So, it’s the start of another new year and you know what that means – resolutions. I have an impressive history of faithfulness regarding resolutions, faithfully making and breaking them, that is.

Every January 1st, I faithfully write down my resolutions in my journal and just as faithfully break most of them before the ink has completely dried on the page.

So, this year I decided to do a bit of research about how to make and keep resolutions to increase my chances for sticking to them for more than 45 minutes. According to my research, the key to success seems to be clearly defining what you want to achieve and coming up with an effective strategy for getting there. I tried out this approach with one of my perennial resolutions, going on a diet.

 
 

First, to be sure I was defining “diet” clearly, I turned to the dictionary. And it’s a good thing I did. Lo and behold diet is defined first and foremost as “food and drink that is consumed on a regular basis.” What a revelation!

I consume food and drink on a very regular basis, hourly sometimes, therefore I am already “on a diet!” Once I had that clear in my mind, the strategy was obvious. Continue to consume food and drink on a regular basis. Ta-da, cross off resolution one because I’d achieved it without even knowing it!

Flush with my success, I moved on to tackling the rest of the items on my list, careful to include a strategy for success for each one.

Do at Least One Thing That Scares Me

Strategy: Undress in front of the mirror…with the lights on…with my eyes open.

Go Someplace I’ve Never Been Before

Strategy: Clean the lint trap in my dryer.

Extend Myself More

Strategy: Move the peanut butter cups to the top shelf.

Eat Out Less

Strategy: Have pizza delivered.

Eliminate Frivolous Spending

Strategy: Buy vowels on “Wheel of Fortune” only on the really hard puzzles.

Be a Better Housekeeper

Strategy: Buy lower wattage light bulbs.

Get More Rest

Strategy: sleep at work.

Be More Assertive

Strategy: Insist on being taken advantage of.

Limit TV to Educational Shows

Strategy: Mentally correct all the grammatical errors on daytime talk shows.

Work out Religiously

Strategy: Genuflect before picking up the remote.

Overcome Road Rage

Strategy: Telecommute

Reduce My Stress Level

Strategy: Schedule a lobotomy

See More of the People I Enjoy

Strategy: Put up more mirrors in my house.

Overcome My Shallow, Narcissistic Desire for Cosmetic Surgery

Strategy: Take down all the mirrors in my house.

Be More Decisive to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Strategy: Or maybe not.

Armed with my new understanding of how to achieve success, I feel confident that 2017 will be my breakthrough year, the year I finally accomplish all I have resolved to do. And if by chance I am not 100% successful, there’s always Plan B, which is to add any leftover items to my 2018 list!

What strategies are you using to take a more lighthearted approach to sticking with your New Year’s resolutions? Do you agree that humor is often the best defense against the serious challenges life presents? We invite you to join the conversation.

Lee GaitanLee Gaitan has worn many hats in her 25 years as a professional communicator, from public relations writer and talk show host to educator and stand-up comedienne. She is the author of two books, Falling Flesh Just Ahead and My Pineapples Went to Houston – Finding the Humor in My Dashed Hopes, Broken Dreams and Plans Gone Outrageously Awry. She has also authored a chapter in the bestselling book, The Divinity of Dogs. She is the proud mother of one and stepmother of two and now lives in suburban Atlanta with her husband and dog. Connect with her at www.leegaitan.com.

Let's Have a Conversation!