Habits and Goals-No More Resolutions


Have you already broken your New Year’s resolution? Good! Ok, it’s not necessarily good but I hope you don’t feel the least bit bad about it.

Here’s the deal: resolutions don’t work!

So instead of letting a broken resolution make you feel bad and stay stuck, I’m here to tell you that NOW is the perfect time to ditch the resolutions and dig into some goals. It’s proven that GOALS, not resolutions, are where it’s at!

(Real quick, first things first, download this FREE Family Goal Planner. It’ll be instrumental in getting your goals on track.)

And I’m not talking about lofty goals like, “Lose 20 pounds by next Tuesday” or “Start my own business.” (Whoa, too intimidating!) I’m talking about small, bite-sized goals. Then you build from there and large accomplishments can be attained. (If that’s your thing. Small goals are great too!)


Here’s the #1 trick to achieving your goals: turn them into a question.

For example, “I will run a marathon” becomes “How might I train for a marathon this year?” “I will lose 20 pounds” becomes “How can I cut 100 calories a day from my diet?”

Turning your goal into a question makes your brain inherently want to solve the problem. It’s a subtle shift, but a powerful one. In fact, it’s shown that asking people a question about a goal increases their chance of success by as much as 28 percent.


  • Choose three or four goals to begin with and write them down.
  • Ask the magic question and then break those goals down into actionable steps. 
  • Check on your progress regularly – even a few minutes can be sufficient for staying on track.

Tip: Put your progress review time on your calendar so you’re sure to make it happen. That FREE Family Goal Planner I mentioned is sure to help you bring your goals to life. Download it now!


Before I go on, I can’t stress enough the importance of writing your goals down on paper. If you only do that one thing you’ll be more successful. But don’t take my word for it! A study of Harvard alumni suggests that the 3% of alumni who wrote down their goals at graduation made more money combined 30 years later than the 97 percent who did not.

And the best thing about goals is that they’re malleable so don’t ditch a goal if it morphs or changes… change it up and roll with it.

In fact, goal is defined as “an aim or desired result” while resolution is “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” See? Goals are an aim…and if you lose focus you can always adjust your sails.

(Speaking of focus…Sign up for Maria’s Empowering Kids with Character newsletter for monthly tips and tricks to help you parent with purpose and clarity.)


Once you have your goals written down, it’s time to make actionable steps. If you’re running a marathon, your actionable steps might be:

Week 1:

  • Jog for 3 minutes, walk for 2 minutes for a total of 30 minutes

Week 2:

  • Jog for 5 minutes, walk for 1 minute for a total of 30 minutes

Week 3:

  • Jog for 10 minutes, walk for 2 minutes for a total of 40 minutes

Week 4:

  • Transition to 10K training program, research online (And build from there all the way up to the marathon of your dreams)

These actionable steps help you think of your goals in terms of what you need to achieve them.


Once you get rolling, be sure to track your progress. Studies have shown that when you share your goals with others, you are twice as likely to achieve them than if you keep the goals to yourself.

Ways to stay accountable:

  1. Tell a friend
  2. Join an accountability group
  3. Leverage the power of apps (what can’t our phones do?!)
  4. Hire a coach

Ok, we’re at the end. Now it’s your turn to make it happen. On your mark, get set, GOALS!

What top goals are you excited to begin tackling? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! 

Habits and Goals-No More Resolutions