Make Goals, Not Resolutions


The new year means new beginnings and second chances. After a season of indulgence (just one more slice of pumpkin pie, please) and spending, we’re all making plans and resolutions. As entrepreneurs, our resolutions often include our small businesses. Sometimes, our resolutions are reinterpretations of what we couldn’t accomplish last year. How many of us look to why we never actually accomplished our resolutions?

Last year, Forbes put out an article that stated only 8% of people who made resolutions achieve them at the end of the year.

That is a rather depressing number. It’s enough to make some of us not want to even bother with resolutions.

And I agree. We shouldn’t be making resolutions. We should be making goals.

What’s the difference?

Most resolutions are vague and with no real deadline other than the knowledge that you should be done by the end of the year. Goals, however, are entirely different beasts all together.

So before tossing out your resolutions, try and turn them into goals first. Here’s how.

1) Get specific.

We’d all like to eat healthier. It’s a common resolution for most people. But “eat healthier” is a very vague statement. How are you going to eat healthier? What are you going to change in your diet? Do you have a number of fruits or veggies you want to eat every day? Or maybe you want to cut something out of your diet or cut down on the fast food meals. Take the vague and add some detail to it. “Eat healthier” becomes “Eat 3 fresh fruits every day.”

2) Give yourself something to track.

What about your goal can be tracked? Give yourself something you can measure and check your progress as you go along. Another common resolution is “lose weight.” How much do you want to lose? At the end of the year, you could be one pound lighter and that would technically be reaching your resolution but will you have grown or improved your life at all? “Lose weight” could turn into “Lose 20 lbs.”

3) Add in a deadline.

While most of our goals are going to be something we work on the entire year, other goals can be achieved in a shorter amount of time. You may want to lose those 20 lbs by April. Then you can set yourself up with another goal for the end of the year if you want. Or enjoy the 20 lbs you lost and take yourself to the beach. Deadlines give our brains a clear idea on when we need to reach our destination. And having a date down gives us a time frame on how much work we need to do. Without a deadline, you’ll kind of float around all year and then BAM! it’s December.

Using these 3 goal-making elements, look over your resolutions for the year and transform them into achievable and rewarding goals.

And don’t forget to throw in some fun goals as well… like “Take a trip to Seattle in May.”

What are some of your goals for the new year?


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