Goal Achievement – Step Away From That New Year Resolution!

"The Great Gordino" "goal achievement"I’ve written many articles over many years about New Year Resolutions, and they’ve not been altogether positive, with titles like ‘Why I Hate New Year Resolutions’ and ‘3 Reasons Your Resolutions Failed’. So, as a writer with goal achievement as a central subject for me, shouldn’t I be more positive..?


Well, I am positive. I believe that if you set a goal properly and then take action to move towards it, it’s possible to achieve life changing results. I believe that because I’ve done it myself, and can see others doing it all the time.


The problem with New Year Resolutions though, is that they do *not* involve setting goals properly. Worse than that, they do such a bad job on the goal setting front that they do damage to your ability to change things in the future, and it’s damage that will last as long as you go about resolutions the same way.


So, let me cover what’s wrong with the goal setting potential of resolutions at New Year, and then move to the damage they can cause…


I said earlier that amazing things can be done when goals are set properly. A key element of setting them is belief. Belief that you are worthy of the goal, and belief that it will happen.


If you don’t have the belief, you are less likely to take action, and more likely to give up at the first sign of setback.


If I ask what’s the normal belief around New Year resolutions, you’ll probably joke that they always fail! So if you compare that belief of inbuilt failure with what I said about belief being essential, and you can see why I think resolutions do a terrible job when it comes to proper goal setting!


You are telling yourself that you will fail, that your goal will not happen. This almost guarantees that of course it won’t, because your subconscious mind tends to believe what you tell it.


Moving on from the failure of the resolution itself (which should come as no surprise since you joked about failing), how does this cause long term damage..?


Well, it’s because it may be your only experience of goal setting, the only time of the year when you really consider changing your actions to change the results. If you joke about them failing, and then go on to see them duly fail, what is that saying to yourself about goal achievement theory in general?


It’s telling yourself that goal achievement doesn’t ever work! That in turn means that you won’t even attempt them at other time of the year, leaving yourself with only the jokey efforts at New Year.


You may think I’m being overly negative about New Year resolutions. Well, maybe I am. Yes, it is possible to set a goal at New Year, and see it through to fruition, but I suspect that would be a minority example.
The majority of New Year resolutions will end in failure because they are made on a foundation of expected failure.


As for the cure to this perennial problem? Well, that’s to set your goals at any other time *but* New Year! Follow the steps when setting them, then follow the steps to achieve them, and leave the New Year version to those that are happy with failure.


Ok, that’s it for today – do let me know what you think!

I’ll sign off by wishing you a Happy New Year, and as ever,
Health & Happiness,

P.S. Don’t forget to stay connected – a good way is via my Great Gordino Facebook Page

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  • I always viewed the secular New Years’ Resolutions as akin to Las Vegas marriages. Acts conceived in madness, executed in haste, and with tremendous remorse thereafter.
    I, too, agree, that resolutions need to be in concert with one’s visions and goals, with the sole determinant being whether these advance one to completion of goals or achievement of vision. And, without monitoring Key Performance Indicators, they are like betting the house on 23 red…. the odds of winning are putridly low!

  • Hi Gordon,

    I agree with you. New Years goals often don’t work and why they don’t…your post is right in that that.

    I try not to set up goals of the “New Year” but I do set up goals for the new year.

    All the best to you in 2013.


    • Thanks Dita,
      Yes, goals *can* work if they are set in the New Year, just as they can if set at any other time, as long as they are done properly – I like your differentation.

    • Thanks Diane! You’re right, a negative mindset will produce negative results!
      Cheers, Gordon
      p.s. love the name of your blog!

    • Thanks Jacqueline,
      So many people joke about it every New Year, without realising the damage they are doing to their own potential!