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Resolutions vs. Goals: Setting Powerful Intentions for the New Year

Post by Jenn Wang

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Is it really 2019 already? You’ve likely already been inundated with messages demanding that we make a list of lofty goals for a “new and better you.” Cue the cliche New Year’s resolutions that will be stored in the mental files of things to feel guilty about by January 15th. Nah, I think I’ll pass. While intentions for setting New Year’s Resolutions are undoubtedly positive, I feel like they’ve evolved into an obligatory practice that isn’t always very inspiring. I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions – not because I don’t believe in self-betterment and goal setting. Rather, I have embraced a concept of continuous self-improvement that flows throughout the whole year, not just January 1st.

resolutions vs. goals: desk

My mantra encompasses splitting up long-term goals into multiple short-term goals, going with the flow, and constant self-reflection. Here are a couple of ways I like to keep myself on track! (Hint: they don’t involve dumping a load of forgettable New Year’s resolutions on the first day of the year.)

Resolutions vs. Goals

  • trying to attack multiple big goals all at once vs. inching towards milestones over time
  • setting overwhelming resolutions once a year vs. setting more realistic goals weekly or monthly
  • waiting until next year to evaluate what I have/haven’t accomplished vs. celebrating little victories at a time
  • starting 2018 with a ton of pressure and anxiety vs. embracing “go with the flow”
  • feeling stuck with the resolutions set at the beginning of the year vs. adapting expectations and priorities according to life changes
  • holding yourself accountable to resolutions that may no longer be important to you vs. leaving room for new opportunities that may pop up unexpectedly

resolutions vs. goals: book

Why wait for one day to make major decisions when you have 364 equally valuable goal-setting days? (Besides, you were probably too hungover on January 1st to think straight.) A lot can change in a year, and that means our goals and expectations will likely change too. Setting big New Year’s resolutions for ourselves early on may be setting ourselves up for failure – even though we’re really just adapting and changing our priorities. Perhaps setting New Year’s Resolutions works for you. If so, that’s fantastic! Keep doing what you’re doing. But today I wanted to share an alternative perspective just to keep you on your toes.

resolutions vs. goals: reading

Cheers to coasting into 2019 unburdened, expecting the unexpected and tossing New Year’s resolutions out the window!

originally published on


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