Want to Keep a New Year’s Resolution? How to Make It Right for YOU.

Many people make New Year’s resolutions, and many people get frustrated and abandon their New Year’s resolutions.

A common mistake? Setting up the resolution in the wrong way. We think we “should be able to” do it first thing in the morning, or we think we should imitate a resolution that works well for someone else.

But there’s no one, correct way. It’s just whatever works for us.

I know this, because I used to try to indulge moderately in sweets — but I’m an Abstainer. And I used to try to do difficult writing in the afternoon — but I’m a Lark. And I use to hold myself back from buying too much at one time — but I’m an Under-buyer. Etc. Now that I set up resolutions to suit my nature, I succeed much more often.

As you set up your resolutions, be sure to consider these distinctions, as outlined in the “Strategy of Distinctions” in my book Better Than Before, which is all about the multiple strategies we can exploit to change our habits.

Before you decide on the resolution you’ll make, consider…

-are you a Lark or Owl?

are you a Marathoner or Sprinter?

are you a Simplicity-lover or Abundance-lover?

are you a Finisher or Opener?

are you an Abstainer or Moderator?

-are you an Under-buyer or Over-buyer?

As you’re thinking about these distinctions, it can be helpful to ask, “When have I succeeded with this resolution in the past?” If there was a time when you exercised regularly, cooked frequently, got enough sleep, etc., that might hold clues for how you might be able to do a better job in the present.

When we know ourselves, we can set up a resolution in the way that’s right for us. It’s not that hard to keep our resolutions, and to change our habits — when we know what to do.

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  • Stella Jervis

    This kind of just feels like a thinly veiled advertisement for your book, and it feels dishonest because you’re trying to pass it of as being helpful. It reminds me of Babysitters Club Books, when Ann M. Martin would introduce the characters over and over again in each book. People who read your blogs are fans, sometimes Superfans, and we could use some love and resourcefulness, not a rehash of how awesome you are and a reminder of how much money you make off of our need to be happy and fufill our New Year’s Resolutions.

    • Lis

      That’s a little vicious for a post with a bunch of suggestions, bunch of links to other suggestions and only really one “I’ve written all about this, why not read the original because it’s a book length topic not a blog length one”…. hopefully you are just having a bad day & 2017 will be better.

    • NP

      If you are not satisfied then why did you visit her page? I think you should vent somewhere else.

      • Courtney

        Actually, the comment section of a blog post is an entirely appropriate place in which to *comment* on the blog post.

    • carolie_king

      ALL series authors do this. They have to reintroduce the characters in case the reader is new to the series and just starting somewhere in the middle. So maybe that’s what Gretchen is doing? Not everyone has read the books or listened to all the podcasts that these questions address. (And as for the rehashing/money comment– really? Do you see any of that in her post?)

  • I tried to click on the links “Marathoner/Sprinter”, “Simplicity/Abundance”, “Finisher/Opener” and they all take me to the link for “Lark/Owl.” Is there another way to access those posts? Thanks!

    • gretchenrubin

      Sorry about that! just search by those terms and you’ll find the posts.