Forget Big Resolutions and Focus on Realistic Goals

It’s that time of year again. You know, the holiday season where everyone sets about making those New Year Resolutions. I used to be one of them, one who dutifully wrote down what l wanted to accomplish in the new year.

This year for obvious reason has wreaked havoc on so many peoples’ lives. This was, to put it mildly, a very muted celebration, thanks to the pandemic. Needless to say, most wishes were probably things like finding a job or being able to put food on the table, or not sinking into bankruptcy.

The most common resolutions seem to be joining a gym and losing weight. I know that was usually on my list. The year that passed saw most gyms closed, and some big ones, like 24-hr fitness, even go out of business completely. Experience has taught me that resolution-making is usually just a waste of time and energy.

Here are four reasons why I think you should just forget big resolutions and instead stick to achievable goals.

Forget Big Resolutions and Achieving Your Unrealistic Goals:

consistency is a must in blogging
Stop daydreaming!

How unrealistic goals affect you negatively:

Excess Pressure:

Making resolutions puts you under enormous pressure. Joining a gym for instance is a great thing to do. Who doesn’t want to get healthy and have a great body? The problem is not joining the gym, it’s actually going to the gym and working out!

I have had so many memberships to gyms that l quit going to after the first month or two. I always remember them being super crowded. Everyone had the same resolution, at least for a while ;-). Your achievable goal should be geared towards making time to go to the gym and getting your money’s worth.

Wasted Money:

Sometimes we tend to think of money as a great motivator to do things. It is true in a sense. A need for money can make you work harder at your job to get a promotion. It can make you decide to finish your studies or encourage you to further your education and make a better life for you and your family. It can motivate you to start your own business.

On the other hand, throwing money out the window because of a resolution is just that. Money wasted. If you join a gym and then stop going, the gym doesn’t say… “Oh you poor thing, we understand. Here’s a refund”. Nope!

They actually count on you dropping off. You can bet however that your monthly membership fee will keep getting sucked out of your account. If you’ve ever tried to worm your way out of a gym membership, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the deal with the devil :-).

piggy bank image savvyproblogger
Celebrate the small wins.

You may fall into the trap of the “make easy money online” gurus and drop serious money on the various how-to books and all only to find out that they are basically pyramid schemes. While there are definitely legitimate people out there, there are even more scammers.

Don’t waste your money. Take the time to find the good guys. Check out how trustworthy bloggers and financial advisors are doing it, and emulate. Your achievable goal should be checking out all the free online help and then paying for the ones that are worth it.

While it would be great if all good things would come to you effortlessly, that’s not the way life works. All the big successes come with a million and one stories of failure. Walt Disney for instance was told for years that he did not possess any creativity. The rights to his first character were stolen for him, and he was destitute enough to resort to eating dog food to survive. We all know how the story ends. There is no free ride!

Stress, stress, and more stress:

The need to achieve all the unrealistic resolutions will most likely cause enormous stress that could easily be avoided. Let’s say you normally make $1000 per month but make a resolution to make $10,000 per month. Unless you plan on robbing a bank, that may be an unrealistic goal.

Even if you were able to pull it off, it might mean burning the candle at both ends, not eating right, sleepless nights, and eventual burnout. Your achievable goal should be increasing your monthly income at a reasonable rate. If you are stressed out and need some guidance, here is a link to my ebook on Amazon to help clear things out. It has a funny title, but it has helpful advice and can be read pretty quickly.

Time Suck:

Making resolutions can be a waste of time. What l mean by that is you may be wasting precious time by waiting till the new year to make changes. The best time to make a change is Now! If you want to lose weight, start exercising, join the gym now.

How to set up attainable goals:


The most important thing is to commit to making your goal come true. This could be done as easily as making yourself a ledger, or a vision board if you’re so inclined. I find that seeing things on paper makes it more real. Sometimes, we are mired in so many thoughts, we don’t think clearly, or the idea gets shuffled to the back.

Be Specific:

You need to have a well-defined plan, for instance, don’t write “I want to have a sports car by the end of the year”. Think within your limits, and write to your needs, and your budget. Will the car be to ferry you from home to work safely? Will the car be need to transport your kids?. If yes, you don’t need a sports car for that.

Measure your accomplishments:

Make sure to detail your success as you progress. Did you commit to saving an extra 100 dollars of your paycheck? Mark it off monthly as soon as you do. Seeing your little victories will keep you motivated.

