Take-IN + New Year’s Resolutions vs Goals

Happy Thursday friends! The weekend is almost here. I’m feeling a little achy from doing Zumba once and then teaching 2 days in a row, but a good kinda-hurt, ya know? You can’t take it easy in class when you’re teaching. You have to go big or go home. Ok, you can’t go home because the class needs you! But you know what I mean.


I loved my quinoa egg scramble so much, I decided to do a cous cous egg scramble for breakfast since we still had some left from dinner the other night.


I scrambled eggs and added cous cous to the center of the pan to crisp up a wee bit.


Then I mixed in fresh herbs from some pots I have in my kitchen (chives and parsley) and a tiny drizzle of EVOO.


The cous cous egg scramble was enjoyed with another tasty rye bagel and some yerba mate tea (thanks to my stock-the-pantry trip to Trader Joe’s yesterday).


I decided to try to get extra-hydrated today, so I had 2 coconut waters – one with lunch and one during zumba class later.


Lunch today was one of the best I’ve had in awhile and a true testament to how effective a well-stocked pantry can be.

I was thinking lentil soup sounded good today, but decided to add in other stuff I had in my pantry, fridge, etc. I was going to use French green lentils but when I found out they took 10-15 minutes longer to cook than the red ones, I decided on the shorter option because I was cooking a bit late.


Another star ingredient was kale. I used the kale in my garden, but you could also use spinach or another leafy vegetable.


The soup ended up being a tasty Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale soup.


I served the soup with good hearty Flax Oat Bran bread, toasted with a dab of real butter.


The soup was soooo good!


Recipe coming soon.


I had a smoothie craving for the first time in months. I generally don’t like cold food, so I don’t frequently have smoothies, but today, I wanted one! So, I made a mixed berry banana smoothie sweetened with vanilla rice milk and a date!


Check out Bailey’s “Glamour Shot.”


Work it, work it!

Seriously…I didn’t pose him. He just looks this cute all the time. I can’t believe he had his little paws under his chin like this. lol


I did some quick cutting to a Zumba top today. I cut a deep V in the front and then some diagonal slits in the front and back. I’ll take photos later, but probably after I’ve washed it so the cuts look better.


I taught my second Zumba class of the week – two days in a row – tonight! There were lots of new faces in the crowd, probably the New Year’s Resolution crowd. I’m hoping they see how fun it is to stay fit with Zumba and stay the whole year! 🙂

My favorite songs tonight were: Eyes Like Yours, Mira, and El Alacran.


A lot of people, myself included, often get take-out when they don’t have time to cook. But tonight, I whipped up a take-out style meal at home in 30 minutes (yes, I timed myself again). Yup, hubby and I had “Take-IN”. 😉

With only my ingredients in a shopping bag on the counter to start, I had all our food ready to cook in 30 minutes. That includes cutting chicken, cutting vegetables, and even making pot stickers!


Remember the vegetable gyoza I got at Trader Joe’s yesterday? I got them so I could do a take-out style meal at home. I just didn’t realize we’d do it so soon! lol

Anywho, I cooked these little guys up while I finished the stir fry and covered the stir fry while we ate the gyoza so it would stay warm.


For the stir fry, organic chicken was our protein and I threw in a bunch of veggies that we had in the fridge, plus some ginger and green bell pepper hubby got at the store. I love stir fries for easy meals because you can put a lot of different ingredients in and get tasty results. I just used soy sauce to season the stir fry and added sesame seeds on top to serve with brown rice.


Resolutions vs. Goals

Since posting my resolutions this past weekend, I’ve been wondering a lot about the difference between “resolutions” and “goals.” Mostly I’ve tried to figure out the difference because I’ve heard a lot of people (in the comments, on twitter, or other blogs) say they don’t do resolutions, but prefer to set goals instead. I was confused by this because I didn’t really understand the difference between resolutions and goals (see my “definitions” at the end), so I researched a bit and asked for opinions about the difference on twitter.

