How To Keep Your New Years Resolution

New Years Resolutions

It’s New Years Resolution time again and people with noble intentions everywhere will soon get serious about losing weight, quitting smoking, getting fit, saving money, changing jobs, and a long list of other things once the clock strikes twelve on December 31st. Many will be back at their bad habits by the second week of January and most of the rest will fall by the wayside before March. Somewhere I read that 97% of all New Years Resolutions are broken, and given my own personal track record, I believe it. If you want to be part of the successful 3% who actually keep their New Years Resolutions, here are a few tips that you might want to keep in mind.

Keep it Simple.

Make just one resolution not a whole list. Especially if we are talking about changing an entrenched personal habit, you are better off focusing on just one thing. Take on smoking, drinking, food or exercise but not all of them at once. Trying to retool your entire lifestyle will just set you up for failure. Trust me, you absolutely cannot lose weight and quit smoking at the same time. Don’t even consider trying.

If your New Year’s Resolution is about a life situation rather than a personal habit, it is even more important to keep it simple and do advance preparation. Why? Because you have less control over the situation when your resolution is to get a new job or spend more time with your kids because other people are involved. You can control how many resumes you send out, but not how many interviews or job offers you get, so it pays to do your homework and deal with what you can control and let go of what you can’t.

Make a Plan

It helps to visualize your goal in very specific terms and to have a plan for achieving it. If your resolution is to lose weight, decide just how much weight you want to lose. Think about how you will go about doing it. It also helps to keep that specific goal realistic. Think in terms of five or ten pounds, not twenty-five or fifty or a total body makeover. Take it step by step. Focus on the process and don’t over- idealize the result. Will you follow a specific food plan, join a support group, or work with a physician or dietician? Make a plan and write it down. The mere act of writing will make the process more concrete in your mind.You might also write down all good reasons you have for wanting to lose weight and all the ways in which weight loss will make your life better. Do all this before the New Year. The added advance preparation will increase your chances of success greatly. I’ve used weight loss as an example, but the process is the same whatever the goal and it really does work.

Expect Success

Most people don’t really expect to succeed in keeping New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe that’s because so many of us have failed at keeping so many of them. Or maybe it is part of the cultural context of making them in the first place. Whatever the reason, if you expect to fail, you probably will. Setting a goal and making a step by step plan will go a long way towards helping you feel positive, committed and in control. You might also want to tell a few people who are important to you about your resolution. Making a public announcement of your intention will also increase your chances of success and the support of others can help greatly. So don’t keep your New Years resolution a secret—let the world know.

baby new year and father time
baby new year and father time

A New Kind of Resolution

Most New Year’s Resolutions have to do with self improvement and changing personal habits. In these troubled times it might be a good idea to think outside the box and consider a new kind of New Years Resolution; one that involves helping others rather than changing oneself. It is often easier to keep a commitment made to another than one made to oneself. It is also very fulfilling to feel that you have really helped on some level. This kind of resolution can be anything from volunteering at a local soup kitchen to mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn to helping a child with homework. Stop and think, not only of yourself and your family, but of your wider circle of acquaintances and your community.You’ll find lots of opportunities.

This kind of resolution can also be time limited—and you get to set your own parameters. The beauty part is you can lend a helping hand for a day, a week, a month or any length of time you choose. In addition, you get your mind off yourself and your own troubles and if you are at all like me, you will end up feeling like you gained more than you gave when it is all over.

There is still time before we get out the silly hats and noisemakers and uncork the champagne to think about this so by all means do. Advance planning is key and almost as important as choosing a resolution that is realistic and achievable with personal effort. There is nothing, that feels as good as making a plan and then successfully carrying it out-- so Happy New Year and may your resolutions be well planned, do-able and may they also get done.


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Comments 52 comments

foodstorage profile image

foodstorage 7 years ago from Utah

Great timing for this hub! I second the idea of writing down your resolutions. This is the BIGGEST factor for me in actually getting it done. I really want to thoughtfully consider my resolutions this year and follow your tips to really accomplish some things. One of my biggest resolutions is to get on track with following the flylady.net system to keep my house in order and my life organized!

Now I have to ask ... what is YOUR resolution this year?


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Robie: Your suggestion to make one resolution instead of several makes mucho sense; thanks for this. And I am announcing to the world, my New Year's resolution is to lose 15 pounds, it makes me feel better psychologically, healthier and more energetic. All good reasons for losing da weight! 

And... yes, contributing to the well being of mankind is something to always keep in mind, and one I try to do in my way.

Always good to read your hubs!

Happy New Year to you!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Foodstorage--I'll have to check out flylady.com and I'm glad you agree with me about writing it down-- my resolution? ahem well I'm going to go to the gym at least twice a week this year and not just talk about it LOL

Violet Sun-- thanks for sharing your resolution. I bet you will do it too:-) I'm hoping spending some time on the treadmill will take a few pounds off me, but my main aim is to get stronger and have more energy. There is so much I want to do and I keep running out of steam LOL

Thanks to both of you for reading and commenting....and let's think positivr about 2009:-)


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Committing to help someone else is a good idea, especially if you share your plan with the 'victim' in advance. Then you're more or less obliged to follow through. Good hub :)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Well, yes, paraglider, I think you kind of have to "share your plan with the victim in advance" or you could do more harm than good LOL Thanks for commenting and Happy New Year:-)


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Excellent advice, Robie!  Especially keeping it simple and focusing on one thing –which you can control!

