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How to Keep your New Year’s Resolutions

The tradition of making a New Year’s resolution is a well-meaning exercise, but too often quickly made and soon forgotten. The trick is to make your New Year’s resolutions practical and doable.  Choose specific, measurable goals: lose 10 pounds; Read “War and Peace”, learn Spanish, or give your wife that vacation you always promised her. Be realistic.  “World Peace” is admirable but not a realistic goal. “Be nicer” is too general.

The primary problem is that most people keep their resolutions private. When your resolutions are secret, there isn’t accountability. Consider posting your resolutions where your family and friends can see them and as a reminder to yourself — public resolutions help you be accountable.

An enjoyable way to make and keep News Year’s resolutions is to make them part of a New Year’s Eve Party celebration. Have the guests write their resolutions on a piece of paper and place it in a bowl. Each guest will draw a resolution and guess who wrote it.

But don’t stop there! Expand the idea by having a “Resolution Roundup Party” after six months or so, where everyone meets again and declares, out loud, their progress or lack thereof. Making it a yearly or twice a year event, where the goal is to support each other in achieving their resolutions in a friendly, fun, and supportive manner.  This will help make the resolutions realistic and worthwhile goals, and provide some incentive to accomplish them. give fun awards for those who accomplished their year’s resolutions and give humorous “booby prizes” or “punishments” — like singing, reciting a poem, or acting out a charade for those who didn’t. Supporting your friends to accomplish goals in a fun, party atmosphere will help make those resolutions more relevant and “doable”.