Why I Don’t Set New Year’s Resolutions (and Why You Shouldn’t Either)

Do you know that recent research indicates over 80% of people who have set New Years’s
resolutions have given up on them by early February. Also, the majority of those people have
actually thrown in the towel by January 16th. Wow! A resolution or goal they set for the entire
year has been completely given up on in just a mere 16 days.

Chances are you have also experienced short-lived resolutions. Why is that? Well, most people
confuse dreams as goals. We set resolutions thinking they are goals, but in reality, they are
more like dreams or wishes. Therefore, 16 days in we realize these goals are merely dreams or
wishes and are unattainable. Then we have remorse staring back at us in the mirror – the
remorse of disappointment. We think setting these big, lofty resolutions are going to motivate
us, but setting unrealistic and unattainable dreams or wishes and treating them like goals do
the exact opposite. They demoralize and discourage.

Both dreams and goals are important, but we have to distinguish between the two. First, we
must dream big. This is why we teach our clients how to write their 5-Year Vision Statement.
The 5-Year Vision Statement is a narrative description of a day in your life five years in the
future. The Vision Statement creates a mental picture of the way you want your future to be.
Psychologists say that we have a tendency to move in the direction of our future expectations.
Once you have a mental picture in your head, that mental picture then serves as a magnet
drawing you into your future. This vision statement is where you learn to use the gift of your
imagination and DREAM BIG!

Goals can then act as the steppingstones which lead to our future dreams and vision. Goals
should be set in a specific format. We call that format “SMART” goal format. SMART format
stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and with a Target date. One of the biggest
concepts I teach clients is that you learn to win by winning, not by losing. Learning how to set
SMART goals is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up to win!

So, instead of coming up with New Year’s Resolutions, I recommend the following:

Dream About Life
Write or update your 5-Year Vision Statement. Then invest five minutes every day thinking
about what you wrote and what you want to accomplish in 2023. Close your eyes and try to feel
what that accomplishment feels like when achieved.

Set SMART Goals
Once you have your vision (picture of your future) in place, then ask yourself, “What can I do
this month to get me one step closer to that vision?” With that information in mind, set two
personal and two business SMART goals for the month of January. Continue with this format
monthly for the entire year.

Another suggestion I have for you is to have a THEME for 2023! Think of one word that could be
your theme for the entire year. Picking a word of the year can bring about clarity and focus to
who you want to become and what you want to accomplish in this year of your life. It’s a word
that speaks to your mind and soul, inspiring personal growth. In 2022 my word was
EXPANSION. As I write this article, I haven’t yet picked my 2023 word. I plan to spend some
quiet time over the holidays and at the beginning of January, identify what I want my word for
2023 to be. I’m excited to see what comes forward.

So, this year I will not be making any New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, I am dreaming about a
day in my life five years in my future, setting SMART goals and living in awareness of my 2023
theme word! This is how I am setting myself up to win! And trust me, winning feels so much
better than losing!

In love and gratitude,