5 Reasons to Avoid Resolutions and Set Goals Instead

By Billy Moyer

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

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My name is Billy Moyer, and I have a confession to make. I am not one to be negative, but I must tell you about something I hate.


Sorry to yell at you with all the caps, but it is the only way I can convey the frustration I feel when people waste their valuable time talking about all the resolutions they set for the next year. Because I know that they are kidding themselves, all those things they list sound good, but two weeks into the New Year, they will be a distant memory.

Think back to this same time last year. Did you set New Year’s resolutions? If so, how did you do on them? Did you lose weight? Did you improve your relationships? Did you finally read those books you meant to read? I doubt you did anything if you set resolutions because they don’t work. Why? Because you don’t work on them!

There is one way to get what you want out of the next year: Set clearly defined goals.

Here are 5 reasons to avoid resolutions and set goals instead:

1. Resolutions Are Rarely Written Down and Lack Accountability

They are just ideas in your head that you may or may not say out loud. Goals must be written down. It is a requirement. Why? Because writing crystallizes thought, and that leads to ACTION.

By writing your goals down, you are making a commitment to yourself. The definition of commitment is “it is done,” meaning you are not fully committed until you finish.

2.  Resolutions Don’t Include a Plan of Action

People don’t think about how they will achieve their resolutions.

Goals require a plan of action. When setting goals, you must break down your bigger goal into smaller goals called action steps. You then must work those action steps into your daily and weekly planning to be sure that you schedule a time to actually work towards achieving your goals.

3. Resolutions Aren’t Even What You Want

They may sound good at the moment, but they rarely have no real benefit to you or anyone else. You only do things for two reasons: To gain a benefit or avoid a loss. This is where your motivation comes from.

When setting goals, you must take the time to think about all of the benefits that will come from achieving the goal. You must think through the losses you may avoid by achieving them. If the benefits are not strong enough, then the goal may not be worth it to you. This is okay. Why work on something that doesn’t matter?

4. Resolutions Don’t Usually Change from Year to Year

Did you ever notice that every year your resolutions are pretty much the same? Sorry to burst your bubble, but if you didn’t take action on it last year or the year before, you probably won’t this year, either. The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. That means resolutions are 100 percent insane.

Your goals, on the other hand, are constantly changing because you are changing. You are always growing and moving forward. You don’t have to set the same goal over and over because you are a person of action, and you have already achieved that goal.

If you do set the same goal or similar goals, it is because you are continuing to improve in that area, and you know that the actions you take will change even if the goal is the same.

New year Resolutions Note in Blank sticked on a Wood surface

5. Resolutions Allow You to Develop the Habits of a Quitter

When you constantly say you are going to do something and you don’t do it or you give up, you develop negative habits like quitting. These habits end up showing up in other areas of your life.

Setting and achieving your goals helps you develop the positive habits of a winner. Positive habits lead to positive actions that lead to positive results. Set resolutions, and you will probably quit or set goals and win.

Those are just five of many reasons why you should avoid resolutions this year and instead set clearly defined goals.

This is something I am extremely passionate about because I have seen first-hand the power of goal setting and the many benefits that come from setting goals.

Goal Setting and Commitment

I went through my first goal-setting program when I was just four years old. In that program, I learned that “if you are not making the progress you would like to make and are capable of making, it is simply because your goals are not clearly defined” (Paul J. Meyer).

If you are not where you want to be, then consider setting goals. Once you have set them, begin to take the necessary action toward achieving the goals. The results will be outstanding and your best year ever.

Remember that when you set goals, you are making a commitment to yourself. Keeping a commitment to yourself is just as important as keeping a commitment you make to others. Don’t let yourself down.

Goals bring out the best in you, while resolutions often bring out the worst. Why would you ever choose the worst over the best?

Goal setting begins with an awareness of where you are right now and a desire to change the future. Schedule some time within the next week to reflect on what you want out of life. Reflect on where you are right now and where you want to go in the future.

Don’t waste any more time. Get started today and allow goal setting to change your life.

How Can You Avoid Resolutions and Set Goals?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Billy Moyer
Billy Moyer
Billy Moyer is a speaker, under-30 author and a co-founder of SOS Leadership, and international leadership development resource center he started at just 21. Billy went through his first goal setting program at the age of 4 and spoke professionally to his first group at 7. He writes a regular blog about Being the Boss of Your Life at BillyMoyerBoss.com
  • This post was just what I needed today. I often talk about things I want to do but rarely take the necessary action. This year I am going to try writing down my goals. I think my favorite line in this post what about how goals bring out the best in you. I like the sound of that and hope that can happen for me.

    • Gilda Loforte says:

      Dear Tony,
      Do not try to write down your goals. Just pick up a pen and write them down right now.

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