We’re coming close to the time of the year where we set unrealistic resolutions for ourselves and then beat ourselves up and be stressed about them when the said resolutions are not achieved.

Read further to know why you should set goals rather than resolutions and how to set smarter goals that don’t affect your mental health and add stress to your life. 

What is the resolution?

We’re all too familiar with the concept of setting up rigid resolutions at the beginning of every year and not being able to follow through with them. Resolutions can be of multiple types, it could be a promise we make to ourselves, a trajectory we want to take our life on, etc., but usually, it’s something not very specific and a very firm decision to do something, which is why we end up breaking them as soon as we hit a bump. 

For example, a lot of people make the resolution to lose an unrealistic amount of weight every new year, but not all of them succeed with it, and that’s because it’s not a very specific goal. 

Setting such resolutions could be a stress factor in our lives, it could interfere with the balance of our life instead of taking us to the results we wished to achieve.    

What is the goal?

The goal is an idea of the future result that we envision and plan to achieve but they’re different from resolutions because goals could be planned smartly which makes them easy to achieve and not add to the stress.  

There are techniques to set SMART goals which makes them easy to achieve by dividing it into small steps that can be achieved in a realistic timeline. SMART goals are more motivating and don’t add stress to our life. 

Why set goals instead of resolutions? 

Like we discussed, resolutions are more rigid and not specific enough to be achieved which demotivates us and we tend to lose track most of the time, but smart goals are better and easier to achieve. 

How to set goals? 

Follow these simple tips to set smart goals for yourself this new year:

Be specific:

Analyze what you wish to achieve and set a specific goal according to that. For example, “I’ll eat more healthy this year” is not a very specific goal and every time you eat something that’s not healthy, the thought that you’re not achieving your goal will stress you even further. Try something like, “I’ll cook for myself at least once a week”. This is a more specific goal, you’re setting specific expectations that are more flexible to achieve.    

Break down goals:

Don’t set bigger goals for a longer time, rather break the big goal into small steps you can achieve over time. For example, instead of setting a resolution of losing 10 Kgs in four months, divide it into smaller numbers for each month. When you achieve the first small step, it’ll motivate you further to achieve the next step too.  

Be flexible:

The whole point of switching from resolutions to goals is to be more flexible. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re unable to achieve the goal in the set time, instead measure how far you’ve come. It’ll allow you to see the bigger picture rather than be stressed with what you’ve not achieved by now. 


Just remember that you set these goals to be a better version of yourself and it could be done in fun ways that don’t affect your mental health.