New Year’s Resolutions — My Approach to Making and Keeping Them

Personal View on Setting and Adhering to New Year’s Resolutions

My way of making New Year’s resolutions and seeking to keep them may be untypical. But it seems to benefit me. Maybe it will help you, too.

Each year I make several specific New Year’s resolutions, seeking to improve my health and happiness. Over the years I have succeeded in making various positive changes in my life that I at least partially credit to these resolutions.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I always fail to keep all my New Year’s resolutions completely.

But I am happy with the successes! To cite a few examples, I credit past New Year’s resolutions for helping me:

  • quit biting my fingernails.
  • improve my diet.
  • exercise more regularly.

    Some Things That Help Me Keep My New Year’s Resolutions

One thing that helps me in keeping New Year’s resolutions is writing them down. I put a copy of my resolutions in a daily journal I keep near my bed. As part of a morning and evening devotional I seek to take a few minutes to read/meditate prayerfully over at least one of my resolutions.

Also, I usually write my New Year’s resolutions using words like “seek to improve” rather than trying for perfection. This makes attaining success easier. I also sometimes list specific steps to undertake to implement my resolutions.

For example, I might set a resolution to “seek to exercise regularly by walking or bicycling at a particular time each morning on most days.” By writing “regularly” it gives me some leeway. If I skip exercising one day, I can still claim to be exercising “regularly” and keeping my New Year’s resolution. And using the words “seek to” gives me credit for making an effort on those days when various factors prevent my exercising. Setting a specific time helps me budget the exercise into my daily routine.

By the way, I start early on my resolutions each year, too. On Christmas Eve, I print out a copy of my New Year’s resolutions for the upcoming year. I then seek to begin following them on December 25, Christmas Day.

That way, if I break them during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, I can recommit to my New Year’s resolutions (or revise them) for New Year’s Day.

In addition, even if I fail to keep a New Year’s resolution, I try to keep a positive attitude because:

  • I can try again.
  • I can revise the resolution into something more easily attainable.
  • I can make a totally new resolution that is better.

And, I don’t wait for next year to try again, revise a resolution, or make a new one!

After all, any day is a great one to resolve to improve, to begin living one’s life in a better way! Any time is a great time to make positive changes in one’s life! Happy New Year!