Why You Should Ditch New Year's Resolutions & Make Goals Instead


Why You Should Ditch New Year's Resolutions & Make Goals Instead
Stop focusing on what's wrong with you - it's time to focus on what's right!

It's that time of year again. With 2014 on the horizon, people are thinking about their New Year's Resolutions. I want to invite you to join with me and my clients as we ditch resolutions this year.

The last time I made New Year's Resolutions was in 2004. I believed that if I could get skinny and keep perfect house, then I could fix my failing marriage. Well, I did lose weight — about 190 pounds of weight — by the end of the year. I finally realized I couldn't tolerate living a half-life any longer and finally agreed to a divorce.


The next year, I tossed out the thought of resolutions, and instead, chose a trio of words to serve as my guide for the year.

I went from unconsciously trying to survive to consciously living life. Each year since then, I've selected one to three words to serve as my guiding principles for the year. My life continued to become fuller, richer and more focused. The words helped create a life that I love. And when I began coaching, I encouraged my clients to do the same and witnessed amazing transformations in their lives.

Don't you deserve to thrive instead of simply going through the motions?

Here's how it works: choose between one and three words to serve as your guiding focus for 2014. This will be a word that embodies how you want to feel or what kind of actions you want to take in coming year. Words like: courage, passion, faith, confident, sexy, love, grace, creative, romantic, etc.

Think of it like a theme or touchstones for the year ahead. As you set goals, keep your words in the forefront. Allow your words to guide you as you make decisions and take actions. As you hold your words in your mind throughout the year, it gives you something to focus on from a place of positivity. 

You may be wondering why you should ditch resolutions yet still make goals.

Goals are about what you want to create in this world. Resolutions are typically made from a place of fixing what's wrong with us. Goals encourage you to dream and take action towards your dreams. Resolutions encourage you to pick at every little thing that you may perceive as wrong.

Resolutions are about that if-then way of living: "if I lose 50 pounds…if I met Prince Charming…if I wrote the great American novel…. Then LIFE would be perfect". Let's be honest here: attempting to change our reality by focusing on what we fear is no way to create chang. It certainly won't deepen the love we have for ourselves.

Resolutions are typically guided by a desire to fit in with outside expectations: lose weight, eat healthy, get organized, etc. Goals are about what our hearts and souls desire for our lives: who we want to be, what we want to experience, and what we wish to create. By choosing a guiding focus for the year, it allows you to focus on what's right and what you desire from the depths of your soul.

Do you want to just bounce around in life or do you want to achieve or create something? There's nothing wrong with simply being, but I am guessing that if you were to push aside the fears and the (sometimes) mean voice of your inner critic, what you really want is to create or achieve something.

Don't choose to wallow around in the failures and fears. Don't buy into the if-then theory of living. Don't focus on what's wrong with you. Don't choose negativity as a motivator to creating change in your life. Instead, focus on what is positive. Begin by choosing your guiding words. They will serve you in 2014. To help you remember what you desire to bring into this world and to help you traverse through the scary times. Are you ready for personal revolution against negative living and simply surviving? It's time to take the reins of your life and choose to live consciously. What is your theme for 2014?

Need some help with this process? Want to choose your theme but not quite sure where to start? Snag my new eBook: Create a Life You Love: Choosing Your 2014 Touchstones.

Debra Smouse believes in creating a daily life that you love. Visit Debra's website and connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

More life coach advice on YourTango:

Article contributed by

Debra Smouse

Life Coach

You deserve to live a daily life you adore. When you listen to your heart, you can purposefully choose actions to move you towards how you want to feel.

Tarnished Southern Belle (and life coach) Debra Smouse can help you de-tangle the drama in your life, push away the need for perfection, and show you how to create a daily life that you love.

Ready to ditch resolutions and choose a "theme" for your year instead? Get some help with my free e-Book Create a Year You Love: Choosing Your 2015 Touchstones.

Location: Dayton, OH
Credentials: BS
Other Articles/News by Debra Smouse:

9 Ways To Find Happiness In A Job You Absolutely HATE


Whether you deem it a "calling," "purpose," "Dharma," or "life's work," when you have that ah-ha moment of discovering "it", you will likely feel both exhilarated ... and frustrated. Why? Because the moment you figure out your personal purpose, you'll likely realize that your current job has almost ... Read more

11 Slacker-Proof Questions To Get Your Goals Back On Track


The New Year is officially NOT-so-new at this point. Which makes this a perfect time to check in and see how you're doing with those goals and resolutions you set for yourself. If the answer is—"Not so hot"—don't worry! There is still plenty of time to regroup and achieve them this year with confidence. Here are some questions ... Read more

3 Huge Tips All Extroverts MUST Know When Dating An Introvert


Congratulations! You finally snagged a date with that HOT guy from the gym. Over dinner, you practically sit on your tongue to appear demure. After all, isn't being an introvert ALL the rage these days? (Everywhere you turn, you hear how much happier introverts are in life, love and work.) Then, the real you slips out. You can't hold the words ... Read more

See More

Latest Expert Videos
Must-see Videos
Most Popular