It’s the first week in January and according to the experts by the end of this week, most of us will break our New Year’s resolutions. Personally, I think this sounds unlikely. Most people I know broke them on Jan. 1.
The truth seems to be that breaking NY’s resolutions is as big a tradition as making them. Two highly trained Harvard scientists spent three years, thousands of grant dollars and interviewed scores of people studying this problem, finally arriving at the reason that human beings find it so hard to change.
Apparently, we don’t want to. You see it pays to consult the experts.
But, for those who are still determined not to break their promises this year I present:
The HineSight Guide To Keeping New Year’s Resolutions.
The No. 1, almost fail-proof method for keeping your resolutions right through to the end of the year is this. Don’t make any until 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. Then, increase your success potential by making resolutions like “This year I will wear a silly paper hat and watch television programming involving balls dropping in Times Square.”
No. 2 on our list: keep resolutions open-ended. For instance, “lose 10 pounds” leaves very little wiggle room (much like my jeans). Instead, resolve to “eat most responsibly.” This allows you to occasionally scarf a pint of ice cream and think “Ah dairy, that’s health food.”
Similarly, making a resolution like “take up skydiving” may be just setting yourself up for a fall. However, “try something outside my comfort zone” could include anything from attending a family gathering to sampling discount toilet paper.
The No. 3 strategy for keeping your resolutions is to make sure they sound fun.
“This year I will live within my financial means” simply sounds like “There’s no big screen TV in your future, honey.” Try rephrasing this to “This year I’ll play Survivor: City Dwellers edition.” Then, when you’re foraging for food and sleeping under a viaduct it will seem like an adventure.
No. 4: Know what you’re talking about. A friend says she intends to “reduce her environmental footprint” by wearing smaller shoes.
Do make a plan to recycle. For instance, any resolutions you break this year can be used again next year.
Lastly, tell yourself that if you don’t keep your resolutions, there’s one person to blame. Your mother, boss, ex-boyfriend, you get to pick.
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