Why I’m Not Doing a New Years Resolution (And What I do Instead)


A lot of people talk about “New Years Resolutions” right before January …

In fact, TIME magazine reports the top 10 most commonly broken New Year’s resolutions are:

1. Lose Weight and Get Fit
2. Quit Smoking
3. Learn Something New
4. Eat Healthier and Diet
5. Get Out of Debt and Save Money
6. Spend More Time with Family
7. Travel to New Places
8. Be Less Stressed
9. Volunteer
10. Drink Less


The problem is, most of those people completely give up on those resolutions by the end of just the first month of next year, January.

Setting “New Year’s Resolutions” is so ineffective, it’s become a “joke” in our culture.

That’s why I want you to forget all that …

My hope is you’ll set concrete goals instead this year, then you’ll plan your work and then work your plan.

It really is that simple. This week I’m performing a ritual that I perform around this time every year in recent memory …

I look at where I’ve been over the past year and what I achieved. I then look at where I want to be (ultimately). And then I set goals to get me closer to them.

Simple, isn’t it?

(In truth, I’m still refining my list of goals. Even though I started setting serious goals when I was around 11 or 12, I’ve found in recent years picking achievable — yet still challenging — goals is the key).

Anyways, the point is, as I’m writing this it’s the last day of the year and I hope you get started on the things you’ve maybe been putting off.

I separate my list of goals for the year into “sections” like this:

*** Health – this is, as it sounds, fitness goals (particular poundages in lifts like the squat, press, deadlift, bench,  or time and distance goals in stuff like the mile, or ruckmarching 4 miles, etc)

*** Wealth – how much money I want to make, save, how much debt I plan to pay off, and other plans related to money, etc

*** Relationships – goals related to the relationships in my life (wife, kids, friends, etc)

*** Spiritual – What can I do to grow spiritually? Stuff like praying more, or attending church more, etc can go here.

*** Personal – What can I do for personal growth, to become a better version of me? You could put stuff like reading more books, or meditation, or some other thing here.

*** Preps – these are my specific goals for getting more prepared this year. Things like what do I need to build/buy. What do I need to stockpile, etc

My preparedness goals are much more than just guns, gold and God …

In fact, the more I look around and the more I read, the more I think most people aren’t covering all their bases.

If you think about it, all the other stuff on the list is going to be SUPER important in any type of crisis …

… Your health (BIG one!), wealth (especially debt reduction and saving money) and relationships are all vital to being prepared.

That’s why I can’t encourage you enough to set some goals this year and come up with a concrete plan to achieve them.

The Secret To Goal Setting …

The secret to setting goals is to FOCUS.

If you’re like most people, then you goal list will first be super long. You’ll have too much stuff listed in each category that’s important to you.

But you know what will happen if you do that, right?

You won’t accomplish a single one of those goals because you will not be focused enough.

The first step then is to try to trim down your goal list to — ideally — only one goal per section.

If you do this right, by choosing the most important and most impactful goal from your list, then a couple things will probably happen. One, your big goal will help all the other little goals you thought about move along anyways. Two, if and when you accomplish it, you’ll build momentum towards all the other goals you have set.

How To Set a Good Goal …

As business coach and multi-millionaire writer Mark Ford explains:

“Goals are different from dreams in four ways. They are specific, actionable, time-oriented, and realistic.

    Specific : Being rich is a dream. Developing a $4 million net worth is a goal.

    Actionable : Winning the lottery is a dream. Winning a foot race is a goal.

    Time-Oriented: Developing a $4 million net worth is a goal. But developing a $4 million net worth in five years is a better goal.

    Realistic : Developing a $4 million net worth in five years is probably reasonable. Developing a $4 million net worth in four months is not.”

So take a look at the 4-6 areas of your life that we talked about …

Then take a look at the goals you are setting for each of those areas … are they specific, actionable, time-oriented and realistic?

If not, then make them that way.

Once you have your goals written out, then there is only one more step. You have to plan your work.

How To Plan Your Work …

I attribute the quote to George Foreman, “Plan your work; work your plan” because I think I heard it from him first.

(This is the same guy who not only won a Gold medal for boxing in the Olympics as a youth, but then became the heavyweight boxing champion of the world, retired, then came back at AGE FORTY FIVE to re-win the title — making him the oldest heavyweight champion in history — then retired again and became a multi-multi millionaire with successful business ventures like the George Foreman Grill.)

And that’s really all there is to it.

Now that you have a goal, how are you gonna get there?

Simply come up with a plan. Then start working towards it.

For instance, if your goal for the new year is “Lose 30lbs by June 2016” and your plan is “Exercise 3x per week and eat healthier food” then your first month goal is to 5lbs by January 31st. Which means, you need to schedule your first couple weeks of goals. That might include a workout on January 1st and starting today you need to throw out the junk food in your house, and cook yourself a healthy meal, etc

Now it’s not a dream, it’s a goal that’s achievable and you have a plan to get there and starting today you’ve already taken a small step towards making it happen.

That’s a recipe for success.

Now that it’s written out, just work your plan this new year. Simple.

Periodically check back in on your goal list to make sure you’re on track throughout the year.

What’s Your Goal For The New Year?

I’m really interested in hearing from you …

What are you concerned about this year? What are your goals? What do you need more help with? How can we help you achieve it with what we publish here?

Leave them in the comments below and let me know.


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Caleb Lee is the #1 best-selling author of "Concealed Carry 101" and founder of PreparedGunOwners.com. He is a civilian (no law enforcement or military experience) who shares information about self-defense and becoming more self-reliant. He's a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo, NRA Certified Basic Pistol & Personal Protection Inside The Home Instructor, Concealed Carry Academy Instructor certified & also a graduate of the Rangermaster firearms instructor course. He's also the author of numerous online courses including the UndergroundAssaultRifle.com course.


  1. Caleb,
    That’s a very good, well thought out article and to your audience I hope it has a lasting impression. I have been doing goals since I was 18 (I’m now happily retired) and it has worked out well for me. The problem is, in my experience, the average American has an attention span of about 10 minutes.

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