New Year’s Resolutions vs Setting Goals: Are They the Same Thing?

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Welcome to 2024! Last week people all over sat down and thought about what they wanted the new year to look like—on both a personal and professional level. Plenty of resolutions were set and goals were made.

Making resolutions vs setting goals


I think the term “New Year’s Resolutions” holds a lot of negative stereotypes with it. Rarely, if ever, have I heard someone say that they accomplished their New Year’s Resolutions. Honestly, they’re kind of a joke.


The word “resolution”, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary means, ” the act of determining “. As people, we “determine” a lot of things for ourselves and we constantly go back on our word. How many people determine every January 1st that this is going to be the year they get into shape? Or hit that revenue goal? Or make some other big change they need to make in life?


And, then how many of them actually accomplish it?


I believe it’s because many people fail to see the difference between resolutions and goals. They aren’t the same thing.


A resolution is something that you determine you’re going to do. Goals are what help you follow through on sticking to your resolution.


Let’s use the oh-so-popular example of losing weight. It’s one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Many people want to get in shape, lose weight, be healthier, etc. That’s the resolution. If you want to lose weight than you are “resolving” or saying that you are determined to make this the year that it happens.


But there has to be more than that.


If all you do is say that you want to lose weight than it’s going to be difficult to actually make progress on making it happen. There are about a million and one strategies and programs that can help you lose weight. But if you never decide on what you are going to do then December 31st is going to roll up pretty quick and the scale is going to be pushing the same numbers (or worse) than it was on the first of January.

 Goals support your resolutions

Now, let’s take the same resolution of losing weight but this time, you decide to set goals to help you along the way. So, maybe you set a goal to lose 10 pounds each quarter. This is a goal that helps you achieve your resolution of “losing weight”.

But let’s take it one step further—you need to create a plan to help you drop those pounds. So, maybe you decide how many times you’re going to work out each week. And then, you set a goal around the maximum number of calories you’re going to eat each day.

These steps are things you’re going to use to help you with your ultimate goal of losing 10 pounds in the first quarter which helps you with your overall resolution of “losing weight”.

The same applies to your business goals

You might not have set “resolutions” for your business. But you probably established business goals for the new year. The same principle applies.

If you only set goals and don’t develop a real plan to help you reach those goals, you might as well be throwing darts at the wall. Without real goals and plans in place, how will you know at the end of the first quarter if you’re on the right track or if it’s time to adjust?

And if you do decide to adjust at the end of a quarter, how will you know what needs to be adjusted if you aren’t tracking what’s working and what’s not.

It can seem like a lot to balance when you’re also wearing plenty of other hats within your organization. But it’s necessary if you want to see true growth throughout the year.

You don’t have to figure it all out on your own.

The SPEARity coaches are more than happy to help you along the way through a membership with business training events and group coaching. And, the SPEARity app is set up to help you each step of the way. It allows you to set your annual goals, break them down into smaller goals, and then create daily and weekly plans to help you continue on the right path.

The app also allows you to track your accomplishments and failures which helps you to see where adjustments need to be made.

This is what you need in your business and your life if you want this year to be different from the past. If you want to have different results at the end of this year then you need to do something different throughout the year than you ever have before. That’s what leads to growth.

If you’re ready to make this the year you achieve your professional and business goals, give our SPEARity coaches a call to explore your options. We are SPEARity, a local Milwaukee leadership coaching firm that specializes in business coaching, executive coaching, and leadership development training.