Why a five year goal is much better than a New Year’s resolution

There is an interesting quote which says that a millionaire writes down their goals once a day but the billionaire writes them down twice a day. I am not sure if that is true but I do think that having a five year goal is better than a short term New Year’s resolutions. Why? Well, apparently around 66% of people don’t even make it one month into their resolutions. They are hard to keep and don’t always result in long term life changes.

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I think that making smaller, regular changes is more helpful. My key resolution this year was to stop going to restaurants – I was going to try avoiding them for one month. My plan lasted two days because when everyone returned from the holiday season, I wanted to hang out too. Looking back, my focus probably should have been on creating healthier eating habits over time (doh)! OK, more on my theory….

My theory about goals

I love a plan, so in 2011 I decided to do something different. I decided to set five year goals with targets for each year that would help me lead up to some BHAGs i.e. Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Each year I would build on my skills. As I near the end of my timeframe, it has been interesting to see what has worked and what hasn’t worked over time and how some of my key goals have changed – drastically in some cases.

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When I started, I was newly married and had just moved from the US to the UK. I was still in my 20s, I was looking for a new job, basically I was totally in a different place. Now I am in my 30s, single again, and still trying to figure out what I want to do once I’m an adult. My German is better but I’m not so sure about my French. There were some things that were successful though. I transferred from the government sector to the corporate sector, I traveled to several new countries, I restarted my life in a new country.

How it all played out

While some of the goals still fell away, I was better off setting some major long terms goals than a few short ones that fell by the wayside. Because I knew the changes would happen over a longer period of time, I also found that I was making changes step-by step and generally feld less pressure. If I failed the first couple of month, it was easy to get right back up on the horse.

Now, if you do try to set some resolutions, that’s OK too. It’s a good way to kick things off and get going in the right direction, just don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.


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Joy Adams

Founder & CEO

This blog is written by Joy Adams under the pen name Alexandria Pompadour. Years ago she began clipping articles and reading blogs about charity, the arts, the best things to do and see, career advice, lifestyle ideas and tips for getting the best deal. After sharing them with friends and family for years, she decided to branch out and begin sharing them more widely online! Luxeha is a lifestyle website for budding philanthropists and socialites.

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