How to Make a New Year’s Resolution

Google’s real-time resolution tracker.

So, I don’t usually do resolutions. I feel like everyone makes these big, sweeping promises this time of year.

And by February, everyone’s back to not exercising, watching too much TV, and working too hard. I guess I feel that if you make a resolution, you should keep it.

Google’s helping in the resolution game this year. This is pretty neat — go to Google’s 2013 resolution page to see real-time resolutions being made all around the world. Some of the resolutions that are being made as I sit here:

  • “Peace” (from the Middle East)
  • “Buy a house” (from Europe)
  • “Donate blood more often” (from the US)
  • “Try to spend more time with the people I love” (from Europe)
  • “Be in shape and healthy” (from Central America)
  • “Get into a good university” (from the US)
  • “Be better every day” (from South America)
  • “To be happy” (from Australia)
  • “Start grad school” (from Central America)
  • “Get creative and stop complaining” (from Asia)
  • “Get a job in Google” (from Asia)
  • “Smile more” (from the US)

It’s pretty neat. Oh, and another neat thing. When you first go to the page, a video will pop up. Don’t skip it — it’s a review of 2012, and it’s heart-warming. Great job, Google!

I still think resolutions are a tricky thing. So I searched (Googled!) the web for good advice on making resolutions. Here’s what I found:

1. Be realistic by setting achievable goals. (ehow)

Winning the lottery, for example, is out of your grasp.

2. Think about last year. (Beliefnet)

Reflecting on the mistakes and mishaps of last year is a good place to start when making New Year’s resolutions. Where could you have done better? What do you want to see change? No need to be down on yourself. Just take a look at your weak points and see what you can do about them this year.

3. Don’t choose something stressful. (Fox5SanDiego)

If it’s a change you think you should do or somebody else thinks you should make, chances you won’t succeed and why should you do that anyway.

4. Break down large goals into smaller ones. (ehow)

For instance, commit to losing weight by resolving to join a gym and improve your eating habits.

5. Make it something you REALLY want. (KGVO)

Don’t make it a resolution that you “should” want or what other people tell you to want. It has to fit with your own, personal values.

6. Create a sense of accountability. (goalsguy)

Designate a friend, mentor, or companion for sharing successes, monitoring progress, and offering support. The benefit of involving others in your goals and plans is instant access to experience, knowledge, and wisdom— it also raises the bar of responsibility. Research indicates that one of the qualities of those who are successful at making changes is that they have excellent support systems.

7. Focus on process. (abcnews)

“…putting all your energy into process allows for the possibility of achievement even if your overall efforts are flawed. You master new habits more easily because you reinforce the skills you need to succeed whether you reach the desired result each and every try. ”

8. Write it down. (Beliefnet)

I don’t know about you, but for me, nothing gets done unless it’s written down. There’s something to the act of putting pen to paper (or finger to keypad). It takes it from being just an idea to being real. It’s not out in the universe until it’s down on paper.

9. Automate. (KGVO)

Automating financial goals can maximize your odds for success without you having to do anything. For instance, if your goal is to save $1,000 this year, calculate the amount you would need to have taken out of each pay check and have it automatically deposited into your savings account each time you get paid.

10. Persist until completed! (goalsguy)

A resolution achieved is a stunning example of consistency and hard work. If you fall behind schedule or are sidetracked for any reason, refocus! Just don’t give up! Don’t surrender to temptation, difficulty or temporary failure. Persist until you achieve the goal.

Okay, I’ve convinced myself! I’m off to make a list of resolutions! What are yours?

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