New Year’s Day magical. Every January 1, I wake up with a glorious feeling that anything is possible! Overnight 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 somewhere that 58% of us make New Year’s resolutions. No mention of how many of us keep them. 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. And there are the old standbys: exercise, lose weight, quit smoking, quit drinking, save money, and get out of debt. People have trouble with those, maybe because they temporarily interfere with the resolution to enjoy life more.
In my quest to become a better person, I’ve thoroughly studied the topic of making New Year’s resolutions and I’ve come up with a list of tips for making and keeping New Year’s resolutions. They haven’t helped me, but you can see how they work for you.
1. Write them down. The simple act of putting your resolutions on paper will make them seem more doable 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 at once, even if your spouse says you should.
3. Frame your resolutions in a positive way. For example, instead of saying I will stop being such a lazy couch potato in 2018, say I will become a couch asparagus, which has fewer carbohydrates.
4. Get a partner. If you’ve decided to get fit, enlist a friend with the same goal. That way you’ll have someone to praise you when you’re doing well, encourage you when you’re not doing so well, and go out for hot fudge sundaes with you when you both give up.
5. Don’t let setbacks discourage you. If you fail, get back in the saddle! Crawl back on the wagon. Never say die. Then next year, resolve to stop using clichés.
6. Keep a journal of your progress. It could look something like this. January 1: I resolve to walk the dog daily. This is going to be SO FUN!!!! January 2: Spottie and I walked four blocks. We are bonding and getting fit at the same time! Tomorrow we’ll do five. January 3: Spottie and I walked four blocks again. It’s okay once we’re walking, but I HATE getting up early. January 4: Spottie and I walked just two blocks today. It’s so cold this time of year. January 5: I forgot to walk Spottie. January 6: Spottie isn’t MY dog. We got him for the kids. They should walk him.
7. Celebrate your successes! Finally got that credit card paid off? Congratulations! Go buy new furniture. I’m kidding! But do celebrate, and have a wonderful 2018.
(Dorothy Rosby is the author of several humor books, including I Used to Think I Was Not That Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)