Why You Should Set Goals, Not Resolutions

43% of all people who set resolutions expect to fail before Feburary, don’t let that be you. In this blog post I will go over why resolutions don’t work, why you should focus and track goals instead (look at resolutions as goals) by setting SMART goals, and how you can keep up with these goals. Grab a notebook and pen, because you may want to take notes, and maybe even write down/brainstorm your goals as you continue to read!

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Why Resolutions Don’t Work

We often make resolutions (goals set at the beginning of the year you have, usually habits we hope to break or pick up) that we tend to forget about by March. Some people can stick with theirs, and I applaud you if that includes you. However, for most of us, we forget. Until we remember, and it’s already New Year’s Eve again. Resolutions are defined as firm decisions to do or not to do something. Often, these fail. Many of us blame lack of resources and/or time and lack of motivation as the reason these fail. In reality, these fail for many other reasons, including a lack of responsibility, accountability, and memory. There’s often no journaling or tracking happening. Most of those setting resolutions write them down on paper or in their notes app and don’t even bother keeping track of it and their progress – causing them to forget or fail.


Resolutions don’t work, which is why I suggest people set goals (not the same thing, in my opinion); however, I tell people to strategize and set SMART goals to be more specific

SMART goals are:

  • S- Specific
  • M- Measurable
  • A- Achievable
  • R- Relevant
  • T- Time Bound

For example, I am setting a goal to collaborate with many businesses this year. That statement/goal alone is not measurable. There is no time frame, and it lacks detail. I would structure it, “I will work with at least five businesses this year, including businesses that I can relate to my blogs, such as one local clothing business, two local restaurants, one hotel, and one self-care related brand by December 25th, 2023.” That goal is measurable. I set the time frame, and it is relevant and even achievable. An example of an unachievable goal would be, “I will work with a big brand such as Tarte Cosmetics” – This is specific; this is unachievable at this moment for me as I know I do not have the target audience they are trying to attract and that brand/goal is not relevant to my blog or work.

If you need help with setting SMART goals, don’t be afraid to reach out to me by email!

How You Can Avoid Delaying Your Success

The problem with goal setting is that we often procrastinate once it is time to work towards them or get distracted, which can delay our success in achieving our goals. Some of the things that can hold us back are:

  • Excuses/Procrastination 
  • High Expectations (SMART goals should not be affected – IMO) 
  • Fear of failure/change
  • Distractions/Forgetfulness 
  • Inconsistency/Lack of time

Sometimes we tell ourselves that we are not going to make it anyway, so why bother. I am here to remind you and myself included, that we don’t have to think like that! We shouldn’t think like that. If we are thinking like that, then we already failed. What you need to do is to keep an open, and positive mind while staying realistic. Don’t let distractions get in the way. Try setting a time in a day or once a week in order to work towards one of your goals – that would help out with the inconsistency, maybe go into a different room or a quiet space so there are no distractions too as that would eliminate them. To avoid forgetfulness you can set alarms on your smart watch or mobile phone. If you have trouble with procastination, you could use an app like Study Bunny so you can eliminate your phone usage during your time needed working towards a goal. And when it comes to fear of change or failure, just know that you got this, and change isn’t always bad. Unpopular opinion but failure isn’t always bad either. Remember, you can do anything, but not everything – and that is okay!

How to Keep Up With Your Goals in 2023

Keeping up with goals is my favorite part because it is where we can measure and plan. If you don’t have a planner, invest in one because they are a lifesaver and a great aid in goal setting and goal achieving! You can also keep up with your goals on your cellphone by using a notes app and setting reminders and alarms in your calendar and on your clock to hold yourself accountable to track your goals.

The Ideal Planner

What helps me is if a planner has a monthly view, a weekly view, and a daily view. You will also want space for notes, and a list view of a monthly to-do. I got my planner from Amazon, but it really all comes down to preference and what will help you.

Some Helpful Apps (Android)

I am sure you could find some of these on the Apple Store as well, but I have an Android and personally love using these apps as well to track my goals and to even practice self-care:

  • Questions Diary – This app isn’t necessarily a goal-oriented application; however, it gets you thinking about what goals you want and what goals you may have that you didn’t know you had. It is a self-care app where you journal by answering one question each day. You will then get the same questions each year, and you can go back and see how you answered them the year prior. This one is pretty neat.
  • Reach It: Goals, Habit Tracker – This app is perfect for those who want to use something other than a physical planner to track their goals. You can track your progress weekly; this application has a neat and clean interface. You can also mark your goals and habits as achieved or completed. And there is a dark mode!
  • Habit Tracker Planner HabitYou – This app is excellent to use as a planner and to track your goals and habits. The same concept as Reach It, however, has a planner aspect of it as well.

Final Thoughts

I know you’re probably thinking, “goals and resolutions are the same thing” but I concur. a resolution is a statement of what you want to change. A goal is a statement of what you want to achieve, and who’s to say you can’t set goals for what you want to change? There is a lot of psychology behind resolutions that can explain more on why resolutions fail, but I also feel resolutions are a big thing in January every year thanks to capitalism – not that capitalism is a bad thing but the economy seems to get boosted, especially in the fitness industry around this time due to everyone setting resolutions for a healthier life. But why only set resolutions once a year when you can set goals, and create new goals all year long? Either way, I hope you at least got a little something and value from this post. Good luck, Happy 2023!

If you enjoy blog posts like this, consider subscribing to the blog as I post content like this on a regular basis! I also cover other lifestyle topics and local living in Central Kentucky.

1 thought on “Why You Should Set Goals, Not Resolutions”

  1. “A goal is a statement of what you want to achieve”.

    This right here is what I am trying to focus on this year. Because I know how resolutions can only stay as resolutions all year round for me. Ugh. Crazy me!

    Thanks for these helpful tips!


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