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Seven strategies for highly effective New Years resolutions

From Margie Warrell at Forbes:

1. Know Your Why. For a resolution to stick, it has to be aligned with your core values. We all want to look better or get richer, but your resolutions have to go beyond superficial desires and connect with what truly matters most to you. …

2. Be Specific. Resolutions to ‘eat better, get fitter, be happier, relax more or have better life balance’ are doomed for failure because they lack specificity. The more specific you are, the more likely you will be able to succeed. Describe your goals and resolutions in ways that allow you to track your progress and measure your success. …

3. Don’t Just Think It, Ink it! A Stanford University study found that when people wrote down their goal, it increased the probability of them achieving it by over 70%. But don’t just write down the specific goal …

Thanks for contributing your goals and resolutions the other day. So much to like. Salutes for furrydoc’s desire to help someone else meet an important goal and Water Lily’s “wag more, bark less.” Good luck to Kent on perfecting time travel and even better luck to Nevermind with that chemo.

But the one line out of all the comments that really, really resonated was EN’s “take the road to where I want to go.”

Yeah. That.

Happy New Year!

And thanks for helping to make my year a good one.

If the funny cat video I posted has disappeared (as usual lately), try here.


  1. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal December 31, 2012 10:23 pm

    I had to toss in the time travel thing because you said “Realistic things” and I’m just that way.
    But, seriously, I would do anything to go back and un-do some things that need to be un-done and do some things that I should have done. I suppose we all feel that way.
    Anyway, Happy New Year.

  2. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember December 31, 2012 10:41 pm

    I’ve been thinking about how you’re going to try and stay offline more.

    Maybe I should read this particular post of yours? (I will later) But I’ve been wondering what steps you’ve taken to stay offline more?

    (As if it matters: this is only the second post on the internet I’ve commented on which I haven’t read. … Your idea is That powerful. Well, not really, but I’ve thought about it some.)

    Myself, I’ve begun to think staying offline equals being more open to being played for a sucker, but then again, maybe it compounds it? Idk.

    Also, I saw how Ms. Wolf was partially being played for a sucker with her perspective on O.W.S. as described on The Daily Bell, I wondered what your take was on that,… as I tend to group you two and a few other pretty thinkers together, somewhat… sortof… kindof… can’t-help-it..

    I’m still hung-up a bit on the idea that the 1960’s and 1970’s counter-culture was co-opted/created/directed by the power elite.

    I guess I wasn’t lying when I told those guys: “Everything you were taught in school was a lie!”

    …And then some.

  3. naturegirl
    naturegirl January 1, 2013 2:57 am

    Happy New Year Claire and all who hang around here.

    May 2013 be a good year for all of us.

  4. winston lite
    winston lite January 1, 2013 6:13 am

    I can relate to number 2 especially. It helps to have goals within goals…it’s way too vauge to just ‘start saving money’ or ‘get in shape’. For my goals I’ve started small this time around. To slow down my drinking I allowed myself new years eve at the bar, which wasn’t terribly enjoyable due to rediculous lines and people acting like imbeciles. I’m really not eager to go back anytime soon which is good. I’ve decided that instead of just telling myself to not drink as much I’m going to put limits on what I do drink…basically I’m allowing myself to ocassionally enjoy something to SIP on…a six or so of quality beer in the fridge, scotch on the rocks at the bar, etc. But I’m done with stocking up on a bunch of Mickey’s and Coors to chug and racking up tabs swilling rum and coke all night.

  5. Claire
    Claire January 1, 2013 7:58 am

    IAM — Just curious. Why do you associate spending time offline with being played for a sucker? My take is nearly the opposite — that it would allow more time to think, to mull and organize all that information that flows in via the ‘Net. And to be reminded that the ‘Net and reality are sometimes very different places.

    As to steps taken toward that goal … I’ve done a lot of thinking about that in the last few days and as of now it appears that’s the New Year’s goal that’s most likely to fail for lack of specificity and great motivation. Still working on it, though.

    As to any Wolf (Naomi?), OWS, and the Daily Bell, I don’t know. Haven’t seen what you’re talking about, sorry.

  6. Claire
    Claire January 1, 2013 8:01 am

    “But I’m done with stocking up on a bunch of Mickey’s and Coors to chug and racking up tabs swilling rum and coke all night.”

    Winston — good on you for that. I don’t know the family history you’ve mentioned re drinking, but I do know you’re one of my favorite bright young guys and I don’t want to see you lose any more brain cells than you strictly have to!

    Yeah … being sober (or relatively so) around a bunch of dumb drunks seems to be one good way to cure oneself of excess boozing. 🙂

  7. jed
    jed January 1, 2013 8:53 am

    For me, the #1 problem is overcoming inertia. And various catch-22s along the way. For example, it hurts to do the exercises which should, ultimately, help with the back pain. Ruts are self-reinforcing — the deeper they are, the harder it is to drive out of them. And the more you drive in them, the deeper they get.

  8. IndividualAudienceMember
    IndividualAudienceMember January 1, 2013 2:11 pm

    C.W.: “Why do you associate spending time offline with being played for a sucker?”

    That’s not ~quite what I meant.

    The opposite of that is someone whom only gets their news from fox tv… with varying degrees in the middle, and no mulling or thinking anywhere.

    Perhaps it’s just an increase in the odds the longer a Person is unaware of something they might otherwise be? Two weeks vs. two days.

    I understand your take and wasn’t talking about that.

    Is Occupy Dead?

    “… The alternative website Fundamental Sine Wave provides us with the connection between Wolf’s observations about state surveillance and why the crackdown was so tough. The Sine Wave analysis comes to the following conclusion: …

    If you read the guardian article and still do not see it, then I am afraid you may never be able to free yourself of the conditioning that has been forced upon you. Yet I do believe that this article is the beginning of something quite amazing….”

  9. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal January 1, 2013 2:17 pm

    Resolutions require you to remember to keep them. And that is where I usually fail.

    I decided I need to sit less. But what little money I make, I make online.

    So, I put up a shelf to set my computer on so I can stand while using the computer. My keyboard is now 49″ off the floor. I didn’t have to make a resolution to “sit less”, I made a change that gives me no choice in the matter. Seems to me that will work better than a resolution. So far I am loving it.

    I was never much of a sitter when I had a choice, and sitting makes me feel bad. I felt chained in place. In the few minutes since I got this set up I find myself doing a lot more “drive by computerizing”. I zip up to it, check something, and zip away again. It fits my nature a lot better than the chair ever did.

  10. Pat
    Pat January 1, 2013 4:35 pm

    Kent – You’ve got the right idea! I’ve been doing that a lot lately, quick-standing at the computer, checking out the news, or a blog, or info at Wikipedia, then leaving while I think about it or do something else. It keeps me off the computer, and keeps me moving. And I’ve been more focused on real-life issues – e.g. I don’t go into a room now and forget what I went for.

    But I can’t do page design/layout while standing so I’ve had to designate certain time periods during the day for that work, then run errands, etc. in between.

  11. Ardmore
    Ardmore January 1, 2013 8:38 pm


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