Red Alert On Resolutions - Make Progress, Not Promises (EXPERT)

Love, Self

You make resolutions with the best intentions. Here's how to make sure you actually follow through.


A lot is written about resolutions.  My first thought is, DON'T MAKE THEM (but we won't really go there).  Most of us set out with lofty, admirable goals, and, quite frankly, without a clear way to accomplish them.  Time passes, and with it our good intentions lose momentum.  All too often, a feeling of guilt sets in.  "How difficult is it to...?" you ask yourself.  "I'm a smart person.  At work I am more than competent.  So why can't I do this?" Relax, take a breath, and give yourself a break. Odds are you are managing the rest of your life well.  But this resolution is 'one more thing' and brings lots of pressure with it.

The pressure of resolutions starts you off on the wrong foot.  And then there is the issue of trying to tackle the whole thing at once.  Want to start an exercise regimen?  Setting a goal of an hour at the gym five days a week is probably too big a leap for most of us.  Break it down into smaller chunks. If the end goal is better health and endurance, a little at a time is better than starting out with a bang, only to crash and burn. Set yourself up to succeed, not to fail.


Many people give up on change within a few weeks.  Often the goal is too general and they try to do too much, too quickly.  Be very specific about what you want to accomplish and plan how you will go there.  Just a small step in a positive direction is a step nonetheless.  In fact, smaller steps are smarter steps.  They are more realistic and sustainable, and you are more likely to follow through.

As for goals for your family, here is one scenario.  "This year I commit to making sure our family spends more time together."  What does that look like to you?  What does your family think it means?  You know in your heart that it's a good thing, but how will you make it happen?   You work long hours, your children have school, homework, activities.  A month goes by and that vision becomes "the myth of family time".

Remember that this is your goal, so the first order of business is to communicate to your family how important this is to you.  Ask your kids what family time looks like to them.  Brainstorm a list of preferred activities (e.g. ice skating, movie night, baking cookies, hiking, shooting hoops, video game night).  Let everyone know that each family member will have a chance to choose the activity.  (A positive attitude will go a long way until it is your turn to choose!)  Now, how to find the time... You schedule everything else on your calendar, so why not family time?

And so it begins.  It may take several tries to complete this discussion. Off you go now. Take one step at a time and you will make progress... instead of promises.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.