Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Advice for Keeping New Year's Resolutions

I completed my New Year’s Resolution and read 44 books – twice as many as I read last year. Wi-hoo!
This is the first time I’ve ever kept a resolution, or any year-long goal, for that matter. I’ve made plenty of resolutions before, but none of them stuck.
This feels great! I read some amazing books this year, and it really made a difference in my life. I’m going to make resolutions every year from now on.

There are several reasons why this goal worked for me when other goals haven’t:
  1. The goal was meaningful. I didn’t make a pointless goal like lose 25 pounds or post every week on a blog I don’t care about. Making reading a habit was important to me.
  2. The goal was enjoyable. I didn’t have to drag myself out of bed at 6:00 am to go jogging in the cold. I like reading, and I wanted to do this.
  3. The goal was simple. I didn’t have some lofty aspiration like finishing my novel by the end of the year or getting my house remodeled.
  4. If I stopped working on my resolution, I could get caught up. I didn’t make a goal of not smoking for a year, smoke on January 12, and say, “Oh well, I’ll try again next year.”
  5. I only made one goal. I didn’t make a long list, so I was able to focus. 
Did you make a goal last year? Are you going to make one this year?


  1. I tried making New Year's resolutions before and didn't do well with them. So I try short term goals that work toward accomplishing an overarching goal.

  2. I've made New Year's resolutions before... Probably every year, but I've never kept one. I have a plan this year though. I'm going to be working on skills. There are twelve of them, but I'm only doing one each month, so I'll only have one thing to focus on at a time. Also there's no way to fail working on a skill for awhile, like with your smoking example, so I don't have to worry about ruining it in the first week.

    I'm feeling very confident my new method will work.

    Congratulations on keeping your resolution!

  3. Believe it or not, the goal I set last year was to start a blog as an outlet for my writing, something I'd been wanting to do for several years. This past August I finally managed to accomplish that goal by launching Chubby Chatterbox, and I'm mighty glad I did.

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  5. I also think it helps if your goal is more specific. You said "I am going to read 44 books this year" instead of "I am going to read more this year." It's a little bit like showing versus telling. ^^

  6. Neve: What an interesting idea!

    Stephen: Chubby Chatterbox is such a cute name. I love the angry bull. You are a delightfully quirky person, by the way.

    Brooke: I hadn't thought of that, but it's so true.


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