Out with New Year’s Resolutions – In with 12-Month Goals!

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Who’s feeling a little melancholy as we stare 2023 in the face?

It’s not unnatural. Even if we’ve had a super successful year, there are always going to be things that we feel we missed, we failed to do, something that slipped away from us.

 Or maybe you loved last year so much that you’re sad to see it go? Maybe the contract you enjoyed working on has been completed, your friends are moving away, or you’re realising you can’t quite drink the same amount as you used to. It is sad.

So what’s the best way to turn all that messy mixed emotion into excitement and empowerment?

 Why nailing your 2023 plans of course! 📅


New Years Fireworks on Water

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash


To Hell with New Years Resolutions

That’s right. Forward’s official stance; screw ‘em.

Let’s face it, they’re notoriously easy to give up on. The worst (and best) part about that is that by the time you’re failing on yours, everyone else is giving up on theirs as well. So who cares?

Indeed, research shows that 80% of people fail to follow through on their New Year’s resolutions by February. In a study of 2000 people, 68% of them admitted to never having a never achieved a single new year’s resolution in their life. I don’t blame them!

Generally, resolutions are a source of suffering rather than enjoyment. It may be good for you, but really, who thinks January is a good month to finally start a running routine?



The trouble is this;

Most of the time, the resolutions are based on Willpower.

Willpower, while it can be incredibly strong in short bursts, is not up to the long-term behaviour changes that need to happen for change to take place. The best way to achieve those long-term goals is behaviour-forming habits.

2007 study showed the power of behavioural habits by giving Hershey’s kisses to two groups; one group of habitually healthy eaters, and the other group of people on a diet.

Those on a diet felt cravings for (and some gave in to) the sweets, but those long-term healthy eaters had no cravings for them. For them, choosing the healthy option had become easy. 🍫❌

If you’re looking to achieve your goals in an enjoyable, reliable way, chunking them into smaller time periods like quarters, or months is far more effective. There is an article to follow on this, but the first step of the process is a big-picture one – looking at where you want to be this time next year. 🔭


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Photo by Afif Ramdhasuma on Unsplash

Why Do 12 Month goals?

Well, 12 Month Goals

  • Get your mind to a place where it can start thinking about life 🧠
  • Are based upon things that excite you 😆
  • Help bring your dreams to a realistic and achievable level 💪

Whereas New Year’s Resolutions…

  • Pretty quickly become a source of suffering 💀
  • Are based upon things you feel you ‘ought’ to do (but are really no fun) 🥱
  • Generally have no time limit ⌛

You can consider the 12-month goals practice as a small first step on the year-planning journey, whereas NY Resolutions are all the steps in one poorly thought-out package.



Planning My Year

Truth be told, getting your 2023 planned to its most effective level takes a lot of work.

It takes sitting down with a calendar and your goals, breaking down each of them into small, measurable, achievable steps, and inputting each of those steps into the 12-month plan in intervals you know will be possible to achieve.

 If the sound of that sucks to you (why can’t I just pick giving up chocolate and be done with it?!), that’s when the magic of the 12-month goal planner comes in.

Why? Because it gets you excited.

It helps you see where you can ambitiously aim for in a relatively short period. It helps you conceive of the world you’ll be living in which is closer to what you dream of. And this belief is magic – the feeling that you can achieve something is incredibly powerful.

All of the questions in the 12 Month Goal Planner are designed to stimulate your creativity and see what things you should be setting goals around. After all, the first step is to know what you want (Also an epic book by Andrew Halfacre – 2023 reading list anyone?)

 It mainly asks…where do you want to be by this time next year?

When you’re sitting around the dinner table with your family and friends, what stories do you want to be telling them? Where are you? What are you doing for fun? What does your workday look like? How are you doing financially?

Check it out here. It’s free!


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Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

Are you feeling prepared to take the new year by storm?

We at Forward are specialists in helping young adults achieve career success. If you would like some help planning your year, or getting a clear roadmap to achieve your goals, why not get in touch?