New Year’s Resolutions Revisited

In case you missed it, I posted this item January 1, 2015. Seems just as useful today as then. I plan on 2017 being a wonderfully successful year. I hope yours is as well. These tips may help get you there.

Quote from Daisaku Ikeda and "make resolutions that succeed"


A tip of the hat to my LinkedIn friend, Pearl Seigel, who inspired me to post this after I read her piece. We all know New Year’s Resolutions are a time-honored tradition and a satirical cliché. With best of intentions millions make them and most break them. Why bother? It’s a new year—why not have goals, aspirations, resolutions?

Defy the satirists, the late-night comics who make light of your resolve with these tips:

  1. Make a plan for success
    1. Research—find out how to get there, pitfalls and success stories online or in books.
    2. Action—incremental steps you need to take
    3. Monitor—check results as you go along
  1. Forgive yourself for shortfalls as you proceed and move on from them
  1. Resolutions may be the butt of jokes, but if you really want to accomplish something in the new year, don’t be put off by their bad reputation. Change the name to goals or determinations if that will help. Then pat yourself on the back when you win.
  1. Consider these examples:
    1. Want to lose 36 pounds? It’s simple math: calories in plus calories burned equals pounds gained or lost. Eat less, exercise more and the pounds come off. Pick a diet you can stand and exercise you will do. Make sensible monthly goals, keep track of results and don’t let bad months derail the plan. Recognize triggers that may cause excessive snacking and deal with them.
    2. Want to stop smoking? You know it’s difficult. Get the help you need from a physician, a support group or from whatever source makes sense for your life. Pick a method and get the tools you need, whether it’s a nicotine patch, some medication, counseling, etc. Most people can’t quit cold turkey, so monitor progress on the timeline you determine.
    3. Want to learn how to quilt, paint (artistically) or even write fiction. Find classes—adult education, community college, online and sign up. Don’t just put this on a to-do-list—put reminders on whatever calendar you use—physical, smartphone or computer and take action.
    4. Want to be a “better you?” More considerate, support your spouse more, help the kids with homework, etc.? Like the rest of the resolutions, it requires being consistent and disciplined. It may help to have specific targets—tasks that you can do to make those goals real and obvious to others when they begin They won’t happen overnight. They won’t happen just by wishing. But if you set up reminders for those times that the changes are supposed to be happening—dinner-time, holidays, weekends, vacations or whatever times apply, you will have a better shot at success.

9 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions Revisited”

  1. I love your list, it’s realistic and doable. Also love the quote! Being realistic about settings goals will not become a satirical cliche. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Debby! I’m not sure what change in mindset came with 2017, but for some reason I am both more confident and more determined this year to accomplish all my goals no matter what obstacles I may encounter. It’s always about discipline or willpower but it’s also about how much importance you attach to those realistic goals. Maybe it’s the fact I’ll turn 70 this year. 😉

      1. I think many of us have mustered some new ambition for this year. Maybe we’re just so grateful to get rid of last year, lol. And Wow! Seventy! You rock my friend. 🙂

  2. LOVE this article John, thank you, SO inspiring! I just posted it on my Facebook Timeline. I tried to “tag” you but it seems you do not have a Facebook profile ?? If yes, please let me know your FB name and I’ll send a Friend invitation. Looking forward to “connecting” more soon. Hope we can at least have a connection through our respective blogs. Hugs to you and Juanita !

      1. Thank you so much for your encouragement John ! I will continue to try and improve my writing. When I retire in 1.5 years it will be easier! In the meantime, I apologize for the lack of conciseness, etc… THANK YOU also for the link. I will go immediately to see Maria Popova’s blog. Warmest regards to you and Juanita!

        1. Oh, thank YOU! And Happy New Year. Your blog seems pretty tight. Popova’s examples of interweaving quotes and suggestions on additional reading I think you’ll find very instructive. 🙂

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