What is The Difference Between A Resolution And A Goal?

The beginning of the year comes with an unprecedented bout of good and sometimes unrealistic decisions to turn into a better person in every area of life – work, relationship, lifestyle and fitness, all made in good faith.

However most times these resolutions rarely make it through 4 weeks, while others endure and lead to the desired outcome.


What makes one resolution successful and the other a spectacular failure?

A resolution is when you take a strong and firm decision not to do or to do something.

You can make a strong and firm decision not to waste your time anymore. But for that to succeed, you have to know that you’re wasting your time first, then, know what’s wasting your time and the necessary steps to take to reclaim your time.

A goal is the step by step development of an action plan designed to guide and motivate you to keep moving towards your goal.

So the difference between the 2 and what makes you succeed or fail is that when you make a resolution (for most people) it’s just that …. a resolution – a decision. What they may not have done is to take time to decide and plan how they’re going to get there or make it happen.

Example 1

You have decided to go Abuja. Good decision. In a resolution you just know you want to get to Abuja. You don’t check the time to leave or the transportation to use or what stuff to take.

There’s nothing, no guide, no specifics, nothing.

What happens is that from the first step, mistakes fly in from every direction. You pack haphazardly, stuff mismatched clothes and forget your special lip balm.

You then proceed to pick whichever transportation that is available and if you miss it or yur car breaks down, you go home and try again tomorrow or forget the trip.

Example 2

You have decided to get to Abuja, then, you ask yourself the following questions and provide realistic and workable answers.

  • How will you get to Abuja, what is the available means of transportation – Bus, Airplane, your car?
  • When will you get there – Evening, mid morning, night?
  • How long will it take you to get there – 6 hours, 2 hours 24 hours?
  • Do you know the way to get there? Yes, No?
  • Can you drive yourself or do you need some one more qualified than you are to help you with the driving and the information you need?
  • What if your car breaks down, do you have any plan in place to make sure that a car breakdown doesn’t stop your journey –that it will just be a temporary delay.
  • Are there safe and secure stops where you can relive yourself and freshen up and eat before moving on?
  • How will you know when you get there?
  • What do you do when you get there?
  • Where will you stay?
  • How will you eat?
  • How long will you stay there?
  • How do you sustain your trip and stay financially?

Because you’ve already thought about the possibility of obstacles and taken the necessary action, there’s more possibility that you’ll get to your destination.

When you don’t do this, you’ll probably drive around aimlessly, waste your time, fuel and money, and come back, frustrated and disappointed.

It’s a different thing anyway if you already made up your mind to waste your time and money

The difference between the 2 examples is that Example 1 is a resolution – it has a goal without any plan, but Example 2 has a goal and not just a plan, but, a well laid out plan and strategy to overcome obstacles and barriers which are sure to come up.

Example 2 is SMART

  • Specific – I’m going to Abuja on Friday, January 26th, 2017
  • Measurable – Your should know your location at each point of your journey, this will reassure you that you are making progress towards getting to Abuja – your goal
  • Attainable – Abuja is a place you can get to, its not unrealistic like going to the sun
  • Relevant – Your visit or stay in Abuja should align with your life goal and plan. What are you planning to do with your life and career? Your trip should enhance that even if it’s a holiday
  • Time bound – There should be a time limit for your trip to happen – January 26th. By 5pm on the 26th of January, 2017, you’ll be in Abuja.
When you don’t set a time to complete a task, you may never get it completely done.

For your resolution to succeed you must turn it into a SMART goal.

What do you want to achieve? What do you want to do?

Go write it down and ask yourself relevant questions – what challenges will you likely face, how will you overcome them, who will help you, can you do this on your own? Or should you keep going on endless Google search that sometimes doesn’t give you all the “down and clean” information you need.

These questions and SMART goal applies to every area of your life, career, finances, fat loss, weight gain, marriage and every relationship. Pick any area and what you want to do with it and start planning by asking the questions above.

Take your goals one at a time

It doesn’t matter the area, the same principle applies. Take it one at a time so that it doesn’t overwhelm and tempt you to give up.


If you don’t know why you’re doing something, why it’s important to you and how to get it done, you’ll be caught in an endless cycle of New Year resolutions, fad diets, extreme workout and every conceivable new year- new you gimmick.

Turn your resolution into a plan and keep moving till you get to your goal – whatever that might be.

Step out and play

Have a great 2018.

What is The Difference Between A Resolution And A Goal?

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