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New Year, No Resolutions: Setting Goals You Can Keep

The new year is upon us, and it’s time to start thinking about our goals for the coming months. But what if, instead of making resolutions that you know won’t last, you decided to set achievable goals that you can work on throughout the year? Let’s look at why resolutions don’t work and how to set goals that will.

The Problem with New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions are usually things like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to save money.” These are lofty goals that require dedication and hard work – but unfortunately, many of us get discouraged when we don't see results right away. We often give up on our resolutions because they seem too difficult or too far out of reach. This can lead to feelings of guilt and shame, which only reinforces the idea that we are not capable of achieving our goals.

Setting Goals that You Can Stick with

Set realistic goals:

It can be tempting to aim high with your goal setting, but if the goal you choose is too lofty or outside of your capabilities, you may quickly become frustrated and give up before achieving any real progress. When setting your goal, think about what resources (time/money) you have available and how long it will realistically take for you to complete the task at hand.

Get specific:

Ensure there's no confusion over what needs to be done in order for success. Break down large tasks into smaller chunks so each step feels manageable and less daunting.


Internal: Get clear on your why for setting your goal(s). When we lack a meaningful connection to our ambitions, they become a means to an end—for example, wanting to lose weight because of insecurity vs. for your health and well-being. Goals set from shame and insecurity are almost sure to fail. Even if you achieve your "goal," the feeling or belief that led you to that achievement will likely still linger and lead to future setbacks.

External: Create a timeline for yourself that includes rewards and milestones so that you have something to look forward to during the process.

At the end of the day, it's important not to put too much pressure on ourselves when it comes to setting New Year's resolutions or any other kind of goal-setting. Instead, focus on creating realistic targets that you can reach without feeling overwhelmed or discouraged. With enough patience and perseverance, there's no telling what you can accomplish in 2023! Happy New Year!


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