I've never liked being tied down by immoveable objectives (to me that ceases to be an objective and becomes an irrevocable order, something to be achieved "or else"). And I don't intend to start now I've managed to slough of the spectre of work. I'm basically someone who drifts with the tide; I managed it through my working life and have escaped with (most of) my sanity intact and a life outside work. Yes I probably could have done better for myself, but at what cost to my sanity and work-life balance? That wasn't what I wanted so drifting suited me just fine.
So in recent years I have tried to set myself some goals to achieve over the year. And no, a goal is not a resolution! Resolution = I am determined to do this come what may. Goal = a target to be aimed for; success is a bull's eye; but you still get points for hitting an outer blue or black ring, for some small progress.
Last year I set myself a number of goals. And I scored really badly, though I did pick a few points. This was partly because my goals didn't end up aligning with the things which turned out to happen during the year and which I couldn't have foreseen. Yes, I'm disappointed, but no I'm not beating myself up about it (well not much anyway).
So for 2011 I'm setting myself a new set of goals. And no, not the ones I didn't achieve in 2010; many of them are not now relevant to where I need to be going. And no, I'm not about to tell you what they are. I may or may not achieve these goals, but every one is attainable if somewhat challenging and I shall give them a good shot. As long as they remain relevant. And that's the key. Goals = targets to be aimed at which are achievable, relevant and allow for progress short of 100% success. So many New Year's resolutions become "must do", are unreasonably hard to achieve, and too often become irrelevant to where life takes us. Flexibility is more important than single-minded determination; partial success is more important than total failure.