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Set Goals Not Resolutions For Your Success

Happy New Years (Eve)!  Tis the day to set New Year’s Resolutions……DON’T!  When it comes to Resolutions and Goals, set goals not resolutions for your success!  Please don’t set resolutions for yourself.  Resolutions are a set up for failure.  Resolutions do not work but Goals do!

Let’s get right down to it.  When I really want to refine and clarify the meaning of a word, I check the exact definition of a word to understand it fully and apply it to my own thoughts.

What is a Resolution; What is a Goal?

According to, here’s the real deal of resolutions and goals:

A resolve or determination:  to make a firm resolution to do something.
The act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
The mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.

The result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

In my opinion, and from interpretation of the definitions, the difference to me when I compare the two are that a resolution is similar to a car without wheels.  Technically, you have a car but without wheels, you aren’t going anywhere.  A goal is the whole car with wheels – you have a car that has wheels to get you where you want to go.  If you live in New York and want to get to California – with a resolution you are in New York and say that you want to go to California but stay in New York.  With a goal, you are in New York but get out the map, study the ways to get from New York to California, plan how long it will take you, create the path of highways and city milestones you’ll go through on your travel from New York to your desired destination of California.  See the difference?  To set a goal, you create a proactive plan to take you from Point A (New York) to Point B (California).  It is an action plan.

Why To Set Goals Not Resolutions:

RESOLUTIONS are generally made for New Year’s.  You are the same person with the same habits and same behaviors on January 1 as you were on December 31.  There is no magic that occurs on January 1.  For the majority of people, resolutions are a set up for failure, and usually fall by the wayside by the end of January, or certainly by the end of the first quarter of the year.

GOALS are a one-size-fits-all in that you can set a goal on January 1, March 26, August 1 or October 12 – any day of the week and anytime of the year.  Goals are fluid in that you work them, fine tune and make adjustments along the way.

RESOLUTIONS are a pie-in-the-sky wish – “I’m going to lose 50 pounds by April.”

GOALS are a desired action you want to reach with a plan to get there – “I’m going to lose 50 pounds by April by eating healthfully, exercising four days a week.”  From this goal, you’ll break down the action steps of eating healthfully and exercising four days a week into what and how you’ll eat healthfully and which four days of the week you’ll exercise and what exercise you’ll do.

RESOLUTIONS by nature aren’t long-lasting.  How many times have you actually kept a resolution and found yourself in March, August or even December 31 been successful with your resolution?  Ummm, if you’re like me and most people, the answer is an unfortunate ZERO times.  Proof is found in gyms.  Gym memberships are high in January and jam-packed with people.  Go to the same gym in April and chances are it won’t be jam-packed like it was in January.  Resolutions don’t work!

GOALS include a plan of action, a map that includes milestones and ways to go from Point A to Point B/your Goal.  With goals, you create new habits and behaviors that will help you to reach your goal AND maintain your goal once you accomplish it.

Summary of Resolutions Do Not Work and Goals Do:

RESOLUTIONS are statements.  It is a “formal expression of opinion or intention.”  It is talking the talk but not necessarily talking the talk AND walking the walk.

GOALS are also statements.  It is a “result or achievement toward which effort is directed.  Aim.  End.”  You set goals, you achieve to accomplish the goals PLUS you see the end result by creating a plan of action steps to get there.  It is talking the talk AND walking the walk.

Whether you are reading this on December 31, January 1, March 26, July 21, September 8 – any day or anytime, set goals, not resolutions.  Don’t forget, in your trip from New York to California (your goals), enjoy the sites, the scenery, detours and the entire journey.  Goals aren’t just about the destination but the rewards of the journey to reach your success of accomplishing your goals.

Enjoy the ride – see you in California 🙂 !!!

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