Do we really fail at our New Year “goals”

Feature photo is of me, finishing my first half marathon at the age of 52. And yes I had a plan for it!!

I posed this question in the Facebook group:

I have a question for those of you who live in the Northern Hemisphere. Should we set goals/resolutions at the New Year…I mean the New Year starts in January, and it’s cold, and dark, and snowy, and rainy. Why not May…when things are coming into bloom, and the days are longer, the sun shines more, and we have a feeling of newness?

And I got lots of great answers:

I remember those days! The New Year is one day! Pick whatever day that is that works for you!

I have to agree! It’s hard to add anything that might take more strength and resolve to get through in the hardest part of winter! I live in MN. Just making it through January can be a resolution in itself

#1: Let’s take “should” out of it?  We should all over ourselves (and others) way too much? #2: I am a firm believer in NOT waiting for tomorrow/Monday/the first of the month/the first of the year to set intentions and/or goals: that’s like waiting for something external to move you—and it usually doesn’t work. If you’re really ready to make something happen, start today!

I believe it has to be a mindset. Once a person makes up their mind what they want to achieve and when then it doesn’t have to be on a calendar. Just start because we can always talk ourselves out of things to do

great question. I don’t set resolutions, per se, but do business planning for the next year in ecember. Even though it’s cold and dreary, you could look at it as something to kick off the new year knowing that the weather will get better and they days will get longer?

And the winner of the comments is this one…

Why make resolutions and not just work on your goals year-round? Just saying….

I want to challenge the commonly held belief that 97% of us have already failed at our New Year resolutions/goals by now.

And here is why.

We don’t really set goals.  We instead proclaim our dream to the world. 

This year I will – lose weight, save more money, spend less, eat healthier, cut out sugar.  And we pronounce this to the world, and then we move on. So, when someone asks you how you are doing on your goal of cutting out sugar, you have to admit you have failed, probably.


Because typically there is no plan.  Did you have a plan for cutting out sugar?  Or did it just seem like a good thing to do at the time? Is something you even wanted to do? How did cutting out sugar fit into your vision for the year?

Photo taken by Steve Weiss on the southern Oregon Coast

Here are some ideas to take you from a wish to a plan to successfully meeting your goals.

Identify your What and Why – What do you want to create and why does it matter?

Create a vision of what you will create this upcoming year. You can do this for one or all areas of your life. Include in this vision, what it looks like and what it feels like when you made this vision a reality. Also, ask yourself how will I feel?

Then ask yourself why.  What will achieving this vision mean to you, your family, or the community you serve?  Why must you succeed?

How will you achieve this?

This is where the plan starts.  A goal which is a measurable objective.

I will achieve (what) by this day, and why. 

For example – I will save $5,000 by May 1, 2022 so I can spend a month in Italy for my birthday.

To this you can add targets and timelines, so you don’t wake up a year later and see that you have done nothing toward your goals. Additional targets and timelines also allow you to adjust if needed.

Then create a plan

Using the example above I would look at my budget, what can I cut if needed.  Can I set up a separate saving account, and have money added automatically on a certain day of the month?

Ah….yes a plan

Do things really get done without a plan? Think of a skyscraper, or a road trip, or making a cake for the first time. I guess you could do this without a plan, but I hate to think of the outcomes!

So why should we think our goals will come off brilliantly without a hitch?

What are your thoughts? Drop me a comment and let’s have a conversation!

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