Here are some responses (Twitter handles published with permission):

  • @silvie1999 – resolutions are rarely fullfilled. Goals are detailed and usually reached 🙂
  • @heatherdcRD – Imo, Resolutions aim to “resolve” something u’re not happy with. Goals move you forward for a lifestyle change & motivate you!
  • @HangryPants – I think of it as a resolution is a step to a goal.
  • @wutdafuhk – goals aren’t broken as easily
  • @ActiveEggplant – To me, Goal=specific event/task to complete “run THIS race”. Resolution=general…” run more.”
  • @GraysonSaige – Goal=thought of actns to make reality and positive Resol=shot in dark,neg connotation
  • Anonymous – resolutions are more general. Goals are SMART= specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive.
  • @SweetNovEvents – for me goals seem less daunting. Not attaining a resolution feels like more of a failure. Just my 2 cents!
  • @AndreaMR – The date in which it is set. Goals can be done at anytime, New Year’s resolutions only on 1/1
  • @stina6584 – I think NYRs are usually just bigger, more long term goals. I also think for a lot of people NYRs tend to be less realistic.

Now, before we get into the whole resolutions vs goals debate, let me just say that I’m not trying to tell anyone they’re wrong. Honestly, I’m confused about the difference between the two and am looking for opinions on the differences. I want to hear what YOU think. 🙂 I’ll be stating my point of view, but I’m not saying I’m right and you’re wrong. It’s more like…here’s what I think, what about you? I think we’ll all have different opinions, and I think all of them are sure to help someone out there, so let’s discuss, shall we? 🙂

I’ll go first…

To try to understand the difference between resolutions and goals, I figured I would start with the most fundamental explanation – definitions of the terms from Macmillan Dictionary online.

New Year’s Resolution – “decision that you make on the first day of the year about the things that you intend to do or stop doing during that year

Goal – “something that you hope to achieve

And for good measure, I looked up “achieve”:

Achieve – “to succeed in doing or having what you planned or intended, usually after a lot of effort

And since I’m a math person, I’ll substitute a value in the goal definition:

Goal – “something that you hope to succeed in doing or having what you planned or intended, usually after a lot of effort”

Hmm…they still seem very similar, no? It almost seems like a resolution is a statement of a goal? Either way, it seems that goals generally have position connotations, while resolutions do not.

Here are some of the comments on resolutions and what I think about them:
Resolutions are too general. – I think resolutions are only too general if you write them that way. I wrote a post awhile back about tips for making resolutions you can keep and one suggestion I had was to make your resolutions measurable so you had something to validate against. If you say I want to have more date nights with your husband, how will you measure you had “more” date nights at the end of the year? Rather, I’d say I’d like to have date night with my husband once a month. You can measure that. Did you have the date night once every month? If you can easily answer yes or no, you probably made your resolution specific enough.
Resolutions have negative connotations. – Resolutions, it seems, have a similar connotation to the word “diet.” Many people think of diets as something bad where you are restricted from eating things you enjoy. But diet can also mean the Merriam-Webster definition: “food and drink regularly provided or consumed.” Words can have different meanings for different people. Resolutions have a positive meaning for me. 🙂
Resolutions set you up for failure because they’re not realistic. – I think resolutions are only unrealistic if you write them that way. Who said you had to make resolutions unrealistic? In the article I wrote on how to write resolutions you can keep, I mentioned that resolutions should be reasonable. Sort of along the same lines as the note I made above about not making them too generic. I ran my first 5k this past December. I’m not going to make a New Year’s Resolution to run 5 marathons in 2011. It’s just not realistic for me. (too bad, too, because I’d really like to have some running-bloggie-play-dates with all you fabulous marathoners!) lol
When you don’t meet all of your resolutions, it points out where you failed. – Have you ever heard the quote, “Shoot for the moon. Because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” I love this Les Brown quote. And I try to live it. In my opinion, if you set lofty goals, if you meet some of them, you’re still better off than if you had never set those goals at all. You’ve still grown, improved, and succeeded. This is almost a “is the glass half full or half empty” kind of thing. You can choose to look at all the things you failed at. Or, you can choose to look at all of the things you succeeded in accomplishing and be satisfied that you landed in the stars. 🙂

