Set goals not resolutions and have a better 2022

December 26, 2021

I'm Abby

Filling my days with joy, adventure, and chasing my dreams without feeling burnt out. Read on for how I make it happen and how you can, too!

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Why should you set goals and not resolutions? Well, first because I hate new year’s resolutions. Now, don’t get me wrong, I used to set them, too. I would spend weeks leading up to January 1st pondering what my resolutions were going to be for the new year. Eventually I would end up with three or four new year’s resolutions. I would diligently get started on January 1, eager to start the new year off right.

But by the time mid-February rolled around, I had lost all my motivation and had given up on all my resolutions. Over the years I have realized the three major reasons why new year’s resolutions are a terrible idea. I am on a mission to get people to stop setting them.

Reason 1: new year’s resolutions come from a negative place

How many times have you set a resolution to eat less junk food, work out more, watch less TV? These are all admirable resolutions but they all stem from a negative perspective. They are based on a belief you hold that what you’re doing today isn’t good enough. You are starting the year off telling yourself that you aren’t good enough, you aren’t doing things right. How does that feel? Pretty terrible!

Reason 2: resolutions require us to start everything on January 1st

The clock strikes midnight and suddenly we have all these new things we’re supposed to do. January 1 becomes the busiest day as we start implementing all these new ideas. This is a plan bound for failure. Imagine if on the first day of work at a new job your boss expected you to start working on every task in your job description? You would be overwhelmed! You would think this is unrealistic. By the end of the week you would be looking for another new job.
We cannot do everything all at once. We will not be successful if we try to make every change all at the same time.

Reason 3: resolutions don’t have a plan of action

A New Year’s resolution is an idea, a vision. You make a bold statement about something you want to change or do differently. But how are you going to do it? What does that resolution actually look like in practice? Resolutions don’t have a plan, they don’t have instructions. So it’s easy for us to get lost trying to implement them. We don’t actually know what to do!


Alright, so you get it. Resolutions are a terrible idea bound for failure. But you still want to use the new year as a chance to start fresh. The last two years have been challenging. They have also helped you see what really matters. Now you want 2022 to be a year to focus on those things. Great!

Quote: don't set new years resolutions, set yearly goals instead.

Don’t set new year’s resolutions, set yearly goals instead.

What is the difference between goals and resolutions? I’m so glad you asked!

Goals come from a place of opportunity and positivity

Goals are aspirational. They are something you strive to achieve. Imagine what is possible in your life, what you are capable of achieving. That is the foundation of a goal; the belief that you are capable of amazing accomplishments! When we set goals there is excitement. Goals are something we look forward to. There is positive energy around goals. That’s the vibe we should be walking in to the new year with, good vibes.

Goals are an ongoing journey

Working on a goal is not a one and done thing. A goal is an ongoing journey. It is a culmination of many small steps, small decisions, that add up to the larger idea you have put in motion. Throughout that journey we learn things about ourselves. We may shift our goal based on what we learn. If the circumstances in our life change, we can adjust our goal. Say a pandemic hits for the first time in nearly one hundred years. Your goals from January now are not possible in March. It’s easy to shift a goal without losing sight of the bigger picture. {Read more about my journey adjusting my goals in 2020 in this blog post.}

Goals are spread out throughout the year

Resolutions ask us to start making all these changes on January 1. That is a lot of pressure! Especially on a day when we might be tired from staying up too late or a little hungover from too much champagne. When we set goals instead of resolutions, we look at a long-term plan. Some goals may start January 1, or January 2. But other goals may not fit into our lives until April or September. Spreading out your goals throughout the year allows you take on what you can actually handle instead of to trying to do everything all at once. We will burn out and fail if we try to change everything all at once.

Goals include a plan of action

Great idea, now what? A resolution often doesn’t tell you exactly what to do. A goal can answer the questions, how do I make this happen or what does this look like in action?
Creating an action plan does take a little bit of work. You want to break your goal down from the big vision, the big idea you have, into three parts;

  1. Monthly accomplishments
  2. Weekly action steps
  3. Daily tasks

When you break your goal down into smaller steps you clarify exactly what you need to do. Often our goals can feel overwhelming. Breaking it down can relieve that feeling. If you want to be successful and achieve your new year’s goal, the action plan is the most important part.


Using the new year as a starting point to do things differently in your life is a great idea. There are always times in our lives when we need a fresh start. Whatever you decide you want to do differently, remember it doesn’t all have to happen on January 1. You have 12 whole months to create the life you dream of!

Write down your new year’s goals and develop your action plan. You’ll find you can make significant progress when you take small steps everyday.


Ready to make 2022 an awesome year? Ready to set big goals and accomplish them? I know you can! Join me in the Joyful Life Academy. Learn more about how this four week program will help you create an extraordinary life of your own design.

Explore more categories:  Goal Setting

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I'm Abby

Filling my days with joy, adventure, and chasing my dreams without feeling burnt out. Read on for how I make it happen and how you can, too!

categories

avoiding burnout

time management

finding joy

mindset

popular posts

Signs of Burnout

Time Management Tips

Celebrate Your Progress

See Services

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Quit the start & stop routine. Instead, make consistent progress.