Re-evaluate and be flexible: forget big resolutions

Don’t forget to reevaluate your action plan every so often. Don’t be afraid to make changes if need be. If your current plan is extremely disruptive to your life, it might be time to shift gears and lower your expectations for instance. If achieving the goals becomes too easy, adjust upwards and aim higher. You are not locked in.

Have a timeline:

Online time maker. Image Source
Timeline maker source.

Having a timeline can also motivate you by enabling a sense of urgency. Try to stick to the dates set forth as much as possible. Use whatever gadgets you need to achieve this, a graph, a timeline maker, crayons to highlight. Be creative to stay motivated.

If you want to make more money, start that side hustle now. If you want to make your voice heard, start your blog now. When inspiration and desire strikes, you shouldn’t make excuses and put them on the resolution list.

Do it now!

Forget big resolutions, and don’t wait till the next year. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that nothing can be taken for granted. Not your job security, not your health for sure as the death toll continues to rise with no end in sight.

You could have achieved so much more and made so much more if you took the steps to make things happen when inspired. It’s never too late to adjust your expectations so you can be successful. Shifting your mindset will go a long way towards achieving your realistic goals. It does involve a lifestyle change, and we know change is not easy, but perseverance is a must for success.

Have you made any resolutions for the new year? Are they attainable or unrealistic? Will you forget the grand big style resolutions and instead set achievable goals?


forget big resolutions and focus savvyproblogger







24 thoughts on “Forget Big Resolutions and Focus on Realistic Goals”

  1. I don’t make resolutions but I do set goals. Several of them I started working on at the end of last year. They are totally realistic. I’ve done this for two years and it works for me.

  2. There are multiple perspectives on “goal setting” or “resolution-making”. No matter what you call it, make it personal and commit! Remove the pressure and reset when necessary. And I agree with you… don’t wait until next year! If change is important, put in the work now.

    • Well put. Call it whatever you want, but make it happen. Sometimes people get caught up in the label instead of just doing it! Now is always better than later no matter how scary it is :-).

    • Yep! If you want to have success, you must be willing to work for it. There is no one set of rules, you have to find your own workaround. Well put :-).

  3. I agree. There’s so much pressure to make these grand resolutions in the new year. I have learned to calm down from all of the hype. My goals are realistic and attainable.

    • You’re right about the pressure. Even the commercials get in on it in an effort to make you spend and over reach which usually leads to disappointment. Such a shame. Glad you have realistic ones :-).

    • Thanks Kirstin. A lot of people don’t realize they just set themselves up for bad results. Better to be realistic and actually get some things done 🙂 . Good for you!

  4. This is all great advice! One thing I struggled with this year was making realistic goals for myself. Definitely being smarter about goal-setting this year!

    • Good for you for realizing it and making adjustments. It really does make a difference and you actually get to accomplish a lot more, sometimes even more than you shot for :-).

  5. I used to do resolutions…I used to do goals. Now I just try to form habits. That word alone takes the pressure and the challenges off. So far forming habits has been somewhat easier to do. For example I’ve gotten into the habit of drinking more water. I notice the HUGE difference when I don’t drink the water. Habits are easier…in my opinion.

    • Great that you were able to recognize the pressure and change your goals. You’re right, once the pressure is off, you can actually focus on what you need to do. Drinking water has now become one of my favorite things to do. Nowadays, l love a good glass of water or milk as opposed to beer or wine. I did also switch from diet soda to water. You’re right, l love the new habits.

  6. I don’t set yearly resolutions and rarely write out my goals, (Although, i did do a vision board last year) I simply go after things I want to accomplish and evaluate them at the end of the year.. People you should try making smart goals, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and smart.

    • I hear a lot of people have success with vision boards. I’ve never tried them. I think you are doing things the right way, going after what you want. It’s too much pressure to shoot for something huge that will start in a new year..better to be smart and just do you! Good on you.

  7. I have an overall resultion to take better care of myself and spend more time in me. With that I’ve set attainable goals for my health, my blog, and my schedule.

    • It sounds like an awesome resolution! Health is definitely a big one for me too. I am determined not to overly pressure myself and then give up halfway into the year..I wish you good luck in all three and hope it’s going to be a wonderful 2017 for all.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.