In the end, I guess I kind of look at goals and resolutions as being almost the same. I suppose I think of Resolutions as a type of goal. To me, New Year’s Resolutions are goals I strive to achieve over the course of the year, between January 1st and December 31st of a given year. And while it doesn’t work for everyone, I also like to set many goals. I figure that it’s possible I may not make all of them, but I try to meet as many of them as I can. I mean, check out how I did with my 2010 resolutions. Did I meet all of them? No. Am I going to be upset about the resolutions I didn’t make? Not really. I reflected on the wins, and I added most of the 2010 resolutions I didn’t meet to my 2011 resolutions. 🙂

Of course, I could be grossly misusing the term “New Years Resolutions.” Maybe I should call them “New Year’s Goals”? lol Anywho, the above is just my opinion for what works for me. I totally understand that different things work for different people, so others will have different opinions based on what works or doesn’t work for them. 🙂

So what do you think? What’s the difference for you between resolutions and goals?

29 thoughts on “Take-IN + New Year’s Resolutions vs Goals”

  1. Your photos continue to amaze me – that soup looks like it should belong in Real Simple! And well, Bailey, we all know his photos always look great!

    I think resolution are usually more generalized that goals. For instance I have resolution to workout when it makes sense for my schedule, sanity, and body. But, I also have goal (specific) to workout at least 3 times a week. But really, I can see them being used interchangeably 🙂

    • Oh you’re so awesome. I was just thinking after posting this that I didn’t do as good a job as normal on the pictures. Guess we’re always too hard on ourselves, no? lol

  2. I am lusting after your kale a bit. I don’t know what’s going on around here but the kale at the last three grocery stores I’ve visited has been wilty and sad, and I’m dying to make some kale chips, so it needs to shape up! 🙂

    • I hate when that happens! Whenever I want a particular veggie, it seems to be less than fresh looking. lol. The one I have the hardest time with is brussels sprouts! They always have those icky black spots all over them it seems. I guess maybe they’re ok to eat or stores wouldn’t sell them so much? But it weirds me out to think about eating it. lol

  3. I think that resolutions become the overall destination and that goals are the steps that will bring you there.

    For 2011, I’ve resolved to strive for happiness in wealth, health, heart, and home.

    My goals are things like “pay of $7000 of my student loans,” “run a 5K,” “do something to make my boyfriend feel loved every day” and “reorganize my closet.” Stuff like that.

    Someone told me that resolutions based on increasing happiness are more often kept that resolutions based on fixing problems, and I have a feel she was right.

    • “Someone told me that resolutions based on increasing happiness are more often kept that resolutions based on fixing problems, and I have a feel she was right.” Love this! 🙂

  4. This is funny – I totally prefer the word “goal” over “resolution” and I KNOW it’s pretty much a matter of semantics. But for me (I don’t know why) the word “resolution” sounds like I need to change who I am or resolve to be a “better person”, where as a goal just sounds more like something I want to work towards.

  5. To me, goals are what people make when they think making resolutions is stupid..but they still secretly want to make resolutions, so they call them ‘goals’… hehe, j/k. Sort of 😉

    Love the pics of Bailey, and all the food looks delicious!

  6. resolutions to me are definitely more general, whereas goals are specific. in fact, i blogged about the four characteristics of a goal: specific, measurable, flexible, and enjoyable! to me, the word resolve means you’re making a large, sweeping, overall change, which is great, but you need the GOALS to get there 🙂

  7. We had Chinese last night too; I made beef and broccoli using dry sherry and soy sauce with a lttle flour for thickening the sauce. As far as resolutions and goals, they are pretty much the same to me.

  8. I like to break my resolutions into 12 month long goals. I basically set up a challenge for myself each month. This year my January focus was to lower our food bill. I challenged myself to menu plan and not eat out . For me, I need 30 days to get something down before I add something else. Gradual baby steps are easiest for me and help to create permanent change.

    • I’m doing 12 months of challenges this year too! But mine aren’t necessarily about my resolutions, though I probably should have done them that way. lol 🙂

  9. For me resolutions are general things that I hope to do, like update my wardrobe. For my resolutions I don’t set strategies on how I am going to accomplish the various items or time lines.

    However, goals for me are defined by when I intend to complete them and what I am going to do to accomplish them.

    I think the definitions just vary so much person by person and is based on what motivates them. I need things to cross off a list, so goals work best for me since I feel I can measure and define them. 🙂


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