What makes resolutions achievable?

Have you ever stood with your glass of champagne in hand and declared that this year is the one when you’ll run a marathon, lose 50 pounds or get a great new job?

Then all you have to show for your half-hearted commitment is a champagne hangover?

This week I’m blogging about making — and keeping — resolutions.

Today it’s more about the process of making the goals in the first place.

When you're writing down your new year's goals, they don't all have to be big and important. What about infusing fun into your new year?

Lifehacker.com writes about setting achievable goals — and it doesn’t have to feel so serious

The post includes four tips for making an attainable list of goals, including this one that I liked a lot:

Entertain a mix of ambitious and silly goals. Goals should vary from ambitious (write a book, be financially independent) to silly (consider getting a pet fox, bet $100 on a rock paper scissors match) to novelty-seeking (try a new restaurant every week, go to the opera) to personal (fall madly in love, lose 10 pounds) to world-improving (convert to green energy, give 10% to charity) to educational (learn Italian, read a book a week).

Marking off a few silly or easier goals is a good way to build confidence and momentum for larger more ambitious goals. When you’ve recently gotten rid of your television and spoken in front of a crowd of fifty, it becomes a hundred times easier to pitch your book idea to a publisher, or call someone about a lease on a space for your new business.

Sometimes when I’m making new year’s resolutions, I get caught up in the enthusiasm of it and either feel I have to do everything — learn to play piano, learn Spanish, start taking yoga — or I have to be too lofty — shouldn’t we all aspire to cut back on our use of fossil fuels and eat only locally grown free range chemical free foods?

Why can’t I also make a goal to have drinks at least once a week with my girlfriends?

Or to add a few new sweaters to my rotation that make me feel better about the long cold winter?

I like the idea of adding fun, silly, novelty-seeking goals into my 2010 mix. Not that I don’t still want to take a knife skills class, but I also want to try more of the restaurants in our neighborhood and see more live music. I also want to develop a ritual of brunch at a place where we can become regulars.

What’s your mix of resolutions look like? Are you committing to anything fun, silly or novelty seeking?

I blogged back in March about declaring what you want in a written goal list — check out that post if you haven’t read it before.

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Categories: lifestyle

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10 replies

  1. Thanks, Catherine.

    I think there’s power in writing down your goals — being willing to declare them and make them permanent.

    I like posting the list where I can see it regularly as a reminder but if you can live mindfully without having that roadmap in front of you, keep doing what works.

  2. This year I AM going to learn Spanish!

    Write down the lofty and the silly in a list, close the cover on your journal and just live mindfully….it turns into a sort of cosmic want ad. I’ve achieved everything from forgiveness to clear skin with this method!

    Happy New Year!

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