Strictly Recruitment By: Strictly Recruitment -

New Years Resolutions VS. Goals

What are the best New Year’s resolutions? Before you answer that, realise the difference between a resolution and a goal. A resolution is a decision to (not) do a specific behaviour – like doing something counterproductive to sleep before bed. A goal is a series of calculated steps designed to help you achieve the resolution, like starting a mindfulness meditation practice at bedtime. By this definition, it may be more straightforward to think of goals as the planned-out process of achieving your resolution. In other words, your resolution is your desired outcome, while your goals are the steps you must take to accomplish it.

Goals, not resolutions, are the key to long-term growth and success. And the secret to setting compelling goals is knowing why it is you want what you want – finding purpose and meaning in your goals. Creating compelling goals will help you stay inspired, even when times get tough. What resolutions are you considering? Whether it’s professional development or personal growth, the best New Year’s resolutions have purpose, passion and vision behind them.

How to make New Years resolutions stick….
No New Year’s resolutions are possible without a strategy for achieving them. Resolutions, like goals, become more attainable when you streamline your goal-setting process. When you’re having trouble reaching your resolutions, you need a way to achieve your goals no matter what. Instead of hardened resolve, you need a plan. Here’s how to replace resolutions with objectives that work.

1. Decide and commit to making a change
Change doesn’t come easily. It can take months to build a new habit, yet we give up on resolutions in just a few weeks. That’s because we aren’t really willing to change our lifestyles – and all the trendy resolutions in the world won’t work for you unless you’re in the mind-set of creating a true change. Make the decision now that you’re going to change some aspect of your life, and then commit to making it happen.

2. Document what you want
Should you make New Year’s resolutions? Instead of merely resolving to change a behaviour, write down your goal! Not on a computer, but on paper or in a journal. Writing something down in a physical notebook can help you remember it better later on. Getting crystal clear on what you want and having it documented is the best way to get in the right state to achieve your goals. You’ll be able to truly hone in on your goal once you see it in front of you.

3. Get clear on the way
Your New Year’s resolution might be to get a promotion at work, but why? Do you want to learn more about your field? Do you ultimately want to make more money so you can better provide for your family, or save more so that you can achieve financial freedom?
Understand not just the short-term outcome you want, but the true purpose of your goal. When you understand why you want your goal, you will find a way to achieve it – even when things get challenging. With no New Year’s resolutions to create performance anxiety, you’re free to make incremental changes that cumulate in achieving your goal.

4. Find absolute certainty and take action
It’s okay to have no idea how you are going to accomplish your goal when you’re first starting out. But regardless of how far along you are in your plan to achieve your goal, you must operate from a mind-set of absolute belief and faith in yourself. That’s the key to success: even when you set goals strategically, no New Year’s resolutions are achievable without dedication.
In your mind, if you have no choice but to succeed – if achieving your goal becomes an absolute must – then nothing else matters. You’ll do whatever it takes to get there. Sacrifices won’t even be a question, and all excuses will go out the window.

5. Measure your progress
The main reason why New Year’s resolutions fail is that they are not specific enough. While it’s always good to dream big, you need to break those dreams down into SMART goals. Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and anchored within a Time frame allow you to track your progress and are key to success.
If your New Year’s resolution is to be healthier, how will you measure it? Is it making a certain number of meals at home each week instead of eating out? Is it walking three miles every day? Set a reasonable timeline for your goals and measure your progress along the way.

6. Keep going
As you move forward on your journey, know that there will be challenging times. What is the point of New Year’s resolutions if they don’t help you develop perseverance? When faced with a setback, or if you feel that you’ve failed completely, don’t give up. Move forward and ask yourself, “What will it cost me if I don’t accomplish this goal?” Am I missing out on an incredible career opportunity, will I disappoint my children or miss out on living the life that I want? You’ll turn your obstacles into opportunities in no time.

7. Celebrate your success
By turning even the best New Year’s resolutions into goals, you’re operating out of a can-do mind-set instead of brow-beating yourself for your shortcomings. So don’t forget to celebrate every success along the way, even the small ones. Small steps become enjoyable, since you’re not burdened with a perfectionistic outcome far on the horizon. You can then build on those achievements to create a cycle of success.

There are many tips for keeping New Year’s resolutions, but the main one is this: Don’t merely tie goals to the New Year because everyone else is doing it. Real change comes when you know your outcome and commit to making your goals a reality. Learning to set and achieve goals is a great habit that very few master in their lifetimes. Get everything you want this year, and every year, by deciding to set and achieve goals that matter to you.


Blog by our COO Paul Kelly, 3 Jan 2023