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Keep Your Resolutions!


Conventional wisdom tells us most New Year’s resolutions are broken, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Make this year the exception by following these strategies.

Have you ever made resolutions at New Year’s, only to later watch your resolutions retreat and your dreams dive? Don’t despair. Try these strategies for a truly happy New Year.

Join a group or use the buddy system

Listening to each other breeds compassion for every member, for ourselves, and for others who are not part of our circle.

Buddies and groups also provide an environment in which we give immediate feedback on what has been achieved, acknowledge each other for our commitments, help each other tweak our intentions, and challenge each other when we are slipping.

Consider a life coach

Coaching, like the buddy system, keeps resolutions alive by clarifying intentions, making public commitments, reporting on success (or lack thereof), acknowledging success, and in general, keeping our personal-growth conversation alive. Through the process of talking with a life coach, people learn more about their inner workings, and after a period of time they are able to coach themselves.

Take responsibility for your actions

The first step in planning is to recognize why we did not keep our commitments. This step requires us to fully acknowledge that we are in the driver’s seat of our lives. What kept us from meeting our resolutions was the result of our own decisions and choices.

Use the SMART strategy when goal-setting

The best goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based.

Other tips:

Consider New Year’s resolutions, stated intentions, commitments, stated goals, or whatever you wish to call them, as opportunities to develop crucial life skills such as patience, integrity, honesty, and more.

Don’t let perfectionist values inhibit you. Embrace the aphorism, “A job that’s worth doing is worth doing less than well.” This will help you to overcome fear of failure, and combined with honest self-assessment it will help you learn how you operate when stating intentions.

Concentrate on positive thoughts, not negative ones. Identify your negative thoughts as your mind’s way of playing games with your true self.

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