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Goals over Resolutions. It’s not too late to flip the script

Goals and resolutions might sound like much of the same thing, but there is actually a very different mindset involved and one that will likely be the difference between success and failure. As January nears its end I am already seeing friends and family throwing away the resolutions they firmly made back on December 31st.

It seems a reoccurring theme (and I am guilty of it myself in the past) that these firm declarations or even promises to ourselves fail before we’ve reached February. There are a few reasons why I am going to tell you to resist the temptation to do that this year and some ways you can flip the “resolution” and make it a realistic goal for 2021 instead.

The negative impact of breaking resolutions.

Imagine your partner or a family member promised you they would do something for you. It was important to you and they promised they would get it done. Your health or wellbeing… perhaps even your happiness depended on it, but they didn’t come through. How do you feel? Well, the heavy emotion of being let down doesn’t just come when other people do it, we just find it easier to break our own promises than we do if we had promised someone else. Psychologically though, breaking a promise you made to yourself it is a blow to your self-esteem. You couldn’t do the one thing you said you would… and now you feel like a failure. Great start to the year, right?

Resolutions vs Goals

  1. A resolution a firm decision to do or not to do something. There can only be 100% success or 100% failure.

  2. A resolution is based on a moment in time. Does losing 10kg specifically add value to your life and give it meaning in some way, or is it just a whim? Whims, by mere definition might not mean enough to you in a month for you to persevere. By comparison, a goal of running a half-marathon by the end of the year takes planning and effort that by default will probably help you lose the weight anyway, resulting in a healthier lifestyle.

  3. Resolutions tend to revolve around changing something about yourself you don’t like. Uncovering the real issue can help flip it around. Case in point: I’m going to stop using social media. If we dig deeper perhaps you’ll realise what you actually want is to be more productive or spend more quality time with family. There are lots of ways to achieve this goal without deleting social media completely, an endeavour that will likely result in you re-installing it within a week. If the goal is quality time, there are plenty of real actions you can take to help achieve it and a solid plan can be put in place.

  4. Resolutions often tend to be aesthetic. I am always a fan of self-betterment, but instead of comparing yourself to images on Instagram or focussing on how you look, focus instead on who you are. Does that person make you feel good? Are you happy?


A resolution a firm decision to do or not to do something. A goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort. Goals provide a direction to follow to achieve an outcome. Goals involve intention-setting, planning and preparing. Goals are about taking REALISTIC action. So don’t fret that it’s almost the end of January and 2021 isn’t the sparkling sensation of achievement you were expecting so far. Flip the script and set some goals instead. You’ve got this.



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