Every New Years Day, I wake up with a glorious feeling that anything is possible! Over night I have the power to change me and change my life. This is the year I will finally become the person I’ve always wanted to be. And then comes January 2.
I’m not alone. I read an article that said 58% of us make New Year’s resolutions; they left out the part about how many of us keep them.
They did say that some of the top resolutions are to learn something new, get organized, and spend more time with family and friends, assuming they’ve made the same resolution. Apparently many people also resolve to enjoy life more. Then there are the old stand-bys (exercise, quit smoking, stop drinking, lose weight, and get out of debt). People have a lot of trouble keeping these, maybe because they temporarily interfere with the resolution to enjoy life more.
In my quest to become a better person by 2009, I have thoroughly studied the topic of making and keeping New Year’s resolutions. From my extensive research I have gleaned the following Eight Tips for Keeping Your Resolutions in 2008. Clever, don’t you think? I’m just glad it’s not 2010.
8 Tips for 2008
1. Write down your resolutions. The simple act of writing them will make them seem more do-able and make you feel more committed to them. Also, if you fail, you’ll have your list ready when it comes time to make resolutions next year.
2. Avoid taking on too much. Don’t try to change everything about yourself all at once, even if your spouse wants you to.
3. Frame your resolutions in a positive way. For example, rather than saying I WILL NOT chew my nails, say I WILL grow long, lovely nails like my wife’s.
Instead of saying I WILL STOP being a couch potato, say I WILL BECOME a couch asparagus, which has fewer carbohydrates.
Instead of saying, I WON’T feud with my in-laws, say I WILL stay home when my family visits my in-laws and I WILL get a motel when they visit us.
4. Get a partner. For example, if you’ve decided to get fit in 2008, enlist a friend with the same goal. That way you’ll have someone to encourage you when you’re feeling down, praise you when you’re doing well, and go out for hot fudge sundaes with you when you both give up.
5. Set yourself up to succeed. For example, if you’ve decided to stop driving over the speed limit, sell your car. If you’ve resolved to exercise daily, clear the ironing off the treadmill. If you want to lose weight, get rid of those leftover Christmas cookies you still have lying around by eating all of them quickly, right now.
6. Don’t let setbacks discourage you. If you fail, get right back in the saddle! Crawl back on the wagon. Never say die. Then next year, resolve to stop using clichés.
7. Keep a journal of your progress. It could look something like this. Day 1: I resolve to walk the dog daily. This is going to be SO FUN!!!! Day 2: Spottie and I walked four blocks. We are definitely bonding and getting healthier too! Tomorrow we’ll do five. Day 3: Spottie and I walked four blocks again. It’s okay once we’re walking, but I HATE getting up early. Day 4: Spottie and I walked just two blocks today. It is so cold this time of year. Day 5: I forgot to walk Spottie. Day 6: Spottie isn’t MY dog. We got him for the kids. Let them walk him!
8. Celebrate your successes! Finally got that credit card paid off? Congratulations! Now go buy new furniture. I’m kidding! But DO celebrate, and remember to invite me.