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  • Writer's pictureSara Broadhurst

Beyond Resolutions: Why living your life as an experiment is the way to achieve your goals

Experiments in the lab

The allure of a fresh start is undeniable, especially at the beginning of the year. For many people, this translates into resolutions: improved health, increased sales at work, learn a new language, or finally conquering that spending habit. But let's be honest, how many of us can even remember our resolutions now it’s February?

The truth is traditional resolutions set us up for failure. Here's why:

1.   The Language is All Wrong: Words like “resolution” and “challenge” indicate that it’s going to be tough, you will have to give up things, be hard on yourself.  Our lives are pretty tough already, so why would we choose to make it harder? Our rational self tells us to put that optional hard thing aside and the resolution gets forgotten.  At Fortis Street, we prefer the language of “experiment” and “staying curious”.  It is more optimistic and empowering, builds in the concept of learning and adapting and is therefore more likely to stick.

2.   The Allure of the Shiny New: Resolutions tend to be grandiose, sweeping changes fuelled by the emotional high of a new year. But people need sustainable, strategic change, not fleeting flashes of motivation.

3.   Willpower is a Fickle Friend: Relying solely on willpower is a recipe for burnout. Building systems and habits into your routine makes positive change less reliant on temporary motivation. Consistency eats motivation for breakfast.


4.   Neglecting the "Why": Without a clear understanding of why a goal matters, the "how" loses its urgency. Connect goals to your core purpose and your vision for the life you want to lead to achieve lasting impact.

So, what's the alternative? Let's ditch the resolution rhetoric and embrace a more holistic approach:

  • Embrace experimentation: Treat goals as hypotheses, experiment, learn, and adapt. That way, it is (gasp) fun and you learn more about yourself.

  • Focus on continuous improvement: Small, consistent steps towards your vision are more effective than drastic, unsustainable changes. Systematise your consistency.

  • Celebrate small wins: Recognizing and celebrating milestones keeps motivation high and fosters a sense of momentum.

This isn’t about being soft on yourself and not worrying about goals.  At Fortis Street, we are entirely driven by the concept of high performance. This is about driving for that performance in a smarter way which will mean that you actually achieve your aspirations and avoid the dispiriting cycle of resolutions.  Remember, true transformation is a journey, not a destination. Ditch the "New Year, New You" mentality and create a culture for yourself of continuous improvement – the kind that builds lasting success, not just fleeting resolutions.

Now it's your turn! Share your thoughts in the comments below:

  • What are your biggest challenges with goal setting in your life?

  • What strategies have you found most effective for achieving lasting change?

  • How can we create a culture that fosters continuous improvement instead of relying on resolutions?

If you like this idea of experimentation to live the life you want, check out our free resources for practical tools and help.

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