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3 ways to execute a New Year’s resolution that really work

Lisa Barry
Lisa Barry
  1. Don’t make a resolution, make a plan.
    It’s probably the best advice I’ve ever come across regarding resolutions.  For most of us a “resolution” isn’t anything more than a wish. A hope. A dream. In order for that to happen, everything has to be pretty easy.  But then again, if achieving the resolution was easy, you would have done it already! Since it’s probably a goal that’s difficult for you, then it’s going to have to be broken down into manageable steps that increase a little bit over time.
  2. Build reward into the process.
    Jon Acuff, an author, talked to a casino owner one day and asked about what they do when they have a lot of people winning on the same day.  The owner said, “the house always wins.”   In other words, no matter who wins money, the casino never loses.  That’s the way they structured it. I’ve never forgotten that, so whenever I have to do something that’s particularly difficult, I build a reward into the task.  Maybe it’s a latte from Caribou, or a pedicure after a big milestone, but I always make sure there’s a “win” in the little steps, as well as in the goal.
  3. Just pick a word.
    If the whole idea of resolutions is still hard, then do what I’ve seen a lot of people doing recently.  Pick a word.  One that embodies something that you want to become more of.  Like fearless, adventurous, compassion.  Write it on 3×5 cards and put it in various places as a reminder.  Then, as often as you can during the year, be mindful of your word and take opportunities to put it in to practice. 

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions.  But probably one of those fits you.  Happy New Year!

-Lisa Barry