Well, this is the time of year when everyone talks about making new year resolutions. The changing of the calendar tends to focus the mind and brings the idea of fresh starts. This is all very well, even though the beginning of the year might not be the best date for everyone, but resolutions tend to assume we're going to make one big change and then stick to it for ... ever, whereas goals tend to be more of a process with a purposeful end. I'd like to challenge the idea that we are suddenly going to make sweeping changes just because it's January 1st. I find that making changes is often a bit more complex than that. We can find that it takes us a while to start a new plan. It can definitely take us a while to stick to a new plan. And often we have to revise the plan along the way so it suits us better. For example, if our 2014 resolution was to join a gym, we would go along, sign up, pay the money and then try and make ourselves go on a regular basis. The success rate would be dependent on many things: our time available, our energy available and how much we really wanted to be going to a gym in the first place. If we stop going, then we can feel we've failed. If, however, we set a goal to be fitter by the summer (how you determine that is up to you), then we might start off by joining a gym, but quickly realise it's not for us. We might try out a taster day instead of actually signing up. Maybe we then hear about different types of exercise and try them out until we find something that suits us. If, along the way, other things come up, we can choose how we manage them with our fitness, knowing we can pick up again when they calm down. But the main difference with goals is that until we get to the summer, we have no way of telling whether we've succeeded or failed as the process is ongoing. But with the resolutions, we can often feel failure as soon as our plans slip. So be kinder to yourselves and set goals rather then resolutions this year.