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Goal Setting 101: 3 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

The end of the year is always exciting for me, because I am obsessed with goal-setting, and through November and December I am usually busy reflecting on the last year and planning for the upcoming one. This year, I will be using my online platform to host a “goal setting 101” series that is dedicated to helping my readers make the most out of thier hopes for the next 12 months.

Happy New Year!

I know that it is almost 2 full months before 2020 officially begins, but it is important to have a plan in place so that you can be fired up and confident about your new goals on January 1st.

Generally speaking, January 1st is the time when most people make resolutions and promise that this year will be the best year ever for them. However, science has proven that new year’s resolutions don’t work.

New Year’s resolutions (Referred to as NYRs from here on out) don’t work because they are vague and boring. Here is how to make a NYR into a goal that will actually stick.

  1. Make the NYR something EXCITING. If your NYR bores you, you will not accomplish it. Have you ever noticed that you do better work when you’re working on something that you actually enjoy or care about? The same is true for goals and NYRs. If your NYR is “Eat More Vegetables,” take a step back from it and think about how you could make it more exciting, fun, and challenging. Instead of “Eat More Vegetables,” change it to something like “Find and Learn 50 meat-free recipes that I enjoy.”
  2. Find your WHY and think about what is at stake if you fail. Why is it important that you make that change or accomplish that task this year? What will happen if you don’t? If your WHY doesn’t fire you up or the idea of failure doesn’t scare you, scrap the NYR and find something more relevant to your and your future.
  3. Add detail by turning it into a SMARTER goal. The SMARTER goal framework was created by Michael Hyatt in his book, “Your Best Year Ever,” which I read annually in November/December. This is the number one thing that you can do to make your goals actionable and achievable! A SMARTER goal is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Risky, Time-Keyed, Exciting, and Relevant. You can learn more about the SMARTER framework at, and I highly recommend that you make a habit of following him on his podcasts and blog.

If you do those three things, you will be MUCH closer to achieving your goals in the upcoming year!

Do you have your goals or NYRs outlined for the upcoming year? Do you need help deciding where and how to focus your energy in 2020? Keep checking this blog for the latest content on Goal Setting 101.

2 comments on “Goal Setting 101: 3 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

  1. Pingback: Goal Setting 101: How to turn a NEW YEARS RESOLUTION into a GOAL – Katie Hogan, DVM

  2. Happy new year to you.

    Agree goals can be started before 1st jan. And new years eve partying generally leads to failed resolutions. and people go cold Turkey with their goals, it needs to be slow and steady and forever not just a month.

    Great post and so true.

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