How to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Stick, Part 2

by Steve Prager on January 2, 2011

11 Ways to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Stick – Part Two

OK,.we ‘re going to jump right into Part Deux

Be a Plodder- Remember the tortoise and the hare? Be a plodder. A little bit done every day will reap big rewards. We’re conditioned to think we have to give everything our maximum effort, all the time. It’s better to pace yourself. For example, instead of walking vigorously for an hour everyday (and quitting after a week) try a daily15 walk at a leisurely pace. You’ll be less likely to burn out and you can always up your time later.

One In- Two OutNo one can do it all. Our time is stretched to the limit. Be realistic- if you’re going to take on a new habit (goal), you’ll have to make room for it by getting rid of two other activities. If one comes in- two must go out. See my previous post, How to Easily and Radically Change Your Life in 2011. GREAT TIP- farm out the chores you don’t like (cleaning, mowing the lawn). Your new goal will now feel like a Reward because you replaced the chore you disliked with your new goal, and you’ll  have the time to DO IT.  (PS. thanks to Robin Crum for this one!)

Pick a Theme for the YearPick a single theme or word that jibes with your resolutions. Several times a day, concentrate on your word, especially if when you feel sidetracked or stressed.  Examples:  Do, Breathe, Less, Gratitude, Grow, Learn, Smile, Love.  Whatever YOU choose- that word is your theme for the year!    PS. This year I’ve chosen….. DO!

Keep a Written Record- (These next two ideas come from my good friend Christy, who is way smart).  Keeping a written record, like a journal or diary, is a great way to stay Focused. You can use a journal to track your progress, record new ideas or just vent! TIP: If you’re writing about your resolutions every day, you’re not gonna forget them!

Watch the Self Talk- All of us talk to ourselves in ways that are rude, negative and hateful. Calling yourself ‘stupid’, ‘dummy’, ‘idiot’ etc, counterproductive. Cut it out! Would you let anybody else on this planet talk to you the way YOU talk to you? Check out Chris Brogan’s post. It will change your inner self talk.

Use Visual Aids to keep you going - Did you see the picture at the top of this post? It’s my desk calendar, and it’s my visual reminder of my goal to travel to a sunny clime this year! A visual aid of your goal will keep you motivated long after the excitement has worn off and all that’s left is the hard work. Use positive visual aids liberally- stick them on the fridge, in your office and on the door as you leave to go to work. Use your imagination and pick encouraging images- perhaps a picture of yourself 20 pounds lighter? Snapshots of that hot air ballooning trip?

EXTRA CREDIT- My good friend Sandy says she does her resolutions in July. That way she isn’t ‘mainstreaming’. Although she calls this technique creative rebellion, I think she’s just plain smart! Scheduling your review and resolution time at a different spot on the calendar may just break the whole ‘I hate New Year’s resolutions’ jag and get you setting and doing your goals! Party on Wayne!

Well,…let me HAVE IT! I want to know what you think…………

What’s working for you?

Are you encouraged to give NYRs another try??

Remember, isn’t a rehearsal. Get busy!

BTW,Happy New Year!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bert Sperling January 3, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Good thoughts, Steve!
Every step gets us closer to our goals.

The danger is that we can’t see the change, and we want to give up, thinking that we’re not getting anywhere.
I like to use the idea that sometimes our journey takes us across a desert, with miles and miles of nothing around us – no landmarks to guide us.
But every step takes us closer to our destination though we can’t see our progress.

Every once in a while, just be sure that you’re headed in the right direction!

Best always.


Steve Prager January 3, 2011 at 7:03 pm


Thanks for the comment. It’s great to have you visit the blog. I like your analogy. Let’s get your on SDN soon! You’re the uber retirement guru!

Happy New Year!


Mark Powers January 3, 2011 at 8:02 pm

My theme for the year: Fearless, Ruthless. I began to integrate it in 2010 but, as you mentioned in Part One of this series, NYR’s don’t always have the best track record of working. Not this year . . . it’s gonna stick!
Mark Powers recently posted..A Year In The Life 2010 Review


Steve Prager January 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Cool! I need to add those two to my ‘Do.’

It’s a little scary to put everything out there. Thanks for all your help and inspiration, Mark! :)


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