New Year….New Me?  Resolution or Goal?

New Year….New Me? Resolution or Goal?

It is January, again.  Every year millions of people make resolutions for the new year.  Most of them fall off to the wayside by the end of the month. So what is the difference between a resolution and a goal?  Why do resolutions fail?

A resolution may sound like this-

I want to exercise more.

I want to lose weight. 

I want to keep my craft dungeon organized and neat.

I want to eat better.

I want to save more money.

All of those are wonderful things, but they are pretty vague. If you think about it for a few minutes, how long do you think it would take you before you give up?  There is no plan to actually achieve any of them in those statements.

Goals are different in many ways.  I am going to talk about SMART goals, specifically because they have been found to actually produce better results.  They are also pretty simple to put together.  

SMART is an acronym (of course).  So let’s break it down in steps.


  • S- Specific- What is it that you actually want to achieve here?  How many times per week do you want to exercise?  How much weight do you want to lose? How much money do you want to save?  The more specific you get, the more you are setting yourself up to actually get the goal completed.


  • M- Measurable- How can you measure the progress toward your goal?  If you want to save $600 more this year, you will need to save an additional $50 a month. 


  • A- Achievable- With the given time constraints, is it possible to achieve this goal?  If it is not achievable, you are setting yourself up to fail.  If you want to have a million dollars in the bank my the end of the year and are starting from $0, with an annual income of $100,000 that may not be realistic.  It would be nice, but not really achievable.


  • R- Relevant- Is this goal related to your personal longer term goals?  World peace is a great goal for many people.  It is relevant to all of us.  Is it personally relevant to your experience though?  If you are an accountant in Texas, what skills do you have to make it happen? 


  • T-Time Sensitive  If you do not have a date or time for it to be accomplished, it is not a goal.  It is still just a dream.  This step is important.  If the goal is by New Year’s, it is time sensitive.  

    These are the steps to make a SMART goal.  There is one more thing though.  Write it down.  When it is in your head, you are more likely to forget about it.  Also thoughts are like smoke, when you try to examine them they can swirl and change.  Writing it down makes it concrete.  You can modify it intentionally but it won’t just change by itself.

    Keep your goals handy, review them often.  Set yourself up for success this new year.


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