How to Write a Good Resolution

You might be thinking it’s way too early to think about New Year’s resolutions. Afterall, December is the month of gluttony not self improvement. But taking these last few days to plan your resolution before the Christmas shopping frenzy starts will prevent the last minute, careless resolutions such as:

I’m going to lose weight.

I’m going to be a better friend.

I’m going to start reading more.

What is the problem with these resolutions? Well, how would you ever know if you’re successful? One thing I’ve learned from TLC (the greatest self-improvement course EVER) is that goals need to have the following:

1. Specificity

2. A time frame

3. Objective measurements of success

4. A greater cause (This isn’t always possible, but it’s always more motivating when you can see the bigger purpose of your goal)

Even my cats prefer a well made bed.

Last year I was going to make the resolution of keeping a cleaner apartment. But what does that mean? How will I know if I’m keeping up with my resolution. The apartment can always be cleaner. If I clean the kitchen but I don’t have time to do the bathroom, did I not achieve my goal? Then I remembered the TLC tips. I changed my resolution to: Every day by 10am I’m going to make the bed.

I’ve always been admittedly against making the bed. It seems pointless to waste ten minutes pulling and folding and fluffing when I’m just going to mess it up in a few hours. However, I wanted my bedroom to be a peaceful, inviting place. And since the bed takes up the bulk of my bedroom, just putting it together makes the whole room look better. Once I’m done making the bed I end up picking up the clothes off the floor and straightening out a few things and then in less than 15 minutes the bedroom is clean. Because the goal is so specific, I know that I’m accomplishing my resolution, and because I’ve done it every day for almost a year now, I feel good about myself – and isn’t that what a resolution is all about?

Here are some suggestions to improve the generic goals at the top of the post (in relative order)

1. I’m joining Lucille Roberts on Friday and I’m going to go to the gym at least 3 times a week. My goal is to fit into my old sexy jeans.

2. Every Sunday I’m going to take an hour to call at least one friend and catch up. I will  make a girl’s night out plan once a month.

3. Tomorrow I’m going to post a message on Facebook and ask everyone what their favorite book is. I will pick out the 12 that sound the most interesting and read one each month.

These are specific goals that have a time frame, but they are also flexible and doable. It’s easy to know when you’re being successful. And it’s easier to continue your success when you feel successful.

Now, here’s your turn to share your resolutions. Leave a comment below because I love hearing people’s resolutions! My new resolution is to organize my desk every night before 10 pm. I feel stressed out whenever I look at my messy desk, so I know if I keep this goal I will be more prepared to work in the morning.

p.s. the next TLC workshop is this January 27-29. These workshops are few and far between so it’s important to sign up when they are available. If you’re in the New York area I would definitely suggest going -there’s nothing like it!

5 comments

  1. These resolutions are so good. I set a bunch of goals for this year and while they weren’t as vague as the examples you gave at the beginning of the post, they could have been more specific (and fewer in number, I overwhelmed myself!). I need to start working on my goals for 2012.

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