If you’re about to start writing those New Year’s resolutions, read this first.
I used to hate goals and anything that asked me to commit to achieving a specific outcome because I never liked the idea of not being able to change my mind. But, I’ve slowly moved through this. In, Goals Don’t Have to Be Scary I discuss that goals felt less daunting once I realized that I could veer off course and not be punished by the achievement Gods.
Now, I’m going to take this a step further.
The classic New Year’s resolution usually involves losing a set amount of weight through a diet and/or working out. Not only is this fatphobic, but it is outcome-oriented. You are ascribing a number, body type, and politic to your worth. Instead of thinking about your future body or future goals with an outcome-oriented lens, it’s time to consider values-oriented goals and resolutions.
What do you mean by values-oriented?
I have explored my values in depth during 2020. That is, I started to identify what I is important for my life’s purpose, how I relate to others, and what aligns with my core beliefs.
Values come from many different sources, and they change over time, too. They come from lived experience; family behaviors and stories; religion and spirituality; identity including gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, ability, and class; cultural norms; media; political leanings; and significant personal and/or historical events.
2020 has given me plenty of time to reflect about who I am and who I want to be. As a result, I identified my core values as community, compassion, vulnerability, equity, curiosity, humility, creativity, and unlearning. And I want my intentions and goals to reflect these values too.
What’s wrong with outcome-oriented goals?
Outcome-oriented goals can be helpful by defining quantitative or qualitative terms for achievement. But the trouble comes when you feel like a failure for not achieving these outcomes. It engenders shame and blame. Many of these outcomes are based on external values such as BMI, capitalistic-driven productivity, and basing our goals on other people’s achievements.