Swimming blog - TRAINING How to turn your New Year's resolutions into goals

A New Year’s resolution feels like a firm decision to do something. Doesn’t it? Made in that place of drunken enthusiasm on the eve of the New Year. What if resolutions turn out to be less firm than we think? Goals on the other hand provide structure and discipline to get us over the finish line of what we want to achieve. How can goals help us where resolutions can’t and what’s the difference? We investigate. 

As we come to the end of the year, and what a year it’s been, it is time to reflect on the goals we achieved and the resolutions we let slide. This year has been like no other, and just this fact should give us pause to reflect. 

What did we learn this year? We learned how to plan and make new goals in the face of changing circumstances. Yes. People and athletes have become more agile. So, with this in mind, lets look at why a goal is better than a resolution for the new year. 

Why a resolution could be the poorer solution?
The word resolution is pretty clear - a firm decision to do or not to do something. We make them all the time. Mostly at New Year. Next year you have resolved to stop smoking, swim more, read more, move more, fill in the space for yourself. 

Resolving to swim more seems like a great decision, and it is, but it is vague. Of the 45% of people who make New Year’s resolutions, only 8% of them keep them. This is why a resolution is the poorer option compared to a goal, because we just don’t keep them. They are firm decisions until they aren’t anymore. 

There is nothing in the resolution that will hook your attention, motivation or imagination. And this is why it is the poorer of the two.
 
The energy levels are high as you make a resolution. You feel like you will be able to swim everyday for the next year as you think about it and talk to you friends at New Year. As January wears on you might be asking why you resolved to swim more and how is it possible. Enter goal setting.

Goals get us into action
Our blog on goal setting goes into detail about how to set SMARTER goals and so we won’t go into it here, except to say that any goal should be a SMART goal. 

Goals are concrete and provide a timeline to get you started and keep you going. Where your resolution is to swim more, a goal might be to swim twice a week on a Wednesday and Friday for two months. Then to review your progress and make new swimming goals. 

A goal should be clear and measurable and the reason why we think that a goal is better than a resolution. Your desire to swim more in 2021 will come to nothing if you don’t break it up into manageable goals that challenge you but remain realistic. 

Nurturing one’s individual motivation 
The motivation to get down to the pool twice a week for two months is not a given. We still have to get down to the pool and train. That motivation is nurtured and influenced with the help of friends, coaches, teammates or even a brand. 

Don’t underestimate the power of linking your goals to others’. Read about the advantages of swimming with others in our blog. Holding yourself accountable with others will keep your individual motivation high.

Some resolutions turned into goals

Resolution: I want swim more
Goal: I will swim twice a week for the next three months

Resolution: I want to complete an Olympic Triathlon
Goal: I will sign up for 1 Olympic Distance Triathlon in 2021

Resolution: I want to improve my freestyle technique
Goal: I will join a swimming club, or start SwimGym.com's Freestyle Course and/or get 5 personal training lessons to improve my freestyle.

At the end of the day goals and resolutions belong to a world only we can make come true. Be firm on your decisions and take small steps to make them happen, that is the recipe to success in achieving your goals in 2021.

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of SwimGym.com this year and wish you and your families all the best for 2021.

One thing we know for sure is that in 2021, the water will be wet. Happy swimming from the SwimGym team. 

Written by Michael Stolt

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