Why I’m Ditching New Years Resolutions for Goals

New years resolutions can be great! It feels like the new year brings an opportunity for a start fresh. To finally get into the gym and work out, to start eating healthier, to experience more things, to stop drinking, cutting out sugar, taking on bad clients… To pursue new dreams and the life you always wanted to have. “Yes, THIS is my year!” — Is what I’ve said every single year. But most of the time (and many of us have gone through this), the excitement of the new year blows over and you find yourself at the end of February and you already broke a bunch of resolutions… hey, it happens to the best of us.

Personally, I’ve always had strong feelings about New Year’s resolutions. The concept of writing down a list of things I want to change about myself and my life with a ticking clock seems… daunting. I hate the idea of promising myself that “This year I’ll actually get fit”. Because when it doesn’t happen it just sets you up for disappointment. And every month that passes by where you don’t work on that resolution makes you feel… like shit. Ultimately you forget about these resolutions and continue living life until the next new year comes along where you probably write the same resolutions. It’s a weird cycle! Which is why this year I said — No more.

Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Work

It’s a sad truth, but 64% of new years resolutions are always abandoned just four weeks into a new year. Yup! The thing is, no matter how good your intentions are, it’s tough to change or create new habits that stick. Think of it this way… If you want to run a marathon, you don’t just sign up, do it and cross it off your resolutions checklist. You have to train, you have to learn things you’ve never done before, you have to build new habits and to do all of this, you need actionable goals. You need to keep yourself accountable until the day of the marathon. New years resolutions set in pressure to do it all, to accomplish your long list of new year wishes that require you to change deep-rooted habits. So why don’t they work? Simply put — because you are trying to change your entire life and habits overnight.

The Magic of Goals

Goals in my opinion, are empowering. Most important of all, they are totally doable and achievable tasks that once completed make you feel amazing. Creating goals with a vision is the wining combo. Goals are small little wins throughout a week or a month that move you closer to those “new years resolutions”. Let’s say that you want to start getting fit. Instead of promising yourself you will hit the gym every day this week… start with “I’ll go to the gym 1 time this week”. That’s doable right? It makes it easy to ease into a new habit… by taking it one step at a time. Plus you can keep track of it and measure your progress. Maybe next week you go twice! See what I mean? Instead of feeling like a failure because its February and your resolution of getting fit is long gone, you can proudly say “I accomplished my goal of going to the gym one time this week!” — And that, is empowering.

Creating Achievable Goals

So here’s what I’ll be doing this year… I’m focusing on small goals that will help me get closer to my ultimate vision. Or if you wanna call it a resolution that’s fine too 😉 The way it works is as follows:

01. BRAINSTORM YOUR RESOLUTIONS/VISION

I usually start with the big picture. What do I want to work on personally and in my business? I jot down a list of things I would love to do, things I want to accomplish. This can be habits, tasks, adventures, whatever! Go crazy! The point of this exercise is to visualize what you want your life to look like so that you can intentionally create goals to reach that dream later. For example, a couple of things I wrote down for this year are: take professional plant-based cooking lessons, create seasonal capsule wardrobes, stop bitting my nails, get stronger, double my income, grow my newsletter, relaunch pinfection, stop drinking during the week, take 10,000 steps each day…. just to name a few. I actually wrote down around 20 things I wanted to do which can seem overwhelming. So next thing you do is to circle one personal and one business resolution that is really pulling at you right now and makes you feel excited.

02. FOCUS ON YOUR CURRENT MONTH

I find it easier to take it month by month. What would you like to tackle first? From your big list of resolutions, take those two things you circled (make sure you don’t take on too much that you get overwhelmed). Now ask yourself, what do I need to do to accomplish this? So for example… If you want to focus on getting fit, what can you do this month that gets you closer to this goal? Maybe you want to try finding an exercise that fits your style. Which brings me to step number 3.

03. WRITE DOWN WEEKLY GOALS

Maybe this week you research types of workout programs you think you’ll love and sign up for 1 class. That’s it. This week you’re taking a yoga class to see if you like it. This one goal is helping you with your bigger resolution. And week by week you can keep going until you feel comfortable enough to work out 3 times a week. Slowly building this new habit. The same can be done for any resolution! You just have to break it down into bite-sized actions that are doable.

Dream, Plan, Repeat

Let me just share some tough love right now: You need to be committed. In order to accomplish anything you dream of in life, you need to follow through. This system works for me because it takes the complicated out of dreams and makes it actionable. It holds me accountable and keeps me motivated. Hey, sometimes I even give myself a gold star when I finish a goal! Taking it month by month and breaking it down and focusing on the week has really been working for me. Because at the end of the day, being present and focusing on the now makes for a more joyful life. So repeat the above steps each month and you’ll find yourself inching towards that dream of yours one goal at a time.

What do you think of resolutions? Are you willing to swap them out for weekly goals?! Let me know in the comments!

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Hi! I'm Emmy!

Designer, professional nap taker & Disney enthusiast. I’m a daydream believer and it’s my quest to help empower you to own your magic and make your dream life come true.

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