We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.  ~ Ellen Goodman

New Years Day falls on a Sunday in 2012. Does that make it a perfect day to start your resolutions? Not necessarily. You might have been ready to hit the gym and eat better yesterday, not necessarily January first.  What is so magical about making resolutions at New Years?

I was curious about the actual definition of resolution. I saw words like “determination,” “deciding on a course of action,” “being resolute” or “firm on a purpose.” Other words like resolution include perseverance, tenacity, strength, and fortitude. These are valuable assets to make effective change in your life and much needed throughout your resolve.

Let’s talk about some practical tools for lifestyle changes. Assuming you have made a firm decision about your goal, it’s time to make a plan. And notice I referred to one goal. Changing many habits at once is like a ticking time bomb – just when will it (or you) explode?

Abrupt resolutions without a plan in place can be a surefire way to not achieve your goal. For example, you might have thought about quitting smoking for the longest time. Deciding to quit without support systems and plans in place can be disastrous.

For your highest success rate, plan to consciously replace the thing you are removing you’re your life. A successful plan can include having your patches, lozenges, or medication in place. Finding an online or in-person support group can be the saving grace when you have a nicotine craving. An exercise plan can be helpful to decrease anxiety during those first few weeks. Talking to other people who have been successful in what you are planning to change.

Having a plan can help you stay on track. When you become discouraged your plan has a built-in support system; a safety net in case you choose to fall back into old habits. You see, there is a point just about when you’re ready to achieve your goal that you may be tempted to quit. Push past that barrier with all of your might. See yourself being free of the bondage of your old habit. Reach for a supportive friend’s hand. Just hang on.

If you slip, love yourself even more. Give yourself compassion as if you were helping your best friend. And by the way, you are helping your best friend: you.

Know that I believe with all my heart that you can be successful in what you want to achieve. Set your goal and get your plan in place. Don’t be concerned about meeting that January 1 deadline. Get a firm plan in place first.

17 thoughts on “How to Make the Best New Year’s Resolution Ever”

  1. Great post Lisa! It’s true that many will resolutions that they will likely not achieve. Making goals that are more attainable is the way to go..and of course don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t achieve it within a particular time-frame…we have a lifetime:)

  2. Great post! I completely agree with your take on resolutions. They are something that should be taken seriously, with thought and a plan, not some whim you know won’t last a week! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great advice on making a plan for your New Year’s resolution! I particularly love where you point out, that if you slip, love yourself even more. Perfect!! Thank you!

  4. Great advice. Planning and premeditating–feeling and picturing the changes you will make for some time before the actual date–are key to success. See yourself going through the process and imagine how you will FEEL when you do. Change involves the power of the mind. It’s a mindset.

    Best point ever: “If you slip, love yourself even more. Give yourself compassion as if you were helping your best friend.” So many people write themselves off the first time they slip. Just try again without the negative self talk. Eventually, you’ll get there. Big changes take time.

    1. Big changes do take time. You begin to know yourself at a deeper level when you go through major life changes. When I look back at times when I immediately wrote it off, I wasn’t that committed to begin with. And that’s where I start from when repeating the process. Thanks for the reply, Eva!

  5. Lisa, I love this! What struck me the most was how you pointed out that Jan. 1st doesn’t have to be the day that you start your resolutions.. brilliant! Exactly! Why wait? That is such wisdom and revelation! The world has put this standard on Jan. 1 new goals/new resolutions when we should be motivating ourselves 365 days a year to do these things. Brilliant! Sharing your post so others can be blessed!

  6. I love how you bring out that if we fall off or away from our plan we should love ourselves more. You are so right. Over the past year I’ve been working on this very aspect of working on my goals. Years ago I would be crushed under the pressure of performing and failing; however, now by setting realistic goals that just stretch me a bit I am better equipped to visualize reaching them. When I visualize them then I can see the progress of each day and feel better about them, too. The result is I am achieving more goals, having more fun and teaching others to do the same. Thanks for sharing your tips, they make perfect sense and I’ll implement one starting today.

  7. I did quit smoking last year and had a plan. It worked for the first time ever. You are so right hun.. set a goal, make a plan, and try to stick to it. I got the support I needed and am 7 months smoke free 🙂 Great Post hun!

  8. You hit it right on the mark for me Lisa!! New Years resolutions ‘without’ a plan is not a resolution!! And I completely agree setting our goals, business plans etc should not be limited to Jan 1, we need to be ‘on’ everyday! Awesome post Lisa, thank you!!!!

  9. As you mentioned above in one of your posts, big changes do take time. However, when going through them, it’s true. They are definitely times where you learn more about yourself.

    One of the things I’ve come to cherish ARE these big changes. They can be scary at first, but it’s funny because somehow I’ve begun to get used to them =)

  10. Great advice for the upcoming new year, Lisa. I love the part when you I said that “If you slip, love yourself even more.” And I also believe that a resolution without a support system and a plan, is not a resolution and will not be possible. Thank you for sharing this great article…

  11. If you slip love yourself even more…YES! The only time you don’t fail is if you don’t try anything new! So congratulations for failing at your attempt, but really succeeding at experiencing life

  12. GREAT advice Lisa. A goal without a plan will never be anything more than a dream. I also completely agree that tackling changes in your life one at a time, rather than trying to do them all at once on the same day, is the formula for success.

  13. Making resolutions without a plan of action makes it extremely difficult to be successful and yet so many people do this and continue to do so. Resolutions are not just for New years, every day is an opportunity for self improvement.

  14. “When you become discouraged your plan has a built-in support system; a safety net in case you choose to fall back into old habits.” LOVE this and so very, VERY true! Without a plan for support we all just slide out of our plans for change 🙂

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top