Carina has been typing on the internets before there was a www in front of everything. This is why she’s cranky and wants to know when you’ll get off her lawn. She resides in a hopelessly outdated home in the Mountain West with a mathematician and three children hell-bent on destruction. Her laundry is not done, but her Twitter is totally up to date. Carina does not have a Tumblr, because get serious.

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How to Keep Resolutions for the New Year

The author without makeup (new resolution?) with a completed 2011 resolution (have a baby)

Have you made your list of resolutions for the new year yet? Oh, good.

Have you already broken at least one? I knew it.

The flat out truth is that most of us don’t end up keeping our resolutions all year long (if we did we’d all be thinner, richer, and with fantastically perfect diets.) So how do you keep resolutions, especially if you really want to?

  1. Really Want To
    It does no good to make a resolution to do something if you truly don’t want to do it. Do you really want to quit potato chips? No? Maybe this isn’t your year. Try another year. Maybe 2015?
  2. Pick One Resolution
    Just the one. Not a list of 25 resolutions that you know, deep down, you are not going to keep. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Unless you are one of those people who are “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars!” kind of people. (And honestly, if you’re one of those people, you should consider putting an astronomy course on your resolutions-to-complete list, because that is not how that works.)  If you do pick one resolution, you can focus on truly making it happen. My favorite resolution ever was to have better posture.
  3. Daily Reminder
    One of the reasons that keeping a simple resolution, like having better posture, worked for me was that I put a small reminder directly where I would see it and execute the action every day. A Post It on my computer monitor that said, “Sit up!” I was the only one who knew what it meant, and it made me pay attention to my posture.
  4. Pick an Unusual Resolution
    If you pick “Lose 20 Pounds” every year, and every year you fail, it’s time for a new resolution. Resolutions are about making yourself a better person, so try something different. How about reading three classic books you know you should have read by now (e.g. Moby Dick, Grapes of Wrath, Night by Elie Wiesel)?
  5. Blog about It
    Last year the TodaysMama staff wrote their “11 Things in 2011” posts. I have to tell you, knowing that I told you about my resolutions made me want to try even harder to complete them. I did pretty well (considering my usual advice is to pick fewer resolutions) by finishing 8 out of 11.

Now that you know how to keep resolutions, what will you pick? There are one million options to make yourself a better person that do not include weighing 20 less pounds. Make yourself a more interesting person with a new resolution for the new year:

  • Stop picking your nail polish.
  • Learn to say “Hello” in four languages.
  • Watch all the Best Picture Oscar Winners.
  • Learn how to change a tire.
  • Beat Dance, Dance Revolution.
  • Learn how to tweeze/wax/maintain your eyebrows.
  • Perfect a different yoga pose every week.
  • Clean out that one closet.
  • Hang art in your home.
  • Be a better tipper.
  • Hug each of your children at least once a day.
  • Try three new international cuisines.
  • Learn to graciously accept a compliment.
  • Take an after dinner walk.
  • Give more compliments.
  • Meditate every Saturday.


Stay tuned for my resolutions later this week.


Other posts you might like:

Detox Smoothies

Detox Salad 

Healthy Living: Food Diary Saves the Day

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Comments (13)

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  7. Amy 01/02/2012 at 10:51 pm

    I’m settling on “Floss Daily” as my primary NYR.. Jan 2nd and I’m still 100% Yeah!

  8. Shannon 01/02/2012 at 10:12 pm

    I’m still pondering my resolution, but I’ll try to make one I can keep in check!

  9. Kalli 01/02/2012 at 3:59 pm

    Learning how to take a compliment is high on my list, also, buy a house and get a rubber stamp with my permanent address.

    • Carina Wytiaz 01/02/2012 at 4:06 pm

      Kalli, that was one of my resolutions a few years ago and remains one of my favorites. Learning to say “Thank you” graciously and without deflecting the compliment was so hard!

  10. whitneyingram 01/02/2012 at 3:18 pm

    “There are one million options to make yourself a better person that do not include weighing 20 less pounds.”

    My favorite line.

  11. Jillian 01/02/2012 at 10:07 am

    Sounds like we are on similar paths!!

  12. Erica 01/02/2012 at 7:18 am

    I need to redo my resolution. I declared 2012 to be my year of Health, and then I got the flu on NYE. Possibly a resolution that I have control over would be more appropriate.