Goal setting for 2021: Why new year resolutions don’t work

goal setting for 2021

Goal setting for 2021: Why new year resolutions don’t work


January 8, 2021

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First and foremost what is goalsetting? Goalsetting as defined by the Cambridge online dictionary defines it “as the process of deciding what you want to achieve or what you want someone else to achieve over a particular period”

According to another online mediums, wikipedia; Goal setting involves the development of an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal.

Susan Spann

Let me tell you a story. Susan Spann is a cancer survivor, but if you asked her, that’s not how she would define herself. She is continuously reaching and setting goals, to break barriers. Susan decided she was going to summit the Nihon Hyakumeizan, 100 famous peaks in Japan, and she started working towards her goal by training for a year. Shortly before her trip, she was diagnosed with aggressive stage 1 breast cancer.

Seven months later, she had beat the cancer and was on the summit of her first of the 100 Japanese peaks. The goals Susan set empowered her to break through the barriers in her life from “being an overweight, middle-aged lawyer/author” to a cancer survivor.

Susan like many other people set a goal; the Goal of mountain climbing in order to have fulfillment in her life and through grit and determination she was able to achieve it. The importance of goal setting cannot be over emphasized at a time like this. We are into another new year and a lot of people are already setting goals they want to achieve using new year resolutions.


New year resolutions are not the best way to set goals and achieve them because we make new year resolutions half heartedly and there is mostly no strategy or process attached to how these new year resolutions would be achieved. Statistics also show that most people that set new year resolutions fail in it. In a 2014 report, 35% of participants who failed their New Year’s Resolutions admitted they had unrealistic goals, 33% of participants did not keep track of their progress, and 23% forgot about them; about one in 10 respondents claimed they made too many resolutions. Also in 2017, a study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning.

Your goal setting for 2021 should be more than just mere new year resolutions. 2020 was a year like no other, with the pandemic and all. The new year, 2021 is starting out almost like the old, there are threats of lockdown with a new wave of the pandemic incoming. My advice is for you to do away with whatever new year resolution ideas you have and set concrete actionable plans. By the way, I have a book, A to Z of Goal setting, that can help you in your Goal setting for 2021. The book is divided into two parts and has tools and resources to help you brainstorm and set goals. And a daily thought, insights and action boosters for you to use in achieving your goals. Best of all the book is free, you simply pay for delivery. Sign up and get a copy.

In conclusion, the importance of goal setting, especially for this new year should never be overlooked. The goals you set for 2021 and how you track and work on them will be the difference between you having success this year or ruing how the rest of the year was spent, come December. Do away with new year resolutions, set concrete personal actionable plans instead. Take action today.

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