How To Turn Your “New Year Resolutions” To “Achievable Goals”

Thoughtful African American Man Thinking Sitting In Chair.

The Story of Grace’s Influence on Ben

“Guess the secret, Ben?” Grace exclaimed after discussing her savings strategy with her brother over the phone.

Ben was intrigued. “What secret?” he asked, sensing there was more to the story.

Grace grinned, “My money secret! How I saved up enough to invest. Remember our New Year resolutions as at December 29th?”

Ben scratched his head, “Oh yeah. A bit though. You said something about saving and investing, right?”

“Exactly! I planned to save at least N90,000 by May. Well, I not only hit that goal but saved N103,000. Want to know the trick? Discipline,” Grace replied.

“Discipline? I’ve been struggling with my resolution to save and start up a grocery store. Haven’t even hit N50,000, and it’s June!” Ben curriously muttered.

Grace leaned in, “Here’s the deal. I turned my resolutions into goals. Wrote them down, set deadlines, and created weekly, and monthly to-do lists. That way, I had a roadmap to follow. It made everything more achievable.”

Ben nodded, “Smart move girl! Wish you’d shared this earlier.”

“I was a bit reluctant, didn’t want to seem pushy. Remember the funny relationship advice scenario?” Grace reminded him.

Ben chuckled, “Yeah, fair point. But now I need your help to turn my resolution into a reality.”

Grace grinned, “Consider it done. Let’s get to it!”

The scenario we see above is of two individuals who made New Year resolutions in their finances respectively. Grace realized hers while Ben couldn’t. What helped Grace was turning her “New Year resolutions” into “goals.” This strategy made it more achievable.

5 Differences Between New Year Resolutions and New Year Goals

  • New Year resolutions are firm decisions you make at the beginning of a year to change a habit you don’t like or to achieve something within that year. New Year Goals are very specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bounded statements of what you want to achieve at a set date through a strategic process.
  • New Year Resolutions are made without approach (without strategies/ clear steps to achieve them). Often if unachieved instantly, the person gets discouraged. New Year Goals are set with clear strategies and directions to be followed, to achieve the desired result.
  • New Year Resolutions encompass stating intentions, setting them as resolutions and taking actions that barely give the desired result because it doesn’t involve planning and strategic preparations. New Year Goals involve stating and jotting down intentions, setting intentions as goals, planning, strategic preparation, and taking specific, relevant and realistic actions. 
  • New Year Resolutions are not time-bound. They are just spoken to be achieved at just any time within the year. New Year Goals are time-bound; they are set to be achieved at a specific time.
  • New Year Resolutions barely direct your focus–you are mostly concerned with keeping them at heart so you won’t forget them easily as the year falls. When faced with life’s crises, you can hardly stay persistent to achieve them. New Year Goals direct your focus and attention–goal-setting strategies help you remain consistent, resilient and optimistic even in the face of crises.

Read also: 2 reasons why it’s hard  for you to forgive yourself

Definition of new year resolution

I own this blog today because, in the fall of 2018, I set a goal to officially launch my blog on the 28th of June 2019, which I did achieve. Aside from this, I have achieved other feats in my life due to the goals I set. I began transforming my good New Year resolutions to New Year goals since I learned and realised they are only statements that fade with the fall of the Harmattan/Winter season. You will barely remember you have a resolution If you don’t achieve it within January, February, and March.

Studies show that 8% out of 100% of people who make resolutions every year realize their resolutions. That’s low! Yeah? This means the remaining 92% abandon their New Year resolutions ideas at some point as the New Year gets old.

Denzel Washington said, “Remember, dreams without goals are just dreams.” Hence to achieve good New Year resolutions significant to your personal or professional life, you need to turn them to turn them into New Year goals otherwise, they will fade away as the year gets old.

How to Turn Your 2024 New Year Resolution Ideas into New Year Goals

Jot Down and Categorize Your Resolutions

First, we know that resolutions are dreams (intentions, changes or visions we want to achieve) but only spoken. Hence get a Notepad, and write out your resolutions each, under the heading of a specific aspect of your life: financial, spiritual, career,  fitness,  health,  recreation,  relationship etc.

Make Your Resolutions Specific & Measurable

Make all those resolutions specific and measurable. You should be precise about what you want in those areas e.g. specify the amount of weight you want to lose under FITNESS and the exact amount you aim to save or earn under FINANCES. Ensure that these New Year goals are relevant to your life to avoid wasting effort on irrelevant goals.

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Set Achievable and Attainable Deadlines

Assign each goal a specific, achievable and attainable date within the year. You can utilize significant dates in your life. I love using notable dates in my life like my birthday, my loved ones’ birthdays, the date I published my first book, etc because it motivates me more to achieve the set goals so I can celebrate dual accomplishments at the same time.

Employ Effective Strategies

Devise a strategy for achieving your resolutions; what resources do you need? How can you effectively plan your time (time management)? Identify and determine potential obstacles to avoid. Eliminate distractions and negative influences that may hinder your progress.

Build a Structured Roadmap

Create a daily, weekly or monthly to-do list for every one of your resolutions. With that, you have built steps yourself into a structured roadmap to smartly and diligently monitor your progress in achieving your resolutions.

Get an Accountability Partner

To further enhance achieving your resolutions, it’s beneficial to get yourself an accountability partner who partners with you to achieve your resolutions.

Who is an Accountability Partner?

An accountability partner is a personality (either a mentor, professional, or regular person) that regularly updates on your progress. They offer encouragement, and assistance, and help keep you on track. While there’s no strict rule to the number of accountability partners you can have, it’s advisable to maintain a manageable number to avoid exhaustion while trying to update everyone.

How to turn your New Year Resolutions into New Year Goals

Voila! Your resolutions are now achievable goals for 2024! Now you know how Grace in the above story, turned her resolutions into goals.
After completing these steps, applaud yourself because you’ve successfully transformed your “New Year Resolutions” into “SMART Goals.” However, the journey doesn’t stop there. Some individuals mistakenly believe that setting goals merely requires determination, but the sad reality is that determination alone isn’t sufficient to achieve your goals. So what do you need?

Psalm 16:9

The answer is written in Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” (NIV) That’s it. You need to let God know about your goals and how you intend to achieve them. By doing so, you open yourself to divine favour to help you achieve them. For example, in 2018 when I set the goal of launching my blog by June 28th 2019,  praying and communicating it to God led me to a web developer who offered their services and had me only pay for the domain name. This experience highlights how God shows up for you and divinely intervenes when you commit your plans to him. Hence it’s important to know that, “God will not interfere if you don’t invite him.”

Other scriptures on Goals

  • Isaiah 32:8
  • Proverbs 21:5
  • Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Philippians 4:13

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share and leave a comment.

3 thoughts on “How To Turn Your “New Year Resolutions” To “Achievable Goals””

  1. This is truly inspirational.
    My take home is "You need to let God know about your goals and how you intend to achieve them." and the fact that determination alone won't help me achieve my goals.

    Thank you Doris for sharing this.

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