On failure: I think you're right, it seems one is kind of expected to make resolutions around this time of year, so one does, but that's setting oneself up for failure, because well, one never really intended to try! 

PS: The cartoon is hilarious!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

hi Elena, thanks for your comment. Yeah, that cartoon struck a chord with me LOL


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

Good tips robie2 to help us all who are guilty of breaking them! and also paragliders comments can really help too!

I do make new year reso's, and keep some!. I also make new days resolutions as waiting for the new year takes too much time too make drastic changes to life style etc!

:)

:)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi ccompu-smart. I am more of a " New-Days Resolution" type myself -- I'm kins of like a magpie attracted to bright shiny objects--can't focus to long on any one thing especially when it comes to self improvement--thass why its good to do something for somebody else--seems to hold my concentration longer and feels good too :-)

BTW your new avatar is charming. Who is she? I know it's not you (unless you've had a sex change operation recently LOL) I kind of miss the cat and mouse<sigh> but this one is very nice.


WordPlay profile image

WordPlay 7 years ago from Georgia, y'all

Thanks so much for posting a link to my clip art and for dispensing such good advice! :-)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Mypleasure-- your clip art is cool:-) I'm gonna download your ebook when I get a chance.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Great hub, Robie. My New Years resolution (singular)?

I resolve that on the morning of Jan 2nd, after downing the requisite mug of wake-up caffeine, I'll shout "Hallelujah! The !@#%! holidays are over!". =)

(Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Me too !!!!!! ROTFL


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I like Jama's resolve.  Looks like the three of us are of the same mind.

When did the New Year's Resolution become the must for ringing in the year?  I remember as a child that my resolutions were simple, but daunting nonetheless.  So, I would wash my face three times a day instead of two, or not argue with my mother about Saturday cleaning chores, or go to confession every week instead of every month.  And, as you say, Robie, by March all of that was out the window.

I think the highlight of your Hub is sharing your resolutions with others.

So, I'm sharing:  Here's to the morning coffee on January 2 and the end of the !@#%! holidays !  (I think, with your help, I can keep this one.) :)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Perhaps the three of us could have viirtual coffee together LOL Happy New Year, ST and thanks for stopping by.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 7 years ago from London UK

Hi robie, you sound just like me!! (can't focus to long on any one thing especially when it comes to self improvement-) lol..its not all bad!!.

as to avatar, its just a temporary one and the cat n mouse pic will be coming back one way or another soon!:)

shes called Simone Muterthie, dont google her, hubpage her:)

Happy holidays to you n all:)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I agree too Robie about taking it one thing at a time, otherwise when I get overwhelmed, just want to say, "I'll do it next year, what the heck!" LOL Yes, it's also great to do something to help others. I like that idea a lot. Great hub. Have a wonderful Christmas and a blessed new year to you! :-)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hello Ripplemaker-- always a pleasure to see you. I wish you a wonderful Christmas as well and hope we all have a huberiferous 2009:-)


ccdursina profile image

ccdursina 7 years ago from Spring Green WI

Great hub! It's going to be so much easier like you said, to set one resolution and follow on it;

I would also say - your RESOLUTIONS should be ACHIEVABLE!

Have fun writing those resolutions!

Happy 2009!


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

robie and sally's trove, virtual coffee on Jan 2 it is.

My time zone or yours??


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

LOL-- yours, I think Jama. Merry day after Christmas:-)


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Robie- The other day while choosing this for my hub I didn't leave a comment. If you would like to check it out(a little self promotion)...LOL http://hubpages.com/community/10-ways-to-become-ex...


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

ccdursina-- thanks so much for your comment and yes, one achievable resolution is the only way to go-- I agree wholeheartedly.  Happy New Year:-)

Hi Countrywomen-- and Happy New Year to you too-- I just read your new hub and love it!!!! I share your good taste in hubbers and hope everyone who reads this comments thread will go check it out:-) Lots of interesting recommendations there. Thanks for including me. I feel honored-- I really do:-)


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Robie- Glad you liked it. And the honor is mine to share great hubs like yours with others. I just wanted to let you know that's why included that link. Hope I do stick to my diet and exercise resolutions....LOL


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Me too-- me too countrywomen. I'm gonna go to the gym this year for sure and that is all I am promising myself:-)


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

Have you checked out stevemark's hub that is really good for curbing cravings. Yes I love outdoors but now have to stick to indoors due to weather. Hope we all reach our health goals by sticking to your suggestions. Great hub at an appropriate time.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I'll go have a look--curbing cravings is good:-)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 7 years ago from Ontario/Canada

A few years ago I made a resolution not to make any more resolutions that I can't keep. I found that this one worked out the best for me so I will make the same one again this year; and I'm almost possitive that I will stick to it again this year.

