Make Goals Not Resolutions: 6 simple ideas

According to the BBC “Research shows that only 8% of people who have made a New Year’s resolution were able to meet their goal, according to a study from the University of Scranton that was compiled by Statistic Brain.”

The reasons we fail new year’s resolutions are varied and complex. I believe it’s mostly due to the premise behind a resolution – Trying to stop or start some habit we’ve developed over time. Determining to do (or not do) something that has become a life style does not take a resolution. It takes time, determination, and a series of completed goals.

The top resolutions of 2017 according to static brain is

  1. Lose weight / Healthier eating
  2. Life / Self improvements
  3. Better financial decisions
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Do more exciting things

Notice that these all require a complete life change, which are bound to have starts and stops. Yet after years of being a “goal evangelist” I have discovered that people would rather rest easy and conform to the status quo (like making New Years Resolutions), rather than making a serious effort to change.

Make Goals Not Resolutions: 6 simple simple ideas.


make goals not resolutions 6 simple ideas1. Pick resolutions or goals in line with your purpose

A purpose driven life is hard to stop. Deciding what our purpose is, can help us stop wasting time. Knowing what and why we want something helps us set the how, when and where. Asking why is a good place to start. For example – Why do you want to lose weight, stop smoking or eat healthier? If your purpose is to complete a marathon then these things can help. If it’s only to please others, then you are bound to fail.

Try to focus on your purpose, not just the end-result. For example – If your ‘resolution’ is to make better financial decision so you can set yourself up for retirement or buy a house than your incentive to stay on track will be stronger. However, if you just want to buy some new trinket or passing desire than your ability to carry out this goal will be short-lived.

2. Make resolutions or goals that tap into the creative side of your mind and that encourage spontaneous acts.

Responding to life creatively allow us to see solutions, and unique ways of solving problems that the analytical side may not be able to reach.  Short sighted ‘resolutions’ can make us get caught up in the minute’ details, thus never seeing the big picture. Setting more creative goals can help us break out of these tendencies by initiating spontaneous acts on a regular basis.  Remember setting a goal is not just about reaching a destination; it’s about helping us enjoy life along the way.

3. Make your resolutions or goals emotionally attractive.

It helps to set goals that touch us on an emotional level, because sometimes it’s really about motivation. Setting a goal that triggers an emotional response upon its fulfillment can be a powerful motivator for anyone, regardless of their personality type. Having an emotional reward after completing a goal like – winning a race, or taking a trip with a loved one – is the best motivation to set us up for success.

4. Set resolutions or goals that includes others, but not dependent for that goals success.

We can all learn from working with others in reaching a common goal.  Having someone to share a success is inspirational. Although our success should not totally depend on their involvement. Sometimes we may need to find new partners or continue without them. For example, the goal of increasing one’s mental capacity by attending a seminar is enhanced if you can bring a friend, but still attainable. If they do not show up.

5. Find accountability partners.

This is like number 4, but does not need the other persons attendance. No one likes to celebrate alone. That’s why we don’t throw parties for ourselves.  Finding people who know and support our agenda can be a great way to build a support network. For example – many Type B personalities procrastinate for so long, that most goals will never be fulfilled.  Having someone to push, cajole, motivate, and basically make sure you stay on track can be vital for our success.

6. Stack the odds in your favor.

Let’s face it, new year’s resolutions are a great way to set us up for failure. The reason for this is – if we only have ONE Resolution we only have ONE chance of Success! However, if you set 10 resolutions you now have 10 chances for success. Sometimes setting goals is a numbers game, a simple game of math. Let’s face it; we mere mortals need constant motivation. That’s why we have supervisors, motivational speakers and support teams who can help increase our odds of success.

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