facebook pixel New Year’s Resolutions for People Who Hate Setting Goals
Site Search
< Blog Home < Healthy Living

New Year’s Resolutions for People Who Hate Setting Goals

Resolutions can fail if they’re not specific enough or if they make you feel too overwhelmed. Here are some tips to help you reach your goals next year.

Girl staring upwards at all of her New Years resolutions

If you roll your eyes at inspirational memes, or unfollow people who are unfailingly upbeat, there’s a good chance you really hate New Year’s resolutions. After all, what’s the point of setting goals when most of the time they’re simply not reached? It’s frustrating to fail, and some people choose to avoid the whole thing by just not setting goals.

Related: Realistic resolutions

The only problem is that if you never try to improve, you’re just not going to improve. And life is about improving, not just playing it safe. Most resolutions fail because they’re just too broad a goal.

Have you ever set a resolution to lose weight? If you didn’t reach your goal, it’s likely because “lose weight” is undefinable. How are you going to lose weight? How much weight? What are you going to do to improve your eating?

The trick to setting resolutions when you dislike making them is to start small. Make microscopic goals that you’re almost guaranteed to hit.

Then, get specific. Here’s what that looks like in action:

Instead of:

Lose weight

Exercise more

Drink more water

Be kinder

Reduce stress


Eat 2 servings of vegetables per day

Increase your steps by 2000/day

Drink 2 more glasses of water each day

Write one thank you letter per week

Start a new hobby such as scrapbooking, or writing in a journal


See the difference? It’s impossible to hit a vague goal, but when you set a defined, measurable resolution that isn’t too far out of your normal routine, you’re almost guaranteed to succeed.

And once you succeed, you’ll keep going. If you fail at one resolution, you’ll be too frustrated to continue with the others, so make your first resolution a sure win. It’ll give you the motivation to keep going.

Related: These everyday activities may be sabotaging your diet

Also, bear in mind that real lifestyle change requires repetition, so don’t make this experiment a one-week thing. If you need a reminder of what your goals are, write them down and post them somewhere you'll see them every day.

Look, as corny as New Year’s resolutions are, they do serve a purpose: They can instill good habits and make you a better person. Plus, you can totally write a Facebook status about how you’re winning at everything.


SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

You May Also Like...

Healthcare and Insurance Basics

The Differences between Medicare and Medicaid

We’re explaining the main differences between Medicare and Medicaid—programs administered by the government that provide health care coverage.

Nutrition and Diet

Flourless Pumpkin Bread

This version of pumpkin bread only requires 6 ingredients—it’s made without flour and naturally sweetened with maple syrup.

In the Community

Is Your Organization Keeping Utah Healthy? Apply for Our Award

Each year, we recognize 20 organizations that are making a healthy difference in Utah to help support their missions.


What Playing Football Taught Me about Business

Here’s how my passion for playing football has helped me off the field.

Related Articles

Related Articles

Healthy Living

This Could Be the Cause of Your Fatigue

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Your symptoms could be alleviated by trying one of these techniques.

Healthy Living

Cold Weather Workouts—How to Stay Fit When It’s Cold

Now that it’s colder, it may seem more difficult to stay on track with your health and fitness goals. Good news—that doesn’t have to be the case.

Healthy Living

Why I Love Yoga

Don’t think yoga is for you? It’s time to think again. Yoga can positively impact your health.

Healthy Living

How to Set New Year's Goals You Can Achieve

Have you ever set nutrition or exercise goals but then given up before reaching them? Why is it so challenging to stay motivated? Read these tips to set realistic and effective goals to help you stay motivated.

Post Author

Jennifer Diffley
Jennifer Diffley is a SLC resident. She is a senior copywriter and has her MFA in creative writing from NYU. Jennifer is committed to health, but has an unhealthy fascination with outrageous shoes.