if our goal is to make more money. If we decide we need to exercise more, we might be wanting more confidence or to feel stronger.

Setting goals means we are adding value to our lives. When we ask “what New Year’s resolutions are you making”, essentially we are asking “what value are you adding to your life”?

New Year's goalsReplacing the word “goal” with “value” gives us a clearer sense of what we are seeking.

Setting heart-centered goals focus on improvement instead of the end result. Heart-centered goals are more forgiving, provide us with more flexibility and allow us to make guilt-free adjustments.

Here are a few suggestions to guide you, if you decide to set a few goals or add “value” to your life this year.

Researchers argue that for goals to be successful, they should be specific and challenging. Instead, have you thought about just doing your best? If your goal is to lose a specific amount of weight, why not focus on just eating healthier. Just do your best every day to eat as healthy as the day allows. This technique is more forgiving.

Never set more goals than you can’t achieve. Researchers tell us that when we have multiple goals, we still tend to focus only on one goal. This can lead us to feel like a failure for not reaching ALL our goals.

Research suggests that goals can sometimes reduce your happiness. When you are working toward a goal, essentially you are saying “I’m not good enough yet … but I will be when I reach my goal”. Instead of focusing on just the goal, learn to enjoy the process. Keep things simple and appreciate any progress, no matter how small.

Overcoming the “fear of failure” can also ease you into setting goals. It even has a name “atychiphobia”. We often don’t set goals to begin with because we know ourselves too well and we know we won’t succeed. 25% of people who make New Year’s resolutions give up after 1 week. It might be the resolution was too big, too much, or too soon to actually achieve. It is often hard to sustain our motivation and excitement about the goal.

These few suggestions might not guarantee that you successfully meet your goals, but maybe they will help you ease into goal setting with a slightly different and more gentle approach.

Written By

Dee Decker, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDee DeckerExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Call Dee Email Dee N.C. Cooperative Extension, Swain County Center
Updated on Feb 2, 2017
Was the information on this page helpful? Yes check No close
Scannable QR Code to Access Electronic Version