Great hub again Robbie!

regards Zsuzsy


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I like the way you think Zsuzsy :-) Happy New Year!


pgrundy 7 years ago

Hi robie--What a timely hub! Thank you for writing it! I like your idea of making a resolution to help others instead of focusing on a personal problem or flaw. Sometime if you focus on others the flaw goes away on its own or doesn't seem as important.

I've been thinking about doing something locally to encourage self-employment, craft, and art--like a local artisans collective or something like that. I spend so much time bitching and moaning about big box stores and corporations and it hit me, well, there's all these people out of work in Michigan--some of them probably make things or do things that are worth money whether a corporation will hire them or not. Not like I have it all figured out--I'm just "gestating" the idea! lol! Great hub!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

What a great idea, pg and you have the marketing and writing and organizational skills to make it work.....Happy New year and you go girl!!!!!!


Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 7 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Great advice, Robie! Especially keeping it simple. In years past, I attempted to take on about a dozen resolutions at a time, each accompanied by a game plan and rationale. At most, I would make it to the second week of January before abandoning them all. I really like the idea of focusing on just one resolution instead, and that's what I intend to do this year.

Based on what I've learned about conscious creation, I think we also need to be cognizant of how we frame our resolutions--instead of focusing on the problem (lose 5 pounds, watch less TV, quit smoking), it's more empowering to focus on what we hope to accomplish (lift weights twice a week, spend more time outdoors, make healthier choices). I love the idea of resolving to help others, also.

Thanks for this great hub. Best of luck with your resolution and Happy New Year!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Melissa-- you make a great point-- focussing on the positive rather than the negative is a great idea. It really is more empowering. I'm going to get stronger and healthier this year and have more energy-- much better I think:-) Happy New Year to you too


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Robie2, this hub and comment thread are EXACTLY what I needed to read right now. I'm not big on resolutions for the very reasons mentioned -- it's so easy to break them. Your pointers on keeping it simple, making an actual plan (now there's a novel concept!!) and reaching out to help others really resonate with me. Thank you for ending 2008 on an optimistic note. And thanks to the hubbers who left excellent comments, too. Here's to happiness, health, and sharing our gifts in 2009. MM


Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Your Hub reminded me of my own resolution of cutting on junk funds and sweets. I have so far not found success,lol. Thanks for the Hub!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Mighty Nom and Happy New Year to you--what a lovely comment you have left, adding some real luster to the thread-- happiness, health, and the sharing of gifts are wonderful goals for the new year--hmmm I feel a resolution coming on:-)

Anamika S-- I wish you the best of luck with the junk foods and sweets. I have to admit that I too have had only very limited success in this area :-) Happy New Year and Happy Hubbinb.


Bruce Elkin profile image

Bruce Elkin 7 years ago from Victoria, BC Canada

Great hub, robie. I particularly liked the last bit about resolving to help others. Very good advice, and much appreciated. Thanks!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Bruce. Happy New Year and thanks for stopping by.


starrkissed profile image

starrkissed 7 years ago from Arizona

Fantastic hub! I really hope I can stick to my goals this year.


Sue Bailey profile image

Sue Bailey 7 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

Well with your help I may be able to stick to it this year! Happy 2009!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Happy New Year, starrkissed and Sue. Let's hope we can all make our 2009 goal. I'm off to a good start, but then it's only day one:-)


katyzzz profile image

katyzzz 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

I really loved your post, it will be very helpful and useful for many people, keeping any resolution is difficult. Your illustrations were very appealing and amusing.


aarogya profile image

aarogya 7 years ago from Pune

I think resolution should made keeping in mind our limitations. and try to over come those. there are many think that a person think to do. but concentrated efforts in one proper direction help a lot.

your post has made people to think in a proper while making a resolution.

cheers !


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Katyzzzz and aarogya and Happy New Year to you both. Thank you for your kind comments:-)


sschilke profile image

sschilke 7 years ago

robie2,

Expect success... I like that. I never expect for my resolutions to amount to anything, that's probably why they always fail. Thanks for the hub, it got me thinking about a few things I need to do in 2009.

sschilke


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Happy New Year, sschilke-- yeah I think we all think New Years Resolutions are meant to be broken -- and maybe that is part of why we always seem to break them. LOL


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks

Robie, great hub. Keeping it simple and concentrating on one thing -- something you can control -- will help to make success possible.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Keeping it simple is the way to go in life too, I think--thanks for reading and commenting and here's to success in 2009


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

I am all about New Years Resolutions (and breaking them - LOL). My favorite January tradition! Love the hub! Steph


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

LOL Breaking them is my speciaklty too Steph-- good to see you and Happy New Year :-)


roastedpinebark profile image

roastedpinebark 7 years ago from Iowa

My favorite part of your hub was the ending-a new kind of new years resolution, outward instead of inward. Great job on this hub :)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I'm glad you liked it, roastedpinebark--BTW I love your name--sounds delicious:-) Happy 2009 to you!

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