Health & Well-being

January 24, 2021

Resolutions vs Goals

By Lisa Jane

New Year’s Resolutions set you up for FAILURE – 

Here’s how to Set Goals for SUCCESS

There's a good reason that this article is coming out at the end of January and not the beginning! Let's face it, the Christmas period and the weeks following are just a crazy time of year! It's only now that things are starting to settle down! 

New Years is that time when we say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new year. Traditionally, it’s also time for making New Year’s resolutions - 88% of which will fail by 19th January according to statistics. Let me be clear here – the fault lies not with you but with the whole premise of resolutions – resolutions set you up to fail.

This year let’s improve on tradition by setting ourselves up for SUCCESS by setting GOALS.

There are things you want to achieve this year, in different areas of your life – family, health, business, community, financial, personal development and spiritual are examples. To give you the very best chance at making your own dreams come true you need a plan, and that plan begins with SMART goal setting.

Let’s look at WHY resolutions don’t work, WHY goals do, and HOW to set goals so you achieve them.

Resolutions vs Goals

Why goals do work

  • Goals provide clarity. When setting goals you need to be clear and specific. An example of this is the resolution ‘I should get fitter’ versus the goal ‘I will complete a half-marathon by July 2021’. By being clearer, the goal is more achievable as you can put a plan in place, track your progress and know when you have reached it
  • Goals provide a plan. Goals are so much more than a statement of intent. They look at not only WHAT you want to achieve, but HOW you are going to achieve
  • Goals are written. Goals aren’t just written – they are written in a way that best helps you achieve them. We get to that soon
  • Goals require commitment. Resolutions can be wishy-washy – just lip service because you think you should make them. Goals on the other hand, require you to be serious about what you want to achieve, and have a plan for taking regular steps towards achieving it. This takes commitment – without commitment, little is achieved; with commitment, you can achieve more than you dreamt possible
  • Goals challenge you. Challenge is exciting! Challenge is motivating. The bigger the challenge of the goal, the bigger the sense of achievement when it’s accomplished

Why resolutions don't work

  • they are often ‘shoulds’ rather than something you are passionate about. How often do you think or say ‘I should lose weight’, ‘I should get fitter’, ‘I should eat more healthily’ … and nothing really changes? ‘Should’ is not at all motivating
  • they lack a plan. Things don’t magically happen because you wish them to. Knowing you want to achieve something is just the beginning in making it happen – you need to break it down into steps with a plan
  • they are rarely written down, and even when they are written they are inevitably shoved in a drawer and forgotten
  • they lack commitment. Often resolutions are just lip service – we think we should make some kind of resolution because it’s New Years but we aren’t really serious about it

No wonder so many resolutions fail …. And fail fast!

How to set SMART Goals

The acronym SMART is used to describe how to set goals in the business arena and equally applies to personal goals. The idea is that this framework gives you a clearly defined goal which will increase your chances of achieving it.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based -


Focus on a specific outcome. Instead of saying you want to get fitter, specify what that means to you. For example – complete three x ½ hour sessions at the gym each week or run/walk 5 km in under 30 mins.


Identify how you will measure the success of your goal. It may be fitting into a certain piece of clothing, getting your Scuba Diving Certificate, or running/walking a certain distance as in the example above.


Ensure the objective of the goal is one you are both willing and able to work towards. If you set a goal of climbing Mt Everest, do you truly have the resources (funds, time for training etc) to be able to attain that goal?


Ensure that the goal is relevant to your purpose and values. If time with your family is a high priority, then a goal of hitchhiking solo around South America for a year will be in conflict.

Time Based

When we place a deadline on our goals, we remain more focused on achieving them. Many people find deadlines give a great psychological advantage in comparison to the lack of urgency created by having no fixed end date.  

Having SMART goals will help keep you on the right track and improve your chances of success!

And while SMART goals are a great start... they are just the beginning...

Set your winning goals!

For comprehensive help with setting YOUR goals, planning the steps that help YOU achieve them, and fitting them into your life, have a look at my 7-day course to ‘Set Your Winning Goals’!  

This course is FREE for Sea Breeze Life Members and only $14 for non-members.

Take control of your life, and make 2021 your BEST year ever, through the power of goal-setting that is personalised to be part of your everyday life.

Don’t waste time on resolutions – make goals for your version of success.

You’ve got this!

Lisa Jane

I believe in a holistic approach to health and fitness and making small, incremental changes to improve your lifestyle. It isn’t about how you stack up against everyone else, it's about how you feel about yourself! It’s more than your exercise or your food, it is your attitude and your well-being!

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