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Goal Setting vs New Years Resolutions

With New Year's quickly approaching, it's that time of year when people start making resolutions. Instead, set clear goals and reflect on 2023 to set yourself up for success in 2024. 


  • Vague

  • No Plan

  • Negative Framing

  • No Metrics

  • Drastic Changes

  • No accountability

  • Uses words of aspiration


  • Specific

  • Requires a 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. 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 local 5K race in March.

It's specific to a distance, event, or 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. Again, this is too vague with no plan and no metric to demonstrate the resolution is being met.


Goal: I will work out 4 times a week and only eat out 3 meals per week.

It is positively framed with a specific weekly plan, weekly check-ins, and weekly metrics, and uses commitment to action words making it much easier to achieve.


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. If you need guidance or accountability, don't hesitate to reach out.

End-of-Year Reflection


End-of-year reflection is just as important as your new Year's resolutions. So before you start to look ahead, look back.


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.


It's fun to compare these questions/answers year after year so if possible, save them. You might notice some keywords or trends.

Questions to Ask Yourself


  1. What am I grateful for in 2023?

  2. What hard things did I overcome in 2023?

  3. What did 2023 teach me?

  4. Who positively impacted my life in 2023?

  5. How am I different from the person I was one 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 2024 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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