How to Set Goals Instead of Resolutions

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Every January people make resolutions for the new year, but very few actually achieve them because somewhere along the way they get distracted, frustrated, or lose momentum. Sometimes it’s from sheer lack of trying but the truth is, most “resolutions” are doomed to fail from the start because they’re too vague. There are no real actionable items attached to them, so instead of thriving in the changes we want to see, we crash + burn. We go in thinking that having a blanket resolution is enough, but something that I learned a long time ago is that making resolutions doesn’t work, but goal-setting does.

What’s the difference? Making resolutions mean that you hope that you’ll be able to achieve xyz. You start with good intentions, but aren’t quite sure what to do so over time you lose focus and never reach them. Goal-Setting means that you have a plan to achieve xyz with clear, actionable steps outlined so that you know what to do each step of the way in order to track your results + achieve your goal.

Whether it’s to lose weight, make a career change, or to even learn a new skill, setting goals instead of making general resolutions will help you achieve what you want. And it’s actually pretty easy to do!

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The key is to be as specific as possible, not only about what you want to do but what you NEED to do in order to get results.  

List your Long-Term Goals.
What is it that you want to do this year? Do you want to start a blog? Save money? Lose weight? Launch a business? Your long-term goal is what you want to achieve (aka that resolution you use to make), but you know that it may take a little time.

Identify your Monthly Goals.
This is a smaller version of your long-term goals where you list what you can do that month to get closer to reaching it. For example, say you want to lose weight this year. If you want to lose say, 50 lbs, we know that you can safely lose up to 8lbs each month (some can lose more but this is average). So each month, your goal will be to lose up to 8lbs. This goal is specific, and gives you something to work towards. No more generalizations.

Prioritize Your Weekly Goals.
You already know what you need to complete that month, but now you can flesh out those details into weekly tasks (your “to do” list) so that they don’t seem as daunting. So if it’s still to lose weight, in order for you to make your monthly weight loss goal, you’ll need to lose 1lb-2lbs each week, and to do so you will have to work out a certain number of times + adjust your diet so that your caloric intake each week will help you do it. This is where you start getting even more specific with your actions-planning out your “HOW”.

Check Off Your Daily Goals.
Now we’re into the good stuff! This is where you organize your daily schedule for the week so that you can balance every day life + tasks with anything else you have to do in order to reach your weekly goal(s). So if you want to try a business class, write blog posts, or fit in exercise and meal prep, you have an honest outline of what you can do each day. And it doesn’t have to be stringent! Each day should make sense for your life, but still include those activities so that even if you get off track a day or two, you can still hop back on it and not give up. At the end of each week, track your results + see where you need to make tweaks!

This method is applicable to any goal that you may have-you just have to take a little time to get organized and plan it out. Just remember to keep it simple + have fun!

What method do you use to reach your goals?

How to Set Goals Instead of Resolutions

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