Good-Bye New Year's Resolutions - Hello SMART Goals!

Forget New Year’s resolutions…SMART Goals are much more helpful!

Let’s take a look…

How do you feel about your past New Year’s resolutions? How successful have you been?

Now…think about your past goals? How successful have you been? If you’re anything like me, you have achieved waaaay more goals than resolutions.

New Years Resolutions Don’t Work

I’ve given up making resolutions. They are too rigid. The root word “resolute” leaves no wiggle room for setbacks or other detours. The Oxford Dictionary describes resolute as “admirably determined, determined, and unwavering”.

Unwavering? Ouch! No wonder when we aren’t 100% true to our resolutions we feel as though we have failed.

SMART Goals Are Much Better

Now let’s take a look at setting goals. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word “goal” is described as “the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result”.

Whew! I feel better already.

The learning process for me is more like an evolving path…”unwavering” doesn’t work for me when I’m learning something new. Heck, I think I’ve learned the most through some of the mistakes I have made!

I’m more of a goal-oriented person.

Goals allow a little “wavering ” room that can strengthen personal growth. Hitting roadblocks, while pursuing a goal, allows us to practice our critical thinking skills and develop new practices.

Hitting a roadblock to a New Year’s resolutions feels more like ankle weights while treading the deep end of the pool. 🙁

Have I won you over to goals over resolutions yet?

Let’s go a step further and focus on SMART goals.

SMART Goals Infographic

SMART goals provide a great format to plan out obtainable goals. Here’s a great infographic that walks you through the SMART Goal process:

Creating SMART goals
                                                                      Credits: Visually.
I made two printables to help guide you along the SMART goals process. Use them yourself or with your students! You can download your copy by signing up to receive email updates from The Helpful counselor.

SMART Goals Printables

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I hope SMART goals will lead you forward into a productive and satisfying year!
Best Wishes Always,


SMART Goals for the New Year Pinterest (1)

  • I love how you compare the difference between goals and resolutions – I never thought of the definition for “resolute”! Interesting! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
    Mindful Rambles

    • I’m a bit of a word-nerd…words (and there meaning) are very powerful!

  • Debbie Barone

    The comparison between resolutions and goals is great!!!!! A totally different way of thinking!!!! Thank you!! I will share with others!!!!

    • Thanks Debbie! I’m glad it resonated with you. 🙂

  • Ione

    I tried printing the smart goal template, however the top box “Start Your Year”will not print. ANy suggestions??? It comes out black and smeared…;( I want to use with my students next week.

    • Hello!

      I just downloaded and printed the two documents without any smears. You may want to check your printer settings.

      Best wishes,

  • Kim

    Thank you the helpful counselor! You have been most helpful

    • That’s my FAVORITE compliment!

  • Traci

    THANK YOU!! Exactly what I was looking for!!

    • Yay! I’m glad you found the article. 🙂

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