Goal Setting vs New Years Resolutions

It's the time of year when resolutions are a hot topic in everyday conversations, especially in the fitness industry. New Years Resolutions aren't necessarily bad but it's the way we frame them that can make all of the difference. Below I'll cover the differences between New Year Resolutions, New Year Goals, why resolutions fail, and end-of-year reflection to set yourself up for success in 2022.


New Year Resolutions

  • Vague

  • No Plan

  • Negative Framing

  • No Metrics

  • Drastic Changes

  • No accountability

  • Uses words of aspiration

New Year Goals

  • Specific

  • Requires Plan

  • Positive Framing

  • Measurable

  • Attainable within a specific time frame

  • Accountability check-ins

  • Uses words of commitment to action


Below are two real-life examples of New Year Resolutions and New Year Goals and while I know they sound similar, the mindset and approach to achieving them are very different. Resolution: I want to start running more It's vague with no metrics to demonstrate the resolution is being met and uses non-action words like "I want" which is an expression of aspiration. Goal: I will run the NYC half marathon. It's specific to a distance, event, date, and uses action words like "I will" which is a commitment to action. Resolution: I will stop eating junk food or I want to be healthier While the first resolution uses action words it is negatively framed, creating an all-or-nothing situation with no plan. The second resolution again is too vague with no plan and no metric to demonstrate the resolution is being met. Goal: I will workout 4 times a week and only eat out 2 meals a week. It is positively framed with a specific weekly plan, weekly check-ins, weekly metrics, and uses commitment to action words making it much easier to achieve. As you can tell the words you choose can make or break your success and that is why 80% of resolutions don't make it past February. Turn your resolutions into goals and the more specific your goals can be, the better.


End of Year Reflection In addition to goal setting, I am also a fan of end-of-year reflection. So before you start to look ahead, look back. The end of the year is a great time to reflect on everything you have accomplished and the lessons you have learned. Here are 10 questions worth answering. Grab a notebook and give yourself plenty of time to answer them. These questions can provide a sense of accomplishment for the past and a sense of direction for the future. End-of-year reflection is just as important as new year goal setting. Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. What am I grateful for that happened in 2021?

  2. What hard things did I overcome in 2021?

  3. What did 2021 teach me?

  4. Who positively impacted my life in 2021?

  5. How am I different from the person I was 1 year ago?

  6. What relationships do I need to strengthen?

  7. What do I need to start doing

  8. What do I need to stop doing?

  9. What do I need to keep doing?

  10. What is one small thing I can do to get 1% better every day?

Pro Tip: Save your answers every year and compare keywords and trends.


I hope this information helps set you up for success and that 2022 is your best year yet. Thank you for reading and as always, reach out at any time if you need anything!

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