Scott Burrows

Scott Burrows, Goal Setting and Resilience Speaker

Most Resolutions Guarantee Failure. So, Now What?


“Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.”  – James Clear, Author


Forbes magazine just ran an insightful article (December 31, 2021) on the importance of goal setting rather than making resolutions. One of my favorite observations as a motivational resilience speaker from the piece was (italics are mine):

“The best goals are incredibly specific, with clear steps to take you from where you are now to getting the results you want to achieve…when goals are broken down into manageable and measurable pieces, you’ll be able to track your progress and stay focused. This helps to ensure that you’ll keep working on the goal until you accomplish it.”

My observation, after talking to thousands of people on goal setting and resilience, it that resolutions are the perfect tool of the procrastinator. This point was summarized in Psychology Today by writer Lynn Taylor:

“Headlines, changing sometimes by the hour, dictate how, when and where we can walk, talk and even breathe in public…letting go of control isn’t easy, yet it’s a must-have skill set at the moment. It’s time to realize what you can control…from a personal perspective, you do have the choice to manage your life, even if in small ways.”

Both articles perfectly summarize my views on resilience and grit.

Goal Setting, Resilience and Grit

Making New Year’s resolutions are not only pointless in their non-specificity, but ultimately make us feel worse than not having any resolutions at all. If a manager resolves to increase the sales of a product by the end of a quarter, but has only a vague vision of how that goal will be achieved, chances are it won’t happen. It is important to have a step-by-step plan.

In addition, a lack of resilience often makes for an easy, but mistaken excuse. At the time of this writing, the world is somewhere between an Omicron COVID-19 variant and the introduction of promising to greatly control transmission and symptoms. It is difficult to predict the months ahead, but with the intention to create a resilient, goal-oriented plan we can achieve success. While I am being basic here, I have witnessed far too many organizations who have failed to be resilient. The results of inflexible planning have been catastrophic.

It all too often comes down to grit, the determination to achieve goals one step at a time rather than sweeping resolutions. It works for major sales organizations or making a specific plan to take off weight and exercising more.

Grit is the often daily, weekly intention to formulate a set of goals, understanding the process to achieving them. Grit and resilience may seem different, but they are the opposite sides to the same problem. Having resilience to any problem enables us to put in a plan no matter what the future brings. Grit will keep us on course, that no matter what the future brings, we will be determined to face the challenge.

Resolutions rarely work; grit and resilience make plans happen no matter how much of a challenge 2022 will bring.


To contact Scott Burrows, Grit, Goal Setting and Resilience keynote speaker for a virtual or in person presentation, please reach out to him through this new website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

Latest Posts