New Year’s Resolutions are Just Year-Round Goals in Disguise

New Year’s is symbolized by revelry, party favors and Auld Lang Syne. It’s a time of both reflection and aspiration, as you turn the page to a new calendar year and new opportunities.

It’s also a time when most everyone routinely assesses and lists what they want to accomplish in the upcoming year, in the form of New Year’s resolutions.

Some are about health. Some are about business. They are as unique as the people who make them, and usually aim to improve on shortcomings.

The dawn of a new year is a natural checkpoint for such self-assessment, and it’s a worthwhile exercise, even if only for raising self-awareness. For example, if you’re one of those people who is usually still working on resolutions while others are loudly counting down as the ball drops in Times Square, you should probably put “Don’t Procrastinate” on your list this year, and move it up a few spots.

But what exactly are New Year’s resolutions? Think about this: In late December, we call them resolutions. The rest of the year, these same lists go by a simpler name. Goals.

That’s all resolutions are – a pseudonym for the goals we make year-round. So put this one on top of your list this year: Don’t limit goal-setting to once a year.

Creating new goals, in many ways, is as important as striving to reach them. This year, make your New Year’s “resolutions” relative to the year ahead, but make incremental goals throughout the year as well. Since you’re thinking about the calendar, pull one out and mark down some key dates for checking in on your goals and for setting new ones.