Resolutions and Purpose


This is the second instalment in this series about what it takes to win at setting and achieving your new year resolutions. In the first part we looked at the fact that most resolutions are vague and lacking in the details that we need to really get excited about making them happen. This segment addresses another area that will help us as we work to turn those future desired states into a reality.

When we examine the way that most resolutions are established, we realize that many people get to that point out of a sense of frustration. Usually people in this situation have been talking about something for a while and planning to make a significant change but have been unable to do so. They then get frustrated and decide that this is it. They are not going into the new year with this burden or issue. So people generally make decisions about weight loss, health management or going to the gym. Usually, it comes after they are upset with how they overindulged over the holiday season and they feel that the new year represents a turning point and that’s what they want.

So they make a declaration which seems logical given where they are at that point. It also seems like it will be easy to accomplish. Since there is usually a lot of emotion involved, it is generally easy for people to feel a high level of commitment and engagement at the outset. What’s often missing is the link between these ideas and the overall goals or purpose in that person’s life. What link can they make between their desired state and their guiding principles? 

This link matters because eventually the emotional high is going to wear off and you will need something else to inspire you. There’s a reason why most people give up on their resolutions by the middle of January.  That’s when they realize that is is not as easy as they thought. Their commitment and engagement give out.  Therefore you need to be clear about the reason why you are doing what you are doing.  Ask yourself, what is the outcome that you want to achieve and why is it important? What is the alternative and why is that no longer acceptable? What are you going to gain by doing this?

To reinforce your commitment, you should also have a way of celebrating your wins along the way. You should develop the habit of identifying and marking in some way the times when you were able to stay on track because you reminded yourself of the reasons why you are pursuing this resolution. Behaviour that gets rewarded gets repeated. Doing that helps you to consistently see yourself as someone who does not give up.

With a purpose that inspires you and a plan to consistently doing what needs to be done, you will be well on your way to achieving what you dream.


Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance.  She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.  For more of her writing visit

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