New Year’s Resolutions Are A Dumb Way To Set Goals.

Written By Paul Breheny

The “New Year’s Resolution” is one of the most ridiculous human customs. You identify a problem you’re having, dream about overcoming it, and then put off taking any action about it until January the first of the upcoming year.

The first comes and you stick with it until maybe mid January… perhaps early February if you’re super disciplined. But, in the end you fail to achieve whatever outcome it was you had in mind, and so the cycle starts again.

Now, nobody plans to fail. Everybody who sets a New Year’s health and fitness resolution actually has a dream they would like to realise, and this is not the “ridiculous” aspect of resolution setting. What’s ridiculous is that you’ll take the same undisciplined approach to it every year, you’ll vaguely come up with an idea, never map a detailed plan out on how you’ll get there, and you’ll always delay starting the plan until later.

But why? Fundamentally, it’s because you don’t have a process in place that helps you produce clear objectives to achieve over any sort of defined timeframe. You’re just hoping that by some miracle it will work out for you this year.

Without clarity on what you want, why you want it and how you’re going to get it, there won’t be any push to take any action, and without that… ideas and plans are nothing more than potential success.

If you have ever studied any successful people you’ll notice they have a process that they consistently follow to bring about success in anything they do. For example, they always start with a clear target, take immediate action, then assess their result, and finally, keep refining the plan. We can use this as a model for how to achieve our own goals, and it’s fairly straightforward to follow once you understand it. Below I have refined it into a simple four step process.

1) Know Your Objective – 

Define precisely what you want and why. Become crystal clear on this before moving on.

2) Take Action –

Take the types of action you believe will have the greatest probability of producing the results you desire. The actions we take do not always produce the results we want, so the next step is crucial to master

3) Assess The Results You’re Producing – 

Develop the ability to quickly recognise if the actions you’re taking are moving you closer to your goals or farther away. Note down what results your actions have produced so you can learn from this and take the next step. This is important and a continuous process.

4) Keep Refining The Plan Until You Get What You Want –

Develop the flexibility to change your actions based on what you have learnt until you achieve your outcome.


Over the next four articles we’ll explore each of the above points, and how to implement them in order to achieve your own strength and fitness goals for the long term, not just the New Year.


3 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions Are A Dumb Way To Set Goals.

  1. Interesting read. Sustainment can be hard, however self discipline and clear goals make it easier to manage. Looking forward to read the next article