Resolutions For The New Year vs. Goals For The New Year


new-years-resolutionsHappy New Year! This is that time of year when most people are looking toward the future. They tend to want to forget the year that’s ended citing the challenges and obstacles they faced along the way that they were not able to overcome or that they perhaps, struggled to overcome. It’s the time to make resolutions for the new year

In many cases, they want to rid themselves of bad habits or traits they have in the hopes of becoming a better person and creating a better life. With the new year comes a new beginning, hope and a renewed sense of “can do”. They make resolutions for the new year so they don’t fall into the same pitfalls they did previously. But what is a resolution, really? 

Resolutions and Goals

Resolutions and goals are sometimes used interchangeably. What do you want to do differently? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to stop eating junk food? How about getting serious about exercising or putting the cigarettes down? These are some of the typical resolutions you’ll hear other people make or even may make yourself.

So, what’s wrong with that? Well, nothing in and of itself. But once you state your resolution, what’s next? These can just as easily be goals. Likewise, once stated, what’s next? There are two very distinct outcomes for each. 


make-a-resolutionPeople make resolutions for the new year that they can’t keep. It’s not that the resolution is unworthy. Making the resolution is something that makes people feel good at the particular moment. The thought of what they intend on doing is pleasurable. However, there’s no real commitment and no real plan.

A resolution is just a statement of what someone wants to do to make a change in his/her life. There’s nothing else.

Even if an attempt is made, the eventual realization of the work involved causes the person to put it off, procrastinate, and eventually forget about it. The “feel good” feeling about making a resolution in the here and now is not the same feeling a person gets later on in the future…when it’s time to get it done. This is why resolutions fail before the end of the second week of January.


goals-for-the-new-yearGoals are also statements of what one wants to achieve in the coming year. It might very well be a dream that he wants to realize or at least begin the process of realizing. The difference is that there is an actual action plan to see it through. People who set goals are more serious about achieving them. This is why they set the goal then have a plan of action to achieve it.

For example, a person may want to exercise as a regular activity in his everyday life. If he says his resolution for the new year is to exercise more, then his intention is clear but there’s no intention of actually exercising more. Getting busy in the actual day to day work of exercising is not appealing although the thought is satisfying but that’s as far as it goes.  

On the other hand, if the same person states that his goal is to make exercise a regular part of his life and then goes the step further with a plan on how he intends on accomplishing it, then it’s more likely that he will.

How To Set Goals

smart-goalsIn setting goals, you want to make sure that they are SMART goals. SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based. Let’s look more closely.

S – specific meaning that the goal is clear and well-defined.

M – measurable meaning that there is a desired time when the goal will be completed.

A – attainable meaning that the goal can be reached.

R – realistic meaning that the goal can be accomplished with the knowledge, resources and time that is available.

T – time-based – meaning there is enough time to achieve the goal.

Next Steps

If you want to make changes to your life, whether bad habits or traits, begin working on a dream or passion, or anything else, remember to set goals with clear steps on how you will achieve them rather than resolutions that just sound good and make you feel better. 

Did you find this helpful? If so, please leave a comment and share on Facebook.

Theresa M Lovelace   

      Your partner on the journey,

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Theresa Lovelace

Home-based business and network marketing professional, blogger, teacher and marketing consultant. I have a passion for teaching network marketers how to brand themselves by developing their credibility in the marketplace and using simple online strategies to generate leads, earn income and recruit leaders into their business. My goal is to help create individuals who are financially independent…at last.
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  1. Chondra Rankin
    Chondra Rankin
    January 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Great distinction – so many people don’t know the difference and think one is the same as the other. Need to have a plan and SMART is a great action plan!

  2. George Azide
    George Azide
    January 4, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Reminds me of a definition of commitment I once heard, “commitment is when you follow through on something long after the feeling to do it has passed.”

    New Years resolutions really exposes people’s level of commitment.

    • Theresa Lovelace
      Theresa Lovelace
      January 4, 2017 at 3:47 pm

      They really do, George. Resolutions are for the here and now. 🙂

  3. Gary Bledsoe
    Gary Bledsoe
    January 4, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    So true Theresa, there is a huge difference between the two. I also believe our attitude towards both a resolution and a goal will determine whether or not it will be accomplished or not.

    • Theresa Lovelace
      Theresa Lovelace
      January 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      You’re right. Attitude is a huge factor! Thanks Gary! 🙂

  4. Larry Hochman
    Larry Hochman
    January 4, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    I’m hearing “education speak,” Theresa! Always enjoyed that way of thinking about goals. 🙂

  5. Bruce Schinkel
    Bruce Schinkel
    January 4, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Love this post Theresa. I’ve always felt that resolutions were a waste of time unless you turn them into a goal with action.

  6. Lynette Bledsoe
    Lynette Bledsoe
    January 5, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Your video was simply a breath of fresh air thank you Theresa for sharing

  7. Chris Shouse
    Chris Shouse
    January 7, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Most appropriate post for this time of the year. It is proven that is you set resolutions you usually don’t have a plan and only last a week or two. If you set goals as resolutions and have a plan on how to achieve what you want you have a better chance of carrying through.

    • Theresa Lovelace
      Theresa Lovelace
      January 18, 2017 at 8:02 am

      Exactly Chris. Goals push you to do and resolutions allow for excuses. Thanks! 🙂

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